AR Tiers

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by sparky17, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. sparky17

    sparky17 New Member

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    Can someone please explain to me what exactly make an AR a tier 1,2, or 3. I hear some say tighter tolerances, but where is the proof? Has anyone stripped a Colt or DD and compared it to a stripped RRA or Stag to measure? Does being made to mil spec automatically make something perform better? Most modern 1911s are made tighter than what mil spec would be and perform great. On the other side some have said that all makers use the same parts, where is the proof? I have heard the opinions, I have even studied the "Chart" (hard to compare everyone if they have not provided info), I would like to hear some hard facts so I can fully understand. Thanks.
     
  2. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    So here's my take on this AR Tier status thing:

    Tier 1 = 100% mil-spec materials and testing with a 4150 chrome lined 1:7 twist barrel. Billet aluminum construction vs forged aluminum is a plus.

    Tier 2 = The folks with the 1:9 twist barrels with 4140 steel and with or without chrome barrel lining.

    Tier 3 = The composite material AR's like the Carbon 15 and Plum Crazy.

    There's all kinds of other sub-categories, but it's too hard to track.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

  3. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    Tier one also uses 4150 steel for their barrels rather than 4140. Truthfully, unless someone wants to spend a prolonged period of time digging to find information, the best solution is to state your budget, and what it's primary usage is for, and you'll get a ton of information from those on here, then you have to pick and choose to find out what you want to utilize, and whittle down the lists.
    Snake, AgentTikki, mjkeat, several others, all provide quite good information and insight into building/buying an AR. That also should be addressed. Do you plan on buying the complete AR, or components and assembling?
     
  4. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    With so many manufacturers and the myraid of different models they are putting out, the lines between tiers are blurred. I don't believe in the tier system and believe its an oversimplification. I subscribe to you figuring out how much you have to spend and getting the most for your money.
     
  5. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Very well put.:)
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    If you're really interested in this topic you might do some googling to look for the old M4 Compatibility Chart, in fact here you go:

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=3238128&postcount=79

    You say you've looked at the chart (maybe you saw the new chart where many brands refused to participate?) but take a little more time to soak it in. There's a lot of useful info there.

    The brands to the left of the spreadsheet have been referred to as Tier 1, the middle as Tier 2 and the far right as Tier 3. Some brands are pure junk and not listed at all. Of course today there are many other brands good and not so good that aren't listed as this chart hasn't been updated. And some brands have improved since this old chart. Still you get the picture, the more Xs or blue, the better if you need a serious M4gery. Do you need it? That's up to you.

    Anyway about 21 M4 features are listed and you'll notice Colt gets them all right. DPMS brings up the rear with only 3 things covered which is why many people would rather aim for a better value for about the same money.

    ETA:

    Colt through LMT usually are thought of as T1, Charles Daly through Stag as T2 and Bushmaster on the bubble then Oly and DPMS clearly bringing up the rear.

    The data is still useful today and you can add your AR's specs to the ones pictured to see how it does (if you can get the data from your supplier). Some people upgrade the grade of their existing AR using the chart. A quality BCG can make a difference if you can justify the expense. Parts aren't all equal as the chart illustrates.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  7. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the link, Quentin. Good info.
     
  8. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    I highly suggest this ..
     
  9. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Then you have manufacturers like Stag. The $100 milspec upgrade package puts them right up there in the Tier 1 level. PSA has all the right specs, but I'm not sure I'd put them up with Colt or DD or BCM just yet.

    The lines are blurred. I think companies like PSA looked at that famous spread sheet and knew what they needed to do. Stag did also, but it was a half @ssed attempt. They should have made all their rifles milspec and raised all their prices, which spread out over their entire line should be far less than $100.

    While I agree with Quentin, that this is a pretty good guildline for comparison, I'd advise you not putting 100% of your weight into it.
     
  10. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    And damn, thx fer the blast from the past Q, I haven't seen that chart or Technique's avatar in a while..... :D
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    No problem, AT! In fact here's the entire thread, a good read even today.
    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=232297


    I'm glad it's still possible to view the old chart and this time I saved the two JPGs to my hard disk so I'd have it local if this link breaks.

    This chart was dated 8/2009 and I'd like a newer version but then it's not bad to still see Charles Daly and Sabre Defence included. Would be nice to add Spikes and PSA, in fact I think I'll just enter the data into Excell and do just that, for my personal use since Rob rightfully doesn't want altered copies out there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  12. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Wow, the Chart sure is a thread killer isn't it? :D
     
  13. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    Usually is, right? When someone says 'oh yeah? Prove it!!' and then you do, what can they do?
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Actually I'm a little surprised. Very often linking the Chart dredges up a lot of bottom feeders screaming their ultracheap M4gery is better than a Colt or BCM. Nothing wrong with buying something like that if that's all you need but a little more budget goes a long way if you want quality.
     
  15. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    Well, now that you have bumped the thread back to life, I'm sure we'll have an outbreak of Trolls defending certain items.
    I have absolutely no issue with folks buying what they can afford, because that's just life. And there may be some components that are comparable, but I'd still rather not get involved in trash talking or attempting to say X=Y, when it doesn't.
     
  16. PlaysWithZombies

    PlaysWithZombies New Member

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    Are you trying to say my olympic isn't just as good as a colt? ;)
     
  17. sparky17

    sparky17 New Member

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    Seems like after reading the chart the best thing to do is decide what you really need for your intended use and go from there.
     
  18. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    And we have a winner. Buy the best you can, and have fun with it. I know I don't have a Noveske, and am content with that. Nor am I willing to attempt to compare what I have to what others have.
    If the user/owner finds it suitable for their needs and purposes, then it's what they should have gotten. If not? Well...don't cry that it doesn't live up to what you wanted if you were warned before hand.
    (Generic 'you', not you in particular. Don't mean nor intend to offend.)
     
  19. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    True, and remember the Chart is all about comparting M4geries, not other barrel profiles and other purpose ARs like varmint, target and plinkers. It's for the serious user who needs a reliable M4 style AR. That's why it was hosted on a site with a large population of active military and LE.

    Often people who don't need a serious AR are upset seeing their choice coming up short on the chart but don't realize the Chart really isn't for them, it's to help the person who wants a better M4 and is willing to pay for it. A lot of the anger is from both sides when the question comes up "which AR should I buy..."
     
  20. sparky17

    sparky17 New Member

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    Would I love a Colt? Absolutely. Can I justify it for my uses/budget? Not right now, so maybe for my next one.