16 y/o with an AR15?


November 12, 2010, 07:12 PM
I'm 16 and my parents recently said that they'd let me get my first gun. I shot my first when I was 12 which was a .22 at boyscout camp and also got the rifle merit badge. Later when I was 13 my dad took me to a shooting range a few times where we rented an AR15 and I loved it.

I would much rather buy an AR than a .22 but my parents (who know very little about guns) want to make sure it is okay for someone my age to own one. It wouldn't legally be mine and we have agreed that whatever gun I got would be stored at my grandparent's house close by. To finance this hobby I have saved up about $1100 of my own money and I could work for more if I needed to.

So is an AR15 much worse than a .22? My dad is the one most opposed to this believe it or not, but all he would need to do is get "expert" opinion and he might be more open to an AR.

Also how reasonable does this look for first time expenses? Nobody I know has ever bought a gun so I don't know how much everything would cost. I was talking to a guy at our local gun store and he said that any AR under 900 was junk and that the decent ones started at around $1000. From my research on the internet it seems like he is full of BS but I'm not sure.

-Bushmaster AR15 A3 - $850
-250 rds of federal 5.56 NATO -$75
-shipping/FFL fees/taxes - $60
-Cleaning kit? -$0-30

Total: $985-1015

I was also thinking of picking up a Mosin Nagant as I've heard they can be found for $100. Are the ones that cheap any good?

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November 12, 2010, 07:18 PM
Wait 2 more years and you can get one for free from Uncle Sam via the Armed Forces

November 12, 2010, 07:19 PM
A fully automatic M16 issued to you...

November 12, 2010, 07:21 PM
I think spending a grand or more from a reputable maker will net you a very nice AR.

A decent one can surely be had for less. I do believe it is worth it to save enough for something like a Daniel Defense that can be had for just over a grand from Budsgunshop.com or Aim.

You are young, you may own this rifle for quite sometime. Spend the money on quality.

As long as you aren't shooting the gun unsupervised I think it would be fine. Just remember that legally it's not yours until your 18 and have ownership transfered to you.

General Geoff
November 12, 2010, 07:22 PM
So is an AR15 much worse than a .22?

Worse in what way? Is it more expensive? Yes. Does the ammunition cost more? Yes. Does it recoil more? Slightly. Is it going to break your shoulder? No.

Also, 250 rounds is one range session for me. :) You may want to factor in more ammunition for purchase, as 250 rounds will go quick. Also, you should invest in some spare magazines, though they're cheap (~$10-$15 per).

November 12, 2010, 07:24 PM
Legally a rifle is a rifle, no difference between a .22 and a 30-06.

But consider an AR-15 with a .22 conversion.

If your parents aren't comfortable with you owning a "real" rifle, they could store the .223 parts in a secure location, and you can shoot .22lr.

Which honestly, you may want to do anyway to keep the cost reasonable.

I'm also opposed to the "buy quality the first time round" mindset. I don't think that without hands on experience you know enough to know what you want. Personally, I prefer to buy cheap at first, knowing that I will upgrade later when I figure out for myself what features I like.

November 12, 2010, 07:26 PM
Quote;[So is an AR15 much worse than a .22? ]
If you dont know the difference between .223 and .22, I'd go out on a limb and say no, your not ready. How about a S&W M&P 1522? Looks like an AR but in .22 cal.

November 12, 2010, 07:32 PM
Some states allow possession (not ownership) by a minor, roughly 16 and over, who is clearly engaged in hunting, range shooting, being instructed in same, or traveling to and from such activities. This will vary state to state, and I've little doubt some states forbid minor possession entirely. Should be easy enough to research though.

An AR15 is not "worse" than a .22 in any way really. I'll guess from the context that the question is "is it more scary looking to Dad who's lukewarm on this whole idea to begin with", and in that case I'd say yes it is. If that's going to be a major hurdle, I'd suggest a nice 10/22 or similar, save the extra cash for ammo, mags, cars, insurance for cars, repairs for cars, etc, etc...

Larry Ashcraft
November 12, 2010, 07:33 PM
I don't see a problem. My son started shooting at eight, and when he was 16, I could trust him to take any of my guns, handguns included, out to the range by himself.

The only thing I see is the cost of ammo. At around .40 per pop, ammo funds dry up quickly. That's why a .22 should be in your plans, whether as a first purchase or not. I'm 61 years old, with three kids and nine grandkids, and I still have more fun plinking with a .22 than anything else (well, with the possible exception of breaking clays with a shotgun).

