AR-15s

This is a discussion on AR-15s within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm going to try to make it to the LGS tomorrow. I've got a serious itch that needs scratched in the form of a perimeter ...

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Thread: AR-15s

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    AR-15s

    I'm going to try to make it to the LGS tomorrow. I've got a serious itch that needs scratched in the form of a perimeter defense rifle (for lack of a more politically correct term) and I've decided to go with the AR-15, or type I guess I should say, since I don't know if Colt still produces these for civilians. I think everybody still calls them AR-15s though?
    I'm going to hear what he has to say, the owner has never steered me wrong before, but I would greatly value any input from my fellow members here, so he just doesn't try to sell me what he has in stock, although his prices seem right in line with what I can do buying online from what I've seen. I've tried to do a little reading up on the internet, but there are so many different models and makes to choose from I am at a complete loss. And caliber choice, too?
    I am hoping to get something I will be happy with out of the box, maybe with just the addition of a red dot scope. With the bucks spent on the rifle I will not have money to play around with many upgrades for a while, until after tax season is over with anyway.

    So if you were purchasing an AR-15 type rifle today and wanted to get the most bang for your buck, which one would you be looking at?
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  3. #2
    RKM
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    You're right, they're still called AR-15's. While AR-15 is actually a rifle that was made by Armalite, Today's "AR-15's" are basically clones. It's the same as 1911's, Ak-47's, etc. It's a "type" of firearm.

    I have an M&P15X in 5.56. You can get an AR-10 in 7.62 if you like the bigger calibers or you can get an AR-15 in 6.8SPC though I think 6.8SPC can be expensive and hard to find. 5.56 is pretty standard though and you can shoot cheaper .223 in them. Nothing wrong with using an AR-15 as a defensive firearm, though training is a plus. With the right .223 bullet, it can be pretty effective in self defense distances.

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    If you are going to be in the AR platform then I suggest 5.56 X 45 (.223). The ammo is cheap, mags are cheap and plentiful and there are a bazillion guns and parts out there in this chambering. Should you ever need a part or have a problem then you will have a plethora of choices to fix/upgrade your rifle. If you go with an AR 10 or you go with a fringe caliber in the AR 15 then ammo, mags and, in some cases, parts will be harder to get and more expensive. Don't buy into the "AR is a mouse gun hype".

    As to the gun itself, I have a S&W M&P 15 and it has been flawless. Zero malfunctions. The M&P's can be had pretty cheap if you are willing to shop around and they have a good reputation. There are plenty of other good AR's out there so don't get focused on just one brand name. Look for a "decent" one at a great price and you will be happy with it.
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    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    I agree, stick with the 5.56. For cheap plinking you can always drop in a .22 conversion. Beware-AR15's are addictive!
    I'd rather be lucky than good any day

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies and especially caliber recommendations. That will help me narrow things down somewhat.
    I used to have a mini-14 in .223, but did not know that the .223 caliber could be used in the 5.56. I know the ammo was pretty cheap.

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    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    Spike's Tactical, Bravo Company, or Colt... since you are likely restricted to no shorter than a 16" barrel you should consider getting a mid-length gas system vs. the carbine length. The ST-15 mid length LE at Spikes is a great rifle. I would also do the 5.56 first... you can add an upper in a 6.8 SPC later if you like and still use the same lower.

    ST-15 Mid-Length LE Carbine [STR5035-MLS] - $809.95 : Spikes Tactical
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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chivvalry View Post
    Spike's Tactical, Bravo Company, or Colt... since you are likely restricted to no shorter than a 16" barrel you should consider getting a mid-length gas system vs. the carbine length. The ST-15 mid length LE at Spikes is a great rifle. I would also do the 5.56 first... you can add an upper in a 6.8 SPC later if you like and still use the same lower.

    ST-15 Mid-Length LE Carbine [STR5035-MLS] - $809.95 : Spikes Tactical
    Spike's Tactical... is that the name of the manufacturer, or do they modify someone else's AR-15? Seems like a great price and I'm wondering what the difference is in the M&P 15.

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    How will you use this gun? How many rounds do you expect to fire through it a week, a month or a year? Will you run it hard or from a bench? Will attend carbine training classes? What is your budget?

