View Full Version : New to this AR World

July 25, 2012, 12:32 PM
So I've been looking at several different models and can use some advice. The S&W M&P Sport is the most appealing due to price and relatively good reviews, I also found the M&P MOE Mid 811054 which I liked as well. The sport is roughly $670 and the MOE is $981. What woukd be the cost difference? If I bought the sport, can I add and change out parts as I want later on down the road or am I stuck w the cheaper product?

I also noticed some RRA products in the general price range as well. There is the CAR A4 w 1/9 twist for $759. The #1251 Tactical Entry for $906 and the Tactical Operator #2 for around $970. Which would be a better value? I was leaning toward the M&P sport for price, but if I am just going to spend the money later to upgrade to some of these features anywat, then Im not adverse to spending some more now.

This would be more of a range toy, paper puncher and would probably never go hunting.

I know there are a lot of questions here but I'm just trying to do this right! My father just bought the DPMS AR for the same basic purpose, any advantage to that brand either?

Thanks in advance for the help! Much appreciated (as always!)

July 25, 2012, 03:18 PM
Sorry if my questions seemed naive, just trying to learn a little bit before making a purchase. Any AR under $1000 complete or should I just get the M&P15 Sport and customize it? Maybe that clarifies my questions.

I have to admit, I really like the M&P MOE Mid style in the sand color....but how much of that is cosmetic and how much is really functional? And at $900 would a RRA be a better buy?

chris in va
July 25, 2012, 03:27 PM
Despite what people first thought about the Sport, it is not a 'cheap' gun by any means. The quality is still there but certain unnecessary features were deleted, while others added like gain twist 5-r rifling and internal Melonite coating.

If you plan to outfit the gun with spiffy plastics and rails, I suggest you find one already spec'ed the way you like it. If you just want a fun rifle to plink with, get the Sport and be done.

And yes, I have one.

July 25, 2012, 07:20 PM
The Smith&Wesson M&P15 Sport is a good starter AR, especially if you only plan to use it for target shooting for now. All of the Magpul MOE products can be easily added to the Sport version, and you will save some money up front if budget is a concern.

The main difference with the Sport version vs the MOE version is that the Sport does not have a dust cover and forward assist. The dust cover and forward assist are good features, but not a necessity for an AR unless you are using it for serious purposes like Military or Police duty.

Rock River Arms (RRA) is a good manufacturer, so the CAR A4 model is a very good buy for $759. My suggestion is to get the RRA over the M&P Sport for a few more dollars. Buy the Magpul parts you want and install them on the AR, its really very easy to put them on. By the way, the color you are looking at is referred to as "Flat Dark Earth" or FDE. I hope that helps and good luck!

July 25, 2012, 07:40 PM
Thanks for all of the great info Justice!!! That's exactly the stuff i was trying to find out! Central Florida huh? Over in Orlando? Im over in the Tampa area.

So the RRA would be the way to go for a little bit more? It's actually the CAR A2 for $788. Seems I looked at so many I got confused! Is the RRA brand better than S&W? This would legitimately be a range toy and home protection gun. I am not a hunter and have no desire to become one! Anyway, thanks for the help and I look forward to learning more about this fascinating weapon!

This was the S&W I liked:


July 25, 2012, 07:41 PM
You can get a Spikes ST-15 for $865 at one of the local shops here in VA


July 25, 2012, 10:27 PM
Actually I lied again.....not doing so hot today! This is the RRA:
Rock River CAR A4 6-Position Stick 5.56mm NATO 16" BBL $759+free shipping.

CALIBER: 5.56mm NATO Chamber for 5.56mm & .223 Cal.
LOWER / UPPER RECEIVER: Forged RRA LAR-15® Lower / Forged A4 Upper
BARREL: 16 Inch Chrome Moly, 1:9 Twist / A2 Flash Hider / 1/2-28 Thread
HANDGUARD / PISTOL GRIP: CAR Length Handguard / A2 Pistol Grip
WEIGHT / LENGTH: 7.1 Pounds / 36 Inches
ACCURACY: 1 MOA at 100 yards
INCLUDED: One Mag, RRA Case, Manual, Warranty

Good deal or no? Worth the extra over the M&P Sport? It doesn't look like it has a rear site (maybe flip up?) and optics would have to wait a bit initially.

