Is it worth the price difference???

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Tacticalarms, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Tacticalarms

    Tacticalarms New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I've been trying to decide which rifle to get as my first one for quite a while. As i notice many of you guys actually build your own rifles, however since I don't have the time, nor the knowledge, I'm just going to purchase one. The main two brands I've been looking at and have researched are Bushmaster and Rock River. So my question is, Is it worth paying a little more for the Rock River and also wait a few months in order to receive it or should i just walk in the local gun shop and purchase the A3? I do own many handguns, but as i mentioned before this will be my first rifle. Any help is greatly appreciated!!


    P.S. My main concern is brand/quality/reliability rather than model. I know which model of each brand i want. I'm also open to other brands, so suggestions are welcomed!
     
  2. russ

    russ New Member

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    My opinion is that the Rock River is worth the little cost and the wait. I own a bushy, and I like it OK, but given the choice I'd take the RRA.

    As far as time goes, I can take a pile of parts and turn it into an AR in an hour or so. So don't let that stop you.

    Do you have any mechanical ability? Don't take that as me being rude, that's not how I mean it. Do you have a good selection of hand tools and work on your own car/truck? If so, you can likely handle putting a lower together for an AR. Then just buy a complete upper and you're done. Easy peasy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

  3. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    I got friends that have both and are very happy. As for the building it's really not very hard at all. It's kind of like a 3D puzzle. It's not like you're going to be doing any gunsmithing in the more pure sense of the word. Yeah, there's a lot more time involved if you don't quite know what you want out the gate because research and price hunting can take time. It really depends on what you want the rifle to do. If you want a real tack driver then a built is almost a must do to make it more cost effective. You can always change it later I guess. It's the more expensive way to go but you will have a rifle now rather than later and see what you do and do not like as much and make changes as you go. There are many that have done just that. I bought mine built but I wasn't really looking for a match grade weapon. Mine is more a toss it in the truck and lets go have some fun rifle. I bought a Double Star. Not a real popular brand but they make a pretty good rifle and make parts for many other brands.

    Good luck in your quest. An AR is a great rifle to have. Not many will get one and not be happy they got it. Though they do have a tendency yo cost a lot being there's always some doohickey that you really think would be great to have...:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  4. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Welcome, Tacticalarms!

    I side with Russ and prefer to build an AR, at least the lower receiver. I could never buy an AR off the shelf when I know I can build something better myself. And the reason for that is research and a lot of it. Choosing quality parts, choosing the parts you really want and finding bargains anywhere, including online - not just what happens to be present on the shelf today.

    I would delay any purchase and put a few weeks of study into your purchase. Even if you don't build you likely will choose a better factory rifle. What you've learned will help you choose the right barrel profile, caliber, gas system/length, rifling twist, grade of steel/aluminum and countless other options. By skipping the research your odds of being disappointed with your AR in a few months are quite high.

    And the good news, the research is fun. Just read some of the stickies here and AR build threads. Fascinating stuff, no kidding!
     
  5. billt

    billt New Member

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    Hi, and welcome to the forum! I have several Bushmasters, and a Rock River Arms LAR-9, 9 MM Carbine. All are very well made guns. There is no reason to have to wait months for any AR-15 rifle in today's economic climate. Especially for AR-15's. These weapons have all been grossly over produced because of the hyper purchasing that went on just after Hussein's coronation. The poor economy, along with abundant over production has caused a surplus of AR-15 rifles by all manufacturers to literally flood the market in recent months.

    As far as comparing the different makes of AR-15's, you have to understand that ALL AR-15's are the exact same design, (except for the gas piston models.) They are in fact a generic rifle. You can take the bolt carrier group out of a Colt, drop it into a Bushmaster, and it will run. You can't take the slide off a Glock and put it on a Springfield because it won't fit. It is a completely different weapon.

    Too many overlook this. If you compare a Glock to a Springfield XD you are comparing two completely different pistols. They are both designed totally different. No parts will interchange. With AR-15's all major parts are completely interchangeable. The difference comes down to the construction of the parts themselves. Materials, heat treatment, build tolerances, coatings, etc.

    This is where all of the silly B.S. starts, and words get thrown around like "Mil-Spec", "Magnetic Particle Inspected", "Top Tier", "High Pressure Tested", etc. Everyone trying to either prove or disprove how this is better than that. Brand "X" is less likely to fail than Brand "Y". Most all of this means little to nothing for 99.99% of the civilian AR-15 owners and shooters out there in gun land. That is a fact.

