What's the best AR for an AR noob?


June 8, 2009, 07:58 PM
Ok, I'm looking to get an AR with a 20" barrel, and I got a few questions.

(now keep in mind that I have only fired 30 rounds through an AR-15 in my entire life, so I couldn't tell a difference between a Del-Ton and a LMT, I'm just looking for one that'll be good to me, I'm not going to war with this AR-15, I'm just gonna be hunting, and target shooting with it)

What's the best AR for the money (preferably under 1k)?

Do I really need a A4 upper (note: I do not have money for an Acog, Aimpoint, etc., ect.) if I do jet a A4 upper then I'm adding an A2 style rear sight.

Would a A2 upper be just fine?

The companies I'm looking at is: Del-Ton, DPMS, or CMMG.

Please help me out. Thank you in advance. :)

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June 8, 2009, 08:24 PM
For hunting and target shooting for under 1K, I would go with a DPMS Panther Bull 20. Great accuracy and since you are not going to war with it you shouldn't mind the extra weight.

June 8, 2009, 08:30 PM
Well, I REALLY want to use irons, I want to have at least the A2 front sight post.

And I'm worried about the .223 when using 5.56x45mm NATO ammo, should I be worried about this?

Thanks :)

June 8, 2009, 08:33 PM
Yeah you are not supposed to shoot 5.56 in a .223. Never heard of a problem in doing so but it is not recommended due to the different pressure specs. Yeah the Panther Bull is not the best choice if you want to use irons. Maybe the Panther DCM but I do not have experience with that one.

June 8, 2009, 08:40 PM
Can you shoot .223 out of a 5.56x45mm NATO?

I aimed through a A4 (or A3?) Bushmaster, and I noticed the front sight post was a bit wide, so, my question is; how many inches at 100 yards does the front sight post (not the wings) equate to?

How many inches does the whole front sight post (post+wings) equate to at 100 yards?

I did in fact look at the DCM, but how much better is DPMS than Del-Ton? Is there a $100-$200 difference?

What's the wait time on DPMS?

Sorry for all of the questions, but thanks. :)


June 8, 2009, 08:48 PM
Can you shoot .223 out of a 5.56x45mm NATO?
I did in fact look at the DCM, but how much better is DPMS than Del-Ton? Is there a $100-$200 difference?
Never had any experience with the Del-Ton. I can say that I did have a feeding problem with the DPMS but they took very good care of me. Great customer support.

June 8, 2009, 08:48 PM
For under a grand I'd take a look at S&W. Also, Southern Ohio gun had some Bushmasters for about eight and half bills a month or so ago. It'd be worth a call to them. No need to hurry with your purchase, prices are on their way down.

June 8, 2009, 08:49 PM
IMHO get the delton with the flat top a eotech 512 and a flip up backup iron sight co-witnessed. You should be able to get all that for about $1000. Yes you can use .223 in a 5.56 chamber. Check out ar15.com for more useful info

June 8, 2009, 08:53 PM
A good, economy - but quality rifle - is Doublestar. Picked mine up through Centerfire Systems, @ $750 last December.

Shoots better than I can. Am very pleased with fit & finish.


June 8, 2009, 08:54 PM
Ok, I'm sold on 5.56.

prices are on their way down[QUOTE]

Really, for real, for real!!!!! That's good to know, but what about used AR's?

I've heard good about Stag, what about them[QUOTE]?

I REALLY like the DPMS Panther Classic.

For my purposes, should I get a A2, or an A4 with a detachable carry handle (or that low profile DPMS one)?

I'm not buying an optic, this is a rifle to learn how to use before I go to Paris Island, so I'm not going all "tacticool" with it, I'd do that with a little carbine.

June 8, 2009, 09:07 PM
I've heard good about Stag, what about them?

So far my 16" Stag has been 100% reliable (only 300-400ish rounds but no cleaning) and I can just squeeze 1MOA out of it with mid-grade .223 ammo and a crappy Bushnell Banner. The 20" should be just as good. I consider it a good buy, they go for about $900-1100 usually.

June 8, 2009, 09:17 PM
Wow, 300-400 rounds without cleaning, I didn't know that the DI were that reliable, that's WAY more rounds than I would fire during a whole year!!!!!

