AR reliability

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by blucoondawg, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    I haven't made the AR plunge yet but have been doing research, it seems most guys on here say that if you have a higher end AR such as Colt or Daniels Defense that your gun will be more "reliable" as far as if it isn't kept quite as clean it will still operate flawlessly, as opposed to your bargain rifles having more problems with failures due to being dirty. Now forgive me for my inexperience and possibly a dumb question here, but what is it about the higher end rifles that make them better than the cheaper ones, are the tolerances different to allow for more dirty operation? I thought all ARs were supposed to be built to the same specs. Is it just that the higher end rifles have nice smooth poished surfaces on all the parts therefore making them higher quality and less prone to have crap stick to them? As I said, probably dumb questions, just wondering what makes them so much more reliable.
     
  2. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    848
    0
    0
    Good lord! You're going to make certain people's heads explode with crazy talk like that!!!! :eek: Practically everyone knows that in order to get any respect you MUST spend the absolute MOST money possible on your AR so you can be a Tier 1, super secret squirrel, combat ready operator and shoot at least 10,000 rounds a year running that gun hard. :p;):D

    BTW, I bought a middle of the road $815 RRA (gasp!) and while it's not very old yet, it hasn't failed even once. It is also dead-on accurate. I think that many others with S&W's DPMS's Stags and Armalites (hock, spit!) will also say the same thing. Do your research and get the gun you want. Don't worry about what the naysayers talk about. I completely reject all the conversation that says you can only get a great AR by spending $3,000.

    What a boring world it would be if everyone drove around in Rolls Royces and Bentley's. My Ford is no less of a reliable vehicle just because it didn't cost a quarter-million bucks.

    ETA: HA! I just noticed this is my Post 666. How appropriate........sacrilege!!! :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    No, I'm by no means refering to a $3000 gun, I'm talking 1000-1500 range versus some of the real cheap ones, I guess I don't know what models are all considered to be not so good other than I have heard to stay away from Olympic. I guess I would like some of the guys who have said on this forum that a better quality (higher cost) AR will be more reliable than a bargain model. I would also consider RRA one of the ones getting up to the higher end quality wise from what I have read, basically I just want to know what makes one better than another when they are all interchangable parts which I would assume are all built to the same specs. What about the Colt makes it a better quality as far as reliability goes, than a Del-ton or Olympic or Bushmaster or any other cheap model.
     
  4. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    848
    0
    0
    The truth is, there are Colt,s and BCM's (Bravo Company) in the $1,000 to $1,200 range that will be all the AR you will ever need. They hold their re-sale value and are accurate and reliable rifles.

    It just depends on what you plan to do with your AR. Some people hunt and varmit at long range, some participate in shooting competitions & courses and some people are just weekend plinkers at the range. Each places different demands on the AR you use and will dictate which will be best for your needs.

    One of the only things I'm never going to be sold on is the AR's that use composites rather than aluminum. They are gaining popularity because of the low prices and lightweight materials. IMO, you should avoid those if you want to do some serious AR shooting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  5. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    blucoondawg, you haven't said what your applications for the AR will be. And that's the most important part of the equation.

    Let's face it, with ARs, cars, trucks, toasters and TVs there are different levels of quality and reliability while price is all over the board (depending on how good and lucky you are at finding the best deal). If any of the products above will hardly be used, then why not go cheap as it probably will be good enough. A Vulcan AR can sit in the safe as well as a Colt. If you're just going to plink in the desert you also may not need top quality. But if you're a soldier or LEO or want an AR that is as close to 100% reliable, then maybe you'll want to research which brands can get you there. Put another way, if you routinely jump out of planes would you put a little more research and money in your parachutes?

    Another thing to remember, research and shopping can get you great prices. If you do your homework you can get more quality for your dollar.
     
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    I'd be looking to keep it around for self defense in a shtf scenario, I want one that is gonna be reliable, it doesn't need to drive tacks at 200 yds but I would like it to hit a human at that distance and I may take it deer hunting once in awhile for s**ts and giggles. I know there are good guns in that price range, my question is what makes that gun in that price range better than a 600 dollar AR other than the name and pricetag? Not looking for opinions or brand loyalty I'm looking for actual facts that tell me why one is better than the other
     
  7. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    Also, I notice you're from WI... have you looked at BCM? You'll like what you see if you scrutinize the little details. The various ARs out there are NOT built to the same specs even though parts may interchange. A lot of corners can be cut to achieve a certain price point.
     
  8. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

    3,496
    0
    0
    There are stoppages, like FTF or FTE and there are stoppages like bolts breaking, barrels cracking.

    MP/HP testing will help prevent the latter types. Most upper tier ARs will have this type of testing.



    The more common place FTF or FTE can and will be found on upper lower mid tier weapons of all sorts and may be ammo related, mag related, shooter related. But the catastrophic ones, where parts break, thoses are the ones you are buying insurance from when you buy from the big boys.
     
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    as I said, I am not looking for anyone's recommendation on a gun here, I will have an idea of what I want to spend to get what I feel is reliable, I most likely will not be using it daily like a military or LEO may but I will shoot with it and I do want it to be reliable in case the time comes it is protecting my life or my family's lives, in other words I won't be buying a bargain gun just to decorate the gun cabinet, my question is what is the physical difference in the higher and mid range AR which makes them more reliable than a cheap AR
     
  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    Thank You, that is kind of the type of answer I am looking for
     
  11. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    I have checked out the BCM website, they would be one I would seriously consider from what I hear of their reputation
     
  12. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

    3,496
    0
    0
    np


    ahem, here's alittle shameless self promotion....

