AR Help for the Uninformed


PascalFleischman

New member
I know that opinions are like a-holes, but between now and election day, I plan to get an AR. I have a small budget, so I need some input as to what to look for or avoid. I'm guessing about $1000 is what I intend to spend, so how do I balance cost and quality? I'm not big on modifications or anything. I believe a short-barrel M-4 is about what I'm looking for.

What brands to consider?

How much could I expect to pay for ammo? Which ammo should I avoid?

Are there any brands that are ammo sensitive?

I own a pistol caliber carbine already....should I bother with buying an AR at all?

Thanks for your help.
 

KimberPB

New member
You have a few options.

1. You could always buy up a lower or two and build it yourself. It'll save you money and get you exactly what you want. I built mine from an armalite lower, DPMS parts kit and upper receiver, and a bushmaster lightweight chrome lined barrel and bolt carrier groups. I think I had about $750 into the gun before I dropped $400 for the EOTech. I've probably shot 1500 rounds through it so far without a single failure.

2. DPMS has some good quality rifles for a good price. You should be able to find one well under $1000.00.

3. AIM surplus has a bushmaster 16" carbine M4 A3 for $999.95 and a Del-Ton DTI flat top M4 Carbine for $669.95. I've never shot or used any of Del-Ton's stuff but have heard good things about them on AR15.com.

As far as ammo is concerned I've shot everything from wolf and Milsurp to hand loaded 75gr hollow points and all seemed to fire fine. But like any other gun some may be picky with different brands of ammo.

Hope this helped and feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I'll try and help.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PascalFleischman

New member
Another addition:

I might be an engineer, but I don't want to stake my life on my ability to put something together that I've never used. So I will not be building one myself. I would prefer out-of-the-box reliability.

Also, my neighbor mentioned barrels built to military specs can be identified by a grooved ring around the barrel near the muzzle. "Civilian"versions might not have this ring. Apparently, this was to attach the grenade launcher underneath. Does this statement have any merit?

Finally, are there any brands to flat-out avoid?
 

PascalFleischman

New member
DANG, what about caliber?????

Since there seems to be fuss about .223 shortages, is there a better caliber to consider? .308 is WAY overkill for my desires. I don't want anything exotic, either.......something I can buy at Wal Mart if need be.
 

sambo42xa

USA Carry Supporter
Pascal., I feel Your pain. I myself am looking for that "AR". Pretty much all the same questions you're asking. I got my sights on a STAG ARMS model 2 for under $900.00. At this time I've only seen a photo and some of the specs on it BUT I have not actually checked out their site yet....which I plan on doing.
I have the $ saved, so I'm pretty much ready to get one. Just want to get more info on it and of course compare it with maybe another. Will keep you updated as soon as I get one. Good luck!
 

HMayes

New member
I got an assembled upper off of www.del-ton.com and put the lower assembly together myself. You can save a few bucks by building it yourself. I've never had any reliability problems with it. It's just as reliable as my friends' ARs that were purchased as complete guns. Just keep it clean and it will treat you well. As far as staking your life on something you are putting together, they are really not that complicated. It's all finely machined and chances are you will wind up with an AR that is nearly identical to something you could buy out of the box.

However, if you feel more comfortable buying a complete gun, go for it. My lower receiver is DPMS, but I'm not sure what difference (if any) you will find with another brand. I would definitely recommend a chrome lined bolt and carrier as they are a lot easier to clean, but more importantly, you can tell when they are clean. Trying to clean black residue off of black metal can be tough sometimes. If you want to put any kind of optics on it I would recommend a flat top upper, although people do mount optics on top of carry handles, I don't really understand why.

As far as caliber is concerned, I don't have any experience with anything besides .223. I can usually find 1k rounds of practice ammo for $250-$300 or so. See www.gun-deals.com
 

KimberPB

New member
Another addition:

I might be an engineer, but I don't want to stake my life on my ability to put something together that I've never used. So I will not be building one myself. I would prefer out-of-the-box reliability.

Also, my neighbor mentioned barrels built to military specs can be identified by a grooved ring around the barrel near the muzzle. "Civilian"versions might not have this ring. Apparently, this was to attach the grenade launcher underneath. Does this statement have any merit?

Finally, are there any brands to flat-out avoid?

They are actually not that bad to assemble but I see what you are saying. Also the "ring" your neighbor is talking about is just the M4 profile barrel and it is there to allow a grenade launcher to be attached. But they also come in many different profiles and lengths. You can get a heavy barrel, H bar, Fluted, M4 profile, Lightweight, ect
 

PascalFleischman

New member
Caliber question:

What's the difference between .223 Remington & 5.56x45mm???

I'm liking the DPMS quality vs. cost.

But for $800, I can buy a LOT of .40S&W and accessories for my bullpup carbine. Is all this fuss worth it for an AR when I really don't need to spend the money right now? I'm wondering how carried away I'm getting with regard to SHTF on election day.
 

