AR15.Com Archives
 Good entry level AR-15?
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/26/2012 1:01:24 AM
Okay, I am new to AR-15s and I don't actually have one yet but plan on buying myself one for Christmas with the Christmas bonus my company gives out. The first question is, what would make a good "entry level" AR-15? I have several in mind and want to know if they would fit the bill. The first one is the Bushmaster M4A3 Patrolman's Carbine and the other is the Colt LE6920 Carbine. I also am interested in the M4-A3 Patrolmans Carbine Quad Rail. I have heard that Colt and Bushmaster are both very good manufactures.
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Islandboy671  [Member]
10/26/2012 1:04:23 AM
Get the Colt. More "up there" than entry level.
SGL_Shooter  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 1:11:49 AM
Originally Posted By Islandboy671:
Get the Colt. More "up there" than entry level.


I have a newer Bushmaster, and although I am more than pleased with it I would say get the Colt if you can afford it. It's the gold standard as far as ARs go. If you are looking to get mags, ammo, and maybe an optic then I would go with the Bushmaster as you will have more excess money to spend on accessories. Just my two cents.
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/26/2012 1:27:31 AM
Can Colts accept M-16 and M4 Magazines? I just want to put a quad rail system on it eventually to put a Foregrip, and optics and such on it. I have a stupid question. Can a Colt accept Bushmaster accessories? Can any AR-15s on the market these days come with a Bayonet Lug?
balloo93  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 1:40:44 AM
Originally Posted By JMicheals1984:
Can Colts accept M-16 and M4 Magazines? I just want to put a quad rail system on it eventually to put a Foregrip, and optics and such on it. I have a stupid question. Can a Colt accept Bushmaster accessories? Can any AR-15s on the market these days come with a Bayonet Lug?


M4 is the military 14.5" that the Ar15 semi-auto is based on. Yes, any good quality ar15 maker makes their ar15 to a spec that will allow any accessory to mount up to it. As long as Bayo lugs are allowed in your area, almost every Ar maker out there has them.
DVntDom  [Member]
10/26/2012 1:41:31 AM
This.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/psa-16-m4-premium-carbine.html
Dillinger19  [Member]
10/26/2012 2:40:46 AM
Personally, I think Colt is overpriced. There are several other companies who make literally the SAME EXACT rifle for a lot cheaper... you're paying for the name, that's it. But others will say Colt has "reliability", but refuse to give any answer as to why the other companies are not reliable with absolutely ZERO proof to back any bullshit they spew. If today was 1980... Colt would be the go-to-gun, but today.... not so much. Don't get me wrong..... they are far from "bad" rifles, just overpriced.

For an entry level AR, which is what you're looking for, I say go with a Palmetto State Armory 16' M4. They are well above entry level for a very good price with $$$ left over for ammo, accessories, and extra mags. I personally have a PSA 16' M4 and love it.
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/26/2012 2:53:00 AM
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/palmetto-state-armory/psa-pa-15-qms-tac-pack.html

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/palmetto-state-armory/psa-16-pa-15-moe-act-package-carbine.html

Those two looked pretty good and they are affordable. My Brother has a Bushy and he put some of the gear he brought back from Iraq on it so he recommended a Bushmaster.
balloo93  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 3:30:01 AM
Either of the PSA offerings would be a solid choice.
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/26/2012 4:02:47 AM
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/2-SA1

I also saw this one too. I read that Stag Arms has a Govt Contract so could a Stag Arms be an option? Some of them are under 1K so its also in my price range.
balloo93  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 4:06:29 AM
Originally Posted By JMicheals1984:
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/2-BM90289

I also saw this one too. I read that Stag Arms has a Govt Contract so could a Stag Arms be an option? Some of them are under 1K so its also in my price range.


