View Full Version : Getting Ready for my first true AR15

November 9, 2012, 07:12 PM
Hey guys, thanks for reading my post. Several months ago I asked about going with a .223/556 or .300 for an AR. Well after discussion and plenty of positive feedback I purchased a .22 MP15-22 last spring. It has been a super fun AR to target practice, plink with and kind of looking to maybe nab a few squirrels. Anyway after some training with a retired ARMY master shooter and trainer. He has been very patient and I have learned so much.

All that being said, and now thinking the prices of arms is going to jump I am ready to get a .223/556 AR15, one that is mil-spec so no issues changing uppers to a larger caliber.

Questions? My first consideration was a Colt 6920 or 6940 series, I would like one with a quad rail, however I can't seem to find these series in stock or for sale anymore, are they discontinued? The 6970 series with the quad rail caught my attention but after doing some research many are reporting issues with tolerances between the barrel nut and quad rail resulting in looseness of the rail therefore front sight issues.

Some other considerations for an AR is Ruger and S&W. What I don't quite understand is the barrel twist 1:7, 1:8, 1:9 twist ratios and 6 land or 7 land. How does these change affect base rifle accuracy? I might assume any might be more accurate and any other depending on the grain weight of the bullet?

I think right now I am trending toward the S&W AR15T, I think it has a lower twist rate than the Colt and possibly 6 groove but I feel the accuracy of the rifle would probably exceed my own skill level, still I want the most accurate possible.

I have also given thought to building one up but have no idea on which would be the best brand of individual components, mainly upper and lower, to go for.

Well, I'm rambling a bit, some suggestions, comments, recommendations are so very appreciated!

Thanks, Scott in Georgia

November 9, 2012, 07:55 PM
Well to answer your question we need to know what you are going to use it for. A home defense gun will be differnat from a long range target gun. If you plan on shooting the CMP matches the gun is limited to a specific configeration. Now as far as mil spec why? mil spec means circa 1958 technoligy. gun steel, sights, and magazines have come a long way. The only thing that you need for parts compatibility is the pin size, and colt is the big one that screws things up there because they are the ones that made the differant pins (so the mil spec parts would not fit) however today there are adapters that turn a large pin colt into small pin so the other parts will fit. In my opinion (someone else will not agree with me) the Colt's are over hyped, over priced and not worth the money. The only reason I would buy a colt is if I switched jobs. For instance the police department that my buddy works at only allows offices to carry a colt AR15. Even while I was in Iraq the M4 that I shot baddies with was made by F.N., not Colt.

As far as the Smith and Wesson I have not used one but I have shot them and everyone I know who owns one is very happy with it. Now if you plan to put on alot of custom parts then price wise you might be better off to have one built or build it yourself. I always build my own because I have a standard that I cannot get from a standard factory gun. Again I must say that how you are going to use the gun is imporant here. As far a accuracy goes most quality factory guns will shot just fine for anything most people need. I know that my MK 12 will shoot better than I can, but I built it that way! Now most Ar15's lets say the S&W will shoot under 2MOA unless you get a lemon, so for most things thats fine. All of my AR15's and every one I have ever build will shoot under 1.5 MOA.

The really big advantage of building it yourself is that you can spread the cost around some. Matter of fact I still have parts that are waiting to be built into guns. (mainly because I don't need another AR now, but hey.) The big problem with home building is that if you don't know about the rifle the first build can fusrate you and all that. I know my first build drove me nuts, but I also learned alot and now I know what to look for on an AR I pick up. So no matte what you decide on that just keep that stuff in mind.

As far as the Ruger AR it is not a standard AR, several companies are making piston guns, and as you know the original is gas impingment not piston. Some people insist that the piston system is better (better how I always ask, because you can't get something for nothing.) The problem with piston guns is that first off if all other things are equal a piston gun will always weight more and be less accurate. Now the weight may be just a few ounces, and the accuracy differance may be very little but it is there. The reason is that the piston is attached to the barrel and changes the vibration and barrel harmonics. Since on an impingment gun nothing is moving on the barrel the accuracy will be better (remember all things being equal, piston guns can still be very, very accurate). Also you must remember that an AR with a piston I notice seems to cost more money.

People will tell you that the impingment system is dirty, and unreliable. well those people are just repeating stuff that they heard someone else say. One of my AR15's went 5000 rounds of wolf ammo with out cleaning and ZERO malfunctions. all I did was spray a few drops of CLP on the bolt before the range day and it never had a problem. I finnaly just got bored and cleaned it but it still never has a problem. My home defense gun went who knows how many rounds with malfunction and infrequent range cleaning. I finally broke some internal parts, but it was after about 8000 rounds on that gun. It got cleaned more since it is the home defense gun.

