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View Full Version : Buying my first AR-15, have some questions


boosteddc5
September 5, 2012, 01:45 AM
Hey everyone, this is my first post here but I'm sure I'll be a regular in no time. Anyway, I'm about to buy my first ar, but I live in NY so it must be AWB compliant. My question is, if I order a rock river arms entry tactical from budsgunshop.com, will it come to my FFL dealer already AWB compliant, or will the FFL dealer have to do it? If it will already come that way how long does it usually take to get a rifle this way? Also I have a question on a bushmaster. The local shops around me sell the bushmaster post ban carbines at a good price. My concern is that this particular rifle comes with a 14.5 inch barrel and a 1.5 inch brake. Ideally I would like a 16 inch barrel. So my question is, would the 1.5 inches of less barrel on the bushmaster hurt the accuracy of the rifle? I really would like a 16 inch barrel at the least and feel the 14.5 is just too short, but this rifle is the only AWB compliant rifle sold by me that I actually like. If anyone can shed some light on these two subjects that would be awesome. And sorry for making this post so long. Thanks everyone!

nazshooter
September 5, 2012, 01:56 AM
I'm sure the experts will chime in but the length of the barrel doesn't really have much effect on the accuracy of the gun. It can effect the accuracy of the shooter due to the shorter sight radius but if you'll be using a red dot then that's not an issue. The main effect on an AR is going to be on velocity.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2

boosteddc5
September 5, 2012, 01:58 AM
Thanks for the post, I do plan on buying an eotech as well.

FrosSsT
September 5, 2012, 07:45 AM
Buds will ship it to your FFL as is. Your FFL will have to make any modifications to your rifle to make it compliant before transferring it to you (I know how you feel I'm from NJ) As for the barrel length it does not directly effect accuracy (It effects velocity) You would do well researching on google to learn more. I have a Bushmaster M4A3 with a 14.5" barrel and a1.5" muzzle brake to make it 16" and I love it. Eotech makes a great optic by the way, just make sure to shop around online to get one at a good price.

Crow Hunter
September 5, 2012, 08:23 AM
I remember the AWB days. Thankfully, it expired around here.:D

Personally, I would rather have a "naked" 16" barrel than one with a muzzle brake. Although the AK74 type brake was better than that double hole brake they used to use. The Izzy comp didn't look like it would be as bad.

They are ear piercingly loud, especially if you have to stand next to the person shooting it.

More annoying to me is the blast wave of air that puffs in your face with every shot if you are shooting from a covered lane or with tree cover.

The shorter barrel will magnifiy this unfortunately.

I personally don't like the looks of Evil Black Rifles that don't have flash hiders but if you are going to shoot it a lot, or ever plan on taking it hunting without plugs or noise canceling ear muffs you might prefer not having a muzzle brake.

I think there are some "muzzle treatments", that you can get that look like a flash hider, but don't rattle your teeth when you fire.

I would definitely try one out before I bought it if I could. I went from a naked barrel to a comped rifle way back in the day, and while it looked better, it was significantly less fun to shoot and this was with a 20" barrel.

mukibetser
September 5, 2012, 02:25 PM
I live in NJ where we also have a form of "assault weapon" ban that prohibits collapsible stocks and flash hiders on ARs and limits us to 15 round magazines. I just bought a new AR -- a S&W M&P sport ban compliant version. For me, this was the perfect ban compliant AR. It's inexpensive ($630), comes with a collapsible rear sight and flattop with rail, has gotten excellent reviews for reliability and accuracy, and has a target crowned bull barrel rather than a muzzle brake. It doesn't have a dust cover or forward assist, neither of which I need. S&W is the only manufacturer that I know of that makes compliant ARs without a muzzle brake.

I changed the handguard for a Magpul MOE version, installed a Magpul MOE vertical grip, a Viking Tactics light mount with a surefire flashlight I already had, and an Eotech 512. All in, with the new furniture and sight and two additional pmags, I spent less than $1100. For a range toy and home defense gun, I don't think I could have done better anywhere. I suggest you find one if you can.

marine6680
September 5, 2012, 06:49 PM
I would say its best to buy the gun already compliant... I believe the seller can not even ship it into the state unless it is compliant... The delivery truck can drive through the state with it on board, but its final destination can not be within the states borders.

If you are having issues finding a compliant "carbine" type. The fixed stock rifle is a good choice. They have 20" barrels, and the longer gas system is a good thing.

Also, you can buy a separate lower, that has the compliant parts. Then an upper with the correct length barrel for you that is also compliant. I suggest a mid length gas system if you are getting a 16in barrel. You may even save a dollar or two, and get exactly the features you want up front.

As far as barrel length... minimum length is 16"... the flash hider does not count as part of the length unless it is permanently attached to the barrel, and not simply threaded on.

Also there is the bayonet lug issue as well, some places do not allow it.

All the states that still have limits are all different... some allow 30 round mags but no collapsible butt stock or other features... some may be the opposite.

boosteddc5
September 5, 2012, 08:25 PM
In NY we can not have a collapsible stock, flash hider, bayonet lug and are limited to 10 round mags. I have been doing a lot of research on different AR's over the past year or two and have decided that the rra or bushmaster is the one I want. Ideally it would be a rock river arms entry tactical, but nowhere around here sells rock rivers, just bushmasters and some other brands I don't particularly care for. I'm just unsure if its possible to order a plain rra entry tactical while living here in NY. I have shot a few bushmasters on many occasions as my friend and his brother own different bushys. I have not however, ever shot an rra. This rifle will only be used on private property as a target/plinking gun so I'm not so much worried about the noise. I'm also curious that if I were to order the gun, if they would have rra ship them a compliant version and then ship it to my ffl. In that case I'm sure it would take a long time to receive the rifle. How long does it usually take for you all to receive rifles that you have ordered online? Thanks to everyone who's posted and thanks in advance to anyone else who will post!

allaroundhunter
September 5, 2012, 09:00 PM
Ideally I would like a 16 inch barrel. So my question is, would the 1.5 inches of less barrel on the bushmaster hurt the accuracy of the rifle?

