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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.socomsupply.ca/details.php?id=15

I just about bought this AR-15 today. Has a Noveske upper but the lower is Socom Supplies own brand. I don't have much experience with AR's so I was wondering if the quality of the AR's lower makes a big difference in the overall fit and finish and accuracy and reliability. It should be decent enough the quality but for that price it better be top notch. The guy there said they use a cnc machine to make the lowers from aerospace grade aluminium. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I don't much care for the M16 platform. Always had problems with it that I felt I shouldn't have.

I did another nifty CQB course one week this past June. I admit, the conditions were "much less than ideal".
Out of the carbines there, this is what I recall off the top of my head:
3 Colt Commandos, I know 2 had giggle switches. None were reliable for a whole day without cleaning or lube.
1 S&W M&P15 - not completely reliable either.
2 Sabre Defense ARs, neither made it through the first day.
1 M1A Scout (18" M14) that was 100% regardless.
I don't remember what brand the other carbines were at the moment, but they weren't 100% either. Everyone had problems at some point, except for the guy with the '14.
Oh yeah, and then there was my XCR ;D The XCR is a 100% weapon.

Just based on that one class (which isn't what I'd do) I can say this: in harsh desert conditions, a M14 or an XCR will be more reliable than any AR I know of. Note, these results are based on that type area only. When I did a week-long carbine course during monsoon season, the results were very much different..... a SOCOM16 toasted (bad bolt guts from Sproingfeld - a known problem. Replaced with USGI guts, and drove on at 100% for the remainder of the course) and my 100% XCR, and the Colt Commandos worked WELL. The Bushmasters and mixmasters didn't, but the S&W M&P15s did work well.

If you're not in the desert, you'll probably like the AR. Me? I quit running my old CAR not too long after getting my first XCR. I don't see that changing either.
 

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The Brazilians make an FAL in .223, I wish it was made in 6.5 or 6.8 as I believe it would be an excellent platform. And YES, it does use AR magazines. I have to agree with Bravo, I too do not like the "direct gas" AR. All the garbage is vented into the action. NOT GOOD. :2cents: Way back in the days of the dinasaurs, Viet-Nam, I had an occasion when my AR failed. I had no F**king cleaning rod, and was out of the fight. No F**king way that will happen again... unless an AR is my ONLY choice. :duh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I could buy a Sig SG552 instead but I would like a quad rail on it and scope mount which isn't exactly easy to find in Canada. 2799 for the base gun and mags are expensive 60 bucks a pop in Canada. Or I could buy another XCR and get it with a really short barrel. 7.5-10.5 inch? I just want a really short light rifle that I could use in a relatively small space other than my Tavor. As for desert conditions I won't ever be fighting in those if the SHTF. It will more likely be heavy wooded areas, prairie, mountain or snowy and cold conditions. How does the AR hold up in those kind of climates. I can't buy a FAL by the way they are prohibited firearms in Canada as well as anything HK(except the UMP,UMC, and the SL8), the AUG and the AK. Its also going to be 2-3 months till I get my Troy MCS for my M14 which is currently having the barrel shortened to 18.5"
 

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My big problem with some sticks chambered for the 5.56 - like the FAL - is that they're far too heavy for what they are. The way I look at it, if I'm gonna carry the weight of a battle rifle, I'm gonna have it chambered in a battle rifle cartridge.

But then again, I made my name with the M14. That means I'm admittedly biased.

I guess I'd have to question what you were going to do with the shorty-shorty barrel. Not that I'm against short barrels, but I never felt like a standard 16" barrel was "too long" when doing roomclearing. At least not after getting significant 'adult supervision' LOL! I've sure thought about chopping down a barrel for debticated can use, but haven't chosen to afford that yet ;-) That's about the only reason I can think of......

If you're in the wooded areas and such, the AR will be better for you than other areas. Just remember that they do best when slathered in dinosaur juice - unless it's too cold. As for me, I live in the high desert plateaus, so that's what I normally think of.

Best of luck with the Troy. I didn't care for it - but again, I think it's "what you're used to". I'm used to that lightweight US GI synthetic stock. A good Kalashnikov though - especially one in 5.56 - is a hard act to beat. Just don't "cheap out" - buy good Weiger mags.

