"BEST" AR, "BEST" Upgrades....

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by AR Hammer, Aug 19, 2008.

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  1. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    I have been quietly reading a bunch of the threads here, and I'm seeing some 'Stinkin' Thinkin' going on...

    First off,
    There are only two or three people that are forcing their opinions and view points down everyone's throats.
    That's a bad thing when someone is a 'Self Appointed Internet God'...

    No one here is addressing the three primary rules,

    All I see is advertisements for expensive parts you normally don't need and won't use.

    The 'BEST' AR (or any firearm for that matter...)


    No sense in having one of the 'Tacti-Cool' AR's with all the mounting surfaces covered in 'Gadgets' if it's at home under the bed because the batteries are always dead or it's too heavy, or it's not 'Legal' in your area because you have this or that installed, ect. ect. ect.

    Guys knock the first generation 'Soda Straw' barrels,
    They knock the early style CAR shoulder stocks,
    They knock early grab handles with the first generation sights,
    They knock the 10 or 20 round mags...

    (drum roll please...)
    It's all BS.

    I can tell you I have the very light duty CAR stocks, soda straw 16" barrel and first gen iron sights...
    It's very light and compact so I actually CARRY IT with me...
    And the BEST AR is the one you have when you need it!


    If you have the high dollar drum mag and it makes your rifle 'Illegal' in your area, TAKE IT OFF..

    If you have a bayonet/bayonet lug and that makes your rifle illegal... TAKE IT OFF..

    If folding stocks or collapsible stocks are illegal in your area.... TAKE IT OFF.

    If 16 barrels are illegal, get an 18" or 20" or what ever is legal!
    This isn't rocket science!
    And your rifle does you NO GOOD AT ALL if it's in storage in the closet at home!

    Now, for you guys that must 'Accessorize'.
    (Yes, I just said it! You have been 'Outed'...)


    For the rest of you,

    In 16 Years as a firearms/small arms instructor in the military, and over 25 years as a civilian NRA certified instructor, I've NEVER seen any of the accessories dealers tell you the truth, and as the internet grew, I started seeing self appointed 'Experts' take over the forums and just parrot the crap the retailers have been spreading for so long....


    You need to learn to use basic, fixed iron sights.
    You need to learn to use the firearm safely and efficiently.
    You need to learn to use the firearm in all conditions you might encounter with it and plan for every foreseeable contingency.
    You need to LEARN what the fire arm WILL, and WON'T do.

    An Army scout and part time buffalo hunter named Billy Dixon knocked an Indian off his horse at over 7/8 mile away with a .50-70 black powder rifle with open sights!

    Alvan York killed over 35 Germans in one day during WWI with a .30-06 Springfield rifle and all of his shots were over 600 yards. May were head shots, with fixed open sights!

    I watched a guy I've seen hit the bull regularly at 1,000 yard matches pass on a 400 yard shot hunting last year.
    When I asked 'Why', he said he wasn't sure of his sights and didn't want to cripple the animal.
    That guy knows how to shoot 1,000 yards, but also has the good sense to know when NOT to shoot.

    Learn How To Use The Iron Sights, Work On Your Shooting, & Learn The Capabilities Of The Firearm...


    If you only shoot 100 yards and less, you DO NOT need a $1,000 set of optics!

    If you only get your rifle out once or twice a year,
    You don't need a bull barrel, premium ammo or expensive optics, since you can't hit anything anyway.

    Accurate shooting takes PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and all the expensive 'Toys' in the world aren't going to make up for poor stance, unbraced shooting positions, and lack of trigger control!

    If the only thing you use your rifle for is hanging 'Accessories' on to show off/impress your friends, you probably shouldn't own a firearm...

    If, in fact, you regularly target shoot (at LEAST once a month), and you know the difference between a 'Bench Trigger' a 'Field Trigger' and a 'Military Trigger' then you might have a need for a more accurate barrel and a slicked up trigger.

    If your 'Zero' point is 200 yards or more, then you might have a need for some serious optics.

    If your 'Average' shot is farther than 400 yards, then you might have a need for 'Premium' ammo.

    No one I know (military not withstanding) NEEDS a $700 optic with 1x magnification... That includes the police...
    So if you have an 'Aim Point' on your AR, don't be surprised if I laugh at you...
    Same for lights, lasers, front pistol grips, extra mounting rails, bayonets, battery holders, disco balls, fuzzy dice or pink ribbons...

