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 last time I went to the range I was politely accused of cutting the barrel to an illegal length.”
I would have just as politely told them that, “you have just accused me of a federal crime. You have three options,
prove it, withdraw the accusation & apologize, or draw.
I don’t care which.”
It’s as simple as A B C:
Was it a POW, or did you have a 2 shop?
I remember some soldiers who claimed that the best way to clean it was to put on a blank adapter, then fill up the barrel and upper receiver with break free, let it rest for a minute, then fire a couple of blanks through it. Nothing quite like high pressure solvent to rip out carbon.
I’ve had the Ruger 556 since July...er, uh...then the houseboat sank.
But up ‘til then, I had so much fun with it, switched from the AimPoint red dot to a Leupold so I could see better at 100 yds.
Darn house boat...!
The thought did cross my mind. I didn’t thought, I just smiled and told him it was stock. Then resumed shooting.
I’m gonna get flamed for this but you can’t beat an Olympic Arms CAR-97 for when your targets get to close for your Savage Arms .308 cal
It makes the difference whether they sell out for the bucks and continue to sell junk or rectify the problem.
For a $200 tax you can go the NFA route (state rules vary). My 11.5” Colt plinks just fine and hangs ready for home defense as well (short size + suppressor + 30 round mag = premium CQB gun).
I think $1300 gets anyone a very nice AR, though some here curiously do not. For that money you could get a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 at full retail price. For $500 more you’re in Remington ACR territory.
Heh. You’re supposed to write, “I’m looking for an AR-15 in order to single-handedly destroy all evil on the planet and for plinking, but mostly for plinking.”
I’m sure you had the best of advice on selection by now, so I’ll retire back to my reading...
I first fired a M-16 in 1970 in the Army. I have owned a number of semi-auto variants since then. They are great little rifles if you know their limitations:
They must be kept clean and properly lubed.
Shoot only good quality commercial ammo.
If a round doesn’t chamber properly on the first try, throw the round away.
Never chamber a round without the magazine inserted & always chamber from the magazine.
He was wearing a shirt from a gun shop, seems like he should know what he’s talking about.
But then I’ve been in several gun shops where they don’t, seeking to replace my collection after the accident of course.
.223. Gas piston.
Now if THIS isn’t interesting:
Accident? You too? What a coincidence! What are the odds? Mine involved a canoe, a large, rutting beaver, a one eyed albino bobcat with 2 tails and a gallon of homemade wine.
Amen to that. Buy a Mini 14 and spend the money you save on ammo. Especially the cheap lacquered Russian ammo that most ARs choke on but a Mini will chow down all day.
Well when you’re plinking..make sure to plink em’ in the knee’s...LOL
I’ll bet you’re fibbing about the wine.
That’s the only thing we managed to save, for a while at least.
You might be able to sell the girl and get another AR.
If you behave right you might have the AR longer anyway.
Be careful of tragic boating accidents and robberies.
For the guy wanting to plink... get an AK-47. ARs should be for serious work or driving tacks.
If you look on the Internet you can find a good priced, new, Colt/UMAREX M4-22LR.
I just picked up one of those and it is the same as an AR-15 or M4 but the 22LR lets you shoot the crap out of it without damaging your pocketbook. They are just plain FUN to shoot!
You forgot one sweet "mod"... The Shrike 5.56 Belt Feed Conversion for the M-16 / AR-15 Family of Weapons
Saying an SIG 556 is an AR platform is stretching the term a bit don’t you think?
You can’t have AR accuracy with a gas piston. The reciprcating mass attached to the barrel is the primary cause of innacuracy among AKs. It’s also why a DI AR is more accurate then a M1A.
“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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