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Is my rifle "Good Enough?"

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by surf, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. mjkeat

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    Jun 17, 2009
    I was curious about price differences after read a prior post. I randomly selected Bushmaster to do some price comparison w/ BCM. Complete rifles were chosen because I wasn't finding a good source for BM complete uppers and lowers.

    I went to BMs site but the prices seemed horribly inflated. Implementing goggle I took a sample of the first three sites that sold BM rifles. Prices were, $999, $949.99, and $930. Impactguns had the BM for $949.99 but did supply a carry handle at no charge.

    BCMs Mod 0 costs $1,025 ( no carry handle) or $1,135 w/ carry handle.

    Thats a $186 savings when going w/ the models shipped w/ carry handles. The models w/o carry handle have a difference in price of $96 and $26. On average that a $102.67 difference in price.

    There might be better deals out there on complete rifles from BM. I just didnt take the time to sift through more than a couple pages on google.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. mstennes

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    Nov 25, 2010
    But you dont have to stick with the M4, the M16 or should I say AR15 goverment model is 20" and can be made legal for comp (instalation of correct ff hg's) and its TDP, if you want

  3. surf

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    Jul 7, 2010
    This is exactly the case. Or often people will buy a lower quality rifle and then dress it up with all the most expensive accessories and optics. Not that this is a problem for most users, but in reality the weapon is the heart of the system, not the stuff you hang on it.

    This sums it up very well for many people. How someone can save say $900 to plunk down on a firearm and cannot save another simple $100-$150 to get one of the best, is beyond me. You give excellent examples of how quickly and easily saving extra money can be done. If there is a will, there is a way. Will is often lacking for many. But again many do not need a top notch rifle and if money really is such an issue, probably USED but very good condition, mid-level rifle at $200-$300 or more less would be a better option. Again this is not people being realistic or understanding their needs and options. Which was the intent of this thread.

    Correct, some get it. Buy what fits your needs and if you like it, just be happy and have fun with it. But please don't try to claim that your rifle is "just as good as". I have a crap load of fun shooting a WASR. It runs like a champ and does what I need it to do. But I sure as hell know it isn't as good as a top of the line AK and don't make such claims. ;)

    What he said.

    No, not really.

    I have just been reading some threads on ranking these weapons in tier categories or arguments over duty worthiness, costs etc, and along with several "which AR should I buy" threads popping up, I thought I would spew some of my own thoughts on screen. I tend to ramble a bit I guess.

    Not sure why your offended by this? It was not my intent to offend anyone with a classification. I could have used the following classification I guess but that would have been boring.

    A) Owner that seldom shoots or just collects cool looking weapons.
    B) Weekend type of recreational shooter.
    C) Dedicated enthusiast who shoots high round counts in a manner that really stresses the weapon and does it frequently.
    D) Home or personal defense, LE / Military.

    Heck, I am not quite an avid golfer, but I like to go hack a few rounds here and there. I have no problem being asked as to what type or category of golfer that I am so I can purchase clubs etc that suit or fit my needs or wants. If someone asks "what AR should I purchase", what is so wrong with asking what their intent or desires are for the rifle and what type of shooting they do? It is hard to give an informed opinion without doing this.

    There is no harm in someone saying "I just get to the range every other weekend and put holes in paper". If the monies, time, desire or personal priorities in life only allow limited shooting time, no problem. I am very pro firearms for any person. Just being involved or interested even if it may only be a few times a year is a good thing.

    Again there is no need to spend thousands on rifles and equipment. Simply understanding your needs and choosing correctly will help from a financial standpoint.

    Yes you are correct and I very much expected this. I even let the thread play out for a couple of days before replying. As can be seen some have the time to comment, but not the time to read. If it is too much to digest simply click the back button and move on. No harm there. I do it all the time.

