Saturday, February 22, 2014

Anderson Manufacturing AR15 Barrel, Bolt and Lower Receiver Review

Anderson Manufacturing AR15 Barrel, Bolt and Lower Receiver Review
Whether you are building your first AR15, upgrading, or looking for parts to create your next build, we are all looking for high quality parts at reasonable prices. This is Anderson Manufacturing’s sweet spot. High quality AR15 parts at very affordable prices.

Everyone seems to know Anderson Manufacturing for great deals on AR15 parts. At one point, Anderson was offering $70 stripped lower receivers at the height of the AR15 shortage. Beyond the great prices are parts, it is Anderson’s RF85 lubrication free parts treatment which started them building AR15 rifles. The funny thing is that I only have experience with their standard untreated parts.  If you want the benefits of the RF85, then you need to order a complete rifle from Anderson manufacturing. With or without the RF85 treatment, Anderson delivers great parts at very reasonable prices for piecing together your next AR15 build. 
 ABOUT ANDERSON MANUFACTURING
Unlike the drove of “really brand new” companies offering AR15s, Anderson manufacturing is passing its 50th year in business. Over the years they have provided manufacturing services for a wide variety of end users from automotive, to medical to weaponry.  Those efforts made automobiles more dependable, troop support, and complex manufacturing solution resolution.

Along the way Anderson has been making AR-15 parts for other manufacturing…. actually hundreds of thousands of parts. Along the way they developed an exclusive and proprietary RF85 coating which is applied to their complete AR-15 rifles which they have taught'ed as the world’s only AR-15 that never needs oiling.

As opposed to other rifle companies, Anderson builds its our own parts using the latest in computerized manufacturing with all parts carrying a lifetime warranty.

THE BUILD
As I looked around my Liberty Safe and through my parts bin, I realized I was not that far from having another complete AR15 rifle. Isn’t that always the case. You know… all I needed was a barrel, gas block and tube, bolt carrier group, and charging handle.


My previously featured Anderson Manufacturing lower receiver has served me well and I even built another Anderson based AR15 for a friend. As a guy in need of some key AR15 parts under a budget, I fired up the laptop and started dropping things in the cart on their site for this build and a few other builds. My final order around $300 also scored free shipping and included:
- 16" M4 Carbine Length Contour Barrel Chambered 5.56/.223 With A 1-8 Twist
- A2 Flash Suppressor 5.56/.223
- Low Profile Gas Block
- Carbine Length Gas Tube
- Semi-Auto Carrier
- Standard Charging Handle

The order shipped quick and I was ready to start bolting together my next new AR15. The parts on hand that spurred this adventure included a Fortis upper receiver and brake, Samson rail/forend, a  Barnes Precision parts kit, and my original complete Andersen lower with Mako Group grip and stock. Pawing through the parts bin further, I found an older Insight weaponlight, a front Magpul BU sights and then picked up a used Millet DMS and the rear Magpul sight on eBay for another $100.


FIT, FINISH, FEEL, & FEATURES
All the standard Anderson parts are mil-spec phosphate or hard anodize finished but unlike the flood of import parts, their parts are all still 100% made in the USA.  The quality is also far better than what I have seen from the budget conscious import parts - do not let the price fool you. From my calculations you could build a complete AR from parts for around $600-$700 surfing around on Anderson's site.

I have been thrilled with 1:8 Twist Anderson barrel. Many people are discovering the advantages and bullet weight flexibility of 1:8 twist barrels as a compromise to 1:9 twist that like lighter bullets and Milspec 1:7 twist barrels which are most accurate with heavy bullets. Anderson's  $119 16" 1:8 M4 Carbine Length Contour Barrel in 5.56/.223 is probably the least expensive entry price for AR builders. The barrel still delivers excellent accuracy for a barrel which competitors price at nearly twice this price. Actually as I experienced before, each Anderson piece used in this build is an excellent value from the $16 low profile gas block to the $20 charging handle.

FUNCTIONS
After bolting the build together with my Precision Reflex vise block and tools,  I realized my creation was a pretty nice looking rifle thanks to the little custom pieces like the Fortis receiver and brake, Samson extended forend, and Mako furniture.  Functionally the build worked perfectly right off the bench spitting out over 200 rounds of reloads and assorted available ammo from Winchester, Hornady, Federal, and Steel Cased ammo. I am always happy when everything actually works the first time out on the range.

A Millet DMS topped the rifle to push out the accuracy a bit.  Accuracy delivered from the Anderson Manufacturing based build was pretty impressive easily on par with quality Milspec AR15s. 100-yard groups averaged in the 1" range, but a few .8" groups were printed as well with the Custom and TAP Hornady ammo. The 1:8 twist shows off a bit when you are shooting a diversity of ammo and bullet weights which generally seems to deliver less accuracy variances between rounds.  If you really want to see the accuracy you gun can deliver load up two rounds each of 15 different types of ammo.  The groups will be bigger, however it will show how picky the barrel is within various ammo… an interesting experiment.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Anderson Manufacturing proves you don’t have to have a lot of money to build your next AR15. Add a few custom parts and you have something that delivers looks and performance without a lot invested.  Obviously I got lucky with a few parts here and there, however for me that is the fun in doing one of these “what do I have laying around AR15 builds” that can expand months.  Instead of hitting some of the notable discounters, I have found myself back on Anderson’s site simply because the parts are excellent quality available at some of the best prices around. Once I have these parts and have saved big, I can patiently hunt for that blem or deal for the custom parts I drool over.  Great parts and little prices.

SPECS
16" M4 Carbine Length Contour Barrel Chambered 5.56/.223 With A 1-8 Twist     $119.00
Semi-Auto Bolt Carrier Assembly $129.00
Low Profile Gas Block  $15.32     
Carbine Length Gas Tube  $15.00    
Standard Charging Handle for AR-15   $19.66

SOURCES
Anderson Manufacturing Barrel, Bolt, Charging Handle, & Lower Reciever - http://www.andersonrifles.net/
Fortis Muzzle Brake - http://fortismfg.com/
BPM Lower Parts Kit - - http://www.usamade-ar15parts.com

1 comment:

Jason Shibley said...

JUST ORDERED THE ANDERSON AR STRIPPED LOWER 2PK SOR $84 SHIPPED. THESE ARE NOT THE BLEMMISHED RECEIVERS. THIS WAS THE CHEAPEST RECEIVERS THAT I COULD FIND OTHER THAT THE POLYMER ONES THAT YOU CAN FIND ALL OVER THE PLACE FOR AS CHEAP AS $40. AFTER READING ALL THE REVEIWS ON THE POLYMER VS THE ALUMINUM AND THE ANDERSON RECEIVERS QUALITY, IM SURE I WILL NOT BE DISAPOINTED.