Rifles to avoid?

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by jasonstewart, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. jasonstewart

    jasonstewart Well-Known Member

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    Wanting to get an AR15. I don't have much experience with one and my question is. What rifle manufactures should I avoid? The gun will be mostly for target out to 300yds, maybe some hunting. I don't want to throw a ton of money into one until I get some advice. Thanks
     
  2. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest being cautious with the DPMS. You need to be aware of what components are in an AR-15 just like with any other rifle. What is the spec on the barrel ? Try to get a stainless 1:8 twist barrel. 1:9 and 1:12 will limit ammo choices. What trigger is in it ? Single stage military type or a 2 stage with the "modern" sear position ? A new trigger is at least $100 and up to $250, so much better to get something with a decent trigger to begin with.

    Is the handguard free floated ? Its much harder to shoot accurately if the handguard loads the barrel. What length is the gas system ? Carbine (short) mid or rifle ? This affects the timing and will determine how picky the rifle is with its ammo, how hard it will eject the brass etc.

    DPMS sells a lot of base quality rifles. They have the cheapest of the cheap in every dept. It is not financially viable to buy one of these and upgrade it, since people will look at it and say "Oh, is a DPMS" and walk away or lowball you. Rock River tends to sell a generally higher spec rifle, while not being ridiculously expensive. PSA has a sort of "a la cart" approach and often the best thing you can do is pick quality components and put it together yourself.
     

  3. Catgunguy

    Catgunguy Member

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    What is your opinion on the Smith and Wesson ar's with the mellonite 1 in 8 twist barrels?
    Thanks.
     
  4. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

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    1:9 twist "limiting" ammo choice? If all that you shoot is 80 gr AMax, 80 gr HPBT, or 90 grain pills...then yes...you would be limited.

    1:9 twist stabilizes everything from 40 to 75 AMax & 77 Sierra's.


    But, do NOT buy anything with a cast receiver or lower. Minimum if forged.

    Of note, if you buy a complete rifle, if it does not have what you want on it, it will cost to change. So, go shopping and handle different flavors of handguards, stocks, barrel lengths, & barrel weights.

    It IS cheaper to build than buy...including the minimal amount of tools needed.
     
  5. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    I cannot give you more advice since I got rid of my DPMS and that was the only AR I owned. I generally did not like the ergonomics of the AR (no folding stock, charging handle in what I thought was an awkward place, did not like the direct impingement gas system). I prefer the Sig 556 style system with folding stock, gas piston design, adjustable gas valve, side charging handle etc.

    To me the Sig style rifle is the natural development of the Galil, which does not provide a sensible way to attach optics but has many of the other desirable features in an overly heavy and angular weapon. The Galil in turn was an improvement on the crude AK 47/74 design. All with gas system and rotating bolt. I also have a few SKS rifles, which are a bit crude, but extremely reliable, simple and make good project rifles. I have one in a handmade wooden bullpup stock that is simply an outstanding close quarters weapon.

    It is always recommended to be as familiar as possible with the different systems out there before making a major investment. The ergonomics of the AR are definitely unique and you will either love it or hate it. I hated mine and it had to go. The quality issues were a separate consideration.

    Remember that most semi rifles are pretty hard on brass. If you don't mind not finding your brass when you fire it out in the field, and dealing with dented, dinged, scraped brass, this might not be a factor. If you reload, you will also have to add mill spec primers to your inventory or risk the possibilities of slamfires or doubling which could get anyone in hot water with the ATF.
     
  6. Trever

    Trever Well-Known Member

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    I have had a smith & Wesson and a Del-ton. I liked the smith but could get accuracy out of it. Apparently mine was the only one with the problem. But the others I shot were tight fitting and consistently accurate.

    The Del-ton I had was very tight and very accurate with everything I put through it. I got rid of it to get a gun back for my uncle from my cousin. ( that side of my family is picky picky picky when it comes to trades) if I were to get an ad for any reason I would go with Del-Ton and not think twice about it.
     
  7. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    The poor commentary on the DPMS surprises me. I don't know about the Ar15 DPMS lowers, but I have owned an upper with a 24" heavy varmint, stainless 1:9 twist barrel. I have used this upper on my Colt lower for over three years, 3000+ failure free rounds of 69gr SMK's over 25 gr of Varget. I clean every 200 rounds. It continues to hold .25MOA, 5 shot groups, and has been used in 200 and 300 yard competitive eggs shoots winning numerous matches. Seeing the performance of my rifle, a few other shooters at our club have purchased the same upper and were able to get comparable results to mine. I own a few other AR's, Colts and Bushmasters which not as accurate as the DPMS. I also own a DPMS Ar10 in 7mm08. I must admit that trigger had to be replaced, which was very rough. But then again i have had to replsce the yrigger on every AR i have ever owned. Other than that this rifle is also very accurate(.5MOA), and functions flawlessly.I have owned this rifle and have several hundred trouble free rounds through it. Am I missing something?
     
