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Posted: 4/3/2006 10:17:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 10:19:21 PM EDT by CORNHOLIO1]
I really like the A2 upper because its nostalgic. I will someday buy optics as I plan to use it for hunting in the future. Is there a clear advantage to either one? If I go with the A2 upper, will the optics cost me a lot? If I go with the A3 upper, without a scope, how much would a rear iron sight cost? Thanks Could you please post your pics as well. i want to make the best decision
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:23:38 PM EDT
most manufacturers offer a carry handle with a steely rear peep sight for the flattops. you can still mount an optic to it.. Or you can go with the flattop.. its all personal preference.. i didnt like the a2 much.. the a2 lasted one week. then i went by way of a rra car tactical 16" upper. yet i kept the same ACOG "optic" on it. heres an example of the difference.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c104/fauxquantum/b4aft.jpg
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:28:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 10:28:36 PM EDT by CORNHOLIO1]
Are you familiar with Model 1 uppers? If, I get an A3 Upper (flattop) what additional stuff do I need to buy to mount a scope? Or can I buy rear iron sights in lieu of a scope?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:33:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 10:34:00 PM EDT by ALPHAGHOST]
what kinda scope do you plan on putting on it--red dot or a std scope?

mounting optics via the carry handle (requires a rail mount) forces you to have a less than propper/comfortable cheek rest (actually, NO cheek rest)

i would get the Flatop--you can just add on a carry handle and it will be almost like an A2 (or get BUIS+scope)--and it makes mounting optics easier while providing propper cheek resting

rear iron sights can cost ~$40 (chicom, NOT recommended)-a couple of hundred, depending on what kind you are looking for
std detachable carry handles w/ irons run ~$75 in the EE
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:37:14 PM EDT
I plan to use a standard scope (I assume its much cheaper than a red dot). I am new at building an AR. Its so overwhelming. I am still looking through FAQs. =D Which scope do you recommend? The reason I am asking is because I have enough money to build an AR-15 along without a scope, and was hoping to use iron sights until I could save up.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:37:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 10:45:41 PM EDT by txgp17]
Welcome CORNHOLIO1,
First off, I think you mean A2 and A4 uppers. IIRC, a A3 looks like a A2 except it fires full-auto instead of 3-round bursts like the A2. The A4 is the "flat-top" you're thinking of. I think the A3 term is a misnomer used by Bushmaster to refer to their own flat-top uppers.

I would recommend the Flat-top upper. It is more flexible for what you plan to do with it. How much for optics? How much do you have? You can spend less than $150 on optics and have a decent set up that will exceed the shooting skills of the average joe (myself included). Or you can dump $1,000 on optics and have something to count the hairs on a rabbit's testicles from 250 yards. As a general rule, with optics, you'll get what you pay for.

How much for iron sights? Well that can be addressed a little easier. You're looking at around $125 for a good set of iron sights. You can either do a detachable carry handle for the classic look, or a set of folding backup iron sights you can keep mounted just behind your scope. There are a lot of "do and don't's" with back up iron sights since some are designed for the "correct F marked" sight base and others may not be, you'll have to read the details from the manufacturer to get an answer on that.

To learn some more about backup iron sights look here: www.bravocompanyusa.com/IronSights.html
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:42:11 PM EDT
he can also pick up the NcStar led crosshair optic is use for around 80/90 bucks.. holds zero fine.. and has a lifetime unconditional warranty. good entry level optic.. i prefer it to a red dot myself. just preference.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:45:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CORNHOLIO1:
I plan to use a standard scope (I assume its much cheaper than a red dot). I am new at building an AR. Its so overwhelming. I am still looking through FAQs. =D Which scope do you recommend? The reason I am asking is because I have enough money to build an AR-15 along without a scope, and was hoping to use iron sights until I could save up.



depends on your use--CQB/close in or long range (100yrds+)?
there are "cheap" and expensive brands for both types....

i see....the A2 uppers will include the sights and adding a carry handle to a flatop does usually mean adding another $65+....

tough choice, but i will still say to get the flatop b/c in the long run, it will provide more options; of course, you will more likely get more than 1 AR, so you could get the A2 now and save up for a flatop later on w/ that scope (i did--i got a A2 first and its my only one)
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:54:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 10:56:04 PM EDT by CORNHOLIO1]
Yes, I was thinking about 200-300 yards.

TXG. I hafta sleep now...but are you sure that the difference between A2 and A3 uppers? I always thought A3 Uppers were flattop.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:55:59 PM EDT
flat top.... :)
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:44:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RiPP3D:
he can also pick up the NcStar led crosshair optic is use for around 80/90 bucks.. holds zero fine.. and has a lifetime unconditional warranty. good entry level optic.. i prefer it to a red dot myself. just preference.



Or not.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:35:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 2:37:02 AM EDT by JRandyH]
Thats the way I have always heard it also as an A3 upper. I had an HBAR in the late 80's with a scope mounted on the carrying handle. I didn't have any problem with it. You have to be careful mounting it as some scopes may not have enough adjustment to bring it down to point of impact.
Sometimes it require shims. I finally got mine sighted but was really close on running out of adjustment. I had been out of shooting for a few years and recently bought a bushmaster with a removable carry handle allowing for the flat top mount. I wanted to shoot it pretty quick so I just put some tall millett rings on. It works fine but probably not the best looking way to go.
I also bought a Varminter a week later and set it up different.
JR
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:35:39 AM EDT
Things to take under considerations, like myself, I went from A2 to A3 with aim point & also had a scope.
But, it was a over kill for the area I live in, here in the texas hill country, most targets or hunting is with in a 150 yards.
Gun ranges are all 100 yards the farthest targets, I ended up with a A3 all decked out & weighs a ton.

