Which AR15 to get on a $600 budget?


November 5, 2007, 10:23 AM
I really dont want to spend too much on an AR since I dont know how much I would be using it and the ammo is pretty expensive. Im more of a handgun type of guy. I saw the Olympic Arms Plinker plus is around $600, also I have seen an Eagle Arms (used) for $600 as well.

What do you recommend at this price range? Should I buy used instead, or build it myself? It will basically be used for plinking around and some longe range target. Also what about an AR in 7.62? I have a few thousand rounds in 7.62.


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November 5, 2007, 10:46 AM
build it will be cheaper.
do a search, some one asked almost this same question a few days ago and a link was posted to a "bargain bin" sale on hole rifles for 600

November 5, 2007, 11:32 AM
build it myself?yes

465 for kit
110 or so for the lower

another option is a low cost lightweight build using a cavalry arms lower
125 lower
65 parts kit
395 lightweight upper

but really i think you should just get a stripped lower, do your research and gradually build exactly what you want.

November 5, 2007, 11:39 AM
A quick newbie question about these kits. I see it says "Rifle kit does not include stripped lower ". What exactly does this mean? Is there something in addition to these that you need to buy to get going? Also, is there any good info out there on the legality of these guns? I live in NY state. Thanks, and I apologize if these are topics covered elsewhere in the forum.

November 5, 2007, 11:42 AM
I see it says "Rifle kit does not include stripped lower ".you need to go and buy the stripped lower from a FFL holder because thats the part that is considered by law to be the actual gun. the rest you can have sent right to your door.

November 5, 2007, 12:04 PM
Spend a little more ($200 or so) and get something nice and reliable.

Will Learn
November 5, 2007, 12:10 PM

Don't Tread On Me
November 5, 2007, 03:52 PM
$600? Buy an AK.

Not being a smartass. I'm a big fan of the AR-15 on here, but if I had only $600 - it would be the AK for me.

November 5, 2007, 03:53 PM
I bought a Bushmaster AR 15 used but in like new condition for $800.

November 5, 2007, 03:59 PM
800 is not 600. though I have been looking at this thread for the exact reasons buenhc described. I got a buddy who's willing to "get rid of" his bushy carbon 15 m4. Don't know what it's worth, but I might try and pick it up for 600. or see what else is available for the same price. so links to cheap rifles are always good.

November 5, 2007, 04:53 PM
I was directed to jtdistributing (http://www.jtdistributing.com). Their kits include everything but the stripped lower, Stag Arms was recommended to me for that piece. The kit I wanted cost about $530 shipped plus $100 for the Stag Arms lower through aimsurplus.com (they are local).

FWIW/Disclaimer: this is all second hand but from THR guys so I take it pretty seriously. Whatever you get let us know and enjoy!

November 5, 2007, 05:48 PM
The Olympic Plinker Plus is a decent gun. Its cheap because its not very fancy, but its functional. I've been thinking of getting one, since I already have a Bushmaster.

November 5, 2007, 07:57 PM
If it's your first AR, I wouldn't recommend building one. Buy one already assembled and get to know it before your build one yourself.

If you must spend $600, your best bet might be checking out the Bargain Bin on CMMG's website.

November 5, 2007, 08:14 PM
CMMG $550 AR15 Sale (http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/?shop=1&cat=33&)

I am not affiliated with CMMG in any way, but that is about as cheap as it gets for decent ARs. ;)

November 5, 2007, 08:27 PM
wow too bad you don't live in CT, a few months back and i believe they still have , in a store call Hoffmans, they were selling DPMS ar-15 for a bit less than $600. !!!

November 5, 2007, 09:12 PM
I saw a used Bushmaster 20" with a fixed stock and removable handle for $700 plus tax. No flash hidder or bayo. Is this a good deal?

Wayne G.
November 5, 2007, 09:21 PM
CMMG $550 AR15 Sale

I am not affiliated with CMMG in any way, but that is about as cheap as it gets for decent ARs.

Are they all forged?

Are there any manufacturer's to stay away from?

November 5, 2007, 09:28 PM
You want an Arsenal AK in .223, it's going to shoot better than a $600 AR.

Evil Monkey
November 5, 2007, 10:44 PM
From what I've learned reading threads at M4carbine.net, a $600 AR15 is going to be garbage.

