AR-15 basics

AR-15 basics

This is a discussion on AR-15 basics within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The assault weapons ban from the Clinton era included semi-automatic AR-15 type weapons correct? With our recent changes in government I thought I should pick ...

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Thread: AR-15 basics

  1. #1
    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    AR-15 basics

    The assault weapons ban from the Clinton era included semi-automatic AR-15 type weapons correct?

    With our recent changes in government I thought I should pick one up before I can't.

    So, what basic information do I need to know when buying an AR-15?

    Here's what I'm thinking...
    The gun show moves through town every few months and I saw plenty of AR-15s there. The only brand I recognized (or should say remembered) is Bushmaster. The local gun shop has Colt, but they are pricey. I've heard decent things about Bushmaster, so I guess what I need to know is what to look out for.

    They look really fun to shoot (seen them at the range), and
    I'm not looking to be "tacticool" as I read everywhere. :-) A scope so I can aim downrange is all I can think I really care to have.

    So what are your thoughts? What do I need to be aware of?
    Just the "standard" Bushmaster AR-15 would be fine?

    I guess I'm a little worried about purchasing the wrong rifle. I read so much about switching out all sorts of parts on these things, but I'm not sure if it's just people wanting do go custom, or it's something that is really needed.

    Thanks for any information.


  2. #2
    Member Array Go Glock's Avatar
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    A place that might offer good information is AR15.com/forums. I own a AR15 but I am not a guru on the subject. I don't think you can go wrong with a Bushmaster. Colt are good rifles but I also have noticed them to be a little pricey. I remember hearing that DPMS are of the lower quality of the bunch. My AR is actually a Double Star...a lesser known name but of equal quality as Bushmaster and Colt. It was not super expensive, but I also wasn't looking for a competition free floated barrel or anything fancy like that. Also do a AR15 search of this site because I know there are many threads dealing with varying aspects of the rifle.

    When I started looking for AR15's I didn't know much about them, but they really aren't that complicated...with a little reading and some time you will do just fine.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Bushmaster seems to have a good reputation , as do many other brands . I just shot the Smith and Wesson lineup and was impressed with them ( reliability and consistancy since i didnt put them on paper ) . I will suggest you look at features of what you want to do with the rifle as much as brand , you said scope , well to me that screams flat top since you cannot get a cheek weld from a scope on a luggage handle . Just my opinion , but look at what you want the gun to do , and then look at what make/model gives you the features closest to filling that need .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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  4. #4
    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    I'll check out that forum, thanks.

    I've done some searching here and at THR, but I guess what I'm looking for is for a couple basic rules when purchasing an AR-15. Major things to look for, or avoid.

    I don't want to buy "stock" or "basic", only to find out that for just a few bucks more I could have had something much better or needed.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    yep, I'd also recomend taking a look over at ar15.com there will be way more info then you can possibly take in over there :) Also be sure to take a look at Rock River Arms and be sure to look into assembling your own gun by purchasing upper and lower seperately....or building your lower if you are interested.

    as for what to look for and/avoid would really depend on what you want to do with the gun...basic plinking and or fun all around gun? maybe go with a simple A2 upper with a 16" or 20" bbl. ...if you want a bit more options then you could go with a "flattop" upper that has an A2 style carry handle/sights...then if you wanted to upgrade to some kind of optic then you wouldn't have to mount it on top of the carry handle.
    As far as quality goes, there is a lot of decent stuff out there and not a really long list of stuff that you have to stay away from especially if you are just looking for a plinker. If you aren't looking to deck out the rifle with high-end optics, lights, and rails then something basic will do and I'd even suggest buying used. You can get a good condition AR in a basic configuration from a good manufacturer for $500-$600. If, at that point, you decide that you want/need more gun then you have the option of either selling your used gun for little to no loss or just buying another.

