Suggestions for an AR? Pretty please?


August 11, 2007, 05:45 PM
Okay, gents. With any luck, I'll be going to work next week, and shortly thereafter I should have an ungodly amount of money in the bank. Around which time, I plan to purchase any number of shiny new (as well as dinged-up old,) firearms. At some point, I'd like to fulfill my childhood EBR fantasies by buying an AR. Of course, the fact that I know jackdoodleysquat about ARs complicates matters somewhat. Hence, I do verily petition the varied opinions of those that walk The High Road :)

Here's what I want:

Flat-top receiver (no fancy carry handle for this lad.)

Full stock (no skeletonized collapsity uber-short stocks, please.)

Relatively long barrel (thinking like 20-24 inches. Does 5.56 do better out of longer barrels? Please, no "shortest barrel on the block," flashy boomy-boom barrels.)

Flash suppressor would be okay. No muzzle brake.

Option to convert to huge fatty-fat thumpity-thump-thump caliber, like .50 Beowulf. Feel free to suggest alternatives, please. (what do I need for this? just an upper? Bolt swap?)

Relatively affordable (Somewhat less than the value of 500 troy ounces of silver and a pint of virgin blood.)

Accurate, reliable, and a reputable company to back it, if possible.

So, does such a thing exist? What are the manufactures I should be looking at?

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August 11, 2007, 07:59 PM
Any of the manufactures are going to have what you want - sounds like your after a standard A3 20" rifle. I would decide who your going to give your money to first, then go from there. STAG Arms comes up alot, they are credible, make good stuff and are priced VERY reasonable.

I built my own, do some research and see if this is for you. Its usually cheaper and your going to get EXACTLY what you want.

As for the .50 use your standard AR lower and you just swap out the complete upper assembly (including the bolt group).

Seven High
August 11, 2007, 08:22 PM
The answer to your question is: Bushmaster!

Gary G23
August 11, 2007, 08:54 PM

Zeke Menuar
August 11, 2007, 09:15 PM
CMMG. You can order up just about any AR, any way you want.

Rethink the carry handle. I use the irons 95% of the time. Get a decent QD scope mount that returns to zero when remounted.

Rethink the adjustable stock. After living with the A2 stock for a couple of months it was replaced with a Stag commercial stock. Much more handy.


August 11, 2007, 09:18 PM
I tend towards Armalite.They have a good variety of .223/.308 in every thing from tackticle to match,colapsible and A2 stocks. They are very good rifles. I shoot an AR10 set up as a match rifle and have done very well withe it . Armalite also makes ARs under the name of Eagle Arms whitch is less expensive but coperable to the Armalites.DPMS is another good one.Before you try to build your own, I would highly recomend doing as much reaserch as I could. It is not a complicated process but a thruogh under standing of the trigger group is a must if you plan to use an after market trigger or if using a striped lower. I would not recomend using a stripped upper because you would need to have the barrel installed by a gunsmith. All in all, I think the best thing to do for your first AR would be to buy a complete rifle, learn what you like/don't like and then look at building.

August 11, 2007, 09:31 PM
You should be able to order something like that from any AR maker.

Or, to be sure its exactly how you want it, you could order the parts and build it youself.

August 11, 2007, 09:47 PM
If you plan on match shooting its pretty straight forward.

RRA Upper and Lowers,White Oak Uppers (awesome), Compass Lake,Fulton Armory has a following.

Forget the flattop unless your interest is Match Rifle (MR). Real riflemen shoot Service Rifle (SR).
1/2" or 1/4 MOA" pinned rear
Wilson barrels gets it done (1:7 or 1:6.5 not a Wilson) 11deg crown (but there are better and the fast twist is a must for any bullet 69grs or heavier.
Float tube
A good sling (Turner,Tam) though I still shoot a cheap canvas and pre-stretch it.
2 stage trigger (RRA(long wait), Gessle($300), JP (single stage, I like mine but Ill probable take it out for a WOA tuned RRA),
If your just looking for something to pop tin cans then you can get something for under $700 that is dependable and will always be a lot of fun Bushy).

