Pre-ban assault rifles- worth the extra?


April 3, 2003, 07:45 PM
As much as I disagree with the AW laws, I think it's kind of stupid to spend $500+ extra :rolleyes: on buying a rifle to get the bayonet lug, flash suppressor, folding stock, etc. For example, a bayonet on an AR15. It looks cool, but the AR is not the ideal handle for a spear. Flash suppressor- from what I understand, the flash suppressor only widens the flash out over an area, making it less bright but bigger. Not much advantage there. Folding stock- these are less accurate and less comfortable than a regular full stock. They do fold, though, which is only advantageous for storage reasons (like reducing the lenght from 30" to 25" is going to allow you to carry it under a trench coat). The parts that I hate though, are the pistol grip laws and the mag restrictions :cuss: . Thoughts?

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April 3, 2003, 07:50 PM
No, they are not. For a shooter, save the money and buy a postban. For the sake of having a real collapsible/folding stock and flash suppressor, wait until the ban goes away next year. Unless normal capacity magazines are banned by local law, there are plenty of preban magazines around that can be used in a postban rifle.

April 3, 2003, 07:56 PM
Not really. I know professional, well regarded, instructors who use post ban rifles as their personal weapons.

Trust me, whatever you're shooting at will be just as dead with a post-ban.

April 3, 2003, 08:03 PM
Unless you're a collector or are a stickler for wanting the real deal or the post-ban firearm is physically restricted to a lower ammo capacity in some way, not worth it, IMO.

Marko Kloos
April 3, 2003, 08:12 PM
I'd only ever spend the money on a pre-ban gun if I really wanted it, and it wasn't available as a post-ban (i.e. HK91). If the rifle is available in pre- and post-ban configurations, I'll take the post-ban. I can't bring myself to spending 50%-100% more for essentially the same capabilities.

El Tejon
April 3, 2003, 08:16 PM
Most assuredly. BTW, I have several for sale.:D

April 3, 2003, 08:19 PM
Having to own a preban rifle is a mall ninja thing.

April 3, 2003, 09:36 PM
Whether or not it is worth it depends on what you want on your rifle.

A flash suppressor can be very handy under low light conditions. When I shoot my postban Dissipator with hot loads, it produces a fireball the size of a basketball. It is clearly visible to the shooter in bright daylight. You see it using iron sights. You see it using a four power scope. It can be very distracting at dusk. A friend of mine shot it once with his support hand up by the front sight and singed his hand. A carbine with a flash suppressor does not produce any fireball visible in daylight. The flash at dusk is much less noticeable as well.

Is that feature worth an extra five hundred dollars? To some people it is not. To some people it is.

Collapsable stocks and folding stocks are not really usefull for most of us either, but they are fun. They have a distinctive look, and lots of people put a non functional model on a postban. If you want the look of that type of stock, the extra five hundred you have to pay to get one that will actually collapse might save you hours of excruciating embarrassment explaining why that uber-cool looking stock only has one position.

April 3, 2003, 11:12 PM
YES. If you WANT it, it's worth it.

Besides, it's good for the ecomomy because you'll spend a ton of $$$ for goodies that only fit on PRE-BAN firearms.

It's good for everybody! :)

El Tejon
April 3, 2003, 11:23 PM
Mannlicher! Geez, I'm working here.:D

April 3, 2003, 11:26 PM
Sure they’re worth it, mostly

While it doesn’t transfer over exactly, they’re "worth it" much the same way a Lexus, BMW or Camaro has it all over a Ford Taurus; or a Colt 1911 has it all over a Glock (Hehe). You pay for snob appeal (no slam) and for an item with a mechanical “soul”.

Like the cars and depending on the models in question, there could also be a “performance” advantage in a pre-ban. An example that comes to mind would be the folding stock on the FN Para; many think it feels and fits better than the fixed butt stock associated with that series - and there are countless other examples.

Hey - I don’t like the high prices either, but the pre-bans both look and act the way they were intended (except maybe for the full/semi-auto aspect).

April 3, 2003, 11:30 PM
I recently bought a pre-ban. Why ? Because I want to register the lower as an SBR and I also want to suppress it. It is not legal to suppress a post ban rifle. So, in this case, it is not only worth it, it is the only way to legally accomplish what I want to accomplish.
So as is always the case, blanket statements are wrong again.

