I know this will WEARY you but I have a (well worn) AR question?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hokkmike, Apr 10, 2019.

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  1. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    OK, after YEARS of shooting bolt and lever action rifles I am looking to purchase my first "real" AR in 5.56/.223.

    I have looked at Anderson, S&W, Palmetto, and Springfield (Saint)...

    I am looking to spend around $800ish and certainly would use any change for ammo. I have a scope and mount ready to install....

    I am guessing the Saint would be the top pick but in your experience is there a RED FLAG associated with buying any of the other brands...

    I am not interested in a "build" per se as it is out of my field of knowledge.

    My AR would be for range use, hunting large game if they ever approve that in Pennsylvania, and of course the choice in the unlikely event of any apocalyptic bug out.

    Thanks for your indulgence and knowledge... Much appreciated.
     
  2. sevt_chevelle

    sevt_chevelle Member

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    Springfield can suck it!!

    Aero has a builder or OEM rifle. Just add buttstock, pistol grip and hand guard, you can find those in 450-500 range and have a darn good rifle. I don't recall the price wanna say its in the 800 range but the Sig M400 and the newer Tread series of rifle. I would buy a S&W before an Anderson or PSA. Ive built a few on PSA lowers, not impressed.
     
  3. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    If you're talking hunting and range use, IMHO get a 6.5 Grendel. I have several Hardened arms and they all function flawlessly. They also have various other calibers:
    upload_2019-4-10_17-52-44.png

    Just note that by 'Standard AR-15 magazines, they mean standard AR-15 6.5 Grendel magazines, not 5.56.

    https://www.hardenedarms.com/ecProduct_492-AR15 Rifle - 18" 6.5 Grendel Melonited 1/8 w/ 12" HD Quad Rail Rifle

    I have found the best 6.5G magazines to be those from C-Products

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2228357204/ar-stoner-magazine-ar-15-65-grendel-with-anti-tilt-follower-stainless-steel-black
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  4. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    grendel is super awesome for hunting. However, it's expensive to shoot unless you can find the wolf steel cased stuff.

    223 is cheap for range use, but pretty marginal for hunting.

    300aac is slightly better for hunting, but it has a short range and can be expensive to shoot at the range.

    Personally I think all off the shelf rifles are pretty much equal at similar price points. Personally, I'd buy a complete lower like this one https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-ar15-moe-plus-ept-lower-black.html for about $200 in your hands, then add any upper you want. adding an upper is as simple as pushing 2 pins. see here

    as far as uppers, I like free float handguards in the 12-15" long configuration, and I would look hard for a nitride barrel and bolt. If you want a 223, something like this would be fine https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-16-mid-length-5-56-nato-1-7-nitride-15-lightweight-m-lok-upper-with-bcg-ch-5165449907.html I have had good luck with palmetto barrels. I have had 4, and all shot 1 moa with decent ammo. Skip anything with a quad rail.

    but a ruger or anderson, smith, or anybody's gun will be fine. It's kind of hard to mess up an AR, and if anything goes wrong, it's easy and cheap to fix. Just buy what you like, and realize that there are WAY too many people on the internet who will tell you that unless you buy super-high-end-proof-tested-navy-seal-approved parts (as defined by what they bought) your rifle is junk. They don't want to admit that their $2K rifle will shoot maybe 1/4" better groups than a $600 gun, and last maybe 15% longer.

    Your accuracy will depend far more on the ammo and the skill of the shooter than on the quality of the barrel, and most people will never wear out any part of an ar15. Now I'm getting off soapbox.
     
  5. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    If you can swing $830 the LaRue Builder kit for $792 gets you everthing you need minus a stripped lower receiver; there is an option which is included in the $792 for them to assemble and test fire the upper. Pick up a $40 PSA lower shipped +transfer fees and you would have a really great carbine. This would come with either a 16" or 18" barrel, 13" M-Lok or Keymod rail, their MBT trigger and their brake.

    Putting together a lower receiver is very simple and not something for someone to be intimidated by.

    A premium bonded hunting bullet out of an 18" barrel should be plenty for deer sized game (providing its legal in your state).



    Otherwise, the PSA's premium line specs are really good, just be patient for them to come back into stock. You should be able to get one for $550-650 depending on sales.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  6. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Not any more expensive than any other quality ammo and the Wolf is easily found and very cheap. However, you can't do both. The Wolf ammo WILL wear out your barrel much faster than ammo with normal bullet coatings. Barrels run around $80 or so and are not too hard to replace. I actually have two guns, one for use with Wolf and another for long range / hunting. If you reload, none of this will be a problem for you.

    Capture.PNG

    https://ammoseek.com/ammo/6.5mm-grendel
     
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What are your specific expectations in these areas?
     
