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Old December 27, 2018, 06:35 PM   #1
bp22
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ar15

first let me say I know nothing about these guns for the most part, I see a lot of the 450 to 550 priced ars, i.m wondering all of these guns in that price range are pretty much the same inexpensive but go bang, do any in that price range seem to have an advantage? I think I want one but will not spend for the higher price right now. any advice you people can give will be appreciated.
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Old December 27, 2018, 06:59 PM   #2
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At this price point these are about as good as it gets and they are very good by the way imo...https://www.brownells.com/firearms/r...RO%2bPRECISION,
https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-...165450254.html

Although I am not a huge fan of the AR platform, I have been impressed with my Aero.
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Old December 27, 2018, 07:06 PM   #3
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There are a number of good quality ARs in that price range.

Two factory built (and backed) guns that are worthy are the S&W M&P15 Sport II, and the Ruger AR556.
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Old December 28, 2018, 12:10 PM   #4
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All of the above mentioned options, the Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport II, the Ruger AR556, and the Aero Precision are very good options for a good entry-level AR15 type rifle.

The M&P15 Sport II and the Ruger AR556 are more alike than they are different. There are differences but they probably won't be very apparent to a first-time AR owner. Both have 16.5 long barrels with carbine-length gas systems and traditional A2 front sight towers, and both come with very basic polymer furniture. The M&P15 Sport II has a 1:9 twist barrel and the Ruger a 1:8 twist barrel.

The Aero Precision model that was linked has a mid-length gas system and a 16" barrel with a faster 1:7 twist rate, and again a traditional A2 front sight tower. Notice that particular rifle does not come with a magazine or a rear sight. You could easily add a flip-up rear sight to the Picatinny rail on the receiver top for a modest additional expense.

A mid-length gas system on a 16" barrel will have a little bit less recoil than the shorter carbine length gas system, but then the recoil of .223 Rem/5.56x45 is not that great anyway. But the longer gas system also allows you to mount a longer hand guard and gives you a longer sight radius when using "iron" sights.

Personally, if I was going to buy an Aero Precision from Brownells right now, I would go with this model:

http://www.brownells.com/firearms/ri...RO%2bPRECISION

This also has a 16" 1:7 twist barrel with a mid-length gas system, but it is a flat-top model with no front sight tower. This model would require you to add both a hand guard and a butt stock in addition to sights and a magazine, but it would allow you to pick out a butt stock that you liked instead of the usually quite basic butt stocks that come on ARs in this price range. This rifle is also set up to add a free-floated hand guard. A free-floated hand guard is attaches only its rear end to the upper receiver and does not contact the barrel at any point. It extends far enough forward to cover the cut down front gas block in addition to the gas tube. Most free-float hand guards have Picatinny rails milled into the top and sometimes the sides and bottoms. Some have mounting slots/holes on the sides and bottom to mount accessories like sling swivel QD sockets, weapons lights, tripods, etc. With this type of hand guard you would also need to add a flip-up front sight if you wanted the option of open ("iron") sights.

Free-floated hand guards allow for a bit greater potential accuracy because any force applied to the hand guard from a sling, bipod, front bag support, or just your hand, is not applied to the barrel itself.

Another really attractive option in the same general price range is the Ruger AR556 MPR.

http://www.sportsmansoutdoorsupersto...-purpose-rifle

This rifle has an 18" barrel with a longer-still rifle length gas system. The photo shows the free-floated hand guard in place. Again, this is a flat-top that comes with no front or rear sight. In comparison to the basic Ruger AR556 it has a nicer Magpul butt stock and pistol grip, a much nicer two-stage trigger, and a pretty cool muzzle brake.
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Old December 28, 2018, 01:11 PM   #5
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If you're just getting something for the sake of getting something, you might want to hold off and save up for something a little higher end.