I own a SATG and like it quite a bit, but no, it's not at the same level as the PSA specs. STAG's parent company Continental Tool and Machine supplies some parts to Colt when needed, but they are not a steady supplier to the military (ie Colt, FN, or KAC).
Impyman18  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 4:14:58 AM
Del-Ton rifle kits are my choice for 1st time buyers.
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/26/2012 4:15:20 AM
So I guess I'll be getting either a Bushy or a PSA or maybe a Colt. I'll have to see what kind of money I will have. I like the M4 configurations personally. Edit: I like the feel of the M4 and like the carry handle.
mickeytn  [Member]
10/26/2012 8:38:17 AM
Just bought my first AR, went with Stag model 3 flat top. All said and done $850.00 out the door. I am very pleased with it. Shoots great,fill great, looks great. On top of that , left me with money to buy the extras you will need. I would do it again without even thinking. The other ARs are great rifles, I agree.
ALPHAGHOST  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 8:52:39 AM
Originally Posted By balloo93:
Either of the PSA offerings would be a solid choice.


this

of of your chocies, the colt
stevegc  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 8:57:06 AM
Nobody ever wonders if a Colt is as good as a PSA.
AzNooB  [Member]
10/26/2012 9:00:08 AM
Get an SR-15. It'll be your last AR too.
scgebo  [Member]
10/26/2012 9:08:52 AM
bushmasters are far over-priced for what they offer, and no i'm not a colt fan boy, my first rifle was a bushmaster. great rifle, just overpriced for what it was. if you can afford a colt 6920, get it, if you'd rather use the extra money on ammo/mags/optics, get a PSA, theyre great also
Starky  [Member]
10/26/2012 9:59:52 AM
Maybe I'm the only one, but of the 5 brands (S&W, Colt, DPMS, Olympic, Eagle Arms) of what I would consider "entry level" rifles that I have, the Colt is the worst when it comes to appearance. All of them function flawlessly so I have nothing to say about that side of the quality, it's the finish that I would consider "military grade". But when you look at the price of a Colt compared to other models of the same basic design, I think an entry level buyer would be better off buying a less expensive rifle with the furniture that they want.
This is just my humble opinion, but I would not buy another Colt if it were the last rifle on the shelf. And no, I'm not going to get rid of the one I have.
EvanD  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:01:33 AM
The PSA M4 but open up our choices to include Daniels Defense, Windham, and Core 15. Take your time. Wait for sales especially the PSA daily and weekend sales.

And Doublestar...
TheLion  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:11:58 AM
Originally Posted By Starky:
Maybe I'm the only one, but of the 5 brands (S&W, Colt, DPMS, Olympic, Eagle Arms) of what I would consider "entry level" rifles that I have, the Colt is the worst when it comes to appearance. All of them function flawlessly so I have nothing to say about that side of the quality, it's the finish that I would consider "military grade". But when you look at the price of a Colt compared to other models of the same basic design, I think an entry level buyer would be better off buying a less expensive rifle with the furniture that they want.
This is just my humble opinion, but I would not buy another Colt if it were the last rifle on the shelf. And no, I'm not going to get rid of the one I have.


Colt rifles come with built in personality Yes, I own one too and for the most part the fit and finish is spot on but it does have two birthmarks but silly me I like 'em
esq1995  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:18:13 AM
If you ask me to recommend a "solid entry level" AR-15 I'm going to tell you to look at PSA, S&W, and Rock River. If you are asking what's the best deal around that combines value and quality I'd say look mostly at PSA.

There are many good brands out there and the prices will run the spectrum from $700 to $1700 just to get you in the door.
Marshmellow  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 10:23:17 AM
Seriously consider a Stag. They are fantastic rifles with the best customer support in the Biz IMO.

But as others said you can't go wrong with a colt or a PSA.

If you want mil spec features checks out Stags + package. Only an extra 100$
NCHornet  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:24:26 AM
Not trying to be a smart azz, but you should hold off on buying anything. Read this site as much as possible, and it wont be long before you will know the answers to all your questions and have a better idea on what manufacturers make rifles that will fit your needs. I believe this is the largest gun forum on the world wide web, lots of good info and the same questions get asked daily, so like I said take advantage of this FREE source of info and educate yourself. Don't rely on strangers to tell you what rifle to spend your hard earned cash on.
ArmedPete  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 10:30:58 AM
OP, take a look at a Bravo Company gun.
ARddiction  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:36:18 AM
might as well get a higher end rifle to start with.

i bought a DPMS sportical for my first AR and LOVED it. but, i wanted something better so i got a sig sauer m400 which is also great.(i would recommend that as a first rifle)
then i sold the DPMS sportical upper and ordered a PSA upper...

moral of the story..start with a good rifle and you won't spend as much money!!
TheLion  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:49:49 AM
Originally Posted By Marshmellow:
Seriously consider a Stag. They are fantastic rifles with the best customer support in the Biz IMO.

