View Full Version : Which AR-15?

March 16, 1999, 09:52 PM
Okay, now that I know what I can and can't do whith my Ruger Mini-14, going to get a Ar-15 for more serious work.
My question is which one,Bushmaster,Armilite or Colt (Did I leave any out?)?
Also what confiration should I get? 16,20,24 inch barrel? H-bar or not,etc. etc.
Want to use this rifle for self defense, plinking and later compitition.

Justice for one,Justice for all.

March 16, 1999, 10:50 PM
Check out www.ar15.com (http://www.ar15.com) . Lots of helpful information and discussion forums. Personally, I enjoy my Olympic PCR 98 as much as I would any other brands. Beware of recent Bushmasters. They have had a rash of headspace problems. They'll fix it for free if you send it back, but who wants to send a new gun back?

AR Man
March 17, 1999, 12:33 AM
I have a Armalite M15A2 (a standard AR15)which I love and is well built and I would not trade it for anything.

March 17, 1999, 04:16 AM
You might want to take a look at WWW.Hessearms.com. They make an AR-15 variant that is gaining a pretty good reputation. They also have one of the best muzzle brakes in the business. There is just something about a bare muzzle on an AR that just looks wrong...


March 17, 1999, 12:03 PM
For those of us who are left handed, we are not left out. DPMS makes left handed ARs. I have a non-cataloged 11.5/5.5 upper that I ordered last year. Really get a lot of questioning looks at the range when brass goes flying out the left side of the weapon.

Ken Cook
March 19, 1999, 03:05 AM
I haven't seen those yet! I've gotta have one! A lefty AR, damn! I was really planning to buy a DSA fal rcvr and start my FAL, but now, I don't know! Too cool!

I'm partial to Olympic Arms myself, all the omes mentioned here are good, but I just have a personal pref for Oly.
If you're planning on having one for defense and fun, I'd say go with a shorter barrel, then when you decide to upgrade to competition, you can always build a match upper for your existing lower. Two guns for the price of one and a half! Of course, if you really get deeply involved with comp, then you will want a dedicated rifle for match use only. For now though, the above might be the way for you to go.

Your mind is your primary weapon.

March 19, 1999, 03:29 PM
One stop shopping:

Thats all you need to know.


Resistance is Futile

March 19, 1999, 04:53 PM
Kodiac, we all know your partial to Bushmaster :D

Justice for one,Justice for all.

Jeff Thomas
March 20, 1999, 01:38 AM
I certainly don't know which is the best AR, but I've had good luck with Bushmaster. And, except for what appear to be recent but unusual quality control reports, I've heard very good reports on them.

You might also take note of the survey results on www.ar15.com indicating that nearly as many people prefer Bushmaster as Colt (36% vs. 40%) - see http://www.ar15.com/survey/surveyResults.asp?q=8 . Not scientific, and surely you don't have to buy what everyone else does, but it fits with what I've heard and seen.

March 20, 1999, 03:57 AM
I have a pre-ban Eagle/Armalite M4C with an 11.5/4.5 barrel (1/9) setup and a 3-position stock. It does not have the bigger Colt style M4 handgaurds. It's pretty sweet, there's NO slop between the upper and lower so there's no need for one of those accu-wedge rubber(?) thingys.
The Olympic lowers that I have seen look pretty cheesy, such as the finish was a little too slick and incomplete on the inside. Most dealers charge about $20 less for an Olimpic lower than an Armalite or Bushmaster.
Had an opportunity to shoot a rangemaster's Colt HBAR, equipped with an Armalite post-ban muzzle brake and high power scope (not very knowledgeable about scopes). It had the recoil of a 10/22 and could put 30 low quality rounds through a .5 inch hole at 75 yards.

March 20, 1999, 10:59 AM
since the subject of left handed ARs came up
i was wondering if southpaws had trouble in shooting a non-lefty AR. there's nothing quite as fun as gettin' hit in the head w/ a string of hot brass. I haven't had any problem
w/ my AK, or any other rifle (no bullpups ;))
but thought i might better inquire before a purchase.

Kodiac, it should please you that i'm looking at Bushmasters. ;)

fiat justitia

[email protected]

[This message has been edited by longhair (edited March 20, 1999).]

March 20, 1999, 01:55 PM

I shoot my ARs lefty. and 1 out of every 2 rounds seems to hit me somewhere, especially while shooting from a bench position. I would suggest a hat and possibly even a coat or shirt with a decent collar. Once, I had a hot case get stuck between my shirt collar and the back of my neck. It left a decent burn for a while. Usually the empties peg me in the right shoulder. I even had the extractor softened on one of my rifles, but still, it seems the brass deflector is not a consistent surface. I've learned to live with it. It's injustice enough to be persecuted by anti-gunners, but to be trivialized by gun-makers for being a lefty just plain sucks. :)

4V50 Gary
March 20, 1999, 04:17 PM
I'm a southpaw and don't recall ever being hit by brass from any AR I've fired (and excluding being struck by brass ejected from an AR fired by an adjacent shooter). A plastic brass catcher will prevent the problem for the older ARs which doesn't have a prominent brass deflector.

