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16 y/o with an AR15?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ehanger, Nov 12, 2010.

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  1. ehanger

    ehanger Member

    I'm 16 and my parents recently said that they'd let me get my first gun. I shot my first when I was 12 which was a .22 at boyscout camp and also got the rifle merit badge. Later when I was 13 my dad took me to a shooting range a few times where we rented an AR15 and I loved it.

    I would much rather buy an AR than a .22 but my parents (who know very little about guns) want to make sure it is okay for someone my age to own one. It wouldn't legally be mine and we have agreed that whatever gun I got would be stored at my grandparent's house close by. To finance this hobby I have saved up about $1100 of my own money and I could work for more if I needed to.

    So is an AR15 much worse than a .22? My dad is the one most opposed to this believe it or not, but all he would need to do is get "expert" opinion and he might be more open to an AR.

    Also how reasonable does this look for first time expenses? Nobody I know has ever bought a gun so I don't know how much everything would cost. I was talking to a guy at our local gun store and he said that any AR under 900 was junk and that the decent ones started at around $1000. From my research on the internet it seems like he is full of BS but I'm not sure.

    -Bushmaster AR15 A3 - $850
    -250 rds of federal 5.56 NATO -$75
    -shipping/FFL fees/taxes - $60
    -Cleaning kit? -$0-30

    Total: $985-1015

    I was also thinking of picking up a Mosin Nagant as I've heard they can be found for $100. Are the ones that cheap any good?
  2. rayman

    rayman Well-Known Member

    Wait 2 more years and you can get one for free from Uncle Sam via the Armed Forces
  3. rayman

    rayman Well-Known Member

    A fully automatic M16 issued to you...
  4. Prion

    Prion Well-Known Member

    I think spending a grand or more from a reputable maker will net you a very nice AR.

    A decent one can surely be had for less. I do believe it is worth it to save enough for something like a Daniel Defense that can be had for just over a grand from Budsgunshop.com or Aim.

    You are young, you may own this rifle for quite sometime. Spend the money on quality.

    As long as you aren't shooting the gun unsupervised I think it would be fine. Just remember that legally it's not yours until your 18 and have ownership transfered to you.
  5. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    Worse in what way? Is it more expensive? Yes. Does the ammunition cost more? Yes. Does it recoil more? Slightly. Is it going to break your shoulder? No.

    Also, 250 rounds is one range session for me. :) You may want to factor in more ammunition for purchase, as 250 rounds will go quick. Also, you should invest in some spare magazines, though they're cheap (~$10-$15 per).
  6. Six

    Six Well-Known Member

    Legally a rifle is a rifle, no difference between a .22 and a 30-06.

    But consider an AR-15 with a .22 conversion.

    If your parents aren't comfortable with you owning a "real" rifle, they could store the .223 parts in a secure location, and you can shoot .22lr.

    Which honestly, you may want to do anyway to keep the cost reasonable.

    I'm also opposed to the "buy quality the first time round" mindset. I don't think that without hands on experience you know enough to know what you want. Personally, I prefer to buy cheap at first, knowing that I will upgrade later when I figure out for myself what features I like.
  7. 6actual

    6actual Member

    Quote;[So is an AR15 much worse than a .22? ]
    If you dont know the difference between .223 and .22, I'd go out on a limb and say no, your not ready. How about a S&W M&P 1522? Looks like an AR but in .22 cal.
  8. jdowney

    jdowney Well-Known Member

    Some states allow possession (not ownership) by a minor, roughly 16 and over, who is clearly engaged in hunting, range shooting, being instructed in same, or traveling to and from such activities. This will vary state to state, and I've little doubt some states forbid minor possession entirely. Should be easy enough to research though.

    An AR15 is not "worse" than a .22 in any way really. I'll guess from the context that the question is "is it more scary looking to Dad who's lukewarm on this whole idea to begin with", and in that case I'd say yes it is. If that's going to be a major hurdle, I'd suggest a nice 10/22 or similar, save the extra cash for ammo, mags, cars, insurance for cars, repairs for cars, etc, etc...
  9. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    I don't see a problem. My son started shooting at eight, and when he was 16, I could trust him to take any of my guns, handguns included, out to the range by himself.

    The only thing I see is the cost of ammo. At around .40 per pop, ammo funds dry up quickly. That's why a .22 should be in your plans, whether as a first purchase or not. I'm 61 years old, with three kids and nine grandkids, and I still have more fun plinking with a .22 than anything else (well, with the possible exception of breaking clays with a shotgun).
  10. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

    i have a bushmaster (2 actually) and they are very nice, 7-8k rounds each, never so much as a hiccup, and legit sub moa accuracy.

    that being said, if i were 16 again, and had 1100 bux to drop on a rifle, i would probably go the bargain bin cmmg route. 600 dollars for a fun reliable rifle leaves me a lot more room for goodies, and pretty good recovery should i decide to abort and try something else if the ar is not my thing.

    i ran an ar15 tournament and the cmmg bargain rifles were all coming in high in the points (including winning the iron sight division....not bad for a 600 dollar ar15)

    p.s. it should be noted that ive never owned a cmmg, only colts and bushmasters, but everyone that has them seems to love them.
  11. icebones

    icebones Well-Known Member

    Well, think about telling him this:
    Hundreds if not thousands of young boys not much older than you, sign up for the military, many of who have never touched a firearm in their life, they learn how to use and maintain an M16 rifle every day. And they do so very proficently, some better than others, but all learn. The AR is a very simple weapon. Believe me, the AR is a very good choice, but you have to absolutely understand, the AR is a huge step above any .22 rifle. It is much more powerful, much louder, and its rounds can travel miles father than a .22 if accidently fired. I know you would hate to hear it, but me, as a complete stranger would still reccomend a .22 rifle. But many companies produce .22 conversion kits for AR rifles. Heres what I would recomend for you:

    -Purchase (or have an parent, as you are still underage) a good quality AR rifle that you like and fits your body size. Many stock AR's go in the 500-800 dollar range. This leaves you money to play with.

