Looking for MY AR.


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LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 26, 2012, 03:19 PM
Okay guys, I asked about building one, and realized that I don't want to step into that quite yet. So, please, point me in the right direction for the cheapest AR that is still reputable, reliable, what-have-you. I wouldn't mind a flat top upper, but basic is fine. I want forward assist, shell deflector, and preferably a 20" barrel, though will settle for 16".

Any help? Thanks!

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W.E.G.
April 26, 2012, 03:41 PM
What do you intend to DO with this rifle?

You sound uncertain about whether you want a flat-top or not.

Does this mean that you don't want to spend the additional money on an optical sight?

I see rifles with iron sights as being a completely different breed from rifles with optical sights.
I think you need to make up your mind with some certainty as to this issue before you start spending money.

Paying "less" for the wrong tool is no bargain by any standard.

allaroundhunter
April 26, 2012, 03:49 PM
I wanted a fairly priced rifle to get into the AR game and settled on a Doublestar.

I say "settled", but it has more than outdone my expectations.

For $650, this gun shoots MOA out to 200 yards (haven't pushed it past that) and has not had a single malfunction in over 3,000 rounds (even with steel cased ammo).

Doublestar makes 16" carbines and 20" rifles, but finding them aren't always easy.

MtnSpur
April 26, 2012, 03:59 PM
Buy cheap and you get cheap. AR's are like pigeons in a big city, they are all over the place and every one says it can eat the most stuff. You need to narrow down what you want before you start shopping at the mall. The bare AR will need sights as bare means "nuttin comes with em except the upper and lower". Gas or Piston? Optics=Big Assortment that cost anywhere from $50 junk to 2K top of the line stuff. You gonna shoot paper or plan on hunting something? The list is endless. Bushmaster was taken over by a conglomerate as were a few other weapon manufacturers. I have an AR but if I were looking for another I'd probably check out Windham Weaponry as I've heard tell their customer service is outstanding and they can build you just about anything you can imagine.

Alaskan
April 26, 2012, 04:12 PM
My first build was a Del-Ton. I love this rifle. Everything fit the first time and all together I have about 800 into it, including optics and rings. It is easily the most accurate rifle I own. I have put well over 1000 rounds through it with only one stoppage that was caused by a faulty magazine.

I am in the process of building another one now. I wanted to build another Del-Ton, but most of the parts are out of stock right now.

On the second build, I went with a Delaware Machine lower, A YHM upper with a heavy 16" barrel, Spikes stock, and am waiting on the rest of my parts to come in. Hopefully it is half as good as the first one

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 26, 2012, 04:15 PM
I say flat top is fine because you can add an optic or a flip-up iron sight. I prefer irons but wouldn't mind scoping it either. Maybe a red-dot or an EOTech. Punching holes in paper primarily. This is why I don't mind a 20" because where I live, a pistol or a shotgun will work better in my home defense needs. I say cheapest, but still a reputable company known for manufacturing reliability.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 26, 2012, 04:18 PM
Direct impingement is preferred because I haven't been convinced of the piston AR's yet, from my readings. The benefits don't out-weigh the additional cost. I am already familiar with the platform, as I've shot my Dad's quite a bit when he still had it a number of years ago.

Ronin8451
April 26, 2012, 04:20 PM
Unless I read it wrong, the last Shotgun News said that Windham Weaponry took over Bushmaster . I have heard nothing but good things about Windham and haven't had a bad Bushmaster except when they first started up in the early '90's . For general paper punching and varmint hunting, a DPMS Flattop would be fine at less than $700.

MtnSpur
April 26, 2012, 04:39 PM
Unless I read it wrong, the last Shotgun News said that Windham Weaponry took over Bushmaster . I have heard nothing but good things about Windham and haven't had a bad Bushmaster except when they first started up in the early '90's . For general paper punching and varmint hunting, a DPMS Flattop would be fine at less than $700.

