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New to AR's and I need some info!

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Blackbird, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Hillsboro Member

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    I am new to the AR-15 scene. I have mostly shot handguns, hunting rifles, and bows, but I really want to purchase an AR-15. I have noticed that there are many different brands and configurations. This will be set up strictly for fun/target shooting at no more than 100-150 yards, MAX. What should I look for? What are the differences? Flat Top or A2? Please give me some ideas so I know where to start and what to look for. Thanks!!!
     
  2. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    If you want to shoot factory or surplus ammo, and if up to 4 MOA is ok for you, then, a M4 style may suite you. A flat top gives you flexibility: you may attach a handle, red dots, BUIS, or even a 1-4x scope, etc. For the application you describe, 1:9 twist rate and 5.56x45 chambering should be fine. It depends on your budget, too. I was where you are now about 1 1/2 ago. I took my time to learn about AR15 before I made my move. I ended up buying an M4. Yet, I later discovered I really wanted sub-MOA accuracy. An M4 will probably give you just over 1 MOA but only under ideal conditions (scoped, and with match handloaded bullets). Don't spend too much, at first. Save for the next upper, and the next lower, etc. You'll needs lots of it treat your black rifle fever. :)
     
  3. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    AR15.Com - Your Firearm Resource. (AR-15, AR-10, M4 Carbine, M16, H&K, SIG, FNH, FAL, AK-47, 50 Cal, M1/M1A, Handgun, Pistol, Training, Hunting, and More!)

    OK
    I have been over this subject for HOURS,trying to find out all the answers.
    I had a Oly arms and wanted some other gun so I sold it.Only manufacturer I have heard much bad about.Nothing big,just not much nice.

    Seems all the others are perfect.

    Anyway, A2 is the one with the carry handle.I would get the flat top because you can go with or with out the carry handle.The flat top gives you more options for optics

    Look at used 'cause the prices seem to be down and building one isn't that much cheaper,that I have found.You can find some uppers cheap,that someone has for sale to fund a better idea.

    LEGOS
    If you buy a complete gun (any manufacturer) you can interchange most every part with a better one.Match grade barrels,touchy triggers,chrome followers,hand guards,stocks,sites,everything.
    Some say chrome lined barrels are better,some say chrome lining isn't .
    Most say stainless steal are the most accurate.(if you need sub MOA,then go this direction.)
    Of course,most say the $750 models aren't that much less accurate than the $1200 guns.Now the $2500 guns are guaranteed to 1/2" MOA.You can buy a second upper ,later,that has the sub MOA barrel in it.
    That will be $1200 sir. For just the upper.(they go WAY up too)

    I bought a lower with plans to build a one ragged hole shooter.It's gunna take a little longer than expected to do that.So I will go with the "better" upper for around 6 bills,to get the gun going.It will probably shoot better than I expect.
    There are kits out there minus the lower for around $600,so with another $100 you can put one together.Probably a 16" barreled upper with a normal taper,regular trigger group and everything else.Would be a fun project.

    I will put a regular trigger in it for now and go for a fancy one later.Something with a 3 pound pull,or adjustable.

    Again you can do all this to any AR that is "mil spec"

    If you go here,skip the intro and watch the second video.Lots of info about barrel length and such.
    POF-USA Patriot Ordnance Factory, Inc.

    So DMPS,Stag,Bushmaster,and there are sooo many others out there.Just pick a price,go to the AR forums and hit all the links,then go buy an AR.

    Oh and make sure it's 5.56 or the "Wylde" chamber,that takes 223 and 5.56.The 5.56 brass is a little heavier so the cartridge is a teeny bit bigger than the 223 and doesn't fit "perfect" in the 223 chamber,causing higher pressures.No big deal,most ars are chambered for the 5.56 anyway.This part is mostly for bolt guns I believe.

    good luck
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Hillsboro Member

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    Thanks for all of the info! After your info and a little research, I think that I do want to buy a flat top. I have seen some rifles with a fixed front sight and some without.... benefits either way? I want to put a scope on it, so would that fixed front sight get in the way? Any reccomendations for scopes that arent crazy expensive? Also, both of the responders here mentioned MOA. I hate to sound dumb but what does MOA mean?
     
  5. Rix

    Rix Tacoma Active Member

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    MOA is minute of angle.
    A quick search will tell you more than you really want to know about it.
     
  6. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Depends on whats' crazy expensive for you. Check the new Nikon M-223 scope line. Reasonably priced abd will give you a few ideas. I own the Millet 1-4x24 but the equivalent M223 is probably much better for your application.
    MOA=Minutes of angle; put in practical terms, 1 MOA = 1" at 100yds, 2" @ 200yds, etc. Wikipedia has a fairly decent explanation.
     
  7. dmwebb34

    dmwebb34 Bend, OR Member

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  8. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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  9. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    don't buy anything until you get reasonably educated on the topic.. and just keep in mind, bubba's opinion doesn't count.

    M4Carbine.net
     
  10. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    I learn from catalogs; try looking at J and T Distributing. Great quality kits. There's lots of assembly videos out there ie. AR15.com. That's where I got a schematic and a 'how to'. Good Luck
    PS If you build it it'll be special.
     
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Hillsboro Member

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    What about fixed sights on the barrels? Wouldnt those get in the way of the view through a scope? Should I try to find one without the front sight?
     
