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Sabre9mm
August 8, 2012, 11:31 AM
I am attending a show this weekend and I am considering buying an AR15 .223.

It is the last one I will be buying for a while, I believe it will round out my collection nicely.

Though I know this will likely start a heated debate on preference, which should I consider / not consider / avoid.

I would like the forward assist, port cover, and rails, have not really any brand loyalty to speak of at this time.

Something in the future that I can piece upgrade, not regret having purchased.

Budget around $800

FrosSsT
August 8, 2012, 11:41 AM
(Dramatic music in backround)

And so it begins.

First, I would strongly suggest you save a few hundred more and make your budget $1k - even if it takes a bit longer (Just because you are going to a show doesnt mean you have to buy then and there even though its tempting) For the extra few hundred you are opening up a lot more possibilities.

People are going to throw brands from left and right (usually the brands that THEY own). AR's these days are like flat screen TV's - there are a few duds here and there but for the most part they are all reliable and will last a lifetime.

I heard of Olympic Arms having some issues back in the day but also heard they are back on track with their quality - As for the duds these days I have really no idea - I have not heard bad news about any of them to be honest.

The assist and port cover come standard with most AR's - the rails I would recommend you purchase seperately because they usually do not come on the gun in your price range.

I myself have a bushmaster m4a3 that I paid little over 1k for and its been great (I'm sure if I had any other brand or model I'd be equally happy) I will leave you with some suggestions though based on my research. The S&W M&P is under $800 (hard to beat in its price range) and has phenomenal reviews. It does not have the dust cover but thats not a big deal (you can add one for cheap) Another choice in the price range I have suggested is the Colt 6920. It also has phenomenal reviews and is a staple in the AR world. By all means those 2 brands and models were just basic suggestions in your price range (and in the one I recommended). Brand does not matter at all. You can even put together your own for less and have higher quality.
I'd recommend the bushmaster m4 as well as others, but those 2 are good to start researching.

Good Luck.

Sabre9mm
August 8, 2012, 11:45 AM
Yeah I figured it would be an argument of which platform is superior, hopefully there will be some consensus on which to avoid.

I just want to get my money's worth out of the deal, not just some fancy looking cheaply made knockoff.

Something that post SHTF, could be used to defend my rural place.

Quentin2
August 8, 2012, 02:53 PM
It's early to start talking brand and models - you need to clarify your uses which are pretty vague right now. And it's time to start reading threads on the same subject. Research is your friend.

Sabre9mm
August 8, 2012, 03:15 PM
I actually already read many of the posts concerning similar topics, on this and other places. A great deal of what I found in most places resembled somewhat a Monty Python skit on the People's Judea Front. Mine is cool, yours sucks from both sides.

I posed the question because I wanted to be able to communicate directly with the people making the assertions. "<name> is the best" is an opinion, however having an open thread with he person claiming it allows me to ask specifics of why. Seemed a reasonable pursuit.

Reading others Q/A on posts I was not involved in does not allow me to get into specifics of a response. Essentially I have to rely that someone else asked the same question I would have.

So basically if I can get a better base in model X for budget and then piece together a better weapon, then I would like to know what to start with.

However if I start with model Y and find out the first time I want to do something to it it I have to basically replace everything but the lead... well then I do not want to start with Y...

So since I am making a quick decision at a time where the budget allows me to spend the $$$, and the show where I planned on making that decision is in three days, some honest opinions of others that know and or have shot the weapons makes sense to at least assist in that research. I.E. if I do not make it there, I may miss the opportunity to not allocate the funds elsewhere.

So specifics...

Bushmaster makes what seems to be a popular line, quality for low price, or quality equal to price?

DPMS, same question?

Colt, SW, other *bigger* names, would I be foolish for purchasing one at that price, because they would only sell that low if something was wrong with them?

Certainly someone has thought the same, purchased one, and been pleased and or displeased with that result, so I could benefit from that experience.

My primary use will be experience with the type of weapon, I have close range guns, I could hit damn near anything I wanted to and probably make big holes in it < 50yd. I do not currently own anything that would reach beyond that with anything more than "good enough" accuracy.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Quentin2
August 8, 2012, 03:20 PM
At your budget of $800 I'd buy PSA. Myself I own Daniel Defense, BCM and ArmaLite. I would recommend DD and BCM if you're willing to up the ante.

TimW77
August 8, 2012, 03:21 PM
"A great deal of what I found in most places resembled somewhat a Monty Python skit on the People's Judea Front. Mine is cool, yours sucks from both sides."

