Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Which AR to buy?

  1. #1

    Default Which AR to buy?

    I am a shot-gunner and small rifle owner all of my life but I know relatively little about AR's. Can one point to a good publication to learn about them? Any recommendations on makes/models for home protection or a zombie apocalypse? Looking for reasonably priced, quality construction and versatility.

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Honestly its pretty hard to pick a bad one. The recommendation of the Colt LE6920 is never a bad starting point. That said I've found there is something to be said for just buying whatever one trips your fancy, shooting it enough to know what you do and don't like about it and then building one that fits your needs.

    My first AR was an M4 style from Armalite, followed by a Rock River Predator Pursuit. I didn't care for the muzzle blast from the 16" barrel of the A4, but found the Predator Pursuit was too nose heavy. So I ended up building my own AR with an WOA fluted 20" barrel to keep the weight down and have the longer tube to reduce the muzzle blast.



    Just get one and shoot it and then you can figure out what does and doesn't work for you. The guns are very easy to work on and there are literally too many accessories to choose from to customize them.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by luckydawg400 View Post
    I am a shot-gunner and small rifle owner all of my life but I know relatively little about AR's. Can one point to a good publication to learn about them? Any recommendations on makes/models for home protection or a zombie apocalypse? Looking for reasonably priced, quality construction and versatility.
    My recommendation is to head over to one of the stores in town that keeps them in stock and start holding some. I believe the platform is very versatile, and prices vary greatly.

    I buy mine online at Palmetto State Armory. I love their AR-15 deals and the gun is pretty good quality. You can buy kits or complete guns. I usually buy an upper when it goes on sale and try to get me a lower shipped when I head to Anchroage to save $20 on the FFL fees.

    Otherwise for what you want, I would look into a 16" barrel and a flat top so you can add your optic. I do not mind open iron sights on an AR, since that was what I used in the Marines, but I have found pleasure in the red dot option.

    Don't worry about all the stuff you can add to it. Aftermarket furniture (Magpul, etc) adds costs as does all the extra accessorites (lights, hand grips, etc).

    DO some research to which caliber uppers you can use with which lowers.

  4. #4
    Member Libertine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Murder Capitol, AK
    Posts
    185

    Default

    I have several Colt ARs, all different configurations, covering nearing 4 decades of production. Can't complain about any of them.


    I've heard it said, no personal experience here, that Daniel Defense, LMT, and Rock River are other good brands.


    Really hard to go wrong with all the choices out there nowadays, just don't overpay during times of panic buying.


    Welcome to the party.

  5. #5

    Default

    Sportsman's puts AR's on sale often. If it for home protection I would look at a 16 to 18 inch barrel with a flat top and a good red dot optic from a quality company such as Aim Point and Eotech. They are costly as most good things are. Then pick back up iron sights and a 2 point sling and shoot the heck out of it.

    If it is a rifle platform you want to keep forever then buy all the 20 and 30 round Mag Pull magazine you can afford. I am a firm believer in owning lots of magazines for semi auto weapons as the politicians and other bozo groups are always trying to disarm the American people.

    Lots of good info on the web and many good AR's are available. I like DPMS and currently own a 16" Larue Tactical, which is a high end AR. Keep it simple and keep it light.

    The movies show Special Op's teams with an AR and a ton of accessories hanging off of it. I don't need all of that stuff and view my AR as a self defense/home protection weapon. I consider it part of my life insurance policy.

  6. #6
    Member hogfamily's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Suburbanites, part time Willowbillies, Appleseeds, and Weekend Warrior Turquoise Miners!
    Posts
    1,094

    Default


  7. #7
    Member Forager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Southcentral AK
    Posts
    96

    Default

    What's your budget / price range?

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks guys, all good advice. I am leaning towards a Colt. In my readings, I understand barrels are labeled 5.56, .223 or both. If I want to insure that I am able to shoot 5.56 (you never know in a zombie world) what do I look for?

    Forager - not more than $1200

    Additionally, I am considering building one

  9. #9
    Member Forager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Southcentral AK
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by luckydawg400 View Post
    not more than $1200
    At that price point, you have lots of options. Personally, I'm a fan of Bravo Company (BCM). If you're looking at a build, it's often better to purchase a built upper and then get your lower and lower parts kit and build it that way. You might consider a BCM upper, and as someone mentioned above, Palmetto State (PSA) often has great deals on lowers and lower parts kits from a variety of brands--especially if you're willing to purchase a blemished model (typically the blems aren't even noticeable, maybe a slight discoloration). Can't fault any of the other recommendations as well. Oh, also, for general purposes, consider a mid-length 16" or 18" upper.

  10. #10
    Member Forager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Southcentral AK
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Also, for zombie apocalypse / SHTF purposes, consider alternative calibers to 5.56/.223? In my humble opinion, .308 might be a better choice, especially in AK, despite the more expensive ammo. If I had to head out and live with only one, I would prefer something more substantial than a varmint cartridge.

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    The main advantage of building is you get exactly what you want, the challenge if you've never had an AR is figuring that out before ordering the parts.
    You should have no problem assembling a nice AR for under $1200 which would cover the two upgrades I like over the generic M4 platform and that's a better trigger and a free float hand guard. You can also go with a lighter barrel, I really see no reason to have a barrel with the step down for attaching a grenade barrel.

