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What to look for in AR-15?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by noresttill, Sep 6, 2006.

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  1. noresttill

    noresttill Member

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    I plan on eventually adding a AR build to the mix, But the only thing that I know I want is a flat top with removable handle because I would eventualy like to add optics.

    I would like to know what is a necessity on an AR, and what is able to be added on later. I.E. I heard that a chrome bbl, bolt, and carrier are a must.

    Im trying to do this on a budget and want to decide on what I want before I buy, then re-buy parts. Reliability is foremost, but I want it to be accurate too. Asthetics are last...dead last.

    I understand that a calibre conversion is only in the upper, so I wouldn't mind spending a little more on some lower parts, but for now I just want a reliable, accurate, .223 firearm.

    I was planning on staying with the big names but if there is another company that is comprable in quality and price, Im all ears.

    Thanks, I probably left some stuff out, though

    Jesse
     
  2. rra_casper

    rra_casper Member

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    Rock River.

    I went through RB Precision to build my AR-15, and it was great. They have a good relationship with RRA and they can get you anything you want, quickly and at a reasonable price. Hurrah for flat-tops with detachable carry handles. Now I just need to save up for an EOTech...

    RRA is in the camp that says chroming the barrel is unnecessary, because the slight extension of the life of the barrel is negated by the loss of accuracy. However, they will do it, for around $30-$40 extra. To save money, I opted against chroming of any of the parts, although RB Precision also has a wide selection of replacement internal parts (standard, chromed, TiN, you name it), at pretty much the lowest prices you can find anywhere. First on my list of upgrades is a TiN-coated firing pin.

    RB Precision's niche in the market seems to be helping people build dream rifles. They are willing to work with the manufacturers in order to get you the configuration that you want. Plus they are nice people to deal with, and, as I said before, quite inexpensive.

    And I absolutely love my RRA Elite CAR A4 upper on top of a standard RRA lower with an ACE skeleton stock. Great rifle, perfect reliability, eats Wolf all day.

    That's my two cents on the subject. I wouldn't hesitate to do business with either RB Precision or RRA again in the future.
     
  3. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    RRA or Bushmaster. ;)
     
  4. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

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    built a RRA and just took my time and did it one gun show at a time (some online ordering) just kept asking questions and love that thing once it was done. About 650 got me going and have added on from that point. AR 15.com is a good place to search for questions. Good luck and happy building
     
  5. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I have just completed my RRA middy...completed it w/ the EOTech 512. RRA makes a quality unit & it's ALOT of fun to shoot
     
  6. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd be skeptical whether or not that is actually an upgrade. I can think of areas much more critical to reliability that I might put higher on my own list. Is there some reason that particular modification interested you?
     
  7. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

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    This may not be a direct answer to the question, but I recently went retro and replaced the Colt CAR-15 I sold off in the early 90s. I opted for the Bushmaster M4gery with A1 rear sight and original style fixed carry handle. (I like being able to carry and handle the piece with the full sized opening, plus I believe in the KISS principle.) I figured that if pressed I could always get a flat-top upper if and when I needed to.

    After a fair amount of homework I mounted a Trijicon compact ACOG 1.5 x 24 right on the handle. The line of sight is only marginally higher than the irons and not even noticeable. High speed, low drag, 12 on a scale of 10. So I got to have my cake and eat it too.

    The only other thing the carbine needed, and that all of the stock guns seem to need, is a good drop-in trigger kit for a decent pull. It's now a darned nice little piece that I'm growing quite fond of.

    So in my case the flat-top was a solution to a nonexistent problem. Your mileage may vary.
     
  8. rra_casper

    rra_casper Member

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    I have heard that titanium nitride-coated firing pins have less of a tendency to break, are more corrosion-resistant and easier to clean, and are basically "the last firing pin you'll ever need." After 1200 rounds, I have had nary a problem with any of the stock RRA parts, but for $10-20 I am willing to make an easy change that might help ensure better reliability in the future.

    Is the likelihood of a broken firing pin overblown? I'm still learning who I can and can't trust in the world of boomsticks.
     
  9. mc223

    mc223 Member

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    The Titanium firing pins are said to improve lock time. However in the likely event that you will pierce a primer at some point in time, the Titaniums will erode very quickly which only propogates the erosion and further peircing.
    IMHO stick with the steel firing pins.
    In over 14000 rounds no broken pin. Just lucky I guess.
     