June 8, 2009, 09:19 PM
I've fired thousands of rounds of Wolf through my ARs and never had a problem. I'm not exactly finicky about cleaning them either. A quality AR will be reliable.

June 8, 2009, 09:26 PM
Ok, so between Doublestar, Del-Ton, CMMG, Bushmaster, and DPMS, which one is the best? And then, which one is best for it's price?

Thanks :)

June 8, 2009, 09:28 PM
Good modern AR15s are actually pretty reliable (all those tax payer dollars into R&D for the military :D). I do really slather the bolt with oil, apparently they like this. I'm planning to run mine for maybe 500 rounds then clean it, just to see what happens.

June 8, 2009, 09:30 PM
Again, which upper should I get, A2 or A4?

Thanks :)

June 8, 2009, 09:30 PM
PB I am doing the same thing you are. I am kicking around the idea of getting an AR.

I looked at a Bushmaster at the local Academy. It was a lightweight with a 16" barrel and chrome lined. It had the fixed carry handle and a collaspible butt stock. $999 plus taxes. I liked the light weight and hated the buttstock.

I am also looking at the DPMS A2 classic. I like everything about it except it is listed as weighing 9 pounds. That too heavey for a 223 caliber rifle IMO.

I was looking in a Shotgun News at WM today and someone had them listed for $755. I have seen them on GB for $799. I think the seller was Northern Firearms. They have several listed for that price.

I have a new mini and a remington 7615 and both shoot very well. I don't know that I can justify owning another 223 rifle. I forgot, I have an H&R that I bought a month ago and haven't even fired yet. I have been busy and am heading out of town again tomorrow.

June 8, 2009, 09:33 PM
If you KNOW you want to shoot iron sights, go for a plane jane A2. The match rifles are a little more accurate, but they are also much heavier and the sights, while slightly more accurate are also tend to fatigue the eyes a bit (at least in my experience with my 2 match rifles).

If you're not positive, go for something like the Armalite M15A4 (SPR). Add a detachable carry handle and detachable front sight and you're ready to roll. If you find you want to go with a Eotech, Aimpoint, ACOG later on, just remove the carry handle.

I wouldn't get too bogged down with the brands and such. I tend to feel 99% of the AR's out there will do just fine for 99% of shooters. If you were one of the 1%, you wouldn't be asking. You'd already know what you're looking for.

I own Armalite, Bushmaster, and Rock River and have spent a lot of time with Colts and Remingtons and have never had an issue with any of them.

June 8, 2009, 09:36 PM
A2 vs A4 is completely a matter of personal preference. If your rifle is going to wear optics most of the time, the flat top might be the best option. If not, the A2.

As for the brands you mention, I have no idea. I haven't dealt personally with all of them. Of the ones on your list, Bushmaster might have the best combination of quality and customer service.

Again, though, I would do your research and shop around. With prices falling there is absolutely no reason to jump on the first AR you see.

ar15.com can be a good source of information, but will make you feel inadequate if you buy anything other than Colt, LMT, LWRC, Noveske, etc.

June 8, 2009, 09:41 PM
Personally, I would get the A4 type upper, and I'm glad I did even though I didn't originally plan to use optics. Because the only way to take full advantage of your rifles accuracy is to use a scope of some sort, and if you want to put one on later you will be really glad you have the flat-top. And if you don't, you will still have perfectly serviceable iron sights that are equal to the A2 style.

Just my .02

Bartholomew Roberts
June 8, 2009, 09:41 PM
Any of the brands you are looking at will serve your purposes just fine. I would concentrate on finding the features you want at a good price rather than the brand at this point.

As for upper, get the A4. You can always add a carry handle to an A4; but you can't change an A2 carry handle without swapping the receiver.

Add to this that an A4 can also use all different kinds of iron sights, not just optics.

I am also looking at the DPMS A2 classic. I like everything about it except it is listed as weighing 9 pounds. That too heavey for a 223 caliber rifle IMO.

A lot of the weight in those type of ARs comes from the heavy barrel (HBAR) profile. Manufacturers like them because they are cheaper to manufacture; but they add a lot of weight for a tiny bit of extra rigidity (a 16" HBAR weighs more than a 20" government profile barrel).