But if it's only for plinking, I guess you're fine.

I'm kind of debating whether I should just get a Bushmaster and upgrade certain parts over time or to just get a decent quality lower at a gun show and get a high quality complete upper on the net.

November 6, 2007, 12:37 AM
For $600, grab yourself a Daewoo .223 carbine. Uses AR mags, has AR accuracy and an AK gas system. Sounds like a winner to me.

November 6, 2007, 07:46 AM
Are they all forged?

Are there any manufacturer's to stay away from?Of the manufacturers listed (CMMG, DPMS and DoubleStar), all use forged lowers and all will be a nice entry level AR. If I didn't have a few (too many) ARs already, I doubt I could resist one of those, especially at that price. ;)

November 6, 2007, 04:57 PM
do those bargain bin guns come with mags?

November 6, 2007, 05:16 PM
The Olympic AR is a nice little rifle. Just took mine out to play this afternoon, and took my youngest son (19) who's not shot it before. You should have SEEN the grin on his face when he consistently got them in the bullseye at 50 yards. He had a grand time.

It doesn't have the chromed barrel. It doesn't have the Colt or Bushmaster name. But it puts .223 rounds where I want them every time.


November 6, 2007, 07:10 PM
So what is a better deal?" The bargin bin or the Oly Plinker. They are both $550. Also what is the diff between the M4 and the HBAR configurations?

November 6, 2007, 07:27 PM
M4 profile is typically lighter under the handguards and also has the notch in the barrel for mounting the M203 grenade launcher. It's mostly cosmetic for a civilian who won't be mounting a grenade launcher, but I also think it is a good compromise between the HBAR and the superlight. Generally 14.5"-16" in length.

Here is a picture of an M4 barrel.


The HBAR stands for Heavy Barrel. It is exactly that, and I do not recommend it. They are heavy and cumbersome and offer very little in terms of practical use. If you feel the difference you will see what I mean. HBAR's come in all lengths, generally 16" and 20".

Here is a picture of an HBAR.


Superlight is the skinny barrel. Very light.


Bushmaster has a really good page showing the different barrel styles. There are more out there than this, but this covers the majority of the barrels out there.


Commander Guineapig
November 6, 2007, 07:52 PM
do those bargain bin guns come with mags?

No. You have to get a rear site and a mag for those.
I noticed someone on here who bought a bargain bin AR,
so I PM'd him about it and asked. he replied with some good info
and a few pix. The pix impressed me...it showed almost no wear.
He said the parts were a bit cheap but the weapon was in great shape.
I find this encouraging as I have looked at them myself.
I am waiting on one more forum member to get his and PM with his
That's what I know...all from someone else. :D
thought I'd pass it along.


November 6, 2007, 08:54 PM
For 600-700$ get an Arsenal stamped 5.56 AK. you won't regret it.

November 6, 2007, 11:34 PM
Kel Tek PLR 16

November 6, 2007, 11:50 PM
Well I broke down and just ordered the CMMG bargain bin AR for $565 shipped. Not a bad deal. I will let you know what they send me. Cross my fingers.

November 7, 2007, 12:02 AM
for the AR builders here, where can i find
Cheap Upper assemblys

or a wide selection of
Uppers with out bayonet lugs

being in MA sucks. i cant have bayo lugs or flash suppressors. so im stuck with no bay lug, and either an AK style brake or a crown barrel. crown looks ok on more "sporter" barrels. but goofy on Mil style ones.

Don't Tread On Me
November 7, 2007, 12:26 AM
I like skinny barrels. They are just as accurate as the HBARs and M4's but with much less weight. They handle great and everyone who shoots mine wants it.

We're talking .223 here, not .30-06. The whole idea behind the AR's gas system, the materials it is made of, the magazines, the ammunition itself was all about weight-savings. Yet, what do people do? Turn what is suppose to be a great handling ergonomic 6.5lb rifle into an 11lb heap.

November 7, 2007, 02:11 AM
Don't Tread On Me-

Agreed. I have a superlight among my stables and it is a great shooter. Very accurate and people love it.

