AR15.Com Archives
 Looking To Buy First AR15 - Best Complete Gun For The Money
Yonkers  [Member]
1/10/2012 9:53:05 PM EST
Well I am new to black guns and looking to add my first to the lineup. I want to buy an complete gun that is well equipped / built for the money. This gun will likely be a plinking / range gun and possibly used for some hunting. Planning on going with the .223 caliber.

What would you guys recommend? I am not looking for the cheapest one out there. I am looking for the most bang for the buck but also quality. I would like to be around $1000 or so but if I need to go a little higher I am ok with that.

What barrel length do most of you guys recommend for this type of gun? My wife will be shooting it a bunch too, was planning on the 16" barrel.

Any thoughts?
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DonFlynn  [Member]
1/10/2012 10:04:16 PM EST
Colt SP6920, just bought one myself last week, that'll fit the bill in the price range you mention nicely.

You can shoot both 223 and 5.56 no problem
Dashammer  [Member]
1/10/2012 10:18:28 PM EST
There are a ton of great rifles out there for around that price. IMHO I would consider either a Accurate Armory or Spikes Tactical. Both are Quote mil spec (what every thats is) HP tested, moderately priced, have great company service and have been field tested to hell and back. IMHO just as good a set-up as the Quote Tier 1 rifles and about 2/3 the price. With the money you save you can trick the taccool hell out of them. You might want to consider a mid-length 16" rifle. As I understand it you have a greater site radius from the get go that way. Just my 2 cents worth. I have a Spikes STM4LE and she is sweat and I will shoot her against any of the big brand names anytime. Flame on!!!
blood75spill  [Team Member]
1/10/2012 10:40:31 PM EST
PSA for $600 or a Colt for about $900. Pick your poison.
blood75spill  [Team Member]
1/10/2012 10:43:04 PM EST
And 16 in middy or carbine length gas system is just fine unless you want to shoot longer distances like 800yds go with a carbine length 20 in.
Traderjac  [Member]
1/10/2012 11:17:03 PM EST
I would take a serious look at Bushmaster. Mine works great.
blackhawktech  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 12:49:57 AM EST
Spikes tactical all the way. You can buy one for under $900.00 including transfer
fee a FFL dealer will charge.
maxell27  [Member]
1/11/2012 12:51:07 AM EST
Another vote for Colt.

Max
Mangler1  [Member]
1/11/2012 1:34:46 AM EST
IMHO spend some time researching all the different models on this site, that's what I did for almostt a month.
There is tons and tons of valuable info on this site use it to find what best fits you.

Made my decision just the other day and picked up a Colt
smokintonye  [Member]
1/11/2012 2:54:12 AM EST
Also remember, you can save almost a couple hundred dollars buying an upper and lower seperate. I did that with my Stag2T. They go for about 11-1200 I think, I orderd the 2 seperate from two different places and it cost about 900 bucks.
P2nd-Amendment  [Member]
1/11/2012 3:14:04 AM EST
Stag Has a Lifetime Warranty Not sure if any other manufacturer is doing that. I'm pretty sure Bushmaster is out of business so if you want one of those you will likely have to buy it used.
My Vote would be Stag or Colt...
apierce918  [Member]
1/11/2012 3:21:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By P2nd-Amendment:
Stag Has a Lifetime Warranty Not sure if any other manufacturer is doing that. I'm pretty sure Bushmaster is out of business so if you want one of those you will likely have to buy it used.
My Vote would be Stag or Colt...


Bushmaster is not out of business.

And blood57spill... I can't say that I have ever seen a 20" carbine.
MCullins91101  [Member]
1/11/2012 4:22:56 AM EST
Another vote for spikes tactical! Best bang for the buck!!
d90king  [Member]
1/11/2012 4:25:16 AM EST
Colt 6920
mclark202  [Member]
1/11/2012 4:33:37 AM EST
I don't see how Palmetto State Armory isn't getting suggested like crazy! They have the best priced rifles BY FAR and have all the good specs anyone could want. I won't argue that Colt is not a bad gun closer to what the OP wants to spend anyways, but why not buy a gun with all the same quality specs as the colt for ~$300 less and spend the extra coin on a decent optic?

