Olympic Arms AR's, Any Good ? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Glocker08
12-25-2009, 12:31
I'm new to AR's and not really familiar with all the different brands/builds. Does Olympic Arms make good AR's or are they garbage ?

NeverMore1701
12-25-2009, 12:32
Garbage.

Gallium
12-25-2009, 13:19
On a scale of 1-10, the LMT/colt mil spec stuff are up there in the high nines.
Bushmaster is about a 6-7
Oly is down in the 2-3 area.

Or so I heard. :)

'Drew

reaper8154
12-25-2009, 13:24
LOL, here we go again. Mine has been fine for over 1K rounds. I have heard horror stories about some of the older ones, but have never seen any issues first hand. Most of the poo talkers have read things on the internet and puke it up without any first hand experience. I will not say they will be as reliable as a Colt, LMT etc. but mine is very accurate and has been 100% (its been a safe queen for a few years now)

They also have a lifetime warranty. You might be better off with a Stag or Bushmaster, but don't let the trolls here scare you away if you really want an Oly. I would personally tell you to save a little money and get a 6920. The prices on those have been pretty good lately.

MedicOni
12-25-2009, 13:49
Never having shot one I don't know if my opinion is any good. But either way... All of my friends that have them say they seem to work ok, but I'd still probably save a little more for a stag.

Although if I could get my hands on a 10mm Oly AR, I'd buy one in a heartbeat

RMTactical
12-25-2009, 14:42
They are on the lower side, but don't worry. If someone gave you one for Christmas, you can upgrade it pretty easily.

Alaskapopo
12-25-2009, 15:13
I'm new to AR's and not really familiar with all the different brands/builds. Does Olympic Arms make good AR's or are they garbage ?

I had a very bad experience with one I bought from them a long time ago. The rifle was garbage and the customer service was criminal.
Pat

gsdrulz
12-25-2009, 16:56
I'm new to AR's and not really familiar with all the different brands/builds. Does Olympic Arms make good AR's or are they garbage ?

The one that I had seemed OK. I bought it in early '95(preban) back when I was 19. Me and my two good friends(all salmon captains) would shoot about 3k rounds a week through it during salmon season. I was able to sell it after a couple of years for a "little" more than what I had paid for thanks to the AWB that was still going strong at the time.

I am very likely the exception rather than the rule in my experience with them. From what I read in the internet at least.

karateman
12-25-2009, 20:17
I have a K16 and it has given me no problems so far, I have only had it for about 6 months and only have taken it out a few times. I have about 1200 rounds through it and it works each time.

itstime
12-25-2009, 20:37
No problems whatsoever with mine. I have the Plinkster cheapy also.

thisaway
12-25-2009, 20:44
I had two Oly CARs and both were fine for a civvie punching holes in paper targets or plinking. Inexpensive, and worked OK when fed good ammo. Not sure if I would go into combat with one, but it's unlikely I'll ever go into combat.

That said, I have since bought higher-tier models. I sold the Olys to friends who couldn't afford higher-quality ARs.

lawman800
12-25-2009, 23:26
I've had my Olympic lower with the SP-1 upper forever. The rifle failed the first time out not because of the Oly lower but because the SP-1 upper gas tube was defective. After I replaced the gas tube, it ran like clockwork for years.

It worked in last year's particularly brutal summer heat when my Bushmaster and my Ruger Mini-30 both failed at an outdoor range but the Oly kept running with any ammo I fed it, including the bargain basement Wolf stuff. The heat was so bad that even my Glock 21 and my buddy's Kimber 1911 started jamming.

I recently switched it out for a Stag 2HT upper and I am building my OlyM4gery. Should be done by this week and I will have a shooting report next month.

Alaskapopo
12-25-2009, 23:39
I've had my Olympic lower with the SP-1 upper forever. The rifle failed the first time out not because of the Oly lower but because the SP-1 upper gas tube was defective. After I replaced the gas tube, it ran like clockwork for years.

