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AR15 rivals worth checking out?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Exile, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I think there is no convincing some people who would rather leak on their own boots than make sensible choices. Thumbing your nose at other people’s intelligent choices is the stuff vegans really subsist on and it just didn’t used to exist on THR.
     
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  2. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I actually thought the Original HK 93 was a better overall gun in the 1980s thru the late 90s when I used one (along with an HK 91) in competitions and trekking. But changed that opinion in the 2000s when the AR was perfected. Note I used an AR from 1968 on so I had comparisons. I could also fight confidently with a good AK and an FAL . But hard to beat the 21st century AR15 and AR 10 today.
     
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  3. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    We are in agreement, I just don't think I am coming across right.
     
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  4. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    See again back when I bought my AR it was in that price range, and you really did not have many choices to go to.....I am sitting here thinking if there was another choice past colt....there had to be....but dog if I can remember it.

    But In the daewoo, that was a much different time....Al Gore had not invented the internet yet and all we really knew was what the gun rags told us. It was funny looking Foreign and made by the company that made those junky little cars that died off pretty quick (anyone remember when Daewoo tried to get their cars established in the states.....and I would love one of their baby PU's).....

    Anyhoo.....I think if that gun hit today it would give the upper tier a rough time. It would be a different buyer over the retro stuff brownells sells but in the same ball park price wise....to me, over a grand is the same till you hit 2k. No real difference to me between 1200 and 1800....600 is nothing when looking at a big buy like this.
     
  5. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I think this is me.....IMHO there is zero, none, nadda, zippo....innovation in this area.....the AR platform has killed it. Why would you try to make a better mouse trap, every time the issue comes up before a large body, think the military, and they go looking at changing rifles, calibers....the answer is always the same.......yea this is better here and there, but not enough better to bother with the huge pain in the butt it will be to make the change.....then there is the cost.

    The same goes for the private market, if someone comes up with something it is going to have to be worlds better, like black power vs smokeless for people to think about a change. The AR platform has gotten so well in trenched that why would you look to anything else.....everything else is much more expensive, and just not that much "better"....so why spend the cash.....unless you don't want to be a lemming like myself, and just love to do things a bit different.

    Where I have issue with the AR is that 1000 lb gorilla, it is going to stomp out anything that is going to move the mark down the field.....even if just a little bit. IMHO we have got to the point where huge changes in technology are going to be very expensive, or just not going to happen because what we have is good enough already......IMHO that is a problem.

    AR is what it is, I am just "bla" about it....it does nothing for me, it is the claw hammer of the rifle world right next to plastic pistols.

    To me AR/10-22/ you pick your "fad" I really don't have an issue with item itself....it is a product and is what it is. But a little like religion.....most folk are ok....but you get into the super fans that really turns people off.....it is those super fans that are closed minded, refuse to see anything that conflicts with their little preset views.

    All that said it is best I leave now or the thread will endup getting locked.
     
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  6. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    @fpgt72 I get what your jist is; I think often your frustration and snarkiness (at times) comes out more than your logic in your posts which is noise to your main points you are trying to make. But I get the point you make and it is a valid one, the next innovation has a very large hurdle to overcome with the saturation of the AR in military (foreign and domestic), law enforcement, and civilian use.

    Ingenious designs have a hard time being dethroned, and widespread market acceptance furthers that difficulty.

    I'm making an assumption that you are in the baby boomer age category, and I can see people of that age who've seen innovations in all areas of life then look at one's hobby and see a segment of the hobby that has become entrenched into one platform.

    I'm not trying to belittle you at all, and I hope I don't come across that way. Your underlying point is well taken and valid on innovation coming to a slow progression.
     
