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LMT has been good for quite a while. Their bolt carrier group is actually an improvement and their monolithic upper receiver avoids having either canted handguards or front sight bases. You pay more of course. The LMT SOPMOD stock is a bit heavy and spensive compared to Magpul MOE and MOE SL. They are a good supplier for .mil who don't have much ability to procure and maintain their owns ARs from commercial sources. Shoulda gone with DI for everyone but SF.

Edited by Simon Tan
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LMT has been good for quite a while. Their bolt carrier group is actually an improvement and their monolithic upper receiver avoids having either canted handguards or front sight bases. You pay more of course. The LMT SOPMOD stock is a bit heavy and spensive compared to Magpul MOE and MOE SL. They are a good supplier for .mil who don't have much ability to procure and maintain their owns ARs from commercial sources. Shoulda gone with DI for everyone but SF.

They deserve special credit for being able to ramp their production to the level required for even small militaries while maintaining quality. Definitely bucking the trend.

Edited by shep854
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Not as much a people think. The US civilian market is saturated and low-margin. For a new brand and model to break in is tough, especially with the AR pattern. Throw in the dominance of the military market by the likes of FN, HK, Colt (not so much maybe, but they have weight) and a few others, and the deck is heavily stacked--there are far more failures than successes.

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CHF is ideal for turning out a lot of barrels at a modest price, isn't it? So half a dozen must be 'a lot'. They sell the barrels to others too?

As with most big industrial processes the tooling ios really expensive, but gets cheap when spread over large numbers. And yes Ruger sub-contracts for other firms. Just like FN does to utilize their machines. Heck FN had to introduce button rifling processes for the Pentagon contract, because they won't take cold-hammer forged.

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Interesting video, seen it before I believe. Unfortunately Ruger has never been well regarded for accurate barrels, and the hammer forged don't seem to have improved on their rep. I suspect the sole advantage of hammer forging is it's cheaper (and faster) once the initial investment for the machinery has been paid off. I'd take a broached (button) or cut rifling barrel over chf everytime, I have air gauged button rifled barrels on all my match AR uppers, the A2 has about 2500 rds and still shoots better than the 3/4 MOA I'm capable of when slung up prone. The Broached barrels will probably require a stress relieving and barrel straightening steps, and cut rifling is by its nature slow requiring multiple passes to cut the grooves.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBkrg7JMGdw

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You have no idea of the actual industrial complex that supports all this. The 'name' companies are not the elephants. Ruger has over a dozen cold hammer forging machines.

 

What I find staggering are the sheer numbers involved. These figures are for manufacture only - they don't include imports, which must still be significant in some categories.

 

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Ruger barrels used to be crap, badly fouling, rough. They tried to make a Palma rifle back in the day, maybe 1993'ish, as point of pride. It was a debacle. I think Ole Bill took that personal and committed to making stuff that didn't suck, ie CHF machines etc. The Ruger Precision rifle and Hawkeye LR are pretty good. I think they could benefit from a partnership like Weatherby/Kreiger, but probably too many guns going out the door for that sort of expansion to work. S/F....Ken M

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I understand that the average, one time AR purchaser is probably going to go with something run of the mill, but when you have such a humongous market, there is a place for higher end manufacturers too, even if they are a small minority of sales. Ditto companies making upgraded everything, for repair, upgrade or home build. I have a 1980 Guns Digest annual somewhere. In it you would have had TWO options - a Colt SP-1 sporter or a semi only 16 inch barrel 753 equivalent. There was ONE AK, a Valmet M71. The present market offer is vast and extremely diverse. I wonder what a time traveller from 1980 would make of it?

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I don't think your typical gunshop would stock an M202 even in 1985 :) If you look at those guns (and I confess I didn't look too closely) you'll see they are all their basic military original or presumably a semiauto (and where necessary closed bolt operation) version thereof*. That's nothing compared to the incredible diversity available to the US consumer (at least in "gun friendly" states) today. I'm not a mathematician, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were currently more possible non-selective fire AR builds than there are electrons in the observable universe.

 

*Yes, it's possible they were full auto, the "ban" on new sales came in in 1986 and movie makers would have had a lot of full auto stuff even back then.

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Don't go by Hollywood. Full-auto and explosive devices are very strictly regulated and difficult to obtain legally. Sadly, popular entertainment seems to be the primary source of information for those seeking to restrict access to firearms. :(

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