Firearms

Top 5 AR-15s — A Definitive List from 2012

Bravo Company's M4 Carbine

Of course claiming a definitive list to AR enthusiasts is tantamount to using a .25 caliber to clear your sinus—but I thought it might get your attention and while you are here you might as well read on comment with your own list. Despite the efforts of the Antis, there has never been a better time to be a gun enthusiast than today.

Every famous model of gun in history got its start in the military or possibly law enforcement and filtered down to the hands of civilians and the AR-15 or MSR is no different. Which is better the Winchester Model 70 or Remington 700? At least the answer to that question is likely to bring a little more than a smile and few terse words. However, if you ask which AR platform is the best and you are likely to spark a conversation worthy of shaming the Hatfields & McCoys.

Never one to err on the side of caution, coupled with the fact Stoner’s design; the War on Terror; the explosion of 3-Gun competitions; the threat of another “Crime Bill” and a nation with a ravenous appetite for ARs here is my short list of must own ARs. In truth, while these are my top production models, it would really be hard to go wrong given the quality of today’s offerings. Here’s five in no particular order.

BCM M4 Carbine

Bravo Company's M4 CarbineThe BCM M4 Carbine is chock full of features that make it worthy of being a Top 5. One of the simplest, yet critical is the BCMGunfighter Charging handle. On the surface it seem minor. You pull it and a round gets chambered. If we look a bit deeper though into modern training doctrines and practices, it has us working the charging handle with our support hand while the primary hand stays on the pistol grip of the weapon. Initially, the weapon was designed for the shooter to grasp the charging handle with their firing hand, and to pull directly to the rear. The straight-back method reduced the stress on the charging handle roll pin, but takes us out of a firing position. By switching to the flat of your support hand, or index finger off your support hand to pull back on the charging handle while pushing forward with their firing hand on the pistol grip.

Other notables include the factory machined M4 feed ramps on the receiver are hard coat anodized which adds significant strength to the aluminum. An independently certified Mil-Spec 11595E barrel steel, Carpenter No. 158 steel machined bolt and 1/7 twist rate. The barrel is chrome lined, which has become a standard for battle rifles around the world, increases velocity, resists fouling and corrosion from extended use in the field and a longer barrel life with less required time in maintenance and cleaning.

Click here to buy a BCM M4 Carbine online

 

 

Colt SP6920

Colt LE6920 AR-15Nearly five decades, a half-century, have elapsed since Colt’s M16 was first fielded by the U.S. Military. Since that time, Colt has never surrendered its position as one of the world’s preeminent AR manufacturers. Simply put, Colt’s 6920 is the closest thing to what the military is using—minus the happy switch of course—‘nuff said.

Colt’s 6920 starts with a high-strength polymer, four-position, collapsible stock on the lower receiver assembly and a standard, semi-automatic AR-15 trigger assembly inside. The muzzle compensator reduces muzzle climb and helps eliminate flash and dust signatures.

Colt uses carpenter steel and tests each individual bolt to check for micro fissures or defects that could cause a failure down the road. As far as I know… Colt and FN are the only companies that fire a proof load on every bolt before it is inspected that I know of.

Click here to shop for a Colt AR-15 online

 

 

Daniel Defense M4 Carbine, V5 LW (Lightweight Barrel)

Daniel Defense M4V5The Daniel Defense V5 Light Weight, is everything you need in a homegrown defensive carbine. Put one up against a military M4 though the DD will come up a bit light. Well, not actually a bit; it’s more like 10 ounces. One of the main reasons is the lightweight barrel. Let’s be honest, unless you have an M203 with ammo for it, you really do not need a heavy barrel. However, if you are going to carry the gun for professional reasons or while traversing the hills on a hunt, those ounces are going to make a ton of difference.

Beyond the weight factor, the DD M4 has much of the furniture you’d upgrade other ARs with after plopping down your greenbacks. Features include an Omega X Rail with low-profile covers, A2 flash hider, Magpul 30-round P Mag and MOE buttstock, Daniel Defense A2 pistol grip, and vertical foregrip. The upper and lower receivers are military spec with an M4 feed ramp, an enhanced/flared magazine well, and an H buffer. The bolt group is mil-spec and properly staked. Of course to be included in any list of top ARs, the DD V5 Lightweight has a chrome steel barrel with a 1/7 twist.

Click here to shop of a Daniel Defense AR-15 online

 

 

Lewis Machine & Tool CQB MRP Defender

LMT CQB DefenderProbably the best argument for the popularity of LMT’s guns is that it is constantly runs a backorder status. That being said, the CQB MRP Defender features a CQB MRP upper receiver with 16-inch chrome lined, 1/7 twist barrel. The Monolithic Rail is not separate from the receiver; it’s fabricated from a single block of aluminum. This allows the operator to quickly change the free-floating barrel using only a Torx wrench in a matter of seconds.

The free-floating barrel helps with accuracy and keeping the gun cool. When you look through the quad-rail forend, you’ll see the gas tube is slightly different from a standard AR gas tube. On the LMT CQB, it’s a straight shot from front to back, which I believe aids in the smooth feel and operation.

Other notables include the piston semi auto bolt carrier group, tactical charging handle assembly, defender lower with SOPMOD buttstock and standard trigger group. The LMT CQB MRP Defender comes standard with tactical adjustable rear sight, tactical front sight, (2) heavy-duty push button swivels, (1) thirty round magazine, torque wrench / driver and (3) rail panels, A2 birdcage compensator, low-profile gas block, cryogenically-treated barrel and electronically tested and recorded trigger pull.

DIY AR-15 on the Cheap

Of course a top gun in anyone’s book has to be a DIY gun on the cheap. I don’t care if it shoots minute-of-clay-pigeon or minute-of-coyote when you are finished. Three things are going to be certain. First, a bad guy looking at the bore of your home build is still going to need to change his shorts, and ain’t going to stick around to be the subject of your next accuracy check. Second, building your own AR is the ultimate erector set, and last—as an absolute-worst-case-scenario— it will make a great truck gun or something to tuck away in a bug out kit. It will certainly give you an appreciation and education of ARs when you sit down with a few boxes of parts and assemble one from scratch.

It took me a total of about five minutes to come up with everything you should need to put together an AR on the cheap.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (242)

  1. Got my first AR in 2011 after over 25 years of shooting my trusty Ruger Mini-14 in the Democratic Republic of California. My m14 has had well over 15k rounds through it, but I had some friends with AR’s and they were successful in converting me to their ranks. Their methods of conversion were to allow me to fire their S&W M&P15, DPMS MK, and a Bushmaster Carbon. Since I had been used to shooting my Ruger mini and its big brother, my Springfield M1A loaded, I wasn’t used to the recoil dampening springs of the AR but I adapted quickly. After our day at the range, I gave a potential AR purchase some thought but It wasn’t until I visited our local Turners did the purchase a reality. It appeared that they were having a shot show with a bunch of gun vendors at Raahaugh’s range and they were discounting guns from the attending vendors. Since I really had not planned to spend a bunch of money on this day, I opted for the S&W M&P15 running $800. Just as I completed the paperwork, the salesmen whipped out a Daniel Defense DDM4 V5 going for $1099. I took the shot and purchased it and I could not be happier, although I have to get used to the recessed mag release button and 10 round clip limitation. With minimal mods (Magpul popup sight, BCM Gunfighter Hogue grips) and a little Frog Lube, this gun has proven to be an excellent purchase. Pity that I can only run 10-round clips in it though, but I still have my Mini-14 with its 30-round clips being grandfathered in (until further notice) since they were bought in the 80’s.

  2. A lot of comments were made regarding no or very little play between the upper and lower receivers. People mentioned Stag, LMT, CMT et. el. However, I recently purchase a Smith and Wesson M&P and then modified it to my taste to give a customize gun per se. As far as tight tolerances the M&P is super tight. The gun is broken in and currently shot roughly 2000-2500 rounds. And I STILL need to use a Punch Tool to take the pins down. And no I am not new to AR’s. I have 7 of them and know quite a bit about this weapons platform. So not sure why people where making such a big deal about play/wobble between receivers. If your gun has some play and it bothers you. It’s an easy fix…buy an Accuwedge for like $5. Or at a hardware store, buy a silicone donut and put it on the shelf just over and behind the safety bar. And problem is solved. As far which is the best AR. Only you can determine that. You know what your looking for and what you’ll be using the gun for. Once that is ascertain and you have a price point in mind. You’re ready to make a purchase that will best suit your needs. There seems to be a lot AR snobs in this forum. I went with a Smith and Wesson because I wanted a “Project” gun. Something to have fun making it a little unique. I used S&W because theyre an excellent gun manufacture who’s been around for over a 100 years. And they have an excellent reputation who makes quality guns. My advise would be , go with a reputable and known company. A lifetime warranty does you no good if the company folds and out of business in 10 years. Many of these smaller companies have a lifetime warranty, However, they might go under or swallow up from a bigger company. DPMS, Remington, Marlin and Bushmaster are now owned by the Freedom Group. And they only offer a one year warranty. When the aforementioned companies use to have a lifetime limited warranty. So, I highly recommend that you do your homework and plenty of research before you make your subsequent purchase. Have fun, stay safe and shoot plenty. Happy Holidays to my fellow Gun Owners. Respectfully submitted, Dr. S.

  3. I have a lot of experience with the AR, have used many different brands with various configurations, stock, mofified, builds, etc., and various ammo both standard and reload over a twenty year period. My overall favorite is my BCM MOD 0. All of the BCM products are very high quality, extremely reliable and give you the most bang for your buck. Most of the issues that people experience with their AR is related to cheap manufacturing standards and low quality control, using crap ammo or not maintaining their AR. To minimize issues always buy products that are manufactured with high quality parts under strict quality control. And don’t scrimp on the ammo you use. You might save money buying lower quality weapons and cheap ammo but you may pay a high price in the end if the weapon fails to do what you intend for it to do— such as saving your life or a loved one. Think of your weapon the way you would a vehicle, appliance, etc. The higher quality that the components are and the better they are assembled then the more reliable and longer-lasting they will be. Reliability and performance come at a price. Before you buy something that you may need to depend on to save your life you should do some research. If you just want to shoot targets then a lower priced weapon will suffice but if you are purchasing a weapon or ammo for self-defense then save up your money until you have enough to buy high quality.

  4. Let me tell you something Mr know it all, if you read my 1st comment here you would understant why i posted mememe,it was directed at people just like you, that think what thay have is better than what everyone else has.IF you read all the comments you would see that I never even talked about what type weapon i have,one guy insinuated that i had a sig because of my 1st comment,i told him what i have,nothing more,so next time you want to run your mouth make sure you know what your talking about. look up the word arrogance,thats who the mememe comment is directed at.

  5. MEMEME? Just by your name I can tell youre a know it all. I don’t meet the stereotype mostly seen on here. Just hate braggarts that think their weapon is better than everyone else’s. All that matters is that you like your weapon and and it hits what you’re aiming for.

  6. Oh, and by the way, just so everyone knows, I shoot a Rock River Arms with a two stage trigger and a cheap 4 sided picitanny rail forearm to mount a flashlight. Love the gun and wouldn’t trade it for the most tricked out Colt ever made. JFYI

  7. There is only one right answer out of all these stupid comments. If you like your AR and it shoots well, you should take some training courses on house clearing, long range shooting and pistol lessons. I’m a member of the NRA, and they just came out with a beginners video that will shut everyone up here. As long as you know how and when to use your weapon, and you have been properly train, and practice regularly, any AR platform can be perfect for you. The people that want to spend 2500 or 3000 on an AR just have a lot of money to blow and want theirs to be tricked out more than Charlie, who’s sitting 3 benches downrange shooting his M&P. Hands down, They’re all designed basically the same way and meant to do the same thing. So men, let me tell you, it’s never the gun, it’s the shooter!!!!!

  8. Christensen Arms makes a superb AR-15&10s. I’ve shot one for over 2 years and its the most accurayte AR-15 I’ve ever shot. Plus the Barrell and UppernReceiver are made if Carbon Fiber making it the lightest AR on the market. It’s probably the most expensive AR-15s at $3300 without a scope and accessories. With all the finishing touches it’ll set ya back $6500ish, but you pay for what you get. And in this AR you find the finest.

  9. URGENT NOTICE: Su – Press – On, a Detroit based maker of AR1 drop in auto sears is in deep trouble. Seems like this guy was not the original inventor as he claimed he was and his stocks of pre 81 inventory were simply recently made items. He has been busted by the federal government and the ATF has seized his records of those items he has mailed to people throughout the USA for many years. So if you bought one, tried to buy one, or did not get one and had money refunded, be prepared to have the knock on your door and you will get the one – time amnesty question……………..

    This guy who ran Supresson advertised heavily in Shotgun News and a recent talk with an ATF agent I was rold that every agent across the fruited plains are out like Jehovah’s Witness’s knocking on doors and asking where that sear you bought 15 years ago is.

    Funny thing……………I just met a guy the other day that bought a parts kit from Ohio Ordnance, a Bren kit, and was visited by the ATF who asked him to surrender the kit or just stay put and say ‘no’ until we get a search warrant and take you to a federal prison for 5 years. So they took his kit and now the guy is wondering, did Ohio Ordnance hand over their sales list? Did they get pinched somewhere and then offer up names as a way to ease the pain from the feds? Or maybe just a pure coincidence? Or maybe the mailman put a note in the suggestion box at ATF? You be the judge here. Maybe it was a big mouth? I have know people that have strayed outside the law and were reported to the feds only to have the reporting person get looked at instead. So you be the judge here. Use your brains. Any full auto parts will get you in very hot water. Stay protected and either have a registered machine gun or obey the law as it stands. I know there are some out there that say, “federal prisons are a joke, a vacation at best”. Well OK………..not my idea of a vacation. Or visit. Happy 4th of July……………

  10. That Lewis ‘contract’ was a test procedure and the British army and Royal Marines opted out for unknown reasons. Colt has always played the union card and thats a big reason why they get what they get. Pays to be UAW when dealing with the US govt and I am sure that weight has a lot of pull down the road with foreign purchasers. Lewis does make quality parts but they cannot break into the major leagues. We are slitting hairs somewhat when comparing quality AR’s as a lot of parts, especially barrels, are mainly produced by one primary manufacturer and the big difference is really the lower receiver and bolt carrier groups. You have some manufacturers just turning out sub – par lowers by the thousands and selling them to start up company’s. I am really shocked by the amount of AR15 ‘builders’ out there. Just discovered another one in Tampa called Sure Survival and they simply have their logo etched on the sides much like Spikes does or a whole host of others that do the same. Found an interesting set of photos online showing Spikes receivers totally out of whack and look to be poor examples of factory 2nds at best. Just GOOGLE ‘Spikes magazine sidewall thickness problems’ and you will see what I mean. I really believe that anybody who wants a sub standard AR like the ones listed above should get a quality lower and just use your imagination. You’d have a far better end result that what you would get by buying a piece of junk.

