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AR-15: What do I look for?
vanity | 9/26/2010 | vanity

Posted on 09/26/2010 5:34:36 PM PDT by aimhigh

I'm thinking about getting an AR-15, mostly for plinking. There are so many out AR models out there I'm not sure where to start. What features are the most important to look for in narrowing down my search. I'm in the market to pay up to $1300.


TOPICS: Hobbies
KEYWORDS: ar15; banglist
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1 posted on 09/26/2010 5:34:37 PM PDT by aimhigh
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To: aimhigh

make sure it has a bolt....


2 posted on 09/26/2010 5:35:51 PM PDT by usmcobra (.Islam: providing Live Targets for United States Marines since 1786!)
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To: aimhigh

Start by looking here...

http://www.ar15.com/


3 posted on 09/26/2010 5:36:01 PM PDT by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: aimhigh

5.56 ammo is kinda expensive for plinking. I used to have a bushmaster before the boating accident. It was pretty nice.


4 posted on 09/26/2010 5:36:01 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: aimhigh
plinking...right.
look for any wear in the barrel. Ensure that the rifling is smooth. That the iron sights are not bent. No cracking in the plastic. Make sure that you do some plinking before buying it.
5 posted on 09/26/2010 5:39:30 PM PDT by Paul46360
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To: aimhigh

Plink with a Marlin, shoot with an ArmaLite.


6 posted on 09/26/2010 5:39:52 PM PDT by TSgt (Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho - 44th and current President of the United States)
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To: driftdiver

My LMT was a real nice rifle before it fell overboard as well.


7 posted on 09/26/2010 5:40:03 PM PDT by cryptical (The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: cryptical

A local shop has a large collection of sig rifles they will sell. Any experience with those?


8 posted on 09/26/2010 5:41:57 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: aimhigh

Here is a superlight Bushmaster.

http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_MAZ-C1516SLORC.asp


9 posted on 09/26/2010 5:42:40 PM PDT by ansel12 ([fear of Islam.] Once you are paralyzed by fear of Mohammedanism...you have lost the battle.)
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To: aimhigh

When you get it. Keep it.
I bought mine for $440 in 1980 through a gun club in the Navy. Sold it for $650 twelve years later to buy an engagement ring for my girl. I still got the girl, but Oh how I miss that AR-15.


10 posted on 09/26/2010 5:43:01 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: aimhigh
Another FReeper here said he was going this route too.
11 posted on 09/26/2010 5:47:18 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Don't listen to what they say, watch what they do.)
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To: driftdiver

Held one once, looked well built. I don’t recall if they use regular AR magazines, but I’d be concerned about that, and make sure they have standard rails for optics and lights.


12 posted on 09/26/2010 5:47:32 PM PDT by cryptical (The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: aimhigh
You can probably get a new Bushmaster Match for that money. I'd get a flattop and put some kind of scope or optical sight on it. ☺
13 posted on 09/26/2010 5:48:52 PM PDT by Quickgun (As a former fetus, I'm opposed to abortion. Mamas don't let your cowboys grow up to be babies..)
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To: aimhigh
LOL!!! I thought you were wanting some guidance for the midterm election in the 15th Congressional District in Arkansas. My bad, dude.
14 posted on 09/26/2010 5:49:00 PM PDT by no dems (DeMINT / PALIN 2012 or PALIN / DeMINT 2012.......Either is fine with me!)
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To: aimhigh

If you want a fun semi-auto for plinking that’s inexpensive, I would go with an M1 Carbine. You can also get a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in the same round that is really nice. Both for under $1300.


15 posted on 09/26/2010 5:49:14 PM PDT by stuartcr (Nancy Pelosi-Super MILF.................................Moron I'd Like to Forget)
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To: aimhigh

Bushmaster
DPMS
Armalite

I believe Ruger makes a good one now as well.


16 posted on 09/26/2010 5:49:45 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: cryptical

Reading a little here http://www.shoot-straight.com/p-488-sig556-swat.aspx and it appears they are standard. Quite a bit more expensive though.


