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What makes one AR better than the other?

This is a discussion on What makes one AR better than the other? within the AR Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; Seriously? Everyone knocks DPMS and praises Colt but what really makes the difference so severe? Yes, I have seen "the list." What makes one brand ...

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Old 01-03-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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What makes one AR better than the other?

Seriously?

Everyone knocks DPMS and praises Colt but what really makes the difference so severe? Yes, I have seen "the list." What makes one brand better than the other? How is this measured and decided?
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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Boy, what a can of worms this is going to open.

What makes the difference so severe?

I guess many will say Quality Control. Others will say brand loyalty. And others will just be confused.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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The quality of the barrel is the biggest factor if you want accuracy. Then comes the rest of the parts. I think Rock River is at the top of the heap and olympic arms is at the bottom.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:23 PM   #4
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Better is a tough answer.

Some folks use their AR more often and run it harder than others.

Some folks have ARs that will never see more that 2000 rounds in a life time. They might not ever test the limits of any AR.

Some of the answer for what is better comes from actual usage vs actual breakage through heavy usage.

Some of it is from comparing it to the Colt. Part of the reason for comparing to Colt is that they have real world use. That gives a good measuring point.

Some of the reason is just because everyone wants what they have to be the best, regardless of reality.

Different materials, different methods, different uses, different quality control.

For some the difference in the best choice depends on the intended use.

The chart just compares things that are thought by many folks to be quality gauging characteristics.

I say shoot what you have until it breaks and then upgrade what you can. No matter what carbine a person has there are some things that are easy to upgrade that will get it closer to acceptable for heavy usage.

If you are in the market..... why not go with products that are known to be good - especially if the intended use is personal protection.

Just like anything we buy we have to decide what the intended use is and then decide what set of guidelines we want to use to choose from.

Another method - ask gunsmiths and police armorers what they see break a lot - there are certain parts of any AR that wear faster than other parts. There are also certain ARs put out by certain manufacturers that break more often than other ARs.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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what makes an ar better than others. Well depending on the website it will be what some random guy says is awesome because that is what he owns. There are others who worship at the alter of "the chart." In reality you have to measure what is best for you.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Carey View Post
I think Rock River is at the top of the heap and olympic arms is at the bottom.
What? You have the oly part right, but not the RR part. RR is a tier 2 AR at best.


To answer the OP's question. The higher end(tier 1) AR's will all generally meet or exceed the M16 TDP that both Colt and FN use. Lots of people rip on Colt(some for good reason, others not) but the truth is if FN made an AR15 it would be the same quality as Colt.

Things that a Tier 1 AR will have:
4150 Barrel Steel that is both MP and HP tested with proper(per the TDP) coatings both inside and outside the barrel
Carpenter Steel Bolt with a FA BCG that is MP and HP tested as well as again having the proper coatings and a properly setup extractor(5 coil with black insert)
Properly sized gas port on the barrel and corresponding proper sized gas tube
All applicable parts on the gun staked properly i.e. castle nut and gas key
Proper(per the TDP) coatings on the lower and upper

and more stuff I am missing.

This stuff adds up. Putting the proper coatings on vs. just black anodizing adds cost. Using better quality steel in the barrel and better aluminum in the upper and lower cost more. HP and MP testing certain parts(every part, not just batch testing) adds cost. What these things do also is add longevity to the weapon.

The biggest issue I have is that people will buy a RRA for 1000 bucks when they could have bought a Colt 6920 for 1200 or a DDXV or BCM for around that same 1000, maybe less, and had a much better quality gun.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
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with a FA BCG that is MP and HP tested as well as again having the proper coatings and a properly setup extractor(5 coil with black insert)
So does that mean that your BCG will have the FAS with FPC and QTD up to HXQZ testing standards as per TTPCYW?



Sorry, I couldn't resist but you gotta admit that's ALOT of acronyms.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ah8176 View Post
So does that mean that your BCG will have the FAS with FPC and QTD up to HXQZ testing standards as per TTPCYW?



Sorry, I couldn't resist but you gotta admit that's ALOT of acronyms.
Ya want me to spell them out for ya? It is a lot of acronyms, but they are very commonly used when talking about AR's.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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If what you have works for you and you have no complaints it doesn't matter if somebody says that another brand is better. I have a Ruger SR556 but many people have crapped on it because they only offer it with a 1 in 9 twist and not a 1 in 7. I don't care because it feels good, shoots good and does what I want and need it to do.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:34 PM   #10
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"The Chart"

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