Armalite AR-15s, how are they?

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1,583
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USA
I got to mess with one at a gun show yesterday, and it seemed pretty nice, but was selling for only $885. The only Ar's for less than that were the delton builds and the low rung DPMS. Are they not very good, or just don't have the big name? When people list the "best" its always companies like Noveske, Colt, Bravo company, Lewis Machine, Knights, etc. but I rarely (if ever) see Armalites in the list. Whats the deal?
 
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314
Location
Orange County, CA
"Best" means luxurized. They have the most bells and whistles, that have no significant impact on functionality of the weapon. Armalite is a different company than before, but their weapons are high quality. They created the AR series that we know today. Very little has changed. It has a very simple operating system, but it needs cleaning often. That's the only disadvantage...and it applies to all AR models from any maker, luxurized or not. If you take of the bells and whistles, everything is the same inside.
 

SOHCman

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1,583
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USA
I was under the impression that the higher end (more expensive) companies offered higher grade barrels, matched bolt/carriers, higher strength forged lowers, tighter tolerances all around, better triggers, less wiggle between upper and lower, etc. And yes, any direct impingement (sp?) system will require more cleaning compared to piston style operating systems.
 
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2,820
Location
Southeast Alabama
Had experience with the AR-15/M-16 when it was first tested by the government. Later in Vietnam. There are much better weapon designs out there. AK-47 - AK 74 comes to mind. Takes a lickn and keeps on ticking.
 

SOHCman

Thread starter
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USA
First of all, thank you for your service! However, I'm not sure the Vietnam era should be a benchmark of how good the AR platform is. There are well documented reasons for the poor performance, such as the powder change that increased fowling in the chamber causing stoppages, as well as the incorrect notion that the bolt was "self lubricating" which we know is not true.
 
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2,081
Location
Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: SOHCman
I got to mess with one at a gun show yesterday, and it seemed pretty nice, but was selling for only $885. The only Ar's for less than that were the delton builds and the low rung DPMS. Are they not very good, or just don't have the big name? When people list the "best" its always companies like Noveske, Colt, Bravo company, Lewis Machine, Knights, etc. but I rarely (if ever) see Armalites in the list. Whats the deal?
SOHCman, I have a no frills AR-15 built by Armalite and I can say it works and functions very well. No issues what so ever so my opinion Armalite is the rifle for me. The other brands you mentioned I would never buy. There well over priced and can have the same mechanical issues are all the lower priced versions. If you have money to burn and must have a fancy boutique rifle then go for it. I stack my lower priced AR's against them! Durango
 
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5,653
Location
Central IA
As long as the parts are mil spec, the chamber and barrel are chrome lined, the rest is usually fit and finish that distinguishes the higher end guns from the lower end guns. I have an Olympic Arms CAR15, a DPMS 24inch bull barrel, and a Colt SP1...all work similarly well. Only the DPMS with the 223 chamber and the non chrome lined chamber and bore seems to be finicky when it comes to dirty conditions. It will start acting up after a long day of use with dirty ammo out in a dusty field. So many AR parts come from only a few sources.
 
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2,081
Location
Los Angeles, California
My buddy has a DPMS rifle and it works well for him. No jams that he has encountered despite it has what I think he has no chrome lined bore/chamber. Then again we don't burn 500 rounds per outing either. Regardless of the brand I have never encountered any AR-15 that gave me any headaches. Durango
 
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5,653
Location
Central IA
The only real lemon AR I have seen were the older Vulvan/Hesse guns, but that company had a reputation for making very poor firearms in all makes and models. Their 50BMG blew up on some poor chap and they changed their name instead of fixing their quality issues. I saw Hesse AK's that were totally worn out in 2k rounds from poor heat treating and soft steel.
 
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868
Location
MO
I know you're asking about armalite, but just fyi, I noticed on their website that sig sauer just released a ar-15 called the m400, retail on their website says $1099 but online sites like budsgunshop has it for $889 which seems like a good deal for a sig ar-15, but then again it's new so not much reviews on the internet about it yet.
 
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200
Location
NV
Armalites are ok but compared to a Bushmaster/DPMS/etc... you'll start to see where the Armalites come up short but only in terms of fit and finish. Armalites will have sharp edges where parts don't line up exactly and generally just feels cheap. However, all that I have shot have cycled right seem to be mechanically sound. So yes they're cheap and feel that way but they work so for somebody on a budget it might be a good way to go.
 
