1. #1
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    Bushmaster vs. Colt

    I need some help. My chief has approved the Colt M4A3 (6920) for department use. I have a Bushmaster M4A3, same gun essentially and, when I asked for permission to carry it on duty, he said the only problem he has is that he doesn't know much about Bushmaster (typical). Does anyone have insight here or know of any links/articles I can use to support my cause?
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    Call Bushmaster and explain your situation; I
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    I don't know of specific links for your comparison, but you might look at www.ar15.com for more info.

    Several years ago when I was looking for an AR-15, a couple of older & wiser firearms enthusiasts recommended Colt, Bushmaster, or Armalite. (One shoots competatively and is a part-time gunsmith, the other is a serious collector and hobby gunsmith).

    I ended up getting the Bushmaster (less expensive and more readily available). I don't shoot it much, but it has been extremely accurate (~1moa)and reliable.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocode
    I need some help. My chief has approved the Colt M4A3 (6920) for department use. I have a Bushmaster M4A3, same gun essentially and, when I asked for permission to carry it on duty, he said the only problem he has is that he doesn't know much about Bushmaster (typical). Does anyone have insight here or know of any links/articles I can use to support my cause?
    You might check out the attached link: http://www.bushmaster.com/le/agencies.htm

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    Bushmaster is on par with or, in some cases, better than Colt. I don't know if it's only for civilian models, but Colt AR's have (IMHO) three big cons:

    1.) Non mil-spec size receiver pins, meaning you can't (for instance) put a non-Colt upper on a Colt lower. I think this might only be for civvie versions.
    2.) Plastic buffers. The one part of the rifles that gets the full frontal force of being smacked by the bolt carrier when it recoils, and with all other manufacturers is normally a pretty darn heavy hunk of metal. Need I say more (although, again, I'm not sure if this is an across-the-board feature or not...but still...).
    3.) The substantial price difference with little or no appreciable benefits over Bushmaster or Armalite.

    You will have to worry about none of the above (nor anything else, for that matter) if you go with Bushmaster. Besides, everyone knows that the snake looks cooler than the prancing pony.
    Last edited by OBird; 10-08-2005 at 01:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBird
    Bushmaster is on par with or, in some cases, better than Colt. I don't know if it's only for civilian models, but Colt AR's have (IMHO) three big cons:

    1.) Non mil-spec size receiver pins, meaning you can't (for instance) put a non-Colt upper on a Colt lower. I think this might only be for civvie versions.
    2.) Plastic buffers. The one part of the rifles that gets the full frontal force of being smacked by the bolt carrier when it recoils, and with all other manufacturers is normally a pretty darn heavy hunk of metal. Need I say more (although, again, I'm not sure if this is an across-the-board feature or not...but still...).
    3.) The substantial price difference with little or no appreciable benefits over Bushmaster or Armalite.

    You will have to worry about none of the above (nor anything else, for that matter) if you go with Bushmaster. Besides, everyone knows that the snake looks cooler than the prancing pony.
    All of the above info is right on, the ONLY thing a Colt has going for it is a 1/7 twist barrel allowing you to use the heaviest grain weight 5.56 ammo.
    Colt's customer service sux and Bushmaster's is one of the best in the industry, having experience with both companies has formed my opinion.

    As far as them being pretty much clones of each other, YES they are whether you go with my favorite Rock River Arms or Bushmaster or Armalite or Colt. Just different names on the exact design of the original, sort of like 1911's made by Kimber, Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms, Les Baer....they are 1911's but they aint a Colt 1911.
    Last edited by 6233108; 10-08-2005 at 11:42 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Bushmaster and Colt are pretty much the same gun for one reason, the maker of the barrell is the same person...
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  8. #8
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    Go with another...

    Bushmaster has an excellent customer service program, and after having met the sales reps many times I can say that they are honest and willing to work out any problems that might come up. This is good, because we had a lot of problems with the rifles.

    Out department decided to go ahead and do a turn-in of the older Colt rifles we had for the Bushmasters; A cost-savings plan that was kinda pushed through without notice or input. For the trade, the distributor got our 30 rifles and gave us 50 (this was because the Colts we had were pre-bans and semi so he still made out good 7 years ago). The Bushmasters worked OK for a bit, with most glitches attributed to break-in. I did, however, notice that on many non or semi-critical parts, that there is relieved (read: missing) metal in order to save $$ and weight. In a gas-operated firearm, this eventually will contribute to parts failure IF you drill and train properly; i.e. shoot a lot of ammo.

    The reps came up with parts and apologies, and did their best to help, but the same problems would repeat after 200 rounds or so, despite cleaning. Broken buffers were common, as were extractors, firing pins, a cracked bolt carrier and at least one locking lug separation from the bolt!!

    I spend a lot of time customizing and repairing firearms and such, and I know that if you only fire the weapon occasionally, 99% of these problems won't happen. As for me; I chose Armalite and DPMS (since I can't afford that Wilson yet), just because I wanted to have reliability 100% of the time no matter whether I fire it once a year or the Arabs try to take over America.

    I have several pre-ban Colt rifles as well (which always fired perfectly) but they are old enough and in good enough shape to relegate to the "collector" pile. A lot of opinions persist and if you ask 10 experts you will get 11 different takes, but if you really want as much info as you can handle on the subject, try out ar15.com....many of those guys had 10 or more different brands and will give you a good idea of quality.

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  9. #9
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    You might want to also let your Chief know that Bushmaster has the military contract now, not Colt.

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    Bushmaster is contracted to produce SAW machine guns, but M4's are supplied by FN herstal, Colt and to a lesser degree Bushmaster. See article.
    http://www.vpc.org/studies/foreign.pdf


    Pay special attn to page 3
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  11. #11
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    I think most on AR15.com will still recommend the Colt. Frankly, after using Bushmasters at Blackwater I wasn't that enthralled with them and would prefer a Rock River Arms "Entry Tactical" or LMT M4 variant with the integral fore-end rails.]

    Either, way they all operate the same essentially, so it really only comes down to reliability and quality of manufacture.

    I'd also enquire with Heckler & Koch regarding their new M4 variants that have a MUCH better gas system than any of the above, with less crap coming back into the working parts.

  12. #12
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    DPMS AP4 > Busmaster

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