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Why should I buy a more expensive AR-15?


Old Man

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I'd say keep shooting your S&W until you feel that it isn't a thrill anymore and you want something a bit higher end.  If you are using it for home defense, your training and maintenance of the weapon will matter more than the brand it was sold under should worst case come to pass.  It's on you to make sure that gun can be put on target properly, go bang when required and not put anybody else in danger except the bad guy while doing so.
 
The day may well come where you feel you have outgrown your first AR.  You'll know when that time comes.  I wouldn't recommend an impulse purchase that could set you back like a high name brand AR can unless you have that much disposable income.  There is nothing wrong with buying a Colt, Daniel Defense or BCM to just go with three off the top of my head, but if you are comfortable shooting your S&W, have at it until you are ready to change brands.


^^^^ This, I had my AR for years (M&P 15T) and was happy, then my kids and nephew/nieces started shooting it and it has symbolically become theirs. I just traded some handguns for a totally different AR because, we'll, seemed like the right time and as LNG as there grades were good they could shoot "their" AR. Once you find the balance of family, time and money as stated above, you'll know.
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[quote name="Clod Stomper" post="1178984" timestamp="1407894187"]Wait.... When did ar15.com and m4carbine.net merge?[/quote] I'm guessing all the sites that cater to AR-15 owners are full of gun snobs, huh? I wonder if the 1911 forum members turn their noses up at anything that isn't a Nighthawk or a Wilson Combat.
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I'm guessing all the sites that cater to AR-15 owners are full of gun snobs, huh? I wonder if the 1911 forum members turn their noses up at anything that isn't a Nighthawk or a Wilson Combat.

No. the 1911 forums have their share of snobs but they don't berate those of us that own RIA's.

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No. the 1911 forums have their share of snobs but they don't berate those of us that own RIA's.

they berated me ive also seen them bash colt and sti so that tells me something ... but on the AR thing just start building uppers  

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AR15.com has a lot of excellent info, but you do have to sort through a ton of BS to find it sometimes.

 

Once you figure out how to separate the wheat from the chaff, you can get just about any AR15-realted question you could think of correctly answered there pretty quickly.

 

Of course, you can more than likely get the same correct answer here... it just might take longer.  :up:

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AR15.com has a lot of excellent info, but you do have to sort through a ton of BS to find it sometimes.

 

Once you figure out how to separate the wheat from the chaff, you can get just about any AR15-realted question you could think of correctly answered there pretty quickly.

 

Of course, you can more than likely get the same correct answer here... it just might take longer.  :up:

 

ARFCOM is my go to place when I really need good info. I don't hang out there, but do use it when i have the tougher questions. Not sure if I have ever made a post there.

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For me, and just for me, I like some higher end things simply as preference, not necessity. They aren't any "better" (likely) than some of my other guns. I like billet receivers simply because of the cool designs that can be cut into them as opposed to forged receivers. I like BCM products because I know they just plain work. I like Noveske barrels just because I do. Your S&W AR will probably perform just as well as one I've built with all those components, at a fraction of the price. That being said, I've never bought an assembled AR rifle, so my opinion may not be the one you're looking for. But I've built about 10 or so now, so I know my way around them. Ninety nine percent of us don't "need" high end stuff.
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depends on what you buy.  Here are some of the things you can get for more money:

 

- more metal parts

- brand name recognition (colt, etc)

- accuracy (les baer custom competition ar?)

- better trigger

- widgets (dust cover, more places to hang bayonets & flashlights & tripods & laserbeams & so on), or a bigger shinier flash hider, or a threaded barrel, or ...

- durability (the 250k round count thing you said you didnt need, but if its the end of the world..)

- slighty better quality parts in some cases

- satisfaction of building your own from expensive parts?

- cosmetics (similar to widgets only even less useful)

 

which boils down to what was already said --- not really all that much for the money spent unless you have a specific want or need.  And unless your want or need is a new gun of "higher quality" (note the quotes) you can address most standard wants & needs (say, a better trigger pull) by installing it on your existing gun for (relatively) cheap.  If &  when you replace enough stuff, buy an upper and lower frame and build a second one from the old parts?

 

I have 3 of the S&Ws now.  They are *fine* guns.   One is abused with a bumpfire stock, one is normal, and the third is the 308.   That tells you how impressed I was with the first one I bought.  

Edited by Jonnin
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[quote name="Jonnin" post="1179147" timestamp="1407947148"] - durability (the 250k round count thing you said you didnt need, but if its the end of the world..) - [/quote] If it's the end of the world, no one will survive the number of firefights required to shoot a barrel out.
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If it's the end of the world, no one will survive the number of firefights required to shoot a barrel out.

