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Dark Storm Industries AR good to go? Login/Join 
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
posted
I’d like to get an AR 15. I’ve mostly only had pistols. Short version is I think a fixed mag Massachusetts compliant is better than dealing with all the restrictions of our ban. This seems to fit the bill nicely but want the forum opinion on this company and if it’s quality.

https://www.dark-storm.com/dsi...ne-5.56-rifle-black/




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10467 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Member"
Picture of cas
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I can't speak to the quality of the product or who actually makes it, but I do know in NY and specifically on LI where they're located, the company is not thought too highly of by many due to a few things they've done. I believe trying to make it so (or at the very least make it seem so) that only their product was legal here and any other compliant gun other places were selling, wasn't.

There have been a couple other "douche-y" things as well.


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Posts: 17999 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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Interesting. Well they may be gun guys but they are still New Yorkers, so a bit of douchebaggery is to be expected. I'll keep looking for options. Maybe I can find something that won't take 6 months anyhow.




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Posts: 10467 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
I know nothing about the company so I can't really help there, but I am curious...in a fixed mag AR (and by "fixed mag", I assume they mean the magazine is not removable), how does one load the rifle? Do you have to pop the takedown pin and push rounds into the magazine from the top of the lower receiver?
 
Posts: 3849 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of mark60
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
I know nothing about the company so I can't really help there, but I am curious...in a fixed mag AR (and by "fixed mag", I assume they mean the magazine is not removable), how does one load the rifle? Do you have to pop the takedown pin and push rounds into the magazine from the top of the lower receiver?


That's what we have to do in NY although there are a couple side loading through the ejection port thingies that work pretty well.

I did a transfer of a Dark Storm and it seemed well built but that doesn't mean much. Cheaper and easy to build with a fixed mag than buying one of theirs though.
 
Posts: 2374 | Location: God Awful New York | Registered: July 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Member"
Picture of cas
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Yes. Pull the rear pin, fold it open, load the mag.


I know at least two people associated with the company/store, one I like, the other I have not had a great history with, so I will hold off going into more details, other than to say some of the "issues" you can find easily enough online, confusing as they may be. Other issues, not as easily.


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Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 17999 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Rustpot
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Disclaimer: I consider myself to be a bit of a snob when it comes to AR's, but I've been spending a lot of time and money researching and learning about the platform, and getting to know some great people in the industry that are at the top of the game when it comes to building a quality rifle.

The fact that they're using a carbine length gas system on a 16" barrel is a non-starter for me. The 1:9 twist is arguable, I'd prefer it to be 1:8 or 1:7, but that's not as big of a deal. I did laugh a bit when they put "nitrite" as the finish on the barrel, but I do see it spelled correctly elsewhere on the page.

I don't like the fact that the lower isn't backwards compatible to a standard magazine catch, I can understand why they go this route as it removes any capacity to modify it into an "illegal" configuration, but still, that again would be a non-starter for me. The magazine is retained by a set screw, so it looks like it can be removed for maintenance at least, though I'm not sure how well a set screw is going to work long term with a plastic magazine. At the same time I also find it curious as to why their ban compliant fixed-mag billet lower has a selector marking for full-auto (nit pick).

The specs on their bolt carrier group look pretty decent for a basic phosphate w/ chrome lining, there's a high chance they don't make that in house.

I find end plates the protrude sideways to be annoying and wouldn't want one on my guns, but that's a personal preference.

Their house-brand charging handle and ambi safety are probably not going to be as good as you can get elsewhere. I find it odd that small shops like this go through the effort of doing a me-too version of parts like this when there are very good options available on the market. At best they're a knockoff of an existing design, at worst they're garbage and will require replacing at some point.

The buffer tube is machined, not a forged/extruded part, so it's weaker than a quality mil-spec tube.

I'm assuming they're using a 3oz buffer as I can't find anything to say otherwise and that's what they have available, which is wrong to be using on a carbine-gas 16" gun unless they have an absolutely anemic gas system. More likely they're overgassed, which ensures reliable cycling, but tends to eat bolts from putting too much stress on the lugs and cam pin bore from a lack of system inertia and higher carrier velocity.

They're using an aluminum barrel nut, also a non-starter. I can't comment on the handguard itself without looking at the interface and seeing how the clamping geometry is setup, but that's moot with an aluminum barrel nut.

They do sell a grease/anti-seize for use on the buffer and barrel nuts, so that's encouraging me to believe they actually use that when assembling the guns. A lot of companies will loctite or assemble dry, both of which are bad for various reasons.

Personally? I wouldn't own one. It's probably on par with a Ruger, S&W Sport, Springfield Saint, those types of rifles. You're paying a hefty premium for billet receivers that lock you into a fixed-mag setup. I think you'd be better served spending that kind of money on something better and having it converted to Mass. compliant.
 
Posts: 5876 | Location: Romeo, MI | Registered: January 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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Thanks for all the info. I’m thinking budget wise and based on all this info I’ll go a different path. I’m thinking if I can find a quality fixed mag lower I’ll learn and build myself. I’m sure I could get a lot of help here. The plus being only shelling out like $300 to start and just adding parts as I go.

Is building really just assembling parts?




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Posts: 10467 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
Picture of SgtGold
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I was an armorer in the NG, and I've been working on my own AR's for the last 15 or so years. The only specialized tools you need for AR assembly are the correct headspace gauges, the barrel nut wrench, and either a barrel vice block or reaction rod. The vice blocks for the upper and lower receivers are nice to have, but not necessary. Putting an AR together is gunplumbing, not gun smithing.

Some companies have stopped using the GI style barrel nut, and I think that's a mistake. The GI style uses the gas tube to keep the barrel nut from accidentally backing out. On the non USGI nuts some companies use a thread locker to keep the nut tight.

quote:
Originally posted by frayedends:
Thanks for all the info. I’m thinking budget wise and based on all this info I’ll go a different path. I’m thinking if I can find a quality fixed mag lower I’ll learn and build myself. I’m sure I could get a lot of help here. The plus being only shelling out like $300 to start and just adding parts as I go.

Is building really just assembling parts?


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Posts: 6720 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mark60
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It really is as easy as assembling the parts and after you do one you'll want to do another. If you buy a complete upper as many people do you only assemble the lower and there should still be plenty of videos around to walk you through it. I don't know what MA requires but there are several mag locks available to purchase so you can work off any stripped lower.
 
Posts: 2374 | Location: God Awful New York | Registered: July 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by mark60:
It really is as easy as assembling the parts and after you do one you'll want to do another. If you buy a complete upper as many people do you only assemble the lower and there should still be plenty of videos around to walk you through it. I don't know what MA requires but there are several mag locks available to purchase so you can work off any stripped lower.


I was thinking of buying a complete fixed mag lower. That will run me between 2-300. So I can buy a complete upper and then just put them together and really have no work involved? Hmmm...

Sorry I know that I sound naive but I have only had handguns (well a short stint with an M&P !5) so I just don't know much about them.

All that being said I am also considering an MCX from Sig. I'll be up there for a class later this month and the student discount is like 20%. They have a Mass compliant version but I'll have to see what I lose in that version.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10467 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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