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AR 15 style rifle advice

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by deadeye dick, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Have a bunch of revolvers and pistol's that i shoot regularly and reload for. I don't have any long guns now except for my scatter gun. I'm looking for a AR style piece for target shooting and plinking and mostly home defense. I already load for 9MM, 45ACP, 45 COLT, 357=38 SP.
    There are so many choices out there i don't know where to begin. I would like to choose for the calibers i load already but that's not written in stone. I'm looking in the price range of $1,000 Any input would be greatly appreciated. Howie
     
  2. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    pretty much any off the shelf AR in 5.56/.223 will do the trick.

    If you are a tinkerer you might piece the lower together yourself, but I recommend buying the upper.

    if you want a light (you mentioned defense) then just make sure the upper has a railed handguard of some kind (picatinny/MLOK).

    16" barrel is my recommendation.

    Early upgrades:
    Light (I use Streamlight)
    Optic (I like red dots for defense)
    trigger (I like two stage for defense)
     
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  3. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    So do you want an AR in a pistol caliber or one in a rifle caliber? You're kinda asking different questions for want you want to do.

    With an AR, you can have multiple uppers that can do different things such as plink or target shoot.
     
  4. two dog

    two dog Member

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    I have a PX-9 made by Palmeto State Armory. It’s an AR style receiver with a 4” barrel that shoots 9mm. They have different size barrels. It’s a lot of fun to shoot.
     

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  5. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    As stated in my post, it really doesn't matter. Any caliber is acceptable.
     
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    General AR's are 5.56mm/.223, but there are a LOT of variations even in the AR-15 sized receiver. I've always said I was going to build a 6.8SPC upper... but never do, 5.56mm factory ammos are just too cheap (well, they WERE, before the current nonsense.) For a first AR, I would likely stay away from pistol-cartridge AR's... they can be problem-prone, and proprietary.

    Simple and reliable... check out Palmetto State Armory. Simplicity is it's own reward... you don't have to put a thing on an AR for it to be serviceable and functional.
     
  7. uzimon

    uzimon Member

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    Pre cr6920 colts.
    Hold value. Great reliability
     
  8. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I think a first AR is best in 556/223 but that's just my opinion. Mainly for ammo availability though, so if you're going to handload maybe a different caliber makes more sense. I am generally of the opinion that a rifle profile weapon ought to be chambered in a rifle caliber, particularly if you're thinking about using it for home defense. I like PSA kits a lot because you can dial in the component quality where you want it and get the features you want, and save a bit of money. Plus you learn a bit about the rifle when you assemble it.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I have 4 AR's total, actually 5, but I gave one to my son. Two of mine are set up with 16" barrels and telescoping stocks with 1-4X scopes on them. Those are pretty specialized for HD use. The other 2 have 18" barrels and scopes with more magnification for plinking and target work.

    Most any of the $500- $1000 rifles are going to be pretty close as to quality and accuracy at similar price points. It comes down to what is available for you and what you can get the best deal on. As well as the features most important to you. Unless you know what you're doing I'd avoid the sub $500 guns. Some can be pretty decent, but I just feel better with the guns closer to $600-$800. You should be able to get something pretty decent under $1000.

    My favorite is the Ruger MPR. MPR stands for Multi Purpose Rifle and the one I'd keep if limited to just one. I paid $700 for it. And it is a pretty good compromise of all the qualities I like. Some will argue the 18" barrel is too long for HD, but I don't think 2" is that big of a deal. It is the most accurate of the ones I own and I just like the trigger and how the stock fits me.

    I currently have more scope on it than I'd prefer for an all around rifle. If it were my only AR I'd put a decent 1-6X or 1-8X scope on it instead of the 3.5-10X currently on it.

    Ruger® AR-556® MPR Autoloading Rifle Model 8514
     
  10. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    The following are going to be a couple of hundred bucks more than your budget, but they’re good choices because there’s a better chance than the bargain brands they won’t need troubleshooting-

    Current Colt 6920
    Sonics
    SOLGW

    That’s not to say Palmetto or S&W are junk, but they do need a couple of minor upgrades.
     