It worked in last year's particularly brutal summer heat when my Bushmaster and my Ruger Mini-30 both failed at an outdoor range but the Oly kept running with any ammo I fed it, including the bargain basement Wolf stuff. The heat was so bad that even my Glock 21 and my buddy's Kimber 1911 started jamming.

I recently switched it out for a Stag 2HT upper and I am building my OlyM4gery. Should be done by this week and I will have a shooting report next month.


What kind of Jamming? Have your buddy put some oil on that 1911 it probably cooked off in the heat. Might try grease if its that hot down there. I am not surprised your Oly arrived defective mine did as well but it was a lot more than just the Gas Tube. They don't have a very good system for quality control and a lot of defective rifles leave the factory. As for your 21. I am not surprized. They have had a lot of issues of late. So much that LAPD took them off the approved firearms list.
Pat

pgg00
12-25-2009, 23:40
I had an old partner that had one. It was a decent shooter. We put several thousand rounds through it without a problem.

lawman800
12-26-2009, 00:44
What kind of Jamming? Have your buddy put some oil on that 1911 it probably cooked off in the heat. Might try grease if its that hot down there. I am not surprised your Oly arrived defective mine did as well but it was a lot more than just the Gas Tube. They don't have a very good system for quality control and a lot of defective rifles leave the factory. As for your 21. I am not surprized. They have had a lot of issues of late. So much that LAPD took them off the approved firearms list.
Pat

No... the G21 shot for 10 years just fine... I carried it from 1999 til this year when I traded it... but I did it with full disclosure... right, buddy?:supergrin:

The Kimber was going through massive FTF and stovepiping. My buddy is Ex-Army Ranger, he knows weapons maintenance... I hope.

MrMurphy
12-26-2009, 01:01
Seen both craptacular and decent.

Oly had a very bad rep years ago. Their current builds can be accurate, but i would never trust an Oly with my life, it would be a pure sporting gun or training piece.

lawman800
12-26-2009, 01:07
Which years were the bad ones?

Alaskapopo
12-26-2009, 05:34
No... the G21 shot for 10 years just fine... I carried it from 1999 til this year when I traded it... but I did it with full disclosure... right, buddy?:supergrin:

The Kimber was going through massive FTF and stovepiping. My buddy is Ex-Army Ranger, he knows weapons maintenance... I hope.

Kimbers having problems is nothing new on their more recent guns. But just because your friend is an ex army ranger does not mean he knows how to maintain and lube a 1911. Last time I checked the Rangers were not issued 1911's. I carried a Glock 21 for about half of my career not by choice. The thing would malfunction with a weapon light. It was way to big in the grip area. My opinion on it pretty much agrees with Larry Vickers its a Dog of a gun.
Pat

AK_Stick
12-26-2009, 06:00
I have an older Oly match rifle.


Its accurate enough. But won't run reliably enough to trust. I don't know if its bad mags, or what but some days it runs fine, some days not at all.

Alaskapopo
12-26-2009, 06:02
I have an older Oly match rifle.


Its accurate enough. But won't run reliably enough to trust. I don't know if its bad mags, or what but some days it runs fine, some days not at all.

When it does not run what does it do. Short stroke? fail to eject, fail to feed. Just trying to help.
Pat

AK_Stick
12-26-2009, 06:16
It depends. Some days it doesn't want to feed, some days it doesn't eject. Could very well have been bad ammo ontop of other issues. I was given it before I joined the Army, and haven't shot it a whole lot since. I've always had my "better" guns around and haven't messed with it.

I've replaced the carrier, buffer, buffer spring, gas rings, and now the bolt. But its been almost four years since I've fired it now.....

I'm probably going to take it to the range with a box full of my training P-mags and see if I can get it to fail again. If I still have issues I'm going to pull the free floated handguard and see if the gas port is obstructed/gas block not mounted right.