A government profile barrel, M4 profile, medium or lightweight contour are definitely the way to go.

Take a look at the Rifle Forum Reading Library, there is a lot of good information there.

June 8, 2009, 10:00 PM
I accually want the weight, does Bushmaster make HBAR's, I kinds like their compitition model. How much is that Armalite?

Thanks, and please keep the replies coming. :)

June 8, 2009, 10:00 PM
If you are target shooting I would look at an RRA NM model. With good ammo they guarantee that it will hold .75MOA if you are up to it. I am partial to the RRA NM trigger as well. I have had an RRA, a del-ton parts rifle, and a Stag. I liked the RRA trigger the best, all three have been absolutely reliable outside of one issue that was caused by a mag that was shot. Replaced the mag and never had another issue in any of the rifles. I probably run 500 rounds or so through between cleanings though I do spray them down with CLP when they get dry. I can't say which really shot the best as the RRA was scoped, the Del-ton was only used up close blasting, and the Stag is too new and has only been shot with irons so a direct comparison is a bit hard for me.

As for the A2 or A4 it really depends what you want. If you never see yourself putting a scope, even a low power option, for hunting or paper punching then go A2. All of my rifles have been A4's. The RRA was scoped the bulk of its time with me, the del-ton had a cheap red dot, and the stag so far has had an a2 handle sight on it for all the rounds through it. Still I like the ability to toss any scope on without totally killing cheek weld on the A4. I like to use my AR to hunt ground hogs, raccoon, and other game slightly larger than rabbit but smaller than deer. I feel much more confident with even a fixed 4x in the field so I like to keep my options open which the A4 with an A2 detachable sight does for me.

June 8, 2009, 10:06 PM
I've heard that I shouldn't get a 2 stage trigger, are they bad or something?

What's the average trigger pull (RRA excluded) for an average AR out of the box? I have a Remmy 700 with a X-Mark trigger and LOVE it, just in case y'all wanted to know.

Thanks :)

June 8, 2009, 10:07 PM
I suggest a Bushmaster 20", flat-top. I have one with a bipod and and HBAR barrel that has excellent accuracy, good quality and a reasonable price. Definitely go with an A4 flat top upper on anything you buy. You never know what you will want to add to the rifle later and many feel the fixed A2 style is obsolete.

June 8, 2009, 10:09 PM
Thanks Bart Roberts. The DPMS I was looking at does not have a chrome lined bore. Thats not a deal breaker for me. No more than I get to shoot lately I am sure it will take me well over 200 hundred years to wear one out.

How hard is it to change out the barrel for a light weight barrel? Would the barrel be all that was needed and will the original parts fit without replacement?

June 8, 2009, 10:22 PM
O baby, I think I just found one, a Bushmaster A3 DCM, my only question is, do they come with flash hiders, and is their a noticinle difference in the 1MOA, .5MOA, and .25MOA adjustments? I just wish that the price wasn't $1250!!!!! I might need to settle with a DPMS.....

June 8, 2009, 10:57 PM
Does the DPMS Panther Classic have a HBAR or Gov't. profile?

June 8, 2009, 11:16 PM
PB Walsh it must come with the HBAR with a listed 9 pound weight. That is the same weight as my Lyman Great Plains Rifle. Tote that around awhile and you will see why I want lighter.

I really liked the Bushmaster I looked at. I didn't like the buttstock and I do prefer the longer barrel.

If I could find what I wanted I would buy it right now. I want an A-2 with the light weight barrel, a chrome bore, solid buttstock and a triangular hand guard. It would have to have a bayonet lug and flash hider. I hope it would weigh 7 pounds or less. Is that to much to ask?

June 8, 2009, 11:23 PM

You could always build yourself one. :)

June 8, 2009, 11:44 PM
Well yeah, and so could you.:neener:

Too bad we don't live live closer together. We could buy the stuff and build a couple. It might be like muzzleloaders. After I built the first one a new kit was ordered before the previous one was test fired.

I have been around guns for years but know nothing about these rifles. I have always been a bolt and lever fan. I didn't own a semi-auto until a few years ago. I will buy one when I find what I want. I am patient.