    Learn the basics, Balance, Bracing, Breathing, Sight Picture, Trigger Control & Follow Through.
    Nothing else matters, and nothing else can help you if you can't do the basics...

    Marksmanship IS NOT loading up on the latest fad sight, optic, light or mag.

    Marksmanship IS NOT making one good shot every once in a while.

    Marksmanship IS NOT loading up high capacity magazines and drenching the range in hopes you will hit a target, any target if you waste enough ammo...

    Marksmanship IS being able to repeat your shots time after time after time in all weather conditions.

    Marksmanship IS KNOWING IN YOUR SOUL you can blow the heart out of that Mule deer at 500 yards, because you have PRACTICED this very shot at this very angle with these very bullets in this very rifle in these very same weather conditions...
    Not thinking you can *MAYBE* hit the deer at 500 yards and *MAYBE* you will get lucky and it will die before it gets away...

    If you want to load up the 30 round mags or the 75 or 100 round drums and waste ammo, that's perfectly fine with me.
    Just don't mistake it for any form of 'Marksmanship',
    Or sign of any ability to control the firearm,
    Or ability to hit any given target on demand...

    I ground hog hunted and prairie dog hunted with an AR-15 and shot an AR-10 in competition 35 years ago.
    Don't think that every single time I took that black rifle out of it's case, people didn't snicker and sometimes outright laugh...

    Don't think I didn't take a butt load of abuse when I cleaned the rifles at the lodge before we went prairie dog hunting...

    By the end of the first day the jokes and snickering had stopped,
    And usually by the end of the second day, the 'Old Timers' were asking questions and wanting to get a closer look, maybe squeeze off a few rounds...

    And in case you all aren't familiar with firearms from that era, some guys were using .22 WMR & .218 Bee rounds, while others were using .220 SWIFT and 6MM Mag. to hunt with!

    No one, and I mean absolutely NO ONE used an auto loader for the first two years I went west to prairie dog hunt.
    On the third year, one guy had a Ruger Mini 14, and that was the only other auto loader I saw for may years...

    *IF* you put in the hours at the gun range to learn proper procedures,
    *IF* you have a need, like hunting or long range targets, for a better barrel and some 'Slicking Up' of the action and trigger, then I can't fault you for it.
    That is just going back to the three basic rules...

    *IF* you think a optic of any kind is going to make you a better 'Shooter', you are SADLY MISTAKEN!

    *IF* you think there is any need in the world for a gob of accessories on any AR, again, you are SADLY MISTAKEN!

    *IF* you think that owning an AR, With or Without a Gob of 'Paste On' accessories will make you more of a man or braver, then you are not only Sadly Mistaken, you need serious and intensive treatment from a mental health professional!
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    Well, it would appear some of this, if not all of it, is directed at me, so I guess I should respond. I have fielded all the questions recently concerning AR's based on experience and familiarity of the products. At the time I joined, there were several AR threads that had been started, but with no conclusive answers, and left open. I have tried to close some of those with answers based on build experience.

    I have tried to end some of the common mythos that you need to spend $1500 to get a good AR platform. I have tried to point out several sources of do it yourself bargains for those interested in building an AR and not breaking the bank.

    I have also been asked about add-ons, and I have included reponses, along with some alternatives, that would be useful for the person asking the questions.

    Frequently I have tried to cop to the fact when I am not familiar with the products in question, but offer what I have seen in the shop where I hang out, or an opinion from SHOT based on handling and hands on time.

    Apparently I have offended you - though I am not sure how really. I can't recall telling anyone to purchase a mall ninja gun, nor have I advocated refinancing the house to attain a superior weapon system.

    I would take difference with your beliefs on triggers, and your beliefs on optics, but they are yours and you are welcome to them.

    Generally we don't deal with a "buy it and store it" clientele, so I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the folks that have joined up here with the intent of getting some information on a purchase. I don't recall holding a gun to anyone's head and making them purchase a product I recommended. :rolleyes:

    Well, I read back through like 50 of my AR posts and am still comfortable with the Q & A that was expressed. If I have upset you - well, sorry bro....

    Perhaps you can go through and respond to some of the open threads with facts from your time with the weapon and give the folks some other options...




