Am I the only one who still likes plain vanilla AR's?


Joe Demko
August 23, 2010, 09:49 AM
By which I mean ones with fixed stocks and carrying handles shot with iron sights; no rails, no lights, no lasers.
I've got two here that I haven't shot in too long. Both are Bushmasters, a brand I know isn't held in as high esteem as it once was. At the times I purchased mine, 1995 and 2000 respectively, Bushmaster did have a good rep and both rifles have had thousands of problem-free rounds through them.
Both rifles were purchased during the ban, but I never bothered with altering them when the ban lapsed. Since I don't use anything that would attach to a bayonet lug, I didn't see the point of adding one.
My carbine doesn't have a flash hider and my 24 inch rifle has a pinned on brake. Both shoot so well I didn't see the point of changing anything.
Optics? I don't use them on the carbine. Iron sights only. On the rifle, a handle-mounted scope and detachable cheek piece, similar to the old Colt Delta Elite set-up, has worked well when busting ripe produce and small vermin.
No criticism of those with more "up to date" guns implied. I'm simply curious if anybody else still runs with yesteryear's gear.

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WNC Seabee
August 23, 2010, 09:56 AM
The great thing about AR's is that they're like legos. Snap on/off the accessories as the mood fits.

My lower is now set up with an A2 butt stock, carbine length upper and iron sights, like you describe, just a KISS little rifle.

I also have a tricked out upper with stainless 24" bull barrel with YHM free float tube, Harris Bi-pod, brake and way too expensive optics for when I want to play that way.

X hunter
August 23, 2010, 09:59 AM
Hell no!! Put me down for vanilla too. I have an a2 hbar the only thing i have on it is the colt 3x scope so i guess that means vanilla chocolate chip.

August 23, 2010, 10:02 AM
Not me, mine are all heavily modified to best fit the purpose of the rifle. My AR's are hunters with the exception of the M-4gery which is more of an HD weapon.

The classic look of the standard SP-1 with the non-removeable carry handle and triangle handguards has always looked good to me so it is not that I don't care for a plain Jane AR I just think they can be made better with accessories.

August 23, 2010, 10:39 AM
Nope - HP rules keep it pretty basic other than a trigger upgrade, heavy barrel and freefloat tube.

August 23, 2010, 10:47 AM
I dig 'em,too !! Unfortunately, I traded away my 70's Colt A1 tri-guard upper mated to a RR lower. Realizing the error of my ways,I've since tried to trade for it back,but have so far been unsuccessful. Woe is me. ;)

August 23, 2010, 11:05 AM
Yep. Like them stock. The only ARs I have are a SP-1 and a couple of old AR 180s. Not an attachment on any aside from the original scope on one of the 180s.

I had a flattop Armalite carbine and a Bushmaster varmiter for a while, but I sold them off with no regrets.

August 23, 2010, 11:41 AM
Yeah, I'm pretty vanilla. Thats all my Bushmaster is. Thats the way I like tham also. That pretty much goes for all of my guns.

August 23, 2010, 11:55 AM
Recently I bought a stripped lower and was excited as to the plethora of options I had in building. However I soon realized that the majority of AR's I see at the range are M4's and have some tacti-cool accessories. I'm not saying these modifications aren't useful but I just wanted to do something different. I ended up building a retro-ish rifle with a C-7 upper and triangular hand-guard and couldn't be happier.

...oops I guess that means I have to post pics of the little sucker

August 23, 2010, 11:57 AM
I am with the vanila crowd. I have several friends that have the latest and greatest wizz bang stuff on theirs, but my m-15 armalite has yet to be out shot by any of them, and doesnt take batteries either.

August 23, 2010, 01:06 PM
There's a reason lights, optics, etc are so popular. They work well and make your job easier.

That said, I prefer to go with as little as possible. This is my home defense carbine.

August 23, 2010, 01:44 PM
I'm a fan of plain vanilla for most of my guns. I don't like a bunch of lights, lazers and bug deflectors hanging off of them throwing off the balance and adding weight. It's an old bias from the days of most of my battle training.

With that said, I do like a collapsible stock on a battle rifle and can be convinced to add a holographic sight under only slight duress. :D

August 23, 2010, 01:45 PM
Vanilla Armalite M15A2NM. My upgrade was a bit of lead in the stock. :)

August 23, 2010, 02:02 PM
My first AR was a plain vanilla Armalite A2-style rifle.

I've since acquired newer, more modular rifles. Depending on the match I shoot, I run with either a flat top gun with an ACOG, or a flat-top carbine with an Aimpoint.

Those guns both get shot on a fairly regular basis. My A2, on the other hand, I haven't fired a shot through in almost a year.

August 23, 2010, 02:20 PM
I sure felt that way at the range this past weekend. I went with my cousin and he was tickled to see so many ARs, most of them pretty tricked out. I had one also, but mine was a basic M4gery, with M4 handguards and a LMT fixed rear. I was the only one at the range without optics or rails. It's all good though, no one else had a sling.


August 23, 2010, 02:24 PM
My ARs are very vanilla. The only add on I have on one is an Eotech sight, which I like quite a lot. The other three are as plain as can be.

Not only do I like vanilla, now I'm getting in the mood for retro... Someday I hope to have enough beans saved up to build or buy an early version like a 603.

