Here is another update to my previous post. I did buy the Armalite M15A4. First thing I did was take it apart. (the owner's manual actually tells you to so the gun can be lubed real good) BTW, Armalite has one of the best owner's manuals I have ever seen for a firearm. Complete detailed instructions on disassembly and maintenance, with pictures. Found a properly staked gas key, . This is my first AR, and I cannot believe how easy they are to take apart. I mounted up a Bushnell 3x9x40 that I had laying around, definately going to upgrade later though.
Took it to the range today, and all is well. 100 rounds, and zero problems. Amen. I shot 3 different hand loads, 1. 55 gr Hornady FMJ with Varget,
2. 55 gr Hornady SPSX with IMR3031
3. 55 gr Rem SP with H4895
All shot good, with the both the Hornady bullets shooting better than the Remington. 50 yard groups ran about .75 inch, and 100 yard groups about 1.5" . Not bad for a cheap scope, and not the best rest. I gotta get the scope up higher though. I am using the supplied Armalite scope mount, but I think I will need a spacer too. I didn't exactly do a proper break in on the barrel though. I shot 10 then cleaned, then another 10 and cleaned again. I didn't clean it for the last 80 rounds. The owner's manaul had an elaborate procedure to break in the Match grade barrels , but didn't say anything about the regular models. Overall, I am stoked!! I can't wait to start fine tuning my handloads and really make this thing shoot. I'll try to get some pics soon.