View Full Version : AR-15 Help

February 15, 2011, 08:59 PM
Hey Guys,

I'm in the market for an AR-15. i just recently shot a Bushmaster AR-15 M4 XM15 E2S. which was awesome to shoot, but i'm not sure which AR-15 i want to purchase.

The guys at the range, say that Bushmaster makes a great AR, but they are over priced. and that the best choice for my money would be the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 MOE. but they also say Rock River Arms makes a terrific AR too.

But, whats better on a Rock River over a Smith and Wesson, or a Bushmaster?

Is it better to build my own?

These are the guns that i've been looking at

1.M&P 15 MOE
2.Bushmaster XM15 E2S
3.Bushmaster MOE
3.Rock River Arms Lar 15 Entry Tactical (AR1255X)

If it was your money, which would you guys go with, and why?

here's the links to the guns i've been researching...





Thanks guys for the help,


February 15, 2011, 09:40 PM
I would go for the RRA with the two stage trigger. That is a $100 option not available on the others. Otherwise, they are pretty much the same.

February 15, 2011, 09:45 PM
Honestly? Any of them will be just fine. If I had to rank them, I'd prob. go S&W M&P15 MOE first, then the Bushmaster MOE, then the Rock River, then the other Bushy.

Why? I'm partial to the Magpul MOE kit, and I think the Smith might be a touch nicer than the average Bushmaster. I'm not a huge fan of two stage triggers on defensive carbines; IMO it's one more thing that can go wrong.

Generally, unless you're REALLY trying to cheap out, it's hard to go wrong with a big name one. There's better out there for not much more, but those will likely be just fine for you.

February 15, 2011, 09:46 PM
If it's just for fun you could look for a Bushmaster Car-15 Superlight about $649.00 and dress it up.


Gun $649.00
Quad Rail $49.95
Houge Hand grip $19.95
Bipod $24.95
Vertical Grip $29.95
Flash light - I had it ?
2 risers - comes with rifle
2 30 round mags - comes with rifle
1 Bushnell mini red dot - comes with rifle
1 Hard gun case - comes with rifle
1 scope - lited Baska 2-9X40 223 drop compensated $69.95 (CDNN or Cheaper than dirt)


February 15, 2011, 09:52 PM
Check out Bravo Company or Rainier Arms.

February 15, 2011, 09:56 PM
So, the "best" you can get is KAC ( Knights Armament Company ). That said, it is usually better to build your own from a price perspective. Most states are charging sales tax for FFL purchases made via the internet. If you purchase just the restricted part. The lower. You only pay tax on roughly $200.00. If you have a competent working knowledge of mechanics you will do fine building your own. If you purchase the barrel and upper receiver separately you will need some specific tools. You should buy the tools anyway but they're aren't free.

You may want to take a look at DPMS offerings, but opinions are like *******s. The only advice brand or type wise that you might honestly consider is to be sure and get an upper that has a rail instead of a one piece handle.

The only time i have had a problem with any rifle AR or otherwise had nothing to do with brand. Clean your weapon and tighten your screws; especially ARs the gas block if not torqued properly can come loose and cause a failure to cycle properly.

If you haven't already check out Brownell's for parts.

February 16, 2011, 06:23 AM
There is a flood of used, low round count AR's on the market in the 600-800 range, some good buys can be found. If you are wanting to buy new look at what BCM has to offer, great rifle for the price. Generally the more you spend the higher the quality. DPMS, RRA, Bushmaster well do well as a range rifle.

February 16, 2011, 07:44 PM
M&P-15 is best bang for the buck, IMO...

February 16, 2011, 07:59 PM
DPMS AP4 carbine. Accurate right out of the box and after firing over 5000 rounds of everything from wolf to hornaday ammo I have never had a failure.

February 16, 2011, 09:06 PM
I have a Rock River Arms LAR15 and really enjoy it. So far it hasn't had any problems and is quite accurate (more so than the shooter). The two stage trigger is nice as is the build quality.

February 16, 2011, 09:30 PM
I have heard a lot of good things about RRA as well as Bushmaster,I haven't heard any reports on the S&W?? But hey it's a Smith it's gotta be good!!
I have a couple Colt AR15'S and really like the rifles with no problems out of either for nearly 20 years now.I also have a DPMS AP4 .308 about 6 years now and this rifle just blew me away on the accuracy.
My next AR I am planning to build
Good luck on your decision

February 16, 2011, 09:51 PM
If you're bound to limit yourself to your four choices it's not even close, go with the S&W M&P-15 MOE.

