Products YOU believe in
We all get a constant barrage of recommendation requests on this board and probably elsewhere as well. What company should I turn to for this or that? It really all boils down to budget, personal preference, and specific use.
Here's what I'm lovin at this moment (no, I don't have it all figured out):
Daniel Defense- Best bet for a complete $1500-ish rifle. Great specs/rep, plus a $300 Hguard.
BCM/PSA- This is where I turn for builds, time and again. Excellent quality and pricing.
Magpul- Great mags, stocks, and furniture. Light, tough, ergonomic, zero rattle, very fair prices.
Vortex optics- Excellent quality at a great price.
High-end lowers- Build a good gun on a good lower. No, it doesn't necessarily make your gun functionally better. But it makes it more marketable if you ever choose to sell. This is essentially your gun's 'hood ornament'.
I'm also a fan of S&W rifles for under $900, Noveske if you want to spend $1800+, most Spike's and LMT uppers, lowers, and parts on the rare occasion you can find them, and Troy/Lancer/TangoDown mags & furniture. I also really like Prvi Partizan's match grade 69-75gr ammo, when available at a fair price.
I value high grade equipment at a medium price. I'll pay for quality, but my budget is that of a mere mortal.
I have magpul and Eotech products on my Hera Arms AR. I believe in the three companies. German engineering and high quality materials of Hera Arms has amazes me, and exceeds my expectations of a high end PDR. The Eotech holographic site is military grade, very visible in sunlight, and holds zero even after removing and putting back on the rifle.
I have to say I really like my two S&W auto-loaders.
An older than dirt nickel plated 61-3 22LR, and a SS 645.
My Dillon triple beam scale, I will always see what Dillon has to offer,
before considering an addition to my reloading gear.
Hi-Standard 22LRs, 'nuff said about them.
Clean-Strip Brush Solvent, ATF, Brown Vinegar, and Janitor's Ammonia-
for those of us poor boys who can't afford to buy gun cleaners and
preservatives by the ounce.
OH, and my Colt AR...
It's pretty hard to argue with Daniel Defense, BCM, Colt, PSA, Spikes and Magpul.
I very much agree that a some extra bucks thrown toward the stripped lower to get something you really like is smart. $50 or so extra is a drop in the bucket when considering a $1000 rifle. I got S&W and ArmaLite because I like the rollmarks and names. I got Valkyrie for the rollmark and Quentin Defense for the name and the US Army emblem. The extra cost wasn't much, I've already forgotten it.
This could be a very informative thread, Sweeper. Maybe we should add trusted vendors too...
Colt - Now priced reasonably and a variety of models come with the MagPul accessories I'd put on a carbine anyway. I prefer the lightweight barrels and apart from cool factor I don't see what the government profile barrels do for civilians that the pencil barrel won't do. Looking cool like the government boys and girls isn't high on my priority list.
If you're coming here asking questions about what carbine you should use, chances are pretty good you're not a sniper and don't have a M203, which means the slight accuracy enhancement and the ability to mount a M203 means squat to you.
Blue Force Gear - I really like their quick adjust two-point slings. MagPul could take some pointers from these guys with respect to sling design.
My first choice is Aimpoint. You can actually drop an Aimpoint and not screw it up. Battery life is outstanding.
For a home defense setup, the EoTech XPS works and has a wider field of view. For whatever wacky reason the XPS dot appears a little less blurry to my imperfect eyes.
Aimpoint - Larue
EoTech - GG&G
I'm sure you can spend more money and get a better mount, but these two seem to work well enough.
GG&G - Spring loaded, easy to actuate, locks in both positions, clears most optics, and durable.
SureFire X300 - I can't think of any other lights that actually weigh less and provide more output that I'd actually think about putting on a carbine.
BCM Gunfighter - I didn't know what I was missing until I purchased one. There are more expensive charging handles and less expensive charging handles, but I can't think of a good reason to use any other charging handle.
I like chrome silicon buffer springs. The manufacturer is unimportant so long as they're producing a quality product. They don't cost appreciably more than a standard buffer spring and last longer. Every AR should come from the factory with one.
MagPul - Step on the feed lips of your USGI mag and let me know how well it feeds afterwards.
Every attempt I've made at going cheap has ended in failure, but that won't deter others from spending good money on cheap products only to be disappointed later.
I haven't figured anything out, but I wasted plenty of time and money to figure out what I like and what works for me. It was fun, too.
I almost forgot the most important part:
Choose any lube you want. Lube now, lube later, but always lube.
If the question ever pops into your mind or if your mind went blank, lube it.
Clean it or don't clean it as often or seldom as you like, but never forget to lube it.
Use CLP, Mobile 1 synthetic, Zippo's Wunder Luub, or bacon grease. Just lube it and be done with it.
If you're a light user you can use a light oil like CLP. If you're a heavy user, use a high temperature grease like wheel bearing grease that won't burn off.
If you want to follow a practice with the AR approaching religion, lubrication and not cleaning is the practice to follow.
On that note, I think I'll go lube my Colt.
I like ATF on the internals. Takes carbon and soot with
it when you wipe the rifle down before the next lube,
with, of course, ATF.
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