What should I look fr in an AR?


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Matt Dillon
March 15, 2013, 07:32 PM
Folks, I have never owned an AR, but when the current craziness dies down,I would like to pick one up. There seems to be many options, such as various twist rates, I guess for various projectile weights. And different uppers and lowers. What do I need to know to purchase an average quality ar for range, a little hunting, and the rare need for self defense? Thanks in advance for your help!

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WYcoyote
March 15, 2013, 07:41 PM
The letters BCM on it.

greenlion
March 15, 2013, 07:52 PM
Use the search function here, then visit m4carbine.net. That will keep you busy reading for several weeks.

Reloadron
March 15, 2013, 07:58 PM
The forum is loaded to the max with "What AR should I buy" threads. Every poster generally gets a hundred suggestions.

As to twist? If you plan to shoot heavier bullets and only heavy bullets like 80 grain a 1 in 7 is a fine twist. If you want a general across the board look towards a 1 in 8 or 1 in 9 twist. Since you mention:

average quality ar for range, a little hunting

Decide on the style you like, that fits you such as barrel length and stock. Scope or open sights? Budget?

S&W, DPMS, Bushmaster and others all make a good middle of the road rifle right out of the box.

I won't get into the Mil-Spec routine or who makes the better gun. Everyone who owns one has the best there is as to manufacturer. Do some thread searches and garner some information, then make the decision.

Just My Take....
Ron

matrem
March 15, 2013, 08:20 PM
A good ( to you) price on a recognized name, and some research on how to check for and/or "fix" any weak points you may find is what I'd look for right now.

LiquidTension
March 15, 2013, 08:22 PM
The S&W is a good gun for the money. If you're able to spend a little more, Daniel Defense and BCM are the way to go. If you can spend a lot more money, Noveske and LaRue. I'd stay away from Bushmaster, DPMS, Del-Ton, and all of the other budget guns simply because the S&W is basically the same price and has much better build quality and a much better track record according to trainers that see a lot of rounds go down range.

meanmrmustard
March 15, 2013, 08:27 PM
The S&W is a good gun for the money. If you're able to spend a little more, Daniel Defense and BCM are the way to go. If you can spend a lot more money, Noveske and LaRue. I'd stay away from Bushmaster, DPMS, Del-Ton, and all of the other budget guns simply because the S&W is basically the same price and has much better build quality and a much better track record according to trainers that see a lot of rounds go down range.
Agreed.

1/8 is a great compromise, and does well with Barnes 55 VorTx for deer duty.

I say a S&W, and if you can pony up more, PSA or DD.

Edit to add: Colt has been resting on laurels, and many are offering more for the same price, or a lot more for a lil higher price. What's in a name...

rcmodel
March 15, 2013, 08:39 PM
You simply can't go wrong with a Colt either.

They are the gold standard in durability, reliability, and resale value.

rc

tuj
March 15, 2013, 08:41 PM
1/8 twist is a good compromise twist rate.
.223 wylde chambering (accepts 5.56 safely but is more accurate than 5.56) is a benefit.
barrel length of your choice

stick with the DI system, avoid pistons for now unless you buy a reputable fully backed system. Avoid the polymer lowers for now.

meanmrmustard
March 15, 2013, 08:44 PM
Avoid the polymer lowers for now. Especially since they are commanding prices that some whole rifles cost. :banghead:

Auto426
March 15, 2013, 08:46 PM
What you should be looking for depends largely on your budget.

A basic M4 style carbine is a great place to start. Walmart sells the Colt 6920 for right around $1000, and it's hard to get a better quality gun for the money, especially in these crazy times.

LiquidTension
March 15, 2013, 09:42 PM
I really want to like the PSA guns since they are built about a mile from me, but I've seen too many screwups and cut corners coming out of their shop. For example, they don't bother to finish the inside of the upper receiver. The quality of the parts is good but their build quality leaves a lot to be desired.

I also agree that Colts are good to go. Before all the nonsense they were selling for under $1k.

meanmrmustard
March 15, 2013, 11:42 PM
I really want to like the PSA guns since they are built about a mile from me, but I've seen too many screwups and cut corners coming out of their shop. For example, they don't bother to finish the inside of the upper receiver. The quality of the parts is good but their build quality leaves a lot to be desired.

I also agree that Colts are good to go. Before all the nonsense they were selling for under $1k.
I've one PSA under my belt, and one Colt.

Opposite of your description.

PSA has good quality, excellent QC, and CS is nominal. Wish I could say the same for Colt.

Rubber_Duck
March 15, 2013, 11:43 PM
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=7376

M4C is my home away from THR, and there is a wealth of great info on all things AR. That said, the emphasis over there is on training and hard use, with weapons that run like raped apes. So you won't find a lot of love for Bushmaster, RRA, Olympic Arms, DPMS, or any of the other "hobby grade" manufacturers. So read, read, and read. Educate yourself, especially now, and don't jump on "good deals" until you know what you are getting. In the current market it will be difficult to buy another AR because you made a mistake the first time. Buy once, cry once. If you want to avoid the research just get a Colt. It's a plain-Jane, meat and potatoes AR that will serve you well in any capacity and hold its value. Whatever mods you decide to make down the road, you will still have that Colt underneath the accessories. BCM is also a great choice if you can find one.

BTW, my username on M4C is El Pistolero in case you decide to join, I'm always happy to help.

InkEd
March 15, 2013, 11:48 PM
Buy from a reputable manufacturer and you'll be fine.

Warp
March 15, 2013, 11:49 PM
www.m4carbine.net

personally I'd look for


Knights Armament Company (KAC)
Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT)
Daniel Defense (DD)
Colt
Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM)
Noveske
LaRue Tactical

Spikes Tactical
Smith and Wesson (S&W)
Palmetto State Armory (PSA)




But that's just me.

Mobuck
March 16, 2013, 12:23 AM
Depends on whether you suffer from "logo ego" and can't be satisfied with a gun that works regardless of the little picture stamped on the side. I've never owned one of the so-called prestige brands but if they're so much better than the "hobby brands" I do own, they would have to aim and shoot by themselves and reload their own ammo.

ObsceneJesster
March 16, 2013, 01:44 AM
I really want to like the PSA guns since they are built about a mile from me, but I've seen too many screwups and cut corners coming out of their shop. For example, they don't bother to finish the inside of the upper receiver. The quality of the parts is good but their build quality leaves a lot to be desired.

I also agree that Colts are good to go. Before all the nonsense they were selling for under $1k.

I was looking at a PSA upper. What do you mean the don't finish the inside of them?

Revoliver
March 16, 2013, 01:50 AM
Depends on whether you suffer from "logo ego" and can't be satisfied with a gun that works regardless of the little picture stamped on the side. I've never owned one of the so-called prestige brands but if they're so much better than the "hobby brands" I do own, they would have to aim and shoot by themselves and reload their own ammo.

LMAO!
If seal team six doesn't use it then by god why did you buy it?!


To the OP, here is a helpful quick reference quide:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

Matt Dillon
March 16, 2013, 09:08 PM
Thanks so much, guys; you've given me quite a bit to think about, and I will be going over to the other forum to check it out, per your suggestion.

Girodin
March 17, 2013, 10:14 PM
One of the main things to consider when taking advice or opinions on ARs (and any other gear) is the experience of the person giving the recommendation. Many people will tell you I have X brand AR and it has been 100% reliable. That sounds well and good at first brush. However, it is a pretty meaningless statement. 100%, to use an extreme, example could mean they have fired 1 round and it went bang. I've often found that if I ask a few more questions, some of these folks are in fact referring to guns that they have merely fired a few hundred rounds from. Furthermore, these statements typically provide no context for the conditions of use. Even thousands of rounds tells us very little if they were slow fired round, maybe 25 or so in a range trip and a good cleaning and oiling between each trip. X brand may run like a top when subjected to such use. Screw a suppressor on it and run it through a three day 1500 round carbine course and the warts might start to show. Shoot a years worth of three gun and it might be a different story.

You may not intend to shoot suppressed, or shoot a couple thousand rounds in a weekend, or use the rifle for defense and that is fine. However, it is nice to know what a recommendation is based on. In my humble opinion someone shooting a few hundred rounds casually on a square range under ideal conditions says nothing about a gun.

A further problem is that many people simply don't have experience with a large enough sampling of guns to give very meaningful input. This is why I tend to value the opinions of those that see a lot of guns and a lot of rounds fired every year under varying conditions. These people include competitive shooters, carbine course instructors, and even some individuals that get out and shoot a lot. An example, Travis Haley at one point stated that he shoots around 100,000 rounds a year. In addition he probably teaches about ten open carbine courses a year (he likely does more training for others as well). These class tend to have 25-30 students I'd imagine based on my experience. They are typically 1200 round classes. That's about 36,000 rounds fired during the class by students. That's 360,000 rounds over ten classes taught. In sum, that is a guy who probably sees north of 500,000 rounds fired a year through hundred of different guns, in semi trying conditions, by lots of different people. He has been doing that for a lot of years now. That is an opinion that is slightly more informed and meaningful than, my brand x has been 100%. The same is true for guys like Pat Rogers, Larry Vickers, Costa, etc, etc. If you ask these guys they will tell you that some brands consistently fair better in terms of reliability and durability in their classes, particularly when guns have suppressors. Certain brands have earned their reputations. It really is not simply that folks want to spend more, or buy cool guy gear.

To my mind their is simply not enough price difference between well proven brands that do not cut corners in the manufacturing and assembly process and the others to worry about buying a lesser gun. Over the life time of a gun, what is a couple hundred dollars?

