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AR noob needs help w/ basics to purchase - HD/SHTF and 3 gun?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by karz10, Nov 7, 2008.

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  1. karz10

    karz10 Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    NC SC somewhere between the mtns & ocean
    Hey all,

    Used this site a lot getting up to speed on handguns and shotguns. I shoot IDPA some, and like it. I aspire to shoot some 3 -gun at some point, although haven't known anyone around me to get into it yet.

    What w/ the election and all, and some other things going on in my life, I thought maybe I should speed up my purchase and subsequently my education on the AR topic.

    I will read some of the other threads about ARs, but feel free to drop some basic knowledge on me about things I should consider for a first AR.

    Some of the things I'm interested to know are:

    What's a good caliber for 3 Gun that would also be good for HD/SHTF? Or do they use lighter calibers for those competitions, therefore not being a 1 gun fits all situation?

    If it's close, I may lean more towards the right caliber for HD/SHTF, even if I don't 'score' well out of the gate in a competition, but at least could compete and have fun while using my HD/SHTF rifle in some realistic scenarios, at least that's what I'm thinking, like I did w/ IDPA, I shoot my carry gun.

    I'd also like the caliber to be popular and competitively priced, as that type of ammo goes. In other words, I'd like the reliable easy to get ammo, I know all ammo is expensive. I would like to focus on stocking 1 primary pistol ammo, and 1 primary rifle ammo, for my go-to guns, but also afford to shoot it some, relative to ammo prices across the board...

    Then all the other noob questions. I've heard getting a flat top is a good place to start, someone said something about a chrome barrel, some say around a 16" barrel is good for portability/mobility, but I don't know anything yet.

  2. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    Hoser sometimes posts here. If you can look up his user name, he is the go to guy for this sort of information.

    Another really good source for this information is over at Brian Enos' forums.

    At the 3 gun games I've attended, the rifle of choice was the AR15 in some flavor, and a Benelli shotgun. I haven't seen an AK yet, but I have seen M1A and HK rifles of various sorts.
  3. jpatterson

    jpatterson Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    I would say a .223 AR would be your best bet to fit that bill. Nothing is cheap, but it's a solid caliber for several things. I don't know squat about 3-Gun matches, but I am assuming that .223 AR's are the most common long guns there.

    Flattop - I just bought a flattop Colt HBAR yesterday and boy, I love it. The flattop is nice because I currently have a A2 carry handle (the 'M16' style carry handle/rear sight) mounted on it, and if I eventually get nice optics I can switch over anytime I'd like with little trouble.

    Barrel - A chrome barrel will outlast a non-chromed, so that is probably a smart choice in the long run. As for barrel length, I am not sure. I have a full length, and I admit it isn't as portable or mobile, but I'm sure someone else on here can point you in the right direction on that.

    Good luck in your buy!
  4. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    5.56x45mm is the choice of the vast majority, for good reason. Super fast back on target for follow up shots. Higher mag capacity than say, 6.8 or 6.5. Cheaper ammo. More plentiful ammo. Cheaper and More plentiful mags (way more). More ammo types selection. Very effective actual terminal wound ballistics.
  5. RP88

    RP88 Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    +1 on 5.56/.223

    it's too standardized and practical when compared to the 6.8 and 6.5 rounds to go anywhere outside of being the primary round of choice.
  6. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Northern Pennsylvania
    I can't think of a good reason not to use 223 for 3 gun. Also, it seems those guys use varmint barrels on their guns, which are ridiculously heavy, but wouldn't be a big deal for 1 minute of shooting on a stage or when shooting P-dogs or squirrels from a bipod. I say get an Hbar with a free float tube and whatever else you want on it.

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the guys shooting HK's and M1A's were in the heavy metal class.
  7. WVMountainBoy

    WVMountainBoy Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    West Virginia
    The LEA I work for allows the Troops to carry AR15's...The guys run the DPMS and S&W's most with flattops and a scope.
  8. Browning

    Browning Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    DFW - TX
    .223 Rem is pretty much THE caliber in 3 gun and it almost always resides is an AR of some kind.



    "Far and away, the AR-15 is the rifle of choice at our matches."

    Shooting USA 3 Gun

    Yeah, there are other rifles used (M1A, FAL, H&K 91, AK's, M1 Carbines etc), but most people seem to use AR's simply because they're light, accurate, they work well and many participants served in the Military at one time or another. So basically that means which AR 15 should you buy right?

    To me Wilson Combat, Noveske or Les Bauer are the best, but does your budget permit spending that much money ($1300 to $2800)? If I had the money one of those is what I'd buy. However if you don't have that kind of money then don't worry about it as you're certainly not alone.

    Most people that want an AR for the first time go middle of the road and buy either a Colt, RRA (that was my pick anyway), Bushmaster, S&W, Stag Arms, LMT or an Armalite.

    Good features to have on an AR are....

    • Chrome Lined Barrels.
    • I prefer a 1/9 Twist myself as it's the twist rate right in the middle and you can shoot a wide array of bullet weights.
    • A Flat Top makes mounting optics a whole lot easier.
    • A two stage match trigger.
    • If you buy one that already has rails good ones are (Samson or from Yankee Hill)
    • Flip up front and rear sights are nice, but they aren't absolutely necessary (if you get flip up sights, both of the above rail manufacturers make good sights as well.

    Check out AR15.com as they're a wealth of information on AR 15's.

    Hope this helps, look around for a little bit so you don't get gouged in the buying frenzy.

    Good luck.
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