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Guidance needed for first AR

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by jcombs, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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    I would like to purchase my first AR before the elections this fall and need some guidance. A brief background and intended usage. I own several rifles, shotguns and handguns, by Browning, Remington, Ruger, Sig and others. I grew up on a farm hunting, fishing and spending time in the woods but not military and never really into the tactical scene. I currently live on a small farm, 50 acres, but we are surrounded by subdivisions and its closing in and I don't hunt like I used to. This rifle would be used primarily for eliminating various critters, fox, coyote, etc. but it will also spend some time in the truck for any potential issues that could arise while traveling for work. It will fit logically somewhere between my Savage .17HMR and a Ruger 25.06, so ideally in .223 caliber but I'm willing to listen to options. I am not as knowledgeable about this type of gun as I am others so I'm not brand conscious and don't really want to build my own or spend several grand on this purchase, just don't think I can justify it. I would like a reasonably well made, dependable black rifle with large capacity magazine. I hope you can guide me in the right direction as there is lots of knowledge within this forum, Thanks in advance.
     
  2. 9x19

    9x19 Loaded Pockets

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    My recommendation:
    Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II ~$600 or less new in the box.
    Chambered for 5.56 which should be more than adequate for all your uses. They come with 30 round Magpul magazines.
    I have two of the early models (without the Forward Assist) and have never had a moments trouble with either. I have a total of 7 ARs and the S&Ws hold their own in accuracy as well.
    Ruger's entry level AR556 is another option at about the same price point, but typical for them, they decided to go their own way on a couple of parts which for you wouldn't matter, but for folks who might want to change things up, they can complicate the process.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
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  3. Strayz

    Strayz Loaded Pockets

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    I would Second the Ruger AR15. For the price it is going to be hard to beat even if you build your own.

    (Most that build there own end up spending more than they planned. LOL....)

    "Oh, Hey look I found a washer for holding on the pistol grip... Time to Build another to use up all the spare parts. "
     
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  4. steviesterno

    steviesterno Loaded Pockets

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    find a company you like (Ruger, S&W, the new Colt, or Sig) and buy one of their entry level guns. for your first AR I vote 223/556. a 556 will shoot 223 but a 223 won't shoot 556. most companies have addressed this and you'll be good to go. Buy a bunch of mags and ammo. the AR platform is sort of like legos, you can build and change easily enough to meet your needs. But it sounds like any 16" carbine style will fit the bill.

    Weird AR calibers are fun but I don't recommend for your first purchase. My first AR was a DPMS AR in 556. I am now probably 30 ARs into it at this point, built by me and helping my buddies build or tweak theirs. I still have that DPMS, but the only remaining unchanged parts are the trigger pins. literally everything else on it is different.

    I'm currently building an 8" 300 BO PDW SBR, maybe integrally suppressed. but it's something I can mess with, already have all the parts for, and can spend time to make it work. start with something stock, learn about it, and if you like it go from there.
     
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  5. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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    Good info so far, I appreciate the insight. I also should have given a price range, I would like to stay under $1000. I don't want a cheap gun but I do want value. My Browning's are both pre 64 Belgium made and the scopes on the Ruger and Remington rifles are higher end. I have spent money on my guns, I am just not sure I want to spend a lot on my first AR. I have looked at the Accurate Armory line out of Lexington, KY but they might be more gun than I need. Keep em coming.
     
  6. Telstar

    Telstar Loaded Pockets

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    I have owned many AR's over many decades and I will give you my short list:

    Most bang for the buck:

    Colt 6920
    Smith Wesson Sport

    If money is no object:

    Bravo Co
    Daniel Defense

    Suggestion: No matter what you buy, only use magazine with a stellar reputation. True USGI, Magpul, Lancer,
     
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  7. b.s.

    b.s. Loaded Pockets

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    I just picked up the Ruger 556.

    It's a solid starter AR selling between $600-700.
    If I was going to spend more than $700, then I would spend $1,000 and get a basic BCM.

    The Ruger barrel is medium profile, cold hammer forged, 1 in 8 twist and probably the best part of the gun. Accurate and upgradeable.

    Ruger's proprietary delta ring makes it easy to upgrade handguards without tools, and can be removed when you are ready to upgrade to a free float barrel.

    I've put a couple hundred rounds through my rifle and had zero issues to date.

    If this is your pre election / first AR, I would recommend you buy a basic AR and figure out what you like. The less expensive AR will be easier to resell when you want to upgrade, and the Ruger/Smith and Wesson/Colt brand names will have better resale than a lesser known AR.

    PSA's are affordable to build, but since they have such regular sales, people try to beat me up on pricing. Great rifles, but don't expect to make money selling them.