November 12, 2010, 07:33 PM
i have a bushmaster (2 actually) and they are very nice, 7-8k rounds each, never so much as a hiccup, and legit sub moa accuracy.

that being said, if i were 16 again, and had 1100 bux to drop on a rifle, i would probably go the bargain bin cmmg route. 600 dollars for a fun reliable rifle leaves me a lot more room for goodies, and pretty good recovery should i decide to abort and try something else if the ar is not my thing.

i ran an ar15 tournament and the cmmg bargain rifles were all coming in high in the points (including winning the iron sight division....not bad for a 600 dollar ar15)

p.s. it should be noted that ive never owned a cmmg, only colts and bushmasters, but everyone that has them seems to love them.

November 12, 2010, 07:34 PM
Well, think about telling him this:
Hundreds if not thousands of young boys not much older than you, sign up for the military, many of who have never touched a firearm in their life, they learn how to use and maintain an M16 rifle every day. And they do so very proficently, some better than others, but all learn. The AR is a very simple weapon. Believe me, the AR is a very good choice, but you have to absolutely understand, the AR is a huge step above any .22 rifle. It is much more powerful, much louder, and its rounds can travel miles father than a .22 if accidently fired. I know you would hate to hear it, but me, as a complete stranger would still reccomend a .22 rifle. But many companies produce .22 conversion kits for AR rifles. Heres what I would recomend for you:

-Purchase (or have an parent, as you are still underage) a good quality AR rifle that you like and fits your body size. Many stock AR's go in the 500-800 dollar range. This leaves you money to play with.

-Purchase a .22 conversion kit for an AR. For example look at .22lrconversions.com. A .22 conversion kit will allow you to get accustomed to how the new rifle feels and handles, all while being cheaper and easier to shoot. i.e. Less noise and shorter range=safer for someone somewhat new to shooting. Most cost a few hundred bucks. Maybe someone else can recomend a goot .22 conversion kit.

-Once you feel comfortable with your new rifle, pop in the .223/5.56mm bolt and mag, and fire the rifle. It will be much louder, more muzzle blast, and a much more powerful and longer range round. So make shure you have a safe area to shoot with a backstop capable of stopping these more powerful rounds.

-Be safe. be responsable, and have fun. Best of wishes to ya.

November 12, 2010, 07:36 PM
If you dont know the difference between .223 and .22, I'd go out on a limb and say no, your not ready. How about a S&W M&P 1522? Looks like an AR but in .22 cal.

i dont think there will be a problem stepping up if standard safety measures and habits that are taught with any firearm are maintained with this one.

November 12, 2010, 07:39 PM
Thumbs up on the S&W M&P 1522 also, looks simmilar and handles simmilar to a AR15, but shoots .22lr ammo only.

November 12, 2010, 07:44 PM
If you dont know the difference between .223 and .22, I'd go out on a limb and say no, your not ready.

I don't understand. If someone has been a .38 special shooter all their life, but asks how .357 compares, does that mean that they're not ready?

He's obviously shot before, and as has been stated, .223 is not a punishing caliber. I think he can deal with it.

To the OP - I'm not an AR specialist, but I think you're on the right track. And good on you for saving your own money and being responsible for the purchase on your own. That shows character, and discipline. In fact, you sound like a kid who might be interested in building your own AR from a parts kit. Might take awhile, but I've heard it's an interesting experience, and you can take pride in saying "I built this myself".

Either way, good luck and don't forget to post pics!

November 12, 2010, 07:45 PM
I don't delve into AR rifle world enough to give you opinions on the gun.
But i can say you sound pretty mature, Have a plan so nothing stupid will happen, And saved the money yourself. I hope your parents see you should be able to make a rational decision that hopefully they can come to agree with.

My father bought me a .22lr at age 7 so i know a young kid can be safe if taught properly.
Ill admit one reason i don't own a centerfire semi-auto rifle is the cost of ammo. On a person your age it wont be cheap to shoot that gun. As stated a good .22lr conversion will add hours of fun at a low cost. And still shoot .223 or 5.56 when you can.

You never mentioned but do you have a place to safely shoot .22lr or .223?
Unless you have a place for free range time can be expensive.