You won't notice a difference in accuracy compared to if it was a 16" barrel, and even the velocity loss will pretty much be negligible.

boosteddc5
September 5, 2012, 09:05 PM
^thanks for the post. I just remembered that one dealer near me sells windham weaponry, which is owned by the previous owner of bushmaster. I've heard really good things about them in reviews and remember when holding the gun it felt very nice and the fit and finish was great. Also buds has the ny compliant models at a great price. This might be an option as well since it is already ny compliant. Anyone have any opinions on these? Still looking for answers to the above questions as well!

CDR_Glock
September 5, 2012, 09:06 PM
If there isn't a flash suppressor to bridge that gap, it would be classified as a SBR. I purchased a 14.5" Noveske Carbone (Thunder Ranch) recently.

I have Eotechs (3) but I also have an Aimpoint T1. The Aimpoint has great battery life and can be kept on.

Whatever, you choose, make sure it's chambered for 5.56mm/.223. Have fun.

allaroundhunter
September 5, 2012, 09:14 PM
I just remembered that one dealer near me sells windham weaponry, which is owned by the previous owner of bushmaster. I've heard really good things about them in reviews and remember when holding the gun it felt very nice and the fit and finish was great. Also buds has the ny compliant models at a great price.

If buds already has the compliant models and you like the price then I would go for that. I do not live in a restrictive state so I can't really help you with how long the process would take to make it compliant, but I am pretty sure that the dealer who goes through the process to make it compliant will charge you for labor as well as the transfer fee.

Windham makes fine ARs, and I would not hesitate to take one over an RRA. You will be very happy with either!

boosteddc5
September 5, 2012, 10:46 PM
^thanks for the help! I was wondering though how long it takes on average to get a firearm from an online site in general. Like if I was buying a gun that was in stock and was already legal. Anyone have insight on that?

Basement-Gunsmith-Z
September 5, 2012, 11:00 PM
With ar15 barrel lengths i recommend a 18 inch barrel. the 18 inch barrel doesn't affect velocity enough to matter. In terms of accuracy i can't tell the difference of a quality 18" and 20" barrel at 1000 yards with .223. Yes that's 1000 yards that i said:cool: Stay away from 24" barrels you will loose velocity with most common loads.

If i were you i would stay away from the 14.5" barrel because you might want to change out the flash suppressor/brake someday. You may also just want to run it without any muzzle device installed. And you loose a good amount of velocity with a 14.5 inch barrel compared to a 16" barrel. But, a 14.5 inch barrel will serve you fine out to around 500 -700 yards.

For most purposes any barrel length will work fine. In my experience from buds it's pretty fast.

allaroundhunter
September 5, 2012, 11:30 PM
^thanks for the help! I was wondering though how long it takes on average to get a firearm from an online site in general. Like if I was buying a gun that was in stock and was already legal. Anyone have insight on that?

Buds typically ships very fast. I have received firearms from them as quickly as 2 business days after I ordered, and the longest was 5 business days (holiday time).

And you loose a good amount of velocity with a 14.5 inch barrel compared to a 16" barrel

You actually don't. I posted a link that shows velocity vs. barrel length, and the expected velocity gain of that extra 1.5" barrel length will be anywhere from 50-100 fps. For paper punching (like the OP is wanting), that is a negligible difference.

http://www.ar15armory.com/forums/8-Load-Factory-Ammo-Test-t97334.html

From that link:

The range is 26 fps-40 fps per inch of barrel length depending on load.

Stay away from 24" barrels you will loose velocity with most common loads.

And while I do not have the tools necessary to perform this test on my own, the link that I provided actually has the tests that prove otherwise.

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 12:36 AM
^thanks for all that good info. So basically what I've gathered through all the posts is this: I can purchase the RRA entry tactical I want from buds, buds will ship it to my FFL dealer and the dealer will then make the modifications. Can anyone confirm this? And if this is the case, will it cost a lot to have my FFL dealer make these modifications?

allaroundhunter
September 6, 2012, 12:45 AM
Can anyone confirm this? And if this is the case, will it cost a lot to have my FFL dealer make these modifications?

The best answer you will get to these questions will come by contacting the dealer yourself. Some dealers won't do transfers from online purchases, so it is easier just to call to make sure and then ask your other questions while on the phone.

marine6680
September 6, 2012, 01:49 AM
Order a rifle that is already compliant.

1) Its quicker
2) Its much cheaper than replacing parts to make them compliant.
3) You may not even be allowed to order a non compliant rifle even if it was to be made compliant by your FFL...
(The dealer/FFL holder is the best source to know about that)

Buds will not sell (or at least will not ship if you purchase) a non-compliant rifle as policy and law.

If your local shop orders the rifle directly from RRA, they may send the rifle to the FFL, or they may not. It depends on if the FFL is allowed to receive non compliant rifles into stock. RRA may have a way to order the rifle you want in a compliant configuration already, they may not.... Ordering direct from the manufacturer can take weeks or more depending on their backlog.

Online retailers usually ship pretty fast. It depends on how long it takes for them to get the FFL information you wish to have the gun shipped to. If they have it on file, they usually ship within a couple days, if not, then the FFL will need to fax the info, and you are dependent on them getting it done, if they drag feet, then it slows down shipping.

The difference between the 14.5 and 16 inch barrels is negligible... The difference is that the permanently attached brake makes changing it harder if you was to want to do so.

I have owned a RRA Entry Tactical, it is a fine rifle.

The Windham is a good rifle as well, and it already comes compliant.

There is no need to fixate on the RRA, unless you just really want one.

Since you are limited by being in a ban state, all you gain is aesthetics... as all the features are disabled. You get the collapsible stock look, along with its weaknesses, but none of its benefits. You get the 16in barrel, but its advantages are offset somewhat by the lack of collapsible stock.

If you are concerned with best accuracy, then a longer barrel is for you... 18-20 inches. If you are concerned about longevity of the rifle (wear and tear) then a longer gas system than the carbine length is a good idea as well. (as I mentioned before, mid-length is better, less wear and felt recoil... rifle length is better still... my preferred is the Mid length)

Are you dead set on the carbine style? if not, an A2 or A4 rifle has less issues with compliance... sure its not a carbine, but they have their strong points as well.

If you want a carbine, go for it, its your choice. I suggest just getting the Windham, as its available and just as good as the RRA.