17 posted on 09/26/2010 5:49:53 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: aimhigh

For plinking, save some money and get a 10-22.

If you want an AR, decide what your needs are.

Light weight and easily carried, the flat top 16” barreled collapsible stocked varient will serve you well. The flat top allows iron sights or a host of optical sights.

If you want more on target energy, get a 20” barrel.

The super light barrels carry well, but you may realize better accuracy with a slightly beefier barrel.

There are a number of good makers out there now, Colt, Bushmaster, Rock River among others. These 3 are all top notch.


18 posted on 09/26/2010 5:51:14 PM PDT by wrench
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: aimhigh
It's hard to get a crappy off the shelf AR. Century and Olympic seem to have the largest "hate clubs." That bit of information is worth exactly what you paid for it.

You could build a nice one for that kind of scratch.

Buy a quality lower, and a complete parts kit from any one of maybe a dozen manufacturers. You might even be able to get a parts kit AND an additional upper. (Think .22LR upper for dirt cheap practice/training on the same platform.)

Like another said above, ar15.com is a great place to start. Look for the "stickies" in the tech section.
20 posted on 09/26/2010 5:56:47 PM PDT by Sylvester McMonkey McBean
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To: aimhigh
LaRue Tactical:
http://stores.homestead.com/Laruetactical/StoreFront.bok

If you live in Texas, they're a great resource for all your AR needs and advice. Even if you don't live in Texas.

$1,300 won't buy much. But then, if you're only looking for something for fooling around, it might buy a beater. Bought just my upper receiver from LaRue for around $1,700.

21 posted on 09/26/2010 5:57:38 PM PDT by fwdude (Anita Bryant was right.)
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To: aimhigh

Cant go wrong with the Sig 556 classic little spendy @ around 1600 msrp. But outside of a Noveske it is probably the best AR platform around. I used to have both before the tragic boating accident in 250 feet of water. Dang hate it when that happens. :)


22 posted on 09/26/2010 5:57:48 PM PDT by Jackalope Hunter (Happiness is a belt fed weapon, Heaven is some good Enfilade.)
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To: NavyCanDo

AMEN! Bought a Colt in ‘87. Sold it in ‘90.
All parts inside were stamped with a “C”.
Triangular handguard. Bought an FN/FAL in ‘99.
Then the dust up in the sandbox kicked off and almost all mil-surp went bye-bye. Picked up a Bushmaster in ‘07.
Miss that first one.


23 posted on 09/26/2010 5:59:12 PM PDT by rickb308 (I love watching libruls heads explode as they see their dogma run over by their karma.)
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To: driftdiver

Anything made by Sig is good. If you can afford it you won’t be disappointed.


24 posted on 09/26/2010 5:59:31 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: aimhigh
I had a Colt with a 7.62x39 upper for quite a while, and loved it. 100 rounds right hand, 100 rounds left hand was about all I could do though. It kicked a lot more than the standard 5.56. And I tend toward the tiny/fragile scale.

Sold it to attend culinary school. Should have skipped school and kept that and the AR-50.

/johnny

25 posted on 09/26/2010 5:59:34 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: driftdiver

Bad luck about the boating accident, I lost my entire collection in one of those.


26 posted on 09/26/2010 6:00:10 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Obama. Chauncey Gardiner without the homburg.)
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To: sfg-18b

I havent seen one at the range but then I don’t get there often enough. Sig arms generally are high quality and they sure do look good.


27 posted on 09/26/2010 6:00:45 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: TSgt

Mossberg is supposed to be coming out with a $250.00 .22lr AR15.


28 posted on 09/26/2010 6:03:05 PM PDT by rickb308 (I love watching libruls heads explode as they see their dogma run over by their karma.)
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To: aimhigh

I’ve long felt that the AR-15/M16 were too fragile, temperamental, and difficult to clean for my tastes.

If you want to do a good job cleaning them, you’ll need a bright light, a dental mirror, and some dental picks.


