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Posted: 9/8/2010 4:58:52 PM EDT
Howdy- looking for input on my first AR15 purchase or build. I'm going to a good size gun show in Harrisburg PA this weekend. Not sure if I should just buy a complete gun first time, or give building my own a try.

Any input welcome. If you suggest building a gun, what should I look for (or look out for).
THANKS
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:08:51 PM EDT
Spikes Tactical M4 LE is a great first rifle. Plus if you want to build you can order the parts from them and have the lower sent to your FFL.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:12:01 PM EDT
Spikes is a great rifle. If you can afford it, I'd also suggest a Colt 6920
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:15:06 PM EDT
As a general rule, avoid anything with the name Vulcan, Hesse, or Blackthorne.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:16:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 5:17:51 PM EDT by MasterBlaster556]
I would probably buy a complete rifle first in order to get more familiar with the AR platform (assuming that your not familiar with it). I've heard great things about Spikes Tactical, and will probably be my next gun. My first was a S&W M&P 15, and have no regrets about it what-so-ever. Good luck and welcome to the world of the black rifle. Prepared to be majorly addicted!
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:24:20 PM EDT
Out of the ones you are most likely to find , and in order of most expensive (better) to least (good value)

You should consider :

Colt 6920 / LMT Defender

S&W M&P

Stag
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:32:06 PM EDT
Welcome!

There is nothing hard about building your own AR. If you have the tiniest little bit of mechanical know-how and the most basic tools, you can put together your own lower. There isn't anything wrong with buying a factory complete one either - my preference lies with building.

From time to time a new member will post pics of their rifle that they just picked up from a gunshow or gun shop and it ends up being a pretty mediocre deal (like $1100 for a no frills Bushmaster or Oly). My advice is look around on the EE and price Complete Rifles to get an idea of what is a deal and what isn't.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 6:27:46 PM EDT
Thanks guys for the feedback!
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:28:59 PM EDT
I think it is a smart idea to buy a complete rifle for your first purchase. Preferable from a dealer with a store front and that is within driving distance from your house.
When it comes to tech support or warranty service on your first rifle it's nice to have a person you can meet face to face.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 4:28:11 PM EDT
OK, this got 200 views, gotta be some more advice out there..
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 4:31:45 PM EDT
just get a colt 6920. Then you know you got top quality and can still modify it to whatever you want.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 4:45:31 PM EDT
What are you going to use it for: hunting (large or small), plinking, longer range target, courses...there are so many different variations that are available and if you know exactly what you want to use it for, you can build the perfect gun without buying a complete rifle and then changing it all around and spending needlessly.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:00:54 PM EDT
I'm going to use it mainly for target shooting, short and long distance, and as a defensive weapon. Will eventually put a good scope on it, but want to start with open sights.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:02:44 PM EDT
By target I mean fixed, plus I have some buddies that do courses....
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:11:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 5:12:27 PM EDT by bjkb1f]
Whatever you do, DO NOT buy it at the gun show. They are ridiculously overpriced for the most part. Recently, someone posted a picture on here of a Spikes M4LE at a gun show for $1500. They retail for $759 with the ARFCOM discount. As others have said, get the Spikes M4 LE. You will not be disappointed.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:18:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:42:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EdgecrusherXES_45:
Spikes Tactical M4 LE is a great first rifle. Plus if you want to build you can order the parts from them and have the lower sent to your FFL.


+1 and they have a good price.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:54:16 PM EDT
I was in the same boat as you are until yesterday.

To build or buy????

I decided to buy a complete rifle first, find out what I like and don't like, and over the next year or so, gather parts to build exactly what I want.

My first AR is a 16' carbine Del-Ton. It's very basic, but the price was right, and I haven't heard anything negative about Del-Ton rifles or their customer service.

I plan on picking up a Spikes stripped lower in the next couple of weeks and go from there.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 6:00:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 6:01:34 PM EDT by durabo]
Originally Posted By bjkb1f:
Whatever you do, DO NOT buy it at the gun show.


+1

Go to the gun show, look around... ask some questions, be polite... take some names, numbers and business cards.

Just go around relax and eyeball some guns. Its best to research ALOT before hand, figure out basic prices before hand.

No matter WHAT you can always buy a tier 1 rifle... completely decked out for about a thousand online... minus optics.


Link Posted: 9/9/2010 8:09:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 8:12:14 PM EDT by altopwescap]
I would have to agree that buying a NIB complete rifle at a gun show is a bad idea. You pay top dollar for anything new. BUT, there are good buys to be had. One advantage to buying at the gun show is there are no back orders or waiting months and months on a custom order. Instant gradification.



A carbine assembled with parts bought at gun shows.



Two used Colt M16A1 uppers, one with a FNMI replacement barrel. Bought at a recent local gun show.



A used Colt M16A2 upper and a used EA complete lower in camo, both bought at the same show. The handguard and scope added later.



A favorite, but not cheap. A near mint FN M16A2 upper and a Spikes Tactical stripped lower, both gun show finds.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:26:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gunslinger7186:
I was in the same boat as you are until yesterday.

To build or buy????

I decided to buy a complete rifle first, find out what I like and don't like, and over the next year or so, gather parts to build exactly what I want.

My first AR is a 16' carbine Del-Ton. It's very basic, but the price was right, and I haven't heard anything negative about Del-Ton rifles or their customer service.

I plan on picking up a Spikes stripped lower in the next couple of weeks and go from there.


this is actually pretty good advice.

I would say right now, get the spikes. Its by far the best bang for your buck, but it keeps you under $800, has CL barrel and tests so you know you get quality, ect.

But buy a basic m4 or m16 clone (14.5/16" or 20:) and decide what you would like to change. Then you can save up and build your dream rifle down the road.

I have a stag model 2, its great but not top notch(bought when it was the best bang per buck). Now i have a good idea of what i want and as soon as i get a "big boy" job, I'll build a top tier rifle that I want.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:17:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ben762:
Welcome!

There is nothing hard about building your own AR. If you have the tiniest little bit of mechanical know-how and the most basic tools, you can put together your own lower. There isn't anything wrong with buying a factory complete one either - my preference lies with building.

From time to time a new member will post pics of their rifle that they just picked up from a gunshow or gun shop and it ends up being a pretty mediocre deal (like $1100 for a no frills Bushmaster or Oly). My advice is look around on the EE and price Complete Rifles to get an idea of what is a deal and what isn't.


This is great advice for anybody.. Search the wealth of information here at AR15.com or just search the internet for current pricing..

I purchased a complete rifle for my first AR ( Bushmaster).. now I'm going the build route with Stag.. I'm a lefty...

The good news is a friend I work with said the last show at Harrisburg was filled with AR stuff.. I plan on heading down on Saturday...

Good Luck...

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:56:16 PM EDT
All right, I have decided there is little chance I will pick up a new AR at the gun show, however I will be on the lookout for a good lower/good price. Plus, hoping to get my hands on some guns to see what I like. I have to say, the Spikes deal looks like a good one.
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