I need suggestions on an AR15


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Blues Brother
November 28, 2012, 10:19 PM
OK folks, Its been a while since I been here. I been busy, and all is good, but I just hadnt had much time to spend with guns as I wanted. I want to buy an AR 15 but I know NOTHING about them. I thought about getting one a few years back, but never did. so I am a complete novice when it comes to ARs. I know there are a ton of manufacturers, calibers, and options, etc..... pretty much sky is the limit. so I am open to all ideas. I want to buy the most common caliber that is the easiest to get ammo for and the cheapest ammo. (like a 9mm handgun is the cheapest ammo for a centerfire pistol) that is the only real requirement is the cheapest ammo caliber. beyond that, I am open to ideas. However, I do not want to buy one in parts and assemble myself, that is out. I want to go to a store and buy an entire gun. I realize that it might be more money, but I am not the type of person that can really get into assembling a gun from parts. any info would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks!!!

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chris in va
November 28, 2012, 10:23 PM
I'll make it easy for you.

$1000 budget, Colt 6920. WalMart, believe it or not.

$650 budget, S&W Sport.

Now that being said, having owned a Sport for a trouble-free year, I am now re-thinking the carbine and would probably rather have a standard A2 rifle. Less recoil, longer sight radius and being a history buff...it just looks right.

Blues Brother
November 28, 2012, 10:27 PM
thanks for the reply! I will look into both of those. what caliber do you suggest??

what options? scope? halo sight? open sights?

chris in va
November 28, 2012, 10:39 PM
Most AR's are chambered in 5.56 and will also shoot 223's. It's the original caliber and the most widely available.

Sights...well, everyone has their own opinion. Just depends on what you want to use it for. General plinking, a red dot is nice or 1-4x28 scope. I was actually looking at a fixed 4x for mine.

Careful though, it can get uber expensive very quickly. You'll 'tacticool' out your 7# rifle to the point it weighs the same as a Garand.

USAF_Vet
November 28, 2012, 10:55 PM
What is your budget?

Being that you are completely new to the rifle, I would not recommend building one from a stripped lower and a parts kits, which you mentioned. I'd get a rifle that fits within your budget, and plenty of ammo so you can familiarize yourself with the weapon. Start with open sights. The flat tops have better options for optics than the carry handle style uppers.

I'd recommend, regardless of budget, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport. It doesn't have a forward assist or a dust cover, but they are darn good rifles for the money, and they hold their value if you decide to upgrade. They are optics friendly.

As far as optics go, that's personal preference. My AR is currently wearing a fixed 4x40 Bushnell. I do have plans to mount 45 degree offset iron sights, for quick transitions from long range to close range targets. The holographic sights and red dot sights are popular, but I find them lacking for longer ranges.

Something else to consider is barrel length. The original length was 20", and they are available in 18" and 16" as well. If you live in a state that allows short barrel rifles, you can go much shorter.

I have to agree you should go with the 5.56x45 chamber. That is the cartridge the rifle was designed for, and you get the added bonus of also shooting the .223 Remington cartridge.

I don't know how familiar you are with rifles/ carbines in general, or how much you have to spend, so the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport for $650, give or take, is often considered the best entry level ready built rifle on the market.

Blues Brother
November 28, 2012, 11:22 PM
I have experience with hunting rifles. .308 Win, 7MM Mag, 30-30 are the rifles I have used in the past for target and game hunting. I ahave shot with both open sights, and scopes 3x to 9x mostly. I am equally as comfortable shooting with scopes or open sights.

as for my budget, I am thinking $1000 roughly, but it could go higher or lower depending on what I feel meets my needs best.

BTW, what is a dust cover and a forward assist?

USAF_Vet
November 28, 2012, 11:28 PM
The dust cover is a spring hinged flap that covers the ejection port on the AR-15. It's supposed to keep dust, dirt, etc from getting into the action.

The forward assist is a button on the side of the receiver that allows you to press the bolt into battery if it did not fully seat a round.

Not knowing what they are... you'd never miss them. For $1000, I'd go with the S&W M&P 15 sport, a stack of mags, a case of ammo and the optic of your choice.

You could go with a higher end AR for $1000, but what use is a $1000 rifle if you don't have a pile of ammo to shoot?

ETA: I can't say what your needs are. This is an off the cuff, basic entry level recommendation. There are other ARs in the sub-$1k range, but none with as good a record as Smith & Wesson. DPMS and Bushmaster come to mind. Both are decent rifles in their own right, and both come with the forward assist and dust cover.

fishshocker
November 28, 2012, 11:28 PM
What are you wanting to do with it? Just plinking big targets at 100 yards and less and just blasting through cheap ammo , long distance precision, self defense, deer hunting?