When you list defense as an intended role it will change what many people will consider an advisable gun. This is true of both brands and configurations.

As to my recommendations I agree with the above advice to do some reading at M4Carbine.net. There are many very knowledgeable posters. it can also give you some context for, and additional information about, the spreadsheet linked to above. Those things make it a more useful tool IMHO.

When I recommend guns to friends and family as well as buy for myself I stick to the following brands:

Noveske

BCM

LaRue

Colt

Daniel Defense

Not all of these offer the same "value" IMHO, but they are all pretty well proven guns. For a general use gun you are unlikely to regret buying a gun from any of them. You ask for an "average quality" gun. Their are so many makers of ARs it is hard to quantify what average quality is. However, to me it would be a basic mil spec gun. Some guns, for example offerings from LaRue and Noveske, are not mil spec but IMHO exceed mil spec guns in certain respects. To put it another way to me Mil spec is a floor for a defense gun. It is not a ceiling and it can and is exceeded by some makers in certain respects. Your average comments make me thing that something like a basic colt or BCM is probably more up your alley than a LaRue, KAC, or Noveske in terms of price. Which I pick among the listed brand really depends on, price, specific intended uses and preferences (for example if accuracy was my biggest concern with longer distance shooting being a main use I'd get a LaRue). These days I typically buy Noveskes.



I also have one PSA gun. Given the price ($600) it was too good to pass. I think PSA is a brand that is building a good reputation but is not as proven as some of the others. I will say given the very limited use, around 1K arounds in a few outings, I've put through the PSA I've been happy thus far. PSA is my recommendation when price is someones number one criteria. However, the price of PSA guns have been creeping upwards along with their blossoming reputation. They have of course had some hiccups but their response and correction of those teething problems seemed to be appropriate from what I saw.

Warp
March 17, 2013, 10:28 PM
Girodin: In the spirit of your post...besides everything that my research has led me to believe...one of the reasons I recommend Colt specifically is that I have one. I have put about 2,070 rounds through it. This includes ~460 in a single (partial) afternoon, and some other equally "demanding" uses. It has been nearly flawless. I had one failure to feed that I 100% blame on the magazine (20 round PMAG, failed to feed on the 2nd to last round, crushing the case of the round, I no loner have that mag, it's a known issue on some 2nd Gen 20 round PMAGs I didn't read about until after I had that mag, which is why I never loaded that mag for anything but range use to begin with)

I have also attended a fair number of Appleseeds and other events, including matches, and just open range time, and witnesses my share of various malfunctions or other problems with various rifles, which is why some of the names people recognize were NOT on my suggested list.

cfullgraf
March 17, 2013, 11:17 PM
Lots of good information posted.

My 2 cents worth is AR-15 platform rifles can be had from 16" barrels to at least 26" barrels. Calibers from 17 caliber to 45 or 50 caliber. Military look-a-likes to varmint/predator/hunting models. AR-15s can be quite flexible. Lots of things to consider.

I did not have much interest in AR-15s until I was involved in Service Rifle competition. I then learned how accurate an AR-15 could be at reasonable costs.

For me, AR-15s are like Lays potato chips. I just could not just have one.

Skylerbone
March 17, 2013, 11:28 PM
Beyond brand or twist rate is the consideration given to the features of the rifle. Choosing a flattop AR makes life easier should you choose to add optics later on or having a free floating handguard for better accuracy potential and making it a smooth style with optional short rail mount locations to give your hands a break. For accuracy and in general a more pleasant shooting experience, a decent trigger makes for a worthwhile upgrade as does a non-chrome lined barrel. Even the style of stock you choose can be a big factor depending on your chosen set-up.

Take the time to make a list of what you feel is important then compare it to what's being offered the price of altering potential candidates. I'll recuse myself of the brand debate as there are always people who will find a nit to pick or an expert to cite or a slur to use for any but their preferred brand. Some brands have earned a bad reputation and some are merely accused of it by relentless and hollow argument/inference. My "hobby grade poodle puncher" has managed to punch nearly 4,000 rounds into sub- 1" groups without any failures to feed, failures to fire, failures to eject, failures related to 12 magazines of 3 brands, failures related to ammo or any other failure of any sort. It has seen 400+ round days as well without additional cleaning or lubrication, though I never "ran it hard" by tossing it into a lake, burying it in sand and mud or throwing it out of a moving vehicle. If you plan on such abhorrent treatment, someone will surely link a YouTube video suggesting the perfect brand for you which will be back in action after "only" a cursory cleaning and a few tap rack drills.

Girodin
March 18, 2013, 12:00 AM
Warp, I hope you know I wasn't calling you, or any other particular individual, out. Rather, it was a general comment. You do raise a very good point about diagnosing malfunctions. I'm sure I can make any gun malfunction if I don't properly maintain it, say for example don't ever lube the thing. That's not a gun issue. Same if I put a bad mag in the gun or I fail to otherwise maintain the weapon. Similarly, a shooter can induce various malfunctions that have nothing to do with the gun per se.

Here is a good article by Par Rogers, it is more of an article on lubricating an AR but touches on some of the other themes talked about in this thread starting at the bottom of page 74 the last paragraph http://www.ar15.com/content/swat/keepitrunning.pdf

http://www.ar15.com/content/swat/keepitrunning.pdf

My 2 cents worth is AR-15 platform rifles can be had from 16" barrels to at least 26" barrels

They can be significantly shorter than 16". Granted it may require some additional paper work, and some locations have additional restrictions, but still.

Girodin
March 18, 2013, 12:11 AM
My "hobby grade poodle puncher" has managed to punch nearly 4,000 rounds into sub- 1" groups without any failures to feed, failures to fire, failures to eject, failures related to 12 magazines of 3 brands, failures related to ammo or any other failure of any sort. It has seen 400+ round days as well without additional cleaning or lubrication, though I never "ran it hard" by tossing it into a lake, burying it in sand and mud or throwing it out of a moving vehicle

If all your shooting is producing 1" groups, I'd wager you've not "run it hard" in any way what so ever (that or you can shoot far better than anyone I've ever met, seen, or even heard of). Shooting for groups is not particularly trying on equipment, as compared to other activities, at least in my experience I'm not saying that as a put down or even a per se negative thing. Rather, just further pointing out that the demands people put on their equipment varies and thus what people want/need in a rifle vary. Even if all your shooting was done in one day, suppressed, full auto, in a dust chamber, without any cleaning and no lube we still have the issue of a sample size of one. I don't think anyone would go so far as to suggest that any number of brands produce rifles that work. That is a different discussion than the likelihood of getting a gun that will perform a certain way or experience certain failures from various manufactures.

Skylerbone
March 18, 2013, 12:56 AM
If an individual's style of shooting within 100 yds. produces greater than 1" groups I might suggest they're wasting ammo. Now to clarify, no, every group was not shot solely for accuracy and yes, I've rattled off 30 round strings as quickly as I could get back on target.

As for the sample size of 1...most fellas don't buy in quantities that may be considered a significant sample size, say 5,000. If your personal experience or any other poster here consists of such a quantity purchase, I would consider it a valuable reference if a review and breakdown of the specific model were presented. Barring that, every poster here is free to write of their own experience with their personal firearms and each personal account, with the above exception, will need to be considered with that same "sample size of one" scrutiny.

No matter the thread I've engaged in, when owner after owner after owner after owner of specific brands chime in with positive experiences and high round counts there have always been detractors. I fully comprehend there are brands commonly referenced as the "Gold Standard" or "Best Period" or "Bullet Proof" but again, that does not instantly discount all other brands because of "The Chart". It's a concept some folks refuse to grasp.

holdencm9
March 18, 2013, 01:19 AM
No matter the thread I've engaged in, when owner after owner after owner after owner of specific brands chime in with positive experiences and high round counts there have always been detractors. I fully comprehend there are brands commonly referenced as the "Gold Standard" or "Best Period" or "Bullet Proof" but again, that does not instantly discount all other brands because of "The Chart". It's a concept some folks refuse to grasp.

And even then, some of the mid-tier or hobby-grade manufacturers can put together a totally mil-spec chart-worthy rifle and sell it at a reasonable price, and there will be detractors, because even though all the parts are right, the company isn't "proven" and just slapping together a bunch of mil-spec parts doesn't make a quality rifle, according to them. It seems as though some people really think that certain manufacturer's guns are greater than the sum of their parts.

To the OP, the chart is a good place to start, and going with a higher-end company probably reduces the odds of getting a lemon, but buying a budget brand rifle does not guarantee you will have problems, and buying a upper-tier brand does not guarantee you won't. Also, you should try to learn about all the different mil-spec requirements included in the chart, and why the military needs them, and if you really need them (or want them).

For instance, staking gas keys is a good thing...M4 feed ramps are a good thing (IMO)...4150 steel barrel, probably won't matter to you; 1:7 twist probably won't matter to you....chrome-lined barrel, maybe you would even prefer not to have, if you are wanting a target rifle. Et cetera. Good luck!

crabwearer
March 18, 2013, 01:42 AM
I've owned two Bushmasters in my life and like them both. The latest one is a Carbon 15 ORC I got for $700. I didn't expect too much out of it but it's a great gun. With an Aimpoint PRO red dot on it I was consistently ringing a 3" steel plate at 100 yards. It has a 1:9 twist 16" barrel on it and really seems to like 55gr FMJs for range work. The mag well is a little tight so I'm only using the supplied 30 round magazine that came with it. So far that's my only complaint. For what you're wanting, I'd say something like that would be just fine. Or you can do what others said and buy a higher quality rifle and pay a bit more for it. It really comes down to your budget.

