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Posted: 10/10/2004 10:01:21 PM EDT
I've been shooting and reloading for many years, but have just gotten seriously interested in owning an AR-15. I've been lurking around here for the last couple of weeks trying to pick up as much of the lingo as I can. I'm trying to decide exactly what I want. I had pretty much decided on some configuration of a Rock River Arms rifle and then somebody hung a flyer up on the garage sale board at work. I know this is not really the configuration I'm looking for but I'm also guessing it might be worth the money. What can you guys tell me, good or bad, about a Palmetto Armory CAR-15A1? It has an 11.5" barrel, 2-position colapsible stock and a Magpul grip. It comes with(10) 30 round mags., 1 Colt 20 round mag, and 180 rounds of ammo. It also comes with an Atchisson semi/full auto .22 cal conversion kit, M7 bayonet, 5 1/2" flash hider, tactical sling, military bipod, the original grip, a bag full of mag. followers and a black nyon case. He is also throwing in an extra stripped lower (type not specified) and an extra bolt carrier. He is asking $1000 for the whole thing, but also says he will also consider any reasonable offer. I know that this is not exactly what I'm looking for, but I'm also thinking it might e a good way to get started and learn a little more about what I really do want. Thanks for any help. I' sure I'll have more questions in the near future.

Link Posted: 10/10/2004 10:44:57 PM EDT
Palmetto is an early Olympic Arms gun. Machined from billet. Nice piece. The barrel is too short for social work, and not chromed, but an excellent plinker, if thats your desire. If its in good shape, pay him 8 or 9 for the hole thing. Shoot out the barrel and reconfigure after you have some trigger time.

OAI still warranties Palmettos, I believe. Go for it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 11:38:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 12:04:02 AM EDT by Dave_H]
Combat Jack,

Could you be kind enough to explain the difference between this CAR A1 and a CAR A4 or the M4 that I see mentioned. I hate to ask dumb questions, but I'm trying to get up to speed on this stuff and it's kind of overwhelming. I've spent most of my time fooling with big bore six guns and bolt action centerfires.

I'll try to read all of the basic primer articles as quickly as I can. I'm sure you guys get tired of the same old questions.

Thanks again.

Link Posted: 10/11/2004 2:25:10 PM EDT
First, make sure the flash hider is permanently attached, otherwise you're looking at a $200 NFA transfer tax. Second, the full auto conversion kit might be illegal. Although you need an auto sear in your lower for it to function full auto, you still might run into some legal issues (I'm not a lawyer so I can't give you a definative yes or no).
The bolt carrier probably won't do you much good since you never want to exchange them between rifles. The rest seems fine though. It's probably not the highest quality stuff but for plinking around on the weekends, it will serve you fine.
As for the difference between a CAR A1, CAR A4, and an M4: the CAR-A1 is the carbine version (16" barrel or less) with an A1 upper, meaning carry handle with A1 rear sights. CAR-A4 is the same thing except with a flat top upper so you can mount optics easier. A true M4 is the military's 14.5", fully automatic, flat top carbine made by Colt. Colt M4 Note that the carry handle, although it may appear to be permanently attached, is actually detachable. Also, the M4's barrel, unlike most CARs', is profiled to accept the M203 Grenade Launcher.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 4:19:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_H:

I'll try to read all of the basic primer articles as quickly as I can. I'm sure you guys get tired of the same old questions.


The tacked articles are excellent, and you should read them. I seriously hope that people here do not get tired of "the same old questions". This site is for, at least would hope, the education and benefit of people who are new to ARs. I am ashamed of some, albeit few, members here that choose to treat new members as inferior humans. We all had to learn at some time, and most try to help as best as they can. I have seen members here with very high post counts, and a lot of trigger time ask some questions that seemed simple to me, and I have done the same. I hope that you are treated well here as I have been...when these fuckers actually answer my goddamn questions.

Back to you fuckers!

Just joking...these guys are great!

Link Posted: 10/11/2004 5:29:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 5:31:45 PM EDT by M4Madness]

Originally Posted By caneau:
The full auto conversion kit might be illegal. Although you need an auto sear in your lower for it to function full auto, you still might run into some legal issues.