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  8. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    The "What's a good entry level AR?" question was seemingly asked daily for about 8 years. This one is pretty easy to answer.

    The first question is "build or buy." Buying doesn't mean that you can't upgrade a completely purchased rifle, but if you simply want to purchase, two very simple entry level choices are the S&W M&P 15 Sport II and the Ruger AR-556. You can add the SA Saint and the Savage MSR for additional features and a higher entry level price point. All four are made by reputable manufacturers with a warranty. Just like anything with different price points, not all AR's are made equal as additional dollars can buy higher quality parts, but on this level, these are reasonably close. You're getting a 16" rifle with either bone stock or slightly upgraded grip and buttstock; plastic handguards (in comparison to a free floated rail system); a carbon steel barrel that has been nitrocarburized but called by different names. Triggers are basically stock single stage which vary from ok to terrible. Some have an "enhanced mil spec" which just means they coated a stock trigger and maybe you won't get an absolutely terrible trigger pull. The expectation is that this is a 1.5-3moa rifle, depending on ammo. If you get a tack driver - great!

    For range use, the average person will never wear one of these rifles out. You can find torture tests online where people run them with a full auto lower, but the average person is going to have to put at least 5,000 rounds of semi-auto fire before small parts like a bolt, gas block/tube, etc goes out. And then, these would have a manufacturer's warranty to fix those.

    Just a word on building. Most people purchase build kits with the upper assembled. So that just means a stripped lower with a lower build kit. There are instructions online. If you have a few punches from Harbor Freight and have two hours of time (for a person who has never assembled a lower before) putting together a lower is easy. A person who knows what they are doing can put a lower receiver together in half an hour (or less).

    For your first one, I would suggest 5.56 or 223 Wylde. Ammo is easy to find in actual 5.56mm or 223 Remington that is everywhere.

    Then upgrades....
    A trigger that is crisp...
    A grip that fits your hand well...
    A stock that balances well...
    A free floated forend to get a better grip and hang some accessories...

    and when you finally get a gun you've fully customized, you know you have spent too much money but you have the desire to buy or build another.
     
  9. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    1. Reliability of action.
    2. Wide availability of ammo at reasonable prices
    3. 2 inch groups at 100 yards. (Is that possible in an economy model of this platform?)
    4. Largest game would be whitetail deer at 200ish yards (hunting with semis not yet legal in PA for deer)
    5. Not excessively heavy. Maybe 6 - 8 pounds w/scope and mounts
    6. Adequate for home defense. (I employ handguns currently for this job)
    7. Suitable in the event we are ever forced from our homes in a national emergency. (not likely, and I really don't think that way much. But why not?)


    I am ignorant of the availability and capability of the AR so this is the best way I can answer your question.
     
  10. MagnumWill

    MagnumWill Member

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    Well, if you've added hunting to the list it's going to push you away from .224 bullets for larger-than-varmint game if you're to stay compliant. Your state may be different, but that's a relatively common sentiment.

    In your case? I'd recommend a .300 AAC Blackout. It'll allow you to get good supersonic loads (well past the reach of 200 yards with 120+ grain bullets), and if you ever did want to get into the silencer/suppressor game that cartridge can also shine.

    You could also wait for a good .350 Legend upper to come out, I think that is a pretty interesting cartridge. It won't be cheap to shoot, but it should have very little problem with white tails.

    Honestly it's tough to go wrong these days, but I myself have had outstanding luck with PSA Premium uppers. I've bought three of them, but these days if I want something I'll just go ahead and build it.
     
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Even cheap AR’s can be reliable with decent mags (that are also cheap right now).

    There is lots of .223 available and some of it is cheaper than you could buy and load yourself, quality varies though.

    2” @ 100 capability isn’t a deal breaker, lots of them will do that with decent ammo/shooter/conditions, many better than that.

    I don’t hunt deer with a 223 but I have lots of other better suited rounds. They will kill that size animal though.

    Anything is better than nothing for 6 & 7 and you could pick a number worse than an AR.
     
  12. MagnumWill

    MagnumWill Member

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    ...also I should mention that there's a company that came out with a charging handle/BCG that essentially blocks the gas port on the AR, converting it into somewhat of a "straight-pull" action. You could throw that in there in ten seconds, and your AR is ready for the hunting season. Take it out and put the regular charging handle/BCG back in, it's ready for HD mode again. Let me see if I can find it.

    https://www.guns.com/news/2019/02/05/kali-key-converts-gas-operated-ar-15-into-bolt-action-rifle
     
  13. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Ok, I hear you, but. . . if you can detail strip an AR, you can build a lower and pin on an upper, and save ~$100 in the process.

