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View Full Version : Sell Me an AR its time!


Vermonter
July 28, 2012, 05:25 PM
I have almost bought an AR half a dozen times or so. Every time I get the gun budget built up I see a reason to spend more of my dime on ccw or hunting needs. Our household is set in the shotgun department as well as the handgun department. I have my hunting needs covered and I am thinking AR should be the next purchase.

I am thinking 223 for the first AR. I want something that will be reliable, accurate, have an adjustable stock, and not break the bank.

I am looking to stockpile 223 ammo and mags. I want to purchase two of these as well as the most common spare parts that will be needed.

It is my intention to train with this as much as possible and become proficient. I am left handed however I am not sure how much that really matters.

Basically I am looking for the best entry level AR that will be usable for HD SHTF and hunting appropriately sized game.

Regards, Vermonter

Creeper
July 28, 2012, 06:05 PM
I'm left handed, and prefer a right hand AR... so really, it don't matter. Besides, I like being able to see the status of the ejection port without tilting the gun.

As far as entry level, sub $1000 ARs... the world is your oyster. There must be at least 50 out there, ranging from crap to OK to surprisingly excellent for the money.

Do a search... at all price points, opinions are similar in number to the rifles available. I don't offer specific opinions unless the post is more specific in brand & model... which allows me to be more objective in comparison.

Cheers,
C

Woody55
July 28, 2012, 06:19 PM
I don't know about the left handed part, but my first AR was made by Olympic Arms. It worked just fine and didn't cost and arm and a leg. You can look up their stuff on their website.

customaquatics
July 28, 2012, 06:35 PM
the Palmetto State is the best bang for the buck i think. around $700 an they come with the 1-7 twist barrel. i love mine.

katarn
July 28, 2012, 06:36 PM
would any of you happen to know where you can get a lower like this one? http://www.orion-arms.com/images/stories/custom_designs_2/Arms8.jpg

customaquatics
July 28, 2012, 06:42 PM
the side of the reciever says vermilion ohio.

jmr40
July 28, 2012, 06:58 PM
The most basic thing right now is the DPMS being sold at Walmart for around $580ish. They don't come with sights, but if you're mounting optics it doesn't matter. Both front and rear sights can be purchsed if you want. Stag makes a left handed AR, but I wouldn't bother. The AR platform works pretty well from either side.

I think you'll find either a red dot or low powered 1-4X scope is prefered over irons by most anyway. I have 4 AR's set up differently. One just with irons, one with a red dot, one with a 1-4X scope, and one for longer range work with 2-8X scope. All have front sights with a flip up rear sight that fits under, or behind the optic. If I had to pick only one it would be my Palmeto State Armory with a 1-4 with a flip up rear sight.

There are several good choices in the $700-$800 range. The S&W has become the default recommendation. I don't own one, but have heard too many good things to not recommend them. I do own Palmeto State Armory, Stag and Rock River. I'd recommend any of them. I also own a DPMS. It is a notch below the others. It serves it's purpose and would probably do anything I need doing, but it would be the last of the 4 I'd reach for. Not that it is a bad gun, but the others have more rugged internal parts and should be more reliable.

There are seveal others that are pretty good including Windham. Bushmaster and Sig make good guns and there is always Colt. Lots of guys will tell you that the Colt is only $300 or so more than the others and well worth the difference. Maybe, maybe not. The point is for under $800 you can get a very good AR. You will have to just look and see what is available locally. I like the PSA best, but your LGS may carry something else that may prove just as good for you. As said earlier the S&W has a loyal following, but you may find them sold out. AR's are selling like hotcakes right now and stores cannot always keep them in stock.

If you can get some of the Magpul magazines they seem to be the best made right now. They are a bit more expensive at $15-$20 depending on the source, but I'd buy a few. If you shop around and buy in bulk ( go in with a few friends), you can buy good metal mags for as little as $10 each. This is a good source.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/ar15m16.html


I actually prefer the 20 round mags. They don't stick out as far and don't get in the way. Good luck!

Creeper
July 28, 2012, 07:12 PM
Lovely jmr40... level and objective comments from someone who owns 4 different, and sub 1K guns.

There are many seemingly satisfied posters who have bought/own Windhams, purchased from a big box store for excellent prices.
I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart (or my head... not sure) for the Windham made rifles. Their story, and the recent collaboration with POF, is one of pride, honor and belief in the American worker.