Alaskapopo
12-26-2009, 06:20
It depends. Some days it doesn't want to feed, some days it doesn't eject. Could very well have been bad ammo ontop of other issues. I was given it before I joined the Army, and haven't shot it a whole lot since. I've always had my "better" guns around and haven't messed with it.

I've replaced the carrier, buffer, buffer spring, gas rings, and now the bolt. But its been almost four years since I've fired it now.....

I'm probably going to take it to the range with a box full of my training P-mags and see if I can get it to fail again. If I still have issues I'm going to pull the free floated handguard and see if the gas port is obstructed/gas block not mounted right.

Try the P mags also try this for the ejection problems.
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Extractor-Spring-Uprade-Kit-p/bcm%20extractor%20spring%20upgrade.htm

If you are going to the match I will bring one you can try. I have several on hand. If its short stroking it may not be getting enough gas. Pretty much any AR can be made to run. Hopefully its not a gas port or barrel issue. That is more expensive to correct.
Pat

AK_Stick
12-26-2009, 06:31
I'm taking it out tomorrow to try and see whats up with it, I'm also going to shoot the 19 and see if I think my wrist will be up to the match.

I have a young NM bolt in it now with the upgraded o-ring so we'll see how it works. I'm really wanting to believe it might have been a combo of my dads old desert storm mags couple with a weak gun may have been inducing issues. I've shot it and had no problems, then shot it and had nothing but problems.


I actually hope it is the gas block/barrel, because then it'll help justify me ordering a new Noveske barrel and PRI gas block/front sight so I have an SPR clone to go with my 6.8 clone.

Alaskapopo
12-26-2009, 06:39
I'm taking it out tomorrow to try and see whats up with it, I'm also going to shoot the 19 and see if I think my wrist will be up to the match.

I have a young NM bolt in it now with the upgraded o-ring so we'll see how it works. I'm really wanting to believe it might have been a combo of my dads old desert storm mags couple with a weak gun may have been inducing issues. I've shot it and had no problems, then shot it and had nothing but problems.


I actually hope it is the gas block/barrel, because then it'll help justify me ordering a new Noveske barrel and PRI gas block/front sight so I have an SPR clone to go with my 6.8 clone.

You know there was this DPMS at my first department that acted like that. It would run and then it would not. It turned out to be a missing gas tube retaining pin. The gas tube was moving out of alignment between shots.
Pat

AK_Stick
12-26-2009, 06:45
Gas block is under my handguards... Wouldn't be visible to casual inspection.

I'll pull the tube in the morning see if thats the culprit

lawman800
12-26-2009, 12:39
Kimbers having problems is nothing new on their more recent guns. But just because your friend is an ex army ranger does not mean he knows how to maintain and lube a 1911. Last time I checked the Rangers were not issued 1911's. I carried a Glock 21 for about half of my career not by choice. The thing would malfunction with a weapon light. It was way to big in the grip area. My opinion on it pretty much agrees with Larry Vickers its a Dog of a gun.
Pat

Not sure how recent it is... he got his gun in late 07... and I meant, him being a Ranger as in him being meticulous in his weapon skills and he researched the crap out of the 1911 and everything there is to know about everything but he still couldn't get it to run correctly.

My G21 worked with the M3 just fine and even the M6 just fine for a while and then it started jamming, but I think it's more a function of the mag springs, maybe. The FTFs are at least easier to clear than stovepipes or double feeds.

Alaskapopo
12-26-2009, 13:55
Not sure how recent it is... he got his gun in late 07... and I meant, him being a Ranger as in him being meticulous in his weapon skills and he researched the crap out of the 1911 and everything there is to know about everything but he still couldn't get it to run correctly.