    Personally, I am a fan of Dillinger, the man has a wealth of information on firearms related subjects- the very reason that I signed up here- to gather information.
  4. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    This IS America, and people have a right to spend (or waste) their money on whatever they see fit. That being said, I never hunted with a semi-auto before, but after two AR purchases this past year, I will definately be hunting with both this year - the .223 for small game and the .308 for large game. It is a weapons platform that I am very familiar with. I don't much give a crap what anyone thinks of me using an AR to hunt. Any weapon that is good enough to hunt people with, is good enough to hunt game with. I don't rely on iron sights as much as I used to because since last year my eyesight has declined considerably to the point where I need either peep sights or scopes to make an accurate shot past 100 yds. I don't believe you need to learn German or spend $500-1000 to buy a reliable scope either. About the only thing I object to is people who make ridiculous claims and comparisons between the accuracy of the AK system and the accuracy of the AR system. IMO it's fairly easy to tell the difference between someone with experience and someone that's full of sh!t...
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  5. matt g

    matt g Guest

    1. You're complaining about others voicing their opinions.
    2. You use what had to be close to an hour of time to voice yours by bad mouthing others.

    3. If it's not your rifle, why do you care?
    4. Do you have a car? Does it have any custom parts on it?

    Let's keep this thread civil and not bash the OP or anyone else, or it will be closed.
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    I agree that many people accessorize their AR's (and AK's and SKS's and 870's etc) to the nth degree. If you want to spend a grand on a rifle and then spend $2K on accessories, more power to you.

    I agree the best AR is the one you have when you need it. I have a Colt Gov't Carbine that I call my American Express (don't leave home with out it). I have a small handful of modifications done to suit my purpose (Patrol Rifle). I shoot regularly (about 2500 rds to date) and am deadly accurate with it out to 200. For precision I have a 20" HBAR that will shoot sub minute groups all day. It is not a rifle that I would use to clear a house or hump all day but it has its place in the arsenal.

    I will not begrudge a man's desire to part company with his hard earned dollars, but some of it is just silly IMHO.
  7. bkt

    bkt New Member

    The only add-on for my AR I got is a Bushnell holosight, which I got for a song, and it has helped my grouping past 100 yards a lot. For me, it was a useful addition. YMMV. (Probably, a narrower or tapered front post sight would have been just as useful.)

    AR Hammer's point that unless you really know how to use your rifle, add-ons aren't going to help is a true statement. But what others choose to spend their money on is no business of mine, so if they ask about rails, scopes, stocks, grips or other things, that's cool.
  8. JWIII

    JWIII New Member

    I don’t think it’s fair to the forum that you take out your problems on the group as whole… If you have an issue with one or a few members, then direct it towards them.

    Or, if this rant is a reflection of something that occurred outside the forum; just say so. Start out by saying “guess what happened to me today?, etc…” And, then let your frustration out.

    Why now? You said you have been quietly reading some threads; why not voice your opinion at the appropriate time in some of the other threads?
    I have not read every thread in the forum, but I did not read anything about anyone “knocking” anything/anyone; until now.

    This may also be a case of “Old School” versus “New School?” But, you have to take the best of both worlds. Both sides have valid points.

    Tacti-COOL can also be Practi-COOL. There is nothing wrong with having a light and laser. I would assume it’s better to be over equipped than under equipped? My AR weighs 10.2lbs with a loaded 30 rd magazine; I can’t speak for you, but that’s no where near too heavy or unmanageable for me.

    However I do agree with what you said about training and knowing your firearm. Practice always makes perfect.

    You have some valid points; I just wish you would have approached things differently.
  9. JPBeck

    JPBeck New Member

    I'm one of those guys that has a 1K optic on my AR-- The ACOG is an issued piece of "KIT" and I use it in Three Gun all the time (targets way closer than 400 yards--lol). I guess I'm a stroke in your eyes. All well... I guess I'll have live with the fact that I'll be loosing 5 seconds of sleep over it tonight (since your the all knowing AR guru lol).


