????'s ABOUT AR15


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target1911
June 17, 2007, 10:18 PM
I am looking at getting my first AR style rifle.

I just wanted some opinions (I know they will vary) mostly on brands.
Bushmaster...Colt...DPMS...M-P...etc
I know one thing for sure is that I want a removable carry handle. Other than that I am not sure about much else. My biggest conflict is what length to get. I would like the Varmint style but I thing the shorter bbl would be a more compact SHTF gun. I will be shooting this rifle as often as I can.

Thanks

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trueblue1776
June 17, 2007, 10:21 PM
They are all pretty decent these days, I still don't like Olympic Arms.

DPMS makes a few heavy barrel varmint carbines that would probably fit the ticket for a good price.

newfalguy101
June 17, 2007, 10:22 PM
buy the configuration you want the worst now, then buy new uppers.

I have a DPMS Lite-16, it so far has been reliable ( I only have less than 200 rounds through it )........................no removable carry handle however.............which was my compromise

MMcfpd
June 17, 2007, 10:25 PM
I've got 16" barrels and I'm happy with them. The longer barrels are really for longer distance precision shooting. 16s work for most stuff.

I've got Colts and I'm happy with them, but you can get into a decent AR cheaper than what a Colt typically costs, although some top tier marks rival Colt in price.

Stag, Bushmaster and RRA are very popular and get good reviews. I've got one with a CMMG lower and that seems to be pretty decent hardware.

DPMS gets gripes, as does Olympic. And they have their defenders. Pretty much anything with a recognized name besides Vulcan/Hesse is probably OK.

RNB65
June 17, 2007, 10:28 PM
My biggest conflict is what length to get. I would like the Varmint style but I thing the shorter bbl would be a more compact SHTF gun.

Ah, but that's what so nice about the AR. Buy one lower receiver and as many upper receivers as you want. You can buy a basic short barreled flattop upper for plinking and a long barreled varmint upper (such as the Rock River Predator) for serious long range shootin'.

:)

cat_IT_guy
June 17, 2007, 11:02 PM
I have a DPMS w/ 16" barrel. I have had no problems with it, and it is far more accurate than I even though it isnt a varmint model. It is very light and quick to aim. My only complaint is that the trigger sucks, although this seems to be a trend with most rifles these days. Im currently considering a drop in match trigger.

If I could do it over again though, I would drop an extra couple hundred $$ and get one with a removable carry handle. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

glockman19
June 17, 2007, 11:07 PM
I have a 16" and 20" 20" has slightly better accuracy.

MMcfpd
June 17, 2007, 11:27 PM
...I would drop an extra couple hundred $$ and get one with a removable carry handle.

It costs that much with DPMS?

RockyMtnTactical
June 17, 2007, 11:51 PM
I use my M4 style rifles for varminting and they work great.

Get yourself a Stag!

SilverState
June 17, 2007, 11:56 PM
These days, seems like Stag and RRA are good values.

Dgindlesperger
June 18, 2007, 12:11 AM
I have a 16" oly that runs like a champ. I put some nice glass in it and get dime size groups at 100 yards.

Zeke Menuar
June 18, 2007, 12:31 AM
I have an AR with a Stag lower and CMMG upper. Upper is a 20" govt profile with 1/7 twist.

CMMG is a bit more expensive. They use 4150 barrel steel. They also will build you just about any style AR with lots of options available.

ZM

armed85
June 18, 2007, 12:57 AM
My favorite brand is Lewis Machine & Tool Company (http://www.lewismachine.net/). Their quality (and price) is equal to Colt Defense.

You'll pay a price premium, but if you want the best, LMT is it.

LMT sells complete rifles and carbines, but they don't yet list them in their catalog. Check your local gun stores.

If you decide on a 20", check out "government profile" barrels. A govt. profile barrel is lighter weight than the HBAR or heavy barrel. HBARs feel front heavy to me and I don't like the balance.

