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Would Like Advice on a Gun Choice Issue
2/16/13 | lafroste

Posted on 02/16/2013 2:00:47 PM PST by lafroste

I am interested in adding an AR-15 to my microscopic collection. My question is about the pros and cons of a carbon fiber receiver and lower vs. milled 7075 Aluminum parts. My gut reaction is that the carbon fiber parts are likely superior, but I also know that they have detractors. In addition the cost of using the carbon parts are substantially less than the Al parts. That makes me suspicious of their quality. Does anyone here have experience and may be willing to make suggestions on which way to go? Thanks very much, FReepers are the best!


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: ar15; banglist

1 posted on 02/16/2013 2:00:54 PM PST by lafroste
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To: lafroste

An undocumented one


2 posted on 02/16/2013 2:07:06 PM PST by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: lafroste

http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=432545

Just depends on who makes it. Most are crappy.

Me, I agree with idea that there is nothing wrong with carbon fibre rifles IF engineered to be carbon fibre from the start. Using carbon fibre in place of aluminium and copying the original aluminium design without re-inforcement is a bad idea.


3 posted on 02/16/2013 2:07:15 PM PST by TheThirdRuffian (RINOS like Romney, McCain, Dole are sure losers. No more!)
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To: lafroste
for plinking or to trust yer life with???
4 posted on 02/16/2013 2:07:25 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: lafroste

At this point you’ll be lucky to find ANY AR15 let alone have to make a choice on its construction.

That said, carbon fiber is very strong and light but it cannot handle the stresses in the same way metal does. Anything which causes deflection of the carbon fiber will damage it and the damage cannot be repaired.

There are some good comments on ar15.com.


5 posted on 02/16/2013 2:12:13 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: lafroste

You picked a bad time to go AR shopping.
Its a bad time for building them too.
You’ll be lucky to find parts.


6 posted on 02/16/2013 2:14:53 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: lafroste
Stick with ‘06.
7 posted on 02/16/2013 2:16:03 PM PST by x1stcav (Man up! We're all going to have to become Samuel Whittemores.)
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To: TheThirdRuffian
Well put. The designs would be quite different depending on the material.

The AR seriesupper and lower were designed to be made from aluminum and unless redesigned for composites, not tinkered with.

8 posted on 02/16/2013 2:18:21 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: mylife
You picked a bad time to go AR shopping. Its a bad time for building them too. You’ll be lucky to find parts.

This is so true but if you want to spend the money you can find plenty of very expensive AR's just check out armslist.com.

I would stay away from anything but a forged aluminum lower and spend the extra money to buy a good one.

9 posted on 02/16/2013 2:22:01 PM PST by KirbDog
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To: doorgunner69

Carbon fiber is not for people that don’t pay attention to it all the time. When it fails it fails catastrophically and sometimes without warning. If you are an idiot bicyclist or one without teeth then you put a carbon fork on your bike because you don’t mind if it breaks. Smart cyclist still use steel or titanium. I would imagine smart gun owners do the same

http://www.bustedcarbon.com/


10 posted on 02/16/2013 2:24:45 PM PST by Fai Mao
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To: lafroste
Up until a tragic boating accident in which I lost all my firearms, I had two different AR-15's.

I'm far from an expert, but based on my own personal (limited) experience you do not want a carbon fiber AR-15. I just cannot see how one could possibly stand up to the rigors that an AR-15 will likely be put through in the near future.

If you look at gun and ammo sales, this is a country that's (IMHO) preparing for civil war. Do you want something tried, true and reliable or lighter weight?

I'll go for reliable any day.

BTW: I HIGHLY recommend The Rock River Arms LAR-15 Series. A finer, more reliable AR-15 you won't find.

Disclaimer: NO, I DO NOT work for Rock River Arms. I am however one of their customers and a fan of their quality craftsmanship.

11 posted on 02/16/2013 2:27:25 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: usconservative

I bought a Core15 AR, but haven’t been able to shoot it yet.


12 posted on 02/16/2013 2:29:31 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Fai Mao

My Cousin did that in a bike race! Ouch!!
The thing disintegrated in a corner.


13 posted on 02/16/2013 2:30:02 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: lafroste

Most of the plastic ones are polymer.

Pros: Might take a crushing incident better than aluminum because of its “memory.”

Cons: It will age and fault, eventually, especially in high altitude sunlight. And it will easily burn.

Aluminum:

Pros: Won’t age and fault nearly as fast. Won’t burn to the point of being out of spec as easily. Don’t crush it, and it will probably outlast polymer by many years.