Girodin
March 18, 2013, 01:50 AM
If an individual's style of shooting within 100 yds. produces greater than 1" groups I might suggest they're wasting ammo.

Well that would include a lot of types of shooting For example it probably includes all shooting on the move. If one is into defensive shooting. Shooting on the move is a particularly useful skill set. I'd hardly say doing that is wasting ammo. I highly doubt I can shoot a 1" group at 99 yds while rapidly moving. If we were on the range I'd be willing to place a wager you couldn't either.

Shooting from various improvised positions is likely to make it so that one isn't going to maintain 1" groups. Coming up from a low ready and as quickly as possible firing rapid fire strings one is likely to experience more than 1" of deviation long before he or she gets back to 100 yards. There is a reason that magpul dynamics and Travis Haley use a 10" circle for the BSA drill and not a 1" circle. Please post a video of yourself shooting a full BSA course of fire maintaining 1" groups on each string! You should then go make a very lucrative living teaching others how to do it. Or is such an exercise just a wast of ammo?

Honestly, if you are only shooting in ways that you can maintain 1" groups that is likely a waste of ammo. You aren't developing any number or skills nor are you pushing to your failure points.

In sum, there are all kinds of shooting that is very far from wasting ammo that one isn't going to be shooting 1" groups at distances short of 100 yards. Heck, not all guns with all ammo will even hold 1" 5-10 shot groups at 100 yards.

Barring that, every poster here is free to write of their own experience with their personal firearms and each personal account, with the above exception, will need to be considered with that same "sample size of one" scrutiny.

I'm not saying anyone shouldn't post their experience. Rather, simply that we should all consider the value or our sample sizes and those of others. Statistically speaking you wouldn't need anywhere near 5000 units to have a meaningful sample size. As you are alluding to, few people have a few hundred of one makers guns. However, there are folks that see that quantity used. All of them that I'm familiar with tend to make the same types of recommendations based on that experience.

Skylerbone
March 18, 2013, 02:56 AM
If an individual's style of shooting within 100 yds. produces greater than 1" groups I might suggest they're wasting ammo. Now to clarify, no, every group was not shot solely for accuracy and yes, I've rattled off 30 round strings as quickly as I could get back on target.

How about I quote myself fully rather than in snippets, lest we play more fun with words. None of the local ranges including the private range I most often use allow for running and gunning and for those defensive scenarios I might use in the real world like home protection, I have no need to be coming up quickly from low ready and engaging in rapid fire or shooting from improvised positions. I am not a militia member and no, I'm not a 100 rounds a year bench hugged either. I have a mat, I own tripods, I use slings and unlike some people a good percent of what hits my family dinner table was killed by me. Perhaps a different tact is in order, say telling everyone that I'm bitter for choosing a "Tier X" rifle and probably paying too much, having put zero research into the matter.

As I stated, some folks will argue forever points of dubious merit. Even now Girodin, you seek only to discredit me based on my not recommending specific brands rather than speaking your piece about your personal experience. Perhaps now we can simply keep from further derailing yet another which AR thread with nonsense.

mjsdwash
March 18, 2013, 03:13 AM
i like m&a kits... get what you want.. looks weight and little details. but many dont like kit guns, especially cheap kits. Check it out anyway, easy builds.

Girodin
March 18, 2013, 03:36 AM
Here is what you said

My "hobby grade poodle puncher" has managed to punch nearly 4,000 rounds into sub- 1" groups without any failures

My point is simply that if you fired 4K rounds in a manner that allowed you to shoot them all into 1" groups, which is what you said, then that is certainly 4K rounds of slow shooting from stable positions. Shooting that falls so far short of any kind of hard use that it makes the rather insignificant 4K round count even more insignificant. That or you shoot amazingly well.

You then stated that anyone who's shooting style doesn't allow 1" groups inside of 100 yards is wasting ammo. You have done some 30 round mag dumps. Great, how does that modify your original statement. I simply pointed out why I disagree with your statement.

I might use in the real world like home protection, I have no need to be coming up quickly from low ready and engaging in rapid fire or shooting from improvised positions.

So since you cannot conceive of a situation in which those skills might be useful to YOU, they are per se a waste of ammo for everyone?

Even now Girodin, you seek only to discredit me based on my not recommending specific brands rather than speaking your piece about your personal experience.

Well, I suppose that is one interpretation of me having highlighting your lack of experience with ARs generally and harder and/or defensive use in particular.

Like all of us you are entitled to your opinion. However, I personally wouldn't place much stock in someone who's opinion is informed by the type of experience you've mentioned. That is because I want a gun for a dramatically different type of use.

Skylerbone
March 18, 2013, 09:46 AM
That's fine, have it your way and continue to misrepresent what I wrote and clarified. I know you're going to war self-supplied while I'll be long dead for lack of any training (I assume this because you don't qualify how you train, you merely defer to your favorite trainer's opinion on brands).

To the OP, disregard my postings, you need only look for one feature, the brands listed as "Tier 1" in that chart in any caliber or configuration they make.

Warp
March 18, 2013, 11:29 AM
If an individual's style of shooting within 100 yds. produces greater than 1" groups I might suggest they're wasting ammo.

And you might be completely wrong

Warp
March 18, 2013, 11:34 AM
And even then, some of the mid-tier or hobby-grade manufacturers can put together a totally mil-spec chart-worthy rifle and sell it at a reasonable price, and there will be detractors, because even though all the parts are right, the company isn't "proven" and just slapping together a bunch of mil-spec parts doesn't make a quality rifle, according to them. It seems as though some people really think that certain manufacturer's guns are greater than the sum of their parts.

The company has to know how to properly assemble the rifle. Even with the best parts, if it isn't put together correctly, it isn't something you want.

Ask PSA about that:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_118/551333_Wrong_gas_tube_.html

http://imageshack.us/a/img233/7098/1001748g.jpg

holdencm9
March 18, 2013, 03:30 PM
The company has to know how to properly assemble the rifle. Even with the best parts, if it isn't put together correctly, it isn't something you want.

Ask PSA about that:

Agreed, and it has been pretty widely established that PSA had plenty of growing pains starting out that tarnished their reputation, but assuming all the same quality parts and both properly assembled, some people will still insist that a Colt is better than a PSA, for no other reason than the rollmark on the receiver. That's the point. If you buy two rifles, disassemble them yourself and re-assemble them yourself, verifying everything is put together 100% correctly, which one is "better?"

Warp
March 18, 2013, 03:37 PM
Agreed, and it has been pretty widely established that PSA had plenty of growing pains starting out that tarnished their reputation, but assuming all the same quality parts and both properly assembled, some people will still insist that a Colt is better than a PSA, for no other reason than the rollmark on the receiver.

I think that's more of a straw man position that some people create, than an actual thing.

holdencm9
March 18, 2013, 04:07 PM
It's a straw man position to suggest fanboyism may exist? I suppose you are free to think so, but confirmation bias could be affecting us both.

The point I was trying to make to the OP, again, is the chart is a good place to start but not gospel, and to not get bogged down in brand-bashing and "tiers" and all that.

Krusty783
March 18, 2013, 04:48 PM
And even then, some of the mid-tier or hobby-grade manufacturers can put together a totally mil-spec chart-worthy rifle and sell it at a reasonable price, and there will be detractors, because even though all the parts are right, the company isn't "proven" and just slapping together a bunch of mil-spec parts doesn't make a quality rifle, according to them. It seems as though some people really think that certain manufacturer's guns are greater than the sum of their parts.

To the OP, the chart is a good place to start, and going with a higher-end company probably reduces the odds of getting a lemon, but buying a budget brand rifle does not guarantee you will have problems, and buying a upper-tier brand does not guarantee you won't. Also, you should try to learn about all the different mil-spec requirements included in the chart, and why the military needs them, and if you really need them (or want them).

For instance, staking gas keys is a good thing...M4 feed ramps are a good thing (IMO)...4150 steel barrel, probably won't matter to you; 1:7 twist probably won't matter to you....chrome-lined barrel, maybe you would even prefer not to have, if you are wanting a target rifle. Et cetera. Good luck!

Oy vey, the race to the gutter only took 1.5 pages; everyone must be working off their St. Patty's hangovers...

"The Chart" summarizes mil-spec features that have been designed into the M-4 weapon system to improve functionality and reliability. Some features are more vital (gas key staking, HT/MPI bolt) than others (chrome-lined barrel).

It's hard to argue with a Colt. Say what you want about mil-spec, but Colt produces countless rifles for the US military and their QC procedures were installed and verified long ago. You could even get them at Wallyworlds for ~$900 a few months ago, so it's an easy, reliable, go-to option for an AR.

Disregarding Colt, it's all a question of requirements. What is your intended purpose for the rifle? Plinking/Squirrel Hunting/Target Shooting/Duty Rifle, etc. and what is your budget.

If you want an AR because you want one to take to the range, buy an Oly/Bushmaster/Stag, etc.

If you want a precision target rifle, buy a KAC LPR or JP Enterprises.

If you're and LEO buying a patrol rifle which you may, realistically, have to use in the defense of your own life or another's, buy a Colt/BCM/LMT/KAC, etc. which have hard won reputations of quality.

If you have disposable income, buy whatever you want.

M4C was mentioned above, and it's a great resource. A good portion of its members are active/retired MIL/LE/Industry folks, so they don't put up with sub-par QC or cutting corners because they've seen the real world consequences. As such, the "top-tier" brands are definitely preferred/endorsed by their membership.

