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With the relatively recent explosion in non-Colt AR-15-type rifles and carbines, who makes the best one in terms of quality of materials, quality control, etc.? The list of manufacturers includes Wilson, Baer, Bushmaster, Olympic Arms, Rock River, Panther and of course Colt. I am sure that many of these makers probably source their parts from the same vendor, ala Kimber/Wilson/Nowlin/Jericho. I am thinking about putting together a carbine for side matches at my local IDPA club.
Bill Go
 

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This is just my opinion, but for the price, I'd go with the Rock River ARs.
 

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Armalite and Bushmaster make good stuff. Bushy/Quality Parts customer service blows though. The best customer service is Olympic, hands down. Good stuff also. I have more than a few Oly lowers in my safe, some even have stuff bolted on them. My national match AR is an Armalite. My Spacegun and 3 gun stuff is Oly.

Tom
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My vote is for Bushmaster. Chrome bores and M16 chambers. Accurate, reliable AR's. I've actually heard good things about their customer service, haven't needed it myself though.
 

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I'll cast my vote for Bushmaster. I own both a 16" Shorty AK model and their "DCM" model that I use for highpower competition. My experience with their customer service has been superb, but then Tom could probably give just as many counter examples. Stay with the big boys (Bushy, Olympic, Armalite, Rock River), avoiding the bottom feeders, and you shouldn't go wrong.

When/if you start looking for an AR for highpower competition there's a whole 'nuther list of good folks to consider.

Mark
 

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Though I think Colt's and Bushmaster's are good, I'd have to vote for DPMS.
Almost every AR-15 I see comes "pre-scratched" except the DPMS, which has a teflon coatng over the mil-spec. They're comparable or cheaper than Bushmaster also.
Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt, DPMS, they all are 5.56 mil-spec chamber, whereas Olympic uses the .223 chamber, and actually has a warning about using mil-spec.
 

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Hey Tony... I sent you a couple messages a few months back... Never heard from you... Man, I really would like to get a Tromix upper to play with, that 458 SOCOM is a serious HAMMER!

As for the top quality players, Bushmaster leads my list... No question, quality, price, and features make it a great buy. The Bushmaster barrels are very durable, and accurate for general purposes... If you plan to make several small holes become one large one, then you may want to look at Krieger, Douglass or maybe Wilson, but for 98% of the people, the Bushie Barrel will get it done.

Rock River has raised the bar, and if they offered chrome lined barrels as standard fare, they'd probably steal much of Bushmasters thunder. Both companies have excellent customer service, and following.

DPMS has a nice product, but I'd still go with Bushie, or RR.

One the other end, Armalite is back, and building some of the best complete rifles out there, with a slight premium in price, as usual. Colt has continued to remain a top player, but they still have some challenges delivering a 'Mil-Standard' product that uses regular parts... It'd be like buying a 1911 that used S&W pins, or something non standard and special... It'd be the only one that did it.

If you're shopping, look no further than RR or Bushmaster, IMHO.
 
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