My East German Kalashnikov hasn't had hardly any play-time though since my first XCR proved itself. Gee, there's a trend here: XCR gets a solid work out, and the more its worked, the less I use other carbines ;-)
 

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Well I could buy a Sig SG552 instead but I would like a quad rail on it and scope mount which isn't exactly easy to find in Canada. 2799 for the base gun and mags are expensive 60 bucks a pop in Canada. Or I could buy another XCR and get it with a really short barrel. 7.5-10.5 inch? I just want a really short light rifle that I could use in a relatively small space other than my Tavor. As for desert conditions I won't ever be fighting in those if the SHTF. It will more likely be heavy wooded areas, prairie, mountain or snowy and cold conditions. How does the AR hold up in those kind of climates. I can't buy a FAL by the way they are prohibited firearms in Canada as well as anything HK(except the UMP,UMC, and the SL8), the AUG and the AK. Its also going to be 2-3 months till I get my Troy MCS for my M14 which is currently having the barrel shortened to 18.5"
Get the 552 or 553(even better) Smitty and post pics so I can drool all over myself. Its the perfect super short barreled platform I think. Standard length SBR coolness goes to the 551 or in a modern platform the XCR with the 12.5 incher. You guys got it dicked with no SBR restrictions but to hell with the mag limitations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I can have as short of a barrel as 4.25 inches lol. The gun will be restricted at anything less than 18.5" which means I can only shoot it at a range or use for home defense. Less than 4.25 inches the gun is prohibited and I can't own those. :( The mag restrictions are because of the massacre that occured in Montreal in 1989. Some guy went into the university there and killed a bunch of women with a ruger mini 14 with a bunch of 30 round mags. So they restricted them the next year when the Liberal Government took power. It hasn't been changed since then. Its kinda of stupid cause there was another massacre there more recently where a psychopath went into a college again this time with a beretta CX storm rifle and also carried 2 pistols with him so if he ran out of bullets with the rifle because of the pathetic restrictions and someone tried to rush him he just pulled one of the pistols and put them down. This guy actually killed more people than the first guy did. This just proved because you limit the rounds doesn't mean a psycho can't kill just as many people with 5 or 10 rounds as he can with 30. And we have to suffer from all of these psychos and Liberal law makers. I would give my left testicle if we could get these stupid laws permanently removed.
 

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I too am not a big fan of the M16/AR platform and I've been around it for 2 1/2 decades.

I've personally witness them fail at the worst of times that shouldn't have failed. In actual combat and right at the moment they needed to work. That was in the desert and exposed to a harsh enviroment. Just as Bravo said, the M16 don't fare well in a harsh desert enviroment. And youe typical AR kool-aid drinker, to include OIF'ers will insist that it was operator error for lack of maintenance. Well let me elaborate: try to board and unboard a Blackhawk with 130 lbs of gear and it pickws you up in the desert to drop you off in the other part of the desert. Rotor wash is a bitch. Guys in Iraq now are less exposed to the desert as we were back then.

AR needs to be run 'wet', as in oiled well. When it's wet it works great.

Direct impingement has it's good and bad. The good is that it has less heavy moving parts and this helps in reducing recoil and weight, specifically a big heavy op rod.

The bad, you probably know it already, it injects hot gasses and carbon directly into the bolt.

I will attest that I've never experience or seen an AR or M16 crap out on that alone. I will add that I've seen pool issued M4's used for range purposes only packed with carbon all around the gas tube (well) in the upper receiver, bolt carriers also packed with carbon, and still function. I can't see how weapons were allowed to get that fouled with carbon but they worked. Of course I knew this because I was the one cleaning, inspecting and servicing these M4's.

Keep up with cleaning and it won't be an issue.

DUST! Dust sucks! The M16 doesn't do well with dust because in order to limit dust (AKA sand) from clogging up the action is to keep it dry. Still dust and sand get's in the action even with the dust cover close from in between the receivers, barrel, etc. Although expelling carbon has some lubricating quality, it's not ideal. Add that it needs a big ol' buffer in a tube in the but stock that is usally dry, but if sand and dust gets in there it leaves alot of bearing surface runnig friction with dust or sand in between.

AR's aren't not a 'bad' platform. In fact I do believe they are ideal as a patrol rifle. Pretty much what the guys in Iraq are more exposed to, not so much for the guys in Afghanistan. The rifle is the lightest patrol rifle used in masse, ...before everybody adds the additional 8 lbs. of stuff on it. Carry enough heavy gear strapped on to your body you too will want to carry a light carbine. And it is accurate, nimble, modular, and very gunsmith/armorer friendly and I think it's a great LE patrol carbine. What it is not is end user cleaning friendly.

And it seems as if the entire US gun market solely targets the AR platform and every rifle out there gets compared to it except the AK and Garand platforms.

That is mostly good, some bad. If you haven't hear it yet the AR is the Barbie Doll for men.

