Basic First AR


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ArmedBear
February 10, 2006, 08:07 PM
As a Californian, I don't have an AR yet, though I have a couple non-banned lowers that can be made CA-legal. And I have a Mini-14 Stainless Ranch Rifle I want to sell...

For a first AR, though, I have a few options. Eventually, I will probably be motivated to build a National Match lower and a HB Varmint flattop upper, but I don't think that will be my first acquisition.

My obvious choices, then, are a 16" with a collapsible stock, or a 20" with an A2 stock, and an A2 or A4 upper receiver.

I'm leaning towards A2, so I can use it easily with iron sights or mount a red dot or scope for a heads-up position where it would clear the front sight. That could be dumb; I wouldn't know for sure.

What configuration is your "go-to" rifle? Which is more fun to shoot and let others try? Carbine or rifle?

Thanks:)

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Bobarino
February 10, 2006, 09:06 PM
i like the cabines with flat top uppers and flip up/down BUIS and small optic like red dots. the options are virtually limitless though. if you can, try to rent or borrow some and see what floats your boat.

Bobby

MechAg94
February 10, 2006, 11:57 PM
My AR is an Armalite M15A4 - 20" barrel with flat top. The front sight is attached with a rail as well. I have a rock river arms mount sitting on the rail. It has the built in irons and I have my EOTech sitting on that. It works pretty good. The EOTech red dot is almost cheating. I bought a collapseable stock for it, but have never installed it. It just didn't seem right and I like having a sturdy stock.

For a basic AR, get a carry handle so you can learn with the iron sights first. Even if you get a flat top, get a good set of iron sights.

My go to defense rifle is a Rossi lever action carbine in .357 mag. It is smaller and handier. The AR is not far behind it though.

Mulliga
February 11, 2006, 01:54 AM
A nice 16" M4-profile barreled carbine would do just fine as a starter rifle. A2 sights are okay (my AR is an A2, see below), but, as everyone says, the flattop is way better if you ever plan to mount optics of any sort (this includes Aimpoints and the like - keep in mind the gooseneck/over-the-handle mounts have issues all their own).

My feeling is that there isn't much difference between a 20" HBAR and a 24" varminter in terms of handling, but there is certainly an advantage to having a 16"-18" carbine vs. the 24". And, if you decide you only want one AR (like me), you can readily use the 16" for defense.

I like simplicity, and I'm a poor college student, so I can't afford an ACOG or some of the nicer stuff people use on their ARs. My go-to long gun has been a Bushmaster A2 Superlight, produced during the AWB. I've had it for a year and a half now, and it does everything you could want from a carbine - quick hits at <25m, accurate enough for a CMP match (though it didn't beat the NM stuff, it certainly was capable of 2" groups at that range, especially seated and prone). Upgrades? 5 USGI mags, a single-point sling, and a whole heckuva lot of ammo. I'm sure Zak Smith or Bartholomew Roberts will be around shortly to show you the true untapped potential of the AR carbine. :D

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