Cheers,
C

bedlamite
July 28, 2012, 08:42 PM
There are seveal others that are pretty good including Windham. Bushmaster and Sig make good guns and there is always Colt.


Bushmaster isn't what they used to be since Cerberus closed them. Windham is what Bushmaster used to be.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/12/11/bushmaster-factory-closed/
http://www.windhamweaponry.com/shopnews.asp?type=American%20Rifleman%20reviews%20WWs%20SRC%20AR-15%20Carbine

Left handed shouldn't be your first concern, which eye is dominant?

Quentin2
July 29, 2012, 12:39 AM
...Basically I am looking for the best entry level AR that will be usable for HD SHTF and hunting appropriately sized game.

Regards, Vermonter

Best quality low end AR: I'd recommend PSA because they give you so much for the money. I do have to say I don't own one myself but have handled them and have seen many reports from others I trust. The S&W M&P Sport seems to be a lot of rifle for the money as well.

Myself, I have BCM and Daniel Defense and can highly recommend paying a little more for their high quality. I also have an ArmaLite (my first AR) that is pretty good, probably a notch above Bushmaster, but PSA would be a better choice for a sub 1K AR.

Palmetto-Pride
July 29, 2012, 01:48 AM
I have one Smith and three PSAs the only thing better about the Smith is it says "Smith & Wesson" on the side of it...........

gunfighter48
July 29, 2012, 11:54 AM
I have a S&W 15 Sport and love it. It doesn't have a forward assist or dust cover but for me that wasn't an issue. I never used them on my last AR and at 64 I won't be going into combat or crawling around in the mud and dirt! As far a accuracy it has a 16" barrel with 5R rifling which makes it very accurate. I got mine at a LGS for $619.00 last Aug. They are hard to find now because of their excellent reputation with the owners. Here are a couple of my targets. I'm not the greatest shot anymore, but if I do my part the Sport is very accurate with factory ammo. The 100 yard target is 3 shot groups and the red bullseye is 1.5" in diameter.

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e11/gunfighter48/Fed19355gr100yd.jpg http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e11/gunfighter48/fed19355gr50yd-2.jpg

Vermonter
July 29, 2012, 07:14 PM
Gunfighter,
Are you supported or off hand on these targets? Also what was the optic used. This would fit my definition of accurate for my purposes.

Regards, Vermonter

oneshot onekill
July 29, 2012, 07:22 PM
Spikes Tactical... Period

(But I hear they're having a hard time keeping them in stock.)

ms6852
July 29, 2012, 09:58 PM
Smith and wesson would be my choice good reliable weapons for the money. They do away with a lot of the useless tacti-cool stuff so you pay less. Go to walmart and buy what they have on sale. Most people do not realize that you can pay as much as 2000 dollars and the rifle is still shooting 1.5 moa which is average for the ar platform. So more money does not equal sub-moa groups.
But if accuracy is an issue for you I highly recommend RRA, they guarantee .75 MOA or better.

Marquezj16
July 29, 2012, 10:16 PM
For a lefty AR check out stag arms.

ahanson0812
July 29, 2012, 11:44 PM
I just bought a Del Ton Echo 316 with the Magpul goodies on it from the factory. $729.99 from my local dealer.

http://img.tapatalk.com/aefd94b2-1149-8e08.jpg

Sent from my DROIDX

Bamashooter
July 30, 2012, 01:32 AM
Ahanson I have the same rifle with black furniture and for the price its a very good rifle. Mine shot moa without much effort the first time out. DTI is solid.

chris in va
July 30, 2012, 01:22 PM
I also have a Sport. Great gun, works very well.

G.I.DAVE
July 30, 2012, 02:04 PM
I just bought a rock river. I love it so far. I am very much looking forward to putting some toys on it!

Fishbed77
July 30, 2012, 02:15 PM
Best quality low end AR: I'd recommend PSA because they give you so much for the money.

There is nothing "low-end" about a PSA rifle.

They represent the same level of quality as ever other parts bin "mil-spec" AR (BCM, Spikes, Colt, DD) in my opinion, and the FN barrels are a real plus. In fact, the fit & finish of most of the PSA rifles I've seen are a good bit better than most Colts I've seen recently.