April 3, 2003, 11:31 PM
I thought it was worth it, then I sold my Pre Ban and got a post ban lower, FAL and some cash to boot. :D

They are nice to have, but I'll see what next year brings us before considering another purchase.

Good Shooting

Robby from Long Island
April 4, 2003, 12:07 AM
You also have to remember that a lot of us bought our guns long before there was such a thing as "pre-ban" or "post-ban".

When I purchased my Colt Sporter Match HBAR 11 or 12 years ago, it was not known as pre or post, but simply what was available.

I didn't buy it to sell at a profit many years later, but bought it because I wanted it and still have it.

April 4, 2003, 12:29 AM
For collecting I think prebans are neat, for shooters I wouldn't bother (even though a folding or underfolding stock looks cool).

Chris at AK-USA has American made K-var AK stock sets on his post sample machine guns.....he actually prefers them.

April 4, 2003, 12:43 AM
In general, no. They both will function the same, and I held that belief for a long time.

However, I like the flexibility a pre-ban provides. Its a "nice to have" to be able to use a collapsable/folding stock or a flash hider. Is it a necessity? No. Would I have a pre-ban if I didn't get an incredible deal? Probably not.

It comes down to personal preference in most cases-unless you really NEED a flash suppressor or folding/collapsable stock.

3 gun
April 4, 2003, 02:04 AM
In at least one case I can say YES without a doubt. A preban SA M1a is worth the time and money to find. Even the standard M1a rifles were built with USGI parts before the ban. The QA problems with new post ban rifles (many non-GI parts) have been well detailed here and on other boards. It isn't the flash suppresser or lug that make it worth the money it's the quality of the build.

April 4, 2003, 07:38 AM
The answer is both Yes and No depending on what your purposes are.

Investment wise you are way better off with a mint condition pre-ban, they have risen and will continue to rise dramatically in value.
The problem is that they have already become too valuable too shoot. Shooting a pre-ban makes no sense whatsoever because you are destroying a very expensive and valuable future investment.

Shooter wise it is very unwise to spend the extra money on a few doodad's like a bayonet lug or flash hider. As a matter of fact it is a proven fact that flash hiders on some weapons and recoil reducers (compensators) often are a detriment in accuracy.

I have a FN ABL that throws cast bullet loads sideways with the original flash hider/recoil reducer screwed on and with it off it shoots 1 inch groups all day long. It does shoot jacketed bullets out of it with or with out it on but seems to give a little better accuracy and more cosistant accuracy with the compensator off rather than on. I have also experienced the exact same loss of accuracy with a compensated AR15. It shot better with it off rather than on.

For target competition I use a post ban gun and generally burn it up after about 3 years of shooting and about 10,000 rounds fired through it (cal. 223 AR 15.) It would be very unwise to buy a very fine and very expensive pre-ban and then burn it up on the target range. Yet you would not believe how many people do just exactly that.

April 4, 2003, 08:04 AM

April 4, 2003, 09:33 AM
I looked at this thread fully expecting to hear the opposite of what the majority has said. I fully agree that pre-ban is not worth the extra cost or the hassle of "proving" its pre-ban if the need arises. (which, I know, it probably won't)

Once again THR has surpassed my expectations.

Keep up the good advice

April 4, 2003, 11:39 AM
well ya can't do this with a post ban:

April 4, 2003, 12:49 PM
Depends if the HK upper will be compatible with a post-ban.

As for spending extra, I may get one for the same reason I might get a ferret.

April 4, 2003, 03:48 PM
Like others have said, sometimes a preban means a better rifle (HKs, many M1As), but for many rifles, the ban has actually been good for development. The ARs and FALs have gotten alot of quality attention since 89 and 94.

So, depends on the specific type of rifle, and it's role. If you need a folding stock, than that really dictates the rest.

April 4, 2003, 04:49 PM
I think it's kind of stupid to spend $500+ extra on buying a rifle to get the bayonet lug, flash suppressor, folding stock, etc.
For the most part, it drives me absolutely insane when one person decides that something is of no use to them, or of no interest, and then, through their omnipotent powers of deduction, cast a net of "it's stupid to do that, just because I don't see any need for it" over everyone else in the entire populace.

