Originally Posted by Northwoods
You might get JD to speak up on the issue of Olympic Arms, however. It is his area of expertise. I'd be interested to hear his opinions too.
LOL - Thanks for the shout out North, but I am no expert
, I'm just a lowly apprentice.
Okay, look, for about the 1,000th time, an AR receiver is an AR receiver is an AR receiver in the production market. If you get one that is CNC machined from some special billet and was hand fit by Les Baer or Dave Lauck or Sabre Defence, yes, you are getting a better gun, but the receiver is probably 15% "better" than your poor old Olympic Arms, or DPMS or RRA.
Now Olympic Arms did go through a phase where their Q/A slipped and that was in the mid to late 90's, I think, and they turned out some crap. Every production company out there got greedy at some point, cut corners, and their reputations suffered - and that includes pistols, rifles, shotguns and even the mighty COLT AR markers.
About 5-6 years ago, maybe a little more, Olympic put some really nice new equipment, it's not all State of the Art CNC or anything, but definitely some nice stuff to keep tolerances low and Quality Assurance high.
Olympic is local to us here in Washington - and Brett knows a guy who has worked there for like 15 years. We get the straight scoop when there is a change or when the company is taking advantage of the employees and their customers. Olympic is running thousands of units behind on production requests right now and overtime is mandatory.
Personally, I have two builds on Olympic Arms receivers and haven't had any issues. I have also personally worked on Colt, RRA, DPMS, Stag, Double Star and just about every other "production" receiver out there. Slight imperfections in machine chatter, or a sharp finish angle here versus a nice smooth, brushed one there, they are all pretty much the same.
Some makers started to add a flared mag well when the AR started to come around into fashion again, early to mid 80's, and that is where one AR might receive all mags better than one that doesn't have the bottom flare. I have heard the same stuff that bkt mentioned, but if it's a problem, you can also open up the mag well fairly easily.
Now, we do work for a number of police units, one of which happens to be Pierce County, both Sherrif & SWAT. We do almost all their gun maintenence/repairs and we do some of their post shoot inspections. We also build them AR's when budgets allow and invariably the head guy will come in wanting Colt, or DPMS for some reason - probably marketing.
Brett will sit down with them and price out what they can get from company X and what we can build with parts from various sources, that usually include Brownell's parts kits & Olympic Arms receivers because Brett used to get a deal on them up until recently. Pierce County officers have numerous Olympics that they use, abuse and continue to put into action. We do maintenence on them, just like every one should. Good thorough cleaning, inspection and range tests. They shoot and run just fine.
Of the only "repeat" gun that I can think of, off hand, is one of the lead guys on SWAT ( who shoots constantly is definitely one reason I would recommend not robbing a bank in this area
) who has had his gas tube re-bored ( he shoots a 10.5" both with and without a can ), we replaced it recently with a new one, he has had the trigger adjusted, and we replaced a buffer spring and a stock for him. The gas tube was causing a FTE during training when the weapon was hot and he was on his 4th or 5th pass, but in typical fashion, he said it was a good way to force him to practice his transistion from long arm to side arm in crucial situations. We replaced the gas tube about a year ago and I haven't seen him back since then, but he may have come in when I wasn't there.... *shrug*
Bottom line, if your Olympic Receivered AR's have been running for you, and you have been hitting your target, change the name on the side to Chase's AR and get on with your day.
A receiver is only a very small part of the platform, and it's NO WHERE near as important as some people on the big bad internetz would have you believe. It holds all the really important parts together, and that is about it.
It's like saying bridgestone had a recall on tires, so you are getting crappy gas mileage and your overall engine is running rough....
How about you Slo? What are your thoughts on the great AR Receiver debate??