And yes, certain manufacturers rifles may be greater than the sum of their parts. We don't have visibility into exact manufacturing procedures and tolerances. Some companies may use tighter tolerances/better methods and the end result could be more reliable rifles. Honda's and Chevy's are both cars, but one brand tends to be much more reliable than the other.

Welding Rod
March 18, 2013, 04:50 PM
My advice is don't buy a gun because it is a certain brand, buy a gun because it is the right configuration and a good brand.

Side note: Which is a better gun, a no-name AR with a 223 chamber and low performance 223 ammo, or a BCM with 223 low performance ammo?

Not dissing BCM, I own 4 and like them a lot, but there is more to making a gun work reliably than just getting the right brand.

Welding Rod
March 18, 2013, 04:54 PM
If a gun is 100% reliable on a covered range shooting a hundred rounds once in a while, it will probably be 100% reliable in the protection of the insdie or your house in a self-defense roll while shooting 1-3 rounds too.

Warp
March 18, 2013, 06:06 PM
there is more to making a gun work reliably than just getting the right brand.

Of course.

But he didn't ask for recommendations on ammo, magazines, lube, and maintenance. He asked for recommendations on the rifle. ;)

yzguy87
March 18, 2013, 07:05 PM
Every rifle manufacturer has its fair share of good and bad. I have a DPMS AP4 in 223/556 with almost 1k rounds through it. It's been a great rifle for me. Great reliability and accuracy. Nicest rifle I ever had was a Rock River Arms 308/7.62 Predator. It was very accurate and I really liked their trigger. This is my .02! Have fun with the AR platform! Your choices are almost endless.

justice06rr
March 18, 2013, 10:19 PM
I will just add that you should buy an AR15 from a quality manufacturer like Colt, BCM, Smith&Wesson, DD, etc.

There are a variety of options you can go with depending on your budget and needs. A Colt6920 is a perfect AR15 to start with, and if you have a lower budget then I recommend the Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport.

Skylerbone
March 18, 2013, 10:53 PM
From the OP:

There seems to be many options, such as various twist rates, I guess for various projectile weights. And different uppers and lowers. What do I need to know to purchase an average quality ar for range, a little hunting, and the rare need for self defense?

I took that to mean he wants the best set-up for these activities as he also mentioned uppers and lowers and being generally unsure of what to purchase.

Girodin
March 18, 2013, 11:20 PM
I know you're going to war self-supplied while I'll be long dead for lack of any training . . .

This is a favorite strawman of the my brand X is just as good as Y guys. The you aren't going to war self supplied guys also take a tone and tact that is dangerously and disgustingly similar to that of the anti gun crowd. First of all I'll remind you of the purpose of the second amendment. That is one reason a lot of people own an AR. In that sense they are preparing for what you and the anti's scoff at.

Moreover, there are a lot of uses/reasons short of war that make buying a weapon built to or exceeding a certain standard a desirable choice.

And ultimately what benefit is gained by buying a gun that the manufacture has cut corners to make? Is that worth saving a couple hundred dollars? To me it certainly is not. I may well own the gun for another 50 years. I can swing a few dollars a year over the life of the gun to own something that was built right.

(I assume this because you don't qualify how you train, you merely defer to your favorite trainer's opinion on brands).

You know what they say about assumptions. I do, do I? Who, pray tell, is my favorite trainer then? Do I even own the brand that he or she endorses? Also I find it more than slightly amusing that you would try to take me to task for suggesting that some people have experience and insight that makes their opinions of particular worth and yes probably worth a heck of a lot more than mine or yours. Perhaps one difference between us is that I can see that. Socrates once stated that if he was wise in anything it was in recognizing the things in which he was not wise. I know that I might shoot 10-20K rounds a year, not 100K+. I know that I see dozens of carbines run hard in a year, not hundreds or thousands. I see one or two training courses a year not dozens week after week. I see a few three gun events events a year not dozens and dozens. If placing some stock in the opinions of experts in the field, who have amassed vastly more experience than I, and who deal with the subject matter almost daily makes me foolish, the guy who rests his opinion on his singular experience with his one gun, shooting under limited and far from trying conditions wise, then so be it.

One more word about people that form their opinion based on their one gun alone. They have nothing to compare it too. In any kind of test or experiment there needs to be a baseline or standard to compare against to have the data acquired be very meaningful. When you only have owned one AR it is hard to know how it compares to any other. When I bought my very first AR lower it was a complete CMMG. I was always very happy with it (and the Noveske upper I put on it). That was until I got some other lowers both complete and ones I assembled. In comparison the CMMG trigger was gritty as could be and overall noticeably worse than other GI triggers, certainly inferior to a Geissele. Suddenly my gun that I had always been so happy with, was disappointing once I had something better to compare it to. I then went to swap out some parts and found the CMMG lower wasn't quite to spec. Now I was really disappointed with my lower that only months before I thought was just as good as any other and would have happily recommended to others (with the caveat that they stake the unstaked castle nut themselves). One problem with a lot of the "just as good guys," and many brand whatever fan boys as well, is they really don't have much to compare the brand the champion to. I've, for example, owned a DMPS, and a bushmaster, and seen how each compared to the Novekses (and others) I own in performance and build quality. If the DMPS were just as good I would have been all to happy to keep it and sell off the "overpriced" gun. That was not the case. The Noveske was more accurate, more reliable, the fit and finish were notably better. The parts used were better, the assembly was better. They had threads that could be trusted to be true and cocentric, etc, etc. Their really is a difference. A difference for my uses, including ones far short or self supplied war, that matters.

If a gun is 100% reliable on a covered range shooting a hundred rounds once in a while, it will probably be 100% reliable in the protection of the insdie or your house in a self-defense roll while shooting 1-3 rounds too.

Probably or that could be the moment that Murphy decides to play a trick with an unstaked castle nut or gas key, or some other such problem. That is probably not likely. However, having to shoot someone in self defense in your home is exceedingly unlikely to begin with. With defensive shooting a lot of things are not based on the odds but rather on what is at stake.

Moreover though, and what would be my much bigger concern, is that if you are serious about using that gun for defensive use, it behooves you to shoot more than that. It behooves you to spend time getting well acquainted with your gun and how to run it. With guns it is just like the fighting sports, the training is often more demanding and damaging than the actual fight. Sure people can and do defend themselves despite never having any training. That doesn't mean it is advisable.

holdencm9
March 19, 2013, 12:58 AM
Oy vey, the race to the gutter only took 1.5 pages; everyone must be working off their St. Patty's hangovers...

"The Chart" summarizes mil-spec features that have been designed into the M-4 weapon system to improve functionality and reliability. Some features are more vital (gas key staking, HT/MPI bolt) than others (chrome-lined barrel).

So you insult my post and then proceed to essentially say the same thing?

OP, before this thread gets closed, to reiterate again: learn about the mil-specs and what/why they are there, buy the best rifle (by "tier" or what-have-you) that you can reasonably afford but make it an informed decision and don't just buy solely for a name. And most of all, whatever you get, shoot it a lot and learn everything there is to know about it, so that every action is second-nature to you.

Skylerbone
March 19, 2013, 01:56 AM
It seems the straw man is the favorite argument of those who refuse to accept any opinion save their own, cannot accept anything as fact without endorsement and refuse to be open as to their own experience level. Is this the third time I've asked or do you still defer to expert trainers? Have you once provided any meaningful data on brands they've seen fail?

Once again, you attack me. You magically know that I own one rifle and therefore have nothing with which to compare it to (wrong again, I've shot and handled plenty). You cannot help yourself, in your quest to be seen as superior in regards to training and experience and equipment and knowledge base. Now you've lumped me in with the anti-gun crowd for suggesting the OP purchase a rifle that meets his needs and heaven help him if it actually does cost $300 less. That might buy him a punch and hammer to stake that castle nut with if it happens to not be staked. Murphy's Law is your argument? Really? That principle doesn't apply to every part of every rifle?

My ammo dumps aren't as demanding as yours because you were moving while shooting which clearly taxes the rifle far more. Well I find that fascinating and kudos to you for dumping mud and sand in your action while you were at it to provide ever more wear and tear on it between your twice yearly barrel replacements. Or by "I might shoot 20k a year" do you mean you might but you don't or you do but through your 10/22?

Then we had the philosophy lesson on Socrates. He recognized wisdom in comprehending his own limited experience (to paraphrase). But I wonder which of us has set the greater limits here. I recommended the OP choose features that would best serve his needs. You, Girodin recommended brands. I recommended considering needs such as optics or perhaps a nice trigger and weighing the cost to upgrade one model vs. another. You, Girodin, recommended a chart. I recommended studying up on hand guards, free floating and whether to choose a chrome lined barrel. You, Girodin, recommended discounting my opinion. I made not one specific brand recommendation. You, Girodin, accuse me of ignorance and indifference of what professional instructors recommend.

Here's a few things from my philosophy bag in response:

1. Always read the OP and comprehend what, if anything has been asked.
2. Separate your own needs from those of others, it isn't always about you.

I'm simply tired of the rude responses, ad hominem attacks in place of facts, innuendo and the ever off topic rambling of every AR thread. I'm here to learn and to share and I take away a good deal in that regard. The senseless chest pounding simply grates my nerves far too much so again, I'll simply unsubscribe and those who wish can have at it. Little wonder the OP never came back, he had far more sense than we did.

Girodin
March 19, 2013, 05:47 AM
refuse to be open as to their own experience level. Is this the third time I've asked or do you still defer to expert trainers?

