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Posted: 5/9/2004 12:36:52 PM EST
Hi, I'm new to this forum and love it. I'm probably going to be getting an AR at the end of the summer, and am wondering what would be a good first one to get. I want an accurate gun that's not too heavy, and still handles well at a decent price. I've been looking at the Bushmaster V-match and Varminter guns. Is the Varminter too long and unwieldly, and does it balance OK for offhand shooting? Would I be better off getting the 20" V-match, or can anyone recommend something different? Thanks a lot, Jeff
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 12:59:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 1:06:19 PM EST by model927]
Welcome to the Board,I have a some what biased opinion because I prefer HBAR carbines and loaded they are the same as a full size just more compact,I only have an aimpoint for an accessorie and it adds no weight at all.First what is the rifle going to be used for primarily and we can start there.Is space limited?precision or deffensive situations or both?..give a little more info please
I would say based on accurate and not too heavy a good A2 fullsize with maybe a govt profile 20" would be a good first AR to learn the rifle with,alot of shooting and cleaning will get you aquainted and then worry about upgrades later learn the basics first including the iron sights.If weight is a factor you could try a 16" light weight wich I think is too light or an M4 barrel wich is a bit heavier but not as heavy as an HBAR,a stubby stock or ace stock wich is much better will be strong and fairly compact,the have a carbine type.And Bushmaster or RRA would be a good first choice and whatever you get make sure its chromed on the inside,some RRA are most all bushie is except their special stainless or competition barrels.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 1:16:20 PM EST
Not to discourage you, but if you're not in too big a hurry, wait until September 15th. Then, assuming the AWB expires, you may purchase a *NEW* AR of your choice, and with all the goodies, and at no forseeable difference in cost. When I think about all the post-ban uppers, with/without pinned muzzle brakes and no bayonet lugs (or even sader, earless bayonet lugs) and all the novelty stocks that will hit the equipment exchange at bargain basement prices because everyone wants to upgrade to the pre-ban configuration that they were denied for so many years, I'm glad I won't be among them. So, if you can wait...wait. Use this time to research what you will want and if the ban is renewed. you're better educated and no worse off than now.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 1:17:08 PM EST
model927, thanks for the reply. The gun is primarily going to be used for target shooting and just as a fun gun to bring on trips. I want to scope this gun to get as much accuracy, hopefully sub-MOA accurate, as possible from it at longer ranges. I want it to handle well, so balance is more of a concern than weight. It's going to have a bipod on it for sure, but i still want to be able to shoot it comfortably off-hand. That's my dilemma with a long barrelled gun like the Varminter. What I've been looking closely at is a fluted 20" V-match. What kind of accuracy could I expect with that gun compared to a Varminter? Thanks again, Jeff
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 1:34:51 PM EST
Doesn't matter,once you start you won't stop untill you have 4 or 5. HA
Stick with ABC for your first,I started with Bushmaster and mostly stuck with it.I saw a buddy's Colt M4 and although the dumb pin size and trigger interchanabillty bugs the crap out of me I really took a shine to it.Another buddy just got an Armilite and it is real real nice.I have seen what seems to be some great deals on Armilite stuff lately. Welcome aboard
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:11:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 2:14:19 PM EST by jar3ds]
for your first AR i would suggest getting:

16" rra chromelined barrel govt profile
flat top upper
standard trigger or rra trigger with anti walk trigger pins etc.
since your waiting till sept 15th get a a2 flash suppressor
rra 6 position stock
with m4 handguards...
(this setup allows you to do close quarters battle aswell as longer range shooting... your really only limited by your optic on how far you want to shoot but the 600m is your cap, and thats with a good lr scope/mount...)

i'm sorry but i don't care about punching holes in paper as close together... i can do that with a handle held paper punch... i want to hit siloettes at a variaty of distances... 0-400m if i can do that i will have a weapon for 90% of battle...

you can upgrade as much as you want but i don't know your budget...

if your mainly going to be doing nothing but bipod shooting and trying to get groups

get a rra 20" chromemoly barrel...

let me know through IM if you have any other questions

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:28:34 PM EST
I forgot to mention that I'll also be doing some varmint hunting with this gun. I won't be shooting much past 400 yards usually, but would like to be able to shoot out to 600 with confidence in hitting the target. In addition to what I've asked already, can anyone comment on ATN scopes with the built in drop compensators, or any other scopes that would be good out to 600 yrds.? Thanks
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 2:44:11 PM EST
20-24" bull barrel atleast, with Bipod, the lower and upper really dont matter, you would prob. want a Flattop for scope. Im partial to the ACE stocks too, very comfy.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:31:59 PM EST
You sound like most newbies, trying to get too much out of one gun. The good thing about the AR platform though is that you can swap out the uppers on the same gun for different things.