If worst come to worst and they just don't agree the AR is appropriate for you at this time, Find a good .22lr and enjoy it and don't be bitter. Its still small small step forward to your AR. BTW research those as not all are made equal.

What ever happens i wish you luck and your parents should be happy to have a kid who can save that kind of money as im 40 and cant even do that.
Also no matter what you get it will be a large learning experience as even the tiny .22lr has many aspects you could never imagine. But the AR world is Barbie time for grown up men.

November 12, 2010, 07:46 PM
If your dad thinks your responsible enough to own a .22 then i'd say theres no difference. A gun is a gun and you can be just as stupid with a 22 as you can an ar. I'd would advise you to do your research into different models and such.

Full Metal Jacket
November 12, 2010, 07:49 PM
i was 14 when my dad bought me my first iron--more power to ya! :)

Wait 2 more years and you can get one for free from Uncle Sam via the Armed Forces

i don't think being sent to a warzone is a good trade off for a free rifle you don't own :eek:

November 12, 2010, 07:50 PM
First off, ehanger, congratulations on having saved your earnings - that shows maturity.

We don't know what you want a rifle for - plinking? blasting? informal target shooting? if for real competitions, what kind? You might want to give your real purpose some thought before you buy that first rifle.

Regardless of your purpose, I'll guess that you probably want an 'accurate' rifle. Thing is that most rifles are accurate...but not all shooters are.

It takes most of us a lot of training and shooting before we can repeatedly hit whatever while standing on our hind legs. Of the dozen really good centerfire riflemen I know, most still practice regularly with their .22LR scoped rifles. By regularly, I mean thousands of rounds per year.

So then, 250rds of 5.56 is $75 in your neck of the woods...
Now look up the price of bulk Winchester .22LR

ehanger, if you really want to become a rifleman on a kid's budget, you'll see that a good .22LR is the real ticket. I'd suggest a Ruger 10-22 (if you have enough $ saved, look at Anschutz or CZ bolt rifles) but in deference to your age, mebbe a cool looking quality AR in .22LR.

November 12, 2010, 07:51 PM
Sorry I wasn't clear on the "Is an AR15 much worse than a .22". I know the difference between .223rem and .22LR and also that there are .22 kits you can buy. What I meant was that my parents who have never owned a firearm don't know the difference between a ruger 10/22 and a .223rem AR15, other than the aesthetics.

General Geoff
November 12, 2010, 08:01 PM
If they don't know the difference, then how could one be "worse" than the other, in their eyes?

November 12, 2010, 08:11 PM
@General Geoff

The AR15 is an "assault rifle" according to my dad so its much more violent than a .22 rifle.

At least that's what he says...

General Geoff
November 12, 2010, 08:16 PM
Doesn't matter if it's a .22 or .50BMG, no violence occurs without first pulling the trigger.

You should point out to your father that .22lr can be just as lethal as .223, and indeed both are considered deadly force in a court of law. He should not base any decision on what firearms you should have, on a false belief that a .22 is in any way less dangerous for you or those around you, if mishandled.

November 12, 2010, 08:20 PM
This is how it was in my house and we are very gun friendly.
Since my kids were old enough to drive to our range (16) they have had the green light on pretty much anything in the safe and could do it without supervision. This came with one caveat, that was that only they were allowed to do it. This meant that they couldn't bring friends and such in on the deal. The reason for this is simple, safety and liability, my kids grew up hunting and shooting and have taken big game from the time they were legally able. An AR carried no more WOW factor than a 10-22 but I know that even their friends from gun families didn't have that exposure so they shot by themselves or with each other.
I your case not having family members who are shooters, I will suggest the 22 for the next couple yrs then when you are of age you can have and do as you please plus you will hopefully have gained much more knowledge of firearms and maybe choose to build one yourself.
Remember that a gun is a huge burden of responsibility and you can never call a bullet back into the barrel.
Also as was said your country is at war and they have a lot of guns and ammunition, might be something to consider.

November 12, 2010, 08:25 PM

Please read the above link and get educated a bit on the AR.

Is the 223/5.56 more violent than the .22 yes.

Will it shoot farther....yes...... you can take varmints at 400 yards and hit something at 600 yards.

Do you need to spend all you money on one rifle..NO! I was 16 when I got a 30.06 but I lived on a farm so if you have a brain then you should be all right; just don't be cocky and stupid the rifle can hurt someone or yourself way out of line of sight.

