Inexpensive AR-15

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Paladin201, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    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.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  2. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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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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  3. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Looks good to me.
     
  4. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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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. :cool:
     
  5. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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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...............................................bang 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.
     
  6. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  7. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I'm trying to figure out if craftsman and snap-on have gotten into the AR business.
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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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!
     
  9. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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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".
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    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.
     
  11. stoppingpower

    stoppingpower New Member

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    Paladin, if it shoots it enough huh lol
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i agree that for the most part you get what you pay for, but with some careful shopping and a little research, there are some really good deals to be had.

    a person needs to evaluate what their needs and wants are when looking to buy an AR. factor in how much of a budget they have to spend and then look for the highest quality rifle within their budget. sometimes not much seperates higher quality from just decent, and then maybe spending a little more will get you a nicer rifle.

    i say if it functions well and suits your needs for the price paid, then all is well. i looked at a very well equipped AR in 308 with a really nice leupold 5-20x40 scope on it, they were asking $2700 for it and it was used, very nice condition, but still used. very nice looking rig, but way more than i need or will ever spend on an AR.
     
  13. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    What statement are you referring to?

    I'm having a hard time understanding where you are coming from seeing as I stated PSA is a great example of being able to get a quality AR w/o spending a lot.

    I just simply cleared up a couple misconceptions in the OP.

    Sounds like a cord has been struck.

    I've watched to many guys purchase cheap $15 hammers over and over trying to avoid spending $30 on an Estwing. In the long run they are left w/ a broken hammer at the job site having to ask to borrow one of mine (one is none, I always bring extra).

    I agree. My first purchase wasn't rushed but I should have done more research.

    True but sometimes guys spend more for less. It seems to happen every week. It's disheartening to read a guy spent his hard earned money on some fly by night AR when he could have had a quality AR from a well established company for the same or less.

    It's awesome/ refreshing to see that you have thought it through instead of grabbing whatever the LGS told you was GTG.
     
  14. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I was kidding man :) btw, I have an Estwing, 22oz waffle framing hammer. Wouldn't trade it for anything, $32.
     
  15. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Haha, i went with the 28 oz, used it so much that its now a smooth face and i still wouldnt trade it for a new hammer.

    I can drive a concrete "cut" nail with two good hits. PLOW!
     
  16. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    I could tell. What got posted was a quick summarization of what I had originally typed before I accidentally hit the back button. Of course my text wasn't there when I hit the forward button.

    Same principle applies most places. Buy once cry once. It was annoying having to loan out tools to guys who insisted on getting junk. Now I will say the non Carhart jacket and other cold weather gear I purchased served me well on those cold days. So it is possible to find quality gear for less. Then again maybe I would have seen a difference in more extreme weather.
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I went with the 22 because I couldn't find a 16. I was carrying it for long distances and hours, running fence on pipelines. ;)

    If I were driving a lot of nails and not walking so far, like while framing a house, yeah, I'd take a 28 too.
     
  18. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    I'm here to tell you Craftsman is over priced GARBAGE!! I got sick and tired of spending my only day off going to sears to replace a bucketful of broken tools!

    But yes, by in large you get what you pay for...i avoid harbor freight like the plague...but there is another local "discount" tool shop here that sells decent tools at a good price. Ones that get that job done, some do break, but you dont mind replacing them every so often due to affordability....also should you drop one in a pile of casting sand add infinitim ways to lose tools, you dont stress quite as much as you would losing a craftsman or other high end tool.

    What i am driving at is just because you pay thru the nose for something does NOT mean you are getting better quality.

    What I have learned in my many years as an informed consumer (Being dead broke my entire life i have been forced to learn about quality vs affordability = value) is to NEVER buy the most expensive (craftsman) of something, yet never buy the cheapest (harbor freight crap) of something and you usually get the best value....USUALLY, there are ALWAYS exceptions to every rule.

    I have had good luck and am happy with my keltec....but got burned with a taurus.

    I know folks that have had garbage Kimbers and/or Glocks but have had great success with taurus and love the boat anchors...

    as for me....i think when i pull the trigger on my AR in Mid March ( Next Indy Gun show...also the weekend of the Supercross in Indy) i will be looking closely at DPMS. My research tells me they are a quality tool for a decent price and that = value.
     
  19. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    The only thing i buy at harbor frieght is rubber tarp straps, zip ties, electrical connectors and black tape, things like that. I dont buy load securement items like rachet straps because they are junk. I did buy a tongue box for my trailer in there because its the same gauge steel that lowes or home depot or truck and trailer equipment places sell for less. My dad buys everything in there but he just uses his tools around the house so he just uses them for light duty.

    I used to be a carpenter and i used my tools for extreme heavy duty, outside in the rain, mug, heat and cold and getting tossed around jobsites and thrown in the back of the truck is hard on tools. Cheap tools dont hold up to that kind of abuse.
     
  20. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Doesnt estwing also replace damaged and/or broken tools like craftsman does?

    I usually bought craftsman tape measures because a residental framer goes through a couple tapes a year if not more. Buy one, use it till it breaks or wont roll up anymore, take it to sears and trade it in for another one. I was a carpenter for 5 years and only bought one tape, went through at least two a year.