29 posted on 09/26/2010 6:04:23 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: aimhigh

Hi aimhigh,

I have a bushmaster patrol that i have never hand any trouble at all with. I would go for an A3, removable carry handle. Then i would purchase some Russian, eastern block ammo to break it in. Always keep some quality ammo around though. I added a Burris AR-332 scope that i am very happy with.

I also purchased a colt M4 OPS 22LR that i have not been so happy with. it jams often, even after sending it back to colt and having the main spring replaced.

I have heard nothing but good about Stryker Defense 22lr conversions for an AR but have never tried one. Its what all the guys at my range swear by though. Ammo for that will cost nothing.

Good luck, good shooting.


30 posted on 09/26/2010 6:06:58 PM PDT by sbhitchc (Check your premise, contradictions do not exist -Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sabastien D'anconia)
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To: aimhigh

All AR-15 type rifles will share common receivers, barrels, stocks, sights, etc. The features that are important to me may not be important to you but here are several things that will matter:

You will want a barrel suited for the type of shooting you will be doing. Barrel length and twist rate (7:1, 9:1, 12:1, etc) determine the type of ammo that can be used reliably. Generally a faster twist will be needed to stabilize heavier ammo. Also, a longer barrel is generally more accurate at longer distances than a shorter barrel.

A2 or A3 type upper receiver. An A3 receiver will allow for the mounting of optics, red dot or BUIS sights. An A2 will be limited to the handle mounted rear sight. Same holds true for the front gas block, an A2 or A1 style sight tower will limit you options, a low profile or railed block will allow the mounting of a free float tube and removable front sights.

A2 or collapsible stock. The 6 position collapsing stocks look tactical but offer no real advantage for rest or bench shooting. A standard A2 stock allows a better cheek weld and a more stable shooting position, in my opinion anyway.

As you have probably found, the AR-15 is a very popular and adaptive platform, the combination of features is almost limitless...my advice is to decide what you want it for, i.e. plinking, hunting, varminting or just plain old SHTF, and go from there. You may want to explore building you own or even more than one. Lots of folks go that route and it is not as hard as you would expect.

Good Luck...


31 posted on 09/26/2010 6:08:21 PM PDT by JrsyJack (a healthy dose of buckshot will probably get you the last word in any argument.)
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To: rickb308

Thanks for the heads up!

I’m thinking about getting one of those .22 converter kits for my AR.


32 posted on 09/26/2010 6:08:46 PM PDT by TSgt (Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho - 44th and current President of the United States)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Clean mine the way I was taught and never had a problem. No dental mirror required.


33 posted on 09/26/2010 6:09:10 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: aimhigh
Rock River Arms has a sale on now and they have a good reputation among those that have been there and done that as does Lewis Machine and Tool, Armalite, Knights.

I've shot Colts, S&W and Bushmasters and they shot well but my buddies say they don't have the quality lately.

DPMS has a good reputation and I think they manufacture parts for many of the big names but I don't know about their present quality.

Make sure you get a 5.56 Nato chamber not .223 Remington.

To get the most out of the cartridge get a 20"+ barrel, if energy isn't that big a deal then you can go with the carbine lengths.

The trend seems to be toward piston driven as opposed to the gas system of the AR, cleaner and more reliable. There are conversions or you can just buy it as a piston driven system for a little more. I'd definitely go with that

Something to take a look at is this by Benelli, takes AR mags and is piston driven and very reasonable for Benelli quality. I haven't shot one though.

34 posted on 09/26/2010 6:11:28 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: aimhigh
So you want to buy an AR-15, huh?
35 posted on 09/26/2010 6:12:42 PM PDT by smokingfrog (freerepublic.com - Thanks JimRob! The flags are back! - 8/17/2010.)
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To: TSgt

Personally, I would prefer a complete upper vs. a “conversion”. Pull one pin, replace. Then again, for the cost of the Mossberg vs. a “conversion kit” or a new upper, the Mossy might be the way to go.


36 posted on 09/26/2010 6:13:03 PM PDT by rickb308 (I love watching libruls heads explode as they see their dogma run over by their karma.)
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To: Eagles6

I really agree with the gas piston idea. AR accuracy AK reliability. The op should go here http://www.lwrci.com. I bought a different gun but if I had to do it over.


