I got some great answers to my first set of questions and I'm back for more.
I'm now toying with the idea of purchasing a stripped RRA lower and a kit from J&T but I'm confused about some of the "features" of the kit and could use some clarification.
I'm looking at the 16" CAR Kit and the Mock M4 Kit.
0.5) Which one to get?
1) Would you get it with a permanently attached tactical break?
2) Does a flat top upper with detachable carrying handle also include iron sights or do you have to purchase your own sights or scope?
3) What's the diff between a CAR and M4 buttstock and are these better or worse than an A2 buttstock in terms of felt recoil etc?
4) What about handguard and pistol grip options?
5) Is the front sight removable if I decide to install a scope?
Thanks for any assitance you can provide and sorry if these topics have been beaten like a dead horse in the past.
.5 - get what you want
1 - go to a range and shoot one with that *brake* - be NEXT TO someone shooting with that particular *brake* - than decide
2 - "WITH detachable carrying handle" - yes
3 - go to Maryland AR15 shooters sight for a great buttstock FAQ
what recoil?? no - there's no difference in felt recoil
4 - yes/no/maybe yeah - there are options
5 - scope "burns through" front sight and base - no need to remove - yes, it IS removable. will mess up your finish, though.
Read every faq you can and use the search feature.
Hey Drivie, how are you doing.
From my experience with muzzle breaks (Bushy Y-comp), they are loud. However, it's personal choice. There are some people who love them and others who say they don't really do that much to be worth it.
The removeable carry handle will have a built in A2 style rear sight on it.
The CAR stock is the old style with a smaller, straight buttplate. The M4 attempts to replicate the feel and ergonomics of the A2 while still maintiaining the look of a collapsible stock. It will have an angled buttplate, and be an inch longer than the CAR stock. Most people like the look and feel of the M4 because it is closer to the A2. The tactical entry/shorty is just an A2 that has been cut down a coupla inches. The adjustable A2 and shorty have a buttplate that can be retracted and extended.
To me, the recoil seems the same with both all types, it's not that big a deal. If you want, you can get rubber pads to put at the ends of the stock to make them more comfortable.
The A2 grip, of course is the standard one like that on current M16's and has a relief that separates the middle finger from the bottom two fingers. The A2 with clip-a-grip is the A2 with a removeable plastic slip over piece that gives it a molded feel with finger grips and a thumb rest (the clip-a-grip allows right handed use only, but is removeable). The duckbill is simiar to original A1 grips in that there is no relief that separtaes the middle finger from the bottom two. The duckbill covers the space between the trigger guard and grip and prevents the irritation caused by this gap (I personally like this feature). The ergo grips will be molded with finger swells to be more ergonomic. The right and left hand versions will have a thumb rest for whichever hand you use and the ambi ergogrip will not have a thumb rest. The ergogrip also allows the hand to ride higher on the grip. The tactical ans target grips are like the ergogrips, but larger with more of a palm swell. They will also have a palm shelf at the bottom of the grip. The tactical and target grips are, in my opinion, for extreme target shooting only.
CAR handguards have a smaller profile and a round overall shape to them. The M4 handguards will have an oval shape and a larger profile. The M4 handguards will also have double heatshields inside instead of just one layer. The Fobus M33 handguards have two sets of rails built in to accomodate accessories. These can be position so that the rails will be at 12o'clock and 6o'clock or at 3o'clock and 9o'clock. The KAC (Knight's Armament) RAS will have four rails, one on each side so that you can mount accessories at 12, 3, 6, and 9o'clock. The KAC free float RAS is more stable and allows better inherent accuracy. Teh free float RAS will not have heatshields and is harder to remove, but is more stable for optics at longer than CQB ranges. The MRE rail handgurds stand for "more real estate" and will have additional rail segments that extend in front of the fron sight. Midlength handguards are just a compromise between CAR/M$ length handguards and full size handguard lengths.
The front sight is not removeable unless you request a picatinny front gas block with a removeable front sight.
A scope can either be mounted on the carry handle or on a riser mount on the flattop if you want to clear the front sight, otherwise get the removeable front sight/railed gasblock combo if they have it.
Good luck, it's good to see a necomer ask questions. That's what sites like this are for.
Thanks for your reply and answers of a few of my questions. Believe me, if there was a search function available, I wouldn't be asking these stupid questions. I found a couple of FAQs but they didn't answer some of the questions I had/have.
I should be paying for answers like these! I really appreciate your prompt assistance and willingness to respond with such detail. Please consider this a pat on the back!
If you had the choice of these two kits with their given options, which kit would you choose and what options would you choose to go along with it and why? I ask because you have some experience and can elaborate on the good and bad of each option. I realize that some things are personal preference but you can at least speak from experience.
Thank you so very much!
I didn't read any other answers yet, so I may be repeating previous posts.
.5) The favorites seem to be Armalite, Bushmaster, and Colt. Though Rock River is gaining a well-deserved fan base.
1) The 5.56 cartridge does not recoil that much. You can purchase one without a brake and have one permanantly attach by a gunsmith. The Bushmaster Y-comp is effective but LOUD. Keep in mind that you can only attach a muzzle brake (no flash hiders) and it must be pinned or welded on.
2) The detachable carry handle has an A2 rear sight in it.
3) The non-collapsible M4 stock is pinned in place with a full-length recoil spring tube so there'll be little or no difference between that and an regular full stock.
4) The M4 handguards have two heatshields in 'em AND DO PROTECT YOUR SUPPORTING HAND BETTER. They're also quite a bit thicker. Both the fore guards and pistol grips are easily changed.