June 8, 2009, 11:48 PM
Ok, ya got me.....:)

June 8, 2009, 11:58 PM
I don't know who is telling you not to buy a two stage trigger. The standard AR trigger is in my opinion crap. Mine have had a TON of creep that was inconsistent and the pulls were far too heavy, in the 8-10lb range. Not fun to use shooting at paper or at game. Maybe it works fine for a CQB setup but not for anything I shoot. The RRA NM trigger on the other hand had a great second stage breaking right over 4lbs. There are better aftermarket triggers, both single and double stage, but they are going to run a good $200+. For the $100 the RRA trigger costs it is one of the best upgrades I ever made.

Some people aren't fans of a two stage trigger but I don't mind them and for freehand shooting seem to prefer it. Off a bench I like a crisp short single stage but when I'm swaying in the wind I like to have the initial take up of a two stage.

As for the sights it really depends on what you are shooting at and how far. Shooting at say 600 yards that 1 MOA adjustment is a little over 6 inches while the .25 is only a little over 1.3. On the other hand if you are shooting ground hogs at 50-100 yards the difference between adjusting .5 MOA and .25 MOA may not matter in the slightest. If your goal is to shoot paper for score I would take .5 if not .25 MOA adjustments. If you are hunting fairly close it won't matter much at all. I will say though that I do like to keep windage and elevation the same so if you go .5 MOA on one do it for both. I have listened to too many storied of a shooter having the windage and elevation adjust at different rates and screwing up a shot or two by counting for the wrong adjustment increment.

As for the DCM and DPMS stuff I'm not familiar enough with those specific models to be of any help.

June 9, 2009, 12:07 AM
I just sent an email to DPMS regarding the barrel set up, if it's an HBAR, then I'm going with DPMS, if not I'm going with RRA NM-A4, simple.

Does anyone know the wait time on DPMS or RRA?

Thanks :)

June 9, 2009, 12:59 AM
Wow, 300-400 rounds without cleaning, I didn't know that the DI were that reliable, that's WAY more rounds than I would fire during a whole year!!!!!

Any well lubed AR should shoot that many rounds with out any issues. I've shot 500rnds of dirty smelly wolf ammo in my DPMS in a single range session with no issues.

PS the DPMS rifles are really nice but so are the RRA's. I own 3 DPMS BTW!

June 9, 2009, 01:08 AM
Read this for a proper education on the AR-15 platform: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7355

When you finish that, move on to grad school: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7009

June 9, 2009, 02:28 AM
CDNN was selling 16 inch AR's (IIRC, they were CMMG) for under $1k. I'm not sure the sale is still on, but if it saved you a couple bucks it would be a good place to look.


June 9, 2009, 02:32 AM
I wouldn't look to the factory to buy a rifle right now. Last I heard wait times for an order placed today are over a year most places. That said a lot of dealers/wholesalers had their orders in a long time ago and get items in much faster, though you don't get to specify what comes at what time. I would look around until you found someone with the model you want in stock and then pay the extra money for shipping and a transfer if they happen to be a ways away.

June 9, 2009, 11:16 AM
Would it just. Be better to buy a lower and upper separate, or buy a kit+lower reciver?

Hostile Amish
June 9, 2009, 01:35 PM
Any of the manufacturers will do as long as the chamber is specified for 5.56 and the price range is what you like.

Disregarding individual customer options, most of the AR-15s in a certain price range are about the same quality.

Gary G23
June 9, 2009, 02:47 PM
"Would it just. Be better to buy a lower and upper separate"

That's what I do.

June 9, 2009, 02:52 PM
Another vote for a Stag as a hunting gun.

Kind of Blued
June 9, 2009, 02:54 PM
In regard to the A2 v. A4 decision, I'd suggest an A4, and I have both.

Specifically, I'd get a flat-top with a detachable carry handle. Everybody should have some quality time shooting with iron sights. Worst case scenario, you spend an extra $20-40 bucks for it, find that you prefer iron sights, and the lost $20-40 is soon forgotten.

Still, you'll at least have the option of properly mounting an optic if you so desire.

June 9, 2009, 04:47 PM
Ok, I've been looking at the RRA Match Grade Carry Handle, is it worth $165?Would a cheaper $40 carry handle be good? I'm getting A4, I've made that decision, and I belive I'll settle with a two-stage trigger.

