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Posted: 12/31/2006 5:47:40 PM EST
I'm sure this is a question asked dozens of times but....should I go A3 style with my planned 'build' or stick with an A2? My situation is a bit different than that faced by most people who get into ARs, or at least I think it is.

My plan, initially, was to 'build' a standard A2 rifle. I planned to by a lowe reciever and parts kit and get to work, mainly due to financial reasons. Building was simply much cheaper than buying, at least for me. I could get a lower reciever relatively quickly, so I'd have the actual 'firearm' part of the rifle in my possesion and could either acquire the pieces I need to finish as I go a long or, ideally, buy a parts kit. So far, I'm going to follow the general gist of that plan, so please no 'go-buy-this-or-that' answers.Such answers would be a waste of time, mine and your's.


I also decided to go with a 20" rifle, since I simply like them better than the carbines. Since I didn't need a carbine for work/home defense/etc. I can focus purely on what I want. And that's a rifle. The rifle's going to be a range toy and nothing else. I might eventually build a carbine but not until I've got the rifle taken care of. So, please no 'rifles-suck-buy/build-a-carbine' answers. Such answers would be a waste of time, mine and your's.

One last thing before I ask the actual question: the main purpose of the A3 type upper is to allow mounting of the carry-handle or optics and BUIS, right? The whole point is more adaptability for optics, right? Wrong? Semi-Right? I honestly don't know so I'm asking, not debating a point...

Now the question and the slight oddity. Should I build an A3 instead on an A2? Now, before you say 'yes' read this:

-I don't plan to buy any tactical gadgets other than some type of Aimpoint sight. I'm just not into the tactical accessories that a lot of people like. I'm not knocking them: they just don't float my boat.

-I'm going to kepp the standard front sight, period. I like it, so I'm not going to go with some other type of front sight. Like the folding ones...

-Here's the weird one: I really like iron sights. I like them the way some people love optics and other similar accessories. I actually would enjoy experimenting with the various types of rear sights. Ya' know, carry handles, BUIS, and I even saw an HK-esque rear sight assembly. Yeah, weird, I know, so spare me 'iron-sights-suck-only-optics-are-worth-money' stuff.

The last is what has me leaning towards the A3. I'm thinking that's the way I'd like to go. However, I'll just stick to the A2 if there's a huge difference in price between A2 uppers and A3 uppers. So, is there a large difference is cost? And is there enough difference between the various types of rear sight assemblies to make messin' around with different options interesting to an iron-sight-ophile like me?

I'll shut up now. Sorry for the long post.

Link Posted: 12/31/2006 6:06:11 PM EST
the main purpose of the A3 type upper is to allow mounting of the carry-handle or optics and BUIS, right? The whole point is more adaptability for optics, right?

Yep, that's it.

If you think you'll ever want to put a scope on the rifle go with a flat top upper receiver.

Get a detachable carry handle and you'd have essentially an A2 rifle. Then take it off when you want to add the scope. Or add a rear BUIS and an aimpoint if you'd rather.

I have an A2 and a couple of A1s. All my future builds will be with A3 uppers.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 6:32:19 PM EST
For the sake of accuracy, A3s and A2s are the same exact upper. An A3 is an A2 with a safe/semi/auto instead of safe/semi/burst FCG.

The A4 upper is the flat top.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 7:02:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bumblebee_Bob:
If you think you'll ever want to put a scope on the rifle go with a flat top upper receiver.

Get a detachable carry handle and you'd have essentially an A2 rifle. Then take it off when you want to add the scope. Or add a rear BUIS and an aimpoint if you'd rather.


+1
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 7:08:52 PM EST
the A3 is the civilian flattop. yes, go with a A3 if you mainly want to shoot a scope for accuracy, less guesswork than a high mounted scope on an A2. if you want a arbine later, just start of with an upper from Sherluk, complete with bolt will be about 440 bucks shipped. the delima will be whether you want the weight of a HBAR.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 7:25:14 PM EST
Yes sir, buy a flattop. If you decide you don't like using an optic or a BUIS, you can always put a removeable carry handle on it.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 7:53:06 PM EST
All my most recent bulds over the last 10 years are flat top's. I like haveing the option to add optics of my choseing. Same with a BUIS. I have tryed several LMT,ARM"S, TROY,HK front and rear. Etc. As stated if you like the A2 set up just get a cary handle. But if you are going with an aimpoint (one of the best). The selection of mounts are much greater than that you will find for the A2. Check out the Larue aimpoint mounts. The best!
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 7:59:52 PM EST
Go with the flat top, then you can go with the carry handle, BUIS and/or any optic you want.

I am with you as I intend to go with Aimpoint, but I do like irons and yes I like the carry handle and I can change it around any time I want.

Good luck with your build.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 8:16:42 PM EST
A3 no doubt. There simply is no reason to buy an A2 upper anymore. You can zero the carry handle, take it off and zero an optic, then use either one since they will keep the zero due to the rail mount. You could also plan to leave the optic on but have a BUIS also on the rail. This makes the carry handle unnecessary, so you could save by getting just the flattop upper without the handle.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 9:26:42 PM EST
Gentlemen,

Thanks for the info. I think I will go with the A3. In fact, I was somewhat convinced as I made my original post, I just needed a bit of a push in the right direction.

Now one more question: about how much more is it, on average, to build an A3 rifle as opposed to an A2?

Once again, thanks for your assistance.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 9:49:39 PM EST
A3.....there is no other option.


Link Posted: 12/31/2006 11:35:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rule223:
Now one more question: about how much more is it, on average, to build an A3 rifle as opposed to an A2?


Roughly the same price, although the price of the carry handle is separate.
As an example a Bushmaster flattop is 182.95 on their website
Bushmaster A2 is 186.95
Bushmaster carry handle is 116.95

so the a2 is cheaper but not as versatile.

Mike
Link Posted: 1/1/2007 2:19:41 AM EST
My advice is to go A3 or A4 on your reciever because cheak weld is non-existant with the A2 reciever. Its just dosent feel right to shoot looking through an ACOG or other scope and not have your cheek even touching the stock. You also wont shoot as accurately.

The bottom line is: if you plan to have any optics mounted on the weapon go A3 with a flip up rear sight or back up iron sight.
Link Posted: 1/1/2007 3:53:22 PM EST
Thanks for the additional info guys. I am going to go A3.

Now that I have that down, I've been looking at parts kits. My question is this: are the parts kits that Del-ton sells any good? Who makes the components?

They have options that would enable me to get what I'm looking for...

Once again, thanks for the assisstance.
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