Caneau, he's talking about a .22LR conversion that will work with EITHER a semi-auto rifle OR a full-auto one. It doesn't do anything to convert a rifle to full-auto, it just works with either model. All it does is convert a .223 rifle to .22LR.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 5:40:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 5:43:49 PM EDT by Vinnie]
A carbine is actually a longgun shorter than a rifle. Therefore anything with less than a 20" barrel would be considered a carbine (this includes the 18" barreled SPRs).

The A1, A2 and A3/A4 designations for the AR15 are comercial/civilian designations. A1s and A2s are fixed carry handled ARs. The A2 has a knob for windage adjustments while the A1 needs a tool for adjustment.

A3/A4 is the designation for a detatchable carry handled AR. Companies such as Colt and Bushamaster call them A3s while Armalite and Rock River Arms call them A4s.

A1/2/3/4 designations for the Military have entirely different meanings generally dealing with the evolution of the weapon.

The CAR was an 11'5 inch barreled M16 with a 5.5" flash/sound supressor. Civilian versions don't have the baffel and are only flash hiders.

Now the M4 is the latest evolution of the M16. It, as stated above, is a 14.5 inch barrel. The barrel is lightweight and has a notch for the M203 (grenade launcher).
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 8:54:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 8:55:42 PM EDT by Dave_H]
Thanks a bunch guys. I got through some of the articles tonight and that helped clear up a few of my questions. I also talked to the guy with the gun for sale tonight. I think we've got a deal, but I told him I wanted to think about it (I really just wanted a little more readin' time on here.) and I'd call him tomorrow. He has it listed as an A1 model, but it does have the knob for the windage adjustment. The knob is evident in the picture on the right side of the carry handle. Does this knob, in and of itself, make it an A2 configuration, or is there something else needed? He made some reference when I spoke to him about the rifle being a sort of "cross" between an A1 and an A2. Also, am I right in thinking that after I play with this thing for a while (assuming I buy it h
You are correct about the conversion kit. It just converts the .223 to .22LR and can be used in either a semi-auto or automatic weapon. I guess this rifle was fully automatic when he purchased it and he rebuilt the lower. Are there any specific questions I should ask as to the way the lower was rebuilt or what parts were used? He made reference to still having the parts to convert it back to full auto., but made no offer to sell them and I didn't ask.

Thanks again for the help. I do appreciate it. Sometimes it's intimidating to ask questions of "experts" when you don't even know the lingo. I've been a serious reloader and shooter for a long time, and have even reloaded a few thousand rounds of match ammo for a guy I used to work with that shot in the service rifle competitions at Camp Perry for the Indiana National Guard team, but the closest I ever got to one of these rifles was a Mini-14 I had for a few years and finally traded off. I appreciate your patience.

Link Posted: 10/11/2004 9:03:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 9:08:46 PM EDT by ajm1911]
If it was originally full auto then it is worth much more money. I don't think it was originally full auto because it would be approx $10-15K and would require an NFA transfer of $200.

Don't go in for the "full auto conversion" as it is illegal and big time jail. It could be that he has the parts that make it full auto that are regitstered separately and what he is selling you is the burnt out shell with a shot up barrel. You can replace the upper with a flat top or whatever later.

The extra stripped lower is its own firearm and can be built into another rifle.
It sound like a good deal but maybe too good a deal.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 10:06:38 PM EDT
If the rifle is not fully automatic now, under what conditions would I be setting myself up for trouble? He is not the original owner, but from our conversation, I gathered that it was fully automatic when he bought it. Is there a serial number or other identifying markings that I need to check to keep myself out of trouble? The owner seemed to be very stand-up and honest, but neither of us had a lot of time to talk. When I call him tomorrow, I can ask anything else that I may need to. What should I ask? Thanks for the help.

Link Posted: 10/11/2004 11:28:15 PM EDT
First the A1 v A2 question:

This is a Bushmaster A1 reciever

Notice the rear sight. It's a wheel with holes.

Without that assembly it would look like this:

Now an A2 upper looks like this:

The A2 sight looks like this:

and the receiver without it looks like this:
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 11:36:00 PM EDT
Now the full auto part.

For 1000 bucks, you could buy a brand new complete rifle. No it won't have the extra stipped lower or the .22 conversion, but you could get those later. Depending on how the rifle was made into a full auto, it could be very unsafe to fire. Also you'd have to make sure there were no M16 parts in the fire control group.

I would run and not look back at this deal.
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