Decided I need/want an AR


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Big D
March 8, 2012, 11:31 PM
I am in law enforcement, and have recently decided to start my search for a quality AR. I have a maximum budget of $1000, but would like to be able to purchase the rifle and 500-1000rnds of ammo together and have dough left over for accessories and mags. I am not at a loss for what would be the most economical route for a quality AR out of the box. I have a friend who just purchased a M&P 15 Sport with our LE discount, but have yet to hear the verdict on its reliability. I have researched DPMS, and found that I like the features of the Lite 16 model, but it retails for $699. Any other quality "basic" AR rifles in that range? Also, if I did decide to go the M&P route, can someone elaborate on the need for a forward assist or dust cover, if any? I know the history of the AR, and know that the originals did not have them, and some of the more modern tactical rifles do not feature them.

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jeepnik
March 8, 2012, 11:36 PM
"Need"? Well if you are law enforcement, I'm sure your department will issue you what you "need". Well, what they think you "need" anyway.

"Want"? Well now, that's a whole different kettle of fish. Oh heck, were talking buying a new gun. Whats "need" got to do with it. Of course you want it, so go buy it.

Yea, I know, I'm an enabler. But that's what friends are for.:D

Ranger30-06
March 8, 2012, 11:40 PM
Ok, your legitimately trusting your life to an AR. This automatically means skip:

DPMS
Bushmaster
Olympic Arms


PSA makes an excellent AR that uses FN M249 barrels and is supposed to be top of the line for a low cost AR.


My personal thought is buy a Colt. It will run you $950, but Colt is the standard in AR's and you legitimately need a good rifle. You may also get a department discount, which could go towards ammo/mags.

Good luck and thank you for your service.

proven
March 8, 2012, 11:41 PM
is this for duty or fun?

Big D
March 8, 2012, 11:41 PM
Note: This will not be a patrol rifle. My department only issues designated SWAT officers AR rifles. This is more for my personal use.

Ranger30-06
March 8, 2012, 11:44 PM
Oh. Go PSA or Del-Ton then! Full rifles run $650+ and there's plenty left over for ammo and mags!

proven
March 8, 2012, 11:46 PM
personally, i wouldn't buy a dpms. if your budget is that constrained, look at the m&p sport. for a little more a palmetto state rifle, and if you want a solid gun that you can grow with buy a colt. stick to known mags such as magpul, gov't contract, brownells, and take it easy on the accessories until you learn the platform and have a bearing on what makes the rifle more useful and what is just fluff. as for ammo, well, there's never enough.

Sergei Mosin
March 8, 2012, 11:52 PM
I just ordered a Windham Weaponry MPC. It's your basic 16in M4-type carbine with detachable carry handle; with shipping and transfer, I'll be out the door for $835.

I thought about a Colt, but decided that for my purposes the Colt wasn't worth the extra money. From the research I did, the Windham seems like a good value - not quite a Colt, but better than a DPMS. Guess we'll see when it arrives.

Z-Michigan
March 8, 2012, 11:55 PM
Colt 6920 for top quality. PSA or Spike's for very good quality (some corners cut) for a bit less. M&P15 Sport, DS Arms or Del-Ton for the lowest price AR15s I would want to own.

Jibs
March 8, 2012, 11:59 PM
I saw the word "reliable" in your post. By all accounts, ruger Mini 14 will eat basically ANY ammo you can feed it. I have the ranch rifle, because I like a traditional look to a gun (wood stock). If you are looking for a more tactical looking rifle, the mini 14 also comes in a tactical version. I don't think anyone will argue about reliability of a ruger mini. new costs about 700 bucks out the door. That leaves you 300 to by ammo/accessories. I woulod get a ruger. then you can get 120 dollar case of 500 cheap ammo. That leaves 180 for accessories, should be enough for a nice rail and scope.

Well Now
March 9, 2012, 12:07 AM
I'll also say go with PSA for the price range you'd like to be in.

proven
March 9, 2012, 12:15 AM
hows the accuracy of your ranch rifle, jibs?