For a couple hundred dollars more, you can get a BCM upper, slap an inexpensive lower on it and be in a very good spot. BCM makes top-notch rifles and accessories.
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Old December 28, 2018, 03:57 PM   #6
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The Smith, Ruger and PSA guns are all good guns and all go bang. Go get one and hit the range and give them a try, if you like them you can always pick up a different upper and put it on your lower if you want something different. The great thing about the AR is the amount of aftermarket support, there like Legos, take them apart and put them back together in a different configuration.
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Old December 28, 2018, 04:09 PM   #7
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I agree you won't go wrong with the S&W M&P15 Sport II or the Ruger AR556.
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Old December 28, 2018, 07:53 PM   #8
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I've had good luck with many Palmetto State Armory products. I think they're great entry level rifles.
However, if I were buying a complete AR, I'd be looking for a Sig M400 Tread.

https://www.sigsauer.com/store/sigm400-tread.html
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:17 PM   #9
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They're all pretty much the same. All the BCG's will be about the same, the only difference I could imagine is the staking of the gas key may be better with some, but they'll all work. Triggers will all be the same 8lb single stage mil spec ones, all will use the flimsy collapsible stock and the uncomfortable mil spec pistol grip.

The barrels are where the biggest difference will be seen and you'll have to do some research into what the twist rates are and what the finish for them is (melonite, chrome plate, etc.)

If I were looking in the sub $500 price range, I would look at PSA complete uppers and grab one on sale and build the lower. The buttstock, trigger, and pistol grip are what you're going to want to customize to your liking. The collapsible stock is a total gimmick; unless you are a dwarf a fixed stock is more than adequate.

Building a lower is very simple, Sootch00 has a great video on Full30 of a BCM lower build he did.

https://www.full30.com/watch/MDEyNTk...ower-parts-kit

Explains everything, you don't need a vice to hold the lower. Trickiest part was when driving the bolt catch pin in. I sat on the floor and held the lower with my feet and tapped it in.
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odugrad View Post
If you're just getting something for the sake of getting something, you might want to hold off and save up for something a little higher end.

For a couple hundred dollars more, you can get a BCM upper, slap an inexpensive lower on it and be in a very good spot. BCM makes top-notch rifles and accessories.
If one is going to get something for the sake of getting it, getting something that's more expensive makes no sense. If it's something that won't be shot very often, it makes no sense for it to be top of the line. Budget AR's today are very affordable these days and they're well made and easy to fix.
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:59 PM   #11
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Honestly, there are no good AR’s at that price. Sorry. There are many shootable AR’s for $500 and you should enjoy it.
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Old December 29, 2018, 12:45 AM   #12
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Honestly, there are no good AR’s at that price. Sorry. There are many shootable AR’s for $500 and you should enjoy it.
What to you makes an AR "good?" If a rifle works, is accurate to reasonable engagement distances, and runs in less than ideal environments, how is it not good?

Not every AR needs to have a $300 trigger, $200 free float handguard, $300 heavy barrel with a match grade chamber, and the lower made by Spikes.

I know that the S&W M&P15 uses all mil-spec parts, so if the beat up AR's the military uses work fine, how can a brand new AR built to the same specs not be a good AR?
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Old December 29, 2018, 07:53 AM   #13
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. The collapsible stock is a total gimmick; unless you are a dwarf a fixed stock is more than adequate.
I disagree. Collapsible stocks are handy when you're shooting with your wife or kids and need to shorten the length of pull a little for them, or when shooting with heavy gear on and you need to shorten a bit.
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Old December 29, 2018, 08:37 AM   #14
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I know that the S&W M&P15 uses all mil-spec parts, so if the beat up AR's the military uses work fine, how can a brand new AR built to the same specs not be a good AR?
Prove it... I can tell you off the top that the m&p sport ii does not use milspec barrel steel. They proudly list 4140. This and most of their cost reduction ideas are fine, but if you think you are getting a semi auto M4 at that price, you are just wrong. It costs money to procure 4150 chrome lined 1:7 twist barrels. HPT & MPI’d bolt carrier groups are double the price of a basic toolcraft. BCG’s do break. Barrels wear. These may not happen for a long time in a 500 round per year civilian life. I get that.

Now, do you think they just might go to IndoMIM or whatever offshore MIM house can make their 800,000 LPK’s per year the cheapest? Colt is the baseline. If you are selling your gun for less than Colt, you are cutting a corner or 2. If you are selling for 1/2 price of a Colt, you tell me....are they same-same?

Now, the important things. These low cost Ruger, S&W, East Asian AR’s look like a decent way to buy in. Ergos are what separate great AR’S from average. Can I put the Magpul SL furniture set on it easily? Can I put in a RA140 trigger without Dremeling the lower? Can I mount a light to the handguard? What do I have to do to make this happen? Does it cost more than just buying the Colt/Aero/FN/etc.