  8. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Greyfox, you need to look at the complete rifles. $850 a few years ago (prior to the panic) for a rifle with an A2 stock, non free floated plastic handguard, 16" inaccurate barrel, no sights whatsoever, no forward sling mount, cheapest hard plastic pistol grip on the market and a crap trigger. And a lot of slop between upper and lower. If you start upgrading that stuff, you will quickly pass the point where you could have just bought a much better quality AR in the first place.

    Most Rock River rifles have a good 2 stage trigger.

    At the time, the Sig 556 with folding stock, folding sights and red dot was about $1100.
     
  9. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. Fortunately, I have been using the same lowers, Colt and Bushmaster for several years, and have purchased additional uppers for specialty applications. For this purpose, the DPMS "upper" that I have has proven to be exceptionally accurate, and quite reliable for the the approx $500 that I paid for it. My base rifles, A Colt, and Bushmaster, both 20" Hbar and A2 stocks have serviced me quite well for many years. Both have delivered excellent reliability and accuracy for several thousands of rounds. Also have a Remington R15 Varmint that is quite good. My only modification to all of them has been to replace the triggers.
     
  10. ncwg2boatguy

    ncwg2boatguy Well-Known Member

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    Have to agree with Greyfox,
    I have had several DPMS platforms and while some are more accurate than others (Like most rifles) They have all shot 1 MOA @100yds or less. I have one now thats the first AR platform I purchased 18yrs ago and its still on target. Stopped counting rds @8k and that was 4 years ago. DPMS isnt great on fit and finish like some, But they work.
     
  11. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    A lot of good info passed along here. It's best to build than buy complete to get what you want.

    I haven't seen a cast receiver in a long time and I think Olympic was about the last manufacturer casting receivers and they went to forged only a decade or longer ago.

    About twist rate. If you want to shoot the heavy 75 and 77 grainers it's best to get a 7 or 8 twist. In my experience with approximately 30 9 twist ARs that I've built and helped buddies build it's a crap shoot. Sometimes it will stabilize them, sometimes it won't. The common rule is that the 9 twist will stabilize the 69 and 70 grainers at a maximum. I wouldn't buy a 9 twist expecting it to stabilize 75s and 77s. There's about a 70% chance you'll be disappointed unless you're at a high elevation and driving them hard.

    General rules for twist rate:

    1 in 9 for up to 70 grains

    1 in 8 for 70 to 80

    1 in 7 for anything above 80

    And don't expect to use the 75+ amax's at mag length in an AR. The HPBTs work excellent though.
     
  12. HighKnob

    HighKnob Well-Known Member

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    Twist to me is where I failed on my first AR. I was advised to get a 1/8. You really need to know what you are planning on shooting. My 1/8 Shaw 20" heavy stainless, free floated shoots great but only with the heavy bullets. I'd really rather shoot the lighter stuff but mine won't. My advise to anyone other than someone wanting to shoot long range, go with a 1/9.
     
  13. lightflight

    lightflight Well-Known Member

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    I have used a del-ton kit. I am happy with it. It is a 1-7 twist. But i do tend to agree with the others 1-9 twist would have been better for me. Thats why the build im working on now is 1-9 :D

    Ar-15 is like a LEGO for Adults. I ended up changing a bunch of stuff on my Del-ton (not that it needed it) so figured from here on out I might as well start from scratch and build my own to make it just how I want.

    Budget wise ... if you are smart and look for deals/sales you can come out with a better product building it yourself. imo. but nothing wrong with just buying one either.
     
  14. Seattlefungus

    Seattlefungus New Member

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    Any name brand AR will appreciate in value if cared for. With the current state of high quality CNC machining. I personally have not seen a new upper or lower out of spec. Olympic, CMMG early production pieces were rough, I build thirty plus custom AR's a year, Tactical Carbine, 3 gun and Service Rifle. But for at least the last five or so years their quality is solid.

    The only negative I've ever had with DPMS was their practice of using the Teflon coating on some of their receivers. They look good until scratched and nothing short of a total refinish will ever make a match. With Mil Spec Anodizing there are a number of chemical reaction treatments that will blacken the aluminum for minor blems.

    On Twist rate, 1/9 sounds like the right rate for 300 and under with standard Mil Spec M193 55g ammo or other cheaper available ammo, right up to good match grade 69s. About the piston Sigs. Not any of the piston military rifles take anywhere near the medals at Perry as the AR15 direct impingement system. The lack of rifle movement, due to the shifting mass of weight keeps the AR groups tighter. And I've seen shooters try using the Sig in local cross the course matches against ARs. AR shooters out shoot them. Could be the 4 less inches in barrel or just skill level.