November 7, 2007, 03:15 AM
Yet, what do people do? Turn what is suppose to be a great handling ergonomic 6.5lb rifle into an 11lb heap.:rolleyes: SAM-R, SDM-R
the AR15 is an accurate gun and some builds take advantage of it and heighten it, not merely as a game gun but a real DMR.

November 7, 2007, 09:39 AM
I recently purchased the bargain bin ar,yes u must buy mags and a rear sight.The weapon looked void of any scratches and all the internals look good.For the cost of the rifle u are sure to get a great plinker and if u handpick it will look even better.[http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t286/yosarian_2007/newgun.jpghttp://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t286/yosarian_2007/newgun010.jpg

November 7, 2007, 12:17 PM

What brand lower receiver did your "bargain bin" AR come with?

November 7, 2007, 12:23 PM
dpms lower

November 7, 2007, 12:32 PM
For $600 you could buy and iffy AR or a very good AK.

See Atlantic Firearms for reference.

Wayne G.
November 7, 2007, 12:42 PM
For $600 you could buy and iffy AR or a very good AK.
splain please.

What do you mean buy "an iffy AR?"

Evil Monkey
November 7, 2007, 01:16 PM
What do you mean buy "an iffy AR?"

"Iffy" as in crappy, garbage, bottom of the barrel, unreliable, and most likely out of spec AR.

You get what you pay for.

November 7, 2007, 03:54 PM
I think people that have paid $900 for theirs hate $600 Ar's for the money reason.

I've only read about Olympic lowers being of poor quality.

DPMS ( lowers ) are quality, and who cares if your utility rifle has a scratch on the outside. It's made for WAR remember? They are all mil-spec!

The CMMG Bargain Bin rifles are on my list. Your getting a brand new unfired AR for less than $700 delivered including the sight, a few mags and ammo.

November 7, 2007, 04:17 PM
I picked up my K3B-FAR (Olympic arms feather weight carbine) a few years ago for ~700.

Its completely satisfied my lust for the black rifle and is a great shooter.

I'm betting the plinker would be just as reliable.

November 7, 2007, 04:27 PM
"Iffy" as in crappy, garbage, bottom of the barrel, unreliable, and most likely out of spec AR.

You get what you pay for.

Are you basing this on experience with the CMMG bargain bin rifles? I'm pretty happy with the ones I picked up.

Evil Monkey
November 7, 2007, 04:33 PM
Are you basing this on experience with the CMMG bargain bin rifles?

No, not on experience with CMMG. It's just every time I read up on ar15 rifles "going down" it's always a DPMS, OLYarms, bushmaster, etc. All the cheap stuff. I don't hear much about colt, LMT, and other top tier brands having problems.

November 7, 2007, 07:12 PM
One of my ARs is an Olympic Plinker Plus. The lower is forged and the fit is better than many Bushys and Colts that I've handled. The gun is reliable and as accurate as the shooter.

It's not "crappy and out of spec". Evil needs to spend more time around different ARs and less time on the Bushy boards. By the same token, I'd probbly be pissy if I'd spent $1100-1500 on my Bushy and found that it wasn't any better than a $600 Oly and not as good as an $800 RRA.:evil:

Evil Monkey
November 7, 2007, 07:50 PM
I spend alot of time on the m4carbine.net forum and that's where I get my info from. They have a no non-sense type of attitude there. There's lots of threads as to why the lower tier brands suck.

That being said, I will be getting a bushmaster this month for under $800. I know what I'm getting my self into and wouldn't mind upgrading certain parts over time to increase reliability. From the info I've gathered, I'm going to make sure that the barrel is torqued properly, the sights aren't canted, the gas key isn't loose, barrel is chrome lined, etc.

I will change the entire bolt group with a colt later on and will also change the buffer into a heavy one, seeing how CAR length gas system seems to be over-gased for a 16" barrel.

November 7, 2007, 07:54 PM
Funny how Bushmaster is being called inferior...
Right before I ETS'ed my unit got a nice little batch of Bushmaster M-4's.
I'm just wondering what would be inferior about them (and no, I don't own one so I don't mean this as a way to start an argument).

November 7, 2007, 08:02 PM
There is an excellent thread on ar15.com relating to the CMMG bargain bin rifles. Everybody seems very happy with the quality and service.