Since you have worked and saved for this purchase I want to congratulate you. It sounds like you are a responsible you man.

Try to get a good deal after you read the thread. You will want to add stuff after your purchase so have a few dollars left over. aimsurplus usually has good deals for ammo at about 1/2 the price of Walmart. A chrome 22lr conversion kit for your new AR can be had for less than $200. That gives you the best of both worlds. Good luck!

P.S. After shooting with the conversion kit be sure to fire a few 223/5.56 through you Ar to blow out the crud left by the 22. Good excuse for some louder bangs!

Old krow
November 12, 2010, 08:51 PM
We don't know what you want a rifle for - plinking? blasting? informal target shooting? if for real competitions, what kind? You might want to give your real purpose some thought before you buy that first rifle.

Very true. I'd go out on a limb and say plinking and/or informal target?

For a lot of good reasons already mentioned in the replies, the .22lr is a very reasonable choice. The ammo budget gets depleted FAST! The price that you gave for ammo is roughly .30 per round for .223 and .22lr is around .03 per round. A Ruger 10/22 and $200 worth of ammo get you at least 5000 shots fired.

However, if you're really bent on getting the AR and your dad doesn't like it simply because of the aesthetics, get a Ruger Mini 14 in .223.

November 12, 2010, 09:11 PM
The AR15 is an "assault rifle" according to my dad so its much more violent than a .22 rifle.

You should ask your dad to explain how an inanimate object can be violent.

November 12, 2010, 09:24 PM
I would say that a MP22/15 is a perfect choice. You can learn and get used to how the ar15 platforms, But dont have to pay for each round. 1100 bucks is alot of money, and that can be ate up by ammo costs damn fast. I would stick with the 22lr, or 22 mag if you want more punch.

November 12, 2010, 09:33 PM
Thanks for all of the good advice, I'm definitely considering getting the .22 conversion kit now. How easy/quick is it to install, and I assume I would be able to change it back to .223 whenever I wanted to?

Or would be it better to just get a separate .22 rifle altogether? I could take a friend along to the range without having to take turns, and the cheapness of the round would allow me to get in more marksmanship practice.

And in truth, since the closest public range in my area is a 45min drive, I wouldn't get out shooting very often (probably once every 1-3 weeks depending on schedule). I don't know how many rounds/trip I will average when actually owning a firearm, but the few times I shot an AR there were <100 shots fired before I was done for the day.

November 12, 2010, 09:41 PM
If you feel safe trusting a 16 year old with a .22, you had better be able to trust them with anything else include an AR15. By the time you're 16, you shouldn't have any trouble with the extra recoil from the .223, so that's not a concern. The cost issues are definite concerns.

Congrats on saving that much money at your age.

November 12, 2010, 10:22 PM
Dude, do yourself a favor and buy a nice 22 I have an AR and it doesn't get shot nearly as much as my .22's. Maybe pick up a .22 and a Mosin and have a chunk of cash left over.

November 12, 2010, 10:57 PM

Sorry if I'm being a buzzkill here, but I'm a little surprised no one else has mentioned it...

Please use extreme caution in this purchase. You stated you've saved the requisite funds for the rifle of your choice, but your folks aren't real keen on the idea.

If you're not familiar with the concept of a Straw Purchase, please educate yourself. You can't pay Dad for him buying you the rifle, as I understand it. He can buy it and just give it to you, but you can't give him the money for it.

That said, I'm 21. I've wanted an AR for some time now, but the cost of ammo has been one of the biggest turnoffs for me. .22 is tough to beat, as a lot of folks have said. I have a couple of Marlins in .22 that are just a blast to shoot. If you wanted to buy a nice .22 and put some real nice optics on it, that still leaves a LOT of money left over for LOTS of ammo.

Good luck in your search. :)

November 12, 2010, 11:26 PM
I have got to say I am not a fan of combat plastic. However, if your sure this is the platform you want, you should research and if possible rent one at the range. I would expect you could then make an informed decission.
My personal recommendation is to start with the .22 lr, it will get far more use than your .223/5.56. To all of those who remember the good ole days, I got my first .22 lr ( a Ruger Standard) at age 11 and that was considered late! Most kids had a BB gun at 8, pellet gun at 9, and Marlin mod 60 at 10 back in the 70s. I know times where different and the social and political atmosphere has changed.
As a practical tool every household should have a rifle, shotgun, and pistol in my opinion just like a smoke detector, extinguisher, and carbon monoxide detector.

