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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/28/2003 6:24:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/28/2003 7:28:35 AM EST by corwin1968]
Hello All! I am brand new to this forum and would like to begin by thanking everyone here for their very informative posts. I have learned more about AR-15's in the last three days than I ever thought I'd know. I am looking at purchasing my first AR by early 2004.

I began thinking I wanted an M4orgery (love that term!!) but as I began to do research I began to look more at functionality rather than looks. I plan to buy a complete rifle or complete upper and lower. I've looked at rifles from Bushmaster, Colt, RRA, Olympic Arms, and Armalite as well as complete uppers from several companies including Model "1".

I basically want a 16" carbine with an A3 upper w/removeable carry handle. I will start with an A2 stock but may try the shorty. I have no interest in a fixed "telescoping" stock.

Some things are essential to me such as chrome lined barrel and bore on HBAR, mil-spec finish on entire weapon, and forged upper, lower, and front sight base. Some companies' websites aren't too specific on some of these specs but I know Bushmaster meets my specs and I presume that Colt does also (these are currently my first choices). RRA doesn't seem to have chrome lined barrels and I don't like the look of the muzzle brakes on the Armalite and I don't know if their barrels are chrome lined.

I really like the look of the A2 Flash suppressor but I can't afford a pre-ban and with the exception of the pressed on fake FS on some brands I haven't seen a barrel with a break or compensator I think I could live with so I will just go with a crowned barrel.

My main dilemna concerns handguards. I originally wanted M4 handguards but now I'm leaning strongly toward mid-length guards on a 16" barrel. However, neither Colt nor Bushmaster offer an AR with mid-length guards. I believe Armalite and RRA do but I've already ruled those brands out for other reasons.

Question: How major a job am I looking at to replace the carbine hand guards on a Colt or Bushmaster 16" with mid-length guards. This would involve moving the front sight base further down the barrel. Is it something a person (i.e. me!!) who has never really worked on much of anthing could do or should I use a gunsmith? If I use a gunsmith would it cost much? Does anyone here use mid-length guards and how well are they heat-shielded?

Thanks for your replies and I look forward to spiralling deeper and deeper into the madness!

