Glock Talk banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been seriously considering buying a new entry level AR. In case everyone has not noticed, the $599 AR market is getting crowded. Smith & Wesson more or less started it with their M&P-15 Sport. Ruger followed with the AR-556. Other manufacturers, large and small, seem to be entering the fray on a daily basis. Bushmaster currently has their Patrolman model, which used to retail for around $1,000, on sale for less than $650.

I'm debating here. On the one hand, the Ruger AR-556 is from a large company, with excellent customer service. But, do I want/need to be one of the "sheep" in the world. I've also been tempted by a similar rifle from a much smaller company. The company has received some really good reviews for a couple of their rifles, and their entry level model comes with a Plano case, along with two 30-round magazines. (The Ruger comes with no case, and one magazine). The $599 rifle they offer has some nice features, and I also spoke to one of the owners on the phone, and came away pretty impressed. The big question? Will they be around in 1-5 years to honor their warranty?

Yeah, it's "only" $600, but for a lot of us that's not chump change.

I will not be building my entry level AR. I'll save that for a more expensive one. I have also ruled out the Smith & Wesson. Although they've sold a zillion of them, and people seem happy, I dunno- I just want a dust cover and forward assist. Also, I've read a lot of iffy things about their customer service.

There are even some sub-$500 AR's out there from places like Bud's, Kentucky Gun Company, and Palmetto State Armory. Most of those seem to have light weight barrels, and do not come with any sights.

It seems as though $599 is the current "sweet spot" for entry level AR's. Now to decide which one...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
I've been seriously considering buying a new entry level AR. In case everyone has not noticed, the $599 AR market is getting crowded. Smith & Wesson more or less started it with their M&P-15 Sport. Ruger followed with the AR-556. Other manufacturers, large and small, seem to be entering the fray on a daily basis. Bushmaster currently has their Patrolman model, which used to retail for around $1,000, on sale for less than $650.

I'm debating here. On the one hand, the Ruger AR-556 is from a large company, with excellent customer service. But, do I want/need to be one of the "sheep" in the world. I've also been tempted by a similar rifle from a much smaller company. The company has received some really good reviews for a couple of their rifles, and their entry level model comes with a Plano case, along with two 30-round magazines. (The Ruger comes with no case, and one magazine). The $599 rifle they offer has some nice features, and I also spoke to one of the owners on the phone, and came away pretty impressed. The big question? Will they be around in 1-5 years to honor their warranty?

Yeah, it's "only" $600, but for a lot of us that's not chump change.

I will not be building my entry level AR. I'll save that for a more expensive one. I have also ruled out the Smith & Wesson. Although they've sold a zillion of them, and people seem happy, I dunno- I just want a dust cover and forward assist. Also, I've read a lot of iffy things about their customer service.

There are even some sub-$500 AR's out there from places like Bud's, Kentucky Gun Company, and Palmetto State Armory. Most of those seem to have light weight barrels, and do not come with any sights.

It seems as though $599 is the current "sweet spot" for entry level AR's. Now to decide which one...
 

· Banned
Joined
·
45,550 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: ditto1958

· Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
fwiw: whatever you decide, I would go to your LGS and compare side by side to really see what your getting for your money....
I've read the reviews on the Mossberg... ("uncomfortable to shoot as a cactus") and even though the initial cost may be $599, you have to consider replacing the trigger yes/no, iron sights optional, no forward assist, hand guards w/sharp edges, grip that may not be acceptable.
After all is said and done, how much are you saving compared to say the Ruger?
One very important fact to consider, from my personal experience with Ruger, their customer service is excellent and that's a big savings in itself...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Also, I've read a lot of iffy things about their customer service.
I have contacted S&W twice. Once for a 1911 failure and once for an M&P15-22 extractor issue. Both time through email. Both times I received a shipping label. Both time fire arms were returned within two weeks. I do have a sport model of their AR and is light and fun to shoot and when it breaks, I have no doubtt it will get serviced
 

· Wood butcher
Joined
·
2,463 Posts
Yep, can't speak for the Ruger, but I bought a Sport and had no issues. Got a Radical Firearms upper in 300AAC and they said the gun had to be mil spec for it to fit properly. I went on perfect and using the original BCG and to this point, the original upper hasn't been back on because it's so much fun.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh, they're completely unacceptable. Full of non-mil spec parts, pot metal, aluminum, polymer, MIM parts. If they don't complete seize up or go kaboom before you get through your first magazine of Tula, it's a miracle.

Then when you come back here crying, everyone can say you shoulda bought a Colt. :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,536 Posts
I am not a big warranty believer and don't put much faith in them. If my max budget was $600 and I didn't want to build from parts I would buy a PSA premium complete upper and one of their complete lowers. Two pins and it is together.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,272 Posts
As noted, there is a lot of competition at this price point. Often you are trading features to get at that point.... such as no ejection port cover or forward assist on the M&P 15 Sport, but you do get a nitrided barrel instead. To me, I see more value in a treated barrel than the forward assist and ejection port cover.

However, there are other options, such as dkf suggested... The PSA option gets you all of those features. When I bought my Sport a few years ago, there was not nearly the selection at the lower end of the price scale.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,640 Posts
We are at the low ebb of The AR market. The election isn't until next year, there's no current gun control scare, and a saturated market.

I think any decent AR for a good price is a great buy right now. Sit on it until the next scare and flip it for three times what you paid for it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
i love my $599 m&p sport. she will drive tacks. i was very surprised of the accuracy of this gun right out of the box with the flip up sights. my bedside g21 got demoted by the S&W.

i was going to buy a red dot but after seeing how easy & accurate the stock flip up sights are to use, i have not purchased optics yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ESAFO

· Banned
Joined
·
10,614 Posts
I am not a big warranty believer and don't put much faith in them. If my max budget was $600 and I didn't want to build from parts I would buy a PSA premium complete upper and one of their complete lowers. Two pins and it is together.
^^^^This^^^^ I have 2 PSA rifles and they shoot just as good as my Colt 6920.
 

· NRA Life Member
Joined
·
13,816 Posts
S&W has given me top shelf customer service for the few issues I have had over the years.

If I was looking for an entry level AR I'd buy a M&P in a heartbeat.

In 30 years of shooting ARs including 10 years in the Army and carrying one in combat I've used the forward assist exactly ZERO times... And unless you were going to ride in the open hatch of a tracked combat vehicle across the desert for a couple hundred clicks I wouldn't worry much about the dust cover either.

Why anyone would want to jam a possibly out of spec cartridge into a chamber with a foreward assist is beyond me....
 

· Banned
Joined
·
42,095 Posts
PSA isn't a lot of things, but what it can be is an outstanding value for the money. Watch their sales for a few weeks/months, and you can get real damn close to what you want for an excellent price.

No, I wouldn't take their products to war, but that's not what we're talking about here.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
63,200 Posts
S And unless you were going to ride in the open hatch of a tracked combat vehicle across the desert for a couple hundred clicks I wouldn't worry much about the dust cover either.
And if you were riding on a track or a chopper or a truck, chances are that dust cover had popped open on the first bump back in the starting point.

Why anyone would want to jam a possibly out of spec cartridge into a chamber with a foreward assist is beyond me....
I don't know why either, but Uncle Sam still insists on GIs doing it, and all the Cool Kids that are tactically hip also into it.

I had one guy insisted that the forward assist was needed to chamber the round again after a "press check". I told him that he could use his thumb to push on the bolt and reseat the bolt, but apparently that isn't as cool as palming a needlessly added device on the receiver. Why one needs to "press check" a properly locked & loaded firearm is another topic for another thread, I suppose.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top