View Full Version : AR novice

November 14, 2012, 08:56 AM
I have no experience with the AR platform, never even fired one of them. The .223 and similar seem to me to be quite weak. I found an ad for DPMS LR-308 new, on sale for $1000.00. "16" Carbine Optics Ready".
Trying to sort this out, this probably means that it has no sights and must have scope added for sighting. I think that the barrel is a bit short. Probably a 20" would offer better ballistics.
Please offer your thoughts and suggestions.
Is the DPMS about as good as is available in this price range? Something else offer better value even if a bit higher priced?
I do have an old 308 bolt action and a 30-06 bolt action plus a regular 30-06 semiauto rifle, so these calibers are not new to me.

November 14, 2012, 10:03 AM
There's nothing wron with the .223/5.56. I don't know if you've seen the news lately, but it's getting all kinds of on-the-job-testing lately. You do have a good reason for going with a .308 AR, since you already have a .308. That's your main question now. Do you want another caliber, that will be different than what you currently shoot?

I can be patient and find .223 ammo for $6.50 per 20. Probably better if I REALLY looked, but after shooting .300 RUM for a while, I pretty much grabbed a case and ran, then sat in the closet holding my case of ammunition and laughed maniacally at the fools that sold my precious so cheaply. Well, ok, maybe not. But for going to a range and having a long session of very cost effective fun, .223 and 9mm aren't bad calibers to have in your bag of tricks.

To Sum up: It's used for different purposes. It's probably at least an order of magnitude cheaper. You can shoot more, cheaper, for less wear and tear on your shoulder, longer. But you'd have to buy more reloading dies. And maybe powder. And probably primers. And bullets.

November 14, 2012, 10:14 AM
Comparing a bolt action .308 to an AR chambered for .308 is apples and oranges. Too many differences. But as for the cartridge itself, you're right; the distance and ballistics will be comparable.

Can't speak to that particular brand of AR, but a good AR with optics for $1k is not a bad deal at all, granted the firearm is reliable and complete. Good brands of ARs in .308 usually run about $1,200.00 minimum fully assembled, and that's almost never including optics/scopes.

On a side note, don't be too quick to dog the .223 caliber ARs. They may not have the reach-out-and-touch-someone-at-450+yards range of the .308, but realistically speaking, if you're using it for hunting, you're probably not going to come up on too many opportunities to take your prey beyond 200-250 yards. Also, the ballistics of a .223 on pelt damage and meat destruction are far lower than that of the larger .30-caliber cartridges. Not to mention, carrying a standard load of .223 ammo will be consistently lighter than that of the .308.

If you're thinking of personal defense or anti-zombie armaments, I'd still suggest the .223 clambering;)

November 14, 2012, 11:02 AM
True that, I was coming at it from target, he came from hunting... it depends on what you want to do with it. I'd varmint with the .223, but large game would be .308. Though to be fair I'd only really hunt with bolt or lever actions...

November 14, 2012, 11:10 AM
On the AR in question, it is new but includes no optics. A scope would be separate and extra. And I am still pondering whether having an AR is, for me, worth the cost.

November 14, 2012, 12:01 PM
What would you use it for?

How often would you use it?

Beyond the optics, what other accessories would you end up needing for it? Bag? Doodads to add, like a B.A.D. lever, gadgets to mount on the rail? Magazines? Gizmos somewhere else?

How much would all the addons cost you?

Will you have enough fun with all of that, between the tinkering, the shooting, the reloading and whatnot to justify the cost? These aren't really things we can answer for you.

November 14, 2012, 11:34 PM
They may not have the reach-out-and-touch-someone-at-450+yards range of the .308...

I routinely shoot my 223 out to 600 yards with great accuracy, as have many 1000's of high power competitors through the years. I wouldn't want to be shooting game at those distances by any means, but for target shooting the 223 is plenty accurate to reach out there a ways. :D

November 15, 2012, 12:51 AM
Opinated, Like you I have never owned an AR and for the longest time I could not decide if I wanted a AR15 or AR10. After two years of thinking and procrastinating I finally settled on the AR15. I went with the rifle instead of the carbine which I guess in a way was a compromise for choosing the 15 over the 10. Anyway, I ended up with a Windham Weaponry Preditor. I haven't yet had a chance to go and shoot it but hope to soon. Rifle and optics was a little over $1200 but I think you can probably work a better deal than I did.