    Custom AR's are like custom cars. Once you've made it yours, people will be less likely to want it be theirs. Keep all of your original parts, and return the rifle to its original configuration in case you get tired of it.

    In summation
    Less than $650 ... Smith and Wesson M&P Sport 2, Colt Expanse, Ruger AR556. If you can find a DPMS oracle for $525-550 I may consider it.
    These rifles will have carbine length gas tubes. Although a well tuned carbine gas system works fine.

    More than $650 ... BCM, Daniel Defense, Noveske
    Preferably with a midlength gas tube.

    Also... Magpul makes a 40 round magazine now. Their 30 rounders have been flawless for me with the Ruger, but I had a PSA that could only run USGI mags.
     
    Last edited by b.s., Sep 1, 2016
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  8. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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    Really great info, I appreciate it a bunch. It looks like the early consensus is the S&W Sport II and the Ruger 556. I am going to handle both of these over the weekend and then start looking for some sales/bargains. Thanks for the input so far.
     
  9. les snyder

    les snyder Loaded Pockets

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    I'll add a second opinion... if you plan on shooting at some distance, would look for something with a full float barrel and good trigger, though those are pretty easy to add... I've found that the RRA triggers work as well for me as the more expensive ones
     
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  10. fisk-king

    fisk-king Loaded Pockets

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  11. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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  12. mrwrightprice34

    mrwrightprice34 Loaded Pockets

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    Anderson lubeless technology is state of the art :censored:

    Sent from my SM-S820L using Tapatalk
     
  13. Copperhead78

    Copperhead78 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm a fan of Bravo Co (BCM). Excellent cost/value ratio.

    I would definitely consider a M&P Sport2 or Rugers direct impingement offering. Going this latter route gives $$$ available for sling/mags or optic.
     
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  14. radir68

    radir68 Empty Pockets

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    My first and only AR is the S&W sport. Had it about a year now. Well over 1000 trouble free rounds thru it. I did change the grip to a Houge and I changed the hand guard to a Magpul SL. I love it and everyone who has shot it like it too. Even shooting buddies who have much higher end AR's were impressed how accurate and reliable it is. Have fun
     
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  15. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    Bravo Company, Daniel Defense, CMT or Colt - buy once, cry once. At the present very affordable price point, buy something that is MILSPEC or at least higher quality. You buy these quality makers because they have a track record of using quality components and are willing to fix major issues.

    I have numerous AR based long guns and have only purchased one complete upper/lower. I did this to economize and to enjoy building my own, though I have learned a quality BCM, CMT or Colt upper is worth it at the unbelievably low prices today, buying a complete combo is worthwhile. I would suggest spending some time at M4Carbine, Lightfighter or other more informed forums to get a solid read on the best value.

    I am elistist on ARs, but I have bought Rock River and Palmetto State in the past. The PSA upper I Recieved was obviously faulty when I opened the box. It took six weeks and five phone calls to get a refund on an upper that should have never left the factory. For comparable costs, there are better quality with better QC.

    If you are going to economize, buy a quality upper and then build up a lower yourself. A poor quality upper is going to be lousy forever. You can fix almost any issue in lower by swapping out parts in the future.

    And for the record, Colt Expanse is not what what you should be buying. I do not have any personal experience with Ruger so would defer to others.
     
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  16. gun papa

    gun papa Loaded Pockets

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    I have assembled several AR's. There are a lot of parts out there, but not all parts are created equal. I have a cheap, reliable , purpose built AR pistol as a travel gun, but my go to AR is BCM. Quality, and quality control counts.
     
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  17. Il Duce

    Il Duce Loaded Pockets

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    BCM or Noveske are my go to
     
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  18. mauiblue

    mauiblue Loaded Pockets

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    I would go balls to the wall and get a high end AR-15. Daniel Defense, LMT, Noveske, and the like is they way I would go if this is my first AR-15. Get the best and go from there. BTW, buy lots of magazines and ammo. Stack it high and deep. Especially in this political climate.

    I am still hopeful we will have a republican in the White House but my crystal ball is broken.
     
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  19. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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    I've been to 5 fairly large shops within a 150 mi radius, I travel for work, and I haven't even been able to find the S&W or the Ruger in stock anywhere. So I may have to look at some other options. I might have an option with a FFL friend of a friend and could possibly go the online route. I did find a Colt M4', not a 6920, for $804 but wasn't sure of model. It was marked LE8422?? or something close to that. Maybe it was the expanse? Thanks for all of the input, still looking.
     
  20. Damn_Yankee
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    Damn_Yankee Loaded Pockets

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    If you don't feel like assembling your own AR then the M&P Sport II is your best option. For a few extra bucks you can get a BCM standard upper and mate it to a PSA blem complete lower. You would still need the BCG and charging handle though. This is the route I took and I could not be happier with the result.
    [​IMG]
     
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