    I hear about these guys who say, "That won't work for me because I use my rifle for FIGHTING!" Really? How many guys did you kill with it last week? It almost becomes laughable. I own a total of 10, AR-15 rifles. Everything from $790.00 Bushmasters, $1,500.00 Colts, and up to $3,000.00 LWRC's. And just about everything in between. Aside from my LWRC gas piston operated rifles, they are all of the same design. And everyone of them load, run, shoot, and function the exact same way. You can't say that about Ford, Chevy, Dodge. Or Milwaukee, DeWalt, Ryobi. All are of totally different designs.

    Those who like to argue about how one make or model of AR-15 is so much better than the other, are basing their entire argument on how good or bad the parts in it are made. And I'm sorry, they simply do not know that information for a fact. They don't know that Bushmasters quality is "slipping" anymore than they know a bolt carrier group out of a Colt will outlast a DPMS by 3,846 rounds. They are either guessing, or else regurgitating the latest Internet slop that is plastered all over ARFCOM by the mall ninja crowd over there. Nothing more. Most of the people who argue about this cannot even explain how a MPI test is done, or what shot peening actually accomplishes. Or what takes place when a certain Mil-Spec is met, or what it means to begin with.

    Mil-Spec does not necessarily mean "better", be it in a rifle or a can of paint. The term gets so misleadingly tossed around it has no value in most of these conversations. Especially to the civilian purchaser of an AR-15 rifle who wants to simply have some fun, or grab it if they hear bump in the middle of the night.

    These arguments continue mostly without much meaning and or merit. Has anyone here ever been forced to end a life with an AR-15 rifle? I'm willing to bet if you ever have to a properly cleaned, lubricated, and cared for DPMS or Bushmaster will save your life every bit as successfully as some MPI, Mil-Spec, HPT, tested 6,000 ways to Sunday, "Top Tier" $4,000.00 AR-15 with enough accessories to launch a Saturn V Rocket will, that hasn't been cleaned in 2,000 rounds. Yet another fact that is always overlooked.

    Sorry for the rant, but this topic comes up a lot, and like cars, trucks, tools, and most everything else, everyone has, and is entitled to their opinions. But when most all of those opinions are based on the exact same design, reality often fades away to a lot of B.S. that simply cannot be proven either way.

    What it will all boil down to, if and when the time comes, is if you have it pointed where you should, and if you're successful in pulling the trigger before the bad guy does. Everything else is just smoke filled coffee house crap, nothing more. Bill T.
     
  6. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    And we could all buy Ford Aspires, but do we really want to do that? As another LWRC owner to another you cant tell me you dont notice a considerable difference b/w your LWRC and a BushMaster. Ive never owned a Bush and dont plan to. Just like everything else in this world you get what you pay for. How many BCMs, DDs, LWRCs, or Noveskes come from the factory with incorrectly installed parts? How many times have you heard someone say one of those brands has the worst customer service Ive ever delt with? Id rather purchase my rifle from a manufacturer Im not going to have to threaten and fight with to replace a defective part/rifle. You can get a BCM or DD for damn near the same price as a Bush and have the piece of mind your rifle is assembled correctly. Who wants to spend that amount of money then have to fix stuff? I know there are a lot of guys with BushMasters that have put a ton of rounds through them but I dont want to gamble that Im going to recieve a good rifle. Im going to turn to a different manufacturer who consistently puts out 100% functional stuff. Not worth the handfull of change in savings.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    my RRA 458socom has dpms parts in it and will soon have a dpms upper receiver with a usgi surplus m16a1 5.56 chrome lined barrel. they are pretty much mix-n-match. the main diff between brands is whats printed on the side and the finish on the aluminum uppers and lowers. the dpms parts are closer to black than than the rra which tend closer to grey.

    ive also got a dpms m4 16"carbine i bought as a complete rifle for my wife. she picked it out and it works great. its a nice rifle.

    the rra seems to be a little higher quality in regards to finish. but they have no issues in operation. the dpms carbine handguards fit very tight and do not have heatshields they are solid plastic. the rra i have has heatshields in the handguards.
     
  8. billt

    billt New Member

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    For every naysayer you show me about a given brand of AR-15, I'll show you someone who is entirely satisfied with it. This kind of thing goes on endlessly. As I said I currently own 5 Bushmasters and have run literally thousands of rounds through them without a single issue or problem. I know several shooters at my local club who can say the exact same thing about the Olympic Arms guns they shoot. For most all of the shooters out there it simply isn't going to matter on which make of AR-15 rifle they choose. As I said, it is a generic design. Bill T.
     
