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Thread: Ar q&a

  1. #1
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Default Ar q&a

    Hey guys, I've noticed a lot of questions about AR's floating around, so I figured I would do a Q&A thread. If you have a question about the rifles, feel free to post and I'll try to answer to the best of my ability

    Please no politics over x brand vs. y brand though.

  2. #2

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    The last AR I built was almost 20 years ago on an EA Co. lower and a Quality Parts Company CAR-15 kit. There wasn't many options back then.

    Back then, most of the Quality Parts upper receivers were a "brighter" or shiny (?) black finish that didn't match the EA lower's finish (which was more of a flat grayish color than black). I lived with the difference because the QP kits were so cheap back then, but I also thought that I'd eventually build a new upper someday (especially as the A2 & A3 receivers came to market) for it.

    So, do you have a recommendation on what brand of upper receiver matches (or is closer to) the finish of the EA lower?

  3. #3

    Default Three Questions....

    1) Are there benefits to a gas piston system and does it follow KISS principles? The rage in black rifles are the new gas piston systems that are supposed to increase reliability. However, many of the best custom makers have reported that there is very little increase in the gas piston system. Which is less difficult to fix the current direct impingement system or do you believe that there are specific benefits to the gas piston systems.
    2) Which trigger set up(1 stage vs 2 stage trigger)is better for different kinds of use and less likely to break down? Would the benefits of a Chip McCormick or a Gisselle trigger system be worth the money.
    3) How hard is it to build and register a NFA SBR?

    I am just a novice at this so humor me.

  4. #4
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by upstream View Post
    The last AR I built was almost 20 years ago on an EA Co. lower and a Quality Parts Company CAR-15 kit. There wasn't many options back then.

    Back then, most of the Quality Parts upper receivers were a "brighter" or shiny (?) black finish that didn't match the EA lower's finish (which was more of a flat grayish color than black). I lived with the difference because the QP kits were so cheap back then, but I also thought that I'd eventually build a new upper someday (especially as the A2 & A3 receivers came to market) for it.

    So, do you have a recommendation on what brand of upper receiver matches (or is closer to) the finish of the EA lower?
    As far as i understand it, it is a difference in the coatings they put on the metal. Even the kit i have (Del-ton Upper and DPMS Lower) is the exact same way. I haven't actually seen an upper that wasnt at least slightly shiney. I honestly just planned on duracoating the upper. (the rail system and barrel on my rifle are already matte, so was just going to matte black that too)

  5. #5
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kaboku68 View Post
    1) Are there benefits to a gas piston system and does it follow KISS principles? The rage in black rifles are the new gas piston systems that are supposed to increase reliability. However, many of the best custom makers have reported that there is very little increase in the gas piston system. Which is less difficult to fix the current direct impingement system or do you believe that there are specific benefits to the gas piston systems.
    2) Which trigger set up(1 stage vs 2 stage trigger)is better for different kinds of use and less likely to break down? Would the benefits of a Chip McCormick or a Gisselle trigger system be worth the money.
    3) How hard is it to build and register a NFA SBR?

    I am just a novice at this so humor me.
    Ok here we go:

    1. I honestly thing that the piston systems are feel good money. If you are putting thousands of rounds downrange, then you might look into it. With proper maintenance, the stoner gas system in an AR is quite reliable. So it seems to me its just "feel good money." Its my belief that adding more moving parts to an already complex system is just giving one more thing to break down. Not to mention, should it break, thats just more parts you have to custom order from that manufacturer, instead of just getting a bolt/carrier/gas tube or whatever.

    2. I'm not familiar with the giselle trigger but the McCormack trigger is good from what i hear. That and the RRA drop right in. Ok for a plinking rifle or a KISS rifle, i would stay with the standard 1 stage trigger. It may not feel the greatest (you can hone the trigger a bit tho) compared to a 2 stage, but they are utterly reliable. Now if you are doing precision work, i would very happily recommend the RRA 2 stage trigger. It lets you adjust the pull, so you know exactly when its going to break. Really, if you are one of the people who wants to put 5 rounds in the same hole or are planning on 300 yard shots with an ar, i would defiantly get it. For just an occasional plinker like me, a 1 stage works just fine.

