need help picking AR configuration


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xmaster
February 8, 2006, 11:25 PM
I am planning on getting an AR type rifle. It will be my first. There are several guys in my hunting lease that have them and I have really gotten the bug. All of theirs are .223. We are planning on setting some targets up in a field this month and doing some shooting out to 600 yards. I used to shoot in 3-d tournaments but my shoulders are shot. So i'm thinking rifle competition will be something enjoyable to compete in now that 3-d is history.

So i'll be using it for some competition shoots. But alot more for deer hunting, scouting and stalking mostly. I definetly want .308. I'm also thinking colapsable stock for ease of going through brush. Also 18" barrel in something heavier than standard weight. Should I go with stainless do to the more uniform steel theroy?

Any ideas on a configuration that would be a good compromise for its dual role?

Thanks

X

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lycanthrope
February 9, 2006, 12:18 AM
Out to 600 stay away from chrome lining if you want maximum accuracy. Stainless or Chrome moly barrels will both do the job.

Go flat top so you can add optics easily or switch up irons.

Have you considered CMP shooting? In that regard you need a National Match or A2 configuration.

xmaster
February 9, 2006, 12:39 AM
Out to 600 stay away from chrome lining if you want maximum accuracy. Stainless or Chrome moly barrels will both do the job.

Go flat top so you can add optics easily or switch up irons.

Have you considered CMP shooting? In that regard you need a National Match or A2 configuration.


thanks

No I havn't considered CMP but I just saved their home page as a favorite from another thread.

what is National Match or A2 config.?

X

lycanthrope
February 9, 2006, 01:36 AM
A2 is a style of M16/AR15. It is the only configuration legal for service rifle class (CMP) for the AR15. The .223 dominates the .308 guns out to 600 in most competition/accuracy scenarios.

http://world.guns.ru/assault/as18-e.htm

National Match is a term to describe the CMP guns of particular makers.

lycanthrope
February 9, 2006, 01:45 AM
The .223 will be a bit anemic for deer hunting though........

The .308 AR's are not so compatable with the other modular .223 styles....you also have the options of 6.8 SPC, 5.6 Grendel, .50 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM, .243 WSSM and .25 WSSM, plus some others that fit the standard receiver. I recommend the standard style reciver so you can have a target upper for 600 yard competition and then perhaps another upper for deer hunting.

www.eaglefirearms.net has the cheapest deals on Stag and RRA lowers that I know of. They work well to mate standard small pin uppers to.

Edited for lame spelling.

Matt-man
February 9, 2006, 01:59 AM
Would just like to point out here that .308 ARs are not legal for the service rifle class. Service rifles need to be in an original military chambering, so if you want to compete as a service rifle it has to be in .223/5.56. A .308 AR would be legal in the match rifle category, which has less restrictions.

A2 configuration means the rifle has to look just like an M16A2. Standard stock, standard handguards, with a carry handle.

CrazyIrishman
February 9, 2006, 02:30 AM
xmaster,

An A-2 version has a 20" barrel, non-collapsible stock, and an integral carry handle made as one piece with the upper receiver.

The flattops are sometimes referred to as an A-3. Flattops are more versatile than the integral or "fixed" carry handle. You have several choices for sights and optics.

My personal AR15 was made by Colt, however, there are several excellent brand name AR type rifles on the market. Some guys go by the ABC's when choosing an AR type rifle. The ABC's are: Armalite, Bushmaster, and Colt. The current list should be changed to include Rock River Arms and maybe a couple others.

Bushmaster and Colt use 4150 steel for barrels and they are chrome lined. I think Armalite uses 4140 and may have switched to 4150 but I don't know for sure. Rock River Arms uses 4140 steel and as an option can be bought chrome lined for a little extra $$$, otherwise they are unlined.

Also, in a few cases you have a choice of a 5.56 , 223, and Wylde chambers. I don't know about the Wylde chamber but 5.56 and .223 while similar differ in chamber dimensions with the .223 being a little tighter. I don't have the dimensions handy at the moment. The 5.56 being looser is done to help prevent jams from sticking brass.