  12. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    depends on what rings you get. QUALITY AR-specific rings are planed at just the right height that all you'll get is a slight haze in the lower part of the field of view on low power settings- 1-4x. anything past that, no haze even.

    fixed front sights are by far the best backup sight. furthermore, there are a lot of really, really bad options out there for low-profile gas blocks that further make fixed sights a good idea. never use anything that clamps, and set-screws are better, but still inferior to pinned gas blocks. on this very website, i see pictures of people with railed, clamped gas blocks... and have lights or sights attached to them. all it would take is one decent whack, and the weapon would turn into a single shot.

    and that's provided the clamp doesn't loosen up and start short-stroking the weapon before that happens.

    seriously- M4Carbine.net learn all this stuff before you buy
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Others will answer the easy questions.. and have their own opinions

    Get not only a flat top but one with no front sight and with the Picatinny rail top on it. You can mount folding BUIS later if you want them but in the meantime it gives you more optic mounting options

    Check out CDNN for their special deals. I have seen CAR 15s for $600 recently. Download their catalogs here:

    CDNN Sports, Inc.
     
  14. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    I'm not an AR guy but I did look at Rock River site recently;;; do you guys like the "gas piston?" ARs?
     
  15. g.i. joe

    g.i. joe Portland Active Member

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    The research I have done indicates the gas piston on AR is just a "Solution chasing a problem". In other words, the issue associated with carbon build-up is, and always has been, treated with the right ammount of lube. If your using a LOT of oil on your bolt carrier group (BCG) and action components (and I mean really juice it up) the carbon deposits get suspended in the oil and don't gum up the action. Of course periodic cleaning is important, but I have gone 600 rounds with no issues on a stock Bushmaster M4. Look up Bravo Companies rack #14 rifle. This rifle has hone over 30,000 rounds using a heavy grease, and NO cleaning except the bore. I am experimenting with a new product called Frog Lube, which is all natural, and so far I really like. Personally, I wouldn't wast my $$$ on gas piston. Eugene Stoner was way ahead of his time in firearm design, like JM Browning. There are certain designers you really don't question.
     
  16. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    Why ANYONE who knows anything about the AR platform would even consider a piston gun is beyond me.



    Funny, that's exactly what my research revealed also.

    Keeping a gas gun white glove clean (the way I had to when I was in the Marines) is the WRONG thing to do. Gas guns simply do not need to be white glove clean. As long as they are lubricated they run just fine dirty. Cleaning it too much just removes metal from the gun.


    Nor would I waste my money. Stoner was way ahead of his time.


    More food for thought regarding piston guns:

    The higher intitial expense.

    Proprietary parts. Just look at the proprietary BCG's. Problems with the BCG's are still being ironed out by the various manufacturers. Who knows if those problems will ever be really solved.

    The heavier weight.

    Unbalanced. Due to the center of gravity being forward because of the piston and rod assembly.


    So now, where is the advantage of piston guns? If someone knows PLEASE tell me.

    Rob Sloyer, the author of "The Chart" and very frequent contributor on m4carbine.net, wrote a pretty good article published in the latest issue of "Combat Tactics" (put out by "Guns & Ammo") on the piston gun system. It just confirmed what I already knew.

    As one of the posters on this thread said, "Bubba's opinion doesn't count". I couldn't agree more. Do your own research. You will probably reach the same conclusion(s). But if not then that's entirely OK too. Just go with what works for you.

    Just some food for thought.

    :peace:
     
  17. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Look at the POF link I have above,That seems the best example of what it's about.
    The whole design was made around a 20" barrel and when you go shorter,as everyone seems to do,then it throws the timing off and you have to adjust everything.Well little thing.
    So the piston system is supposed to circumvent those problems?
    That's what I got out of it.

    BAMICS,a lot of other guns do use the design,so I guess it's a good design.
    But you ask why one would buy it....a salesman told them they need it.
    And their buddies don't have one

    I don't know mush about ARs,but it seems if you want a piston system,it would behoove you to go to a different platform?

    The AR pistol might benefit from it,with the short barrel.

    ??
     
  18. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    I did say I wasn't an AR guy.

    Rock River has pistol AR platforms.

    I built my AR [not the upper]from a 'kit'.

    I built my M14 [M1A].

    I have built four FN-FALs of the five I once owned. All piston operated. Designed by Browning and partner. Some 81 countries used them.

    So I might know something about something. AND I did say I wasn't an AR Guy!
    Relax your language BAMCIS...Please.
    The problem with ARs [I see] is they send the dirt into the bolt locking area.
     
  19. Dieselfuel12v

    Dieselfuel12v Bellingham Member

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    M4 style feedramps are meant for full auto, more reliable feeding, so it can't hurt in a semi auto gun. Most Lower receivers are on the same quality level. Aero precision in the Tacoma area manufactures lowers for a bunch of companies, any of which will do just fine. DPMS lower parts kits, or rock river arms parts kits would be a good choice. Then it comes down to the upper receiver. I went with J&S, they offer a great price, and a lifetime warranty. BCM makes excellent uppers as well, so does Rock river arms. Just don't get a no name upper from a company you know nothing about. I went with flip sights, so a red dot would have no interference. The beauty of an AR is all the choices you have, so it's really up to you and what extras you want.
     
  20. 3 AE

    3 AE Oregon Member

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    Without having to spend a lot of wasted time and money trying to figure out what to get, just get this and go shoot the **** out of it for a year. After that,you can figure out what extra's you need if any. The Spikes carbine is a "Best Buy" in it's price range. It will shoot a wide range of bullet weights. The M-4 stock will adjust to a variety of shooter sizes,so your friends can have fun at the range and help pay for your ammo. It pretty much has the features you need to start up with and not much you don't need. You can do a lot worse for $800.00.ST-15 M4 LE Carbine [STR5025-M4S] - $799.95 : Spikes Tactical