If you really look into what you get for the money, PSA blows Stag or Bushmaster out of the water! I think many are ut not familiar with the name maybe.
tjones2416  [Member]
1/11/2012 4:40:44 AM EST
i just went through the same process over the past month. after alot of reading a bothering these guys on here i decided to go with the spikes mid length. from all the research ive done i would say that bravo company and spikes are the best quality for the money. imo.
BiggerStick47  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 4:43:09 AM EST
Don't roll the dice, just get the Colt and be done with it.
Chris_C  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 5:19:40 AM EST
The Stag Model 3's are a good rifle and easy on the wallet.

Link: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?num=50&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=kxg&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=stag+model+3&biw=1280&bih=629&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9139800721629134032&sa=X&ei=YrENT4HyKqH20gGc5oWpCQ&ved=0CDoQ8wIwBA


ETA:

Op, just saw your name here of "Yonkers", are you from there? If so, welcome!


Bachelor_of_Science  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 5:32:30 AM EST
Maybe he means a 20" barrel with a carbine length gas system??
Gacksnabbit  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 5:52:16 AM EST
It is probably easier to list what ARs not to buy, by brand, than to list all the good ones out there.

Discuss.
lowcountry  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 5:56:34 AM EST
At the prices you can get a Daniel Defense, I think they are the absolute best bang for the buck.
cmeyer001  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 5:57:52 AM EST
I might look at the PSA Midlength 16" Lightweight Hammer Forged Barrel Complete Kit for 599. (with MOE furniture is 679.00) and then add an 80.00 lower receiver to it.

You get a smoking rifle for 759.00 plus shipping / transfer on the receiver. I realize is not complete, but the AR is a pretty easy, pretty fun thing to assemble. And you'll learn alot by doing it.

Then add a BUIS (Daniel Defense 1.5 fixed rear is nice and cheap ) and a decent sling and you are good to go.

Probably have the whole thing put together including a couple of PMags, rear BUIS and a good sling for just about 850.00

That extra 150 can go to cleaning kit, more mags, or as the initial seed money for an Aimpoint T1.

Hard to beat.

I bought one of their NATO 20" complete uppers and the thing has been flawless and accurate for about 1000 rounds so far, I anticipate continued solid performance.
They seem to have a very good product for a VERY good price.
Medicfrost  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 6:01:16 AM EST
My favorite deal right now: $799 Spikes Middy

GeorgeWA  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 6:50:32 AM EST
+1 on buying the upper and complete lower seperately. I bought an LMT 16" Defender 2000 (std patrol model) that way and got it for $825 (plus tax and shipping). Saved $300 over buying a complete rifle from one place. As someone else said, probably easier to list what not to buy...
bhasi  [Member]
1/11/2012 7:47:54 AM EST
even I am new to AR15 this is what I did.

Lower Receiver from PSA $55
LPK from PSA $55
Stock kit form PSA $50

Waited for some good deals on Uppers and found one on EE.
BCM 14.5" Lightweight upper with Magpul handguards $580

Pmag $14
BUIS $30

Total: $784 and I think I have a pretty decent gun.
ArmedNAlabama  [Member]
1/11/2012 7:48:11 AM EST
If you're ready to spend that much, I'd go with the Colt. It will probably hold its value better over any other brand.
AdamRRT  [Member]
1/11/2012 8:02:45 AM EST
I just last month spent $1k on my first AR. I chose the Stag Arms Model 8. For the price, you can't beat it.
Piston driven
Lifetime warranty
Chrome-lined barrel
Flip-up DiamondHead sights (that I may add are DEAD ON from the factory) (this is $200 you'd have spent anyway with many budget guns)
I've shot cheap ammo thru it with no problem: Wolf, Tula, PPU. They shot acceptably well, and NEVER failed to cycle/extract/anything.
I just don't see how you can beat a $1k piston driven AR with all these features plus lifetime warranty.
schweg2  [Member]
1/11/2012 8:18:08 AM EST
I ordered my first AR yesterday...a LE-6920.
Hurry up and get here!
Yonkers  [Member]
1/11/2012 9:07:25 AM EST
Thanks for all the info! My last name is Yonkers, not from Yonkers, NY.

I like the idea of Stag having lifetime warentees. Do any others like Colt carry this?

I really am leaning towards buying a compete gun even if it is a little bit more for the first one. I already know this will not be the only AR in the lineup and I would like to get a complete one first, learn the shooting and cleaning of it then for following ones do them as builds.

