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ar-15

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by westernmcd, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. westernmcd

    westernmcd albany or Member

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    Hello everyone, I am looking for some information/opinions from some more educated than myself on ar-15's. I want to purchase an ar but know very little about them. As I sift through the classifieds, there seems to be numerous combinations of uppers and lowers as well as several different brands of after-market, bolt-on stuff. Some of the folks have very long lists of components they advertise, a good portion must be internal. I get dizzy reading them all and trying to decide what I should purchase. Ultimately, what I want is a good shooter (accuracy), nice trigger (very important), reliable, flat-top (like the look) with some goodies to go with; light, laser, optics, holographic. The goodies are easy enough to figure out, I am just looking for help with the gun. Any opinions or information on the best combinations of uppers/lowers and/or internal components that improve performance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Westley.
     
  2. eldbillbo

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

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    you should do a "Ar15" search on the forum lots of interesting reads . Keep in mind lots of opinions but some good facts. lots to consider .

    Too many options too many choices . Good place to start get some info
    buy one then build it into what you want . your choices may change along the way, mine has changed many times .

    Some guys will say "build your own" thats fine advise to someone who already has one . I say buy complete then modify it to fit what you want it to be.

    Beware of black rifle fever, its real and starts with just 1.
     
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  3. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I agree.If you buy a nice one,not necessarily a 'top tier' gun,you can and will change parts over the years to get it perfect for yourself.
    I don't like the barbie analogy,so I'll call it a lego set.

    You can go to the AR forum and the M$(HAHA kind of a mistake but not really,Its the M4) forum,but that just feeds the addiction.
     
  4. eldbillbo

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

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  5. branson4020

    branson4020 Forest Grove, OR Active Member

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    What's the price of admission? I've never had an AR either and I'm kind of curious. For .223, I've always had Minis because my military experience was all M14 (yes, I'm old.)
     
  6. iomatic

    iomatic Portland Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you simply have to decide if you want to build or buy.

    Either way you will end up on both routes eventually. Maybe. I chose the latter and now really informed on my next build, having a complete I can actually shoot, tinker and pull apart to gain the knowledge for my next builds (.22, 24", 7.62, eyeing the 901 upper).

    I imagine builders would love to buy completes for value, or simplicity, but I'm probably wrong.
     
  7. eldbillbo

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

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    no not really. research first. get a idea of what you want .

    each of the ops questions are topics within themselves

    like trigger . I have found that a $10 set of reduced power springs are great. i also like the RRA 2 stage triggers.

    optics wow thats a big topic . you have red dots . magnified high end low end tactical, long range ect ect ect spend from $25-$2500

    Barrels , lenth, chrome or not chrome. stailess steel hbar bull or lightweight ect ect
    stainless steel and chrome moly usually better accuracy , chrome line twice the life expectentcy
    barrel twist rate 1/12 1/9 1/8 1/7 or?

    factory built or build it yourself. factory built usually have some kind of warranty . home built well you got the peanut gallery.

    rails drop in or free floating brands? ect what makes one better than the other

    its a big can of worms
     
  8. iomatic

    iomatic Portland Member

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    Yeah I meant to preface that with 'research what suits you'.
     
  9. westernmcd

    westernmcd albany or Member

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    Big can of worms is right. I get dizzy just thinking about it. I agree, the natural progression would be to buy one tinker around, then build one to suit. Just trying to get an idea of the best bang for the buck. I like quality and appreciate value. Hoping to get some ideas on what combinations of uppers and lowers I should look for if purchasing a complete gun or if I should get an entire factory model. Are any brands better than others? Being mostly ignorant, I rely on information from others like you folks. Keep it coming.
     
  10. eldbillbo

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

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    In my opinion if you can afford it start with either a Colt or BCM .they top tier rifles.