Sure their kewl and make good photo ops.

I decided to get rid of all the after market stuff & went to KISS A1, my carbine is light weight & fun to shoot & no longer a burden.

Every gun has its purpose, mine is for fun and shtf situations.


TG
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:08:20 AM EDT
If you want to run optics, the flattop is the way to go.
Generally, quality optics come at a price. keep that in
mind.

Irons only, go for the A1/A2 setup.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:20:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:29:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:
The A2 upper is nostalgic?



Stick, my local oldies station plays the music that I listened to growing up………….so I can see that to some members here, the A2 upper could be perceived as “nostalgic”!

Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:43:24 AM EDT
I always like the flat top..

you can add a carry handle if you lke the A2 style configuration

you can't remove the permanent carry handle from an A2 if you want a flat top
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 8:06:15 AM EDT
I can't believe no one has stated the usual ARFcom response of "Get both!" yet...



Link Posted: 4/4/2006 9:30:56 AM EDT
Thanks for replying. I think your guys made my mind. I am going to get a flattop A3 and add a scope for now and then a BUIS system later. What are your recommendations for scopes and what other materials do I need to mount one? I am going to build the AR soon and want to shoot it soon. Can I mount a Walmart scope to it for now? Thanks. What scopes so most people here use on flattops?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:35:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CORNHOLIO1:
Thanks for replying. I think your guys made my mind. I am going to get a flattop A3 and add a scope for now and then a BUIS system later. What are your recommendations for scopes and what other materials do I need to mount one? I am going to build the AR soon and want to shoot it soon. Can I mount a Walmart scope to it for now? Thanks. What scopes so most people here use on flattops?



there is a HUGE variety of scopes that are utilzed....everything from red dots to target scops--cheapos to high grade stuff....it all boils down to mounts and rings

depending on your use and budget, your optics options are pretty extensive--what ranges do you plan on using the optics for?
for example: i use a EOTech on my CQB oriented RRA middy, but a 4-12x Bushnell on my vamiter/semi-SPR

IM:
the flatop is basically your "rails" for mounting the rings
you will need scope rings--however, its recommended that you use Mil-1913spec/piccanny rings that are fitted to AR flatops
the usual Weaver mounts might not work and if it does fit, it will be loose...true spec pic rails and weavers are NOT interchangable; there are companies who make mounts that fit both, but not as good as the mounts made specfically for thier respected rails

all you will need are scope and rings--a cheapo 4x scope from walmart will work, provided your RINGS will fit both the scope and the AR flatop

the FSB will be in the way, but its only noticible at low magnifications and when it is visible, its just a blur in your lower field of view on the optic....for most (including me, its not that big of a deal)
a high riser (additional railing to raise your rings and scope ) can be used to raise your optics over the FSB line of sight
another option is to replace your FSB w/ a low pro gas block and fold down front BUIS...


thanks. if i buy an A3 flattop, what parts will i need to mount a scope? Do the flattops already have a scope mount? Just a scope and rings? Could I mount a cheap 4x scope on it now (like from walmart) until i save enough? it looks like the front sight would get in the way of the scope if i do that.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:46:23 PM EDT
Tried to IM you, but that option is not activated:

First, +1 on what ALPHAGHOST said.


thanks. if i buy an A3 flattop, what parts will i need to mount a scope? Do the flattops already have a scope mount? Just a scope and rings? Could I mount a cheap 4x scope on it now (like from walmart) until i save enough? it looks like the front sight would get in the way of the scope if i do that.


Great Cornholio,

You will need a scope mount, and there are several types available. Some are an additional rail that you attach rings to that elevate your scope high enough for a proper cheek weld. Others are rings that attach directly to the rail independent of each other and then the scope mounts in the rings.

Scope mounts range in price from $25-$150, and I would go with the best mount I could afford and a less expensive scope, and then upgrade the scope later. I have never used a scope in conjunction with a fixed front sight base, but people who do say you don't even notice the FSB in the sight picture.

I like the A.R.M.S mounting systems for an Aimpoint, but I like the LaRue Tactical for a scope.

Let me know if I can be of further help. I'll try to find some pics of examples for you.

Regards,

Steve D aka uxb
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:54:11 PM EDT
I'd say go with the flat top as it gives you an infinite amount of possibilites when it comes to optics, and as anyone on this site will tell you, you will be buying lots of things for your AR, so might as well go with the one that gives you the most "room to grow", and if you want an A2 upper, just save up and buy another one!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:07:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SirSqueeboo:
I'd say go with the flat top as it gives you an infinite amount of possibilites when it comes to optics, and as anyone on this site will tell you, you will be buying lots of things for your AR, so might as well go with the one that gives you the most "room to grow", and if you want an A2 upper, just save up and buy another one!



Yep. You can add a carry-handle to a flattop, but not a flattop to a carry-handle.

That said, my next project will be a M16A2-gery.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:07:57 PM EDT
People are constantly getting rid of their removable carry handles when they put optics on their flattops. You can probably find a good deal for a used one on the Equipment Exchange. Iron sights work fine, and you'll have something to use while you save for a decent scope and mount.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:09:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 4:11:24 PM EDT by WMHM4]
if you ever think you will want an optic then do yourself a favor and get the A3. The A2's are great but an A3 is the best of both worlds

here's my before and after


Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:42:45 PM EDT
A3 gives you much more options down the road.
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