Would I have been better off buying the Colt or Aero OEM rifle and furniture/sights of my choosing? This is all I’m saying.
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Old December 29, 2018, 08:53 AM   #15
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LINK

I’m sure I’m missing some key point, but this looks like a solid rifle for $469....and yes, it will use the standard interchangeable parts format.

No, it is not a Colt M4 equivalent, but it is still pretty good, I believe.
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Old December 29, 2018, 09:01 AM   #16
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Truthtellers, You can take it a step further and say if you're getting something just for the sake of getting something you're wasting every penny you're spending.

But if you're going to spend the money anyway, may as well get something solid.
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Old December 29, 2018, 09:06 AM   #17
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I think the most important thing about purchasing most anything isn't necessarily parts but procedure. Sure, a company can procure "mil-spec" parts and assemble a rifle. But that doesn't mean it's going to be quality.

Companies and brands don't set themselves apart by using "mil-spec" components. They set themselves apart by their quality control and assembly processes. I'd rather spend a little more on a company that has an excellent qa/qc process.
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Old December 30, 2018, 08:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bp22 View Post
first let me say I know nothing about these guns for the most part, I see a lot of the 450 to 550 priced ars, i.m wondering all of these guns in that price range are pretty much the same inexpensive but go bang, do any in that price range seem to have an advantage? I think I want one but will not spend for the higher price right now. any advice you people can give will be appreciated.
Just went to Tanner Gun Show yesterday, Denver..the show should be called the 'AR' show..many, many for sale..a couple of tables with 12-15 just lined up and $549 show special' sign..
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Old December 30, 2018, 09:49 AM   #19
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sounds like a big show, the ones close to me are avg, unless you go to Atlanta.
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Old December 30, 2018, 09:04 PM   #20
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Another option is to build one. I built my first one two years ago after I bought a stripped lower from a LGS. From there, I figured I’d buy all the remaining parts online bit by bit so as to spread out the cost over time and not take a financial hit all at once. Plus, I also thought building one would help me better understand how it functions and how to disassemble or repair it later on. I found building it just as much fun as shooting it, and can’t wait to build another one.

Anyway, since my stripped lower was a Stag Arms lower, I figured I’d go with a Stag Arms upper. I got the one with the chrome-lined barrel and Magpul furniture. Only thing I added that’s not Stag is a BCM lower parts kit that included BCM’s trigger. I think in the end it cost me about $700 for all the parts. The cost of tools was separate, but I hope to use them to build more later. I think it took me 4 to 5 months to get everything before I started building it.

Also, I believe Colt sells a “skeletonized” AR that allows you to add your own furniture separately for a little above your price range. Just thought I’d throw that out there as yet another option.
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Old December 31, 2018, 10:23 AM   #21
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Prove it... I can tell you off the top that the m&p sport ii does not use milspec barrel steel. They proudly list 4140. This and most of their cost reduction ideas are fine, but if you think you are getting a semi auto M4 at that price, you are just wrong. It costs money to procure 4150 chrome lined 1:7 twist barrels. HPT & MPI’d bolt carrier groups are double the price of a basic toolcraft. BCG’s do break. Barrels wear. These may not happen for a long time in a 500 round per year civilian life. I get that.

Now, do you think they just might go to IndoMIM or whatever offshore MIM house can make their 800,000 LPK’s per year the cheapest? Colt is the baseline. If you are selling your gun for less than Colt, you are cutting a corner or 2. If you are selling for 1/2 price of a Colt, you tell me....are they same-same?

Now, the important things. These low cost Ruger, S&W, East Asian AR’s look like a decent way to buy in. Ergos are what separate great AR’S from average. Can I put the Magpul SL furniture set on it easily? Can I put in a RA140 trigger without Dremeling the lower? Can I mount a light to the handguard? What do I have to do to make this happen? Does it cost more than just buying the Colt/Aero/FN/etc.

Would I have been better off buying the Colt or Aero OEM rifle and furniture/sights of my choosing? This is all I’m saying.
If there was ever a gun snob...…..
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Old December 31, 2018, 10:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by osbornk
If there was ever a gun snob...…..
I’ll take that as long as you read post#15 again...where I suggested a $469 rifle....
Quote:
LINK

I’m sure I’m missing some key point, but this looks like a solid rifle for $469....and yes, it will use the standard interchangeable parts format.