November 12, 2010, 11:42 PM
Get a quality AR and a 22lr conversion kit. There are only about 10 "what AR should I buy???" threads here per day in rifle country forum, so you shouldn't have problems finding recommendations.

You should consider saving up for a class. I highly recommend this one: http://eagtactical.com/coursedetails.asp?ListID=10

The best thing you can do is attend the class first with gun they will loan to you. You will learn all about what works and what doesn't there, and then you can make an informed purchase.

Your parents should also feel better about your having expert training in the safe, practical handling of an AR.

November 12, 2010, 11:50 PM

November 13, 2010, 12:02 AM
Whatever you decide I suggest getting a .22 lr rifle as well. Many are inexpensive and the ammo cost is unbeatable. You will be able to shoot much much more and learn skills. I am voting for getting a .22 and also whatever you want in an ar-15. It is your money. Spend it wisely. I have found that it is much more fun to actually shoot than collect gear that is unused.

November 13, 2010, 12:22 AM
You have a couple of options. First off: Be cool with you parents. They are more worried about your well being than any body.
Look into if there are any competitions in your area. That is a good place to learn some really good fundementals. Some areas also have fairly active junior programs. If you want to share you general location that might help. Also look for local gun forums.
I am kind of mixed on the .22 conversions. I like the concept. Problem is you can get a dedicated .22lr for almost the same price. Not an AR .22lr necessarily, maybe a bolt gun. You want one with the option of good iron sights or scope.
A new development from Mossberg: http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=43&display=desc
( I have no idea if it is good or junk - less than $300 )
Another option would be an air rifle to shoot at home if at all possible. That would be cost effective and no need to go to a range. When you do go to the range you will be tuned up pretty well.
Cost of .223 ain't no fun compared to .22lr or pellets. But some of the .22 & pellets are up there in price. The .22 and air rifle can be great bang for the buck. You could add a .22 pistol later (check legality)
If you get an AR that can shoot heavier bullets you can get out to decent ranges with it. A National Match AR is a great rifle, but would be a bit much for your budget.
It comes down to what your particular interest are.
Decisions get more complicated as you get older, so enjoy your time of youth.

November 13, 2010, 12:36 AM
Larry Ashcraft said:I don't see a problem. My son started shooting at eight, and when he was 16, I could trust him to take any of my guns, handguns included, out to the range by himself.

Maybe in Colorado, but definately not in "Daleyland" (Illinois)! :cuss: Must be 18 for "longguns"; 21 for handguns; no possession except when hunting/range and "must be accompanied by "adult" (parent/guardian) at the range. :mad:
Fun, fun, fun!

November 13, 2010, 01:24 AM
Sounds like you have your mind made up for an AR, so I won't try to talk you out of that. Nothing against AR's, buy it seems like kind of a big step for a first rifle. I would recommend an M1 Garand.:D Just kidding- it's your decision.

I can understand your folks' reaction. I'm guessing that they look at it much like as if you had wanted to get a motorcycle. They would probably be nervous about you buying the latest crotch-rocket and would rather you get a Honda 250 instead.

My nephew got a souped-up Mustang as a graduation gift from his parents. It lasted two weeks to the day. He completely totaled it and almost killed himself.

Rifles are a little different, of course. Anything wrong or immature you could do with an AR you shouldn't be doing with a .22 either, but have you considered getting an inexpensive .22 first and proving your maturity and safety with it before stepping up to something bigger? Just a thought, might make your folks feel better about it.

November 13, 2010, 02:01 AM
Has anyone asked where the OP lives and whether ARs are even legal in his area? If he doesn't know anyone with a gun and Daddy's talking about "assault rifles" it sounds like he could be behind enemy lines, so to speak. I know he mentioned having rented an AR at the range, but also that the nearest range was 45 mins away, possibly across state lines.

November 13, 2010, 02:21 AM
Also consider the AK 74, the ammo is cheap . So more trigger time to boot.

November 13, 2010, 02:29 AM
From a legal perspective there is no difference between owning a rifle chambered in .22LR and owning one chambered in .223 Rem. So long as your state doesn't have any silly "assault weapons" ban, there isn't any difference in the legalities of owning an AR-15 or a Ruger 10-22.