    Tactical Weapon Solutions (TWS) has started making AR’s ( God knows who they get their stuff from ) almost across the street from Spikes in Apopka, FL. So don’t blink for too long as someone will find that closed down beauty supply shop and start making their own AR’s. Guess in the long run its a good thing being pro gun as I am but the consumer better watch out. You can get a BMW or Cadillac or you can go to Apopka and get a Yugo.

  11. Lewis Machine and Tool supplies lmt308mws to the British military, article ran in American Rifleman. at the time Colt did not offer a 308 in an ar platform, and if it did I don’t think it would have landed that contract.the only reason colt has held on to it’s military contract has more to do political reasons than the rifles it produces,and thats just a not so humble opinion from an old jarhead that has had the chance to run both Colt and Lmt rifles,and hands down I would take an Lmt don’t matter what caliber you choose

  12. I talked to a guy that bought a hat from Spikes,said it worked real good.

    Spike=”TapouT” of the gun industrey.

  13. There are certainly a few other AR;s that should be in this top group of AR15’s. RRA is top shelve and so is Windham and Bushmaster. Some may belittle Olympic but their sales to law enforcement and other foreign military’s may stun a few when they say that quality control there is bad. People voice their opinions and deem it ‘right’ for all to follow. Facts speak for themselves. Even DPMS sells to a LOT of LE agencies and hardly any negative feedback is found there.Whats interesting is the Spikes deal. Of course those who want red spiders and gold pirate swords and this ‘boron plated’ monkey business stuff will always flock to what looks cool, truth is different. Spikes purchase their parts from the lowest bidder and have until recently bought their lowers from Kaiser who is famous for inconsistent mag sidewall thickness and not being able to pass one military test. Just lately has Spikes begin to buy lowers from Aero which is steps better than Kaiser. Noveske is also a parts gun that used Kaiser and still does.
    Its a little shocking…………….and funny when you hear Spikes himself brag about being King Franken-Gun and that he can piece together anything under the sun. He does a great job out of it with his little shop in Apopka, FL. Will a Spikes work? Sure but it is nothing you would not want to take into a long drawn out battle. A shot here and there will work but I would hate to see what happens to a Spikes under full auto circumstances or prolonged auto use. Not pretty. My bottom line is stick with rifles that are accepted throughout the country. Not just a home – boy rifle that people in other states do not want in trade or to purchase. try selling a Spikes in AZ or any other gun state where there is plenty of better quality rifles around. You should have a bottom 5 category. That would end it. Lewis claims that the military ‘uses’ their brand and not a single one was purchased by the military. Its a good rifle and of good quality but they are simply liars in a few facts. Anyways, here are the bottom 5 in no particular order and this includes lowers.
    1. R Guns
    2. Century (CIA)
    3. Spikes
    4. Plum Crazy
    5. CORE ………..tie with……….Model 1 (Sendra….remember that mess??)

    Thanks. Retired from COLT….Military Procurement…….VN veteran 2 tours

  14. I own a Bushmaster M4A2 Patrolman, a Colt LE6920 and a Colt LE6920SOCOM. They range in price at $1K, $1.2K to $1.6K, respectively. The SOCOM is a specialty model of the standard LE6920 with some “tweakings”. The Bushmaster is my tricked out weapon. The Colt LE6920 has remained unmodified. The Colt barrels are NATO 5.56 stamped with a 1/7 twist and the Bushmaster is also stamped NATO 5.56, but with a 1/9 twist barrel. I do not fire 77 grain rounds anyway, so it doesn’t matter too much. They can effectively fire .223 or 5.56 rounds, no problem. ALL of them are SUPERIOR weapons. Reliable, functional and dependable. Yes, the prices are a bit steep. But, in this world, you get what you pay for. Be proud of whatever weapons platform you own. It is a direct reflection of who you are and what you intend it to be primarily used for. Blessing to all freedom loving men and women!

  15. I own a Bushmasyter M4A2 Patrolman, a Colt LE6920 and a Colt LE6920SOCOM. They range in price at $1K, $1.2K to $1.6K, respectively. The SOCOM is a specialty model of the standard LE6920 with some “tweakings”. The Bushmaster is my tricked out weapon. The Colt LE6920 has remained unmodified. The Colt barrels are NATO 5.56 stamped with a 1/7 twist and the Bushmaster is also stamped NATO 5.56, but with a 1/9 twist barrel. I do not fire 77 grain rounds anyway, so it doesn’t matter too much. They can effectively fire .223 or 5.56 rounds, no problem. ALL of them are SUPERIOR weapons. Reliable, functional and dependable. Yes, the prices are a bit steep. But, in this world, you get what you pay for. Be proud of whatever weapons platform you own. It is a direct reflection of who you are and what you intend it to be primarily used for. Blessing to all freedom loving men and women!

  16. Nothing wrong wit a stag, great gun great parts. There is no point to this list because of the fact that we have so so many great company’s out there putting out AA++ components . Its ok to be a fan, but to say one is better than the other based on what u have is ridiculously stupid. I am not saying that some are not better than others, just needs to be based on fact. Not opinion. Of course I own BCM/SPIKES 😉

  17. If the Stag Arms haters / Colt lovers only realized where a majority of the guts of full MIL-spec, DoD contract M16s and M4s were made ….

  18. CLIENT YOU MUST BE THE VILLAGE IDIOT. You should try to educate yourself before you make yourself look so stupid. You have no friends, associates or engineers in the Controlled Demolition business. if you did they must be as uneducated as you are. DUMBASS. Do you even think before you speak or type. You should try researching all this instead of overhearing half of something and then trying to act like you know somthing. how old are you 12. So sorry Laust “MEMEME”.

  19. Laust “MEMEME” I’m so sorry. All of my comments should go to CLIENT not you. I agree with you. Sorry. Client is the DUMBASS

  20. Laust “MEMEME”. Do you even think before you speak or type. You should try researching all this instead of overhearing half of something and then trying to act like you know somthing. how old are you 12

  21. Laust “MEMEME”. You must be the village idiot. We have been watching Bin Ladin for ten years before 911. You should try to educate yourself before you make yourself look so stupid. You have no friends, associates or engineers in the Controlled Demolition business. if you did they must be as uneducated as you are. DUMBASS

  22. I don’t remember any of the perpetrators that survived the plane crashes.Oh thats right there wern’t any perpetrators.

  23. Sick ass drooling moron. Come outside, where have you been?
    We can all look into each others back yard and front yard with Google Earth. How come our government officials have not captured even one perpetrator? How come we don’t hear about anymore investigation? How come all the controversial witnesses have mysteriously died or disappeared? Because our focus has shifted to the war, and many many other distractions. We have no idea why we are really in the Middle East. Weapons of mass destruction? Bin Ladin? Really? 🙂
    My friend we can disagree and have our own opinion, but please be mature and save your name calling for the play ground.

  24. You are one sick ass drooling moron and so is anyone else if you think the U.S.Government had anything to do with 911.

  25. Yes indeed. I have viewed the videos of the tower coming down. I have several friends and associates in the Controlled Demolition business and also many engineers as well.
    The overwelming evidence is – Jet impact and fuel burning would not have caused these structures to come down. Nor would the building directly next to it, this 7 story building came straight down and was neither hit or burned. Yes, it’s all about sheep.
    Oh, let’s all get refocused on all the new news. That’s all water under the bridge. NOT!! 🙁

  26. Tom: Just copy an paste any of them,youll be able to find the stories and then some.
    I just put them in causs folks were debating an stuff.Anyway all your and CavScout’s shit sounds rite to me.

  27. GROSE: I’ve been a teacher for 35 years. You can’t teach sheep. This began about 1932, Roosevelt and his new deal, then Wilson, then on up the line. Propoganda gets built in it is a sleeper agent. Now there are some stupid people out there and then there are the ignorant ones. It is the ignorant you want to reach because you cannot undo stupid, believe me, I have tried–35 years worth.

  28. CLINT: Take a look at the videos of the towers coming down and visit the site engineers for 911 then come back with that story. Okey dokey!

  29. For Laust: What was all that about? There was no context. You got me interested and then went away. What are you a dream?

  30. Ah-h-h! Sig Sauer 556, completely baised off the Swiss 556. Now mine is not tricked out, don’t need the poundage. When the rifel is empty and all the magazines are spent this thing has heft to beat the s**t outa any human bein providin you can stand up that long. Now when all the others wind up in the parts ben the Sig 556 will still be pounding them out as long as u can lift him. He’s not heavy. He’s my brother.

    Watch your six

  31. I love these debates! This is great! Opinions that are formed on a given product are going to be inconsistent for the most part due to the consumers (the variable in this situation) do not all test their product in the same manner. I believe that for the most part any manufactured AR brand will be sufficient for 75% of shooters 99% of the time. There are shooters out there who demand and rely on their weapons far greater than the majority of people who shoot a couple hundred rounds every so often for enjoyment. The military and law enforcement individuals put their lives on their equipment so I believe they test their equipment thoroughly in the types of situations they encounter to expose potential issues beforehand. I get it that no matter what brand rifle you shoot that you can have a faulty magazine or faulty ammo that can cause FTFeed or FTFire. These things can happen but are very rare in my experiences. I shoot on a biweekly basis with approximately 2k rounds per week through 3 different AR platform rifles. All of them are different from each other in brand and style( carbine, long gun, 3 gun ). I have spent a bit more money on these guns because I chose to. They work better for me for what I use them for. My first AR was a Bushmaster Xm15 E2s carbine for $900 in fall of 2000. I have torture tested that gun and it still runs like a sewing machine. It isn’t exactly like my larue, my seekins or my noveske but it is every bit as reliable and trustworthy. Just my 2 cents.

  32. Robinson XCR, piston driven, circa 2012 or later. Also put my vote down for two bullpups (like ’em or not!)….the Steyr AUG (16,000 were put through a AUG receiver w/out a malfunction)and now the Israeli designed TAVOR. If I am in a gunfight, I don’t need to be fighting with my “fouls too easy, keep it pretty or it will malfunction” direct impingement AR-15, I need a gun that works. It’s piston only for me. I would also add the new(er) Adcore BEAR Elite to the list (yep… it’s piston driven) as well as the HK416.

    I do know that if I was in a long, drawn out gun battle, being shot at in a sandstorm, that I would want my enemy to have a DI AR-15 platform, which would allow me to advance forward, and shoot at free will, the poor suckers who stopped shooting to clean their rifles.

    If it doesn’t go BANG under the worst of conditions, what good is it?

  33. @ Jamie Grose.

    All the killing was done with the handguns. The ARwas found in the maniacs vehicle after the fact. The “Media” is the scource of all the AR stories as usual. When will everyone learn that they are nothing but the Propaganda Arm of the Govt?
    You are right that the public is ignorant about our uses of our AR’s, I have been hunting with an Armalite AR-10 A4SPR for years and wouldn’t change for anything. It sure is funny when the game warden sees it though, the looks on thier faces at first is priceless!

  34. ok you guys my name is paul i am a master gunsmith with a major company. I can not say who i work for but i have been reading all you have been weighting. Trying to be open minded. I have accesses to most of the rifles you guys are talking about except a cmt witch i have finally got. cmt is military and law informant only. any way i have spent half the week checking and rechecking the tolerances of the receivers on multiple models and this is what a have found for the tightest tolerances. in order from the tightest to the loosest. 1-LMT and FN, 2-CMT and Stag, 3-RR and HK, 4-LWRC and DD, 5-LaRue POF and YHM, 6-Bravo, spikes and Ruger, 7-Bush, 8-DPMS and CMMG. so over all it looks like Dwayne knows what he is talking about. I hope this helps

  35. I’m sorry to have hit a nerve and I ment no disrespect to any parent that may have lost a loved one in the Sandy Hook government “Let’s do something that will make the whole country want to throw in the towel on guns” Let’s talk about sheep! I shed many a tear thinking about if that was one of my kids. My heart went out and I would cosider myself to be very thick skinned. Then I took a real hard look at many things that don’t add up. It stinks BAD!
    I guess many of us still believe that some bad people from the middle east made the Twin Towers fall “Straight down” and we had to go over there looking for weapons of mass destruction. Ha Ha Ha. That’s funny after many years of lost lives and coutless dollars, still no weapons or bad guys. BHAAA BHAAA BHAAA sheep I tell ya, just sheep:(

  36. “Sandy Hook RIP/donation webpages created BEFORE the massacre,” Jan. 8, 2013.
    “Florida professor doubts official version of Sandy Hook massacre,” Jan. 8, 2013.
    “Was Sandy Hook a “false flag” operation by the Obama regime?,” Dec. 30, 2012.
    “Professional crisis actors simulate mass casualty events,” Jan. 1, 2013.
    “Where is Sandy Hook school’s surveillance video?,” Jan. 8, 2013.
    “Sandy Hook dad goes from laughing to grieving in blink of an eye,” Dec. 30, 2012.
    “Crisis Acting or True Grief? – You Decide,” Jan. 7, 2013.
    “Spooky coincidences of Sandy Hook and Aurora massacres,”

  37. I know one of the children who died in Newtown. My friend’s child. Make no mistake they were killed and they were not actors you chumps. I own an AR and I support gun owners righs over this political BS. No one can stop a murderer. Now tht you know I am also a pro 2A dude. Also know that I do believe if you look hard enough you will find some information that shows that a AR was used. Although being that is so hard to find I agree it stinks of corruption. Not sure how far I would take the conspiracy theories boyz, but those children are dead from the acts of a maniac. Don’t make us pro 2A guys look bad with some conspiracy shit. Stick to the facts on gun laws not working. We have all we need there. We need to get these sheep in the general public to understand and be educated. Educate very person you know who isn’t taking a hard stance against guns. These are the people who are sheep and need to be informed. Many have no clue about AR’s used in hunting and 10 different calibers. Start talking facts and we can win. Stick to your conspiracy crap and we will lose. That simple.