    Colts can be bought locally for $1000 give or take a couple hundred depending on options

    if you want to save a little money go with Stag . Has has different options and you can pay a little extra for Mil spec upgrades to make it near equal to a colt or BCM and still save some cash

    Daniel Defence makes a top tier rifle as well

    bushmaster RRA both both make good rifles at lower cost
    and DPMS is a good quality low price rifle

    there are many others but those be the name brands to look at to get you started.

    http://www.stagarms.com/index.php?cPath=13
     
  11. tomcat mv

    tomcat mv Maple Valley WA Member

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    I am a long time shooter, mostly bolt guns and military stuff. I too have been bitten by the AR bug and today bought a S&W MP-15 Sport at Fed Way guns for $619+tax. They are supposedly great shooters and a good enrty level platform. We shall see. IMO a lot of guns are way overpriced and you are buying a name rather than hardware.
     
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  12. eldbillbo

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

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    a fine shooter does not have to cost a lot of money . Mil spec is over rated unless your in the military or your life truly depends on it. If my life truly depended on it i would want the confort of knowing i have the best i can afford. what i have mentioned is just a rough start.

    every body is different . when you do buy a name brand you are paying for it. but a brand name has to back it up to some degree with better quality control , better materials , in some cases research and development and higher end machinery . but do expect that they will tag a little extra for their name but that name will usually mean a higher resale value and in some cases and not so much now a days a little added collectors value for example a colt sp1 Ar15 had a original retail price of $189 now average $1000 and rare early models upwards over $3000 .

    but there are certain parts that one on the most parts differ very little in materials and workmanship and all forgings come form the same forge companies so colt bushmaster delton oly dpms may all buy forgings from for example alcoa forge and they either do the finish work or out source it .

    certain materials are different such as handgaurds some companies use plastic where companies like colt use a form of fiberglass
    a true mil spec buffer tube is made of a stronger aluminum than commercial there are mil spec diameter tubes made of the lower grade aluminum

    but does all of this really matter . probably not unless you really abuse your rifle .

    this is only my opinion i am not out to argue whats better there are plenty of post that do that here ,
     
  13. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    +1
    It's good to know what the mil-spec is for a specific part, often a mil-spec part is the same price as a commercial part. Being mil-spec does not always mean it's better.


    Almost all AR builders use a forged 7075 upper/lower. Main differences are things like mag well bevel, surface finish and roll marks.

    +10
    I don't think it's so much one part is better than another part, but different.


     
  14. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Whatever decent lower floats your boat, DD parts kit and JP yellow springs, Magpul CTR/ACS/ whatever stock, LMT upper. Tada build is done and ready to go.
     
  15. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I have never done an upper but the lowers are easy to assemble and fun.(hang a towel around the work area to catch the detents and springs,first hand knowledge)

    The prices are reasonable enough now that you can get a nice gun for the 700 range.I am very happy with my Stag and if you look at their site,you can buy the upper and lower and save about $100 for some reason.Or Rainier arms have some great prices.

    I always say in these threads,after someone talks about buy the expensive brands and be done with it,that if you do shoot it enough and something breaks,then you replace it with the expensive stuff.If not,you save yourself some cash. If you will shoot competition right away,a couple thousand rounds a weekend,then save yourself the grief and buy the top tier brands.

    I'll bet my life with the less than top tier AR I have.Proper mags and ammo ,you shouldn't have any problems.
     
  16. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    I know that I have posted this link several times on this forum, within the last 2 weeks was the last time...hint "search". If you want to educate yourself on AR's the following information is very useful. Here's the link: Comparison Chart of Major AR Brands

    On the google document chart, there is a link to "NEW Comparison Chart of Commercial M4-Pattern Carbines" that breaks down the components down by manufacturer that is also very informative.
     
  17. snooopidydoo

    snooopidydoo Medford Oregon Active Member

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    Here's MY way to of getting the AR i want..
    Go to a local gun shop / Show. and buy a lower or build a lower. Most can be either bought or built for around $250. EASY! get your paperwork done locally then you can start shopping online, for an upper. You can save quite a bit more than people think (can be shipped directly to your house) . I built a spikes tactical to the exact specs of the rifles on the website for $680 when the same rifle on the website is listed at $1200 + shipping.

    Then you can start buying rails lights optics whatever suits you.

    I recommend gunbroker.com
     
  18. iomatic

    iomatic Portland Member

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    That's a totally valid approach, but if you're new to this platform, you're missing out on shooting the thing until you get an upper.

    That's why, after all, I bought mine.
     
  19. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

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    This worked for me many moons ago and I had fun doing it!