AR-15 Rifle Manufacturer Comparison

Armalite (Geneseo, IL):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers: Standard on some variants (not on "Match" rifles)

Chamber Type: SAAMI (Match Rifles), M16 for chromed barrels (Note: barrels produced before Nov 2001 all had SAAMI chambers; barrels marked "N" under the handguards by the barrel nut have chambers cut to M16 dimentions).

Barrel Material: 4140 chrome/moly, Stainless

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: 7.62x51 (.308), .243, .300 Remington Short Action Magnum (all in the AR-10 line)

Lightweight Styles Available: M4 (on the SOF model)

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Extras: 10 round magazine, manual, sling, magazine cover, magazine well cover

Notes: Chrome lined rifles are field capable, the rest are great range (target shooting) rifles.  Green furniture (hand guards, pistol grip, stock) is available on some models.  Carbine handguards are mid-length (have a longer sight radius than most other carbines) - its non standard, but looks better, has a better sight radius, and a softer recoil.

ASA (Scottsdale, AZ):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers : No

Chamber Type: SAAMI

Barrel Material: 4140 chrome/moly, Stainless

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: .308 (7.62 NATO) is expected soon (last quarter 2000)

Lightweight Styles Available: Fluted

Warranty: None Noted??

Extras: None Noted.

Notes: They are entering an agreement (possibly an exclusive) to market the new 'plastic lowers' (see the FAQ) made by Cavarly Arms, to make a very lightweight rifle..

Bushmaster (aka Quality Parts) (Windham, ME):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers: Standard (not avail on DCM or Varminter rifle)

Chamber Type: M16 (except DCM or Varminter Rifles which are SAAMI)

Barrel Material: 4150 chrome/moly (Mil-Spec), Stainless (avail for DCM model)

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: No

Lightweight Styles Available: A2, M4 (both 14.5 & 16" versions), Lightweight 16" (A1 type), Fluting

Warranty: Limited 1 year parts & workmanship

Extras: Hard case, 10 round magazine, nylon sling, manual.  DCM/CMP rifles add a 2nd magazine and a Viper range safety device.

Notes: Closest to Mil-Spec AR-15s that are field capable and accurate. Good Customer Service. Some have had indexing problems resulting in excessive windage for zeroing (fixed for free).  C7 uppers are available (A1 upper with brass deflector) and are called A1 uppers in the catalog.

Colt (Hartford, CT):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers: All current manufacture 5.56 rifles have chromed chambers, only M4 & A2 barrels have chrome bores (older barrels do have both chrome lined bores & chambers)

Chamber Type: M16

Barrel Material: 4150 chrome/moly (Mil-Spec)

Standard Pins: Depends.  "Blue Label" rifles have proprietary fire control pins with a standard pivot pin.  Other rifles (SP-1s & most green labels) have standard fire control pins with a proprietary pivot pin.  There are also probably some rifles with both pins standard and a few where neither pin is standard.

DCM Variant: No (but an upgraded trigger is available for match shooting)

Other Calibers: 7.62x39 (no longer produced), 9mm, .222 (very rare, no longer produced)

Lightweight Styles Available: A2 (preban), M4 (14.5"&16"), (A1 style can be found on older pre-ban rifles)

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Extras: Two(2) magazines (LEO rifles have hi-caps, others are 9 rounds), sling, manual, cleaning kit

Notes: AR-15s that are field capable and accurate. Poor Customer Service. Generally the most bug free from the factory. A1 barrel styles are no longer available (but can be found from Colt parts distributors). Most Colt’s can accept other Mfg’s uppers without adapter pins.

DPMS (Becker, MN):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers: No

Chamber Type: M16 (chamber is M16 though barrel is marked .223)

Barrel Material: Stainless, 4140 chrome/moly (on 'Classic' series)

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: 7.62x39

Lightweight Styles Available: Fluting, M4, Lightweight 16"

Warranty: None.  However, they will repair rifles up to 3 years after date of purchase due to defects in materials or workmanship.

Extras: Two(2) 10 round magazines, nylon sling, cleaning kit

Notes: Very Accurate AR-15s that are more suited for the range, varmint hunting and urban sniping.  They also a left handed variant for southpaws, and a pump action AR-15 that avoids the limitations of the 1994 "Assault Weapon Ban".

Eagle Arms (Geneseo, IL):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers: No

Chamber Type: SAAMI

Barrel Material: 4140 chrome/moly

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: No

Other Calibers: .308 (Budget AR-10 rifle < $1000)

Lightweight Styles Available: None

Warranty: Limited one year

Extras: None Noted.

Notes: Entry-level AR-15. EA is owned by Armalite and is put out as their ‘economy’ line.

Olympic Arms (Olympia, WA):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers: None (chrome lining was available as an $80 upgrade at one time)

Chamber Type: SAAMI on all rifles prior to June 2001, after June 2001 all chrome moly barrels will be done with an M16 type chamber, and the Stainless Ultramatch will keep the SAMMI chamber.  (unless other is specified, barrel is always marked 5.56 no matter what the chamber is)

Barrel Material: 4140 chrome/moly, Stainless

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: 7.62x39, 6mm PPC, .22LR, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45ACP, 10mm, .17Rem (in the past), .30 Carbine

Lightweight Styles Available: A1, A2, M4, Fluting

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Extras: 10 round magazine, nylon sling, manual, hard case

Notes: Good Customer Service. Their Stainless Ultra Match (SUM) barrels are VERY accurate. Good entry level (reasonably priced) AR-15. A wide variety of calibers available, and the pistol calibers can be setup to use your pistol magazines. They also sell a Airsoft upper, and Simunitions uppers (for LEOs only) for training purposes.

Rock River Arms (Cleveland, IL):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers:  Right now (Dec 02) they are only offering chrome as an option on the M4 bbls...+$30 for the upgrade. They did do small batches of chrome on other barrels, but as supplies of them have run out, they have decided not to offer, at least at this time, chrome lining other than on the M4s. (info courtesty of: Sluggo of AR15.com)

Chamber Type: M16 (chrome lined M4 barrels) & Wylde (on all others)

Barrel Material: 4140 chrome/moly, Stainless

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: No

Lightweight Styles Available: M4

Warranty: Unkown

Extras: Unkown

Notes: RRA has a good reputation among the DCM shooters.  They also offer some unique items such as a Short fixed buttstock (shorter than A1), a removable front sight, and mid length handguards (like Armalites).  Green furnature is available. Good pricing on M4 handguards.

Vulcan Arms Formerly known as: "Hesse" (Inver Grove, MN):

Chrome Lined Barrels & Chambers : NoChamber Type: M16 is standard, SAAMI is used on 'Match' rifles

Barrel Material: 4140 Chrome Moly, Stainless

Standard Pins: Yes

DCM Variant: Yes

Other Calibers: 7.62x39, 6mmx45, 6mmPPC, .300 Fireball (Whisper), .17 Remington, .50AE

Lightweight Styles Available: None

Warranty: None.  However, they will repair rifles up to 1 year after date of purchase due to defects in materials or workmanship.

Extras: Magazine, manual

Notes: Those with the M16 chambers and stainless barrels should do OK in the field, just be sure to keep that chamber clean.  There have been a lot of complaints about the quality and customer assistance of these rifles (when they were Hesse) on AR15.com.