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Thread: Couple AR-15 Questions...

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Question Couple AR-15 Questions...

    So I am looking at using a bit of my PFD this year to pick up a pre-possible-obamanancy AR15.

    I would be looking to spend about $1000 and had a couple quick, basic questions....


    - What would be the top brands in this price range? armalite? bushmaster?

    -I'd be looking to pick up an M-4 style AR. Is there anything specific about this type that goes wrong/needs to be looked out for?


    Any/all other information for a first time AR buyer would be great!


    Thanks guys,


    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

  2. #2

    Default RRA

    Armalite is a great brand off the shelf, I've owned a few and they have worked great. However, if your going to spend 1k, you might as well spend a hundred or so more for a Rock River. I've owned one and kick myself for selling it. I've owned bushmasters, DPMS, Olympic, Armalite.... and by far the best overall package was the RRA. Extremely accurate, will chew through any ammo you through at it (I put Prob 10k rounds of the Wolf, and other misc. boxes of cheapy ammo with no issues at all)

    If you plan on hunting with it, try and get a flat top upper, or an upper with a removable handle. It will make using it with a scope much easier and you won't need to buy additional mounting hardware.

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    Colt
    , all the rest are copies

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    Default Colt.

    Don't bother with Bushmaster... don't even look at them. Junk. The company I work for owns a whole bunch of Bushmasters and the armorer spends more time trying to keep them running. They never fail to fail during range sessions. Type 3 malfunctions are pretty regular and the parts seem to wear out very quickly. They started replacing the Bushmaster parts with Colt parts and the number of malfunctions was reduced. This trend repeated in every rifle as they had to replace worn out parts, so I'm firmly convinced that Bushmaster uses crappy parts to build their cheap guns. (My observation-based opinion, but YMMV).

    I strongly second the Colt. I've had a Colt carbine (M4 size) for several years and I run it pretty regularly. Not one single problem... ever. Not a single malfunction (knock on wood), yet. It's an awesome rifle.

    Colt owns the original mil-spec designs for the M16 & M4. Everyone else is a copy. While the civilian guns are technically not mil-spec, they are made at the same plant with the same machinery, by the same people, to the same specifications. A Colt is as close to a mil-spec gun as you can purchase.

    There are a few manufacturers that make good and even great AR-style rifles. But most of the great ones will cost more than a Colt, so why bother?

    The deciding factor might actually be related to what you're going to do with the gun. There may be different recommendations between a fair-weather plinker, varmint hunter, home defense, competition, or joining the foreign legion. So, what kind of shooting are you going to be doing with it?
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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    What does anyone know about Stag?

    Being left handed, they are obviously intriguing, but, like you've said, JOAT, being left handed gives you a slight advantage for diagnosing malfunctions.

    Is this that big of an issue or should I just get the Stag since they come in lefty?

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I know they are suppose to be OK. Left hand shooters should have no problem with any AR as long as the upper has a brass deflector to keep the brass out of your face. Remember that being a south paw doesn't keep anybody out of the service. They don't have left hand models for the south paws in the service.

    I have not seen any particular brand of AR to be bad or not built to mil spec. Many of these companies are under contract with the Defence procurement agency. If they were not mil spec they would not be under contract for very long if they fail to meet DOD guidelines for testing.

    A lot of the companies like Bushmaster have of late been bought out and now fall under one umbrella.

    As to Colt being better than anyone else? And their parts being any better? The only way I know that anyone could tell would be when you had to modify the lower to fit the over size Colt pins into the under size pin dia for everyone else's lower.

    The last STAG lower I had was just as tight as my high dollar stuff. As one poster has written, I will go along with RRA as being the best. I do know one big thing about the Colt that is easy to prove, they have less resale value than a RRA does, and they just don't resale as fast. I gave my Son an H-bar years ago and had to rebuild the rifle before it became competitive for the National Match course. That was the rifle that taught me to not buy anymore factory built rifles. I WOULD MUCH RATHER GET A RRA LOWER AND TURN IT OVER TO A GOOD BUILDER. I know I want the best upper that money can buy. The lowers really don't mean that much, I built my last 3 lowers (I did ny own machine work) I won't buy any more lowers that I don't machine.