  38. The whole thing stinks. If you smart guys think about it. Nobody knows the mother. Nobody knows the father. Nobody saw anyone shot at all. Nobody said anything about the Principal and her family. The local police were taken over by federal agents and told to stay away and be in charge of the perimeter. The Feds took care of it all. Who really knew any of the kindergarten children anyway? They are only at school for a very short period of the day and off they go. Nobody knew them so its really easy to say they were there and now their and now the bad black gun killed them all. Hmmmm something is really wrong with how gullible we all are. I’m not buying it at all. It’s all BS and our government wants to disarm us. Smart people please gather the facts and put 2 and 2 together.

  39. @Tom

    You are 100% correct Tom. I made this same point here about a week or less after the shooting occured only to have some IDIOT ATTEMPT to argue with me. I’m glad to know that there is at least one other person out there who checks thier facts and, KNOWS what they are talking about before they post.

  40. Bushmaster make a nice M4 and is relatively inexpensive. I have the colt. On the same subject, the Newtown school shooting of 1st graders and teachers was not prosecuted with an AR15 style weapon. The school shootings were extended magazine clip handguns. Not the AR15. Check the ballistics reports. The assailant was shot with an AR15 but he was shot by a first responder with an AR15. The assailant bastard shot his mother with her AR15. I believe the AR15 he used to kill his mother was in the assailant’s vehicle trunk but was not brought into the building. And if the ballistics reports says different, it’s another cover-up to chalk up for Obama.

    All the AR15 assault weapon ban and magazine is hype from Obama to have a gun violence credit in his cap. Obama and his staff jumped into the pot not understanding the actual facts, not the real facts. Just Left wing manipulation folks and their penchant for obfuscating the facts.

  41. I would like some thoughts. My at ejects shells at 1-2 o’clock and slightly dents all the casings transversely at mid-length. Do I need heavier buffer or
    Ejection spring

  42. I may stand corrected Laust. Have not checked, perhaps I may have included BCM by mistake, I have not looked, but I was making a broad generalization of ARs as a whole so I don’t really think that negates the point. I think we can agree, however, that most companies have incorporated POF ideologies into their platforms at this point though, yes? BCM may be the exception, but if so, then they are behind the curve, and should most certainly adopt the Piston System into their line-up at some point soon, as it really is the way to go–IMHO. Thanks for pointing that out though.

  43. I think someone in here mentioned it briefly, but I will illuminate further on the POF-USA rifles. This company makes the Ferrari of AR type rifles IMO. Yes, LWRC is awesome as well, and I am surprised neither of these two are mentioned; but even then, LWRC has not lead in inovation the way the boys at POF have. To prove this, if you study the evolution of AR’s you would know that POF-USA was the FIRST to develop the piston operated rifle. YES, THE FIRST! So when people talk about how much better this system is than Gas Impingment–you should be giving a hat tip these guys in gratitude for their ingenious work. Since their development, all these other gun manufacturers like DPMS, Rock River, BCM, and even LWRC have taken to copying the POF design and incorporating it almost as if it were their own idea. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I would rather buy from the company who has lead the way in almost every new innovation created to improve on ARS as of late, not from the companies who merely take such innovations and emulate them into their own platforms–not having the foresight to think of such things themselves. Aside from the genius of the Piston Driven system, POF was also the first to incorporate things like its NP3 coating to their rifles, making the need for cleaning and even lubing a thing of the past. While other companies have FOLLOWED here (even the LWRC’s I own have copied this coating…ahem…under a variation and different name) it is POF who just DOES NOT get mentioned enough for inventing such adaptions that have brought the AR rifle from a sub-par operated system to a level of dependability and durability never before seen prior to this company’s arrival to the scene. So no matter what rifle you are using–Bushmaster, LMT, Daniel Defense, Stag, or any of the like–if you have a piston operated rifle, with a propriatary nickel boron finish on the parts or reciever, I hope you take a moment to give the old boys from POF-USA a pause in gratitude for providing you a rifle of such outstanding performance, should the company you bought from have seen fit to include these leaps of technology into their own desgins–having the wisdom to duplicate rather than emulate, the ideas from a company who has chosen to lead instead of follow. And for the record, I do not work for nor represent POF in any way. I merely have several of their products, as well as other like those from LWRC, and I just don’t think they get the credit they absolutely deserve for being top notch in forward leaning design–seeing as how these days many of their ideas are all too commonplace among AR manufacturers, without anyone stopping to mention where the wonderful new ideas they have incorporated into their rifles came from in the first place. But sure, I guess mentioning these rifles as being the top five–after copying POF designs into their guns–makes sense? LOL. But, hey…whatever helps you make a sale. (Wink, Wink)

  44. You blew it guys! You had your chance and you pissed it away. I’m still shooting the 1st AR I bought over 20 years ago and it’s still as accurate as ever and has never let me down nor do I expect it will. AR, Thy Name Is ARMALITE! That’s right, the Original is still going strong! Stoner’s own is still the best no matter how much you want to spend, how many pistons and other add on’s that defeat the entire idea of the AR to begin with, the ARMALITE AR (Armalite Rifle) is still the Champion of the world. AR-18, AR-180’s, AR-10, plus all the Bolt Guns and the AR-24 Pistols. Like I said guys, you blew it. Not including the Inventor of the AR and HIS Rifle in your “LIST” is unforgivable.

  45. What a goober, your the one making the claim, not me idgit. The onus is on you to verify your assertions. Your an imposter. Go back to school an learn to structure a sentence. Get off your daddy’s computer and go play with your high powered sling shot!! What a tool!

  46. Alright Dwayne. I’m done with you. You don’t act or write like someone that is 61. You seem very inmature to me. You just don’t get it. I don’t care which is best!! I’ll sell any of them and use all of them!! Being that you can’t find the data, means your claim is just a personal observation and is in no way provable, which is what I said long ago. I have LMT’s and Stag’s and although I think they are excellent AR’s, they are no more impressive than the others I’ve mentioned on here before. Sorry, I don’t have any CMT’s to compare with. If you wanna stick with your opinion fine. But at the end of the day, it is just your opinion. Wanna help these guys, don’t make inflated claims. Just give them your opinion and make sure you tell them your a Master Gunsmith!!!:)

  47. Depends on the Rock River, Albert. If it’s an Lar-8 I would go with a Nighthawk or a Leupold Mark IV. with a 45 degree canted sight by Surefire will work great. If you own a Lar-15 or 6.8 then I might tone it down to a Trijicon Accupoint or again a Leupold Mark IV. You could also cant a Leupold Deltapoint or a Trijicon Reflex sight instead of an iron sight and run it with your scope. I usually go high end because, I believe you get what you pay for. Instead of Trijicon or Leupold reflex sights you could go with Burris. For me, if I wanted to go with the best scope that is affordable I would go with Trijicon. It is combat proven. The Rock River is an extremely accurate AR and if possible, I would suggest putting the best optics you can afford on it. Spend money on the scope and save money on the canted or reflex sights. Hope that helps.

  48. Dwayne don’t take this as an attack or to berate you. You just proved Cook’s “CookieMonstas” point with this statement, “out of every gun I have ever worked on or shot CMT, STAG, LMT have the tightest fitting receivers”. That statement is a fact for you, that’s your experience. It’s not an absolute like you make it out to be. The point being You haven’t worked on or shot every gun out there. My AR isn’t on your list, but you cant get it to fit any tighter than what it is. Come on guys we’re all here to help each other. NO one is the Boss.

  49. Listen the facts are the facts. The government buys too end stuff. They use lesser value stuff for infantry. The higher up you get, the better your chances at acquiring weapons with better performance, optics and bells and whistles. The army, navy, marines and Air Force do not rely on DPMS for anything. Buying a DPMS is like buying a Craig MP3 player compaired to a iPod. They both get the job done, but lets see which one holds up better and works all the time more of the time. It’s that simple. Accu wedge? Why should you need to accu wedge any gun from factory? That should be for a gun that has been ran hard and put away wet. Much like a Harley or in this case an egotistical gunsmith’s momma!

  50. to James T. Cook. Boy can you leave long winded messages that doesn’t say or prove anything of importance. I’m sorry if i heart your feelings because i did not put your favorite guns on my list. but it is what it is. When i sate a fact it is because it IS. out of every gun i have ever worked on or shot. CMT, STAG, LMT have the tightest fitting receivers. If you don’t believe me please get a new one and SEE FOR YOUR SELF. It is the only way you can prove i am wrong and since that is what you are setting out to do. Witch you will fail at. Real gunsmiths DO KNOW FACTS. you must not be a real gunsmith if you can’t get past spec sheets and get out in the shop and do some real work with your hands. To SEE AND FEEL THE RESULTS INSTEAD OF READING ABOUT THEM. Know can we please stop with this petty messaging and get back to helping this guys.

  51. Mr Cook,
    The grip idea is going to make it better to hold on to. The barrel is 16″ and would not want to go any shorter due to the many long distance shots in competition. Yes, I will look into the stock mod and see if this is an improvment to the original stock. Thanks for your input. Be well and God Bless.

  52. Mr.Dwayne, The Hogue grip is an excellent idea and the charging handle as well. I have a 45 open sight, but can’t use the red dot 45 as we are only allowed 1 optic in Tactical Class. If I was to run the Elcan and my Aimpoint red dot I would be bumped up to Open Class. Actually the Elcan is really sweet. It goes from 6x to CQC(1x) with just a flick of a lever. 6x is well received for those 450yd. shots at a 10″ steel plate. thanks for your time and have a great wknd 🙂

  53. Clint sorry I wasn’t quicker. But I feel you can’t go wrong with the SCAR. I admit that I am still not used to it but, it’s a damn fine gun. I would suggest a bigger charging handle from HDD Tactical if, your gonna be in 3 gun competitions. They also modify a Magpul PRS stock with an aluminum adapter if your interested. If you didn’t have the Elcan I would have said go with an Aimpoint Micro H1 sight but, if ya like what ya got stick with it. You got a great gun and probably the perfect gun for 3-gun as FN sponcers that competition. Just be careful if you want to change to a shorter barrel. If you do you need to replace the restricter in the gas block to a larger size gas bushing. If someone tells you to remove the restricter altogether, don’t do it. Though it would cycle, the damage to the stock and other components due to the bolt carrier hitting it, would be a lot. Just make sure you get the appropriate size bushing for the gas block, relative to the shorter barrel size. Have fun!

  54. Clint. There are a lot of good upgrades you can do or have done. One of the first things i do is change the grip i like Hogue grips. Maybe a new charging handle. if for 3 guning. Some 45 sights or a good 45 red dot alongside your optics. And accurizing is always a good idea

  55. Dwayne, If you are offended by what I said, I don’t know what to tell you. I think anyone who has even a fraction of common sense should realize what I am saying is that you should never deal in absolutes. If you have absolute proof on who has the tightest tolerances in the industry, then show us the data, then I will accept your claim as a fact and I will apologise. If not, just be careful because, we have people who are on here] that can misconstrue your facts!! A lot of these guys on here are first time gun buyers and I believe they deserve the truth. There are no shortcuts to buying a weapon that they will be happy with. THEY, have to figure out what they like and don’t like. When we who make guns are exactly truthful with first time gun buyers, they are most likely to become second, third and fourth time gun buyers. Your message was a little garbled at the end but, I think your calling into question my credibility. 🙂 I have to smile:) See I lived in Fort Worth for 44 years. You know where Cheaper Than Dirt is located. All you have to do ….. nah I won’t do it. I don’t want to embarrass you. Think what you want. I just know what I am saying here is the truth. There are no absolutes. If you think that in some way threatens your credibility then fine. I am just trying to make sure people make an informed decision when they buy a gun or gun parts. All I asked you to do, is be careful on what you claim as facts. You want to be offended, then go ahead. What I said makes sense to me but, maybe not to you.more in a sec.

  56. Thanks for getting back to me Dwayne. Can you recommend any mods other than a new trigger that has already been replaced? I also have a very good sighting component as well. (Elcan)
    I shoot 3 Gun Competition and always looking for an advantage.
    All comments and suggestions welcome 🙂

  57. Wow, it’s very clear to me you guys have much hands on and combined knowledge of many AR platforms. I do realize it is not a typical AR platform but how does the FN SCAR 16 rate? I would like some professional opinions. Thank you.

  58. To James T. Cook. It is not a opinion. Sorry not all guns. Just all I have seen and worked on. All it takes is a little common sense. Put the gun in a vise and twist it or even in your hands. If you have been working on guns as long as you say. And as many ARs as you say and you have never noticed means to me and should to all that you have no credibility. And my not be a gunsmith it all?

  59. Dwayne, I am not a know it all and my point is, that no one is. I am not concerned with what you said about trigger pull, as much as that you said, Stag, CMT and LMT have the tightest tolerances of ANY and it’s a fact!!! Like, I said, that is an opinion and you have the right to your opinion, as do we all. If it is not an opinion then please, would you provide the data that backs up your claim. I don’t mind when people give advice based on their experiences and knowledge, I just want people to be clear and not state something as an absolute. I have been working on guns for 35 years and professionally for 20. I believe my body of work, not my years doing it speak for themselves. To say, I own so many Ar’s and have put such and such rounds through Ar’s means nothing to another gunsmith, I mean really. Depending on any given week, I can have between 15 to 40 AR’s in the shop, that I own. Does that mean anything? NOPE!! I learn something new about every week. I take factory made guns and try to improve them just like Dave Lauck of D & L Sports. He is in Wyoming and I am in Washington State. He prefers to work with Bushmaster’s and I’ll take any old thing to work on. I just want you to be careful on giving people absolutes. If someone does not share your viewpoint, then it can hurt your reputation as a gunsmith. Experience is valuable but, not as much as talent. I have seen 25 yr old gunsmiths that are almost artistic in their weapons designs and could probably show me a thing or two. If you’ve been in this industry that long, you should know that. If you don’t then I would not ever let you work on any gun of mine. Why? Because, when your talking about weapons that kill, there can be no room for pride. Humility, is what makes us (gunsmiths), double, triple and quadruple check our work to make sure that we are putting out the best possible product that we can and keeping those who trust our work safe! My humility is what I hope, makes me a trusted gunsmith. All the experience in the world means little if, I get someone hurt or a customer is not satisfied with my product or my advice. So, to review, I want you to give us your opinion, I just ask that you not claim your advice is an absolute fact. Please! The CookieMonsta

  60. I did not say rifles with a little bit of play are junk. I said DPMS are junk. I have rifles with play and some have accu-wedges. The question was about the best rifles. I have have a BCM upper and RR lower I put them together with the lower in an armorer’s vise and with a dial indicator against a 1.5″ long barrel clamp on the end of the barrel. I gently twist the barrel there is 0.010 play. Try it for yourself

  61. In response to comment160 by Dwayne, not true I have a BCM upper on RR lower and there is no play between the upper and lower. And that upper can be put on a DPMS lower and still no play. So cut the misinformation crap, the play can be taken care of with an accu-wedge. As a master gunsmith that should be your first suggestion instead of saying rifles with a little bit of play are junk.

