S&W and Core 15 AR's. Are they decent?
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S&W and Core 15 AR's. Are they decent?


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Old 07-08-2015, 06:14 AM   #1
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Default S&W and Core 15 AR's. Are they decent?

Ok, so I've seen some terrible things happen out of the lower shelf version of these rifles. These are experiences that I have personally been involved in.

Core 15- I have helped my friend diagnose an issue on his Core 15 Scout that he picked up for $600, brand spanking new, directly from a local gun store. He came to see me on the way to the range, and purchased some an AR bolt rehab kit, as well as a few other unimportant things for this story. He called me about an hour after he left my house on his way to the range. He said the gun fired off a whole 30 rd mag, with 2 seconds in between (strictly enforced range rule) and then was getting a fte every other round after that. I told him to check his extractor, and BAM, the extractor spring was broken. He replaced it and continued firing. So was this a melon, a lower shelf issue or something else?

S&W AR15- I have had 2, yes 2 people show me the busted bolt head of their S&W M&P 15. They both have bascially the same story. Don't remember the model for either, just that they both said they spent over $1,000 for theirs. Yes, I verified that S&W stamped 5.56 cal on the side of the receiver.
1.One is a Doctor that I work with, he said he was using PPU ammo (I like their stuff, never had an issue myself). He said he had taken it out to the range often, and never had any issues. He always used the 62 gr green tip 5.56 PPU (Mil-Spec) or remington .223 (He says). So he estimates about 1,200 rounds thru when the bolt head blew.
2. The other one is a drinking buddy and retired Army MP. He showed me the busted bolt head and said it happened on the first day at the range. He was using Independence Ammunition 5.56 (Mil-Spec) exclusively. Within 200 rounds the bolt head had blown out.
~ Biggest issue of all, in my opinion, they both said S&W would not honor the warranty because the ammo used isn't on their list of SAAMI approved manufacturers! I don't expect everyone to believe me, but I believe them. Who wouldn't want a working rifle that you dumped over $1,000 back?

I'm really curious to hear your feedback and experiences.

P.S. I have shot M&P 15's before without a problem, but am interested to know if I can trust one.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:43 PM   #2
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I have shot some PPU 5.56 ammo that seemed dang hot. Independence? They could not possibly make a bad round.

Calling either one "milspec" is ridiculous. Who's milspec? I have seen several AR's blown up. EVERY ONE by over pressure ammo.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:11 AM   #3
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So you are giving us two examples of malfunctioning rifles with different malfunctions that may or may not be ammo related issues. There are many issues that could be not related to the weapon, such as lube, storage, etc. As far as the weapons go, S&W makes pretty decent weapons. I would trust an S&W. To the best of my knowledge, the military is still getting Lake City 5.56 ammo, so that ammo should be the only ammo called milspec unless their supplier has changed.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:50 PM   #4
That looks like it hurt
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I've had an S&W for 2 years 1000's of all different kinds of ammo. Never an FTF or FTE.. Flawless rifle. And damn accurate.
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Old 07-10-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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My C.O.R.E. carbine has been flawless. I don't know much about the M&P.
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:12 PM   #6
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what is a bolt rehab kit??

i would suspect mucking around with the innards has more to do with first example issues.

bad ammo out of spec on second.


i do not think either example were indicative of sw or core qc or build quality. im no fan of either rifle but they arent bad for the price point.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
what is a bolt rehab kit??

i would suspect mucking around with the innards has more to do with first example issues.

bad ammo out of spec on second.


i do not think either example were indicative of sw or core qc or build quality. im no fan of either rifle but they arent bad for the price point.
I think he may be talking about a part kit that includes a stronger extractor spring and an o-ring. In the early 2000's, the Army installed them in the M4's as a MWO to address feeding issues due to the shorter gas system.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:25 PM   #8
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O rings and D-fenders are soooo not a good idea. A good extra power extractor spring made from Chrome Silicon wire will outlive the barrel.

A lot of people buy crap because it is available. The stupid red rubber insert you put in the rear of the lower? Useless for all but lightening your wallet.

The ONLY thing I do to AR's is change out the extractor spring, beef up the GI mags with good springs and enhanced followers. The carbines get H-buffers and (because my friend owns the company) Sprinco buffer springs. I NEVER get malfs as long as I run decent ammo and keep them relatively clean and lubed.
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:12 AM   #9
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Core15 vs S&W?

My personal opinion is that both can be decent, provided you get a solid price. But there are also folks out there paying foolish prices for these rifles. I certainly wouldn't pay $1K+ for a rifle from either. S&W's $600 MP Sport is a really solid entry level rifle at a square price.

But if you're able to spend $700-1000 and have some idea of what you desire from the end product, build. The common myth is that you'll save $300 in building. Not necessarily true. The more accurate truth (usually) is that you'll spend the same as you otherwise would have, gain critical knowledge, and get a $300 better rifle for that same price. So you'll spend the same, you'll just get way more outta the deal.

For $650-1000, PSA is a great option. You don't even have to 'build'. You can merely 'assemble' a complete lower to a complete upper....with great furniture/handguard, a fine BCG, and a first rate barrel. I've built like 40 ARs, and that's my advice. If you want to spend more like $1200, also venture into BCM uppers/BCGs/CHs.

Assembling/lubing a completed lower/upper is a 10-min endeavor. Maybe 20mins if you're swapping a few parts and installing sights. That'll require little more than a slot screwdriver and an IQ north of the common house-cat.
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:32 PM   #10
That looks like it hurt
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Of course the S&W is good. 10's of thousands out there performing flawlessly. MSRP isn't the going price either. Just what more will you get for 800 bucks?S&W and Core 15 AR's. Are they decent? - AR-15 Discussion
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