Inexpensive AR-15
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default Inexpensive AR-15

Not wanting to be an upstart here, and definitely not wanting to start another big debate. Just wanted to show, for the sake of people like me who are on a very limited budget, that you don't have to spend a wheel barrel full of money to get an AR-15. I know a lot of guys love to dump a bundle of money into their AR's. And if you are one of those, great. I probably would too if I had the money. I don't.

Anyway, I'd always wanted an AR-15, but the ones in most gun stores simply blow my budget away. But last year I got a tip from a friend about a local guy who was selling AR-15's built on LRB upper and lower receivers. I ended up buying one. The upper receiver is a flat top, with a removable A3 type carry handle. The barrel is a 5.56 spec 16" HBAR. Beyond that, it's plane jane. Old style fixed stock. Old style front grips.

Took it to the range this morning. First time in a while. Don't shoot as much as I'd like due to ammo costs.

The first target here was shot at 25 yards, which is the longest the indoor range has. Yes, it's only 25 yards, but I was shooting from a full standing position, using only the equipped iron sights. The center oval in the target measures 2x3 inches. I shot a full 20 round magazine of American Eagle .223 FMJ.

For the second target, the range has a bench which is just above waste level when standing. I hunched down until I could rest my left elbow on the bench to help steady my aim. Same ammo. Same target.

I don't know, but I'd be willing to bet that if I mounted some quality optics on this thing, and shot from a bench rest, it would be a tack driver.

Oh, and I forgot to mention I paid $600 for this gun, new in the box. Like I said, reliability has been 100% with all types of ammo, including 5.56 military stuff.

Again, just wanted to show that if you are willing to shop around, you don't have to mortgage your house to own an AR-15.

target1.jpg   target2.jpg   ar-15.jpg  
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:22 PM   #2
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Oh yes, a budget AR is possible. Here are some parts I picked out while dream shopping a week or so ago, let's see if I can attach the screen cap I took.

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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Looks good to me.

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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Looks like it works just fine for you. For the average recreational shooter who isn't concerned with being a combat ready, tier 1, super secret squirrel, tactical operator AR's like you've got there will provide many years of enjoyable and accurate shooting.

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Old 01-16-2012, 12:46 AM   #5
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Nobody that I know of purchases a firearm because of what it costs or thinks that you have to spend a barrel full of money on one either. What many say, including myself, is that there is rarely much of a price difference b/w quality and the others. It is often times worth the little extra many of the upper quality manufacturers charge due to the increased value of better build materials, accessories, QC, and CS. Ever hear any bad stories of BCMs QC or CS? Or how about DD? BM, DPMS? Now think about comparably equipped rifles from the fore mentioned. I have seen DPMS ARs cost more than a comparably equipped BCM. I say comparably equipped for a lack of a better phrase due to the fact that I wouldn't consider them comparable due to the awesome CS and QC you get w/ a BCM.

I think the best example of this is PSA. I don't have any personal experience w/ PSA but people I trust have reported good things. Maybe here soon a PSA and a case of ammo will fall into my hands for a weekend romp.

Another thing one must consider is personal shooting habits. Do you vise your AR up and bang..........................................bang ...............................................ban g or do you throw a sling over your shoulder and bangbangbang away. This is when you'll see the quality of a rifle start to show.

Pick the right tool for the job but also remember Harbor Freight tools will most certainly need replaced multiple times. So if you're planning on doing the job multiple times Snap-On or even Craftsman would probably be the better value in the long run.

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"The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together."
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkeat View Post
Nobody that I know of purchases a firearm because of what it costs or thinks that you have to spend a barrel full of money on one either. What many say, including myself, is that there is rarely much of a price difference b/w quality and the others. It is often times worth the little extra many of the upper quality manufacturers charge due to the increased value of better build materials, accessories, QC, and CS. Ever hear any bad stories of BCMs QC or CS? Or how about DD? BM, DPMS? Now think about comparably equipped rifles from the fore mentioned. I have seen DPMS ARs cost more than a comparably equipped BCM. I say comparably equipped for a lack of a better phrase due to the fact that I wouldn't consider them comparable due to the awesome CS and QC you get w/ a BCM.

I think the best example of this is PSA. I don't have any personal experience w/ PSA but people I trust have reported good things. Maybe here soon a PSA and a case of ammo will fall into my hands for a weekend romp.

Another thing one must consider is personal shooting habits. Do you vise your AR up and bang..........................................bang ...............................................ban g or do you throw a sling over your shoulder and bangbangbang away. This is when you'll see the quality of a rifle start to show.

Pick the right tool for the job but also remember Harbor Freight tools will most certainly need replaced multiple times. So if you're planning on doing the job multiple times Snap-On or even Craftsman would probably be the better value in the long run.
MJ, that's a funny statement coming from a guy that has $3,000+ in each of your AR's. The OP said he wanted a reliable AR that didn't cost a bunch of money and it seems that he got exactly what he wanted. I don't see anything wrong with that.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:00 AM   #7
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I'm trying to figure out if craftsman and snap-on have gotten into the AR business.

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Old 01-16-2012, 01:29 AM   #8
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I think it's great when someone does his homework and is able to save money on a rifle that meets his needs, especially when on a tight budget. The problem is most people aren't like you Paladin and their quick decision low-end AR gives them trouble or requires upgrades. So what it comes down to is put a lot of thought into your AR, know what you're doing and what you're getting and even then be careful, even when buying high end because there are turds in every price range!

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Old 01-16-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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I firmly believe that in many cases, you get what you pay for. But I also firmly believe that in anything you do, there is point called "good enough".

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Old 01-16-2012, 01:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin201 View Post
I firmly believe that in many cases, you get what you pay for. But I also firmly believe that in anything you do, there is point called "good enough".

I agree with the "good enough" philosophy but the problem is setting that bar where we think it should be for our own applications. No doubt above a properly set bar you enter the "area of diminishing returns" and below you get into "not good enough". That's why adequate research is so important.
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