$500-ish AR's available ?

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dekibg

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So, " I have a friend " ( ;)) who is thinking about getting his first AR.
Just for plinking and as a secondary SHTF rifle.
Seems that Ruger 556 and SW MP15 II are now both available just under $500.
I am not going to ask which one is better, based on previous posts it seems they are both of the very similar quality , just curious if there are other brands and models that you would consider, and that are in the same price range without sacrificing the quality.
Also, a "friend" is not in the hurry to buy one - should he wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas for even better deals ?
p.s. he is not interested in building his own rifle
 
I have a Del-Ton Sport and really like it. The only real difference between it and the other guns is that it has a pencil barrel, and that's a plus for me since I usually shoot offhand. $429 on Bud's, you would need to set aside maybe $30 for a rear sight though.

If you don't want iron sights, the DPMS Oracle is a cheap carbine that usually shoots well. It's $470 on Bud's, but I get flyers from my local Sportsman's Warehouse all the time selling it for $450.

Anyway, if those $500 Ruger and S&Ws you see right now are sale prices, I'd probably buy them, because that's pretty close to bottom dollar for those guns. If it's a "stable" retail price, you might as well wait a few weeks for Thanksgiving and see what happens.
 
I have 2 of the original M&P Sports. One has been mercilessly beat to crap as my truck gun here on the Ranch for the last 3 years. It sports a tough old Aimpoint Comp M2 bought well used. It lives in the crack between the passenger seat and the center console and is never cased and seldom cleaned. It is death on anything (fox, coyote, coon, feral dog - occasional pig) and the Aimpoint is minute of man to 200 yds. I also have the Colt LE6920s as a comparison.
With the M&Ps current price point and the S&W warranty they are a true bargain. You won't find many folks that rag on them.
 
If your "friend" doesn't want to build one, then buy an assembled one. I can't think of any I have seen major issues with, except ATI.

Also, buying an assembled lower and an assembled upper is not "building" and can save a few dollars.

Bear Creek is starting to get a good reputation around here, and they sell complete rifles. Like this: https://www.classicfirearms.com/ar-15-for-sale-m4-flat-top-bear-creek-ar15
I still buy PSA.

I would recommend that even if "they" buy an assembled rifle that "they" get the tools to disassemble and reassemble it (except maybe the pivot pin, bolt catch, and forward assist.) Then proceed to disassemble and reassemble it. Put some anti-seize on the barrel nut. Once "they" see how easy to take it apart and reassemble it, a built rifle is imminent. Also, it will point out the reason a warranty on an AR is kinda pointless. You can replace most of the parts on it for less than shipping the rifle if something breaks.
 
I think the Aero AC15 is the best of the budget options, but there is nothing wrong with the S&W or Ruger at that price range. You can save a few bucks and get the same features by buying a separate upper and lower from PSA and pinning them together. Definitely the salad days for AR15s right now
 
If your "friend" doesn't want to build one, then buy an assembled one. I can't think of any I have seen major issues with, except ATI.

Also, buying an assembled lower and an assembled upper is not "building" and can save a few dollars.

Bear Creek is starting to get a good reputation around here, and they sell complete rifles. Like this: https://www.classicfirearms.com/ar-15-for-sale-m4-flat-top-bear-creek-ar15
I still buy PSA.

I would recommend that even if "they" buy an assembled rifle that "they" get the tools to disassemble and reassemble it (except maybe the pivot pin, bolt catch, and forward assist.) Then proceed to disassemble and reassemble it. Put some anti-seize on the barrel nut. Once "they" see how easy to take it apart and reassemble it, a built rifle is imminent. Also, it will point out the reason a warranty on an AR is kinda pointless. You can replace most of the parts on it for less than shipping the rifle if something breaks.
thank you , Bear Creek seem like good rifles based on reviews , just few people complained about Bear Creek's customer service.
What do you guys think about putting a carry handle on any of these rifles?
If they come with rear sight, you need to remove it in order to put a carry handle ?
 
I agree that buying a complete lower and a complete upper assembly may well save a few bucks. Look into the additional cost of a BCG when you buy the upper. Some are included, many are not.

Yes, you'll have to remove the rear sight to install a carry handle. But it's sort of pointless to add a carry handle unless you A) like the look of a carry handle or B) prefer the carry handle sight (usually A2 style) to the included rear sight.
 
I have 3 friends/relatives with DPMS Oracle carbines. I have shot them all a good bit, and all of them worked perfectly out of the box and seem to be reasonably accurate. Two of them came without sights, something to consider when purchasing.

For myself I put a PSA mid-length complete upper on an Anderson lower that I assembled, came out to about $550 with rear sight. This was before the recent price drops, the carbine I am putting together with similar parts for my daughter looks to be coming in around $450 when all is said and done.

I have no experience with the S&W rifles, and limited experience with Del-Ton so I'm not able to comment on them.
 
dekibg wrote:
...other brands and models that you would consider, and that are in the same price range...

What makes both the S&W and Ruger stand out is not simply the price, but also the fact both have comprehensive warranties backed by excellent customer service organizations.
 
dekibg wrote:
What do you guys think about putting a carry handle on any of these rifles?

One of the first things my older son did when he got his S&W Sport II was to remove the MagPul rear sight and put a carrying handled on in its place with an A2 rear sight.

