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Baseline AR model opinions?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Steamboat Bill, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Steamboat Bill

    Steamboat Bill What've I done?

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    I have never owned an AR carbine/rifle. My closest experience was substantial M-16 usage and training as a U.S. Marine, but that was almost 20 years ago.

    Other issues and expenses related to family, housing, etc. always seem to trump my ability to purchase a nice rifle. I have finally grown tired of waiting, however, and my thought is to purchase an AR complete rifle without a lot of bells and whistles. I can't keep putting it off forever like I have been. I would like to stay under $700 - $800 range. I would like the AR to be of a quality that would suffice for someone with my shooting plans: Occasional range shooting, and eventually some tactical carbine classes and more demanding training applications. I would, as time and money permit, like to be able to add additional features to this rifle, such as upgraded handguards, stock, optics, perhaps a vertical grip.

    I have attempted to research this myself, but it is obvious I am way behind you guys when it comes to AR knowledge. I am not able to purchase a "mistake," and correct it later with a more appropriate purchase. I realize opinions vary, but your opinions would help tremendously. Any guidance you are willing to provide me that would help me avoid costly mistakes at this early stage are greatly appreciated. Without opinions from folks like you all I feel like I would just be rolling the dice or flipping a coin with my purchase.

    Thank you in advance for all who are willing to share their opinions with me.
     
  2. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Get yourself a S&W M&P15 (your pick of models) or a Daniel Defense.

    Either of those will do well. A Colt 6920 (civilian equivalent of an M4 carbine) if you can find one for a good price is also an excellent starting point.
     

  3. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

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    You could build one of good quality for that price.
     
  4. TexasVine

    TexasVine

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    Check out Spikes Tactical and CMMG Bargain Bin. A lot of folks have raved about the bargain bin rifles from CMMG on the Texas hunting Forum. I have also heard good thinks about the ST 22 M4 for $850.00 at Spikes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  5. thisaway

    thisaway

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    This is from an earlier GT thread:

    "Yeah, I still have this saved from Arfcom...this is when someone asked Pat 'What manufacturers do you recommend?'


    ---Quote---
    *Pat*
    Colt, LMT, Noveske, Sully, new S&W; also any of those lowers with Larue Uppers or BCM uppers.
    ---End Quote---"

    Search around for a new S&W lower assembly...you can probably find one for $350-$400. Then purchase a BCM upper assembly w/BCG, will cost about $550. Although the cost of this is above your desired price range, you will have a quality build that can be accessorized later as your funds permit, and it will be robust enough to handle your future shooting/training needs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  6. Randolph da man

    Randolph da man

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    Colt is the baseline.
    do not drop below that.
     
  7. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

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    If You can find a carbine that offers the same quality of parts as Colt for better price go for it.
    No need to pay for the pony.
    Spikes Tactical.
    Daniel Defense.
     
  8. K. Foster

    K. Foster

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    I’ve found that in the long run, it is cheaper to buy quality the first time. I recommend Colt, LMT and BCM. You can save some money by buying the upper and lower separately.
     
  9. mvician

    mvician Lifetime Member

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    You should be able to find a Stag Model 1 in your price range.
     
  10. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

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    Bravo Company, Colt, LMT, Daniel Defense, in that order (for me).

    Bravo Co is hard to beat: they have essentially the same QC checks and materials as Colt, they offer mid-length gas systems (highly desirable), they have lifetime warranties, and they're no more expensive than many other lower quality competitors.

    Unless you buy used or find a crazy deal, a rifle that adheres to the mil spec is going to be about a thousand bucks. For me, it's worth spending the extra cash (even if it means waiting a while) and having a quality rifle that will last years.

    I believe it's Pat Rogers (rifle instructor) who has a Bravo Co 16" mid-length rifle that he uses as a loner in his classes. Something like 14,000 rounds through it with no cleaning, just re-lubing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  11. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

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    Bravo Company would be my first choice for overall value for the dollar. Tier one gun at a reasonable price.

    Daniel Defense, LMT, Colt are all good as well. Noveske is great but you will pay more same with larue. Smith is ok but its a tier 2 gun. Not terrible but you would be better off saving a few more bucks and getting a Bravo company gun.
    Pat
     
  12. MCPreacher

    MCPreacher

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    Just to throw in an option here since the other have focused on the big name guys.

