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Old 03-14-2012, 03:25 PM   #21
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Well my computer restarted on me so I lost everything I had typed so Ill summerize.

You said it best. Time costs money, employees cost money, so taking the extra time adds up quickly when dealing w/ hourly employess. Also look into the parts DD ships w/. One of the best back up sights available, the best rails on the market, VFG's, and whatever else they ship w/. All of this adds up quickly.

Take a DD rifle w/ a RIS II 12" rail for $1300.

DD RIS II -$371
Fixed Rear -$65
Fixed Front -$56
VFG -$46

Total = $762 Now subtract the cost of all the extra time and labor expenses and figure in piece of mind and the introductory prices PSA is charging. The gap closes quickly.

Go w/ BCM and you can knock another $200 off of the price as well.

Once again Im not knocking PSA, I think they are a good choice. I just hope as things get crazier the closer we get to election time PSA doesn't slip.

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"The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together."
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Todd_ View Post
Understood, but if there were significant tolerance differences, then I would also expect to see certain brands pop up as having ore feeding issues, more FTE issues, only running on certain ammo, or more likely not being able to eat anything throw in it, etc etc. Those differences would amount to some kind of function issue eventually, and of they are so small on their differences that they DON'T, then why do they matter?

I have kept a pretty keen eye watching for issues with both PSA and Spikes for a while, noting how it is VERY rare to see a DD, Colt, or BCM with function issues shooting anything at anytime, and i have yet to be able to say that I has seen any more of those issue with PSA or Spikes..... And it's not for lack of looking and just wanting to be right so I ignore it when I do see it, it is important to me to be completely sure of my decision and know what problems I may face in the future. Maybe it will be a "time will tell" type thing, but given the lack of function related... Malfunctions.... I'm inclined to believe that the tolerance variances are so minute that they fail to affect the functioning of the rifle in all but a few extreme cases, which you see with ANY manufacturer.

If that is one of the lines, I can see it being made. That being said, I don't lend much weight to the argument due to the perceived lack of affect on the rifles function. Arguments can be made, cases for failures found on both sides. I just don't see it more on one side than the other, not yet, and I will continue to look.
Well, we are discussing TWO of the new kids on the block, and these two are on the rise fairly quickly. You'll also note that, as their reputations grow, much like the other companies, so, too, does their prices.
They have to build their reputation. You look at all the other companies about the same age that aren't really growing, but feeding on the people more concerned with squeezing a dollar until George cries over getting quality, you see that they always seem to be in stock.
I wasn't, nor am I, stating that their quality, over the course of time, won't hold up. It may very well do just that. But they are the newbies, and, much like when someone joins a forum, they'll be viewed with some trepidation by those familiar with the rest of the community.
Personally, I'd recommend revisiting the issue every couple of years to see who is still standing and where they stand.
New companies need good reviews, and they need to kick people out of their comfort zones.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #23
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Todd, we get the "just as good as" argument here all the time.

While reading your posts I have had to pinch myself. I thought maybe I opened another account under an allias while sleep walking . Welcome to the forum, it's nice to have more like minded guys posting.

There have been 2 recent reports of members have FTE problems w/ their new PSAs. I believe it's nothing more than a breaking in problem but the problems still exist.

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Quote:
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"The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together."

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Old 03-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #24
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I would love to see some of those differences spelled out for me, and I mean that with no sarcasm. Given the specs on the rifle, the fact that the same materials were used, and is some cases machines by the same bigger company, and the quality control tests were all there (HP/MP testing) I didn't think there was anything left that could be different other than the how often a bad rifle came through, which obviously can be expected more often through spikes or PSA due to the high demand without the framework to satisfy it. I know DD rifles go through a more stringent series of human tests before they ship out, or I would imagine so, but in the end isn't it still the same product? If you take two pieces of metal, the same metal, and machine them with care to the same specs, and don't skimp on the chrome of the bore etc etc, and do the same tests on those pieces of machined metal, don't you have the same product, just one with a set of Double Ds (giggity) and one with a PSA logo?
Yes, you do. Most of these manufacturers all buy from the same vendors. I've heard, (I hate saying that because it bears zero proof), that D.D. makes everything in house, even down to the smallest roll pin. Having worked in machining and manufacturing for the last 42 years, I find that difficult to believe, but because I cannot prove otherwise, I'll accept it with reservation.

With that said most every other AR-15 manufacturer purchases bolt carriers, bolts, firing pins, extractors, springs, fasteners, lower receiver forgings, etc., from the same few vendors out there who produce them. Around here when you mention AR-15 rifles and the word "same", it's as if you pi$$ed on the Pope's robe. But the reality is if you took the bolt carrier group out of a DPMS, Bushmaster, Colt, S&W, PSA, RRA, Stag Arms, and about a dozen others I'm forgetting, put all of the parts in a bowl, do you think anyone could reassemble them back into the rifles they all came out of?

