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Thread: AR 15s for dummies

  1. #1
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default AR 15s for dummies

    Ok I admit Im a dummy. I know about enough to get myself in trouble. But I am learning. So my question is: I thinking about getting myself a lower and building up an AR. What are peoples experience with this. Any brands to recommend? Any to stay away from. Do you have any tricks or tools that you cant live without? I know all about AR15.com and M4carbine.com, but they are huge and I am not really sure where to start. (drinking out of 55 gal barrel with a straw always come to mind)

    Here is what I want. I want a fun/utility gun that is accurate and light weight. Equally fun to carry as to shoot at the range. And a way to learn about a cool rifle.

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    Most AR15 clone lowers are of good quality today. All of the lowers on the market with the exception of the Colt will take all uppers with the exception of Colt. Colts are made with the larger pivot pin holes, the rest all have the smaller pivot pin holes.

    I went with an Anvil Arms lower receiver this past summer because of their quality and lifetime warranty against defects. Built a 6.8 SPC on this lower. I also have a Bushmaster factory target rifle. Also have a 204 Ruger upper that I switch off with the Bushmaster lower. I'm looking at getting another stripped lower to build it up for the 204 Ruger upper because I get tired of swapping out uppers.

  3. #3

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    Look around for a Stag... they seem to be one of the best cost to quality ratio manufacturers out there. They've made a lot of part for the big names over the years.

    Once you've good with the 223 you should check out the 458 SOCOM uppers out there. You can use .45-70 bullets on a straight-necked case... get about the umph of a 45-70 in semi-auto.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

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    Join this forum:
    http://ar15.com/

    They even offer detailed instructions on how to assemble, etc. Weath of information to be learned there.
    Tennessee

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    If you are looking for the best upper or lower they don't come cheap.

    One of my builds was very expensive but IMO the highest quality.

    For the lower thats extremely nice look here to see a Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) P415 Gen III. I used this lower with a Timney trigger and am very pleased

    As for Uppers, look here at a Vltor MUR 1A.

    The upper and lower above are somewhat heavier than Milspec but its worth it IMO.

    As for Milspec Uppers and Lowers, they are nearly Identical or should be. Your preference of Logos is basically the only difference. A few of the manufacturers had some bad press quite awhile ago but they are all fairly equal nowadays.

    Look Here for some comparisons at AR15.com

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    As people have already posted, the AR is pretty much the erector set of rifles. You can have one lower and buy/build uppers in a wide array of calibers. Many different options in stocks, triggers, and just about any optic you feel compelled to slap on top of it.

    Here is one of my favorite links on building your own upper and/or lower from parts kits. arfcom build

    You can also get into the ar game on the cheap if you are willing to shop around. This is one of the best deals going right now.

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    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    All good stuff. That deal through cmmginc.com look promising. Or at least a good way to get a rifle to start with. Thanks Nate. Anyone know a good FFL in Fairbanks that would order one of these rifles for me?

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    Stay away form Hesse or Vulcan (same maker) they are forged not cast and weaker.

    Stag arms makes Rock River's upper and lowers for them so they are good quality and normally competitively priced with the rest.

    AR15.com has a equipment exchange section that you should watch for a few weeks before you make a purchase so you can get an idea of the value and quality of the different componets.

    If you are around eagle river I have all the tools to complete a build and the TM for the specs on torque values. etc.

  9. #9

    Default Forged

    I don't want to start a flaming war, but forged is stronger than cast. More molecules are forced into the same volume versus cast. Casting tolerances can very wildly.

    I can't speak about the Vulcan receivers though. Most reputable manufacturers, DPMS, RRA, Noveske etc use forged receivers.

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    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default Dpms

    Im leaning towards DPMS. I think Ill get a lower kit and build it up myself. Now I just need to decide on a caliber. Anyone have a .243 in the DPMS?

    Thanks for the tip about the forged receivers graybeard.

    Quote Originally Posted by greybear View Post
    I don't want to start a flaming war, but forged is stronger than cast. More molecules are forced into the same volume versus cast. Casting tolerances can very wildly.

    I can't speak about the Vulcan receivers though. Most reputable manufacturers, DPMS, RRA, Noveske etc use forged receivers.

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    Member hntr's Avatar
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    I got em mixed up, you are correct forged is stronger than cast and everyone except for Hesse and Vulcan to my knowledge uses forged.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    Im leaning towards DPMS. I think Ill get a lower kit and build it up myself. Now I just need to decide on a caliber. Anyone have a .243 in the DPMS?

    Thanks for the tip about the forged receivers graybeard.
    DPMS/Panther is a quality outfit; they're pretty backed up so they won't be able to do any custom stuff for you, but that's about their only drawback. They produce a factory 308, 260, and 243. I personally like the 260... best of both worlds between the 308 and 243. Low ammo availability on most store shelves though.... the 243 would be a good choice for being able to buy off the shelf ammo.