Lets not forget barrel twist rate. Colt makes 1/9 and 1/7 barrels. Bushmaster makes 1/8 , 1/9 and I've heard a run of 1/7 now and then. The older Colt AR15's --the SP1 models used 1/12 twist. 1/9 twist is good for all around use with 55 grain to 62 grain,perhaps a little heavier. 1/7 will use 55 to 77 grain with good accuracy. 1/12 is only good with 55 grain. In an emergency you can use a heavier bullet but accuracy is terrible. I've never used 1/8 myself but it must work just fine as Bushmaster uses this twist in their DCM rifle.

Another thing to consider is whether you buy or build your own is that you have a choice in cast or forged receivers. Cast is cheaper, forged is a little more $$$ but its stronger . One company makes a complete rifle called a "Plinker" and is their least expensive AR. I think the company is Olympic.


For more information you might try this link. When you get there, on the LH side go to "AR BRANDS" . You will find ALOT more info than what I have posted here.

http://groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite/_homepage.msnw?pgmarket=en-us

Afterwards you might try:

www.ar15.com

Here is Bushmaster's site:

http://www.bushmaster.com/


And Rock River Arms:

http://www.rockriverarms.com/


I hope this helps. I'm no expert but I'll help ya best I can.



CI

xmaster
February 9, 2006, 05:49 PM
Thanks to all that have replied.

That is a whole lot to think about. The diffrent uppers would be great, but you can't mate a 308 upper to a 5.56 lower can you? I haven't had time to look at the ballistics of those other calibers but they might be an option.


Thanks again for the input

X

lycanthrope
February 9, 2006, 05:57 PM
No, you can't, but the 6.5 Grendel is pretty close.

You can also mate a .50 BMG as well if you really need to reach out.

middy
February 9, 2006, 06:19 PM
You can also mate a .50 BMG as well if you really need to reach out.
:what: Are you serious? I've never heard of that...

Chipperman
February 9, 2006, 07:08 PM
Here's a couple:

http://www.watsonsweapons.com/50boss.htm

http://www.50bmg.net/001.html

There are more out there.

xmaster
February 9, 2006, 10:31 PM
crazyirishman

That maryland site is great. What is a dcm variant?

lycanthrope
February 9, 2006, 11:02 PM
DCM is the old name for the CMP.

xmaster
February 9, 2006, 11:09 PM
So that is the configuration you need to shoot in their matches, all matches, or some matches?

CrazyIrishman
February 10, 2006, 12:30 AM
xmaster,

Check out the Bushmaster site. Their DCM AR15 is supposed to be just the ticket for competition if what I have heard and read is true.

If you choose to build your own,keep in mind that there are a number of vendors that make AR parts. Like anything else, some parts are equal to or better than what the brand name companies use; then you have some parts to avoid like the plague! Two companies that sell AR's and may sell separate parts are VULCAN ARMS and the other is HESSE. Their quality control at one time was non-existent. It may still be that way. In any event there are plenty of AR's on the market so you shouldn't have to worry too much about them.

IMHO,if you stick with top of the line parts, OR, buy it an AR already assembled you'll be happy and have peace of mind.

The first time I shot a friends AR15 I knew I had to have one! Be wary of them though! You start out with one and next thing you know there are more AR's in your gun safe! LOL!

AFhack
February 10, 2006, 12:52 AM
So that is the configuration you need to shoot in their matches, all matches, or some matches?


Yes. :)


Okay sorry for the flippant answer. Check out the NRA website and look for "High Power Matches." Basically, the NRA sanctions a rifle competition for just about any kind of rifle you can imagine. However, it seems like the most popular are the Service Match and High Power Rifle competitions. If you're going to fire service match you basically have to have a military issued rifle (or it's civillian equivalent) up to the M-16A2. If you buy an AR with a flat top, 24 inch fluted barrel, and national match grade iron sights you can still shoot in the competitions, but it will be in the High Power Rifle classification and not Service Match. It's really just a distinction in who you're shooting against really, since the courses of fire are nearly identical and are usually run simultaneously at many local matches.