August 11, 2007, 10:13 PM
I'd say build your own...I'm in the process of doing just that for my first AR and trust's easy...lots of directions on to help out.

August 11, 2007, 10:19 PM
'd say build your own...I'm in the process of doing just that for my first AR and trust's easy...lots of directions on to help out.

Exactly, people make it out to be FAR more complicated then it really is. In fact I hesitate you even call it building.

If you buy a rifle kit and stripped lower your going to need a hammer and a punch or two. You can usually buy a punch set for $15 from where you get the rifle kit from. Then you need 45 minutes to yourself and the instructions from - honestly Im not a hands-on person and it was easy.

August 11, 2007, 11:45 PM
In fact I hesitate you even call it building.

yea...more like assembly than building.

August 12, 2007, 12:15 AM
I would build rather than buy a complete rifle, but I have done it many times over the past 20 years. It is easy to do, but many people who are not mechanically inclined are put off at the thought of building their own.

A rifle length barrel eliminates most of the feed and ejection problems of carbines. 24" is a good choice. 1 in 8 twist will allow you to shoot 80 grain bullets for longer range and still perform well with 69, 75 or 77 grain bullets.

A free floating handguard and good trigger are the 2 most important things you can have on your rifle for accuracy. The best trigger value is the Rock River 2 stage worked over by White Oak Armament (John Hollinger). A Giessele trigger is slightly better, but costs twice as much.

Zeke Menuar
August 12, 2007, 03:02 AM
Buy a complete upper then a complete lower.

Save a few bucks on the excise tax.


August 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
If you plan on using surplus ammo, or "lower quality" manufactured ammo, like Wolf and such, you will do yourself a HUGE favor of getting a 5.56 NATO chamber vs. .223 chamber. There is a slight difference. If you are looking for max accuracy, AND will ONLY be using quality manufactured ammo, the .223 chamber will work for you.

If you are planning on carrying this rifle, you will do yourself a favor by getting a 16" barrel, the M4 profile is just a few ozs heavier than the original, very light weight "pencil" barrel, which makes the rifle very gentle to carry.

Carry handle is not required, but you will want to consider getting flip up sights. I really like having flip up front sights, as they get out of the way of optics.

You can "build" an AR (really, just assembling it) is very easy, as all the technical stuff (barrel mounting, head spacing) is done for you.

There are a bunch of guys here and at that have offered to help folks to build an AR, you can contact them for first hand help. The AGI videos work well for this as well.

Like any new rifle platform you buy, now days, your hinderance is going to be ammo and mags. AR mags are plentiful and cheap now, but don't expect that to stay that way as the Nov-08 elections get closer. Panic buying will precede the elections, due to short sighted gun owners ;)

August 12, 2007, 09:42 PM

When you order the rifle, you can specify brake instead of flash suppressor, chamber type (NATO 5.56x45mm spec, SAAMI .223 spec, or the "split the difference" Wylde chamber)
(bottom rifle is flattop)

Some of those are going to be a tad heavy, though.

To change the caliber, all you'll need is a new upper (i.e., barrel and upper receiver assembly), and perhaps a magazine if the caliber doesn't take standard mags..

August 12, 2007, 10:01 PM
As you can see, ask 100 people an opinion get 100 different answers!

My .02....

1. Go to at the 10 million photos....see what tickles your fancy

2. Since you dont really know what you want to do with the rifle,play it safe-
Look at a 16-20inch barrel...the carbine barrels are exceptionally accurate
and you just may end up carrying it-so wieght matters

3. get a flat top WITH a removable handle....
you may just find you like iron sights!
This way you have your cake and eat it too!
And scopes are fun!

4. I also believe that your first AR15 is really part of the learning curve as to what your interests will evolve to.

5. As far as rifling, STAY WITH THE 1:9 !!!!
ITs a compromise but gives you the most broad bulllet wt
1:9 lets you use 55 g to 69g aint gonna need others
for your first AR.