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  7. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    You have to know a little about the AR background to understand how it came to dominate the market.
    Back in the day Colt got the rights to the AR platform. They also got the Govt. contract. Colt made AR's for the commercial market, but you had to pay to ride the Pony. Colt made changes to the Commercial rifles so that the military uppers and lowers could not be used on them.
    There were a few companies that got into the AR market but they did not have access to true mil-specs for the rifle.
    As time went by Colt was being sucked dry by those that owned them and cost cutting was done to the AR's. They started sub contracting other companies to make parts for them. After a while the true Mil-specs were in the hands of a few. These Specs are still closely guarded by those that have them.
    There are maybe only ten manufactures of true Mil-specs upper and lowers. Those companies make parts for everyone else. Yankee Hill is one of those manufactures. Spike's Tactical and BCM are companies that buy from those that make uppers and lowers.
    With so many Veterans coming home from the wars in the middle east and wanting something as close to what they carried, the market for the AR started to grow. And The Dems helped out too.
    Now days with the market so flooded with AR's, companies had to come out with new and improved items for the AR platform. We pretty much know how the story goes from here.

    Now is there something out there that is just as good or better then the AR? Some would argue but I would say yes, and no. It would depend on what you plan to use it for and if your willing to pay the price.
    It takes a lot of money to bring a new rifle design to the market. If you had a new design that was as good or better then the AR platform, would you be willing to risk your money to compete with the AR? I sure wouldn't.
     
  8. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    When I first got interested in buying a semi-auto centerfire rifle, I got very sucked into the whole DI-is-dirty thing. This maybe 10 years ago - peak pistons-are-better. I got a Sig 556 because, in large part, it didn't use DI. After some initial QC issues (back to Exeter twice), it eventually became an extremely reliable gun. I do think it would eat just about anything I fed it, and with heavier bullets is pretty accurate. It's somewhat nose-heavy, even though it's got a 16" barrel only by virtue of a welded birdgcage on the front. It's got a funky trigger (sort of a 3-stage thing, with an exterior trigger return/booster spring behind the trigger inside the guard) which isn't bad, but isn't conducive to shooting small groups, or even really ripping fast splits. On the plus side, it does clean up very quickly - almost all the nasty hard carbon stays in the very large piston/piston tube, which Sig advises not to bother cleaning very often.

    A few years later, I decided I wanted another rifle that would be a little better suited to 3Gun-ish uses. I wanted a little longer barrel for velocity, while still being fast-handling. I wanted a good trigger. I wanted at least decent accuracy. I was able to cobble such a thing together (primarily from PSA-sourced parts) for far less than I had in the Sig. I was surprised to discover that I had accidentally assembled a gun that shoots sub-MOA with a number of different bullets, was lighter than my Sig despite having an 18" barrel, had less muzzle rise than the Sig despite being lighter, and was just a gun I enjoyed more. And it was reliable from day 1.

    It does take a little longer to clean than the Sig, because, yeah, DI does put some carbon back in the action. That is true. Otherwise, I like everything about the AR better, and it cost less, and I can change or replace parts very, very easily.

    The AR is no perfect. But if you're looking for a small-cartridge semi-auto rifle, it seems like you need to have some reason to pick something else. And those reasons may exist for anyone. But I think the rational decision making process begins with "Any reason not to get an AR for this purpose?" There are answers to that question... but not a great many of them, other than sheer preference/interest/curiosity.
     
  9. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Not at all...I am pretty thick skinned, and I can see how people would think I am snarky.....just the way I am.

    I think back to something like the Rolling block.....look at the history of that.....it was made everywhere by everyone in every flavor you know....and don't know of. And used all the way up to WWI. Why....well it was cheap, in inventory, easy for conscripts to use with little to no training.....and it held on for so long because of all those factors.....it was really good enough even into the time of self loading rifles. I see the AR as the same thing....good enough but not the end all and be all that so many think it is.
     
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  10. czhen

    czhen Member

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    Let me put my 2 cents today.
    AR15 is a fine rifle, developed and made perfect in the last decades in every aspect.
    Capacity, versatility, lightweight, accuracy and up grades are affordable in every aspect from triggers to sights and so on and on.
    Having the opportunity to shoot other semi rifle e.g.: FAL, AK, CETME, AR10-15, M-14A and other semi rifles.
    My only dislike is the caliber, it took 20 years of development for so so round and barrels why.
    Please my input as follows.
    If you are at 175 / 200 mts when you can barely see enemies, hitting center mass is a miracle and not stop then with a round.
    It is waste of money resources and more important soldiers.
    Enemies wear armory nowadays too.
    To round up my choice AR-10 in 18 or 20" whatever was developed for AR15 works, so the best of the world with a better ammo.
     