By the age of 16 I had shot everything from a variety of .22 rifles, a variety of shotguns (10ga-28ga), a few military-like guns (AR-15's, AK clones, SKS, FN-FAL, etc), a number of common hunting rifles, and a .375 H&H Mag. As long as your parents feel that you are ready to handle the responsibility of having a gun, I personally see no issue with owning an AR-15.

An AR-15 is an accurate, low-maintenance platform with readily available parts and accessories. They're a blast to shoot (pun intended), and you can learn long-range marksmanship using open sights on the AR-15.

I have a couple of .22s and a couple of AR-15's. They're both fun and they both have their place, but I couldn't make an argument to not own an AR-15 if you are already capable of handling a .22lr.

November 13, 2010, 02:47 AM
Definitely sounds like you have your heart set on an AR, so far be it from me to tell you not to. I don't know how much this will help but here are my thoughts.

I bought my wife an AR-15 when she was 20. She loved it. flash forward 7 yrs. It hardly ever gets shot. Unless you have a specific use in mind (hunting, target shooting, competition, etc.) you may find that after a while, the coolness of owning an AR wears off. Not saying it will, just a thought.

Without knowing you personally, I'd say you seem pretty responsible and I don't see why you should not have one if you want one and the law allows it.

I agree with a lot of the posters on being cool and mature while discussing this with your parents. If your Dad has not put his foot down and said no to an AR, then it seems like he may be won over with logic. Study up on ARs extensively and share that knowledge with him. As far as the "Assault Rifle" issue, yuo can buy 25 rd mags for a 10/22 as well as buying lower capacity (10 or 20 rd) mags for an AR.

Check and double check how your local laws apply!!!

We have a Bushmaster with a 16" barrel and full handguard. Other than the shorter portion of exposed barrel, it looks in all respects like a military issued M16A2 (minus the 3 rd burst, of course). I have not looked into ARs in a while, but when I did, it seemed like the fewer bells and whistles, and the more "A2" it looked, the lower the prices tended to be. I can't imagine that you couldn't find a decent AR + .22 conversion for the money you have saved, or maybe just a shade more (probably no more than you could save in the mean time, while you continue AR research).

As with all firearms, follow all of the safety rules and be generally responsible with all of your weapons and I can't see how this could a bad purchase or "worse" than a.22.

Good luck and let us know what you do.

November 13, 2010, 03:38 AM
'The AR15 is an "assault rifle" according to my dad so its much more violent than a .22 rifle.'

Ah, yes the 'Evil Black Rifle' effect. I believe the Germans thought the Mosin-Nagant, 1903 Springfield, M-1, and Enfield were pretty violent too.

Mosins are ok for inexpensive plinkers, I enjoy mine but it's nothing to write home about. The 7.62X54R that they shoot is similar in power to the 30-06 and other early 20th century military rifles. That's a lot more power than the .223 from an AR. They are known for having bad barrels so bring a small flashlight along to look inside. Bores should be bright.

Since he has to go along with the purchase, I'd warm Dad up with a .22 first. He is comfortable with the idea of a .22, that's important. The usual rule is that you need to be supervised anyway so bring him along when you shoot (and shoot with you) so he can see how you handle the rifle. Once he sees you are careful with it work up to the AR. He can find out (or remember) how much fun plinking can be. If he gets the bug, he won't need any more convincing.

The Ruger 10/22 is a nice rifle but if you pick up an inexpensive autoloader like a Mossberg Plinkster (I have 2 in the safe for Christmas for my kids who are both younger than you) or Marlin you will still have enough for the AR when the time comes. They both come in around $100. Then you will have 2 rifles. (Then they start breeding in the safe)

November 13, 2010, 04:43 AM
"Wait 2 more years and you can get one for free from Uncle Sam via the Armed Forces"
wow going into the Armed Forces for years just to get your hands on a 800$ rifle.
cool logic.
going halfway around the world to fight farmers,while your wife and kids are left at home vulnerable to local threats. cool.

November 13, 2010, 05:27 AM
"...have saved up about $1100 of my own money..." Hi. Well done. And congratulations.
"...rather buy an AR than a .22..." What's your ammo budget like? .223 is a whole bunch more expensive to shoot than a .22. Not much point having a rifle you can't afford to shoot.
You're not alone being the only family member interested in the shooting sports either.
"...The AR15 is an "assault rifle"..." It's not going to help, but an AR isn't an assault rifle. Neither is an M16. An assault rifle is defined as a select fire, battle rifle, chambered in the same calibre as the regular infantry rifle using a smaller cartridge.
Don't PO your da. He won't be there forever and it sucks.