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91
Location
Lawrenceville,GA
This is what Gun Tests had to say about Armalite. Gun Tests is the Consumer Reports magazine for guns. ArmaLite M15A2, $992. We could not find fault with the ArmaLite, and in fact liked it very much indeed. It was heavier than the Colt, but steadier in offhand shooting. We thought it was, overall, the best rifle of the test, and that good trigger went a long way toward that choice. A very knowledgeable fellow recently turned down a great bargain on a high-dollar 1911 .45 auto because it had creep in its trigger, and he’d had enough of poor triggers. We’re in much the same boat. Yes, you can pay to get a good trigger, but why should you have to? The ArmaLite was the best looking, best finished, most accurate rifle of the test, and it had a great trigger. Buy it. Bushmaster XM15-E2S, $895. Conditional buy. The Bushmaster looked like it was missing something with that bare muzzle. Only you can decide if you want all that weight out front. We felt the Bushmaster should have made up that 1.5-pound weight penalty over the Colt with outstanding accuracy, but it didn’t. It wasn’t a bad gun at all, it just wasn’t the ArmaLite. Colt AR-15 A2 Sporter II, $600 (law enforcement), $1,040 (similar factory configuration), $1,500 to $2,000 (used pre-ban models). If you’re a cop, Colt’s suggested retail price for a pre-ban-configured rifle of $600 is very attractive. The suggested retail price of current civilian Colts close in appearance to the ArmaLite and Bushmaster is $1,040, about $50 more than ArmaLite and $150 more than Bushmaster. Street prices will make some difference. All our test rifles worked very well, so we can’t see going out of your way to get a Colt.
 
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3,742
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Northern California, USA
I liked the quality of the Armalite rifles 15 years ago. I didn't have the money to buy one back then, and they are not legal in California now. I heard from other people that they are a P.O.S. I have not fired one myself, so I don't know. I had an AR-15 made by Olympic Arms back when Bush 1 passed the first Assault Weapons Ban. The gun looks like it was put together with parts that failed government inspections for contract M-16s, and then thrown in the dirt and run over several times with a truck. As ugly as it looks, it is extremely accurate.
 
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5,653
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Central IA
Originally Posted By: Loobed
I liked the quality of the Armalite rifles 15 years ago. I didn't have the money to buy one back then, and they are not legal in California now. I heard from other people that they are a P.O.S. I have not fired one myself, so I don't know. I had an AR-15 made by Olympic Arms back when Bush 1 passed the first Assault Weapons Ban. The gun looks like it was put together with parts that failed government inspections for contract M-16s, and then thrown in the dirt and run over several times with a truck. As ugly as it looks, it is extremely accurate.
Bush the elder did not pass the Assault Weapons Ban, that was in 94 under the Clinton administration. The only bans that came in the Reagan and Bush eras had to with the importation of the "non sporting" firearms that were coming in from HK, FN, ect.
 
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508
Location
UT
I owned an Armalite AR-15T about 6 or 8 years ago. That is the target version of their Ar-15. It was stainless with a heavy barrel. Jambed all the time while I was breaking it in which wasn't a problem since they said right in the owners manual you had to put 200 rounds through it before the action was broken in. Once it was broken in it was perfectly reliable and extremely accurate. It shot better than I could. 1/2 to 1 inch groups at 100 yards were the norm and I know it was me making them THAT large. The fit and finish was perfect. Very nice rifle. I sold it but NOT because I didn't like it. Strictly a financial decision at the time and I've regretted it ever since.
 
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5,466
Location
Buckley, Wa.
I've had a few AR's in my life. Colt, Bushmaster, and DPMS. All seemed to be of relatively equal quality and function (at least for the low volume of rounds I put through them). I found that for the most part, using quality 5.56 and U.S. military issued magazines along with proper cleaning...that's what made for a reliable weapon. My girlfriends son is a current U.S. Army Ranger that's been in combat over there at least nine times. He's not convinced the M4 is the best system out there. I'll have to ask him his opinions when he gets back from Afghanistan next month.....and perhaps share them in a thread here.
 
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1,271
Location
Dallas Texas
Originally Posted By: Robenstein
Originally Posted By: Loobed
I liked the quality of the Armalite rifles 15 years ago. I didn't have the money to buy one back then, and they are not legal in California now. I heard from other people that they are a P.O.S. I have not fired one myself, so I don't know. I had an AR-15 made by Olympic Arms back when Bush 1 passed the first Assault Weapons Ban. The gun looks like it was put together with parts that failed government inspections for contract M-16s, and then thrown in the dirt and run over several times with a truck. As ugly as it looks, it is extremely accurate.
Bush the elder did not pass the Assault Weapons Ban, that was in 94 under the Clinton administration. The only bans that came in the Reagan and Bush eras had to with the importation of the "non sporting" firearms that were coming in from HK, FN, ect.
That ban expired, firearms laws are pretty good right now. "Calico M750" 100-shot top loaders, Uzis, and MAC-10s also TEC9 (you do know what AB-10 stands for from Intratec, right?) were the "targets" of that. As i said, it sunsetted 2004 and hopefully will never be tried again. Firearms laws are pretty good at this time. Also IIRC, that is one of those weapons you can NOT buy only "private sale" (Cash, ID, carry. Private Sale means that if you are a resident of the same state and over 21 and the seller reasonably believes you to not be a felon or to resell to a gang, you are good to go.) If its semiautio i may check one out because as i said, full auto can NT be done Private Sale legally, AFAIK. I see a lot of Bushmaster ARs for sale online. (Private sale/FFL site. Majority private sale, as i described.)
 
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