  11. denton

    denton Member

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    You'll probably never find a firearm that you think is perfect in every way. As many have said, it's hard to beat the AR-15 overall.

    There are things about it I don't like: straight inline stock forces the optics higher, charging handle is ambidextrous in the sense that it is equally awkward for lefties and righties, and such. Plus, I really don't care for the looks of the beast.

    But does it work? Is the price competitive? Is it fun to shoot? Yup. That's good enough.
     
  12. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Personally I strongly dislike the AR charging handle and the typical carbine adjustable stocks, but you don't have to have either of those if you don't like them.

    424-FBFF1-D654-4-C40-A24-F-C3-D070-F2574-B.jpg
     
  13. rust collector
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    rust collector Contributing Member

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    I have outlived the need to have something different than all my friends, and I am lazy enough to benefit from all the development that has gone into the 308 and 5.56. I do like the ability to build an AR to fit my own prejudices, and the low cost is just icing on the cake. I'll grant you that it's ugly, but it does the job just fine.
     
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  14. zaitcev

    zaitcev Member

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    I think the key to AR-15 quality is that it was continuously improved from its beginnings in 1950s. Many smart people spent time on it. The only other rifle that saw such profound changes is the AK. Both AR and AK continue to evolve as better materials, optics, and ammunition become available.

    Just as one example, Kel-Tec SU-16 was well matched and even superior with the contemporary ARs when it was introduced. It was significantly lighter, and cheaper. Fast forward 15 years, ARs continued to improve, and now you can get one that's lighter than SU, or cheaper than SU (although not yet both at the same time). Kel-Tec could not keep up. But conversely, this amount is how much ARs improved in just these years. It's almost a completely different rifle from what it was. That's what made it best of the best, and not just some genius design from the outset.

    Look also at what Ruger did to update Mini-14. If they were serious, they would've issued a version with AR magazines by now. IMI did that for Galil ACE.
     
  15. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    There seems an unstated limitation to semi-automatic platforms here, in which case I would throw in with the AR15 fans. Stoner came up with a clever package in his original AR10 design, and after 60+ years of product improvement I think it's in a league of its own. And if you just want one rifle in this chambering for any tasks the cartridge can handle, an AR makes the most sense.

    That said, if you don't particularly need a semi-auto, there are other options with at least equal accuracy in this chambering. The 5.56/223 family has taken on a life of its own outside of the AR platform.
     
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  16. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    The AR doesn't use a direct impingement system, it already has a piston and it doesn't run any dirtier or hotter than a rifle with its piston in the gas block.

    ARs vent the gases, along with most of its fouling, through the exhaust ports in the carrier.

    When the piston is located in the gas block, the gases and most of the fouling is exhausted at the gas block. The downside is the piston is subjected to greater heat and had less surface and mass to deal with it.

    All self loading rifles exhaust fouling into the action through the chamber after the empty case had been extracted.

    The AR is just as durable and reliable as its competitors and has better inherent precision than most. Locking the bolt to the barrel instead of the receiver allows the use of light weight aluminum forgings without compromising strength. The result is the AR is lighter than most other designs. Its inline action keeps recoil and reciprocating mass all lined up to the shooter to improve shot to shot recovery.

    The AR is certainly not the only viable choice in its class, but it's hard to match its performance and value. No other family of weapons is as easy to configure to meet the requirements of the shooter.

    There is no reason to not get something else. But there is no reason to get something else instead of an AR.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  17. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Depends on which bolt rifle and which AR. I’ve had two ARs that have shot sub 1/2” groups. But, they both have match grade barrels and were using carefully crafted hand loads.
     