  62. I am helping them out. The only gun i have sad is junk is DPMS. I am 61. A gunsmith for 40 years a master gunsmith for 25 years specializing in AR platform. I own 18 ARs some are good some are ok some not so good. As for what i sad about CMT, Stag and LMT is true zero play between the upper and lower receivers and. I along with about 3 other good friends and gunsmiths do believe CMT does have about the best all around combat triggers which means for long shot and cc high stress all around. But I have never shoot or done work on a sig. So what makes you think you know it all. I have shot well over 200,000 rounds through AR platforms.

  63. Alright guys, let’s all be honest so we can help these guys who are truly looking to get the best rifle for their dollar.

    Dwayne, when you say that CMT, Stag and LMT have the tightest tolerances of ANY and the best all around combat triggers, I start to doubt your credentials. You sound like a young man, with brand loyalty. All the rifles you mentioned are good rifles but, to say that they have the tightest tolerances of ANY and it’s a FACT, I have to chuckle. Show me the data that confirms your assumption. The fact is, there are a lot of good AR manufacturers out there but to say which one is absolutely the best is subjective and depends on the person and what their needs are in an AR. That and the fact that as a master gunsmith, you should know that the loose tolerances on an AK-47 is what makes it super reliable. Tight tolerances are good, but they can also be a bitch and cause a lot of jams when you cycle cheap ammo through the rifle.

    I have stated on here before the only AR I have found with reliable data, on reliability and quality is the HK. Does that make it the best rifle with the tightest tolerances, I don’t know. I just know it is a damn good rifle. But so are LaRue Tactical, LWRCi, RRA, LMT, Stag, Sig, POF (in spite of poor customer service), Bravo Company, Barrett and Daniel Defense. I have never worked on a DPMS, but it may be ok and have some good features. I suppose it depends on what kind of ammo you’re gonna run through it and in what conditions your going to do so. As an adult who is 47 yrs old, you learn to never say never, ever or that is the best period! Why? Because, it all depends on the individual and what their needs are. As a gunsmith myself, I would think that a Master Gunsmith would know that. It’s tricky thing building ARs because, it can all come down to what day was your rifle built on. Was the gunsmith having a good day or bad day. Believe it or not, little things like that can determine build quality and EVERY AR manufacturer has to deal with that even if they build the rifles themselves. I am not saying the rifles mentioned are not great, I am saying that to say one is better than another as absolute fact is subjective.

    If you wanna know what is the best rifle for YOU, here is what I suggest. Go to a gun range that allows you to fire the guns they have. Find out what you like and don’t like in an AR. Then do your homework and find out which rifles, of the ones you like best, have the best reputation and guarantee. Then find out what you can afford. You may not be able to afford the best rifles on the market the first time out. Very few of us, got the chance to own a Ferrari as their first car. Maybe you have to save a while, to get the rifle you want. There are so many factors that come down to personal preference, that only YOU know what is right for you. Now, I can suggest some well-made ARs that I BELIEVE would be excellent ARs for you to own, but the ultimate decision comes down to you. I believe giving people absolutes is naive and shows either brand loyalty or an agenda.

    One of my favorite ARs is a LWRCi PSD but somebody else may hate it. That does not mean the PSD is a bad rifle, it just means that some people don’t like it for one reason or another. I have found that RRA triggers are excellent and I haven’t found any better. Is it the best, hell if I know! For all I know there may be some obscure company in Costa Rica that makes the best and I just don’t know about them yet. Just remember to take every bit of info with a grain of salt and do your homework to find out what is best for you. Personally, I steer clear of absolutes. I think being honest about these things, helps you make a more informed decision. There are no shortcuts. Don’t let anyone, tell you what is best for you because, inevitably you will be disappointed every time. Look at it this way, why do you think that there are so many different opinions on this blog? Someone, talking up their credentials to show you they know best, is a red flag to me. My favorite food is steak but someone else may think lasagne is best.

    Now being that I could have such a different opinion from someone else, do you think I could tell them which rifle is best for them, with absolute certainty? Just think about it, that’s all.

  64. CMT, STAG and LMT have the tightest machining tolerances of any. That is fact. They also have about the best triggers for all around combat.

  65. That is correct zero movement. STAG, CMT are high tier guns with zero play. If you put your upper receiver in a vise wrong to torque the barrel nut. You will create play. Most high tier guns like LMT, CMT, STAG have little or no play also RR, LAR, DD, LWRC and so on have very little play, but all that goes out the window if you interchange upper and lower receivers.

  66. Listen guys. If you want top of the line go with Daniel Defense, LMT, YHM, Rock River etc. you pay for what you get and the machining tolerances are tighter on the ones I mentioned above compared to DPMS. Their triggers and parts kits are junk and so are their tolerances. Run 500 rounds of lake city through any top end AR and run it wet and you can shoot junk ammo out them without a hitch. Try that with a DPMS and you’ll get plenty of jams etc. pay for what you get. DPMS= Junk.

  67. Dwayne you have no movement at all between the upper and lower and when you torque the handguard and pistol grip with your arms. I’ve handled several Colts. Rock Rivers, SIGs and my DPMS is the only 1 with 0 movement. There is very little with the rr but there is some.

  68. Trey, I don’t know what negative comments (mixed reviews), you have heard about Rock River 2 stage triggers but, I will assure you, that you would have to go to Bar-Sto, to get a better trigger and maybe even then it wouldn’t be better. I believe that you can set the RRA 2 stage trigger to 2.5 lbs with no creep. I know this, I haven’t found ANY better on the AR platform. Every now and then, you will find guys that have brand loyalty and will not say brand A is better than brand B even if it is because, they have such brand loyalty. You find the same thing with car guys who like Ford or Chevy. But I promise you, you cannot go wrong with a Rock River trigger.

  69. Oh I would like to upgrade the trigger in my AR. Let me know what you think of that 2 stage RRA trigger. I have heard mixed reviews. I know they make a Battle rifle.

  70. My rifle consists of a stripped lower by spikes tactical, Delton lower parts kit, magpul trigger guard, spikes milspec H2 buffer and spring, magpul MOE milspec 6 pos. stock, magpul B.A.D, Bravo Company 16in. M4 Carbine length Upper receiver group, Bravo Company Bolt carrier group, Midwest Industry gen2 free float hand gaurd w/ monolithic top rail, magpul B.U.S, and Bravo Company charging handle. I loved putting this AR together. My other rifle is a Polyech AKS 7.62 all stock. Then there’s my Glock 21sf w/ comp trigger bar and spring, tungsten guide rod & spring, falcon grip tape, oh and of course my Zombie Hunter slide plate ;). I would def like to put together an Ak. I seen a Bulgarian parts kit selling for 289.00 I thought about it, but I am just getn caught up on bill’s from being out of work for a couple of months. Then there’s the 10/22 that I would love to get. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Im very afraid that by the time I’m back on track, its gonna be a real pain in the butt to get anything without being gouged or being available. Hopefully that’s not the case.

  71. Oh yeah there is definitely a difference in feel
    The rr has a half quad that is free floating and a match grade 2 stage trigger. The half quad adds weight but it feels balanced. What types of ars are in your closet

  72. Go to your local hardware store, and get a “o”ring from the plumbing department. 9/16 O.D X 7/16 I.D X 1/16 #41. Take this and put it around the pivot lug. You can use a credit card to get it between the lug and the receiver. You could also order a accuwedge from online, but the o-ring works as well. Most milspec AR’s have a bit of play. At least that’s what I hear. I really don’t mind a bit of slop, its easy to break down, and doesn’t effect accuracy. I would imagine going from a tighter fit it would put you off. Mine has got play between the upper and lower, Its not bad tho. Check out the wedges, and “o”rings they’ll do the trick. Congrats on the new toy!! Can you feel the difference between them by holding them? You will never regret it. Good luck.

  73. Well Dwayne and Trey I took your advice and bought an AR. It isn’t the one I mentioned but its the entry operator. It feels very nice my only disappointment is a slight amount of play between the upper and lower. I have looked at several ARs and most of them have even more than this one. It’s just that my dpms has 0 play. I know it is just being too particular but I drove 2 hrs to get it and couldn’t let that be a deal breaker. I’m thinking of changing out the pin.

  74. I remember, before I knew anything about AR’s, doing lots & lots of research, and I mean lots,I came to the conclusion that dpms was at the bottom of the list. Their are worse out there. Dwayne is giving you good advice albert. Mostly everybody is.

  75. I have been a gunsmith for 40 years. A master gunsmith for 25 years. Specializing in the AR platform. I know everything there is to know about ARs and their ammo.

  76. I’ve had 2 rifles made by dpms the sportical and the a4(m4 clone) and they have both been solid rifles and both of them shoot steel cased ammo without a hitch. If your rifle won’t shoot steel cased ammo try cleaning the chamber or trying different mags. you can add a d-fender over the spring on the extractor and change out the gas rings for a Mcfarland one piece ring set. I added those items right after buying both rifles, plus I put about 500rds of brass through both rifles before trying any steel cased ammo. not saying thats the magic ticket it’s what worked for me. and yes I would stake my life on any of my rifles, they have all seen 500rd days at the range,then they get cleaned and inspected then lubed and loaded. I did sell the sportical to a friend and ended up buying a rock river for about a grand, but that dpms is still running strong and thats all he shoots is steel cased ammo. so I don’t know what to tell dwayne, except junk don’t descibe every dpms made, and maybe it’s not the rifle or the ammo?

  77. Dont forget that even tho its a baseline model, its a battle rifle. That would-be the perfect rifle to build on and customize. If it’s a flat top, get a monolithic rail I have one and its the best look. As well as giving u plenty of rail estate, for a eotech and magnifier. (My dream setup) I can honestly say, u will not regret spending the money on that RRA. That way everything is just for look and performance, not reliability. Good luck.

  78. I see where ur coming from, but at this point in time ur gonna get bent over on just about any “tactical” purchase. That being said ur kinda at the mercy of the demand. I would probably get a milspec BCG, or maybe a whole new upper thats milspec and H2 buffer. You know for the money. On the other hand, if ur worried about not having an opportunity to get that Battle rifle. I would say, break the bank. Its a hard decision, you know what you must do and that is because of your timing for this purchase. If u have the cash, maybe keep the DPMS and get the RRA. after you have the RRA in hand you can put the DPMS on Gunbroker.com. I would think you could recoup all of ur investment plus 6-7 hundred, the way things are in demand. Then u could turn around and get a nice Eotech. Then I would be the envy. 😉

  79. I apprecate everyones opinion. I view all my guns as an investment. Im dragging my feet on the rr. It is the base line entry r4 model. It lists on their website for 1065 and the dealer isnt budging on 1600. I gave 625 for my dpms 1 month ago and im not sure this rr is worth another grand?

  80. I completely agree, its definitely a rifle to go to the range with and have fun. I would like something to have fun with, at the same time something I can trust my family’s life with. I prefer to have something battle tested and approved. And you cant go wrong with milspec. The best thing to do is do your own homework and get the best components you can for the money. Your budget. That is the reason for the season.

  81. DPMS are low-tier low-quality guns that don’t like most steel case ammo. I have owned 2 and like I said they are JUNK. Never bet your life on one

  82. Nothing wrong with DPMS the grandkids have beat the crap out of mine, and the only thing I’ve had to replace are the handguards, the stock ones were junk. I put a Leupold 2-7×33 on it and it is very accurate. like I said in an earlier post I would not dismiss a rifle because of cost. if you want a decent rifle to hunt with or to take to the range and have fun with then keep the dpms and buy a bunch of ammo. If you have the extra money and want to trade up then you can’t go wrong with Rock River they are well built and accurate too. It all boils down to how much money you are willing to spend. I try to get the best deal possible then spend the extra on ammo,and shoot as much as possible. because an empty rifle is just as useless as an untrained shooter. SEMPER FI!

  83. I have only heard good things about RRA. But to be honest I haven’t done much research on them. They definitely have a strong following. I know there fit and finish are top notch. Best of luck.

  84. Sorry to keep asking questions but im not a member on any sites. What is your thoughts on rock river arms i saw one that is available today and im thinking of trading my dpms out

  85. I would be mainly concerned with the BCG, and maybe the barrel. If you get a complete upper ur fine. Everything else is pretty much generic. And yes I would go with an H2 buffer. Good luck..

  86. Daniel Defense is awesome. A bit pricier but def worth it. Delton is also great for the money, just not milspec and the twist rate on the barrel, tho that is preference. I like a 1/7 tends to stabilize heavier rounds

  87. It all depends on your use and the job that rifle is to perform. I would be fine plinking with a DPMS, no prob. You must remember that a gun is a tool. I can go to Haurbor Freight and grab a tool for the low, and it will more than likely work for that job. Now if your a profesional, you know to go to Lowes and grab Dewalt. That is because you know it will work. Thanks to the AR being such a great design you can customize it. The receiver is just about genaric, as with most AR’s. The barrel, well unless you plan on shooting an insane amount of bullets in a sitting, I wouldnt worry with. I would look for a decent Bolt Carrier Group. I like Bravo Company. Great product, solid testing, and awesome price point(when I bought a yr ago). Keep in mind there are many great company’s out there making great product, just do your homework.
    I think the rest is a matter of prefrence, with sights, rails, grips, stocks, ect. Oh you may want to pick up a Bravo Company charging handle with that BCG when you order. Thats my 2 cents.

  88. There is alot of mixed reviews on the quality of dpms. I just bought one recently after everything down. I am debating about trading up or improving the functionality of this one. Thoughts.