To demonstrate my point, you have determined that folding (or telescoping) stocks are "less accurate" and the benefits of their size reduction are negligeable, flash supressors don't really work and are therefore useless decoration, and a bayonet lug... well, I digress...

BUT, you're mad about the pistol grip deal, so in your world, those are NOT "stupid". Since you like PG's but have no use for the other features, ANYONE who wants a flash supressor or telescoping stock is a STUPID Navy SEEL wannabe, but the Pistol Grip makes perfect sense for any firearms owner, and does NOT make one a "Mall Ninja"...

Like "Robby from Long Island", I am the proud owner of a pre-ban Bushmaster XM15E2S by default. I bought it in late '93, and payed roughly $950 for it... The AW ban had either passed, or was thought to be a shoe-in to pass ( I can't remember) so people had already begun raising prices....

I like the telescoping stock for putting it in my truck, as it takes up a little less room... It has NO effect on accuracy (I put an A2 on it once, it didn't shoot any better, and I didn't like it...) and lest we forget, the true telescoping stock is essentially an "adjustable length of pull" stock, which means my wife can shoot it, my 11 year old son can shoot it, and I can shoot it, and we can all have the LOP right where we want it.

If I were just buying my first AR today, I could not afford the extra $$ to get a pre-ban rifle, but I would certainly prefer one. I really don't need a bayonet lug, and could care less if it had one, but if someone else wants one, I do not judge them. The adjustable length stock would be the most desireable pre-ban feature to me given the great size differences between family members (6'3", 5'6", 5'1"). The Phantom flash supressor on my AR isn't a neccessity for me, but it is quite effective at diminishing nearly all the muzzle flash, so it does make firing my 14.5" barrelled AR much more comfortable to my son than my friend's Rock River carbine with 16" crowned barrel.

On the other hand, if I were financially able to afford a 7000 sq. ft. home, a $55,000.00 SUV and a $40,000.00 sport coupe, I'd have nothing but pre-ban rifles.

So to wrap up this rant, simply because you don't want something, it doesn't make those who do "stupid", and it doesn't mean that you should just lump anyone else who might into one offensive "armchair Rambo wannabe" category. Heck, just having a pistol grip on your rifle is enough to get your picture on according to some.

April 4, 2003, 06:32 PM
Actually, the original purpose of this thread was to help me decide what kind of rifle to get. I was hoping for input. I'm sorry for offending anybody with my opinion. I originally said that I hated the laws regarding pistol grips because it bans many rifles in my area (California). Again, I was not trying to critisize those who do spend extra money for pre ban features.

April 4, 2003, 06:47 PM
natedog - I like to read all opinions and ideas, and I liked this topic also. I feel I'm "solid" and not unnecessarily spooked by seeing alternate ideas and opinions - and I'll bet 98% + here aren't either.

I'd hate to feel the need to be too PC here too.

April 4, 2003, 06:52 PM
I got a pre ban Colt SP1 for $550 :). If not for the price, I wouldn't buy it.
Flah hiders doesn't really hide the flash, it just disperses the flash so you'll see spickles of flame instead of a fire ball. Some muzzle brake designs has the same effect. I say go postban w/ a good brake!

April 5, 2003, 03:02 AM
Pre-ban assault rifles- worth the extra?

I dunno...

Do you want a pre-ban? If so, then they are worth the extra. If not, they ain't. ;)


As far as that whole "too valuable to shoot" spiel, I'll be sure to run a three gun salute through my HK91, my AKM/47S, and my Beretta AR70 tomorrow, just for you... :rolleyes:

April 5, 2003, 08:58 AM
I bought an HK-94A3 (all HK-94s are pre-bans) because I wanted the retractable stock. Even though I can't SBR it(which is why I will probably move to Indiana), I still like being able to have a 27" long carbine. The short length makes it very convenient when transporting it. I've always wanted an MP-5 and the 94 was the closest thing I could get to one. That being said it wasn't cheap (over $3K) but it's in mint condition. I take good care of it but I do shoot it (200-400 rounds every 2 weeks). In general, I prefer to buy new firearms (you don't always know where a used one has been) but the 94 was the exception. When I bought an AR-15, I bought a brand new one with an A2 stock (I like having the trapdoor stock for storage of spare parts and batteries).

