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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/19/2005 8:35:18 PM EDT
First of all, a bit of info. I am a City Patrol Officer in North Carolina and have recently expressed an interest in buying an AR for duty. I was in the Army (*cough* - 20 years ago with M-16), so have a bit of exposure with rifle. I have narrowed my purchase down to the Bushmaster from a local dealer.

I have read ALOT of this site, and did a search for a "A2 vs. A3" thread, and got nothing. I am sure you guys that have been on here for some time have probably discussed this in the past, and if so, I apologize for bringing it up yet again.

I ultimately will be able to afford either the A2 or A3. And, I am not wanting a discussion, per se, about "You should get Colt, Stag, RRA, etc.", but moreso just - should I get the BM A2 or A3?

On one hand, I am thinking the A2, keeping it simple and basically learning to use the rifle's hardsights. On the other hand, I am thinking the A3, where I can just put a detachable handle on it (understanding an added minor cost), and in the future (when I am comfortable with the hard sights) consider an EoTech or Aimlight.

So, please help out a new admirer of the AR's and tell me what you think...

A2 or A3?

Thanks, in advance, for your input guys.

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:40:35 PM EDT
I vote for A3 with a BUIS.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:41:29 PM EDT
A3 will definitely give you more option in terms of mounting optics. If you forsee of possibility of doing that I would go with A3.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:42:45 PM EDT
A1 if you just want iron sights, A3/A4 otherwise.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:44:05 PM EDT
I'd go A3 myself just for versatility with optics in the future. Second choice would be an A1 configured receiver (think M16A1 setup) with an A2 peep sight for the closer range ghost ring.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:46:19 PM EDT
I like A2s and use a gooseneck mount for my aimpoint.Its military issue so it clears the M4 handguards.The sight lies between my front and rear sights.And I use a bolt on rail on the lower handgrip for a fore grip.I supose the choice ultimately is yours but you can use it for the things you need even in an A2 form.A3 is easier to work with but I guess it comes down to price.If its a substantial difference in money say $100 or over go A2.If price is just a bit more go flattop.If no carry handle comes on the flat top then the price between the two is comparable.Just keep in mind you will need a back up iron sight to use the irons or pay extra for the carry handle.Either way its gonna cost more I think than having an A2.Simpler and costsless.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:48:45 PM EDT
A3
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:56:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 9:00:15 PM EDT by Tominator425]

Originally Posted By pun:
I like A2s and use a gooseneck mount for my aimpoint.Its military issue so it clears the M4 handguards.The sight lies between my front and rear sights.And I use a bolt on rail on the lower handgrip for a fore grip.I supose the choice ultimately is yours but you can use it for the things you need even in an A2 form.A3 is easier to work with but I guess it comes down to price.If its a substantial difference in money say $100 or over go A2.If price is just a bit more go flattop.If no carry handle comes on the flat top then the price between the two is comparable.Just keep in mind you will need a back up iron sight to use the irons or pay extra for the carry handle.Either way its gonna cost more I think than having an A2.Simpler and costsless.hr


A firearms instructor told me tonight at nighttime qualification about a "Scout" mount that puts the Aimpoint where you said. That sounded interesting, but it seemed to me that the A3 would just be easier if I was going with an Aimpoint in the future. I do understand and accept that I will have to buy a detachable carry handle and now discover a B.U.I.S. The cost between the A2 and A3 is less than $100 so not really a factor (like $785 for A2 and $850, I think for the A3).

Thanks Pun!

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:04:58 PM EDT
I love A2 sights. I've constantly trained with them. I always shoot offhand with them, and recently put 20 rounds into a 3" area. For me, that's amazing. Now.. I hope to shoot at longer ranges, but I've been too busy to find an outdoor range :(
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:23:06 PM EDT
A3
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:24:16 PM EDT
Definitely Flat-top.

I mounted my Aimpoint on receiver first. After 2 years now I have it reinstalled the carrying handle and moved Aimpoint forward because I wanted that "A2" look. Who knows If I will go back mounting Aimpoint on the receiver?

Flat-top gives you options.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:28:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tominator425:
On the other hand, I am thinking the A3, where I can just put a detachable handle on it (understanding an added minor cost), and in the future (when I am comfortable with the hard sights) consider an EoTech or Aimlight.

I went this route, only started with an ARMS 40A2 BUIS instead of the carry handle. It wasn't long 'till an aimpoint ended up on top. I'd recommend this, especially for a patrol rifle.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:49:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By topgunpilot20:
I went this route, only started with an ARMS 40A2 BUIS instead of the carry handle. It wasn't long 'till an aimpoint ended up on top. I'd recommend this, especially for a patrol rifle.