    I'd stick with the 5.56/.223. Inexpensive easily obtained ammo that will allow you to practice and become competent with the rifle.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    Your budget range won't be a hinderance. Spend around $700-8 on the rifle and put rest into a good optic. I don't have more than $600 into any of mine and they all shoot great. I run mid range optics (Redfield and vortex) and don't have anything hanging off the hand guards.

  13. #13
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    For $1200 you can have a Colt 6920 and an Aimpoint Pro optic. You could not ask for a better personal defense combination for the money.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  14. #14
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    4,403

    Default

    5.56 is my bet although I have a .308. There will always be 5.56 around or 7.62x39. I reload so have lots of .308 at hand.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  15. #15

    Default

    Just some clarity.

    I want 5.56/.223 caliber.

    Tell me about barrels. (.223 only vs 5.56 only vs .223 and 5.56) Is there a difference? I read the milspec 5.56 can handle any loads but .223 only does not? From what I can tell from reading, if it's only .223, you shouldn't fire 5.56 ammo... not that I have any but would like the option in case

    My Benelli shot gun will fire 3 1/2 inchers. I like the option for increased specs, occasional crane/swan, etc.but the reality is that its probably a 1/100 ratio of firing 3.5 inchers. Small ratio but I am more confident firing 3 inchers and not worry about pushing limits

    I hope that my apocalypse scenario didn't start. In fact, it starts with a financial meltdown... oops (Brexit).

    On the positive side, I want to spend no more than one ounce of gold, so my options have just increased, at least for now until guns get a price increase.

  16. #16
    Member coop22250's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Anchor Point
    Posts
    271

    Default

    the 5.56 will fire either 223 or 5.56 but the 223 will not. The 5.56 case is thicker and builds more pressure than the 223. The case is also a little longer and wont fit in a 223 chamber without some case trimming and even then it should not be done because the increased pressures that the 5.56 round makes exceed the maximum and are considered unsafe. I buy 5.56 so I can shoot both. There are a few production bolts rifles out there chambered for the 5.56 but mighty few.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arizona Baby!
    Posts
    485

    Default

    6920 is great but plan on doing some trigger work.

  18. #18
    Member JoeJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    ND
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Like Paul H alluded to - pretty hard to obtain a bad one, but if it's your unlucky day, you could somehow purchase a bad performing AR regardless of the manufacturer's name on it.

    My two (2) cents worth of advice would be to purchase a gas-piston AR. The gas-piston AR will be the new norm in the near future. The lower receiver stays clean - you can shoot a thousand rounds in a day and the lower receiver will not have any carbon buildup and won't need to be cleaned - just wiped down for your own peace of mind.

    Right now the gas-piston AR's are a little more expensive but when on sale they are priced right. A month ago Mills Fleet Farm had their Huldra line of AR's on sale - the Tactical Elite model was selling for $719.95 and the EVO model upper receiver only; was selling for $399.95. Their AR's are made by Adams Arms.

    The Huldra Elite model having the upgraded trigger, stock and barrel coatings as being "standard", for the price, is a nice touch.

    http://www.huldraarms.com/

  19. #19
    Member JoeJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    ND
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Like Paul H alluded to - pretty hard to obtain a bad one, but if it's your unlucky day, you could somehow purchase a bad performing AR regardless of the manufacturer's name on it.

    My two (2) cents worth of advice would be to purchase a gas-piston AR. The gas-piston AR will be the new norm in the near future. The lower receiver stays clean - you can shoot a thousand rounds in a day and the lower receiver will not have any carbon buildup and won't need to be cleaned - just wiped down for your own peace of mind.

    Right now the gas-piston AR's are a little more expensive but when on sale they are priced right. A month ago Mills Fleet Farm had their Huldra line of AR's on sale - the Tactical Elite model was selling for $719.95 and the EVO model upper receiver only; was selling for $399.95. Their AR's are made by Adams Arms.

    The Huldra Elite model having the upgraded trigger, stock and barrel coatings as being "standard", for the price, is a nice touch.

    http://www.huldraarms.com/

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID
    Posts
    1,974

    Default

    A cheap basic AR with a great trigger and a top of the line barrel will do anything you want. Use a free floating handguard and good glass and all the rest of the gun is just what "feels good". Hogue grip feels as good on an AR as they do on everything else. An A2 butt will generally be more solid and seem to shoot better than the adjustable one. 18" barrel is a good compromise length but do keep it light. I have a 16" PSA stainless barrel (upper) that makes a 7 lb gun that shoots sub MOA and it cost $300. Put that on a milspec lower with a good trigger and you can have a good start for under $600.

    Don't be afraid to swap out parts on the gun...they are modular and easy to swap parts, but be very VERY careful or you will be infected with the AR virus and find you can't stop buying them and parts for them...not to mention the gazillion different calibers now available. Awhile back I bought a .25-45 (.223 necked up to .257) to go with my 6x45 and now I have a 6x6.8, .25x6.8 to go with each other so they don't get lonely. OH yeah...and a .50 Beowulf and a 6.8, 6.5 Grendel and so on.

    Forget the heavy clunky AR-10 in .308 (I have an Armalite AR-10...only real AR-10) and I want a .260 Rem upper and a .338 Fed and maybe a .358 Win. and a .243 Win. Be VERY careful out there!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •