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Old 05-09-2013, 15:28   #1
ditto1958
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Smith & Wesson AR's

Now that AR's are again becoming available, I have noticed that my LGS has been getting some from Smith & Wesson. Are their AR's considered to be good ones? The ones I have seen look pretty nice to me, but I am far from an expert on what to look for.

Last edited by ditto1958; 05-09-2013 at 16:12..
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Old 05-09-2013, 15:42   #2
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Depends on what you are looking for. S&W does put out some respectable rifles, but some are better deals than others. The Sport used to be one of the best deals on the market for a budget AR-15, but S&W recently changed the barrel they used on the Sport - not for the better. They went from a 1/8 melonited barrel to a 1/9 barrel that I *think* may be unlined, but might be chrome lined.

In the end, it depends on what you want to do with it, and what your budget is.
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Old 05-09-2013, 15:50   #3
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Like Plank said, they are not all the same. Tell us the specific models you’re looking at and we can tell you more.
Hint: The models toward the top of their product line are the ones I would look at.
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Old 05-09-2013, 15:51   #4
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I have quite a few trouble free rounds through my S&W MOE that I owned for almost 2 years now.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:05   #5
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Depends on the model (and the anticipated role of the rifle).

S&W is offering a wide range of variations. Steel, twist rate, finish (heat treatment), lined/non-lined, etc. Gas impingement & piston. Different calibers.

They invested a lot of money in acquiring new equipment to make increasingly more of the components, from barrels to forged uppers & lowers.

While they invested enough money to enable them to make all of the components (in case a severe shortage occurred in the industry among the handful of other parts manufacturers who supply most of the parts for all the AR makers ), we were told they'll continue to outsource some parts ... unless it becomes necessary to switch over to making all of them themselves. I forget which is which, but they forge the bolt carrier for one model, and buy another one from a vendor (gas v. piston, but I forget which it is they make, and my notes are out at the bench).

I've been through their AR armorer class a couple of times (of the 5 AR/M16 armorer classes I've attended). Their academy armorer training dept has created a very nice manual (more updated and user friendly than my last Colt class) and a pretty good class. No fluff or wasted time (or advertising, historical trivia, etc). Just a get-right-down-to-work class to teach the student how to maintain, service, diagnose & repair/correct problems.

I've used some of the different models they make, and watched some of the other instructors who have bought various models as they run theirs hard. They've all run as well as you'd expect, right alongside the Colt guns.

There's a reason they have a huge amount of foreign interest in their rifles & carbines, especially now that they offer a FA M4.

Another nice feature is their excellent customer service.

If I were in the market for another AR from one of the major makers, I'd be satisfied choosing from among many of the M&P rifle/carbine models.

I know a senior SWAT trainer/shooter who is anxiously awaiting arrival of a M&P 10 for T&E, which he plans to compare to his current AR10.

They keep rolling out nice offerings in the M&P line, but they also offer a variety of "budget" models for the casual/leisure/sport shooter, too.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:11   #6
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I don't plan on taking it to Afghanistan to look for work as a mercenary. I do appreciate quality and value, and I generally see that with other S&W products.

I want an AR-15 for:

1. Fun
2. Plinking
3. Home defense
4. Scaring off the neighbors' huge dog (part great dane, part mastiff, and part every other kind of large dog)

I like "traditional" guns with open sights. My preference with an AR is for an M4 style rifle with a carry handle.

I don't know now much the twist rate really will matter for my purposes.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:23   #7
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Should be ok for your use, although there are ARs at the same price point that I would rather have.

I suggest bear spray not firearms for animal control unless lethal force is justified.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:29   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
I don't plan on taking it to Afghanistan to look for work as a mercenary. I do appreciate quality and value, and I generally see that with other S&W products.

I want an AR-15 for:

1. Fun
2. Plinking
3. Home defense
4. Scaring off the neighbors' huge dog (part great dane, part mastiff, and part every other kind of large dog)

I like "traditional" guns with open sights. My preference with an AR is for an M4 style rifle with a carry handle.

I don't know now much the twist rate really will matter for my purposes.
M&P Sport. All the basics, none of the frills.