    Please stay away from DPMS, Olympic Arms and Model One Sales, just to name a few. I'd also stay away from RRA, Bushmaster and even S&W, but those guns can be fine or made to be fine for cheap, depending on use. Now, no matter how little you use this or any gun, it never hurts to buy the best you can afford. You can never go wrong with Colt, Bravo Company, LMT or Noveske for example, though Noveske generally will run a bit more. These guns will be a good choice no matter what your intended use is, some of the others may be an ok choice, at best, if you don't plan on huger round counts and if you don't run them hard. Before anyone jumps in and tells me how "hard use" their DPMS is, I don't define hard use as a mag dump for YouTube.

    I'm sure some are tired of hearing me say this (no doubt the DPMS and Bushmaster owners are), but with all the bad decisions I see every day, it bares repeating.....many times.

    Good luck in your search, the AR is a very fine choice.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAcanis View Post
    Spike's Tactical... is that the name of the manufacturer, or do they modify someone else's AR-15? Seems like a great price and I'm wondering what the difference is in the M&P 15.
    They make their own guns and they match or exceed all the top manufacturer's specs as well as mil-spec, etc. I have no idea how they do it at the price they do but they are very high quality guns. MUCH better than a bushmaster and, frankly, better specs than the S&W. Finish is excellent, customer service is excellent... but your wait time for the gun is likely to be 5-6 weeks.
    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
    You are not paranoid if They are actually out to get you, however, They probably are not and you probably are.

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chivvalry View Post
    They make their own guns and they match or exceed all the top manufacturer's specs as well as mil-spec, etc. I have no idea how they do it at the price they do but they are very high quality guns. MUCH better than a bushmaster and, frankly, better specs than the S&W. Finish is excellent, customer service is excellent... but your wait time for the gun is likely to be 5-6 weeks.
    I cam across a website that read something like, So you want to buy an AR-15... I recognize a lot of the features listed for the ST-15 from that website's post.

    Jon, I'd like to take a course, I'm not sure how much I'll shoot it once I am very familiar with it... I like to keep in practice, but not to the point it breaks the bank. It's intended use? Hopefully just to shoot woodchucks off the back porch ;^)
    Does how much I shoot affect the model I should get? It's hard for me to predict the future, but I don't plan on going into combat with it.

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    Senior Member Array Tyler11B's Avatar
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    look into DoubleStar. I have one and they will go toe to toe with any other manufacturer out there. I have had no problems with mine at all and theyre not gonna be a big hit on the funds. regardless your looking at 600bucks and up on price. just try as many as you can out and pick whats right for you. otherwise you will have brands pushed on you all day just make sure "YOU" are the one that decides the final purchase
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    I'd be looking for a carbine from Colt, Smith & Wesson LE, Bravo Company, maybe a couple of others... these are top-tier guns with the right pieces and bet-your-life reliability. At the other end of the spectrum are DPMS and Olympic Arms. Lots more in-between.
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    Pacanis, make sure you shop CDNN and Bud's for pricing. You don't have to buy from them, but it will give you an idea of what is a fair price for the model/type of AR you are interested in.

    I shopped for the features that I wanted in/on the gun, not for the brand name. The right gun at the right price for me was the M&P. I feel very happy with my purchase and the price of my purchase. My next AR may be a Bushmaster based on price/value and set up (I want a 20 inch varminter). Don't get locked into one name brand.

    I'll add in that, while I've never shot one, I've never heard a bad word about Spikes tactical. They appear to be worth the wait (and they are a good value).
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    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler11B View Post
    look into DoubleStar. I have one and they will go toe to toe with any other manufacturer out there. I have had no problems with mine at all and theyre not gonna be a big hit on the funds. regardless your looking at 600bucks and up on price. just try as many as you can out and pick whats right for you. otherwise you will have brands pushed on you all day just make sure "YOU" are the one that decides the final purchase
    Doublestar has a good rep but is not in the same ballpark as Spikes. They are more on the order of delton, dpms, etc. With the spikes you get the chrome lined barrel, milspec buffer tube for more stock options, 1/7 twist better barrel, nicer ST-T2 buffer, etc. I think some of those are options with DS but not all of them... and by the time you add the ones you can you are likely more than the spikes.

    Make sure you switch out the carry handle for a BUIS when you order the spikes... call them up and they will set up the gun you want.
    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
    You are not paranoid if They are actually out to get you, however, They probably are not and you probably are.

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    BUIS??? You have left me acronym challenged.

    I can't wait to head to the LGS tomorrow and report back. Unfortunately, like with many of the posts that recommend shooting a weapon before you decide on one, the only AR-15s that I will be able to handle are the models that he sells. Pretty limited options on both counts around here. I can't for the life of me think of what brand I've seen there... Heck, maybe I'll run in there tonight.

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