37 posted on 09/26/2010 6:21:57 PM PDT by crghill (You can't put a condom on your soul. Viva Arizona!)
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To: Eagles6

“The trend seems to be toward piston driven as opposed to the gas system of the AR, cleaner and more reliable.”

Bushmaster
http://www.bushmaster.com/products.asp?cat=6
5.56mm/.223 Caliber Gas Piston Upper / Bbl. Assembly
(About #26 down)


38 posted on 09/26/2010 6:22:04 PM PDT by rickb308 (I love watching libruls heads explode as they see their dogma run over by their karma.)
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To: aimhigh

One more suggestion.

I got the long barrel with the full stock and use iron sights. Standard military no-frills issue. Don’t get sucked into the short barrel SWAT collapsible stock crap.

When you need it most, you’ll want the accuracy and won’t have time to play with a plethora of rattling accessories hanging off the weapon.


39 posted on 09/26/2010 6:22:54 PM PDT by TSgt (Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho - 44th and current President of the United States)
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To: TSgt

i love the movie TSgt!


40 posted on 09/26/2010 6:26:07 PM PDT by sbhitchc (Check your premise, contradictions do not exist -Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sabastien D'anconia)
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To: aimhigh

Traditionally I’ve always disliked the AR-15 and all it’s ilk. Having gas ported directly back to the bolt carrier group drove me nuts. I have a proclivity for the M14/M1A.

//Donning flame retardant suite//

HOWEVER, I just finished a week of shooting the Bushmaster M6 and was really impressed. I want to own one now (I already own an M1A)! The M6 differs from the M4 in that the gas tube has been replaced with a piston/rod assembly.

Best of luck on your search.


41 posted on 09/26/2010 6:31:19 PM PDT by Toadman (((Conservative First. Molon Labe.)))
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To: aimhigh

If you’re just going to plink, buy a .22LR.


42 posted on 09/26/2010 6:32:13 PM PDT by ataDude (Its like 1933, mixed with the Carter 70s, plus the books 1984 and Animal Farm, all at the same time.)
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To: TSgt

True. I use an air rifle to keep up. (725 fps)


43 posted on 09/26/2010 6:34:40 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: aimhigh

Get the Bushie. You won’t be disappointed and they hold their value.


44 posted on 09/26/2010 6:36:58 PM PDT by panaxanax (IMPEACH THE MUSLIM MARXIST....NOW!!!)
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To: rickb308
Yeah, I think just about everyone is offering one so there must be something to it. It does make sense.

I've shot Bushmasters and they seemed fine but my buddies say that they don't hold up, at least the ones they saw.

45 posted on 09/26/2010 6:37:46 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: Eagles6

I have a bushmaster carbine. The last time I went to the range I was politely accused of cutting the barrel to an illegal length.

It also tends to be louder than the longer barrels which draws attention.


46 posted on 09/26/2010 6:39:54 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: aimhigh

If you can find one, consider a Daewoo DR 200 (.223) or the Daewoo DR300 if you like 7.62X39.

Both are what we should have built, but didn’t.


47 posted on 09/26/2010 6:42:11 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Eagles6

“but my buddies say that they don’t hold up, at least the ones they saw.”

Then Bushie would go out of business. The AR market is too cutthroat of a market to churn out crap & last long. And the AR15 Buyers Market is so tight, “real” word would get around quick & they wouldn’t be able to give them away.
Sorta like GM & their 38 cent stock. LOL.


48 posted on 09/26/2010 6:42:38 PM PDT by rickb308 (I love watching libruls heads explode as they see their dogma run over by their karma.)
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To: aimhigh

An AR15 For plinking? Man, you ARE hardcore...Or rich. :)


49 posted on 09/26/2010 6:48:46 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (Pablo is very whiney)
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To: aimhigh

I’m assuming that you want a gun for plinking now but also a gun for fighting when the time comes. My recommendation is a piston driven from LWRC. Not cheap but top quality.


50 posted on 09/26/2010 6:49:17 PM PDT by GaltTrader
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