Thoughts and/or comments?

Live Free
July 26, 2012, 10:49 AM
For a range toy, you will be fine with any of the firearms you have listed.

If you plan to add upgrades immediately such as Magpul stock, fore grips, etc., then you will probably do better to purchase a firearm that has those already components already installed.

If you please to add then over time or want to customize your own then the M&P sport may be the better solution.

One last thing to consider is resale, down the road you decide to upgrade to a higher quality rifle or get out of the sport altogether. I imagine it would be easier to resell the Smith & Wesson than the Rock River or that the Smith & Wesson may bring a slightly higher "ROI" at resale time.

Good luck and enjoy.

July 26, 2012, 11:28 AM
I disagree to a point with the notion that the Smith will have better resale. RRA's are highly sought after. They are minimum 90 days out for any of their rifles...for a reason.

It really depends on what you want. They are both really good rifles for the price. Sport is no frills but gets the job done.

The RRA is an upgrade IMHO but you are paying for it.

Rifles that I recommend under $1000 are:

Colt 6920
Spikes ST-15 (still mad at them for some dealings with customers)
RRA Operator models (wish the buffer/stock was milspec but are the most accurate AR's I've shot/owned besides my White Oak upper)
BCM Mod 0
Palmetto State Armory (have them build it like you want and be done)

July 26, 2012, 02:15 PM

I am in the exact same place as you. I plan on purchasing within the next month and have spent the last two reading, reviewing, and shopping. I wont bother to post my personal preferences because IMHO in the price range you (and I) are shopping they are ALL very close. The one thing I would suggest you do if you havent already is go to as many stores as possible and handle the different guns to see what works for you. Its easy to get lost in all the opinions and technical data but there is nothing like actually handling the weapon. Good luck with your purchase.


July 26, 2012, 03:03 PM
If you had a strict $700 budget then I'd get the sport (it's reliable and more accurate than most shooters). That said, the MOE can compete with any $1k AR out there. The mid length system will make an already soft shooting rifle shoot even softer and it's already got many of the aftermarket accessories you'd probably put on it down the road anyway.

July 26, 2012, 03:44 PM
Why not build your own? Check out PSA they have uppers for 299 you can get a complete lower for 199. Another 140 for BCG and charging Handel.

July 26, 2012, 04:58 PM
Thanks for all of the great info! Building it is.something I had considered but to be honest, I don't know what I'm looking for! Part of me was thinking of getting into an AR and then figuring out what I would like to change. Not sure!

The Sport is essentially a ghost right now, thats why I bumped my budget up slightly to include the RRA. Is the RRA the way to go for the money??

Hardest part is trying to convince the wife why "I need" this....guess that gives more time to research!

July 26, 2012, 06:37 PM
Question. where are you guys getting these prices? i cNt find anything close.

July 27, 2012, 10:54 AM
Which rifle are you referring too?

Spikes Tactical ST-15: $769


Currently out of stock but they will let you know when some come in.

RRA Operator Series $940:


All of the Operator stuff is on sale. Last I knew he charged $940 for them delivered. You have to call for pricing though.



BCM Mod O $1,009:


or Midlength MOE Version $1,029:


Colt 6720 $973:


July 27, 2012, 11:28 AM
My latest AR is a SIG Sauer M400 enhanced. It has Magpul goodies already on it and a Magpul 30 round magazine, short top rail with folding ghost ring/long range arpeture, 1-7 rifling chrome bore. It shoots very well and was $917.00 at Walmart. It also comes with a soft tactical case. I'll use it for 3 gun and Zombies. :D