Skip to comments.AR-15: What do I look for?
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.
“The reciprcating mass attached to the barrel is the primary cause of innacuracy”
Does that hold true for both semi and full auto platforms?
Full auto I can see. Harder to picture with a semi. Isn’t the bullet gone before the action starts to cycle?
Yes. Nation Match type matches are typically held with semi-autos and ARs rule those competitions.
The action starts to cycle before the bullet leaves the barrel. With a gas piston the mass of the piston mechanism distorts natural barrel harmonics causing vertical stringing (at best). In an M1A this is less pronounced then in a slapped together design like the AK but still is apparent enough to influence accuracy.
True, but you can buy a .22 LR adapter and plink away. I have one for my AR.. haven't used it yet though, the adapter that is.
The AR shoots 5.56 very accuracy. It was a real killer on tennis balls floating down the river. I put it together myself from a kit from Model One Sales, on a Stag Arms receiver.
A spare .22 upper is a better way to go than an adapter. Much more expensive, but more accurate and you don't have to worry about the .22 LR fowling up the gas system.
What is your intended use for the rifle? Is this at least partially a ITSHTF rifle?
If so, what is your expected engagement distance? Do you live in the country, in flat desert or prairie, where long engagement distances are to be expected? If so, a long barrel AR optimized for the long distances you would expect to encounter might be a good choice.
If you’re in wooded, hilly, suburban/urban areas where shorter distances are more likely, a shorter barrel configuration that is quicker-handling might be more appropriate.
Since you’re obviously a relative AR newbie (so am I, by the way), I would recommend buying a complete rifle, despite all the calls you will likely get to “build up your own”. Unless, that is, you are already mechanically inclined and want to go this route for that bit of a personal challenge.
It’s not too soon to start considering optics. Start budgeting up to a like amount as you have already budgeted for the rifle for those. Also, you may want to buy a rifle that comes with flip up sights so that it “plays well” with the optics you add later.
Here’s a great article on optics by our own Travis McGee:
Fastest M-4gery in the East (Friday Night Gun Thread)
Anyone looking for an AR-15 needs to read “THE CHART”
hit the tab on the bottom of the page that says “Specs”
That shows you what each manufacturer includes with each of its M4 clones. I would personally get either the BCM or Daniel Defense with a 16” mid length barrel.
They're having a sale. One can pick up a nice carbine for $1000.
The bullet is a plug in the barrel, if you will, that forces the gases into the port. If the action started after the bullet left the barrel there would be insufficient gas pressure to compress the piston. In short, the piston is shifting it's mass backwards as the bullet is clearing the muzzle, hence the muzzle rise in an AK.
Ciener seems to have a lot of problems. Google search it and you will find many unhappy people.
I had not thought of that. I’ve heard the sig 556 is very accurate and is gas piston. Have you heard anything about that particular gun?
Ya gots $1300 to spend on a plinker?
Of course you need to ask advice!
Ok folks. Looks like H & K has redone their USA website since I was last looking for a compliment to my USP & USP Compact .45acp. Was looking for info on the HK416 that was on Future Weapons on the Military Channel.
The HK416 is awesome. Bury in sand, submerse in water, pull out & start shooting.
The MR556A1 - A direct descendant of the HK416, the MR556A1 is a semi-automatic rifle developed by Heckler & Koch as a premium level commercial/civilian firearm.
Like the HK416, the MR556A1 is a major product improvement of conventional AR-type carbines and rifles.
*** Using the HK- proprietary gas piston system found on the HK416 and G36, the MR556A1 does not introduce propellant gases and carbon fouling back into the rifle’s interior, making it the most reliable of any AR-type firearm. ***
The MR556A1 uses many of the same assemblies and accessories originally developed for the HK416 including the HK free-floating four-quadrant rail system.
This handguard system allows all current accessories, sights, lights, and aimers used on M4/M16-type weapons to be fitted to the MR rifles.
*** The HK rail system can be installed and removed without tools and returns to zero when reinstalled. ***
The MR566A1 will be produced in the USA from both American and German-made components.
Like the famous HK416, the MR556A1 uses a barrel produced by Heckler & Koch’s famous cold hammer forging process.
The highest quality steel is used in this manufacturing process, producing a long life barrel that provides superior performance with minimal degradation of accuracy and muzzle velocity after prolonged use.
**** Additionally, sub assemblies like the MR556A1s upper receiver will be fully interchangeable with other high quality AR-style firearms. ****
*** Projected availability on the MR556A1 rifle and the accessory MR556A1 Upper Receiver Kit is late 2010/early 2011. ***
Suggested Retail Price: $2,995.
Yeah, 3 grand. But H&K’s are never cheap. :-(
I was much more into pistols at the time I was introduced to the 556 and, as I had quite a few SIG pistols at the time, naturally it was the rifle that I initially wanted. Production delay after production delay made me start looking elsewhere. The AR platform supports a wide variety of caliber choices from .22LR to .50 Beowulf. Free float the foregrip and put a decent trigger in it and they are surprisingly accurate as their competition numbers demonstrate. Put in some basic maintenance and it's not going to fail. So the AR is what I decided on.
I also switched to a 1911 so my SIG fascination has mostly lapsed although I have 3 SIGs that I simply can't part with.
Probably because Olympic has been around so long. They used to make some pretty sloppy cast receivers. The current ones are Lewis Machine and Tool forgings.
bookmarking for later
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