I would suspect that any quality factory AR will do the same if you use quality magazines and clean it every so often. With that I will close but I hope I have answered some of your questions. I think that a good investment for you would be to buy the gun digest "Book of the AR15" by Patrick Sweeney. You will learn alot, and it is a useful referance. I found his book after I had built several Ar's and had gone to the Middle East twice and I learned things I did not know. Reading his book will save you time, money, and ammo. Better to learn from the lessons of others right!

Now if you still have questions or things just send me a message and I will do my best to answer them for you.

chad wanna dwink of wawa
November 9, 2012, 08:23 PM
I am planning to purchase a M&P 15-22 soon to go along with my M&P 15 Sport .223/5.56. I absolutely love my sport. Deff. should check those out if you don't feel the need to have a dust cover and forward assist... I didn't.:cool:

Could just buy the upper to make mine a .22... but I like the thought of having two separate dedicated firearms... but thats besides the point.

Just my .02$


November 9, 2012, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the reccomendation Chad and Steve...

Steve, wow thats some great information and much I did not know. What is the acryonym MOA?

I am using the AR for persona/home or SHTF senerio, and some target practice, nothing serious with a 16" barrell; I just want to be sure I select the best bang for the buck. Your info gave me more perspective to take into consideration.

I am leaning toward the M&P AR-15t. The barrell specs say (1 in 8" 5R Rifling) so with that twist would a slightly heaver bullet be best, what are they like 68 or 69 grain?

I've checked on this AR and difficult to find in stock also... any reccomendations?


edit: BTW, Chad you will love the MP AR15-22. It is a very fun AR and cost nothing to shoot. Think I need me some squrill, LoL

November 9, 2012, 09:44 PM
Twist rate is the number of inches of barrel length to make one turn of the bullet. For your purposes, it doesn't matter. If you want to shoot a specific bullet for a certain type of match, then you would get the barrel that puts the optimum amount of spin on the bullet.

November 9, 2012, 09:47 PM
Thank you Eric

November 10, 2012, 12:16 PM
what would be the optimum grain bullet for the S&W with 1 in 8" 5R Twist?

chris in va
November 10, 2012, 07:26 PM
I have a Sport and it has been great.

However being the history buff I am, I would really rather have a standard 20" A2 model rifle. The 16" doesn't kick much but considerably more than the rifle.

Oh about the bullet weight, 1/8" will stabilize well past 62 grainers.

chad wanna dwink of wawa
November 10, 2012, 10:45 PM
MOA means Minute of Angle

Youtube search Intro to Minute of Angle if its the video I watched a ex sniper trainer explains it pretty good. Basically it's 1" @ 100 yards / 2" @ 200 yards which lets you calculate how to hit dead on at other yardage. (Rough explaination.)

As far as a stock for the M&P 15t I'm not farmiliar with them but I would guess that any stock matching your tube size would work fine, IE Mil Spec or Commercial... being a smith and wesson I would bet its Mil Spec.


chad wanna dwink of wawa
November 10, 2012, 10:48 PM
Sorry you said *In Stock I thought you meant finding a Stock for it... whoops! :rolleyes:

Try calling around, the Sport was difficult to find when I was looking and I called alot of places, LGS ended up finally getting one. Might find a shop thats willing to order it for you? Or try gunbroker.com and have it sent to your local FFL.

The Long Shot
November 10, 2012, 11:14 PM
The 1 in 8 twist will stabilize anything that will fit in your magazine. It's actually the twist rate Berger recommends for their 80 grain VLD.

The problem with piston guns is that first off if all other things are equal a piston gun will always weight more and be less accurate.

A piston system will be a bit heavier, but won't be less accurate if properly designed.

November 11, 2012, 05:42 PM
Thanks guys, Chris, Chad and Longshot. Great info, so I think for bang for my buck the S&W 15T sounds like a good comprimise for my intentions. I just have to put one on backorder I guess..

I just moved another 12 miles outside Atlanta Metro, so have ten acres and found a great 100 yard path. I have to get a sling blade and chainsaw out and other stuff to clreart the line. Should be fun. I am luckly to be surrounded by 2nd advoactes and hunters that are firearm friendly. Man I feel lucky

I know my S&W MP15-22 has been great. I think I am leaning toward thw A&W AR15T, tactile version. Just have to wait for it to come in unless any of yall know who might have some in stock for a decent cost?

Thanks again... Scott

November 11, 2012, 06:42 PM
Brother, out of what you are considering, you will be just fine with either. I have the S&W (standard M4 variant they offer but 1-9 twist) and love it. I also have a DDV4 that is a great rifle. To be honest I used to shoot the S&W more just because I did not want anything to happen to the DD, but that has changed. Now I shoot the M&P more just because it functions as good and is every bit as accurate. Guess you can tell, I love my Smith.

These companies make great rifles. I used an FN also a few years ago. To be honest the larger companies like Colt,S&W,Ruger,Windham,DD,etc... all make great rifle and I would be damn proud to own any of them.