  18. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    The whole "market scale" and "R&D" points of the AR has been mentioned plenty of times here, so I think a more interesting way to frame the OP's question might be "what if the AR never progressed beyond the SP1 days (not even as far as the M4), and instead we threw 60 years of R&D into something else. Would a different rifle be just as good?"

    I think a good contender would be the G3 family. Built to be as cheap as possible, no gas system, can handle 308 with ease. They even have modular receivers, and the mag well is on the upper which removes one of the biggest flaws with the AR (to paraphrase Henry Ford, "you can switch it to any caliber, as long as it's 223 length").

    G3 rifles themselves aren't amazing, but the action was developed into the excellent MP5, so there are definitely other places you can take it.

    There's an alternate dimension where someone cleans up the G3's design to something past "NATO AK", develops it into a sensible intermediate-caliber assault rifle a la the M4, and they become cheaper than dirt after being mass produced by the zillion. Shooters switch everything from 22 LR to 7mm Mag on a single lower. Internet armchair commandos scoff about how dirty gas systems are obsolete. "Rollers will get you home." "You don't need any more accuracy than 3 MOA". "You want better than 3 MOA, go buy a PSG-1 upper."

    As far as the other contenders - I'd say that piston ARs would have beat out DI ARs if they were option #1 from the start, but it's not a huge difference; it's still an AR either way. Bullpups are one of those things that always seem like they're a little bit of R&D away from being great, but they got 20 years of pretty serious R&D during the 70s and 80s (FAMAS, SA80, AUG, etc) and just never fulfilled their promise. And people finally figured out the correct way to approach the AK: pilfer the excellent long-stroke action, put it in a different gun, and leave the 1940s submachine gun that the action is wedded to behind.
     
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  19. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    I dont know that the AR-15 is the best of the best...butI do know that there are so many of them, and they are so popular that AR-15 has become like Kleenex.....most people are not talking about a specific product, but are speaking about an entire class if products...and virtually everybody knows what they mean.

    Add to that the nearly unimaginable numbers of aftermarket goodies that most any person can use to make their AR type rifle their very own, and you have an overwhelming sucess
     
  20. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    A good quality AR with a good barrel will shoot comparable to some production bolt guns. And there aren't many shooters that can shoot well enough to tell the difference. I cringe at what I see on the gun range. One day I was shooting groups 3/4 to 1 inch with my cheap Del-ton H-bar, with Black Hills ammo. Next to me a guy was shooting a 22.250 heavy barrel bolt rifle with handloads and he was shooting groups 1.5 to 2 inch. Match AR's are very accurate. Of course at the higher levels bolt guns are more accurate. But I doubt there is another semi auto in production that is as accurate as a good AR. If you think otherwise there are plenty of competition events where this has already been proven. That said I shoot a Tikka 7-08 bolt rifle for hunting.
     
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  21. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I disagree that the SCAR offers less, but the cost difference is substantial.
     
  22. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I’ve always heard piston AR’s are less accurate than DI AR’s. Is that true?

    When talking accuracy I have seen some seriously accurate BAR’s.
     
  23. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    In the DI AR ( I know it's not _really_ Direct Inpinngment, but it's close enough ) the moving parts are lighter, and don't start to move until the bullet has left the barrel. In a piston AR, the moving parts weigh more, and start moving sooner.

    This gives an inherent edge in accuracy to the DI system, though, for most, one wouldn't be able to tell the difference in actual use.
     
  24. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Yes it is true that piston AR's are less accurate. One of the many reasons they have mostly died out. It is not just added reciprocating mass, It adds a force increasing vector to the barrel. A weak point of many semi-auto rifles is the action bars. The AR was designed to eliminate them. A piston adds another thing to go wrong with no benefit except in the minds of some. Much like the tail fins on a 1957 Plymouth.
     
  25. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    You listed the opposite ends of the AR already, honestly I don’t think you going to find a cheaper budget gun than an AR. AKs in 5.56 are rare and are more expensive than their 7.62 brothers. Tavors, FALs and the like are just expensive.
     
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