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I need some help. I got a itch for an AR. I don't know a thing about them. I've been to the normal websites for DPMS, Armalite, Colt, Bushmaster, etc. I know I'm not gonna drop $2K + for a Les Baer or Rock River, But I'm looking for a good accurate AR. Saw some listed for $1K +/-, and thats kinda the price range I'm looking for.

What's a good AR, and what mods should I do? Any and all info will be greatly appreciated. No flames about this ones better than that one. I'm looking for objective experience and not arguments. Thanks, Tracy
 

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S&w Mp15

I got one early this year Its a NICE SHOOTER. I payed $1100 for It. When you get one take it apart and lube up the gas rings.(Kleen Bore Tw25b does a nice job) I broke a ring after 300 rounds but it was dry. 1500 rounds now no problems
 

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To correct one thing you don't have to pay $2k for a Rock River. I bought one of their carbines for $1100 at a show, just about the same as any comparably equipped model from any major maker would have been.
I agree with the one guy, you need to do some research on these rifles which is what you are trying to do here, but there are so many variables on these rifles that you could literally write a book on them. It also highly depends on what you want to do with it. An AR for shooting up to 600 yards is a bunch different animal than one that is essentially a battle carbine that likely would be shot at 300 yards max.
If it helps, I have two. One is a Rock River carbine with a carbine length barrel (16"), flat top, Dominator rear sight, fitted with an EO tech holographic optical sight. The barrel is a 1 in 9" (which is okay for bullets up to 69 grain). I envisioned it as a relatively short range tool and it works quite well. One thing I like about Rock River is that they come with a good two stage trigger.
The second one is a Colt Match Target I got several years ago. I fantasized I would start shooting Highpower and had it set up with a two stage match trigger, match sights, full floating handguard. It has a 1 in 7 barrel which I was told would do a good job of stabilizing the heavier bullets that were just coming on the scene at that time. As you might guess it has never seen a Highpower match but it is quite accurate to shoot. I may invest in another upper with a heavy target barrel in either 1 in 7 or 1 in 8 with a flat top receiver so I can mount a scope to it, which I would likely get more use out of.
The great thing about the AR is that it is probably the most versatile rifle platform out there at this time.
 

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The most common AR's in our department (self owned) are Bushmasters, Colts, Rock River's, a few Stag's and five of us have LWRC's (gas piston). I carry the LWRC 6.8spc with 16" barrel. LWRC's are about $1300 to $1500 depending on the model so that may be a little more than you are looking for.

You can't go wrong with a Colt, but they are as expensive as the LWRC's. I think the best values are Rock River and Stag. The Stag's are high quality, in my experience, and around $1000.

The two mandatory upgrades I suggest is a good tactical sling and light. I didn't want a rail system on mine so I bought an after market picatiny rail that fastens right onto my handguards so I could mount the light. It's only $20 to $30. I use a Surefire Scout light, but the TLR-1 is only $100 and would be just as good. I use a Blackhawk three point sling, some like single points, and there are also two point slings like the Vtac.

The third thing, not as important if your budget is stretched, is an optic or red dot sight. They are nice for quick target acquisition and low light shooting. I use a Trijicon Tri-power. The most popular are Trijicon's, Eo-Techs, Aimpoints, and a few C-more's.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I work as a haz-mat truck driver and was at a nuclear power plant last week (my company is doing a tank cleaning job and we need tanker trailers there for storage purposes) and was talking with the security guys there. All carried a Beretta 92 w/3 mags and an AR w/3-4 30rd mags. (Guy said they could "lay down some serious firepower if the need arose). The three guys I talked to all had the "EOTech" sites on their AR's. He said I couldn't get one---only LEO & security could buy them. Is that true, or was he just feeding me a line? Thanks, Tracy
 

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I'd say line. I have an eo tech on mine and its supposed to be the mil-spec version. SWFA has a bunch of models. There may be some exotic variant that I don't know of thats sold to LE and mlitary but I don't know of it if there is (not saying much).
They cost like something they sell only to government though.:rofl:
 

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Rock River all the way. you can get them for under $1000 if you look hard enough
 

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My Colt government model A2 is a stock full size.

It looks like a musket compared to the short carbines that are so popular these days.

Still a blast to shoot though.
 

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DPMS AP4 carbine. Fun to shoot, nice small package, and less than $750. 1500 or so rounds and going strong. DPMS hits the MN shows pretty hard.

I bought an upper at a show this last weekend for my next AR. This will be a 20" SS bull barrel, flat top, CMC trigger, Hogue grip and A2 stock. Budget is about $850 w/o tax and optics.