Where have you directly asked for my "experience level" let alone done so three times? Also I'm not sure how "experience level" is quantified. I will note, you did avoid the very direct questions I asked. Given my experience and knowledge, I would certainly deffer to the experience and expertise of a Travis Haley, etc and absolutely to a Larry Vickers. Now I don't follow every word they say as gospel and don't suggest anyone else does either. But I would pay healthy heed to their opinions not be dismissive of them. When they will all tell you essentially the same thing, then I'm even more inclined to do so. Would you not? If not you are pretty foolish and basically are burying your head in the sand.

Have you once provided any meaningful data on brands they've seen fail?

I suppose that might depend on how you define "meaningful data." I'm not sure what you are expecting in terms of that. I highly doubt any of them have detailed spread sheets or exact figures. My guess, rather, is that over time, in some instances over a few decades, and seeing millions of rounds fired and thousands and thousands of guns they have seen general trends about what works and what doesn't, and under what conditions (in reference to conditions, for example, some will tell you adding a suppressor really separates the wheat from the chaff in the AR world). The Pat Rogers article I linked to alludes to some of his experience and thoughts on rifle selection. If one has google it is not real hard to find what these guys run and/or recommend. Also I, and others referred the OP to M4carbine.net where much of that info can be found. Heck you can even ask Mr. Vickers directly what he recommends and why. So I think relatively meaningful information on that point has in fact been provided. If there is some particular piece of information you think should be included why not simply and directly ask for it?

Now do I listen blindly to what any of them say? No. For example I like a convertible single point sling like the MS3. Larry really doesn't like single points. Do I respect his opinions. Yes, I greatly respect them for a reason. Does that mean everything he does is right for everyone else. No. I do not think he would ever suggest that either.

Once again, you attack me. You magically know that I own one rifle and therefore have nothing with which to compare it to (wrong again, I've shot and handled plenty).

You seem to have read, or wanted to read, something I didn't write. I made general comments about some people. They weren't directed at you per se. I find it a bit narcissistic of you to read that meaning into it when a plan language meaning would not convey it. I think it is further amusing that you say I wrongly accused you of only owning one AR (which I didn't) and then your next statement seems to say that you do only own one AR and that your other experience includes shooting others and handling them but no mention of actually owning others. Might I kindly suggest that shooting some other peoples guns for even a couple three days, and certainly not just handling them is not the same as owning and using one for an extended period of time.

Now you've lumped me in with the anti-gun crowd for suggesting the OP purchase a rifle that meets his needs

No you have taken a line from the anti gun crowd yourself in scoffing at the idea that individual civilians need weapons fit to self supply themselves for combat. You used that idea as the bases of snide remark towards me. You made a derisive comment about that to me and others who see value in buying guns fit for that and you were not really addressing the OP or his needs at that point at all. Nice try to recast your words though.

Murphy's Law is your argument? Really? That principle doesn't apply to every part of every rifle?

It is an argument for having better built gear and better honed skills. Is it the only argument? Certainly not. In fact, unless you do not understand the word moreover and/or failed to read the comments immediately following that I'm not sure why you would think that. Is it per se the best argument for it, arguably it isn't. Are you, however, suggesting that it is in no way a valid argument or concern? I'm honestly not sure what you are asking with respect to your second question. Are you asking whether the potential for an untimely failure exists with every other part on a rifle as well? I'd suggest that it does. I simply used staked parts as an example since they are something that it is not particularly uncommon to see be a problem (and yes one could stake them themselves). The same potential for failure is why some folks see it as important to have barrels and bolts that are MP tested, or to have other quality parts or certain materials used. Does that assure their will not be a failure. Certainly not. In fact lots of quality AR parts will fail sooner or later as they have a limited service life (that's why preventive maintenance is important). I'll be honest I'm not sure what you are trying to get at with you question or what point you think you are making.

My ammo dumps aren't as demanding as yours because you were moving while shooting which clearly taxes the rifle far more.

Do you really think that is essence of any statement I made? Seriously? I'm pretty sure they only person on this thread who may have read that into anything written was you. As such it really isn't worth the taking any time to respond to.

kudos to you for dumping mud and sand in your action while you were at it to provide ever more wear and tear on it between your twice yearly barrel replacements. Or by "I might shoot 20k a year" do you mean you might but you don't or you do but through your 10/22?

Did I write something to suggest I do that? Or are you just being needlessly snarky? Now if you use your guns they can get dirty, they can hit the ground, etc, etc. Can foreign debris shut down a gun? Sure. As to the latter half I am stating that I tend to shoot between 10-20K rounds through my ARs a year. It varies based on my time, the amount of three gun I shoot, the training opportunities that present themselves, and what other shooting endeavors I'm into (For example the last few months I've been more focused on pistol shooting, other times its been shotguns, or another platform such as the AK). Mostly through one particular gun. My primary AR is a Noveske upper on a lower I assembled. I have had, and still have a some other ARs from various brands. These days I've settled mostly on Noveskes. I have not and do not suggest that they are the only viable choice or even the best choice for everyone. I actually do not currently own a 10/22. They are not my cup of tea. I honestly have no clue as to how many .22LR rounds I have shot. I probably went through more than a thousand (a couple of bulk boxes, plus some of the match grade stuff) this last weekend alone.

As to barrel life and round counts. If you think a chrome lined Noveske barrel has a 10K round service life, well you really are ignorant to put it bluntly. Of course there are a lot of factors that play into barrel life, but without babying one, it will, in my experience (and the best I can gather the experience of others) last a good deal longer than 10K rounds without losing an acceptable degree of accuracy. Again when you make parts a better way they typically perform better.

I recommended the OP choose features that would best serve his needs. You, Girodin recommended brands. I recommended considering needs such as optics or perhaps a nice trigger and weighing the cost to upgrade one model vs. another. You, Girodin, recommended a chart. I recommended studying up on hand guards, free floating and whether to choose a chrome lined barrel. You, Girodin, recommended discounting my opinion. I made not one specific brand recommendation. You, Girodin, accuse me of ignorance and indifference of what professional instructors recommend.

I'm not sure if you didn't fully read my recommendations, didn't understand what was written, or are simply being disingenuous. Whatever the cause, you are misrepresenting what I wrote. My sense is because I commented on your statements about 4K rounds into 1" groups and your absurd comments about certain styles of shooting being a waste of ammo, you now have a hard on for trying to argue and find fault with me. That said, lets look at what I did actually write. I first suggested that the OP might want to consider weighing the opinions out there about what guns to get. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but not all opinions are entitled to the same respect. I then pointed out that a lot of people with a lot of experience and credibility in the subject matter tend to make similar recommendations. I really do think that so many of them saying roughly the same thing is pretty telling. I lastly suggested to the OP that buy saying he wanted a defensive gun that it changes what many people will recommend both in terms of configuration and brand and would steer the discussion a certain way.

I then stated what brands I tend to recommend to friends and family, suggesting he might look to certain brands as a starting point. I should hope you realize that many of them are available in a rather wide array of configurations. When you take them collectively that is even more so the case. There aren't too many options or configurations among those brands that are not available. The things I can think of that aren't available are not things I would want, say a .223 chamber or a particularly slow twist barrel.

You, Girodin, recommended a chart.

Where did I do that? That doesn't sound like something I would do. Certainly not in as much as RobS isn't even updating or publishing his chart these days. Perhaps someone else is doing one. At any rate, the chart is a useful tool, provided one understands it. However, simply looking at the chart does not tell the full story. In fact, if you refer back to my first post I think you will find that I referred the OP to additional resources to provide context and understanding for "the (now somewhat defunct) chart" that another poster put a link to. In fact, some of the guns I said I tend to recommend to friends and family are not guns that conform to the chart or "mil spec," for example a LaRue. As I said to me mil spec (and I really don't want to get into all the semantically charged debate about this term so we can take it to mean the attributes of the chart) is a floor for a general purpose gun. For other uses it may not be what I want at all. What I did actually do is to recommend looking at a number of brands that have reputation for building quality guns that tend to work well.

I recommended considering needs such as optics or perhaps a nice trigger and weighing the cost to upgrade one model vs. another.


That was useful advise. It is not, however, mutually exclusive to starting with a quality brand. Many of those manufactures offer a variety of configurations.

You, Girodin, recommended discounting my opinion.

Actually this is another area that not carefully reading or perhaps not comprehending what you read is rearing its head again. I never recommended discounting your opinion. I first recommended considering the experience and basis of anyone giving recommendations. I then suggested that based on your own statements about how you use your gun, it likely had not seen particular hard use and was at any rate a sample of 1, and that the latter is an issue for most of us.

Now what I did do is state the following, something that I stand by the more you have posted in this thread.

However, I personally wouldn't place much stock in someone who's (sic) opinion is informed by the type of experience you've mentioned. That is because I want a gun for a dramatically different type of use.

Please read that statement carefully a few times and try to take in what it really is and isn't saying. I stand by it.

You, however, did recommend a chart (although you again were ignorant enough not to know that there were no more brands even listed in it) and recommended discounting your recommendations. See below:

To the OP, disregard my postings, you need only look for one feature, the brands listed as "Tier 1" in that chart in any caliber or configuration they make.

Perhaps you conflated our post. (Yes I know you were being sarcastic. My comment on this point is tongue in cheek. I'm pointing that out because based on what you have gleaned from other comments that I've made, I seriously suspect that you wouldn't catch the factitious nature of this comment unless I made a big disclaimer about it. Even at that we shall see.)

2. Separate your own needs from those of others, it isn't always about you.

We certainly agree on that point. As you will note I started early in this thread by saying :

You may not intend to shoot suppressed, or shoot a couple thousand rounds in a weekend, or use the rifle for defense and that is fine.