The good; you can find all kinds of parts to make the most up to date, uber tacti-cool, AR known in the history of mankind, ....for about 12 minutes when the NEXT, gotta-have-it, uber-tati-cool AR part comes out and your AR is now obsolete.

The bad; a lot of shitty and/or unnecessary parts are made and sold in the market.

MY ADVICE: The rule of thumb, specifically if you are new to AR's, keep it simple, keep it milspec (and make sure that the manufacturer is a milspec supplier of parts and that indeed you are getting that milspec part and not the "civilian/commercial" version, AKA "junk" parts - Bushmaster is known to do that). Get whatever AR from a reputable, i.e. not the really really cheap one, manufacturer. Better yet, find the sucker who paid big bucks for that AR and needs the money and get it from him. With as many AR's that are out there he'll never get what he paid, ...unless? We won't go there. Just go to the Politiking section of this forum.

Receivers:

I've only owned Colt's and one Bushmaster, and as duty guns all have been Colt's except for one FN. The rule of thumb USED to be to stick with the ABC brands. Armalite, Bushmaster, and Colt. The issue was that the upper and lower receivers from many other manufacturers were hit and miss as far as fitting *cough*OlympicArms*cough*. Of course stay away from Hesse, century and the other crap manufacturers.

But since then it seems hard press to find receivers that are NOT milspec cut. The only issue would be wether the finish would match up to the same color and sheen. If they don't, duracoat. I will say this, being a Colt elitists, don't get a Colt unless you want to pay extra for a company logo who doesn't give a crap about US civvy sales and won't support you.

Stag, Rock River, Bushmaster, and about a jillion other manufacturer (a new brand a week - no exsageration) they all seem to be fine. As much as I deal with EBR's it is tough for me to even keep track of who makes lowers and uppers. Haven't heard about any one going 'Kaboom!' b/c of that. Besides Colt, Noveske, LMT, Vltor, and some others are considered top of the class. Many more manufacturers make upper receivers. Never heard of any issues. More on those later.


Trigger and Hammer pins:
Colt's use a larger diameter trigger and hammer pins on the civvy AR's. If you want to avoid hassles w/getting a match type trigger, avoid Colt. Word has it that they will be going back to the smaller pins. fugem anyways.
The "anti-walk" pins. The issue was "if you shoot a lot, specially full auto, the trigger pins start to elongate". Bullshit! You and I don't have enough money to buy that many rounds and you'll go through a few barrels to get that bad. What I have experience has been a trigger pin working out and it will be hard to pull the trigger in case you hadn't noticed the pin sliding out. Just slide it back in and make sure the hammer spring engages it well that time. The other "anti-walk" pins require having to use itty bitty c clips or screws. Keep it simple, keep it milspec.

Triggers

I've only used the standard military type triggers. I've shot a NM Rock River trigger. It was nice. Go with what you like best here. Hard to go wrong. Remember about Colt's pin diameter on this one.

Stocks

Unless you are going non-collapsible (A1 or A2, or that other aborational short one) make sure to get the milspec buffer/stock tube. It won't matter if it's 4 position or 6. After that you can slap on whatever stock you'd like. I hear the Jenna Jamison has a CAR stock made out of latex and molded from her right tit. JK.
This is where i noticed that there are 'commercial' parts. The first time I noticed that I was like "WTF? Commercial tubes?" I hadn't realized that NOW we have a milspec and a commercial sized. I still don't know why that is. But if you have a commercial tube, a milspec stock won't go on. It's retarded, but so are many AR manufacturers and owners.

To be continued.....
 

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Some thoughts, mostly spurred by I303's post:

Cleaning carbon: there are a couple of items that will make your life SO much better. First off, SLIP2000 Carbon Killer. Drop the bolt in there for 5 minutes or so, pull out, and wipe the carbon off with a paper towel. Literally. It can be used on a patch to get carbon off other areas too, like the gas tube. Hose everything off well (I like Sheath - renamed Baracade - for that myself) 'cause it strips ALL the oil off.

The second is Pantheon Chemicals gun cleaner. This is marketed as Hoppes Elite and MPro7 both. You clean with this - it's not as fast as the SLIP2000 stuff - and the carbon quits sticking to the part. A good for-instance: I use this on the gas piston on the XCR all the time. When I need to clean it, just a poke or two with a brass carbon scraper makes all the carbon literally flake off in big chunks. Needless to say, I like 'em both - the SLIP2000 for parts I can dunk (bolts, carriers, etc) and the Hoppes Elite for parts that I can't.