Might be the best description yet of the wanna-be internet experts on here throwing their tantrums...:D

T.

Crow Hunter
August 8, 2012, 03:21 PM
I just want to get my money's worth out of the deal, not just some fancy looking cheaply made knockoff.

Something that post SHTF, could be used to defend my rural place.

By definition. Anything other than a Colt or a FN is a "knock off".;)

For $800 you aren't going to get a rifle that most of the professional trainers would consider suitable for high volume training classes or defending yourself.

However, if your uses don't match theirs, it might be a waste of money for you.

Any gun can be used to defend yourself. You just need to determine how you plan on using it and what features are important to you.

The Chart (http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642)

Rob does a very good job of explaining what everything is and what it means and which manufacturers do what.

This chart shows how close a rifle is to what the military uses. If a rifle that doesn't meet the minimum requirements of what the military will accept gels with your needs, that is what you should pick. If your needs require more, this will give you a base line on what you need to find.

You just need to decide what features are important to you and if you believe those that aren't will effect you or not and make your decisions.

TimW77
August 8, 2012, 03:32 PM
"If a rifle that doesn't meet the minimum requirements of what the military will accept gels with your needs..."

Regardless of what some people say, when something is "mil spec", that does NOT guarantee it is better in any way.

Parroting 2 words without having a clue what the meaning of those words are is pointless.

As said above, the mil spec sets a minimum requirement.

Problem is many times the mil spec also prevents a company from use better parts!!!

An example...
IF the spec calls for a barrel made from 4140 and IF 4150 is better for barrels...

If you made your barrels out of 4150 it would fail to meet spec even though it is made out of better steel.

T.

Quentin2
August 8, 2012, 03:41 PM
No sense to argue, we need clear specs from the OP. It's useless to go into detail if he won't. I just threw out what I'd buy since I have no idea what he should be looking at.

Crow Hunter
August 8, 2012, 04:08 PM
Mine in red



"If a rifle that doesn't meet the minimum requirements of what the military will accept gels with your needs..."

Regardless of what some people say, when something is "mil spec", that does NOT guarantee it is better in any way. No it doesn't nor did I say that it did. I stated that it was a minimum requirement. The Chart has details as to what ever item is and what is different. It is up to the buyer to decide what is important and the Chart gives info on what each feature is and why it is important

Parroting 2 words without having a clue what the meaning of those words are is pointless.Do you have a clue what the differences are? I do. I currently or have previously dealt with MIL, SAE, ASME, ASTM, JAE and WDMA standards on a daily basis.

As said above, the mil spec sets a minimum requirement.

Problem is many times the mil spec also prevents a company from use better parts!!!Yes it will. However, where have you seen instances of "using better parts" than mil-spec but still producing a gun that is cheaper than a mi-spec gun in it's entirety?

An example...
IF the spec calls for a barrel made from 4140 and IF 4150 is better for barrels...

Milspec is the other way around.;)

If you made your barrels out of 4150 it would fail to meet spec even though it is made out of better steel.Not saying that. However, if the minimum specification is for a forged 7075 receiver extension with rolled on threads and instead a extruded 6065 with cut threads are substituted, it ISN'T better.

On a general basis, a mil-spec part will be cheaper than a part that exceeds it, because it is usually a minumum standard. :rolleyes: Sometimes this isn't true if technology has allowed a particular part to be made more efficiently with better quality materials that didn't exist at the time of the specification writing. But innovations of common manufacturing metals haven't advanced that much since the last TDP was written for the M4. (Early 1990s)

T.


Re-read what I said. I said if you want BETTER than mil-spec, this will give you a baseline on what to look for. If you don't need a mil-spec MINIMUM, you don't have to get one.

Are you trying to say that those on the Chart that don't meet the mil-spec are actually superior?

Do you have data?

sailskidrive
August 8, 2012, 04:33 PM
By definition. Anything other than a Colt or a FN is a "knock off".

You can add Remington to that list now... and of course Diemaco.

I'm not sure why this topic gets regurgitated every 5 days when it has been discussed ad nauseum on here over the last 5 years.

If you use the "Search" function you'll get more information and protracted debate than even a law student can tolerate.

I'm pretty sure most of these threads end with the OP buying a Colt or DPMS. I built my last one from a hodge podge of Internet-tastic part vendors... see below. :D


http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv54/sailskidrive/AR15/ecfd7504.jpg

Sabre9mm
August 8, 2012, 05:06 PM
Thanks to all.