But if the price is nudging up to $800 also look at Spikes Tactical. Add another $100-200 then look at BCM and Daniel Defense and Colt.

Building an AR is a great way to go and the assembly is very easy. The hard part of building (or buying a factory AR) is selecting quality components you'll be satisfied with next year and beyond. The only way to do that is put the checkbook back in your pocket and start your research. You really don't want to buy until you can answer every question yourself. And you really don't want us little guys that live in your monitor to tell you what to buy, only you can ultimately know what you want.

February 17, 2011, 01:06 AM
I am "New" to the AR scene. I am almost complete on my build I started in October of last year. All I need to do know is mount my scope and I will be done (Bought the wrong height rings).

I bought a lower and some tools. Installed the trigger kit. Installed the butt stock...and thought that will be enough for now. One week looking at it and I ordered the bolt carrier/receiver parts, an upper receiver and some more tools. Then I started looking at barrels......Now handguards, sights, gas blocks......OOOOOOOOOh so much fun....like a kid in a candy store. It was fun doing the research on what to buy. When I fired it for the first time I was so happy.....Iron sights, 200yds ranged in in 8 shots. Kept a 2" group first time out.

I know the gun....can take it apart and put it back together FULLY. I learned all about the gun.

The best part is....I have a gun that is better than "most". I have tools to take it apart and build another if I want. All for "about" the same cost for a "Good" Ar-15.

LRB Lower 5.56
Geissele Trigger kit
BCM(Bravo Company) Upper
BCM (Full Auto) Bolt
BCM (Full Auto) Bolt Receiver.
BCM Chrome 20" 1:7 gunfighter Full auto barrel
YHM Smooth floating handguard
YHM front flip up battle sight
Magpul mbus rear flip up sight
Rock River Collapsible stock
Leupold scope (QDMA Scope) I know not optimal but this is to shoot 500yds.
Leupold Ring (new ones coming)

Block Worx vice block
Barrel nut wrench
stock wrench
bolt/bolt receiver tools
roll pin punches
cupped punches
Torq Wrench

Made one vice block out of wood to put the front sight on but you can buy that for 50.00

Total cost for gun and tools. 1059 and change.

Look around and one can find great prices on parts.

February 17, 2011, 08:14 AM
OOOOOOOOOh so much fun....like a kid in a candy store.

It's a Barbie doll for men.

February 17, 2011, 08:23 AM
It seems most members here think DPMS is substandard.These are as good as anything on the market for substantially less money. You will hear lots of arguments over the quality of a DPMS verses other makes of the AR platform.Here is a link to a police forum check it out and see what the police who use these rifles on duty think about them.


I have also heard alot of nonsence about millspec or not millspec when these rifles are discussed and many here berate the dpms as not being millspec. DPMS stands for DEFENCE PROCUREMENT MANUFACTURING SUPPLIER.

It costs tons of dough to set up a firearms manufacturing business and from a business planning standpoint does it really make sence to use inferior materials or sloppy tollerances so for this reason I believe most of the manufacturers are essientially building comparable products.

These guys tested a DPMS and like them.


Basically you can waste your money and pay more for a Bushmaster,CMMG etc. but I can not see where you are getting anything more than a name.

February 17, 2011, 10:46 PM
Thank You Guys Very Much For All Your Comments! I Really enjoy reading all of these! Well i think it's going to come down between the M&P15 MOE Vs the Rock River Arms Lar15 Entry Tactical Model # AR1255X.

Whats the deal with the RRA "2 Stage" Trigger? what's the difference between that vs something like the M&P15's Trigger? is the 2 stage really that much better, or just something else i'll have issues with?

Thanks a lot everyone in helping me choose my AR-15!


February 17, 2011, 11:18 PM
It is a fairly common belief that a Brand A is better than brand B because brand a gets their parts from supplier C. The fact of the matter is that they both get their parts from C because C owns both A and B.
Older Smiths where internet rumored to be made by Stag. Not a bad thing at all.
Now S&W is machining their own lowers in house and the barrels are Thompson Center(part of the same corp.) or E.R Shaw. I would guess that the parts have been inventoried as the holding company and with the exception of the lowers and barrels even they don't know the difference. Still not a bad thing. Remington R-15s are built by DPMS and since Bushmaster is now part of the same holding company, Well what difference does it make.

Just get the one with the logo you like best.

February 17, 2011, 11:26 PM
I love my M&P15OR. There's a few I wouldn't have any recommending. You've been given some very good advice. The only one currently that I really would not spend the money on; ME PERSONALLY; is a Bushmaster. Way too many people who basically show that the Bushmaster is picky when it comes to ammo.