Jibs
March 9, 2012, 01:15 AM
I haven't got to shoot it yet, proven. Just got it a week ago, and my range of choice doesnt open til April 1. So I am impatiently waiting till then, since I dont really have access to any farmland or whatnot. I have heard the 580xxxx series is much more accurate than earlier models. I hope so. The waiting is killing me though!:banghead:

Jibs
March 9, 2012, 01:16 AM
Hey Big D---check out this ad on the Ruger forum:
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=133903&highlight=mini

JPG19
March 9, 2012, 01:21 AM
I couldn't be happier with my Spike's Tactical AR. I suggest you give them a look. Personally I don't see the need for a forward assist, however I do see the practicality/functionality behind the dust cover. I have always been a "quality over quantity" type of guy and prefer to delay purchases in order to afford higher quality products, but that's just me. Good luck with your hunt and thank you for your service.

rikman
March 9, 2012, 01:38 AM
I love my LMT Defender and RRA National Match. Might be a little over your budget. I'd save a little longer and definitely hit them up for LEO discount.

kenken
March 9, 2012, 02:43 PM
Hey Ranger30-06,

Where are you finding a colt for $950.00?

kenken

Ranger30-06
March 9, 2012, 02:46 PM
Several people have talked about Colts that they bought around that price. Maybe someone can chime in? I believe most of the main online retailers carry them.

dprice3844444
March 9, 2012, 02:55 PM
if you want colt,check rat worx

Tipro
March 9, 2012, 03:31 PM
Hey Ranger30-06,

Where are you finding a colt for $950.00?

kenken

if you want colt,check rat worx

http://www.ratworxusa.com/pagDetail.aspx?SKU=RW-Colt-LE-6920

They're selling for $1,099 :( Same as Wal-Mart right now

Skribs
March 9, 2012, 03:34 PM
When I do get an AR, it is likely to be an M&P15 sport. Seems to have what is needed for a good price.

bri
March 9, 2012, 07:12 PM
I'll chime in for Spikes. I'm not an operator, or even close to one, but I've got 2k rounds through a middy, runs like a clock.

C-grunt
March 9, 2012, 07:39 PM
Hey Ranger30-06,

Where are you finding a colt for $950.00?

kenken
There are several online dealers that sell them for that price. I'd personally go through www.gandrtactical.com

Cesiumsponge
March 9, 2012, 07:43 PM
I'd go for Colt if your budget is $1k. Grant at G&R Tactical has great prices and upgrade options starting at $965. Website says out of stock but you can call and check.
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=6920

DSG Arms has it just under $1000 at the moment
http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/CO6920.aspx

I would budget the rifle and ammo separate. One is a fixed cost. The other is a consumable. It makes no sense to buy a lower quality rifle because you wanted more ammo up front. The ammo has no bearing on the quality of the rifle and the ammo costs will far exceed the cost of the rifle over the time you own it. You're going to be pulling the trigger for thousands of rounds so second-guess your purchase and it'll always be in the back of your mind.

Jed Carter
March 9, 2012, 07:59 PM
Big D, Core 15 has a great entry level rifle, if I did not have 2 ARs and a SIG 556 I would have jumped on this one. A friend of mine snagged this one for his first, great shooter and all the Magpul furniture makes a good looking rifle. http://www.core15.com/products/complete-rifles/moe-m4-rifle.html Budsgunshop.com's retail outlet the Gun Warehouse "HAD" some of these for around $869 Bud's still shows the M4 available for $749 http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/411547798

helotaxi
March 9, 2012, 08:41 PM
The PSA parts are all mil-spec which is all you're getting with a Colt other than the little prancing pony roll mark. If you want the Colt, make sure you sign up for the Mil/LEO discount at DSG Arms. Cheapest and most reliable supplier that I've found and their prices are FANTASTIC with the discount and pretty darn good without it. The Colt 6920 is $965 with the discount. PMags are cheaper there than anywhere else I've found also. I add 5 or so to the order every time just because you can't have too many good mags.

I can order parts and accessories from them and have them to may house in three business days. Shipping is quite cheap from them in addition to being fast.

Big D
March 9, 2012, 08:56 PM
Well, apparently my local gunshop doesn't have any more M&P 15's, and have no idea when they will be getting new ones. Three different dealers told me the same thing. Any idea whats up with that?

jeepnik
March 9, 2012, 09:28 PM
Well, since no one else has thrown it out there, check out Stag's AR's

Cesiumsponge
March 10, 2012, 12:13 AM
There are enough threads on PSA QC that folks can Google up for themselves. It should make one think twice on how an "all mil-spec" company can offer a supposedly equal rifle to other mil-spec manufacturers like Colt, Daniel Defense, Lewis Machine & Tool, or Bravo Company for significantly less. Colt isn't charging a premium over these other makers. It's the market rate. They're all similarly priced. There is nothing wrong with PSA or other brands but they aren't in the same league which is why PSA is always brought up as a great value/alternative, not an equal.

needmorecowbell
March 10, 2012, 12:22 AM
I went with a Spike's Midlength and am very happy with it. Shoots great and I think just as good quality as a Colt or BCM. For around $800 I think hard to beat. This would give you the extra cash too for ammo or mags. Staying economical, my 2nd choice would be PSA.

jsimmons
March 10, 2012, 12:23 AM
If you have a $1000 budget, you can't buy a rifle, ammo, and accessories (optics being the most important), and that statement is based on the way your original message was worded.

