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Researching for my first AR15 :)

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by footballplaya98311, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. footballplaya98311

    footballplaya98311 Bremerton Member

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    Hello all! I'm doing research for my first AR purchase. Most likely in 5.56/.223. I want to spend no more than $1200. I have very little experience with rifles. Someone recommended one made by Thunder Technology based outta Portland. Any one heard of them? For under $700 it seems like a decent deal. I don't wanna buy used nor am I sure I want to build one from scratch. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks ;)
     
    Joe Link likes this.
  2. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Things that I would advise would include:

    Avoid getting a heavy bull barrel. They will make the rifle way too heavy. Get a medium or light contour barrel instead.

    Avoid 16 inch or shorter barrels. Get a 18 or 18.5 inch barrel as a minimum instead. Even consider going with a 20 inch if you don't mind the extra length. You will get better ballistics and also less muzzle blast.

    Get a 1/8" twist rate for the barrel. It is the most versatile twist rate for handling a wide range of bullets well.

    Don't skimp on the barrel or trigger quality. A good barrel and a good trigger are essential for accurate shooting. Triggers are very easy to upgrade yourself, though. So you could always start out with something cheaper, and easily add a better trigger at a later date.

    Be sure to get a quality free floating handguard, preferably a modular one that allows rails to be added wherever you need them. That will give you great flexibility for attaching accessories, without having an excess of unused rails.

    Budget for quality optics. You will shoot a lot better if you can see your target a lot better. 1-6x power scopes offer great flexibility from close range out to 300 yards or more. 2-10x is also a very versatile power range.

    .
     
  3. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    In that price range, the Colt 6920 gets my vote :)
     
  4. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you want to play at doing part of the build yourself, I would recommend checking out a Model 1 Sales kit. You get everything but a lower receiver and you can choose quite a few options when you order it. I have built two of them, and am quite happy with both. They have all the normal calibers, barrel lengths and misc. upgrades you could want. Source a lower receiver locally and go to town. The upper comes completely assembled, so all you have to do is install the lower parts kit and put the upper on the lower. Their website is easy to use and all of their parts are American-made. Prices are as good as I found anywhere.
     
  5. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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    The most expensive part of your build is the barrel. Yes you can get a cheapy for $129 but if you want nice tight groups over 100 yards you're gonna want a minimum 18" but I personally would go with a 20".
    Other than that the hand-guard can be pretty pricey and a decent trigger will cost about $200 (do it because you will replace any stock trigger later - ask me how I know)
    My advice is buy quality pieces as you can afford them, then go see Fred at C.a.R. firearms by Seatac airport and have him assemble. By picking up the pieces here and there the damages wont seem to hurt as much and you can shop sales... Get the optics after the build is done then buy once cry once.
    Primary Arms is having a nice sale:
    https://www.primaryarms.com/Sale_s/5169.htm
    Palmetto is always having a sale:
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/catalog/category/view/id/4459
    Other sources:
    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/
    I built an AR pistol using Spartan Billet pieces from
    http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Spartan_15_Enhanced_Billet_Lower_Receiver_p/jb-spartan15.htm
    These guys have a complete lower for $139.99 (but you'll want to replace the trigger)
    http://www.surplusammo.com/anderson...llapsing-stock-winter-trigger-guard-integral/
    http://www.dwilsonmfg.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html
    I'm sure the guys can add a bunch more vendors and tips...

    Edit: I never could spell worth a %$@$
     
  6. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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  7. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    You could spend half that on a rifle these days and still have a decent firearm and spend the rest on mags, ammo and either an optic or better furniture.

    For $1200 you could get a decent longer range AR.. But if you're just getting a 16" barrel range toy, than anything made these days will serve your intended purpose.

    Im against brand name carbines, I find many are a waste of money for guys just looking to plink at the range, when and entry level AR could have done the same thing and saved a bit of money.

    Now if you're getting into the longer ranges and are seeking to use an optic, THEN I understand the price difference.. The upper is really where its at in terms of accuracy, Id say a few other elements help (FCG and Buffer/spring) but aside from that lowers are nearly all the same, none better than another, just bells and whistles past a certain point.