    I understand the reputation around here and very much expected to see some negativity. Actually I expected a bit more negativity than I have encountered, so maybe there is hope. :supergrin:

    I very much appreciate those like yourself who have left the nice comments, or those who took the time to type out thoughtful counter points.

    Despite knowing that there would be a bit of negative response, if only a few people read and understand the message that I am trying to convey, or become an informed consumer than it is better for everyone. Perhaps it will make manufacturers either adhere to a standard or at the least charge a fair price for what they are producing and stop praying on consumers who have no clue about TDP standards and why that may be important, especially in regards to what a company charges its customers.

    I will also add that I am in my mid 40's, so my basic learning background is from an "old school", or "old dog" standpoint. However I am still working on a full time unit for a large entity and I teach the most current combative shooting skills as well as time proven skills. However in Military and LE, the wheels of change and progression turn slowly and there are still many "can't teach and old dog new tricks" types in this world and that will always be the case. I just hope that 20 years from now I am not scoffing at the latest and greatest gear and techniques. Not saying that everything will be sliced bread, but keeping an open mind is key. Many do not have an open mind the older and more set in their ways that they become.

    As for your assessment as a generalization, I also find it to be accurate. I think this may very well be related to the actual useage of the weapons in combat or lack of combat. There has been much more combat in the last decade than the couple preceding so you have a much more information available on what works and what doesn't and the consumer benefits. Also what you often hear, "well it was good enough for me when I was serving" usually doesn't hold water, as the "type" of service has greatly changed in the last decade over the 2 preceding decades. It is still hard to teach an old dog a new trick. :supergrin:

    Not a problem here if you don't agree with the classification thing. As I mentioned some took this too literal and not for the intention of what the post is worth. Competition shooters have a need, no doubt. They understand the tradeoff's and often their choices might even exceed what might be considered TDP standards, however you are correct as these items are not included, so the items by their very nature cannot be judged in this manner. You can pretty much bet that most serious competition shooters use high quality and proven parts anyway. Again we are taking a shooters "needs" or "application" into account and giving opinions. Indeed my opinions on competition rifles or even DM or SPR type rifles may not fit into a TDP simply because one does or may not exist on everything that I might suggest. That does not mean that something may not be high quality, probably of a higher quality than a .gov TDP would ask for in a similar weapon.

    As for the price thing, mjkeats gave one example and I will give one example, however I really don't want this thread to go that route. Now if someone wants a high quality rifle, lets say a BCM, they can get a blem lower with a complete upper (w / BCG and charging handle) basically a Mod 0, for $895. I highly suggest this option.

    Very good and thanks for taking the time to find an example. A simple search and pricing can show several examples of how it can be done. If someone gets too literal or strict on my $100 figure then then your $102.67 will not cut it for them. :)
  4. Reb 56

    Reb 56
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    Mar 12, 2007
    South Texas
    I confess I bought a cheap AR a bargain bin M4 from CMMG 2 years ago for 630.00 it turned out to be a nice looking and functioned well. At the time I didn't know much about AR's now I'm thinking about ordering a BCM 16" mid lenght upper.
    So I guess like a begining Golfer I needed a starter set to see if I was into AR's or just a passing fancy.
  5. mixflip

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Are rubber tube break lines good enough? Or do you need to change out all your break lines to braided stainless steel? Braided steel break lines dont cost much yet folks do go out and change them on every car they own?
  6. Foxtrotx1

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    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    What about people that just shoot because its a passion? I spend several K on ammo a year because I like things that go bang. No zombies here.
  7. 93GT

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    The Ogre

    Jul 6, 2002
    Category B and D here I guess if I had to put myself into them. Looking to bump to C/D now that I have enough money to take things a little more seriously. Time to go from 10/63 to SLG 21-76 and M&P15T to something BCM, but I am keeping the other guns to keep beating up on anyways.
  8. mac66

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    Huge Member
    Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    I see these threads and I bite my lip and try not to respond


    The first problem with categorizing shooters or guns or placing them on tiers is that much of the criteria used is subjective. Basically opinion with no basis in fact. Many things are choices or options based on a particular need not indicative of quality.

