This is a discussion on Best manufacture for AR-15's? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Tubby45 Here's the truth. AR15s are parts guns. They are all machined by a handful of machine shops, pin makers, and spring ...
Bit of a necropost, but I've seen that argument often enough to respond to it.
No, AR-15s are not all about the same. That is a myth that the infamous Chart exposed. Bushmaster, DPMS, RRA, S&W, and others are well-documented for taking shortcuts - finishing under the FSB, correct chambering, correct gas port sizing, receiver extensions, castle nut and carrier key staking, even the internal dimensions of the mag well are all known to be more problematic for some companies than others. DPMS might say their parts are made by the same fabs that make Colt parts, but tearing down a complete 6920 beside a complete Carbine 16 will show you differences in areas like those mentioned above. (Retracting a comment I was going to make about CMMG; they look to be changing their lineup pretty thoroughly and might be cleaning up nowadays, provided they're more honest about barrel steel than in the past.)
What we care about is the in-house quality control, to include assembly process and rejection rates. None of that will be public information, but companies like Bravo Co., Colt, and Noveske are well-known for the sheer number of parts rejected on initial inspection. Prior to the gun control scare, the better companies often didn't have much, if any, price difference between their products and those from the companies that cut corners. When I can put together a BCM rifle for cheaper than a Spikes Tactical or the like, why wouldn't I?
In a way I kind of hate these threads. Every yokel and weekend commando with an opinion pops up and spouts their two cents.
The reality is this: You need to do your homework before you buy. The easiest way to ensure that you are getting a solid AR is to go with a mil spec manufacturer. Is mil spec the live all, be all end? No, but most first time AR buyers don't know what they don't know and it is a clear and SAFE line of demarcation that GENERALLY denotes quality makers from crummy makers.
If you don't know what you are doing then mil spec is the SAFE play. If, on the other hand, you are a guy like Tubby45 or Hotguns who make these things for a living then you will know what and where to safe a few bucks on.
The difference between a mil spec gun and a bottom feeder is often as little as $50 bucks. So do your homework, read the chart and the stickies, then you will have a clue.
It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.
I spent months researching different ARs before buying one. I bought an Acor B.E.A.R Elite. It does everything they say it will do, and then some. I've put over 5,000 rounds (5.56 & .223) through it & not a single malfunction. They're not cheap, but (to me) well worth the investment. BTW it is mil spec.
KNOWLEDGE: A tomato is a fruit.
WISDOM: Not putting a tomato in a fruit salad..