Hi, guys. I have a few questions.


April 27, 2007, 07:35 PM
First time poster here.

I've never had a gun, never shot a gun in my life. I'm currently 26 years old and I want to buy one for target practice. I live in Las Vegas, NV.

I've always wanted a gun since I was little, and now I've decided I'm old and responsible enough to buy one.

I was thinking of getting an AR-15. Yes, I'm buying one because I think it looks cool, with all the bells and whistles that you can put on it..like scopes, battle grip, etc..

Which company makes the best one? Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt?

Also, how accurate are they? As I understand it, AR-15s are the civilian version of the M-16..is there a civilian version of the M4?

Also, anyone here live in Las Vegas? Any outdoor shooting ranges? How much do they charge?

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April 27, 2007, 07:39 PM
I think there's a place that rents full auto in las vegas. I don't quite remember where, but somewhere on the outskirts in the desert.

Well that was one quick google search:
Wish I can go there for a day... :(

April 27, 2007, 07:48 PM
Anyone here have an AR-15?

The Law
April 27, 2007, 07:53 PM
There are a few out-door range options in LV (plus, you can go out into the desert).

Desert Sportsman Rifle and Pistol Club.

Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club. http://www.brpc1.org/

In 2008 there will be the really nice Clark County Shooting Park. http://www.accessclarkcounty.com/parks/Shooting_Park.htm

I suggest you post your questions over at the AR15.com forum, for Nevadans. They are a really good group and will help you a ton. There is also lots of information regarding ranges, ccw instructors, etc.

In-door ranges include:

I think that just about covers it.

April 27, 2007, 07:56 PM
As a tag along question:

Do most of you guys just buy the cheapest lower and then attach a good upper? Does the quality of the lower affect much?

April 27, 2007, 08:02 PM
I've got a bushmaster M4A3.


The flash suppressor makes it the legal length of 16". Obviously no bells or whistles *yet.* Never had a problem with it, save to say that it doesn't like cheapo ammo (not brown bear anyways; havent tried wolf yet). Make sure you get one that can shoot 5.56 that way you can also shoot .223 out of it as well. The A3 handle is removable so you that you can put optics on it. I am planning it get an EOtech, myself.

Check out: http://ar15.com/

April 27, 2007, 08:10 PM
Which company makes the best one? Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt?
All three are pretty good, from what I hear. Colt has some quirks... I think it's got a slightly different lower assembly than other brands. But it's got a good reputation.

Also, how accurate are they? As I understand it, AR-15s are the civilian version of the M-16..is there a civilian version of the M4?
AR-15s are a semi-auto-only version of the M-16.
There are civvie versions of the M4s... but have an extended flash hider to bring barrel length to the legal 16".

April 27, 2007, 08:15 PM
A lot of people have AR15s. If you want to throw stuff on it, you'll probably end up building your own upper anyhow unless you buy one with a factory rail system. Most of the AR15s you see in stores are usually the 16" carbines, which is like the military M4. AR15's with 20" barrels are stocked as well, but usually not to the quantity as the 16" barreled ones. You can spend as little or as much money as you want on them. It depends on what you will use it for.

This is one of mine "balls out" for a photo, i.e. hanging everything rail-compatible on it just as an example. Its far to heavy, impractical, and silly to use like that unless you're enlisted in a military unit under JSOC or the world has collapsed.

I have rails on several firearms and I usually "pool" my rail stuff together and use it on the firearm I need it on. I'd suggest you start with a good optic first, and evaluate from there, especially for someone that is new to firearms.


I believe the Colts use different capivated pins for the trigger group or the assembly of the upper/lower. A quick google or someone more knowledgable would probably be able to answer quickly. I own Bushmasters and had no issues with them. A friend owns Olympic Arms and Armalite with no issues. I hear good things from Rock River Arms.

Nomad, 2nd
April 27, 2007, 08:30 PM
There are several places in LV where you can rent a AR. (Sorry, just drove through... never lived there... I stopped in the casinos and a couple shooting ranges)

I recommend you look at Rock River AR's.

Do NOT 'part up' a AR. if you are experenced... that's fine but till you know your stuff just buy a gun (Then you have a warrenty also)

PLEASE do it right and get a flat toped upper.
(You'll thank me later.)

I also recommend you buy a $100 .22 rifle first.
10/22, Marlin Model 60...