Here's what I'm thinking; RRA Match Grade A4 or RRA Standard A4, RRA A2 lower with standard, or two-stage trigger or a Stag Arms A2 lower. I will be adding either a RRA Match Grade carry handle, or a cheaper $40 carry handle.

I'm contemplating weather I should get the free-floated A2 hanguard from RRA ($165), any advice? Or should I just get a VTAC to be free floated ($178). I REALLY want the VTAC, and will get one even if I get the free floated A2 handguards

Thanks :)

June 9, 2009, 04:49 PM
Hk 416 is the best Ar for anyone you should buy two and put one back for a rainy day:)

June 9, 2009, 05:42 PM
I want a 20" barrel.....

If I get a piston it's gonna be a POF, LMT or Bushmaster, but I haven't heard alot about the HK 416 or 417.

How much are the HK 416's or HK 417's?

Thanks :)

Bartholomew Roberts
June 9, 2009, 07:25 PM
Thanks Bart Roberts. The DPMS I was looking at does not have a chrome lined bore. Thats not a deal breaker for me. No more than I get to shoot lately I am sure it will take me well over 200 hundred years to wear one out.

I've got around 4,500 through my unlined stainless steel barrel and it is still MOA and quite reliable despite getting shot pretty heavy (and suppressed). Having said that, the chrome lining does seem to help when the rifle gets hot.

How hard is it to change out the barrel for a light weight barrel? Would the barrel be all that was needed and will the original parts fit without replacement?

Not that hard to change; but you may need a new front sight block to go with your new barrel and you would need the tools (barrel wrench, punches, action block, vise). The rest of your parts you could reuse (assuming same gas system) - although a spare gas tube isn't a bad idea when working on a barrel.

As far as two-stage triggers go, they are fine. It is just that none of them are as reliable as the military trigger. The Rock River is a good design and a good value; but even it has its weak points. However, for P.B. Walsh, the RRA would probably be a great trigger - cheap, nice feel and fairly rugged as two-stage AR triggers go.

June 9, 2009, 07:36 PM
I would buy a Stag, CMMG, or DPMS over a Bushmaster or an RRA. Although I hear RRA is better than they used to be. That's a personal preference though. They are all pretty decent though for an AR that doesn't break the bank.

June 9, 2009, 07:50 PM
I would skip the $40 carry handles. They aren't made to near the quality control, especially if you are going to spend a bit of time using the Irons. If they are only going to be a side thought and a rare use then the cheap sights aren't terrible but still not up to par with the more expensive stuff. The RRA NM handle is worth the price if you want the more precise clicks. A good carry handle is going to run around $100 with A2 sights in it. Switching to NM sights will run a bit more on top of that and push you over what the RRA NM handle costs. So if you want the NM adjustments its a good buy but if you will be happy with the A2 adjustments most any of the good (~$100) handles will work well.

June 9, 2009, 09:37 PM
P B Walsh
I bought my AR15 as a complete upper then bought a complete lower. It was cheaper for me.

POF upper on a Spikes lower.

June 9, 2009, 10:27 PM
What are the A2 adjustments? This rifle will be 95% used with irons. DPMS Panther Classic has a HBAR, so I might get that one for $799. What is the average accuaccy out of a basic DPMS, I suspect 1MOA. the only reason I want to know is because RRA says 1MOA and .75MOA for their match rifles.

How much better will the rifle shoot with the barrel being free floated, because I'm trying to save money, and even 1MOA with irons will be difficult for me as of right now?


Bartholomew Roberts
June 10, 2009, 08:14 AM
When you are measuring accuracy, the important things to know are:

1. What position?
2. How many rounds in the group? A 3rd group doesn't tell you much and could easily be a statistical fluke. A 5rd group is more helpful but still less than ideal. A 10rd group is ideal.
3. What distance? Contrary to popular belief, 1 MOA at 50yds rarely translates into 1MOA at 100yds or 1MOA at 300yds. Theoretically, it should; but with a live human being behind the trigger, that is rarely the case in my experience (unless the live human being is an experienced shooter at those ranges).

