First AR-15. Recommendations Needed!

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by alex2, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. alex2

    alex2 New Member

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    I recently just got into firearms and purchased a handgun but now I want to get an AR-15. I've done some homework online and talked to some guys at a few shops around me but I could still definitely use some help. One model that kind of caught my eye was the smith and wesson M&P 15 MOE. Ideally i would like to spend no more than say $1300 after taxes but if there was some outrageous deal for a rifle that wasn't too much more I could see myself allocating more money towards it. I've read some posts with people recommending building a rifle but I'm kind of hesitant to try to piece one together when i wouldn't know what the heck i was doing. Any recommendations would be awesome...
     
  2. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    I was in your same shoes about a month ago. I ended up going with the Colt LE6940 for $1400 after taxes...a few reasons:

    #1. It's "Colt" :)
    #2. I was reading that Colt just retired its Law Enforcement lines of rifles...so I was hoping this would be worth quite a bit down the road.


    With that being said, however, I was really diggin' that M&P 15 MOE like you mentioned, it was seriously second on my list...in some ways I regret not getting it, in others im happy I got my colt.

    One thing i've learned from my experience, however, is that it's really what you will be happy with. For me, it was rewarding to say "I own a Colt" and pay the extra money.

    Whereas my good friend loves his Rock River (who are a great company themselves) and he spent almost 50% less on his than I did on mine.

    Look at the rifle...if you love the looks, get it.

    With a name like Smith & Wesson you simply can't go wrong (thats just my opinion, however...and im not a professional, so take it for what its worth)
     

  3. alex2

    alex2 New Member

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    thanks porkchop thats some food for thought. AR's seem like it's just a whole 'nother ball game. You mentioned colt as a good brand name, what are some others that a real high quality make?
     
  4. Powersportgiant

    Powersportgiant New Member

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    I picked up a S&W AR Optics ready version for $700 OTD. For what I do it's awesome and I love it. I shoot once or twice a month 75-250 yards with it just for fun mostly. I have about $150 in options on it with a RDS, quad rail, magazines, and a foregrip. I am pleased with my investment. You will get different answers from everyone and it's a lifelong investment. Just weigh out how much you will use it, your purpose, budget, and how it feels to you. My .02.
     
  5. synical

    synical New Member

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    I have a S&W MOE that I got on sale at Academy Sports. Sometimes they run them on special and I got mine for 899. when reg price is 999 so after that then I put a bunch of accessories on it and about 1500 dollars later it looks like this. The pic does not show the laser or the flashlight well but I like the way she turned out and she shoots nice!
     

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  6. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    The best value in an AR is going to come from PSA, BCM, Daniel Defense, or Colt.

    People will go and spend up to $1000 on an AR at some retailer when they could have spent the same or less and ended up w/ a much better AR. For $1300 you can have a BCM and money in your pocket. And the most important part, you'll have a high quality AR to enjoy.

    S&W is decent but $899? You could have had a Colt for $46 more. The gap in quality b/w the 2 is much larger than the difference in price.
     
  7. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    Well, again this is just my opinion, based on things I read and people I talked to when deciding which rifle to go with...also, based on a few responses in my most recent thread (where I was worried I got ripped off on the price of my Colt) i'm even more proud to own the Colt LE6940 =)

    What the overwhelming majority of people who I talked to recommended to me was to "build your own AR15". So I did a lot of research on this, and it is by and far the best way to get what YOU want in a rifle (aesthetics, performance, etc)

    I shy'd (shied?) away from this in the end because it seemed pretty intimidating up front. All of my experience with firearms since my first shotgun as a kid has been 100% handguns and shotguns...never owned a rifle, and knew nothing about AR-15s...build your own seemed like something a total newbie shouldn't be tackling on their own to me :D


    After I ruled that out, I kept bouncing back and forth between several different rifles:

    "I like the looks of this one, but I love the price of that one"
    "This one comes with a red dot"
    "That one comes with ________"
    "I like the brand name on this one, but lots of reviewers said they weren't too enthused"

    Basically, I ran the gambit because I did NOT want to be disappointed a month down the road.

    So I set down and made a list of everything I wanted in a rifle, and forced myself to make a determination...after all, the more time I spent thinking about it, the less time I spent holding it in my hands

    I decided first and foremost on my budget, but next the most important thing for me was the way it looked (call me shallow...just being honest :rolleyes: lol)

    Sure, you can switch out all kinds of parts on an ar-15 to get the look you want...but i didn't want to da'Vinci it and make my own masterpiece...I wanted a great looking canvas that was paint-by-number where I could fill in the details and make it look badass my own way :cool:

    I really liked the look of a few rifles:





    Smith & Wesson M&P15T
    [​IMG]




    Colt LE6940
    [​IMG]






    Black Rain Ordnance PG-8
    [​IMG]





    Those were my top 3. The Next step was to decide where within my budget I wanted to be. The S&W was on the low end, Colt was spot on and BRO was a little outside my budget, but I was willing to go that route if necessary (my budget was $1400)

    Another brand I considered based on looks was Bushmaster. And I know someone will want to kick me in the ass for saying this, but I read a lot of reviews on product pages where people were disappointed with jamming on their Bushmaster rifle...I looked at a few different places (buds, cheaperthandirt, etc) and lots of people were saying they had issues with jams on certain models of BM. Whether or not that's true, I will not be the judge of, but it was enough for me to not consider them as an option (look around for yourself, however, before/if you rule them out...you might find a model I didn't that people are glowing over!)