But as others said you can't go wrong with a colt or a PSA.

If you want mil spec features checks out Stags + package. Only an extra 100$


I'd say LaRue has the best customer support. I just had what to me was a major issue and they handled it brilliantly and with genuine care, especially considering the issue that arose was not of their doing. Having said that, LaRue might be out of the OP's price range for a first AR. Prior to getting a LaRue I got a S&W M&P to see if I truly liked the style rifles as it was inexpensive and truly an entry model. Previously, I had been shooting a Marlin 30-30. Still have it but it hasn't seen one round go through it since getting into AR's For someone that isn't sure if they will like the platform, or want a very inexpensive but solid rifle I have no issues recommending a S&W. Great gun!

I then picked up a Colt LE6940 as I wanted a more serious rifle in the caliber. I much prefer the Colt over the S&W, the S&W is just a safe queen now. I shot both at first, but the Colt just demanded more time at the range Still debating if I want to sell the S&W or not, odds are at this point I'll likely keep it and teach my kids how to shot on it. Fortunately, I finally got my LaRue (which oddly I started looking for about 2 months prior to getting my S&W). They are hard to find in stock.

Anyways, long winded response, my advice based off his list is to get a Colt. Other rifles mentioned in this thread would serve the OP very well and odds are he can't go wrong with any of them. Have fun with whatever you pickup OP!
wonson3  [Member]
10/26/2012 11:05:34 AM
I am in the military. I have a Colt AR15 back home not because I am a Colt fan. Or maybe I am. I have a COlt because I spent years in deployment with the badass Colt and I rely on it. If you get the Colt you may have problem with quality of the finish but I think that tells evry srcatches and every dings of your rifle a story. A story you only will either keep yourself or reminds you how you and the rifle bound together whether in practice shooting or in duty-if you're a law enforcer. Bottomline, Colt is proven for military use. I don't care what civies will comment on this but this is my story and I will stick on it. This is my thought and I hope this will help you decide what would you like to have.

Anyway, I had a Bushmaster, I had it for 500 shots and also had no failures. Nice finish. I just sold it to a friend because I really think having a Colt will not make me worry about maintaining the finish and will still serve me well.

JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/26/2012 10:05:31 PM
I talked to my brother and he told me that I could not go wrong with either a Bushmaster or a Stag. He is in the army and has a Biushmaster and a Colt and has used Stags before. His opinion is that with Armalite and Colt you are paying for the name and not necessarily the gun.
The_Hammer  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 10:50:24 PM
Check out http://www.windhamweaponry.com/.

Windham R16A4T $798



balloo93  [Team Member]
10/26/2012 11:24:18 PM
Originally Posted By JMicheals1984:
I talked to my brother and he told me that I could not go wrong with either a Bushmaster or a Stag. He is in the army and has a Biushmaster and a Colt and has used Stags before. His opinion is that with Armalite and Colt you are paying for the name and not necessarily the gun.


You are paying for more than the Colt name. When it comes down to brass tacks the Bushmaster is not as good as a Colt and either is a entry level Stag. Yes you can upgrade certain parts in to the Stag and bushmaster, but at that point the price is about the same or more than a Colt 6920.

Palmetto State Armory has opened up the market. They offer a LOT of the same "mil-spec" parts and the price point is cheaper than a Colt, Stag, or Bushmaster with the same or upgraded parts. Another quality maker is Spike's Tactical. Same caliber of "mil-spec" parts with a TON of configurations. More expensive but along those lines is Bravo Company Manufacturing.

