I'm in the market for my first AR-15. Been thinking about it for over a year and instead ended up with my first 1911 Now that I saved up some more shrapnel, I'm ready. My cop friend has recommended I buy from the PD arms supplier who doesn't sell to the general public but agreed to sell to me. (FFL = yes) They only sell Spike's Tactical, I did a search on these forums and haven't come up with a solid opinion on Spikes. At one point someone had posted an awesome link to a spread sheet that I can't find, now that I want to find it. Here are some points: As close to mil spec as possible What do I need to know about bolts? 16, 18 or 20" barrel? Effective range 400+ M Twist: 1 in 7 or 1 in 9??? Chrome or Chromoly Vanadium Alloy? Need a lot of bang for buck as I am poor. No, i'm not open to building my own. They are receiving a new shipment from Spikes this week and they'll reserve one for me. The quote should be in my email in the next couple days, it's expected to be an out-the-door cost of $1,000. Is this worth it? - I live in CA - Sales tax is TEN PERCENT!!! O M F G! - FFL fees - No shipping costs I'm not sure if the shipment includes: ST-15 Mid-Length LE Carbine [STR5035-MLS] - $809.95 : Spikes Tactical or ST-15 M4 LE Carbine [STR5025-M4S] - $799.95 : Spikes Tactical P.S. Before this I had been calling around to get pricing on used ARs.