I see your point. My friend, who is a Detective in my Department (and has been helping me get my first AR), carries his flat top with an Aimpoint on top in is his car right now. He has a detachable handle, but I think he doesn't even bring it from home (Not sure why he even has it... must ask him). hinking.gif
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:55:37 PM EDT
I have both A2 rifle and an A3 carbine with Aimpoint.

I would recommend the A3 and get a flip up rear sight something like an ARMS #40L or Troy.

The flip up sights are better than the A3 carry handle sights because when you get optics later on, you don't have to remove it to use your optics.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 10:01:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Alpha-Romeo3:
I have both A2 rifle and an A3 carbine with Aimpoint.

I would recommend the A3 and get a flip up rear sight something like an ARMS #40L or Troy.

The flip up sights are better than the A3 carry handle sights because when you get optics later on, you don't have to remove it to use your optics.



Thanks! That is a good point... I know that the optic gonna be an investment, but my friend has the setup like you describe, and I really like it alot!

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 10:38:48 PM EDT
A2 or A3 with LMT BUIS
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 12:55:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 1:03:20 AM EDT by GunLogic]
I'm in the process of getting my first AR. I'd thought at one point I wanted the A2 upper with permanent carry handle, but have decided on the A3 because of the options of using a scope or other optics. I'm getting an upper separately from the lower and the upper isn't coming with the detachable carry handle, so I need to decide on what sights I want now.

I'm considering the fold down Troy and, for non-folders, either the LMT or LaRue. The prices I've seen are: LaRue $89, LMT $119, and Troy $139. At this moment, if I were ordering one, I'd get the LaRue. His stuff looks absolutely top notch. Also, the LaRue will work as a BUIS with an EOTech, unlike the LMT. LaRue also offers a mount for the EOTech that looks worthwhile.

LaRue Tactical
Lewis Maching and Tool
Troy Industries

GL

Edit: note that of these three, only the LMT offers vertical adjustment.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 1:14:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 1:28:50 AM EDT by Tweak]
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 1:21:04 AM EDT
Bushmaster is a great firearm and it won't disappoint you. I purchased my Bushmaster with the A2 configuration. I call it old reliable. The only thing I wish I had done different would be to have held out for an A3 model. Wether you put optics on your rifile or not, the A3 gives you the most versatility.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 1:29:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 1:36:47 AM EDT by Colt_SBR]
to AR15.com.

My suggestion would be a flat top upper with BUIS. The detachable carry handle would be an unnecessary added expense. That way, you don't have the carry handle sitting around when you go to an optic. The BUIS is as good if not better than the carry handle iron sights. You have more options for accessories with a flat top upper.


This is mine.

Bushmaster lower with a Vltor stock, RRA 15" plus flashhider upper, LaRue BUIS and an Aimpoint with an ARMS mount.





Link Posted: 9/20/2005 1:46:15 AM EDT
Well as long as we're giving Tominator some inspiration, here's mine that began with only the ARMS 40A2:

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 2:05:14 AM EDT
Flattop and aimpoint.

Max
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 2:51:29 AM EDT
Since it will be a patrol rifle go with the flat top, BUIS, and a Surefire flashlight. Don't need all the widgets yet.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:44:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MaineAR:
The only thing I wish I had done different would be to have held out for an A3 model.



This seems to be the most determining factor, I think. If I got an A2, I feel I would think later, "Shoot, I should have got an A3". If I get the A3, can always just throw the handle on it and carry on. Thanks!

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:47:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 11:46:59 AM EDT by Tominator425]
Originally Posted By Colt_SBR:

Bushmaster lower with a Vltor stock, RRA 15" plus flashhider upper, LaRue BUIS and an Aimpoint with an ARMS mount.


Your pic seems to be like the one I am running with. Just will be a new BM A3. My friend says he has a BM B.U.I.S. to give me, so all I need to do is save up (again) for the Aimpoint.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:48:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By maxell27:
Flattop and aimpoint.

Max



Short, sweet and to the point! Love it!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:00:05 AM EDT
tominator;
not to be mean but you need to beat that price down a little more from whoever your purcasing from. if your in law enforcement id think theyed give you a better price. I just bought my first bushy A3 with the carry handle out the door for 760$.from my local sporting goods store. .... oh yea go w/ the A3
muzzy
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:01:13 AM EDT
I have an A2 which I di like but I would take an A3 over it everytime. I ordered my Bushy new from my local dealer. I actually ordered an A3 but somehow the messed it up and ordered an A2. My dumb as was to impatient to send it back and wait for the A3. I have somewhat regretted it ever since. The A2 is a very good upper but the A3 can do everthing the A2 can and of course more. The one good thing about me having the A2 is that I am going to get an A3 upper receiver and since I will have the A2 laying around I'm going to have to biuld a new A2.

