AR Help for the Uninformed
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Thread: AR Help for the Uninformed

  1. #1

    AR Help for the Uninformed

    I know that opinions are like a-holes, but between now and election day, I plan to get an AR. I have a small budget, so I need some input as to what to look for or avoid. I'm guessing about $1000 is what I intend to spend, so how do I balance cost and quality? I'm not big on modifications or anything. I believe a short-barrel M-4 is about what I'm looking for.

    What brands to consider?

    How much could I expect to pay for ammo? Which ammo should I avoid?

    Are there any brands that are ammo sensitive?

    I own a pistol caliber carbine already....should I bother with buying an AR at all?

    Thanks for your help.
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
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    This is pretty much why I got my AR a few months ago too. This is exactly the AR I bought.

    Bushmaster 223 PATROLMAN 30RD for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $935.00


    Memberships: NRA, GOA, USCCA
    Guns: Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta 90-Two .40, Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact 9MM, Beretta Tomcat, Bushmaster Patrolman M4

  4. #3
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    You have a few options.

    1. You could always buy up a lower or two and build it yourself. It'll save you money and get you exactly what you want. I built mine from an armalite lower, DPMS parts kit and upper receiver, and a bushmaster lightweight chrome lined barrel and bolt carrier groups. I think I had about $750 into the gun before I dropped $400 for the EOTech. I've probably shot 1500 rounds through it so far without a single failure.

    2. DPMS has some good quality rifles for a good price. You should be able to find one well under $1000.00.

    3. AIM surplus has a bushmaster 16" carbine M4 A3 for $999.95 and a Del-Ton DTI flat top M4 Carbine for $669.95. I've never shot or used any of Del-Ton's stuff but have heard good things about them on AR15.com.

    As far as ammo is concerned I've shot everything from wolf and Milsurp to hand loaded 75gr hollow points and all seemed to fire fine. But like any other gun some may be picky with different brands of ammo.

    Hope this helped and feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I'll try and help.
    Last edited by lukem; 10-20-2008 at 12:10 PM.
    "When Government fears the people, it's liberty. When people fear the Government, it's tyranny."
    - Benjamin Franklin

  5. #4
    Another addition:

    I might be an engineer, but I don't want to stake my life on my ability to put something together that I've never used. So I will not be building one myself. I would prefer out-of-the-box reliability.

    Also, my neighbor mentioned barrels built to military specs can be identified by a grooved ring around the barrel near the muzzle. "Civilian"versions might not have this ring. Apparently, this was to attach the grenade launcher underneath. Does this statement have any merit?

    Finally, are there any brands to flat-out avoid?
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

  6. #5
    DANG, what about caliber?????

    Since there seems to be fuss about .223 shortages, is there a better caliber to consider? .308 is WAY overkill for my desires. I don't want anything exotic, either.......something I can buy at Wal Mart if need be.
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

  7. #6
    Join Date
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    Pascal., I feel Your pain. I myself am looking for that "AR". Pretty much all the same questions you're asking. I got my sights on a STAG ARMS model 2 for under $900.00. At this time I've only seen a photo and some of the specs on it BUT I have not actually checked out their site yet....which I plan on doing.
    I have the $ saved, so I'm pretty much ready to get one. Just want to get more info on it and of course compare it with maybe another. Will keep you updated as soon as I get one. Good luck!
    (All the above are MY opinions/suggestions ONLY....AND, I like to bust ball's, it's called having a sense of humor. In other words, no intent to offend anyone, so get over it)

  8. I got an assembled upper off of www.del-ton.com and put the lower assembly together myself. You can save a few bucks by building it yourself. I've never had any reliability problems with it. It's just as reliable as my friends' ARs that were purchased as complete guns. Just keep it clean and it will treat you well. As far as staking your life on something you are putting together, they are really not that complicated. It's all finely machined and chances are you will wind up with an AR that is nearly identical to something you could buy out of the box.

    However, if you feel more comfortable buying a complete gun, go for it. My lower receiver is DPMS, but I'm not sure what difference (if any) you will find with another brand. I would definitely recommend a chrome lined bolt and carrier as they are a lot easier to clean, but more importantly, you can tell when they are clean. Trying to clean black residue off of black metal can be tough sometimes. If you want to put any kind of optics on it I would recommend a flat top upper, although people do mount optics on top of carry handles, I don't really understand why.

    As far as caliber is concerned, I don't have any experience with anything besides .223. I can usually find 1k rounds of practice ammo for $250-$300 or so. See www.gun-deals.com

  9. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by PascalFleischman View Post
    Another addition:

    I might be an engineer, but I don't want to stake my life on my ability to put something together that I've never used. So I will not be building one myself. I would prefer out-of-the-box reliability.

    Also, my neighbor mentioned barrels built to military specs can be identified by a grooved ring around the barrel near the muzzle. "Civilian"versions might not have this ring. Apparently, this was to attach the grenade launcher underneath. Does this statement have any merit?

    Finally, are there any brands to flat-out avoid?
    They are actually not that bad to assemble but I see what you are saying. Also the "ring" your neighbor is talking about is just the M4 profile barrel and it is there to allow a grenade launcher to be attached. But they also come in many different profiles and lengths. You can get a heavy barrel, H bar, Fluted, M4 profile, Lightweight, ect
    "When Government fears the people, it's liberty. When people fear the Government, it's tyranny."
    - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #9
    Caliber question:

    What's the difference between .223 Remington & 5.56x45mm???

    I'm liking the DPMS quality vs. cost.

    But for $800, I can buy a LOT of .40S&W and accessories for my bullpup carbine. Is all this fuss worth it for an AR when I really don't need to spend the money right now? I'm wondering how carried away I'm getting with regard to SHTF on election day.
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

  11. #10
    You can't go wrong with a Bushmaster. I got mine a few years ago and haven't had any problems with it. As for price here's some to look at:

    Bushmaster M4 Patrol Rifle 223 colt rock river : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com

    Bushmaster A1 M4 carbine, NIB : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com

    Bushmaster A2 Carbine - 16.5" Bird Cage ! : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com

    When it comes to ammo, .223 is reasonable as compared to other calibers. When purchased in lots it can be very affordable. Example:

    Sportsman's Guide - Discount Hunting Gear, Discount Hunting Boots, Discount Shoes, Discount Ammunition, Discount Ammo, Discount Boots, Military Surplus, Outdoor Gear at The Sportsman's Guide

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