In my experience with free-floating a Bushy 16" HBAR, a free-float tube will reduce 5rd groups fired from the bench at 100yds by about 0.5" (everything else being the same)

June 10, 2009, 11:51 AM
Ok, I will shoot in prone, crouching, and standing. Ranges will be from 100-600 yards for target shooting and 100 yards or less for hunting. Group size will be whenever I fell like stop fireing, which will probaly be 10-30 rounds (depends on how many yards i'll be hooting at).

Hope this clears anything up. :)

June 10, 2009, 12:07 PM
For a 20" barrel, if you are interested in a 1/7 twist barrel, watch out for the BCM (Bravo Company). Supposedly it is coming out mid 2009 whatever that means.

June 10, 2009, 12:09 PM
Well, I figured I 1:8" barrel would be a good compromise between 1:7 and 1:9 twist.

June 10, 2009, 01:09 PM
If I get a piston it's gonna be a POF, LMT or Bushmaster, but I haven't heard alot about the HK 416 or 417.

How much are the HK 416's or HK 417's?

Well...... they aren't cheap 4-5 Grand but they are great.

June 10, 2009, 01:13 PM

They had one of these in-stock this morning, but it's now OOS.

Last price - $821.

They have the Doublestar in 6.8 Remington in stock right now for under 9-bills as well.


June 10, 2009, 01:41 PM
Na, I'd take that A3. I think I'll settle with the DPMS Panther Classic or either the RRA Standard A4, probaly the RRA because it's got a 1:8 twist barrel, and DPMS has a 1:9 twist. Is the $200 difference noticible, because that's the main selling point IMHO for these two rifles, well RRA does come standard with a two-stage trigger, accuaccy garentee, and a Wylde Chamber.

Thanks :)

June 10, 2009, 07:45 PM

June 10, 2009, 07:51 PM
Well that two stage is worth an extra $100ish. So the real difference comes down to $100. I think the RRA are worth it but some don't think so. Actually locally the shop ran them within $100 of each other so I always was more of a fan of the RRA. I'm not sure if they are worth the extra money or not when the price pushes to that distance. The local shop specialized in RRA so that is a big reason why I have become a big fan of them. The guys there seemed to really know the black rifle, NFA or not, inside and out so I took what they said and suggested to heart. The 1 MOA guarantee does seem nice but who knows what they consider 1 MOA and if they get it to shoot a single 3 shot group under 1 MOA it may not mean much at all. I think going with your gut is about the best option from here. Either way I probably would look into a new trigger. I hate the standard AR triggers from just about every company.

June 10, 2009, 08:24 PM
I think I want the RRA Standard A4, because of the trigger,Wylde Chamber, option for a 1:8 twist barrel (+$65.00), and some sort of accuacy guarantee. I think that the extra stuff, its worth the extra money.

But where are some cheaper (but good) carry handles that I can buy?

Also, what are the standard A2 adjustments?


June 10, 2009, 08:42 PM
A2 is .5MOA while NM is .25MOA. Just matters how precise you want them. The $40 handle sights are on the line of airsoft quality. Most handles made by companies that sell rifles are going to be high quality. I honestly have never handled one of the less expensive models but they take a TON of flack over on ar15.com.

June 10, 2009, 09:31 PM
so, where could I find a A2 CH?

June 10, 2009, 10:19 PM
CTD sells one made by double star. Midwayusa sells the DPMS version. Adcofirearms sells the RRA A2 version (their prices are MAP for RRA. There is a link to have them auto email you the current prices for all of their RRA stuff). Those are the ones that popped to mind first though I'm sure many others are out there.

June 10, 2009, 11:26 PM
Ok, I've looked at the DPMS low profile one, does it have A2 adjustments, I like it alot. If it does, then that's what I'm getting. Also if I do get the DPMS one, do I need a rail cover for the flatop?

June 10, 2009, 11:54 PM
Not sure which one that is specifically but most all of the DPMS stuff I have seen that wasn't labeled NM are A2 adjustments. You only need rail covers where you would hold the rifle. They just make it a little more comfortable to hold. So if you don't think you are going to be grabbing a rail you won't need a cover for it.

June 11, 2009, 12:05 AM
Ok, I'm just wondering if I need a rail cover on top to protect the top rail, do I?

June 11, 2009, 12:37 AM
No the covers are just to keep your hands comfy. Nothing more.