Good luck.

target1911
June 18, 2007, 01:03 AM
I have been told that the chrome lined bbl doesn't last as long as the others and the only way one will help is if you are doing precision match shooting.
is that true?

target1911
June 18, 2007, 01:17 AM
Ah, but that's what so nice about the AR. Buy one lower receiver and as many upper receivers as you want. You can buy a basic short barreled flattop upper for plinking and a long barreled varmint upper (such as the Rock River Predator) for serious long range shootin'.


the prob here is that on the varmint I would like the fixed stock and the other a colapsable...I was at the gun show today in FTW and got the idea off diff uppers...yes I know I am bein difficult but most decisions are. I guess I will have to flip a coin and get the other later...HMMMMMMMMMM...what do i do?????

Zeke Menuar
June 18, 2007, 05:02 AM
What you do is to buy a stripped lower, lower parts kit and an A2 stock.

Build up the lower and have one lower with a collapsable stock and one with a fixed stock.

Then start saving for AR number two.

Navy87Guy
June 18, 2007, 05:35 AM
Why are you so determined to have the removable carry handle? If you mount optics, you won't be able to keep them zeroed. The convenience of the removable handle kind of goes away when it messes up your optics alignment every time you use it. You can invest in a good quality 2-point sling that will allow you to handle the weapon without sacrificing alignment.

Also, why do you want a fixed stock and a collapsible stock? If it's for aesthetics, that's one thing. I have a collapsible on my Stag and my Saiga AK and they are just as solid and comfortable as any fixed stock.

Just something to consider that might increase your options.

Jim

Jeremy2171
June 18, 2007, 05:43 AM
I have been told that the chrome lined bbl doesn't last as long as the others and the only way one will help is if you are doing precision match shooting.
is that true?

You have it backwards...
The chrome lined ones are what the military uses. They are longer lasting and easier to clean and won't rust.

NON-chrome barrels are cheaper and "might" shoot a "little" better than a chrome bore but not much. Now MATCH rifles use non chrome bores as they are precision made and highly accurate....the barrel life is also about 5,000 rounds compared to the chromed barrel's ~20,000 rounds.

Whatever accuracy benefit you get (if any) from a non-chrome barrel is wasted if YOU aren't good enough to tell the difference.

The question is......what are you going to use the rife for??? Match rifle? No brainer...

Occasional shooter?? Cheaper rifle....non-chrome bore saves you a few bucks..not much but if you are on a budget.... go fo it.

Regular shooter/SHTF etc... go chrome...you'll never go back.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 18, 2007, 08:42 AM
Now MATCH rifles use non chrome bores as they are precision made and highly accurate....the barrel life is also about 5,000 rounds compared to the chromed barrel's ~20,000 rounds.

That isn't exactly true. Match barrels are often replaced around 5-7k because they are no longer good enough for High Power competition at that point; but that doesn't mean they are worthless or inaccurate though. A military barrel is supposed to be replaced when it exceeds 7.2MOA at 300yds (doesn't always happen though). At that point, it is pretty much unsuitable for aimed fire.

If you use the same rejection standard for both barrels, then the difference in lifespan is a lot less dramatic than the quoted comment would indicate. Chrome still seems to have an advantage; but it is more on the order of 2-3k rounds from the anecdotal data I've gathered.

the prob here is that on the varmint I would like the fixed stock and the other a colapsable...

You might consider something like the Magpul UBR. It is a collapsible stock that is as solid as a fixed stock. I use the earlier M93 version on my own rifle and you cannot tell the difference between a fixed stock and the M93 in use.

Onmilo
June 18, 2007, 09:01 AM
Non-Chrome bores will shoot a whole lot better than chrome lined but you won't see the difference if you are shooting at a 100 meter range.

Military Match shooters can and will change barrels in as little as 500 rounds if they feel the barrel isn't shooting up to par.

Most military issue M16 rifles have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 to 40,000 rounds fired through them before they are sent off for repair and they are usually sent in for some other problem where Depot deems the barrel unservicable.
Unit Armorers rarely send rifles back for bad barrels unless the barrel is hopelessly bent, don't laugh, this is way more common than you might think.

