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Old November 24, 2012, 12:03 AM   #1
1944m1garand
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Teach me, oh Knowing Ones, the art of the AR 15

Hey all, I'm thinking of getting an AR someday. Any suggestions on where you can point me to learn about the different setups and options on the platform? Pros / Cons, Good websites, books etc. Obviously this forum is a treasure trove, but then again any knuckelhead can post anything here and people might take it as gospel. Considering a "build" to save moolah - if so, I need to lear a lot very quickly. I'm very familliar with garand/14 gas systems (have worked on these extensively in the past), but new to the AR platform entirely. Only shot one once.

Any advice for a "virgin" would be appreciated.
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Old November 24, 2012, 12:21 AM   #2
jjyergler
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A very good AR specific forum

M4carbine.net is an excellent resource. There are lots of serious AR shooters and industry professionals there. TFL is my favorite firearm forum, but for more specific info, M4C is excellent.

As to the pros/cons of different setups, my recommendation is for your first AR, buy a complete, basic, high quality rifle. I have a Colt 6920 that I've "fixed up" with Magpul stock, grip, and forend. I put a Burris 332 (3xilluminated reticle) on it and have been very happy with it. Now that I know what I want, I'm going to build one with all the options that I've decided I want.

The most important accessory for a first timer to buy is ammo and range time. Learn to shoot it, learn to perform immediate action drills, field strip it, clean it, hug it, pet it, name it George, whatever. Learn it inside and out, THEN figure out what you want and build one if you want.

Having said that, I bet my 6920 and I will outshoot and outlast anybody's fancy rifle of awesomeness. One thing I learned at Sand Hill is that the basic AR is an excellent piece of equipment. It's all in the rifleman.

In conclusion, practice, practice, field strip, clean it, then practice some more. Just about any manufacturer's rifle will work for what you need in the beginning.
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Old November 24, 2012, 12:31 AM   #3
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Regardless of manufacturer, the first thing you need to do is figure out what you want an AR for. Home defense? Deer hunting? Varmint hunting?

Your purpose will dictate a lot of the options and narrow the field.

If you just jump in without a purpose, you will probably get lost in the options.
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Old November 24, 2012, 12:54 AM   #4
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Brownells has some neat resources.

http://www.ar15builder.com/
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Old November 24, 2012, 05:31 AM   #5
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I would recommend buying a complete factory AR for the "first" one. READ a lot, dozens of manufacturers and styles. Do you want a carbine or rifle? Is meeting the mil-spec important to you?

Reading what industry professionals say is fine but remember, "industry professional" is another name for "gun salesman".

You really don't save a lot when you assemble your own from parts, but you do get the exact configuration you want.
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Old November 24, 2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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jjyergler

Excellent post.

What he said.

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Old November 24, 2012, 11:10 AM   #7
Carne Frio
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M4carbine.net is a great site for technical info.
Ar15armory is also, but it is more welcoming
to beginners.
http://www.ar15armory.com/forums/AR15-Armory-f194.html
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Buy this and a case of ammo
http://www.gtdist.com/ProductDetail....er=COLT-LE6920
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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Personally, M4C has too many fanboys and guys posting from their mom's basement for me.

Purpose is the primary question like globemaster3 already said. Once you decide on purpose, then you have to prioritze budget, accuracy, durability, reliability, ergonomics and aesthetics.

ARs go from $300 .22LR carbines up through $4000 large caliber AR10/SR25 based rifles, so there are LOTS of choices.

With that said, for most people, it is usually a good idea to either buy a catalogged AR15 in .223/5.56 from one of the larger reputable manufacturers.
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Old November 24, 2012, 04:23 PM   #10
Erno86
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I like Magpul's DVD's, on the art of the AR-15 {1 & 2} --- Jerry Miculek...has a good DVD from Brownells and Matt Burkett sells a good AR-15 instructional DVD video as well. Brownells... also sells a "build" AR-15 DVD or book; in its latest Christmas flyer. Above all... order a catalog from Brownells and Sinclair. Check out the latest...from Troy's free floated forearms --- the newest one looks awesome.

Last edited by Erno86; November 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 04:34 PM   #11
Quentin2
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Quote:
Personally, M4C has too many fanboys and guys posting from their mom's basement for me...
Got beat up over there lately?

