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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Default Manufacturer Quality 2022

    The quality/value of various manufacturers is frequently subjective and debatable. And everyone has an opinion, but some opinions are worth more than others. I’m interested in getting feedback from the tribe here about the quality you have observed yourself. It’s okay to repeat the opinions of trusted friends who have hands-on experience, but please resist the urge to just repeat the rumors from some random guy on arf.com. As we head into 2022, what’s the state of quality today? I’m specifically interested in barrel quality.

    I don’t quite qualify as a “fanboy” of Aero Precision, but I do have a lot of their stuff. They seem to me to frequently offer the best value—quality kit at a very reasonable price. Their barrels are Ballistic Advantage, so you can buy those through either AP or BA.

    I have been impressed by the quality of Daniel Defense, but apparently not as impressed as the people selling it. To my eye, they offer the least value—quality kit, but at inflated prices.

    BCM seems to be on par with DD for quality, but generally costs a bit less. (But still well more than Aero.)

    I would steer anyone away fro Palmetto State Armory (at least for ARs), Anderson, and Spikes.

    These are some I wonder about:
    1) Faxon barrels. Are they any good?
    2) Precision Firearms. This is a builder rather than a manufacturer. They use Criterion, Bartlett, and Krieger barrels.
    3) Noveske. Worth it?
    4) Mos-Tek.
    5) Compass Lake.

    The context right now is me hunting for a 14.5” 6mm ARC barrel, but then I just started wondering where the quality and value really lies today.

    What are your thoughts and opinions?
    Virtute et Armis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    If you plan to buy Aero or BA...consider buying them from the store. If what you want isnt shown...CALL
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  3. #3
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    If you plan to buy Aero or BA...consider buying them from the store. If what you want isnt shown...CALL
    I’ll remember that. I know you’ve favored White Oak, and I was very satisfied with the one I bought from the store. Who would make your short list today?
    Virtute et Armis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    TN
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    898
    I’m in the same situation right now. Trying to decide whether to buy or build. I enjoy building but I really don’t want to this time.
    A friend of mine shot me a list of guns he’s selling, among those are a Franklin Armory AR15, a Standard Manufacturing AR, and an Alexander Arms 16” Incursion AR15, all in 5.56. I have to confess to knowing slightly less than zero about the quality of these. I only know the name Standard Manufacturing from supposedly high-ish grade 1911s.
    I need to look on the Suarez site and see if they make a 14.5 or 16” upper with the mid-length gas system.
    Psalm 139:21,22
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    I agree mostly with your assment except for Spikes. They seem to turn out good fit and finish as well as some odd ball offerings to the market
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
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  6. #6
    Spikes is good kit.

    I work as a hospice nurse now but in a previous life I worked in a gun store and built over a thousand ARs. I have seen what works and what gets brought back because it is broken. Spikes is good stuff you can take that to the bank. Have to be clear I have no financial affiliation with them in any way shape or form.

    It's only my opinion, worth exactly what you paid for it.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sparks, NV
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    347
    I agree about PSA ... Have seen 3 guns in the last couple years that forget to stop firing when you release the trigger ... That sucks.
    Bear Creek is another that if you buy a upper, make sure you go thru it and make sure things are tight and right before firing it. Have seen loose barrel nuts and gas blocks.
    Haven't had any issues with Aero upper receivers I've bought, but I still check them anyways.
    I have lowers by Quentin Defense, New Frontier, Spikes, Aero, Anderson and BKF (M16 cut, no sear holes).
    My .308 was a complete Aero Precious/BA build.
    American Veteran and Patriot, Lover of God, Country and Family. No Regrets, No Bullshit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,400
    I’ve had good luck with the 2 ballistic advantage barrels I’ve used on builds. But I just built a 16” battle carbine in .308 and bought a criterion barrel. It is hands down the best barrel I’ve ever owned. It’s consistently 1/2- 3/4moa with black hills 168gr match. I’m sure there’s better barrels out there, but I don’t see one that will give me significantly better results for how much more money they cost.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    I’ve only seen a couple of Spikes guns, so the small sample size may have unfairly prejudiced me against them. I just have a memory of problems. It’s good to get input from people with more experience. Thank you for correcting me on that.
    Virtute et Armis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Colorado
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    9,050
    I have only ever heard good things about Faxon barrels. I have only put a few rounds through one; a friends gun and he liked the barrel and it shot well.

    I have only used Spikes stripped lowers and their fit and finish was great.
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