Getting my first AR

Getting my first AR

This is a discussion on Getting my first AR within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; HELP! I am in the market for my first AR. I have been looking at enough different places that my head is spinning. Here is ...

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Thread: Getting my first AR

  1. #1
    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Getting my first AR


    I am in the market for my first AR. I have been looking at enough different places that my head is spinning. Here is my thought:

    Armalite, Olympic, and Stag have limited lifetime warranties.

    With all the others out there, why wouldn't warranty be a major consideration.

    What is your AR?

    Have you had any issues with it?

    What was the determining factor that casused you to select that one?

    How much did you spend?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    There are as many choices as there are manufactures. That's why they are all in business. For your first, you have two choices, get a complete gun and go or get the pieces and learn the workings. I went the second route since it gives you a better feel for what makes it tick. Putting the lower together, and then attaching it to a completed upper is a good starting method.

    It's not difficult but stick with all of the parts from one manufacturer. That way if you DO encounter problems you don't get the run around on whose fault the problem is.

    Don't go overboard on your first. The KISS principle is there for many reasons and ARs are one of them. Iron sights and a cost effective build will get you comfortable with the platform and THEN after you have somewhat mastered it start looking at the goodies. High end optics, trigger enhancements, lights, lasers, grenade launchers, you name it but start simple.

    I went with Stag after I met the head honcho at a Shot show. I have not regretted that move since. Had some minor issues and was treated like a king by their customer service. Remember though, Stag is not the only one with good customer service so look around and find the best deal. Don't pay for the name only. Colts are sometimes better but not necessarily for the novice shooter.

    Good luck and just be ready to sell everything you own to support your BRD. It's like crack only louder.

    You should be able to get started for around $600 to $700 but less is possible with some of the deals that get floated now and then.

    (BRD = Black Rifle Disease)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    I was looking for a basic AR for coyote hunting. Nothing fancy. I dont need a $2000 AR. I went with a DPMS Sportical. They have got good reviews. I can upgrade if I like in the future. I plan on getting a lighter trigger and front hand guard. So far it has been 100% reliable. I paid $630 and couldnt be happier.
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  4. #4
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    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    To the OP: there is a ton of information on this board about ARs - which to choose, and why. Just use the search function and you'll have several days' worth of information to digest.

    Beyond that, a lot of your choice in a first AR should be based on your intended use of the gun. If you're not planning on a lot of heavy training and putting many thousands of rounds through the gun, you have less of a need to spend more for the top-tier guns.

    As far as warranties... in the world of firearms, the value of warranties is all over the map. A reputable manufacturer stands by its products, period. For example, would you dismiss Ruger because they don't offer a warranty? They have one of the best customer service reputations in the firearms business. I wouldn't let a warranty be a major player in your decision as to what to buy.
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  5. #5
    Member Array Bulldog39's Avatar
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    May 2008
    First was an Olympic Arms, I think I gave around $500 for it. No dealers in the area had any AR's at the time. Been a great rifle, runs what every I can get in the magazine. It is an A1 model. Next I got a S&W M&P-15 in A3 configuration, gave around $550, I wanted a red dot on an AR. The dealer I got my Oly from sold the store to a new guy, who raised prices. I found a new dealer in the area with very good prices on M&P-15's, so that is why I did not get another Oly, but the S&W runs just as good as my Oly.

    I agree with gasmitty on reputable manufacturers and warranties.
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  6. #6
    Array atctimmy's Avatar
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    I paid $600 for my S&W M&P model 15OR (optics ready). It shoots great and has not had a single malfunction in about 500rds. So far I think it is a fine value for an AR15.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog39 View Post
    I found a new dealer in the area with very good prices on M&P-15's, so that is why I did not get another Oly, but the S&W runs just as good as my Oly.

    I agree with gasmitty on reputable manufacturers and warranties.
    You say that as if Oly is superior to S&W??

    As for warranties, I'll take a 1 year warranty from a quality manufacturer over a lifetime warranty on a sun standard gun any day of the week. I had KAC send me a $70 selector after I Dremel'd the other off due to a stuck torq, partly my fault. They never asked for my serial or any proof of ownership.

    I had Bushmaster tell me the sheared lugs on my bolt were due to ME exceeding the recommended firing schedule and they wouldn't replace it - after 1k rounds in a little less than a month. This was over the phone with NO MENTION of how I ran the gun, just that it happened within 1k rounds or so.

    So, as I just mentioned in another thread, you can't base a purchase on written warranty alone. You have to look for actual experiences with those companies by end users.
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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    May 2010
    I bought an M-4 style LAR-15 "Entry Tactical" in 5.56mm from Rock River Arms ($880) back in August 2009. Always cleaning and oiling it thoroughly after shooting practice, I never had any issues with it after firing over 2,000 rds. of both .223 and 5.56 ammo from PMC/Remington/American Eagle/Winchester. Also, always buy extra ammo/mags/replacement parts because you never know if our current govt. might re-instate the Assault Weapons Ban and make it permanent.
    Last edited by Jason Storm; May 28th, 2011 at 05:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    Stag Arms and the S&W M&P 15's are pretty safe bets as to getting the best value for your buck.
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