    For breaking down, i would say the 1 stage is sturdier, but at the same time, the internals are different, so its apples and oranges. The 1 point has a minimum of parts for reliability, where as the 2 stage has a few more parts so you can maximize your accuracy. Regardless, with proper care, i honestly cant see either system breaking on you. With a 1 stage, should a spring break, you can just pop out a pin and replace it. For a 2 stage, i honestly dont have a clue.

    3. NFA weapons are a pain in the ass. You have to go to the BATF's website and get them to send you the paperwork packet for it. *BEFORE* you do ANY work on the rifle. If you already have components, disassemble the rifle and lock it up now. (if you get caught with one without the paperwork thats big jail time)

    Now then, You have to fill out the paperwork, get fingerprinted, send a copy of the paperwork to the chief law enforcement officer of your area (so if you arent in a city, the head of the state troopers) and send a check for $200 into the batf with your paperwork. You *Might* have to get approval from the CLEO, i honestly dont remember. It would say that in your paperwork.

    Wait about 6 months for the BATF to send you back a tax stamp, sign the paperwork and put your rifle together. PUT THE ORIGIONAL STAMP in a very very safe place, and put a photocopy in the case with the rifle. Otherwise big trouble occurs.

    With short barreled AR's tho, you have problems with the gas system pressure, let alone they are freaking LOUD and not really that accurate over 75-100 yards. Dont get me wrong, you just wont be punching the same hole, more of around it somewhere lol.

    Hope that helped I know its a little bit convoluted.

  6. #6
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default My AR

    I built an AR last summer, started with a LMT lower. They seem to get pretty good review online and I thought Id start with a good lower. I caught a sale at midway and bought a complete upper, 16" Bull barrel DPMS flattop (I think thats an A3) but I too am a novice. On thing that disappointed me about he upper is the gas block's rail and the rail on the back are not the same level so my BUIS are basically useless. Has anyone else run into this? With optics on it I am pleasently suprised with its accuracy. Less than an inch at 100 yrds, when Im shooting good, and around 2" when Im not. I have also noticed that ammo makes a big diffrence in this gun 55 gr FMJ is very accurate even the cheapo PMC, where as black hills 50 grain balistic usually doesnt do too well. But Im only really getting to know this rifle but I do like to shoot it.

    One last note does anyone have a sling that they would recomend for an AR while snowmachining?

    Got 2 foxes so far this year with it and 55 FMJ are just the ticket IMO, small hole in and out, even with a head shot.

  7. #7
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    I built an AR last summer, started with a LMT lower. They seem to get pretty good review online and I thought Id start with a good lower. I caught a sale at midway and bought a complete upper, 16" Bull barrel DPMS flattop (I think thats an A3) but I too am a novice. On thing that disappointed me about he upper is the gas block's rail and the rail on the back are not the same level so my BUIS are basically useless. Has anyone else run into this? With optics on it I am pleasently suprised with its accuracy. Less than an inch at 100 yrds, when Im shooting good, and around 2" when Im not. I have also noticed that ammo makes a big diffrence in this gun 55 gr FMJ is very accurate even the cheapo PMC, where as black hills 50 grain balistic usually doesnt do too well. But Im only really getting to know this rifle but I do like to shoot it.

    One last note does anyone have a sling that they would recomend for an AR while snowmachining?

    Got 2 foxes so far this year with it and 55 FMJ are just the ticket IMO, small hole in and out, even with a head shot.
    LMT makes great stuff. A good portion of my current rifle is made by them. Some rifles do have the different levels of railing. I try to keep with the military suppliers to keep that to a minimum. I have a Yankee Hill Machine 4 rail on my rifle and it lines up perfectly. The A3 is the flat top btw.

