Nice review. I like the KISS concept myself...some of the AR threads get so convoluted they make my poor feeble brain hurt.
Personally, I would never spend more than $1k for an AR. Who cares about "furniture", quad rails, 2 stage triggers, or some $800 optics package? A simple quality rifle with good sights is all you need. I value my money more than "ooohs" and "ahhhhs" at the range. Especially when I out shoot the AR military wanna-bees with my 35 year old Colt Frankenstein. Who's your master? And where's that dude's safety glasses? Subtract 10 credibility points.
I can under stand yakeejib. Get a basic palmeto state arms or a S&W M&P sport. Both can be bought under 600 dollars and that will leave you 400 dollar for what ever. I bought the mp15. They make metal part on the gun. Try that today with most.
A good review that helps newbies to the AR platform understand the basics of what to look for in an AR platform rifle. Personally, IMO I don't think the Colt of today makes the highest quality AR's on the market. At one time in the past yes, but today rifles by the higher end makers like LMT, Noveske and Daniel Defense while more expensive are better rifles IMO. At least the ones I have handled and shot. I also think the rifles made by BCM and Spikes are every bit the quality of the Colt. They are smaller companies who likely spend more time on each build to produce a quality milspec AR. Rifles by BCM and Spikes can be found for well under 1K, often around the $750 price point. Currently I own rifles or uppers by S&W, Spikes Tactical, CMMG, DPMS,and PSA (Palmetto State Armory). Again in my opinion, and take it with a grain of salt as anybody's opinion on any gun forum should be taken......the lower end rifles by CMMG and DPMS (or Olympic, Double Star, and up the scale to rifles by Bushmaster, Rock River, and slightly more up Stag, S&W) will serve the paper puncher/weekend plinker and home defender just fine. If you shoot 3 gun you may need to step-up to a mid-level rifle for reliability. If you are going somewhere you may be getting shot at and shooting back regularly get the best rifle you can find at the price point you think your life may be worth! Its not always about the most expensive firearm is always the best, that's not always the case as we know .....but don't cheap-out either to save a few bills if your life is depending on it.
I'd take a 600 dollar M&P sport with the knowledge to ring it out for everything its got over a 2500 whiz bang wonder AR with only what I've read on the internet.
It amazes me that people think that DPMS is a low end rifle ?. I have a DPMS Oracle, and its my opinion that its a good rifle and well built. It has never failed to fire or eject, and it eats any ammo that I feed it. Because its a carbine its way over gased, so I added a heavy duty buffer spring that made a noticable improvement, and because I added an A2 buttstock, the buttstock kit came with a long buffer like whats used in a M16, so I added more weight to the buffer and that really helped a lot.
So now with the heavy duty buffer spring and heavier buffer, the rifle cycles a lot smoother and the buffer no longer slams into the rear of the buffer tube.
I also replaced the ejector and extractor springs with some high quality chrome silicon springs, that also improved the performance of my rifle. Im still not done tinkering with it, like anything else its an on going project.
I got the replacement springs from David Tubb David Tubb - Superior Shooting Systems - Tubb 2000 - Final Finish They make good quality parts, and I would recommend them to anyone.
That seems like a lot of tinkering to get a high end rifle running right.
people think that DPMS is a low end rifle?
All I've got is a plain jane, totally stock Colt A-2 Govt. Carbine (which has the 4 position collapsible stock). It's a tack driver! I'm running no optics.
The only thing I wish I had was a removable carry handle, but hey, when I got it, they weren't even making AR's with removable carry handles.
I personally have zero experience with a DPMS, but I beleive that almost all AR's today are made pretty well, but in comparison to a lot of other maufactures, DPMS comes in at the low end of the spectrum. That's not to say it's a crappy rifle. If I was given a DPMS, I'd defiantly keep it around. Heck, I have a bottom of the barrel WASR. But it's straight and shoots amazingly. And pretty dang accurate for a peice of crap, cheapest AK money can buy. I don't think it's a peice of crap but Arsenal snobs do. I <3 my WASR.
The Colt probably is infact the best rifle money can buy for under $1000. Again, that's not saying any other rifle under $1000 is crap. But, you must admit, they don't come equipped like the Colt does.
I don't use my rifles extremly hard. I like the keep them ready for defense, but they're far from abused.