This thread comes as an expansion of a previous AR-15 standards thread. The purpose is to propose, discuss and hopefully come to a consensus on the following: Hard requirements that every configuration should have - This is the basic, minimal required hardware for a fully functional, accurate, usable by any "Monkey" firearm. It will provide consistency of platform as well as a minimum standard for accuracy and tolerances. Minimum, in this instance and used in this thread should not imply lack of quality control or capability. Basically, any Monkey should be...proud I guess, to own an AR based on what we as a group determine to be our minimum. Suggested component upgrades or additions to the platform - Any upgrades or additions need to be something that has a positive impact on the utility of the rifle: accuracy, reliability, etc. They should be components that are not directly required by the platform to function and directly increase your ability to put more bullets in a smaller area at a greater distance. Higher "quality" components may fit into this category. Preferred configuration components - This is where personal preference can (and should) start to enter the picture. Preferred configuration components should not "encumber" a user that isn't familiar with their operation or hinder their ability to utilize the platform. The highest quality components also fit into this category. Optional components. These are just that...optional. They are NOT required to make the base firearm work, although they may enhance the overall functionality. Like Preferred components, inclusion of these options should not hinder a user who is unfamiliar with them in the operation of the firearm. This is the most subjective area and as such has the potential to be the most hotly contested. Please see the notes at the end of this post as they absolutely apply here. Before we begin cussing and discussing all of the various components, I think I need to help define a few things and what the purpose of the thread is for. First, this is not a thread for you to trash anyone or anything. Civil discourse is required. I am not a mod but I will flag (and I hope others will to if necessary) inflammatory, negative, appendage wagging posts for deletion or editing. By posting in this thread, you agree that if you cross the line in a post that is otherwise useful, your post should, can and will if at all possible be edited for content. Second, I am nobody, ok? I'm not a mod, I'm not a founding member and the "Site Supporter" tag just means I threw a few bucks at melbo to help defray the costs associated with the server. My opinion carries no more weight than anyone else's (except with me...I think I'm usually right). I just see a need and hopefully a way to navigate it. I'm being blunt but frankly, I don't have the authority to back up what I'm asking for/saying. Third, standards exist for a reason, so people can standardize and know what they are getting. In this case, I hope we can come to consensus on a minimum, suggested and preferred configuration "standard". That being said...standards exist for a reason and people don't always know what that reason is. Case in point: rifling twist. Originally the platform had a 1:14 twist rate with only 4 grooves (1 full turn of the rifling every 14 inches of barrel length). It was soon discovered that was insufficient to stabilize the bullet at low temperature and was changed to 1:12...faster spin. This was also based on a 55 gr bullet. Generally speaking, heavier bullets perform better with a faster spin...however, there is a point of diminishing returns, thus the argument surrounding 1:9, 1:8 and 1:7. Current spec (at least I believe current spec) is 1:7, right-hand twist, 6 grooves. From what I've read, this is partially as a compromise for the even heavier SS109 bullet (62 gr) as opposed to the M193 (55 gr). This is also somewhat of a compromise for distance, more stable at longer ranges. Rather than outline what I think should be the base, minimum standard though, I really think we need input from everyone with justifications for the things that they want, think are important or feel should be included. Personally, I'm not necessarily brand loyal. If you provide a specific off-the-shelf build, please provide specs that show where it sits in the min/sugg/pref chart. Reasons for everything we use as a standard are going to be critical to keep this as objective as possible for as much of the build as possible. I would posit that the fact that the company has a Military contract for the firearm is insufficient reason to consider it higher or lower in general...we all know that the tools our government buys are ALWAYS from the lowest bidder. Instead of putting a poll on this thread, I'm going to start separate threads for different components. This is due to the fact that there are simply too many variables for a single poll (or at least my meager poll creation skills. To the best of my knowledge, the poll functionality on the site doesn't allow for sub-items, etc. I'll be uploading a spreadsheet (blank right now) in .xls format for maximum compatibility that will get uploaded and the link here should always point to the most recent, up-to-date copy.