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Posted: 6/9/2002 1:12:21 PM EDT
OK so I am about to dive into the AR world (from the AK side) and have narrowed my choices down to these 3 options:

Bushmaster XM15 E2S M4 Type 16in Carbine
or
Bushmaster XM15 E2S Shorty A3 (removable top)
or
Bushmaster XM15 E2S Shorty AK A3 Rifle (removable top and AK style muzzle brake)

I like the M4 look and feel but would like the removable top for multiple applications. Also I do like the extended length of the butt stocks on the shortys so I am not sure what to do.

Is the removable top a really good option? I think I would like to add some scopes at some point and like the idea of them being closer to the body of the rifle.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the shorty with/without the AK style muzzle brake?

As for accessories I am unsure of what items would be good starters other than magazines. Is there a good cleaning kit that I should pick up? And if I am going to start out with about 5 magazines what kind would be the best options (for a reasonable price) and where can I order them?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Candide - soon to be a member of the club!!!
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 1:18:20 PM EDT
Greetings & Welcome!

One of my Bushmasters is the Shorty AK.
The brake is VERY LOUD.
I would go for the Shorty A3, or wait/find the M4 in a flat top.

Post a pic when you get it!


Link Posted: 6/9/2002 1:21:55 PM EDT
For Mags & other stuff, look in the Equipment Exchange:
www.ar15.com/forums/index.html?board=3
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 1:27:00 PM EDT
Yeah I have heard that the AK style brakes are very loud. In fact I have not added one to my SAR-2(AK74) for that very reason.

Was the M4 version offered in the flat top at some point? That would be my ideal preference. Is it that much of a benefit to have the flat top option?
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 1:31:57 PM EDT
Candide1, you can get any AR-15 you want in a flatop (A3 configuration). As for mags, go with USGI or Thermold mags. Stay away from the cheap brand mags, as not all function well. You can find many for sale on this site.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 1:47:19 PM EDT
the M4 is offered in a flattop(A3 version). That's what I have. I purchased mine from an out of state dealer and had it transfered to my dealer around end of april since bushmaster told my dealer it'd be 6 months if I ordered one directly from them. The Mini-Y brake on the M4 is loud, but it deos its job well.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 1:56:21 PM EDT
Oh I see now on Bushmaster's website that they offer the A3 configuration (I just didnt notice the drop down box). I think I will go that route. Did the dealer you used have a good price? I have a local guy that is very reasonable but if its a 6 month wait I may look elsewhere.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 2:01:18 PM EDT
Well, your manufacturer choice is excellent. As far as configuration, we need to know a little bit about your style of shooting. You must also learn about velocity and how it affects fragmentation of 5.56 bullets. (If you care about that type of thing.)

A3 flat tops maybe the most efficient and universal mounting system in the world. There are MANY options to what you can mount. The only down sides are that you will lose some vertical adjustment on the removable rear sight and it costs about $100 more then an A2.

The AK brake works great. If you want to use a dot type optic for fast, CQB style shooting. Then the AK brake is the way to go. (I have this set-up and it rocks!)

If your looking to get out there a little longer with a 4x scope then a straight 16" shorty with a flattop is a nice match.

Make sure you read the FAQs in the ammo forum before you make a decision. Good luck.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 2:02:14 PM EDT
Choice #2:

Bushmaster XM15 E2S Shorty A3
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 2:02:31 PM EDT
I was told by Bushmaster less than a month ago that there was a 10 week "lead time" for a wait. That was just for an M4 barrel assy.
I would try to find a dealer with one, even if you have to do an out of state xfr.
See if someone on the Equipment Exchange is selling one, or post a "Want To Buy".

Link Posted: 6/9/2002 2:11:14 PM EDT
definately get the flat top.If you ever put optics on it you'll be glad you have the flat top.If no optics then just slap on the removable carry handle.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 2:46:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2002 2:48:42 PM EDT by candide1]
Originally Posted By FrankSquid:
Well, your manufacturer choice is excellent. As far as configuration, we need to know a little bit about your style of shooting. You must also learn about velocity and how it affects fragmentation of 5.56 bullets. (If you care about that type of thing.)

If your looking to get out there a little longer with a 4x scope then a straight 16" shorty with a flattop is a nice match.



I do care about that stuff but I have a full size FAL STG58 which handles my long range full velocity needs for the moment. I have a desire for something in the carbine/small size catagory besides my SAR-2 and like the look and feel of the M4 or shorty. I will probably add a Kobra sight (or something similar) since I like the one I have for my SAR. But I also want the ability to add something with magnification at some point. Of course I would LOVE an ACOG Reflex sight but I dont have the extra cash to blow on that (and get the rifle too..LOL). My preference is the M4 but I am going to handle a shorty before I decide for sure. The extra length of the butt may make enough of a diffence.

I think I will suck up the extra dollars and get the flat top regardless of which one I choose. And I like the Bushmasters from all the comments here on the forum. I have lurked for a while as I was doing some preliminary research but had some specific questions that I wanted to flush out.

Thanks for all the input folks.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 2:59:59 PM EDT
I just got a BM A3 shorty AK, and the dealer just called around to his distributors until he found one that had it in stock. I paid $20 more for it than the A2 Shorty AK the dealer already had.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 3:21:39 PM EDT
If you are willing to give up the effective range, I guess the flat-top...

