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I may be wrong about something .... #1044664 03/06/20 01:04 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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I beat the "less but best" drum with annoying regularity.

Case in point:

NOTE: I will be using Knights Armament ARs as an example of my concept. I could have chosen Wilson Combat / Cabot / Nighthawk / Alchemy / Guncrafter 1911s, Caesar Guerini shotguns, Anschutz rimfires, SIG San rifles, Korth revolvers, etc. etc. etc.

Over the past few months I've been seriously considering investing in a pair of Knight's Armament SR-15 E3 Mod 2 carbines. The best deal I can find on this model is $2250 each. What makes them special? They have ambi lowers, special bolts / barrel extensions / bolt carriers / and gas system. The E3 MOD 2 is reputed to go 20,000 rounds without a bolt failure. In fact, they rumor is they've never had an E3 bolt break. AR-15 bolts are the weak link in the AR-15 system.

I'm on vacation this week and have spent another 20 hours reading / researching this carbine (so far this week). Last night I spent five hours reading, and the rabbit hole was deep.

The five hours last night took me through a labyrinth of pro LAV (Larry Vickers) and anti LAV threads (tangentially related to the KAC AR). This spun concentrically to gun forum A vs gun forum B competition and a lot of accusations of well known (some only in their own minds) online gun "personalities" like Rob_S (made the famous "AR Chart"), Ken Hackathorn, Grant Timberlake, Stickman, Jack Leuba, IraqGunz, and others. All of whom I've spoken with personally (mostly online).

Long story short (too late), I typically prefer "SME" (sub-matter-expert) laden websites over "hobbyist" websites. However, over the past year I've found the SME sites to be "echo chambers" for fanboys as opposed to the "I can build a KAC level gun for $500 in my basement" sentiment on most hobbyist forums.

What does this mean and why does it matter?

1st ... just because product A cost more than product B doesn't mean product A is the best product for everyone.
2nd ... You have to be very careful and discerning when reading online forums. Many of them support brand X because brand X is a secret site sponsor (or may even own the website).
3rd ... When a site openly censors open debate and dialog about the actual Cost To Performance (CTP) of a product you have to question the motivation.

Where am I going with this?

Again, you'll have me say "buy less buy best" very often. I still believe this to be true, but am starting to think the advice should carry with it a "conditional disclaimer". By "conditional disclaimer" I mean follow the advice if you plan on using the item to defend your life. Not every gun we buy will be with us when we fast rope out of a 'hawk in the middle of a sand storm firefight. For most of us, 99% of our guns are range toys or hunting tools.

For example, the KAC SR-15 E3 MOD 2 I've been considering has a price point of $2,250. I have several PSA AR-15s that I bought for around $500. Does the "buy less buy best" advice apply here? Yes and no. Yes, I would support a person's decision to buy the KAC if it was going to be their only AR and they planned on: shooting it a lot; using it for self defense; have enough money left over to put a good optic / sling / ammo with the gun. No, I would not support a person's decision to buy the KAC if they just wanted a fun gun for the range and weren't wealthy.

Other Considerations

Is the KAC 5x more gun than the PSA? I think this depends on your application. If I'm going into a WW2 Stalingrad situation I'd want the best of the best of the best, but for 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999% of us no the KAC isn't 5x more gun because we won't ever push the gun enough to wring out the last 10% of performance that costs 90% of the price.

Practice What You Preach

I have a large pile of PSA AR-15s I bought new from PSA and have been trying to sell (to fund my KAC purchases). All of my PSA guns are brand new. I'm considering shooting these "cheap / cost effective / inexpensive" PSA guns exclusively until I have a problem with them to see how far a $450-550 AR will go under normal (re: range and maybe a class) situation.

I'm not 100% committed to doing this but am strongly considering it. After all, I can replace the entire PSA upper for $100 less than a KAC bolt. Each PSA will be equipped with a Vortex optic (or carry handle in one instance).

I'll feel pretty foolish if the "I can build a KAC level gun for $500 in my mom's basement" crowd is actually correct ... since I've been bashing those people for the past 15 years.




Last edited by Endeavour Morse; 03/06/20 01:11 PM.

JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044665 03/06/20 01:07 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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The possible PSA contestants ....

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JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044666 03/06/20 05:36 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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I think I'm just going to sell all of these. In the end, I have LMTs which are top-of-the-line so why spend the resources to test these guns?


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044667 03/06/20 05:57 PM
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Ref your last post. YES, testing is good. You know what is more prone to happen that way. NO, testing out those rifles will NOT determine How much better the KAC is. Yes it would be a waste of time and money (ammo and to and from the range). IF you are set on a KAC, WHY would you want to possibly diminish what you can get out of the guns you have. The second one down in the first series of pictures looks like my Colt.

P.S. I REALLY like that shorty, but bet it is a Bit#* er ah loud. How long is the barrel btw?

Last edited by SkunkHunter; 03/06/20 05:59 PM.

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Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044668 03/06/20 05:58 PM
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Oh and I forgot to say, once again, great post. I like reading stuff like that, even if I won't be buying any of those. Keep it up, please.


Duty and Honor demands that You have to go in, but
not that you have to come out.
JYD#105
Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044669 03/06/20 06:00 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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I took two of the seven guns to the range after making the post. I didn't enjoy shooting them nearly as much as I enjoyed shooting my LMT yesterday.

