AR Opinion, Stag or S&W

This is a discussion on AR Opinion, Stag or S&W within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; For all practical range purposes, the Rock River or Stag will do what "most" need it to do. My standards and requirements are higher. I ...

View Poll Results: Which AR brand do you like better?

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  • Stag Arms

    38 70.37%
  • Smith & Wesson

    16 29.63%
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Thread: AR Opinion, Stag or S&W

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    For all practical range purposes, the Rock River or Stag will do what "most" need it to do. My standards and requirements are higher. I require a AR that looks the part, thusly I require and AR that "is" the part. Some needs may vary.

    If you can get by with slightly less in the TDP department then by all means, go ahead. But, there really is no excuse to not be educated as to what those differences really are. I only wish I knew the difference a long time before I actually did. I would have impacted several decisions along the way.

    Know what you are buying. If then you know, and you opt for a hobby AR anyway, at least you can't chalk it up to "not knowng".

    Sixto, I think we both are in agreement in priniple. We usully do. ;)

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post


    Know what you are buying. If then you know, and you opt for a hobby AR anyway, at least you can't chalk it up to "not knowng".

    Sixto, I think we both are in agreement in principle. We usually do. ;)
    We agree in principle, but if your buying an AR, its a "hobby AR". Nobody is buying one to take to Iraq or Vietnam. So, I'm saying if you are working to keep the price under a certain number, put the money in areas that is going to give you the best bang.

    Its like buying a Peterbilt for your daily driver. Sure, Peterbilts are great, but I'm never going to haul 40,000 pounds across the country. So, I'd rather take that same money, and buy a very nice and comfortable sedan.
    I'd rather have a more accurate rifle with some 'extra's to make it that much sweeter than some overbuild in areas that don't matter a hill of beans in a AR15. Sure, M4 feed ramps are important, in a M4. We are not talking about the very different M4's are the very different uses and wear patterns they see. We are talking about a semi automatic AR15.

    Interesting side note, Mil Spec doesn't necessarily mean better. It is in effort to standardize rifles from several manufactures that will or might see military service. Because Mil Spec calls for this or that, it doesn't mean that its the best there is. For example, the A2 bird cage. Is that the best flash suppressor? Hardly. Its adequate (that is whats on both of mine) but there are better out there.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    We agree in principle, but if your buying an AR, its a "hobby AR". Nobody is buying one to take to Iraq or Vietnam. So, I'm saying if you are working to keep the price under a certain number, put the money in areas that is going to give you the best bang.

    Its like buying a Peterbilt for your daily driver. Sure, Peterbilts are great, but I'm never going to haul 40,000 pounds across the country. So, I'd rather take that same money, and buy a very nice and comfortable sedan.
    I'd rather have a more accurate rifle with some 'extra's to make it that much sweeter than some overbuild in areas that don't matter a hill of beans in a AR15. Sure, M4 feed ramps are important, in a M4. We are not talking about the very different M4's are the very different uses and wear patterns they see. We are talking about a semi automatic AR15.

    Interesting side note, Mil Spec doesn't necessarily mean better. It is in effort to standardize rifles from several manufactures that will or might see military service. Because Mil Spec calls for this or that, it doesn't mean that its the best there is. For example, the A2 bird cage. Is that the best flash suppressor? Hardly. Its adequate (that is whats on both of mine) but there are better out there.
    I totally agree with you on that Peterbuilt statement, that was well spoken and much of the point I have been trying to make.

    For example, lets look at handguns. Just because our armed forces uses's a Berreta (M9) and they are "Mil Spec", does that mean that millions upon millions of people don't think their Glock 17 is not as reliable? With some of the comments I have heard on this thread, we should all be shooting M9's or exact to the umpteenth M9 clones for our handguns and Colt barrels for our AR's. Nothing else will work!

    It might not be our government issue, but I can guarantee it's the first handgun I am reaching for. It shall go bang!

    Oh and as far as options about barrel twist. ! 1.7 does not give you more options it just gives you a bit heavier options. 1.7 barrels don't shoot lighter (more common bullet grains) as accurate past 100 yards.

    General rule of thumb for optimum accuracy at ranges to 500 meters;
    1-12=45-55 grain bullets
    1-10=50-60 grain bullets
    1-9=52-68 grain bullets
    1-8/1-7.7/1-7=60 to 80 grain bullets
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

  5. #34
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    By all means, grab what works. I just prefer to have the best I can get. As close to TDP as possible in an AR or M4 is just that. Shot peened bolt, HP, the works.

    You don't want a stronger bolt or pressure tested system and such, don't spend the money. Just remember the principle, you tend to get what you pay for in firearms.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post
    By all means, grab what works. I just prefer to have the best I can get. As close to TDP as possible in an AR or M4 is just that. Shot peened bolt, HP, the works.

