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Venturing Into The AR World

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  • Venturing Into The AR World

    Hello friends, I've been thinking of getting one of the basic AR's that are currently on the market. So far I'm considering the Ruger AR556, Springfield Armory Saint, S&W M&P 15 Sporter II and the Aero Precision AC-15M. Other than experience with the M-16 A1 and A2 as a Misguided Child, I have never owned an AR. I'm just looking for a basic rifle for plinking, etc, robust enough for self defense/shtf and at a reasonable cost. I know you guys have a wealth of knowledge, hoping to benefit from your insight, thanks.

  • #2
    Really there are sooooo many out there that fit your description would be best to decide on budget then just look at several different models in that price range. You will most likely find they are extremely similar. The ones you mentioned all have slight differences like furniture (type/brand of grip, stock, and handguards) or barrel profile. Otherwise, they're all the same gun. I'd probably turn my nose up at DPMS, ATI, Diamondback, and few other real low end and pay the $40 more. From what you listed the SW is probably lowest retail price. Del-Ton would be another to check out if you want a basic, budget-friendly, reliable AR.
    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    -- Benjamin Franklin

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    • #3
      M&P Sport 2

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      • #4
        palmetto upper and lower pistol group, two pins done $500 bucks, no form sbr paperwork $200 buck tax or wait.and can you say Commando model. 0520181241.jpg

        The cheapest thing i own...put in G trig group, and it shoots real quick if you want to empty a 30 round mag fast. good luck in whatever you do. but buy something. Krink
        NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR VISION!

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        • #5
          In my opinion there's no reason to pay good money for a "brand name" AR. With very few exceptions, everybody uses pretty much the same receivers, barrels, bolts, and trigger parts. The lower receivers with the fancy logo with a spider or elk head or skull on the magazine well are all the same, just with the different logo. (Order enough receivers from the forge and they'll put whatever you want on the mag well.) What I'm saying is "Shop for best price".

          As far as "quality", it's really hard to make a "bad" AR. they just bolt together like an erector set. I've only seen one "bad" rifle, and it was a Del-Ton carbine that my son bought. At 25 yards it printed about 5" right and 7" low. This was during the big AR buying frenzy years ago, right before Obama was sworn in for his first term, and I think the manufacturers were making parts as fast as they could. It appears that dialed the speed up too high on the machine that cut the barrel threads on the fitting on the front of the receiver, and when the threading die bit in to start cutting the threads it distorted the front surface that the barrel seats against, pulling some of the aluminum forward. I bought a receiver truing tool from Brownells and turned it by hand in the receiver with some valve grinding compound on it, which trued up the front of the receiver, then re-mounted the barrel. Fixed it.

          Also, if you want to save money, look on line to find a good price on a lower receiver - I seem regularly for as little as $49.00, then buy a "rifle kit". The kit will come with a complete upper receiver and a "lower parts kit" which includes the loose parts needed to flesh out the lower receiver. So all you have to do is install the parts on the lower receiver, then just mount the factory-completed upper on the lower with the two take-down pins, load 'er up and go to the range.

          As to time it takes to build the lower with the included kit of parts, back when we were doing rifles for ourselves and for my nephews, my son got the time to build up the lower down to 45 minutes.

          (The advantage of going with a "rifle kit" is money saved. If you buy a complete rifle then the 11% Federal Excise Tax is included in the price. With a kit, you're not buying a complete rifle - you're just buying parts. There's no FET on parts. Of course, if you really want to send some more tax money to the FedGov, then go ahead and buy that complete rifle.)

          By the way, all of my assumptions are that you are going with a "standard G.I. rifle", not one with a gas piston or other complications (which are unnecessary anyway). If you want a rifle for just shooting, the plain old G.I. pattern rifle will do the job. If you want a rifle to show off to your buddies then go ahead and option it out, but it won't shoot any better than the standard G.I. rifle.
          Last edited by Chief351; July 10th, 2018, 13:34.
          Freedom Of Speech does not include freedom from consequences.

          When riding a horse, remember that you are not in control, but are just another voting member.

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          • #6
            Here's more of my retro-grouch ramblings:

            Gas-piston rifles - My AR has a gas piston - it's just inside the bolt! If you're talking about a gas piston out front where the gas port is, I have no use for them. The main complaint people have about the regular AR gas system is that the bolt gets very dirty. Well, my rifles (FAL, AK) with gas pistons out front get dirty too. You still have to remove the bolt on these rifles to clean 'em, but now you've got something else, the gas piston and it's associated parts, to clean as well. The genius of Eugene Stoner's design is that, by ducting propellant gasses back to the receiver and into the bolt itself, he accomplished two things: First he cut down on weight out front as well as eliminating a fairly heavy part slamming back and forth with each shot. Second, by introducing high pressure propellant gasses into the gas chamber in the bolt and converting the bolt itself into the piston, he made the thrust of the piston concentric with the bolt. That's why there is very little in the way of guide rails on the AR bolt. And this last fact is the downfall of many of the gas piston designs, in that the thrust of the gases on the bolt carrier are now off center (They usually replace the gas key on the top of the bolt with a solid lug for the piston to push against.) which, combined with the paucity of guide rails (not needed with the standard AR gas system) allows the bolt to tilt. This typically beats the heck out of the bottom front of the buffer tube, eventually causing it to fail. Finally, if you go to a "gas piston" AR, you no longer have a "standard" rifle, making your supply of gas system, front sight block and bolt parts a chancy thing in the future, as they are now proprietary parts unique to whatever manufacturer made your stuff, and who's to say they'll still be around in 10 years or so time?