Cons: Might not crush to being out of spec as easily, but doesn’t have the “memory” of polymers used in lowers.


14 posted on 02/16/2013 2:42:33 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: lafroste

Properly designed and engineered for the plastic material, carbon fiber lower should be fine. The problem is the manufacturers of these lowers try to make them look like the aluminum lowers. This does not work, and thee are many failures in the buffer tube area due to not having enough “meat” to support the stresses there.

The cost of the lower is small compared to the complete rifle, just spend the extra $80 and get an aluminum lower for your rifle.


15 posted on 02/16/2013 2:43:36 PM PST by wrench
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To: usconservative

Lost all mine in a tragic asteroid strike recently.


16 posted on 02/16/2013 2:48:51 PM PST by Newtoidaho
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To: lafroste
At this point you will probably have to take whatever you can find, and pay dearly for it. You will be hard put to find ammo and extra magazines.

Why did you wait so long?

17 posted on 02/16/2013 2:49:16 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: lafroste
From using them for more than two decades in the military to building them and fixing them for another two decades buy a good metal lower. Put that extra money into a second upper or better optics on top. If that hasn't broken the bank buy a big pile of ammo and practice on a regular basis.
All of this is worthless information right now. AR’s and everything AR is/are hard to find.
18 posted on 02/16/2013 2:54:08 PM PST by oldenuff2no
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To: driftdiver

Nice rifle. I have on of their earlier Tactical versions with the factory quad rail. It’s direct impingement and has been a great shooter through 500 rounds or so. I have an Eotech XPS2 on it and at anything under 100 yards or so you’re mine.


19 posted on 02/16/2013 3:00:41 PM PST by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: mylife

J&T Distributing has a boat load of parts. They were at a local gun show and had at least 40 uppers on display.


20 posted on 02/16/2013 3:06:18 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (There is no requirement to show need in order to exercise your rights.)
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To: Fai Mao
Only looked into it briefly when I saw a mention of a lower made from composites, and it turned out to be an injection molded part with some reinforcement. A cheap alternative to machined aluminum.

This is not nearly the same as a carbon fiber part, assuming such a thing exists. All sorts of things would probably require metal inserts like pin holes and other load bearing surfaces. An answer to a question nobody asked. Not like an AR needs to be even lighter..........

21 posted on 02/16/2013 3:09:10 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: lafroste

I don’t think you should buy one NOW unless it costs around what they did two months ago. I guess it depends on your state. I don’t think the federal ban will pass, but if it does, I think my state will nullify.

I saw New Frontier stripped lowers for over 100.00 on gun broker but I’m thinking they’ll go back down.


22 posted on 02/16/2013 3:10:00 PM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

What about Lowers?


23 posted on 02/16/2013 3:18:47 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: lafroste
At this point, and in this market, you'll go nuts trying to build from parts. Either you won't find them, or you'll have to settle for something you didn't want, and you'll certainly pay all the money for whatever's available. Quality always suffers in panic sprees when manufacturers go into overdrive, as evidenced in 2008. Expect to see more of the same claims being made shortly about components being produced right now.

Bide your time and buy a fully assembled genuine Colt's whenever you find one available and new in the box. Prices are sky-high anyway.

If you'd seen the foolishness I'd seen at the local gun show today, you'll stay home and buy from a reputable online dealer. Have your credit card handy, because you're going to warm that mother up.

24 posted on 02/16/2013 3:26:12 PM PST by The KG9 Kid (Demand Common Sense Nut Control.)
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To: MtBaldy

I’m looking for optics but have no idea what to get. Have looked at trijicon and aimpoint. Both are expensive but I’m looking for quality.

Hopefully prices and availability will improve and I can get a couple more.


25 posted on 02/16/2013 3:32:28 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: lafroste

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws08jLy31v8


26 posted on 02/16/2013 3:49:48 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: driftdiver
"I’m looking for optics but have no idea what to get. Have looked at trijicon and aimpoint. Both are expensive but I’m looking for quality.'

Take a look at the Burris AR-332 and AR-536 Prism sights. I have the 332 on a 16" AR-10, and it easily sustains the recoil forces of the .308. It's relatively low profile and compact, and for its size, has good light gathering ability. The reticle can be illuminated in green or red w/ five brightness settings in each color. Best of all, when you turn it off or if the battery fails, you still have the reticle in black.