  89. So, Hogan use to make the AR’s for POF, I haven’t shot a POF since 2008, so all I have to go on is the Hogan built guns, of which I knew nothing about. So, I guess in a way I have shot a Hogan AR. I think we are saying the same thing, when it comes to the govt. I’m just saying that the government sometimes goes with the lowest bidder but, in your previous comment you said ALWAYS. Maybe I mistook what your meaning was. I have not worked for the govt. since 1989 when I served in the Army. But, I do work with a lot of Spec-Ops soilders. I only know what they tell me. From what I have been told, TAACOM procures various weapon brands for various divisions in each of the different branches of service. For instance, I know that the three Seals that killed the Somali pirates, were using OBR’s. But, let me get this straight. You said earlier that Hogan was the AR you prefered most. That being the case, do you feel that POF built better guns when they were assciated with Hogan, than they do now? I had a bad experience with POF like I said earlier. It had nothing to do with the quality of their AR’s rather, it was with the way they did business. In the great gun & ammo run of 2008, following Obummer’s first innauguration, POF made people who had already made down payments on their AR’s, up their down payments to 50% or they would lose their place in line on the waiting list to get their weapons. Now your telling me that they were in a lawsuit with Hogan because, they refused to make payments to Hogan for products they had already received. I also heard, that POF CEO Mr. D (I will not mention his name), was flippant when the complaints came in on this customer service debacle. After hearing all this, why would anybody do business with them, inspite of how well they build AR’s?

  90. I have seen that vid & was proven that the person who made it, worked for POF at the time of the lawsuit. Hogan & POF were in a lawsuit because of POF failure to make payment on manufacturing of their weapons to Hogan Mfg. Today, POF has combined with Windam Weapons & a different machine shop to produce their ar’s. Hogan was actually the manufacture of POF’s guns until non payment. Now hogan builds their own & is a better gun IMO. Fit & finish is better & tolerances are much tighter, but the mechanics are still the same. Now I didn’t say before the the lowest bidder was always junk, but I work for the Govt & I do know first hand that the govt is cheap & they do use the lowest bidder on a mass production scale.

  91. Tim, what you said about the military buying from the cheapest bidder, I don’t believe is the case. I agree with you that the government goes with the lowest bidder with a lot of agencies but, not with all branches of the military. TAACOM has pretty much stopped that nonsence. Mainly because, there are so many offshoots of each branch of service, that need specialized weapons. So, TAACOM has a large list of weapons venders. The way it works now (because of Mil-spec), TAACOM takes the 10 best weapons manufacturers and then creates a short list from there. Yes, it may be true, that for one reason or another, that TAACOM will choose the vender with the cheapest price. But that’s only the case when the quality difference is negligible. Accidents will happen but, if there were a case where soilders continued to die because of inferior quality of the weapons, then the TAACOM official in charge of vendor purchasing on batch buys, would be subject to the UCMJ. Meaning who could be court marshalled. Now, I have never seen or heard of a Hogan until a couple of days ago, so I can’t speak to their relaibility. As to POF, I still have a bad taste in my mouth and still refuse to do business with them. Like I said, they make a damn fine gun. Anyhow, a video was made in 2011 and you can choose to watch it if you want. Go to, http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=439083 Go down the forum page about a third of the way, till you see the comment left by stellite. It was made Feb. 1, 2011 @ 11:44 PM. I am sure that POF has corrected this problem, I just choose not to do business with them. I am quite sure there are naysayers about every gun, I just tend to shy away from the mishaps that happened to me. MY PSD and OBR have never failed me. If they work for you, that’s all that really matters!!

  92. I know the FN Scar 16 might not be considered an AR but I have to say it is the new improved .556 of the 21st century. The Elite military picked for its fit and form, as well as its function on the battlefield. Save your money and buy the best. It has also proven itself at the 3 Gun National Championships. Lightweight and proven over and over by professionals as well as civilians. The proof is in the pudding 🙂

  93. It seems like almost none of you know what you are talking about. LMT, and CMT are buy far the BEST. All of you need to shoot a wide range of guns.

  94. That’s not true at all, James… The mlitary ALWAYS goes for the lowest bidder & that is a FACT… They never go with the highest quality products as hey cost more. With that being said, you are correct on it all boils down to which is your favorte for accuracy & reliability. Mine are 1: Hogan/POF (hands down) 2: LaRue 3: LWRCI. The Hogan has a better build quality these days, since POF has a different manufacture building them. Just my two cents.
    T

  95. I totally agree with you Dave… POF is a GREAT ar & is dead nuts accurate & realiable. I have a POF & two Hogans as well as LWCI’s & LaRue’s… With that being said, the POF & Hogan ar’s are the BEST in quality & accuracy. I combat train on a regular basis & if I had to choose one, it would have to be the Hogan or POF. Simpy put “THEY NEVER FAIL”!!!! Well I have yet to have one fail with any kind f ammo, steel or brass cased… However My next ones will be A Noveske & LMT & i’m pretty excited to put those through their paces. Good shooting everyone & God bless.
    T

  96. I think the POF-USA is a damn fine gun. However, to say that it will out last all others is a bit much. It would outlast a LaRue Tactical, an LWRCI, Bravo Company, Rock River,Barrett,CMMG,Daniel Defense,Heckler & Koch, Lewis Machine & Tool, Sig, Noveske, Stag, Les Baer and lastly the indestructible Anderson (the Glock of AR’s). Everybody has their favorite, that goes without saying. Everybody on here gave their reasons why and reliability was high on many comments. But to say that a POF-USA will outlast them all, is just to magnificent a claim to leave alone. Recently, a friend sent me an endurance test that the U.S. Army did on a Heckler & Koch 45 .45ACP semi-auto pistol. The Army put 50,000 rounds through the HK, only cleaned it 7 times throughout the testing and the only thing that needed to be replaced was a spring on the magazine release. None of the other .45ACP pistols which included Sig, FNH, Colt, Taurus, Wilson Combat and many others got past 30,000 rounds. the one criteria was that they had to be high capacity 45’s. Meaning they had to hold at least 10 rounds of .45ACP. Now HK may be able to claim they can outlast all others but, for POF-USA to be able to make this claim, I would like to see similar testing before, I would make a statement like that. I submit that if declaration about the POF were the case, the U.S. Military would make the POF-USA standard issue. Your on a thread Dave, with guys that know there AR’s. I myself am a gunsmith. I don’t claim to know it all cause nobody can and gunsmithing is such a specialized profession. But I can point out brand exuberance when I see it. Like I said, POF-USA is a damned fine AR and I doubt anyone would regret buying one. But let’s leave it at, It’s your favorite!!! I have also seen the endurance testing on HK AR’s and I doubt many manufacturers would take up that challenge. I don’t own an HK cause, I like my AR’s to be real accurate. My OBR is Sub-Moa past 100 yards. But I would also say, that an HK is as close to AK reliability as an AR can get, for now anyways!! So, that being said, let’s try this again. For various reasons, accuracy being the most important to me my 3 favorite AR’s are 1.) LaRue Tactical, LWRCI and Rock River. What are your 3 favorites Dave?

  97. Really?.. Not one mention of the POF-USA P-415?!.. IT IS BEYOND NICE, lightest shooting, easily one of the most reliable, and will outlast all others.
    Short stroke piston is excellent!.. only draw back, price.

  98. I have a DPMS, Rock River and a BCM upper on a Rock River lower with a match grade trigger and they are all shooters. I bought them to shoot and they all get their turn being used and abused for my enjoyment. All three rifles will shoot steel ammo, surplus, handloads, and rejects of any kind we don’t put up with slackers, I have three grandkids that love to shoot and I can’t afford to buy top of the line ammo so I buy what I can get on the cheap. All I can say is if your AR won’t shoot steel ammo there is a problem somewhere along the line, Hornady is making steel cased match grade ammo and selling for $23.00 a box, go figure. As far as quality, you can tell the Rock River and BCM are better quality than the DPMS but that DPMS has been a very reliable rifle. I like the BCM best because it has a faster twist rate and the match grade trigger, next the Rock River it has a 1/9 twist but will still shoot 75 grain bullets, and then the DPMS and that’s only because it does not shoot the 75 grain bullets very well, but shoots everything else so it is still a good rifle in my book. Price wise the Rock River and the BCM right around a grand the DPMS less than $800. I would not dismiss a certain brand of rifle based on price I’ve seen some expensive rifles that had to be babied just to get through a couple hundred rounds, and those guys would never even dream of putting that dirty Russian ammo in their baby.

  99. Bill shhhhhh, dude you got a good deal. Who is your gun guy? I need a couple of Homey don’t ya know me’s, thrown my way:)As I am 47 and sex isn’t the be all, end all that it use to be, I sit up late at night, hands behind my head, thinking/ dreaming about which AR’s, Bolt-Action rifles. semi-auto pistols and shotguns I want. The two guns I want most on my wish list are, the Barret M107A .50cal. semi-auto rifle with 10-10 round magazines. The other is a Bolt-Action .408 Cheytac rifle. But I feel I am in a race against time. As each of these guns will cost around $15,000.00 after adding scope, base and rings. As a person of limited means, I wonder if I will be able to save up enough money before, our vile Dicktator, will take that right away from me. If I could only find Alladin’s lamp or a Fairy Godmother and were given three wishes. Hell I would only need one. I wish all Liberals and people who hate America lived on MARS, NOW!!!! Suddenly a sound like a toilet bowl flushing is heard and then POOOOOOOOOFFFFFFF!!!! All those that want to infringe on our rights were gone!!! Oh well I can dream can’t I? I wish all of you, will be able to keep your guns and buy a lot more in the future, with unlimited amount of cheap ammo and magazines that hold 200 rounds:) Goodnight my fellow lagally gun owning Americans!!!

  100. I guess I haven’t been paying attention the AR pricing.
    $1700—I have the Sig556 SWAT about 3 years and sticker price
    on it was $2399.00.I was lucky with rebate of $500
    and had my gun guy sell it for $1875.
    So $1375 is a good price.
    I’m a Vietnam Veteran but was never a AR guy. I never understood why they would built a rifle needing bolt asset or what to buy one.
    It all comes down to what a person likes.
    I’ll keep the SIG but if I had to do it all over again, I would take a
    long good at Bullpup.

  101. Not a problem James. You won’t be disappointed with Hogan in any way. They aren’t cheap, but it’s money well spent. You can get them from dealers for arond $1700. Also I agree with you 100% on your opinions. We need to band together & stay steadfast in our rights & beliefs. I know James Yeager is kinda crazy, but I packed a bag, guns are clean & mags are full… LOL!!! Good luck everyone…

  102. You cannot go wrong with any Sig period. I recently bought a Sig P226 Navy M25 and put 1200 rounds through it, before I cleaned it and never had a hickup. I want to say Thanks to Tim G. I had never heard of Hogan AR’s, I will have to check them out. That is if I still can before Commrade Obamalama our current DICKtator, makes it illegal to get one!! It more than disturbs me, that instead of fighting this take over of power, gun owners seem to have the mindset, that they are gonna buy as many guns as they can, while it is still legal!! Shouldn’t we gun owners be fighting this tooth and nail? This sham of a president, is going to break the law of the land, by trampling our Constitution. He is seeking to due away with our 2nd ammendment rights!!! Does ANYONE honestly think, that Obama will stop there? Could it be the First ammendment is next? Come one, Really, were gonna go out with a whimper? We’re just gonna lay down and let them destroy our country? I hear plenty of folks that say, “If someone from the government comes to my house and tries to take my guns, they won’t like what they get!” Really? Don’t you think if it comes to that, it’s to late already? Also, that sounds so selfish to me!!! So, by that rationale, that person would not care if his neighbor was having his guns taken away, only if HIS guns were being threatened, would he take action!!! United we stand, Divided we fall!!! If we do not band together and take action, we WILL have our gun rights taken away from us!!! We can either choose to stand up now or we can lay down later as all good sheep do!!!

  103. I have no idea which one is the best or what should be on or off the list.
    But the complains I hear from the guys in my club is from braking down and
    cleaning. I would think there are some out there that don’t need tools.
    SIG556 – all that is needed is fingers to completely field strip the rifle.

  104. I like all ARs, but if I’m going to spend the money… I’d spend it on a Hogan because of the quality that goes into building each one… Their customer support is second to none as well if you ever have any problems. My http://www.hoganguns.com/h-223/hr223sa-14.html Has been the smoothest & best shooting ar that i’ve EVER owned or shot for that matter. Never had one malfunction of any kind & it is super accurate. I like it better than my LWRCI’s & LaRue’s… Just my opinion though & you know what they say about opinions… LOL!!! Good shooting everyone.

  105. Try putting some cheap or reloaded ammo in that Bushmaster and you’ll see the difference. Bushmaster does make good AR’s, that is why they are preferred by D & L Sports, when they upgrade AR’s. But if accuracy and reliability (when using cheaper loads) are a concern, then you might rethink assessment. If your using it for Varmint hunting and target practise (with quality ammo), then no worries.

  106. I got a Bushmaster XM15-E2S back in 2008, chose it over others because it was the lowest price, $800, by just a few dollars. I could not see any difference in quality among the various brands that make one better than another, at least for non-heavy-duty use. I would have gotten a Kel-tec SU-16 except it seemed flimsier in comparison to AR-15s while the dealer’s price was only a few dollars less than the Bushmaster.

  107. First of all, i agree that bigger is better. Almost all of my handguns (including my CCW) are .45s. Also, I did quite a bit of research before buying my first AR. I ended up getting a Daniel Defense M4V4. I put an EoTech and 3x magnifier on it. I was so impressed with it that I bought a second one. This time I got a M4V5, which has a lot more rail space, which I wanted in order to use a scope. I put a Leopold MK4 2.5-8×32. These ARs ROCK!!!! Unlike a lot of manufacturers, DD makes ALL of its own parts and does HP and MPI testing on each individual part. Some of you say a cheap AR is just as good as an expensive one…you’re wrong!!! Using the best materials and performing thorough, state of the art testing (on EACH part, as opposed to batch or random testing…or no testing) is expensive! Like it or not, ARs are no different than anything else…you get what you pay for!!! Unless you DIY using high quality parts.

