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Considering buying an AR15 type rifle, advice?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gasteffens, Apr 3, 2010.

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  1. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    Hello all, I am brand new to the forum. I may as well be a newbie to firearms too. I have had some experience with recreational shooting, and am very comfortable safety-wise. However when it comes to making decisions on firearm purchases, I need assistance for sure.

    I am a mechanic and a firefighter, and am 23 years old from a small town in northern IL.

    I have been reading a lot on our 2nd ammendment rights and through this reading, I have become interested in increasing my gun collection.

    I stumbled upon a thread on this forum from 2008 with regards to these rifles here:

    http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/?cat=161

    I was wondering what your guys take on them is. I am looking to have something that will be fun to shoot, and use it as a general use, home defense, etc type rifle. They are sold as-is, but I have not read anything bad about purchasing them.

    Are these the style rifles that can be fitted with different types of sights on the rear? Do these have interchangeable parts so that if I do run into issues, can reasonably make repairs? (Being an auto mechanic, tinkering is in my blood).

    I was originally looking at some Savage bolt rifles but found the price of these M4s to be close enough to consider them instead.

    What caliber round are these chambered for? .223/5.56? I could not find if it said what they take or not.

    I am waiting on a paycheck that will be able to fund the purchase of one of these, so while I wait I will research. Any information you can give, will be greatly appreciated.


    Thanks much!

    George
     
  2. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Member

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    Welcome to the High Road!

    The CMMG Bargain bin rifles are fine rifles. The lower may have a slight blem or off color and may be another brand. The upper should be good to go. I like the wasp coating inside and out of the barrel. If you wanted to be picky you could replace the bolt with a BCM.

    Also you can add lots of accessories to this rifle like quad rails etc! The rifle is chambered in 556. You can use 556 or 223 ammo. I'm assuming the barrel is a 1:9 twist so go with 55 to 62 grain bullets.

    Buy it and have fun with it!
     
  3. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    I've also heard the CMMG Bargain bin rifles are good. But besides cosmetic blemishes they can have mixed brand uppers and lowers (not necessarily CMMG) and different barrels. I assume they have A4 (sometimes mistakenly called A3) flat top receivers for adding sights and optics but make sure the one you get does. Models that come with fixed rear sights are called A1 or A2.

    I would suggest while you're waiting on that check to immerse yourself in the AR forums and learn all you can. Go to gunshops and handle ARs. Learn all you can before you buy! I studied for a year, then when absolutely sure what I wanted I built my own for about $750 before adding a rear sight.

    ETA: BTW, yes the CMMGs are standard ARs so should be compatible with most AR parts out there if you want to change things or need replacement parts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  4. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Here's the thing.

    If you have a mechanical background, you can build one yourself. (Pretty much anyone can, but you will find it easier.) A MUCH better one than these. You can assemble the lower in 30 minutes, the hardest part about the upper is getting a special set of vise jaws to hold it while you set the barrel.

    Go to brownells.com, and order their free AR catalog. (But then I wouldn't blame you if you ordered from Midway instead.) All kinds of stuff you never thought of.

    The main thing to decide is, what you want to use it for? Do you want an M-4 style for close-quarters personal defense, do you want a full-length military-style setup for longer ranges, do you want a custom varmint setup for better accuracy at longer ranges? You will likely find, after building one, that ONE ISN'T ENOUGH.

    With that link you provided, I'm honestly a little suspicious. I don't care if they are scratch and dents, (I scratch and dent them myself plenty,) They are missing some important details, like, whether they are chambered for 5.56 or .223, and when they say they can't even guarantee the manufacturer, it makes me itch. (There may well be very little if any difference, pretty much all lowers come from a few big suppliers.) But for a very little bit more money, you can build yourself a rifle twice as good.
     
  5. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Spend the extra amount to get the CMMG bargin bin rifle with the 1/7 twist barrel. Higher chance of it being a higher quality barrle like CMMG's own barrels.

    Tats a good AR to start out with. Chances are it'll be mostly milspec and be able to use most after market Ar parts.


    Also check out Bravo company USA. The have an excellent selection of uppers. Just add a bolt carrier group of your choice and order a complete lower from your local gun store.