    This is a design intended to be easily manufactured, and maintained by throwing mass-produced parts at it.
     
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  14. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Just to share - PA requires the cartridge to be center fire. As far as the .350 Legend goes I AM looking to be cheap on ammo. I have shot the Blackout. It is a nice round.
     
  15. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Less than $0.25 per round for the 6.5G Wolf ammo, you just need to replace the $80 barrel every 4000 rds or so. The Wolf ammo will always be readily available as it's the same 7.62x39 ammo that's been around for many years just necked down, manufactured by the same company.
     
  16. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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  17. z7

    z7 Member

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    I would consider visiting a local range or shop and picking up several models to see what feels better to you

    I also would not worry about “hunting” because it is not legal in PA right now, if it becomes legal then you can add an upper easily in a better deer cartridge

    The most economical way to get a good gun is to get a “good” upper half. https://www.whiteoakarmament.com/shop/complete-uppers/3-gun-competition-tactical-uppers/white-oak-armament-16-upper-mid-gas-1-7-alg-handguard-emr-v3-m-lok.html

    While a little pricey, this thing will be very accurate with decent ammo (under 1” with match ammo most likely)

    Put this on a palmetto state armory lower receiver and you have a great gunhttps://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-ar15-moe-plus-ept-lower-black.html

    You can go cheaper with an aero upper/ lower etc, or you could buy a complete gun, the market is saturated with a million options, it’s kinda like what flavor of cool aid or what kind whiskey do you want

    Almost all ar’s will function assuming good magazines and ammo.

    Use magpul PMAGS btw, they are cheap and work without fail.
     
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  18. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    For some of the AR brand names such S&W, Ruger, Armalite, sometimes SIG or Colt, etc., I would check CDNN as they sometimes have very good prices.
     
  19. rskent

    rskent Member

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  20. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    That’s odd. My post was deleted. Didn’t say a negative word one about anything.
     
  21. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    02646096-9D16-4036-A147-479D61B6B6DA.jpeg
    Well there is a difference in a true build and slapping an upper and lower together. If you can’t slap and upper and lower together after watching a 45 second YouTube video, and you already own an AR, my friend you got problems.

    I went with a BCA 16” HBAR fluted upper in 7.62x39. $219 on sale. Paired it with a PSA MOE EPT STR lower for $159. Total of $378. Added a Nikon m-223 mount and a Nikon Buckmaster 3x9x40 that I had laying around. It shoots Wolf 123gr HP to about 1.25” at 100 yards. Have some handloads worked up that I haven’t tried yet. But I betting I can squeeze it to an inch or less. I’m 500+ rounds into it now and nary a hiccup. Pretty tough to beat for under $400.
     
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  22. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    For hunting and cheap range fun in an AR15 you can't beat 7.62x39. I built my own so I don't really have a recommendation for a factory built one.
     
  23. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I built a 'lightweight carbine' a few years ago... it is completely stripped as far as I can get it and still function, with no optic (I shoot peeps, anyway) and it's over 6#'s. You might reconsider your weight expectations.

    As far as bargain basement AR's, I had a DPMS Oracle I traded into a few years ago, it was perfectly serviceable and produced reasonable accuracy with good ammo (not necessarily cheap, mass produced 55grn FMJ stuff, which should not be used for accuracy benchmarks, IMHO.) They go for around $400 on sale. It has a better trigger than my gen-u-wine Colt H-Bar. People start throwing big names out there, I don't see the reason to spend more money on what will likely be a safe queen or range toy. My theory is, also, that if you buy an entry-level AR... and you like it... great! Keep shooting it, and then build another AR with all the things you would improve off the first one.

    SgLhv4cm.jpg
     
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  24. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    You can purchase complete lowers now from a couple of manufacturers and put them with uppers from the same or somewhere else and put them together with the 2 take down pins and wind up with a pretty good AR for less than 400.00. That leaves you a lot of room for a scope, mounts, mags and ammo, you will need to try at least 55 and 62 gr bullets to find which is more accurate.
    If you want to go hunting then you can purchase another upper in another caliber for 250-300 and have a good hunting round that will be legal in your state.
     
  25. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    A friend just assembled a complete PSA kit, $299 shipped tax free, with an Anderson lower, $40 + $3 sales tax.. He watched a video I suggested, and installed the lower parts kit in less than an hour with no problems, no special knowledge or tools needed. The upper portion comes completely assembled.

    So for $343 he had a working AR, hard to beat that price.

    This is the step by step video I suggested, it's short and very easy to follow: https://www.ar15.com/forums/AR-15/Step-by-step-video-on-how-to-build-your-lower-receiver/4-615304/
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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