A2 A3 and Flat-Top


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ruckus3008
May 5, 2006, 01:54 PM
when talking about ar15's, what is the difference between the three?

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gazpacho
May 5, 2006, 01:56 PM
A2 is the fixed handle upper receiver with the current adjustable iron sight.

AFAIK A3 and Flat Top are the same thing, upper receiver with a picatinny rail instead of a handle

Dmack_901
May 5, 2006, 04:12 PM
Yeah, and they make a removable "carry handle"/iron sight that you put on or take off for the best of both worlds.

kentucky_smith
May 5, 2006, 05:18 PM
A2 fixed stock and carry handle
A3 flattop and 4 pos stock

gp911
May 5, 2006, 10:42 PM
Just for clarification, the A2 sights can be had with a multi-position buttstock. Basically the A2 = integral carry handle with A2 sights. The A3 = picatinny rail with available removable carry handle and iron sights. Typically, with most ARs, the A2 means integral handle while A3 = flattop with picatinny rail and an optional removable carry handle (with sights).

I have an A2 16" HBAR Bushmaster. If you have the extra cash you might want an A3, especially if you plan on adding a scope. I just wanted iron sights anyway, so I went with the A2.


gp911

possum
May 6, 2006, 02:07 AM
In the military there isn't an "a3" model which can be confusing sometimes. We have the a4's which have the flatop reciever and khight's armament rail system.

Don't Tread On Me
May 6, 2006, 04:31 AM
In the civilian/industry world, A3 has come to mean flattop. A3 was the designation for a full auto M16 (not burst fire).

I think the first military flattop was the M4. CARs were 16" ARs with usually A1 tops.


A1, A2 and A3 all have the permanent carry handle. A4 is the first M16 to have a flattop.

Civilian "A3" receivers typically have regular ramps. Whereas the M4 flattop has the deeper cut feedramps. I'm not certain of the A4, but I think it too has the M4 ramps. I think that the "A3" flattops we see being sold have no relation to anything military, unlike A2's which are pretty much identical to what the military uses.


I'm sure some AR guru will clear this up.

DougW
May 7, 2006, 11:31 AM
Don't know if this will help or not, but my Son's unit has M16A4's. Just like the A2, but with a removable carry handle. 20" barrel, standard butt stock, semi and 3 round burst. Son is his unit armorer, and he has seen the A3 version in a 20" rifle, with a removable carry handle and full auto selector. The A3 is basically based on the A1. He has also seen the M4A3 which he assumes is a SOF weapon with removable carry handle, 16" M4 barrel, collapsable stock, and full auto selector. His unit is supposed to get some M4A2's (semi only) soon also. I think you can't keep up with this stuff without a Program!:banghead:

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