I want an AR, but don't know where to start


August 26, 2004, 12:38 AM
Hi all... I've been eyeing AR's for sometime and the thread with all the nice pics piqued my interest. I like the look of the AR47 in posted in that thread but heck, I don't know anything yet... Any suggestions, any good websites where I can get some good info? And any advice would be much appreciated!


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August 26, 2004, 12:48 AM
I've had two Bushmasters and I can say that I've been happy with both of them. I found the workmanship to be excellent, and neither have ever jammed or had any malfunctions. The price is not as high as a Colt, and they offer many more variations than most other companies that I have noticed.

That being said in all reality you can't really go wrong with any of the major brands. I personally prefer to stay away from Colt since it's more difficult to use other brand uppers on their lower. But Bushmaster, Rock River, DPMS, and even Olympic are all good platforms. It's kinda hard to screw up a rifle that's been around for 40 years too badly.

August 26, 2004, 12:50 AM
Cool, that helps, just knowing some names of some manufacturers... I knew of Bushmaster and Colt but not the others until tonight... Just found Atlantic Firearms website and looks like they sell a lot of Olympic's... Thanks for the info!


August 26, 2004, 01:23 AM
Currently the best brands are Colt, Rock River Arms, Bushmaster. Just my humble thoughts. www.AR15.com has some great info.

August 26, 2004, 11:33 AM
Do you want to purchase one fully assembled, or build your own? You can go half-way, too, and purchase an assembled lower receiver. Then you just pick out a stock and upper you like, and attach them.

eaglefirearms.net has great prices on Stag lower receivers. Great quality lowers are a great price. LMT, Bushmaster, and Colt are all names to keep in mind when looking for uppers.

August 26, 2004, 11:55 AM
A good place to start would be a Bushmaster 16in flat top---with detachable carry handle included-----that way you can use the iron sights or mount a scope if you want.

If you want a complete rifle---I would wait for a "no-ban" weapon-----otherwise buy your upper and lower separately now---and get the features you want----well, that most want.

And go over to AR15.com----more info there than you can ever absorb.

August 26, 2004, 01:00 PM
I have infected several of my friends with the ARF bug and have given them all the same advice. If you are getting into Ars from a collector standpoint then go with Colt. If you are looking for Fun then get any of the Bushmaster, RRA, DPMS and many more, since the parts are easily interchanged.

I have to warn you these things are addictive. One turns into two and two turns into three and so on and so forth.....:D

Forgot to add, Ditto on the flat top.


August 26, 2004, 01:11 PM
www.ar15.com is the massive AR site about anything AR.

Bushmaster, Colt, Rock River Arms, DPMS in that order in my preference.

A2: fixed carrying handle, what you see grunts carry.
A3 or A4: Flattop design, what you see lucky grunts carry. Allows attachment of scopes, optics, etc.

I prefer the 16.5" length for ease of handling in close quarters, both are more than accurate enough out to 200-300 meters. The 20" is a bit more accurate for way out there, but it's a pain up close.

August 26, 2004, 01:32 PM
I only recently got into AR's myself. I was looking for an AR-10, so this "pearl of wisdom" may not be applicable to the '15's--in fact, most of what I've read seems to coincide with what's listed in this thread--Bushmaster, Colt, RR, and DPMS seem to be the "approved" OEM's for 15's--though real "purists" lean heavily toward Bushmasters and Colts.

Nobody's mentioned Armalite; the bulk of my research for an AR-10 found most people recommended Armalites, Bushmasters, and Colts as the BIG 3 for AR platforms. Maybe that list is dated now?

August 26, 2004, 01:45 PM
I either own, or have owned, Colt, Bushmaster, Armalite, and Olympic Arms. Of these, the only one that had any issues at all, though really minor, was the Bushmaster. On it, the mag well was a little tight and the finish of the barrel/sight assembly didn't match the receiver (told you it was minor). In all, I would be happy with any of the four makes I have had personal experience with.

The one differentiating factor with Colts is that they will hold their value a little better than the others.

August 26, 2004, 01:52 PM
Check out this site. Has a bunch of excellent info on AR's. Click on the different catagories on the left hand side of the page to get to some really good info. http://groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShooterSite


August 27, 2004, 12:11 AM
Dang, you all have helped a ton... I've got a lot to research now... Thanks! That AR15 site is freaking huge! I like it!