    Ohhh yea, I also have a Redi-Mag and a CAR stock installed-- I bet that really chaps your hide. Sorry.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  10. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    To JP : Who makes that AR?
  11. JPBeck

    JPBeck New Member

  12. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    It looks very nice -
  13. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

    Wow...I take a few days off and look what you've done with the place :D
  14. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    You See! You see what happens when I don't have you here to balance out my Nazi inspired thread reporting?!?! :D

  15. Righteous

    Righteous New Member

    The man voices his opinion and pisses y'all cuz maybe he speaks the truth, either way its his opinion and we all have one and its our right to speak it. Its this web sites narrow minds that have pushed me out of here and the ones that believe only they are right and not others. I stopped by to read a few post but after seeing this one I wont be back. There are other firearm sites where opinions are wanted and more then one view on things is normal.
    oh..... this cracked me up big time .......

    Now, for you guys that must 'Accessorize'.
    (Yes, I just said it! You have been 'Outed'...)

  16. JPBeck

    JPBeck New Member

    Not that you'll read this since you said good-bye-- this is just for the record:
    I took offense to the tone in which the poster set. If you modify your weapon you don't know how to shoot? If you want to modify your personal property you should just collect dolls... WTF? That is an opinion yes-- does it make sense-- heck no-- is it a troll to piss people off-- IMHO YES!

    If I put a optic on my rifle and that optic is over a certain amount of money the guy will laugh in my face, ok... easy to type, not so easy to do face to face.

    The whole post was a gigantic troll-- and your surprised that it upset people?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  17. matt g

    matt g Guest

    PM sent again, what's up?

    He voiced his opinion and we in turn voiced our opinions. Some people like to stick goofy things on their crap. It's their crap, so as an American, they have the right to do so. If you have a problem with a member, let the mods or admin know, so they can review what is going on and correct the problem for you. Please though, quit pouting and tell us what is wrong.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  18. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    Yes, I'm a little cranky.
    And you don't really want to know the reason why, you just don't want to have anyone make you think about your actions...

    As for the 'Match Triggers' everyone keeps pushing...

    Here is a 50¢ alternative that works great.
    I've used this since the mid 70's, and I'm surprised that some of the AR 'Experts' don't know about it or haven't told about it...



    As for 'Optics',
    85% of the 'Scopes' (Telescopic Sights, but what are a few misnomers between friends...) are canted one direction or the other.

    This is bad.
    Look at the face of a watch...
    See the 1 minute mark?
    That's 6° of cant, or for the slow guys in the class, 1 Minute OF ANGLE.

    Most optics I see are out WAY more than 6°...

    According to the Marine Corps long range rifleman's manual I was issued, that is a 1/2" miss at 100 yards, and a 55 inch miss at 1,000 yards.

    The taller your 'Scope' center line is over the barrel center line, the more damage you are doing to your aim.
    AR's are traditionally much higher centerline than the bolt action rifle that manual was written for.

    Something else I don't see on the 'Tacti-Cool' and 'Cronic Paranoids' rifles...
    A spirit level.

    They will sink $800 or $1,000 in an optic, and not level the rifle before they fire so the optics center line is plumb with the bore center line.

    Doesn't matter how much you pay for the optics, you aren't going to make a tack driver out of it until you get a level and learn to use it...

    A level will teach you how to 'Address' the rifle.
    ("Address": the proper term for shouldering & gripping the rifle after you get into a braced shooting stance)

    No excuses either, they make them for front sights, Weaver & Picatinny rails, and that mount right on the optics tubes.
    Some optics (the ones intended for REAL shooters) include the spirit level inside the optics, handy and out of harms way, plus you will NEVER forget it at home that way.

    Something that is not ENTIRELY the shooters fault, but still makes me crack a grin is when a guy has a laser range finder in Yards, but is using optics graduated in Meters.

    This is mostly due to the schizophrenic nature of the shooting education in this country.
    The military uses sites/optics graduated in meters, but the troops train on ranges that are graduated in yards...

    It also comes from thinking that European optics outperform American made optics...
    If you think that, you have CLEARLY never used Leupold or Burris optics...

    Mildot optics also make me chuckle...
    Unless you are hunting humans, the Mildot reticle is virtually worthless.

    I hunt ground hogs, prairie dogs, coyotes, and the occasional white tail deer with my rifles.
    None of those translates very well over to Mildot...

    I know some self appointed forum god is going to argue that a coyote is 36" long that equates to 57+95- the metric 5 add in the age of the neighbors beagle, or what ever gibberish...

    The fact is, I prefer a 'Varmint' scope that has graduations for the length and height of the average coyote, not human...