If the hitting at 400-600 yards is really an issue for you, I'd look into a fluted bull barrel, with a flattop upper, a .223 chamber, and possibly a barrel twist other than 1:9 depending on the bullet weight you inted to shoot through it.

Then you can also pick up a cheap 16" upper from Model 1 sales or someone and use that for offhand informal target shooting.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:36:48 PM EST
Welcome to the forum. Like you, I'm still pretty new here and loving it also. I have learned more about AR-15's in the last few weeks than in my entire lifetime before. I just can't stop reading all this interesting info.

Anyway, about your question, whatever barrel you decide on, I recomend a flattop upper. When I bought my first AR, I didn't think I was going to want to mount a scope on it anyway, so I got the A2 model. Now I'm always wanting to mount a scope, and I'm always mounting it on the carry handle which makes it too high for a proper cheek rest.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:42:38 PM EST
Again, thanks for the replies. Most of my shooting will be under 300 yards, sometimes trying my hand at longer distances. I just want a really accurate gun that handles well. Sorry for any confusion. Would a RRA 18" varmint upper and RRA complete lower fit the criteria? And, what kind of accuracy can be had from RRA guns? I hadn't seen any 18" barrelled guns in that price range, and it seems like a good compromise between lengths. Sorry for all the questions, this is all just quite new to me.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:49:29 PM EST
well if you want a varmit gun that handles well....

get the RRA 20" stainless or chromemoly... sure it'll be heavy but if you want a super accurate weapon its the way to go... get a good mount/rings and a good scope with a freefloat, rra 2 stage trigger (w/ anti walk trigger pins& hammer pins) and your done... :-)
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:56:04 PM EST
I just ordered a bushmaster A3 16" carbine. I was going to wait until Sept and get a full featured rifle, but I changed my mind.

First off I don't like the standard collapsable stock.
The bayonet lug is useless on the 16" barrel.
I probably want something besides the standard birdcage suppressor. I'll just have that put on in Sept.

For the full size 20", I would definately want the bayonet lugs, so I would have waited. At less than 200 yards the difference between the 16" and 20" is nil ballistically. So for typical target shooting I would rather have the 16", plus it's handier.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:30:06 PM EST
My first was a Bushmaster 20" A3. It is a wonderful rifle I love it. I have put several thousand rounds through it, it hasn't jammed once and is looking as good as it was when I got it.

My Second AR.... I'll get it in September.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 6:26:02 PM EST
To Jlesniak, norman and dytryin have some very good points.For the ranges you mentioned I would go flattop Bushy AR with a 16" HBAR That way you can scope it and fight with it.Stick with a chrome lined chamber and bore,plenty of accuracy out to 300 yds.When the ban goes you could thread the muzzle and put on an A2 flash hider and tele stock.The 16" with match grade ammo will fill the need out to 500 yds at least,it maybe wont be 1" MOA at that range but very accurate Im sure there are scopes that can help make it a tack driver at those ranges,Im not a long range shooter.If you keep the ranges realistic the AR can be your every thing rifle at 300 and under yds.
But never fear this wont be your last AR so what ever configuration you choose you will always have something for a next rifle.I started out with a Bushy A2 full size back when the A2 standard was king and there were no preban ARs.I turned that rifle into a type 2 tele stock carbine,H buffer,M4 handguards,14.5/phantom HBAR,my next 2 were facory carbines an A1 with 11.5/5.5 HBAR that has sice gotten a little greener,and an A2 HBAR 16" that has gotten a flat top upper..all my carbines have had the same changes as far as stocks,handguards and buffers.I got an Armalite A2 last year thats a full size..needed one again.I have an RRA lower that hope fully when the ban goes Im building it as a govt A2 carbine by getting an 14,5 M4/phantom barrel in 1/7 twist if I can,Identical to my HBAR but with all the M4 improvements and my armalite will get a 1/7 govt 20" so Ill have a matching pair as far as looks and twist rates go.Then some where down the road Ill have to build an M4A1 variant...then maybe Ill quit building ARs and move on to AKs or FALs.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 6:37:34 PM EST
I like a flat top with a 16" chrome lined barrel (either HBAR or M4 profile) best. Plenty accurate and very handy.
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