I think another n00b's been bit by the "EBR" bug!


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Green Lantern
February 25, 2007, 10:59 PM
I've felt, and mentioned a few times during the Zumbo fiasco that I do NOT own an AR, nor would feel too bad if I never did. Nothing against the gun, but it was not even "on the radar" of my wish list of future gun-related purchases.

But...things change. Sometimes pretty quickly! Now, I'm giving some more thought into investing in an AR-type rifle. A couple of things spring to mind:

I lack a good scoped rifle. I have a stock Yugo SKS, an Henry AR-7-type .22 rifle, and an inherited .22 pump gun. Nothing in there for a good balance of long-distance accuracy AND power. I suppose the SKS *might* be do-able - but I don't want to modify it and I don't trust the receiver cover mounts for a stable scope platform.

I imagine there are better platforms for real long-distance accuracy, but I don't really have a place to practice serious long shots anyway.

A poster Oleg did. Something to the effect of learning the weapons of those that may turn against you one day....!

Tick off a gun-grabber. Sure, buying ANY gun annoys the antis. But there's just something "special" about the E.B.R. that will give me an extra sense of pride knowing that there are people dumb enough out there to think that with an AR, I can mow down a room full of people by shooting from the hip with that EVIL pistol grip! And become invisible while doing it thanks to the EVIL flash hider! And then if I run out of ammo, I might even be able to stab someone with an EVIL bayonet! Oh noes!!!! :evil:

Not really a REAL reason, but my gunsmith once told me "everybody needs to own at least one AR! ;)

HR 1022. All right....all right. I told myself I wouldn't go into panic buying mode. I still HAVEN'T yet. But being a born pessimist, I can easily see this opportunity as a USE IT before you LOSE IT situation.

Then again, I don't think "grandfathering" has been set in stone yet. The very thing that might have MADE my first AR purchase may well BREAK it...

Otay, enough political doom...QUESTIONS time!

****How complicated is it to break the AR down for routine cleaning and stuff? Will I practically need an armorer's course like with a Ruger MkII pistol? :what:

****Carbine, or Rifle-length barrel? I really want to add a scope, but will a 16" barrel hurt accuracy?

****I don't think I want to try and "build" one for my first AR. I was looking at info on lower-cost ones like the Olympic Plinker Plus. The price is right, but I don't know about durability. I'm generally not a "shoot 1,000 rounds of ammo at a time" guy but I want it to last. Maybe Rock River? Other?

Answers to those questions, and any other advice for a relative rifle newbie looking to enter the land of the AR would be most appreciated! :D

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HorseSoldier
February 25, 2007, 11:10 PM
I'd say definitely buy your first AR, unless you know someone who really knows what they are doing and can walk you through it. It is not rocket science, but some of the few AR-15s I've seen that I'd really call utter s*** were improperly put together by amateur gunsmiths, with an end state that getting three rounds in a row through the gun without stoppage was impressive.

16" barrel should be fine for range shooting unless you've got access to a range that really allows for long (> 300 meters or so) range shooting. Even then, I've seen issue M4s that shoot minute of man at 4-500 meters consistently if the shooter can do his job.

As for maintenance, the AR is real easy to keep running and such. Pop the pins holding the upper and lower together and you've got it opened up for cleaning in a couple seconds with no tools at all, except maybe a bullet tip or a leatherman if the pins are tight.

only1asterisk
February 25, 2007, 11:19 PM
I'm trying to arrange help for those that need it so they don't have to be afraid of building an AR. It you can afford to buy one, that's great. If you you really are on a budget, we can help.

David

lycanthrope
February 25, 2007, 11:23 PM
www.ar15.com

'nuff said.

Kaylee
February 25, 2007, 11:34 PM
This one?

http://www.a-human-right.com/learntools_s.jpg

It always has been one my favorites of his. :)


Cleaning - easy. Pop pin. Break open action (like a break-open shotgun, sorta). Pull out carrier. Clean bore and bolt lugs and suchlike. They even make a comic book about it.

If you're thinking "long range" I'd say go ahead and get the 20" (or longer) barrel. Not for the accuracy, but for the greater effective range.

And don't worry. Whichever one you get, you'll have another eventually. ARs are like that.

-K

Avenger29
February 26, 2007, 12:01 AM
Cleaning an AR is extremely easy. Buy for the first one, though.
I'd get a 20 inch barrel myself, with the flattop upper (you can get flip up backup sights or a detachable carry handle for iron sights).

Good things are said about Stag arms, and they even make a lefty AR, if you are a southpaw. I plan on getting an AR myself, and I am looking at a Stag...