    -Purchase a .22 conversion kit for an AR. For example look at .22lrconversions.com. A .22 conversion kit will allow you to get accustomed to how the new rifle feels and handles, all while being cheaper and easier to shoot. i.e. Less noise and shorter range=safer for someone somewhat new to shooting. Most cost a few hundred bucks. Maybe someone else can recomend a goot .22 conversion kit.

    -Once you feel comfortable with your new rifle, pop in the .223/5.56mm bolt and mag, and fire the rifle. It will be much louder, more muzzle blast, and a much more powerful and longer range round. So make shure you have a safe area to shoot with a backstop capable of stopping these more powerful rounds.

    -Be safe. be responsable, and have fun. Best of wishes to ya.
  12. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

    i dont think there will be a problem stepping up if standard safety measures and habits that are taught with any firearm are maintained with this one.
  13. icebones

    icebones Well-Known Member

    Thumbs up on the S&W M&P 1522 also, looks simmilar and handles simmilar to a AR15, but shoots .22lr ammo only.
  14. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    I don't understand. If someone has been a .38 special shooter all their life, but asks how .357 compares, does that mean that they're not ready?

    He's obviously shot before, and as has been stated, .223 is not a punishing caliber. I think he can deal with it.

    To the OP - I'm not an AR specialist, but I think you're on the right track. And good on you for saving your own money and being responsible for the purchase on your own. That shows character, and discipline. In fact, you sound like a kid who might be interested in building your own AR from a parts kit. Might take awhile, but I've heard it's an interesting experience, and you can take pride in saying "I built this myself".

    Either way, good luck and don't forget to post pics!
  15. DasFriek

    DasFriek Well-Known Member

    I don't delve into AR rifle world enough to give you opinions on the gun.
    But i can say you sound pretty mature, Have a plan so nothing stupid will happen, And saved the money yourself. I hope your parents see you should be able to make a rational decision that hopefully they can come to agree with.

    My father bought me a .22lr at age 7 so i know a young kid can be safe if taught properly.
    Ill admit one reason i don't own a centerfire semi-auto rifle is the cost of ammo. On a person your age it wont be cheap to shoot that gun. As stated a good .22lr conversion will add hours of fun at a low cost. And still shoot .223 or 5.56 when you can.

    You never mentioned but do you have a place to safely shoot .22lr or .223?
    Unless you have a place for free range time can be expensive.

    If worst come to worst and they just don't agree the AR is appropriate for you at this time, Find a good .22lr and enjoy it and don't be bitter. Its still small small step forward to your AR. BTW research those as not all are made equal.

    What ever happens i wish you luck and your parents should be happy to have a kid who can save that kind of money as im 40 and cant even do that.
    Also no matter what you get it will be a large learning experience as even the tiny .22lr has many aspects you could never imagine. But the AR world is Barbie time for grown up men.
  16. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Well-Known Member

    If your dad thinks your responsible enough to own a .22 then i'd say theres no difference. A gun is a gun and you can be just as stupid with a 22 as you can an ar. I'd would advise you to do your research into different models and such.
  17. i was 14 when my dad bought me my first iron--more power to ya! :)

    i don't think being sent to a warzone is a good trade off for a free rifle you don't own :eek:
  18. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    First off, ehanger, congratulations on having saved your earnings - that shows maturity.

    We don't know what you want a rifle for - plinking? blasting? informal target shooting? if for real competitions, what kind? You might want to give your real purpose some thought before you buy that first rifle.

    Regardless of your purpose, I'll guess that you probably want an 'accurate' rifle. Thing is that most rifles are accurate...but not all shooters are.

    It takes most of us a lot of training and shooting before we can repeatedly hit whatever while standing on our hind legs. Of the dozen really good centerfire riflemen I know, most still practice regularly with their .22LR scoped rifles. By regularly, I mean thousands of rounds per year.

    So then, 250rds of 5.56 is $75 in your neck of the woods...
    Now look up the price of bulk Winchester .22LR

    ehanger, if you really want to become a rifleman on a kid's budget, you'll see that a good .22LR is the real ticket. I'd suggest a Ruger 10-22 (if you have enough $ saved, look at Anschutz or CZ bolt rifles) but in deference to your age, mebbe a cool looking quality AR in .22LR.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  19. ehanger

    ehanger Member

    Sorry I wasn't clear on the "Is an AR15 much worse than a .22". I know the difference between .223rem and .22LR and also that there are .22 kits you can buy. What I meant was that my parents who have never owned a firearm don't know the difference between a ruger 10/22 and a .223rem AR15, other than the aesthetics.
  20. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    If they don't know the difference, then how could one be "worse" than the other, in their eyes?
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