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 02:11 AM
The main reason I want the RRA is for the two stage trigger and the free floated barrel. I've also heard tons of good things about them. The windham is high on my list for the fact that it already comes compliant, has a good price and seems to be of good quality. I have heard the trigger isn't all that great on the windham. The bushmaster also comes awb compliant but has the shorter barrel. I loved how light the bushy was with the shorter barrel as well. I'll have to get in contact with the dealers in my area, it's just very hard to do so with my work schedule. Anyways, does anyone know if the bushmaster and the windham have free floated barrels like the RRA?

Metal god
September 6, 2012, 02:50 AM
Hey guys . Im in C.A. and we have to neuter are guns here as well . Although are restrictions apear to be different . We are aloud collapsible stocks but we must have a bullet button . If you don't know what that is . Its a thing thats put over the mag release and it stops you from being able to release the mag with just your finger . There is a small hole in the mag release cover and you need a small pointed tool or a bullet to insert in to the hole and push the mag release . We are also restricted to 10 rounds max in a magazine .

Anyways my thought was just build your own .
You get a stripped lower $100
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/psa-ar15-lower.html

lower parts kit $40
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/featured/palmetto-state-armory-classic-lpk.html

fixed but stock $60
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/a2-rifle-stock-kit.html

A complete upper $500--- As for the upper you can customize it Free float rail
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/complete-uppers/psa-16-heavy-mid-length-cl-mp-premium-upper.html

FN makes there barrels so you know there solid .All there other parts are solid as well . There customer service sucks though, but you get your stuff

There you go, all done $700 . Thats with out knowing your laws . you can tinker with it to make sure your compliant with all your state laws .

Thats what I did and got this for $600 out the door

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/4234/phone2010.jpg

Basement-Gunsmith-Z
September 6, 2012, 09:37 AM
You actually don't. I posted a link that shows velocity vs. barrel length, and the expected velocity gain of that extra 1.5" barrel length will be anywhere from 50-100 fps. For paper punching (like the OP is wanting), that is a negligible difference.

I've seen several other tests that say that a 24" barrel makes you loose velocity. There are just too many variables when it comes to these tests. You would need several guns with the same brand barrel made with the same tools to really test it. Most .223 loads are designed for a 20" barrel.

I much prefer a 16" barrel or longer. From my shooting I have noticed a significant difference of accuracy between 14.5" and 16" barrels. As I stated in my post above you can't really tell the difference until you get out to longer ranges. I have found that a 24" barrel is more of a compromise than an improvement. I actually get better results out of a 20" barrel than a 24". The extra 4 inches adds weight up front, and decreases the maneuverability and versatility of the gun.

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 01:10 PM
Wow I looked at psa and built a rifle for under 500 dollars (without tax). Thats an awesome price. Anyone have any opinions on the palmetto state armory rifles? It just seems like a very good price.

allaroundhunter
September 6, 2012, 01:19 PM
Wow I looked at psa and built a rifle for under 500 dollars (without tax). Thats an awesome price. Anyone have any opinions on the palmetto state armory rifles? It just seems like a very good price.

They are great rifles, you would not be disappointed.

Sent from my HTC One X

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 01:26 PM
It ends up being 460 without tax or shipping from psa. Thats an awesome price. The only thing I would need to have shipped to the FFL dealer is the lower receiver correct? since it's a stripped lower and I would get the buttstock and upper seperately how would that work with the collapsible stock not being compliant and the barrel with an a2 flash hider on it? Would I register the lower first, then put the gun together with the non awb compliant parts and then bring it somewhere to have them make it awb compliant and hope no one catches me in the time being? Just don't wanna break any laws!

Metal god
September 6, 2012, 01:55 PM
No ,do it your self if you can . What is AWB stand for ? Do you know what exactly needs to be done to make the gun compliant to your states laws .If not , go online and check with your DOJ and ask at your local gun stores . Ask a couple people at a few stores .That should give you an idea if you should try it or not .

As for ordering all the stuff at once and some of it not being legal . In some states just having the parts is not legal . I forget the legal term but just having the parts and you being able to install them is illegal in some states .

So be very carefull what you do I don't want you to get busted and really it's not worth trying and skirt the law just a little thing . you may end up in jail or pay a fine and never be able to buy a gun again . Its never a good idea to play around with that kind of stuff .

Educate your self on all the issues and don't rush in to it .

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 02:03 PM
^thanks, what needs to be done to the gun is this: Pin the rear collapsible stock so it is not collapsible anymore, shave off the bayonet lug, and permanently attach a compensator (can not be a flash hiding device). I called buds and they told me they can not ship out a rifle that isnt awb compliant. awb stands for assault weapons ban. so basically im limited to an awb compliant model if i order online. Really wanted the rock river but i guess that is not an option. So now I'm leaning towards the windham weaponry mpc-ny (just an mpc that is ny compliant), the bushmaster m4a3 post ban carbine and a custom build from palmetto state.

Edit: So basically if I ordered the parts from PSA I would need to have the stock pinned and on the complete upper I would need a compensator permanently attached and the bayonet lug shaved off. Can't seem to find a way to order these two parts this way already. I know these two parts don't go through the FFL so would I just bring it to a gunsmith and have them make the modifications before I assemble the firearm? Or is it illegal to own the parts even if not assembled as a complete firearm?

marine6680
September 6, 2012, 02:19 PM
PSA are GTG from what I hear... I will be building two ARs using their parts soon.

BTW the RRA entry tactical is not a free floated barrel.

Windham and PSA are about equal in quality. Maybe not as good as say, Colt or BCM, but real close.

You can buy upgraded triggers all day long for $100 or less, so if you buy a rifle and do not like the trigger, then buy the upgrade later.

If you do go the build your own lower route... buy the compliant parts up front... its a violation just to own them, let alone actually put them in a functioning firearm. PSA might not have a FSB that does not have a bayonet lug. You may need to look elsewhere for a compliant upper. BCM sells uppers but they raise the cost a good bit... Spikes Tactical is just a little more than PSA... I think Windham sells uppers as well... actually many places sell just uppers. PSA, Spikes, and Windham are the budget but still high quality sellers... others may be cheaper, but their quality is suspect.