If they come with rear sight, you need to remove it in order to put a carry handle ?

Yes. But it is a simple matter of removing a screw to take off the rear sight and the add-on carrying handle uses two thumb screws to attach it. Removal of the rear sight and adding in the carrying handle can be done in a matter of minutes. In fact, I spent more time looking for the screw - which I dropped after I had taken the rear sight off - than I did removing the rear sight and installing the carry handle. If you don't like the carry handle, going back is as easy as installing it in the first place.
 
One of the first things my older son did when he got his S&W Sport II was to remove the MagPul rear sight and put a carrying handled on in its place with an A2 rear sight.



Yes. But it is a simple matter of removing a screw to take off the rear sight and the add-on carrying handle uses two thumb screws to attach it. Removal of the rear sight and adding in the carrying handle can be done in a matter of minutes. In fact, I spent more time looking for the screw - which I dropped after I had taken the rear sight off - than I did removing the rear sight and installing the carry handle. If you don't like the carry handle, going back is as easy as installing it in the first place.
can someone please school me on how to select a proper carry handle with a rear sight ?
apparently if your front sight has mark "F" you need to select a taller carry handle with sight, how do I know which one to buy ?
 
The short of it is that "F" marked FSB (front sight base) are designed to be used with flat top upper receivers. Non "F" marked are designed to work with fixed "carry handle" A1/A2 upper receivers. Removable "cary handle" rear sights are designed to work with the "F" marked FSB. In other words, if you have a flat top upper receiver, you have the correct height FSB, and whatever rear aperture sight you get will work unless you get a specialized low profile sight.
 
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thank you so much for all the answers.
may I ask 3 more questions :
-what do you think in general about AR-15's in 7.62x39 ?
Since "the friend" already owns AK, having only one rifle caliber would make logistics simpler.
The big turn off are those ugly "Frankenstein "magazines...
-How much are the uppers in 22LR ?
-Would they work on any lower, even on 7.62x39 ones ?
 
Quite a bit to unpack there.

I don't have a 7.62x39 AR so all I can do are state facts and let you use it as a jumping-off point.

The case head of the 7.62x39 is significantly larger diameter than that of a 5.56x45 cartridge. A significant amount of material is sacrificed from the locking lugs to accommodate the larger case head. The x39 has a significantly more tapered case than the x45 and the x39 is better adapted to a curved magazine. The AR15's straight magazine well limits the curvature of magazines. There are innovations to the AR design that are adapted and dedicated specifically for the x39 such as the LAR-47, CMMG Mutant and PSA KS-47. If you get a proprietary 7.62x39 platform it won't work with any of the .22LR conversions.

While you can get dedicated 22LR uppers, it's more economical to get an M&P 15-22 or similar dedicated 22LR AR "style" carbine. Alternatively you can get a 22LR camber adapter and bolt carrier kit assuming you have a .223 / 5.56x45 upper receiver.
 
thank you so much for all the answers.
may I ask 3 more questions :
-what do you think in general about AR-15's in 7.62x39 ?
Since "the friend" already owns AK, having only one rifle caliber would make logistics simpler.
The big turn off are those ugly "Frankenstein "magazines...
-How much are the uppers in 22LR ?
-Would they work on any lower, even on 7.62x39 ones ?

1. As ColoradoMinuteMan mentioned, the x39 is an awkward fit in the AR for engineering reasons. I've never shot one and can't testify how well they run, but with the weird half-straight half-curved magazines, I wouldn't be surprised if they jammed a bunch.

2. I've never gone shopping for a 22lr upper, but I've seen conversion kits in ads for about $200. I'm not sure if you can use the same barrel as your 223. If so, that would save a lot of money (and I'd probably have to buy one...).

3. 7.62x39 ARs come in two types: one where they keep a standard 223 lower and you have to use those half-curved x39 magazines, or one where they take out the whole front half of the lower so you can use the rock-in AK banana clips. The first type will accept a 22LR conversion kit just fine. The second type will feed more reliably, because you are using magazines built the right way for the x39, but it will prevent you from switching in any other AR upper.
 
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seems that 7.62 AR's are not worth the hassle. There are those "Mutant" rifles that look much better, but they are more expensive.
Probably better to stick with 5.56 AR.
Thank you Colorado MinuteMan and Mossin Bubba
 
I bought the Ruger. Nice little rifle but horrendous trigger pull. New to ar's myself, I don' know if this is common. I know it's easily remedied. Still well worh the price of admission, imho.
 
So, " I have a friend " ( ;)) who is thinking about getting his first AR.
Just for plinking and as a secondary SHTF rifle.

PSA is very dependable and have some great sales (change regularly so pays to watch for your interests). I've used two of their uppers and they both shoot great! Well under moa.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/ar-15-05/pa-15-rifles.html

That'll keep you occupied over the holidays! :)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Regards,
hps
 
I would go with the Smith. I can't really endorse either one, but I find that S&W is a much more reputable company than Ruger, and I was rather impressed with my gen 1 M&P sport back when I still had it. Or you could spend an extra 200 bucks and go with an LE6920...

Which, in addition to being chrome lined and the whole nine yards, comes with two Colt mags, cleaning kit, etc...

And has a higher resale value...

And the shipping/FFL fees will account for a smaller percentage of the total cost, making it the better value...

Just sayin'...:evil:
 
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