    So called 'Hunting' rifles, (not 'Varmint' rifles) with those target knobs sticking out there exposed to the world always make me cringe...

    First off, with a hunting rifle, you don't have time to mess with a dozen adjustments...
    If you are VERY lucky, you might get to change zoom or adjust for paralax... But not very often in white tail country!

    I makes MUCH more sense to have short, protected adjustments and a fixed power optic with no paralax adjustment, or have the paralax adjusted and locked down for about 75 to 125 yards, depending on how thick the brush you are hunting in is...

    Those silly target 'Click' knobs are just going to get in the way of a good hunting rifle anyway...
    'Clicks' mean you are restricted to 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 MOA adjustments...
    I prefer a sliding scale with no 'Clicks' for hunting rifles.
    No clicks means I can 'Fine Tune' my shots just the way I want them with no pre-determined windage or elevation deviation to one side or the other of my zero point...

    I'm trying to zero at my 'Average' range, which in hunting is usually different than 100 yards or 200 yards.
    So those little 'Clicks' don't work for that very well.

    Since if I have a brain that's working, I have a reticle that allows for bullet drop and has a functioning range finding device built in...
    Besides, if I've done enough shooting with that 'Hunting' rifle, I should be able to estimate the range to within 25 yards anyway...

    When I was a kid growing up in a bend of the White River,
    I though I could shoot...
    I could out shoot all my peers,
    I could hit ground hogs with a .22 WMR that other guys couldn't hit with a .222 or .223 or .243 and high powered optics...
    I guided deer hunters and bird hunters, and when it was necessary, knocked down wounded game the 'City Boys' couldn't finish off.

    I made pretty good money from the local farmers cleaning out the ground hogs from 'Garden' fields and pastures, and the local hog farmers and turkey farmers paid me for every coyote I could bag on their places.

    I watched my grandfather knock down a white tail at 606 yards with a single shot from a sporterized Mauser re-barred in .30-06 using open iron sights, across a valley, in moderate wind.
    He actually fired the rifle, turned before the deer fell, and told me to get the tractor (to get the deer).
    The man was 62 years old when he made that shot while leaning against a tree...

    He was a WWI veteran and he always said,
    "The Marines taught me how to shoot...
    The Germans taught me NOT to miss."

    In my opinion,
    You should have to pass the Civilian Marksmanship Program or like course before you are allowed to own anything other than a rimfire rifle or shotgun.

    There should be an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT you pass a CMP type program before being allowed to own a handgun of ANY kind.

    I'm a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment,

    I'm also a firm believer that there are too may untrained hacks out there that think firearms are a status symbol or collectors item and not a DEADLY SERIOUS tool with ramifications a mile and a half away in any direction of their location...

    Guys that own firearms and don't own and use a gun safe bother me too.
    Virtually all guns used in homicides are STOLEN.
    If you buy a firearm, LOCK IT UP when you aren't actually HOLDING IT.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  19. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    Since you stood up to be counted...
    I did 3 gun competitions (IPSC) for 17 years.
    Never needed an optic, especially a $1,200 one.

    The Mag Pull is a crutch for not practicing proper gun control.

    Since you 'Claim' to do 3 gun, where is the wear on the rifle? My competion rifles always showed wear after just a couple of trips to the range, not to mention a few competitions.

    Since everything is painted up and color matching with no wear, cleaning marks or other signs of use, and since you are from CA. where they don't allow 'Assult' rifles, my guess is this is some gun clubs 'Club House Toy' or it's a picture taken at a gun dealer or trade show...

    ACOG is a Canadian invention, so that means it graduated in meters... Pretty silly for a 3 gun match graduated in yards...

    The use of the word 'Kit' means either you are trying to be 'British' or you are a foreign national, as in from Canada...
    Which meas you aren't allowed to own firearms of any kind until you are naturalized...
    And naturalized probably wouldn't use the word 'Kit' anymore.

    Serious rifle, Maybe.... I haven't fired it or seen someone competent fire it.

    Serious poster, probably not.
    Someone that was a contender wouldn't post up something that silly and baseless.
  20. matt g

    matt g Guest

    Not everyone that disagrees with you is wrong. The beauty of America, is that if we choose to do frivolous stuff with our own time and money, we can.

    The thread wasn't deleted because you disagreed with anyone, it was deleted because you're being a nuisance. Tone it down a little or go elsewhere, please.
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