Only the lowers are required to go to the FFL for transfer.

The good thing about sourcing an upper separate, you can get it set up how you want. The upper is were most of the important stuff happens, and is where parts wear out fastest.

Lowers are all pretty much the same from a functionality standpoint. (quality is a different subject) You might choose a match trigger or a few other options... but the job of the lower is pretty simple.

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 02:32 PM
Good to know. Really wanted a rock river so I'm pretty disappointed about that. The windham is sounding pretty good to me. Just wish there were more testimonials on quality. My local shop has them just as cheap as buds, so they are seeming like a pretty viable option. The bushmaster m4a3 post ban carbine is still in the running, when I handled that gun I really liked it, just don't know if I want the 14.5 inch barrel. Although I could always get a new barrel sometime later on. If I knew the quality, accuracy, performance and durability of the windham was on par with bushmaster and rock river, it would probably end up being the one I purchase. Just seems risky buying from a company thats only been around a year. Yes i know windham is owned by the previous owner of bushmaster, has the old workers of bushmaster and is in the old factory of bushmaster, but I'm still a little concerned. Also if I can find a way to put together a compliant PSA how hard would it be to put the lower parts kit in the lower and to attach a collapsible buttstock?

allaroundhunter
September 6, 2012, 02:49 PM
If I knew the quality, accuracy, performance and durability of the windham was on par with bushmaster and rock river, it would probably end up being the one I purchase

It is.....if not more so...

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 03:02 PM
Anyone have any insight on the trigger problem I've heard about? I've heard on the windhams that after a couple mag dumps the trigger gets really stiff. Not that I will be doing that with the rifle but, it would be nice to know what causes this, and if adding a 2 stage trigger will solve the problem, as I plan to add one when I purchase the rifle.

allaroundhunter
September 6, 2012, 03:27 PM
I honestly have never heard of them having that problem, and a quick google search did not turn up any results. I don't think it is something that I would worry about if you aren't going to be doing mag dumps.

However, for the most part, stock AR triggers are bad (I haven't found any that I like out-of-the-box). Replace them with a better trigger, and you are good to go.


Here (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_2_489/218524_Colt_vs_Windham.html&page=1) on ar15.com is a thread about WW ARs. It is in the WW section, so you won't get too many negatives, but there is a representative from Windham that seems to be very helpful with everything. The Windham guns have a lifetime warranty, and I would not hesitate to buy one with the kind of service that is being given over there on ARF.

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 03:57 PM
^thanks for the thread, made me more confident in the windham. As far as triggers go I do plan on changing it out to a two stage trigger. My buddies bushmaster varminter has a 2 stage on it and I absolutely love that trigger compared to other AR's I have shot. I was thinking the RRA 2 stage national match trigger, any others I should consider?

Metal god
September 6, 2012, 04:21 PM
Hey agian . Putting together a lower is not that hard . Plenty of youtube videos out there. You will need a set of punch's , hammer .and a butt stock wrench .

If you get the 14.5 " upper from PSA they will pin and weld the brake for you . I think for $30 more . accuracy will not be an issue .

Search the web for fixed stocks . there are alot of cool looking ones . Here's a couple

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/183579/ace-entry-skeleton-buttstock-7-1-4-overall-length-ar-15-lr-308-aluminum-black?cm_vc=subv1_760499

YOU WILL NEED an A2 buffer tube for this next one

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/2319149059/magpul-moe-rifle-buttstock-ar-15-lr-308-synthetic

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/a2-rifle-stock-kit.html[/ur

[url]http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/magpul-prs-precision-adjustable-buttstock-ar15-m16-5-56-nato-model.html

Happy hunting

I built this one for just over $1,000 out the door

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/4607/phone2004.jpg

And this one I bought complete for $850 out the door

http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/835/phone2011.jpg

Good luck
Metal

marine6680
September 6, 2012, 04:33 PM
Stock AR triggers are not the best... they may break in ok after a while... but they are not match by any means.

There is nothing hard about putting together an AR, even the upper. The most complicated bit is torquing the barrel properly, and maybe head space. Both are really just a matter of knowing how to do it, the actual process is simple and easy to understand.

There are videos online on building the lower. A guy did it in less than ten minutes while also instructing how to do it. Its a few pins and springs, not very hard to do.

boosteddc5
September 6, 2012, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. I'm kind of still deciding whether or not to buy the parts from psa and build it, or to buy a windham weaponry compliant rifle. I really like the windham honestly. Also I was reading on ar15.com that you can have a non compliant rifle shipped to a company called ADCO and they will make it compliant for 95 bucks plus the cost of a compensator. Seems like a viable option. Kinda starting to stray away from the bushmaster post ban carbine.

allaroundhunter
September 7, 2012, 12:45 AM
Also I was reading on ar15.com that you can have a non compliant rifle shipped to a company called ADCO and they will make it compliant for 95 bucks plus the cost of a compensator.

That is getting expensive....for that price you are getting close to an already compliant Colt

marine6680
September 7, 2012, 01:00 AM
Word on the forums is that after Bushmaster was bought, and production moved, quality went down. (this move is why Windham exists... I would bet they have something to prove as well, so they will make a good rifle for the price)

So I say get the Windham or build your own compliant lower and put on a compliant upper...

The advantage of the Windham... its available and cheaper than other option but good quality.

The advantage of building your own... you can get it how you want it and you get a better knowledge of how the rifle works. If you build... try to find a mid length gas system. Lower recoil and less stress on the action.

boosteddc5
September 7, 2012, 01:44 AM
^both good points. I find myself almost trying to find a reason not to buy the rra and to buy the windham. Pretty sure I'm going to get the windham. The other thing is with the modifications from adco + shipping costs the rra only costs about 80 bucks more than the windham with a nice 2 stage trigger. Still really think I should just get the windham. One question I have to ask though, what are the pros and cons of having a chrome lined barrel vs having a regular chome-moly barrel? Anyone have info on that?

boosteddc5
September 7, 2012, 02:37 AM
Ok so wanted to add something in here... I built a psa rifle the way I want it but, it comes with a bayonet lug on the upper and the only 2 options for compliant muzzle devices are brakes I don't really care for. Question is, if I order the upper with the bayonet lug and just an a2 flash hider, can I buy the compliant brake I want and just have a gunsmith take off the bayonet lug and permanently attach my compliant brake? this would be a good option cause OTD the psa is a little over 700 bucks the way I configured it and that includes shipping! Also the psa is a 1-7 twist while the windham is a 1-9 twist. Which twist do you prefer and why? And I'd still like to know the pros and cons of having a chrome lined barrel vs a plain chrome moly barrel. Sorry for all the questions, just wanna make sure I get a rifle I'll be happy with!