That'll Do
February 17, 2011, 11:43 PM
Out of the guns you listed, I'd go with the S&W. Some other names to look into/consider: Colt, Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT), Daniel Defense, Bravo Company USA (BCM), and Noveske Rifle Works. They make excellent ARs at decent prices.

Is this gun just going to be a range plinker, or a serious defense weapon? It wouldn't hurt to check out this thread: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7376

Also, I'd check out "The Chart", if you haven't already. It gets people worked up, but it does have merit. Link: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

Finally, this thread has a bunch of good links relating to AR ownership: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7355

Make sure to really do your research before you buy. Be an informed consumer.

February 20, 2011, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the comments!

it's between the M&P15 MOE or RRA LAR 15? can anyone help me decide between the two?

Thanks guys!


Big Av
February 21, 2011, 12:01 AM
Bear in mind that I'm in the market for my first AR as well, but from all of the research and reading I've done, you'd be much better off with the S&W over the RRA.

Have you looked at www.m4carbine.net? There is a lot of good info on the AR there...

February 21, 2011, 02:08 AM
it's between the M&P15 MOE or RRA LAR 15? can anyone help me decide between the two?

M & P has its place in my rack.

February 21, 2011, 02:23 AM
M&P gets my vote.

February 21, 2011, 02:28 AM
it's between the M&P15 MOE or RRA LAR 15? can anyone help me decide between the two?

Go with the S&W M&P! I just bought 2 of them!:D They are great rifles for the money! Another one to look at is Daniel Defense and there is a good basic one on GB for $899!:eek: If I did not have to buy another S&W for my girlfriend I would have went with that one! It's mil-spec and comes with iron sight unlike my OR version of the M&P.

Here is the link to the GB auction. It's Buy-It-Now for $900 + $25 shipping and whatever your local FFL transfer costs? These normally go for $1200!


February 21, 2011, 09:16 AM
enough said67630

February 21, 2011, 11:04 AM
I actually have a full size copy of that poster. I love it :D

That'll Do
February 21, 2011, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the comments!

it's between the M&P15 MOE or RRA LAR 15? can anyone help me decide between the two?

Thanks guys!


Between those two, the S&W wins, hands down.

February 21, 2011, 02:43 PM
Thanks guys, i'll be looking into the Smith and Wesson M&P15 MOE! is this model one of the best that they offer for the money? or do they make better?

February 21, 2011, 02:57 PM
Here is my Rock River Tactical Operator 2. I love it and wish i had 10 more just like it, but accessorized differently...


February 21, 2011, 03:50 PM
How do you like that TruGlo I put the smaller open style reddot on my AR
and could not get to shoot in the same spot twice. Kinda disapointed $60 down the pipe.

February 21, 2011, 04:14 PM
How do you like that TruGlo I put the smaller open style reddot on my AR
and could not get to shoot in the same spot twice. Kinda disapointed $60 down the pipe.

I like it a lot. The one you see on my AR is actually a Shotgun Sight made for Turkey Hunters. It holds zero quite well. This one has the Red/Green Circle with 1-2 MOA dot in the middle. The Circle is supposed to represent a 20" pattern at 30 yards I believe... All in all, I am please with the sight being that it only cost about $75...

It has a 2-7x32mm scope on it right now with a riser. My intent is to be able to switch between the non-magnified Tru-Glo sight and the Scope and retain zero with only 2 thumb screws to undo to remove the riser that each is mounted on. Haven't checked to see if they hold zero when switching them out...

February 21, 2011, 04:23 PM
I read good reviews on the one I have but just doesn't seem to hold up to recoil... So many 50-100 dollar ones out there Just can't bring myself to spend the money on an eotech. Even though I know i wouldn't be disapointed.
Thanks for the reply

February 21, 2011, 05:09 PM
Whats the deal with the RRA "2 Stage" Trigger? what's the difference between that vs something like the M&P15's Trigger? is the 2 stage really that much better, or just something else i'll have issues with?

I've always been of the opinion that accuracy on the part of the shooter necessitates a good trigger. The RRA National Match trigger is a good one. I use my AR for competition (and groundhogs when not competing on targets) and have found the RRA NM trigger to be a superb and affordable trigger for what I use my rifle for. If all you want out of an AR is a self-defense rifle then a two-stage trigger might not be the ideal set-up-but is one that will certainly suffice if need be; whereas a creepy, heavy trigger pull will not suffice when precision shooting is your main concern.