I've been pricing a build off a thread in this forum. When you add up the price, the Bargain Bin just plain makes sense. Same money, if not less, and ( not that I find it difficult ) you don't need to assemble the lower.

November 7, 2007, 08:08 PM
There is an excellent thread on ar15.com relating to the CMMG bargain bin rifles. Everybody seems very happy with the quality and service.

Can you link to that arfcom thread? I can never find anything over there.

November 7, 2007, 09:11 PM
Here it is:


There search feature does :banghead: Had to dig it up manually

November 7, 2007, 09:23 PM
There is also this. It is their (CMMG's ) running ad in the Equipment exchange on AR15.


November 7, 2007, 09:44 PM
I'm wasn't looking for another AR but this looks very very tempting.

November 10, 2007, 07:40 PM
Well, thanks all for your input on this thread. I finally recvd my Bargain bin AR. In fact I got two. Both are DPMS in perfect condition.. I could not even find a scratch. The guys at the gun club that did my FFL could not believe the price. Im a happy camper. Im glad I did not get the Oly.

November 11, 2007, 10:12 AM
Nice rifles,they look great.My ffl had the same reaction when I picked mine up.

November 12, 2007, 12:26 AM
Can I tangent this thread since Buenhec got his guns?

I have a .223 in a Rem 700... I'm driving tacks @ 100yds with a 1x10 twist from built up handload. Don't really "NEED" [completely subjective statement] another .223 other than straight up plinking with a black gun. [necessary Obsession]:rolleyes:
Wanna snag some Bargain Bins; reasons?
I want to go to Camp Perry eventually, I want to take on 1000yds...
What chambering do I want? Not sure... 6mm, 6.8 or stick with .223 and get a 1x8 twist barrel?
I want a home defense chambering as well...
What chambering do I want? Not sure.. Consider Ye Ole 6.8? Modify for a 308? I like the sound of that...

With $1200 smackers on not one but two AR's I have the ability to take my time with my tightly gripped money and dabble in any area for competition, while still having a complete .223 budget minded plinker to drive home adrenaline rush satisfied from the range.. YipeeKayea!!!

Anything outside of bargain bin is gonna cost $2k+ up front for getting right into the competition arena. Anything competition is gonna cost. And I'm no closer to getting started being "One With The Gun". Spending $2-3k+ for a TUBB 2000 "http://www.davidtubb.com/t2k_images/t2k_specifications.html" is not my way to start... would be nice, [reeeeal nice] but not possible...

Any thoughts??? silly question...
Yes, I want to do a lot of things. No, I understand I don't have to do it all today.. Oh yeah, Hot dang, I just got my Cert for NRA instructor for rifle shotgun and pistol... 3 weekends in a row... and now I'm stuck shopping with the wife every weekend till Xmas... yeah right!!!:neener:

I thank you buen for this thread as it did serve up some awesome meat...


November 12, 2007, 12:29 AM
$600 will be tough....CMMG's bargain bin is the only place I can think of. I once saw a Superior Arms AR carbine for under $600, but it was camo'd up and I know nothing about Superior Arms

November 27, 2007, 05:42 PM
Eh hem...
the thread died huh? Shame... I picked up one of the Cmmg's DPMS lower.
20: Hbar all done within a weeks time... went here http://stores.ebay.com/ULTIMATEARMS-SPORTING-SUPERSTORE
Local boys in the area and picked up the Carry handle and Rear sights...
couldn't get just one at those prices.. I won't recommend the pictinanny carry handle scope mount though.. didn't fit at all...
But the sights were awesome..

How do you express heavy gasping!?!?
I'm at a loss... I ran out when the sun showed its face and went to the range...

I get all the way there and realize I forgot my magazines... nice...right?

Anywho it was probably for the best cause I scoped the place out and found I liked it enough to stay in the neighborhood, pick up a couple of 20rnd mags' from Wallenpaupack sports... and off to the range I went...

Started at the 100yd like a fool and cause no one was there, spent 12 rnds, missed the paper every time, and then went to the 25yd and zeroed the sights...

Only had 20rnds with me, I didn't want to make a day out of it..:rolleyes:
At the 25yd, my POA was at 6 oclock on the 10 ring and I'm 1/8 of an inch right from the "X"...

But after all that I have to say..

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