Best Value 5.56 Rifle

This is a discussion on Best Value 5.56 Rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Cannot go wrong with a Smith & Wesson m&p 15 sport for 599.00 you cannot go wrong...5.56/.223...

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Thread: Best Value 5.56 Rifle

  1. #76
    Member Array defensive007's Avatar
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    Cannot go wrong with a Smith & Wesson m&p 15 sport for 599.00 you cannot go wrong...5.56/.223
    I have yet to be attacked by a block of ballistic gelatin but.........

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  3. #77
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderBra View Post
    I ended up getting the Colt6920.
    Very nice, did you find a good deal?
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  4. #78
    Member Array WonderBra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    Very nice, did you find a good deal?
    Hey Jon, I got it via Grant @ G&R Tactical.
    Great price and Grant is very responsive.
    "One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
    -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

  5. #79
    New Member Array BestOverallGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    Those cars…. I just sneak over to my neighbors when they're not looking and snap some quick pics!

    Ok, let's get down to business here and let me tell you what my experiences are and why TO ME a mil spec AR is a must, not a luxury or something that would be nice, but not really needed. Let me start by saying I have owned many different ARs and components (like rails, mounts, optics, etc) from, but not limited to, DPMS, Bushmaster, S&W, RRA, Noveske, Bravo Co, LaRue, Knight's Armament, LMT, LWRC, Troy, Magpul, Vltor, Aimpoint, EoTech, Daniel Defense and I'm sure a few others. As a qualifier, I shoot about 500 to 750 rounds a week, give or take, usually involving some sort of drill, not just off of a bench. I work with and train LE's and civilians in typically "advanced" carbine. I attend somewhere between 2 to 5 training classes a year, again typically advanced carbine and tactics. I only clean my guns when they're extremely filthy and I lube with Slip EWL before each day of shooting. A general cleaning occurs once every 1,000 to 2,000 rounds with maybe an occasional wipe down of the bolt if need I just thought I should throw that out there so you know I don't just shoot 500 rounds a year from a bench.

    Now, let's first get the myth of price out of the way… You can walk into a shop right now and pick up a Bushmaster, S&W or RRA for what, $900 to $1,100? Maybe $800 for a DPMS? Now, we can buy a higher quality Bravo Company, Colt or LMT for about…….$900 to $1,100! You can also buy a Daniel Defense for about $1,200 from a good shop, but part of that higher price is their rail systems. The DD rails (Lite and RIS II) typically cost between 4350 to $400 where a Troy or whatever Bushmaster uses costs $150 or so.

    So, I think we need to bust the all too common myth that a quality AR is FAR more expensive than a commercial grade Bushmaster, RRA, etc. Worst case scenario, we're looking at $100 more for a similarly configured AR… We cannot compare a tricked out Knight's Armament SR15 which includes a $200 stock, $330 trigger, $350 to $450 rail, $200 rear sight, $80 selector, $390 e3 bolt plus the $100 M16 bolt carrier and not mentioning the chf semi-lightweight $400 barrel and ambi lower. Funny thing is, that SR15 with well over $1,300 in upgrades over a base model Bushmaster/RRA/S&W only costs about $1,900 depending on the dealer/distributor. Remember too, if we compare of base model from Bravo Company and a base model from Bushmaster, that even though the prices are similar, we automatically get more "stuff" with the Bravo Co… For example, we're getting a quality receiver extension, not a cheap commercial tube… we're getting a higher quality chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel…. we're getting a better stock and an appropriate buffer. So, we're looking at maybe $200 to $300 in "extras" comparing base model to base model, so even if the Bravo Co is $100 more, it's not like we're not getting 3x that amount in "stuff".

    So, what exactly makes a Bravo Co/Daniel Defense/Colt/LMT/Noveske (we'll call this group "A") better than a Bushmaster/DPMS/RRA/S&W/Stag (we'll call this group "B")?? I'm glad you asked! We'll start at the rear and work our way forward…

    The first thing we get is a quality mil spec receiver extension with an appropriate buffer for the given gas system. If it's a carbine gas system on a 16" barrel, we're already looking at too much gas coming into the gun. Two (well, three actually) things will play into this. One is the size of the gas port and the other is the buffer and the bolt carrier group. For a carbine gassed 16" gun, we're going to need at least an H buffer even with the smallest of gas ports. Group "A" includes the appropriate buffer where group "B" only includes a carbine buffer in most cases or charges more for the "upgrade" which isn't an upgrade at all. The problem with using the carbine buffer is…..the bolt can start to unlock while the case is still expanded inside the chamber….the carrier can trail faster than it should which can cause bolt bounce on the return….the carrier can "beat" the magazine spring and fail to strip a fresh round….the recoil is harsher than it should be which causes slower follow-up shots regardless of who you are and how "little" recoil a 5.56 demonstrates.

    Next, group "B" will include a semi auto bolt carrier while group "A" will include a full auto M16 carrier. Despite what the local gun shop guru may have told you, the ATF DOES allow the use of the full auto carrier and it IS NOT considered manufacturing a machine gun like the old myth says. I actually have a letter from the ATF around to prove this fact. To keep it simple, we'll just say the same issues exist with the semi carrier as caused by the carbine buffer, for the most part.

    A small, easily fixed oversight to some and a huge demonstration of a company's commitment to it's customers to others is staking. To me, I'd prefer the end plate be left un-staked as I change it out anyway, but I cannot accept no staking or poor staking of the gas key. An improperly or non-staked gas key can lead to the screws backing out and gas leakage causing the carrier to short stroke. Bad, bad, bad. Also, group "B" is notorious for improperly torquing the screws of the gas key, so one could argue staking is even more important with this group since they do it wrong to begin with.