    You don't want a stronger bolt or pressure tested system and such, don't spend the money. Just remember the principle, you tend to get what you pay for in firearms.
    I can tell you, I didn't save any money with the AR I just built. I would have saved hundreds buying a plain jane Colt 6920 and then spent the hundreds I saved, getting my gun where I wanted it to be.
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post

    You don't want a stronger bolt or pressure tested system and such, don't spend the money. Just remember the principle, you tend to get what you pay for in firearms.
    This is very true. However, the question is where is the money best spent in a AR. An AR will never put the pressure and heat that an M4 in war service would.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  8. #37
    BAC
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    An AR need never see war service to require the durability of a rifle destined for war service. Someone who shoots ten or more thousand rounds per year in competition and training settings is going to need a bit more of that durability than someone who shoots only occasionally. Again, it comes down to what you expect or plan to do with your rifle.

    Mike, if you absolutely cannot go above $900, a Rock River Arms should serve you well. Buy the complete upper, build or buy the lower half, grab a Magpul MBUS rear sight for good measure (I like my LaRue rear BUIS and the new Daniel Defense rear BUIS, but the Magpul sight is half the cost) and you've got a shooter for a little under your given price. Make friends with someone with a MOACKS tool to properly stake the gas keys (RRA doesn't) and make sure that your extractor spring has the black insert (RRA does) and you should be good to go. Remember to factor in the cost of magazines and ammo.

    Personally, if it were my money I would save up a little bit more for a BCM upper + LMT lower, a Charles Daly Defense DM4LE, or a Daniel Defense XV. All will serve you well, and all can be had for about a grand if you look around.


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  9. #38
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post
    By all means, grab what works. I just prefer to have the best I can get. As close to TDP as possible in an AR or M4 is just that. Shot peened bolt, HP, the works.

    You don't want a stronger bolt or pressure tested system and such, don't spend the money. Just remember the principle, you tend to get what you pay for in firearms.
    Quote Originally Posted by BAC
    An AR need never see war service to require the durability of a rifle destined for war service. Someone who shoots ten or more thousand rounds per year in competition and training settings is going to need a bit more of that durability than someone who shoots only occasionally. Again, it comes down to what you expect or plan to do with your rifle.
    This is what I was talking about. You guys spend money where you want - I'm going to train with my defensive rifle and make sure it'll stand up to whatever I need it to.

    As for the Peterbuilt and M9 analogies - I'm not comparing a vehicle designed to haul with a passenger vehicle - or one brand of pistol versus another - I'm comparing an AR-style defensive rifle with another AR-style defensive rifle. The only difference between my 6920 an a Colt M4 is the FCG and the extra 1.5" of barrel, both of which are required to make it civilian legal (without extra paperwork and whatnot).

    As far as twist rates - again we're discussing a civilian defensive rifle - I can shoot 55gr and up (heavier preferable for defensive use) at any and all ranges I would need to and out to quite a few I won't need to (say 300m with minute of man accuracy) with a 1:7. I can't do that with a 1:9.

    The thing I can't figure out is why you would want to start with something that doesn't meet a minimum standard when it costs the same as a substandard rifle. It's baffling to me. Buy the fully vetted, tested rifle that needs to tinkering to be reliable and then add whatever dodads you think you need - though on a defensive rifle for a civilian, I don't know what you'd need other than a sling, a while light, and an Aimpoint...

    Quote Originally Posted by C hawk Glock
    By the way, don't get too caught up on the staked gas key, or the 1.7 barrel twist. It's pretty cheap to get done or easy to do yourself. The only ones I have seen come lose are the ones that were supposed to be staked properly! Half the time, it seems like that is what makes it come lose.
    Again, if I'm paying $900-$1K for a rifle, this should already be done - if they can't do a simple (AND NECESSARY) step like this, what else was cheaped out on? And yes, it is necessary. Loc-tited and other non-staked carrier keys come loose, that's why the standard is to stake them.

    Thanks to the mods for cleaning this up. Again, you guys can do what you'd like. $100 extra to meet the TDP is a price I'm willing to pay (and it usually doesn't even cost that much extra if you shop well). If it's not something you guys want, that's your business.
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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinDooley View Post
    This is what I was talking about. You guys spend money where you want - I'm going to train with my defensive rifle and make sure it'll stand up to whatever I need it to.

    As for the Peterbuilt and M9 analogies - I'm not comparing a vehicle designed to haul with a passenger vehicle - or one brand of pistol versus another - I'm comparing an AR-style defensive rifle with another AR-style defensive rifle. The only difference between my 6920 an a Colt M4 is the FCG and the extra 1.5" of barrel, both of which are required to make it civilian legal (without extra paperwork and whatnot).

