Choosing an AR-15: Which One & Why?

This is a discussion on Choosing an AR-15: Which One & Why? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; As I have researched the battle rifles, the AR-15 has clearly stood out as the leader of the pack. A shotgun may be a more ...

View Poll Results: Which AR-15 Do You Suggest

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  • High-Quality AR: Daniel Defense DDXV w/$250 Gift Card Rebate

    17 30.91%
  • Good-Quality AR: S&W "Deal" at CDNN

    18 32.73%
  • Average-Quality AR: CMMG Bargain Bin

    4 7.27%
  • Do It Yourself: Stripped Lower from Spikes Tactical for Half-Price

    16 29.09%
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Thread: Choosing an AR-15: Which One & Why?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Choosing an AR-15: Which One & Why?

    As I have researched the battle rifles, the AR-15 has clearly stood out as the leader of the pack. A shotgun may be a more practical solution in some ways because of the limited spray/range of buckshot but an AR-15 is modular, easily upgradable and can do a lot of things for a household in a pinch.

    This rifle will be used for home defense and of course, the fun training that goes along with that. I reload my own 223 ammo, so I will be practicing as much as I can. This weapon will not be used for hunting or long-range target shooting.

    So as I sorted through my choices, I came down to about four different ones. I am curious which one you guys think is the best way to go and why?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Personally, I draw on my 3-gun experiences and actually seeing what worked there; DPMS never failed me in all the years I have shot those guns, putting thousands of rounds downrange with zero failures. I bought a Sportical just before the election for $625, but have since bought a gas-piston conversion for it. I already have a 6.8SPC top end as well. I think just about anything you get from Daniel, S&W or any other major player ought to be OK for your application because they all pretty much follow the same formula nowadays. For more advice and observation, seek out a 3-gun USPSA/IDPA match in your neck of the woods. That bunch can tell you a whole lot about what equipment works and what doesn't under pressure.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    DIY.

    That way, you can get exactly the rifle, with accesories, that you want. You want 1:9 instead of 1:7? Easy to do. You want a certain handguard/tube/rail, with a UBR stock? You got it..

    And, now that I've begun the process of building my own upper (I've built several lowers) and have seen how easy it is...I doubt I'll ever buy another complete rifle again.

    Arf.com has great guides on building your own uppers & lowers, and you really don't need a ton of expensive tools to do it; a set of good punches, a receiver block and a barrel wrench is about it for specialized tools...and Brownell's has you covered for all of 'em...you can probably get what you need for less than $100.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member
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    I just completed assembling 3 rifles using stripped Doublestar lowers. I've enjoyed the research and the assembly.

    I worked with my youngest to build the one he will use. He has a good grasp on operation now.

    Any money saved can be used for "goodies" later.

  6. #5
    Member Array larebel's Avatar
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    Get a spikes.

  7. #6
    Member Array Erik M's Avatar
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    I bought a DoubleStar, mostly because I live within an hours drive of thier production facility. I diddnt want to build my first one.
    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array something's Avatar
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    I've always bought from the factory. I leave building weapons to the experts.

    My suggestion to this often asked question is buy the best your budget allows.
    IMO, that would be:

    For >$1k I suggest Colt...maybe Armalite.
    For $850 Bushmaster.
    For $650 I'd get the Bargain Bin CMMG

    If you're on a budget the CMMG (while it lasts) seems solid.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by something View Post
    I've always bought from the factory. I leave building weapons to the experts.
    I do have some safety concerns about building my own. I realize it is easy in retrospect but the headspacing issue with the bbl is something that I have heard can be screwed up.

  10. #9
    Ex Member Array something's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    I do have some safety concerns about building my own. I realize it is easy in retrospect but the headspacing issue with the bbl is something that I have heard can be screwed up.
    Yes indeed.

    I've always been a proponent of leaving specialized and detailed jobs with little to no margin for error to the expert.


    Also, if this is going to be the OP's first AR, I don't believe building one would be the best idea. Buy one off the shelf and get to know the weapon inside/out before attempting the build.

  11. #10
    Member Array Conrad's Avatar
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    I picked up a Doublestar in Feb. of this year, and have close to 1000 rounds throught it without any problems what so ever. Couldn't beat the price, and had heard good things about them from others.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
    I picked up a Doublestar in Feb. of this year, and have close to 1000 rounds throught it without any problems what so ever. Couldn't beat the price, and had heard good things about them from others.
    Complete rifle?

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    I do have some safety concerns about building my own. I realize it is easy in retrospect but the headspacing issue with the bbl is something that I have heard can be screwed up.

    With an AR15, not so much; if your using quality components, they should all be in spec and good to go...but headspace guages aren't terribly expensive, nor is bringing it to a gunsmith and having them check it.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  14. #13
    Member Array kdydak's Avatar
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    The problem with tactical AR15s is that the rifle is actually an inexpensive start to a rather expensive process. So if you are going that way you might as well pick a quality one now and get used to paying $$$ out of your nose ;)

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    I've been really pleased with my M&P15.... got 5 free Magpul Pmags from S&W for it too!

    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    I am the God fearing, gun toting, flag waving conservative you were warned about!

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    The M&P from CDNN comes with a bunch of Chinese junk on it but at $799 it's still a strong deal.

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