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Old 04-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default AR Tiers

Can someone please explain to me what exactly make an AR a tier 1,2, or 3. I hear some say tighter tolerances, but where is the proof? Has anyone stripped a Colt or DD and compared it to a stripped RRA or Stag to measure? Does being made to mil spec automatically make something perform better? Most modern 1911s are made tighter than what mil spec would be and perform great. On the other side some have said that all makers use the same parts, where is the proof? I have heard the opinions, I have even studied the "Chart" (hard to compare everyone if they have not provided info), I would like to hear some hard facts so I can fully understand. Thanks.

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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So here's my take on this AR Tier status thing:

Tier 1 = 100% mil-spec materials and testing with a 4150 chrome lined 1:7 twist barrel. Billet aluminum construction vs forged aluminum is a plus.

Tier 2 = The folks with the 1:9 twist barrels with 4140 steel and with or without chrome barrel lining.

Tier 3 = The composite material AR's like the Carbon 15 and Plum Crazy.

There's all kinds of other sub-categories, but it's too hard to track.

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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Tier one also uses 4150 steel for their barrels rather than 4140. Truthfully, unless someone wants to spend a prolonged period of time digging to find information, the best solution is to state your budget, and what it's primary usage is for, and you'll get a ton of information from those on here, then you have to pick and choose to find out what you want to utilize, and whittle down the lists.
Snake, AgentTikki, mjkeat, several others, all provide quite good information and insight into building/buying an AR. That also should be addressed. Do you plan on buying the complete AR, or components and assembling?

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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With so many manufacturers and the myraid of different models they are putting out, the lines between tiers are blurred. I don't believe in the tier system and believe its an oversimplification. I subscribe to you figuring out how much you have to spend and getting the most for your money.

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentTikki View Post
With so many manufacturers and the myraid of different models they are putting out, the lines between tiers are blurred. I don't believe in the tier system and believe its an oversimplification. I subscribe to you figuring out how much you have to spend and getting the most for your money.
Very well put.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:45 PM   #6
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If you're really interested in this topic you might do some googling to look for the old M4 Compatibility Chart, in fact here you go:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=3238128&postcount=79

You say you've looked at the chart (maybe you saw the new chart where many brands refused to participate?) but take a little more time to soak it in. There's a lot of useful info there.

The brands to the left of the spreadsheet have been referred to as Tier 1, the middle as Tier 2 and the far right as Tier 3. Some brands are pure junk and not listed at all. Of course today there are many other brands good and not so good that aren't listed as this chart hasn't been updated. And some brands have improved since this old chart. Still you get the picture, the more Xs or blue, the better if you need a serious M4gery. Do you need it? That's up to you.

Anyway about 21 M4 features are listed and you'll notice Colt gets them all right. DPMS brings up the rear with only 3 things covered which is why many people would rather aim for a better value for about the same money.

ETA:

Colt through LMT usually are thought of as T1, Charles Daly through Stag as T2 and Bushmaster on the bubble then Oly and DPMS clearly bringing up the rear.

The data is still useful today and you can add your AR's specs to the ones pictured to see how it does (if you can get the data from your supplier). Some people upgrade the grade of their existing AR using the chart. A quality BCG can make a difference if you can justify the expense. Parts aren't all equal as the chart illustrates.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link, Quentin. Good info.

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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I subscribe to you figuring out how much you have to spend and getting the most for your money.
I highly suggest this ..
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Then you have manufacturers like Stag. The $100 milspec upgrade package puts them right up there in the Tier 1 level. PSA has all the right specs, but I'm not sure I'd put them up with Colt or DD or BCM just yet.

The lines are blurred. I think companies like PSA looked at that famous spread sheet and knew what they needed to do. Stag did also, but it was a half @ssed attempt. They should have made all their rifles milspec and raised all their prices, which spread out over their entire line should be far less than $100.

While I agree with Quentin, that this is a pretty good guildline for comparison, I'd advise you not putting 100% of your weight into it.

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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And damn, thx fer the blast from the past Q, I haven't seen that chart or Technique's avatar in a while.....

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