Bushmaster was bought by Cerberus the same folks that bought Remington, Marlin, DPMS and others. Windham was started by the old owner of Bushmaster, Richard Dyke and some Maine investors.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 26, 2012, 04:50 PM
Okay we're at a low of $650-700. Any manufacturers that match?

SpentCasing
April 26, 2012, 05:26 PM
S&W sport is probably the best value hobbyist AR out now. Id rather a PSA for a small bit more but on a strict budget S&W sport has it goin on.

W.E.G.
April 26, 2012, 05:44 PM
You can buy a REALLY GOOD AR15 with A2 iron sights for the same money that you will spend on a low-end flat-top equipped with a medium-quality optic.

Tirod
April 27, 2012, 12:37 PM
You can't build an A3 flattop as inexpensively as you can buy one. But they are better than a carry handle, simply because you can add an optic. Consider that they are military standard on combat firearms these days, irons are no longer minimum standard - just a backup. Bolt guns went that way twenty years ago.

If it's just a paper plinker, any will do. And as said, HD is better served with other firearms.

So - aside from paper - what ranges and targets will it be used for? Spec your features to support that. Will you use this for hunting at all? Caliber and mag capacity are about the only things that could be affected there.

I'll go out on a limb and spec a generally useful recipe: A3 flattop, 16" barrel, midlength gas. If ammo costs are important due to high consumption, stick to 5.56. All the alternate calibers have a negative - either commercially priced ammo costs, or in the case of 7.62x39, not being optimal for the straight mag feed.

Furniture really adds nothing to accuracy unless the barrel is already shooting under 1MOA - which means an A3 flattop with expensive scope.

Which goes back to what range, what target. "Plinking paper" doesn't cover it well enough, simply because there is a huge difference between 50 yards at the dump and 600 yards at a Match.

If just having an AR is the only reason, then $750 and the roll mark that impresses you the most is all that's important. Any one of half a dozen at that price will do the job. Avoid Brandinista rants, simply because that's what they are.

mgmorden
April 27, 2012, 12:50 PM
My recommendation is to get the flat-top. I went with carry-handle on mine and severely regret it. If you get the flat-top you can always get a carry handle that attaches via the rail later on to give you iron sights.

With that said, it's really up to you. My AR is mostly an assemblage. I bought the cheapest stripped lower I could find (Stag for mind - you can find tons of various brands for $80 or so), put in a DPMS parts kit, and a cheapo collapsing butt-stock that I don't even remember the brand of. If you have a few decent punches and are the slightest bit mechanically inclined all that stuff goes together pretty simply. There are lots of Youtube videos that show how to put one together. There's not really much hand-fitting and such on the AR15 (ie - completely difference experience vs trying to just throw together something like a 1911).

My upper I bought assembled from Del-ton. Just checking, it appears that they currently sell a "rifle kit" for $470 that includes every part needed to build one up from a stripped lower. Works absolutely fine (as I said - I regret going carry handle, but that's just a preference issue not any fault of the gun).

http://www.del-ton.com/ar_15_kits_s/1.htm

$470 for that + $80 or so for the stripped lower (even less sometimes) and you can have a perfectly functional AR15 for less than $600.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 27, 2012, 05:32 PM
Well a 20" barrel has always tickled the fancy with me, though I can see the benefits of going 16". Ranges will be anywhere from 50 yds, all the way out to 4 or 500 yards, which is why I want the 20", it'll help me get there a little better. Mag capacity ain't really important, plan on keeping a few 30 rounders, and some 20 rounders. And planned to go 5.56 anyway, so.

allaroundhunter
April 27, 2012, 07:37 PM
And planned to go 5.56 anyway, so.

You won't find an AR in your price range that won't handle 5.56. For shooting out to 4-500 yards, you will want at least a 20" to do so accurately and consistently. I originally recommended Double Star, and I still do, but I am having a hard time finding one of their 20" rifles for sale.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 27, 2012, 07:51 PM
Yeah, like stated, I'm preferring a 20", but am open to other barrel lengths.

mcdonl
April 27, 2012, 11:55 PM
I own two DPMS rifles and neither have ever given me a lick of trouble with factory and reload ammo.