I might suggest you follow your own philosophy. First, you were the one that suggested that anyone who doesn't get 1" groups from all their styles of shooting is just wasting ammo. I'm still pretty amused by what an inane statement that was. Second, you seemed to suggest that any skill set that wasn't of use to you wasn't one that was of worth to others to practice. Third, you seem to have taken a lot of my general statements as being directed specifically at you. Remember, it isn't always (and in a number of cases wasn't) about you. It seems as if the shoe might have fit however, so you decided to first wear it and then get bent out of shape about it.

I made not one specific brand recommendation.

And do you think that was more or less useful to an AR neophyte trying to decide what to buy? Seriously.

You, Girodin, accuse me of ignorance and indifference of what professional instructors recommend.

I'm not sure that I did. Can you point to which comments you feel did that? I certainly have suggested that your opinion is worth less than say Larry Vickers (or we could use several dozen other guys) when it comes to all things AR. Do you disagree with that point? I'm not sure that I did accuse you of ignorance about what they recommend. I wouldn't be surprised if you were. As far as dismissive, I'm not sure I really accused you of that either. I will say now, however, that you seemed shockingly dismissive about any kind of shooting skills that they teach which you think that you have no use for. I have stated that I think a number of things you have written seem to demonstrate ignorance about a lot of things. I stand by those statements.

Girodin
March 19, 2013, 05:51 AM
It seems the straw man is the favorite argument of

Oh and a straw man argument is a type of argument not an argument per se. I'm not sure what you even are trying to suggest was a straw man argument or what straw man, the class of people you refer to uses as their favorite argument(s).

Skylerbone
March 19, 2013, 10:45 AM
I agree completely. I apologize for not keeping things High Road. I have a poor agenda and have made malicious comments for which I apologize. There is no other way my words can be read other than your interpretation Girodin, you read right through me. I now realize none of your comments were directed at me.

To the OP, Larry Vickers chooses Daniel Defense, he said so on the TV and his opinion and credentials are well respected by me and I'm sure others as well, though I cannot speak for anyone else it seems. Also, it seems adding defensive use to your plans means something wholly different that I fail to comprehend about only some brands being good enough.

Now I really am finished.

Krusty783
March 19, 2013, 11:06 AM
So you insult my post and then proceed to essentially say the same thing?

OP, before this thread gets closed, to reiterate again: learn about the mil-specs and what/why they are there, buy the best rifle (by "tier" or what-have-you) that you can reasonably afford but make it an informed decision and don't just buy solely for a name. And most of all, whatever you get, shoot it a lot and learn everything there is to know about it, so that every action is second-nature to you.

I wasn't insulting your post, I was just making note that this is another generic "Which AR Should I Get/is best?" that had devolved into a off-topic argument.

Unfortunately, people tend to project their own opinions while trying to give advice to the OP and this inevitably leads to counter-opinions, etc.

holdencm9
March 19, 2013, 11:36 AM
I wasn't insulting your post, I was just making note that this is another generic "Which AR Should I Get/is best?" that had devolved into a off-topic argument.

Unfortunately, people tend to project their own opinions while trying to give advice to the OP and this inevitably leads to counter-opinions, etc.

Fair enough. Sorry I misinterpreted.

I agree, they seem to inevitably devolve. Since the OP worded his post, "what to look for in an AR?" it's only a matter of time before the chart gets brought up. I think we are on the same page that it is a nice little summary of what IS mil-spec, but that it is more prudent to learn about the requirements the military demands and apply them to your own situation, than to just offer wholesale tier-based advice. And the OP should not panic if his future AR lacks the right twist or something.

Warp
March 19, 2013, 11:48 AM
And the OP should not panic if his future AR lacks the right twist or something.

Buying a rifle that turns out to have a barrel ill-suited to your intended use would really suck though.

Nobody who buys a 1/9 twist, hoping to be able to shoot 75-77gr [match] rounds from time to time for the most accuracy possible, is going to be happy when they find out that the right twist rate, for them, was actually the [generally more expensive] 1/7

MasterSergeantA
March 19, 2013, 12:03 PM
Thanks so much, guys; you've given me quite a bit to think about, and I will be going over to the other forum to check it out, per your suggestion.
And don't forget to look at www.ar15.com as well as the m4carbine site. A lot of drama and a few purse fights sometimes (sometimes?) but also a lot of good information. Just bring your boots and be prepared to wade through the drivel to find the good info.

Girodin
March 19, 2013, 12:20 PM
To the OP, Larry Vickers chooses Daniel Defense

He endorsed Daniel Defense, and was paid by them for some time. His business connections seem to be shifting to BCM as of late. His recommendations are, however, broader, as seen here (at the time he was still affiliated with DD).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9mKD-CmX4zQ

Its important to note he says these are what he regularly recommends, not the entire universe of what is serviceable.

holdencm9
March 19, 2013, 01:03 PM
Buying a rifle that turns out to have a barrel ill-suited to your intended use would really suck though.

Nobody who buys a 1/9 twist, hoping to be able to shoot 75-77gr [match] rounds from time to time for the most accuracy possible, is going to be happy when they find out that the right twist rate, for them, was actually the [generally more expensive] 1/7

Definitely. Which is why my suggestion has always been to study the mil specs and understand why they are there. I meant "right" as in mil-spec, 1:7, somewhat facetiously. If he gets a 1:9 twist barrel, it is not "wrong." No need to panic. It isn't wrong per se. It just isn't the mil-spec. If he wants to shoot 77gr bullets he will have problems, yes. Of course he will need the proper twist for intended use. Since he wrote "What do I need to know to purchase an average quality ar for range, a little hunting, and the rare need for self defense?" I did not get the impression he was after match-grade accuracy. The vast majority of affordable ammo for his intended uses are in the 55gr-69gr range anyway, therefore a 1:9 twist shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

Warp
March 19, 2013, 01:10 PM
In my experience a lot of people buy based on price without much knowledge to what they are getting, or why, and end up wanting to be able to make use of 75gr ammunition.

He did list self defense. A lot of the better/more popular defensive options are 75gr bullets.

My point is that the twist rate of the barrel is a significant aspect of the rifle, and, further, that IME most people would benefit from a 1/7 twist.

holdencm9
March 19, 2013, 01:34 PM
He did list self defense. A lot of the better/more popular defensive options are 75gr bullets.

For match accuracy at longer ranges, definitely nicer to have the faster twist, for self-defense ranges and accuracy requirements, even with 75gr bullets, 1:9 will probably suffice.

http://beta.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=410296
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/213968_75Gr_TAP_out_of__16andamp__34__1_9_twist_barrel_.html
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=276703
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=550041

If he gets a 1:9 and tries 75gr and they keyhole at 100 yards, he can just use 69gr. Or be satisfied with key-holing the bad guy!

Warp
March 19, 2013, 01:57 PM
For match accuracy at longer ranges, definitely nicer to have the faster twist, for self-defense ranges and accuracy requirements, even with 75gr bullets, 1:9 will probably suffice.

http://beta.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=410296
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/213968_75Gr_TAP_out_of__16andamp__34__1_9_twist_barrel_.html
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=276703
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=550041

If he gets a 1:9 and tries 75gr and they keyhole at 100 yards, he can just use 69gr. Or be satisfied with key-holing the bad guy!

Why settle?

Everybody can choose what they want, why they want...but for me, personally, I wouldn't spend so much time and energy figuring out which corners can be cut that will each only negatively impact the performance of the rifle in a "it will probably suffice" manner. I'd just get something that will work, optimally, period.

holdencm9
March 19, 2013, 03:45 PM
Why settle?

Everybody can choose what they want, why they want...but for me, personally, I wouldn't spend so much time and energy figuring out which corners can be cut that will each only negatively impact the performance of the rifle in a "it will probably suffice" manner. I'd just get something that will work, optimally, period.

Again:

What do I need to know to purchase an average quality ar for range, a little hunting, and the rare need for self defense?

I just said 1:9 shouldn't be a deal breaker for his criteria. Yes, it MIGHT have issues with 75gr bullets, (but obviously by my links several people's 1:9 rifles shoot them just fine) but it may also be better for lighter varmint bullets. All I've really done is suggest to the OP that he learn about the mil-spec requirements so he can make an educated decision in his purchase, and to not get bogged down in tiers and brand-bashing, or buying certain brands just based on reputation alone. I never said he is wasting money to get a Colt or DD or BCM, but he is also not throwing money away buying a Stag, PSA, S&W, Spikes, DPMS or BM.

Girodin
March 19, 2013, 07:13 PM
He lists hunting as a criteria. He didn't say what he was planning on hunting, it could be game in which a heavier bullet is desired or it could be quarry for which a higher BC bullet is desired. Without knowing what he wants to hunt I would hesitate to say whether it not a 1:9 twist should or shouldn't be a deal breaker.

There are 1:9 twist guns that shoot some heavier bullets (in reality that issue is shape more than weight) okay. It obviously is not all guns with all bullets though. I don't think anyone would seriously recommend getti g a 1:9 and hoping for the best if one knows going in that he or she wants to shoot the longer bullets.

WinThePennant
March 19, 2013, 08:36 PM
Asking what AR is the best is...well, impossible. There are so many types and variants that it is dang near impossible.

For a budget AR, I always recommend the S&W Sport. Probably the best AR for the money.

I typically build my lower, and then buy my upper.

Here's what I ALWAYS do for each. Yes, these reflect my own biases.

Always buy 7075 aluminum for buffer tubes and charging handles. It's a lot stronger than the 6061 stuff.

