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I might buy my first AR-15, looking for a sanity check

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Corn-Picker, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Well-Known Member

    I don't own any semi-auto rifles, but have been kicking around the idea of buying an AR-15. I want this rifle for fun at the range (out to 300 yards), varmint/coyote shooting, and HD (though I chose to live in a low crime area so this is a small small possibility in my mind).

    I'm leaning towards the Rock River Arms ATH carbine: https://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=526

    I considered building my own, but the RRA is configured exactly how I would build one; with accuracy as the top priority (3/4 MOA gaurantee), a two stage trigger, a winter trigger guard, a short LOP stock, and a small amount of railing for a few accessories. Buying would require less effort/tools, and would provide a warranty and someone to complain to if something breaks.

    So, what I'm wondering is:

    Any reason to consider building when I can buy exactly what I want?

    Would there be another AR manufacturer to consider given my priorities for use (I'm not kicking down doors and shooting at people so I don't care if everything is milspec)?

    I would like to switch between a high power scope and an RDS. Will Picatinny scope mounts normally return a scope to zero if I take the scope off and reinstall it?

    What would a fair price be for an RRA at an LGS, i.e. 90% of MSRP?

    Thank you all.
  2. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Well-Known Member

    If you can find exactly what you want, there's no reason to build in my opinion. The greatest advantage to building is being able to select the exact parts you want, which is a moot point in this case.

    A normal mount might get you somewhat close, but I would be very surprised of it would actually hold zero. You'll need to look into a QD mount specifically designed to return an optic to zero.
  3. justin22885

    justin22885 member

    youre never going to buy exactly what you want because once you buy what you think you want you will find something else you want instead, a new grip, a new stock, different muzzle device.. i build my own AKs so i can configure it EXACTLY how i want, doing this with an AR-15 is a heck of a lot easier
  4. MaterDei

    MaterDei Well-Known Member

    I respectfully disagree with justin. I have 3 ARs. The first one I built, the other two I bought either whole or as upper and lower receivers and in neither case have I had any interest in changing anything on them other than adding optics and slings. I do have other guns I like to tinker with, just not my ARs.

    Some people like to tinker a lot with their firearms but some don't.

    I wouldn't count on a high power scope remaining zeroed but it should be close.

    With regard to $$$. This rifle seems to be hard to find online in stock. When they are in stock they seem to sell for about $1200. If they are hard to come by you probably won't find a large discount at your LGS.

    Good luck.
  5. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    If you can find a factory built AR configured exactly the way you want, that's great.

    I've sure never seen one myself, though! :D

    Which is why I build...
  6. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    The build is the best part of AR ownership, in my opinion. When I build, I know my barrel nut is torqued to spec, my gas block is Rocksett, my handguard is mounted correctly, etc, etc. I can find something wrong with almost every factory rifle. If my home built rifle doesnt work, I have no one to blame but myself.
  7. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    If you use it as an HD rifle, you may be betting your life or the lives of other on it...so I would consider quality, reliability, etc, a high priority.

    I have a LaRue quick release scope mount with a 1-4x scope in it. To me and my modest shooting, it holds zero when I take it off and put it back on, as advertised.
  8. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that when you buy a complete rifle there is an 11% excise tax on the whole gun built into the price. If the rifle costs $1200, then $132 of that is just tax. You are really only getting $1068 worth of gun. If you buy a stripped lower for $100 you are only paying $11 in tax. Order everything else straight to your door, assemble it, and save some money.
  9. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    This is true and is one of the benefits of assembling yourself...which is very easy to do if you base it around a complete upper, or complete upper sans handguard/rail/BCG/sight.

    That damn FET
  10. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Well-Known Member

    Rock Rivers are great. I have the Entry Tactical and it has served me well. The RRA two-stage trigger is superb. Much crisper and cleaner than a one-stage military spec trigger.
  11. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    Use the look of that rifle for a basis and build your own for less than what it would cost to buy the RRA. Unless you can find a really good deal on that exact model. With the prices of components at all time lows now is a great time to build and save real money.
  12. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Well-Known Member

  13. mf-dif

    mf-dif Well-Known Member

    It depends if you're the type of person who enjoys making things or finding out how something works. Did you take apart all your toys as a kid? If so build it...you will enjoy the process. If you like to skip all the wait and get to the end product buy.
  14. Blade First

    Blade First Well-Known Member

    "Any reason to consider building when I can buy exactly what I want?"

    What better reason to build could there be?

    You'll save a substantial amount of money, reduce the amount of dollars going to Washington, and will, forever, know exactly how an AR is built and works.

    Start with a quality stripped lower and lower parts kit, and move on to a buffer tube assembly and stock of your choice.

    Then do lots of research on *exactly* what sort of upper you want for the primary purpose for your carbine/rifle. But don't let the anticipation of the upper interfere with building your lower.
  15. bullzeye8

    bullzeye8 Well-Known Member

    For the money I think RRA is the best choice for an AR. They have superior triggers and accuracy to all the others at that price range and mine so far has had zero reliability issues and shoots great. My LGS is also big on them and highly recommends them.
  16. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    How many rounds? What price range?
  17. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    I will make my case for a carbine that meets or exceeds the M4 TDP, but not until I get home.

    I realize I will be arguing my case to no avail, to a bunch of shooters who don't share the same views or have the same experiences...but I'm going to do it anyway.
  18. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Well-Known Member

    The TDP should be a functional baseline that all AR's should meet. Unfortunately a lot of the budget AR's and parts on the market cut corners in materials/specs/coatings/tests to try and meet a price point. Interested to hear your thoughts.
  19. HGM22

    HGM22 Well-Known Member

    Coal Dragger please do, my fingers are sore.
  20. justice06rr

    justice06rr Well-Known Member

    He is probably referring to a Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, etc.

    At the price range that the OP is looking at, he is within the range of those quality milspec rifles. I would actually lean towards those instead of the RRA, unless he wants the "3/4moa guarantee" from RRA (whatever that means).

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