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Posted: 9/28/2004 5:33:22 AM EDT
Hello all you AR-15 lovers,

I need a little help looking for an AR -15. I'm new to shooting and would like to buy an AR-15, but don't know what model to get . Does anybody have an opinion on the different makes(Colt, Bushmaster, Rock River, Olympic Arms, etc....), and what extras would you suggest I get? I would like to keep the price around $800-$1000 for a new or used, but in good condition, AR-15. Any help and all opinions would be helpfull!

Link Posted: 9/28/2004 5:45:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2004 5:50:21 AM EDT by SPTiger]
Welcome to the wonderful world of ARs. There are many different variations of the AR that you could choose from. Personally I prefer Colt, simply because that's all I have ever had experience with. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't have one of the others that you mentioned. I would highly recommend a standard 20" barrel A2. If you want something more compact, the 16" barrel carbine with collapseable stock is pretty popular, such as the M4-type AR15 (flattop receiver with removeable carry handle). If you are going to mount optics I would suggest a flattop model, I believe it is called an "A3" upper. I have a Colt 20" HBAR and a Colt 16" Gov't Carbine that is going to be mated with a M4-style upper from CMMG very soon. Your options are limited only by your imagination (and wallet), and now is a good time to get an AR. As far as price, check out the Equipment Exchange board here as well as the auction sites such as Gunbroker. You probably would find a better deal on the EE here, and there are plenty of knowledgeable folks here to answer all your questions.

I would also suggest looking at some of the photos posted here of everyone's favorite AR. This could give you some idea of what you'd like to have.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 5:56:54 AM EDT
Go with the Bushmaster and don't look back.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 6:05:27 AM EDT

First, you have to determine what you're going to use if for. Do you want a small, lightweight, close quarters gun or do you want a long distance varmint popper, or a competition gun? Since you're a new shooter, you probably don't need or want competition quality. For target shooting up to 200 yards a 16" carbine is fine, from 200 yards + I'd go with a 20" standard A4. It's a flat top so you can easily mount a scope, carry handle, or other device. The best thing about ARs is they're modular, you can use the same lower receiver and put a variety of uppers on it. Shop around, look at the different brands and note their fit, finish, materials, etc. In my opinion Colt is overpriced, there is no reason a standard A2 should cost $1200. Personally, I like Rock River Arms. If an AR can be pretty and functional, they nailed both. I bought a gently used National Match A2 and it's just incredible, I've never had a jam except when I used winchester Q3131 (cheap junk ammo). I'm not a great shot by any means but with that I can put 10 rounds under a quarter at 50 yards, not much difference at 100. Plus, the finish is almost like black satin. I've never seen another company do that. Check out the equipment exchange, AR15sales.com sells RRA lowers with "U.S. Property" markings on them. What I would do is buy a stripped lower and then get the parts kit and a buttstock of your choice put it all together (not that hard, there are instructions in the information section of this site) and then decide which upper you want to put on it. Hope my $.02 helps out a little bit, I was in your shoes not that long ago and learned some things. Take care, shoot straight. MJD
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 6:16:30 AM EDT
You can't go wrong with Rock River Arms.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:00:31 AM EDT
Get a Bushmaster 20", flat top with detachable carry handle A2 style or A4, your choice. It was my first and it is ideal for many reasons. Everybody wants a tricked out carbine these days and you won't be the exception. The problem is you get the carbine and you end up blowing $$$$$$ tricking it out with lights, lasers and all that other crap, before you have even had the time to learn the basic weapon.

Start with the 20" and work on the iron sights. You will appreciate the fact that you got it first because of its accuracy at distances. Once you are comfortable with the operation of the 20" you can make a decision between creating and or loading up your 20" with a mean optic and any other fancy stuff, or keeping it as is and going for a new carbine.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:04:07 AM EDT
Bushmaster or RR as everyone said above, you can't go wrong. Both are within your price range and excellent rifles.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:19:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:29:18 AM EDT
I'm not going to speak of other experiences I have read about, but what I can tell you is that I have a Bushmaster and I love it. I have a Rock River on the way. Ultimately, no matter what you get, I'm sure you will have another in a few months or years. Trust me...
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 11:47:14 AM EDT
Define your goals first, as others have said.

I knew I wanted a rifle that could shoot accuratly and effectively past 200 yards so that meant a 20" barrel. At the time everyone recommended Armalite, Colt or Bushmaster to start and I decided on Bushmaster. They have a strong reputation for excellent delivery times and customer service but sometimes spotty quality control. I did have my gas key come loose (a common problem) but since I came here often I knew how to look for it and how to fix it before it became a problem. My Bushie has been accurate and performed flawlessly for thousands of rounds. I'm now waiting for a Colt LE6920 so I can add a carbine to the family.

I also recommend a flat top rifle, but with the iron sights included. You need to become proficient with them first and only later will you decide what if any changes to the configuration of the rifle will you make later on. If you want to, you can sell the iron sights on this board's Equipment Exchange.

Do NOT get bogged down in accessories right away!! All you need initially is a good sling, a handful of magazines, ammunition, and your rifle. Shoot it for a good long time as is - only then will you be able to understand what it may need to better complement your shooting experience, IMHO.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 4:11:58 AM EDT
Thanks for all the suggestions! I will consider everything mentioned and be back with rifle in handhanksLJ (Noobshooter)
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 10:37:52 AM EDT
You got some excellent advice!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 11:45:38 AM EDT
And remember you can always buy an upper and swap it out by removing 2 pins!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:49:21 PM EDT
I just got a DPMS 20" A3 flat top model. It looks real nice. Great finish and fit. I probably won't get to shoot it until next week. But I will report back to you as soon as I do. I am also getting a DPMS 16" Carbine A3 flat top but it is not in yet.
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