KimberPB

New member
DANG, what about caliber?????

Since there seems to be fuss about .223 shortages, is there a better caliber to consider? .308 is WAY overkill for my desires. I don't want anything exotic, either.......something I can buy at Wal Mart if need be.

I've heard people saying that also but there are plenty of sites that have .223 in stock and anytime I'm in Walmart they have a few boxes.

I've seen AR's in about any caliber you can think of. .223, .308, 7.62x39, 6.5 grendel, 6.8, ect. I think it'd be nice to have one in 7.62 and my build one at some point but my next one will be a 20" or 24" heavy barrel 6.5 grendel.
 

HMayes

New member
Caliber question:

What's the difference between .223 Remington & 5.56x45mm???

My understanding is that the main difference between the two is that the 5.56 has a greater gas pressure. I believe you can shoot .223 in a gun chambered for 5.56, but not vice-versa (though I'm not positive, look it up for yourself if you plan on trying that). Here is an article on the 5.56 round.

5.56x45mm NATO - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

PascalFleischman

New member
I'm really leaning towards DPMS if I go the AR route.....

I'm just wondering if this is an expenditure I really need right now. Would you get a new AR, plus all the ammo to go with it, or just beef up your ammo collection as it pertains to what you already have?
 

KimberPB

New member
I'm really leaning towards DPMS if I go the AR route.....

I'm just wondering if this is an expenditure I really need right now. Would you get a new AR, plus all the ammo to go with it, or just beef up your ammo collection as it pertains to what you already have?

Well, it depends on what you currently have. In my case I already have a nice lightweight carbine in a rifle caliber so I'd lean more toward more ammo, mags, or a nice 12 gauge (since I do not have one). If you do not have a rifle in your collection yet I'd buy the AR and ammo.

Also the 5.56 is a higher pressure round then the .223. Most barrels come chambered for 5.56 but you'll want to check the barrel stamping before you buy it.
 

PascalFleischman

New member
My "arsenal" is as follows:

12 gauge Remington 870 (bird hunting only, so far)
Beretta CX4 .40S&W carbine
Beretta 9000s .40S&W pistol
Marlin .30-30 (at the gunsmith, but will be retrieved before Nov. 4)

So I'm a little weak in the rifle department. I've looked at spending $250 (that I do have) or so on a bunch of .40 Gold Dots or close to $1000 (that I really don't have) for a new rifle and plenty of ammo. Plus, I'd have to really have a crash course with the AR since it's a totally new beast to me. I've only shot & broke down an M-16 once, and that was 9 years ago. Suffice to say that I'm a little new at the whole black rifle thing.
 

KimberPB

New member
My "arsenal" is as follows:

12 gauge Remington 870 (bird hunting only, so far)
Beretta CX4 .40S&W carbine
Beretta 9000s .40S&W pistol
Marlin .30-30 (at the gunsmith, but will be retrieved before Nov. 4)

So I'm a little weak in the rifle department. I've looked at spending $250 (that I do have) or so on a bunch of .40 Gold Dots or close to $1000 (that I really don't have) for a new rifle and plenty of ammo. Plus, I'd have to really have a crash course with the AR since it's a totally new beast to me. I've only shot & broke down an M-16 once, and that was 9 years ago. Suffice to say that I'm a little new at the whole black rifle thing.


Ya with us not knowing how this next election is going to turn out I'd buy up an AK or an AR while you can. It'll be a nice addition to your arsenal. I don't think it'll take you long to feel comfortable with it and they are very configurable to your taste.
 

HK4U

New member
Ya with us not knowing how this next election is going to turn out I'd buy up an AK or an AR while you can. It'll be a nice addition to your arsenal. I don't think it'll take you long to feel comfortable with it and they are very configurable to your taste.

+1. If you can get a good battle rifle and then start stocking up on the ammo like there is no tomorrow. When it comes to firearms and ammo there may not be.
 

PascalFleischman

New member
I've decided to forgo the AR for the time being & just buy up a bunch of ammo and a few extra mags. I can save the money between now and 1/20/09 for the AR I want & can afford. If McCain wins, I won't have to worry about it, and I'll be able to use that saved money towards a new vehicle or vacation.
 

sambo42xa

USA Carry Supporter
Not to drag this thread on, but, any suggestions on a used AR? As I said earlier, I got $ ready but noticing also that there are used ones out there at Gun stores. I do not want to go through gun site auctions etc.. I play guitar so I know what to look for if I'm buying new or used. An AR, I don't. There are 3 dealers in my area, two of which also sell used while the other sells new. That's where I'm looking at a new one. Are gun owners just upgrading their weapons; trading them in; in many cases meaning there is nothing wrong with the used weapon?? Dealers must go through them before they sell, right?
Thnx.!
 

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