My .02.....Rock River Arms gives you the most for your money!
Look at a tactical carbine, various standard NRA match rifles,
or Varmint set ups....

REMEMBER: The popularity of thr AR paltform is in its abilty to swap out parts.

I'm building a tackdriver-long range target rifle -
Im swapping the original RRA 16in barrel (actually they use Wilson)
for a Krieger 26 in barrel, using the same RRA upper reciever.
New rifle with a distinctly differnt purpose, all for the cost of the barrel and tools.

Any questions, IM or e-mail me


Rifleman 173
October 6, 2007, 10:10 PM
Go to "Model 1" and order one of their 24 inch uppers (complete half) if you like them. Then get yourself a decent complete lower like Bushmaster, Rock River Arms or Stag Arms. Put the two groups together and you have a long barrelled AR-15 rifle for under $1K in price. Mount a scope on it and you're good to go shooting.

October 6, 2007, 11:13 PM
Any AR manufacturer will have what you're after. I prefer Armalite, and their M15A4 or M15(T) would fit your bill. Neither has factory sights of any kind, though.

October 6, 2007, 11:25 PM
well, there are a bunch of makers in the 7 to 800 dollar range that will make most of what you want, the conversion is a bit tougher, without buying a complete diff upper, and a some other stuff.
the flash hider , I cant' remember the name of the best, but it looks like a solid cylinder on the end of the rifle, until you get close up to it, then it looks like it has 4 twist, curving cuts in it, pretty thin cuts as well, removes about 90 plus percent of the flash, so it is nice. Also the vortex flash hider is pretty good, i have one on a super shortie Keltec PLR pistol, so it's gotta be!!!! Plus Phantom flash hiders are good as well, but the first one I mentioned is the best, i think it is like a dudes last name, but man , i just can't remember right now!!!
Bushmaster, is a good all around brand, so is rock river, so is armalite, so is stag, doublestar, and others. or you could go high end , and spend 2000 bucks easy, for a La Rue, or LMT , or a DPMS, or wilson combat, or a couple of others.
Then you also need to decide if you want a standard ar , or do you want a piston drive, such as Patriot Ordinance, or others like that. My next will be a piston drive, mos def.
But if you want a truly modular AR type, then MGI military sales is the way to do. truly modular in all respects; remove pieces of your weapon and replace with other pieces, to fire other cals.

October 6, 2007, 11:43 PM
I have both Bushmaster and Rock River.

Lately I am VERY happy with Rock River's variety and quality.

October 6, 2007, 11:54 PM

I like my Bushmasters, I think they're a good value. But I'm spending another ~$150 - 180 each on NM triggers, my 'smith is tuning some 2 stage RRAs.

Do you have gunshows in your part of Missoura? I'd go fondle some if I were you.

20 - 24"? Someone told me that the 24" gives you more velocity which is useful only at very long distances. It does give increased sight radius, good for iron sights but pointless for scopes. More weight in front.

Do you want a chrome lined bore? Chrome-moly is not chrome lined.

Balance is important to me, I don't like the standard HBAR. I had Bushmaster do me a complete upper with a GI profile barrel. Great for offhand. The HBAR is getting a scope, looking forward to bench.

Which leads to conversion. With BM I don't think you can swap out to .450, can't speak for anything else. But I got an entire new upper assembly with carry handle for easy swaps. That's incredibly convenient but $.

A3 will do you for the flattop but I got the removable carryhandle. The iron sights are nice, both ghost & small apertures. I recommend the removable carryhandle, the iron sights are cheap that way & plain fun.

October 7, 2007, 12:32 AM
I purchased DPMS...have two actually a Varmint tack driver and a M4gery plinking machine! If you buy any Quality AR you won't be dissappointed. RRA and Bushmaster are also good but there are many good AR's and a few one to avoid. Cannot remember now which is which because I love mine.

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