Justice06RR
September 7, 2012, 03:34 AM
Lots of good questions man. Keep asking away, thats always a good way to learn from others.

How much is the Wyndham AR? If I was to choose, I would suggest getting the Wyndham if its already AWB compliant. I've personally held one at my local gun shop and the quality was just as good as my previous Bushmaster M4A3 Carbine, and probably the same as RRA (without the 2-stage trigger of course). My local price for the Wyndham was $729 btw, just for comparison. thats only a $29 difference from the PSA, and its already built! (although thats in my state without the restrictions of stocks, flash hiders, etc).

Remember that If you buy the Wyndham, you can always change/add things yourself, like the 2-stage trigger and the free-float handguards. The 2-stage trigger install is pretty easy. The free-float handguard might be a bit more involved because you will need certain tools, so I recommend buying the handguard and paying a gunsmith to install it for you. Shouldn't be too much anyway, unless you want to do it yourself and learn (not hard either, but you'll have to research and buy some AR15 tools).

As far as the PSA, that's a good 2nd option. I have a PSA complete upper in 300Blackout and its excellent quality for the price. I ordered mine with the free-float handguard that was already installed by PSA before they shipped it to me, so this could be a good alternative if you want to go that route. Also is possible to get the PSA upper without the A2 front sight post and flashider, therefore it wont have the bayonet lug already. You probably will just end up paying a little extra for PSA to do those for you.

Here's a good read on chrome-lined vs chrome moly barrels.
http://www.glockpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4628

Basically from what I read chrome-lined will just last longer, easier to clean, cost a bit more, but less accurate at longer distances past 300yards. Chrome-moly is more accurate but gets dirtier easily (not an issue if you like to clean your rifles anyway), cheaper but less lifespan (not a big issue). For casual shooters like us it won't matter if you get chrome-lined or chrome-moly. More personal preference I guess.

marine6680
September 7, 2012, 05:28 AM
^^ What he said.

As far as compliance and PSA... call them up and see if they can remove the bayonet lug for you and change the flash hider before shipping. They build the upper when you order it. So it takes a while to ship, as they need time to make it first. Talk to them before hand and see what they can do for you. They are a small shop with a lot of calls, so you may get a busy signal or no answer. When you do get someone on the line, they are helpful. I had an issue with an order once, and they fixed it no problem.

Or you can build the upper from parts yourself, or try another company upper. Spikes tactical is a good alternative.

PSA has the lowest prices on lowers and lower parts. So you can stick with them there... then go with a spikes compliant upper. (if they have/make one... plus Spikes and PSA have a bit of a rivalry going... mostly from the fact that Spikes was once what PSA is now... the cheapest maker that actually has good quality. So mixing them would be hilarious to me)

(if Spikes does not have a compliant upper or the ability to get you one, there are several upper makers... Windham might, look on their site... Armalite does, BCM does... heck if you want to get real fancy, LWRC sells uppers... they Nitride their barrels, making it the best of a standard steel barrel and chrome lined rolled onto one)

Switching to a two stage or match trigger is not hard if you get the Windham... about 15 minutes of time and the cost of the parts. The price varies by brand of course. Some can get very expensive, but I doubt you need to spend more than $60-75 on a good one.

Twist rate...

1/9 will work for most rounds you are likely to fire. It stabilizes all the common weight bullets.

1/7 will stabilize all the common bullet weights, (minus very light bullets that are not too common) plus the ability to stabilize the longer/heavier specialty bullets... usually special defense or match focused rounds. (not all defense or match rounds need the 1/7, its just that some exist) 1/7 is Milspec... because it was needed to stabilize tracer rounds.

boosteddc5
September 7, 2012, 08:54 PM
Thanks for all the good info guys. I understand the 1-7 is for heavier/longer bullets and the 1-9 is for pretty much the middle of the road rounds, just wanted some opinions on what people prefer as the psa is 1-7 and the windham is 1-9. The psa seems like a really good option if I can get it without breaking any laws as far as the lug and flash hider. The windham just seems so much easier - just order the rifle, then pick it up from my local gun shop. Although I don't mind waiting if it means getting exactly what I want. Any other opinions on the quality of psa and whether you prefer 1-7 or 1-9 for a plinker/target carbine ar?

allaroundhunter
September 7, 2012, 10:40 PM
Although I don't mind waiting if it means getting exactly what I want. Any other opinions on the quality of psa and whether you prefer 1-7 or 1-9 for a plinker/target carbine ar?

My AR is a 1:9, and it handles rounds up to 75 gr just fine. With a 16" barrel, mine is not meant to be a precision rifle. It is used for range use, occasional hunting, and defense (home defense and defense against feral dogs).

You really are splitting hairs between these two guns (which is not uncommon with how many variations of the AR platform there can be), so you really would not be disappointed with either. Personally, I would rather avoid the trouble of making the PSA compliant (unless they will do it for you at the factory), and go with the Windham.

One last thought: The cheapest ammo for plinking and target shooting is usually 52-64 gr, so either rifle will handle it just fine.

marine6680
September 7, 2012, 10:40 PM
The twist rate... either will work for plinking. They both stabilize all the common surplus, ball, steel cased, and standard .223 that plinkers use. The 1/7 holds the advantage for those who are wanting to go heavier for long range shooting over 300yds.

You can always mix and match parts. If you find an upper you really like, get it, and stick it on the PSA lower. Like I said, another company than PSA may offer you a compliant upper done just how you want it.

PSA offers free float handgaurds with low profile gas blocks... those are usually bayonet lug free.