Blues Brother
November 28, 2012, 11:33 PM
I will use it primarily for target shooting. (hence the desire for the cheapest ammo by caliber) and maybe a bit for home defense, although I much prefer a shotgun for that. maybe some long distance precision shooting, but thats not its primary focus at all. but maybe just for fun.

no hunting. my hunting days are over.

USAF_Vet
November 28, 2012, 11:38 PM
Hell, if you are looking for an inexpensive range plinker, how about an AR15 in .22LR?

fanchisimo
November 28, 2012, 11:44 PM
On the right side where the round ejects there is a flap that you flip up to cover the ejection port. Whenever the bolt is racked back or released forward the cover will spring open and stay there until you close it. Unless you really run an AR through it's paces, will not need this. The Forward Assist is farther back from the ejection port and it's a little button you can push if the bolt doesn't completely lock forward. Again if you don't put an AR through it's paces, you won't need it. The only time I've ever used it was when I didn't pull the bolt far back enough. Personally, if there is something the keeps it from locking that's not from being dirty, I don't want to try to jam it in there.

Both of these guys give good advice. In your situation, I would probably go with the Sport or a Palmetto State Rifle so you can have a little extra $ to buy ammo and/or an optic, unless you are wanting to use Iron Sights. The PSA rifle comes with a lot of features for a good price, but are probably not as readily available as the Colt. You might have to scour a few Gun Stores to find one, but PSA's can be found for around $700. It would still give you some money to buy an optic. All depends on your budget. If it's in your budget, a Colt is a great rifle, some say the Gold Standard of AR's, some say paying extra for the name, but at the end of the day it's what you want. Happy hunting and you will enjoy whatever AR you get.

2nd 41
November 28, 2012, 11:45 PM
For economics a .22 is the way to go. The S&W 15-22 looks real good for $449.

If you can get a Colt 6920 for $1000 get it. Count on paying $.40 a round. I knew nothing about AR15. The 6940 appealed to me and I bought it however a basic S&W would have been fine.

awgrizzly
November 29, 2012, 12:28 AM
If you would decide on a .22 LR I don't think there is much point in getting an AR style rifle... get something like a Ruger 10/22. Your blowing your money. The only real benny in the.22 LR AR is cheap practice for shooting an AR.

The basic AR type rifle as recommended by others is the way to go. An ordinary AR with no features added to it costs around $700, even to build. Add a special handguard and a couple extra do-dads and the cost will be a grand. Get really fancy and you'll be pushing 3 grand. Choices R good. Maybe the only choice you need concern yourself with to start is a very basic rifle for around $700 or one with some enhancement added for around $1000. In the latter case a Colt would be great... no, you are not paying a bunch of $$$ for the name... they are competitively priced at Walmart and would likely hold their value better than others.

One of the enhancements you should watch out for are sights. On an AR flat top they are sometimes optional and will set you back $125 or more. For versatility and the potential of home defense I recommend something light, and optics of a low or nil magnification if any. Red dots are great, faster than iron sights, and fun. You do not want to have a long heavy weapon with a high magnification scope in the dark in close quarters. Some red dots come with a 2x or 3x magnifier screw on lens. Then there are low power variable scopes with a lighted reticle, such as the popular 1x-4x. With a scope a person can do without iron sights, but consideration can be made to having the ability to have a backup iron sight (BUIS) setup. This can be done with using both iron and optic concurrently with a red dot, or having a quick detach mount on a scope. If you are using it for fun you can mess around with stuff, but if you will depend upon it for defense at all you had better make it quick, simple and foolproof. I wouldn't mix the two. Que the shotgun. =o)

The ammo will be .223 or 5.56 NATO (military) and can be gotten cheap, especially in 55gr bulk, if you can find it. They are wonderful guns to shoot and easy to maintain. I suggest you just get yourself a basic rifle, Colt, S&W or PSA, with iron sights and then add on the optics after you have gotten the thing broke in and decide which way you want to go.

have a ball =o)

Blues Brother
November 29, 2012, 08:27 AM
thanks for the replies. I will most likely start out with open sights on it as I have two scoped deer hunting rifles now. as states, I might use it for self defense. might. I truly think a short shotgun is best for self defense which is what I have . but since I have two deer rifles with scopes, I will go open sights on the AR. perhaps add an optic later as was advised.

so a flat top AR, and add some sights. are there differnt kind of iron sights? or are they basically the same? any recommendations there?

meanmrmustard
November 29, 2012, 08:54 AM
Not knowing what they are... you'd never miss them. For $1000, I'd go with the S&W M&P 15 sport, a stack of mags, a case of ammo and the optic of your choice.