  9. billt

    billt New Member

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    Another thing you are seeing more and more of, are these trainers / gurus who are lending their name to a given brand of AR-15 for the highest buck. There is nothing wrong with this practice mind you, but what then happens is you'll have every mall ninja out there who regurgitates every word out of their favorite trainer, start dumping undeserved praise on whatever brand they happen to be paid to endorse, simply because it's "their guy" giving the endorsement.

    The best, most recent example I can give you is Larry Vickers signing on with Daniel Defense. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mr. Vickers, or Daniel Defense and the weapons they produce. With that said D.D. isn't making any better of a weapon now, than they did before Mr. Vickers became their paid spokesperson. The only difference is now more are carrying on how D.D. is the greatest thing to come along since Monday Night Football and 3 men in the booth, just because Vickers signed on their dotted line.

    He also had no problem bashing Glock when he was on H&K's payroll. (I don't know if he currently is or not). Point being is these guys got a big following with the mall ninja crowd, and many will fall lock step into place with whatever these guys say, no matter if they're paid to say it or not.

    This is where the truth stops, and a lot of the B.S. gets started. Is a frying pan going to cook your food any better or faster if Rachael Ray or Paula Deen endorse it? Companies employ these well known individuals because their name alone can sell products. If some football fan is in love with Brett Favre, and worships the sod stuck to his cleats, they'll buy whatever brand of deodorant he uses, or brand of underwear he wears. That in itself doesn't make the product any better. The mall ninja's do much the same with AR-15's. That is a fact, and it creates a lot of B.S. in the process. Bill T.
     
  10. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Not to over-simplify things but didn't you answer this question in your question?

    "...however since I don't have the time, nor the knowledge, I'm just going to purchase one."

    Ergo; "...just walk in the local gun shop and purchase the A3..."!



    BUT, on the other side of the pillow;

    My suggestion IMHO, would be to buy the RRA complete upper and build a personalized lower. You know you're going to customize any shelf purchase so why spend money on items you will wind up removing?

    Not to be blunt but, "...nor the knowledge,..." is not something to use as an excuse to buy something you don't have knowledge of, you need to know your weapon! Assembling a lower is a giant step towards AR knowledge, and besides, you have us to help you step by step.

    Nut Up and just do it! ;)
     
  11. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Well I'm going to stick with the manufacturers that have a provin track record. I'm not going to risk purchasing a rifle from a company known for not putting together a rifle properly and using out of spec parts. Not to mention suspect customer service which I consider a major part of the buying experience. Like I said, my piece of mind is not worth a fist full of change.

    Why did we spend a crap ton of money on our LWRCs instead of slapping on a piston conversion kit? Because we recognize the engineering that goes into a good system.


    To the OP. Spend a tiny bit more and you wont be disappointed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    what engineering?? its all milspec. all the engineering that went into a 5.56/223 lower happened some 40-50 years ago by a guy named eugene stoner. punch the right equations into the CnC machine denoting a milspec lower and out pops a mil-spec lower. the lwrc is no better or worse a lower than any other lower out there. im pretty certain they arent making em by hand. it is the quality of the barrel itself and the internal trigger group that will denote just how well the beastie will shoot. in a ar the lower and upper are pretty cosmetic as long as they fit together.

    the real diff in lowers is the takedown pins. some lowers can have large or small pins older colts have one large and one small. other than that they is no real difference other than the finish applied to the bare aluminum.

    take a sample of each lower before it is marked and before a finish is apllied and shake em up in a bag and i would bet you wouldnt be able to match the lower to the maker.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  13. russ

    russ New Member

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    I own only one bushy, and I'm content with it since I've accepted its limitations. But my CMMG rifles and my DPMS rifle all run better for longer. That is what I'm basing my opinion on, not what some guy in his mom's basement posted over on arfcom.

    I also don't care for the business practices of bushmaster's parent company (Cerberus, who also owns DPMS), buying up smaller companies and keeping what they want/need from that company and ditching the rest just hits too close to home for me. But that is my personal opinion and not based in any way on the quality of the products they produce. And this isn't the place for that discussion anyway.
     
  14. billt

    billt New Member

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    +1.

    Every AR-15 lower, bolt, bolt carrier, firing pin, extractor, and most every other part are all built to the same blueprint. Little if anything has changed since Stoner first drew it up when he was working at Fairchild Aircraft in the 50's.

    There are only a very few companies supplying lower forgings to all of the major manufacturers anyway. And there is little, if any difference from those and the ones made from a billet block. An AR-15 lower isn't going to be stressed like a racing piston. Far too much is read into what these manufacturers produce, or what people think they are producing.