Where online do you guys generally recommend getting your guns ordered from? Looking to buy one in a couple months not quite ready yet.

I also recalled when I was doing some of my research and reading a few months ago finding a place that shipped them with a nice red dot optic for like $400 extra but can not find where this was to look at the brand / models of AR this was offered on. Thought it was a sponsor out here but can't seem to find it today.
MjolnirActual  [Member]
1/11/2012 9:20:42 AM EST
I will add another vote for you to take a look at Bushmaster. I recently picked up a BM Quad Rail Patrolman.

I started reading the forums here and around the net and I have to say that if what a lot of folks have been saying about BM are true, then BM may be actively trying to change those perceptions.

The Quad Rail Patrolman was/is a new product as listed in their catalog and I have been over it with a fine tooth comb armed with the info found here and I am not finding the craftsmanship issues that people have reported from other BM ARs.

I haven't had a chance to get it out and run it yet ... (life always gets in the way of the things you really want to be doing right?) I will post again after I've gotten some rounds downrange.

IMHO



DonFlynn  [Member]
1/11/2012 9:44:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By MjolnirActual:
I will add another vote for you to take a look at Bushmaster. I recently picked up a BM Quad Rail Patrolman.

I started reading the forums here and around the net and I have to say that if what a lot of folks have been saying about BM are true, then BM may be actively trying to change those perceptions.

The Quad Rail Patrolman was/is a new product as listed in their catalog and I have been over it with a fine tooth comb armed with the info found here and I am not finding the craftsmanship issues that people have reported from other BM ARs.

I haven't had a chance to get it out and run it yet ... (life always gets in the way of the things you really want to be doing right?) I will post again after I've gotten some rounds downrange.

IMHO


I also own a Bushmaster, while I'm comfortible with the gun (4-5 year old Windham made one, not one of the new manufactored ones) and I can honestly say the Colt has a more solid "feel" to it.

I looked at a couple new production ones last gun show I was at and they were close to the same price range as I paid for my Colt last month......too me the resale value on the Colt for a few dollars more would be a deciding factor if I was buying my 1st AR....my Bushi was a impulse buy (I was looking for a USGI M-1 Carbine at the time and not finding one....had money burning a hole in my pocket that day )

Knowing now what I know I'd have gone straight to the Colt....



Colt is on the right. odd's are after I buy a PSA kit the next few weeks I'll sell the Bushie if I ever need money for another gun purchase

silentblades  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 11:05:40 AM EST
Spikes has a lifetime warranty. Very nice rifles! I love mine. Good luck with your purchase whatever it may be.
Btw check out primaryarms they have spikes in stock sometimes and awesome service as well. Might even find the optic you are wanting there too. I think PSA was selling a complete rifle with an aimpoint for around 1k. Might have been what you saw.
Progun1911  [Member]
1/11/2012 3:22:01 PM EST
I would go with the Colt to me it's a nobrainer for the money.Also a lifetime guaranty is only good if the company is still in business.In the past I paid extra from gun shops that had lifetime guaranty's for guns I bought ,they even gave me nice diploma looking guaranty papers that I can wipe my ass with now that they went out of business.
NE223  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 3:29:54 PM EST
If you could find a Colt or DD for a $1000 that's the way I'd go.
9divdoc  [Team Member]
1/11/2012 3:30:23 PM EST
I'd get a 16" light wt mid gassed upper from Bravo.....then figure out what forend,stock,pistol grip and optics would best suit both you and your wife....

Get an LMT Defender lower

Then I'd get her.....her own gun.....before she takes yours...

Frankl03  [Member]
1/11/2012 3:41:35 PM EST
Spikes tactical midlength from Aim Surplus when they get them! Nothing wrong with Stag but Spikes is a little better buy.

I would consider PSA as well, great prices.

Yonkers  [Member]
1/11/2012 6:06:53 PM EST
Thanks for all the info guys! Leaning towards the Colt....I dunno just tend to favor gun manufacturers that have been around for seems like forever...

As a side note, maybe I should start a new thread but will see how it goes. Roughly what sort of accuracy can I expect out of a 16" carbine? Couple inch groups at 200 yards? Do not really see us shooting at distances much further then that with this one.
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