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Old 10-12-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default Help Me Out

I want to get an AR. I'm pretty much a noob and am looking for some advice.

I want a good quality piece that shoots well and is quality-built. I'm looking to get a built rifle - not to gather up a bunch of parts an build it myself, at least not this first time.

I plan to learn to shoot this rifle with basic open sights, and with no accessories, but I would like to have the option to upgrade with accessories if/when I think I need them.

I look at different web sites and I see that a lot of makers have numerous configurations and styles that I know nothing about.

I do not plan to hunt with this rifle.

Please help me out with suggestions on manufacturer and specific models, ammunition, and the best places to shop.

Thanks.

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Old 10-12-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
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Check out the Bushmaster Firearms website, and look at their basic AR15 rifle.

http://www.bushmaster.com/

Ranges from 700-900 dollars (depending on area). It's your basic AR in .223 caliber. You can purchase it either with a 20 inch or 16 inch barrel.

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Old 10-12-2008, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefe' View Post
I want to get an AR. I'm pretty much a noob and am looking for some advice.

I want a good quality piece that shoots well and is quality-built. I'm looking to get a built rifle - not to gather up a bunch of parts an build it myself, at least not this first time.
Consider that you can buy a complete upper and a complete lower, install the stock yourself (trivial job) and join the upper and lower (even more trivial) and save yourself some money.

If money is of no concern, fine.

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Please help me out with suggestions on manufacturer and specific models, ammunition, and the best places to shop.
Get one chambered for 5.56 (I think they all are these days, but make sure).

Rock River, Stag Arms, Bushmaster and others are very good, very reliable mid-range platforms.

I would suggest a flat-top for a sight or scope down the road.

Check out local gun stores and see what they have to offer. The Equipment Exchange on ar15.com is also a good source for rifles, parts and magazines.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:54 PM   #4
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Consider that you can buy a complete upper and a complete lower, install the stock yourself (trivial job) and join the upper and lower (even more trivial) and save yourself some money.

If money is of no concern, fine.


Get one chambered for 5.56 (I think they all are these days, but make sure).

Rock River, Stag Arms, Bushmaster and others are very good, very reliable mid-range platforms.

I would suggest a flat-top for a sight or scope down the road.

Check out local gun stores and see what they have to offer. The Equipment Exchange on ar15.com is also a good source for rifles, parts and magazines.
+ 1 to that. If you aren't going to piece it together yourself, then you CAN save yourself a few $$$'s by buying an assembled upper of your choice, and a complete lower and pushing the two pins together. Or even take advantage of a lower w/o a stock and installing one yourself. That way, you can shop for the best prices on what you want (or at least very close to what you want) rather than pay the prices that manufacturers put on their special guns.

Slo
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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It would appear you have gotten some pretty good information so far.

As far as a caliber goes, I would highly recommend getting your first rifle chambered in 5.56mm, which is almost universal in the AR build market right now.

With a 5.56 you can shoot the civilian .223 in the same chamber ( conventional wisdom ) AND you can get a kit to allow you to shoot standard .22lr in the same gun. This will allow you to get very familiar with the weapon without breaking the bank on the ammo budget.

I would suggest looking around at some of the units that you like and then soliciting some opinions from the guys here to help narrow your field.

JD

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice y'all. So if I went the route of buying and piecing together an upper, lower and stock - do any of you have some recommendations for going that way? Or would the same manufacturers listed above be sources for those parts?

Also, one of y'all used a term that I'm not familiar with. What do you mean by flat top?

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Old 10-13-2008, 03:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jefe' View Post
Thanks for the advice y'all. So if I went the route of buying and piecing together an upper, lower and stock - do any of you have some recommendations for going that way? Or would the same manufacturers listed above be sources for those parts?

Also, one of y'all used a term that I'm not familiar with. What do you mean by flat top?
flat top means it doesn't have a handle built on the upper receiver granting you the option to add anything you please like optics and such
there's a bunch of topics on building your own AR-15 that might help
check out mine in my signature
i'll try to help you out best i can
and there's plenty of knowledgeable people who can take you step by step
and i'm sure they're more than willing to help
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:57 PM   #8
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Jefe', When it comes to AR's the sky is the limit. There are so many different configurations you can have them in it all gets mind boggling. Just get on some of the AR parts sites and you can decide what you want to get. Just about all the mfg's sell uppers and lowers or complete rifles,or you can go with a kit that has everything except a stripped lower and get whatever lower you choose. The one I built I used a DPMS lower and a complete upper kit from Model 1 Sales. I will be changing the trigger with a Rock River match trigger,to me it is the best trigger out there. But thats just my opinion. THB

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Old 10-14-2008, 01:48 AM   #9
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OK, thanks a lot y'all.

Besides the cost savings, I 'get' the urging to select different parts and assemblies and build this rifle myself. I've been working on a Jeep that was bone stock a year and a half ago, and now is a pretty stout trail rig that I drag all over the rocks. So I understand the sense of pride and satisfaction in building something like this on my own, and will definitely take a hard look at going this route.

So it would seem that answers to my questions beget more questions:

1. If I go the way of getting complete upper and lower, and building from there, what do these consist of? From some of my reading here, I think I'd also need to choose a barrel and stock, as bkt noted. Do I have that right? Is there anything else that I would need to get?

2. What is the state of a 'stripped' lower, as opposed to a complete lower. If I go the route of building up from stripped upper and lower, where can I find a complete list of all the pieces/parts that I would need to also get? Or is the list in Junho's thread (nice work, by the way, Junho) a complete list? I guess what I mean, for example, is what are the parts required to turn a stripped lower into a complete lower? Same question for the upper.