Mil-Spec triggers are fine. Always use KNS anti-rotation pins.

Use the Stag Arms Lower Parts Kit. I really think it's the best one for the money.

Most lower receivers (aluminum) are very good. Don't overspend on this.

Make sure your bolt carrier is MP and HPI tested and full auto.

For carbine or mid-length rifles, always get the M4 feed ramps. Visually inspect to make sure they are lined up correctly.

I prefer chrome-lined rifle barrels that are cold hammer forged.

I prefer mid-length. But, there is nothing wrong with carbine-length ARs. In fact, parts for them are easier to find since the mid-length stuff is all the rage these days.

The advantages of a 1-in-7 twist are so numerous that I don't understand why people get anything else. Everyone says 1-in-7 is only good for heavy grain bullets. The truth is that it handles 55 just fine, and can handle the really heavy stuff with no problems. 1-in-7 is King of the Hill for AR twist rates.

Stick with the A2 front sight.

Don't overspend on aluminum handguards. There are some VERY nice inexpensive handguards available now. The cheaper aluminum handguards are a little heavier, but are still surprisingly good. UTG comes to mind. Or, better yet, get a Magpul poly handguard for around $30.

Free float is over-rated.

Tapco makes a surprisingly good sling adapter.

Staking your castle nut is over-rated.

Warp
March 19, 2013, 08:39 PM
The advantages of a 1-in-7 twist are so numerous that I don't understand why people get anything else.

IME the majority (not all, just the majority) fall into one of two categories:

A) Didn't know what they were buying when they bought it

B) Price. Cheaper = better

Torian
March 19, 2013, 08:44 PM
You should look for an AR with the name COLT on it.

:)

Matt Dillon
April 2, 2013, 01:34 AM
Thanks so very much for all the advice that has been given in this thread! I still have a lot of research to do but you all have given me a great deal to think about.

nathan
April 2, 2013, 01:52 AM
Make sure you are ready to spend bucko money on 5.56 ammo. They aint getting cheap now.

Longrifle2506
April 2, 2013, 03:08 PM
A Huge retailer near me has 2 or 3 Rock River arms models for $1150; and an M&P 15 for the same price. That's actually normal prices; my Coyote Carbine cost $1150 over 2 years ago. But a smaller gun store owner in the area wants $1800 for the same M&P 15. The Big retailer is also a law enforcement supplier; But these were in the civilian retail part of the store; The outfit is called "Orion Arms" and they have a website with a phone number if you are interested in seeing if they will sell and ship one to you. www.orionarmscorp.com
They had plenty of other makes and models I'm sure. I was there just two weeks ago.

mach1.3
April 2, 2013, 04:45 PM
I don't know very much about AR15s other than I like to shoot mine. I have a standard M4 Bushmaster which I purchased six years ago. I put a Nikon scope on it, have had the front sight removed and replaced the gas block. I also have a bipod/forend handle. It seems to shoot a variety of ammo well. I have it zeroed for 100 yards and have killed several pigs with it. I put only about 60-80 rounds down range every month or two. I'm happy but yet I don't shoot competitively. I probably have several thousand rounds for it---so I'm not looking to sell or trade it. As to the rate of twist???

meanmrmustard
April 2, 2013, 06:32 PM
Build it.

Find reputable, build worthy parts manufacturers and start hitting up the parts list.

Get it the way you want it, built by you, with the options you need.


Downside, no warranty.:(

YZ
April 3, 2013, 12:03 AM
Folks, I have never owned an AR, but when the current craziness dies down,I would like to pick one up. There seems to be many options, such as various twist rates, I guess for various projectile weights. And different uppers and lowers. What do I need to know to purchase an average quality ar for range, a little hunting, and the rare need for self defense? Thanks in advance for your help!
Shoulder it and check the balance. Some rifles are great otherwise but nose heavy. Pistons add some weight but keep the action cleaner. Don't fall for a "bull" barrel, you don't need it unless you plan to shoot from a rest. Buy your rifle bare as could be, you can add the barnacles later. Don't worry about the trigger, if it is mil-spec heavy, you can buy a drop-in DIY upgrade. Avoid paint jobs, they resell poorly.

B!ngo
April 3, 2013, 12:51 AM
One of the main things to consider when taking advice or opinions on ARs (and any other gear) is the experience of the person giving the recommendation. Many people will tell you I have X brand AR and it has been 100% reliable. That sounds well and good at first brush. However, it is a pretty meaningless statement. 100%, to use an extreme, example could mean they have fired 1 round and it went bang. I've often found that if I ask a few more questions, some of these folks are in fact referring to guns that they have merely fired a few hundred rounds from. Furthermore, these statements typically provide no context for the conditions of use. Even thousands of rounds tells us very little if they were slow fired round, maybe 25 or so in a range trip and a good cleaning and oiling between each trip. X brand may run like a top when subjected to such use. Screw a suppressor on it and run it through a three day 1500 round carbine course and the warts might start to show. Shoot a years worth of three gun and it might be a different story.

You may not intend to shoot suppressed, or shoot a couple thousand rounds in a weekend, or use the rifle for defense and that is fine. However, it is nice to know what a recommendation is based on. In my humble opinion someone shooting a few hundred rounds casually on a square range under ideal conditions says nothing about a gun.

A further problem is that many people simply don't have experience with a large enough sampling of guns to give very meaningful input. This is why I tend to value the opinions of those that see a lot of guns and a lot of rounds fired every year under varying conditions. These people include competitive shooters, carbine course instructors, and even some individuals that get out and shoot a lot. An example, Travis Haley at one point stated that he shoots around 100,000 rounds a year. In addition he probably teaches about ten open carbine courses a year (he likely does more training for others as well). These class tend to have 25-30 students I'd imagine based on my experience. They are typically 1200 round classes. That's about 36,000 rounds fired during the class by students. That's 360,000 rounds over ten classes taught. In sum, that is a guy who probably sees north of 500,000 rounds fired a year through hundred of different guns, in semi trying conditions, by lots of different people. He has been doing that for a lot of years now. That is an opinion that is slightly more informed and meaningful than, my brand x has been 100%. The same is true for guys like Pat Rogers, Larry Vickers, Costa, etc, etc. If you ask these guys they will tell you that some brands consistently fair better in terms of reliability and durability in their classes, particularly when guns have suppressors. Certain brands have earned their reputations. It really is not simply that folks want to spend more, or buy cool guy gear.

To my mind their is simply not enough price difference between well proven brands that do not cut corners in the manufacturing and assembly process and the others to worry about buying a lesser gun. Over the life time of a gun, what is a couple hundred dollars?

When you list defense as an intended role it will change what many people will consider an advisable gun. This is true of both brands and configurations.

As to my recommendations I agree with the above advice to do some reading at M4Carbine.net. There are many very knowledgeable posters. it can also give you some context for, and additional information about, the spreadsheet linked to above. Those things make it a more useful tool IMHO.

When I recommend guns to friends and family as well as buy for myself I stick to the following brands:

Noveske

BCM

LaRue

Colt

Daniel Defense

Not all of these offer the same "value" IMHO, but they are all pretty well proven guns. For a general use gun you are unlikely to regret buying a gun from any of them. You ask for an "average quality" gun. Their are so many makers of ARs it is hard to quantify what average quality is. However, to me it would be a basic mil spec gun. Some guns, for example offerings from LaRue and Noveske, are not mil spec but IMHO exceed mil spec guns in certain respects. To put it another way to me Mil spec is a floor for a defense gun. It is not a ceiling and it can and is exceeded by some makers in certain respects. Your average comments make me thing that something like a basic colt or BCM is probably more up your alley than a LaRue, KAC, or Noveske in terms of price. Which I pick among the listed brand really depends on, price, specific intended uses and preferences (for example if accuracy was my biggest concern with longer distance shooting being a main use I'd get a LaRue). These days I typically buy Noveskes.



I also have one PSA gun. Given the price ($600) it was too good to pass. I think PSA is a brand that is building a good reputation but is not as proven as some of the others. I will say given the very limited use, around 1K arounds in a few outings, I've put through the PSA I've been happy thus far. PSA is my recommendation when price is someones number one criteria. However, the price of PSA guns have been creeping upwards along with their blossoming reputation. They have of course had some hiccups but their response and correction of those teething problems seemed to be appropriate from what I saw.
Excellent advice. Well done.
FWIW, though I've been happy with my selection(s), I would have appreciated a note like this before I first bought an AR years back. Although sadly perhaps only one on your list makes a left-handed model, which is a priority for me.
The only thing I can add is a small tweak to an earlier post about the preferred 1:8 twist. I am convinced that it is the best balance between twist rates and bullet weight optimization. It is also a rare spec for current builds and shouldn't be a significant criteria for a first time buyer. 1:7, 1:9 will all seem the same near term.
B

Warp
April 3, 2013, 12:56 AM
Excellent advice. Well done.
FWIW, though I've been happy with my selection(s), I would have appreciated a note like this before I first bought an AR years back. Although sadly perhaps only one on your list makes a left-handed model, which is a priority for me.
The only thing I can add is a small tweak to an earlier post about the preferred 1:8 twist. I am convinced that it is the best balance between twist rates and bullet weight optimization. It is also a rare spec for current builds and shouldn't be a significant criteria for a first time buyer. 1:7, 1:9 will all seem the same near term.
B

Why 1/8 over 1/7?

Don't get a 1/9 if you want to make effective or optimal use of many of the premium/match grade/defensive rounds out there in the 75-77gr range

meanmrmustard
April 3, 2013, 07:56 AM
1/8 is a good compromise.

