I never said people should go broke building or buying a rifle. But I feel that they should buy a rifle with the best proven track record especially if they are going to stake thier life on its reliability.
Rock River, Bushmaster, DPMS, Olympic Arms and several other companies (those state being the biggest culprits) have awful quality control, and cant even meet the military's TDP (Techincal Data Package). Food for thought on that, the military goes to the lowest bidder, but has a set of rules that must be followed strictly. The go as far as to have Govornment inspectors at the manufactuering plants inspecting these parts and complete rifles.
The above named companies cant even get the little things right, like properly staking gas carrier keys or castle nuts, or installing the correct height front sight post (Correct one being "F" marked) or supplying the propper H buffers or extractor springs and extractor buffers. Or even doing HP or MPI testing. HP testing is high pressure testing and MPI is Magnetic Particle testing and both ensure that the bolts and carriers will have a long life and be able to stand up to rigorous use. What about using weaker barrel steel to save a couple of pennies per unit. And not having the propper 1:7 twist rates to shoot heavier than 60 grain bullets with good terminal ballistics performance.
These compaines claim that they also have 556 Nato chambers and there are many documented instances where this is not the case. Many devolop problems when the end user tries to use 556 and have only used 223 up to that poin and then have extraction issues. They in turn have to have the chanber reamed and sure as **** the chambers are not truly 556.
Then you get onto the subject of lowers and uppers, a lot of the lower tier companies do not stay within specs, I have seen uppers that do not line up with lowers (Oly arms) and lowers where mags will not fit properly or just the overall tolerances are to tight or to loose.
Here are a few links that may clarify some of the info im talking about.
Comparison Chart of Major AR Brands - M4Carbine.net Forums
When you factor in price to these rifles there really is no savings once you fix the problems that are fixable, I.E. extractor springs, buffers, fronts sight bases, action springs and buffers etc etc.
The real bottom line is that for the common shooter that will shool less than 1,000 rnds a year these rifles are perfect. But for the end user who takes thier job,value of life and deployment of thier rifle seriously they just do not stack up.
To me its like comparing a Hyundai Accent to a HMMV. you really have figure out what your role is, and where along the line you fit. Are you a plinker? Causual Shooter? Serous Minded Shooter? or Professional where you need the most reliable and best gear to aid in keeping you alive!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a Subject Matter expert and I do not claim to be one. I have attained just enough information about this subject to get me by and thereby stay slightly informed. A great deal of this information was learned from some truly amazing professionals from another forum. I am just trying to help others become informed and not spend thier hard earned money on junk. Also for the record I also dont make $60K, try about $25k less.