AR15 Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I've been looking at getting an AR for a few months. I like the tactical look and am looking for something for paper, bowling pins, and maybe USPSA 3 gun if I get the urge to learn how. Doubt I'll be shooting >200 yds

The market is pretty full of options, and that makes it a little hard to make decisions. I've seen a few brand names out there a lot (Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, Panther Arms DPMS, the unattainable (for me) Colt) and some a little (Star, Stag, Armalite)

A few simple questions from a rifle noob:

1) Is the M4 simply a shorter barrel and shorter foregrip/stock weapon all other parts basically equal?

2) I understand that the parts are made in mostly the same factories and the companies listed above just assemble the weapon... is this correct and are any of the above companies better than the others? Are there any ones to stay away from?

3) If I want to shoot with iron sights but may upgrade to optical/EOtech at a later date, does it make the most sense to get an A3/A4 upper? Is there any reason to get one with the A2 upper? (Just cost?)

4) Rock River Arms has quite a few M4 variants that seem equal except for one or two features. Is there much of a difference between -- say -- Tactical CAR and Entry Tactical versions? (In other words: What is an R-4 barrel?)

5) Which seems best platform for my stated purpose, assuming I am narrow minded enough not to consider the many inexpensive and accurate rifles available?

I know I could go to Ar15.com and do a search, but for some reason that place confuses me.:oops: And with 665 new posts since my last visit here 24 hours ago, I kind of want to limit my obsession to one firearm board at a time....:)

Any/all thoughts welcome. Thanks for reading.

S

Addendum: After posting, did a search on this forum. Just looking for replies to the specific questions not precisely addressed previously, so need for a rehash, for those who are going to say, "Do a search." (can't find the smiley-icon in the edit mode to indicate lighthearted banter)
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
There are a slew of AR's out there for your picking at low prices, if you buy them right.

I'd recommend buying the gun in pieces, lower reciever complete, upper reciever complete and slapping them together. All of the guns you listed are good choices, however I would rank RRA and Stag near the top because they are a good price to quality ratio.

Colt is a name, don't get one, its quality is no better than any of the others these days and on top of that they are more expensive than they should be.

You are right in assuming that many AR's are made in the same factory as that is very true these days. For example, CMT is a major AR components maker and produces both RRA and Stag firearms.

As far as accuracy, if you want 1 MOA precision, you'll need to get a varmit AR rifle, with a free floated, heavy bull barrel, preferabbly in the 20" length. However if you plan on just plinking open sights, a simple plane jane AR-15 with nothing on it is fine.

These days you can build an AR-15 for around 650 bucks. First of all, I feel your pain about AR15.com, that place sucks, except for one thing, the exchange forum. I highly recommend looking in the Exchange section of the AR15.com boards and just looking at the dealer sales under "complete and lower firearm recievers." There you should be able to find a good deal on a lower and upper. Common components you will see are LMT, Superior Arms, Stag, RRA and a few more. All of those are good components and I wouldnt hesitate on getting them if I was building a new rifle.

The cost difference in buying a complete lower reciever or buying a stripped lower and building it is very minimal. For a first time AR shooter, either would be good, I would probably go with buying the lower complete as you will be able to spend more time learning how to shoot and operate it first. You can always field strip it down later.

Always buy the upper complete unless you plan on building a varmit rifle that requires a heavier bull barrel and modified front handguard to allow for a floated barrel.

As far as the different guns go, true M-4's have around a 14.5 inch barrel, civillian M4gery's without the Form-1 have a 16 inch barrel, and M-16's and their full sized single shot civillian AR-15 cousins have the standard 20 inch barrel. To me, there is more accuracy out of a 20" barrel, so if you're very concerned about accuracy, get an M16A2 or A3 style AR.

Always get one with a removable carry handle. First of all, no removable carry handle guns have horrible resale, second, mounting optics is SO much easier with a flat rail top. I personally use an ATN Reflex sight and have an Arms #40 back up flip sight for my Stag Arms AR:





I would recommend that if you get an AR and are planning on mounting optics, just get a backup sight, not a full carry handle.

Good luck on your search.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info.

Are you left handed? Me too. Does it make a big difference to have the lefty Stag? If it's a huge difference having the ejection port on the left, that may help narrow the choices...
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A lefty would be great unless you want to sell it some day. Then you would have a gun that 90% of the population couldn't use.

