Gods help me, I may cross over to the dark [AR] side. Newby questions
Never really been a fan of the AR platform, and it got worse when it was more of a status symbol like Glocks and Harleys -
However, with the rumors leading to a glut in the market in 5.56/.223 ammo (FBI contract overruns and the military standing down) putting the prices about the same for com-bloc rifles, I am now thinking of picking one up. Be nice to have a rifle that I can afford to feed it brass instead of steel, shellacked, and corrosive ammo.
I know nothing about these other than the basics (it's a gas powered semi auto that you can customize the crap out of). I do know that I will need something with a long or adjustable length of pull, I have long arms (my PSL is kind of crappy that way). I don't do iron sights so well so some sort of optic will be installed, ergo a flat top (fold down sights).
1. Which brand(s) should I stay away from from a quality/reliability & option standpoint?
2. What barrel length would be best for 300y and under (beyond 300y I go to my PSL)?
3. Rifling - I've seen 1 in 7, and 1 in 9. What's the difference in performance?
4. I've seen different kinds of gas block options, including a "Switchblock" [Noveske Rifleworks LLC]. Huh?
5. Going to want a muzzle brake instead of the curtsey flash hider. Aftermarket I presume?
Moreover, should I pick a good bottom end base model and just buy a variety of aftermarket replacement parts and build one? Mix and match the upper and lowers? That is going to bring up a whole pile of questions.
Who's got the patience to hold my hand through this learning curve? Doing things right the first time saves money.