My G21 worked with the M3 just fine and even the M6 just fine for a while and then it started jamming, but I think it's more a function of the mag springs, maybe. The FTFs are at least easier to clear than stovepipes or double feeds.
Have him take a look at this.
http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=52142&an=0&page=0#52142

Lately I don't trust Kimbers. I have seen some come out of the factory working fine and others that were total lemons and the ratio being about 50 50.
Pat

lawman800
12-26-2009, 14:40
50/50 is still better odds than Roulette but it's not what I want to bet my life on! :whistling:

hdbob
12-27-2009, 03:41
Had 2 oly's both were fine, no problems..

PlasticGuy
12-27-2009, 08:42
I worked as a firearms instructor for a company that (briefly) issued Oly Arms carbines. None of us instructors wanted them, but the bean counters decided to go with the lowest bidder. Out of the initial batch of 10 rifles, only 2 worked properly. We had bad extractors, bad ejectors, canted front sight bases that made it impossible to zero the rifles, and one that was very borderline for headspacing. Their customer service was horrible when we tried to get them fixed, though they did eventually come through.

The local sheriff's department got six Oly Arms uppers for their swat team a year or so after that. None of the six uppers worked properly. Other than one that was improperly headspaced, I don't have the details of what the problems were with those six. Their armoror is a friend of mine though, and told me that none of the six uppers worked out of the box. The customer service for them was even worse than it was for us. Oly's response to the improperly headspaced upper was to provide a bolt so far out of spec that it worked with the out of spec barrel, because it was cheaper to replace a good bolt with a crappy one than to replace a crappy barrel with a good one.

I will not own and Oly Arms rifle. Not ever. Horrible products from a horrible company.

Gallium
12-27-2009, 11:05
I worked as a firearms instructor for a company that (briefly) issued Oly Arms carbines. None of us instructors wanted them, but the bean counters decided to go with the lowest bidder. Out of the initial batch of 10 rifles, only 2 worked properly. We had bad extractors, bad ejectors, canted front sight bases that made it impossible to zero the rifles, and one that was very borderline for headspacing. Their customer service was horrible when we tried to get them fixed, though they did eventually come through.

The local sheriff's department got six Oly Arms uppers for their swat team a year or so after that. None of the six uppers worked properly. Other than one that was improperly headspaced, I don't have the details of what the problems were with those six. Their armoror is a friend of mine though, and told me that none of the six uppers worked out of the box. The customer service for them was even worse than it was for us. Oly's response to the improperly headspaced upper was to provide a bolt so far out of spec that it worked with the out of spec barrel, because it was cheaper to replace a good bolt with a crappy one than to replace a crappy barrel with a good one.

I will not own and Oly Arms rifle. Not ever. Horrible products from a horrible company.

My SECOND HAND experience, and third hand experience is: statistically, their product is crap. I had one AR pistol from them and even if I was the chief machinist at Colt or RRA, I doubt I would have been able to make the thing reliable. Mind you I did not buy it NIB, so the previous owner may have abused the heck out of it...but the fellow did warn me before taking my money. I'll roll the dice on a nice $900 bushmaster 97 pistol later next year, thank you very much.

'Drew

duncan
01-04-2010, 23:46
I can't speak to their rifle caliber ARs, but their pistol caliber rifles are patented and they work.

Had my 9mm Oly rifle for a decade putting 500-1200 rounds through it a monthly. So perhaps 90K rounds. Only problem was getting the lips on the Sten mag properly adjusted - in the first 100 rounds - fixed it. Been running like a champ ever since.

Run about 2K though my 45 ACP rifle as well. A few FTF but I was running SWC and the mags were feeding them too high and they were getting hung up. Bent the mag lips down, problem solved. My Oly lower rear pin was a tad undersized so the factory reamed it out to mate my upper/lower perfectly - while I waited. The pin was just too tight going in for my liking. Don't want to fit my gun assembling or disassembling it. Preference - didn't need to be fixed and after a few months would have been fine. But they served me on that one.