Frankly I find it utterly hilarious to praise a rifle with 1:8 rifling rate and condemn the exact same thing but with 1:9 twist rate.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:30   #9
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In before the fanboys get here to start arguing and purse swinging. I think it's a fine choice, but there are so many...and it does depend on the intended use. Based on what you described, I would say go for it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:46   #10
ditto1958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
Should be ok for your use, although there are ARs at the same price point that I would rather have.

I suggest bear spray not firearms for animal control unless lethal force is justified.
Oh, calm down. :-) I have never actually shot at the neighbors' giant dog. I have WANTED to a few times, but never had a gun handy. He seems friendly enough. Just scares the livin' **** out of us when he pops up out of no where. Also has a taste for our trash, and makes a big mess if he manages to get into it.

What AR's would you prefer in the same price range?

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Old 05-09-2013, 17:00   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
Oh, calm down. :-) I have never actually shot at the neighbors' giant dog. I have WANTED to a few times, but never had a gun handy. He seems friendly enough. Just scares the livin' **** out of us when he pops up out of no where. Also has a taste for our trash, and makes a big mess if he manages to get into it.

What AR's would you prefer in the same price range?
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I would prefer BCM, DD, and LMT over S&W, but I don't think they offer any uppers with a carry handle. Nothing wrong with the S&W.

Hose that dog down with OC spray and I bet he won't be back.
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Old 05-09-2013, 17:15   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
M&P Sport. All the basics, none of the frills.

Frankly I find it utterly hilarious to praise a rifle with 1:8 rifling rate and condemn the exact same thing but with 1:9 twist rate.
It isn't just the twist rate they changed. It went from 5R rifling to traditional 6 lands and grooves, plus raised the MSRP by $100.

Not condemning it, just don't think it is represents the value that it did at the new price point.
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Old 05-09-2013, 17:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyphertext View Post
It isn't just the twist rate they changed. It went from 5R rifling to traditional 6 lands and grooves, plus raised the MSRP by $100.

Not condemning it, just don't think it is represents the value that it did at the new price point.
Didn't realize they changed that much in the last few years. I did however notice that the MOE I have is no longer available and is now a S&W Magpul MOE. They have awesome customer service.
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Old 05-09-2013, 20:10   #14
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Originally Posted by carloglock19 View Post
Didn't realize they changed that much in the last few years. I did however notice that the MOE I have is no longer available and is now a S&W Magpul MOE. They have awesome customer service.
Isn't the magpul moe now a mid length gas system as well? That's a nice improvement.


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Old 05-09-2013, 21:55   #15
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They're not a Colt, BCM or DD, but they run fine. They are not milspec, but for normal/slightly above average use, they will hold up with normal maintenance.

I shoot more than most and my current rifle is a modified M&P15 (new BCG, properly inspected and staked by an armorer) because in 2009 during the Obamathan buying spree #1, I was fresh back from 3 years overseas and it was the only thing available other than RRA.

I don't have a problem with using one, though when budget allows, I'll be replacing it for duty use with a DD or BCM or Colt.
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Old 05-09-2013, 22:00   #16
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I have at least a dozen friends who've bought the M&P15. All have run flawlessly, accurately and reliably. Can't go wrong with one.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:08   #17
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S&W AR series are good values and excellent rifles. I d put them up against any other maker.

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:35   #18
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I have an m&p 15 sport that I bought over a year ago. It's a great rifle to shoot very accurate. I wouldn't get rid of it. I just acquired a DDM4-V3 and she sure is precious. But to compare would be like apples to oranges. Different ball parks. If your looking to spend 800 or less the sport should fit right in. I got mine for 699.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:14   #19
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Had an M&P 15 ORC a number of years ago, never had an issue with it. Great value.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:43   #20
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The S&W line of AR-15's are middle of the road. Not the worst, not the best, but in the bell shaped curve. Although, they do have 2 gems that are damn hard to beat:

1. The M&P Sport, best value for the money hands down
2. The 1/8 twist melonited barrel, which unfortunately they dont offer on the Sport anymore, just the standard AR-15 line.


Otherwise, you could do better, or you could do alot worse.
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