    BTW... forged receivers are good. The cast ones out there are good too as long as they're a quality casting.
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  13. #13
    Member Whelenator's Avatar
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    Talking AR-15 Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    Ok I admit Im a dummy. I know about enough to get myself in trouble. But I am learning. So my question is: I thinking about getting myself a lower and building up an AR. What are peoples experience with this. Any brands to recommend? Any to stay away from. Do you have any tricks or tools that you cant live without? I know all about AR15.com and M4carbine.com, but they are huge and I am not really sure where to start. (drinking out of 55 gal barrel with a straw always come to mind)

    Here is what I want. I want a fun/utility gun that is accurate and light weight. Equally fun to carry as to shoot at the range. And a way to learn about a cool rifle.
    Byrd Hntr, I know everyone here has brought out a lot of good ideas, and most are right on the money. This is all opinion of course, but this is YOUR puschase, so take your time. you don't really have to have it today. I made the mistake of wanting to hurry the heck up when I got my Bushmaster and it cost me a lot of money by being impatient. As for the guns, you could walk into a store with 40 brands on a big table and get blind folded and walk in circles then pick one up and walk out with a dang good rifle. I have the Bushmaster, and I like it fine. I happen to have experience with FN's, and Colts with the military, and Bushmaster, Rock River, DPMS, and a few others just for fun. Honestly, I would go with a name you recognize. That's just me. You USUALLY get better service if you need it from companies like Bushmaster, Rock river, DPMS, Armalite. Now, I am not saying there's anything wrong with any of the rest, it's just that I personally don't have the experience to offer much. Since you want to shoot at the range, and likely hunt with it, I would stay with the AR-15 format and not mess around YET with an AR-10. That's what you have to go with to get a 308, 260, or 243. there is NOTHING wrong with any of those calibers, it's just that the rifles are heavy. Like almost 10 lbs heavy. I haven't carried one of those in the field, and I refuse to unless I am in Iraq and have the choice between an AR or a M-14.

    The 223 is the best way to go for caliber in my honest opinion. For most of the uses that most of use them for, that caliber is prevalent and easy to get. It's also so easy to reload for that a 6 year old could master it. HA HA.
    But seriously, it is a great caliber and will readily kill about everything you have business shooting an AR at in Alaska anyway. It's also one of the cheapest rounds to find ammo for too. Especially out of all the calibers that AR's are available in, such as the ones mentioned above, plus the 204 Ruger, and 6.8 SPC. there are more and if I ommitted your favorite 6.5 Grendal, too bad, you guys know what I mean. Again, this is very opiniated, but I would stay with an AR-15 size weapon, and 223 Caliber. Stick to the mainstream, and enjoy it for a lifetime. Good luck!

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    Default ar15

    Okay, flatlander here. Very coincidental that this thread popped up.
    If it is not a Mauser, Enfield, old sporter of wood and metal then I am not interested.
    The closest thing I have is an old fn fal put together metric inch pattern that is ridiculously accurate for an fn.
    Since the liberals are coming ; the liberals are coming, (hopefully not,but, why wait to see)
    I decided to buy the black rifle. Stripped lower dpms, then parts kit, now dpms from Midway upper; 16 inch hvy bbl, stainless flat top,a3.
    Guess it sounds like I know what I am talking about, guess again. I get a headache just thinking about all the pins, springs etc for the ar rifle.
    Hit google for accessories and optics etc etc, Geeezuz Mary and Joseph as my wonderful Irish Catholic Grandmother would say, where does it end?????
    Point is if an old fogey like me actually has an ar15 then we all need one. Looking forward to testing it at the range, compact package (for now have the a2 lower) simple sighting system, ( probably get a reflex sight from sportsmansguide for plinking then a real one for carry).
    For the guy looking, take a deep breath and look at all the options, have a beer or six, it will take that long...............did me.
    Initially wanted the standard a2, then I thought,hey, why do I want to carry an 8lb 22cal rifle that is supposed to be fun to carry.
    Here comes the dpms lite at about 5 lbs. Then I thought, hey, I want some decent accuracy at 100-300 yards for plinking, here comes the flat top and the match hvy barrel without increased weight from the lite but, more inherent accuracy...........see what I mean. Then I will probably pick up the dcm a2 upper because I can!!!!!!!!!.
    Imagine, I actually can spout this stuff off by just reading a little at the local barnes and noble book store and Google.
    It is exciting, almost as exciting as almost purchasing a match grade m1a!
    ( still a wood and metal nut)
    Good luck, enjoyed reading all the posts, I am glad I found this site years ago

  15. #15
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default .223

    Whelenator,

    I think your right about .223. I was thinking about .243 for a little more bang for my buck for wolves. But I think for my first one Ill get a .223 for the price of ammo so I can practice a lot. Then in the future if I really like it and want to go bigger Ill try an AR-10 in .243 or .308. I have been reading a lot of literature on different builds and I like the 6.5 grendel and the 6.8 SPC too, but that will have to be a later build. Maybe next winters project.

    Thanks everyone for all the input I think building this gun will be fun. Ive settled on a DPMS.

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