I'm just going to stick with my "I'm a gun snob" mantra. Someone is going to get a smoking deal on the lot.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044670 03/06/20 06:02 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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The two pistols have 10.5" barrels. Being pistols you can carry them concealed ... which is a benefit for those who travel to states that have weird firearm transportation laws. If they honor your CCW permit .. you can take one of the 10.5" pistol ARs as it'll be covered under your license.

ETA: that is to say if you want to take an AR but the state restricts transportation of AR type rifles. Check the laws before you travel.

Last edited by Endeavour Morse; 03/06/20 06:04 PM.

JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044672 03/06/20 06:17 PM
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Not everyone can afford the top tier guns. I canít. Iím glad PSA brings ARís to the rest of us with a little money left over for ammo.



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Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044673 03/06/20 06:25 PM
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Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044681 03/06/20 08:49 PM
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gun dog Offline
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Ok so I like this thread. Iíve shot knights, LMT, BCM, built guns that compete with these in the quality class, and aero, and friends PSA and Anderson.

So while you absolutely get nice shooting rifles with the Knights, LMT and the slightly lower BCM class guns is the engineering, manufacturing, and quality control in higher levels. As someone that works and manufacturing and also has relationships shooting for some folks in the industry. People donít realize how much T&E companies like knights and LMT does in house companies like BCM do some but also use support from pro staff type shooters to get what they do. They also know their bread and butter isnít innovating and they stick with more proven products.
When your dealing with PSA and Anderson they are doing some but you can bet the farm itís nothing like hat LMT and knights do. This is testing before something even hit production and their in house QC does material testing and process control testing and dimensional testing. People donít understand what goes on in house to make a professional level weapon.
While companies like BCM arenít making everything in-house they are also going through the steps to make sure their suppliers are manufacturing to their specs they hold their suppliers accountable.
So here we are at lower tier like Anderson and PSA. PSA uses FN barrels in their rifles. But just because FN is the maker that doesnít mean they are made and held to the same specs as the barrels FN makes for their own weapons. Iíve seen at so many shooting matchs the rifles that have gone down and the QC issues that slip through. As soon as the guys put a moderate round count on their rifles they start to see malfunctions. Lots of these rifles are over gassed and when educated guys like me tear take them apart to upgrade them for friends you see improper torque. Parts not staked, parts out of spec. How are they selling their parts so cheap? They have to skimp on something.

When I shot knights guns that friends have was it some life changing event. No they ran as smooth as rifles Iíve put together myself using top tier parts manufacturers. When I shot my LMT was it rainbows and unicorns? No it runs and shoots well though.
My rifles I assembled that I believe match the quality of the knights and LMT cost me $1900+ to build. I also invested in over $800+ in tools to be able to properly build my rifles. I had to do extensive research to make sure the parts I picked were compatible with one another and occasionally would find out they werenít once I got them. Then I had to put thousands of rounds through them to prove they were reliable enough to use for defensive purposes and competitive shooting. I build relationships with a lot of the employees of companies so I could ask them questions and itís paid off. So Iíve spent tons of money in time and countless hours of research how do I put a monetary value on that? And the tools and gages needed? The technical know how to check tolerances and tolerance stacking and to diagnose the issues in the AR platform. So when your buying LMT, Knights, BCM, and the likes you are buying more than the physical product. I wish I could put some of the pictures of my rifles Iíve built after testing. Going 4K rounds with only adding lube and pulling a bore snake through.
If I was to do it all over again Iíd be hard pressed to justify the time and money I have put into building. And not just buy a set JP enterprises rifles for competition and a set of knights or LMT or BCM or SOLGW rifles for social work.

Last edited by gun dog; 03/06/20 08:50 PM.

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Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044688 03/06/20 10:52 PM
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Endeavour Morse Offline OP
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I've owned ....

Adams Arms
ArmaLite
BCM
Bushmaster
Colt
Daniel Defense
DPMS
Eagle Arms
Essential Arms
LMT
LWRC
Palmetto State Armory
POF
Rock River Arms
SGW
Smith & Wesson
Springfield Armory

The only guns I'd consider for self defense are BCM, Daniel Defense and LMT. A lot of people place LWRC at the same level as Daniel Defense. I've owned 13 LWRC (9 of which were their top of the line) so you can say I really tried to like them, but I wouldn't take one for free if you offered it. They simply don't work with a wide range of ammo quality in varying weather conditions. NOTE: all of my LWRC were piston models. RUN AWAY from piston ARs.


JYD #123 The great one formerly known as Architect.

I am now a fictional British television police officer (currently a Detective Sgt) at Thames Valley Station. My governor is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and itís 1969.





Re: I may be wrong about something .... [Re: Endeavour Morse] #1044689 03/06/20 10:57 PM
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gun dog Offline
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I look at pistons as trying to fix a problem that doesnít exist. They might work for a few direct action guys that are worried about rotor wash blowing sand into their guns but all the guys that Iíve talked to that know their [censored] said as soon as it looked like that were getting in a gunfight they pulled CLP bottles out and doused their piston guns.


Any day I'm above the grass and I'm not a zombie is a good day! JYD#138

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