I've been compiling a list of AR manufacturers to compare qualitywise via word of mouth & would like to learn more about where to put my wallet next time I do a build/complete rifle.
>Bravo Company Manufacturing
The most commonly recommended company to buy a complete rifle/parts from because of their huge commitment to quality control & decent prices compared to other high-end manufacturers
>Lewis Machine & Tool
Most famous thing I heard from them was having a redesigned BCG that is optimized for people generally running carbine length or shorter systems alongside being contracted for the Kiwis new rifle system, one anon warned me though that they sometimes outsourced certain parts for MiM manufacturing to companies with looser QC tolerances.
Mostly heard about their cold hammer forged barrels being absolute monsters in round counts short of an HK or Noveske but also some decent designs like their MK18 uppers.
Our current contractor for our rifles, their barrels are also cold hammer forged but within more of a flexible price point like BCM/Colt compared to DD/Noveske. Commonly repeated is that some of their barrels are also sold to PSA rebranded as a PSA premium but I'm wondering if those were either barrels that didn't meet certain tolerances or are actual standard barrels
Usually hear of them as the Creme de la Creme for ARs since their QC is pretty damn immaculate that goes beyond DD/BCM.
>Forward Controls Design
I checked out their parts catalog and most of it points towards improvements in ergonomics or in simplistic design changes that don't require proprietary parts and that they also collaborate with Hodge Defense & VLTOR.
Known for their A5 Buffer System that brings a rifle-length buffer performance into a slightly larger carbine package that is a massive improvement for people running carbines/SBRs as well.
Personally, the price tag of their rifles are a huge bummer for me but I generally hear their barrels are a cut above the rest in terms of accuracy & durability that they compete with Hodge Defense for the top spot.
>Sons of Liberty Gunworks
Besides providing quality parts at BCM prices as well, the owner, Mike, is really proactive in customer outreach alongside releasing several informative videos of why they do things certain ways, use parts from certain manufacturers, etc.
These guys are generally gonna be more intended for people who have a decent budget looking for rifles with features accessible but certainly not the best of the best.
What I hear of them is that they make good AR parts for price points shorter of BCM but still somewhat flexible.
Their 6920s are their civilian bread & butter outside of re-releases of the Anaconda in that some people have said that most ARs try to compare their quality vs it as the gold-standard before BCM.
Known for their Hanson profile barrels & being originally founded by Spurdo Sparde, they make nice & decently-priced accurate barrels. Some of the employee reviews I've been reading on them however, speak of the usual Upper Management vs Lower troubles that I worry could be affecting their QC besides the pandemic or if the acquisition by Aero Precision also affected them as well.
>Palmetto State Armory
A manufacturer that has grown in size from all the sales it brings by providing budget AR parts, that it is now providing a decently built American AK outside of Arsenal or Russian VEPRs. Usually I hear their parts are fine for someone who intends to do light shooting like at a controlled range with time to relax, but fail abysmally the moment it meets a carbine class with a high rd. count training regime.
King of the Porcelain Throne Tier
Avoid these companies for absolutely abysmal QC, "works 60% of the time for me", or is just dead.
Horror stories of incorrect-sized ports, pinholes, and I remembered seeing an image of a stack of 3 Anderson lowers all with improperly-made magazine wells.
Personal anecdote, bought an LPK from them for my 1st build & the trigger feels gritty, hammer lost its phosphate coating after 150 rds, and the endplate looks like a cast-iron skillet was used in place.
Supposedly a good chunk of their parts are Chinesium and really only bought because of their offerings for anodized color schemes.
That's all I got but I would love to hear more from you guys & also reconsider any of my options as well since I do want to invest in a good rifle.