    There are lots of ways to go. Just like STAG had a bad name at one time, today the bad name lingers, but they are vastly improved in quality.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys! I think I will start looking for a RRA to pick up once the check comes in

    Thanks again for the info, appreciate it!


    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Colt
    , all the rest are copies
    I believe Colt bought the patent from Armalite!!


    Which AR?

    Hard users/work horses-- LWRC, LMT, Colt, Noveski, Sabre Defence, BCM

    Competition & 3 gun-- all of the above plus JP, Wilson Combat, Custom gun from savy dealer/custom gunsmith.

    Average american gun user owner/shooter, hunter-- Rock River, Stag, Armalite, CMMG, Bushmaster, DPMS, Les Baer, Remington, Smith & Wesson

    Stuff I would stay away from-- Kit guns ie model one sales, unknown origin from unsavy Dealer, any unmarked upper. Olympic Arms.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Colt owns the Technical Data Package for the M4, M4A1, M16A3/A4. Armalite had nothing to do with those, even though they were involved with the original M16. It's hard to compare the original M16 to a modern M4. Two completely different guns. The Colt TDP is the only Mil-Spec "plans" for the modern guns and is considered proprietary information (trade secrets). FN has license (by gov't contract) from Colt to make M16's under Colt's TDP and all the M4's are made by Colt.

    And just like a bunch of people make good 1911's, there's a bunch who make good AR's. There are also a few who make bad copies of both...
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    Default RRA

    I third the RRA AR. I have put about 10,000+ rounds through mine and it's still running like a top. Everybody that shoots mine is amazed by the trigger. It is stock and almost as good as the trigger in my Colt that was $300. I see alot of AR's in my job and the RRA is at the top of the list. John

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    Just a quick note on RRA, if you order a complete gun you can get it faster and more money (usually about 2 to 3 months)than a stripped lower(8 to 12 months) they have goverment contracts to fill, you can have your dealer order just a lower, once you have the lower you can order everthing else yourself and have it shipped to your house and assemble it there. I buy stripped lowers then have RRA assemble my uppers and I do the lowers. My National Match shoots better than I do, I shoot service rifle out to 600yds. I just received 2 lowers that I ordered the end of Jan. Check out their web site for parts and info.

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    Default Other Guns to Consider...

    Just a few thoughts for you that may or may not have crossed your mind:

    1. You might want to consider an alternative to your AR-15, have you considered the Sig 556? GO down to Sportsmans warehouse or your local gun shop and ask to look at one. See what you think, they are very nice and quite well balanced.

    2. In lieu of the above, have you given some thought to getting a similar style of rifle in .308? They tend to be more practical in this state (ie you can carry it for bear protection while picking berries and fishing... etc) I have always liked the FN-FAL but there are many options to look into. The 308 tends to be more accurate, more powerful, and your downrange energy is greatly increased.

    Just some things to think about, I don't want to take your thread off course, but thought you should entertain the idea of something other than an AR-15. That being said, if you still want an AR, I have always had great experience with Colt. Make sure you get one with a forward assist (if you are looking at used this could be something that is not present, all the modern ones have it to my knowledge) It is invaluable in super cold weather.

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    Default RRA

    Yet another vote for Rock River.

    If you go to ar15.com forums and look through their classifieds section for a guy who goes by 'legal transfers' - he has prices that are very hard to beat. I've bought two from him and had great service both times (one entry tactical model and a second national match model).

    Plan B might be to buy a stripped lower and throw it in the bottom of the safe, then spend the rest of your dividend on somethin else.

