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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/25/2003 9:08:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2003 11:36:14 AM EDT by Aleko]
I finally came to conclusion that it’s time for me to move up in "fire power department" and get myself my first "tactical rifle" (I only own handguns now). I handled a couple of ARs at my local range over the weekend, and decided I had to have one. One of the ROs offered to teach me basic handling/shooting/maintenance skills, and let me shoot his Bushmaster (which I’m hoping to do today or tomorrow). Now, since I literally know nothing about them, could someone explain very basic differences between different models (or point me to where I can read up on it) without going too much into details?
Not necessarily differences between various manufactures (although recommendations on what to stay away from would help), but just different options for platform in general. I’ve done search here on this site, but most of the post use "lingo" I can't understand yet (part numbers, code names, etc.), and even people looking for their first AR know somewhat what they want. I don't have a clue of what I need; I just want to start somewhere. It doesn't necessarily mean I want the most basic model, because from my experience, I'll end up realizing that basic model just doesn't cut it for me and selling it (at a loss) and buying something else. Been there done that. But, at the same time I don't want to overpay for something I may never need. I understand there’s no "perfect" model out there to fit everybody, but any advise from your first buying experiences would be appreciated.

P.S. I looked at 3 or 4 models at my shop, all somewhere in $600 to $1300 price range (Colts and Bushmasters). The one I liked the most was… you guessed it – the most expensive one. :) I don't remember the model name, but it's (supposedly) the newest Bushmaster modular model (or something to that extent) that they had listed for close to $1300. I don't know why I liked it, maybe just "cool factor", or maybe instinctively I though since it's more expensive, it must be better (which in most cases is true). Is anyone familiar with this model? Is it a good buy? Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 8:18:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2003 8:45:28 PM EDT by G35]
Aleko. First - WELCOME TO AR15.COM !!!! [beer] I apolize that no one has responded to your qustion yet. And from one Texan to another, HOWDY !!! I agree that you should be patient and wait until you learn more before you make your purchase. For starters, tell us what purpose is the rifle for ? How do you intend to use the rifle ? For example - 1. Hunting 2. Self defense and home protection 3. Target pratice only 4. Protection from civil disorder (riots)
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 8:22:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2003 8:23:52 PM EDT by ar10er]
He's right ya know. There are many flavors. AR10s in .243, .270 WSM, .300WSM, .308, AR15s in .223, .22 lr, 7.62X39.....
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 11:32:40 PM EDT
First off, congrats on making the leap... You will not regret buying your first AR15... I went the simple route first. I bought a "Target" Bushmaster, a 20" heavy barrel(HBAR), with an A2 upper(that is the one with the built in carry handle, similar to the M16's used by the military). I choose it for three reason - 1) Price, didn't want to invest too much initially... 2) Wanted a long barrel, for distance shooting - to improve my shooting skills at the range... 3) It's what my brother-in-law had, and it is a good rifle... That said, I'm now the proud owner of an AR15 lower(receiver without the barrel), and will mate it up with a A3(flattop)M4 upper (the barrel end of the rifle), so that I have a CQB(Close Quarter Battle) rifle... Trust me, once you buy one you'll get attached to your AR... Don't think you'll be selling it ever... If anything your collection will grow, with your desire to match the rifle to your perceived role for the weapon... Good Hunting... [sniper2]
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 12:33:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2003 12:34:20 AM EDT by 82_Airborne]
The Bushmaster modular carbine is what you liked. I would love to have one. Check out this link, they have it fir $1149, http://www.cdnninvestments.com/ , you'll have to download their catalog for it. If you can afford it, this would be a killer AR to start out with! By the way welcome aboard [wave] Another victim of Black rifle fever [toilet]
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 4:49:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2003 4:50:59 AM EDT by Aleko]
Thanks guys for your answers and for warm welcome (and HOWDY to you too G35). I don't really need a rifle, but I want one. :) I will NOT hunt with it; I may use it for self defense/home protection, although I'm concerned that it may be a little too much power for that (over penetration); I will definitely use it for target practice; riots - I doubt it, unless it's something resembling the end of the world. Tell you the truth, at this point I just want to have one, learn how to shoot it, and acquire some basic skills using it. Then I may start exploring other venues. Right now, I just don’t see me buying more than 1 rifle (yeah, right, I though that same way when I first got into 1911s). I don't know why I started looking at AR15s, there was just something very intriguing and at the same time intimidating about them. I’d like to start with .223 due to lower cost and availability of ammo. I’d like to go with 16” barrel simply because it looks more ergonomic with it. I understand I’ll sacrifice some accuracy, but it’ll still be fun. I’d like flattop with rail (A4?) to mount scope in the future. I’d also like additional rails to mount flashlight, red dot laser, vertical handle, etc. I like the “tactical” stock, not a solid one (not sure what it’s called, but I think you guys refer to it as A4-style). That’s why I liked that new Bushmaster Modular Carbine – it had enough rails for all of those toys. I wish I could try different models before buying my own, but my local range only has one “basic” model (not sure what it is, but it has 16” barrel, solid stock, fixed handle). One of the ROs there offered to give me a quick “AR 101” class this week to get me started, and then let me shoot the one they have there. I’m hoping to do it Thursday or Friday of this week. From my very limited knowledge of ARs so far it looks like there are not too many options when it comes to basics (before you start accessorizing), so hopefully I’ll know what I want in a couple of weeks. Keep your advice coming, it sure helps me learning. Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 9:46:04 AM EDT
Hi Aleko, I'm in the exact same situation as you are. I'm primarily a handgun "freak". I've got a Mossberg 590 set up for home defense and a Gibb's repro No.5 "Jungle Carbine" for kicking around. I'd like to have one "good" rifle to round out the collection. The problem with being a hard core handgun guy is that rifles are, you know, just sort of BORING! The AR series of rifles are the exception, they're interesting and also something of a distinct hobby in and of themselves, the problem being.....which one to buy? I've found this website helpful, lots of knowledgable people here and I've also used the past several months while saving for my new rifle to do some research and reading. "Gun Tests" magazine has published at least five articles on AR's from various manufacturers over the past four years as well. I'm primarily an informal target shooter who is also an avid handloader. For me, the primary suspect boils down to this; a Bushmaster XM15 E2S A3 w/ 20" target barrel. The owner of my local gun shop/indoor firing range can fix me up with one of these puppies for $889.00 less PA sales tax, ammo, etc. This is probably the way I'm going to go in a couple of weeks. Don't want to wait too long or all the best weather will be gone until next year. Good luck with your decision. Coolio
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 10:18:51 AM EDT
Aleko: I'm kinda new at this, too. Just bought my first AR in July. I got a Bushmaster M4A3 (M4 profile barrel) (A3 flat-top w/ removable carry handle) without the the Mini-Y compensator for noise and muzzle blast reasons. Everything works great on it and I love it, but now I want a scope for it... I bought it thinking "oh, I'll just shoot it with the iron sights for right now, maybe someday I'll get a scope for it.." well that day has come sooner than I was expecting and after doing my research I've settled on an Aimpoint. I just saw this the other day and wish I would have known about it sooner because it's a great rig for a decent price. [IMG]http://www.onpointfirearms.com/Images/ar15.jpg[/IMG] [URL]www.onpointfirearms.com[/URL] It's a relatively simple setup, but includes everything you need for that perfect all purpose rifle... you may say you don't need the Aimpoint right away but trust me, in the end you're going to so might as well buy it right up front... the sling on there I have on my rifle as well and it's awesome, very easy to sling it across your chest, over your back, etc. Take my advise FWIW... everything I said is simply observations I've made coming through the buying and research process. Stay safe and have fun with whatever you decide on!
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 10:48:04 AM EDT
Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt...can't go wrong
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 11:04:53 AM EDT
DAMN!!! Look at all the newbies here.... Welcome to the addiction, folks! Nary a 12 step program will help you here. Tell us what you want to do with your rifle, maybe we can help you choose the configuration best suited to your "wants". A bump to get you [newbie] guys some more help. We need details.... "We're here to help"
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 11:08:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2003 11:08:39 AM EDT by threefiftynone]
You'll need this link... [url]www.ammoman.com[/url]
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 11:20:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2003 11:20:40 AM EDT by Aleko]
Originally Posted By threefiftynone: Tell us what you want to do with your rifle, maybe we can help you choose the configuration best suited to your "wants".