    It's much the same with these guys that put $400.00 of aftermarket parts into a Glock. Do they wind up with any better of a gun? I can understand customizing for the sake of adding a personal touch to your weapon. That is fine. It's when I start hearing all of this "better" being thrown around that I start to really wonder. I can honestly say that the only problems I've ever seen concerning Glock pistols is with reloaded ammunition, or else with high priced aftermarket parts. Bill T.
     
  15. billt

    billt New Member

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    Now you are talking about a completely different gun. Gas piston operated AR-15 rifles all fall into completely different design parameters. Parts off a LWRC gas system will not interchange with a LMT gas system. Both are completely different designs.

    Here is where gas piston AR-15's are completely separate from direct impingement weapons like Colt, Stag Arms, and all the rest. The gas piston AR's are popular. This means a lot of manufacturers see $$$$, and as a result there are a lot of Mickey Mouse conversions out there that look as if they were designed by Rube Goldberg. This is not the case with manufactures producing D.I. weapons per Stoners original Mil-Spec design.

    There are some very good gas piston AR-15's out there, and there are some real abortions. This is because of they way they were designed, unlike the direct impingement weapons which are all produced with the same design. Bill T.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  16. billt

    billt New Member

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    Please elaborate. How, and in what way is your Bushmaster "limited"? How will your DPMS and CMMG "run better for longer"? Bill T.
     
  17. MrMilspecer

    MrMilspecer New Member

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    Having Larry Vickers support your product is smart advertising. He is well respected in the firearms world.
    Getting upset because someone would recomend a Daniel Defense over a Bushmaster makes no sense to me. I look at it like i get a lot of extras for free.
    Lower Receiver: Mil-Spec with Enhanced Flared Magazine Well
    Upper Receiver: Mil-Spec with Indexing Marks and M4 Feed Ramps
    Barrel: Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel, Cold Hammer Forged, 1:7 twist, 16″ M4 Profile, Carbine Gas System, Chrome Lined, MP tested, and Mil-Spec Heavy Phosphate coated
    Chamber: 5.56 NATO
    Flash Hider: A2 Birdcage Flash Hider
    Bolt Carrier Group: Mil-Spec MP Tested, Properly Staked Gas Key
    Buffer: H Buffer
    Gas Block: Daniel Defense Pinned Low Profile Gas Block
    Handguard: Daniel Defense Omega X Rail 9.0
    Buttstock: MAGPUL MOE Buttstock & Mil-Spec 6 Position
    Receiver Extension
    Magazine: MAGPUL 30 round PMag in Black
    Vertical Grip: Daniel Defense A2 Styling Vertical Grip
    Rail Cover: (3) Daniel Defense low profile rail ladders
    Case: Comes with Custom Daniel Defense Full-Latch Impact Plastic Case
    Weight(no sights): 6lb 7.7oz
    Made in the USA!
    These are the specs off the one I own. While specs. may seem worthless to you I will take the extras for free or even pay a little more. DD makes thier own barrels, uppers, lowers, rails and more in house. They have a great rep to go along with the specs. Things like the exellent rail, barrel, sights, weight, testing, and price sold me. Its nice you love your Bushmasters and they work for you. But I read on this site about a guy with a carbon bushmaster that cracked and got jacked around by Bushmaster for 7 months. Stories of poor customer service alone leave them off my list.
    I dont understand why people get upset over the words like milspec or the chart. If I want to have a Barrel thats tested with an overcharged load then magnetic partical tested thats my choice. I reload and like that idea. If I want chrome lined like the military for durability and ease of clean-up again my choice.Theres a little more to milspec than a hole dimension. I could go on and on about why I made my choice but its just my opinion and the fact that MILSPEC has been battle tested for almost 50 years. I am not bashing Bushmaster and am in fact helping a friend to get a $499 Del-Ton kit. We will have fun shooting no matter the Price or Specs.
     
  18. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    I believe we were talking about rifles not lower recievers.

    There is a lot of engeneering that went into the making of a LWRC rifle. Its a true factory piston gun. Not a piston after thought gun.

    A lot more than a barrel and trigger goes into a top shelf AR. For instance your BCG is probably the heart of the entire system.

    There are more differences in lowers than takedown pins. For one some companies, such as KAC, manufacture "TRUE" ambidestrous lowers. Besides that not all lowers are created equally.


    Yes but are they all using the same materials and quality control? Those documents are a guide.

    Im still going to stick w/ companies known for getting it right the first time. I dont want to fix a manufacturing mistake.
     
  19. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Well said.
     
  20. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Quoted for truth...when I joined this forum I didn't know an AR from an RV but with the help of the members here I was able to sort it out and build my AR. Not as difficult as you think and, in my opinion, much more rewarding than buying a complete rifle off-the-shelf.