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Old December 16, 2010, 10:28 AM   #1
RedneckFur
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Help choosing an AR15

In the next week, I plan on buying my first AR15. I'm having trouble deciding on what I want/need though. There are so many options out there, and having little experience with AR's, I dont know where to start.

I'm a pretty good shot. I've been shooting for years, and I've bolt actions in many calibers from .22lr to .308win. Bolt guns I know pretty well, but I'm lost when it comes to AR's.

The reason I'm intrested in an AR is my intrests in shooting have changed. I've got a few heavy barreled, accruate bolt guns, but most of my collection is soviet surplus rifles, and one AK that I built from a Saiga sporter. I'm tired of only having the option of shooting commie guns with terrible triggers and sights, or heavy rifles best suited for bench rest shooting.

The AR I purchase is primarily going to be a range gun. Target pratice out to 300 yards, max, with possibly some use in 3-gun shoots and some varmint hunting in its future. I'd also like to do an appleseed shoot with it.

To date, I've only shot two different AR's, and both were on the low end of the spectrum, one a locally built gun with budget parts, and the other an olympic plinker.

What I know is this- I want the 4 position adjustable stock, because all the ones I've tried can be adjusted to fit me well. I've got very broad sholders, but shortish arms. I would like to get a flat-top upper with removable carry handle with built in sights. I'm not a tactical sort of guy, so I dont really need quad rails and lots of accessories.

I do handload, but I'm not planning on loading .223 from the beginning. I'll most likely be shooting factory ammo in this rifle, and using cheaper stuff for informal pratice.

I have $850 to spend on this rifle. Can you recomend some AR brands for me in this price range that will meet my needs? Also, I'd like to be schooled on barrel twist rates. I know that AR's can have several different rates, but I dont know the advantages and disadvantages of each. I THINK id like a 20" barrel, but I don't know if there will be an benefits over a 16".

I dont want to build my first rifle, so I'd prefer to buy one ready to go out of the box.

If you have any questions for me, I'll answer to the best of my knowledge.
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Old December 16, 2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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I'm not aware of any complete AR worth owning for $850... unless you can find a used gun. You're really close to very good choices at $1000-$1100. You won't regret waiting and saving for a good AR.
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Old December 16, 2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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i have also been lookin into purchasing an ar and don't want to spend a bunch of money......have you checked out rock river arms, from what i heard they are real good quality for the price... good luck !!
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Old December 16, 2010, 11:08 AM   #4
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Spike's Tactical sells their complete basic rifles for just about $800. They get good reviews by a lot of users over on AR15.com and have fairly recently disclosed paperwork regarding their "mil-spec"-ness.

http://www.spikestactical.com/new/z/...les-c-113.html

Along with Spike's, companies like Daniel Defense and Bravo Company USA are getting much more mention and attention nowadays over the old mainstay brands like RRA, Bushmaster, Colt, and LMT because of their better pricing and options available (things like cold hammer forged barrels, choice of carbine/mid0-length gas, and pre-installed rail systems).

I mention Spike's first because these other companies don't appear to have any offerings within your budget. I'd suggest heading over to www.AR15.com to do some research if you haven't already.
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Old December 16, 2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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You should be able to find a competent AR for $850, but only just, and you'll need to find a good deal. The two brands I'd target are Rock River and Bushmaster. DPMS is also in that price range, but I'd probably lean toward the other two.

For range plinking, most anything will work, but it's the 3 gun that makes me recommend you hunt for a deal on the RRA or Bushy; you don't want to worry about a bolt letting go on a stage.
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Old December 16, 2010, 05:46 PM   #6
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rock river, bushmaster, dpms, olympic arms, dti, if you look hard , maybe a smith and wesson. all AR's can be upgraded as you go. if you want to spend 800 now thats fine. you can always add better parts and components as you get the money to do so.
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Old December 16, 2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Jack up the front sight of that AR, slide an FAL under it and then replace the front sight.
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Old December 16, 2010, 08:35 PM   #8
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Did some resarch here and other websites. I found out the skinny on different rifle barrel twists rates, so that answered alot of my questions.

Went to the gun store earlier today and talked to a salesman about several of the models they had in stock.

I ended up buying Armalite M15. I paid a bit more than I'd originally intended to spend, but I feel like I got just what I was looking for. Any of you have experiences good or bad with Armalite rifles?
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Old December 16, 2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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Armalite is a good brand; I've not heard of anybody with a bad experience with them. I don't see them around much, but you should be quite pleased with it.
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Old December 17, 2010, 08:13 AM   #10
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I like ArmaLite, not the best but darn good. Last year I bought a U15A4C upper for my AR build and it's worked out well. A little muzzle heavy due to the HBAR but not a real problem. Then a few months ago started a new build and bought an ArmaLite stripped lower to marry with that upper.

Yours should work out well, drop in a picture if you can!

If you bought a flat top/A4 one thing to be aware of - if you go with a third party rear sight you'll likely have trouble zeroing because the A2 front sight base only works with "commercial height" rear sights while most are milspec height. What happens is to zero you have to unscrew the sight post so much that it flops around. Flat tops should have an F-marked FSB but ArmaLite, DPMS, Bushmaster and others stayed with the non-flat top A2 height. Since I did buy a milspec rear sight I corrected the problem with a Bushmaster 0.04" taller front sight post (about $5.50). Easy, cheap fix but not widely known.
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Old December 17, 2010, 10:28 AM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
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Always been real impressed with Armalites, though they seem to have trouble feeding steel cased ammo. Other than that though, the ones I've seen have been stone cold reliable over thousands of rounds and quite accurate.
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Old December 17, 2010, 05:25 PM   #12
Quentin2
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Quote:
Always been real impressed with Armalites, though they seem to have trouble feeding steel cased ammo. Other than that though, the ones I've seen have been stone cold reliable over thousands of rounds and quite accurate.
I've heard that too, BR. Something about tight chambers I think but I've heard ArmaLite has resolved that issue and issues with 5.56. Anyway my 2009 ArmaLite has a loose chamber and loves steel case and 5.56. RedneckFur, this might be a good test for your new rifle!
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Old December 17, 2010, 05:44 PM   #13
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Doublestar has about 50 reviews with 5 stars nothing below 4
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Old December 17, 2010, 05:52 PM   #14
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69 reviews 4.9/5 stars

660$ http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...s_id/411537958
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Old December 17, 2010, 06:08 PM   #15
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Read this:
http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642


Doublestar is like most cheap makers: untested components, out of spec parts, and not very reliable in the long run.

You can build a BCM upper rifle with BCM M16 bolt for nearly the same price. Spending $700 on an AR should get you something that has a lifetime warranty, tested components, and to specifications for max reliability and performance.


I just noticed you bought an Armalite. It should last you quite well and it's what I'd call an above mid-range quality AR. For the vast majority of shooters they work just fine. You probably overpaid for it by buying it at a stealership.
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Old December 20, 2010, 11:02 AM   #16
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cdnninvestments.com has COLT 6520 light weight LE carbines for $899!! You don't get a flat top upper, but that is a Good Price on a REAL Colt AR15..
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Old December 20, 2010, 12:40 PM   #17
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Thanks for the info, everyone.

I probably did pay a bit more than I could have, if I'd shopped around and didn't mind ordering from internet sellers. Last few gun shows I've been do though had similar rifles for sale at similar prices, so I dont feel too bad.

I did try the rifle out yesterday with some steel cased ammo. Fed 60 rounds without a hiccup. No issues, no jams, etc.

I had a little adventure getting the front sight adjusted properly. Luckily a retired Marine gave me a 5 minute lesson in how the front sight works on the AR 15.

I got myself some Pmags. very impressed with them! Seem much more sturdy and reliable than the pot-metal mags that came with the rifle. I didnt like how floppy the follower was in the metal mags.

I do have one issue. Perhaps one of you can help me out.

I shoot left handed. I noticed yesterday that on ocasion, a peice of brass will deflect poorly and hit my right cheek. Not particularly painful, but its distracting, and it was causing me to develop a flinch. Is there anything I can do to adjust how the rifle deflects empty casings?
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Old December 20, 2010, 12:41 PM   #18
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You might want to think about this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evr_t...ayer_embedded#
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Old December 20, 2010, 01:32 PM   #19
Quentin2
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Quote:
I do have one issue. Perhaps one of you can help me out.

I shoot left handed. I noticed yesterday that on ocasion, a peice of brass will deflect poorly and hit my right cheek. Not particularly painful, but its distracting, and it was causing me to develop a flinch. Is there anything I can do to adjust how the rifle deflects empty casings?
RedneckFur, unfortunately shooting left handed that's fairly common. You may have more problems with certain ammo over others. And it's possible changing the buffer spring or going to an H-buffer can help. Problem is the shells bounce off the deflector so it's hard to say exactly what if anything might help change the angle. The real answers to completely eliminate the problem is switching over and shooting right handed - or buying a Stag that ejects to the left. Since that's probably out of the question at the very least make sure you wear eye protection!

Take a look at the chart below, it might help or is at least educational. Steelcase is lightly loaded so heavier loads might help. Or try to borrow a heavier spring or H-buffer as a test. I'm pretty sure your ArmaLite came with the standard carbine weight buffer.

Oh, since you mentioned having trouble zeroing you might want to reread what I posted above about the ArmaLite FSB. To get it zeroed is the base of your sight post level with the shelf of the FSB or is it now unscrewed up very high?


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Old December 20, 2010, 02:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
I shoot left handed
As do i, and I have shot 4 different AR's out there;brass has never been in my face-always away.
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Old December 20, 2010, 02:34 PM   #21
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Stag Arms makes a left hand upper for AR’s. You might want to give that some consideration as well.
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Old December 20, 2010, 02:40 PM   #22
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I bought an Olympic Arms carbine. I regularly shoot bowling pins at 400 yards with open sights. The only things I have more accurate are my M1 Garrands, 1903 Springfield, and my K31, but those are all long barrelled rifles. All AR-15 platforms are mil-spec guns, so don't be afraid of spending less. A local dealer has DPMS for about $700.00. If you aren't going to get into competition, don't spend big bucks on a range gun.
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Old December 20, 2010, 03:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
All AR-15 platforms are mil-spec guns
Not true. Given, all AR-15's will get the job done; not all are full mil-spec.
You will pay about $200 more for a full mil-spec AR-15.

Mil-spec are generally overbuilt. Some custom AR's actually exceed that rating (SS barrels, SS Bolt assembly, Billet uppers/lowers, etc)

Mil-spec is just a standard that some companies use for marketing, where as other companies use customer feedback for the reliability and performance of their weapons.

If you get mil-spec, you'll be happy with it; if you don't, that's fine too. Some AR-15's exceed mil-spec requirements, but they just don'e advertise it. The way you'll be able to tell is the price you're paying for one (usually the case)
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