Here is a little secret. Most Manufacturers do not make their own parts they assemble guns from outsourced parts.

Those that use the best parts that I have seen, Colt, DPMS, Stag Arms, Double Star in that order

Those that actually make the best parts, DPMS, Prairie River Machine, Lewis Machine and Tool, Colt.

Dravur
June 18, 2007, 10:13 AM
I build ARs for fun and really like the platform. I just found a new lower that I had never used and the price was right. They are Superior Arms from somewhere in Iowa. I was skeptical but what the heck, they were $97 for a stripped lower. Pretty decent price and I figured what the heck. I bought 2.

I used a FN parts kit and a DPMS parts kit in the builds and they went flawlessly. The only negative to these lowers was the fact that whomever stamped the words into the side of the receiver was a blindman with a hammer. The other weird thing is there were 2 holes where the grip mates into. Not sure what the other one is for and it came with a screw in plug. Not sure what it was for.

So, now I have 2 more complete lowers with nothing sitting on em. If anyone has a couple uppers for sale, let me know. hehe.

I am going to finish one of them as cheaply as possible and send up some photos and prices.

The other one? hmmmm, any suggestions?

target1911
June 18, 2007, 10:05 PM
I Thank everyone for the feed back and keep it coming.

One thing that I have noticed is that noone has yet mentioned Bushmaster. Why is that. I HEAR more ppl talk about them (good and bad...more here lately tho) than any other.

damyankee
June 18, 2007, 10:14 PM
RRA Middy, My bro who spent a year and a half straight in Iraq said nothing but the highest praise for it. Yes he used his carbine on hostiles.

Onmilo
June 18, 2007, 10:44 PM
I like Bushmaster barrels.
I also like Olympic barrels.
The rest of the stuff those Companies offer I can buy for better prices and better quality elsewhere.

Bushmaster and Remington have been bought by the same investor group that recently purchased Dodge/Chrysler.
Don't be too suprised if you see these two Firearm manufacturers merged in some way.

target1911
June 19, 2007, 12:41 AM
Bushmaster and Remington have been bought by the same investor group that recently purchased Dodge/Chrysler.
Don't be too suprised if you see these two Firearm manufacturers merged in some way



WOW......does that mean I will be able to buy a Dodge/Master AR-318...or a Rem-Bush AR-440...??? I MUST WAIT TILL THOSE MODELS COMES OUT before it buy one.... It will look Great in the back window of my Dodge Ram.
LOL...sorry couldnt resist that one....

Onmilo
June 19, 2007, 09:31 AM
Chuckle now.
I hope these "Investors" aren't the bleed it down and take the money and run kind.
Old Deeter sold Chrysler cheap, I wonder what his take from the deal ended up being?????????

DogBonz
June 19, 2007, 09:59 AM
Chuckle now.
I hope these "Investors" aren't the bleed it down and take the money and run kind.
Old Deeter sold Chrysler cheap, I wonder what his take from the deal ended up being?????????

Cerberus Capital is famous for buying companies and building them up, strengthen them financially and then holding them or selling them for a profit. Think of a fixer upper house. They take a business add new management or reinforce the existing structure and then try to bump up their sales. These guys are not the slash and burn types that were popular in the 80s.

This is from their Investment Philosophy page:

At Cerberus, we have a long-term investment horizon and focus on value creation. We invest in undervalued companies and their people, and help them to realize their potential.

target1911
June 26, 2007, 12:44 AM
The main reason I want a removable carry handle is because after forkin over the money for a nice AR, I wont be able to afford optics for a while......but when I can, all I have to do is remove the handle and install.

ftierson
June 26, 2007, 01:12 AM
Keep in mind that there are other rear sight options that will allow you to keep the sight mounted even when you add the optical sight...

Personally, I really like the RRA stuff. And, to put my money where my mouth is, I just ordered a complete 20 inch chrome-lined A4 (flattop) upper from them (with a delivery date about twelve weeks out given the current demand for their products)...

I also think that the Doublestar/J&T Distributing stuff is really good...

