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lehill66 03-15-2011 05:52 AM

newbie buyer
Ok, so i'll say up front that I am a newbie when it comes to AR-15's. I was hoping to get some advice on a few different models I am looking into and maybe some other recommendations. I've searched through hundreds of threads about this already, so I've done some homework.

I'm looking to spend right around $1,000 or less on the rifle. Maybe $1,100 max.

I first made the decision of the AR-15 over the AK-47 due to accuracy at long range. But I like the increased power in the 7.62 caliber vs the 5.56 on the AR. What are some thoughts on getting an AR-15 type chambered for 7.62/.308? Is this significantly less accurate than a 5.56? This in particular was the one I was looking at. Any comments on this particular one too would be helpful.


Range and accuracy are little more important to me though than power. So I wouldn't want to sacrifice too much of it for more power.

Other ones I'm looking at our the following. And again, comments on these specific ones would be helpful

Stag Arms:
Stag Arms

Rock River Arms: Any thoughts on this vendor. Do they make quality firearms?
Rock River Arms: NEW! RRA LAR-15 Tactical Operator2

Bushmaster - Hunting Rifles

So yeah, comments/experience with any of these (or particular brands would be great). Also, other reccomendations for a good AR-15 in my budget are appreciated.

Quentin 03-15-2011 01:03 PM

Well the AR is an excellent rifle and the 7.62x39 is a battle tested round - but they don't necessarily make a good match. The highly tapered round has trouble feeding properly in the straight AR magwell. You can get it to work but it'll never be problem free from all the reports I've seen.

I'd say if you want an AR in a cheap (cost wise, not quality) Russian caliber go with the 5.45x39. Or go with the larger round in an AK or SKS.

And don't be afraid of 5.56, it has many advantages over 7.62x39 - which is obvious since the Comblock converted to its own 5.56 copy.

ETA: Of those brands the only ones I've had much time firing are ArmaLite and BM. I have the former and it's been a great rifle while a buddy's BM also has done well. But I wouldn't buy either today or the other brands listed since you can get BCM and Daniel Defense in your price range. Have you considered building your own?

mjkeat 03-15-2011 04:47 PM

I have experienced the 7.62x39 in the AR platform and it was,ok. Recoil was harsh compared to the 5.56. For me x39 was slower as well meaning it took much more time to but my next shot on target. Often times it takes more than one round to incapacitate an individual no matter the size of the round. There are exceptions of course. Ill add x39 mags for ARs are ugly.

My recommendation would be to go this route. Daniel Defense (Build Your Own) Custom Lite Rail Upper Receiver Group

If you want to shoot x39 get an AK

Bushman 03-15-2011 05:56 PM

I have both AK and AR rifles, but no 7.62x39 AR.
The 7.62 definitely has more stomp but also more recoil to contend with, making follow up shots more difficult than the 5.56 AR.
I do have a Stag 2T that I just purchased a couple of months ago for $950 out the door, and have put about 800 rounds through so far. Function has been flawless and accuracy has been very satisfactory, even with me shooting it. :) I really like the rifle and made a review on it HERE:

lehill66 03-15-2011 08:36 PM

Thanks for the info everyone. It appears to be a recurring theme suggested to stay away from 7.62 chambered AR's. I asked around to some of my friends more knkowlegeable about guns and they pretty much gave me the same advice. So I will definitely stay away from that.

Quentin - To respond respond to your post, yes, i thought about building my own (and it's still not totally out of the question). But like I said, I'm very new to all this and I'm not sure what parts go well with what. From reading threads on this subject, it does say that building your own AR-15 is very easy...but I'm just still hesitant to do it because of my lack of knowledge. Plus, I like the idea of having my entire rifle warrantied as a whole. When you mix match parts and if something were to go wrong, it's going to make it a lot more difficult to get it taken care of by the responsible party. And I'm sure that mixing parts may even void warranties all together on certain other parts.

Thanks for the reccommendations on the guns. Bushman, the Stag 2T is a pretty sick rifle. Sounds like you got a great price because it's listed on the Stag website for $1,130. That's another question I had. Assuming I get one of these name brand rifles (Stag, Armalite, Bushmaster), is it best to buy directly from their website (through FFL of course) or some sort of firearms dealer?

Also checked out the BCM models. Those also seem pretty good for the price. Again though, what do I know? ha

Anyone have any experience with Rock River Arms?

Ok last question for this post, I promise....Reading some other threads I realized that it is possible to turn your AR-15 into a .22LR in a few short seconds by quickly swapping out some parts. This is a very attractive feature for me because it would be great to be able to swap out a part and start firing off cheap rounds in the middle of a session at the range... So what type of different parts would I need to pick up and roughly how much is this going to run me? Any of you done this to your AR's?

mjkeat 03-15-2011 10:02 PM

The best thing you can do is buy a BCM w/ blem lower, seriously. Id say get the standard or lightweight 16" upper w/ bolt carrier group. You probably dont need their hammer forged barrel, so save youreself the $90.

For the money of the Stag (actually less) you can have a bad ass AR.

.22 stuff:
.22 LR Uppers / Bolts

The conversion is half the price but the dedicated upper is nice to have.

Bushman 03-15-2011 11:32 PM

My neighbor had the CMMG 22 conversion for his Stag rifle, I shot a bunch of rounds thru it and it was, hands down, the coolest 22LR I have ever shot. I plan to get one in the near future.

lehill66 12-30-2011 06:14 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Since it's been almost 9 months now from starting this thread, I figured I'd give an update on my purchase as well as a review of the gun for anyone interested.