            Picatinny rails - Unless you want to hang multiple electronics or lights or lasers or bottle openers etc. then just buy a regular G.I. round handguard. It seems that a lot of folks pay extra for a railed handguard, then find that the edges of the rails are so sharp that they are uncomfortable, so they then spend even more money on rail covers. this gives them pretty much the same gripping surface as the G.I. handguards anyway. Just heavier and more spendy.

            Light - I do have a "tactical" flashlight on my "social" AR, but no laser (I can't call in any air strikes anyway, so have no need of a laser target designator, and I really feel an obligation to be able to see my target well enough to identify it, so the light is fine for me). I bought a little sort of "saddle mount" thingy from some Israeli outfit that bolts on to the G.I. handguard and which gives me a piece of picatinny rail about 2" long that accepts the light mount. The light mounts at about 45 degrees on the handguard so it's out of the way. The light has a pressure switch on a cord that I installed on the handguard with some big rubber bands from Schwinn Tactical (in other words, a mountain bike inner tube that I got at Wal-Mart that I cut up).

            Vertical forward grips - I suppose if you think it works for you, then go ahead, but it feels to me like just something else to hang up on stuff, doesn't feel as "natural" as a regular old G.I. handguard, and it keeps me from going prone or getting down behind cover.

            Bi-Pod - Kids' these days! I was taught to hold my rifle like a man, and for longer ranges to sling up in a bone supported position. It cracks me up to see these guys on a pistol range burning up their ammo at 10 yards from a bench using a bi-pod, and they still can't hit the broad side of a barn if they were standing inside of it - but they sure make noise. (And I usually get a lot of once-fired brass if I wait around until they leave!).

            Sling - I guess I've gotten lazy in my old age as I've finally put away my 1907 leather slings. But I have used a G.I. web sling, and the old Vietnam 2-point nylon sling. They all work just fine, and if you want to go for a sling supported position for accuracy you can always set the length to use 'em as a hasty sling. I have no use for a single point sling. Don't like the rifle banging me in the legs, and if I ever had to get behind cover I'd probably jam the muzzle into the dirt and have a barrel obstruction.

            Optical sight - Go ahead, but make sure you get one with a 2-MOA dot. A lot of 'em come with 4-MOA dots, which means that, at 300 yards, the dot subtends 12" of your target. The typical human chest is around 18" wide, so a big dot hides a lot of the target. A lot of guys like the holo-type sights, but I prefer a tube. Whatever you like, but remember the spare batteries.

            Iron sights - I shot NRA Service Rifle for years until my cataracts reared their ugly head, so I think that the irons that came on the standard A2 rifle were great (once I replaced them with 1/2-MOA per click sights). For my "social" rifle I have a MagPul folding rear sight, but I run the standard AR triangle iron sight on the front. My BUIS is co-witnessed with my dot sight though.

            Magazines - The old aluminum G.I. 20-round mags work fine for me, although the grab-and-go G.I. pistol belt I keep ready is set up to hold 4 30-rounders. I don't really see the point of the polymer mags, but if you like 'em and test 'em for reliability I guess they're OK inn that case.

            Anyway, I guess that's pretty much what works for me. As you can probably tell, I'm not one to have to have all of the latest bells and whistles.

            Hope my opinions get you to thinking, and maybe save some money.
            Last edited by Chief351; July 10th, 2018, 14:53.
            Freedom Of Speech does not include freedom from consequences.

            When riding a horse, remember that you are not in control, but are just another voting member.

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            • #7
              Gentlemen, thank you very much for your insight. Chief351, thanks for your retro-grouch ramblings! I ordered an Aero Precision AC-15M from Brownells that should arrive at my FFL by Friday. Rear sight and mag not included but a buddy is going to hook me up for those. Total cost $639.00. Gotta get some ammo. I think I have a Blawkhawk M-16 style sling in a box somewhere. Pretty excited, fingers crossed!

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              • #8
                My views aren't popular around here, but I would not get a budget AR. The price on name brand ARs is too low right now to justify something cheap. I'd go with Colt, Bravo Company, LMT, or Daniel Defense. I would also consider a CMMG, which is cheap right now. Most other brands either don't give you a chrome lined barrel, or do something strange. Of course, you could buy an upper from any of these companies and get a budget lower. The upper is the most important part. You don't see a lot of failed lowers....
                How miserable that man is that governs a People where six parts of seven at least are poor, indebted, discontented, and armed. - William Berkley... Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia (1670'ish).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Southern Shark View Post
                  My views aren't popular around here, but I would not get a budget AR. The price on name brand ARs is too low right now to justify something cheap. I'd go with Colt, Bravo Company, LMT, or Daniel Defense. I would also consider a CMMG, which is cheap right now. Most other brands either don't give you a chrome lined barrel, or do something strange. Of course, you could buy an upper from any of these companies and get a budget lower. The upper is the most important part. You don't see a lot of failed lowers....
                  I agree 100% with buying a "quality" upper and running it on a "generic" lower.
                  Freedom Of Speech does not include freedom from consequences.

                  When riding a horse, remember that you are not in control, but are just another voting member.

                  Comment

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