When you figure decent optics start at $400 (Aimpoint PRO), and ammo is $350/1000 for Lake City/Federal brass, your rifle can only cost you $250 max. If you want to use steel-case ammo, Tula will cost you $110/500, so I would get a rifle that will shoot steel ammo with no issues. I know for a fact that any version of the S&W M&P15 can handle steel ammo just fine.

Ask the SWAT guys what they would buy for personal use.

Tomcat47
March 10, 2012, 12:24 AM
Ditto........+ 10 Colt 6920

Cesiumsponge
March 10, 2012, 12:34 AM
Being in SWAT or military doesn't make you an expert on AR brand selection. Having a solid, trouble-free product with minimal lemons and excellent customer service is important, not what a beancounter decides to purchase for the department and the subsequent guys that get suck with the hardware. There are departments that issue Bushmasters with unstaked bolt carrier groups.

If you want to consider this as a hard-use rifle, then I would suggest doing research on the hard-use AR-centric forums. If its a range toy you don't stake your life on, decide with your wallet and realize you might have to troubleshoot it now and then.

FlyinBryan
March 10, 2012, 12:53 AM
There are departments that issue Bushmasters with unstaked bolt carrier groups

i sure hear that a lot. they must really be spotty on it cuz here are my 2
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture041.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture038.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture040.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture039.jpg

Cesiumsponge
March 10, 2012, 01:23 AM
Glad to see yours were staked properly. You'll also find threads where they were missing or improper, or such doubts wouldn't have arised to begin with. They weren't always staked, nor staked well. Mine was from the pre-Cerberus days and it wasn't staked properly. Several armorers on the AR-centric forums have seen many Bushmasters come through with reoccuring issues. How are your castle nuts? Are they staking them now? Glad to see Bushmaster is still using Fang Sheng Screw Co., Ltd fasteners from Taiwan.

FlyinBryan
March 10, 2012, 02:54 AM
Glad to see Bushmaster is still using Fang Sheng Screw Co., Ltd fasteners from Taiwan.

well, i'm half taiwanese, so thank you.

Cesiumsponge
March 10, 2012, 03:07 AM
well, i'm half taiwanese, so thank you.
:rolleyes:

And I'm 100% Chinese and speak Cantonese, so what? You can dig up complaints with YFS fasteners on gas carrier keys by doing some research.

FlyinBryan
March 10, 2012, 03:19 AM
And I'm 100% Chinese and speak Cantonese, so what? You can dig up complaints with YFS fasteners on gas carrier keys by doing some research.

thanks, i'll check it out.

Jeff F
March 10, 2012, 04:10 AM
deleated

Jeff F
March 10, 2012, 04:11 AM
Well, apparently my local gunshop doesn't have any more M&P 15's, and have no idea when they will be getting new ones. Three different dealers told me the same thing. Any idea whats up with that?
People are buying them faster then the factory can make them. Just a few months ago our LGS had all kinds of AR's in stock, right now the pickings are pretty slim and the new ones coming in are selling fast.

Big D
March 10, 2012, 06:59 AM
Well, I just decided to order my own build. I ordered a flattop ZM4 upper from DSA, with charging handle and bolt carrier group for $376.
I ordered my lower from PSA with take down pins for $279. I then ordered a Troy fixed battle sight with tritium inserts for $55 bucks.
Next was 4 mags from Brownells for $52 buck (Pmags will come later). Lastly was 1,000 rounds of ammo from Sportsmansguide for $229.
These prices are all shipped to my door, and the total is : $991, and under my $1000 dollar limit!

benderx4
March 10, 2012, 09:19 AM
Let us know how she turns out!!

Big D
March 14, 2012, 07:07 PM
Well, I decided to go ahead and cancel my DSA upper order (as it was backordered), and ordered a PSA upper to go with my PSA lower that just shipped. I ordered the 16" midlength upper. I don't know if I'm gonna keep the carbine length stock just yet, as I think the midlength looks better with the standard A2 stock length. Anybody wanna chime in about their experiences with PSA?

Cesiumsponge
March 14, 2012, 07:39 PM
Are you building this for looks or functionality? I'm curious if there was any other reason you're planning on running a fixed stock after spending the time and money to order a rifle with a telescoping buttstock. Consider most people who change go from A2 to adjustable so they can tailor LOP to their body and shooting position unless your physiology gives you a longer than average LOP where a longer fixed buttstock is more comfortable in all shooting positions. Considering you had a budget, you'd have to buy a new A2 buttstock, a different receiver extension, a rifle-length spring, and a castle nut wrench and start putttng unused parts in a box.

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