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Posted: 12/17/2003 11:54:31 AM EDT
I WAS considering buying an AR15 next spring.  Why? Well, besides several pistols (I'm a CHL-holder), I only have 2 long guns: an SKS and an Enfeild No1 MkIII.  I was thinking about trying my hand at Service Rifle Competition (never competed before) and the SKS and Enfield do not qualify.  But I'm mostly a plinker and a smaller/lighter AR15 carbine should be better for tromping in the woods anyway.

So, in doing some research, I found this site and I'm intrigued by the idea of building my own.  I'm  always looking to save a buck, and feel comfortable diving into building something I've never built before as long as I have good instructions and the right tools... which, after looking all over this site, it appears I do!

First of all, here's what I want... POST BAN 16" barrel, muzzlebrake, M4 or CAR type stock, and flat-top reciever starting out with detachable carry handle for iron sights needed in Service Rifle Competition.  Basically I want it to LOOK like a GI M4. I like flexibility and options even though I might never use them all... like red-dot sites, scopes, lasers, etc - hence the flat-top picatinny rail.  But, I'm bewildered by some of the specific parts options out there.

Front Sights... I need a fixed sight up front right?  What is this stuff about gasblock & flipdown sights?  Whats on a GI M4?

Rear Sights... Do I want an NM rear (National Match I guess?) on the detachable handle?  A1? A2? What are all these?  Whats the basic iron sight on a GI M4?

Butstock - I might go with a standard A2 stock in one of the Model1Sales kits... and upgrade to and M4 stock which I like better... but AWBan keeps me from getting a telescoping one.  I dont want to COLLAPSE the stock, but I WOULD like to be able to ADJUST length of pull on it fairly easy (like to hand it off to my wife, or adjust to different clothing).  Is there an M4 type stock out there that has several adjustment lengths without running afoul of the AWBan?  Could one get a 5 position telescoping M4 stock and modify it so that it doesnt collapse all the way - thus making it length adjustable AND legal?

Thanks for a great resource!

P.S.  I'm in Dallas - any good tips on a dealer for Oly or RockRiver stripped lower?  Great price deals yall know of right now on them?
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 1:36:28 PM EDT
plarkinjr,

Welcome aboard. I'm pretty new as well but, I'll try to answer what I can.

The M4gery rifles are very popular. The length, weight, and flat top options make them very flexible for different uses. With that said, they are not really suited to service rifle matches. I believe that flat top uppers are not allowed. You would more than likely want the longer sight radius of a 20' rifle for that application

Sights/uppers:
I think most folks would agree that aside from the service match shooting, a flattop upper with either a detachable handle or BUIS would offer you the most options for later upgrades and modifications to your rifle. I would stay away from folding front sights unless you are free floating the barrel and/or using an optic 100% of the time

Buttstocks:
I would skip trying to modify a tele stock on a post-ban to keep from running afoul of the ATF. The A2 provides a rigid platform and is usually the lest exp. option. Many folks choose an A1 style stock that is 5/8 shorter(many find it more comfortable). The fixed telestocks are generally less comfortable and I would stear clear unless it is purely a fashion statement.

Lowers:
I am gathering parts for my first build and went with a RRA lower from Pete at "WWW.AR15sales.com". Great service and the product seems every bit as good as my bushy.
Eagle arms stipped lowers are also very competitively priced. No matter what maker you decide upon, I would recommend forged over cast.

Hope that helps!

Blitz
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 2:52:05 PM EDT
i personally vote against the muzzle brake.  

they are LOUD.  if you're wandering around looking for a coyote, or trying to bag a pig on the prairie somewhere, and you see prey, you're probably not going to have hearing protection on.  in an open field, without protection, discharging the weapon is physically painful, and i'm pretty deaf from years of shooting and motorcycle riding.  just ask the missus.  

gasblocks are a machined piece of metal that channels the gas back to the blowback tube to cycle the weapon, same as the front sight assembly does.  it just doesn't have a fixed sight.  

i vote that you get 2 complete uppers.  one for service rifle competition, and the other with a dedicated scope for hunting, the beauty of this rifle is that you can swap out complete uppers in 30 seconds.  you can literally have 2 purpose built rifles operating on 1 lower.  pretty neat, huh.  

for what it's worth, my RRA 16" upper is super accurate and .  i have a 1" 5-shot group posted on my office wall, 100 yard group with an TA01 scope mounted on top of a fixed carry-handle on my rifle.  iron sights are adjustable and the A2 style.  scope was expensive ($700.00) but kills 'yotes great at 250 yards +/-.  for real.  these little 5.56 rifles really reach out there, and they're accurate too...

if i had it to do over, i'd probably get a flat top, frankly, but i really like the way the rifle feels, handles and i actually use the carry handle when i'm riding around the ranch and the rifle's in the pickup.  

to be honest, i'd rent or borrow a couple of standard 16" or 20" rifles and play with 'em for 1 or 2 trips to the range before you buy anything.  

p.s. service rifle competition is a hoot!  give it a whirl!  
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 6:21:00 PM EDT
If you are scoping it then consider getting a flatop with the higher profile like the DPMS hi-rider upper. Then you can use normal scope rings. A 20" barrel is going to give you more velocity, thus it is flatter shooting and not quite as loud.

I have never heard of a collapsable stock that was still legal. I just bought a Vltor stock and it has a great shape to it that really creates the perfect cheek weld vs standard A2 style stocks.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 8:35:37 AM EDT
You can get a shorty stock and put an adjustable butt plate on.  I think Fulton ARmory sells both together, and the price is reasonable.  You will need an Allen wrench to make adjustments, if that's an issue.
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