  108. Oops! I guess I meant Trooper Smith. Reading through all the comments I guess I got confused, sorry CavScout! I agree MEMEME with you about the cost of shooting and usually plink with a lower caliber weapon. Though, if I find myself in a situation where I have to ever defend myself, I would be using the big stuff. I do practice a lot with my PSD and OBR. I found that when I always practise with a smaller caliber weapon I get the flinches as I move to the big stuff. There was a time in my life when I had not taken anything larger than a .22-250 Rem. in over 9 months, to the range. When I went to the range to sight in my .300WSM, I noticed that I was flinching. After about 25 of 200 rounds that I shot that day, I was ok. But, it taught me a lesson to prepare and be comfortable with the gun you will defend yourself with. I thought I could just go out and shoot it like I had always done. Trust me that was not the case. I wasn’t even prepared for the noise and I was wearing earplugs!! Now, because of that lesson, I try and shoot most of my larger caliber guns at least once a month. Don’t think I’m a panzy for being honest about noise and recoil. I am a big fella and I served in the military (not during combat). You don’t get the name CookieMonsta from being small. I just believe in being honest about things like, yes it hurt to get my one tatoo, that’s why I only have one. I am just a big proponent of larger caliber weapons when it comes to defense. I have read to many articles and heard to many stories from those who have been in dangerous situations, where a small caliber weapon did not do the job. I am from Texas, but now live in Washington state. I still remember a story about a cop from Fort Worth, that used his back-up weapon a( .380ACP ), that shot a criminal six times center mass and then was killed himself when, he was shot twice by the criminal’s .357Mag. I know we should all use the gun we got, but if there is a choice, I just prefer to let people know the facts. I have friends that have bought guns and have used them once or twice and think their ready if an assault happens. Their not!! But, it was my fault for not looking more closely. Sorry, if I offended you. The CookieMonsta

  109. CookieMonsta,i’m not knockin ya, but why would you direct that to CavScout? It sounds to me like both of you think alike,i have a 5.56,I’m in the process of 7.62. I would only have a 308,but like alot of folks,I cant afford to shoot one like i can a 5.56, + it’s been killen folks just fine for a loooog time.Im sure most folks with any sense of physics would rather take a 7.62 into combat than a 5.56 especially now with the control you can tune them to.

  110. This responce is to CavScoutDM. I agree with you about long range firepower. I believe the best way to handle a threat is to eliminate it before you become a target yourself. I also concur about using a shotgun at close range. However, I do disagree with you about the .556 round. Have you ever been in an armed conflict? I am not trying to boast or be demeaning, as I have never been in an armed conflict myself but, I have had relatives that have spent long hours explaining to me what goes on during a battle with firearms. The U.S. government made a grave mistake when they changed the military’s preferred sidearm from a .45ACP to a .9mm. There is empirical data to prove it. Here is why. I would not want to be shot with a pellet gun but, I would probably survive it. Yes, a .556 round can kill a man easy but, what could one human being do to another in the time it took them to die is the question? A larger caliber obviously is more fatal and takes less time to kill than a smaller caliber. I have heard of stories of men during war taking up to 17 bullet wounds in a single encounter and still living. Certainly not normal but, it did happen. There are stories of trench battles between U.S. soldiers and German soldiers during World war I, that bare out my argument. Many of the U.S. veterans that fought in WWI, have written down and spoke of instances in battle, were they were shot up to 9 times and prevailed because, they only needed one shot to end the conflict. I know shot placement is a huge factor but, when under the extreme duress of close combat, we don’t always have the opportunity or the wearwithal to make a precise shot. It may happen that in the future you find yourself in a battle for your life or your loved ones. Lets say that you shoot an aggressor 3 times center mass, Maybe they die, maybe they don’t. It could be that they live 5 to 10 more seconds to deliver a fatal shot themselves. There is no gaurantee that the same thing would not happen with a larger caliber either but, I believe as the caliber size increases the chance of that happening decreases. The shock value of larger calibers is extremely traumatizing to the human anatomy. It is a precarious question for sure with no absolutes. However, if it comes to the survival of myself or the people I care about, I try to leave as little to chance as possible. So, when I have a choice of doing battle with aggressor that would do me or my family harm, I will not be using anything smaller than a .308 Win. Just food for thought/ The CookieMonsta

  111. Everyone has their own ideas and experiences with AR’s just like any other firearm. I have been an AR owner since 1979, with my first being a Colt. Loved it, sold it, moved on. I currently own what I think is a fantastic AR, the Smith and Wesson TS. It has a 14.7″ chrome lined barrel, Smith Vortex flash hider welded on giving it the 16″ minimum length necessary, 1:7 twist, and a 15″ Troy TRX rail. This rail is great, as it gives you a nice long sight radius that you would expect to see on a rifle-length, not a carbine-length, AR. Flip up Magpul back up sights, Magpul stock and grip as well. I added a Magpul enhanced trigger guard. For me this is the perfect set up.

    A good friend of mine bought the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 and loves it. I too think it’s a great, value packed rifle. Love the 1:8 twist, Melonite inside-and-outside barrel. A great compromise for lighter and heavier bullets. He has changed the standard A2 grip over to a Magpul and may change out the handguard, only because of the possibility of a small rail. Personally I love the narrowed S&W handguard over the standard M4 style which I find very bulky, and I have large hands.

    Lots of choices out there, from barrel lengths (twist rates, chromed or not, fluted, tapered, etc., etc.), rails, handguards, triggers, direct impingement/piston, grips, sights, flash hiders/muzzle brakes, and the list goes on especially when it comes to how you want to modify and configure your rig down the road.

  112. I build all of OUR (my family) AR’s from components. Generally it comes down to quality and affordability. My AR’s are all built from CMMG stripped lowers. They fit most uppers fine and LPK’s fit and fubction just fine.DPMS LPK’s have little to be desired as out of the last 10, I have had to clean up 4 before polishing. I have built with DSA uppers (which I am not really enamored with) that have had some “aligning” to do but the components are reasonable for a “first AR”. I am however a BCM and Del-Ton fan.

    Both of my Daughters uppers are Delton completes, CMMG lowers, Timney triggers with stock springs, detents, selectors, Etc. Magpul furniture to their likings and….Oh, dont forget that wonderful (sarchasm) bullet button. These are great AR’s and built for less than $825 each.

    My ‘ol lady’s is JD machine upper with a myriad of copmponents on a M&P lower with same components as our daughters (we have 4 by the way)

    All in all it comes down to what works, several thousand rounds down the road and the only casualty was an ejector from a bolt I bought at a gun show. All are accurate and have proven to be reliable.

    Whatever you do, be a $3000 snob or bargan builder. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and most of all, get out and become proficient!

  113. E. Stoner was not the one who wanted the .556 round there Trooper Smith. He submitted his AR-10 in 7.62X51 (or 308Win) to the Military for the M-1 replacement trials. The MILITARY (McNamara)were the ones responsible for the .556 caliber. After much testing in fact, the 55gr M193 round fired from a 20″ 1X12 twist barrel produced such devastating, nasty wounds that it was declared inhumane! Thus the adaptation of the 62gr SS109 round. BTW, I hear alot of people deride the .556 caliber and I myself prefer my AR-10 if I have to fight but, I have NEVER met anyone who wanted to stand and be shot with the .556 caliber. Maybe you are the guy who wants to try that? I mean you said you are not an AR fan and don’t like the .556 round for anything but varmints….

  114. As to: Winchester 70 & Remington 700
    The question goes on & on , which is better??
    I have 700 Remington 30-06 & 70 Winchester .270
    My groups are tighter with the 270 at 300yards and that as far as I’ll go.
    The debate goes on ————————–forever.

    ~BEST~
    BILL————————->

  115. I gotta say this. I’m not an AR fan by any stretch. They’re OK if that’s what you like and can hit with, but I can engage a guy with an AR and take him out way before he is range to respond. He probably wouldn’t even hear the shot. My all-time personal favorite is my trusty old M-1C Garand. I also like the M-14. My philosophy is not to waste a round. I don’t fire unless I know I will hit. Who needs a 60 rd mag when you’re knocking them down at 800 yds? Nobody knows where you are and they certainly will not see me – or shoot at me. I would rather not be the target of return fire. What for? Somebody might get lucky. At close range, a 12 ga does just fine. One with a rifled barrel will get you out to 150 yds with slugs. At very close range my 1911 does just fine. Nobody gets up after 2 .45 rounds hit him. Did I get your attention? Keep it as one-sided as possible for as long as possible. ARs are OK for fire suppression or when fire volume is needed, but a regular guy with an M1 or an M14 zeroed at about 240 yds will give hits using iron sights out to about 450 yds.without holding over.

  116. Hellooo??? LWRC, not in the list, Seekins Precision, not in the list, POF, not in the list, JP, not in the list, LaRue OBR, NOT IN THE FRIGGIN LIST???!!!

    I agree the LMT should be, but scrap the colt, as the new pony gun is unproven and the BCM is only there for the gunfighter handle. Don’t get me wrong, I have the BCM handle in my Seekins and wouldn’t trade it for anything, but that alone doesn’t make a great rifle.

    Now as to building your own, I take great issue with the “build it cheap” approach. Why would you put in the effort to build a piece of crap? Even if your budget is tight, you are better served to slow down, take your time, and buy quality components. Yes you can use forged receivers, but PLEASE do not go cheap on 3 things: barrel, bolt and trigger. If you just make sure those components are good quality, you will have a rifle that will perform well out of the box. Skimp here and you will hate it.

    Good barrels can be had from Wilson Yankee Hill and Noveske.
    Spikes has a great Nickel Boron bolt carrier group.
    Timney and Gieselle both make fantastic triggers.

    Certainly there are other good manufacturers out there, but the point is DO YOUR HOMEWORK and build a quality rifle.

  117. Really! not one of my favorite AR’s are on your list. I know the article is subjective but, you did say best. No mention of Rock River or LWRCI. Did cost come into your factoring? I don’t have a problem with any of the AR’s you mentioned but, I would take my LWRCI PSD over your LMT everyday of the week!! Definately taking my Rock River Arms Lar-15 Varmint A4 over one I build myself. I really thought LWRCI would make that list. I have owned at least one of your top AR’s at one time or another and I just never felt that any was worthy of my PSD!! Guess I’ll have to go to the gunrange this weekend to see if my opinion has changed:) I guess I should while I still can:(

  118. SCAR is not accurate at distince its a piston gun but is a good gun and the A in AR stands for Armalite and the R stands for Rifle so AR stands for Armalite Rifle

  119. SCAR is not accurate at distince its a piston gun and the A in AR stands for Armalite and the R stands for Rifle so AR stands for Armalite Rifle

  120. I don’t understand how the FNH SCAR 16 light isn’t included on this must have list for 2012. I picked one up just after the election and I couldn’t be any happier with just about every aspect of the rifle.

  121. I checked on the products that are mentioned in this log. The DD AR 16 is no longer carried and the Colt and the BCM M4 are out of stock and cannot be back ordered, so this maybe good for info but for purchasing from CTD forget it.

  122. Im a happy camper with my ArmaLite AR 15! It is a misnomer tho, It aint exactly ‘lite.’
    This is a good thing. Several models mentioned in this article, and may I say more expensive ones, dont have the ‘metal’ to stand rapid fire without loss of accuracy.
    This rifle is accurate. Am always amused with ArmaLite’s advertising spin that its a 2″-3″ MOA. Drunk or sober Im sure you wouldnt go much off 1.5″ at 100 yards. Do they do this to make it like the blind date you feared to go out with and upon seeing her almost lost it right there? I bought mine from a gun dealer pal for $699.00. Its hard to get a good steak anymore for that price! Yeah, new in the hard shell case. Anyone who doesnt like this rifle needs a reality check as does whoever wrote this article! Where’s the beef? It is definitely in the ArmaLite and the lifetime warranty doesnt hurt.

  123. I put together a nice AR that runs like a freaking champ. You can’t go wrong with any of these weapons listed by the poster. Here is what I am shooting with and it is awesome.
    LMT Defender lower w/ Sopmod stock.
    VLTOR single point tactical sling adapter
    LMT Cutsom Grip
    LMT Stage 2 Trigger Assembly
    Bravo Company Mod 4 Charging Handle
    Chrome Molly Bolt Carrier Group
    Daniel Defense Lightweight 1:7 twist Chrome Lined 5.56/ 223 barrel
    Daniel Defense Mid Length Gas System
    13″ Troy Battle Rail
    VLTOR Flash Suppressor
    Magpul Front Vertical Handgrip
    EoTech XPS2

    Save your money and buy a complete Lower from Texas and then find a great upper assembly and either buy it from a custom builder or build one piece by piece yourself. DPMS, Bushmaster are junk. Why spend close to 800 on a full out piece of trash when you can spend about 1,100 total and get a damn Ferrari or Lamborghini? Spend the money up front and you can’t go wrong. Run them wet as hell and only use the best ammo for at least the first 500 rounds. AR’s only jam from idiots running cheap ass Tul-Ammo ammunition from Wal-Mart through their guns to break them in. Seriously, Use Lake City, Federal Ammunition XM-193 through your 5.56 for the first 500 rounds and you can run any shit ammo through them later with minimal jams. I also suggest running Slip 200- EWL lubricant oil in the gun. It forms a bond with the components of the bolt carrier assembly and barrel and makes cleaning the gun out not much of a chore after the first 3 or so cleanings. It is magic on these guns. Now go out and pray that this dumbshit Obama doesn’t take away our AR’s.

  124. I think you overlooked my AR-15 as the one that should be in definitive list,Because I bought it ,it’s mine,I say it’s the best and nobody else knows nothin.

  125. I don’t know where it fits in the order, but may I add Smith&Wesson’s M&P-T ? The latest iteration of this gun is a real step up. It has a good 1/8 twist free float barrel that I like. It’s also made by a very experienced company. You may want to trick it out a bit. But I think this makes a fine base rifle.
    It’s also worth mentioning again that almost none of us needs to shave .5 seconds off our target acusition time. These are plinking guns. I have had the displeasure of seeing men fight, and in my opinion, gun choice was not as big a factor as training.

  126. Just to mention one thing, you can get a Del-ton sport DTI-15 in 5.56 for $650. Mil spec gun for a great price and reliable, not everyone wants to spend the time(though more enjoyable) to look for parts and attempt an assemble.

  127. It’s really hard to consider the .223 as a serious personal defense caliber. (Yes I have some.) It is marginal at best for humans and way underpowered for many of the larger 4-legged beasts that can also eat you. It is very deadly on groundhogs though.

