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Old December 10, 2012, 10:37 AM   #1
Austin22793
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Looking to get an ar-15, but what brand?

I'm new to the ar15 world and I'm not familiar with on which brands are decent. I'm looking for a decent quality gun i can mount a scope on go to the range be happy with the accuracy up to at least 200 yards. I'm also looking at this gun for hogs and deer, mostly hog as because where I am they are a large problem. I was interested in the 308, but not sure if its a decent round through the ar15? Also I've seen a lot of debate on the barrel twist whether 1:9 is better or the 1:7 (for 5.56) and only certain rounds can go through certain barrels with certain finishes. I'll just be honest I'm confused! So I'm just looking right now to get those things cleared up and look at some brands. I have heard that Colt makes a good gun but your overpaying by just a little. I've also heard that ordering the upper and lower is cheaper then buying the complete gun. How complicated is this and how much are the tools?
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Old December 10, 2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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Sounds like you've done some research. And yes, it can be confusing at times. a 1:7 twist rate can manage heavier grain ammo than a 1:9. Especially at longer distances. I'd go with a 1:7 as you can still shoot 55 grain but also shoot heavier which you will likely want to do if you go 5.56 for hunting. Chrome or Melonite doesn't really factor in here. Both are good barrels and you will find people in both camps. Colt makes a good AR and many will argue it's the gold standard. For just around a grand, it's not a bad deal at all. As for purchasing an upper and a lower, it about as easy as it can get. It's the same process you will complete when you clean and service your AR. Simply pull 2 pins and the upper is now separated from the lower. Click them back together, push the pins in and you now have a complete AR again. I don't own a 308 so I can't comment. Look to Colt, DD, BCM, Spike's, PSA, S&W for good reputable brands at a reasonable price.
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:04 PM   #3
Austin22793
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Sounds good but, another hairy topic is the 5.56 heavy enough to take down hog/deer and at what distance? Because 5.56 is cheaper then the 6.62 or .308. So would it be worth it just to go gravitate towards the 308 because it is a very accurate round and has more stopping power?
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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I've been happy with my Rock River acquisition. Excellent accuracy (I really like their National Match 2-stage trigger; it helps a lot in getting tight groups), extreme reliability and fine workmanship. I think RRA offerings are great values and their life-time warranty is a decided plus.
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Old December 10, 2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Look to Colt, DD, BCM, Spike's, PSA, S&W for good reputable brands at a reasonable price.
Good advice here. These brands all put out good rifles that are very comparible in quality in my experience. The S&W rifles are a little less "mil-spec" than the others, but are still a nice package.

The Sig M400s are starting to make a good name for themselves lately as well.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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These guys are absolutly right about the brands. If you are mechanically inclined at all, an AR isn't real difficult to assemble. It does require some tools though. I love building my own, but I own two that I bought off of the shelf and they are great rifles. The two that I still own that are not custom built are a S&W M&P15 and a DDV4. Both are top notch IMO. I have owned a few different brands and yet to own a bad AR. Some just have options I like better, or better customer service.

To be honest, there is a pride you can take when you build one yourself. There are plenty of tutorials online to help if you get stuck. I do however advise letting a gunsmith or knoledgable AR person look at it before firing(just a precaution for the first build).

Fishbed is right about most S&W's, some have a 1in 9 twist barrel and such, but S&W does offer 1in7 on a few rifles too. As far as the quality, I trust S&W as much as ANY other brand. They are one of the few companies that forge their own uppers and lowers, so quality control is usually less of an issue. I will take my M&P over my DD any day(just prefer the configuration of the S&W).They both are great rifles, but the S&W fits better (out of my two) and has a better finish.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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Just speaking from personal experience, the 5.56 is more than capable of killing deer. I have done it with my mini-14 with a Burris 3x9 FFII scope and 65gr. Sierra Gameking handloads. I think a 60gr partition or a 62gr. Barnes TSX would be good enough as well.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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Ok thanks everyone. I think I might just bite the bullet so to speak and look into getting a colt :P
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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I think just about any name brand AR is a good rifle. I have a lot of friends that have a lot of different brands and they all think theirs is the best one. Just look for one that is configured the way you want and will serve the purpose you want it for.
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Old December 10, 2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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The AR is like the Lego of the gun world. The parts interchange with amazing flexibility and there are enough pieces parts out there to configure them like a Mr. Potato head.

There are many good AR brands out there. But, each brand can have a bad example crop up from time to time. I did a ton of research before deciding to build my own.

AR's used to be basically ABC (Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt) but the number of makers is probably beyond counting now....

First thing I learned - Mil Spec are two words that till make your head explode, and start wars.

Second thing I learned - there are huge fan clubs of each model, asking which is better will start wars in all the places the first thing I learned missed.