As was mentioned, the AR is a carbon building piece without question. Like I303, I've seen 'em NASTY - and functional. As long as the black goo is semi-liquid, they're OK..... as soon as the black goo gets dirty and dry, best of luck!

Trigger / hammer pins: these can wear the receiver out, but it takes forever. I bought a 'matched set' A2 upper and lower from PWA (now Rock River) back just after we first got the M16A2. I thought they were cool, 'cause of the sights..... at first. My guess is that I bought that upper / lower in '88 or '89. No such thing as flat-tops back then.

Not that many years ago, probably 3, maybe 4, my carbine started doubling on me. As that's bad juju, she went to my 'smith - the same 'smith that built her in the first place. I should note that he's the Navy's NM team armorer, so he knows a thing or a bazillionteen about the M16/AR. He said the reason was that my pin holes had wallowed enough that the WONDERFUL trigger job he'd done couldn't hold. Instead, he dropped in one of those modular triggers, and it's been fine ever since.

If I'd been using US GI parts, then this wouldn't have ever happened - but then I'd have had to have a US GI trigger pull, and both of these triggers are substantially better than anything any GI ever got. You pays your money and you take your chances. In my opinion, 15 to 18 years worth of serious shooting is a realistic lifespan for a lower - but that's just my opinion.

I've got several 5.56 weapons in the safe. If, for some reason, I had to hand one to my son and grab one myself and go - the AR would still be in the safe. There's nothing that it'll do the XCR can't do better, with the lone exception (again, as noted by I303) of weight. But we're not talking about much weight......

Best of luck!
 

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I just built an AR with a Daniel Defense 9.5FSP rail, Adams Arms gas piston system and stag lower. It's reasonably light to hold and shoot. Recoil is no issue other than the sound of the recoil buffer. It's clean and accurate. It is chambered in 5.56 with a fluted bull barrel.

I'd never volunterily use a DI AR. I've used them in the past in the British military and always found them to be too fickle. If you're role doesn't involve crazy all out gunfights, recon etc.., they are ok, but if you're in the heat of battle, shooting hundereds of rounds per day then they have issues. For most roles that isn't going to happen but its still a risk.

While I'm still not massively in favor of ARs this one with it's piston on top of a 1:8 SS match barrel it's actually quite nice. The match trigger is the bollocks, makes the XCR trigger really look shit. I can see why bolt failures happen so oftern on DI rifles due to overheating. With the piston that doesn't happen at all.

ARs are like Chevy V8s. They aren't perfect but they are good and you can play with them and get lots of performance. Until I see 3gun national being won by XCRs or anythng other than an AR I'm going to keep this one. I still like my XCR and neither rifle is perfect but I can play more with the AR than the XCR.
 

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Everything you ever wanted to know about what/who makes a good AR: http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642

For a hobby gun, most any AR will run just fine. Most of the things in that thread pertain to those using a firearm professionally, so keep that in mind. As well, being in Canada makes it difficult to find a lot of things. LMT is carried by Questar in Canada, and Socom carries Noveske as you have found. Finding a colt 6920 in Canada is hard and expensive!
 

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I can't speak from the perspective of those who have used the AR in battle. I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who shoots a lot and wants quality stuff, and above all stuff that runs right. I have a DI Bushmaster that has run a carbine class (4 years ago) 1500 rounds no cleaning, hot outside. Not one malfunction. In fact the gun has never acted up. It's the only AR platform rifle I've had that ran right out of the box. My Armalite .308 didn't run right had to send it back, my POF 9 3/4 had issues, my new .308 POF has had hiccups due to ammo and I'm still sorting it out. I now have this lefty Stag upper on a POF lower with Adams Arms piston and 10.5" barrel. It seems to run just fine but my smith helped me debug it (gas port on barrel). Now it's a dream but needed some work.

I have a buddy with a LWRC 10.5 upper on a LMT lower, he's had no issues. I've seen it malfunction in a class though.

So far my XCR has had zero problems. The only issues were gas related with the old system cause I cut my barrel to 11" and it hadn't been done yet. We fixed it, but then the new gas system came out and fixed everyone's problem. But it's never malfunctioned.

What is nice about AR's is there's tons of stuff for them, parts etc, and always will be. With the piston kit I think it transformed it into a better gun. They're light and overall smaller compared to other guns.

My favorite is still my XCR cause it's always done what I asked of it.

As long as you get the right AR you should be fine and it should be very enjoyable. I don't know if you have access to a good gun smith, but if you do develop a relationship with him and he can help fix/prevent a lot of issues no matter what gun.
 
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