In looking at the recent ones, I must admit that the Bushmaster and Armalites are finished as well, if not better, than recent Colts. Are current Bushmasters still made without the block in the frame that seems to be so important to connosiers?
I bought Bushmaster simply because, like you said, "many people have recommended the Bushmaster over the Colt." I bought an A2 carbine and have no complaints so far. Don't think Bushmaster was ever a contractor for the US military.
I've heard good things about Bushmaster. I also think you should take a look at the new DPMS AR's. They are far better than they were several years ago and can be picked up reasonably. After the ban was lifted, I picked up two CAR versions (one heavy barrel and one LEO M4 version) for $750 and $800. I'm a little biased as they are locally made up the road in St. Cloud MN. As for quality and finish, nothing quite matches up to the late 60's and early 70's Colt SP-1's in my humble opinion. Good luck with your decison.
After Colt, I would buy Rock River. I was VERY impressed when comparing the various makes at the last SHOT Show. They also seem to be priced a bit lower than some of the other clones. Rock River won the recent DEA contract. The Rock River folks claimed only Colt and Rock River passed all the tests, and RR won on price.
We have purchased 27 BushMasters for patrol rifles for the department I work for and have only had to send back 2 for problems. We find that they are TIGHT when new and need to be broke in pretty good and kept lubed. Once broke in they are very dependable and sturdy. For some reason ours never liked the Winchester white boxed ammo. We use Federal and have had great results. We also find that their service department is easy to deal with.
That doesn't seem to be a good success rate. A 1 out of 2,500 failure rate is more like it. That's aerospace standards. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif Your life may depend on that gun just as much as a plane must stay in the air.
Your right, 1 out of 2500 would be nice. But the truth is we have had better luck with Bushmaster than with Colts. The problem with the Bushmasters was the barrels were clocked too far and groups were off. Colt could not even promise shipment as they keep going bankrupt every couple of years. At the time we started looking into the AR15 style rifles, which was about 4 years ago, Colt could not even take our order. I highly doubt if any gun manufacturer today could match aerospace industry standards.
Thinking about my last post. It is possible that Kimber and a few of the smaller gun manufacturers may be able to come close to the 1 out of 2500 figure. But I would bet big money that S&W, Colt, Winchester or Remington couldn't do it.
Bushmasters are made(mostly) here in Maine,and they have a great reputation,due to the excellent reputation of Maine workers. Sadly,the NIMBY,YUPPY and environazis have eliminated most factory jobs in Maine.
Met the owner of Bushmaster at a social function a few years ago,and a mutual friend introduced us,saying I was a very active collector,reloader,and shooter,but mostly revolvers, Owner asked me if I felt need for assault rifle. I replied I had one.and it was made in 1919!! Winchester M-1907 .351,with plenty of fully loaded(with handloads mostly) 10 shot clips. I said that anything newer wouldn't fit in with my "vintage collection". He had a great laugh!
Bushmaster never had a military contract. While they may have some "mil-spec" features they are not "mil-spec" in the manufacturing process. You may never know the difference, then again you may find out the hard way. A few years back, when the facility I was working at bought Bushmasters,something like 200 I believe, we had nothing but trouble.The armorer was cussin everyone involved in the purchase.
If you do a search on TacticalForums there is a thread on AR's, most agree that COLT is by far the best manufacturer. And these are not casual users, most are instructers including at least one from Gunsite, adn other hard shooters. Pat Rogers a former Gunsite instructer, say's he seen just about every AR brand including home built guns, and the COLT's exhibit the least problems. When I attended his class he had pic's of broken Bushmaster bolt's and unstaked carrier key.
Also, the armorer's at my current facility have told me not to even bother with any other brand, for serious training or just playin' around.
Just my 2 cents.......Bob
I have been looking at buying a good AR-15 for the last couple of months with the thought of getting into the DCM competitions locally. Have been pretty well settled on the Bushmaster DCM rifle but started looking at the DPMS rifle. Both get very good reviews in the forums I have gone to. Haven't read anything about the problems that Bob mentioned, has anyone else? It certainly is something to think about when spending a good amount of money
R Moran offers interesting anecdotal information. As I stated above, in comparing all the AR-type clones at the last SHOT Show, I decided the Rock River looked the best. Rock River had just received the DEA contract, and claimed that only Colt and Rock River passed all the tests, but Rock River won on price. Since a target shooter will not be subjecting the rifle to such tough conditions as tested, just choose one that suits you. I would consider Colt, ArmaLite, Rock River, DPMS, Bushmaster, and Olympic in roughly that order. For severe duty, I would consider Colt and Rock River only.
I guess I should have asked what he wanted it for. I still would go with COLT though. Comparing a few SHOT show gun's is also anecdotal. The individuals I spoke of earlier, mostly instructers and hard shooter's/users,that see ALOT of gun's, under hard conditions,say Rock River shows promis, but hasn't been around long enough to be sure. Only COLT can build a true M4, COLT is also the closest to "mil-spec". As with 1911's, don't confuse features with quality. No manufacture is perfect, what is?,but again it seems COLT exhibit the least problems. Ask Ken Elmore at SAW, check 10-8 forums, Tactical Forums, there is even a recent thread on 1911forums about which AR for patrol, that myself and Pat Rogers weighed in on, check that out.
My anecdotal SHOT Show evalution is based only on fit and finish, not function, which I assumed was obvious since live fire evaluations scare too many people at the SHOT Show. However, Colt has a functional track record, and Rock River apparently was good enough to get the DEA contract, so I think the performance must be there to match the fit and finish.