My mind shuts down and I stop listening to you when you start in on the "Tiers" of AR quality.
Because all of the "Tier One" makers have put out garbage in their day. Not all of them admitted to their error.
Because there's no warning when a Tier One company will drop to a lower level and there's no way to tell if the parts were made before or after the change.
Because there's no warning when a lower tier company will climb to a higher level and there's no way to tell if the parts were made before or after the change.
Because, based on the people who type most responses, the "tiers" seem to be, "ah fuck I paid double what he did, I need to correct the dissonance I am now feeling."
Because there really isn't much range in the quality here. There ARE companies who make crap, and they always have. There ARE companies that make good gear, and they always have. Price is not a good indicator of quality here.
This was rammed home in the "What Breaks On A Carbine Course" thread on Arfcom. Never had I seen the experts get so mealy mouthed about answering such a simple question. What breaks? WHICH SPECIFIC PARTS FAIL ON THE "LESSER" RIFLES THAT DO NOT FAIL ON THE TIER ONE?
You know what it came down to for reliability? Extractors, bolts and gas key staking.
You know what that means? All of the other parts have been rendered commodity.
Notice what didn't matter. Diameter of the receiver extension, barrel steel, chrome lining, feed ramps or rifling pitch.
Where I will admit the top names shine is accuracy. They put better barrels on than the competition. What I haven't made up my mind about is if that matters enough for the extra cost. Especially since the wadded panties are all about reliability in a combat course. Not a place where the difference between 1 and 3 moa shows.
I have anecdotes.
Charlotte, the R604 clone I made is entirely vintage Colt parts except for the lower receiver and lower parts kit. It's the most accurate 5.56 AR I own. With an unchromed 1:12 twist barrel no less.
Sabrina is an XM177E2 clone that's been to two carbine courses so far. The only parts from a Tier One company are furniture. 2,000 rounds not a hiccup.
Tabitha has been to one "not really a course but here's one anyway". 750 rounds of 6.8 later and no problems. Tabitha is significant because she's the parts bin carbine. Except for the handguards, lower and LPK every single part on her was a left-over from some other build. A literal frankenAR. Hardly a part on her that's from a Tier One place and she just keeps on trucking.
Another galling thing about the whole tier mess is how the placing was decided. It's "how close does your complete M4gery come to an actual M4". Including the barrel profile!
Should I avoid Krieghoff barrels because they don't make complete guns and thus are not tier rated?
Is there something wrong with a Stag bolt because they don't offer a 1:7 barrel or M4 feed ramps?
In short, it's all bullshit and you shouldn't buy into it. Do your research and don't fall for the easy answer.
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