I believe "the chart" thread and doc set me straight on a few things, much appreciated. I believe I can apply that toward what I see to make a more informed decision than the name stamped on it.

Along with doing the research here I have seriously considered if I even need to go with the Ar. As for putting a high velocity piece of lead a long way down range, I may consider something just less complicated. I believe the accuracy aspect was the most appealing part to me. It may happen that for my money I can get something in the same round, maybe less flash, or a different round, more appealing platform.

Essentially I want to know at the end of the day if I miss something it was because of my aim, not the weapon. I could probably go lighter in a traditional rifle configuration, light would be an important factor for me, synthetics do not scare me, as a matter of fact I believe synthetics are better choices in some weapons designs because of strength vs weight ... Maybe apply more of the suggested *need* over the *want*...

If I end up making the purchase I will be sure to let everyone know what I decided on. If anyone else wants to toss in suggestions, I still have three days to make up my mind...

FrosSsT
August 8, 2012, 05:07 PM
I'm pretty sure most of these threads end with the OP buying a Colt or DPMS

Thats because people sit there and say "colt is the best, colt is what the military uses, colt colt colt" I would say that suggesting colt for the 1k range is not too bad, but when you start talking 2k+ there are just way better options. I like to help people in the AR field, but everyone seems to just drift away into the brand trap.

Justice06RR
August 8, 2012, 07:02 PM
Sabre, do not get discouraged with the mixed comments and suggestions. The AR15 platform is a very good rifle that will serve many different uses from HD, SHTF, plinking, competition, etc.

For $800 you have a quite a few choices. In that range I will suggest a Smith and Wesson M&P and PSA. Those are both pretty good manufacturers and you have the option of adding the quadrail yourself, or buying it already installed for a little extra. Bushmaster and Spikes are good brands also, but just a tad over $800 IIRC.

There really are a wide variety of AR brands to choose from. That is why it is difficult to really suggest just one or two brands. Some people (including myself) would love to suggest the top tier brands like Colt, BCM, DD, etc but they are above the budget you mentioned. You would really be ok with anything around your price range so just get what you prefer. Good luck and have fun shopping!

Sabre9mm
August 8, 2012, 07:19 PM
It is not off the list yet, I would still love to own one, and just because I can spend $800 now, does not mean I cannot put a hundred a month into getting it more like I want. So a compromise of power, price, and range. All the rave seems to be the Ar15 platform because they are tinkering guns and so many options to customize. Call the $800 an initial investment, if I am going to put it toward the Ar, I want to make sure I am investing the right way.

My current thought pattern is this, for close range I would probably be using something else, I do not plan on going to war anytime soon. I cannot see myself needing to deliver a large amount of rounds far downrange unless I am missing ;)

And since this is obviously field proven and coveted by great marksmen, I am not here to argue its viability. However I am starting to look at it like this, if I can shine a flashlight on it, I would not need a 400yd+ accurate weapon to hit it.

But I would still like that capability, maybe even take my boys hunting someday, for that do I really need an Ar?

Probably not, but one thing that turned me on to it was will I be able to change my mind in 5 years? I.E. will I still be able to buy one without a rectal exam... The world is changing somewhat in that regard, so I may just decide to get one while I can.

Three days to decide, I will waffle a bit, and look around, who knows.

Thanks all for continued the input. (BTW, the varied opinions are just what I was looking for, this thread has been more productive to my decision than you may think)

Justice06RR
August 9, 2012, 05:32 AM
You can use an AR for hunting depending on what you hunt. The true beauty of the AR platform is its wide variety of options in caliber and configuration. I feel like I say that too much like a broken record, but it is true.

An AR is good for a 50yard or a 500yard shot. That is versatility right there. You can't do that with a pistol, shotgun, or AK. What I've also learned is that AR's hold their value quite well esp if you buy a name brand. If you don't like it after a month or a year, you can sell it for almost the same as you bought it, maybe more. For example, I bought my first Bushmaster M4A3 for $770 and sold it three months later for $850!

Anyway, the decision is yours. We hope you do buy one and see what the hype is all about. Cheers.

Sabre9mm
August 9, 2012, 06:55 PM
Ok, after going to Academy sports and holding a few more, I believe I have stretched the budget out a little...:rolleyes:

Brought My Lady with me, and she seemed OK with a little more, and hey if the Mrs. does not mind why should I right?