Note that the low prices of the PSA rifles were very much an introductory thing to get the name established. Lately the prices have been creeping up quite a bit closer to other rifles of the same quality.

Vermonter
July 30, 2012, 03:51 PM
What I am reading so far is the following stop me if I'm incorrect......

Basically any name brand AR in my price range should suffice. Most of you have your preferences which is to be expected. What I haven't read here is any stay away from brand X kind of talk.

That is a good feeling and reassuring to be sure.

What I have not seen here is anyone saying if $ is the issue buy a used colt etc. I am willing to spend the extra buck or two to get into a higher teir of quality but I suspect that may not be the case here.

Regards, Vermonter

Quentin2
July 30, 2012, 04:07 PM
Best quality low end AR: I'd recommend PSA because they give you so much for the money. I do have to say I don't own one myself but have handled them and have seen many reports from others I trust...

Myself, I have BCM and Daniel Defense and can highly recommend paying a little more for their high quality. I also have an ArmaLite (my first AR) that is pretty good, probably a notch above Bushmaster, but PSA would be a better choice for a sub 1K AR.


There is nothing "low-end" about a PSA rifle.

They represent the same level of quality as ever other parts bin "mil-spec" AR (BCM, Spikes, Colt, DD) in my opinion, and the FN barrels are a real plus. In fact, the fit & finish of most of the PSA rifles I've seen are a good bit better than most Colts I've seen recently.

Note that the low prices of the PSA rifles were very much an introductory thing to get the name established. Lately the prices have been creeping up quite a bit closer to other rifles of the same quality.

True, I did not mean low-end in any way, just best quality and components for the price. I highly recommend PSA and suspect most buyers who carefully compare components would choose PSA over a similarly priced Bushmaster, Del-Ton or DPMS.

one4gatr
July 30, 2012, 04:50 PM
What I have not seen here is anyone saying if $ is the issue buy a used colt etc. I am willing to spend the extra buck or two to get into a higher teir of quality but I suspect that may not be the case here.


Not sure your going to save a lot of money buying used. For that matter you may or may not get any extra goodies either. Its been my experience at least that if you shop around you can get a VERY nice NEW gun with warranty in the sub $800 range.

Good luck!

Mark

Justice06RR
July 30, 2012, 07:52 PM
If you have the money to buy a top-end rifle (around $1k or so), look into the Colt or BCM AR's.

Otherwise, if you want to stay under $1k and spend the rest on ammo, the Smith&Wesson Sport or Palmetto State Armory should serve you just fine.

Vermonter
July 30, 2012, 08:24 PM
I am currently leaning towards the m&p 15 sport. If there is something not alot more expensive that is a better value for some tangible reason I could be swayed. If not I will most likely own one of these very very soon.

Regards, Vermonter

UtahHunting
July 30, 2012, 09:53 PM
I would recommend the M&P 15 Sport. I just picked one up this week. It was very difficult to find one here in Utah as most have been pre-sold lately. I paid $649 for it. You get the most bang for your buck with this gun. You get the S&W name and warranty. Also comes with sites. For me it was no comparison for the price, much more gun than the DPMS for the cost.

Sinlessorrow
July 30, 2012, 11:44 PM
check your local walmart.

mine carries Colt 6920's for $1000 and worth the upgrade over the S&W.

gunfighter48
July 31, 2012, 03:41 AM
Gunfighter,
Are you supported or off hand on these targets? Also what was the optic used. This would fit my definition of accurate for my purposes.

Regards, Vermonter

These shots were off the bench with the front rail supported on a sand bag. I was using a 4-12X40 Bushnell Sportview scope at 12X. At 64 and in my decrepit state of physical fitness, off hand shots with this accuracy is out of the question!!!!!!!:D

Until I put a free floating handguard on the Sport, M193 wouldn't shoot any better than 3 - 5 shots in a 3X4" box at 100 yards. These were the results after I put the MI free floating handguard on the Sport. PMC 223 55 grn FMJs shoot even tighter groups than this. My gun really likes the PMC ammo.

Vermonter
July 31, 2012, 08:39 AM
http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_MAZ-C1516SLORC.asp

I understand that the reciever is some sort of polymer? Should that scare me away? If not this seems to be a similar value to the sport and it comes with an optic.