CBGB
February 10, 2006, 12:57 AM
I am looking for a good gun store in Arizona preferably around Bullhead City or Prescott area. I am looking into getting my 1st AR-15 and don't know where to start searching. AR-15's are still sold in Arizona stores right? What about California? Still Illegal?.....Thanks for any and all help

el44vaquero
February 10, 2006, 12:57 AM
I like the A1 config.

lycanthrope
February 10, 2006, 01:10 AM
So that is the configuration you need to shoot in their matches, all matches, or some matches?

That's the configuration for "Service Rifle" competition.

MatthewVanitas
February 10, 2006, 01:25 AM
At the SHOT Show (big trade show going on this week in Vegas), they're supposed to be announcing several new brands of 6.5 Grendel uppers, and Wolf just announced that they'll be producing 6.5 Grendel ammo at $7 a box. A lot of folks who like hunting or long-range shooting with the AR are very excited about this cartridge.

Things are looking up for the 6.5G folks, and the uppers will drop right onto your standard AR-15 lower. So, you could have just one lower, one 16" or 18" upper in 6.5 for hunting, and an standard A2-style National Match upper for competition.

-MV


@CBGB: not to hijack this thread, but try running a search on the THR engine for keywords "Prescott" and "store"; maybe you can find mention of a good store in your area. If not, just find an FFL dealer in your area (check out the FFL dealer listings on the engine at www.gunsamerica.com). Then you can order the AR-15 of your choice off of any website, and have it delivered to your local FFL, who'll charge you $20 or so to do the paperwork. Remember, only the lower receiver of an AR qualifies as a gun, so you can buy a standard lower delivered to your FFL dealer, and then shop around online (especially the "Equipment Exchange" forum at www.ar15.com) for the best price on exactly the type of upper you want. PM me if you have any questions.

xmaster
February 10, 2006, 02:37 AM
Mathew

Do you have a few stats on 6.5 grendal? It is not listing in Peterson's annual.

MatthewVanitas
February 10, 2006, 03:04 AM
Not to turn you down at all, but I'm not really the most qualified person on the Grendel.

Best bet: hit the "Search" button at the top of the THR screen (in the green bar), and type in 6.5 Grendel. It's been discussed extensively in the past, and far better than my humble skills can cover.

It's been a vicious competitor with the 6.8 SPC cartridge that the military was looking into using. But it appears that the 6.8 is not likely to gain much foothold in the military, while the 6.5 is getting very popular with certain hunters and target shooters in the States. That, many upper manufacturers, and now commercially available ammo, are making things look good for the 6.5

So give the Search button a try. Read up a bit, and if you have any questions that aren't covered in the old threads, try posting a new question with as specific a title as possible.

Hope that helps out a bit,

-MV

xmaster
February 10, 2006, 08:22 PM
ttt

xmaster
February 11, 2006, 10:53 AM
Thanks to all for the help so far. I have narrowed my decison down some. I am definately going with 5.56/223 instead of .308. I will go with the two upper theroy to be able to deer hunt. The base platform I want would be something like this.

Cmp compatible
20" or longer barrel in ss or high quality chrome molly
A3 upper
free floating hand guard with picatinney
upgraded trigger (is a two stage allowed with cmp?)
twist rate compatible with lighter(?) longer range bullets?
$1200 or less
I'm assuming the lowers of the top 5 or 6 vendors are all up to par.

Does anybody know of a brand/model that would fit the bill?

thanks

DevLcL
February 11, 2006, 01:39 PM
I am looking for a good gun store in Arizona preferably around Bullhead City or Prescott area. I am looking into getting my 1st AR-15 and don't know where to start searching. AR-15's are still sold in Arizona stores right? What about California? Still Illegal?.....Thanks for any and all help

I'm not sure of any gunstores but I'm moving to AZ soon so i'll let you know what I find when I get there. As far as it being legal, Yes, you shouldn't have any problems finding an AR in AZ. ;) Also, in cali it's kind of a weird situation. You can legally buy an AR so long as its unlisted (not on this list (http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/infobuls/kaslist.pdf)) and as long as you make it 'fixed mag' style... but only for the time being.

