Thoughts on a modern A1 style rifle


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Autopistola
December 7, 2012, 08:45 PM
I've been thinking a lot about what I want in an AR. I want something that says AR like A1 sights and maybe triangular handguards. It doesn't need to be period correct or anything. I like the option of magnified optics and a piston system like Osprey, Bushmaster, ARES, etc.

Ideas for optics mounting:
-Stay A1 and mount to the carry handle:
-ACOG
-Gooseneck with LER scope

-Get an MI SS gen. 1 rail and mount an LER scope on a riser

-Get an A3 and add CNC guns A1 carry handle.

Other specs:
18-20 inch barrel, preferably lightweight or gov't profile, 1/8 twist 5.56

Grip:
BCM, Ergo, or MOE

Stock:
ACE Socom (got it) or Vltor (looks like aggressive CAR stock)

Handguard:
Triangular, MOE, or MI SS Gen. 1

Complete Alternative:
Middy dissipator XM177 in 300blk. with modern stock & grip as above

Your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed!

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LNK
December 7, 2012, 10:13 PM
If you want one get one. The A1 has no advantage over the A2 or A3 flattop. An A3 with A2 carry handle would be the way I would go. If I was gonna go there....Which I am not..

Good luck.

LNK

sgtstryker
December 7, 2012, 11:24 PM
It'll either be an A1 or it won't. Not much you've listed sings A1 to me. The advantage of the flattop upper over an A1 upper will become apparent quickly..IMO.

56hawk
December 8, 2012, 12:01 AM
Yeah, I'm not sure where you are trying to go with that. Easiest thing would be to just buy a new A2 and but the triangular hand guards on it. They make all the parts so you can build an exact A1 clone, but it doesn't sound like that's what you want.

henschman
December 8, 2012, 12:04 AM
If you want the advantages of a flat top but with an A1 touch, you might check out a Daniel Defense A1.5 rear sight.

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/dd_t1_mount.jpg

Maybe try to find a slick side flat top upper to put it on... perhaps a S&W M&P Sport upper. Triangular handguards would work... also Magpul MOE handguards are sort of triangular, and have a somewhat simlar look and feel. I also like the barrel profile on the A1... if somebody made that profile in 1/7 or 1/8 twist chrome lined, I would be all over it. However, they do make pencil profile carbine length barrels. I have seen carbines and SBR's with carbine-length triangle handguards, and they are pretty cool looking. Like this:

http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s95/MMcfpd/Basking_in_the_dawn_light.jpg

MachIVshooter
December 8, 2012, 04:38 AM
I like the option of magnified optics and a piston system like Osprey, Bushmaster, ARES, etc.

Piston system isn't compatible with A1 handguards.

Ideas for optics mounting:
-Stay A1 and mount to the carry handle:
-ACOG
-Gooseneck with LER scope

With a carry handle mount, you're going to want a very low profile optic. The ACOG definitely isn't it. I use mini reflex sights or small, low power scopes with the lowest mounts available on carry handles.

-Get an MI SS gen. 1 rail and mount an LER scope on a riser

That'll work if you like forward mounted scout style optics, but will most likely interfere with you irons unless you use see-through mounts and mount very high.

-Get an A3 and add CNC guns A1 carry handle.

Probably a better choice, although I am not aware of any detachable A1 handles; They're pretty much all A2

Grip:
BCM, Ergo, or MOE

Gonna look funny on a retro A1, but it's your rifle.

Stock:
ACE Socom (got it) or Vltor (looks like aggressive CAR stock)

See above

Handguard:
Triangular, MOE, or MI SS Gen. 1

Triangle guards look good on a retro A1 rifle or carbine, and that's about it. Between the MOE or a quad rail, you need to decide based on preference and budget.

Complete Alternative:
Middy dissipator XM177 in 300blk. with modern stock & grip as above

If this is your first AR, I'd suggest sticking to 5.56. .300 Blk ammo isn't cheap. But it's your rifle and your money.

The A1 has a certain cool factor, but I personally don't think it should be mixed and matched with modern accessories. If I ever do an A1, it'll be a true A1 (totally different rear sight than A2) with 3 prong flash hider.

On the dissipator; Unless you're sold on an A2 type rifle, I think a long free float top rail tube or FF quad rail is more functional than A2 handguards covering a low pro gas block and mating to an A2 front sight attached further up. This is my BCM 12.5 with 13" FF quad:

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/BCM125.jpg

I can't show you what it looks like attached to a rifle lower for another couple months (waiting on stamp), but if you like that look and don't wanna screw around with SBR, you can do a pinned 14.5/14.7 barrel and a long handguard, like the Troy VTAC alpha 15".

wnycollector
December 8, 2012, 11:17 AM
One of my favorite AR's is a KISS 20" flat top with DD A1.5 rear sight and a CAV arms poly lower. The rifle is super light thanks to the poly lower and government profile barrel.

IMOO if you want to stick with the flavor of an A1 rifle you must stick with a 20" barrel and iron sights.

madcratebuilder
December 8, 2012, 11:49 AM
You have described two completely different AR's, get both..with a few back ups.