The buds reviews seem mostly positive but you guys really seem to like those sports!

Gunfighter thanks for the updated info. In my decent state of physical fitness that would have been good off hand shooting!

Lucky 7
July 31, 2012, 09:09 AM
OP
Being left-handed doesn't matter much with AR platform. We humans are very adaptable creatures and I have witnessed many a Leatherneck deploy with their muskets (M16A2s and A4s) without issue.

For a starter AR, look on the used market as there are plenty of gems to be had on the cheap. Example, last year I picked up an older, very clean Bushmaster XM-177E2 style with fixed sights for $699.

As far as optics, get some good training and snap-in time and learn your iron sights. The AR is a very accurate platform and your marksmanship should be up to par before you add a force multiplier (ie optics).

http://i1028.photobucket.com/albums/y350/ajdubs4/XM177/XM177-1.jpg

Regards and best of luck,
Lucky

sailskidrive
July 31, 2012, 02:57 PM
If you have the money to buy a top-end rifle (around $1k or so), look into the Colt or BCM AR's.

Things must be ALOT less expensive in the Florida.

Quentin2
July 31, 2012, 07:56 PM
If you have the money to buy a top-end rifle (around $1k or so), look into the Colt or BCM AR's.

Things must be ALOT less expensive in the Florida.

It can be done. For $1100 I recently put together a BCM upper/BCG/Gunfighter charging handle and a lot of Magpul furniture and a MBUS rear sight on a stripped lower built up with a Daniel Defense LPK and BCM receiver extension/H buffer/CTR stock. If I had cut corners (like the CTR and Gunfighter) I could have brought it in around $1000.

Vermonter
July 31, 2012, 08:07 PM
^^^ Wow. I don't think in the terms above. I am looking to kiss when it comes to the first go around. Optic and possibly a light/ laser is probably as much customization as I'll ever do.

Quentin2
August 1, 2012, 11:42 AM
...I understand that the reciever is some sort of polymer? Should that scare me away? If not this seems to be a similar value to the sport and it comes with an optic...

Wow. I don't think in the terms above. I am looking to kiss when it comes to the first go around. Optic and possibly a light/ laser is probably as much customization as I'll ever do.


The thing everyone (and I mean everyone) seems to miss the first time out is that it's easy to double the initial cost of an AR by upgrading/buying accessories in the first year. So a C-15 or ultra cheap basic gun with $800 worth of upgrades can become a laughing stock. I'd say buy quality in the basic rifle, you'll be glad you did six months later.

The S&W Sport or PSA would be a great way to keep cost down though yet still be a good base to upgrade.

mudlark
August 1, 2012, 03:13 PM
Verm,

I'm also looking at the ARs.

Spikes Tactical was mentioned a couple time and I have read only good things about them considering their entry level priced model. The model I was looking at has what is called a "mid-length gas system".

Is that a direct impingement system or a gas piston system??

Quentin2
August 1, 2012, 03:51 PM
...Spikes Tactical was mentioned a couple time and I have read only good things about them considering their entry level priced model. The model I was looking at has what is called a "mid-length gas system".

Is that a direct impingement system or a gas piston system??

"Midlength" is direct gas impingment...

... highly recommended. I have three and love them.

Vermonter
August 1, 2012, 07:08 PM
I am not concerned about this because as I stated earlier I am planning on owning two plus spare parts all at once. In other words if I happen to pick an ar that will become outdated I will already have spare parts ready to go.

The DI v.s. Piston thing to me seems like an argument between Auto or standard vehicles. Frankly as long as I have a stock of spare parts built up it doesn't much matter. Both will take me where I need to go.

Regards, Vermonter

Billy the Kidder
August 2, 2012, 09:51 PM
I looked and read and talked to everyone I know. After it's all said and done, I am going to Camp Perry tommorrow to pick up My Rock River Tactical Operator 2. They had a few seconds available, $790, I can barely see the flaw. It's a $1000 -1050 gun everywhere I look. I went with a friend on Tuesday afternoon, to see all the manufacturer's wares, there was a lot to look at.

Justice06RR
August 3, 2012, 12:50 AM
Things must be ALOT less expensive in the Florida.

It tends to be cheaper here, but not always. You can also look online to find them cheaper than your LGS. I believe Bud's was selling Colt 6920's for around $980 a while back.