    As far as twist rates - again we're discussing a civilian defensive rifle - I can shoot 55gr and up (heavier preferable for defensive use) at any and all ranges I would need to and out to quite a few I won't need to (say 300m with minute of man accuracy) with a 1:7. I can't do that with a 1:9.

    The thing I can't figure out is why you would want to start with something that doesn't meet a minimum standard when it costs the same as a substandard rifle. It's baffling to me. Buy the fully vetted, tested rifle that needs to tinkering to be reliable and then add whatever dodads you think you need - though on a defensive rifle for a civilian, I don't know what you'd need other than a sling, a while light, and an Aimpoint...



    Again, if I'm paying $900-$1K for a rifle, this should already be done - if they can't do a simple (AND NECESSARY) step like this, what else was cheaped out on? And yes, it is necessary. Loc-tited and other non-staked carrier keys come loose, that's why the standard is to stake them.

    Thanks to the mods for cleaning this up. Again, you guys can do what you'd like. $100 extra to meet the TDP is a price I'm willing to pay (and it usually doesn't even cost that much extra if you shop well). If it's not something you guys want, that's your business.
    You seemed to be back tracking from the analogies and your earlier posts to this thread.
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  11. #40
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    Re read what I wrote. I didn't back track anything. I said your analogies don't stack up beacause I am making comparisons between different manufacturer's of the SAME weapons platform that happens to have a standard associated with it, you are comparing different platforms and vehicles that are purpose built for different purposes. This isn't hard to understand.
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    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare. -Thane Yost

  12. #41
    Member Array David in MI's Avatar
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    FWIW, I just picked up a gas piston CMMG AR (also included in the link on p.1 "so you want to buy an AR?") for $899 from CDNN Sports, Inc.. Their traditional version is under $800 and they rate out very well on the spreadsheet comparing the various makers. I believe a few things have been upgraded since that chart was published. Check with CMMG to be sure.

  13. #42
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    Buy what you need, by all means. I need my AR to be the toughest I can get. Milspec tough. If you don't need that, I don't fault you for it.

  14. #43
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    I have a Stag, and I couldn't be happier. Put over 1000 rnds. of manufactured ammo, and well over 2000 of reloads through it, and have not had one single malfunction. Very accurate, and very reliable.

    Higher cost, to me, doesn't mean higher quality. Pay for functionality, not the name. People told me long ago to buy a Beretta 92 FS, but I bought a Taurus PT99 instead. Basicaly he same gun, half the price, and just as good, IMHO. The M4 platform, same thing. Bushys, Stag, Wilson Combat, etc. to me are all the same. My Stag cost me $740 out the door, added a quad rail for $75, an MI rear sight for $40, and an EoTech for $340. $1195 total. I think that the big name brands are out there for the "Harley" types. I would put my life on my Stag, just as I would on the big names, and it didn't break the bank.

  15. #44
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    Hey Mike, very happy with my Stag mod 2...

    I've added a Midwest Industries quad rail handguard, Magpul CTR stock, and a Hogue grip.
    Proud NRA member

  16. #45
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    I appreciate everyone's input. I really do.

    I spent a good bit of today doing research on the AR platform and some things I have learned are:

    Gas key staking. Doing it properly is the best way to go BUT, it isn't as big an issue on a gun that is not a full auto model. The hex bolts rarely loosen if the gun is just a semi auto that is not subjected to prolonged sustained fire.

    Parkerizing under the FSB is desirable but not a deal killer. Again, if the gun is not going to be carried around out in the weather and mud of a battlefield, no parkerizing under the FSB isn't a big thing to loose sleep over.

    4140 or 4150 steel? Again, 4140 is not as desirable as the 4150 but, again, if not a full auto and just the occasional range gun and home defense gun, 4140 is fine.

    The refiling twist rate, 1:7 or 1:9. From what I have read time and time again, a twist of 1:9 is fine as long as you do not plan on shooting out at very long distances. The 1:7 will stabilize heavier bullets like 75 grain when shooting out at long ranges and will shoot the top of the line self defense ammo a little better, again, out to further ranges. But I have to say guys, honestly, a 55 grain bullet fired at a bad guy at something like 50 to a couple hundred feet is going to screw someones day up royally. And I plan on this being a HOME defense gun. My house isn't the size of an airplane hanger.

    What I have learned basically is this: I am not going to be going into combat in the jungle or the desert with this rifle. I am going to go to the range from time to time and other than that (and maybe a self defense rifle training course) it is going to be at home as a home defense rifle. And with that in mind, I honestly think that the Stag would serve me just fine in this role. So, at this point, I am still leaning towards the Stag.

    If any of you have not seen this article and want to read some good info here is the link to So You Want To Buy An AR 15? and here is a link to what I have seen described many times as "The Chart" that compares specs between several different brands. THE CHART
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