Quantcast

Never owned an AR before

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dickydalton, Jan 14, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Now that prices are falling and they may be affordable, is there a good (good) as in Good, AR out there that can be bought for less than $700 that isn't junk?
    I might shoot the crud out of it a couple times and then let it sit in a safe for a long time before I shoot it again. I do want it to be reliable but don't intend to shoot in 1000 yard matches and I'll stick to my bolt actions on varmint hunts. I don't want to buy an upper and fit a lower or mess with it at all.
    Thanks in advance and if I don't get one my ol' Mini 14 will have to do!
     
  2. primalmu

    primalmu Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    1,061
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    If you just want a basic example of the rifle with no frills, I'd look at Smith & Wesson, DPMS, Bushmaster, or Delton. For a bit more than your budget you can get a Rock River Arms (which I'm particularly fond of).

    Of course, if you wanted to explore building your own AR, you could come out a bit cheaper. However, I usually recommend that someone's first AR should be pre-assembled and with a warranty. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to put together and troubleshoot a rifle that you aren't already very familiar with.
     
  3. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I saw S&W M&Ps on GB for less than &500 today. I am thinking of one of them.
     
    Ramone likes this.
  4. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    16,346
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    There are lots of "budget" or "economy" rifles out there, but not many that would qualify as junk these days. Most of the parts come from just a handful of sources, and a lot of the price difference is in fit & finish, although barrel is a significant factor.

    IMO, you should definitely investigate building your own. PSA has some pretty awesome deals on kits or complete uppers and lowers with good quality components, such that you can come out with a dang nice AR for $600 or $700. And if you go the complete upper and complete lower route, "assembly" is literally pushing two pins in. Of course, should you find a rifle kit you like, assembling a lower is really easy, too, with lots of written and video tutorials out there.
     
  5. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,205
    Location:
    S.W. Wyoming
    I have 3 Pre Ban Colts nice old rifles. I bought a DPMS Panther M4 for $499. I put a less expensive scope and a red laser on the little folder. It shoots and functions just fine. The little rifle lives be side the driver seat in my Jeep.:thumbup:
     
  6. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,695
    I run a Franken gun. Works fine.
    Treat it like an ex wife too.
    If it's crappy weather in 6 hrs I'll drag it out coyote hunting.
     
  7. M1key

    M1key Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,745
    Location:
    SW
    Anderson Mfg Optics Ready carbine on sale (Buds) for $504 with free shipping. Certainly not junk.

    Plenty other options...

    SC
     
  8. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,928
    Location:
    Phoenix Az
    The Aero Precision AC15 is in my opinion the best budget gun out there. Doesn't have a lot of the corner cuts that some of the others have, ie non chrome lined barrel.

    That being said you are within 200 buck of a Colt 6920 (the lightweight barrel version 6720 is usually a little cheaper if you find one in stock) and then you don't have to worry about "did I buy junk".
     
  9. Deog

    Deog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Signal Hill, California
    Your price range, Smith and Wesson M and P 15 sport .

    I have thousands of flawless rounds in mine, never a single failure.
    I have a few others that are much more $$$$$, and have just as much faith In The M and P.
     
    Anti Psychotic, Harvie and Ramone like this.
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    52,550
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Rural King had Andersons for $440 on sale so I grabbed one ... just because.
     
    chicharrones likes this.
  11. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    13,776
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    At this point you can get a really nice (quality) AR in the $500 range.

    Two things I would consider. First is the BCG (bolt carrier group). The bolt takes most of the beating from firing, so it makes since to get a really strong one. A FA (full auto) appears to be the strongest.

    The other thing I would try to figure out is the front hand guard. If you get the older style clamshell fore end, you'll have a harder time adding a laser, etc. If you just want iron sights or use a red dot only, any fore end will do.

    Remember the term "best" is relative. What suits me may not suit you. If you should elect to assemble the lower yourself, you'll know more of how it works if you're at all into that. Think of an AR as a Lego set that you can tear apart and build up differently.

    There's a local manufacturer where I bought my last one. They build a total rifle from a pile of parts in 15-18 minutes. I'd had just a vague idea how they assembled, and I built my upper there in about 15 minutes. I'd advise against building your upper unless you get the right specialized tools.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    Harvie likes this.
  12. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    3,340
    Location:
    Justin, TX
    My favorites in your price range would be Windham and then Ruger AR556. About the last AR I'd buy would be a Bushmaster.
     
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    19,932
    My first AR was a Colt SP1 Sporter, basically the only game in town when I bought it. Still have it in fact and it's been a super reliable and accurate rifle all these years. My next AR was something I put together from assorted parts mainly from Bushmaster, Olympic Arms, and Colt. Also a solid performer. If I were looking today for another AR already built I would go with a S&W Sport II or up the price a bit and get a Colt Expanse.
     