Anyway, M4C is a great site for information but they don't take prisoners when someone gets out of line!
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Old November 24, 2012, 04:43 PM   #12
MarkCO
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Quentin2, never posted, nor even joined M4C. A minor perusal revealled all I needed to know.
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Old November 24, 2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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Google is a helpful resource in such matters.

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Old November 24, 2012, 04:49 PM   #14
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RE Erno86's recomendation of videos, most of those can be found used for less $. While Jerry is a friend, I think the video did a dis-service to him. Brownells posted the entire video, granted in single chapter segments, on Youtube. Really ticked off the people who bought it.
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Old November 24, 2012, 05:05 PM   #15
MikeGunz
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Here is a good video to show you what specs and features to look for in a quality ar15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqCxwevGfq8
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Old November 24, 2012, 05:29 PM   #16
MarkCO
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MikeGunz, that video explains the mil-spec, which is of decent quality. However, there are several glaring falacies in that video as well. If one wants a quality M4gery, sure, a Colt and a BCM are good options, but they are hardly at the top of the class across the board. The M4 fanboys only real success is holding back the masses from realizing what some of the best AR-15s are really capable of.

IF I ever needed a top drawer M4, I'd be calling up Noveske anyway. Yeah, they are a title sponsor of my match and I am personal friends with their Pro Shooters, but they do make the best hard use M4 style rifles on the market.
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Old November 24, 2012, 09:26 PM   #17
1944m1garand
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Wow fellas, thanks to all who replied. All great sources of info and good advice, Im sure. Sounds like the concensus is that a factory one is a better pick for a first rifle? I'm pretty savvy in the workshop, but Im not a gunsmith. Im actually just looking for a fun shooter for range/tact. shooting (5.56 NATO/.223) I was actually aiming at a carbine to begin with. Mil spec isnt that important to me.
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Old November 24, 2012, 09:35 PM   #18
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"The Art of the Ar-15"?

It's a soulless piece of aluminum, steel and plastic..... no art to it .... as artfull as a pair of Vice-Grips .... and as indispensable. Not the ideal tool for anything, but will do in a pinch for many tasks .......
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:36 AM   #19
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While I want a Noveske myself... I'm not sure I think they're so head and shoulders above Colt for the price difference I found when I went looking. I think Noveske makes a nice nice rifle, don't get me wrong. And if I was buying something other than a 16 inch 5.56 starter gun, I'd be all over their website. But for a first AR, if your budget is 1K, it's a colt 6920. If it's 500-700ish I'd probably aim at S&W or DPMS.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
I would recommend buying a complete factory AR for the "first" one. READ a lot, dozens of manufacturers and styles. Do you want a carbine or rifle? Is meeting the mil-spec important to you?
I disagree with the first statement, but agree wholeheartedly with the remaining ones.

Building your first rifle is a great way to understand the operation of the AR and how everything goes together. If you are smart about it, it will save you money, and there is a lot of pride in knowing you built something. I built my first one (and all subsequent ones), and I wouldn't do it any other way (unless a great deal fell in my lap). The lower is pretty easy to put together, and it's not hard to find assembled barreled uppers with lifetime warranties (I used an Spikes 16" M4LE upper for my first build).

But yes - research is a must for any AR purchase. Read up!
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:24 PM   #21
JimDandy
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I would agree with the statement you disagree with, with the caveat that you customize some parts so you have to take bits apart and put them back together.. i.e. the ASAP Slingplate, or a new buffer spring, or whatever...
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:55 PM   #22
Carne Frio
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Just found a link that I have found useful and
so have a few that I recommended it to:
http://forums.officer.com/t81462/
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Old November 26, 2012, 02:54 PM   #23
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I agree with purchasing a factory AR for your first one and building your 2nd. That's the route I went and I was a lot more comfortable building the 2nd when I had a blueprint that I could touch and feel.

There are a lot of ARs that will fit your needs as a range gun. S&W was mentioned and they make a great AR. Again, for your needs, great value there. The Colt is what many consider to be the gold standard as they produce the military M4 carbine. For a civilian rifle, there are a lot of great companies to choose from. BCM, PSA, S&W, Spike's Tactical just to name a few.

I wont comment on the other forums mentioned. If you frequent them, you'll soon see what the culture is like.
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