The LMT, CMMG and Stag stuff is top notch as well...

I rate others slightly lower, but still very good...

As a matter of fact, it's quite difficult to find any poor manufacturers of AR stuff right now...

I should also mention that I only shoot M193 type ammo (55gr), which is one of the reasons behind my preference for a 20 inch barrel. After all, speed kills, and longer barrels produce more speed :)

Forrest

Dallas Jack
June 26, 2007, 02:16 AM
I second the Doublestar/J&T Distributing. I bought one complete bull barreled AR from Doublestar and one Car 16" kit from J&T. Both worked very well.
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o17/DallasJack/DSCF0105bb.jpg

Dallas Jack

TimboKhan
June 26, 2007, 02:51 AM
It's kind of generic, but I have had nothing but good experiences with Bushmaster, and it is likely that they will get any future AR business I have unless I stumble across a great bargain on something else. I also like that a Marine is in charge of the company now, although that is more of a personal bias than anything else.

On another topic, My roommate had an Olympic for awhile until he sold it to another buddy of ours, and it was and remains a perfectly fine rifle. I have heard some people crack on them, but I have to say my experience was positive.

Also, Navy87Guy, I can't speak for the OP, but I happen to have the same requirements when it comes to removable handle and fixed stock. One boils down to the fact that I like to shoot with traditional AR iron sights, but I also want to be able to take it off and slap a scope on. As far as the fixed stock goes, its really just a personal preference. My SKS has a Tapco T-6, and I have shot plenty of adjustable stocked AR's, but when it comes down to it, I just like the regular old fixed stock. Nothing more than a personal preference, although I guess the fixed stock would be superior for butt-stroking someone.

The Grand Pooh-Bah
June 26, 2007, 04:00 AM
I hand picked every component on mine and built it. It is a one of a kind built exactly to my specifications. Here is my build page http://www.ar15photos.com/ar15build/ to give you an idea. One of the things I did was set it up to remove all the accessories without any tools needed. I also installed an Ambi Mag Release and Ambi Safety to accommodate left handed users. Such as two of my daughters.

http://www.ar15photos.com/photos/albums/userpics/normal_100_0312web1.jpg

With the Scope, Sling,Forward Grip, Bipod

http://www.ar15photos.com/photos/albums/userpics/normal_ar15toysno.jpg

30 Seconds Later without the Accessories and the iron site in ready.


http://www.ar15photos.com/photos/albums/userpics/normal_ar15jun079esm.jpg

Needless to say I'm real proud of her.

The best way to learn about the AR15 is to visit forums like this one and ask lots of questions. I learned a lot at AR15.com but have found that gathering info from several locations will give you a better prospective on things. Good luck.

CD0311
June 26, 2007, 04:06 AM
Hey, no one has mentioned Armalite, what's up with that?. That is my favorite one with a close second- Colt. Remember Armalite has been the only one to win Nationals out of the box (2000, USMC SSGT H. Harrison..if I remember right) and my NM A2 shoots in the 190s out to 1000y. It has about 2000 rounds thought it and I have not noticed a decline in my scores.

An Armalite 20" flat top is next for me :)

Chuck R.
June 26, 2007, 08:49 AM
I looked at a bunch of ARs before settling on my 6920. After doing research these are the 3 Id take a serious look at:

Colt (Defense, LE series)
LMT
CMMG

As for optics returning to zero:

Why are you so determined to have the removable carry handle? If you mount optics, you won't be able to keep them zeroed.

Here, you really do get what you pay for; good mounts (Spelled L A R U E) will retain zero to about MOA or better when you follow the directions.

My 6920 does double duty as my HD gun with a TriPower and by switching mount/scope and load it serves as my beaver and muskrat control rifle. Both optics maintain their zero.

Chuck

ftierson
June 26, 2007, 11:56 AM
By the way, I've already mentioned that I think that most of the AR manufacturers/assemblers are putting out pretty good stuff...

However, you might want to see what is being shot by most of the winners of military style competition (Camp Perry stuff and all..)