Link Posted: 6/28/2003 7:21:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/28/2003 7:29:34 AM EST by Stryfe]
I'm not sure how the mid lenght handguards are setup. I assume it's setup like a dissipator but with the FSB moved back for the shorter HGs. If that's the case, it shouldn't be a problem for you to modify a dissipator to what you want. As far as chrome lining, you will definately get it in a BM, but maybe not in a Colt. Kurts Kustom Firearms has a post-ban fake flash suppressor that a lot of people like. I have no experience. There is also the Cav-comp. Again no experience. Try and -A1 length stock if you want something shorter than the -A2. The stubby is intended for those with short arms, or for use with body armor, or a chest hold. Stick with standard length stocks until you have experience with the rifle. Edited cuz I just thought of something. Is there a set of slots cut into the barrel for the pins on the FSB? That might pose a problem as you'd have to recut them in the new position, and you still have the exposed cuts in front of the FSB. Mmmmmm....
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 7:52:36 AM EST
Stryfe, Thanks for responding to my post. I won't be buying an AR for several months so I can't answer your question. I'm doing my homework right now to find out what modifications I might need to make to be sure I get exactly what I want. I went to the EE board and there is an add for mid-length guards with the statement that it could only be used on an upper with a mid-length gas system. This complicates my question even further since I don't know the feasibility of changing to a mid-length gas system. RRA and maybe Armalite both sell exactly what I'm looking for except that their barrels aren't chromed which is a major factor for me. I may just have to stick with the CAR handguard because at this point I don't see myself ever changing barrels.
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 8:06:01 AM EST
If you do decide later to go to mid length i would recommend that you just get a new barrel, otherwise your into drilling the gas port plus you would need to drill new holes for the FSB and depending on the profile you might have problems with the barrel not being the right dia at the new location, etc etc. I agree with stryfe to get some time in with the regular furniture.
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 10:41:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/28/2003 10:47:36 AM EST by Fearandloathing37]
Hi and welcome to the addiction. Here are a few thoughts on buying or putting together your first AR-15. I'm far from being a guru, but I have been down the are buying block once or twice. First, as hard as it is, for a first time AR buyer, you must divorce all of the "I want that particular feature because it looks cool or scary", from your decision making. You need to be worrying about relibility and hitting what your shooting at. Not about things like, if your muzzle brake looks cool. Do not get any barrel with a faux flash hider that is simply for looks and hangs a piece of metal on the end of your rifle that has no function at all. honestly, many of the functioning muzzle breaks out there, serve no purpose other than to put something on the end of the barrel, that sort of looks like a flashhider, because many AR buyers just can't get over the fact that the that thing on the end of the barrel "looks cool" I've shot a lot of 16" barreled AR's at night in my life, most of them before the ban, and to tell you the truth, I never saw a flashider of any practical config, that I thought was worth a d**m or that would hide the fact that I was shooting an AR-15 at somebody at any range. Once you start shooting AR's you will also discover that, there is little need for a muzzle break, since 5.56 does not generate much recoil in the first place. Again most of these are on the ends of peoples barrels, because they look cool. Most muzzle breaks out there on the market, make the report of the rifle, much louder, Bushmasters AK brake is particularly known for this. Many breaks also vent gas directly out at the shooters on either side of you at the range, which can be particularly annoying. While it may not look cool, that plain old crowned heavy barrel, that looks so much like the barrel on you dads bolt action hunting rifle, is about the most accurate thing to ever come down the pike. As for Middy's, This is a config that I am very fond of. No they are not set up like Dissipators, with the second gas block., they use a Mid-lenght gas tube that runs directly to the gas block you see sitting at the end of your handguards. Most middy's are produced by Rock River Arms and Armalite, if you simply must have chrome lined then your choices in middy's drop to Armalite only. Armalite's Middy Barrel weighs less than Rock River's Middy, due to the fact that Armalite mills the barrel down to a mid-wieght under the hand guards, this is probably a good thing, as Rock Rivers Full Heavy under the handguards is pretty heavy as 16" barreled rifles go. Me I would just by a Middy from one of those two companies, rather than fool around with some sort of barrel conversion, just buying one would be alot cheaper and less hassle in the long run. I hope this helps you out.
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 11:38:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/28/2003 11:40:04 AM EST by Gunzilla]
Lots of good feedback and very positive results with a top end that we make... 16" barrel, mid-length gas system set up with the gas block under full length handguards (dissy style), front sight moved forward and full length, free float handguards. The gas port is at 9.5" this gives you 6.5" of barrel in front of it, very reliable, full sight radius and full length handguards. IMHO, this is maybe the best combination for an all purpose carbine (if you are not concerned about using a bayonet or GL. edited to add a bad picture, complete rifle is out to a pro photographer... better pics to follow. [img]www.gunzilla.com/images/dualing_uppers.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 11:38:33 AM EST
I appreciate the replies. The information I've gotten here has convinced me that changing the handguard is not feasible so if I decide to go with mid-length I will have to go with Armalite. Today I went to a local gunstore and looked at a Bushmaster 16" carbine and the short guard was much more comfortable than I expected it to be so I will take the advice given and go with whatever model I choose and forget about modifying until much later.
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 3:06:24 PM EST
Have you considered the SS barrelled RRA w/mid-length handguards? It only costs $20 more or so. I got one a while back, and I really like it. I like the mid-length look better for a carbine personally. It seems like the "proportions" (for lack of a better word) of the barrel and handguards are better. Plus the mid-length from RRA and Armalite doesn't use the shaved gas block under the handguards like the Dissipators. The RRA SS mid-length is a bit heavier, but I like the added heft. The really nice thing about ARs is the nearly endless variations available. You can really set yours up just about any way that you want. Don't worry too much about what you buy. You'll end up wanting something else as soon as you get it anyway!
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 6:17:33 PM EST
Good heavens...I just bothered to look at Corwins home state line ....He's a fellow Okie, where in Okie land are you Corwin? Your not looking at these AR's at uncle Freds house of horrors (Outdoor America) down in Oklahoma City are you?
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 6:25:48 PM EST
Just one other thing that I forgot to mention. If I were you, I would avoid getting anything with the 14.5" barrel and long break. (Bushmaster makes a couple of these.) You really need a minimum of 16" of barrel, the balistics really start to go down hill fast with anything shorter than 16"
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