Here, quoted directly from the Spikes tactical website:

NOTE: Some states and areas, like California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts require certain options and modifications. Those features can be added to your order under the Services & Tools section. Please check with your local FFL if you have questions regarding legality as we cannot be responsible for laws in every state or county.

Here are two options from Spikes:

Standard mid length upper
http://www.spikestactical.com/new/z/upper-556-16-mid-le-wml-handguards-fsp-p-681.html

Hammer forged barrel... good choice, but a bit more expensive than the standard upper.
http://www.spikestactical.com/new/z/st-enhanced-upper-16-midlength-w-handguard-and-fsb-p-914.html

Metal god
September 7, 2012, 10:45 PM
Hey , If your not planning on doing any long range shooting 300 + yards you will not need the heavier bullets there for you will not need the 1-7 twist . I have both and they both plink just fine . I have noticed that you are vey concerned about accuracy . If you don't mined me asking . what is accurate to you . What size groups are you looking to obtain . If the PSA is chrome lined Check out this thread .

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=500146

I also found this lower parts kit for you :D

http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Rock_River_Arms_Complete_Lower_Parts_Kit_with_Nati_p/rra-completenm-kit.htm

boosteddc5
September 8, 2012, 12:42 AM
^I appreciate how helpful you all are being and I realize I am splitting hairs. :o Just want to make sure I get a rifle that I'm glad I own. Anyway I just emailed PSA to see if they will do the modifications. I also plan on looking at the spikes site to see what they offer that is compliant. And I'm also wondering, would it be illegal to have them ship me the upper with the lug and a flash hider, and then before putting it on the lower have a gunsmith shave the lug and attach a comp I provide?

marine6680
September 8, 2012, 12:05 PM
Depends... I know that owning the parts to make an AR full auto by themselves without a permit is not illegal... but owning those parts and a fully functioning AR... even if you do not assemble them together is illegal... because you can... I know it seems silly.

Best bet in the absence of concrete knowledge is to err on the side of caution and assume it is illegal.

boosteddc5
September 8, 2012, 10:47 PM
Good point. I've also been reading a lot of negative comments on the customer service of PSA. Everyone says the quality is great but the customer service, not so much. Somewhat of a concern for me but I don't think it will affect my decision. As long as I get what I order I'm good lol.

Metal god
September 8, 2012, 11:41 PM
Yea I got very P.O. with one of my orders from PSA . I even wrote a thread , PSA sucks . I have since apologized for the post . Im not going to get in to it but I'm still not happy with there customer service. I will tell you this . There is a lot of people out there that luv them like PSA is there first born . So don't go saying anything bad about them or you will get trashed , I did and It got so bad the administrator had to close the thread . :(

I have ordered at least 5 times from them and have always got my stuff , and it's been very good quality .:)

boosteddc5
September 9, 2012, 12:04 AM
Yeah I've heard nothing but good things about their quality, which is why I'm strongly considering ordering all the parts to build my rifle from them. And I don't have any first hand experience with their customer service, but I did notice a few threads on here and other forums with complaints as to their customer service. Mainly just people upset about how hard it is to get a hold of them when something goes wrong or is incorrect on their orders.

Marquezj16
September 9, 2012, 09:25 AM
You just missed their Labor Day Sale. Prices were ridiculously low. I paid $279 for an assembled upper (6.8 SPC II, 18" SS barrel, no BCG or CH). They had blemished lowers for $59 and new for $99.

Prices are back up to regular level but they are still pretty good. A lot of items are sold out due to the sale though.

marine6680
September 9, 2012, 12:40 PM
Small shop with high volume sales... so getting through to CS is a pain. When you do get them, they fix the issue.

The Uppers are made to order... so they take a while. That is were most seem to have issues.

If you look to other manufactures for the uppers, and get the basic parts and lower from PSA, you will probably have less wait/problems.

boosteddc5
September 10, 2012, 03:33 PM
Oh and forgot to answer one of the questions I was asked. I want this rifle to be able to shoot 1 moa groups at 100 yards.

allaroundhunter
September 10, 2012, 03:57 PM
Oh and forgot to answer one of the questions I was asked. I want this rifle to be able to shoot 1 moa groups at 100 yards.

Many ARs can do this, but it is easier to get an MOA capable rifle with a broader range of ammo when you get into rifles with 20" barrels. With cheap off-the-shelf ammo, it is hit and miss. If you hand load, most every AR will shoot MOA at 100 yards.

This requirement will not cause either the Windham or the PSA to be crossed off of your list.

Sent from my HTC One X

Crow Hunter
September 10, 2012, 04:09 PM
Oh and forgot to answer one of the questions I was asked. I want this rifle to be able to shoot 1 moa groups at 100 yards.

This has WAY more to do with the shooter and the ammunition used that it does the rifle.

Are YOU capable of shooting into 1" or less at 100 yards? (Most people aren't)

You also won't likely won't get this using surplus XM855 or XM193 blasting ammo either. Particularly XM855, which can have inconsistencies with manufacturing that make it more likely to be even less accurate.

You will hear a lot of people talk about their sub MOA rifle, particularly on the internet.

But most of them are only shooting 3 shot groups, if that, and picking their best group.

marine6680
September 10, 2012, 04:28 PM
You will need quality ammo to shoot that well with mil-spec type ARs. Maybe even hand loads. Regular ammo will give 2-3 MOA or so, cheap ammo may open up more.

Non-chrome lined is better for a wider range of ammo that will shoot accurate. Nitrided barrels like I said are just as accurate as non-chrome lined. The Nitriding process has different names for different companies.

An 18-20" barrel is best for accuracy. Also, longer than 20" is probably a waste.

Also personal skill is very very important.

Metal god
September 10, 2012, 04:57 PM
I agree completly with the last few post . I can shoot 1 MOA with little EVIL . Thats the black one in the pictures ,but just barlely with Fed gold metal match .All other ammo I've shot had 2 MOA at best UMC , PMC , XM193 , Winchester something , all cheap ammo .I have a stock trigger in it and I think I might do a little better with a nice match trigger . I have to really concentrate cus there is so much travel in the trigger . So 1 MOA on a budget may be pushing it . Don't get me wrong it can be done , it's just tuff . You better know how to shoot . Your not going to just plop your AR down take a deep breath and rip off 5 shots in a 1 inch group . it's going to take some effort .

