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Old September 23, 2020, 10:10 PM   #1
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Help me find the right AR upper for my needs

I’m looking to spend $1000 or less. Here’s what I’m thinking:
1:9”-1:10” twist
16” free floating barrel
Excellent reliability
.223 wylde chamber
Mid length gas block
Chrome lined or maybe stainless steel barrel
Weight isn’t much of a concern.

I want something that will work well with any kind of ammo I will feed it, and will be very reliable and last 1000s of rounds. I like the idea of 223 wylde because of the accuracy improvements, I realize 1 MOA isn’t super common with what I’ve listed but I’d like to get as close to that as possible.

I was looking into BCM but I don’t like the idea of a 1:7 twist rate because those don’t work as well with lighter bullets. I’ve heard mixed reviews on Larue, some people seem to love them and others seem to have gotten lemons. Definitely want to go above a PSA or similar. The number of brands out there are overwhelming, if someone can point me to some not just good, but GREAT companies to look into that make something to fit this criteria that would be super helpful. Thanks

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Old September 24, 2020, 07:30 AM   #2
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My opinion is get yourself a barrel from a reputable company then add the parts you want to complete your upper. And for an MOAish rifle stay away from chrome lined.

A few years ago I picked up a MDWS 223 wylde barrel, the same spec barrel you listed and I just last year put it together and within the first 100 rounds it had 2 different factory loads and my 55gr Vmax reload all shooting MOA or slightly better. As long as the bullet I shot wasn't FMJ it shot nicely.
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Old September 24, 2020, 10:56 AM   #3
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In my experience, that 1:9" or 1:10" is going to be what limits the current field. They exist, probably, but 99% of preassembled .223 Wylde uppers are going to be 1:7" or 1:8". So I would tend to agree with CarJunkie. Get a barrel made, then put your upper together. You miiiight be able to do that inside $1k, and with a lot of patience these days.

"This is God's universe, and he has a plan. You might think that you have a better plan, but you don't have a universe." - Dr. J.V. McGee
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Old September 24, 2020, 11:26 AM   #4
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If you are willing to build your own upper or buy the parts and ship to a place like ADCO Firearms you should be able to get a 1moa rifle for under $1000.

Here is the barrel I used on my RECCE clone build.

It will 1moa groups out to 300 yards with ADI 55gr blitzkings.
The wicked flee when no man pursueth - Proverbs 28:1
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Old September 24, 2020, 12:02 PM   #5
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Much quality available within your budget. Based on your requirements (I want something that will work well with any kind of ammo I will feed it, and will be very reliable and last 1000s of rounds. I like the idea of 223 wylde because of the accuracy improvements, I realize 1 MOA isn’t super common with what I’ve listed but I’d like to get as close to that as possible.), forget the 1:9 / 1:10 and the Wylde. They are fine for a specific use outside the spectrum of what you state. Don't know how light you intend to go but 1:7 has no issues with 55s, 62s, etc.
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Old September 24, 2020, 12:07 PM   #6
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Start with this barrel, 1:8, 3R, Wylde:
A plan is just a list of things that doesn't happen.
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Old September 28, 2020, 11:01 AM   #7
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Agree with other about the 1:9 twist. Unless you are planning on shooting very light bullets, I'd go with a 1:8 or even 1:7. Also, in my experience most ammo using the SMK 68 gr or 77 gr. bullets tend to be very accurate and if you're going to shoot bullets that heavy you will be better served with a 1:7 or 1:8 twist barrel.

FYI I do own a couple of LaRue uppers and haven't had any problems. They have the reputation for being very accurate (which has been my experience) and if you go with an Ultimate Upper kit are a good value. You just need to buy a stripped lower receiver and you will have a complete rifle with the very good MBT trigger for under $1,000. I've never had any problems with reliability, but I clean them pretty regularly and they are usually just shot at the range. Not sure how they would handle more adverse conditions like getting dragged around, dirt/sand in them, not being cleaned regularly, etc.

Personally, I think RRA National Match and Varmint uppers are also underrated. I have a stainless, heavy barrel National Match upper and it is a tack driver. If you do a little research I think you will find my experience is pretty common. Again, not sure how they will run in adverse conditions, but I've never had any issues with mine.

Finally, nothing wrong with BCM, they make a good quality upper that is also a good value. I do think you are probably going to sacrifice some accuracy with BCM, but might get better reliability.

You might also look into some of the piston uppers if you want something that generally runs cleaner and should have good reliability - particularly since you aren't that concerned with weight. Might be able to find a Sig 5.56 on sale for $600. They occasionally are available at AIM and at that price they are damn good value.
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