Nothing wrong with these rifles and are under $700....

Buy expensive get expensive... but not necesarily better.

TexasPatriot.308
April 28, 2012, 12:23 AM
Armalite.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 28, 2012, 12:25 AM
Price ranges, please?

Bigkrackers
April 28, 2012, 12:43 AM
BCM, Colt, DD are all quality AR's. Spikes would be about as low cut as I'd care to go. If you can't afford a quality AR how can you afford to get training and ammo to shoot it? You're better off with a 10/22 if you just want something to plink with.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 28, 2012, 12:55 AM
BCM, Colt, DD are all quality AR's. Spikes would be about as low cut as I'd care to go. If you can't afford a quality AR how can you afford to get training and ammo to shoot it? You're better off with a 10/22 if you just want something to plink with.

Then you and I have different tastes, sir. I personally don't believe in shelling out more than what's necessary for a firearm, hence why I asked cheapest, yet from a reputable company, and a reliable product.

I never said I was going to take training to use the firearm "properly" because I'm not going to be using a 20" barrel'd rifle for anything but plinking. Yes, if the need arises, it can be used as a defensive rifle, but in any foreseeable incident, my pistols or my shotgun would be the better choice by location. Rimfires are great, but that's NOT what I'm looking for.

Please, let's not bring my budget into this. It should be evident buy asking the lowest price, but EQUALLY effective tool in said caliber/platform. I already have experience behind an AR. Just never owned one.

holdencm9
April 28, 2012, 12:57 AM
1.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/psa-20-hammer-forged-cl-mp-a2-upper.html

2.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/lower-parts/complete-psa-ar15-lower-moe-edition.html

3. Connect.

4. Profit!

Errr, I mean, enjoy!

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
April 28, 2012, 12:59 AM
Lol, thank you sir!

madcratebuilder
April 28, 2012, 07:58 AM
In the $600-700 range PSA is going to be one of the best options. PSA has a FN barrel, mil-spec BCG (shot peen, HT, HPT, MPI, and 8620/C158 steel) and a mil-spec diameter RE. Most others in this price range use commercial quality parts. Nothing wrong with commercial parts, just different materials and manufacturing.

drew2500
April 28, 2012, 09:23 AM
I got the PSA A2 with carry handle for about 799. It has been perfect so far with several types of ammo. I couldn't be happier with it!

CDW4ME
April 28, 2012, 09:28 AM
I bought a Windham SRC (which can be found at Wal-Mart for $799) flat top, no sights, chrome lined bore, forward assist, dust cover, bolt is staked, M4 feed ramps, lifetime warranty.
I added some Magpul MBUS sights for about $100
I like the option of a folding front sight; it's there if you need it, out of the way if you don't.
I added a $60 UTC / Leapers quad rail forend (simple to install) for ease of mounting accessories (if desired).
It's been reliable so far, only 100 rounds or so, but mixed ammo: FMJ, HP, SP. I've used both Pmags and a metal 10 round (required for hunting).
:)

Bigkrackers
April 28, 2012, 11:14 AM
Nothing wrong with cheaper tastes if your willing to take a gamble. That's how Hi-Point, Jensen and Taurus, to name a few lower end gun manufactured, stay in business.

PSA has had some significant QC issues early on, sending out rifles with the wrong size gas system, but seems to have addressed these issues in their QC process. I think Spikes has a better track record though.

Good luck on whatever you do end up with.

Buy once, cry once.

gpjoe
April 28, 2012, 11:47 AM
Since we are discussing inexpensive options here - I'm very happy with my cheapo Palmetto State Armory PA-15 for $720 out-the-door at a local gun show. I was shooting 1.5-in groups from a sandbag at 50 yards with a Vortex Strikefire, which is quite an accomplishment considering my eyesight.

I'm obviously a casual shooter, so your mileage may vary.

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