Complete novice AR15 questions

Complete novice AR15 questions

This is a discussion on Complete novice AR15 questions within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I know I should use the search function, but i'm naturally lazy. I am a complete and utter novice when it comes to 'long guns', ...

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Thread: Complete novice AR15 questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Zralou's Avatar
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    Complete novice AR15 questions

    I know I should use the search function, but i'm naturally lazy.
    I am a complete and utter novice when it comes to 'long guns', so i'm putting this out here for some 'expert' advice from the DC community.

    Over the last couple of weeks I have been considering whether to buy an AR-15 before they are completely banned. I have absolutely no clue what I am looking at regarding these firearms. From what I have seen so far is, 223/5.56 seems to be the 'common' caliber for most of the 'off the shelf' versions, which is what I would be buying as I have no desire or knowledge about building one.

    I doubt it would be a regularly used gun, with not much more than occasional trips to the range to let off some steam and as a long range HD gun. I know the adage "you get what you pay for", but i'm not looking to pay a fortune for something that will likely get very little use.

    I was glancing around Armslist and came across this one:
    ARMSLIST - For Sale: S&W M&P 15 Sport

    Does this sound like a good deal or not?. I want to keep it under $700 so this is the kind of thing i'm looking at.
    Thanks for any help guys and gals.

    Sara Lou
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  2. #2
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Go just a touch more and buy a Colt 6920 and you won't have to worry if you bought the right gun or not.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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  3. #3
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    The M&P. sport were getting good reviews, another might be check out Pallmetto state armory.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array CWOUSCG's Avatar
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    This is going to get real interesting about page 4.

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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    The "sport" part in the name of that AR, indicates its a lower end/the lowest end AR that S&W makes. Normally, thats not good news. HOWEVER, of the lower end/cheaper ARs out there, the M&P AR15 sport is considered one of the best of the bunch.

    Saying that, unless you just like armslist, I think I would just go to a store and buy one. Walmart has a great selection of AR 15s now. The models and brand I would suggest for a top notch AR will cost you almost double the one you linked to, but you will have a weapon built with better parts, and should hold up.

    Id suggest the COLT 6920. I friend I listen to, (former Marine Corps Armorer), agrees, though he likes the COLT 6920 SOCOM model best. Walmart sells them both.

    Most ARs will look pretty much alike. Especially when you dont know what to look for. You DONT want a polymer lower. You want a good BCG (bolt carrier group), good furniture (like Magpul stocks & forends), cost more, but they allow you more attachment options.

    Also, the lower end models dont generally come with dust covers over the bolt, or a forward assist, and oft time no sights. You will want/need something to aim with, so factor that in your "savings", by buying a cheap one. You can get by without such things as dust covers & forward assists), However, the higher end ones have them for a reason.

    If all you want is a gun that goes "bang" most of the time, the M&P Sport model will do. If you want a gun to last, and one that will probably hold its value very well, COLT is hard to beat right now.

    Other good brands:

    Bravo Co
    Noveske (prices out of your price range, per what you linked to)
    Daniels Defense. Great ARs. A tad higher than the COLTS

    Oh yeah. You might want to think about a .22 LR conversion for your AR 15. Cost: Around $200.00, and you then can shoot your AR cheaply, instead of letting it gather dust.

    IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: If the weapon is stamped "5.56", you can shoot either .223, or 5.56 out of it. If its stamped ".223", you can ONLY safely shoot .223 out of it. If its stamped both "5.56", and ".223", then you can shoot either out of it.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #6
    Member Array Kmcg1525's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    You live in Alabama, no need to rush out and buy an AR before they ban them, because that isn't happening anytime soon.

    Now if you want a recommendation on an AR because you need one...I agree with the others, Colt 6920.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array ashamans's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Get a tier 1 ar and be done, one rifle for life, however if you plan on just a range toy the sport is great and has great reviews.

    Tier 1:
    Black rain
    AR15VSCoyote likes this.
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    I was thinking the M&P Sport w2hile reading your post. Probably about the best for your needs & price range and it will allow you to invest in a decent stockpile of .223 ammo.
    You should be able to get a Bushmaster or DPMS (not Oracle) for close to the same price. Get the 'extra parts kit' while you can as well.

    If you decide to upgrade later, these brands will sell easy enough. Check out the sights and optics choices for whatever you are getting into now.
    I would hope for a chrome-lined bbl as well.
    tcox4freedom and 5lima30ret like this.
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  10. #9
    Member Array DeviousMind's Avatar
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    Can't go wrong with a Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense. Only advise I can give is to do some research because there is definately brands to stay away from, especially if as you say this will be a HD rifle.
    AR15VSCoyote and DefConGun like this.
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  11. #10
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    It will be fine for what you are doing with it. You can always change up or upgrade parts of it as you see fit.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
    Wyatt Earp

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array David Armstrong's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry much about any ban anytime soon. The bigger worry is panicky gun owners buying and hoarding. Having said that, the S&W Sport will fit your bill along with assorted other makes and models. Go with 5.56, it simplifies life. For more serious work, save your pennies and go with Colt, as mentioned, or one of the better makes. As you are new, avoid all the neat tacticool add-ons and go with a basic gun. Once you use it some then you will have a better idea of what mods, if any, you should make.
    tcox4freedom and 5lima30ret like this.

  13. #12
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    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    Ms. Sara:

    From another AR15 / M4 Neophyte (me):

    Go to Wal*Mart and spend a bit more for a Colt 6920. You'll be glad you did, even if you never shoot it. It will retain value, is recognizable quality, and is seen as a fantastic entry point weapon for a wee bit more money. If you do not buy the Colt, get an AR15 chambered for 5.56 because that will also shoot .223, but not vice versa. The Colt 6920's are ALL 5.56. 5.56 X 45 is the NATO/Mil chambering, the .223 is the civilian chambering. Go 5.56 X 45 and you can shoot .223 too.

    Going with Colt takes a huge amount of cognitive dissonance out of your decision. You will thank me.

    Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC > Catalog > Colt Rifles > Colt LE6920 Series
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  14. #13
    Member Array MacReady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmcg1525 View Post
    You live in Alabama, no need to rush out and buy an AR before they ban them, because that isn't happening anytime soon.

    Now if you want a recommendation on an AR because you need one...I agree with the others, Colt 6920.
    Kind of what I was thinking. Unless there's something going on at the state level that I haven't heard about, I think Alabama is pretty gun friendly state. As such, you should be able to get any number of quality, factory complete ARs from your LGS. Even though I prefer to build my ARs, I'd say the Colt 6920 is probably the best "off the rack" option for someone who wants a complete, quality AR without having to pay out the nose for it.
    Kmcg1525 likes this.

  15. #14
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    You might want to keep an eye out for sales on this DPMS at Cabela's DPMS T.E.K. (Tactical Emergency Kit) .223 Rem./5.56mm Nato Semiautomatic Rifle Package : Cabela's

    It goes on sale regularly…usually $100 off.

    It comes with 4 mags and some other stuff you could put in your BOB or get home bag.
    StormRhydr likes this.
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  16. #15
    Member Array OutdoorEnvy's Avatar
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    The cool thing about getting an AR is you can pretty much mod it to the point it's exactly what you want, and then completely change it if you want to. Others have mentioned the good brands already, just get the best one you can. You can always upgrade and mod it to your liking after you've shot it and know what you like :)

    Exciting though! AR's Rock! Good luck in your search
    tcox4freedom likes this.

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