Go with the flattop you will probably regret it if you don't
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:14:20 AM EDT
A3 for the options.if not you will want it later or buy an A3 as a second carb.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:01:46 AM EDT
I had mostly A2's, but over the past two years have switched uppers on all of them to flattops.

You can still put on a carry handle sight, or one such as the DPMS stand alone (or similar by others) which is like a cut down carry handle. Then you have A2 rear sight to use now, or for KISS. And you have all the time you want to decide on other sighting systems.

I like the Eotech for general use. I have the DPMS flipup ("Mangonel") rear sight behind the Eotechs on a few. This works well. There are other good flipup rear sights, pick one.

With the flattop you have a LOT of possibilities, with the A2 you don't. Simple as that.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:49:10 AM EDT
Check out this year's SEBR. It a Bushmaster and a great price.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 11:49:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 11:57:47 AM EDT by Tominator425]

Originally Posted By muzzy1st:
tominator;
not to be mean but you need to beat that price down a little more from whoever your purcasing from. if your in law enforcement id think theyed give you a better price. I just bought my first bushy A3 with the carry handle out the door for 760$.from my local sporting goods store. .... oh yea go w/ the A3
muzzy



Kinda what I was thinking... before I went there, I was told it would be close to $750 or so... I plan to ask a few other places and get as low a price as I can. Thanks!

P.S. Something I have been a bit confused about... If you buy an A3, it comes with the detachable carry handle included? Been told both - that it does and does not.

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 11:55:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 11:56:26 AM EDT by topgunpilot20]

Originally Posted By Tominator425:

Originally Posted By muzzy1st:
tominator;
not to be mean but you need to beat that price down a little more from whoever your purcasing from. if your in law enforcement id think theyed give you a better price. I just bought my first bushy A3 with the carry handle out the door for 760$.from my local sporting goods store. .... oh yea go w/ the A3
muzzy



Kinda what I was thinking... before I went there, I was told it would be close to $750 or so... I plan to ask a few other places and get as low a price as I can. Thanks!

P.S. Something I have been a bit confused about... If you buy an A3, it comes with the detachable carry handle included? Been told both.

Depends on where you buy it. Most shops come with a handle, most internet dealers don't (they know most people don't want them). You can get it directly from BM either way.

Seriously though, if you're looking for a carbine, this year's SEBR is the best deal going for a bushmaster.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 12:01:04 PM EDT
The Bushmaster M4A3 I got came with a detachable carry handle. Check with your dealer to make sure. I stuck with just that setup for a little while, then went to an EOTech with a Back-Up-Iron-Sight. Buying the A3 will make a future conversion very easy.



TO



I'm in NC also, so IM me if you have any specific questions.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 12:02:40 PM EDT
A3 all day


Don't limit yourself.


Optics, options, and the convenience of the detachable carry handle when you want it

One of my favorite set ups, if not the favorite is a flat-top with a BUIS (Troy)

Light and loads of fun!!

Welcome aboard!!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 12:04:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 7:33:20 PM EDT by Tominator425]

Seriously though, if you're looking for a carbine, this year's SEBR is the best deal going for a bushmaster.


Read up on that link a bit... Not real comfortable with it plus it seems the rifles not going to be MADE until sometime in November. I need for Rifle Qual school in December. Thanks for throwing it out there tho. :)

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 12:14:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 7:33:36 PM EDT by Tominator425]

Originally Posted By redfisher:
A3 all day


Don't limit yourself.


Optics, options, and the convenience of the detachable carry handle when you want it

One of my favorite set ups, if not the favorite is a flat-top with a BUIS (Troy)

Light and loads of fun!!

Welcome aboard!! hr


Thanks a bunch! I think I am finally getting a grasp of this a bit... You guys have been real helpful.Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 2:27:44 PM EDT
I guess because the military has gone mostly to A3's suddenly everybody here hates A2's.

Anyway, I have an A2 because I didn't feel the need to add every military looking gadget to it, and actually it keeps me from being tempted to do it. Besides the A2 is what an AR is supposed to look like. Optics certainly have their place and can be very useful and the A3 is definetely the way to go if you know that's in your future plans.