I think that you'll find that the answer begins with 'Rock' and ends with 'River Arms"...

For what it's worth...

:)

Forrest

target1911
June 28, 2007, 11:34 PM
STILL LOTS OF GREAT INFO......
I am doing my best to take it all in...
So far it seems that RRA is one of the most popular...
And I have heard a lot about DPMS.... along with many others
I will take all of the info and do my best to make a good choice

By The Way... I have seen some GREAT pics of some GREAT rifles.

Thanks to all and keep the info and pics rollin
David

000Buck
June 29, 2007, 04:09 PM
LMT

Zach S
June 29, 2007, 08:57 PM
The other weird thing is there were 2 holes where the grip mates into. Not sure what the other one is for and it came with a screw in plug. Not sure what it was for.
The second hole, with the screw, is to pre-load the trigger a little bit. SA claims you can get match trigger with mil-spec parts.

NineHotel
July 4, 2007, 03:36 PM
Forrest, the top civies at CP are shooting White Oak Precision/White Oak Armament uppers. The military teams vary. The AMU gets parts from the various mil spec contractors and the AMU smithies build all the rifles up from scratch. The USMCR team gets issued Marine armorer rifles, hand built like the AMUs, but are restricted to shooting 77 grain BH ammo in them. No handloads or other ammo, such as BH 600 hard ammo with 80 grain SMKs. The USMCR team has resorted to many of them shooting their own uppers, and a few years ago RRA made them a sweet deal on a bunch. Having pitted with and shot with several USMCR team members the last few years, I have heard no complaints on the RRA uppers.

The AMU sources barrels from 5 or more makers - Krieger, Douglas, Shilen, and a few more. Their armorers barrel up the the uppers themselves.

The All Guard team has rifles built on mil spec receivers. They use Smith Enterprise sights, and I gotta tell ya these things are junk compared to the WOP/WOA setups. They also use (or did use) Jewell triggers, another piece of junk. maybe they switched to another trigger. I'll ask them this weekend assuming they come up and shoot the BCGC 4th matches.

So, while I agree that RRA is an outstanding component and rifle maker, their rifles do not dominate the national matches at the upper echelons of shooting skill. Lots of them on the line. Lots of junior programs using them. Lots of run of the mill civies using them. All with good success.

If they would just come out with a windage adjustable FSB and better headspace control on their chambering operation then their box stock rifle would be stepped up to a top of the line rifle.

before someone chimes in about the "new" bushie NM, all I can say is I'll withhold comment on it until I have one to test for an extended period. The old bushie NM rifle was absolute dog sheite. Chincy rear sight, bad mags, triggers that failed more often than not, feeding problems, lower quality float tubes. The triggers were absolutely the worst on the market. We have a few dozen of them in a clinic/junior program at BCGC. These rifles, particularly the clinic rifles, see very little use. In 2005 we took 7 lowers in to have the triggers fixed/replaced by Bushy at CP. The only RRA trigger failure I experienced was at about 15,000 cycles and the hammer broke, and I dry fire as much or more as I live fire that lower. RRA had me send in the lower and in 7 days including the weekend I had the lower back with a new trigger assy in it, no charge.

Also, you and I both have fingered our share of DPMS rifles that have passed through the shop for repairs or shipped in on transfers. These are by far the roughest looking, poorest fitting upper and lower receivers I have laid eyes on. DPMS = Darned Poorly Made Shinola in my book from hands on with their AR15-based products.

ftierson
July 4, 2007, 05:40 PM
Thanks for all the info and 'setting the record straight', Nine...

Especially for what's going on, equipment-wise, at the "upper echelons of shooting skill."

And good luck at the BCGC 4th Matches, although we both know that it isn't just a matter of luck...

But good luck is always good...

:)

Later...

Forrest

target1911
July 7, 2007, 03:29 AM
I havnt heard much about the Olympic Arms line.
I spoted one the other day that is set up pretty much like I want and it was priced at $750 NIB.....flat top..flip up front and rear sights...the fore grip I want...
but I just havnt heard much about them. Are they reliable and how is customer service???

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