Unless I find a better deal in new at the show, I believe I have decided on the S&W, it just felt right when holding it.

http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_324847_-1?N=39632024+4294965779

Unless someone has something specific to say against it, I believe it covers all the bases, and seems to be a reasonable price.

Still going to try the show first, and see if anything just begs me to take it home, but I know I can fall back to the retail chain and still get what looks to be a good deal.

Any thoughts?

FrosSsT
August 9, 2012, 08:12 PM
My thought is that you chose the one that felt right for you (plus it is spoken very highly of in reviews), and that is all that matters.

Sabre9mm
August 9, 2012, 08:25 PM
Has the forward assist, port cover, chrome in all the right places, low on the other bells and whistles so I can add as I want in the future.

It felt lighter in the hands than the others, some of them were down right bulky and heavy. the SIG was very pretty, but that budget extension only goes so far... :(

S&W is a pretty well known name, I assume it will retain some investment value.

I already have a cheap red dot, have my eyes on a new one. (http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_293406_-1?ICID=CRT:0369-40530-1400)

Pretty excited now, already arranged a rural family member's back 40 for Sunday to go play with it.:D

hermanpj
August 9, 2012, 09:28 PM
Good choice. Name brand, reputable quality, and you didnt break the bank. You can customize and tailor your new AR over the long term to just how you want it.

FrosSsT
August 10, 2012, 01:19 PM
I already have a cheap red dot, have my eyes on a new one. (http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...369-40530-1400)

I would pass on that red dot. I looked at it for my CX4 and after some research I canned that idea. If you want bang for your buck try out Primary Arms

Sabre9mm
August 10, 2012, 02:22 PM
Yeah, I looked at an eotech holosite, nice.

Already pushing my limits with budget past what I originally planned, may have to save that for christmas...

At least no one will wonder what to get me, something chrome for my scoot, or something black for my new toy.

Crow Hunter
August 10, 2012, 02:51 PM
I would pass on that red dot. I looked at it for my CX4 and after some research I canned that idea. If you want bang for your buck try out Primary Arms

I 2nd this.

I have had 2 PA sights and both have been very satisfactory. Even though I broke the 1st one.:o

NWCP
August 11, 2012, 02:07 AM
I own a few nice traditional rifles that are absolutely beautiful to behold and a pleasure to shoot. My two AR rifles have an advantage over them all. The AR platform is flexible. Once you have your basic lower and upper you can configure your AR for personal defense, plinking, hunting, target shooting and change calibers if needed. The basic rifle will be around for many more years to come and it's already been around longer than I wish to remember. Buy a solid foundation with a 1 in 9, or 1 in 8 barrel twist, a quality lower and upper assembly and then over time you can build to meet your needs/wants.

RT
August 11, 2012, 06:30 AM
S&W makes a nice AR but I try to find one of the newer models with the melonite treated barrel. Otherwise:

http://www.gtdist.com/ProductDetail.aspx?PartNumber=COLT-LE6920

Sabre9mm
August 11, 2012, 01:38 PM
Ok, got the S&W, academy ended up being the better buy, most of the show was like a rummage sale, was expecting A LOT more from a Texas show.

Vortex Sparc red dot, with 2x removable magnifier.

As for budget, well I guess I should have never set one to begin with, they never really work out...

After picking up another 250 rounds for the subbie, 200 for the AR, sight and rifle...

$1500... Damn I am probably in trouble now...

OOOOO though, I cannot wait to go fire it.:D

dave9969
August 11, 2012, 05:09 PM
not knowing where the Original poster lives,

here in South West Florida, rarely are there deals to be had at a gun show. If anything you probably pay 10-20% more because its a crowd of people trying to buy the same thing so the seller is rarely motivated to take the "first" low offer.
Now your mileage may vary, but typically a local shop that you can and probably will frequent again, offer more selections and options. I have personally purchased a few "dream" guns that somebody assembled only to find out, it wasn't what they really wanted. So they trade it in, for store credit or straight up cash.

The only thing I buy at a gun show is ammo.

My personal AR-15 is a Colt "dream" gun that another person spent way too much money on, and added a bunch of toys I removed as they actually took away from the shooting ability of the weapon. It came from a gun/pawn shop in St. Petersburg, FL. Its a LE 6920 lower, and a 1/7 twist on the barrel with a more or less standard M4 build. Quad rail on the front, surefire pistol grip/light on the bottom.