  10. Lebben-B

    Lebben-B Member

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    The standard bolt/bolt carrier have always worked well for me. Broken firing pins, bolt lugs, gas keys, etc are such a rarity that when it does happen, it gets a serious "***!!!" from all concerned. And I'm talking about rack grade weapons that get bounced around inside vehicles, thrown out of helicopters and aircraft (while attached to a trooper, of course), spend weeks and months exposed to all kinds of weather and then go on to fire a couple of hundred rounds in the course of a fire fight.

    As far as chrome lining the barrel, I'm of the school of thought that says the loss of accuracy in a chrome-lined barrel is so small that only a few shooters would notice it. The vast majority of shooters can't shoot to the platform's potential so why not spend a little extra for easier maintenance and longer barrel life, two things that ALL shooters regardless of ability are concerned with.

    Mike
     
  11. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Actually the only broken firing pin I've ever seen (and even then only on the Internet) was a titanium firing pin that had the tip split where it was piercing primers. Overall, I would say it is an extreme rarity.

    If you want a quick cheap reliability enhancement, make sure you have good mags, good ammo and upgrade the extractor insert, ejector spring and extractor spring on your bolt (although as a midlength owner you don't really need to). Those are areas that are a lot more commonly involved in reliability issues.
     
  12. Davo

    Davo Member

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    Would chrome parts (bolts, etc) be more resistant to rust, and wear as compared to standard parts?
     
  13. Blackfork

    Blackfork Member

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    AR Firing Pins.

    I've never seen a "broken" AR or M16 firing pin. I shoot hot match loads, 69s, 77s and 80s. 5000 rounds a year. I shoot with lots of other shooters who burn about the same amount of ammo. I have seen eroded TIPS on firing pins that I replaced. Eroded from piercing a primer. Firing pins are 8-15 bucks and your housebroken dog is smart enough to figure out how to swap them out for you. You just need one opposable thumb.

    I'd go Rock River off the shelf, but I would think about a NM gun.

    One of the wear points that folks DON'T pay attention to is the erosion around the firing pin hole on the bolt face. Once you pierce a few primers and start eating off the tip of your firing pin, it's likely that you are eroding that area also. The firing pin then protrudes more...erodes more, pierces more...and you get a snowball effect.

    Forget titanium. Stock trigger lock times will be improved so slightly that its not worth it. Or do it. Doesn't matter.

    I'm Distinguished, High Master, all with service rifle. I have shot on the state teams for years. Won a few NRA regionals. I keep two ARs going at all times and am up to date on the round count, firing pin condition, et, et. I've taught shooting to US Army folks on their ranges and helped sort out their M16s, M24s and (lately) M14s going to Iraq.

    I would find the closest Highpower Match and go see what folks are doing before buying a rifle. You'll be shocked to see folks shooting 600 yard targets with an AR and open sights. There is a Highpower Match within 150 miles of you that shoots at least six times a year, probably monthly. It will be a bunch of great guys.

    Buy a rifle you can actually SHOOT in a competition and go learn to SHOOT. Most of the rest of this stuff is just....details and conversation.
     
  14. Davo

    Davo Member

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    Hey Blackfork...

    How are those m14's shooting? What is considered an acceptable group with a stock m14? Do these rifles use match ammo? Reason I ask is because there is very little solid info on these rifles on the net, mostly its rumor.
     
  15. noresttill

    noresttill Member

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    Thanks for all the great replies.

    I belive Ive decided to go through Del-Ton http://www.del-ton.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=80 with a 16" flat top.

    The only thing I thing I add is the Ch BBl, for ease of cleaning. Is there anything there that you all see that might be too good to pass up? I was thinking of the RRA 2 stage trigger.

    can you mount irons on a flat top with out the handle? I found that AimSurplus has stag uppers with an ARMS #40 flip up rear sight http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Stag_Arms_2H_Complete_.223_Upper_for_AR_type_Rifle.html. Delton has those for at least $100, so maybe Aim is the way to go?

    This is by far the most thinking Ive ever put into a gun purchase...and I like it knowing Ill get what I want!

    Thanks again,

    Jesse
     
  16. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    ar15.com has a nice thread with pictures and commentary of all the different BUIS options. i think it's still a sticky thread. i went YHM cause it was cheap and simple without all the springs and crap.
     
  17. Lebben-B

    Lebben-B Member

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    You made a good choice in going with Del-Ton. They're great folks to deal with. By the way, if you don't see something you want on their web site, give'em a call. They probably have it or know where you can get it.

    If you're going to mount optics or even think you might want to mount optics in the future, go with a flat top upper and BUIS. I've got the YHM flip up BUIS on one of my ARs and it works well. But in my opinion Troy Industries BUIS are the best going right now. They're really well made; a little more expensive, but worth it.

