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Old December 6, 2012, 11:40 PM   #1
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first AR advice request

I am thinking of getting an AR in 223. I have zero experience with this type of weapon. Any experts out there? I don't have a huge amount of $$$ to invest and the AR-type rifle definitely seems pricey so maybe a used weapon would be best ?? What brands should I avoid? What should I expect to pay for a used model?
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:51 PM   #2
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I see posts like this a lot, and recommend the S&W Sport. It's a lot of gun for $650.
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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Chris is correct; that is a good deal. Which and what type AR to get
are good questions. What are you mainly going to use it for ?
What is your budget ? Answers to those will help people give you
more targeted advice. I really enjoy the ones I have.
You also might want to read up at the following link:
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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+1 for the sport.
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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I would spend several weeks reading different forums, particularly AR forums before buying anything.

Both Midway and Brownells has good vids and building your own from kit parts.

PSA is generally regarded as the best bang for the buck for a mil-spec AR.

Figure a minimum of $700 for a mil-spec gun and slightly less for non mil-spec. Used is good IF you know what you are buying. With all the hundreds of parts floating around that can be difficult. I recommend you buy a complete factory assembled AR as the first purchase, and then build after you have hands on experience.

Most AR owners are very brand loyal and well highly recommend the brand they own. That is why I recommend...

Aero Precision (parts)
Alexander Arms
AXTS (parts)
Bushmaster (old ones)
Mega (parts)

I would put S&W and Windham on the list but I don't own either one. I have shot them and they seem GTG.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:58 AM   #6
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I'd say your first objective is to define the purpose for the gun...range gun, home/personal defense, fighting gun, long-range shooter?

The options/availability of parts for the platform are numerous. Do the research as madcratebuilder suggested, the different AR forums provide a plethora of information.

I spent weeks reading before I had my AR built.
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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Like gvvan01 ask, what are you going to use it for? If it is just for plinking and looks about anything will do. If it`s to be used for hunting I would recomand that you get a flat top with no frount sight and put a 3 x 9 Leupold scope on it. I am a Rock River fan and have 2 lowers and 3 uppers. 2 uppers are for coyote hunting. The day time upper has a 3 x 9 Leupold on it and the nite upper has a lazer sight on it. The 3 rd upper is a 204 set up for grounghog hunting with a 6 x 18 Leupold on it. You may or may not be bothered by the frount sight if you put a scope on it. I was told that I would never see it, but I did and it drove me nuts tring to shoot it so I had it taken off. You now have my oppenion and that and $ 1 will get you a cuo of coffie.
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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I have 2 M&P AR15 OR's and they are great rifles and would recommend them to anyone.

That said the Core 15 rifles are also a great deal on a full Mil-spec AR with 1 in 7 twist to shoot pretty much any bullet weight available to the 5.56.

Bud's has them for $750.
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:50 AM   #9
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I'm not even close to being an expert on the AR platform rifles, but I can tell you this. Aside from the manufacturer, know what model you want. For example, do you want a carbine barrel length, a fixed or detachable handle? The detachable handle has more options to experiment with to your personal liking. From the barrel twists to the add-ons (furniture) you can get overwhelmed. From research I've seen, the top dogs in the AR field are (in no particular order): Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, Noveske, Les Baer, Rock River, LMT, and probably a few more. The price tags will scare you. Good luck
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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I'd go BCM.
I bought two Smiths and had nothing but problems. And even when they functioned, the trigger pull measured over 15lbs.
Seems most everyone else likes their S&W's. But mine did indeed suck.
I say build your own. You'll be more satisfied, and will probably save some $$$.
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Old December 7, 2012, 02:41 PM   #11
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I'd go BCM
My buddy just got one and is very pleased with it. If I were to get another the BCM is on the short list.
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Old December 7, 2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Before you make a final decision, take a close look at a Colt 6920.

Colt's been making them for the military since about 1963 and is generally considered to be the standard by which all other ARs are judged.

Good luck.
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Old December 7, 2012, 05:09 PM   #13
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If you can budget a little over $1000 I'd say get Colt or BCM. If you're under $800 then PSA.

As many have said, define your uses and needs then get to know the various models and configurations.

And remember you can easily add over $500 real quick in additions, not counting ammo and magazines.
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Old December 7, 2012, 05:51 PM   #14
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15# trigger pull on a S&W? My sport is about 6# and has the same clean break as the Sig 220 I had.
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Old December 7, 2012, 05:53 PM   #15
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I like the LWRC M6A2...though I don't have one at the moment. I have two Rock River AR's, and a Smith & Wesson upper in 5.45X39 {I like them both}. Both have tight fit's between the upper and lower. Get the best rifle you can afford, because usually...especially for a gun enthusiast like me --- the cost of ammo --- far outstrips the cost of the rifle.

Don't buy a 223 chamber, better a 223Wylde chamber, or a 5.56X45 chamber --- which can both handle 5.56X45 NATO rounds safely. I would buy one with a 1 in 9 twist, that can handle bullets up to 69 grains. For heavy bullets: a 1 in 7, or a 1 in 8 twist would be fine.

Last edited by Erno86; December 7, 2012 at 06:22 PM.
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Old December 7, 2012, 07:47 PM   #16
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Over the last 4 weeks, I've test fired and mounted scopes on 4 different AR uppers/rifles- one Olympic, one CMMG, and 2 DelTon(one each M-4 and Hbar profile) . The lowers included Plum Crazy(carbon fiber factory assembled), Delaware Machine(assembled by myself), and a Sharps Rifle Company(also home built).
I can honestly say I'd put any of these up against any production built AR on the market. When 16" carbines are turning out 3/4" groups with low power optics, there's not much you can fault.There are good AR's from so many makers that it's a challenge to find a really bad rifle.
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:05 PM   #17
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If you can change your oil you can build an AR from commercially available parts. I bought a complete upper from Loki Weapon Systems and bought a stripped lower and built it with a rock river national match two stage trigger kit and a VLTOR stock kit. Have since added parts and changed parts.

Building an AR is easy. You will save money and after doing some research, be able to get exactly what you want so money spent on modifications afterwards is minimal.
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Old December 8, 2012, 05:33 PM   #18
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S&W would be my recommendation. Great complete AR with a great warranty. Priced well for what you get and a strong base platform to modify after you shoot it a while and learn about what else you would like to add or change.

But as others have mentioned, there are a lot of players these days and if you stick with a reputable company, you'll be in good shape.
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Old December 9, 2012, 03:39 PM   #19
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Yes Chris- mine had 15++lb triggers. There was a thread about it. It was years ago now.
I'm sure the 6lb triggers in newer Smiths are nice, but there was pretty much a concensus that the sw triggers were heavy. I guess smith wised up and put better triggers on them. If so, awesome, they needed to.
I still think buying from an AR-specific maker is a better way to go.
Are Spikes still selling AR's for cheap? I haven't looked in a while, but last I checked, a nice Spike's AR was $800-ish.
BCM, Spikes, Rock River, or a Colt would be what I'd do, if I had it all to do over again.
But I'm happy with my AK and Mini. My eyesight sucks, so moa-accuracy isn't a huge concearn.
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:07 PM   #20
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I think Rock River Arms AR-15 offerings are great values. I've had good luck with mine.
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