    My favorite budget build:
    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-16-Mid-Length-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-mid-16.htm
    +
    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-GUNFIGHTER-Charging-Handle-GFH-Mod-3-p/bcm gfh mod 3 556.htm
    +
    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Bolt-Carrier-Group-MPI-Auto-M16-ionbond-p/bcm bcg auto ib.htm
    +
    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Mid-Length-Handguards-Black-p/handguards mid length black.htm
    = one awesome KISS upper

    + troy rear flip up buis sight
    + any complete lower assembly of your choice. I like LMT's higher end lowers. ($330-550) Ambi safety is a must have item. When you get there top of the line lower you get a price break on the Sopmod stock and 2 stage trigger.

    Thats all top Tier1 stuff. But without getting carried away with expensive rails, pistons, etc.

    Thats not really a build. All those parts will slide/snap together. A handgard install tool is nice to have for popping the hand gards off for maintenance.

    Then Aimpoint, Larue lt129, Pmags, SSA ammo.............................................................
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  6. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    First off, thank you all for the quick and detailed replies! I can tell already I will have a lot of help on this forum.

    I just ordered a "Brownells" AR15 catalogue.

    Well I have been reading up and reading up on different guns.

    I currently own a Mossberg 500 that I trap shoot with, and if push comes to shove it will be used as my home defense gun in a pinch. I also have an old High Standard .22LR pistol that I found in my grandpa's attic in great condition; it functions great, but is a collection piece and a toy.

    However, I am feeling I would like to have more than just that.

    So I have been very interested in the AR15. They seem a bit pricey to buy them all ready to go, but maybe the cost won't hurt so bad if I buy it piece by piece and make my own, as you suggested.

    It looks like it will be a blast (no pun intended) to use, and could be very effective. For now, my intentions with what will be my first AR15 will be all around use. I was looking to play around with target shooting, home defense, etc. I wanted to try out different sights on it as well.

    I will still look into buying a bolt rifle in the future to use for my long range shots, so the AR15 will probably be for short to medium range use.
     
  7. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    Zero I just saw your reply, let me take a look.

    Edit:


    so you are saying grab a bargain bin AR15 to get me rolling, and upgrade it from there?
     
  8. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    never tried brownwells

    Try:
    BCM
    Larue Tactical
    Rainier Arms

    also check out the EE at ar15.com
    also read the step by step build thread tacked in the AR build section
    the ee posts in yellow are internet dealers and usually and have a decent rep.
     
  9. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    Okay, will do. I just was looking around and it looks like to buy one piece by piece new will still total up over $1000. Maybe the bargain bin ones will be my way to go. The pictures show the rifles with no sights, so I am led to believe they can be changed/upgraded. I will check out that thread now, thanks.
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    gasteffens, there are two schools of thought here. Do the above or take your time and buy the right parts in the first place. Since I built my AR I went with the second path.

    Nothing terribly wrong with either way but maybe you could handle some ARs first and find out what works for you. For me, I didn't want to buy something, then upgrade. I'd rather choose my parts carefully and not replace things. There are so many decisions to make you have to educate yourself first.
     
  11. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    Thanks. I will keep reading and saving up.

    Edit:

    I am having trouble locating the build thread through search... any ideas?
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    You can build an AR for about $750, or more depending on the parts you use.

    Or you can go a little lower, check out DSA
    http://www.dsarms.com/AR15_M16-Products/departments/120/

    I really wouldn't be in a hurry, that's how you make mistakes. Take your time, handle lots of ARs and you'll end up with a great rifle by choosing the parts you like that are in your budget.
     
  13. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 Member

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    You cannot build an AR with new parts for less than a Bargain Bin from CMMG. They are fine rifles; in fact I can't think of anyone who hasn't been pleased. If you don't like the blemishes, well, you can always see my sig line! :)
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Brownells.com has an excellent free AR build video (and PDFs you can print out to have on hand for the assembly). AR15.com has stickies with build tutorials. Google and Youtube will bring them up too. Really they're all over the place once you start getting hits.
     