No offense intended to your brother, but he seems to be of the older mindset of the best rifles out there are ABC (Armalite, Bushmaster, and Colt). A lot has changed in the AR market.
HiramRanger  [Life Member]
10/27/2012 12:18:51 AM
Wait for the PSA Patrolman's Carbine special they run now and again. You get a great carbine and an Aimpoint Pro for $999. Best deal around.
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/27/2012 12:47:05 AM
I have kinda thought this might be a good option right here. Its got 3 magazines and I could always add a carry handle later. The first or second one seem like good deals and within my price range. I just don't have a ton of money to spend right off the back and even Bushmaster is pushing it.
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/palmetto-state-armory/psa-pa-15-qms-tac-pack.html

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/firearms/rifles/palmetto-state-armory/psa-16-pa-15-moe-act-package-carbine.html

Edit: I also found this one on Stags website. The Stag also fits my price range. I just don't have the money for a Armalite or a Colt.
http://www.stagarms.com/product_info.php?cPath=13_22&products_id=205

balloo93  [Team Member]
10/27/2012 2:07:55 AM
Why not This Palmetto and buy a few Pmags with the money saved as well as ammo. Hell they have a sale on mags going on right now at about $8 each.

Wrap it in a towel until you can pick up a basic carry bag.

Carry handles can be had used of the Equipment Exchange here for around $40.
balloo93  [Team Member]
10/27/2012 2:09:04 AM
Buy the way, if you do decide to get a Stag, do not buy directly. use a vendor on here and you can get their rifles cheaper.
hobbez84  [Team Member]
10/27/2012 2:25:24 AM
Where in VA are you?

If you're anywhere near the Northern VA area I recommend stopping by either Virginia Arms (Manassas) or NoVA Armament (Herndon). They both carry various AR-15s that might interest you. I know NoVA had some PSA carbines last I checked, ~$750 IIRC.

As for entry level, I'm particular to BCM:

Carbine

Mid-Length

Rifle Length

JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/27/2012 2:35:58 AM
Originally Posted By hobbez84:
Where in VA are you?

If you're anywhere near the Northern VA area I recommend stopping by either Virginia Arms (Manassas) or NoVA Armament (Herndon). They both carry various AR-15s that might interest you. I know NoVA had some PSA carbines last I checked, ~$750 IIRC.

As for entry level, I'm particular to BCM:

Carbine

Mid-Length

Rifle Length



Fredericksburg.

hobbez84  [Team Member]
10/27/2012 2:45:49 AM
Isn't Quantico Tactical near you?

If so, they're having a special on Smith & Wesson M&P AR15s. $100 rebate: LINK
TacticalWatermelon  [Member]
10/27/2012 3:22:19 AM
Originally Posted By JMicheals1984:
Okay, I am new to AR-15s and I don't actually have one yet but plan on buying myself one for Christmas with the Christmas bonus my company gives out. The first question is, what would make a good "entry level" AR-15? I have several in mind and want to know if they would fit the bill. The first one is the Bushmaster M4A3 Patrolman's Carbine and the other is the Colt LE6920 Carbine. I also am interested in the M4-A3 Patrolmans Carbine Quad Rail. I have heard that Colt and Bushmaster are both very good manufactures.


I went with an M&P 15 Sport. S&W knew what they were doing when they made this thing. The Melonite lining is awesome and a cheap alternative to chrome. M4 feed ramps, a properly staked castle nut, 5.56 rated 1/8 twist barrel is great for a variety of ammo, MBUS included, and the list goes on. Sure they cut out the dust cover and forward assist. But you've got to ask yourself if you really need them. A lot of people don't. My gun was $751 out the door with New York's 8% sales tax. My experience isn't vast with AR's but I love this gun so far and the research I did made me conclude it as a no brainer for my first AR. Some day (when I leave my liberal state and move to PA) I'll have a nice BCM middy with a free float quad rail, but for now this gun is perfect for me. Also, the BCM won't replace it, only accompany it

Also, just want to make you aware that magpul's MOE handgaurd is an awesome, cheap alternative for installing a VFG. Check it out!

Hope this helps!

-Josh
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/27/2012 4:01:45 AM
Originally Posted By hobbez84:
Isn't Quantico Tactical near you?

If so, they're having a special on Smith & Wesson M&P AR15s. $100 rebate: LINK


Yes, Quantico is about a 35 minute drive from here.
JPD158  [Team Member]
10/27/2012 5:36:39 AM
Bushmaster is a good gun. So is Colt, so is Stag. Can't go wrong. Get the cheapest of the three.

