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Help/suggestions on next .223/5.56 purchase

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 7.62NATO, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. 7.62NATO

    7.62NATO Member

    This is my first post on THR. Hopefully it goes well.

    I currently own a SA M1A which is a great rifle but the ammo is a little expensive for plinking. I also have a Ruger 10/22 so no need for suggestions on purchasing a .22 caliber.

    What I'm really looking for is a .223/5.56 and my budget is between $1000 and $1500. I am considering an ar-15 (liking what I see from Rock River Arms) or the combination of a Mini 14 with the tactical adjustable stock (roughly $700) and a home defense shotgun (Mossberg 500 for example).

    I don't have much trigger time with an ar-15 and none with the mini 14 so I would like some opinions from people who do. Ergonomics, etc.

    Also maybe thinking about a Kel Tec SU-16C with the pistol grip upgrade ($700 total). I like the weight and that it uses M16 mags unlike the mini 14 but I am unsure about the quality.

    So please let me know of any suggestions or personal experiences with your favorite .223/5.56 rifle

    RRA Operator. http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=464
    Kel Tec SU-16. http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/rifles/su-16c-2/
    Ruger Mini-14. http://www.ruger.com/products/mini14TacticalRifle/models.html
  2. snake284

    snake284 Well-Known Member

    My favorite right now since Remington quit making the Model 788 about 20 some years ago, is a Stevens Model 200. I just bought one and it's the best value out there and I doubt you will find an AR that accurate out of the box or otherwise. And you can have one NIB for well under $400. I bought mine from Wally World for $347 tax and all. I put a Nikon Buckmaster Side Focus 6-18 x 40mm with BDC Reticle scope on it for 308.81 from buy.com on the internet. The mounts are Leupold brand Redfield style with dove tail front ring and windage screws on the back ring, which cost me right at $48. So I have right at close to $700 in the whole rig. You will spend a lot more for an AR and without a scope and it won't be near as accurate. Anyway, that's my .02 cents worth for what it's worth.
  3. docnyt

    docnyt Well-Known Member

    Yeah an AR would be the best starter 5.56 in terms of easy accessorizing, decent accuracy and interchangeability of multiple caliber uppers.

    I must admit I love my SIG 556 though.
  4. KW

    KW Well-Known Member

    In your price range, I'd look seriously at a Colt 6920, Bravo Company USA, or Daniel Defense.
  5. Krusty783

    Krusty783 Well-Known Member

    There are tons of accessories for ARs and they can be very accurate rifles. Lots of people have RRA and love them. I have a BCM (Bravo Co. USA) upper and a Spikes lower receiver.

    You can actually buy a complete upper receiver (barrel, bolt carrier group, etc.) and buy a complete lower receiver separately and save yourself some money. The two receivers pin together, so they don't require any sort of skill for assembly.

    A real plus for the AR platform is that if you want another caliber, you just have to pop the two takedown pins and attach another upper receiver group. At least .458 socom [~.45-70 ballistics] and 6.8 SPC [~.280 british] caliber uppers will work with .223 lower receivers. (.308 uppers will not because I think the mags are too long for the .223 magwell) And, the upper to lower receiver fit does not affect accuracy, so once you sight in your various upper receivers you can just switch them out and go.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  6. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    Don't know where you are, but some localities can "help" you make the decision. Lot's of info here on all these platforms. Kel-Tec seems to be hitting their marks for reliability and warranty support, may even leading the way? SU-16 is on my very short list for this year.
  7. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Well-Known Member

    I would definitely consider an AR15 before a keltec or mini 14. I also agree you can afford a quality brand like Colt, Bravo Company and DD. I would also add Spikes tactical which I think is the best bargain for a quality rifle.

    To save some cash you could buy a spikes lower and put a bravo company upper on it. I bought a Spikes lower and a Spikes upper separately and save $100 over the price on the Spikes website

    With an AR you have so many more possibilities to get the rifle you want by personalizing it the way you want with different barrel lengths, rails and add on's etc.
  8. bri

    bri Well-Known Member


    An alternative choice in the AR realm would be the offerings from Spikes. At around $800 for a mid-length, you could outfit with accessories, optics and a good amount of ammunition, with your price range.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  9. 7.62NATO

    7.62NATO Member

    Thank you all for the info/advice.

    I live in Missouri so I don't have a bunch of regulations to deal with. I will make sure I do my research and look at your suggestions. Has anyone owned a RRA though? I have done some research and from what I have read they have high standards on quality. one of the co-owners was the head armorer at SA for awhile. If you checked out the link I posted you can get their Operator2 series with "upgraded" pistol grip, buttstock and quad-rail handguard for around 1 grand. Looks like a pretty sweet deal to me. Let me know what you think.
  10. Double Vision

    Double Vision Well-Known Member

    If you're an M1A guy like myself you already know and love that Garand-type action.
    A Mini-14 or Mini-Thirty might fit your needs - I love shooting mine and the new ones are plenty accurate.
    I also have an AR-15 and can take it or leave it.
    FYI if you consider a -Thirty they are finicky about Russian steel ammo but do great with brass.

    Whatever you decide, good luck and have fun.
  11. Skyshot

    Skyshot Well-Known Member

    If you got a 1500 limit you could buy a mini ( I recomend the tacticle version) and build an AR which you can do for around 500 to 550 if you shop around. I've seen the new tac minis go for around $589.00. Heck if you play your cards right you might have enough left over the get a good used mossy shotgun.
  12. DrDragon

    DrDragon Active Member

    I love my Colt LE6920 and it's in your price range. Very high quality and reliable. My next will be a build, using, like many have suggested, a spike's lower and BCM upper. For the options I am wanting on it though, it will end up costing the same, if not more than my Colt, but it will be my primary that I beat up, the colt will be one I keep as a backup and put back into it's stock configuration i think. I am glad I didn't build one straight away and bought a stock weapon. Otherwise I wouldn't know exactly what I want on my future #2.
  13. Krusty783

    Krusty783 Well-Known Member

    FYI: I almost bought an RRA Operator, they have a reputation for good quality rifles. If you have a very itchy trigger finger, I would call them before you order because they sometimes have long wait times (~2 months).

    Also, if you don't have an FFL /gunshop that you work with, Spikes has a list of FFLs they have on file (www.spikestactical.com left side above "Products"). It's a good resource to help locating an FFL in your area. Some of the shops around me are grumpy about dealing with internet transfers from other dealers.

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