For me, IMO the research funneled down to 2 levels, an AR designed to be an end of the world ultimate reliable absolute necessity, or an AR designed for the occasional plinker and sporter.

For the first case there are some big names in AR's like Daniel Defense, which are awesome firearms, but expensive. For the second case, just about any AR from places like Bushmaster, or DPMS will be great.

For me, ultimately the $$$ made the choice, I dug up parts from places that had the qualities I wanted and assembled my own. I was initially intimidated by the concept, but in reality it turned out to be rather simple, and furthered my knowledge of the firearm and how to care for it in the process.

Last edited by anothernewb; December 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 04:16 PM   #11
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Colt is generally considered the standard by which all other ARs are judged.

DD, BCM and LaRue are also worthy of consideration. Good luck, keep us updated.
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Old December 10, 2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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Yes, from what I have read, Colt is considered the "standard", but that is just that... the standard.

You can do worse and you can do better.... but some claim that Colt is what everyone compares other AR's to as the standard. Why? Because Colt is the brand that has produced the AR for so darn long.

I'm not so sure that Colt should be deemed the "gold" standard, though. That implies that it is the finest grade of AR available....and I'm not so sure that anyone here or in any AR forum would agree with that.

I would be much more interested in Colt if they made the popular "midlength" system. (do they?)
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Old December 10, 2012, 05:04 PM   #13
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"I was interested in the 308, but not sure if its a decent round through the
ar15?"

I believe you cannot shoot the .308 through the AR-15 platform unless you are talking about the 300 Blackout which uses a .308 bullet in a modified .223 case. The standard .308 is generally shot from the AR-10 platform which uses different parts, some parts propritary to a specific gun maker.
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Old December 10, 2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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If I were to buy a "AR style gun FOR hunting I would get a Spikes or BCM lower and get a upper in 6.5 Grendel.
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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All the brands mentioned make a good style AR, but consider a S&W M&P series in addition to those mentioned.
My M&P has been 100% with some pretty cheap Russian ammo and will shoot a whole lot better than I am capable off. Mine is the MOE version with the chrome components and the new ones have the R5 Melonite barrels. If cost is a factor look at the S&W Sport. Basic, no frills and a pretty good value in todays market.
If you are concerned about caliber, look at some in the next step up, like 6.5 6.8 etc.
Ar's are confusing at best with the different makers, DI vs Gas additional calibers and mil-spec vs non mil-spec.
Pick a brand name, ask around and then drop you cash on one and don't look back. Once you have one, the confusion really starts! LOL
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:25 PM   #16
Austin22793
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Yea I was looking at the colt, but I think I like the longer barrel styles. Also STUPID question probably, can you take the large/tall iron sights attached to the barrel off along with the carrying handle as long as its attached to a rail I believe. Also what are the benefits of the longer barrels and do you still need a 1/7 twist with the 18-20 inch barrels?
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:43 PM   #17
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What do plan to do with it?
Make a difference.
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Old December 10, 2012, 06:51 PM   #18
Austin22793
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Hunt mostly, but Its also a gun I'll enjoy going to the range with and decent accuracy up to 200 yards. I currently own a vanguard 30-06 and that's fun, but I tried out my friends ar and I really like the semi-auto not to mention just about everyone has one..
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:35 PM   #19
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I'm no expert-but from what ive learned checking into buying my first(a s&w 15 sport)is the front sight is not easily removable,but with any scope over 3 power-u wont even see it.I also got tons of different opinions on what to start with, but heard alot of good about the one i bought.From what I gather, most will be sufficiant for a casual shooter-hunter.If u really get into them and shoot alot or think u need it to live thru the apocolypse you may need to spend more than 1000$ which was the most i wanted to spend.

Last edited by dbaum; December 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:41 PM   #20
Austin22793
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I do have a 3-9x40 Nikon prostaff I want to put on it so your saying I wont even see it in the scope? Can anyone else verify this?
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:44 PM   #21
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I couldn't imagine life without my Daniel Defense. Such a gorgeous AR. Shoots like a dream.

Big however though! You're talking hunting hog at some distance? I would def step up to a larger caliber.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:45 PM   #22
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read the thread "any downside to the m&p 15 sport"-not suggesting the gun, but the scope topic is discussed on there.its pretty recent.

Last edited by dbaum; December 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:57 PM   #23
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Here is my S&W M&P OR with MOE hand guard, ACS stock, Combat Rifle Scope.

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Old December 10, 2012, 08:13 PM   #24
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IMO the Rock Rivers are the bomb. My buddy just got one today and its BA! But I have also checked out the S&W, Bushmaster, and Colt. You can't go wrong with any of these I've listed. But in sure there is other good options out there!
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Old December 10, 2012, 08:35 PM   #25
Austin22793
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http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y

hows this as a thought. Bigger round, decent cost
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