EDIT -- Those groups were shot using a front and rear bag . The gun may do better on a sled , but thats the best I could do . I have the new Ruger American Rifle and I can shoot 1 MOA no problem with that .

Here is my review on it and a few others Check out statik's review # 20

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=492169

marine6680
September 10, 2012, 05:29 PM
Yeah, even if you drop $2500+ in the ultimate AR sniper setup... you need the skill to shoot it well. A poor shot will not gain much from the extra cost/accuracy potential... you may not even be able to tell if they switched to a different rifle just by looking at groups.

marine6680
September 10, 2012, 06:34 PM
Spikes... less than $800

Another good option.

http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=F1STR5035MLS&name=Spikes+Tactical+5.56%2f.223+16%22+Midlength+Rifle&groupid=11

boosteddc5
September 10, 2012, 11:43 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I did mean 1 moa with good match ammo and on a sled, not just with cheap surplus m855 or off hand. I have been able to shoot 1 moa a few times with a friends bushmaster varminter from sand bags, but thats a 24" barrel rifle, using handloaded ammo.

Metal god
September 11, 2012, 01:42 AM
I think your on the right track . I would just get a good quality 16", mid length , heavy barrel , flat top AR for your first one . Then learn all about it and build a BAD AZZ one next . That's right , next one . There like Lays potato chips , you can't just stop at one :D. But thats me . ;)

marine6680
September 11, 2012, 03:59 PM
Im about to build two... but getting a third lower for just in case. :p

boosteddc5
September 12, 2012, 08:04 AM
I was thinking about ordering an extra lower from PSA regardless of which rifle I go with also lol. Still deciding whether or not I want a 1-9 twist or a 1-7 though. What would you all prefer for shooting bullets from 55-77 grain? The reason I say 77 grain is for the sierra match kings. If I did 1-9 I would just use 69 grain smk's but I figured I would just give a general blanket of 55-77. I don't think I'll shoot anything less than 55 grain or more than 77 grain so I'm trying to research which twist would be best. Will definitely be shooting a lot of surplus m855 for plinking though, as they're so cheap. But I'd still like to be able to shoot 55 grain factory ammo and for accuracy handloaded smk's from 69-77 grain and hornady bthp match bullets from 68-75 grain.

marine6680
September 12, 2012, 04:19 PM
1/7 will work with 55gr but not as well as 1/9... 1/9 will not work with 77gr very well, but the 1/7 does.

1/7 is what you want if 77gr is something you want to shoot. It may loose a little accuracy with the 55gr but not as much as trying 77gr in 1/9.

TheSILENTtype
September 12, 2012, 04:40 PM
Anyone have a SEMI only AR they are willing to sell for a decent price? For some reason I can't post in the classifieds. Not to threadjack..PMS are cool.

Good on you for your first AR build!

Metal god
September 12, 2012, 07:36 PM
Go with the 1-9 for the first one . Then maybe build another complete upper with a 18" to 20" 1-8 twist barrel .You then can just switch out uppers when you want to do some bench shooting . The 1-8 will shoot 55 t0 77 very well . Most if not all of your plinking ammo is going to be 55 grains .
My guess is you will do much more plinking then 100 to 300 yard bench shooting . I sure do . I'll shoot 80 rounds of the good stuff and 2 or 3 hundred rounds of the cheep stuff on a range visit or shooting day. If your reloading then that will change things , but if your buying off the shelf you won't want to be plinking with bullets that cost 75 cents to a dollar a shot . Ammo cost is the only reason I have not built a AR 10 yet . I can't afford plinking for almost a buck a shot . I have a 308 bolt gun and I love to take it out . It takes me about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to go through 80 or so rounds. with my bolt action . I can go through 80 rounds with my AR in about 5 min . Thats 225 bucks an hour :eek:. I make good money, but I don't make that good a money .

Justice06RR
September 12, 2012, 07:59 PM
I think 1:7 barrel will have you covered if you plan to shoot 55-77gr ammo. 1:7 twist is Milspec if I'm not mistaken and is usually used to shoot 62gr or heavier ammo.

1:9 is a good barrel twist too, but is normally used with lighter varmint rounds in 40-45gr. I've shot 45gr through my 16-inch 1:9 barrel with no issues although i'm not an MOA nut :D (still working on my marksmanship skills).

Buying 2 lowers at the same time is a good idea also, in case the bug hits you and you want to build your 2nd AR. It'll save you shipping costs and time in the long run.

Marquezj16
September 12, 2012, 09:11 PM
1 in 7 will cover the ammo that you are planning to use.

boosteddc5
September 12, 2012, 10:37 PM
I honestly think I'd be better off getting the 1-7. I plan on using the federal m855 ammo (62 grain, long bullet) for most of my plinking as this ammo is only about 180 for 500 rounds. A little bit of the ammo I use might be 55 grain hornady v-max and 55 grain remington umc fmj because I can get those from a connection both for very very cheap. And I do plan on using handloaded 69/77 grain smk's and handloaded 68/75 grain hornady otm. I'd guess about 65% will be m855, 20% will be handloaded, and 15% will be the 55 grain hornady/remington. When I get my own loading equipment, the handloaded percentage will go up a decent amount. Seems like the faster 1-7 twist would be better. Also the PSA upper I plan to order is 1-7 so it's easy enough haha.

Metal god
September 13, 2012, 01:56 AM
Yea if your going to be shooting alot of the green tip and heavier bullets , and it sounds like you are , 1-7 is better . It's also my understanding that the mil-spec 1-7 is to stabilize the tracer rounds the military uses. Well it sounds like your just about ready to rock-n-roll on this .Your going to have alot of fun :) good luck

boosteddc5
September 13, 2012, 11:31 PM
Thanks man! Can't wait to get everything set up. Still just trying to find a gunsmith near me that can do the necessary modifications to the upper (shaving bayo lug and attaching muzzle brake) but no luck so far. Contacted PSA about it and they told me to order one with a low pro gas block but I do want the front sight post so I think I'll just keep on looking for a gunsmith that can do it. And just so everyone's clear I have decided on the PSA build. Just seems the best way I can get the rifle exactly how I want.

jimbob86
September 13, 2012, 11:44 PM
I have decided on the PSA build. Just seems the best way I can get the rifle exactly how I want.