    Best of luck!! Just dont think you have to spend $1200 on a rifle to get a quality one unless brand name recognition or distance shooting is what you're after.
     
    Dyjital likes this.
  8. asiparks

    asiparks PDX Active Member

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  9. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    2nd the 6920.

    Should you find you really like or dislike the AR platform, you can mod. this or hock it for a decent price and move to something else. A stock 6920 will move quicker than a cobbled together frankenAR and you'll not lose nearly as much money while doing so.
     
  10. footballplaya98311

    footballplaya98311 Bremerton Member

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    Thanks for all the info! I'll look into these sources. Someday I would like to get into long distance shooting but not in the near future. I think I'm leaning more towards an 18" barrel with iron sights. Thanks again!
     
  11. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I am more of a 308 guy but I have bought a couple of AR's in the last few months. I can only tell you what I have found. My purpose for a 223 / 556 is within 200 yards, no more than a 6" grouping at 200yards, easy exit out of a vehicle, any further out and that becomes the purpose of my 308's. I bought two AR 15's a Ruger SR556 - what I think is a very nice AR. And a DT Sport Lite - one of the cheapest of the cheap AR's. I have yet to have either give me a problem. I shot the heck out of the Sport Lite this last weekend, to me anyways. I fully expect the Sport to fail but so far so good, 2000+ rounds fired and no hickup. When it fails I will replace the upper as that is where I expect the problem to be if it fails. Both appear to be accurate out past one hundred yards shooting at a 1" target, they both group around 1 - 1.5" with my shooting. I don't think the average company selling AR's can produce a bad one with exception or they would be out of business today.
    I do not believe that a forward assist, dust cover or deflector are necessary for the average person on an AR but that is just my belief. Maybe I am wrong.
    The Ruger ended up with a 1-4 Mtac 30 and the Sport ended up with a 1-4VariX 2. To me they have only one purpose and that is for protection from other 2 legged creatures. The ammo is sure a lot cheaper than 308.
     
  12. Tastes like Chicken

    Tastes like Chicken Portland Member

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    I think lightweight barrels are too often overlooked, they're great for carrying and offhand shooting and for all intensive purposes shoot just as well as a medium profile barrel.
    Also spend money on a good trigger such as one from Geissele.
     
  13. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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    Ya don't live that far, lets go shooting. I'll provide the guns but you gotta provide your own (store bought) ammo. I have an AR pistol that will give you a permagrin and a Daniel Defense AR with a 16" barrel
     
  14. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    3rd the Colt LE6920.
     
  15. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    You need to define your purpose and use before spending any money unless you like to play with swapping out components as you slowly come to realize what it really is that you do and do not need. I run a S&W M&P Sport completely stock including the iron sights as it meets my needs for about $600. I can outfit both my wife and I for what some people spend on a single AR.

    My main use is home defense either from a small number of intruders or a WROL/SHTF situation where I may need to defend what is mine. For that use I don't need a long barrel, an optic, a bipod, a vertical foregrip, match trigger, or any number of other fancy add ons. I would be hard pressed to find a shot over 50 or 100 yards, but of I lived in the country or shot competitively then that changes what I need from my rifle.
     
  16. Liberty97045

    Liberty97045 Oregon City Well-Known Member

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  17. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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  18. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    You could buy a random lower and a Colt 6920 SOCOM upper. The upper can range from $500-$800 (more or less) depending on where you look. Though I recommend doing something to the stock to add weight, it can be front heavy.
     
  19. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    That Ruger is a nice option. Price is pretty much as cheap as the S&W M&P Sport, but it has a dust cover and forward assist, unlike the Sport.

    I don't argue that Colts don't have good build quality and are well made. But they are a lot of money for what you get, in my opinion.

    And the last two M4 contracts from our government have gone to Remington and FN, respectively, not to Colt. So even our government is now buying M4's from other sources, as this article explains:

    http://kitup.military.com/2013/02/army-awards-m4m4a1-contract-fn.html

    .
     
  20. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Speaking fo myself I dont think most people need a dust cover or a forward assist on a AR15. What other military type rifle has those? If you need to use an assist I believe there is some wrong with your ammo or cleaning process.
     
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