  128. stag model 8 is a very good gun for a piston gun my dad has one. Piston guns are not as accurate as a direct impingement gun at distince. but are very relieable you can dump sand in to them and they will still fire every time

  129. to joe buy a Stag Arms (CMT) i have sevin myself five of them have the Plus Package i have had 4 FTF out of about 14.000 rounds Stag Arms are very good guns thay are top tier guns and are true mil-spec CMT has been bilding for military for a long time

  130. I am big on the AK. I have owned five, and currently stick firm with my Polish underfolder AKMS, my RPK and wanting the same kind of reliability of a piston, and power-I got the Ruger SR 6.8SPC while it was still available in one whole package. I have nothing but the best to say on it. And with the SF issue rounds, it goes through a 4×4, into oak trees and blows them apart and down they go. I’m extremely happy. My only 5.56? The Kel Tec PLR-16 pistol as a PDW. It never fails either.

  131. I finally built my own AR. I had bought a basic 5.56 AR and had some fun but I wanted to build one and have more punch. I bought a .300 AAC Blackout upper from Red X Arms and a stripped lower at a gun show. the rest of the parts I got from CHeaper Than Dirt, but did go back to Red X Arms for an inexpensive BCG and charging handle. The only part of the whole thing that got me confused was the two main springs in the lower for the Trigger etc. Once I found the video and got them turned around right… it was a breeze. Shoots great and accurate. I had a ton of .223 Rem brass that I cut down and started loading the .300 Blackout myself. Since it uses the same mags and bolt as the 5.56, the .300 Blackout is a fun choice for a second AR. Just remember that most gun stores are not going to stock the .300 Blackout ammo. I couldn’t even find it at TWO gun shows.

  132. Spikes Tactical stripped lower, Spikes buffer, Delton lower parts kit, Bravo Co. upper reciever group, Bravo Co. bolt carrier group, Bravo Co. charging handle, Magpul stock, & B.A.D., and a nice free float tube. Your in the money. I love my rifle, and put my life as well as my girls lives on it. Oh and as far as AK, cant beat my Polyteck AKS 7.62

  133. I’ve wanted an Ar for a while then I went out shooting with a couple of friends one had a bushmaster I think the other was a colt and they jammed up so many dam times I thought bushmaster was a good gun and guess how many time my AK jammed up that’s right not one but I still want an AR but I want one that will not jam up looking any suggestion

  134. To Donny Trahan, it’s funny you talk about DoubleStar like they are hardcore… That shit is air soft, bought off Ebay grade parts, lol. And to the guy the mentioned “why no front sight included on the DIY build, the complete upper has the standard front sight post, duh!

    And to everyone commenting on the FN or M249 barrels, look into PSA(palmetto state armory) for the same barrels for much less than you’ll pay elsewhere. They ARE m249(or machine gun steel like some call it) barrels made by FN but for PSA. No sense overpaying just for a prima Donna name stamped on the barrel.

    That being said, I would rock a BCM, Noveske, LTM or DD anyday if I had an extra $1000 to spend on an AR… But my frankenbuilt PSA will hang with any of them any day of the week. And has outshot them all at the range at one time or another. A great shooter with an ok AR will beat the ok shooter with a great AR everyday. I’ll spend my money i saved building mine on ammo and practice.

  135. Little suprised Spikes Tactical isn’t on this list. Just ordered mine; full Milspec, low shelf, M16 bolt, nickel boron coated bolt carrier & trigger group, as well as a M249 (Noveske) machine gun barrel and Troy flip up front & rear battle sights.

  136. Fairly new to ARs…I bought a Windham Weaponry (the original Bushmaster people in Maine)….very economical and performs very well. No ejection problems, feed problems or anything else in a couple of thousand rounds….only problem is the guy (me) pulling the trigger…my accuracy needs work….but it will scare the daylights out of someone if needed….and who knows…enough rounds and I’ll get some on the mark! lol

  137. I’m an AR snob but I agree completely with Bravo Company leading the pack. I also agree that no piston guns be on the list.

  138. I have a DPMS fired over 7000 rounds through it havent had any problems with it, it is quite accurate and I was rough on it with the last few thousand rounds still runs flawlessly only paid $800 for it. That’s my 2 cents

  139. I disagree with your assertion that most arms started with the military or police and filtered down. Hunters in Germany were using rifled muskets long before the military used them. Civilians were carrying Lever guns with mettallic cartridges before the military was even using mettallic cartridges, much less repeating arms. The first semiautos were used by civilians decades before the military got their garand etc SO id say the private market drove the Police and Military not the other way around

  140. I 100% agree with this.
    STAG has been making parts for many big name gun companies for MANY years. I have used the colt and the STAG 2t out performed it in many ways. Whoever says STAG is commercial at best is a fool that doesn’t read ALL the reviews. STAG has made plenty for colt in it’s history

  141. STAG has been making parts for many big name gun companies for MANY years. I have used the colt and the STAG 2t out performed it in many ways. Whoever says STAG is commercial at best is a fool that doesn’t read ALL the reviews. STAG has made plenty for colt in it’s history

  142. Barrett REC7, all the way Baby!I’m prior service (U.S.ARMY) Lifetime Shooter and Hunter, and I’ve never owned a finer rifle in my life! I also shoot a DPMS LR308AP4, subMOA all day long!

  143. My dpms recon 16 is all I need. Only malfunction was due to a crappy USGI mag(rectified by magpul ) . Ran 200 rds of federal, burnt out the lube, then ran 200 rds of Tula ammo just to muck it up. Didn’t clean it for a month. Took it out, no lube, burnt another 200 rds of Tula. No malfunctions. My weapon in basic (a colt) jammed more on me than my Recon(which hasn’t), and it was brand new.

  144. So long as you stay away from BLACKTHORNE PRODUCTS, you can build a great
    M4!!!! I use Doublestar now and the quality is top-tier
    And customer service is too!!!! Definitely can’t say that about BLACKTHORNE PRODUCTS!!!

  145. Shooting Illustrated
    By Guy Sagi (RSS)
    February 28, 2011

    The REC7’s hammer-forged, chrome-lined, 16-inch barrel is tipped with an A2-style flash hider. It’s free floated within a Daniel Defense AR15 Lite Rail 9.0 quad fore-end. Attachment points for aftermarket gear are numerically indexed to speed removal and replacement to previous configurations. The gun ships with three rail covers that have a rubbery feel. Some who handled the gun said they didn’t like them, but I do. Their black, slick-looking finish gives the gun a more modular look when they’re attached and they feel great to the touch.
    One of the big differences in the REC7 is the bolt carrier, which is machined from a monolithic block of 8620 steel. It features an integral piston strike face, which means there’s one less part to rattle loose during heavy use.
    A six-position Magpul adjustable stock allows shooters to tailor length of pull to their needs. While the stock’s adjustments are positive, I found getting a good cheek weld—as I looked through the Leupold 6.5-20×50 mm LR/T riflecope I mounted for testing—to be something of a challenge. That fix is fast and easy, but this was a loaner gun.

    The REC7’s 16-inch barrelis fully free floated in a Daniel Defense quad-railed fore-end.
    Both the upper receiver and lower receiver are forged from 7075 aluminum and hard-coat anodized. The REC7 ships with two magazines, three rail covers and a tactical soft case.
    Removing the piston for cleaning was a snap—yet another testiment that this gun runs clean. After range sessions with some piston guns, I’ve had to hold the gun muzzle down and work the charging handle several times so the bolt carrier could jar the grungy piston free. That wasn’t the case with the REC7. Removing the nitrided gas regulator was also easy, although the retaining pin is far from glove friendly.
    The fire-control mechanism was a little stingy at first, although I could feel it starting to loosen up during testing. I attribute that mostly to the carbine being brand-new. Were it my gun, I’d strip it apart and lubricate liberally.
    The beveled magazine well sped my reloads, as advertised, and the generous Magpul triggerguard is plenty big for gloved use.
    The REC7 chambered in 5.56 NATO more than lives up to its acronym, Reliability-Enhanced Carbine (REC). Producing one of the cleanest bolt-carrier groups I’ve seen after testing, it undoubtedly will require less maintenance and attention than most other ARs. It’s a pleasure to shoot, has the kind of accuracy guaranteed to challenge even the best marksman and it’s good looking enough to be seen with in public.

    Action Type: Gas-operated, semi-automatic
    Caliber: 5.56 NATO
    Capacity: 30 rounds
    Barrel Length: 16 inches
    Rifling: 5 grooves; 1:7-inch RH twist
    Stock: Adjustable, six-position Magpul
    Sights: None, Picatinny rail for mounting optics
    Trigger Pull Weight: 6.75 pounds
    Length: 33.375 inches
    Weight: 7.62 pounds

    I just received this rifle and it’s everything I expected it would be from Barrett. IMHO it should have been on the list. It is a more expensive rifle and they are hard to come by with Barrett being backlogged on their production. For me I want a weapon that I can count on under the most harsh conditions especially when I faced with the threat of mindless aggressors.

  146. DMPS Sportical – $545, Quadrail, foregrip, cheap sights $45, Total $590

    That leaves me with something the $1200 AR owner will not have. $600 worth of mags and ammo.

    If you are using your AR like the military – high rate of fire for supression while artilary, air, or flanking gets to work – then yes, you need a high end, heavy barrel gun to deal with all that heat.

    I’m not sure I could rapid fire three mags (90 rounds) without overheating my gun at the risk of damaging the barrel – but it cools quickly.

    In a SHTF scenario, however, I’m not going to have artillary, airsupport, or a dozen marines to flank the bad guys. I’m going to actually have to aim and shoot the enemy – and that is a task that does not need rapid fire and the cost associated with it.

    If I need 30 rounds it is because there were at least 10 of them – and if I am 1 vs. 10 armed men, no gun is going to save me. My cheap DMPS will happily live up to any SHTF scenario you could survive. It would not hold up to modern military tactics of supress and support.

  147. I carried a Colt M-16A2 for 10 years in the Army. (Great trigger, great shooter)
    I carried an FN M-16A2 for 10 years in the Army. (Horrible trigger, good shooter)
    I own a gun store. I have accounts with EVERY major manufacturer and distributor. I can purchase anything I want at dealer cost.
    My 5.56 rifle is an Olympic Arms K3B-M4-A3-TC with a free floated stainless barrel.
    My 7.62 rifle is a DPMS AP4 LR-308 with a free floated chrome-moly barrel.
    I will sell you a high dollar gun all day long if that’s what you want.
    I’m not an “operator” and I suspect many mall ninjas aren’t either. I’m a shooter.
    My rifles go bang every time a pull the trigger and hit what I aim at.

  148. The next ar I’m getting is a Barrett rec7. This gun is awsome in 8″ barrel just got to wait for 200 ATF stamp to get in for sbr and suppressor

  149. You CTD folks are mighty brave. Talking about AR’s is like discussing religion and politics. Everybody has a “opinion” based on less than scientific observations. However, they write their opinion as if it were absolute fact. And, many get as mad as hades if you dare disagree with their choices. Some AR users don’t even know that there are less than a dozen manufacturer’s make all of the uppers and lowers used by “name brand companies,” who sell AR’s under their name.

    Two or three years ago, when it was nearly impossible to even find an AR to purchase, I placed a special order for a Rock River carbine. I’ve spent lots of time with this rifle, and can’t fault it in any way. The fit and finish is top notch. The upper and lower fit is “Rock” solid. If I were to believe all of the bad mouthing that some shooters so to Rock River, a fix would be easy. Just go to the BCM site and purchase a complete bolt carrier group. Keep the group that came with the rifle as a backup. The Rock River barrel is, or was, built by Wilson. Wilson makes good barrels that will shoot.

    I’ve also built my own AR’s using stripped lowers from a couple of companies, and finishing it with parts. I even drive from Rowlett to McKinney and purchase some of the parts from CTD. You have a salesman up there that really knows AR’s, and I value his reaffirmation as to what works best. I never go there without doing my homework. I go to Bravo Company and purchase an upper of my choice…one with flash hider, A2 front sight, barrel, and upper receiver already assembled. They shoot great, and I’m not worried about a catastrophic failure. Yep, I believe in redundancy for anything I build…backup parts on hand.

    Anyhow, your list looks good to me. There may be others that could be added, but I see most of ’em above… Yep, all of this is opinion, too.

  150. IMHO the New Windham Weapons AR15 type rifle is one of the finest rifles you can purchase today! The fit and finish, and attention to detail is unparalled.

  151. Hey In The Know. There are certain things that you pay for with the higher end. Name Brand being one of them, yes, but other things to consider. I build guns for a living and I have built the $900 AR and the $3000 AR. There is a difference. Now that is not to say DPMS is a low end company. I have never had a problem with any of their parts, ANY. And I have seen quality control problems with some of the higher end companies. But they were more than happy to fix that right away. I own several personal AR’s, ranging from $1100 up to I don’t want to remember. They all have a purpose, but yes, there is a difference.

    Things to think about…

    A Daniel Defense rail is going to be a lot lighter than a rail you get off eBay. I would like to save weight on a rifle or carbine I am running at a class or on a patrol rather than just sitting on a bench. Anyone can throw a bipod on and sit comfortable on a range, but lugging around a rifle with ammo and gear on a two way range is something different. Ounces equal pounds…

    Also, higher end rails or grips tend to be much more ergonomically designed. Try wrapping your hand around a fat $80 rail and moving from target to target verse the same with a LaRue rail. It’s a lot easier. Try handling the recoil over and over and over on a 30 caliber with a standard A2. The Ergo grip sure comes in handy.

    As for FTF and other problems, custom built guns are like race cars, you have to tune them to get them running right and to keep running right. But once tuned, I would rather have a purpose built race can than a Camry any day.

    As for optics. A $50 red dot is not even close to a $700 EOTech, no matter how you try to justify it. Cry once.

  152. LMT all the way, the CQB MRP Defender is a piston (direct gas impingement) gun. Interchangeable barrels and machine gun rated barrels best in the industry.

  153. LOL at all the people here trying to rationalize their super expensive ARs, claiming they are better than “commercial grade” (WTF does that mean?) rifles.

    I have had a DPMS for about 9 years now and have not had (1) single failure. Not one. No FTFeed, FTFire, FTE, nothing. I have shot Wolf, Tulammo, all the cheap crap. Not one malfunction. Ever.

    Guess what I had in ‘stan? A brand new Colt M4. Wasn’t even there for a week when we went to the range to get zeroed on KAF. We had brand new mags too. I had probably 5 FTFeeds, as did several other guys with me. That is typical too. Anyone that has been int eh military will tell you that. Virtually any major maker, off the shelf AR is higher quality than what we get (Colt M4).

