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AR-15 newbie.. school me!

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by mjn, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    One firearm I've never owned is an AR-15.. and I want one BAD.

    Once I started looking... I realized there is NO end to the different makes, models, and acc's for these darned things!

    *I want a 556/223.
    *I want a carry handle..but I want to be able to remove it. (I've seen a couple that are part of the upper)
    *I'd like a Colt... but I know darned near everyone is in the AR game now.. is a Colt any better? Does a Colt hold it's value any better?
    *I definitely want to be able to shoot either 556 OR 223...

    Eventually, I'd like to put a scope on it..but it's not needed at first.

    I've read that the mags are the weak point.. what are the best ones to get for longevity?
     
  2. Dell_dude

    Dell_dude Vancouver, WA Member

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    Colt would be an excellent AR purchase.

    Solid rep and will hold value. Just make sure you shop and get a good deal on it. Vendors vary pretty wildly on price.

    For scope, if you can, go out to the range and try out some other people's stuff. Aimpoint, EOTech, ACOG, or whatever else you're considering. Find what you like and get one. Everyone has different opinions.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, even though you want to shop for a deal on the optic, make sure you know what you're buying is legit.

    Aimpoint and EOTech clones are getting more and more hard to tell from the real thing.
     
  3. Scott

    Scott Battle Ground Well-Known Member

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    Colt is good but pay more for the stamp of a horse but will hold better value. AR's are like car's everybody has their opinions and fav's. Just get what you like. Answer your questiosn first. Do you want a laser, flashlight, bayonet, quad, rail? I think those things are useless and would not purchase them.

    Just get what you need and you will be fine. There are many to be had and like Dell said prices vary by a lot depending on who you buy from dealers as with private sellers.
     
  4. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

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    As the posters above me have said a Colt would be an excellent choice. They are widely considered to be among the best ARs out there. They can be a bit pricey however.

    I would suggest against a carry handle setup. If you intend to mount optics in the future that's just money wasted (unless you cut it down when adding an optic but if you want something magnified that doesn't help). A folding or fixed rear backup iron sight will work just fine now, and with an optic in the future (folding if you intend to buy go magnified, folding or fixed if you intend to go with a red dot).

    If you want to be able to shoot full house 5.56 in addition to .223 make sure you buy something chambered in 5.56. Most ARs offered by reputable manufacturers are 5.56 but some of the cheaper brands cut corners and have incorrectly labeled or just generally tight chambers.

    Magazine wise the Magpul Pmag is widely considered to be among the best currently available. Quality USGI aluminum mags (D&H, NHMTG, Brownells, etc.) with anti-tilt followers also work well but for a few bucks more Pmags really are the way to go.

    I would suggest doing a little reading before deciding on a rifle, in addition to Colt some other top shelf companies include Bravo Company, Daniel Defense, LMT and Noveske. While all good brands, right around $1000 can get you a top of the line carbine from Bravo and that would be my suggestion.

    I strongly encourage you to head over to M4carbine.net and read some of the Knowlede Base stickies in AR general discussion - also familiarize yourself with the infamous chart, found here - it will give you an idea of what different manufacturers offer in terms of tech specs/features and what you can get for your money - and also explains what a lot of these different features actually mean. Keep in mind that this is a comparison of ARs in the M4 clone configuration, and that other options in terms of barrel length, gas tube length, etc. exist - but its a good representation of the quality of different manufacturers.

    One of the more popular options out there these days is 16" and 14.5" carbines with midlength gas systems (which offer somewhat softer recoil and increased parts longevity). Something you might want to have a look at.
     
  5. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Colt does hold resale better and has the highest name recognition.


    More than 90% of problems with the platform are magazine related. Do not buy used mags, when people have problems with a mag, they sell it! It becomes someone's problem. A lot of people are going to recommend Pmags. Stay away from used ones, the first run was terrible and most have been replaced by Magpul. Current production has problems running in certain guns. If you do a search you well find many threads on this. Buy just one and see if it runs in your particular rifle before you buy a dozen of them.

    Buy quality usgi mags, current production with the newest anti-tilt followers. That them apart, de-burr them, use a dry Teflon lube and assemble. Should be trouble free for many years unless you drop one on the feed lips or put a deep dent in the side, then you may need to repair that. Unless your going to go nuts on the number of mags you have just buy a half dozen Colt mags and be done with it.
     
  6. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    I must admit.. I had one particular firearm in mind.. It's a Colt, and I just picked it up today.