Rock River is good quality, but they do get backed up on orders a lot. The only AR manufactor I have seen to avoid is Vulcan/Hesse and any Century Arms examples that you may come across. A few others, too, but these are the main ones. Don't try to go too cheap, you don't want to go "Hey, I found an AR for $450" when new ones from a reputable manufactorer go from $700 and up. You may save $250, but you are buying a pile of scrap.

PaladinX13
February 26, 2007, 12:49 AM
By all means, do all the research as you well should, but if it's just a "bug"... maybe let it die down a bit before you make an impulsive purchase that may lead to buyer's remorse. Two main things to consider, IMO... first, if that's your entire collection, you probably want to consider a handgun for defensive/carry purposes as more practically useful than an EBR; second, your SKS can be converted into an EBR if you so desire.

Just make sure you wouldn't rather spend the $1K on any number of other things first. If, after consideration, you still decide to get one the AR is a great platform. I just hate to see funds spent lightly. ;)

Green Lantern
February 26, 2007, 01:41 AM
Thanks for the replies! :cool:

Kaylee - that's it! :D

Paladin - That wasn't my "whole" collection, just the rifles! ;) But yeah, I'm gonna do my homework in more ways than one before I decide to sink the ca$h into it...

nico
February 26, 2007, 02:19 AM
I'm gonna disagree with some of the other posters and say that buying the gun in parts (even if it just means the complete upper and lower separately) will almost always save you some money, and won't compromise the quality of the gun.

If you're building on a budget, I'd take a good look at the kits from Del-Ton and J&T Distributing. Both are good quality, and include everything you need except a stripped lower and magazines (the upper comes assembled). If you want a 16" barrel, there's nothing but advantages to getting a midlength over a carbine, but it does limit your options somewhat, since not everybody offers midlength uppers.

AR15.com is a very good resource, and is probably the best place to shop for your gun or components to build it, but you have to take some things there with a grain of salt. ie: "mil-spec" is often mistaken for being synonymous with "good." Certain mil-spec features (4150 vs. 4150 steel, M4 feedramps, parkerizing under the front sight, etc.) may be theoretically "better," but often cost more and don't provide any tangible improvement in a semi-auto gun.

I just put together my first AR with an upper, lower, and rear sight I picked up from dealers on ar15.com. It's an RRA A4 midlength upper w/ SS barrel, Ameetec arms M4 lower w/ H-buffer, and LMT fixed rear sight. Total cost was $771 shipped. MSRP for a comparable gun from RRA would be around $1060.

Dave Markowitz
February 26, 2007, 10:19 AM
The Maryland AR15 Shooters' Site (http://groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite) has a lot of good information.

How complicated is it to break the AR down for routine cleaning and stuff? Will I practically need an armorer's course like with a Ruger MkII pistol?

Cleaning and maintaining an AR15 is simple. Not Kalashnikov-simple but still not difficult. The rifle can be field stripped without tools and cleaned pretty quickly. There's a lot of BS floating around which implies that AR15s need to be spotless to function. That's untrue. Keep it reasonably clean, properly lubricated, use decent ammo, and good magazines, and it should be a reliable rifle.

Follow the instructions in your rifle's owner's manual with regard to cleaning and you should be good to go.

Carbine, or Rifle-length barrel? I really want to add a scope, but will a 16" barrel hurt accuracy?

Carbines are handier, no doubt, but if you're interested in long range work then a 20" barrel gives you higher velocity which translates into a flatter trajectory and better terminal ballistics at longer ranges.

I don't think I want to try and "build" one for my first AR. I was looking at info on lower-cost ones like the Olympic Plinker Plus. The price is right, but I don't know about durability. I'm generally not a "shoot 1,000 rounds of ammo at a time" guy but I want it to last. Maybe Rock River? Other?

I own a Colt, and used to own a Bushmaster (I traded it off when I temporarily got bored with black rifles). Those, plus Rock River and ArmaLite would be my top choices for an off-the-shelf AR15. According to comments I've read by Pat Rogers, who sees A LOT of AR15s go through carbine classes, the Colts tend to be the most trouble-free. That is NOT to say that the other brands are unreliable, however.

My brother has a Rock River with which I've been impressed. It has a very nice trigger, much better than my Colt's.

TX1911fan
February 26, 2007, 11:49 AM
At least buy the upper and lower separately. I love my RRA. Thinking about a 6.8SPC upper now. THen, when I have that, I'll probably buy another lower to go with it. Then . . .