    As for the lower receiver, even DPMS has been good about using 7075, but they are inconsistent. Trigger pins will have a higher tendency to walk than in group "A". There's a post right now by a distributor on one of the M4 sites showing two lower receivers he received from DPMS that have cracks from the bottom of the magwell all the way to the top. Both have the exact same cracks or fractures. DPMS would NOT take these back at first and said they were fine. After many months they finally were willing to do something, but he told them never-mind as he'd rather keep them on display in his shop to show customers. Good stuff!

    Now we're looking at barrels. Some of these differences will small to some and huge to others. Almost all barrels from group "A" are going to be chrome lined, cold hammer forged (there's a standard barrel option from BCM for $100 less) and made of B-11595E. Group "B" will have 4140 or 4150. I don't want to make this twice as long as it is, so here's some info on the barrel steel. Barrel Steel: 4150, 4140, Chrome Moly, CMV - M4Carbine.net Forums

    A chrome lined, cold hammer forged B-11595E barrel is going to give you longevity. For some this may not be a big deal, but the difference between groups opening up at 4,000 to 6,000 rounds or them opening up at 10,000 to 15,000 is a big deal to me as I can burn out a barrel in less than a year. We're not talking about Glocks here that can go 100,000 rounds and be replaced for $150 or less. A good AR barrel will be around $350 then we may need the gas block and gas tube.

    Group "A" will always have a true 5.56 chamber. Group "B" will be much less consistent and even when marked 5.56, a go/no-go gauge is necessary as many have claimed 5.56 but used .223 chamber in the past and I know of two that still do. This is bad as it can not only cause very serious malfunctions that can ruin your day, they create dangerous pressures that can ruin your gun. Failures I have personally experienced.

    Group "A" will use a 1:7 twist. In almost all cases this is a plus. There's a lot of talk about a 1:7 barrel not handling lighter (shorter) loads as well as a 1:9. This is only slightly true and only at extreme distance. I've seen 1:7 barrels hold 2 MOA at 800 meters with 55 grain. Though they'll handle the 55 grain loads about the same as a 1:9, they'll handle the 75 grain loads much better. Seeing as some of the best match grade and defensive ammo is 75 grain, this is a plus.

    Out at this end, we're back into gas ports. Group "B's" gas ports will typically be larger than group "A's" with all else being equal. This is not a good thing. not only will we have a more violent system, our recoil will be greater (which makes a difference no matter the caliber and how good you are at recoil control - less is less which equates to hits on target faster) and we have a greater potential of failures. Life expectancy is less the higher the pressure.

    Ok, how about high pressure testing and magnetic particle inspection? I'm not going to bore you with the details (my way of saying I have no clue what I'm talking about! ) Group "A" will do these two tests to every single bolt and barrel while group "B" will batch, at best. A simple explanation is this… HPT is using a proof cartridge with 125% NATO standard pressure. MPI is a magnetic test that shows any cracks in the material. Google both for a much more in depth and accurate explanation. For example, KAC does not MPI their E3 bolts. In this case alone, it's acceptable because the bolt itself is a different design and lasts a very minimum of 4 times a standard bolt. There's debate about these tests still being relevant and by all accounts, it is. I'll get into my experiences on this in a bit.

    Now we can look at warrantees. You can reference the "chart" or the manufacturers websites for specifics, but here's my experience. You'll more likely need that warrantee with group "B" than group"A". If something should go wrong with group "A", warranty or not, they'll most likely fix it. KAC just sent me a new front sight for my URX because of something I did during a drill. They never asked for the serial the first time I contacted them. After that, I got to know the guys there.

    Then there's things like anodizing, type II or type III? We want type III, just so you know. Then there's the lower parts kits used. The Stag/RRA/DPMS type kits are almost never consistent. The triggers are far from good, the selectors (on safe) can actually interfere on a small level with the BCG when you work the charging handle. Then there's the charging handle. Believe it or not, this is an important item. I want the best quality charging handle because any skimping here can cause a major failure. Just the other day, a guy posted on m4c that after only a few rounds, the front piece of his CH that has the hole for the gas key and tube snapped off and wedged somewhere around the bolt lugs.





    EDIT - MORE TO COME - Bare with me here as I'm doing family time and trying to sneak in computer time as well…



    Shut up!



    I appreciate that...

    the fact I'm reading it 4.5 years later and enjoyed the read means it was excellent. Thanks man!

  6. #80
    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    PSA is a quality gun at a good price. Are there better guns, sure. But if it's a quality vs price thing,PSA is a good choice.
    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.

    The supreme art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting........ Sun Tzu.

  7. #81
    Member Array TheConcealer's Avatar
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    Haha, started reading this thread and was wondering why everyone was talking about $800 AR's and the great availability of 5.56/.223... then I saw the date.
    Living a life free from fear, means being able to protect it at all times.
    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
    NRA

  8. #82
    Member Array Popeye77's Avatar
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    I for one didn't see the humor when I saw the M&P I just bought for $899.00 listed at $599.00

  9. #83
    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    Well if I had a 223 it would be a Saiga with 10 mags and a Escort 12ga and its under $400 including 2 rifle case softside with backpack straps

  10. #84
    Senior Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheConcealer View Post
    Haha, started reading this thread and was wondering why everyone was talking about $800 AR's and the great availability of 5.56/.223... then I saw the date.


    Relax & take a deep breath...hold it......now exhale

    I think that history will repeat itself and prices will return to normal in say....about 3-months just in-time for spring thaw!

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