Scott

Link Posted: 6/9/2002 3:45:58 PM EDT
Hi friend,
Go with the M-4 Style. When you'r ready to upgrade look me up and I'll sell you a transferable M4 machinegun ;-)
Daniel/Pleasant Hill Gun Shop
36366 Valley Rd
Pleasant Hill OR 97455'
541-744-1406
PS Also have a TRUE PREBAN LOWER RECEIVER manufactured before sept 94, with legal docs and sworn notorized statment of autheticity for $625 in excellent shape. Bushmaster.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 4:29:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2002 4:36:11 PM EDT by WhiskeyBravo]
The good news is you're thinking straight and going with Bushmaster. I have the M4 with A3 flat-top & removable carry handle, plus Mini-Y comp. I love it but will be sending it to Kurt's Kustom for a new brake. Seems like all Bushmaster brakes are unbearably loud. I also had to purchase the larger (fatter) M4 profile handguards separately.

www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/pcwa2x14m4my.asp

Edited to say that delivery time for mine was 32 days.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 5:45:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DanielJ:
Hi friend,
Go with the M-4 Style. When you'r ready to upgrade look me up and I'll sell you a transferable M4 machinegun ;-)
Daniel/Pleasant Hill Gun Shop
36366 Valley Rd
Pleasant Hill OR 97455'
541-744-1406
PS Also have a TRUE PREBAN LOWER RECEIVER manufactured before sept 94, with legal docs and sworn notorized statment of autheticity for $625 in excellent shape. Bushmaster.



Ah well I would love to take you up on the M4 auto but alas there won't be a class 3 license anywhere in my near term future...much less the budget for such a rifle..LOL. I really couldnt swing the cost of putting the whole pre-ban together either...and the pluses of the pre-ban configuration outweigh the costs in my opinion. But that could be just because I dont have the money..LOL.

And I am choosing the Bushmaster based on my research in this forum. Certainly there are other excellent firearms..but for the money it seems the bushmaster is the way to go for the first AR.

Someone mentioned the effective range of the flat top was less than the non-removable top. Is that true within the same barrel length family? And if so...why?
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 7:05:18 PM EDT
XM15 E2S Shorty A3
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 7:13:14 PM EDT
I have 4 Bushys,but would buy (if buying again) a RRA.. I had one for a short while, as part of a deal, and was genuinely sorry to let it go.. They've got some great options in flattop configurations at a very fair price.. Just be sure to look at the new Chrome lined barrels..
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 9:11:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GreyGhost:
definitely get the flat top.If you ever put optics on it you'll be glad you have the flat top.If no optics then just slap on the removable carry handle.



That's what I did, 1/2 year after buying a 20"HBAR with flattop, still using irons.

I love knowing IF I decide to use optics on my AR I can have any setup at my disposable.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 9:30:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By candide1:
Someone mentioned the effective range of the flat top was less than the non-removable top. Is that true within the same barrel length family? And if so...why?



I think he was referring to the velocity advantage of the M4 over the regular shorty. Brouhaha was filling me in on this tonight in MIRC. I just got a A3 Shorty and was curious to know what the exact difference was... something in the 150 fps range.

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 5:35:31 AM EDT
Why would the M4 have a velocity advantage over the shorty when they have the same barrel length?

Can someone enlighten me here?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:50:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By candide1:
Why would the M4 have a velocity advantage over the shorty when they have the same barrel length?

Can someone enlighten me here?



The Bushmaster M4 and AK shorty both have 14 1/2" barrels with permanently attached 1 1/2" long muzzle brakes. Total length is 16".

Now if you read Troy and Tajanas Ammo FAQs like I told you to....you would now know that the "magic velocity" is over 2700 fps.
Maximum effective range with M193 ammo from a 14.5" barrel is about 100 meters and about 150 meters from a 16" barrel.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 11:47:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FrankSquid:

Originally Posted By candide1:
Why would the M4 have a velocity advantage over the shorty when they have the same barrel length?

Can someone enlighten me here?



The Bushmaster M4 and AK shorty both have 14 1/2" barrels with permanently attached 1 1/2" long muzzle brakes. Total length is 16".



Now if you read Troy and Tajanas Ammo FAQs like I told you to....you would now know that the "magic velocity" is over 2700 fps.
Maximum effective range with M193 ammo from a 14.5" barrel is about 100 meters and about 150 meters from a 16" barrel.



Frank,

I did read the ammo faq as you suggested and it was very helpful. And although I had lurked here for a while prior to narrowing my search I had NO idea that there were such differences in the ammo between the 55gr and 62gr. In fact I am still confused as to if there are any commercially available rifles chambered for the 5.56 round as opposed to the tighter .223. It would seem the better solution would be to obtain a rifle in 5.56 in the event that surplus ammo (or a SHTF scenario happened and you had access to military m193 ammo) became available again. However it seems all the rifles are chambered for .223 which is fine for all intents and purposes.

Initially I was concerned with the ballistics of the shorty and the M4 at ranges of over 100 yrds. But then I decided I wanted a lightweight carbine more than the rifle so I am ok with the limitations.

However Scotthewitt's comment led me to believe that the flat top had some inherent disadvantage to the non-removable top. I still dont understand this. Assuming the same length barrel WITH muzzle brake - why would the flat top have any difference than the other?

I understand that the shorty withOUT the muzzle brake has a longer barrel and thus higher velocity. But what does that have to do with the flat top versus the non-flat top?

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:26:28 PM EDT
There will be no difference in velocity between a flat top upper and an A2 upper provided they have the same barrel length. You will lose vertical rear sight adjustment with a flat top and carry handle set-up vs. a standard A2 set-up. This is due to the way the carry handle attaches to the flat top (there is less room for the rear sight to move up and down). I think the difference is 600 meters max range for the A4/carry handle set-up and 800m for the standard A2.
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