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  11. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    With AR's being as adaptable as Legos, the upper is by far the most important part. The lower should have a quality trigger and a rugged stock.

    Going from this, you can have an upper for plinking and trigger practice. Best for that would be a .22 LR and it still has the ability to take small game.

    Going up from there would be .223/556, can do all of the above and has bullets available for making it a match grade rifle.

    If you get into wildcat rounds, you can get some really powerful and accurate rounds that will work within the AR's magazine limits. There are people doing this all the time, this is proving that the AR platform is extremely versatile.

    It just comes down to how much money you want to spend. You might have to learn to reload to keep your ammo costs down.
     
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  12. Skeptic13

    Skeptic13 Member

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    To me you need to decide what caliber you want to shoot first. Your two main contenders are 9mm or 5.56/.223. Do you want to take on a new caliber? What distances do you want to be able to shoot? If you add a caliber are you going to reload for that one as well? There are a lot of good choices for both calibers in your price range. A quick google search will reveal probably a dozen choices for both calibers and more for the 5.56/.223. You will also have to decide if you are looking for a pistol with a brace, an SBR or a rifle length firearm. The research and understanding your goals will help you decide those questions. Good luck.
     
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  13. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    Wait for the release of Aero Precision’s EPC in .45 ACP, that will take care of the target/plinking/home defense. You can always get the 9mm version sincerely ammo is a bit cheaper.
     
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  14. wmgeorge
    • Contributing Member

    wmgeorge Contributing Member

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    Lots of good advice and I have bought and sold so many AR's from Colt to my new Anderson optics ready M4 that shot 1" groups at 25 yards even with a POS red dot installed. I paid $590 for at local Sportsmans Warehouse for the rifle with my military discount last week. I did order a good SIG red dot and will take out again. This is a SHTF defense rifle only and I stay with 5.56x45/223 because of ammo cost.
     
  15. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    My opinion as well, primarily for the reason that it's the most common caliber and so there are scads of different receivers, uppers, action parts and accessories and accessories and more accessories from which to choose. You might think that the selection is confusing, but only so at first, and the main thing is that regardless of selection you can get a functioning firearm running, and if there's something about your first choices you don't like or doesn't work well in the mix, you can easily and usually not too expensively change it out.
     
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  16. ih772

    ih772 Member

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    OP: You probably won't like the poor accuracy of most AR platform rifles in a pistol caliber. Most of them have a difficult time with shooting a small group beyond 50 yards.
     
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  17. MrBitey
    • Contributing Member

    MrBitey Contributing Member

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    I recommend this as well. I went down the same path as OP last year and bought a 9mm AR-style pistol. It didn't quite scratch the AR15 itch and I ended up buying a 16" rifle.
     
  18. wmgeorge
    • Contributing Member

    wmgeorge Contributing Member

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    If I wanted to carry a handgun it would be one of my 45 ACPs I can carry in my pocket or belt. See no reason for a AR style pistol.
     
  19. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I've grown to like mine, compact, maneuverable, reasonably accurate and in .300AAC treading on 7.62x39 ballistics. A 110 grain at 2150 FPS dwarfs any handgun round in my inventory. Noise level out of a 9.5" barrel with supers is about the same as a 16" AR15 in .223. It has a lot going for it in an HD role:

    m6ui4jWl.jpg


    To the OP..as the others have says, just about any 16" carbine from a reputable company will do the trick. Add an RDS for faster aiming, a sling for retention, and a white light for target ID, practice with it and call it "good".

    For my personal use a LPVO in the 1-6 or 1-8x range makes better sense as the odds are greater that I'll use it on a coyote. I use a LPVO on my 3gun AR and I find it just as fast as an RDS on the close TGTs while making the gun more versatile. .
     
  20. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    The AR is a 22 caliber platform. A case can be made that it should have always been a 30 caliber platform (as it was originally developed) but that’s irrelevant to your question.
    As you know, you can get it chambered in any of literally dozens of calibers. IMO, the AR is made in all these calibers, and pistol varieties, simply because they can be. If you get it in any caliber other than 223/5.56 you’re buying a niche product that probably has a better alternative. Especially the AR pistols.
    My recommendation is get a basic 5.56 and start from there keeping in mind there are so many choices and options it’s easy to create a monstrosity that’s difficult to use, unbalanced, unwieldy, unreliable and and stupidly expensive.
     