June 11, 2009, 07:36 AM
Ok, got it. :)

Al Thompson
June 11, 2009, 08:40 AM
PB, it just occured to me that your close to a superb rifle (and everything else) instructor. Check out www.shootrite.org - take his carbine course and be miles ahead.


June 11, 2009, 12:29 PM
I can't go, I don't have the money, and football comes first, and plus i'm not getting an AR unitl possibly the end of the year. I'll keep that site on my favorites, for just in case I can one of these days. Thanks anyways. :)

June 11, 2009, 08:54 PM
What's a good trigger pull for a non-target rifle? Stag's A2 lower is 5-8lbs., and I think that the RRA rep. said that their standard trigger is 3.5lbs, but I'm not sure if they ment the standard trigger or the two-stage trigger.


June 11, 2009, 09:56 PM
The weight isn't near the issue as much as the creep and the inconsistency. The pull is probably in the 5-8lb range but its creepy and not smooth. If it were to break crisp I could live with it. I currently have a Stag with their factory trigger. The RRA rifles all come with the NM trigger as far as I know. They break right about the 3.5-4lb range. After the take up of the first stage they are very crisp. That is why I enjoyed using it so much. The crispness is what makes the difference.

June 11, 2009, 10:47 PM
How's the Stag lower doing?

June 11, 2009, 11:07 PM
Right now almost all brands of AR are "OK", though there are major quality differences. Below $1k you aren't getting premium quality, though S&W is sometimes/often available in that range and would be a good choice. I have found Bushmaster to be fine - cosmetically so-so and they cut a few corners, but overall pretty good. Armalite is cosmetically nicer and more refined. I recently assembled an AR lower using a DPMS parts kit, and the experience, plus buying and returning a DPMS rear sight (BUIS) due to the way it was made, has me NOT recommending DPMS if you have other options. I don't own a Rock River and reports vary from terrific to just fair. CMMG is pretty solid, though not a standout. All in all I'd try to find a S&W, Stag, or Armalite in your price range, but I would be happy with a Bushmaster, CMMG or Rock River if I couldn't find the first three in my price range.

If a couple $100 more could be found, I would consider LMT, Colt, and Sabre Defense as good options also.

The A3/A4 (same thing in civilian world) flattops are more versatile but do add to your cost a bit if you're only going to use iron sights. The A2 setup will limit you but is also simpler, lighter, and usually cheaper if you're sure you're only going to be using the iron sights. If you get a flattop, buy a quality rear sight or carry handle, not one of the imported cheapies. US-made carry handles can be found in the $70-80 range with some searching - I recently saw one listed at Centerfire Systems (but beware that they're also selling a Chinese copy for $30; it won't be the same thing!).

Be sure to leave enough money for a bunch of magazines, ammo, and the usual cleaning and shooting supplies.

Al Thompson
June 12, 2009, 08:30 AM
I've looked hard at a couple of Bushmasters and they were lacking the staking on the bolt. Local shop got a (new to me) brand - Doublestar, IIRC. Those looked quite nice and were about a $100 cheaper. Be interesting to see if anybody has run one enough to check quality.

June 12, 2009, 08:35 AM
That's funny - I have two Bushmaster BCG's, one from this year and another made in 2006 or so, and both have solid staking of the key to the carrier. On the 2009 one the staking is downright severe, like they were going overboard to demonstrate it was staked. I'm not saying you didn't see a failure, just saying I don't think it's a problem with all. Really easy to check in the store before buying.

Al Thompson
June 12, 2009, 08:46 AM
The more I look at Bushmaster, the more I think they have two production lines or something. One line good, one line bad. The one our contractors carried in Iraq worked great, were staked right, absolutely no complaints.


Ones I've seen here have poor attention to detail and some of the locals have had performance issues. Then again, couple of buddies have zero complaints.

I just don't know.

June 12, 2009, 12:39 PM
The Stag lower is fine. Honestly the one thing you don't need to worry about is the lower. They all come from one of I think 3 manufacturers. Basically a lower is a lower is a lower. The parts put on the lower make a difference though. Mine has the standard 6 position stock which is like all the rest. Mine also has the standard trigger group which sucks. It is something that needs replaced but too many other things are ahead of it in line.