As far as tolerances they are just that. Acceptable variations. All manufacturers have them. A part only needs to be made to within that given tolerance. If it isn't, the part will not function correctly, and be rejected. If it's made closer, it isn't "better". If you look at the tolerances required to build an AR-15 rifle, they are not that close. You accomplish nothing in manufacturing if you over tolerance a given part, except to increase it's cost. Most all of the modern CNC equipment used in the manufacturing of AR-15 rifle components is capable of holding tolerances far greater than is required to machine said components. As you correctly mentioned, the same machines are used by all of these manufacturers, as is the measuring equipment that is used to check them. As I said, all of which can hold tolerances far above what is required to build parts for an AR-15 rifle. ANY AR-15 rifle.

The bottom line is if you were to examine how many rifles these so called "lower tier" AR-15 manufacturers make and sell, it would amount into the hundreds of thousands per year. That's a lot of AR-15 customers. If these guns were anywhere near as "bad" as some of these people claim, the factories who produce them would be inundated with bad product. They're not. Not to mention that the major retailers like Cabela's, Bass Pro, Sportsman's Warehouse, would not sell them. They would only handle "top tier" guns. They don't want unsatisfied customers anymore than the manufacturer does. They would drop them like a hot brick. As many of these guys will quickly tell you, the price difference from a so called "top tier" Colt or D.D. over these other so called "sub standard" weapons is only a hundred or so dollars more. In the expensive world of machining and manufacturing, just how much more "quality" does one honestly think that is going to buy you? Consider the fact I just spent $103.00 on a plastic, injection molded Vltor E-Mod Stock.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #25
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billt your "parts are parts" theory is BS and has collectively been dismissed. I can take a hand full of $100 bills, throw them in a pile and I bet the majority of people couldn't pick out the counterfeit bills from the real ones. My point all the parts look the same so unless a person can judge steel quality from simple visual inspection the "can't tell the difference" BS you speak is just that BS. Now if you go out and shoot an AR like it was designed to be shot you'll see the difference.

Just because a BCG comes from the same supplier does not make it the same. We have gone through this time and time again. The customer can request whatever tolerances they want and the supplier will often times inspect parts to different levels depending on customer expectation. Parts can and are run in batches to varying quality dependent on customer expectation. If you seriously have the experience you mentioned you should know this.

Your rifles sold, to problem rifles theory is BS as well. Look at the types that purchase rifles like DPMS and BM. Those rifles rarely get shot in any real capacity. I can take a DPMS out once a year put 20 rounds through it over the length of 10 years and claim it to be 100% reliable. I would venture to state 80-90% of DPMS owners are guilty of such a thing. There are however exceptions to the rule but an exception does not make a rule.

Your box stores carry lower quality rifles because they bring a higher profit margin. There is a distinct type of person who purchases an AR from a box store. Go to one and hang out for a while, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
"The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together."
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkeat View Post
billt your "parts are parts" theory is BS and has collectively been dismissed. I can take a hand full of $100 bills, throw them in a pile and I bet the majority of people couldn't pick out the counterfeit bills from the real ones. My point all the parts look the same so unless a person can judge steel quality from simple visual inspection the "can't tell the difference" BS you speak is just that BS. Now if you go out and shoot an AR like it was designed to be shot you'll see the difference.

Just because a BCG comes from the same supplier does not make it the same. We have gone through this time and time again. The customer can request whatever tolerances they want and the supplier will often times inspect parts to different levels depending on customer expectation. Parts can and are run in batches to varying quality dependent on customer expectation. If you seriously have the experience you mentioned you should know this.

Your rifles sold, to problem rifles theory is BS as well. Look at the types that purchase rifles like DPMS and BM. Those rifles rarely get shot in any real capacity. I can take a DPMS out once a year put 20 rounds through it over the length of 10 years and claim it to be 100% reliable. I would venture to state 80-90% of DPMS owners are guilty of such a thing. There are however exceptions to the rule but an exception does not make a rule.

Your box stores carry lower quality rifles because they bring a higher profit margin. There is a distinct type of person who purchases an AR from a box store. Go to one and hang out for a while, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
I remember years ago, when I worked in a machine shop, we had four lathe operators, all on identical machines. The most experienced, and best operator was on lathe one. He built three inch doohickeys that went to company A. He was making them because his skill was the best, and their tolerances were different.
Operator B was second best and he made parts for Company B. Lower standards, but they looked identical.
Same for C and D. Each one went down.
This isn't to say that they didn't put out quality. Just that, with the Mark I eyeball test, you couldn't pick part A, B, C or D.
Put them together. That's the only test that showed a difference, and even then, maybe not all the time.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by BenLuby View Post
I remember years ago, when I worked in a machine shop, we had four lathe operators, all on identical machines. The most experienced, and best operator was on lathe one. He built three inch doohickeys that went to company A. He was making them because his skill was the best, and their tolerances were different.
Operator B was second best and he made parts for Company B. Lower standards, but they looked identical.
Same for C and D. Each one went down.
This isn't to say that they didn't put out quality. Just that, with the Mark I eyeball test, you couldn't pick part A, B, C or D.
Put them together. That's the only test that showed a difference, and even then, maybe not all the time.
The place I worked operated in a very similar way. We used CNC machines but the level of final inspection varied depending on the customer. Some customers were willing to pay for more intense quality control, some were not.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
"The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together."
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkeat
billt your "parts are parts" theory is BS and has collectively been dismissed. I can take a hand full of $100 bills, throw them in a pile and I bet the majority of people couldn't pick out the counterfeit bills from the real ones. My point all the parts look the same so unless a person can judge steel quality from simple visual inspection the "can't tell the difference" BS you speak is just that BS. Now if you go out and shoot an AR like it was designed to be shot you'll see the difference.

Just because a BCG comes from the same supplier does not make it the same. We have gone through this time and time again. The customer can request whatever tolerances they want and the supplier will often times inspect parts to different levels depending on customer expectation. Parts can and are run in batches to varying quality dependent on customer expectation. If you seriously have the experience you mentioned you should know this.

Your rifles sold, to problem rifles theory is BS as well. Look at the types that purchase rifles like DPMS and BM. Those rifles rarely get shot in any real capacity. I can take a DPMS out once a year put 20 rounds through it over the length of 10 years and claim it to be 100% reliable. I would venture to state 80-90% of DPMS owners are guilty of such a thing. There are however exceptions to the rule but an exception does not make a rule.

Your box stores carry lower quality rifles because they bring a higher profit margin. There is a distinct type of person who purchases an AR from a box store. Go to one and hang out for a while, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
I just wanted to share what I learned from a gunsmith last week about tolerance. He was working on a RRA lower and installing a custom trigger. I believe the tolerance for the trigger and hammer pin hole placement is +- .005" on this lower the hammer pin hole was .004" over to the left and the trigger hole was .003" to the right (both individually were with in spec) but together made for a .007" under on sear engagement and a vary unsafe weapon. That's where quality control comes in.

Say that your lugs in your star chamber are a few thousands of an inch just with in the min tolerance and your bolt lugs are just 1/1000 within min also. Then compound that with a chamber that is 1/1000" within the min also and a extractor that has an engagement that is also 1/1000 within the minimum.
All your parts are 1/1000" to the min tolerance. But you end up with a riffle with head space issues and with the tight chamber and min extractor engagement you could shoot high quality ammo but with cheap stuff you could have a stuck shell and a broken extractor.

Good quality control ensures parts are not only within tolerance but are as close to spec as possible.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:02 PM   #29
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There are other very important factors that must be taken into account when someone is judging the quality of any machined part, regardless of what it is being used for, or what component it is going into. They are the following.

1.) Material….What is it? (type). From whom was it purchased? (i.e. heat and lot #). What if any heat treating did it receive, and by whom? What if any additional coatings were applied?, (i.e. hard coat anodized, nitride process, gas or liquid, and to what depth). As well as any other outside vendors and applied processes. Was the heat treating done by a certified vendor? Was applicable certified documentation provided or retained by either the vendor or supplied to the customer?

2.) Machining….By whom? To what tolerance? (customer or vendor supplied MOT)?
In house, or outside vendor? If so was the vender certified? By whom?

3.) Inspection….Again by whom, and to what tolerance? Was SPC used? Operator manually recorded at machine, or CMM generated in a controlled environment?

4.) Traceability…What method was applied, if any? Was Copy Exact utilized? If so was it customer or vendor approved?

If any or all of this is not known on any machined part, you cannot at all, be able to judge the quality level any machined component with any certainty what so ever. I assure you in regards to AR-15 rifles, no one knows any of this information outside of the hierarchy within the company itself. If they even do. About all they will know is if a certain component was manufactured to a given Mil-Spec. And that alone is not a certifiable judge of quality. It simply means that a certain military specification was adhered to during the manufacturing process. It in itself does not mean the said component is “better”.

To be able to produce the complete and total traceability I’ve outlined is tremendously expensive. It is used extensively in the aircraft and aerospace industry because that type of manufacturing process and environment demands it. If an AR-15 rifle were built to the specifications that I’ve outlined, no one would be able to afford to buy it. It is one of the biggest reasons that most anything aircraft related is so expensive. There are no “shortcuts” taken, or allowed around these processes.

If someone regardless of who they are, or what they think they may or may not know, is going to try and judge quality levels of AR-15 rifles based on anything else, it is strictly based on opinion or personal preference, not on documented manufactured fact.

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Old 03-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenLuby View Post
I remember years ago, when I worked in a machine shop, we had four lathe operators, all on identical machines. The most experienced, and best operator was on lathe one. He built three inch doohickeys that went to company A. He was making them because his skill was the best, and their tolerances were different.
Operator B was second best and he made parts for Company B. Lower standards, but they looked identical.
Same for C and D. Each one went down.
This isn't to say that they didn't put out quality. Just that, with the Mark I eyeball test, you couldn't pick part A, B, C or D.
Put them together. That's the only test that showed a difference, and even then, maybe not all the time.
If the parts made by "A, B, C, or D" were within the specific tolerance level of the customer or manufacturer supplied MOT, then they all meet the quality standards set forth by the manufacturer. The skill level of the operator is totally irrelevant, if said operator can produce parts within the tolerance level assigned to him. I'm not seeing where your example shows anything that would represent sub standard quality?
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