    So I asked around both to people on here, and people IRL, and what I learned is that everyone loves different AR-15s for different reasons...I was going to have to make this decision on my own.

    My final determining factor was Brand Name...again I know that sounds shallow, but hey...You gotta be honest about what you want, or you'll regret it for all time (at least thats what I decided for me)

    So I threw out the BRO...firstly because until i accidentally stumbled upon it in a Google Search, I had never heard of them (not saying they're not a great company...but to me "Name Brand" should almost be household name (Colt, S&W, Remington, Winchester, etc) and BRO was almost $400 out of the budget I told myself to stay within.


    So it came down to the S&W v.s. the Colt. Both great names, both great looking rifles (almost identical in look if you ask me) and I settled on the Colt mainly because nobody in my inner circle of gun buddies owns a Colt AR-15...they are always complaining about how expensive they are. I've got the money saved up and I can own one...might as well make them jealous (aren't I a great friend, lol)


    For a few days I regretted my decision because a good friend of mine whose word I took too much to heart told me I got ripped off...but after some great advice from other members here on firearmstalk, i came to realize my buddy was basically just trying to make himself feel better for buying a different, less expensive rifle =)

    ...I know that was a LOT to read...but I hope in some way it helped
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Alex, Porkchop pretty much covered it above. There are a lot of great AR choices out there plus a lot of poor ones and no one can tell you what to get. You have to figure out what you want which takes much research on your part. That includes budget, your applications and your skill level if you decide to do a build. And your patience and ability to root out the best deals while avoiding junk.

    We all have our biases and I'm sure no exception. I know exactly what I want but is it right for you? Probably not. So watch out when I recommend something and watch out when someone else does too. Only you can figure out what you want. Of course we'll all be glad to tell you about our favorite sons! :D

    I do think building forces you into doing the research more than buying off the rack. I like choosing every part that goes into my rifle but it does take work and probably won't save you money. If you make wise decisions though, you end up with what you really wanted.
     
  9. alex2

    alex2 New Member

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  10. MrWray

    MrWray New Member

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    Im not much of a colt AR fan, alot of their parts arent interchangable with other rifles.Both DD and BCM make damn fine rifles. Im not sure of the price range between the two
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    That's a good price for the V4 especially at a local shop. Many of us here are Daniel Defense fans. Around this time last year I built what was basically a V3 LW using a DD barreled URG. Another member built a V5 LW and there have been a few more recently. DD is right up there with BCM, Colt and a few others.
     
  12. okdonk

    okdonk New Member

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    I was in your shoe.. looking for my first AR15. Then ppl here were helpful and recommended Daniel Defense. Get one and you wont regret it. Budsgunshop.com has them in stock with lesser thab msrp. Get the V2 if u want carbine length. Or the V3 or V4. Diff is only with or without sights and 7" or 9" rail length.
    DD ftw! ;)
     
  13. alex2

    alex2 New Member

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    First of all thank you to everyone who gave their .02 it really is helping me. I appreciate ppl putting up with some of these basic questions. I'm still a little unclear though on what it means to have a carbine length vs mid-length?? Also if i understand this correctly barrel twist has to do with how fast the bullet is spinning so a heavy bullet would need a faster twist?? please correct me if not getting that right. and what is being referred to when a rifle is listed as pre-ban or post ban?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  14. QFive

    QFive New Member

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    Carbine and Mid length refer to the position of the gas block on the barrel along with the length of the gas tube. Carbine has the gas block closer to the receiver mid length has it further down the barrel. In essence the carbine handguard is 2" shorter than the mid length. However barrel length is the same.

    From what I have been able to gather you are correct about barrel twist. That was the first question I was asked was what weight rounds will I be shooting.

    Pre Ban means it has threads and has a Flash Suppressor or the ability to add a FS to the end of the barrel. Post Ban has no threads is just a blank barrel and would require machining to add threads to the barrel.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Gas length has to do with where the gas port is located on the barrel. Midlength gas is 2" longer than carbine length and is becoming very popular on 16" barrels though both have advantages in certain applications. Yes, longer bullets do better with a faster spin and longer usually means heavier as well.
     
  16. okdonk

    okdonk New Member

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    I was about to get the carbine length. After comparing and holding carbine & mid length, i decided to get the mid length. You might need the extra 2" for future add on accessories. ;)
     
  17. okdonk

    okdonk New Member

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    Also check out budsgunshop or impactguns prices. You can save some $$$ for not paying tax. I wanted to but weeks ago they had none in stock. So i ended buying in store and paying an extra $200 in difference incl tax. ;(
     
  18. PrimePorkchop

    PrimePorkchop New Member

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    ^^ This. I love keeping my money local as much as the next guy, but when talking about $200 in taxes v.s. buying online, i'm sorry to say my local gun guy is going to lose out.
     
  19. alex2

    alex2 New Member

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    So I just went and visited a couple more local shops and just couldn't find the models that I wanted to see. Plus a couple of the workers acted like they couldn't care less so I'm thinking about just ordering it online. I found a model that i'm interested in on budsgunshop but I'm a little hesitant to spend this kind of money through a website that I really didn't know anything about. I tried looking for reviews and I found some that said buds was awesome and had zero problems while other people reported receiving wrong products and things of the sort. Can anyone give me a firsthand account of dealing with buds?