While I agree 1/7 stabilizes the heavier match and "deer killer" bullets, the 1/8 does too. It will also shoot lighter bullets more accurately due to not over spinning them. Not a huge deal for SD/HD though.

1/9 is OK, nothing really wrong other than larger groups with the heavy hitters, but it'll still spin pills in the mid to high 60s accurately. Plus, you can go sub 55 gr without recourse.

If you are like me, 1/8 is the way to go.

Warp
April 3, 2013, 11:45 AM
1/8 is a good compromise.

While I agree 1/7 stabilizes the heavier match and "deer killer" bullets, the 1/8 does too. It will also shoot lighter bullets more accurately due to not over spinning them. Not a huge deal for SD/HD though.

1/9 is OK, nothing really wrong other than larger groups with the heavy hitters, but it'll still spin pills in the mid to high 60s accurately. Plus, you can go sub 55 gr without recourse.

If you are like me, 1/8 is the way to go.

But the 1/7 is better for the 75-77gr bullets than the 1/8.

What lighter bullets do you have in mind when you suggest the 1/8 as a better choice than the 1/7?

Girodin
April 3, 2013, 03:37 PM
Warp, with all due respect I think you are putting it on just a little too thick about the 1:7 really being much better and a must have versus say a 1:8 for shooting heavy bullets. If I were going to go buy a seriously accurate out of the box AR-15, I would probably get a LaRue OBR. It comes with an accuracy guarantee. That guarantee is premised on shooting 77 grain federal match. The LaRue is a gun tailored for accuracy. People who shoot ARs for long range accuracy tend to shoot heavier bullets. Do you know what the twist rate is on the 5.56 LaRues? You guessed it. They are 1:8 guns.

One needs to also look at other factors in the guns set up and the intended use not just barrel twist. Barrel legnth makes difference in what twist will do what as well. Krieger, sells a barrel that is 1:7.7 twist and said to be optimal for shooting 77 grain SMKs. Krieger knows a thing or two about barrel making.

I don't have experience with it, but have heard that Lothar Walther's 1:8 barrels shoot the 69-77 range just fine too.

My point is simply that one shouldn't discount every gun for all uses simply because it is not a 1:7 twist. One could buy a 1:8 twist OBR or Predator and do just fine shooting 77 grain bullets. There are lots of setups where you wont see a dime's worth of difference shooting 77 grain bullets based simply one 1:8 vs 1:7.



The 1:8s should in theory let you shoot the real light varmint bullets as well. My guess is not many people really shoot the spectrum of say 40 grain bullets all the way to 77.

meanmrmustard
April 3, 2013, 06:20 PM
But the 1/7 is better for the 75-77gr bullets than the 1/8.

What lighter bullets do you have in mind when you suggest the 1/8 as a better choice than the 1/7?
Meh, groups just as well, so I can't agree that the 1/7 is better per se. 1/8 lends itself to being the jack of all trades. It covers a good array of weights, like those you listed, and shoots them well.

As for lighter weight, sub 55s were what I thought I'd said. I've observed tighter groups with 53 gr out of 1/8 than the 1/7, but neither as good as 1/9 for lighter pills. Mind you, these are my yote loads.

Matt Dillon
April 7, 2013, 01:28 AM
Well, folks, I pulled the trigger on an AR. As much as I would have liked to have found one with a 1 in 7" barrel, due to price and availability, I settled for a Windham, with a 1 in 9" barrel. Now I need to accessorize it, and am looking for a quad rail, bipod, and have to figure out what sort of sight it will have eventually.
I am planning to first mount a 6x24 scope on it at first, to help me with load development as I figure out what will be my best loads for plinking and hunting. I. Guess I am limited to 55-69 grain bullets due to the twist rate.
Also, does anyone know if there is a barrel break in procedure for this weapon?

WinThePennant
April 7, 2013, 02:56 AM
Well, folks, I pulled the trigger on an AR. As much as I would have liked to have found one with a 1 in 7" barrel, due to price and availability, I settled for a Windham, with a 1 in 9" barrel. Now I need to accessorize it, and am looking for a quad rail, bipod, and have to figure out what sort of sight it will have eventually.
I am planning to first mount a 6x24 scope on it at first, to help me with load development as I figure out what will be my best loads for plinking and hunting. I. Guess I am limited to 55-69 grain bullets due to the twist rate.
Also, does anyone know if there is a barrel break in procedure for this weapon?
I am going to assume that this is a chrome lined barrel?

If it is chrome lined, then there is no break-in to be done. Just shoot the piss out of it.

If it is steel, then you'll need to break it in. There are a million Internet references on how to do this.

eastbank
April 7, 2013, 07:54 AM
here,s a chart to see what you get for your money, read and decide what you want. eastbank.

meanmrmustard
April 7, 2013, 11:27 AM
Well, folks, I pulled the trigger on an AR. As much as I would have liked to have found one with a 1 in 7" barrel, due to price and availability, I settled for a Windham, with a 1 in 9" barrel. Now I need to accessorize it, and am looking for a quad rail, bipod, and have to figure out what sort of sight it will have eventually.
I am planning to first mount a 6x24 scope on it at first, to help me with load development as I figure out what will be my best loads for plinking and hunting. I. Guess I am limited to 55-69 grain bullets due to the twist rate.
Also, does anyone know if there is a barrel break in procedure for this weapon?
Break in is snake oil. JSI.

Being "limited" to 55-69 grain is a bad thing? Plenty of good options there.

Remember, if this rifle is for hunting, you'll be packing it around. While some accessories are useful, beware that bolting useless crap to your rifle increases weight. Good luck with it!:D

Warp
April 7, 2013, 12:08 PM
Well, folks, I pulled the trigger on an AR. As much as I would have liked to have found one with a 1 in 7" barrel, due to price and availability, I settled for a Windham, with a 1 in 9" barrel. Now I need to accessorize it, and am looking for a quad rail, bipod, and have to figure out what sort of sight it will have eventually.
I am planning to first mount a 6x24 scope on it at first, to help me with load development as I figure out what will be my best loads for plinking and hunting. I. Guess I am limited to 55-69 grain bullets due to the twist rate.
Also, does anyone know if there is a barrel break in procedure for this weapon?

What uses will this rifle see?

There's no barrel break in procedure.

It's probably a good idea to get out and shoot it before deciding you have to add accessories.

Matt Dillon
April 7, 2013, 12:56 PM
Thanks again for all your comments. Yes the bore and chamber are chrome lined, so I guess there is no barrel break in process.
I don't plan on adding a bunch of accessories, but would like. Reasonably priced quad rail, and eventually a low magnification scope or magnified red dot, along with. Bipod. I would
Ike to get the quad rail and bipod installed before I start load development as I am sure they will affect barrel harmonics. By the way, are the fore grip/bipod combinations any good, or should I stick with a Harris bipod?

Potatohead
April 7, 2013, 01:23 PM
i made the mistake of getting one with a fixed carry handle. if i had it to do over again i would get one with a detachable handle, or no handle at all. any optic has to be mounted on top of the handle now

Warp
April 7, 2013, 02:30 PM
Thanks again for all your comments. Yes the bore and chamber are chrome lined, so I guess there is no barrel break in process.
I don't plan on adding a bunch of accessories, but would like. Reasonably priced quad rail, and eventually a low magnification scope or magnified red dot, along with. Bipod. I would
Ike to get the quad rail and bipod installed before I start load development as I am sure they will affect barrel harmonics. By the way, are the fore grip/bipod combinations any good, or should I stick with a Harris bipod?

Why not just get a rail/handguard that is free floating?

YZ
April 7, 2013, 04:06 PM
Thanks again for all your comments. Yes the bore and chamber are chrome lined, so I guess there is no barrel break in process.
I don't plan on adding a bunch of accessories, but would like. Reasonably priced quad rail, and eventually a low magnification scope or magnified red dot, along with. Bipod. I would
Ike to get the quad rail and bipod installed before I start load development as I am sure they will affect barrel harmonics. By the way, are the fore grip/bipod combinations any good, or should I stick with a Harris bipod?
Matt
I probably missed your intent to make it a benchrest shooter. My priorities are different, so if that's your gig, make the barrel long and the forend heavy so no harmonics will interfere. A heavy muzzle break also. I have found over the years, an all around AR is a hard compromise. You will be happier with a clear goal in mind.

Matt Dillon
April 7, 2013, 07:14 PM
Regarding free floating, I am not sure how to do hat with this platform. I think a free floating hand guard with a bottom rail would work well. I don't need to hang lights/lasers off of every nook and cranny. To be honest with you, I am still exploring the possibilities with regard to accessories. Thanks for the suggestions!

Girodin
April 7, 2013, 07:30 PM
Break in is snake oil. JSI.

You should go tell Todd Hodnett that. Better yet, start your own company and take away accuracy firsts market share. You can then have some of the most elite shooters in the world come to you since Hodnett doesn't know what he is talking about. Is Hodnett a snake oil salesman? Or does he just know less than you?

His break in is of course of match barrels and not the chrome lined Windham being discussed now.

M1key
April 7, 2013, 09:15 PM
Gayle McMillan built some good shooters. I owned one. He laughed at "pre-shooting" or breaking-in barrels, especially high-dollar match quality ones. He even went so far as to void warranties on his barrels if any type of bore compound was used.

His argument was that if a "match" barrel needed breaking in or lapping, the barrel maker failed to finish his job.

My instructions direct from Shilen for a new stainless match barrel? Shoot ten, clean, repeat. Done.

Barrel break-in for an AR? Nyet...just shoot it.

Good luck

M

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