View Quote
What do I want it for??? Let's see... Plinking. Fun at the range. Accessorize the living soul out of it :) (eventually). And, most important of all - It looks so COOL. :)
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 12:04:17 PM EDT
First off welcome!!! Went through a few "assault rifles" before I bought my first AR15 a couple of years ago, a preban Oly. Last week I bought my second, a postban Eagle Arms E15A4. It was love at first sight with both of them. You'll find out quickly that this is the place to be. You'll buy your mags and ammo from here too. A word of caution: once you buy you first AR, you won't be able to stop!!! glimmerman68
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 3:13:47 PM EDT
It's KAC for me rifle comes already half finished.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 4:17:41 PM EDT
Aleko... The 5.56x45 is known to penetrate less barriers than a 9mm. Food for thought.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 8:45:25 PM EDT
Aleko, Based on your feedback, I recommend that you get a 16" (or 14.5" plus muzzle brake) barrel with the A3 (also called A4 by some people) rail. Just make sure it is from one of the top companies - Armalite, Bushmaster, RockRiver, [grind my teeth] colt [bite my tongue]. Seriously Colt is good, but I personally HATE their attitude. If you do buy a Colt, I hope and prey that you never need service from Colt. You sound just like me when I wanted my first rifle. I wanted a flashy M4 (16" with A3 rail). I got the Bushmaster M4. I have no regrets in buying this for my first rifle. [img]http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/Images/pcwa2x14m4my.jpg[/img] Is this still my favorite ? NO. I have refined my taste. But, I had to buy that M4 for my first rifle to "get it out of my system." Time to "sow your wild oats". Just look out for those muzzle brakes. They will make the gun unpleasant to shoot. Some shooters claim to like the extra blast from the brake - not me. Like you, I was a handgun only person. I wanted to buy just one rifle. After Sept 11 2001, I figured that was reason enough, and bought my first rifle (the one pictured above). Now I ignore my pistols (two Glock 35), and now own four AR's (all Bushmaster's).
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 7:44:03 AM EDT
Get a lower and build your own. I built a lower on my computer desk, with ARFCOM help, in less than an hour. Once you've got your lower done, strap on the upper, and go shooting. I'll second the 16" A3 upper for general plinking/range fun. Get an upper from J&T, MSTN, or Pete. Have fun, and be safe. Tim
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 9:20:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By threefiftynone: Get a lower and build your own. I built a lower on my computer desk, with ARFCOM help, in less than an hour. Once you've got your lower done, strap on the upper, and go shooting.
View Quote
Could someone "spell it out" for me, please? [:I] What exactly is lower and upper? As in which parts make up lower, and which ones are upper? Can I just put it together as is, or does it require fitting (coming from 1911 world, almost everything needs to be fitted, preferably by someone who knows what he's doing)? Honestly, at this point, I don’t think I’m capable of building up an AR on my own. My exposure to ARs so far is that I held one once. [8)]
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 9:55:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2003 10:08:06 AM EDT by JustL00king]
Order a stripped lower from your FFL dealer then go online and order a stock, stock wrench, lower parts kit, and complete upper, (or complete rifle kit) mags, ammo, and whatever accessories you want. The lower and the upper will go right together without any fitting, but if it's loose or rattles when you shake it, you may want an accu-wedge. I would order a gapper, it fills in the space between the trigger guard and pistol grip. You will probably want a better grip than the plastic one also. This is a complete upper. [img]http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/uppers/Images/pura2b14m4my-small.jpg[/img] This is a complete lower [img]http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/lowers/Images/alowstubby-small.jpg[/img] The push pins on the lower push right out, you drop the upper on and push the pins back in. Thats all you do to put an upper on the lower. As always make sure you know the 94 AW ban and don't break any laws.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 10:08:11 AM EDT
Upper is the complete top half of the gun, ie, barrel, barrel extension, upper receiver, delta ring assembly (if standard config), front sight/gas block, forward assist, dust cover. A comptete upper will have the bolt group, other wise it's commonly called an "upper half". Lower is the lower receiver, fire control group, receiver extension, buttstock, buffer assembly, etc. A stripped lower is the actual receiver only, it's just a hunk of aluminum that's barely recognizable as part of an AR, in that it has no stock, pistol grip, etc. (usually). You'll have to install the lower parts (bolt release, takedown pins, buffer tube, spring, etc). When you hear that people "built" their lower, it usually means they assembled the lower receiver parts kit into the lower receiver, ending up with a complete lower. You can buy a complete lower from one manufacturer, and an upper from another, and just mate them up, push the takedown pins back in, and go shooting. (Colt lower/uppers have a different pin size, so they're not compatible with everything...I don'k own any Colt stuff, so I don't know exactly what's what. There are several ways to get your 1st AR...buy one complete; buy upper and lower separately, buy a kit (which has everything BUT the lower receiver), or just buy the individual components and build it yourself. The lower receiver is the "firearm" here...so you can have everything else, including kits and complete uppers, sent right to your front door. It makes is very easy to get what you want, but also can overwhelm someone new due to all the choices. Assembling a lower is easier than you might think, there are absolutely fool proof directions on this sight. One or 2 specialty tools will make the job eaiser, but they're not required. I've built a couple, and I'm far from the most mechanically inclinced person in the world. I't recommend a 16" flat top AR, with no muzzle brake. A muzzle brake will complicate things down the road should you want to install a float tube, remove the front sight, etc. Of course, if you get the barel config you want from the get go, you probably won't have to change anything, but still...down the road, I almost guarantee you'll have more than one rifle, or upper at least, and you'll be thinking about swapping parts...trust me hehehe. The Bushy Modular rifle is a nice looking gun...but you could build something *similar* for about $200 less if you were so inclined, even more if you were willing to give up the fold down front sight. There's a lot to be said for building a rifle in terms of a learning experience, and you can indeed save some money if you're on a tight budget. Either way, you'll love your AR, and will have a buttload of fun shooting it, and figuring out ways to pimp it out...whether or not you ever follow through on them lol. Just getting the upper and lower separately can save you money (no excise tax), and once again, you can be a little more choosy as to what you get. My first rifle was an Armalite 20" HBAR A4 upper, and an Eagle complete lower with the National Match trigger. I'm VERY happy I decided to go with the NM trigger; the rifle worked out to be the same price as a complete Armalite rifle minus the match trigger. Thousands of rounds later, the NM trigger is still going strong. Well, as you can see, there are lots of choices. The first one is budget, then barrel length, and/or upper config. But, with all the cool stocks, that's no easy decision either lol. Good Luck!
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 10:59:25 AM EDT
Boy, did I get what I asked for??? [:D] Seriously, that was very informative response, thanks. I don't think it gave me more confidence that I can build it on my own (contrary, it's so overwhelming that I'm afraid to even try now), but at least now I'll know what people are talking about when they say they built up lower, or ordered new upper, etc. I think it might be a good idea for me to get the whole rifle first, make myself familiar with it (and all parts), and then start thinking about maybe building one (either from scratch, or building up mine). What is excise tax? I've never heard of that before... Is it state specific thing? And one other question... Do any of you use .22LR conversion kits? Do you like them? I had Ciener Kit for my 1911, and didn't like it at all (it was very boring to shoot and not very accurate or reliable; besides, I didn’t want to swap slides back and forth all the time). Is it worth getting it for AR, or will I have the same experience as with my 1911 kit? Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 2:02:19 PM EDT
Aleko, there's nothing wrong with getting an already built rifle for you first one...but it's really not that hard to build a lower, either. Go to the AR-15.com home page, and check out the instructions for building the lower...other than needing a tool for the front takedown pin detent, you can pretty much put a lower together with a small hammer and a punch or two. Regardless, it's probably best to read some posts, look at some pics, then decide the config that you like the most. You will pay a federal excise tax on a ready made rifle that you buy from the dealer. If you buy the upper and lower seperately, you won't. So, say you buy the RRA M4 upper, then slap it on a lower you buy, even the same day, from the same dealer, you won't pay the excise tax...so you save the $$. Now, with some dealer prices being so low already, you really don't realize you're saving the $100. I dont' know all of the details of this issue, I'm sure the FFLs here could correct me if I've said anything wacky. I have the Ceiner AR kit...it works ok, but I had to buy another charging handle...one of the "old" style armalite one...to get it to work. It's not especially accurate, but it's fun to plink with..and if there's an occasion where I'm going out of town, like to a buddy's farm, where I can shoot to my heart's content, I'll slip it in the bag to take with me. Whether or not it's wortht the $$, that's a tough call. Much cheaper than the dedicated uppers, which I don't think are very accurate either, from what I've heard.
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