Keep us posted and let us know what you decide on, and how big that smile is after the first magazine goes through it. Good luck, and enjoy.

chad wanna dwink of wawa
November 12, 2012, 12:54 AM
Just seen this today ref. 15T - thought I would throw it in...

Today in my local Sunday newspaper Dick's Sporting Goods ad has the S&W 15T for 1099.99 supposively on sale. Not sure if you have a DSG in your area but if so might be worth checking out. Just found it ironic as I have never seen them advertised before and we were just talking about it on here... :cool:

On the same note the Gander Mountain ad has 10% off purchase (5% firearms) for any veterans, police, and emergency personel. Since I fit that category looks like I am making a trip to C Town. :D Dang ads... :rolleyes:


November 13, 2012, 10:53 AM
Try finding an internet vendor to sell you the LE 6920 you wanted. I believe the shop I got mine from is internet capable, lowpriceguns.com Have them ship it to a FFL near you. And you can get ANY LE6920 with or without the quad rail, and install your own. I've been flirting with the idea of puting in a Daniel Defense Quad Rail over the MOE handguard that came on mine, though I hem and haw over it. I don't want to be tempted to hang everything but the kitchen sink on the thing. A bipod is really all I want on the foreend, though having that top rail for optics mounting is so tempting.

November 13, 2012, 01:51 PM
One of the good things about the AR is its modularity.

Pick up the Sport. Get good with it. If you need/want a different stock, no problem. I prefer the A2 length, both of my AR's use rifle-length tubes and stocks. Changing the parts out is not difficult at all. Same for the handguard, barrels, trigger, etc. If you have a modicum of skill and some basic tools, the options are nearly endless.

November 16, 2012, 11:53 PM
Wow, thanks *EVERYBODY* for all the great replys and info! One m4 that has always pqued my intrest is colt 6920. They seem to be getting scarce or just hard sometimes to find in stock.

One of the local Gun stores emailed me because he had 2 coming in, wow so cool! One came with the regular military grips etc... one was the magpul edition. Well I decided on the magpul one. Wow. I am so excited. I got it today and have it home tonight and can't wait to clean it down and take it out for some rounds.

I am really impressed with the quality and "tightness" of the tolorences so far. The trigger is very chrisp, not much slack.

So I settled on a Colt. LE6920 M4 MOE. I am very happer camper tonight...

Thanks for all the comment and info on twist rate. The new AR is 7:1

November 19, 2012, 12:18 AM
Aside from POSSIBLY color, you bought the same thing I did, from my recently aquired wisdom..

I picked up the ASAP sling plate. Once I got it put on, I loved it. While I was putting it on, I decided it wouldn't have been worth it if I knew what I was getting into. If you do want a sling, either stick with the two point basic with your MOE stock and the sideways mounted swivel near your front tower.... OR get one of those clamshell clamp mounts, OR resign yourself to dealing with a staked castle nut. (staked castle nut means they take a punch and stick some metal into little notches making that nut only move if someone makes a concerted effort to move it). Having done it, I'm glad I did, but while I was, I wished I'd stuck with the clamshell clamp.

There's something else Magpul makes called a Battery Assist Device lever, aka B.A.D. Lever. I glossed over it the first time, thinking it was for flashlights or some other batman approach to the fore-end. Don't make that mistake It's probably $5 piece of metal they charge $25ish for. And it's worth every penny. You can flick your INDEXED trigger finger up or down along the index area to engage a bolt lock, or release the bolt after a mag change.

If you want one, a carry handle on Gunbroker can be had. I wanted one, and found someone selling the handle off the standard version you could have had but passed on for the Magpul. (For reference purposes not judging your choice, especially since I made the same choice ;))

Optics, if you want to put a varmint scope on, you'll probably need/want the handle. You can stick a rail attachement inside the handle, which gives you enough space above the sight tower to mount a hefty optic. I tried that, and liked it, could be effective, but out to 225 I was just as effective with a Strikefire/VMX3 magnifier with swing out mount from Vortex. ~$500 optics two-part package. I advise against any of the 1-4 type tubes. You will smack straight into the tower and not be able to see. Either the red dot that can co-witness with your sights, or the varmint glass that will ghost that tower out of sight.

I like the PMags so far... though I should warn you magazines in AR's are extremely flavor-of-the-month. And last month's flavor is painted with doom and gloom equal to the praise it got the month before apparently. Ask people you trust (And Not me, I haven't had mine enough to reliably comment on magazine reliability) and ignore the rest.

November 22, 2012, 07:31 PM
I bought one of the Del-Ton brand of AR. It's a little cheaper than Colt and others but I am well pleased with it.

November 22, 2012, 10:52 PM
... I settled on a Colt. LE6920 M4 MOE. I am very happer camper tonight...

You made an excellent choice, Scott! The 6920 should serve you well. It's about as close as a civilian can get to a real M4.