I have friends with RRAs, BMs, Colts and even a Beowulf, all good guns. Good luck on your choice, you gotta buy one before you can buy your second or third.

ss-gar
 

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Here's a link to the infamous "chart" and its associated thread: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=6642

The link takes you to the original source of the chart, which is updated when new info comes in. Other versions of the chart are older versions or modified by someone other than the original source.

What mods you should do depend on the AR you buy and the purpose you have in mind for it. Not all ARs need the same mods to accomplish the same things. To get a total purchase price, you'll need to add the costs of any mods to the purchase price of the rifle.
 

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The above-referenced chart enabled me to make an informed buying decision when I bought an AR. The chart shows the nuances that differentiate one manufacturer from the other. Some of the items listed there are not important to me. For instance, I don't particularly care if the barrel under the FSB is parked, nor do I care if the FSB pins are tapered. However, other things on there are critical (for me). Therefore, all the information listed there is important.

After learning from people who are far more experienced with them than I am, I opted for LMT. By buying the lower and upper separately, it cost $930 including transfer. Throw in another $100 for an iron sight, and it's the same price as the Bushys and DPMS' at the local retailer!

As someone else mentioned, m4carbine.net is a wonderful resource of information. A lot of help and useful information from people who know what they're talking about (for the most part) without all the nonsense that goes on at similar sites.
 

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To quote a local radio show, Garage Logic, "You learn more here by accident, than elsewhere by design".

Great link to that chart, thanks WhyteP38. Good info, I didn't think about most of that stuff the first time around. If I'm buying or building an AR what is important to me? That's an important question to ask.

Good Luck,
ss-gar
 

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In the $940 range to $1200 range id say LMT or Stag, a little more will get you a Colt 6920.

The chart is a great starting point to learn.

Mil Spec isnt the best Spec, But its the bare bottem spec at which our billions of tax dollers found that would be a resonably realiable gun.

Gas pistons offer very little advantage.

You may also Check out Noveske N4 Carbine with a pinned FH.


Rob
 

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I have learned a lot about AR-15s on M4Carbine.net (and the first centerfire rifle I ever fired was a M-16A1). I think anyone can buy any of the sights the military are using, although they evidently won't ship them to foreign countries. They ARE expensive, however.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Armalite. I've got an AR-10A2 and it is a well made rifle and a lot of fun to shoot.

I have a 6520 and 6920, and I have to agree the 6520 is close to what Gene Stoner envisioned. It has got to be the best kept secret out there.
 

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Ar 15's

Tracy
I started with an Armalite, and liked it, but it was rather expensive. I was kinda glad when the seller decided he would like to have it back.

I have two AR 15 rifles now that are used primarily for varmint hunting, mostly coyote. They should provide you with a little insight on "what you can get for how much"
1. Stock out of the box Olympic Arms PCR or K8. Mine is about 3 years old now. When I ordered it, I chose the 16" 1:8 stainless ultramatch barrel. It shoots bullets from 37 to 69 gr equally well. The factory trigger is excellent. MSRP was about $1050-1100 at the time. It was on sale ( Oly's are ALWAYS on sale) and I got it to my door for just under $800. I love this rifle. It is extremely accurate. You can buy a similar model today for close to the same price.

2. Is a custom, put together from parts AR.....Bushmaster lower with their comp two stage trigger, Wilson 24" Stainless Match barrel. forged flat upper,freefloat handguard, and a few other "gotta have parts". I "traded into" a good part of this one, but priced the parts and it would have totaled around $1500. It's nice. I like it. It's HEAVY. It shoots great and is very accurate...it should be! It's not THAT much better than the Oly though!

My brother shoots an Oly K16 ( 16" CM barrel). He did a trigger job on it and it shoots as good as my K8 does. These are going for around $680. We've never had any probs with any of these, and they have accounted for LOTS of coyotes.
I''ve heard people bash Oly's, but we have yet to have the first problem with one. But heck, some people say my Bushmaster lower or my Kimber Ultra Carry is a pos too :)
Sure, I would like to have a Les Baer 204 too, but I'll probably never sell off enough other guns to get it done.
So, I guess it just depends on how much you want to spend on your AR :)
Good luck,
David
 

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For optics, look around for a used Trijicon ACOG in the 1.5X models. Absolutley the best for $450 or so if you can find them. Mount right to the carry handle and are super light at 5.5oz. I have a TA-45-6 and it's perfect for me. No batteries, either and it allows the use of your sights. Change out front sight to a tritum. I like the Streamlight M3X on a hand guardmount. The Thunder Ranch system is great as well.

Colt 6520 $1100
Trijicon ACOG $450
Eagle Tactical Sling $30
Streamlight M3X $150
Trigger job $125

A good sling, a light and the tritum front are all you really need. The ACOG is a plus and a good 200M optic but it really shines at -50 yards, which is what a shorty AR should be, defensively speaking.
 
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