A few (more) AR Questions


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Dimis
June 2, 2009, 02:46 PM
Im still looking into an AR and have taken the advice of many on here and in my local shops but i still have a few questions before i start

im looking at the AR for a few roles in its life it will be primarily used for target shooting maybe a match or two in its life but im not much of a competitor and inevitably if things go wrong home/self defence

i plan on getting it chambered in 5.56

so heres my questions

1.If i get an SBR to start with am i still legaly allowed to get longer uppers to switch on that frame or once its an SBR always an SBR?

2.ive settled on getting a copmletly assembled lower from Rock River Arms with there 2 stage trigger but before i make the plunge is there anything i should know about RRA?

3.What uppers would you recommend? ive looked at everything from DPMS and Stag up to Sabre and LMT oh and of course RRA uppers as well i want it to have a good fit and function i plan on getting a few uppers over the years but to start i would like a 1:7 twist 16 inch bbl am i missinformed on these specs being good for the heavier defencive loads?

of course any other advice will be helpfull and apreciated because i dont want to plunk this kind of money without KNOWING what im getting into

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taliv
June 2, 2009, 02:51 PM
1 yes, you can put a longer barrel on it, no problem, but it's still technically an SBR. e.g. you can't put a longer barrel on it and then sell it, or cross state lines w/o permission

Dimis
June 2, 2009, 05:04 PM
thanks taliv that eliminates that question im glad you spoke up because one of my favorite ranges is accross state lines
maybe ill end up with two ARs lol

mljdeckard
June 2, 2009, 05:12 PM
AS I UNDERSTAND IT, the only reason the U.S. military uses 1/7 is to stabilize tracers. 1/8 or 1/9 is fine for pretty much any other application. But it that's what's OFFERED, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Tighter twists stabilize heavier bullets. so for shooting heavier defensive loads, it's fine, but I don't know how well it would do with 55 gr varmint loads at distance.

GaryG
June 2, 2009, 05:13 PM
Delete - replied to wrong thread.

vanfunk
June 2, 2009, 05:35 PM
Tighter twists stabilize heavier bullets

It's not the weight that's the problem, it's the length. It just so happens that most, though not all, long projectiles are weighty as well. I happen to prefer and recommend the 1/7" twist as I find it to be the most versatile, allowing the use of bullets down to 45 grains and up to the vaunted 77 grain SMK's.

RRA is fine, no better nor worse than any other commercial AR-15 manufacturer out there. If they have the carbine yoy want, at a price you can afford, buy it:D.

vanfunk

Dimis
June 3, 2009, 03:29 AM
thanks guys
seeing as how im a AR15 newbie i dont think i could figure all this out on my own

kwelz
June 3, 2009, 12:49 PM
1/7 is going to stabilize just about anything except some really extreme light loads. We are talking ~35 grain here.

1/9 is ok but has trouble with heavier bullets which you are more likely to find.

RRA is a good consumer level AR.

As far as uppers of the ones you mentioned I suggest the LMT.

Dimis
June 3, 2009, 01:44 PM
azizza bring up a good point and gives me another question

RRA is a good consumer level AR.

i want something tough so if its claimed to be mil-spec will it be tough enough for me to use heavily?

there is a new gun shop in town that is offering higher levels of rifle training than everyone else
i know i have to start at basic levels first but the courses are planned for the future and are pretty rough on a rifle

Texpatriate
June 3, 2009, 03:02 PM
LMT, Sabre, and Bravo Company (BCM) (which you didn't list, but would be a good one to consider) are on par with Colt in many people's eyes who know much more than you or I do, and are considered "professional grade" . Noveske is also outstanding and possibly better even than colt due to the fact that they use "better than mil-spec" M249 machine gun steel for their barrels (a bit overboard perhaps), and as a result they are very expensive. Charles Daley Defense, and the Smith & Wesson M&P15 line are also putting out some very good quality weapons that are beginning to approach "professional grade" quality and attention to detail.

Rock River, CMMG, Stag, DPMS, Bushmaster, and others make a very good quality "consumer grade" AR that will serve 99% of AR owners perfectly well for heavy range use, hunting, and home defense purposes, but they are not quite to the same level of quality and attention to detail as those listed above. They are great guns, but "cut some corners" in the minds of those who worship the Mil-Spec chart.

If you have plans to put your gun through the ringer like in a carbine class or plan to get into competition shooting like 3 gun matches that will mimic a professional application, it would be a good idea to go with a professional grade weapon. Otherwise, you'll be just fine with a consumer grade rifle such as a Rock River, CMMG, Stag, etc.

Personally, if I purchased a consumer grade rifle, I would get it without a bolt carrier group, and purchase a BCM, LMT, Colt, or G&R Tactical bolt carrier group that has a properly staked gas key. That would be a good middle of the road approach.

ugaarguy
June 3, 2009, 03:04 PM
i want something tough so if its claimed to be mil-spec will it be tough enough for me to use heavily?

there is a new gun shop in town that is offering higher levels of rifle training than everyone else
i know i have to start at basic levels first but the courses are planned for the future and are pretty rough on a rifle
Okay, here are a few tips - these are assuming you're more concerned with rapid fire at targets inside of 300 yards (possibly high volume) than you are with shooting tiny groups at longer ranges.