 

barrel will be the last thing to go, agreed.  But in that scenario, a cheap extractor or something might cause some woes, or a gun that overheats and melts or something, or can't run dirty, ....

Edited by Jonnin
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If it's the end of the world, no one will survive the number of firefights required to shoot a barrel out.

 

I will. I'm a zombie killin mofo. :). That's why I have a bunch of AR's. Little zombies, BIG zombies, quiet zombies, and zombies that are far away.

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[quote name="Jonnin" post="1179163" timestamp="1407948192"]barrel will be the last thing to go, agreed. But in that scenario, a cheap extractor or something might cause some woes, or a gun that overheats and melts or something, or can't run dirty, ....[/quote] Still. Most here wouldn't survive long enough to burn even a basic combat load. If that type of fighting is going on, which it likely wouldn't due to mutual understanding of the likelihood of death, most folks won't survive long. Those here who have experienced fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan did so with their well trained, well equipped peers fighting along side of them, with the might of the US military having their back. Even I can't comprehend the danger of SHTF, every man for himself situation, but I do know I won't live through it long if I'm slinging lead regularly enough to have catastrophic failures related to use.
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[quote name="mikegideon" post="1179180" timestamp="1407951273"]I will. I'm a zombie killin mofo. :). That's why I have a bunch of AR's. Little zombies, BIG zombies, quiet zombies, and zombies that are far away.[/quote] It will change drastically if the zombies have guns and know basic flanking techniques.
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It will change drastically if the zombies have guns and know basic flanking techniques.

 

Hope you know I was joking :). My vision is of total chaos, not well trained forces. But yeah. Your risk of mortality goes way up when folks are shooting at you. :)

Edited by mikegideon
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[quote name="mikegideon" post="1179192" timestamp="1407951846"]Hope you know I was joking :). My vision is of total chaos, not well trained forces. But yeah. Your risk of mortality goes way up when folks are shooting at you. :)[/quote] I know you're kidding. I do believe that our community gets a little delusional when it comes to the idea of what will happen if SHTF in terms of violence and the survivability of repeated intense combat. I don't know what scenario people think they're gonna be shooting thousands of rounds of ammo and living through it. If you're using that much ammo in that environment it means that someone is probably using an equal or greater amount against you, otherwise they would break contact. In this scenario the chances of surviving are not good.
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I know you're kidding. I do believe that our community gets a little delusional when it comes to the idea of what will happen if SHTF in terms of violence and the survivability of repeated intense combat. I don't know what scenario people think they're gonna be shooting thousands of rounds of ammo and living through it. If you're using that much ammo in that environment it means that someone is probably using an equal or greater amount against you, otherwise they would break contact. In this scenario the chances of surviving are not good.

 

what  I think of in terms of those #s is over time.  Decades of hunting & survival, not a big shootout.  The biggest use of ammo would, realistically, be blind spray from cover at a hostile group to drive them off/escape; cover fire type stuff, likely to stop being an issue within a couple of months after "the event".   And you will note that my ars are cheap -- not too worried about it. 

Edited by Jonnin
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[quote name="Jonnin" post="1179828" timestamp="1408103119"]what I think of in terms of those #s is over time. Decades of hunting & survival, not a big shootout. The biggest use of ammo would, realistically, be blind spray from cover at a hostile group to drive them off/escape; cover fire type stuff, likely to stop being an issue within a couple of months after "the event". And you will note that my ars are cheap -- not too worried about it. [/quote] I think that the amount of use an AR would see over the lifetime would be marginal for a person who was: A. Using primarily as a survival weapon to kill food and defend from aggressors, and B. Had a finite amount of ammunition as there was no more being manufactured, therefore use of said weapon would not include high volumes of ammo used for training. One should be able to put thousands upon thousands of rounds through reputable factory AR with no issues. Of course there are lemons out there which are exceptions to the rule, but having experienced putting 10-15k rounds through an issued M4 in a couple weeks time with little cleaning, and having no malfunction of a weapon built by the lowest bidder, I have confidence that a base model AR will do everything a person needs it to do in any scenario.
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I would caveat by saying the biggest threat of damage to an AR is unrelated to shooting it. In a survival scenario the likelihood of catastrophic damage to the weapon is going to be at the buffer tube or the gas tube. This is the only reason I don't like the plastic lowers. They can break off the buffer way easier than an aluminum gun.
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