No, it is not a Colt M4 equivalent, but it is still pretty good, I believe.
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Old December 31, 2018, 10:39 AM   #23
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https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/20...polymer-ar-15/

Do you have different results?
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Old December 31, 2018, 11:06 AM   #24
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Nathan said:
Honestly, there are no good AR’s at that price. Sorry.

Well, I am a full time gunsmith and I have been a gunsmith now for 50 years. I also am a former CEO of a bullet company, and was in "insider" within the industry for years, and I still maintain contact with the younger generation who are currently in upper management within much of the sporting arms industry.

Sorry Nathan, but the Emperor really is naked.

Very few if any manufacturers of AR15 within the USA use 100% parts made by their own company. I would bet the number is exactly ZERO. And the parts that are available in that market have to step into one of the most competitive markets for selling parts in the entire industry.

Have there been poor ARs in the past? Yes!
Are there any now? NO!

If a $500 AR is not good, what is it? Bad? Mediocre?
I don't like the triggers that come in them as a rule, but I have probably had 30 of them come to my shop and shooting range in the last 3 months all the least accurate one I shot would still shoot close to MOA with my ammo. And so far not a single one has had reliability problems .. Not one jam. NOT 1!

As was said above, you need to define what "Good" means to YOU before you can make that claim with any credibility.

I was a US Marine at the end of the Vietnam war era and I was issued an M16-A1 in Boot camp. Later in my time as a Marine I was given an original M16s (not "A" anything) because that is what some of our "friends' was still using and I can tell you and all the readers here, the ARs I see today for $450- to $500 are far better then the M16 I was using at times in those days, in various places that US advisers were sent to train other troops.

The A2 models that came into use in 1982 cured most of the problems we saw with the original M16 and even the few that were left in the A1 models. What you can get at Wal-Mart today is better then any M16 or M16-A1 I ever used in the 70s.

Today many seem to think that hanging do-dads on their AR makes it better. Maybe you think such additions makes it "good" but that would have to mean that is was not good before. Or did I miss something there?

I could not disagree more with your statement. $500 dollar ARs are good.

In the same way a Ruger M77 MK2 is good, but not as refined as a Classic newly made German Mauser M98. The Mauser is nicer and prettier and slicker. It is the best you can buy. That doesn't make a Ruger bad.

Same thing is true with the $500 ARs you can buy today.

Yes--- they are good.

If you want to install do-dads on them and even some up-graded parts like a match trigger you can make it better, but that doesn't mean it was not good to start out. They work very well and they are accurate.

They are using the same basic parts in most cases as many other ARs that cost far more. The high priced ones cost more because some people don't know that they use the same parts as the less expensive ones. In other words for a basic AR carbine all the ones costing a great deal more are just ripping off the buyers and to keep from admitting that, most will convince themselves (and everyone that they can get to listen to them) that the Emperor has beautiful new cloths.

If you believe a cheese grader hand-guard, or different plastic stock and grip, and other such things make the rifle worth $1000 more go ahead and spend the money. You earned it and it's your money to do with as you see fit. It's doubtful anyone is going to try to deride your decision because it is 100% your right to spend you money as you like.
But deriding other less expensive ARs to shore up your belief in the value of your AR is doing the same thing. Please base you statement on facts not just emotions.

Explain yourself please.

You should not write such a thing unless you define "good" first.

And give us reasons as to why X part is so much "better" then Y part. How did it make the gun work better, last longer or hit targets that are smaller or farther away?

If it doesn't do any of those things I doubt it's better and if it is better, is it $800, $1000, or $1500 better?

Last edited by Wyosmith; December 31, 2018 at 11:16 AM.
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Old December 31, 2018, 11:33 AM   #25
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@wyosmith....

I thought I was being factual. I’m sure you read my posts.


On the other hand, I have a great deal of respect for your experience and knowledge with firearms. If you say that all of these are good, let’s go with that. You certainly know what you have seen and you see more than most of us. I only know what I have bought, handled and shot. I read about the rest. I don’t have an ATI OMNI, S&W Sport II or DPMS Oracle. If they are “good” by your word, then they are good.

Is not running and 3.5” at 100 yds good? That was in the article I posted.
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