If have received good customer service from them. Then again, depending on how you ask, Glock used to sell lowers to people. Bushmaster swapped an A2 upper receiver for me so I could get an A3 flat top. Bushmaster also replaced a defective detachable carry handle for me. Kel Tec has really been good to me even though their QC failed - they fixed it. Remington has also treated me well.

It is true that you get what you pay for -but not always. There are some good companies out there.

Funny thing, but the many shooters over at AR15.com Equipment Exchange have no problem snagging the pistol caliber Olys. That ejector works fine. Well maybe people are using them for training - I know I do. Cheaper to shoot a case of 9mm than 223.

If you want a 9mm AR-15, Oly is the way to go due to the cheap Sten mags. The Colt designs are just expensive and limiting.

As to Olympic Arms, they did pioneer and bring to production all of the pistol caliber AR-15 uppers in 9mm, 40SW, 10mm, and 45 ACP. I think they just need to get more active on the Net and start responding publicly to people so others can see that they do have a lifetime warranty on their rifles.

I have no problem rockin their pistol cal uppers.

For the bump in the night, it my Glock and my 870 that comforts me:wavey:

DScottHewitt
01-05-2010, 00:25
I'm new to AR's and not really familiar with all the different brands/builds. Does Olympic Arms make good AR's or are they garbage ?

I have an early 1990s Oly Arms that runs like a dream. Never had a problem with it. Would I recommend Oly Arms? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Why? Because that "SpitHauler" guy they have, or had, as their representative in the Oly Arms Forum on ARFCOM is the worst choice ever by a company to interface with their customers. Ask a simple question, and he had the bad habit of being rude and nasty to people who had spent $1000+ on their firearms.

Stay away, even if the rumors of the newer ones having terrible quality are untrue. Why run the risk of having to deal with them with a problem if they are going to have someone like that guy speak to customers on their behalf when problems start?!?!?

HAIL CAESAR
01-06-2010, 00:13
LOL, here we go again. Most of the poo talkers have read things on the internet and puke it up without any first hand experience.
They also have a lifetime warranty.

I used to own and run a gun shop. Oly used to be the worst AR in the business. You would have many, many, many more issues than any other AR company. I quit selling the damn things. I wouldn't even take one in on trade. Only thing they were good for is making a good customer mad at me for selling them a brand new gun that didn't work.

They may tout a lifetime warranty.....but you just try and use that warranty sometime. Good luck with that one bud.

reaper8154
01-06-2010, 00:39
I used to own and run a gun shop. Oly used to be the worst AR in the business. You would have many, many, many more issues than any other AR company. I quit selling the damn things. I wouldn't even take one in on trade. Only thing they were good for is making a good customer mad at me for selling them a brand new gun that didn't work.

They may tout a lifetime warranty.....but you just try and use that warranty sometime. Good luck with that one bud.

Sorry about your luck. My friends and I have had great luck with them. They are just down the road from me, so I have no doubt they would take care of me if I walked in and needed something fixed. Bud:tongueout::supergrin:

Alaskapopo
01-06-2010, 01:01
Sorry about your luck. My friends and I have had great luck with them. They are just down the road from me, so I have no doubt they would take care of me if I walked in and needed something fixed. Bud:tongueout::supergrin:

Count me in as another victim of Oly's shotty workmanship and every worse customer service. Only one word describes them fully. CRAPTACULAR!!!

wellcraft
01-07-2010, 09:54
i hae a olyarms oa93 rifle and pistol and have never had a problem with either.

Elsilrac1
01-08-2010, 20:20
Had 2 oly's both were fine, no problems..


Same here - I think they are fine.

RCP
01-10-2010, 11:49
Put me down as another satisfied Oly customer who has run a few thousand rounds through mine with no problems whatsoever. Good ammo all the way down to Monarch steel cased junk it always works and is plenty accurate. I'm not even all that good about cleaning it and like I said never a problem. I guess mine doesn't know it's supposed to be garbage. :dunno:

HardShell
01-10-2010, 12:06
Garbage.

I've owned several and that is not my experience in the least.

I had several of their old CARs come through my hands and wish I'd kept at least one of them. No issues from any.

I've had a .17 Remington and a .300 Whisper that were great, but I lost interest in those cartridges and traded them away.

Where they really shine, IMHO, is their pistol-caliber ARs -- I much prefer their set-up to the Colt/RRA one, and I've run both. The only pistol-caliber ARs I have anymore (out of three dozen AR variants on hand) are my two 9mm Oly GL-1s and they have been flawless. I got rid of an older Sten-magged one that I had thousands of rounds through without issue, only because I never shot it anymore after getting the GL-1s that run with my Glock mags.

YMMV, as always.

sigman69
01-10-2010, 20:38
From my experience it is a crap shoot,,,,,some of their 223 rifles work great some dont, from my experience I would get a STAG or Rock River before getting one of them....

DRAGON1970
01-10-2010, 22:23
Put me down as another satisfied Oly customer who has run a few thousand rounds through mine with no problems whatsoever. Good ammo all the way down to Monarch steel cased junk it always works and is plenty accurate. I'm not even all that good about cleaning it and like I said never a problem. I guess mine doesn't know it's supposed to be garbage. :dunno:

I have to agree. I have owned two and still own one. Thousands upon thousands of rounds without issues. Could it be I know how to clean and properly maintain an AR is why I don't have issues???

Also, I have, re-built a couple Colts and Spike's rifles for friends who were convinced these brands were the best.:dunno::embarassed:

PlasticGuy
01-10-2010, 23:17
I have to agree. I have owned two and still own one. Thousands upon thousands of rounds without issues. Could it be I know how to clean and properly maintain an AR is why I don't have issues???
Cleaning had nothing to do with why 8 of the 10 Oly Arms rifles I've shot extensively didn't work correctly. Poorly made parts and improper assembly of those parts was the culprit. I'm glad you are happy with yours, but I assure you that those of us with negative experiences are not just too inept to clean our rifles. Oly cranks out some real garbage at times.

We have 130+ Colts in our armory at work now, and I've seen less problems with 130+ Colts than with 10 Oly arms test rifles. No thanks.

Mnukedude
01-10-2010, 23:35
They are on the lower side, but don't worry. If someone gave you one for Christmas, you can upgrade it pretty easily.

I'm a little afraid the upgrading will turn into something like this:

It depends. Some days it doesn't want to feed, some days it doesn't eject. Could very well have been bad ammo ontop of other issues. I was given it before I joined the Army, and haven't shot it a whole lot since. I've always had my "better" guns around and haven't messed with it.

I've replaced the carrier, buffer, buffer spring, gas rings, and now the bolt. But its been almost four years since I've fired it now.....

I'm probably going to take it to the range with a box full of my training P-mags and see if I can get it to fail again. If I still have issues I'm going to pull the free floated handguard and see if the gas port is obstructed/gas block not mounted right.

I won't say I've fired one, but I have handled quite a few of them and other makes at the gunshows, and one thing that always stood out to me in doing that when comparing the rifles to their higher priced brethren such as Bushmasters and Colts was that the fit and finish was not as precise, and the safety levers all seem to be spongy rather crisply "on" or "off" as in the more expensive brands. The spongy safety could be a consequence of low safety spring tension, an excessively rounded (worn?) detent surface facing the safety lever, or a poorly milled track in the safety lever for it to ride in.

Frankly, this is a small detail, and is cheaply repaired with quality parts from another maker such as Bushmaster or Rock River Arms, but being that these were all brand new rifles, I have to wonder: If I haven't even shot the thing yet, and I'm already noticing parts that need replacement, what else was sloppily manufactered on this weapon? I'm not saying that they definitely have to all be garbage, but in today's market, they have many competitors. Unless an Oly is all you can afford, why not spring a few extra bucks on a maker with a solid reputation and not take the chance? As they say, you buy quality once, but cheap you buy over and over.