    Let me echo what BR said about mags and ammo. If you use good ammo and good mags, you should have few problems.

    Mike
     
  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    A second on the Troy, can't go wrong with their BUIS.
     
  19. gaweidert

    gaweidert Member

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    The TiN coated fiting pin is not a titanium firing pin. I have a complete TiN coated bolt carrier group and bolt. The gold color looks kind of cool when I install it in one of my EBR's (Evil Black Rifles).

    I have an Olympic K3B. It has the flat top and a 16" barrel. The opening in the screw on handles isreally too small to allo it'w uses as a carry handle. It also has a regular stock on it as adjustable stocks are so dangerous that the government of New York state has take proactive steps to protect us from them. But that's a subject for another forum. I currently have an Eotech 552 with A.R.M.S. BUIS installed. Pretty decent setup once you get used to the EOTECH. It took a few trips to the range to trust the EOTECH as is was such a different shooting experience for me.

    My other two AR's have 20" barrels and the carrying handle on the. I like the simplicity of them too. To me just about any AR is a carbine as compared to the milsurps I own they are all pretty small firearms.

    Get one with the 5.56 chamber so you can shoot milsurp ammo in them. There is a slight differenct on the neck area between .223 and 5.56. You can shoot .223 ammo in a 5.56 chamber, but is doesn't always work the other way around. Many varment and target rifles based on the AR platform use rifles with the .223 chamber in them. There is a lot of "discussion" on this issue, but that's the word form the manufacturers.

    One thing I learned from my sons (USAF and UA Army) is to rest you nose on the charging handle shen using the iron sights. Kind of wierd for me as I usually shoot 8mm, 30-06 and 7.62 x 54r in my milsurps and resting your nose on the back of the bolt would not be a pleasant experience. :cuss: It helps insure you a consistant cheek weld for sighting. The recoils is so low that it doesn't hurt. A lot of the less expensive collapsible stocks are not that much fun to use a cheek rests.
     
  20. Sherwin

    Sherwin Member

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    BUSHMASTER!!

    Do you guys know if assault rifles are legal in NV
     
  21. g56

    g56 Member

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    I just got a 16" carbine kit from Del Ton, good people to deal with, shipped fast, and a great quality product. I picked up a Stag Arms stripped lower receiver to finish off the build, another great product!

    Stag Arms is Continental Machine & Tool's own brand, CMT also machines Rock River's lower receivers, they are real pros in the AR business.
     
  22. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    Still Bushmaster

    I am still a Bushmaster fan, but I have some pause. I have been reading A LOT of people's threads stating that there is a tendency for the barrels to be over-torqued. I have only owned 3 Bushmasters, no Colts yet, and I have had excellent experience with BM. I have an A3 pre-ban, and A3 post ban and the Caron 15 Model 21 Bushmaster pistol. If I were to purchase a new A4, I likely would get carbon fiber:

    http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/Carbon15/az-c1516m4ft.asp

    This model comes with a nice 30-round magazine. A must for me for defensive rifles/carbines.

    The other AR worth noting is the JP Precision. All the same, keep your AR simple. Add a forward grip (vertical) and an ACOG scope...that's it.

    Doc2005
     
  23. BusMaster007

    BusMaster007 Member

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    GREAT 1st or ONLY AR15 ---

    This is the one I recommend:

    http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/pcwa3s20.asp

    [​IMG]

    Adding the 'Tactical' upper can come later.
    This is a good choice for getting started with an AR15.
    Don't let the price scare you. You will spend a LOT building one, and who's going to guarantee the rifle then...?
    You get what you pay for.
    Get the Bushmaster.
    :D
     
  24. possum

    possum Member

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    Bushmaster is my vote. I have owned a total of two, still own one, which ain't many but have shot about a dozen and never have had any problems at all with them. All the internal parts were stock without upgrade. the only upgrades were sight systems, rails, and such.

    If i was gonna buy a bushmaster now i would go with the modular carbine. It comes in the box with alot of the features that people like to have on there ar's already. buis, flip up front sight. flat-top, rail system, rail covers, ergo type grip, 16" fluted barrel which might be free- floated i can't quite remeber, and collapsiable buttstock. I think that is one of the best values out there on the ar market.
    of course bushmaster list it at a higher price, but can be had around here for $1200, and probally even better if you do some shopping.
    http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/pcwvml16f.asp
     
  25. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't think there are problems in NV. I know NFA weapons are legal there.
     
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