    Read my sticky! :)
     
  13. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    Like AT said, the name players pay more attention to detail and use better materials. Look at some of the specs of BCM, that's attention to detail. Look at cheap rifles and compare. Do you need it, you'll have to answer that. But for those who need something that will stand up to hard use it's important.

    •BCMGUNFIGHTER™ Mod 4 Charging Handle
    •Mid Length Gas System
    •M4 Feed Ramp Barrel Extension
    •M4 Feed Ramp Flat Top Receiver
    •T-Marked Upper Receivers
    •USGI 5.56mm NATO Chambers
    •Independently Certified Mil-Spec 11595E Barrel Steel
    •Chrome Lined Bore and Chamber
    •Manganese Phosphate Barrel Finish on entire barrel
    •Mil-Spec F-Marked Forged Front Sights
    •Taper Pinned Front Sight Base
    •USGI Government Profile Barrels
    •HPT (High Pressure Test, per Milspec) Barrels
    •MPI (Magnetic Particle Inspected, per Milspec) Barrels
    •Bolt machined from Mil-Spec Carpenter No. 158® steel
    •HPT Bolt (High Pressure Tested/ Proof)
    •MPI Bolt (Magnetic Particle Inspected)
    •Shot Peened Bolt
    •Chrome Lined Carrier (AUTO)
    •Chrome Lined Gas Key
    •Gas Key Hardened to USGI Specifications
    •Grade 8 Hardened Fasteners Key
    •Staked Per Mil-Spec
    •Tool Steel Extractor
    •BCM® Extractor Spring
    •Black Extractor Insert
    •Receivers Machined from Aluminum Forgings 7075-T6
    •Receivers Hardcoat Anodize per MIL-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2
    •BCM® Milspec 7075-T6 Receiver Extension
    •USGI Mold M4 Stock Staked M4 Lock Nut
    •USGI H Buffer (1 USGI Tungsten, 2 Steel)
    •Magpul MOE Enhanced Trigger Guard
    •Low Shelf for RDIAS installation
    •Low Shelf for Accuwedge use
    •Un-notched Hammer compatible with 9mm use
    •Fire Controls marked SAFE and SEMI
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    And I'm really glad it is available now! Definitely needed here.

    blucoondawg, you can't find a better 15 minutes of good answers to your questions!
     
  15. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    848
    0
    0
    I agree with what Quentin has said. The higher end products use a better grade of steel and aluminum for their AR's and they perform a greater degree of quality testing on the end-product to insure that the rifles are built right and have the proper tolerances. This provides a certain degree of comfort for the end user, but as with anything it doesn't necessarily guarantee 100% performance. Things can break and go wrong even in the highest end of the spectrum.

    Where does that leave you in your decision making process? Hard to say, that's whay we have so many "Which is best" threads. IMO, stay within the major name brands and look to see who has good to great customer service.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  16. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

    1,178
    0
    0
    Ya I was planning to stay with one of the better names, I won't pay 600 for something when I can pay 800-1200 and have something that has proven to be more reliable
     
  17. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    7,722
    209
    63
    I will agree with Snake and the others. There are several good high quality AR Rifles and for a good one the range will normally be from $850-$1200.
    Anyone spending more to think they have a better AR has rocks in their head or more money than they need to keep. I am also partial to Rock River since I have four of them. And love the 2 Stage Trigger that comes standard in most models along with the Rock River Hogue Grip, 6 Position Tactical Stock, Side Sling Swivel, Star Selector and all is standard on most model at no extra cost. There are other good ARs that meet the specs of the Rock River. In my opinion some of the better ARs are Rock River, Stag, Daniels Defense, LMT. All of these mentioned are not mass produced on an assembly line as Smith, Colt, FN and some others. Bottom line they must keep the production line running and sometimes in order to do that settle for parts that "may" not be of the highest quality unlike the manufacturers that individually build a rifle that a single person is accountable for it's quality. These armorers most always take pride in their work. I certainly am not saying the Colts and other rifles are not good rifles since I also have a few of them. But my choice is having ARs that are built at a bench with a little more TLC than the assembly line produced rifle. For example the Rock River ARs are assembled at a bench and all of the rifles as well as the uppers that are sold separately, are literally taken to an outdoor range and test fired before cleaning, lubrication and final shipment. The Complete Uppers sold are fired on slave lowers for the testing prior to being shipped. The warranties on the rifles will also vary. There are a lot of good ARs out there that would serve your purpose. But my advise get a good one and enjoy it. When I buy one I do not plan of selling it or parting with it in the near future. As it was stated it is totally ludicrous to spend over $1200 unless you have the extra cash and want all kinds of fancy frills that can be added on later when you have the money.
    Good Luck on your selection and there are a lot of knowledgeable people here to assist you.

    03
     
  18. mudpupp

    mudpupp New Member

    752
    0
    0
    I spent $700 on an inexpensive DPMS made a couple of enhancements, and have run it through the four day rifle course multiple times.

    Has yet to Fail.

    So even the cheap seats have a good view if you add a nice slip cover..
     
  19. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

    4,026
    0
    0
    What enhancements did you do to the DPMS?
     
  20. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    A new upper could be a Super Duty enhancement! :D