So after reading more reviews than ever imaginable, and visiting mutliple gun shops, I ended up going with the Stag Arms Model 3...I went with that model for a few reasons, but the #1 reason (other than quality, of course) had to be customization ability. And I know that may sound weird because in general, all AR's are very customizable. But this one took it to the next level. I wasn't looking for the typical A2 style with the fixed carry handle/iron sights. I like using scopes when I shoot, so I wanted something that I could mount a good scope onto. (And I know there IS the ability to mount a scope on top of a carry handle with the right connectors, but now you're talking about your rifle being as tall as it is long! ha.). So the Stag 3 comes with a flat top picatinny rail, leaving what you want to mount, totally up to you.

I started off with Iron Sights, as they are essential to every rifle I believe. I bought a set of Diamondhead Flip-Up sights, front and rear. They are great because they can fold down when not in use, they are heavy duty, and very accurate. I'm still a novice shooter, so I was only able to get good groups out to 50 yards. But my friends can take them out to 200 and are still pretty accurate.

My next purchase was a good scope. I bought the Nikon M-223 BDC 600. I can't even recommend this scope enough for any AR owner. It has up to 8x magnification, the BDC feature is GREAT to use so you don't have to re-zero the scope at different distances. Clarity is perfect, in well lit or dusk. I've put 3" groups at 200 yards (which is good for me). I want to try it even further but I don't have a range close enough to me with that distance. The price for this is a little steep, but like everyone says, you can't cheap out when it comes to optics. Definitely worth every penny. The only additional thing I might do here is buy a QD scope mount. Because sometimes I want to go from Iron Sights to Scope and visa versa, but don't feel like getting out the allen key and unmounting the scope.

So on top of that, I really wanted a QC sight of some sort. So...I picked up a cheap holographic red/green dot sight from a gun show for less than $50. I don't use it very often, so I didn't care too much about a high quality sight. I just thought it was a cool gimicky addition to the rifle. I mounted it on top of the Nikon scope.

Ok so back to the rifle, another great feature is that it comes standard with a Diamondhead Versa Rail. This rail has a fixed picatinny top, with nothing else around the sides/bottom. But it has the necessary holes, so you have the option to to put additional rails or bumpers on the sides and/or bottom. This is great for those who don't want to mount anything on the handguard, as it's not bulky. Me personally, I love the look of picatinny rails all around, so I went ahead a got 3 more rails and mounted them on the sides and bottom. Also, they sell these rails in pieces too, so if you are mounting something that only takes up half a rail, you only need to purchase a half rail...also a great feature. And again, all just adds to the customizability (idk if that's a word, but i'll use it) to this gun.

Since I love shooting from a standing position sometimes, a sling was also a necessity for me. After a lot of review searching, I picked up a Viking Tactics sling. Awesome awesome sling. It's as simple as a 2-point sling, as has many different functions that are easy to use. Really a great sling. I also took off the stock swivel attachments from the gun, as they were underneath the gas block and under the buttstock. Tactical slings in my opinion work WAY better with side mounts, so I got some QD swivels and attached it to the handguard and a GG&G Sling Thing attached to the side of the buttstock.

Another pickup was a foregrip/bipod. Cool cheap pickup from a gun show that does the trick.

Ok last thing was a .22LR conversion kit. So you spend about $200 on the kit (which is essentially just the bolt carrier and bolt), and you've got a whole new gun. I can change it out in about 30 seconds and I'm plinking at 5 cents per round from a bad ass rifle...

So that's really it in terms of customizing the gun. As of now my wallet is hurting so there's not too much else planned (or needed)....but if you have any good suggestions I'd always love to hear them.

Of course I saved the best for last, quality of the rifle. The customizability of this gun is amazing (if you couldn't tell already), but quality and reliability is a HELL of a lot more important. Now, I'm still pretty new to the AR scene and not very well versed in the technical specs of a gun. But here's what I can tell you. I've put close to 2,000 rounds through it in the past 9 months, and have had ZERO misfires and ZERO jams. I'm damn proud of that fact right there. I always use factory ammo (PMC Bronze to be exact), and I clean it after every use. And the accuracy of this rifle is top notch. The barrel is 16" long and the twist is pretty standard at 1:9.

Customer service with Stag Arms is also a plus. All of their guns come with a Lifetime Warranty. I've called them a few times for different technical questions about the gun. I'm always able to quickly speak with a human being who is very knowledgeable about the technical specs. When I first bought it, I was taking apart the gun and accidentally broke the buffer spring and retainer pin (it was 100% my fault as I put it together incorrectly). But I called them up and they sent me out replacement parts for FREE, even though it was my fault. I'm a guy who appreciates good customer service, and Stag's got it.

This review has gone on long enough and if you're still reading, here's the closing. This rifle is hands down the best purchase I've made in my life. Absolutely no buyers remorse. I would give it 5 stars in all areas. Operation is flawless. Customizing this gun was extremely fun. I've heard the saying before that AR-15's are like Barbies for men. Couldn't agree more. Just wish it wasn't so damn expensive, haha. But for the price, right around $900, you're gonna get yourself one hell of a quality rifle. And Stag Arms is an American Company whose guns are MADE in America, and come with a Lifetime Warranty.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy pics attached. First one was right out of the box. Rest are current with the exception of the rear GG&G Sling Thing. That was added on very recently and haven't taken pics with it on yet.

AgentTikki 12-30-2011 06:55 PM

Pretty sweet setup you have there! Gratz man, sounds like you've been having a lot of fun! :D

So....when's the next one coming? :p

lehill66 12-31-2011 12:00 AM

Haha whenever the wife unit lets me;) I've got plenty others on the list

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