  15. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    I will do. I don't know anyone who owns one, so maybe I will be the first around here.

    I just thought I would start somewhere and ask people with more experience than me. As I look around a bit more, it looks like the most expensive part will be the upper.

    I have an old Chevy my dad and I are working on together, and we are piecing that together, so to piece this together is no stretch.
     
  16. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Yup, all the key features are in the upper.

    As long as the lower is mil-spec, it doesn't really matter who makes it.
     
  17. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    DSarms has some stuff to buy online, some I have to call for. Do I need anything special to buy this stuff?
     
  18. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    advantage of building it yourself:
    1. fun to do, assuming you're into that sort of thing
    2. you learn how it works, assuming it works when you're done
    3. you get to build EXACTLY what you want, assuming you know what you want

    my sense is, if a person wants a rifle for defense, they should buy a complete first rifle. there's a much greater chance it will work, and they'll have some recourse if it doesn't. also, after using it a bit, they'll learn what they like and what they don't and then can build a 2nd rifle with exactly the configuration they want.

    further, if it turns out the new shooter just doesn't like AR15s at all, they can sell a brand-name, factory assembled rifle without losing their shirt. Just ask yourself, if you were in the market for a used gun, would you want to buy a rifle that was some new shooter's first attempt at putting one together with the cheapest parts he could find? yeah

    otoh, if a brand new shooter is only interested in a plinker, is not concerned about resale value, and likes to tinker... there's nothing wrong with building tinker-plinker as a first gun. you'll have a blast
     
  19. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Yes, the upper is trickier to do than the lower and you may need specialized tools. You probably would save money by buying a complete and testfired upper that meets your specs. (Unless you catch the black rifle disease and build more rifles!)

    I was able to build my lower without specialized tools within about an hour. Not real hard to do at all. The stripped lower is the part to get first and most are good quality so hard to go wrong there. I chose S&W because I like the logo and my dealer had one on sale. (Of course this is the "firearm" so you will have to buy it face to face or have it delivered to a dealer with a FFL. The rest of the parts can be UPS'ed to your front door, assuming you're not building a controlled rifle - short barrel or suppressed.)

    Don't let me talk you out of buying the CMMG. It really should be a nice rifle, just be sure it's the rifle YOU want.
     
  20. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    I have a lot of great minds sharing information here... and I am getting some great support from either building my own or buying one ready to go... hmm
     
  21. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    I understand about the lower now... I just have to figure out who around here could take delivery on something like that.
     
  22. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Taliv makes some excellent points and that one also applies to the CMMG bargain bin rifles, too (since you don't know who built them however at least CMMG looked them over before selling them). If you're going to build, make sure you know what you're doing. I built my first and only AR and it turned out well but I spent a long time researching. Also I have no warrany.
     
  23. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 Member

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    When I buy my next carbine, I can tell you this. I'll be buying one from CMMG. I've built 'em before, but like I said, you can't build with new parts for that price. The money I save will go to back up iron sights (BUIS), a red dot, ammo, and what not. I don't care about the finish; I'll just be duracoating it anyway.

    The rifle is just the first part of the costs. Then comes magazines, cleaning kit, ammo, BUIS, optics if you desire, gun case of some sort, sling, etc., etc., etc..
     
  24. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Call around and see what FFLs are nearby and what they charge to do a transfer on a lower. Maybe google for your city, that might work - but definitely call gun shops and pawn shops. Some charge $20 and others much more. Or you might just walk in and buy one they have in stock as I did. I called around and found the S&W in stock so drove over to get it. No transfer fee that way but if you get a great internet price then you might do better even after adding the transfer fee.

    I would hang on to my wallet now. You're in a feeding frenzy now and need to cool off and look at all options! :D
     
  25. gasteffens

    gasteffens Member

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    Yup yup. So maybe since I am new to this, a bargain bin would be something to get my foot in the door?

    I was looking around dsarms website and it looks like that $750 mark is doable.

    Bargain bin has no warranty, and so does building my own. I'm not too concerned with warranty because I am not afraid to have to fix something myself.

    Like you said, I am looking to do the BUIS and sling and so on and so forth.

    hmmm...
     
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