April 27, 2007, 08:30 PM
I HIGHLY recommend AGAINST buying an AR15 right off the bat if you are not and experienced shooter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them (I own 3 and I'd venture to guess that >50% of the people on this board own at least one). It just isn't the best gun if you, as you freely admit, "never had a gun, never shot a gun in my life."

You need to

Find someone to take you shooting and/or need to get instruction (I recommend taking a Basic Rifle Course from the NRA)
Buying a .22 LR rifle
Buying about 5 bricks of ammo
Practice marksmanship

Don't go and buy something that looks cool...that won't make you a marksman, rifleman or even much of a shooter...merely a gun owner. If you really want something that looks cool, go buy an airsoft rifle.

You'll do yourself much more good by learning to shoot first then buying the tacticool rifle.

Derek Zeanah
April 27, 2007, 08:45 PM
I was thinking of getting an AR-15. Yes, I'm buying one because I think it looks cool, with all the bells and whistles that you can put on it..like scopes, battle grip, etc..
I agree that a .22 is a good way to learn inexpensively, but if AR's are what you like, then get one. I've seen lots of city folk who've never shot a gun before that learned well on an M16 -- they're really ergonomic and friendly.

Which company makes the best one? Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt?They're all good. I'd look at RRA as well.

Also, how accurate are they? As I understand it, AR-15s are the civilian version of the M-16..is there a civilian version of the M4?
Pretty accurate. Surprisingly accurate.

I'd look at a 16" model to start.

April 27, 2007, 08:52 PM
At least 100,000 first time shooters learn to shoot on the AR every year through the US military. You only lack an instructor. Find one of those and buy your AR.

April 27, 2007, 09:02 PM
Everyone's ignoring your last question...The civilian version of the M-14 is the Springfield M1A, but the caliber is .308 (7.62 NATO), and it's gonna be more difficult to shoot for a beginner.

Derek Zeanah
April 27, 2007, 09:03 PM
Everyone's ignoring your last question...The civilian version of the M-14 is the Springfield M1A, but the caliber is .308, and it's gonna be more difficult to shoot for a beginner.He said M4. ;)

Misread it myself at first.

April 28, 2007, 01:03 AM
Anyone know what the gun laws are in NV? What will I need in order to buy a gun? A rifle specifically like an AR-15.

Nomad, 2nd
April 28, 2007, 01:37 AM
Your drivers lisense... and a from of payment.

April 28, 2007, 02:28 AM
And 18 and no felonies.

And proficiency in safety and handling, please.

I'm technically an AR hater (a military issue one and me had a love-hate thing...more hate than love), but they are stupid accurate. You'll enjoy it.

April 28, 2007, 08:08 PM
Welcome to THR and glad to see another from NV here. As has been mentioned many here own an EBR in the form of an AR. I personally build them from parts easily found via the internet or at gun shows. The AR can be an extremely accurate rifle in the correct hands and is very easy to learn to shoot. If the army can take a ton of teenage civilians that have never fired one and get them to qualify during basic that shows it is not a difficult weapon to master. Learn all you can about them. There is tons of info available. AR15.com is an excellent source for info. The main suppliers like
DPMS, Bushmaster, Colt etc. make excellent rifles and parts. Others like Olympic, Rock River etc. have a faithful following also. The parts as all supposed to be interchangeable as they are (or should be) mil spec. That means that a trigger parts kit from DPMS should work in a reciever from Bushmaster etc. If you just want to get one to learn on pick up one from any of the dealers in Vegas, there are a ton of shops there. Get some one who knows the gun ( not someone who just thinks they know it) to teach you how to shoot it and more importantly how to clean and maintain it. The AR is an excellent weapon but like a Porsche or other high end mechanical device it requires more rigorous and thorough maintenance than many other guns.

April 28, 2007, 08:14 PM
Anyone here have an AR-15?

Man, that's like walking into a Catholic Church and asking if anybody there has guilt. :neener: (Hey I'm Catholic so I am allowed to jest)

Just messing with you. Welcome to the forum. Take the advice of the folks here as there is a wealth of it.

My two cents is to also buy a quality .22 Long rifle upper/conversion for your soon to be AR15. Yes its another few hundred bucks but not only is it good practice for the full .223 caliber it is also darn fun shooting.

Take care, shoot safe.

El Tejon
April 28, 2007, 08:29 PM
Yeah, just a couple AR-15s here.:D

Wonder, join a gun club. Get to know some old hands who will let you shoot theirs. Find a friend, go shooting with him. You buy ammo, he provides gun.

