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Posted: 2/18/2006 3:33:34 PM EDT
OK i know that everyone here probably gets asked generic questions like this all the time, but please be patient with me. 1st a little background on me. I am very new to guns. I just bought a sig 220 and love it. I did alot of research and asked alot of questions before i bought it. So now I am very interested in owning an ar-15, but don't want to throw my money away. I tried to do some research before i posted an ignorant question, but all the terminology is way over my head and it seems like there is alot more that goes into an ar-15 then there is with a handgun.
1. Where can i just get some general info (what means what, etc..)?
2. What are considered good quality ar-15 (like with handguns sig, hk, glock etc..)?
3. What are some things that i need to look for in an ar-15?
Any other advice is very welcome. I looking to buy in the next 4 months to a year. As for the use of the gun, i just want to shoot stuff. thank you in advance.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:39:32 PM EDT
Welcome. Best suggestion I could give is spend some quality time reading the various posts on this sight. If you hav 4 months to a year you will be amazed at what topics are discussed and how much you could learn. BTW, good choice on the Sig 220.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:13:25 PM EDT
From one ARF newb to another:

1) Check around the sticky post at the top of this forum: "THE IMPORTANT THREADS AND INFO", especially the thread of acronyms and abbreviations.

2) To toss out a few names: Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, CMMG, etc.

3) Depends entirely on what you want. Different kinds of upper receiver (A1 "Vietnam" style, A2, A3 flat-top, etc), different barrel lengths and profiles, different kinds of stocks, different types of forearms, grips, etc. To get a really general overview, check out any of the AR15.com picture threads. They just started #11, and #10 is still floating around a few pages down. All of those have 40 pages of pics and comments on rifles owned by forum members.

If you just want to shoot stuff for kicks, and want an "Everyman" AR, take a look at an A3 upper (detachable carry handle), collapsible stock, 16" M4 profile barrel. An off-the-shelf example would be the Bushmaster Patrolman rifle, currently listed at $799 at www.cdnninvestments.com

The Patrolman (and similar models) are great because you can easily add optics or railed handguards, handy length, not too heavy, adjustable stock easily accomodates your build. And remember, it's pretty darn easy to change most of those things around on any AR.

I went through a process similar to yours recently, and was captivated by the "Retro" threads currently running on this forum. I ended up building a quasi-faithful reproduction of the Vietnam era Colt 605 rifle, all from new parts. Cost me about $750 overall. I chose that model because I wanted something a little different than the rest, and wasn't concerned about adding high-speed/low-drag optics, lights, lasers, etc. If you want a really simple AR with Vietnam-era stylings, those can be a really fun project, with minimal effort and often far less expense than the whiz-bang modern stuff. I like old school, despite being a 25 year old.

In four months, you can learn enough about ARs on this forum, so that it'll crowd out all the other info in your brain (HINT: write down your name and address on a laminated card, so you at least won't lose those).

Good luck in your AR future, -MV
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:26:36 PM EDT
I agree with the versatility of the rifle suggested, but would say go with a 20" over the 16". From hundreds of thousands of rounds of competition, the rifle length gas system is just more reliable than the carbine length. Not to say you can't have a reliable 16" rifle, it's just the rifles tend to be more and as a newbie, I don't want you fighting jams, etc. when you should be shooting.

Too, I have my own issues with Bushmaster, but other brands that I would recommend: DPMS, Cavalry Arms and JP Enterprises. The last is a custom builder, but has great rifles that are affordable.

I'd say for now that you should consider picking up a used rifle in good condition or a deal on a new one. The point being, just play with the rifle and learn how it works. Books are a great source too. The Competition AR-15 is a great book by Zideker. A little wordy and times too technical (see great to fall asleep to) but very informative. Derek Martin's book is great too. After that, attend a couple of 3-Gun matches. There are some in Oklahoma. As a matter of fact, one of our best competitors, Kurt Miller lives there and if by chance y'all link up, will show you everything you could ever know about a rifle.

Don't get hung up on the right rifle too much. When you want another rifle, you can just buy a new upper, sell the old one, if you don't like it, or just have multiple uppers, each for their own purpose. Me...I have multiple rifles and a couple of extra uppers. Why? I have a big safe and it's a great excuse to fill it. Too, I have a problem with buying AR's and 1911's. It's an addiction.

Keep reading here and check out other forums like BrianEnos.com. Between the two, you'll find everything you could ever know about shooting.

Take care,

SPC Richard A. White, Senior Medic
249th MP Detachment (EACF)
Camp Humphreys, ROK
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:36:49 PM EDT
I may be of some help since I have been doing a lot of research on various brands of the AR-15. I am a Combat Weather Spec in the USAF and carry one around a lot. Here is what I can tell you:

1. Best info you can get is to read and look at various sites. Do not take any ONE persons advice. Most people have a preference, bad experience or may not even have a clue, but always have an opinion.

2. All brands that make this type of weapon are of a good quality. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. S&W is the newest wile Colt is the oldest (But that does not mean they are the best)

3. The best thing to look for is what feels good. Again that all depends on the style and maker. I feel better with a M4 version, but that is what I carry in the AF. I have heard people refer to the quality by the shake of the gun almost always when I ask about the manufacturer (the wiggle between the upper and lower receiver). That is the most BS I have ever heard. All of them at some point in time will get a loose feel. The more you shoot the more loose it will feel. Don't be suckered into it!!

Take your time and do some research. You will not go wrong no matter what you buy. They pretty much all the same. Besides all your money will go to the mods TRUST ME....
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 11:15:24 AM EDT
thanks for all the input, i will defintely keep an eye on all the forums. Looking for an ar-15 just seems overwhelming compared to buying a handgun.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 11:26:04 AM EDT
after looking at jp enterprise it looks like i better start saving.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 11:31:14 AM EDT
welcome to the site!

1: check out the tacked threads in the AR15 section
2: the quality brands for complete ARs and parts include: ABCDR and Lmt and Cmt
3: depends on what you want to use the AR for--target, CQB/HD/SD, plinking, overall use, etc...?
--from what you said, i would suggest a 16in carbine or middy Chrome Lined bbl w/ a FH w/ a flatop (A3)
upper reciever as a given for overall, general, no-nonsense use....

read around, good luck
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 11:33:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 11:33:46 AM EDT by ALPHAGHOST]

Originally Posted By benjamin-benjamin:
after looking at jp enterprise it looks like i better start saving.



yea, ARs can run from $500 to a couple of thousand--depending on the brand, setup, accessories, etc

some of the best places to order parts, etc is the Industry and EE forums

check and compare prices
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