Skip to comments.Would Like Advice on a Gun Choice Issue
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!
An undocumented one
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.
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.
You picked a bad time to go AR shopping.
Its a bad time for building them too.
You’ll be lucky to find parts.
The AR seriesupper and lower were designed to be made from aluminum and unless redesigned for composites, not tinkered with.
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.
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
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.
I bought a Core15 AR, but haven’t been able to shoot it yet.
My Cousin did that in a bike race! Ouch!!
The thing disintegrated in a corner.
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.
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.
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.
Lost all mine in a tragic asteroid strike recently.
Why did you wait so long?
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.
J&T Distributing has a boat load of parts. They were at a local gun show and had at least 40 uppers on display.
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..........
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.
What about Lowers?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
great point al
plastic or aluminum, either one
but no paper
No stripped lowers were in sight. Plenty of kits.
I am surprised.
Good point but my money is on the shortage easing up in 6 months or so.
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!
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.
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.
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