I agree with the above poster about buying a complete lower and a complete upper. That will save you the 11% excise tax. I also agree with getting a flattop without the handle and getting a back up iron sight. Most of those removeable carry handles never get used so why pay for it.

Yes most of the AR manufacturers use parts from other suppliers but that doesn't mean the quality is all the same. I would recommend Stag Arms or Bushmaster.

Another thing I would recommend is a chrome lined barrel. It will make the barrel easier to clean and more durable. Most RRA guns don't have a chrome lined barrel. It is an option on only a few carbines.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great questions KyDoc, and thanks for the info, nightraider. I've been wondering many of the same things myself, and that post helped a lot! Of course, I can't afford an AR15 for quite some time... but now I have a better idea of what to look for when the cash is there.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you want a carry handle, get a carry handle. Don't go removable style unless you plan on mounting optics.

The removable carry handles really need to be loc-tited into place. Try putting one on the floor of a hummvee and driving around with it.

This is an opinion thing, but personally, I don't see a disadvantage to it unless you want to mount optics. You never have to worry about a fixed carry handle falling off. Also, removable carry handles add a bit of weight. Not really noticeable but if you're trying to build a superlight gun, then you cut it where you can.

Some guys building superlights go with a fixed A1 carry handle for the weight issue. If you practice holdover, you'll be fine.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
KYDoc said:
Thanks for the info.

Are you left handed? Me too. Does it make a big difference to have the lefty Stag? If it's a huge difference having the ejection port on the left, that may help narrow the choices...
If you are a lefty I highly recommend Stag. I'm a full blown lefty and purchase as many lefty guns as I can. The price difference between a lefty AR is roughly 50-75 more, but I feel its worth it.

Even if you dont like your current configuration in AR's after, you can always keep the lefty upper and change out barrels and so on. Contact Joseph Kiser at AR15.com as he is a great Stag Arms dealer. He may not have anything in stock, but it wouldn't hurt to try.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nightraider said:
If you are a lefty I highly recommend Stag. I'm a full blown lefty and purchase as many lefty guns as I can. The price difference between a lefty AR is roughly 50-75 more, but I feel its worth it.

Even if you dont like your current configuration in AR's after, you can always keep the lefty upper and change out barrels and so on. Contact Joseph Kiser at AR15.com as he is a great Stag Arms dealer. He may not have anything in stock, but it wouldn't hurt to try.
+ 1000 on Joseph Kiser of Kiser Munitions. I got my Stag (righty) from him and everything was smooth. Go to the equipment exchange on AR-15 and find him, I don't think he has a website yet!
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whats a good price to pay for a complte lower from stag arms. I sourced uppers from $475 trying to squize in around 650 for most stuff.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Most I have seen are $225 delivered with a collapsable stock. Haven't seen better than that lately.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
brian40 said:
Most I have seen are $225 delivered with a collapsable stock. Haven't seen better than that lately.
Thats also Josephs current price I believe.

225 Shipped is right on target with everyone on lowers. Uppers vary. You should be able to build a complete gun for 650-700 thats solid and good components minus any FFL feels.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a good deal from Joseph if you feel like putting it together yourself. Comes with a mag.

http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=21&t=360233

Then add a stripped lower here:

http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=21&t=329926

That's $728 delivered with one mag. I didn't want to mess with it and bought it in two pieces and it was $735 delivered with two 30 round mags. For 7 bucks, I'll let someone else do the work. It will cost less if you leave off the BUIS.

I'm afraid that these good deals are going to go away if an assault weapons ban comes back.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
PackerfanXD said:
Subscribing.

Hey Brian.
Hey Packer, better get that AR before the Democrats get the Congress and Whitehouse back:rolleyes:

Damn, there I go with the politics again;)
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
brian40 said:
Hey Packer, better get that AR before the Democrats get the Congress and Whitehouse back:rolleyes:

Damn, there I go with the politics again;)
Preachn' to the choir!:lol:
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Talked with Joseph last night prices are really good wanted $710 Shipped for a complete riffle without mags which I thought was an excellent deal. proabbly pick up a lower $225 when I get back from vaction next week.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top