When I build another AR I'll probably build an A3 just for something different.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 2:40:50 PM EDT
My low opinion of A2s has precisely nothing to do with the military. Why would I put target sights on a carbine? I'll take A1 sights any day if I want irons. A4 otherwise.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 4:33:19 PM EDT
I'd like to add to my other post that I was planning on getting the Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine until I came upon the upper I preferred for sale here. It's a midlength, 16" barrel, 1/7 twist, with M4 cuts, instead of the regular 1/9 M4 style the Bushmaster has. My girlfriend really liked the Bushmaster. If this deal from Talon Arms hadn't shown up I'd have gotten the Patrolman's Carbine, no doubts, no worries.

One other thing that worked to help me decide on the A3 upper is that I've got a Springfield GI with the old military style combat sights. I wanted an old style look, but I'm dissatisfied with the sights and will probably change them eventually. So this got me thinking about my wanting an old style A2 AR15 and I wondered if I'd regret the limitations of the sights. With an A3 I can explore all the options I can afford to explore.

GL

++ payment for Bronze membership in the mail - cuz I want access to the archive ++

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 4:40:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLogic:
I'd like to add to my other post that I was planning on getting the Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine... ...If this deal from Talon Arms hadn't shown up I'd have gotten the Patrolman's Carbine, no doubts, no worries.



That seems to be what I keep going back to... I mean, it seems that they looked at the patrolman, maybe talked to 1 or two, and then came up with the AR for 'em. Seems easy to just walk in, say "Gimme a 'Patrolman'" and carry on. Just got to now find one for the right price.

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 4:47:22 PM EDT
Just like everybody else, my vote is for flat top/Aimpoint for a patrol rifle. I have both a 20" A2 and a 16" flat top. The A2 is nice for shooting targets, but the Aimpoint is fast. accurate, works with NVG's if I need it to, and I always have the option of putting the detachable handle back on if I want to shoot irons.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:41:35 PM EDT
I agree with everyone, that you should get the A3 (sounds like you already decided by now too).

I will, however, put a plug for EOTech. I love it, and the reticle is really easy to pick up at shot ranges compared to a single dot.

Shameless gun porn


WIZZO
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:15:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 7:34:00 PM EDT by Tominator425]

Originally Posted By WIZZO_ARAKM14:
I agree with everyone, that you should get the A3 (sounds like you already decided by now too).

I will, however, put a plug for EOTech. I love it, and the reticle is really easy to pick up at shot ranges compared to a single dot.

WIZZO



Thanks Wizzo... Once I get the gun, I plan to look harder at the EoTech and Aimpoint. Aimpoint mucho $$$ (plus $$$ for mount) and EoTech less $$$ with included mount. Different red reticles, blah blah blah. But, I gotta tell you, the pics in this thread from you guys with the EoTechs? That is really cool looking...

Oh well, will cross that bridge when I get to it. :)

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:28:12 PM EDT
I bought an A2, thinking that I'd use it to shoot off hand, using the iron sights. Well, the mind was willing, but the eyes weren't. I ended up putting a small scope on the carry handle, which works fine, but I think it's a bit more flimsy than the flat top, and the cheek weld isn't optimum.

From one Tarheel to another, I think if I had to do it again, I'd go with the A3. Good luck.

Cray
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:32:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By car333:
I bought an A2, thinking that I'd use it to shoot off hand, using the iron sights. Well, the mind was willing, but the eyes weren't. I ended up putting a small scope on the carry handle, which works fine, but I think it's a bit more flimsy than the flat top, and the cheek weld isn't optimum.

From one Tarheel to another, I think if I had to do it again, I'd go with the A3. Good luck.

Cray



Thanks Cray!

Charlie 31
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:40:48 PM EDT
WIZZO, I gotta say I like your carbine. I know from your other posts that it's got the SDI 1/7 mid-length on it, which is what I'm getting (I'm just getting the completed upper - I know you put the barrel on your own upper). I've shown your pix to my girlfriend to give her an idea of what the AR I'm going towards will look like. Except I'll have black furniture and I'm not decided yet on the BUIS, since it will be the main rear sight for probably some time. We looked through an EOTech at a vendor show and we both think it's pretty cool - parallax free is nice. Haven't seen an Aimpoint yet to look through.

GL
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:48:16 PM EDT


Thanks!

It's my favorite to shoot right now.

You'll love it, especially with a RRA 9mm buffer

WIZZO
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 9:50:29 PM EDT
Thanks for all your feedback, guys! I have decided to go with the A3... I will use it initially with the hard sights, then look at EoTech or Aimpoint in the future. Rifle School is in December and I think it is a good idea to go through this course simply using hardsights. I could show you a pic of it on purchase, but there are a bunch on this site already, so you know what it will look like. Should be able to buy it after this weekend's off-duty jobs.

Again...Thanks!Charlie 31
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