You can also get kill flash screens and quick detach mounts for them, and will pay far less than you would for a Trij.

27 posted on 02/16/2013 4:03:14 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: lafroste
Don't buy one now.

Wait until the price comes back down.

We've been through this before.

The Left is not going to get a single gun bill passed. They are just stirring up as much dust as possible so while you're paying attention to guns, they get six other things on their bucket list done.

28 posted on 02/16/2013 4:18:55 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("Somebody has to be courageous enough to stand up to the bullies." --Dr. Ben Carson)
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To: lafroste

Don’t bother with carbon fiber.

If you get a nick or abrasion on it, the first time you run your hand over any fibers that are cut and sticking up from the surface, you’ll be wishing you had bought aluminum.

CF also isn’t something you can re-finish, should you ever wear off the outside finish.

Overall, I really don’t see the point for CF on guns. To add stiffness to a wood stock, sure. But to make a receiver or front tube out of one? It’s a solution in search of a problem.


29 posted on 02/16/2013 4:42:26 PM PST by NVDave
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To: NVDave

Carbon fiber is really nasty if you try to sand or machine it. It will tear up your lungs and if any pieces get under your skin you’ll have a very tough time getting them out.


30 posted on 02/16/2013 4:57:41 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

I have a slightly different take on this.

Just casual observation, but Carbon Fiber AR15s seem to be slightly easier to find these days. Personally, I would rather have a Carbon Fiber AR15 than no AR15.

If you can find one, go for it.

A close second is a Mini-14, which will fire either .223 or 5.56.


31 posted on 02/16/2013 5:41:30 PM PST by CurlyDave
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To: al baby; lafroste

great point al

plastic or aluminum, either one

but no paper


32 posted on 02/16/2013 5:48:05 PM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: mylife

No stripped lowers were in sight. Plenty of kits.


33 posted on 02/16/2013 5:53:07 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (There is no requirement to show need in order to exercise your rights.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I am surprised.


34 posted on 02/16/2013 5:55:28 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: CurlyDave

Good point but my money is on the shortage easing up in 6 months or so.


35 posted on 02/16/2013 6:15:34 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: The KG9 Kid

Correct. Run parallel paths. Place an order for a fully built now, and have fun parting one while the other is being built. But definitely get in the queue for one NOW!


36 posted on 02/16/2013 6:27:37 PM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: lafroste
Your gut reaction may be wrong. It's my understanding that plastic lowers (Carbon 15 by Bushmaster comes to mind) can crack and are generally regarded as less sturdy than aluminum. I would just get an aluminum AR, they're still fairly light and well made ones can last a long time, like M16s made in the sixties are still in use kinda long. Someone may own a plastic AR and disagree, that's fine. This is just my opinion.

Getting mags may be less difficult than finding reasonably priced ammo to fill them. Ammo choice is another hot topic, I really like the terminal effects of M193 spec ammo so I try to stockpile that (Federal XM193 is well liked), there are better rounds in existence if I understand correctly. Mk262 spec ammo tends to have better terminal effects at 300+ meters, and Mk318 spec is supposed to be a better penetrating version of Mk262. Those rounds are sometimes used by the spec ops guys iirc. The modern spec military ball is M855, it behaves similar to M193 but fragmentation amount and range tends to be lower. It does a better job of penetration than M193 but I tend to favor a greater fragmentation range over increased penetration (5.56 is small, I want the greatest terminal effect I can get from it, M193 fragments dramatically, leaving exit wounds far out of proportion to entry wounds.). Others may disagree. This is just my somewhat researched opinion.

37 posted on 02/16/2013 6:35:59 PM PST by mbennett203 ("Bulrog, a tough brute ninja who has dedicated his life to eradicating the world from hippies.")
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To: driftdiver

The Aimpoint is nice and has seen a lot of combat in the middle east. Two things swayed me to the Eotech. The Aimpoint red dot can be seen from in FRONT of the weapon possibly giving your position away. Military in combat in the Middle East are spending THEIR OWN money to put Eotechs on their weapons. Granted they get a huge military discount but still.. Battery life is much better on the Aimpoint but still pretty good on the Eotech. I consider my AR-15 as a 100 to maybe 200 yard weapon. If I need to go farther than that I have a Savage 10FP in .308 with a 6-24x50 Vortex Viper PST scope that even my tired old eyes can hit with out to 300-400 yards. With better eyes and more skill the rifle should make hits out to 800 yards or so.


38 posted on 02/16/2013 8:51:06 PM PST by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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