    I had limited time, so my daughter and I just took it out and ran 60 rounds thru it. Beautiful!! Shoots well, cycles perfectly... very frikkin cool!
    It came with two Colt mags, I think I'll take the advice above and snag 4 or 5 more.

    Now...what am i gonna put on it? Holy smoke... so many options!
     
  7. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Very nice, I'm sure you will be pleased. Colt is a top tier AR manufacturer. However, you know the rules...
    :needpics:
     
  8. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

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    Nice! Congrats on an excellent purchase. Which model did you get?

    +1 on the pics...
     
  9. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    Gimme a day or so... I'll get 'em.

    Dutchy.. it says AR-15A3 on the lower.. the barrel reads 556 gov't etc...
     
  10. SnackCracker

    SnackCracker Lake oswego, OR Member

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    Mark, Congrats on your Colt purchase and welcome to the black rifle madness. Now you'll need to do or take some practical rifle matches or take some carbine classes. You're always welcome to come stay with me and go to a match at Tri County Gun Club. :)
    I have a Noveske and absolutely LOVE it. Its my favorite rifle.

    -Bill A
    (SpeedGeek on PNWRiders)

    Sent from Samsung Captivate using Tapatalk
     
  11. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Good choice, it well provide you with many years of shooting. Good choice on the extra mags, adding four more Colt mags well give you a half dozen and that's about as many I want to carry at one time.

    Don't be in a real big hurry to add accessories. I admit I'm a sucker for aftermarket rails, the BAD ambi safety selector, enhanced trigger guard, and butt stocks. I would keep all your original parts so the rifle can be configured back to original condition.

    You said you want to scope this rifle. You well need to decide on what style you want. CQC optic like a Aimpoint, 1.3-5X scope or a high power 4-14x for longer ranges. A good mount, maybe a raiser. This is how you end up with a safe full of these rifles, one in every configuration.

    There are several forums dedicated to the AR, look around at the different options you have and spend your money wisely.
     
  12. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    2nding that, keep it stock for starters. Spend your money on LOADSA AMMO and come join us at Practical Rifle. :) I ran with a mostly stock AR-15 with irons for a long time and did fine. Maybe sometime next December get a red dot and flashlight for the night match. :devil:

    Or I guess since you are in WA, find out what the schedule is for competitions at your local gun club.

    One inexpensive accessory I would get right away because this helps a lot is the BCM Gunfighter Charging handle. It makes a big difference, especially since a lot of stages have you start off with the bolt closed on an empty chamber.
    BCMGUNFIGHTER Charging Handle, GFH Mod 4
     
  13. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    Bill! Good to see you on here brother! If I get the time, I might just take you up on that! On a side note.. we need to get together this season and rip some Oregon twisties!

    Thanks for all the comments folks.. it is appreciated!
    I agree about leaving it alone for now.. I want to make sure that whatever mods I make are the right ones for ME.. The amount of stuff available for these things is almost overwhelming..

    A good friend of mine recommended this site, and he's a rangemaster at our local range. I think I'll take it out there soon and get it dialed in.

    I took it apart last nite to clean it and just check it out.. dang, this sucker is easy to take down!!

    Now my daughter and wife have endless Birthday/Fathers day/Christmas ideas for me!! :)
     
  14. Dell_dude

    Dell_dude Vancouver, WA Member

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    youforgottopostpictures.gif
     
  15. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Congrats on a fine choice and purchase:thumbup:
     
  16. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    Dog gone you guys are impatient! :)

    Here... this is the only shot I've got thus far. My little girl (19 yr old daughter) shooting it yesterday. I think I might have lost my gun already.....

    mygirl.jpg
     
  17. Dell_dude

    Dell_dude Vancouver, WA Member

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    Well, you know the saying, if you're going to bring some, bring enough for everyone. :D
     
  18. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    Couple more..
    It's all black..just a crappy picture..
    guns013.jpg
    guns014.jpg
    guns015.jpg
     
  19. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    A little Trivia about that model of colt, During the 94 ban the first 134 of that model that did not say law enforcement only and were the only 134 of that model to be made before the ban was enacted were worth over $4500 each

    They were also the first civilian model of ar15 that used a M4 flat top upper receiver
     
  20. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    Good choice. It will serve you very well. But you will end up with higher lever AR soon. lol

    Enjoy!

    Same here.

    6a443fbc.jpg