    The second problem is that people tend to think they can substitute equipment for skill. That think they can buy an expensive gun and it will give them special powers. I like good stuff but I very often take stock guns to shooting matches just to show up the guys who try to buy respectability.

    The third problem is that people think expensive equals reliability. Ever shoot IPSC? IDPA or some of the other games? Ever see one of those expensive race guns fail? I have, lots of times. Ever see those training sessions where the guys shoot a thousand rounds in a weekend? Is that even remotely related to real life? Is that even even remotely related to reliability in your carry gun? :dunno:

    I could go on and on about training and gun games etc, but I won't.
  9. surf

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    Jul 7, 2010
    I am not sure your understanding the intent of this post. If someone asks what type of rifle should they buy, or do they need and expensive red dot optic or a scope, it is very hard to give an accurate or informed opinion without understanding what type of shooter that person is, or what their exact usage needs are. Once a shooters needs and budget are understood, then a more accurate idea of what quality or price range they can look at purchasing. Just like my example as a golfer. I can be classified as an occasional or recreational golfer somewhere between novice and intermediate who does not wish to spend a fortune on clubs. Now a professional can suggest what clubs and brands that might suit my needs. I don't need the top of the line clubs in every single club available with the most expensive bag or golf shoes. Hope that example helps without offending people on classifying someone in an attempt to accurately give weapons and gear advice. I sure as heck don't want to be told I need certain expensive golf clubs or bags when I really don't need or want them. I understand that I am going to buy quality, but I know that I am not buying THE BEST clubs on the market. I understand this and am quite happy with my choices.

    With weapons also, we should be realistic with our shooting needs, budget and purchase accordingly. From there we should be happy with what we have and have a good time. I am just as happy hacking up the golf course every other weekend or once a month with my mid level equipment and clubs, but I am not going to say that they are better than XYZ brand when they are not. Now if I happen to out golf another guy using THE BEST clubs on the market good for me, but that really has nothing to do with what is good for my needs / desires.

    This has nothing to do with my original post and this thread. I never tell anyone that weapons, gear or optics are a substitute for basic fundamentals and proper learning. I did not elude to this, nor did I think anyone else did either in this thread. This is another topic and I would be happy to discuss it in another thread.

    This thread really wasn't about gamers. However as this thread mentions understanding what our intentions are for a weapon by classifying the type of shooting that we do or what the particular weapon is to be used for can give an accurate assessment of what type of weapon they should be looking at. If someone wants to purchase a rifle to use as a strictly competition weapon, then we can start looking in a certain direction. If we can then classify them as a shooter we can further narrow down their needs. Are they just wanting to try out 3 gun and maybe do it once a month but never really competed before? Or are they a very competitive IDPA or IPSC type and now want a top level competition style rifle in an attempt to compete at a high level of 3 gun. Of course we might suggest different set ups for each of these 2 types of shooters. The first guy might be well suited to jump in with a basically stock mid level rifle. The second guy might want a higher performing weapon with more bells and whistles.

    I never said that competition shooters or gaming relates to real life defensive types of situations. It is a game or a sport, but testing out our defensive weapons and gear in a sporting environment can help vet our weapons and gear as long as we understand the sporting aspect is not a substitution for defensive shooting. Pure competition shooters can afford to have failures in a game. Reliability can at times be a trade off for fractions of a second. We also need to understand failure rates. High level shooters often shoot high volumes of ammunition. By strictly looking at it statistically they will have more failures than those who shoot lower round counts, but yes by the nature of their weapons, they can have issues.

