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Posted: 3/3/2001 2:43:52 PM EDT
I am looking for my 1st AR and would appreciate some hints on what to look for. I plan to use it mainly for target shooting and plinking. I am fairly new to the world of firearms, but I know that I am hooked. I currently own a Glock 22, a 10/22 and a Winchester model 12. I want my first AR, but need to know a few things first:

What barrel length?
If I plan to add a scope, should I get a flattop?
What type of scope would you reccomend?
Muzzle brake- Yes or no?
Approx. how much will a good AR & scope cost?

Thank you for any knowledge you can share with me.
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 2:53:58 PM EDT
The AR is a great platform to a new shooter. I would start out with a shorty Bushmaster. Go to their website, www.bushmaster.com, and see what you like. If you find a good dealer, he can probably get you a nice bare bones ones for $750.
I would go without a muzzlebrake, you don't really need it with a .223.
I would not get a flattop. It is just easier using the iron sights to learn how to shoot, plus they have many scopes that mount to the handle.
If you decide to get into competitive shooting, you can put a new upper on with a flattop.
If you have to have a muzzle brake, that can be put on the new upper.
The AR-15 is not a great rifle, but it is distintive, is fun, and you can spend all day shooting it. [sniper]
Currently I am have on order a DCM Bushy.
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 2:58:40 PM EDT
Very tough question.

We try to cover a lot of that at the Maryland AR-15 Shooter Site at [URL]http://communities.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite&naventryid=100[/URL]  

I like the 16" carbine the best, but you might consider the 20" standard as a good compromise first gun.

Learn to shoot the irons first, then look into optics.

If you want a red dot type sight, like the Reflex II or the Aimpoint, you don't have to have the flattop.  These sights work well with forward mounts.  A regular scope will be better ona flattop, but will work on a built-in carry handle model.

Muzzle brake - not needed.  Get it if you like the looks.  The difference is subtle on a 16" gun, I doubt I'd feel it on a 20"

Here in Maryland, a NIB Bushmaster is about $860.  Some parts of the country are cheaper.  Colts and Armalites are more.

I'd avoid a Frankengun (non-factory built) for your first AR.  Get a good, reliable factory made gun.  I'd suggest a Bushmaster for service, full milspec (as full as possible) and the chromelined bore.  Colt, Armalite, DPMS, Olyarms are all valid choices as well.  Don't ask folks here which is best (Bushmaster), you will get the Ford -vs- Chevy arguement (Chevy).
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 3:02:30 PM EDT
IF you can get into the group purchase for a post-ban M4, it would definitely answer all your question for the best price around.

hope this help!
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 3:14:41 PM EDT

It looks like you've already gotten some great advice. I'd go a step further and say to get the A3 carbine upper. That way, you have a removeable carry handle so that you can learn to shoot the iron sights on yur new AR. Then you can get a carry handle scope or remove the carry handle for a flattop and larger scope.

I have a pre ban Bushmaster and a post ban Colt and have few complaints about either gun. The Bushmaster [b]does[/b] have the advantage of being closer to Mil Spec and may be a preferable choice for your first AR.

I also think it is a good idea to skip the muzzle brake. The recoil is minimal on an AR to start with and the muzzle brake is so loud, especially to fellow shooters.

In my neck of the woods, a new Bushmaster runs about $799 or so and then depending on the scope.........

No matter what you decide on, I'm sure you'll love it, everyone I know who has shot an AR has gotten hooked [:)]


Link Posted: 3/3/2001 3:25:38 PM EDT
Thank you all for the advice.  I will skip the muzzle brake since its' benifits are minimal.  As for the scope, I think I will hold off until I am more familiar with the irons.  I am still undecided about the barrel length.  Maybe that is the gun gods way of telling me that there is more than one AR in my future.  Thanks again.

Link Posted: 3/3/2001 6:58:01 PM EDT
Saz, don't worry about the barrel length on a Bushmaster. My first AR was a 16" no muzzle brake Bushy. After I broke her in, and put an ACOG on it, got way under sub-moa goups at 100 yds with 52 gr. American Eagle (at least that was the logo on the box)ammo. I didn't get the A3 removable handle on this one, (special ordered that on the match gun), but that was good advice. Have fun!
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 7:39:34 PM EDT
Hey guys, a former AK-only guy here who bought his first (modern day) AR today at a show.  I got a Bushmaster lower and upper, with the AK 74 brake and 16" chromed heavy barrel - 1 in 9 twist.  The brake or compensator (speaking from AK 74 experience) keeps muzzle rise to a minimum during rapid fire, and does little else besides make alot of noise.  But they look cool, too.

Can't wait to shoot mine!
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 8:46:04 PM EDT
How much money do you have to spend?
If you have the cash, buy a complete preban from ABC or O.
Take it from me, when I bought my first AR15 (Colt flattop, 16 inch HBAR 1/9 twist) I paid $$749 for it. I could of had a brand new Colt preban 20 inch 1/9 HBAR A2 for $950. I still kick myself for not putting that extra $200 on a credit card or just waiting another month to save up the$$$.
The only bright side? I bought that Colt in 1997, and I sold it in 1999 for $50 more than what I paid for it.
At the very least I say get whatever brand of AR in the flat top.

Link Posted: 3/3/2001 9:30:44 PM EDT
Holy SPIT!!!
Herr Doktor! YOU bought an AR-15!?!
I'll count this as a tiny personal victory and I'm SURE you'll have fun with your NEW TOY! I just hope our AK friends don't find out-
it'll be OUR little secret...
Link Posted: 3/3/2001 9:34:08 PM EDT
By the way-
there's a new baby in da haus-
Today I drove 120 miles to San Anton to pick up my newest Colt, my only 20". I am looking at her now. I want to strip her down...
Link Posted: 3/4/2001 12:23:02 PM EDT
Sign up for the group purchase on this board, It seems that it will happen and with a good price, at the very least sign up on the maybe list...

Link Posted: 3/4/2001 1:25:27 PM EDT

My recommendation is somewhat different than the others you received earlier.

Go with a 20" HBAR: Less flash from the longer barrel, a little heavier (therefore even less recoil), and more accurate for rifle matches.

DO NOT GET A COLT: They pulled a similiar deal like S&W a few years ago. They changed ("Commercialized") their ARs so they are not even close to milspec anymore. In my opinion, their ARs have cheesy components now. Go with Armalite or Bushmaster.

Get the muzzle brake: It will protect the end of your barrel at the crown. You will get comments from folks at the range, but it will save your barrel.

Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 3/4/2001 5:13:36 PM EDT
I think the 20" HBAR would be better.  More accurate and can handle the heavier ammo better.
Tradeoff is not as light.
Link Posted: 3/8/2001 5:18:04 PM EDT
Holy SPIT!!!
Herr Doktor! YOU bought an AR-15!?!
I'll count this as a tiny personal victory and I'm SURE you'll have fun with your NEW TOY! I just hope our AK friends don't find out-
it'll be OUR little secret...
View Quote

Haha yep and I love that gun!  But I still give the AR boys kell over at AK 47.net!  It's a Bushmaster w/ AK 47 style brake.

Went out and shot a clip Monday Night right at dusk.  That AK 74 brake looks absolutely cool when it's getting dark and you shoot rapid fire.  I even let a 82'd Airborne Nam Vet take it's virginity.  First one he'd fired since over there, too.  

Look forward to posting here but it sure does load slow!
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