While ARs have generally been good to me (mine is a pre-ban Colt HBAR), like fal308 I had to be different and bought a DPMS southpaw receiver which Is going to be mated to a Bushmaster 16" heavy barrel. While some may view it as a cure for a problem which doesn't exsist, I just wanted one and that's excuse enough for me. Goes well with my battery of left handed guns too.

March 21, 1999, 01:47 AM
what type of competition do you want to use your future rifle in? if its dcm go to compass lakes engineering and have them build one. much better thatn the mass produced rifles for this disciplin and cheaper over all! hands down bar none the best....pat

March 21, 1999, 05:42 PM
damn, i didn't know there were so many lefties on here!!! thanks for the replies!!!

fiat justitia

[email protected]

March 21, 1999, 06:55 PM

When I'm shooting lefty in a standing off-hand position with standard and carbine-length AR-15s I never have problems with flying brass. However it is when I'm shooting on a bench and 'huddled' around my rifle do I have the problems. I think it may have to do with the benches available for use at the range...seems you can't sit as far behind the gun as you could if the table were a little wider. But I've built a brass cather of sorts to compensate for this.

4V50 Gary
March 21, 1999, 10:59 PM

Mine is post CA ban (thus a "Sporter" and not AR) but pre Fed ban (so I can put a baynonet lug on if I want to - whoopee). Anyway, it has the prominent brass deflector which keeps me unscarred. I take it that yours is the earlier Colt SP101 version (triangular handguard, light barrel version of the M16A1)? Heck, the EL Mfg brass catcher or a homemade job out of a plastic bottle will do the trick. Unsightly, but face saving.


Ken Cook
March 22, 1999, 02:15 AM
Hi Longhair.
I've been shooting ARs and M16s for a LOOONG time. When I first joined the military, I always used that cheesy little plastic brass deflector that they used to hand out for southpaws who were shooting the M16A1. Finally the day came when there weren't enough deflectors to go around. Being a Sgt. I gave mine to one of my troops and shot without it. Turned out that I didn't need one anyway.
The only time I ever had any trouble was when firing full auto. Seemed like I got pelted by every piece of brass that came out of the damn thing! I suspect that this was because of the naturally tighter position I took for rock n' roll. When firing full auto somewhere other than the range, I usually fired right handed and kept a head's up position. Not as accurate, but I wasn't firing at 500 yards either.
With the A2, you shouldn't have any problem at all.
OTOH, I can't say when it comes to bench shooting. I avoid them like rattlesnakes. (There never seems to be one around when the Fit hits the shan.) :D

Your mind is your primary weapon.

May 3, 2011, 07:12 AM
I see alot of talk about Colt, LMT, and BCM being the "one's to have" I am looking at an Armalite M15A2CB, the price is right and they are one of the oldest AR companies. Why doesn't anyone suggest Armalite?

May 3, 2011, 07:45 AM
This thread is from 1999 and a lot has changed

May 3, 2011, 09:47 AM
I still don't see alot about Armalite being one of the top AR comanies, why not?

That'll Do
May 3, 2011, 12:48 PM
I still don't see alot about Armalite being one of the top AR comanies, why not?

Well, to be honest, they're not one of the top companies. They make good rifles, but they're not quite at the level of Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, LMT, or Noveske.

I'd compare Armalite to S&W or Sabre Defense. Certainly more than good enough for a target/competition/plinker, but not something I'd take into battle.

Again, I'm not saying it's a crap gun, far from it. It just isn't at the top, quality wise, when compared to the industry leaders.

May 3, 2011, 01:04 PM
It's pretty much the same as the non-AR rifles, a mass production gun is not produced to the same quality as a hand fitted and tuned rifle, AR or Bolt.


May 3, 2011, 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by That'll Do
...They (ArmaLite) make good rifles, but they're not quite at the level of Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, LMT, or Noveske.

I'd compare Armalite to S&W or Sabre Defense. Certainly more than good enough for a target/competition/plinker, but not something I'd take into battle.

Again, I'm not saying it's a crap gun, far from it. It just isn't at the top, quality wise, when compared to the industry leaders.

I agree. My first AR build is mostly ArmaLite and my second has a Daniel Defense upper which is clearly superior. Overall I'm satisfied with the ArmaLite and keeping it but it does have warts, though not serious. But it is better than a lot of the common brands you find in shops and roughly equal to S&W.

May 3, 2011, 07:07 PM
This thread was started 12 years ago I wonder if the op has picked his rifle yet

May 4, 2011, 05:47 AM
The reason I'm asking is I'm looking at ARs and there's one (Armalite) on Bud's for $900.00 it seems like a good price. If you figure it's about equal to the Smiths I still have it on my short list.