    I also ran the ranges for the late deployers and guess what? Same results.

    I say that to say this, you are delusional if you think your $3,000 AR does anything better than my $950 DPMS unless it is some super accurate specialty thing. Guess what, that is useless to most people (too long, too heavy, too prima donna) that buy ARs so it isn’t really a talking point at all.

    What is better? It has gee whiz rails built in? So what. I have yet to hear of anyone destroying even the cheap screw on rails.

    Is it more accurate? I doubt half the people reading this can out shoot me and certainly a $3000 AR wouldn’t change that. Anyone that knows anything about shooting will tell you that virtually any modern manufacture firearm has the potential to be more accurate than the person shooting it.

    Better steel? I have yet to meet the person that literally destroyed their AR reciever or barrel.

    The performance is not there. And the only advancement in AR design worth paying extra for is a piston system. Those can be had for $300 or less as a mod kit or $1300ish for an entire rifle.

    Same goes for the frou frou prima donna 1911s. Any 1911 from a major manufacturer will do the same and with less fuss. Generally, the higher the price, the less reliable too. $4000 for a 1911 when you can get a loaded springer or a kimber for around $1000 that is just as accurate? Madness.

    A fool and his money….

  154. I have a DPMS and have made a few upgrades such as a UTG quad rail ($60.00), Hogue grip ($20.00), UTG 3×9 scope ($90.00) and several 30 round mags ($15-$20.00 each). In addition, I have added backup sights however, they dont get used much since I added the 3×9 scope. The gun shots great and I have had few failure to fire or feed. The one or two issues I had was due to cheap ammo (wolf/tule) and I wont be using them anymore. I have less than a grand invested and could not be happier. I agree, unless your a professional soldier/cop, why spend all that cash?

    Peace

  155. you need to check out CMT/Stag arms they test out each bolt just like FN & Colt. They CNC All own parts in house and CMT has been making parts for military for a long time. Stag Arms has one of the best ARs out there. just as good LMT or Colt. you should get one it will allways fire and very acuritley Stag are TOP TIER GUNS i will put my stag up against anything

  156. Good articles, but too bad all but 2 of the parts (the trigger group and the sight) you reference to build an AR are out of stock and not back orderable.

    I would have been more impressed if you had links to several in-stock options.

    Otherwise I continue to enjoy your articles.

  157. Olympic arms is the best and highest quality ar ever made. Enough said end of discussion and nobody needs to post after me.

  158. I built my own. That way I got everything I wanted without having to tear the rifle apart. DPMS lower and a lot of parts. Everything that went into the build was the best (including the Gunfighter charging handle and a lot of other parts from BCM).$1800 or so, and worth every penny. Prints minute of gnats ass at 100 yards.

  159. Nobody mentioned that in fact LMT and Colt are two companies that have been firing high pressure test rounds through every barrel and bolt then magnetic particle inspecting every test fired bolt and barrel. BCM started out saying that all their stuff was MPI tested but didnt say anything about the high pressure test load.the high pressure test load is what will make any imperfectuions in the barrel or bolt visible in the test if they exist. i still feel that LMT are LWRC are the best. i say do your reseasrch into any company before buying their goods. it seems to me that colt puts sand in all its bols and uppers these days…some of you will know what i mean…LOLLOLOLOL!!!

  160. Whether you own a Bushy, RRA, LMT, or whatever, the most important aspect of your AR style firearm is you. If you and your AR don’t see some realistic training (house clearing, drills, transitioning to handgun and back), you will never be able to “hold your own in a SHTF type scenario” no matter how cool you think you look. Get your head out of your duffel bag, practice with several types/weights of ammo and shoot, shoot, shoot!

  161. I’m not a fan of ARs at all but if I must own one I’ll stick to my Bushmaster MR-15 yeah it’s in that lousy small 5.56 that I hate for everything except varmint hunting. Stoner’s idea to use a small caliber round was the biggest injustice to the military ever. I thought we raised real men and women who don’t mind alittle recoil. I grew up using an old M-1 Garand granted I used an AR until I got my hands on the M-1 and once you go Garand you never go back. Grant you a trained rifleman can use any weapon to hold back a battalion but if I’m doing I’ll start at 1,000 yards and beyond.

  162. I`ve owned a Colt and a RRA.I still have the RRA.Some of us can`t afford $2000-$3000 for a LMT or Daniel Defense grade weapon.I`m quite happy with my RRA.It will do everything I need it to do,and has functioned flawlessly EXCEPT when I tried Wolf ammo.I will not shoot that stuff in ANY of my weapons.

  163. Mr. Crally, you have a point about the shotgun; I recommend a Remington Versa Tactical with #1 Buck to go along with an AR; however the s*** will hit the fan as soon as Yellowstone erupts or some other natural disaster occurs.

  164. No offense to anyone reading this, but what I want for my home defense is my 12gauge. As a hunting rifle, I understand the importance of accuracy, but if a $700 AR shoots an inch off a $1500 AR at a couple hundred yards, thats more than adequate for anyones needs. As much as guys like to think of their AR’s as “SHTF” weapons, thats just an excuse to buy a very expensive plinking gun, which is what we all use ours for. Like someone else said, unless you’re a professional soldier, where the guns durability is really being tested, save the money. Shooting lots of rounds at a clean range doesnt prove much, and the $700 AR’s do it just as well. Perfect example, guys bash DPMS, but read the thousands of reviews online, the owners love them. These 5 are great guns, absolutely, but the $#!T aint gonna hit the fan, just a trend that has guys making up excuses to buy this stuff.

  165. Gotta agree, this should be best 5 ARs we sell. A Noveske with it’s M249 barrel will outlast any of these rifles and my L.W.R.C.I. SPR M6 is light years ahead of any of these ARs!

  166. Can’t argue with these results seeing as how I don’t personally own an ar-15, but am looking to buy one in near future, and sites like this are always appreciated. Would like to see a list like this for 7.62 NATO rifles (particularly AR modeled rifles like the Armalite AR-10 or DPMS lr-308). And thanks for the DIY portion of this list.

  167. Looking at the DIY parts list, the lower reciever parts and the rear sight are the only ones available. All the other parts (lower receiver, stock kit and complete upper) are not available from CTD or would be on backorder. If I was really interested in going this way, it would be a bit frustrating, I would think.

  168. I first bought a Bushmaster and was impressed with it, then I bought a BCM and could not believe the difference as compared to the Bushy. I now also have picked up my third AR a Noveske light Recce, and I gotta say, I don’t know how they did not make this list. After all is said and done I don’t even touch the Bushy anymore, and barley tinker with the BCM. The Noveske is the top for me.

  169. I built my own AR-15. I would call it a Fraken Build, bastard, or Mforgery. I shopped for quality as well as economy My 14.5″ Carbine came in at a price point just under $650.00 and my 20 inch varmint just under $800.00 The Varmint gun was rushed into therefore I paid a little much for complete lower.my carbine I saved a great deal of cash by going with a polymer lower from New Frontier and was able to splurge on quality upper parts. I think any configuration that can send rounds down range @ 3200 fps is a good configuration. Think about it how many of us are really gonna be in a battle in the desert. Its gonna be tucked in your closet oiled up and pampered. So unless you are a Law Enforcement officer or a professional soldier, why pay out the A$$ for bragging rights at the range. save your money, build DIY buy ammo

  170. Larue and Knights may be expensive not any better then the top 4 listed , infact maybe not even as good. Those are boutique brands really. Colt, LMT, BCM and DD pretty much hits the nail on the head. LMT being number one, and the rest being too close to call. You can build a franken AR to save 50-100 dollars if you want but good luck counting on it when you need it the most. Buy an off the shelf LMT defender for 1150-1200 bux and call it a day.

  171. I did a lot of research before purchasing my AR-15. I looked at the cheap ones ($599.00) to the moderately expensive ones ($2,000.000). I looked at quality of all components (upper, lower, barrel, trigger group, etc). I looked at buying an intermediate rifle ($1200.00) and then started looking at what it was going to take to make it comfortable for me to shoot. Accurate as hell, and long lasting. I am only going to buy it once, not every 500 rounds. When I looked at buying a basic rifle and upgrading it to fit my requirements, most could be upgraded, but at a much higher cost than what I was able to buy a complete factory build. After looking at all that I could find locally and from various websites, I finally found the one I wanted. Made in my own backyard. This is the Hogan. (POF) the barrel is a 1/9 twist, so I can shoot just about all weights of bullets. And considering the barrel is a Rockwell hardness of 70 (vs some at 45-50) it will far outlast most other barrels. I chose piston operated due to fact I live in the desert, and wanted a reliable weapon even when dirty. Their bolt is a chromed bolt. Which does not require a tube of lubricant just to keep it firing. I also went with the NP3 upper receiver due to its hardness and again not requiring a tube of to keep the gun firing.The trigger group is a Timney single stage with a crisp 4lb pull. I was also fortunate enough to have Hogan two blocks from my office. They are great people there.

  172. I did a lot of research before purchasing my AR-15. I looked at the cheap ones ($599.00) to the moderately expensive ones ($2,000.000). I looked at quality of all components (upper, lower, barrel, trigger group, etc). I looked at buying an intermediate rifle ($1200.00) and then started looking at what it was going to take to make it comfortable for me to shoot. Accurate as hell, and long lasting. I am only going to buy it once, not every 500 rounds. When I looked at buying a basic rifle and upgrading it to fit my requirements, most could be upgraded, but at a much higher cost than what I was able to buy a complete factory build. After looking at all that I could find locally and from various websites, I finally found the one I wanted. Made in my own backyard. This is the Hogan. (POF) the barrel is a 1/9 twist, so I can shoot just about all weights of bullets. And considering the barrel is a Rockwell hardness of 70 (vs some at 45-50) it will far outlast most other barrels. I chose piston operated due to fact I live in the desert, and wanted a reliable weapon even when dirty. Their bolt is a chromed bolt. Which does not require a tube of lubricant just to keep it firing. I also went with the NP3 upper receiver due to its hardness and again not requiring a tube of brylcream to keep the gun firing.

  173. I did a lot of research before purchasing my AR-15. I looked at the cheap ones ($599.00) to the moderately expensive ones ($2,000.000). I looked at quality of all components (upper, lower, barrel, trigger group, etc). I looked at buying an intermediate rifle ($1200.00) and then started looking at what it was going to take to make it comfortable for me to shoot. Accurate as hell, and long lasting. I am only going to buy it once, not every 500 rounds. When I looked at buying a basic rifle and upgrading it to fit my requirements, most could be upgraded, but at a much higher cost than what I was able to buy a complete factory build. After looking at all that I could find locally and from various websites, I finally found the one I wanted. Made in my own backyard. This is the Hogan. (POF) the barrel is a 1/9 twist, so I can shoot just about all weights of bullets. And considering the barrel is a Rockwell hardness of 70 (vs some at 45-50) it will far outlast most other barrels. I chose piston operated due to fact I live in the desert, and wanted a reliable weapon even when dirty. Their bolt is a chromed bolt. Which does not require a tube of lubricant just to keep it firing. I also went with the NP3 receiver due to its hardness and again not requiring a tube of brylcream to keep the gun firing.

  174. Cheapest does not mean the better. I prefer Sig Sauer 5.56 Swat, Piston Driven with a 1/7 twisted barrel. Sure you will Pay $1200 + but what is your life worth when it comes to dependability and durability when SHTF… Then attach a 60 round magazine and EoTech 556 Night Vision, and a sling and you are in Business 24/7/356 days a year.

  175. I can’t object to the top 5 list since I have only owned a BushMaster. Not a cheap gun $ wise but there are a few ucky parts on it like the same stock I see on eBay that are on the assault look alike BB rifles. Ouch……and I paid $699 for this AR thing. I have learned a lot about assault rifles the last few months and to me it didn’t cost but a few hundred bucks in comparison to the $1500 ARs out there. Knowledge, well that is priceless. Yea, it sucked not to see a BushMaster make your top 5 but you know a heck of a lot more than we do and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge about the best 21st century home defense rap sheet destroyers.

  176. No offense to some of you guys, but your Rock River Arms, DPMS, and Stags Do not match up well with the Colt, LMT, Daniel Defense, and BCM listed. They are considered commercial grade at best and are not a viable option if you are looking for a hard use, home defense style rifle. RRA and DPMS are infamous for substandard materials and poor manufacturing processes. Stags are a little better but not considered top tier like the brands listed.

  177. By no means am I an expert, but I do really enjoy my DPMS A15. The only failure of any kind i have ever had was due to Silver Bear ammo.

  178. I think somewhere in that top 4, there should have been a piston gun. The HK 416, one of the LWRC guns or the Ruger SR556 (my personal choice). The piston system is many times more reliable than the DGI guns and not anywhere near as maintenance-intensive.

  179. I believe that the Rock River guns offer just as good of a weapon as these and has some extras that surpass these for the price. also RR guarantees their accuracy!

  180. Why should you have to have some military training for an AR? Its not full auto, and just like a mini-14 its got a trigger, a safety, a charging handle, and a detachable magazine, as well as being gas operated. The only difference is in the arangement of the controls and the furnature. Do you think you should have military training for a Mini-14? How about a 10/22, or an M1 Garand, or an M1 carbine? What about an SKS?

    My only complaint with the “DIY” rifle is the barrel on the upper is chromoly, not chrome lined or any of the new barrel linings, and yes, there IS a difference. Also, make sure your barrel is rated for 5.56, not .223 to avoid potential issuee [not as big a deal with ARs, but can be with other rifles].

  181. I’d definitely rather go with the M&P 15 sport for a budget rifle over building it yourself. ~$50 cheaper, and comes with a lifetime warranty from one of the best gun companies in the business.

  182. You folks need to check into the Battle Rifle Company in Seabrook, TX. I realize they’re not as big as Colt or some of the others, but their attitude towards customer service, and a nice line of AR’s produced makes me want them in my top five.

  183. I have a huldra mark iv base model and i love the thing. Of course, i swapped some arts to “personalize” it, but its good to go right out of the box. You just have to add your own sights. Its a gas piston system and completely customizable. At the very least it deserves being looked at, if not added to your collection.

  184. I have a 14.5″ BCM M4 with Mid-Length gas system with hammer forged chrome lined barrel. I absolutely love it. It is the most reliable AR I have ever put my hands on, hands down. Not the cheapest AR around, but it dang sure isn’t the most expensive. Get one, you wont be sorry!

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