  21. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Honestly, I’d recommend a .22lr first. Spend a few hundred on a 10/22 clone to satisfy the plinking and get used to things before buying an AR. Optics can be transferred over and a .22 is always useful to have.

    If I were recommending an first AR, Aero upper that suits you coupled to a no-frills lower to keep the price right. You should be able to acquire both rifles and a capable RDS for under $1k
     
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  22. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Depending on how you feel about tinkering and "investing" into the AR platform, there are tons of options.

    If you want calibers you load for, there are good 9mm and 45 options. But honestly, I wouldn't get a pistol caliber AR for my first AR.

    Going 5.56 let's you work with the rifle with standard parts and operating systems.

    Going with odd calibers and gas/recoil systems adds a new level of tinkering. All my 5.56 (and 300blk) ran out of the box. My 450 and 6.5 Grendel did not. Haven't even tried a blowback one yet

    Generally, if you just want a no-fuss rifle, buy off the shelf and try it out. Right now, for a fair low to mid-level rifle, I recommend:
    -IWI Zion 15
    -Ruger MPR
    -SIG Tread
    -anything Aero

    There are plenty of others. A little higher end gets you into SOLGW, BCM, DD, Wilson, ZEV/Mega, etc. It seems Sionics, LMT, KAC are the cream of the crop but I have no experience with that high end of a rifle.

    Right now I would stay away from PSA as I've seen some quality control issues with the panics. No name brands and Bear Creek might be cheap, but I wouldn't recommend for your first and only AR. I keep the cheap stuff for toys and beaters.
     
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  23. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    The lower is as important as the upper. Having the right springs (action and hammer springs are critical) and the right buffer are important.

    What’s a quality trigger? You can get a good, consistent (and quality) trigger by taking a standard AR trigger and smooth it out with dry fire.

    I suggest getting an AR in 223/5.56 because if a problem does crop up, it’s the easiest to troubleshoot.
     
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  24. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    For the least "swimming upstream" going with a M4-like AR in 5.56 (16" barrel, adjustable stock, flat-top upper) will likely be the ticket. Would look a bit like this:
    coltLE69202013lg.jpg
    That would let you narrow down the choices a bit to fore-end versus rails and price versus availability.

    Get used to that rig, then decide if you want to go with free-float, "locking" formats, and the like.

    Start with the less-expensive 20 round mags, too; you can later let price/availability determine if you need/want 30s.

    Also, please note that price is not always the best indicator of what you are getting New-in-the-box. There's a substantial price point difference between, say, the S&W M&P and a Colt LE6920--ask which one is "better" and you'll get a flame war on near every forum you ask upon.

    Get used to what's in the box, first. Later you can decide if a c-note's worth of trigger is worth it to you (ok, probably is, but, that's just my 2¢). Decide you really need an M-loc freefloat fore end instead of carbine clamshells? That's maybe an hour's labor to swap and whatever the tube costs you. maybe you want a cheesegrater fore-end--about the same.

    Now, maybe, you'd like even faster 'gratification'--you can buy a whole upper in all sorts of configurations of forer ends, muzzle devices, the works. That will be around 2 to 3x the price, but it's the 60-70 seconds' it takes to pull the pins and make the swap.

    Now, if you get bitten by "the bug"--all bets are off. You will wind up with random magazine pins, bolt release gizmos, charging handles, and the like. It's Ok, we all have those [:)]
     
  25. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    With just some quick price checks:

    Aero M4E1 complete upper, 16” mid-gas, 15” Atlas S-One MLOC handguard $433.49

    Anderson complete lower w/stock $150, $250 for a complete Aero w/MOE stock.

    Spikes M-16 cut BCG $135

    Sig Romeo 5 RDS $145

    Savage 64F .22lr rifle $130

    Easy math, $994 for both, $1094 with the matched Aero lower. You’d be just outside budget adding a magazine and H2 buffer.
     
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