Go to a gun show handle a bunch. Lots of people making ARs now, including my 67 year old mother who is making them in her gararge on the west side of Indianapolis.:uhoh:

By all means get familiar with who is making what. However, I highly recommend a class. Get to a carbine class, Front Sight is just next door for you, Gunsite is close.

Borrow a carbine and get trained up. Once you become enlightened via education who will understand what it is that you seek. Whatever the weapon platform you will understand that it is secondary to you.

Some gear is useful. Some less than optimal. Some outstanding. Some gear is subjective (personal likes and dislikes--sling systems, optics, fixed or retractable stocks, inter alia). If you have no education and experience, you cannot separate the wheat from the chaff.

Allow your software to select your hardware.

Fred Fuller
April 28, 2007, 09:19 PM
Welcome to THR- hope you enjoy your stay.

I'd suggest getting started with a pretty plain jane service sort of rifle or carbine, leaving the bells and whistles until later. IMHO it's a good idea to learn iron sights first before you move on to optics of any kind. It's kind of a 'lowest common denominator' thing.

Getting some basic training as early as possible would be a good idea. If there's an Appleseed Clinic near you, that would be a big help ( http://www.rwva.org/ ). There are almost certainly NRA classes available in your area ( http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/basictraining.asp ), and they are a good place to start. And a Hunter Safety Course is a good place to get a grounding in firearms safety, even if you never intend to hunt.

Relatives or friends who are shooters can be a big help sometimes. They can also get you started in some bad habits that will be that much harder to break later, depending on the quality of their teaching. So choose your instructors with care.

Enjoy yourself, and stay safe,


April 28, 2007, 09:30 PM
Rule #1. Looks don't get the job done.

For a good outdoor range, try Front Site Range. http://www.frontsight.com/index.asp

The Deer Hunter
April 28, 2007, 09:40 PM
I also think you should probably find a range and "mingle" first. You can pick up alot of good information from people you meet there. Your first gun should probably be a .22LR also, as others have stated.

AR-15's are freaking cool looking, you could always just buy a like $30 airsoft one from ebay until you get the real thing. I can assure you, they are fun. But if you do decide to get one as a first gun make sure you get a flattop if you have ever thought about putting a scope on it. The regular upper receiver has the carry handle/rear sight on it, while the flattop upper has a carry handle/rear sight that is removable so you can mount a scope, red dot, flip up etc...

lee n. field
April 28, 2007, 09:58 PM
Anyone here have an AR-15?

He he he!

Only about a quarter of the people here.

April 29, 2007, 12:35 AM
Which company makes the best one? Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt?

They're all pretty good, save Hess. Olympics have had some lowsy reviews in the past, but I've not been hearing the gossip so much lately.

My personal preference is Armalite, but they are more expensive on a given model than all but Colt. Aside from excellent quality, Armalite is just a very pleasant company to deal with. I've never had to send any of mine in for warranty work (the warranty is lifetime), but when ordering accessories and the like I have always experienced good CS. The person who answers the phone handles the call from beginning to end and they know what they're doing. Orders are 100% correct and timely, etc.

You'll spend right around $1K for a standard Armalite M-15. National Match and target models are more.

However, I have shot many Bushys, Colts and RRA's and they all worked fine too. One of the reasons I belive these guys outsell Armalite and Colt is simply cost; They come with more goodies at a lower price. I'd have had to spend over $1,100 to get the same setup with an Armalite M-15A4 carbine as my buddy got with his $939 RRA CAR A4. Fortunately, my sister works in a gunshop and I prefer A2 uppers, which already have iron sights.;)

April 29, 2007, 01:35 PM
Wonderclam, how many times are you going to post this topic?

April 29, 2007, 03:28 PM
Well, an AR was the first rifle I ever owned. I was talked into it by the Marine that got me into shooting and it wasn't too hard of a sell. I then had my uncle, another Marine, help me sight it in the first time and show me how that whole process works.

A .22LR kit isn't a bad idea, but you probably won't develop any bad habits like flinching before the shot as they're pretty docile weapons to begin with.

Aside from Bushmaster, Olympic Arms, Colt, and Armalite there's also the new line coming out from S&W which I hear are made on Stag lowers. Not sure how they compare on price but I've fondled one in the gun shop before and they felt quite solid.

I think it's pretty hard to buy a bad AR if you're getting it from a real manufacturer. You might find a part gun at a gun show slapped together by some guy that's not going to serve you well, but as long as you buy new I think you'd be fine.

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