    If it's just for fun then I'd suggest going over to AR15.com and taking a look at one of the picture threads they have there. It will give you an idea of all the ways that these guns can be configured and will give you and idea of the options that you have.
    Last edited by raysheen; November 18th, 2006 at 03:32 PM.

  6. #6
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    ARFcom is a great resource for info. Lots of name brand good AR's out there. Most of the parts swaps are unneeded mods for something diffrent , than needed changes.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array razorblade's Avatar
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    My AR is a bare bones pre-ban upper with a collapsible stock and an AK-47 compensator (I stuck it on because I like irony). Nothing special. I am "anti-tactical". No red dots, no flashlights, no IR illuminators, no PDA to receive email, nothing. I am of the mind that I don't shoot my rifles every week, and therefore cannot justify the cost of all those acessories. Just a good, clear front sight and I'm happy. I bought the upper and lower seperatly. The upper is Bushmaster, and the lower is DPMS. I've had no problems (except for a firing pin retaining pin breaking, but that is normal after extreme use) with it. My suggestion is whatever rifle you decide to pick up, make sure you use good mags. There are some charming cheapies out there that are real tempting. Later you find out they push the rounds up fine, but don't lock the bolt to the rear.

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    Member Array vzwnnj's Avatar
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    I have two AR's...one an Olympic Arms CAR97-M4...short barrel, Eotech holosight on it...has always shot well and the only thing I've needed to do was replace the gas ring...no big deal. Also have a Rock River Arms lower with DPMS upper...this will shoot under an inch at 100 yrds with my handloads. DPMS is very good quality. Bushmaster is NOT the only game in town

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    If there is another AWB, there won't be a grandfather clause. Trust me. The only way to stop it is to get involved.

    Good luck on ARFcom. Good info, lots of jerks...
    Stick with any of these makers:

    Armalite
    Bushmaster
    Colt
    DPMS
    Stag
    Rock River Arms
    Eagle Firearms
    Bravo Company
    CMMGinc-I got my upper from them for $518 shipped complete.


    Rate of twist is usually 1:9" for bullets up to 69gr. 1:8 or 1:7" will get you out to 77-80gr. Most people are best served by 1:9".

    Chrome lined bore and chamber are good. Easier to clean. Undetectable loss in accuracy. Stainless steel barrels aren't CLd.

    Get lots of mags. Get steel. Beware of aluminum mags. Shop around. I got some cheapies off of sportsmansguide for $10 each. Work just fine. Mags are pretty much hit and miss.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Widener's web site, C Products 30 round magazines, $10 each, can't beat that with a stick...

  11. #11
    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm View Post
    If there is another AWB, there won't be a grandfather clause. Trust me. The only way to stop it is to get involved.
    Care to explain?

    Do you mean if someone already owns an AR-15 they can't go shoot it? Do you have to lock it up or something? Does that count for high-capacity magazines too (handguns)?

    Sorry for the n00b questions, it's just I got involved in firearms after the bans were lifted and don't have the foggiest how they worked.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    No, I mean if they pass another AWB, they will ban ALL "assault weapons" and over 10rd capacity magazines. That means the AR15 you bought 12 years ago is illegal to own. Those 20 and 30 round magazines are now going to be confiscated. That means the ATF will get the background check forms (4473) from licensed dealers and anyone who is on a form that has a firearm on the list will get a visit from the ATF and they will come and take your "AW". Don't believe me? If it happens, that is the way it will go down.

    What we gun owners need to do is fight to stop it before it even gets to the vote. We need to be aware of any anti-gun bill that even tries to make it out of commitee meetings and squash it before it goes to the floor for a vote. We need to be better informed and we need to keep tabs on our reps regarding our gun rights that have been stripped from us by the Republicans and Democrats and any other independant anti-gun douchebags.

    They realized their mistakes from last time.

    1. Grandfathering guns
    2. Grandfathering magazines
    3. Providing a "sunset" provision. The only way it would pass though.
    4. Not enough propaganda in the media. They will use it to fuel their efforts. They will be targeting "for the children" and "for those poor police officers" whom they don't give a crap about anyways. Just minions in their sick and twisted agenda.