FYI those are the three brands I own. Also had a DPMS that gave me no problems.
Frankl03  [Member]
10/27/2012 8:10:10 AM
I have owned a number of PSA rifles and rifles I built from kits. I would not hesitate to buy another in fact just purchased another that I'm waiting on delivery. I just wish they had kits available.

Get the PSA!
LongBeach_Patriot  [Member]
10/27/2012 8:48:51 AM
LOVE my Stag 2T. Do some web searches on Stag Arms AR Reviews. Hard to find bad ones....
Striker071  [Member]
10/27/2012 9:15:05 AM
Between the 2 choices you have there if you can afford the Colt get it. BCM, DD, Rainier Arms... would be solid choices as well. PSA has been steeping it up but I think they have overextended themselves... growing pains.... not saying they don't have a good product... they seem to be missing the bullseye with their orders a bit... MY opinion...
harleyrider38  [Member]
10/27/2012 9:43:45 AM
Get the bushmaster carbon 15...A lot of people don't like them but i love mine and would trust my families life with it no questions asked. Plus i have over 1500 rounds through it and not one malfunction, it runs like a porsche and eats any ammo i feed it.. I loved the deal i got for 600 bucks, got the gun and bushnell red dot scope-foam padded gun case-clips. I love my bushmaster...
Yam  [Team Member]
10/27/2012 10:48:46 AM
can't go wrong with a Del-Ton (DTI) carbine for around 700 new..
Hawaiianbro10  [Member]
10/27/2012 11:08:26 AM
Originally Posted By JMicheals1984:
Okay, I am new to AR-15s and I don't actually have one yet but plan on buying myself one for Christmas with the Christmas bonus my company gives out. The first question is, what would make a good "entry level" AR-15? I have several in mind and want to know if they would fit the bill. The first one is the Bushmaster M4A3 Patrolman's Carbine and the other is the Colt LE6920 Carbine. I also am interested in the M4-A3 Patrolmans Carbine Quad Rail. I have heard that Colt and Bushmaster are both very good manufactures.


Colt LE6920 good choice. If you get a colt I recommend seeing if any walmarts are selling them cause most do sell Colts and Windham Weaponry and Sigs.

I have a Rock River Arms which shoots damn good out to 50-300 yards. I got a deal on it from a dealer cost me $850. Mid length
CMMG makes pretty decent AR15's for the price. Got a MKII for 700 even. Only issue I dislike is its a carbine length gas system

I just recently got and finished customizing a Daniels Defense v5LW for 1310 which its a mid length.

For a Entry Level AR I recommend these companies to do research on.

Stag Arms
Rock River Arms
Del-Ton
Windham Weaponry
DPMS
Palmetto State Armory/Spikes(has a ar they sell for around 800 I believe) Reason here is cause of the price the of the others in this list you could get better quality


If you look around you could find some steals and I would recommend looking around for
For what I make a month I consider these top tear AR companies just cause I can barely afford them unless I save for a couple months.
Bravo Company USA has great AR's and Service
Spikes Tactical sells some good priced well built AR's
Daniels Defense if possible you may have to check gun shops on there sales.
Palmetto State Armory make great AR's for a great price

MurtaughF3  [Member]
10/27/2012 11:30:56 AM
I to was recently in the same boat as you. My two final choices where both previously mentioned several times in this thread, the Colt and the PSA. I chose the Colt, not really sure why to be honest, maybe because it's a Colt, weather thats a good reason or not. I have heard lots of good things about both. At the same time I also ordered a PSA stripped lower that will be slowly built up as things on the Colt change and as my bank account allows it. I think you could go with either one of these and it would be a solid choice.
regalgseguy  [Member]
10/27/2012 11:49:31 PM
get the COLT 6920
Hox  [Member]
10/28/2012 12:16:08 AM


+1 for any rifle of your choice from PSA
JMicheals1984  [Member]
10/28/2012 3:41:57 AM
The Colt LE6920 looks like a pretty good rifle. I want to go to some of the local Gun Shops around here and see what they have. Price does mean a lot when it comes to picking out a rifle. I just don't have a ton of money around. Stag and PSA are both within my price range though the Colt LE9620 does look like a good AR. Can it accept higher capacity magazines? All the ones I am seeing only come with 20 round magazines.
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