    Sounds like your rifle is a 1:9 twist, so 55gr is about the exact that you want to run on it.

    As for a sling, I honestly cant come up with something that would secure it to my standards. A good 2 point would work just fine if you sling it behind and across your back, but at the same time, the cold from being exposed like that could cause problems with the reliability of the system. (unless you are using dry lube or extreme weather oil)

    I would honestly consider one of those plastic gun boots. They are a bit spendy but at the same time, keeps your rifle that much more secure.

    Sorry I wasnt much help on that one. (Ive lived here almost all of my life and ive been on a snow machine 1 time. not much to go on lol)

    Edit: For some reason I completely misread that. Your front sight and back dont line up right? I would either consider getting a new gas block with a flip up sight or get a spacer for your front one. (looks like a rail that slides onto another rail)

    Really, replacing your gas block with a better flip up would be the best bet, but that is a complete pain in the ass. They do make sights that just slide onto the gas block though. I would look into one of those.

  8. #8
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default search for a sling goes on....

    I do use a dry lube in cold temps and so far down to -10 F I have not had a problem. Im nnot real excited about a gun boot because of my interest in getting a wolf. The few times I saw one, they were gone before I would have been able to ge a rifle out of the scabbard. They are really leary. I guess I will take my chances with my 2 point adjustable and go from there. So far so good.

    Does anyone know what the military uses in extreme cold for lube in the ARs/M16s?

    Thanks North Polar, what is your store hours and where are you located? Ill stop by and shoot the shiz one of these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    I do use a dry lube in cold temps and so far down to -10 F I have not had a problem. Im nnot real excited about a gun boot because of my interest in getting a wolf. The few times I saw one, they were gone before I would have been able to ge a rifle out of the scabbard. They are really leary. I guess I will take my chances with my 2 point adjustable and go from there. So far so good.

    Does anyone know what the military uses in extreme cold for lube in the ARs/M16s?

    Thanks North Polar, what is your store hours and where are you located? Ill stop by and shoot the shiz one of these days.
    Lol Im just a guy with a hobby. I would love to have a store, but will wait till after the inauguration to make that decision. Fairbanks could use a good AR shop. I usually just kick around fairbanks, so if you ever have any questions, just pop me a pm. Sorry I wasnt much help on that.

    As far as i know its just "cold weather oil" but i could be wrong. Probably am.

  10. #10
    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Default DI vs Piston.

    I prefer the piston system over DI (direct impingment), with the piston you get reduced heat and powder residue back to your bolt and carrier = greater reliability. After a thousand rounds, I can break open and hold the bolt carrier in my bear hand. Not possible with the DI (extreme heat). I have seen DI AR's start to malf after just 500 rnds due to heat and debris (powder residue). After a firing session the piston rifle requires far less effort to clean (simple wipe down and go). If you are a casual plinker a DI rifle will be just fine, and they have been used for years with great sucsess, and are lighter. My AR (POF 18" upper on a Sun Devil billit lower, RRA 2stage NM trigger, grip pod fore grip, SOPMOD stock, ergo grip, GG&G BUIS, aim point or night force optic) is for fun and my SHTF rifle. I want to be sure it will go bang every time. Look at any other sucsessful battle rifle system from around the world (FAL, AK-74/47, H&K 91) all are proven and reliability are second to none, and all incorporate a gas piston. IMHO gas pistons are King.
    Last edited by 2dawgs; 11-17-2008 at 14:18. Reason: bad spelling

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    Like i was saying in my post about piston systems, unless you are putting TONS of rounds downrange at one time, its sort of pointless. My rifle maybe gets 100, if that per range trip. So, DI works just fine for me.

    I still think its just "feel good" money, but if it works for ya, it works. Way it was taught was to keep it wet and it will run through hell and back. Mostly though, my ar is a safe queen since i dont get to the range much.

