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Testing a cheap AR15s reliability and durability?

What kind of tests would you put a rifle through to ensure its reliable enough for defensive/"serious use"? Im curious mainly on what tests someone should do to ensure a more budget oriented rifle is "ready to rock n' roll"....Take AR15s for example...Not everyone can afford Noveske,Larue,Daniel Defense or Black Rain ord. at the moment and they might have to settle for a PSA,Ruger,Spikes etc...How many rounds should they test through it minimum? What parts should be inspected?(gas keys,feed ramps,gas rings,buffers etc), should there be somekind of mini "torture test" prior to setting it back for a "serious" situation?
Im not asking because im a noob either(although i am compared to a quite a few here) Ive got two psa lowers im getting ready to go over and i know theres a couple people here who have bought budget oriented Ar15s and worked the "kinks" out.

I know you get what you pay for when it comes to AR15s... such as Noveskes that are damn near perfect in everyway with possibly the best QC in the idustry and thats why you pay a high premium(although i hate all the loctite they use). I personally wont ever buy anything priced too much above BCM,Colt,LMTor Lwrc...i like buying rack grade rifles built for hard use and just adding the premium brands parts i want later(like a noveske barrel) , i dont care so much about accurracy or finish (which is where the premium brands shine).. the triggers are usually the same gritty mil spec triggers and the rack grade rifles usually have the same quality BCGs.... just thought i would state that last bit to deter an arguement over budget vs premium brand AR15s and give an idea of where im coming from.

we had a similar conversation on the old forum but it was on 1911s instead of AR15s and it had some interesting info i hadnt considered, im hoping for a similar discussion.


  • LWRC has better triggers than a POS Cabelas rack gun. Better barrel as well. And better fit and finish. And a better BCG. Well, better dang near everything. Same goes for Noveske, PWS, POF, LaRue, many of the premium brands.

    If you're going to build from scratch, build it right the first time, don't build it two or three times making it better every time.
  • There are ONLY two things that I want to change out on our AR that I built recently, and that is to get some metal MAGPUL backup sites and a better upper so my headspace is where I want it.

    edited September 2017
    What happened to the upper? I never had that problem with either of my PSA rifles that i had before. If your unning BUIS ..as in they are your back up to an optic theres FAB defense polymer buis you dont need a tool to adjust them either just a penny or knife or whatever and the front adjusts by hand with a little dial and theyre proven ..Israel issues them(supposedly) and theyre cheaper,slimmer and better built then the magpul buis. I run a Troy fixed sight up front and a fab defense buis on the back and im all over the place on optics so i like having durable iron sights that i can beat up when i take a class or for when I decide to be a dick head to my gear.
  • Ive already got a pretty awsome drop in trigger in my Colt, the finish and barrel are trash though...I was considering getting a Noveske barrel but im not sure which one just yet ...what would you recomend? I was asking about budget rifles so i can have a couple back ups/loaner type rifles ....despite me clowning on noveske im actually considering building a noveske from scratch after i get a couple beater rifles built and get my Colt where i want it.
  • Your upper doesn't determine your headspace. Your bolt should be matched to your barel and it's extension.

    What issues are you having with headspace?
  • If you don't buy crap, you don't need back up rifles, just a few backup parts for wear parts.
  • edited September 2017

    It has a brand new M-4 barrel that I got from a ex-Blackwater buddy of mine and a brand new KG AR15 BCG 5.56/223/ 300 Blackout Nitride Bolt Carrier Group. The no name upper seemed to be just a few hairs long on the threaded part and the slot was a bit long, so when assembled the headspace kept coming up as being on the far end.
    So when I can afford it I will just get a Palmetto upper to match the lower and hope that I get a better overall unit to build up.

    As for the Back up sites, I didn't know that there were MAGPUL ripoffs out there, the box and packaging all had the exact same logo and such but the sites were plastic and just seem a little cheap , and I was told later by a couple of other guys who saw them and said that they were bootlegged. So I want to get the REAL metal ones when I can.

  • Headspace isn't set by the upper. It's set by the bolt and the extension. You'll change the upper and I've the same issues if you don't have the bolt and barrel timed and headspace together.

    How are you checking your headspace? Go/NoGo gauges or some other method?
    edited September 2017
    Id skip steel flip sights...i will find the article where they drop tested them and post it...the magpul buis did much better then the steel troy flip sights.
  • Hey Sradeskie do you know what the difference is between the 2nd & 3rd gen noveskie uppers and lowers? and what the hell is the "mur" upper?
  • I've never been a big enough fan of Noveske to know the differences. I like them, have run them, never cared beyond that. Sorry.
  • I live in Oregon so I feel like i should have at least one Noveske rifle...plus i like all the flaming pig stuff.
  • Here's what I do to test ANY weapons for reliability: disassemble and inspect, clean and reassemble. Then, go out and buy 1000 rounds of the cheapest, crappyest, steel case russian ammo you can find. Go home and send them downrange as fast as you can squeeze the trigger. If it jams, stovepipes, ftf's more than 10 times during your cycle, sell it to a moron and try your call again. If it passes THAT test, go buy some good ammo, I do 200 rounds. Test it at 100 metres, if you can still hit a man sized silhouette center mass 7 out of 10 times, (don't have to be pinpoint accurate, just hit the target) it passes the reliability test. Now, clean it, reassemble it, and check it's pinpoint accuracy with your favorite ammo, only YOU can decide if it passes that part.

  • thanks scout one ..makes sense and ill probably start doing something like that.
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