Ken70
December 8, 2012, 01:27 PM
I have a 20 foot A1 gun. From 20 feet it looks like an A1 with the three prong flash hider, triangular handguards, metal 20 round mag, carry handle, 20" barrel and fixed stock. I bought an A3 and used a detachable carry handle, then I can easily mount a scope or whatever else up there. An A1 or A2 with the fixed carry handle make mounting different sights a real problem in that they are too high off the bore axis.

MachIVshooter
December 8, 2012, 01:49 PM
An A1 or A2 with the fixed carry handle make mounting different sights a real problem in that they are too high off the bore axis.

I actually find it to be a near perfect height for low profile optics, like mini reflex sights or scopes with 40mm or smaller objective. A larger than 40mm objective will interfere with the iron sights unless you mount it higher, which starts to become uncomfortable.

My Armalite AR-10A2C with Nikon Prostaff 3-9x (See through mount, irons 100% useable with scope on):

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/IMGP0346.jpg

If you compare a carry handle AR using low scope mounts to an average bolt action, the scope on the AR will only be 1/4" to 1/2" higher in relation to stock.

I don't like having to really smash my face into a stock to get a good sight picture. Those mounts you see on my 12.5" pictured above? Yeah, that's temporary. The scope is way too low there, requiring you to cant your head to get a proper picture on my pistol lower (which allows your face to be lower than it would be with a stock, since it's just a thinly padded buffer tube).

Autopistola
December 9, 2012, 01:27 AM
Thanks for the input. A1 carry handles are cool and sleek, plus I hear a lot about the simplicity and robustness of the factory irons.

Carry handle optics get bashed a lot, and while not optimal, they can't be that bad when you are used to shooting an AK with a high red dot and wolf ammo.

FYI I have seen a thread by someone who claimed to mod triangular handguards to work with an osprey piston system. Prolly not worth the effort compared to a $45 set of MOE or the 12" MI SS gen 1 FF, both of which work with the piston system and factory front sight.

So, as pointed out earlier, I just need two AR's. I have seen some A1's with modern upgrades, and I thought they were neat and stood out compared to how streamlined modern AR's can be.

HorseSoldier
December 9, 2012, 01:46 AM
A true A1 clone has a certain appeal. The sights don't give up anything in the real world to A2 iron sights (real world = combat shooting, mileage at Camp Perry and other games may vary) -- though both are obviously antiquated compared to what a flat top allows these days. The lighter barrel makes for a bit handier weapon, and the shorter stock actually tends to suit most shooters better across a range of combat marksmanship positions than the extended A2 stock (though again, the M4's adjustable stock and variations thereof are much better options).

All this, of course, is because the M16A1 was conceptualized as a fighting rifle. The M16A2 was conceptualized as a rifle to help Marines score higher on their qual course using positions and practices that have about as much applicability to a fire fight as a fixed bayonet (which is to say very rarely handy but mostly useless).

Ideas for optics mounting:
-Stay A1 and mount to the carry handle:
-ACOG
-Gooseneck with LER scope

The TA01 ACOGs started out on carry handle mounts and weren't too bad used that way, though flat top mounted is a better format in my opinion. If you look around you can also find some of the old VN-era Colt carry handle scopes out there, though I hear there are a lot of knockoffs in that market.

madcratebuilder
December 9, 2012, 09:08 AM
I actually find it to be a near perfect height for low profile optics, like mini reflex sights or scopes with 40mm or smaller objective. A larger than 40mm objective will interfere with the iron sights unless you mount it higher, which starts to become uncomfortable.



If you compare a carry handle AR using low scope mounts to an average bolt action, the scope on the AR will only be 1/4" to 1/2" higher in relation to stock.

I don't like having to really smash my face into a stock to get a good sight picture. Those mounts you see on my 12.5" pictured above? Yeah, that's temporary. The scope is way too low there, requiring you to cant your head to get a proper picture on my pistol lower (which allows your face to be lower than it would be with a stock, since it's just a thinly padded buffer tube).


+1

Most handle mounts have the tube right on top the handle and I find it's a comfortable position. The irons are low and you really bury your head in the butt.

dvdcrr
December 10, 2012, 12:13 AM
Some things in particular I like about a1 style rifles are the lightweight 20" barrel which is still accurate, shorter stock. Did I mention the light weight.

Dr.Rob
December 10, 2012, 12:29 AM
I dressed up my Colt 6920 to have that XM177 look with a slip-over flashhider. A lot of people assume it's some exotic caliber. it adds several ounces of weight up front.

My CMMG 22 upper has shorty triangle guards on it, it requires a different metal ring behind the front sight than A2 stryle guards but you can get both from Model One Sales--or order an upper with them already installed.

There were a number of A1 and A2 parts kits all over the market for a while, but they've dried up in the past year. Several members have complete 'retro' builds, Dravur for one.

Paul7
December 10, 2012, 07:56 PM
I have an A1 from Century Arms (about $650, I think) and really like it. Lighter than the A2. I plan on using it on my next hog hunt for the stalking part. Iron sights only.

Welding Rod
December 10, 2012, 08:03 PM
You may want to check out the "Legacy" at Fulton Armory. NOS handguards, criterian LW barrel, slick sided.... looks pretty nice. I would buy one if I had the cash.

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