As far as retractable/folding stocks go, to me, some are better than others. The HK retractable stock is solid as a rock (remember Bruce Willis in Diehard using an MP5A3 to hang in the ventilation shaft?). It's every bit as solid as a regular stock. Also, the HK retractable stock really changes the overall length of the rifle (27"-34"). However, I'm not so keen on AR collapsible stocks. They only change the OAL 4" and I don't think they're all that sturdy. That being said, when the AW ban expires, I may get a collapsible stock for my AR just for the heck of it.

Bayonet lug? No need for one. Flash hider? Would be nice but again, not a necessity. We all know the whole pre-ban/post-ban thing is a load of s#$i anyways.

April 5, 2003, 10:17 AM

April 5, 2003, 10:46 AM
unless you are a collector.otherwise the aw ban only affected the features...not the gun.besides,there are legal ways around some of the features(attachment of a muzzle brake simply pinned on vs the threaded barrel)if anything,the aw ban created a bigger market for look alike guns,more manufactured versions to comply and creative ways to legally go around the ban.if the awban sunsets,these people are going to be left with 1400 dollar aks that will be worth much less,if it doesnt sunset,theyll still have 1400 dollars aks that only collectors would want(cause they may increase in value or may not..back to same as before)its what ever YOU want to do with your money.if it floats your it.

April 6, 2003, 07:13 AM
obviously some a y'all ain't never shot a pre-ban AR with a Vortex or Phantom flash hider... no flash at all with the Vortex and virtually none with the Phantom on a 16" barrel... and none with either on a 20".

it doesn't "spread it out" or shape it differently... its just GONE.

it's interesting to see several shooters at a night class or 3-gun shoot and the difference in muzzle signature that barrel length, ammo and muzzle device makes.

colapsable stocks offer adjustmet for smaller people, thicker clothes or just to take up less space in a vehicle.

basicly, the '94 ban was BS "feel good" legislation, banning things that looked "scarey" :rolleyes:

April 6, 2003, 02:47 PM
I'm of both sides. I bought my first AR less than a year ago, the 2nd a month after the first. I went through this same decision process and said I dont need one. So I got a Armalite Carbine. The reason I ended up getting a Colt pre-ban was that I really enjoyed the platform and was going to play with it some. My options are much more possible with a Pre-ban rifle. I got a good price on it and couldn't pass it up.

I know that the ban is 'supposed' to go away. But I thought I better play it safe and made a decision on the spot. The end result is I am happy with both of my purchases and can deal with it :D


April 7, 2003, 12:07 PM
Actually, the original purpose of this thread was to help me decide what kind of rifle to get. I was hoping for input. I'm sorry for offending anybody with my opinion.

Awe come on Natedog... you guys know I'm easily "riled" these days, now that I'm taking meds for ADD :)

It was this statement
I think it's kind of stupid to spend $500+ extra on buying a rifle to get the bayonet lug, flash suppressor, folding stock, etc.
along with a couple of "I don't, and anyone that does is just a ..."
pretty much all by themselves that got me going ;)

Minus those, this was an excellent question, an A#1 post, and I really wasn't trying to shoot it down (believe it or not).

To have put it a nice way, if you want one, it's worth it. If you don't want one, then it's not. Freedom of choice and all that... I prefer the Pre-bans, and would certainly never think badly of someone who spent the extra $$$. That's what money's for.

At any rate, as a group, settling into being comfortable with losing or giving up things we "don't need anyway" is kinda sorta how anti-gunners got fence riders to vote for the AW ban in the first place. "We don't need these things on rifles! 80% of gun owners agree that THEY don't need a folding stock. Only bad guys in trenchcoats need them! They're less accurate... "

Remember this? "No honest man needs more than 10 rounds"?

So although not as eloquent, "anyone who needs a flash supressor is a Rambo wannabe" is just as loaded.

You get the picture.

PEACE - out :)

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