November 13, 2010, 05:43 AM
the m16 is an assault rifle, in my opinion.
because i always thought An assault rifle is defined as a select fire rifle that fires from a closed bolt and uses intermediate or light caliber rounds.

you could get a ak74 and buy low cost 5.45 wolf ammo.

or just buy a ar15 rifle and a .22lr rifle. if your going to get a 850$ ar15 rifle than whats another 200$ for a .22 rifle.

November 13, 2010, 07:13 AM
If you get the Mossberg do a range report!http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=43&display=desc

November 13, 2010, 09:11 AM
Good advice coming from a very well informed group of guys in the firearms world. One thing I have not noticed is the mention of safety with a Mosin. It's hard to work and is a knob on the back of the rifle that you pull back towards you and rotate counter clockwise to engage, then perform the opposite to disengage. Controls mean everything since safety is one of the most important factors of firearms. If you lean towards a bolt I would recommend a savage first on the cheap scale, then a Howa 1500, then a Rem SPS 700.

But you are being smart and are leaning towards an AR-15 or similarly patterned rifle. A .22 conversion is a good idea but I have an idea for you.

Step 1) Buy a 10/22

Show dad the .22 and get him shooting. Teach him that guns are inanimate objects and only perform how they are designed and how the brain behind the action is where the problems lie, not with the machine (for the most part, so long as there isn't a functionality problem with the machine but proper safety practices can prevent tragedies due to faulty sears and safeties)

Step 2) Get a SKS

A) It's semi-auto
B) it's functional as a hunting apparatus granted you could find soft point ammo for it (Federal makes some good stuff I believe)

Introduce the concept and reinforce the safety and inanimate object points.

Step 3) Get the AR

You can spend that $800 on a bone stock Bushie

Or you can build a quality AR for less than what Bushmaster or Rock River charges.

Stripped lower (up to $150) Del-ton basic kit ($395 + S/H = ~$420) builds a complete rifle with close to bushmaster quality if not better (all for about $570)

If you skip proposed step 2 and dad says AR's are more dangerous based on looks mention that the pistol grip is an ergonomic upgrade from traditional stocks to improve accuracy. Even bolt action target rifles are moving that direction with pseudo pistol grip styles like McMillan stocks. It's not looks that kill.

bomb dropper
November 13, 2010, 10:08 AM
Most will agree that spikes is a great company with top rate service. So here is my suggestion you can take it for what it's worth.

Spikes m4 (http://www.spikestactical.com/z/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=113&products_id=387)-$800


.22 conversion (http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/sp6.php)-$170

That's $970 plus 30ish for the ffl leaves you a little to pick up some extras.

Tell you what I owe a pay it forward to a member on here so if you get you a ar send me an email and I'll send you some usgi mags.

November 13, 2010, 10:42 AM
Hey, there, first off, congrats on saving up the $$, you sound like a resposible young man. Second, everyone's given good advice here, the only thing I'd add is go with a standard AR-15 and conversion kit, not a clone in .22LR. The reason is, you can always take the .22 upper off when you want, but you can't put a 5.56 upper on the .22 rifles. A friend had one, don't remember witch make, but they're not hard to put on/take off and yes, you can switch back whenever you'd like. Good luck and don't forget to show us some pics. :D

November 13, 2010, 11:08 AM
I bought my wife an AR-15 when she was 20. She loved it. flash forward 7 yrs. It hardly ever gets shot. Unless you have a specific use in mind (hunting, target shooting, competition, etc.) you may find that after a while, the coolness of owning an AR wears off. Not saying it will, just a thought.


Ah, yes the 'Evil Black Rifle' effect.

It sounds like the OP's purpose for this gun is for fun. To be honest, my perception is that the OP is also suffering from the "Evil Black Rifle effect."

It all comes down to what a person thinks is fun, and how much money they are willing to spend to have that fun.

I have a Ruger 10/22 with a $300 two-stage match trigger set at 18/12 oz pull weight, match grade bull barrel and thumbhole stock. To me, fun is being able to enter a 100 yard bench rest competition and taking 2nd place out of 11 shooters with a .22 with a BSA Sweet .22 scope on it. I was the only rimfire rifle in the group and the other guys were shooting $2,000+ rifles and scopes with .223 being the lowest caliber and most of them handloaded their own competition ammo.