5) Yes, the front sight (gas block) is replaceable and alot of people do replace it when mounting a scope in order to get the high front sight out of the way. However, many scope mounts place the scope up high enough to clear the front sight. "Co-witnessing" means placing a 1X optic sight in such a way that the iron sights can be used through the optic sight.
Great! Thanks for the info guys. Knightone, can you answer my question regarding which of the two kits you would choose.
Another couple of questions. Why is a dissipator called a dissipator? I understand that it had a longer sight radius and larger hand guards but not much else. Also, what's the deal with American Spirit Arms? Over at TFL, I see many people saying to avoid them like the plague!
Hey Drivie, hope you're doing well. I myself have four Heavy barrel CAR's. However, am getting an M4 profile upper from Rock River in the next few weeks. I like the HBAR's, but i feel they are unneccessary for the things I do. People say the HBAR is better at handling and dissipating heat, but I have never fired fast enough to truly get the barrel super hot. I think this may be a problem with full auto guns more than with civilian rifles. I think the slight weight savings of the M4 are worth it.
So, if I were in your place, this is what i would get: The M4 profile barrel with a flattop upper and the removeable carry handle. I don't know much about the tactical brake that J&T uses. Given the time and money, I would rather get the normal barrel and send it off to Kurt's Kustom (listed in the industry section) and have his thread and permanently attach one of his mock flashhiders on the muzzle. I think it would be worth contacting him and asking for a price quote. I would get the A2 stock or the fixed M4 style stock, as the ergonomics are similar. Some people find that the CAR stock's buttpad is too small and the straight angle is uncomfortable, so the A2 or M4 would be better for most. Either the duckbill or the ambi-ergogrips would be my choice.
As far as handguards, that's a tough choice. I have one with the M4 double heatshields, the others have CAR handguards, and I have an RAS on the way for the M4 upper that I am getting. Some people feel that the M4 handguards are too bulky. I don't feel that much of a difference in the CAR and M4 handguards in all honesty. Some also say that the M4 handguard interfere with red dot/reflex optics when mounted on the flattop. This is a problem easliy solved by mounting accessoris for the optics.
If you are willing to spend the money, get the RAS, a free floating one if possible. The free float RAS will allow you to mount optics on the RAS without risk of losing zero in adverse conditions. The only downside is that free float handguards require tools to remove. Cleaning under the handguards will require you to use a tool to remove the set completely. However, routine cleaning will only require you to blow out the inside with some canned air. I think a flattop and a RAS will cover you for any contingency.
When the ban lifts in September 2004, you can just take that same rifle and install preban components onto it. A collpasible stock can then be used to replace the fixed stock. You could send your barrel to Kurt's Kustom and have a real flash hider installed. Or you can get a new barrel and install that.
I think Dissipator may just be a catchy name. it could also mean that it has less barrel exposed, so less heat is felt and therefore "dissipates" the heat.
There are many horror stories about American Spirit Arms (more so than any other company). There is a story that someone with a faulty rifle tried to return it to the owner of the company for repairs and had it [forcibly] tossed back at him. they just have reports of poor customer service, a rude owner, and more faulty products than anyone els. There is also rumors circulating that they are going under. A handful of people have had good rifles from them. I wouldn't take the risk, especially with bad customer service.
I hope this helps, please feel free to ask any other questions before you buy. I wish I had been able to learn a lot more before I first purchased a rifle.
Knightone, you are the greatest resource that exists on these forums. I can't believe the detail that you give and the help you provide is invaluable! Thanks for helping someone who is just starting and asks the stupid questions. Maybe you should think about creating a FAQ with all of these types of questions and posting it on a website for others to view.
I took another look at the J&T kits and I'm worried about the weight of the CAR kit but the lightweight tactical kit doesn't have an option for a standard barrel (NO brake). I definitely don't want a muzzle brake. Also, I don't care about a fluted barrel.
I've also been looking at complete rifles and here are some other possibilities.
1) Bushmaster Shorty Carbine XM-15 E2S (PCWA3S16) =16" HBAR 1:9, A3 (detachable handle), A2 Grip, CAR Handguards, 16" - 6.7lbs
2) Rock River Arms LE Tactical CAR A4 - 16" HBAR 1:9, Low Profile Detachable Handle, Two-stage Trigger, Hogue Grip, A4 Double Handguards, Fixed Tele stock - 8.4lbs
Held a Bushy M4 today and liked the feel but again, don't want the brake, thus the shorty above.
What do you think?
Thanks a million!
No problem. There are others that are on this site that know more, but may not have the time or inclination to share info freely. There are also some that know more, but are too busy at the range to lurk around the site. I have seen most of the retailers' websites, ads, reviews, etc over the past three years. i have steadily been shopping for rifles and parts for the past two years. When i first got into the AR scene, i didn't know about this site and overpayed, got junk, and every other mistake under the sun. Just trying to save a newbie some headaches and cash.
J&T might be able to substitute the barrel if you get in touch with them. The Bushy's are all great and you should not ever have a problem with their customer service. If you like the M4 profile, they also have an M4 barrel without a muzzle attachment. It's listed on thier website, but they don't list prices.
The Rock Rivers are superb. Once more, if you like the M4 profile, I think the flashider on the postban is fake and is only for looks. I don't think it's a muzzle brake. Once again, get in touch with them and ask. The only Rock River upper I have currently is a preban, so I'm not sure.
The Rock River two stage trigger is supposed to be superb, my RRA lower has a regular trigger, and is reported to be smoother than most two stage match triggers and thus suitable for tactical use.
Yes, general consensus is stay away from the brake. My postbans don't have any muzzle attachmnts. I figure once the ban expires, I'll just get them threaded or replace the barrels.