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What makes a quality rifle?/Is my rifle "good enough?" (merged threads)

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

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  1. mvician

    mvician Lifetime Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    NW Indiana
    Keep in mind that this is for the commercial made M4 style carbine.
    But if this is how a company builds one style of AR15, I'm sure it carries over into the rest of their products.

    Read this first

    Then this

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  2. surf


    Jul 7, 2010
    You very welcome. If only 1 person benefits from the post then it was worth my time to type it.

    As for part II, I intentionally did not get into manufacturers and their own choices in material, build, test and quality control standards because when you start naming names, people who own various rifles will inevitably become offended and attempt to justify their purchase. In reality we really do not need to justify anything. We just need to understand the facts and understand what we are purchasing and what our needs are and then just be happy with what we have and enjoy what we are doing.

    I also avoided posting the links that were included by mvician because again people start comparing what they own to these statistics and often become offended and again need to attempt to validate their choices. Which again is not necessary and generally means that these types of threads become pissing matches even though the facts are what they are. Even though I didn't post the links, I am very much OK with mvician posting them and quite agree with those links as the most accurate reference materials. This also will pretty much answer your question in regards to a "checklist" in which we can compare manufacturers and their offerings in this platform. They are only a part of the puzzle when selecting a weapon but they are very key things to consider when purchasing this weapon, or getting a good evaluation of the product offered by each manufacturer.

    For myself and this is only my personal preference I tend to like product (parts or complete weapons) from Colt, Noveske, Daniel Defense, LMT and Bravo Company. There are others that have good stuff but in general these are my go to manufacturers. I will also say for the BC haters, that I do not own a complete BC rifle, only parts from them.

  3. Henry's Dad

    Henry's Dad woof, woof

    Thanks to both you and mvician. Between the two posts I have a wealth of info to use for my first assembly project. This is great stuff.
  4. Novocaine


    Jun 10, 2004
    About time somebody put milspec in a proper perspective.

    I will disagree with this part though:
    Not being bound by a milspec can be a blessing. Milspec materials, finishes and processes are hardly state of the art these days. A company can build a rifle superior to anything .gov issues precisely because it doesn’t have to follow “milpsec”. Noveske rifles are a good example of that. The only advantage “milpsec” gives is that once the rifle is accepted by the government you know exactly what you’re getting and what to expect.

    Definitions of what is the best for a military or civilian (even SD-oriented) shooter do differ. For example precision becomes more and weight becomes less of an issue for a civilian. A civilian will more willingly accept the increased cost and doesn’t care about sustained fire capability. So in fact a company aimed to build an ideal AR for civilian will have to deviate from milspec.
  5. Not always,

    Sometime they are just written so a govt program manager can get a contract in the right congressman district so his program will get funded.

    Reember colt has had a sole source contract for the m4. It was not competitively bid or proven to be better then anything.

    I'd love to type more but I'm on my phone on a bus to my job where my office window overlooks the pentagon.

    And I'm chuckling at the folks who use all the mil spec terms to try and justify there purchases.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
    MSW likes this.


    Aug 1, 2011
    I like my bushmaster,but wish I would have looked into it better before buying.I got the xm15 shoety spec.the muzzle breal or whatever its called is permenently attached,and the carrying handle is also,which makes it almost impossible to add a red dot scope to.I like the rifle and way it handles,but wish I would have paid more attention to those 2 things before buying...
  7. surf


    Jul 7, 2010
    I do note that there are companies who surpass milspec materials and perhaps build or testing standards which is a very good thing and I agree with your sentiments. However the part that you quote I am referencing companies who build to a lower quality of parts, build and testing standards. Sorry if that was not clear in my post.

    While I don't necessarily disagree with how contracts may be won or lost, a consumer using some type of standard in which to judge potential quality of their purchase is not a bad thing either.

    Also even though Colt holds the TDP, FN also produces certain weapons in this platform as a part of the gov contract. So there is another company and other vendors profiting from the gov contract.
  8. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    Great post,........
  9. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    You can write all you want. Post spreadsheets. People can read them and discuss them but I think the most important thing a person can do when buying an AR-15 (or anything else to a certain extent, see 1911 forums for similar pissing contests) is to stop and think what they want this thing for.

    Ask yourself am I a hobbiest or an enthusiast?

    Ask yourself what is it going to be used for?

    What is your budget? What is in that price range?

    Then finally what matters to you most about the weapon?
  10. Hour13

    Hour13 Tah-dah!

    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.

  11. Airhasz


    Feb 26, 2012
    Bad Axe
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  12. pag23


    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....
  13. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    :thumbsup: Great post, it will be very helpful for people new to the AR world no question.
  14. M&P15T

    M&P15T 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.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  15. DrMaxit

    DrMaxit Dirtbag Airman

    Sep 15, 2005
    Oahu HI
    I noticed where you are located and I just wanted to send my sincere condolences. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. :supergrin:
  16. ArmoryDoc


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


    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. Hour13

    Hour13 Tah-dah!

    Aug 21, 2011
    San Antonio, TX
    As always, excellent job Surf, glad to see this became a sticky.
  19. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

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