I'm taking the plunge and will buy a Bushmaster AR15. But I have a bunch of questions. I am leaning toward the M4 style with the 16" barrel. My questions are as follows:
1.) Should I get the muzzle break or not? (I heard they were loud and not very useful.)
2.) I'm leaning toward the permanent carry handle, any reason why I should consider the A3 style with the removeable carry handle? Do the removeable carry handles have a tendency to loosen up? I don't plan to use a scope and am not sure about the red dots. I can't see the red dots being very durable. I have a Red Dot on my .22 pistol and I don't care to use it much. Any advantages for a red dot on an AR that I really should consider buying the removable carry handle?
3.) Whats the best sling for this set up?
4.) What are the best mags for the AR? I was told the Colts are good as well as the Mil Spec ones. I heard the steel ones are bad. I have a lead on some new Mil spec aluminum 30 rounders with the green followers...are these any good ($25 ea.)?
5.) Handguards, plastic or aluminum? I know some of the AR's are coming with aluminum handguards for target shooting. Any advantage?
6.) I know the M4 comes with a fixed position telescopic stock. I like the looks and the weight. Any reason to consider the regular A2 stock with the trap door?
Sure could use the help. Thanks in advance.
OK, take this for what it is: My personal, somewhat educated opinion that is sure to be disputed by someone...
I own several ARs including the BM M4 you are considering as well as A2 & A3 configurations (fixed & removable handles). Let me take it point by point:
1) No one will argue that they are loud, the debate is over usefulness. I personally think they do make a difference and are helpful for quicker follow up shots on target. I have owned the "AK" style and now the "mini Y-comp" style on my M4. The y-comp throws a lot more blast into my face than the AK did, but it looks cooler... That's about the only complaint I have. My advice here is to go and shoot one or both before deciding. This is a choice you can't easily change if you don't like it.
2) Personal preference mostly. I have NEVER had a carry handle come loose on me. However, don't forget Murphy's law. If you go with the fixed handle now and later decide to go with a red dot, you can always replace your handguards with a RAS and achieve the same effect. Scoping, however, is more awkward on a fixed handle so I would say only go fixed handle if you are certain that you won't use a scope on it.
3) I prefer the good ol' USGI version. KISS baby!
4) I have had steel mags rust... Stick with aluminum!
5) The aluminum handguards are actually "free floated" meaning they do not contact the barrell at all. They help maintain consistent point of impact. These CAN NOT be easily removed or changed! They also add (some) weight and can get cold in the cold. They also mildly heat up on warm days with moderate to heavy firing. Consider those points about this.
6) Personal preference. If subjected to SEVERE punishment (like running it over with a cement truck), I'd bet the farm on the A2 stock over the tele any day. But, are you really going to punish your rifle like that? There is also a comfort consideration. The tele stock might just not be comfortable for you. I think this is mostly a "looks" decision though since the tele is not functional.
i went from an a2, to a tele, to an a1 stock and have never missed the tele. the true collapsing feature could be useful for size or if several different people can be more comfortble with it, but i see no reason to get a non collpsing version. it's the equivalent of curb feelers or a spolier on a ford escort lx.
at the very least, the trap door gives you a place to store a tool or two, cleaning rod, emergency earplugs, or something. plus, you may find you shoot better with a traditional stock.
1. don't know.
2. i'd say fixed handle for now. by the time you want optics, if ever, you'll probably be just as willing to buy a new upper at that time.
3. personal preference. the usgi sling might be all you need.
4. if used only usgi mags and have never had a reason or desire for anything else. $15-$20 should be all you need to spend for some in very good condition.
5. i have both and prefer the m4 style guards. but, i do think the alum. guards make a post ban rifle look "less evil" if that is a concern.
6. see top
1. I don't miss having one.
2. If you are going to get into competitive shooting at long ranges, a scope will be a necessity. If you intend to get old, a scope will be a necessity (old eyes don't focus well on the close in iron sights). If you get this wrong, you buy a new upper, and go on your merry way. You'll want more anyway.
3. I use a black padded sling in the M-60 style. Longer than you need, so you can shorten it, and place the padded section where desired. Cheap, too. Not necessarily the fanciest.
4. I use aluminum military mags, both 20 and 30 capacity. There is a magazine FAQ floating around. Find it and read it. Good stuff in there.
5. I use a set of double insulated M4 style handguards. I like them. Feel good, look good. YMMV.
6. My AR has the A2 style butt. It feels better to me than the pinned fake adjusto-stock. It gives storage, a place to store the sight adjuster tool, pin pushers, even a cleaning kit. It gets my face to the right height for the sights. Again, YMMV.