June 12, 2009, 01:51 PM
I'm thinking that I need to get a Stag A2 lower or the RRA lower, just got to see which one has the better looking logo, since their practicly the SAME thing. :) I am going to get an RRA A4 standard upper with a DPMS A2 rear sight and a 1:8 SS bbl.

I don'tind if re rifle dosent have a perfect finish, I paint my rifles.


June 12, 2009, 01:55 PM
I recommend a Noveske. Will be the last one you will ever need.:D

June 12, 2009, 01:56 PM
Yeah the only real difference between the RRA lower and the Stag lower will be the slight color difference and if the RRA lower has the NM trigger in it if you buy them complete. Otherwise they really are all the same and you are paying for the stamp on the side.

June 12, 2009, 01:57 PM
I don't have that kind of money.........for a Noveske.......:banghead:

Grey Morel
June 12, 2009, 07:29 PM
I picked up a DPMS NATO Sportical for $699, and set of UTG irons for $30.

It has proven reliable in the field as well as on the square range, with commercial 223 as well as 556 NATO loads, with all types of magazines tested (D&H, C-products, Immortals, P-mags, and L5's).

Accuracy is acceptable, and the entire weight of the unloaded rifle is probably still under 7lbs.

I will probably upgrade to a better upper and sights someday, but all I require at the moment is a reliable home defense / ranch land patrol rifle, and the Sportical does those jobs very well.

June 12, 2009, 08:12 PM
I think I've found exactly what I want at www.rguns.net

They've got a smoking deal on the DPMS A3 SDM Rifle, it's only $1,180!!! It's got a SS barrel, bipod, A2 front sight/gas block, and a quad-rail!!!

I've never heard of this site, are these people for real, or trying to steal my money?


June 12, 2009, 08:19 PM
R Guns is a real company and seems to have great deals on DPMS. I haven't personally dealt with them but they've certainly been around for a while.

I picked up a DPMS NATO Sportical for $699

So NATO is so impoverished now that it's issuing the DPMS Sportical? :) The Sportical comes in two flavors but last I checked both flavors were NATO cartridges (5.56 and 7.62x51)...

June 12, 2009, 09:21 PM
I think that I'll pick up the DPMS A2 SDM (well I sent an email to rguns confirming the rifle is a 5.56) and a DPMS low-profile A2 rear sight


June 12, 2009, 09:45 PM
My suggestion would be a 16" barrel, midlength upper, flash suppressor (not brake), flattop with BUIS, not too heavy, chrome lined with 5.56 chamber, 1:9 twist, and an inexpensive red dot on top until you get more experienced with the rifle and figure out what kind of optic you might want. An adjustable stock would be nice since you don't yet know what length of pull you'll find most comfortable, or what kind of shooting you'll prefer. That's about the most "generic" all-purpose AR I can think of, and you can take it in several different directions depending on optic and accessories.

As far as manufacturers, pretty much any reputable manufacture who provides a rifle in that configuration.

June 12, 2009, 09:52 PM
I appreciate the suggestion for a 16" AR, but I want a 20" AR. That's exactly what I'm thinking if I ever get a 16" upper, but I need to buy an M1 Grand before that 16" upper. :)

Bartholomew Roberts
June 13, 2009, 09:14 AM
The more I look at Bushmaster, the more I think they have two production lines or something.

I think Bushmaster has quietly done the same thing as Colt and set up an LE/Military line and a civilian line, with the civilian rifles getting less attention (much like the Colt Sporter rifles aren't as well done as the Colt LE rifles).

I've never owned a multi-million rifle manufacturing company, so I am not sure what the economic advantage is in having two separate lines of very similar rifles; but I guess there must be one.

I've noticed the same thing though. I examined a Bushmaster M4gery in Academy the other day and it still had the older chisel staking on it; but I've seen pictures of guys with new Bushmasters who have staking per the -9.

Grey Morel
June 13, 2009, 10:52 AM
So NATO is so impoverished now that it's issuing the DPMS Sportical? The Sportical comes in two flavors but last I checked both flavors were NATO cartridges (5.56 and 7.62x51)...


"Panther 5.56NATO Sportical"

I'm sorry that you don't approve of the semantics. You can mull that over while I go load up some CLIPS. :D

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