    Del-Ton has a lot of good press here in the Carolinas. You can get quality rife in your price range, especially if you are willing to assemble the lower yourself.

    I was shopping around for a basic A2-style rifle like I had in the Army so many years ago. I got a lower on here for a good price, then ordered a 20" Heavy barrel A2 rifle kit from Del-Ton (everything except the lower receiver) for $475. Total cost for lower, rifle kit, shipping and including transfer fees is right at $625.

    You can pay a bit more ($750 plus shipping) and get a rifle that is ready to fire out of the box, and can customize it in any way you want for a couple dollars more.

    Google Del-Ton and check out their website.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  13. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Del-Ton, CMMG, Model 1........

    For a fun gun, sure, you can blow some money.

    If it's your only rifle and may be used for defensive purposes.... Follow my original recommendations or AlaskaPoPo's.

    I would not trust a CMMG with my life without serious testing, I wouldn't give someone else a Model 1 for free.

    Stag.....depending on how well it holds up (their QC has fluctuated at times). I wouldn't waste my money on a DPMS except for target/hunting work.
     
  14. djegators

    djegators

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    I agree with MrMurphy, esp since you mention taking carbine classes. Some of those require 1k or 1.5k rounds being fired over 2/3 days....you invest the time, money, and gear in that, I dont think you want your carbine to take a poop on you.


    ETA: come up with another $200 and you can purchase a BCM compete lower and BCM compete upper...hard to beat that value/quality.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  15. Nutt51

    Nutt51

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    This is just my opinion, so take with a grain of salt.
    I would suggest not just buying a bargain basement rifle if you
    are going to do some serious training and shooting and you want
    a very good quality firearm.
    There are some very good ar's to choose from and several to
    pass on.
    It is hard sometimes to plop down $1000-$1500 dollars at one
    time when things are tight, but again don't buy a cheaper
    ar just to have one and one you may not be happy with.
    I am one of the ar owners who has a BCM mid length and loves it.
    You could buy the BCM standard mid length upper and the complete
    BCM lower for about $735.00.
    Save up and get the BCM bolt carrier group, and charging handle later
    which would run about $165.00. Plastic handguard front, about $30.
    Rear sight, various prices from $60-$120, then some mags and ammo.
    You're there. Good luck.
     
  16. kabob983

    kabob983 "Mostly" Dead

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    That's my Pat quote you quoted :supergrin:

    +1, I wouldn't trust CMMG, DPMS, Oly at all. Stag/RRA/Bushy I hear good and bad about. Then there's those mfr's that while haters love to hate them you never hear of any issues with the function of the rifle. Colt, LMT, BCM, Noveske, etc.

    Just for fun I'll add another Pat Rogers quote or two:

    --
    --

    Difficult...to...read!! *edit* my internet window is small and it makes that post really long...when full size it's tolerable
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  17. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Viva Hate CLM

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    +1

    A Stag sounds about perfect for your needs.

    Don't get caught up in the "tier" nonsense. AR15s ran just fine before every guy with a black rifle had a laminated tier chart in his MIAD grip.
     
  18. internal

    internal

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    My buddy just bought his first AR and I helped him out.

    $583 for the BCM middy upper and BCM BCG and charging handle (BCM's website)
    $50 for A2 carry handle (AR15.com EE)
    $20 for stock handguards (Ar15.com EE)
    $140 for an aero lower w/ DPMS LPK (surplusammo.com)
    $60 for factory stock kit (Ar15.com EE)

    $853 total and this price includes the shipping on all items and the transfer fee for the lower. (transfer fee was $20)

    It doesn't get much better then that for the price IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  19. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

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    Decide what you want in your rifle.
    Start saving now.
    Do a LOT of research. There are so many options now days.

    Based on what you are saying I think you would be better off buying it all at one point in time, vs. trying to upgrade. Upgrading costs money. I also think you would be better off building, or at least buying a complete upper and a complete lower, then putting them together.

    Buying on the used market can be hit or miss because you don't know what the last guy did to the gun. They may have shot one mag and put it in the closet. OR they may have taken it to some place in the woods and fired 210 rounds down range as fast as they can burning out the barrel. They may have replaced some of the internals with others. It could be a problem gun.
     
  20. djegators

    djegators

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    Good point about buying used, esp if you do it online...you really cannot be sure the condition until its in your hands...people have told me that with ARs, a lot of people ask way too much for stuff that is not in as good of condition as they say...