This.

It's what I did.

I put it together for less than $700 with tools I had around the house.

Works.

Metal god
September 14, 2012, 01:25 AM
I have a magpul flip up front and rear sights . you can get a set for about $70 or $80 You will need the rear sight no matter what unless your getting the carry handle . Here is what my sights look like up and down

http://imageshack.us/a/img20/7073/guns004.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img684/3636/guns005c.jpg

I like the flip up sights so I can put a scope on it and keep the scope low and I'm still is able to see right over the sight when its down . Also when I have my red-dot on the gun I can co-witness the back up sights with the red-dot or if the red-dot fails I can still see right through the red-dot and use my iron sights no problem with no need to take the red-dot off .

That gun also has the YHM Todd Jerrett free float rail , PSA offers that rail in rifle length with the low profile gas block . Mine is a mid length with a two rail gas block just in front of it. I think they want $ 160 for the rifle length , mine cost me $145 at the gun show .I like it cus it does not have the quad rails the hole length . when you grab it with your hand to shoot it feels good and not all bumpy and uncomfertable. If you go with the YHM hand guard make sure you get the forearm end cap for it ( see pic below ).They will need to put it on before the brake gets pinned and welded . It finish's it off and keeps crap from getting down inside the hand guard .

http://imageshack.us/a/img138/116/guns006.jpg

And NEVER put the MBUS on your gas block :D

WOW I was just on PSA web site and they are out of stock on alot of stuff . . I also could only find the Todd Jerrett Option if you buy a stainless steel barrel .

jimbob86
September 14, 2012, 01:34 AM
WOW I was just on PSA web site and they are out of stock on alot of stuff

They are out of stuff every day- check back often, it changes fairly quickly.

They are moving a lot of product.

boosteddc5
September 19, 2012, 12:43 AM
Thanks for all the help people. Made deciding on what rifle to get so much easier. Now just need to decide between an eotech holo sight or a trijicon acog... hmm. Does anyone know anything about the acogs? I have experience with the eotechs but not the acog. Is it like the acog where you can look from different angles and the reticle moves? Or is it more like a scope where you have to stay in the right position or you get the tunnel?

Metal god
September 19, 2012, 02:47 AM
Hey Whats up , I was wondering if you bought your AR yet ?

As for sights and the EoTech vs the Acog . They are really two different sights. The EoTeck is a red-dot and the Acog is a fixed powered scope . I have used alot of red-dots and scopes but never the Acog . The acog is a little out of my price range .

Now this is generally speaking , the red-dot is good to about 1 to 2 hundred yards and a Acog is a scope so it should be good to the max effective distance of an AR about 3 to 5 hundred yards . ( thats assuming the acog is what I consider the most comon 3 to 4 x zoom ) I've seen 1.5 X up to 6 X zooms on the Acog . I love my red-dots . I am pretty accurate out to about 100 yards ( 2-2 1/2 MOA ) . I have a friend that's in the Marines and he absolutely loves his Acog . I think they are both high quality sights and you would not be wrong to buy either one .

I do think it still goes back to the purpose of the gun and what type of shooting your going to be doing . Now here's the deal , you can get a EoTech red-dot and the separate magnifier for right around the same cost as the Acog . If I had a thousand plus dollars to spend I would get the red-dot with the magnifier . That way I have the best of both worlds . Close range quick target acuisition with the red-dot but still have the ability to put the magnifier on and reach out a bit farther .

Justice06RR
September 19, 2012, 03:50 AM
+1 on the Eotech. For CQB and distances under 100yards it is hard to beat. The field of view on an Eotech allows for quicker target acquisition and can be used with both eyes open. I am saving up for one myself!

ACOG's are great, if you can afford them. 1-4x power is what I'd go for if you choose ACOG. My last 3-gun match there was an ex-military guy using an ACOG on all the stages including one stage that had us shooting targets at 150yards. He had no problems at all hitting it at that range, while the rest of us with red dots were struggling.

The Eotech plus the magnifier would be the best of both worlds IMO. it really boils down to how you plan to use your AR, and overall preference

allaroundhunter
September 19, 2012, 08:58 AM
I have never seen a variable power ACOG?...

And to Boosted, yes if you move your head or are not at the correct length of eye relief, you will only see black through the ACOG, the Eotech however does not have that problem. I would go with the Eotech if I was in your position.

Sent from my HTC One X

Metal god
September 19, 2012, 01:26 PM
You are correct

Im not sure if you talking about my last post . sorry I meant to say 3 or 4 x zoom and in my defence I did state the Acog is a fixed powered scope . :)

As for sights and the EoTech vs the Acog . They are really two different sights. The EoTeck is a red-dot and the Acog is a fixed powered scope :p

allaroundhunter
September 19, 2012, 02:19 PM
You are correct

Im not sure if you talking about my last post . sorry I meant to say 3 or 4 x zoom and in my defence I did state the Acog is a fixed powered scope .

No, I wasn't, I knew what you meant :). I was addressing Justice06RR when he said:

ACOG's are great, if you can afford them. 1-4x power is what I'd go for if you choose ACOG. My last 3-gun match there was an ex-military guy using an ACOG on all the stages including one stage that had us shooting targets at 150yards. He had no problems at all hitting it at that range, while the rest of us with red dots were struggling.

All of the ACOGs that I have seen have been a fixed power, typically 1.5x, 4x, or 6x.

boosteddc5
September 21, 2012, 12:35 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys. If I got the acog I would get the trijicon ta31rco-m4, it's a 4x zoom. I had heard you can use the Bindon method of aiming where you have both eyes open on the scope which is why I was wondering if it was like a red dot where you can move around and be different distances from it or like a scope where you have to be in the perfect position to see so thanks allaroundhunter for clearing that up. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to get the eotech and I was planning on putting the magnifier on later on down the road, just was throwing the idea of an acog around in my head. And no metalgod I haven't ordered the parts yet, still waiting to finish another project I have going on so I'll be ordering everything in a couple weeks. Now I just need to get myself some reloading equipment and find a good bullet/powder combo :p Thanks for all the help guys!