    Now we classified them as a competition only shooter wanting a competition weapon. If they say that want one for home defense, that is a different aspect or classification altogether. No one said a competition shooter has to use their competition weapon for home or personal defense. But if they want to use their personal defense weapon for competition, go for it. By understanding or classifying their shooting type, needs, desires and budget we can correctly suggest weapon choices. Which is one of the main goals of this thread. People being realistic about their needs, type of shooting they do and budget and be realistic about their purchase. From there go out and have a good time with it.
  10. surf

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Again this thread isn't to strictly lump people into categories. It is about getting a realistic understanding of what they want to do with their rifle. However if you were to say "I want an AR but am not familiar with which rifle to purchase" I can start making a suggestion with the limited information that you gave me. I would want to know more about the type of shooting that you do such as long range precision, or up close target shooting. Again I am attempting to find out or classify your needs. But just from being a recreational but high volume shooter I would probably suggest either a mid level or a top quality rifle based on this. If I narrowed down your needs more, I could be more specific. I don't get why people get so upset about attempting to classify a persons shooting types when it comes to attempting to suggest a weapon for them? Just like my golfing analogy. It very much helps them to get the right stuff.
  11. Hour13

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    Aug 21, 2011
    San Antonio, TX

    This is quite possibly the most intelligent thing I've read today.

    Surf, your OP was long, lol, but very well thought out & very well written. Should fall under "required reading" for anyone new to BRF. Before they post our four millionth "What AR should I buy" thread.

  12. Airhasz

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Bad Axe
    #32 Airhasz, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  13. bigmoney890

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Boone, NC
    yay a sticky!!!!!!
  14. pag23

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Eastern PA
    I would say I fit into B category and at first bought an A type of AR--- it's great for the range...and some plinking. I then started doing some research, lurking on the posts on GT and M4 carbine, asking a few friends in LE what they recommend and then I bought what I would consider a D type for the exact reasons that Surf posted. Do I regret the A type.. no but I am darn glad I have the D type as well.

    Great post Surf and keep up the videos on Youtube....
  15. M&P15T

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    Beard One

    Apr 7, 2011
    Arlington, VA.
    Yeah....the whole trying to catagorize people thing just doesn't work.

    And the AR crowd is large, varied and vocal.

    Almost nothing humans do is for ONE reason, but rather for several different reasons put together. Hence, the why, what and how of people buying ARs is 100% individual.

    Hell, I myself could fit into any of three of those catagories at different times.

    Still, a nice post for noobs to start their thinking process with.
    #35 M&P15T, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  16. ArmoryDoc

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    May 14, 2006
    I think more people than care to admit on GT fall into this category. :rofl:
  17. SDDL-UP

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    Dec 4, 2006
    That's the nice thing about the AR platform - there are a LOT of quality choices out there!

    There isn't a difference out there that would make me spend $3000 on an $800 gun, but that's just me.

    There are a LOT of $500 AK's that really do run flawlessly. There is the whole accuracy trade-off thing to consider though. Spending $3000 on an AK isn't going to make it 120% reliable...
  18. faawrenchbndr

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    DirtyThirty fan

    Nov 24, 2005
    Another thread screwed up by a few idiots! :faint:
  19. ithaca_deerslayer

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    Jul 11, 2000
    Upstate NY, USA
    Surf, seems as though your OP is oriented toward the "what rifle should I buy?" questions. And you mention knowing about the shooter as being important.

    Ok, what rifle should I buy?

    First thing you need to know about me is I have a wife. Purchases need joint approval. She has ideas for any extra money the household has. A new gun isn't a priority for her. Ok, she'll let me spend $500. She won't be happy when tax takes it to $580, but she'll adjust to that. A purchase price over $600 would be a big violation.

    So, from the husband's point of view, it is "What can I get for X dollars?" Knowing full well that the purchase has to be made before an unexpected car repair, or need for a new kitchen stove, changes the wife's mind.