-Dev

AFhack
February 11, 2006, 07:43 PM
Thanks to all for the help so far. I have narrowed my decison down some. I am definately going with 5.56/223 instead of .308. I will go with the two upper theroy to be able to deer hunt. The base platform I want would be something like this.

Cmp compatible
20" or longer barrel in ss or high quality chrome molly
A3 upper
free floating hand guard with picatinney
upgraded trigger (is a two stage allowed with cmp?)
twist rate compatible with lighter(?) longer range bullets?
$1200 or less
I'm assuming the lowers of the top 5 or 6 vendors are all up to par.

Does anybody know of a brand/model that would fit the bill?

thanks


Bushmaster E2S DCM Competition rifle seems to fit the bill except for the A3 upper requirement. It comes in at about $1090 locally, even though it's MSRP is over $1300.

A two-stage trigger is competition legal in CMP and NRA matches.

It's usually a heavier bullet for longer ranges and twist rates of 1 in 7, 1 in 8, and 1 in 9 are popular in competition.

IMO - if I wanted to compete in CMP or NRA matches I wouldn't want a removable carry handle of the A3. The less possible movement of my sights the better. That plus the fact that the rifle is going start out life on the heavy side for a 20 in AR (my 20 inch Bushmaster DCM rifle weighs in at 12 lbs unloaded). It's not light enough that I want to mount a red dot and test it out on run and gun events with close range targets. If I really want to use it as a hunting rifle I can mount a scope on the carry handle.

So my solution was to buy one AR just as a NRA competition rifle and another (an M4 style) for shorter work and "gadgets."

Matt-man
February 11, 2006, 08:34 PM
Thanks to all for the help so far. I have narrowed my decison down some. I am definately going with 5.56/223 instead of .308. I will go with the two upper theroy to be able to deer hunt. The base platform I want would be something like this.

Cmp compatible
20" or longer barrel in ss or high quality chrome molly
A3 upper
free floating hand guard with picatinney
upgraded trigger (is a two stage allowed with cmp?)
twist rate compatible with lighter(?) longer range bullets?
$1200 or less
I'm assuming the lowers of the top 5 or 6 vendors are all up to par.

Does anybody know of a brand/model that would fit the bill?

thanks

The Rock River NM A4 has all of those features (except the Picatinny rail handguard - not legal for service rifle) and falls right into your price range. Two stage triggers are desirable for competition, and RRA's two-stage is very popular.

With respect to A2 vs. A4 - one reason a person might want a flat-top upper is for load development using a scope. On the downside, a popular modification for AR sights is to put pins in them to keep their adjustments true, and I don't know if that can be done to carry handle sights. If you decide to get the flat-top, be aware that standard carry handles have to be modified in order to have enough elevation to get to 600 yards. The exception is Rock River's NM carry handle.

xmaster
February 12, 2006, 02:29 AM
I just got too excited at the gunshow:what: I had a buddy with me and my 11 year old. I kept circling back to the bushmaster VMatch with the real long barrel. So I bought it. I'm just gonna shoot the fire out of it for the next month or so. Then I'll figure out what the requirements are for different matches, classes etc. Number one goal is to smoke Wayne at the deer lease when we set up targets in the bean field.:D :D

Thanks everyone for the info.

Tsonda
February 12, 2006, 01:52 PM
I'm not sure of any gunstores but I'm moving to AZ soon so i'll let you know what I find when I get there. As far as it being legal, Yes, you shouldn't have any problems finding an AR in AZ. ;) Also, in cali it's kind of a weird situation. You can legally buy an AR so long as its unlisted (not on this list (http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/infobuls/kaslist.pdf)) and as long as you make it 'fixed mag' style... but only for the time being.

-Dev

I am not a resident, but I have spent considerable time in the Prescott area. My favorite gun store is Prescott Valley guns, I have found heaps of must have guns there. Old Monty the owner is dry as a bone but young Monty and the others are very friendly and willing to help. They are black rifle friendly as well. I love the fact that the used ong guns are out where you can browse.

If you are moving to the Prescott area feel free to PM me, if you want, I have friends that own a real estate agency in Dewey. Great guys and they can tell you where nearly every gun store in the state is.

Xmaster enjoy your new addiction.:)

James

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