November 15, 2012, 05:05 AM
An AR is a great gun, but you will shoot it alot. Most likely you will shoot different ammo through your bolt gun, even if caliber is same. This is due to mag length and rate of fire differences.

A DPMS 16" M4rgery for $1000 seems good to me. DPMS is a fine brand, but not a premium brand. "optics ready" is usually code for no sights. 16" is a good length. Long enough to be legal and accurate to 300 yds or so. Short enough to use for SD or HD.

223 vs 308.... I would go 223/5.56 everytime based on cost to buy and shoot. To me , a 308 AR is a specialty piece for a specific purpose like antelope hunting.

Just my 2 cents.

November 15, 2012, 08:30 AM
Like Jack Benny, I'm thinking it over. It is not something I really need. But it might become unavailable and what if I then wanted one? Needs and wants are not equivalent. But catering to a Want is sometimes enjoyable.

November 15, 2012, 10:32 AM
If I were spending 1000 on a DPMS, I'd rather spend 1100 on the next tier up with Colt or Noveske really.

November 15, 2012, 10:39 AM
Like Jack Benny, I'm thinking it over. It is not something I really need. But it might become unavailable and what if I then wanted one? Needs and wants are not equivalent. But catering to a Want is sometimes enjoyable.
Many people, including myself, use their ARs for their primary home defense weapon. With the right ammo it's far better than even a shotgun in my opinion.

November 15, 2012, 10:44 AM
I was wanting a AR10 for the longest time before I bought my AR 15's. .308 is a fine round and has it's uses for sure.

That said you can shoot a 15 more for the same cost and as far as distance for SD/HD 99% of use will never need to take a shot outside of 50 yards. The 5.56 at that range and more has plenty of power for small to medium game and 2 legged creatures do not stand a chance!

November 15, 2012, 10:49 AM
My AR wouldn't be the first thing I pick up if something went bump in the night, and I wanted to check it out while armed. I would take it with me however. I'd still make sure I had my pistol over anything else.

November 16, 2012, 06:07 AM
Opinated, just FYI that an AR15 can have other calibers other than 5.56/223 i.e. 6.8SPC, 6.5G, 300BLK, 458Socom, and 50Beowulf.

You are not limited to the 5.56/223 on an AR15, which is the beauty of that rifle. Swap a different upper and you can have muliple calibers depending on your intended use.

Btw 5.56 is not "weak". Try getting shot with M855 green-tip 5.56 ammo wearing a ballistic vest and see if you'll survive...

If you want a .308, then sure go with AR10/Scar/FAL etc. Just saying that the 5.56/223 is not as weak as many portray them to be, and you are also not limited to that ammo in an AR15 platform.

November 16, 2012, 12:42 PM
Another point to consider when debating the AR10 vs AR15:

The AR15 is based primarily around the M4 . Most of the manufacturers of AR15s ensure that it is close to the M4 in order to pick up possible military/LE contracts. Because everyone (with a few exceptions) isn't straying too far from this, parts commonality is widespread. Should you wish to upgrade or change parts out, you will not have to worry too much about if it will work on your rifle.

The AR10, however, is far more proprietary when it comes to parts. Armalite, DPMS and Knights Armament all have their own specifications and other manufacturers usually spec their parts out based on those three. Parts such as barrel nuts, handguards, what brand of magazine you use and others may work on one but not on another. It is not a big deal, but just something to consider.

November 16, 2012, 10:08 PM
I still have not made a decision nor a purchase. The decision might be to forget it. The budget now looks as if it might have a little more money than it appeared to at first. But I do appreciate all the comments and advice.

November 17, 2012, 10:56 AM
You don't want it. You definitely don't need it.

November 23, 2012, 01:13 PM
Good information.

Been away for awhile when moved to different state.

Have a Mini-14. Thinking whether to add an AR-15 to the collection or not for multipurpose potential uses.

November 24, 2012, 12:10 AM
I dont know jack about ARs, but I do know that a .223 / 5.56 NATO is one of the most combat proven rounds around. It does its job. It takes the target out, can shoot through walls and is highly accurate at typical combat ranges. There are literally thousand upon thousands of people who have been killed or wounded by this round and that it has dominated the battlefield for a long time. Nothing lacking in a .223. Just because its a similar diameter, doesnt mean its ANYTHING like a .22 ....