    Now about the husband. I'm not a soldier, not LEO, don't live in a high crime area, don't often go to the bad parts of town. I can hunt just fine with my existing $400 scoped .30-06 bolt-action. At the bench, it only shoots 2" groups at 100 yards. Most hunting shots are only out to 75 yards in the woods. Off-hand I can hit a 6" circle reliably at 100 yards, so I figure I'm good to go.

    For protection, I've always got my Glock 26 on me. I'm casual IDPA, qualified as Marksman. I figure I can shoot better than 90% of the people I see at the range. If Navy Seals come after my home, I'd be in trouble. But otherwise, I feel pretty confident I can protect my home if some local thief decides to become an armed thug and threaten mayhem.

    I've got 30 other guns of various types, rifles, pistols, shotguns. Some from when I was a kid, some specifically for the wife, some for teaching. Runs from bird hunting to .22lr bullseye at the local club. Happen to do some NRA pistol instructing to newbies, and help people get their permits.

    For $500, might find a good deal on a Savage 10FP .308, with a cheap scope. Did that, and got .75" 100 yard groups. A different year, another $500 limit, might decide to get a Saiga 16", 7.62x39, sidemount detachable scope, kept in sporter stock. Cool gun, fills a potential home defense role if needed. Newbies like to shoot it too. 300 rounds a year, no jams, clean once a year.

    Ok, how about a $1,000 rifle? $1,500? Come on wife, I've been good. Maybe a bulls eye pistol, S&W 41. Maybe a Colt Python? Maybe a Glock 10mm (and not spend so much)? Or maybe an AR?

    Ok, it is agreed, $1,500 is the limit. Wife on board with it. Husband doesn't necessarily want to spend all that because he's also thinking of getting a couple dirt-bikes for him and his 7yr old son next year (will be 8 then). Still he's always kinda wanted an AR. Has an Interarms Mark X scoped .223 bolt that can't stabilize 62gr, but gets 1.25" at 100 yards with 55gr soft point Black Hills. Good light woodchuck gun, for humping in the fields. Has delivevered quite a few off-hand head shots over the years. Would be nice if the AR could shoot the same ammo.

    Don't need to scope the AR, but maybe would. Not sure. Maybe go old school with iron sights. Maybe a 3x9 scope. Maybe a red dot. Short M-4 style or longer A2 style? Don't know. Kinda like the old Vietnam War era look of the M-16. Should the AR look like that? Mainly will use at the range, or in the back yard. Live in the country. Maybe hunt varmits, but already have the bolt .223 and a lever .22mag for that. Maybe home defense, but there's not much need for that. I keep a Beretta 92, 15round mags at the ready for that, in addition to my carry gun so it is ready for the wife. Also have that Saiga ready to go. The AR is more for just wanting an AR, for the fun of shooting it.

    Can the AR shoot 5.56 ok, and still be ok with .223, especially 55gr soft points? Never ever jam? (That was one reason for getting the Saiga). Will it be capable of less than 2" groups at 100 yards out of the box? (if I scope it, or get real good with irons). Even the Saiga does 3.5" in my hands and cheap Wolf ammo. Could the AR also handle heavier ammo if I wanted it to, without keyholing like my Interarms Mark X does with the 62gr? Will it take all kinds of mags easy? NY is a ban state, so I can't be too choosey about the pre-ban mags I might find.

    Oh, would it be legal for some sort of CMP match? Not sure what clubs do that, but maybe I'd look into it. Heck, maybe my own club does it. I've been more involved with pistol.

    So, I don't know if I'm typical or atypical, but this is how I'm approaching the potential buy of an AR. And a little horsey on the side probably gets bonus points because while I've got 5 S&W in my house, I don't have any Colts. :)

    Cool, I'm a category A+!
    #39 ithaca_deerslayer, Oct 6, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  20. Sporaticus

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    Aw sheet main

    Feb 28, 2003
    Finally made 1000 posts

    "I spent $4k on my rifle for bragging rights. Don't tell me your $900 rifle is just as good, just because it suits your needs and never fails".