As for building one, not knowing much about them yet, that seems like a daunting task, but if there are directions I'm sure I could follow them. :D Also, does building one make it over-all easier on the wallet?


El Rojo
August 27, 2004, 01:23 AM
I believe building one makes it easier on the wallet. The nice thing about that is building it will require only minimal assembly skills. I built my PRK legal FAB-10 and I am not a gunsmith by any means. I am going to outline my process as I think it served me well.

1. Buy a complete upper from AR15.com Equipment Exchange. (http://www.ar15.com/forums/board.html?b=7)
I got a like new 20" Bushmaster V-Match fluted flattop upper with bolt/bolt carrier/charging handle (http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/uppers/pre-ban/burvmb20ah.asp) (commonly known as B/BC/CH) for $425 shipped to my door. As you can see from my Bushmaster link above, that upper is actually $625 plus shipping from Bushmaster. 20" Picture (http://home.bak.rr.com/elrojo14/pictures/fab10h.JPG)

2. Buy a lower receiver.
Now the lower receiver is the serial numbered part you are going to have to order from a FFL. I unfortunately live in the PRK (California) and had to order a FAB-10 lower (http://www.gogogadgets.net/) which cost me $323. You should be able to get a real lower that accepts detachable magaines for about $100 to $150. You might even be able to find a lower receiver complete with buttstock and the trigger parts for as low as $250 to $300.

3. Buy a buttstock.
Buttstock sets on the AR15.com Equipment Exchange can come pretty cheap. I would try to spend more than $55 shipped to your door for the buttstock, spring, buffer, buffer tube and other little parts.

4. Buy a lower parts set.
This should be no more than $55. I got mine from Rock River Arms (http://www.rockriverarms.com/).

5. Put it all together.
Here are the instructions (http://www.brianlane.com/old.ar15.com/docs/assembly/lower/) I used and I did not use any special tools. I found it rather easy to do, easier than I thought it was going to be.

6. Buy a new upper to add to your collection.
A few months after I bought my 20" varmint upper, I bought another upper off of the AR15.com Equipment Exchange. This time a Bushmaster 11.5"/5.5" A2 (carry handle) complete with B/BC/CH (http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/uppers/pre-ban/bura2b11555.asp) for $325 shipped to my door. 11.5/5.5 Picture. (http://home.bak.rr.com/elrojo14/pictures/cab10b.JPG) Again it is hardly used and shoots great. I have consistantly saved about $200 from buying from guys in the AR15.com Equipment Exchange. And the best thing is these uppers are not controlled and they can be shipped door to door all across the country!

As far as a recommendation on what to get. I would recomment a 20" A3 with detachable carry handle for now. Once you get that and have fun with it, then start working on a 16" flattop with optics and all of the other fun doo dads like verticle grips, flashlights, flip up back up sights, and collapsable stocks. If you want to skip the 20" stage, then get a 16". I like my 11.5" barrel carbine and 5.5" flash suppresor, but I wouldn't have minded getting a 16". I just wanted it and it was a great price so I didn't wait.

I hope this helped.

August 27, 2004, 01:26 AM

So you want an AR, but don't know where to start. Pay attention.

Take a deep breath. Relax. Seperate your desire for toys from your desire for guns. Buy a plastic M-16 that makes cool electronic noises and use it to shoot everything that piques your interest. "Real" AR's make a cool noise, that springy noise you hear everytime you fire it (unless your ears are naked). But "real" AR's make an expensive toy, and do you really want to spend all of that money to look like an overgrown kid with bad taste on the shooting range? No. Buy a real rifle, or just a fun carbine like the SKS, Ruger Mini, AK, or some other .223.

Ahhhhh. Don't you feel better now?

Jon Coppenbarger
August 27, 2004, 08:36 AM

August 27, 2004, 08:49 AM
Stag or Rock River (same shop makes them) COMPLETE lower from Eagle firearms: $192-$202

Buy any reputable upper and slap it together with two pins. Go shooting.

On a budget, you could get an upper kit from Model 1 sales for around $375 or so. Complete AR for <$600.

August 27, 2004, 08:57 AM
I started out with the evil black rifle, with a Bushmaster M4gery flat top.
Picked up a Rock River Varmint 20" Upper this year, also flat top, but have not scoped it yet. Like I did with the Bushy for the first 7 mths or so, I'm using irons for now. Some day I may save for the second lower, NM RRA.
My Bushmaster is top quality, and so is the RRA Upper.
Need more info?

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