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Agreed, for a casual shooter the DI sys is great and @ 1/2 the denero's most of the time. Keep her sloppy wet...lol. Also one more plus for the piston IMO is its designed to run dry, which eliminates another issue here in the Ak winters. AR's need to be exercised regularly ya know, get out and shoot her . I don't think its feel good money, just a different philosify ( ok I know that is spelled wrong). Reliability uber alles. For a "Katrina carbine" thats huge.
    Last edited by 2dawgs; 11-17-2008 at 15:22. Reason: clarity and wisdom

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    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Lol i hear ya... Cant wait till spring to go try out the handloads im working on. Maybe convince the wife to shoot the ar a bit lol.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by North Polar View Post
    Like i was saying in my post about piston systems, unless you are putting TONS of rounds downrange at one time, its sort of pointless. My rifle maybe gets 100, if that per range trip. So, DI works just fine for me.

    I still think its just "feel good" money, but if it works for ya, it works. Way it was taught was to keep it wet and it will run through hell and back. Mostly though, my ar is a safe queen since i dont get to the range much.
    My "current" parts gun has the original design gas operating system, no forward assist, and I put lots of rounds through it with no problems that lead me to believe that I need anything different in the gas operating system to function reliably. I would like to update the upper, but that's more for the rear sight than anything.

    I spent a 25 year career putting rounds down range on the AR / M16 weapon system (along with numerous other weapon systems) starting with the early Armalite AR's, H&R's, Hydramatics to Colts in every variation imaginable from the original contract military AR / M16 to the current M4, all with the original design gas operating system.

    Keep it clean and lightly oiled, and it'll work just fine. That being especially true for a non forward assist rifle.

  15. #15

    Default Forward assist

    My training and experience on M4s/ARs has been gained in the military on rifles which all had the dust cover, forward assist, and shell deflector. There is a lot of discussion on the necessity of these features, and frankly, I'm indifferent, seeing them as neither a drop-dead necessity or major impediment. I am a left-handed shooter and like the shell deflector even though it dings up brass.

    All of my civilian ARs (5.56x45 and .308) have these three features, but I purchased the civies with them only because I wanted them identical to what we would use at work so both my personal and professional range sessions contribute to instinctive use in real-life situations.

    What are your thoughts on these three features?

  16. #16
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default My thoughts

    Dust cover keeps the snow out while im snow machining which I like.

    Forward assist, I have used once, so it might be nice

    Shell deflector I don't really care about, except I would like to reload so I might want to save my brass.

    That how I feel anyway.

  17. #17
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Default

    I love my dust cover, of course thats because i keep my rifle wet. So it does what it says. Keeps crud off the internals. lol

    Forward assist is one of those things i like, just in case you need it. I've never had a FTF but should the bolt get stuck, giving it a whack is nice.

    Brass deflectors are a pain in the ass but for throwing brass they do their job. I'm planning on getting a brass catch for my reloads once i start again next month. (double & triple checking my math before i load anything. would rather be sure then guess and ruin a rifle)

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by North Polar View Post
    i keep my rifle wet. So it does what it says. Keeps crud off the internals. lol
    And it makes cleaning much easier.

  19. #19
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Lol Darn right it does.

    I've been considering one of those uppers in 270 WSSM but the only ones i've found are made by oly, and with their spotty rep, ill just go another way.

    If components for 6.5 grendel or 6.8 spc were openly available up here, id just go with that, but i havent seen them anywhere. (course a new set of dies is expensive. Im just happy i got my rcbs 223 ones for $24 because of a misprint price)

    Edit: Heck, if i could find stuff for .50 beowulf i would be in heaven.
    Last edited by North Polar; 11-18-2008 at 14:53. Reason: remembered something...

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    I like all three options, I'm a lefty too. The brass deflector is nice. I would like to learn to reload, any advice on equipment (5.56x45/ 7.62x51 and the trusty 30.06)?

    EDIT: doesn't DPMS make a .270 upper, maybe it was .243?
    just did a search .260 and .243.
    Last edited by 2dawgs; 11-19-2008 at 02:34. Reason: fingers working faster than brain

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