August 23, 2010, 02:26 PM
My AR is a retro A1 built with a USGI surplus Colt upper....A1 buttstock, triangle forearms.
I love how light it is, and I prefer the A1 sights. One of my favorite things to do with it is to set up clay pigeons at 100yds. Pretty much one shot--one clay pigeon with my A1.
When I go to my rifle club, there are always other AR's there...M4 clones with all the bells and whistles, 12lb varmint guns...But I always end up outshooting or at least equaling them using my A1 and M193 55gn FMJ. And, I never have any of the jams I see the other AR's have.
After I had my A1 completed and had shot it for a while, I found a slightly used C7 HBAR bushmaster shorty upper cheap...Post ban style, no flash hider. Though I have a CAR stock for it, I find I prefer it with the A1 buttstock. I may someday send it off to be threaded by ADCO...but maybe not. It does produce a pretty good muzzle flash without one.
Since I have two uppers, two stocks, and two bolt groups, all I need is a second lower, and I'll have two ARs.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 23, 2010, 02:42 PM
I've got one A2 midlength that I built from castoff parts of other ARs that were being modified. It is a good rifle but I rarely shoot it.

To give a comparison - with my favorite AR, I have the choice of using an Aimpoint T1, TA11 ACOG, same-plane irons, flashlight, bipod, vertical grip, angled grip, adjustable length of pull, sound suppressor, etc. If I want the rifle lighter or more simple, I just take stuff off.

With the A2, I can shoot irons. Somehwere I've got a Sotech Universal Flashlight Buckle for it so I can mount a light on it as well; but by and large, it is a lot less flexible than the other ARs. The main thing it does that the others don't is I have an elevation adjustable rear sight AND a big, low-light aperture on the irons. In practical terms, that means that unless I am shooting irons past 300m, one of my other ARs does it just as well if not better.

Since I can't hardly make out a target past 300m with my naked eye these days, the end result is that I usually only end up taking the A2 if I need a spare. Otherwise, I just take off the optics and flip up the irons if I want to practice with irons.

and doesnt take batteries either.

I'm sure you meant that in a lighthearted way; but I've never understood that argument. If a battery operated thingamajig on a rifle fails, then pull it off and drive on. You're no worse off than if you never had the item to begin with. It is like saying you'd rather walk everywhere so you don't have to rely on gasoline to drive. You can always drive until you run out of gas and THEN get out and walk ;)

August 23, 2010, 02:43 PM
I want to add that the Colt SP-1 in our family is damn accurate and fine.

August 23, 2010, 02:52 PM
AR-15A2. It is the big brother of all of them little ones. :)

Joe Demko
August 23, 2010, 03:48 PM
I've been toying with the idea of a retro AR, too. In my case, I'm pondering whether I want to piece one together to give the look of a Vietnam-era M-16 with three-prong flash hider. The only thing holding me back is wondering whether I'd actually find the time to get out shooting with it. I've already got money sunk into enough shooting irons that see the light of day long enough to get wiped down a couple times a year.

August 23, 2010, 04:04 PM
I like the standard A2 with 1/4 click sights and free float tube. Rear aperature to 800.

Sebastian the Ibis
August 23, 2010, 06:49 PM
IMHO most people with half a dozen things hanging off their rifle, can't hit the target the first time they pull the trigger. - The safety is on, the mag is not seated, the scope is waay off etc. I was doing room clearing drills on Saturday, and a guy actually dropped the mag out of his rifle as he came through a doorway!!! And this was a guy that supposedly knows what he was doing- he blamed his rifle with an eotech, eotech magnifier, foregrip-buipod, 10 pt. sling. tactical rail, tactical light.

August 23, 2010, 07:02 PM
In general, I prefer firearms to have minimal changes made to them.

If for home defense:
I put XS sights on pistols or ghost ring sights on rifle or shotgun
For shotgun I added side saddle due to ammo capacity

Other than that, I tend to leave firearms alone. The less I change, the less things there are to break or interfere with it functioning properly.

August 23, 2010, 07:29 PM
Yea, I'm a plain kinda guy. I'm into military versions (kinds modern milsurp collecting)

August 23, 2010, 08:41 PM
The two I have are kind of plain vanilla; my Colt SP-1 was purchased new in 1978 and while I still have the original tri-guards, I really prefer the later A2 round handguards. The only other addition is a 3X9 power scope, but since it's detachable I don't think it really counts as a mod. My other AR is an XM-177E2 copy that I built with an Olympic Arms lower and a Bushmaster upper. The folding buttstock is an original aluminum Colt while the internals are a mix of Colt and Olympic Arms parts. No other mods needed or desired.

August 23, 2010, 08:47 PM
1 plane jane A2, the rest are jazzed up carbines of some sort.

This is my basic go to rifle.

August 23, 2010, 09:09 PM
OK so while I've got everyone on the plain vanilla AR topic, If I were going to use it as a precision plinker and for service rifle competitions using aperature sights.

I shouldn't think about this. I've got too many project guns to get finished first...

August 23, 2010, 10:47 PM
I have screwed around with mine a few times, but I always sell all the dodahs and go back to the A2 config. I just like mine plain. Iron sights, no lights, buy more ammo, practice more and love it.

I do love RMT's though..that is very clean and simple.

August 23, 2010, 10:55 PM
Have one in the A2 configuration and love the balance, accuracy, and price.

August 23, 2010, 11:17 PM
Plain vanilla enough for you?
1977 Colt SP1

That's the way I like it! :)


August 29, 2010, 11:41 AM
yes, plane jane for me too.

got a mutt 20'' service rifle,rockriver lower, no-name upper with carry handle. shoots great.

building a retro 602, now.


August 29, 2010, 11:42 AM
p.s. have you noticed ? this is the ''newest thread'' i've posted in, in a long time !! :)


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