I am looking at buying my first AR-15 in the next week or so. A local gunsmith has some, I don't know if they are used or new, pre or post ban, or even what brand they are. What should I be looking for? I plan on using it for target shooting and for fun. What should I avoid? How do I know a post from a pre ban rifle? What's a good price for a used/new AR-15? So many questions, so little time. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Spend some time reading the post's on here.
Some of your question have been answered on the first page alone.
I would say buy a pre ban Colt. They hold their value better but
this is a Ford vs Chevy thing.
Pre ban means that the gun was built before 94.
They can have a collapsible stock, bayo lug, Flash hider (threaded barrel)
if you just want a plinker and money is an issue I would say get a Rock River brand.
You'll here other opinions.
Use the search tool on this site and research
Bushmaster, Colt, Armalite, Olympic, Rock River.
Pay attention to which one's have more complaints.
Meet with people in your area from this site at a Gun Range.
Most here are very helpful.
Most people here where in your shoes in the beginning,
They have taught me a lot.
Enjoy your learning experience.
I'm in the same situation. I'll be watching your Topic to get advice also.
medicmandan and mallot, first off: Welcome to the boards! I agree with ilikelegs, in that if you spend enough time roaming around the different forums here, you'll find just about any answer to any question you may have about AR15s (or any other firearm, for that matter).
Here is some more info.
Got to the industry forums located at the top
of the page.
here is the link for now.
Study the problems people are posting.
olympic arms and Rock River are not the but thats
just because they don't sponsor the site.
I highly recomend again to use the search tool
located below the go button by the site navigator
which is below the ar15.com logo.
You'll find answer's to almost every question.
AVOID at ALL cost buying Hess arms rifle's.
They suck from what I have learned here.
Good links site for more info.
My best advise is to buy the best rifle you can afford as you get what you pay for. First, spend a couple of days browsing around this site and decide what you want to do with your AR15, then read the "what brand should I buy?" threads for more info. Decide if you want a rifle or carbine, M4gery, ect. If you want to get in at an entry level for casual plinking and target shooting a post ban rifle will be fine but dont spend more than $800 new for a good one (Bushmaster, Armalite, RRA, or DPMS), Colt rifles run about a $100 more. My advise is to stay away from Hesse, Olympic Arms, and Kit guns (a local gunsmith here loves to sell these as factory assembled rifles so beware) If you can afford a decent (Colt or Bushmaster) preban do some more homework and buy one. Then just have fun shooting.
A few pointers to keep you out of trouble...
I will respectfully disagree with the suggestion to buy a preban...
Don't waste the extra money just to poke holes in paper...
They look cool, and hold their value well, but the telescopic stock is just plain uncomfortable to shoot...
For a 1st gun, I'd strongly suggest a brand new, or like new FACTORY built rifle from one of the better known companies...
(Bushmaster, Colt, RRA, etc...)
Stay FAR away from fancy overengineered carbon fiber guns, and frankenguns assembled privately on a stripped receiver...
There are too many good factory guns out there, to bother risking trouble with a home built gun...
I've built plenty of them from scratch, but not until I knew them inside and out, and experienced every possible problem associated with the AR15...
The best AR I've ever owned was a brand new Bushmaster XM15E2S 20" HBAR target rifle...
The only brand new AR I ever bought...
This gun shot great right out of the box, and never gave me a bit of trouble...
It's totally up to you whether you prefer the 16" or 20" barrel length...
I like both, but for different reasons...
The 16" is short, lightweight, and handy...
The 20" is a bit more accurate, and recoils less due to it's heavier weight/longer barrel...
You should be able to find a used AR in the Equipment Exchange for around $650-$700, and a brand new one for $750-$800...
Also other things to be aware of...
1) Use only good quality USGI mags...
2) Use only good quality military 5.56 ammo...(Winchester Q3131A)
3) Keep the gun CLEAN...
4) Keep the gun well lubricated with CLP "Break Free"...
5) Stay away from muzzle brakes, all they do is piss off the guy next to you at the range...
Hope that helps...
any and all new AR-15 purchases must have a "tax." in this case the Tax is one 30rd mag sent to me. failer to do so will end up really bad for you. i dont know how, but it will ! ahahahahahah please e-mail me to find out where to send your TAX!!!!!
You're gettin' some great advise here, guys... I gotta agree with all the above but think your first should be a postban... You buy what you think you'd like to shoot... M4 stuff is real popular these days and would make a great "shooter"... If you get hooked, then you can look at pre-bans... Welcome to my addiction...
A great weapon to start with is a Bushmaster Post Ban.
Post Bans refer to the weapons manufacturered after the "scary looking parts" of the weapon were restricted. (Bayonet lug, flash hider... etc.)
Pre-bans are more expensive and don't get you much more anyhow. (Do you need a flashhider or a bayonet now?)
Bushmaster post bans are great rifles. They last quite a bit, are very close to milspec (military specifications) and you can usually find a 16" for under $820.
If you want a full length barrel (20") go for a Bushmaster 20" HBAR (Heavy Barrel). You should be able to find those under $900. Try: www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/pcwa3s20.asp
You might consider getting the A3 upper (With a detachable handle). You'll want to put optics on your Bushy some day, trust me.
The 16" is more compact and easy to move around, and will still give you great fun out to 400 meters and outstanding self defense properties inside of 150 meters.
I prefer Heavy Barrels but some people like the M4 barrel profile (which is thin inside the weapon, then thick near the muzzle with a small section milled down for the grenade launcher- which you shouldn't bother to worry about).
Bushmasters are great first weapons.
I can pretty much promise you that you won't own only one AR15. If you start with a Bushmaster you'll probably never go back.
Take a look at their website catalog.
Welcome aboard medicmandan and O_L_Y_H_A_T_E_R