    Anti Psychotic likes this.
  14. imashooter

    imashooter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Messages:
    642
    Location:
    Alabama
    I see the M&P .22lr version for the lesser price on GB but not the .223/5.56
     
  15. Ramone

    Ramone Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Tidewater VA
    I build my own, carefully selecting each component.

    I'd recommend the S&W M&P Sport in a heartbeat. Usually a little over your budget, but worth every penny.
     
    Anti Psychotic and Harvie like this.
  16. ColoradoShooter77

    ColoradoShooter77 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,463
    Location:
    Colorado
    www.slickguns.com for all the current rifle and pistol deals. M&P Sport 2's have been going for $499.
     
  17. basicblur

    basicblur Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    2,650
    Location:
    VA
    I have nothing but Colts and RRA (well, I did just get a DDM4 V11 Tornado for buying a table at our local Friends of NRA event), but these days I advise folks wanting to dip their toe into the AR water to consider:
    1. S&W Sport II (as others have stated, it can be found online for under $500).
    2. Ruger AR556

    It's hard to go against the M&P for under $500!
     
  18. 200Apples
    • Contributing Member

    200Apples Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,451
    Location:
    Los Angeles

    You'll find that there are many here who think highly of this carbine.

    After keeping the AR platform at arm's length for so long and with the egregious California gun law disaster looming on the horizon, I broke down and purchased an M&P Sport II (the "II" adds a dust cover and fwd assist) late last summer.

    Been busy with other firearms and handloading so I haven't used it yet.
     
  19. JeffG

    JeffG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    1,539
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    I think primalmu nailed it. "If you just want a basic example of the rifle with no frills, I'd look at Smith & Wesson, DPMS, Bushmaster, or Delton. For a bit more than your budget you can get a Rock River Arms (which I'm particularly fond of)."

    Everything else is complication. Having said that, AR15's are a BLAST to over complicate! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    d2wing likes this.
  20. ColoradoShooter77

    ColoradoShooter77 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,463
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've got about 4000 rounds through my M&P Sport and its trucking right along. I did have to get the bolt replaced, free of charge from S&W, but that can happen to any rifle.
     
  21. Browning

    Browning Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,690
    Location:
    DFW - TX
    I would piece one together. Not even talking about building/assembling one. I mean buying a complete PSA lower and then an Upper of your choice and popping two pins together. Even something as simple as that will save you money.

    I have a variety of AR's to choose and my favorite one is a PSA lower with an A2 stock ($159) and a BCM 20" inch upper and a Midwest Industries rail.

    You could buy whichever BCM Upper you like though.

    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/AR15-Upper-Receiver-Groups-s/1.htm

    Eventually I put on a Trijicon Accupoint TR-22 2.5-10x56 with a LaRue LT-105 mount and rings, a Troy H&K BUIS, a Harris Bipod and a Streamlight TLR-1HL light for hog hunting.

    I've assembled others from stripped Anderson and PSA receivers and used PSA uppers to save even more money, but just buying complete lowers and uppers and then popping the two together is something that even someone who has no idea how to assemble anything AR related can do to save money.
     
  22. Jackal

    Jackal Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    Virtually all lower end AR's from any major manufacturer is going to be essentially the same gun.
     
  23. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,566
    Location:
    Communist state of nj
    Buy what you can afford,then tweek it the way you want as you can afford it. AR's are the 350 Chevy engine of guns,you can get anything for it...welcome to the fold;):thumbup:
     
  24. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,635
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    Prices are really falling, so, some patience will be rewarded.
    Yesterday (Saturday) at the Lewisville Gun Show there were ARs from $1500 to $500--which were largely the same gun.
    The middle ground seemed to be $750, with many dealers taking $700 or less for cash.
    Saw no Colts, and not many Bushmasters, either.

    That's down about $250 just from December.
     
    PokeyOkie likes this.
  25. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,127
    Location:
    Black Hills, SD
    C-Grunt's suggestion to spend a few more $$$ and get a Colt is spot on in my opinion. For the money you are not likely to get better assembly and parts quality than a LE6720 or LE6920.

    On another site there are posts from a blog by a guy who runs Battlefield Vegas, a full auto rental range, and he has noted that his Colts seem to hold up very very well, in fact so far no failures of Colt bolts whereas most others only go about 20K rounds before they start cracking bolt lugs. In fairness 20K is a lot of ammo down the pipe (especially in full auto) and the barrel will be gone before that and you replace the bolt when you replace the barrel.

    Some other perspective on the care feeding, and quality of the AR platform from the late great Pat Rogers:



    At about 21:00 he goes into what fails and the differences between a hobby grade gun like a S&W and a duty grade gun like a Colt, Bravo Company Machine, Daniel Defense, Knights Armament, LMT, or SIONICS.

    The whole video is excellent and all AR owners or prospective owners should watch it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice