|Flawless Fit and Finish|
Just to copypasta my FB rantings because I hate wasting the keystrokes:
That thread is making me sad. All the gawping about "fit and finish" and comparing custom ARs to custom 1911s from that ██████ dude. Look... a custom 1911* takes a bunch of time with hand tools and power tools because it starts with oversize steel components that are fitted to each other, not to mention any external cosmetic work, such as blending the back of the slide or doing funky treatments on the front of the slide or frontstrap texture work. Not counting the metal finishing, a really good 1911 'smith is lucky if he can do a gun a day, and that's starting with a bunch of relatively pre-fit stuff.I've never timed it, but it wouldn't shock me if it took more time to do a decent stippling job on a Glock frame than to assemble a quality, reliable, sub-MOA AR from a pile of parts. Almost certainly if you're doing a grip reduction on the Glock.
By comparison, talking about the "fit and finish" on an AR... ANY AR ...is like talking about the "fit and finish" on some kid's Lego Millennium Falcon model. The value of an AR is determined SOLELY by the value of the prefabricated parts, which can be assembled by a chimp (seriously, staking is not that hard) and how much someone is willing to pay for the roll mark on the magwell. There is practically NO labor cost in an AR.
And that post from █████ is the most hilarious bit of douchery I've ever seen. Don't hand-wave at me about what goes into building an AR, █████. It's not like it's some kind of secret formula.
I love how it's all "MILSPEC" and "TDP" until it comes time to defend some fawning idiocy from that ██████ dude.
With most "custom" ARs from small builders (if they're open enough to provide a parts list) you can sit down with your Brownells or BCM catalog and decide if you're willing to spend the difference to let them put it together for you**. In the case of some of the bigger assemblers, it might be a good deal, since they get a price break on barrels and BCGs for buying them by the case lot, as it were.
*Of course, there are a lot of 1911s out there that people think are "custom" that are assembled from bins of drop-in parts, but that's a matter for another post.
**I almost always am with uppers, because I can't be arsed to put the thing together myself, so it's either buy it preassembled or carry a box of parts down to Tennessee on one of my quarterly pilgrimages.