    Nate

  14. #14

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    Colt is the best. I've had 3 Colts including a old SP1 and a Match HB carbine. You just don't get any better than a Colt in my opinion. However, that being said, I also have a Bushmaster and it's an excellent shooter for the money ($900 - $1100 NIB). But unless you are looking to buy a Colt online or order thru your FFL, you'll have a hard time finding a NIB Colt in Alaska. When I bought my Bushmaster, they were all over the place. I didn't see ONE NEW COLT AR in Anchorage or the Valley and that was just last month. If it's your first AR, but a Colt with a flat rail so you have better options for optics - and buy it new. You will love it. Wilson makes a fine AR too from what I've seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Colt owns the Technical Data Package for the M4, M4A1, M16A3/A4. Armalite had nothing to do with those, even though they were involved with the original M16. It's hard to compare the original M16 to a modern M4. Two completely different guns. The Colt TDP is the only Mil-Spec "plans" for the modern guns and is considered proprietary information (trade secrets). FN has license (by gov't contract) from Colt to make M16's under Colt's TDP and all the M4's are made by Colt.

    And just like a bunch of people make good 1911's, there's a bunch who make good AR's. There are also a few who make bad copies of both...
    My point was that Colt....well is just the lowest bidder for the M16, M4 ie.. gov contracts.

    There is no secret what and how Colt builds them and to what standards.

    Colts civilian models are suspect as far as testing proceedures etc.. goes.

    As I mentioned before, I agree colt is a good product...but it is way overated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limetrude View Post
    Just a few thoughts for you that may or may not have crossed your mind:

    1. You might want to consider an alternative to your AR-15, have you considered the Sig 556? GO down to Sportsmans warehouse or your local gun shop and ask to look at one. See what you think, they are very nice and quite well balanced.

    2. In lieu of the above, have you given some thought to getting a similar style of rifle in .308? They tend to be more practical in this state (ie you can carry it for bear protection while picking berries and fishing... etc) I have always liked the FN-FAL but there are many options to look into. The 308 tends to be more accurate, more powerful, and your downrange energy is greatly increased.

    Just some things to think about, I don't want to take your thread off course, but thought you should entertain the idea of something other than an AR-15. That being said, if you still want an AR, I have always had great experience with Colt. Make sure you get one with a forward assist (if you are looking at used this could be something that is not present, all the modern ones have it to my knowledge) It is invaluable in super cold weather.
    The SIG 556 is not near as user freindly as a AR15. The safety and mag buttons are a reach for anyone except the longest fingered of us.

    They (sigs) shoot ok.... several of the ones I shot grouped 1 to 1 1/2 @ 100.

    If it is the piston your after the LWRC is all over the sig. Comparable in price if your looking at top of the line Sig. The LWRC AR is a whole lot more user friendly plus easier to disasemble. The POF piston are ok too.

    The FALS are great guns I have a couple, I'd have no problem hunting with one, the 308 is one of my favorite rounds.. But the FALS are heavier then the harder hitting big bore AR's (50Beo, 450 bushy, 458 socom) nor do they shoot as well as the 6.5 or 6.8's.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aksalcha View Post
    ...But the FALS are heavier then the harder hitting big bore AR's (50Beo, 450 bushy, 458 socom) nor do they shoot as well as the 6.5 or 6.8's.
    I also hear the 6.5 grendel is one of the ultimate long range AR cartridges. Being developed by Bill Alexander of Anderson Arms, would their AR be worth looking into? Also, what are your thoughts on the 50 beo vs. the 458 socom. Can you say ultimate bear rifle? Take your puny 3+1 marlin guide gun and get outta here!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Day Dog View Post
    I didn't see ONE NEW COLT AR in Anchorage or the Valley and that was just last month. .
    Heck I've run through 20 of them....Niels at Gunrunners just bought my next to last one, call him

    Funny though I sell Colts but own a Bushy.....about 4 years old, never cleaned, never failed. I wanted a 14.5 inch barrel and Colt wouldnt do it at the time...Just got gas piston kits in and am gonna put one on for S&G

  19. #19

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    Never owned a Colt. I have been shooting Bushmasters for the last 20 years with no problems. And I have been known to go through 1000 rds at a time. Currently have 3 and shoot the hell out of them all. Can't wait for my Spike's .22 dedicated upper to get here.

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    Where in Anchorage is a good place to look into a RRA or Colt? I was at Sportsman's Warehouse but it looked like they just had Bushmasters.

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