This. For a grand, you could set the Sport up wearing an Eotech right off the bat.

MrBorland
November 29, 2012, 09:53 AM
Lessee...you want an entire $1k-ish basic, but solid AR15 for fun, target shooting (possibly long range), and possibly HD in a pinch, but not hunting. You want iron sights, but the flexibility of adding optics in the future. Right?

If so, I'd say your best bet is something like a Rock River NM A4 (http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=226) or Colt MT6700 (http://www.impactguns.com/colt-rifle-a3-20in-mt6700-mt6700.aspx). They're good & accurate enough to be used as entry-level rifles High Power Service Rifle competition, while the detachable carry handle gives you the option of mounting optics.

USAF_Vet
November 29, 2012, 08:20 PM
Lessee...you want an entire $1k-ish basic, but solid AR15 for fun, target shooting (possibly long range), and possibly HD in a pinch, but not hunting. You want iron sights, but the flexibility of adding optics in the future. Right?

If so, I'd say your best bet is something like a Rock River NM A4 (http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=226) or Colt MT6700 (http://www.impactguns.com/colt-rifle-a3-20in-mt6700-mt6700.aspx). They're good & accurate enough to be used as entry-level rifles High Power Service Rifle competition, while the detachable carry handle gives you the option of mounting optics.
Both blow out his $1k budget just on the rifle alone. A rifle without ammo to shoot, or mags to shoot from, is a club. And in the case of the AR-15, a pretty weak club.

Blues, if you are going for iron sights, there are options galore. the M&P comes standard with Magpul Back Up Iron Sights (MBUIS) which flip down and lock out of the way for easy use of optics. They are decent. I don't remember exactly, but I think the M&P has the standard A-frame gas block and front sight. If that is the case, and I'm 80% sure it is, then all you need is a rear sight. Also available are the detachable carry handle with GI style rear sight. It attaches to your rail, and looks just like the integrated carry handle on the classic M-16. For a rear sight, you can spend anywhere from $25 to a couple hundred. As it stands, they are pretty much the same functionally. You'll pay more for different brands, or different materials. But unless you're dragging your AR through some far away battle field, the plastic $25 Magpul sights work just fine.

justice06rr
November 29, 2012, 10:16 PM
For your first AR, I highly recommend the Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport that many have mentioned. For around $650, you will get a very capable and well-built AR15 to start with, and have a few hundred bucks for ammo and a good optic.

My recommendation is to buy a case of 5.56/.223 ammo; for around $200 or less you can get about 500rds. Practice shooting with iron sights and get familiar with the AR in its stock form. Its important to know the rifle first before you plunk for money down for optics and other accesories.

later on you can add a good red dot like a Vortex Strikefire or Bushnell TRS-25, and other Magpul goodies. Good luck!

fishshocker
November 29, 2012, 11:02 PM
The sw 15 sounds like a good option for you.

Blues Brother
November 29, 2012, 11:14 PM
I am really interested in that S & W M & P sport. I have read a bit on it after your recommendation and it really seems favorable, and priced really effectively. On the forward assist topic, one review I read stated that it had a "manual" assist to seat unseated loads into battery. so from what I understand, its an older style assist that they used many years ago. is that correct?

all in all, this might be the one that would suit my needs best.

fanchisimo
November 29, 2012, 11:36 PM
No, the Forward Assist still comes standard on most AR15 rifles. The M&P sport does not have any kind of forward assist, but you very likely won't need it. The M&P 15 does have the assist, so that review that said it had one may have been on that M&P 15.

K1500
November 30, 2012, 01:09 AM
I'll make it easy for you.

$1000 budget, Colt 6920. WalMart, believe it or not.

$650 budget, S&W Sport.

Now that being said, having owned a Sport for a trouble-free year, I am now re-thinking the carbine and would probably rather have a standard A2 rifle. Less recoil, longer sight radius and being a history buff...it just looks right.
This

MachIVshooter
November 30, 2012, 02:02 AM
Being that you are completely new to the rifle, I would not recommend building one from a stripped lower and a parts kits

Why not? Unless one has palsy or dystonia or some other crippling disease that leaves you unable manipulate small parts, putting a parts kit in a lower is a cake walk.

If one is not concerned about warranty, save some money and/or build a better rifle than what you can buy within your budget.

I will use it primarily for target shooting. (hence the desire for the cheapest ammo by caliber) and maybe a bit for home defense, although I much prefer a shotgun for that. maybe some long distance precision shooting, but thats not its primary focus at all. but maybe just for fun.

