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Thread: AR-15 newbie questions

  1. #1
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    Default AR-15 newbie questions

    First off, I am enjoying reading these forums. Thanks for all the interesting and informative posts.

    I am new to the whole AR-15 thing (and guns in general) and have a couple of questions about the upper receiver.

    I have a DPMS Sportical (16" barrel, 5.56). The upper is described as 'Flattop Lo-Pro' and has no dust cover and no brass deflector and no forward assist.

    I'd like the opinions of someone with more experience as to the pros and cons of these features. I have only shot it once so far and noted that the ejected brass does leave a mark on the receiver, which cleans right off fortunately. Beyond the looks, how important are these features?

    I also have a DPMS Bull 20 (20" barrel, .223), which as an A3 flatop upper. I am thinking I'll keep one of these two, perhaps mixing and matching the parts I like.

    Any advise is welcome! Thanks.

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    I don't think that the forward assist or deflector are very important at all. In most cases using the forward assist to ram a stuck round into full battery is a very bad idea. It is both quicker and safer to perform a standard malfunction clearance and get a fresh round in the rifle. The deflector is a convenience item, and therefore not an issue for me. I do like having the dust cover on my AR's though. I would recommend that you keep the 16" barrel and get rid of the bull barrel. You gain no real benefits from the larger barrel, and you get the added weight with it.


    Jeremiah

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    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremiahak View Post
    I don't think that the forward assist or deflector are very important at all. In most cases using the forward assist to ram a stuck round into full battery is a very bad idea. It is both quicker and safer to perform a standard malfunction clearance and get a fresh round in the rifle. The deflector is a convenience item, and therefore not an issue for me. I do like having the dust cover on my AR's though. I would recommend that you keep the 16" barrel and get rid of the bull barrel. You gain no real benefits from the larger barrel, and you get the added weight with it.


    Jeremiah
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    95% of your malfs you can make worse by whacking your forward assist anyhow. I've had to use mine *once* out of about 5000rds through my main rifle and that was because of a crappy magazine that wouldnt feed well.

    Dust covers are nice, and shell deflectors are too. That said, I personally wouldnt buy one without em.

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    Ok, thanks for the info. Now one more question!

    One reason I like the 16" barrel is that it is marked 5.56. I have a little more flexibility in what I shoot (The 20" H-bar is marked .223).

    How hard/expensive is it to swap barrels? Would something like that even work, or am I better off selling both these and getting one GOOD AR exactly how I (think I) want it.

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    Only if is really a 5.56 chamber. DPMS has been hit or miss on that over the years. Lately they have been better, or so the experts on the AR forums say. Bushy, RRA, and many other brands are in similar situations.

    I have an undocumented belief that AR quality as a whole has gone up though, especially in the last couple years as the platform has gone mainstream and the intertubes have allowed many thousands of rifles to be compared and documented, and build brand histories more involved than "well, I've shot 28 rounds through my OlyRock BushLiteMS and it has never failed so they are all that good'.

    Nothing against DPMS, as I have no problems with my low round count DPMS. And you can believe that, as I have over 30 rounds through it.

    Me, I know I would not end up shooting either of those guns much. I know I don't shoot my Colt HBAR. That thing is heavy. If I want to lug that much weight around, it has to have cool stuff hanging off the gun for a much higher CDI factor.

    If I had the ability to turn the guns at a realistic price, I would sell them and buy a Colt 6920 or 6940, or a S&W M&P15. Oh wait, my wife just bought me a M&P15A. Problem solved. YMMV.

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    I totally agree that the best thing you could do is sell them both and buy a Colt 6920. Mine is incredible, and I would never carry anything else into battle if I had the choice. Of course my LMT would do good as well.


    Jeremiah

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    Great advice, thanks guys!

    I have shot mine enough to know that I 'got the bug', so an upgrade shouldn't be a waste. I have heard good things about Colt, S&W, RRA and LMT.

    Now I have to find a good place to sell these and a good place to buy exactly what I want!

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    Not sure where you are located at, but Wild West Guns in anchorage usually has the Colt 6920's, and they are well priced. You can get the S&W models just about anywhere. Some of the other good quality manufacturers will be difficult to find. Whatever you get shoot the crap out of it.



    Jeremiah

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    I guess I'm the odd man out, as for a rifle I'm shooting, I greatly prefer a 20" barrel, especially one that doesn't have a flash supressor. I find the muzzle blast from the short ar's quite un-nerving.

    I see no reason for a bull barrel, there are several options for a lightweight 20" barrel.

    WOA squad designated marksman



    Lilja AR 740 (in the middle)


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    I would sell the two DPMS guns and get a Colt 6940. The resale on a 16 inch barrel ar15 is usually better than a 20 inch barreled ar15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremiahak View Post
    I don't think that the forward assist or deflector are very important at all.
    The deflector sure is if youre lefty!!

    Quote Originally Posted by scottr View Post
    my OlyRock BushLiteMS......
    Good one!!

    Quote Originally Posted by scottr View Post
    If I want to lug that much weight around, it has to have cool stuff hanging off the gun for a much higher CDI factor.....
    CDI factor??

    Quick question. I forget the whole 'issue' with colts and their pin sizes. Would a colt upper fit any other lower or does it only go colt-colt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    The deflector sure is if youre lefty!!


    Good one!!


    CDI factor??

    Quick question. I forget the whole 'issue' with colts and their pin sizes. Would a colt upper fit any other lower or does it only go colt-colt?

    The colt pin size is a trigger pin issue, not upper/lower compatibility.

    I have a Colt lower, and 3 different brand uppers that fit it just fine.

    CDI= (i assume) Chicks Dig It

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