Thin Black Line
February 26, 2007, 12:48 PM
GL, you will have fun with whatever style you end up with. Go with quality
from the start and a chrome bore and you will have nothing to worry about
re: durability. I gave a bushmaster to my bro after I put 6-7K rds thru it
and it's till running fine. I put at least 2k thru a brand new one within the
first year I built it without so much as a hiccup that wasn't ammo-related
(beware the ADCOM 99 batch). If you're worried about longtern parts
problems in the sense that you wouldn't be able to get them in the future,
I'd recommend the field repair kit and a complete extra bolt. When it comes
to mags pick up the GI aluminums. Ammo will be around a lot longer for this
than it will be for other mil-cals.

Trick out the rifle as you go and save money.

Green Lantern
February 27, 2007, 12:04 AM
Sooo...I could take item number AR0675X from here: http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR0675X&storeid=1&image=uhmid07.gif&CFID=35835788&CFTOKEN=13039529
For $520 (upgrading to chrome-lined barrel)

And item number AR0901CX from here:
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR0114RRA&storeid=1&image=lwrrcvr.gif&CFID=35835788&CFTOKEN=13039529
for $290 (plus 4 months plus FFL fee)...

Total, $810...

For the assembled rifle, if I did the options right, looks like about $965...!
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR1294X&storeid=1&image=mida2407.gif&CFID=35835788&CFTOKEN=13039529

Hmmm..wonder why it says 6-8 weeks for the complete rifle (or the upper,) but 4 months for the complete lower??? :eek:

Er - would I need to add a rear sight, or is that just a "trick-your-rifle" option...?

only1asterisk
February 27, 2007, 12:09 AM
The trick is to get it from a dealer that has them in stock for less!

David

only1asterisk
February 27, 2007, 12:15 AM
2 minutes of searching yeilds RRA lower halfs for $235. I would have to call to see if they were in stock at that price.

David

modifiedbrowning
February 27, 2007, 12:17 AM
Er - would I need to add a rear sight, or is that just a "trick-your-rifle" option...?
A BUIS (back up iron sight) is a good thing to have just in case.
You can find better deals than the Rock River ones you listed. Go to www.ar15.com and click the manufacturers link. There are many vendors listed there that can set you up at a good price.

nico
February 27, 2007, 12:18 AM
I would buy from one of the dealers on AR15.com before RRA. Legal Transfers (ar15sales.com) seems to have the best prices, but Adco, Mooney's, and a few others have good prices too.

I got a midlength A4 upper w/ SS barrel (AR0375X) from Legal Transfers for $463 shipped with insurance. That's about $60 less than RRA's price, and I don't know what they charge for shipping. IIRC, his price is $434 + ~$8 shipping for the same upper with chrome lining.

Also, not that there's anything wrong with a RRA lower, but I got an Ameetec complete lower for $209 shipped from JKiser on ar15.com. For about the price of the RRA lower you're looking at, you can get the Ameetec lower with a RRA 2 stage trigger.

Green Lantern
February 27, 2007, 07:55 PM
Whoa - didn't realize my local dealer had a fair selection of ARs till now! :D

Are either of these decent deals?
$870.00 - Armalite 15A21B (hope I got all that right...) - 16" barrel - didn't say if it was chromed. Looks like it has a flash hider and bayonet lug, and it's got a adjustable stock and handle. I dunno why, but unless someone convinces me it's a horrible idea, I want one with the handle. And maybe one of the scopes for it (I saw one for around $80 that says that like the original Colt sight, you don't have to re-zero it when you remove it and replace it).

$759 - Arma Lite (just like on the tag...:scrutiny: ) AR - 180B
I think that one was a 20" barrel. Fixed stock, handle, flash hider.

There were more, some Smith and Wessons that started at around $1,000. Another Armalite for close to a grand, I didn't check it out too closely but the main thing I noticed was an OD green handle, etc.

only1asterisk
February 27, 2007, 09:47 PM
Green Lantern,

If you want to buy from a local shop, that's great local shops need all the business they can get. Local shops here have a 30% markup on AR's, and I'm not going to pay it.

David

Browns Fan
February 28, 2007, 05:53 PM
Quote:
"Also, not that there's anything wrong with a RRA lower, but I got an Ameetec complete lower for $209 shipped from JKiser on ar15.com. For about the price of the RRA lower you're looking at, you can get the Ameetec lower with a RRA 2 stage trigger."

This is kinda what I did. I bought an complete Ameetec lower for $200 back in December, And just 2 weeks ago, my wife asks me if I was still saving up for a jkiser Stag upper, I said yes. She then asks me how much do I need for it. I told her and she then said that she could cover that. I said are you sure, she said yes, that she wanted me to have it by the time my birthday gets here.

Anyway, I got the upper, it fits my lower real tight and even the color matches well! I took it out and zeroed it, it's a great little shooter! I couldnt be happier!

Oh yeah, I know, my wife's definitely a keeper!;)

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