If accuracy is your goal, a bull barrel model with NM or adjustable trigger is the way to go. However, the same rifle that works well for precision shooting at distance is not going to be particularly suitable for home defense. You could compromise with something like a 16" or 18" bull or match grade heavy barrel, but I'd want 20"+ for distance. I have multiple ARs for different purposes. You can always just have two different uppers, though.

Pretty close to your budget and definitely an accurate unit that comes with a lifetime warranty is the Armalite M15(T):

http://www.wolverinesupplies.com/wolverine/images/products/15A4TBNE_460.jpg

Or..........

You could build a rifle with a CMMG free floated bull barrel upper (16", 18" or 20") and assemble a lower yourself with an NM or adjustable target trigger to save about $200, if you don't mind not having the warranty.

Blues Brother
November 30, 2012, 07:35 AM
here is the review I read

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/06/benjamin-t-shotzberger/%EF%BB%BF-gun-review-smith-and-wesson-mp15-sport/

Blues Brother
November 30, 2012, 07:43 AM
there is a short video in that link talking about the assist. so am I understand it wrong? it sounds like its not a "forward assist" but some type of manual assist. I am new to this stuff so maybe I understand it wrong. This IS the rifle you guys are recommending right? its a M&P 15 sport. or is this the wrong gun?

mcdonl
November 30, 2012, 08:14 AM
The forward assist is a manual assist. If the bolt does not go fully into battery, you can push it there with the assist.

Even coyote hunting, I have never had mine get into the conditions where it did not go into batter though, so I would get too hung up on it.

Blues Brother
November 30, 2012, 03:28 PM
so how does a forward assist work? if this one is manual, how do the others work? spring activated?

inkinskin
November 30, 2012, 05:34 PM
What the guy was describing in the video is to use your finger and physically move the bolt forward where the shell ejects. There is no forward assist mechanism at all, you just do the action it would but with your finger. A regular forward assist does the same thing except instead of pressing on the bolt itself, you press on a button on the outside of the upper receiver.

P.S. If you are running through rounds shooting at targets and you have to touch the bolt to move it forward, I wouldn't suggest doing it without a glove on, might be a little hot :)

meanmrmustard
November 30, 2012, 06:14 PM
What the guy was describing in the video is to use your finger and physically move the bolt forward where the shell ejects. There is no forward assist mechanism at all, you just do the action it would but with your finger. A regular forward assist does the same thing except instead of pressing on the bolt itself, you press on a button on the outside of the upper receiver.

P.S. If you are running through rounds shooting at targets and you have to touch the bolt to move it forward, I wouldn't suggest doing it without a glove on, might be a little hot :)
Not necessary. Keys or an empty cartridge casing used to push the bolt carrier forward works just fine. You may not always have an empty at hand, odds are you'll have car keys.

If not, use a quarter.

fanchisimo
December 1, 2012, 01:31 AM
On the side of the bolt carrier there are notches all down the side. The forward assist, when pushed, extends a little pin that catches one of these notches and pushes the bolt forward, if it's not already fully forward. To reaffirm, it is a non-essential part for virtually all civilian use. Some will use their AR to the point of needing it, but not most.

MistWolf
December 1, 2012, 02:58 AM
...If you are running through rounds shooting at targets and you have to touch the bolt to move it forward, I wouldn't suggest doing it without a glove on, might be a little hot :)

First, it's not the bolt that the shooter would be pushing on, it's the carrier. Second, you've never checked the temperature of the BCG after the rifle has been shot hard, or you'd know it doesn't get very warm at all.

Blues Brother, don't sweat the FA (Forward Assist). A couple threads you should find useful
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=134
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=92951

This rifle here is one of the best values going, PSA 16'' Mid Premium Patrol Rifle Package
http://palmettostatearmory.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/6/0/6006.jpg
FN made barrel, barrel & bolt HPT/MPI tested, bolt is made of the correct material and is shot peened and best of all, price includes an Aimpoint Pro, a top notch red dot sight that usually sells for around $400. Complete package is $1100. That means you're getting the rifle for $700
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/palmetto-state-armory/psa-16-mid-premium-patrol-rifle-package.html

I have a PSA carbine that I assembled from a kit
http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n289/SgtSongDog/AR%20Carbine/DSC_0003-1.jpg
It's got over 2500 rounds through it and it's been run hard.
http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n289/SgtSongDog/AR%20Carbine/DSC_0012-1.jpg
I wouldn't hesitate to buy another

hentown
December 1, 2012, 09:02 AM
You'd be hard-pressed to beat this deal or this rifle, for the price. Chrome-lined barrel, two-stage National Match trigger for $849. The caliber choice is obvious, 5.56/223.

http://www.adcofirearms.com/itemdetails_.cfm?inventorynumber=1328

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