    What happened in 1994 was they put in a grandfather clause (exception) that weapons made before Sept 14 1994 are allowed to be possessed by individuals. All guns after that date were banned and were only allowed to be possessed by LE and military. That went for magazines as well.

    They want my guns they will have to kill me. I have plenty of ammo and plenty of will power to stand up for basic human rights and if I have to die to make a point then so be it.

    Get involved in protecting our gun rights. Join the NRA. They are not perfect but they have done more for our rights than any keyboard commandos here. Keep your politicians in check. If they vote anti-gun, vote them out next time. They work for YOU. Don't let them forget that.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  13. #13
    Member Array symbiont7's Avatar
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    Thank you for the explanation. I didn't realize they "grandfathered" in anyone last time around.

    I definitely don't like the sound of ANYONE coming to my house to collect my (once) legal possessions.

  14. #14
    Member Array ShackleMeNot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by symbiont7 View Post
    So, what basic information do I need to know when buying an AR-15?

    Here's what I'm thinking...
    The gun show moves through town every few months and I saw plenty of AR-15s there. The only brand I recognized (or should say remembered) is Bushmaster. The local gun shop has Colt, but they are pricey. I've heard decent things about Bushmaster, so I guess what I need to know is what to look out for.

    They look really fun to shoot (seen them at the range), and
    I'm not looking to be "tacticool" as I read everywhere. :-) A scope so I can aim downrange is all I can think I really care to have.

    So what are your thoughts? What do I need to be aware of?
    Just the "standard" Bushmaster AR-15 would be fine?

    I guess I'm a little worried about purchasing the wrong rifle. I read so much about switching out all sorts of parts on these things, but I'm not sure if it's just people wanting do go custom, or it's something that is really needed.

    Thanks for any information.
    Your first fighting rifle should be a factory-built gun. Buying parts and assembling your own gun MAY work out for you and save you a few bucks but the headaches aren't worth it if the gun has issues. The number one problem we have in rifle classes is people who mixed and matched parts and built their own Frankengun. Factory guns run better and if they don't you have someone to send it back to to fix their product. It isn't hard to build an AR; it can be hard to build one right.

    I'd recommend you go with a Bushmaster or Rock River 16" A3. An optic is nice (Aimpoint or EoTech) but not necessary and you'll need iron sights on the gun as well because it's Murphy's Law that batteries die at the wrong time and optics get broken when you need them most. As already mentioned get a chrome lined bore and chamber. The only other thing you NEED on a fighting rifle is a strong white light. You can't shoot what you can't see and you shouldn't shoot what you can't identify. White light when used properly will be useful to do both of these and if the light is strong enough has the added benefit of reducing your enemy's will and ability to fight.

    My last piece of advice is to take a class. Don't wait until you develop bad habits with your new rifle to seek out professional instruction. It's good that you will own a nifty rifle but as the old saying goes, "Owning a piano doesn't make you a musician."
    Shay Van Vlymen - Instructor Tactical Response

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Wayne's Avatar
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    Here is what I have and what I am getting:

    Lower is a Bushmaster XM-15. Two uppers are the Colt Sporter 7.63x39 16" and the other is a DPMS .223 1:9 twist, chrome bored, 20".

    Coming up on the block is either the Double Star lower (still looking into them) or DMPS with a DMPS 10.5" barrel, 1:8 or 1:9 twist, haven't decided yet.

    As for the next ban, I'm doubting that it will have a grandfather clause (call me paranoid of what our government can and will do) but I figure that I'm safe with buying Class III's due to they think that there is enough federal restrictions (as well as some states) that they won't even think about including them for the time being.

    Good luck and right now, any AR-15 that you get will be worth it.

    Wayne

    *not doom and gloom, I'm a realist.

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