3. In Junho's thread I note that his is built with iron sights. But he is also looking to get an optical sight, and some of you reference that he would be set up so that the optical 'cowitnesses' the iron sights. What does this term mean, and what are the advantage/disadvantages of being set up in this way?

4. bkt listed the Rock River, Stag, and Bushmaster as good mid-range platforms. What do you mean by mid-range. I guess this is contrasting with long-range or short-range?

5. Dillinger - you advised a rifle chambered for 5.56/.223. Doing some searching, it looks like I could also get/build a rifle chambered for 7.62/.308 - do I have that right? If so, why did you recommend the 5.56/.223 over the 7.62/.308?

THB - You are absolutely right. All of the information is very mind boggling for me at this point. I like to try to research as best I can when I step off into something like this. I've been considering this rifle for some time, although I've really just started seriously looking into it. I'm feeling somewhat of a sense of urgency as Nov. 4 gets closer.

Thanks for your patience with this 'black rifle noob', everyone - I really appreciate it.

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Old 10-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #10
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Jefe' -

It's a bit of a mind boggling assault at first, isn't it? LOL That was one of the reasons a few of us started these threads to help clear up some of the mass confusion surrounding the platform.

Okay, let's take a look at your questions here.

Quote:
1. If I go the way of getting complete upper and lower, and building from there, what do these consist of? From some of my reading here, I think I'd also need to choose a barrel and stock, as bkt noted. Do I have that right? Is there anything else that I would need to get?


2. What is the state of a 'stripped' lower, as opposed to a complete lower. If I go the route of building up from stripped upper and lower, where can I find a complete list of all the pieces/parts that I would need to also get? Or is the list in Junho's thread (nice work, by the way, Junho) a complete list? I guess what I mean, for example, is what are the parts required to turn a stripped lower into a complete lower? Same question for the upper.
These two kind of tie together, so I will address them both. If you choose to purchase a "complete" upper and a "complete" lower, than means you are done except for any accessories like sling, optics, flashlight, or whatever. A "complete" Upper & Lower will snap together with two pins ( The Take Down and Pivot Pins ) and you are off to the races. There isn't much left to do unless you want to tear it down and change out some parts.

A "Stripped" Upper or Lower is just the receiver. You have a cut piece of aluminum ( most likely ) that you will put the rest of the parts on.

Prior to the election, the Lower Receiver is all that you need to worry about - once that is legally yours, in MOST parts of the country, you will be allowed to keep and build your AR should any new legislation pass. Rumor has it that the Occupied Terror-tories ( NY, NJ, Kalifornia, etc. ) MIGHT have different rules should a new Assault Weapons Ban be enforced, so check with the locals in your area.

There is no Federal Background check on any form of the "standard" upper receiver, barreled upper receiver, etc. The exception, of course, would be a short barreled version ( less than 16" ) or one that has a built in suppressor. Those would require Federal license. But for the basic 16" to 20" length barreled upper, you can buy one at any time without any hassles.

As for parts, you would buy an AR Lower Receiver Parts Kit like this one from Sportsmans Warehouse, or Brownells, or MidwayUSA, or any of a number of internet sources. You would add some sort of stock to the lower parts kit and then you would be able to assemble them on your Stripped Lower.

The Upper is similiar, but it would require buying a few pieces such as your fore end, your barrel, your bolt carrier group, etc.

Plenty of the guys here have built them now, so they will help you with some shopping choices if you just ask.

Quote:
3. In Junho's thread I note that his is built with iron sights. But he is also looking to get an optical sight, and some of you reference that he would be set up so that the optical 'cowitnesses' the iron sights. What does this term mean, and what are the advantage/disadvantages of being set up in this way?
That was actually a new term for me too, I had always known what they were talking about, I just didn't know the term for it.

Basically it means that when you look down your analog sights, you are looking right through your optics at the same exact aimpoint. If you take the optics out of the equation, you take the same spot weld and shoot the same way. If you fold your irons out of the way and add the optics, you take the same spot weld and shoot the same way. This is ideal should your optics ever crap out on you in the field, you pull it, flip up your irons ( in most cases ), or if you irons are permanent you just keep using them, and you are back in the game. I don't know of a downside, really, although I prefer one of the other, not both at the same time. I use fold down / flip up sights on my ARs.

Quote:
4. bkt listed the Rock River, Stag, and Bushmaster as good mid-range platforms. What do you mean by mid-range. I guess this is contrasting with long-range or short-range?
Everyone's "mid range" is different, but basically, I would consider that to be work in the 200 to 400 yard range. CQB is close range, clearing rooms and stuff of that nature. Generally out to about 150yards or so for "close" work. Get out in the 500 and 600 yard ranges, that is more "long" range for basic 16" AR builds - but they can be made to shoot much farther than that. It's subjective to personal belief and build intents.

Quote:
5. Dillinger - you advised a rifle chambered for 5.56/.223. Doing some searching, it looks like I could also get/build a rifle chambered for 7.62/.308 - do I have that right? If so, why did you recommend the 5.56/.223 over the 7.62/.308?
The AR-15 platform is suited for the 5.56mm round. It's very common and cheaper than the .308 round. If you are building a 16" model, I would say an AR in 5.56 all day long.

The .308 round requires a different upper and lower receiver, as well as different parts. This is where the AR-10 comes into play. The .308 is a much better knock down round, so if you are building a 20", more of an accuracy based AR to knock down Space Zombies out in the 400 plus yard range, the .308 is a great choice. Having a 16" .308 for room clearing and house to house work just isn't practical.

Hope that helps....

JD
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