I love handing my gun to someone and saying, "Here.... try this." After putting 10 rounds that cost $.09 each into a quarter sized group at 100 yards with the 18 oz smooth as melted butter trigger they walk away usually saying, "OMG, I want one of those!"

To some people, that just isn't fun though. They want to put a man-sized silhouette out at 200 or 300 yards and are happy to keep 30 rounds that cost $.40 to $.50 each in the silhouette shot within 15 seconds.

My personal advice would be to get a 10/22 and make it into what you want. The OP is 16. There's plenty of time to figure things out. You can take the 10/22 and turn it into a tack driver or you can turn it into an "evil black rifle" AND, at the same time, make dad happy for a couple of years. But, of course, my advice may not fit you, and there is nothing wrong with that.

And - yes - if you give dad the money to buy a gun for you from a dealer you and your dad have both committed Federal felonies, BTW.

November 13, 2010, 11:37 AM
"And - yes - if you give dad the money to buy a gun for you from a dealer you and your dad have both committed Federal felonies, BTW. "

I would disagree to an extent. I personally believe that within a family situation, if done properly, this does not fit the intent of the law. the problem is that to a government beaurocrat who doesn't apply common sense, then, yes this may violate the letter of the law. As far as I'm aware It's not Illegal to front your dad money to buy a rifle that gets checked in his name, and then once you are 18, have it transferred to your name. I could be wrong on this, but like I said before check and double-check the law.

If you do decide to go with a .22, I would suggest a Savage MkII. I picked mine up used with a cheesy 4x scope for $160 and it's a tack driver too. The longest distance I have shot it was 50 yds, but two 10 rd mags fit into a group that could be covered with a quarter, with maybe one or two strays out of 20.

November 13, 2010, 01:28 PM
If you truly want a AR-15 and you have the means to pay for it then by all means go for it.
I bought my firs AR when I was 16 back in Wyoming almost 30 years ago and never looked back. Just always follow the safety rules and enjoy that thing.
Good luck
God speed

November 13, 2010, 01:47 PM
ask Old Fluff....he know every thing

November 13, 2010, 01:56 PM
If your dad thinks ARs are too dangerous, show him this picture...

November 13, 2010, 02:40 PM
I think they need 30 round magazines to take over the world, though.

General Geoff
November 13, 2010, 04:31 PM
I think they need Beta C-mags to take over the world. :D

November 13, 2010, 05:08 PM
16 is not young. Just be smart.

November 13, 2010, 05:11 PM
I like to shoot my AR but I love to shoot my Garand. It was my first rifle.

For $1100 you could get a very nice Garand and some surplus ammo from the cmp. Its not as evil looking as the AR. It has more recoil but its manageable. Its a heavy gun. I have both and I would get a second Garand before an AR.

November 13, 2010, 05:47 PM
I think that every adult needs to own four guns: A pistol, a centerfire rifle, a shotgun, and a 22 rifle.

If you buy used or surplus, you can get all four for the $1000 or so mentioned. A CZ82 pistol, a Mauser bolt action, a Rem 870 shotgun, and a 10/22. I think AR's are great too - I'm just mentioning other possibilities.

If your dad is willing to go along with a 22, do it without a fuss. Don't think of it as only getting a 22. Think of it as the first of four equally important parts. I have a son only a year younger than you, BTW.

November 13, 2010, 05:52 PM
The Garand is definitely on my list of firearms that I would love to have one day.

Full Metal Jacket
November 13, 2010, 06:17 PM
this thread's beating a dead horse at this point guys lol

November 13, 2010, 06:35 PM
Quote;[So is an AR15 much worse than a .22? ]
If you dont know the difference between .223 and .22, I'd go out on a limb and say no, your not ready. How about a S&W M&P 1522? Looks like an AR but in .22 cal.

You're totally missing his point. He's asking if ARs are more tightly controlled legally than a .22.

The answer is that they're all the same in the eyes of the law.

November 13, 2010, 07:04 PM
this thread's beating a dead horse at this point guys lol

I tend to agree with this.

Please let us know what rifle you finally end up with. You've received some very good advice here, and a few rather strange responses you can skip over.

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