1) Get a hard chrome lined barrel - not chrome-moly steel - hard chrome lined. In general it wont be quite as accurate as a stainless or carbon steel match bbl, but it will be more durable, and easier to clean.

2) Get an HPT/MPI bolt carrier group. Prior to the panic standard BCGs were running about $100, and HPT/MPI BCGs were running about $130 from LMT and BCM. That's cheap insurance on a gun intended for high volume use.

3) If you intend to run a fixed front sight on a flat top upper make sure it's an "F" height front sight base for optimum rear sight compatibility.

LMT & BCM complete uppers are a great value with those features. Some RRA uppers are offered with hard chromed bbls and even 1:7 twist hard chromed bbls. Those RRA uppers work just fine (I'd personally add an LMT or BCM HPT/MPI BCG if I intended to run it hard, but the stock RRA BCG is fine for most use).

Keep asking questions. With AR-15s it's pretty easy to buy too little rifle if you intend to run it hard. It's also very easy to buy more features than you need with them.

Texpatriate
June 3, 2009, 03:15 PM
ugaarguy-

All I can say is, great minds think alike.

:D

I think we were both writing our posts at the same time. Must be some kind of Vulcan mind meld thing.

hobgob
June 3, 2009, 03:20 PM
RRA mentions that their lowers and uppers are built to be tight fitting and that they might have issues fitting to other company's parts.

Dimis
June 3, 2009, 04:12 PM
WOW thanks Tex and Uga
i do indeed plan on running it hard im a bit rough on all my guns
i take care of my arsenal but i also USE them...

ALOT!

my poor ruger 10/22 got shot 1100 rounds a day for 3 months straight just because i could do it and learn to shoot better my brand new LCR already has 500+ through it and would have more if ammo wasnt so scarce

i honestly only want to make a purchase once (i know replacment parts are inevitable) and want the best quality i can afford (saveing up somewhere in the ball park of 3k if i HAVE to)

SwampWolf
June 3, 2009, 04:44 PM
i do indeed plan on running it hard im a bit rough on all my guns
i take care of my arsenal but i also USE them...

ALOT!

Dimis, rest assured that the RRA and similar "commercial/consumer" grade guns will stand up to hard usage and can be shot "ALOT" without problems.

SpeedAKL
June 3, 2009, 06:07 PM
The RRA lower will work just fine; if you're worried about "mil-spec", the components in the upper receiver show more variability than the lower.

For an upper, take a look at LMT or Bravo Company; they do a nice balance between capability and price. Everything has been ridiculous since the Panic set in, but you can probably still get a decent buy relatively. If you want an SBR and have the $$$, look at a Noveske upper; SBRs, particularly those short enough that the gas system needs to be modified, put more stress on AR componentry. There have been some threads on AR15.Com about what does and doesn't work in a carbine class; the topic of SBRs came up and those with experience running the classes specifically recommended Noveske for that application.

Dimis
June 4, 2009, 12:52 AM
thanks speed
ive given up on the SBR as my first AR since i cant go to my ranges across state lines even with the longer upper so for now we will keep it legal to use across the board with 16.5 uppers

you guys have all been a huge help and im really greatful for all teh responces

got another question

there are some ARs with quad rails that seam to "match up" with the flat top really well what brand(s) are they because i would like to be able to have lots of top rail
i know LMT makes one piece upper/handgaurd rails and im sure thats a better idea because ive read about the handgaurds not always being 100% in line

SpeedAKL
June 4, 2009, 01:15 AM
LMT's system is called the Monolithic Rail Platform (MRP) and works well. Another well-known one is VLTOR's VIS system. The tough thing about matching them up perfectly is that you typically need a monolithic upper, i.e. an upper receiver with the rails already integrated from the factory. The downside of this is that you cannot easily remove the rail handguard and replace it with a different handguard, if that matters to you. Good aftermarket makers of more standard handguards include LaRue Tactical, Daniel Defense, Knights Armament, Troy, and Midwest Industries.

kwelz
June 4, 2009, 01:26 AM
Speed brought up a good point. The upper is where most of the problems with lower tier manufactures come from. Lowers tend to be much closer although there are some differences in LPKs.

A couple of other things to think about. If you are going to be rnning a gun hard I recommend saying further to the left of "the Chart" That is the whole point of having it. The diggest issues in this case are going to be in no particular order:

Barrel twist: 1/7 reccomended
Buffer wight: Get an H Buffer
Chrome Lining of the barrel and chamber
Properly staked Gas Key.
Proper extractor Spring

Those 5 items are what would cause the most issue not to have in a hard run gun. Most of your top tier manufacturers will already have those. Most mid level companies like RRA and BM can be ordered with those features as well or at least easily corrected. As much as I hate to cross forums might I recommend hitting m4carbine.net. That is the site to look at if you are going to be doing heavy shooting. It is comprised mostly of serious shooters who put a lot of lead down range every time they take a rifle out.

Don't get me wrong I am not saying there is not a lot of good information here, trust me there is. However they are more of a specialty forum that may be able to help as well with this particular series of questions.

ugaarguy
June 4, 2009, 10:18 AM
Dimis here in the Rifle Forum Reading Library (sticky at the top of this subforum) Bartholomew Roberts posted a thread titled "34 Ways to Cut Corners on Manufacturing an AR15 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=243382)." It's a good read that should help you determine which features you need, which ones you don't, and why.

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