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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I've been saving up for my first AR15 recently (planning to buy a PSA lower and a completed BCM upper) and my savings took a heavy hit this morning when the car broke down and needed repair. It got me thinking about AR prices.

What I'm looking for in an AR is a plinking toy and a home defense weapon. No hunting or competitions (not yet anyway). I only plan to put a light, a sling and an optic (something low power) on it.

Based on my needs, is there a big enough difference in quality or features between a "starter" rifle (such as a Ruger AR556 or a S&W Sport II) and a build like I have planned above to justify the extra $300-400 the build will cost me over the starter?

Thanks,

Wyld
 

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No get a basic sport 2 or ar556 and be happy
 

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I wanted (and bought) one for the same reasons you mentioned: plinking, home defense, and just to have one. I'll never wear it out and therefore could not justify spending extra $$$ just to say I have a "better" one. I bought a Ruger 556 and am very, very happy with it. Now, if you're serious about competition and it will get military style rough treatment, keep saving and get one higher up the chain. But, again, you sound like me - go for good but affordable and enjoy.
 

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I have a Smith and Wesson Sport II... its fantastic, and not very expensive... and S&W warranties it for life. Mines rather new, I've shot maybe 300 rounds through it now. Several different types including some cheapo steel cased junk, and its shot everything 100% perfect.
 

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I highly recommend buying a premium Palmetto State Armory (PSA) complete lower (with Magpul furniture..ACS stock?!)... and mating it to a BCM complete upper...
(mid-length gas system...your choice of hand guards, barrels, etc. plus their bolt carrier group & charging handle.)
You could spend as little as 850$..and will have a quality AR without regrets. Just my 2 cents.
(I did notice that currently a lot of options for both PSA and BCM are out of stock...but that changes fairly quickly)

Lowers - AR-15
AR-15, M16 16" Mid Length Upper Group
 

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I bought an Anderson lower locally for ~$50, then a PSA kit to finish it off for ~$400. Not top quality, but it's accurate, functional, and didn't break the bank.
 

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I bought a cheap AR in the mid 80's...Olympic Arms...it has had the piss shot out of it in the intervening 3 decades. I also have another that was bought during in the interim...never a problem with it. I am not saying to not buy a high end rifle...but I AM saying that a cheap one will likely do all that most will ever need to do with one.
 

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For your needs, no, you won't notice the difference. I've had 3 "budget guns", all without an issue. Not one failure, nada, zilch. And I was hitting 6" plates at 200 yards with a 14.7" pinned barrel carbine with no free float rail and a non magnified "budget" optic. It was an Anderson lower and colt forgery upper. Thousands of rounds of full power 5.56, never an issue.
 
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I have been haveing the same questions. If one were to start with a "cheaper" model, like the S&W, wouldn't/shouldn't a higher end upper fit on it in the future? If I'm right this would then allow the options to be more dedicated, hunting or home defense, with just the switch of the uppers correct? Then once there is a couple uppers laying around a new lower could then be added to complete the package, correct?
Thanks for the help!
 

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I would have to agree with the others - while your first idea is a great build (pretty much what I did on one of mine) - a basic Ruger or Smith is a great value. I would pick the Ruger just because it has a 1:8 twist rate.
 

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I have been haveing the same questions. If one were to start with a "cheaper" model, like the S&W, wouldn't/shouldn't a higher end upper fit on it in the future? If I'm right this would then allow the options to be more dedicated, hunting or home defense, with just the switch of the uppers correct? Then once there is a couple uppers laying around a new lower could then be added to complete the package, correct?
Thanks for the help!
Pretty much. I've got a 300BO upper from PSA for my Bushmaster that I'll likely put a better scope on and hunt with. Fully interchangeable.
 

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Like others have said, you will probably be fine with a cheaper AR for your uses. Take that extra money you save (after car repairs) and invest in upgraded optics or ammo.
 

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Get a S&W Sport or Ruger AR 556 like others said and carry on!
 
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I highly recommend buying a premium Palmetto State Armory (PSA) complete lower (with Magpul furniture..ACS stock?!)... and mating it to a BCM complete upper...
(mid-length gas system...your choice of hand guards, barrels, etc. plus their bolt carrier group & charging handle.)
You could spend as little as 850$..and will have a quality AR without regrets. Just my 2 cents.
(I did notice that currently a lot of options for both PSA and BCM are out of stock...but that changes fairly quickly)
I don't know that PSA has a premium lower line. I do know the premium upper line has an FN barrel. It is definitely worth the extra $$. The PSA premium barrels are as good as it gets for Milspec. Very durable, able to handle high round volume, and accurate. Anything else would be getting into competition quality accuracy.
 

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I almost always advocate for buying a quality AR but in this case you just need to get one before November. If a Dem gets elected a $600 AR will be $1700 on December 1st.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. So I'm eyeing the Ruger AR556 or the Colt LE6920. I'm only looking at the Colt because it has chrome lined parts that the Ruger does not.

How important is a chrome lined barrel? I know that it extents the number of rounds the barrel can handle before failure. However, I get a lot of conflicting info on how long it extends the life of the barrel, as well as other info, such as improvement in accuracy and heat displacement. Can anyone help clarify that for me?

If I plan on shooting 200-300 rounds a month, how long will the barrel last me (ball park value)?

How important are other chrome lined parts?

Thanks,

Wyld
 

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I can't answer your question about the barrel, but I do suggest staying with the less expensive model. I bought a higher end sig, then I won a Daniel Defense at an NRA dinner raffle a few months after. Neither one has any more than 200 rounds thru them. If I'd known I was going to win the DD, I wouldn't have bought the sig. With the price of ammo these days, esp if you plan to shoot 200-300 rds per month, you'd be better off with a less expensive gun and buying more ammo. If you are in the People's Republik of Kalifornia, you won't be able to get an AR soon, and ammo will be had to get as well. I just bought a few thousand rounds to stock up...just in case the eventual lawsuits fail.

Edit: I just figured out you are not in the People's Republik, but the same may be coming nationwide if a certain lying SOS is elected.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. So I'm eyeing the Ruger AR556 or the Colt LE6920. I'm only looking at the Colt because it has chrome lined parts that the Ruger does not.

How important is a chrome lined barrel? I know that it extents the number of rounds the barrel can handle before failure. However, I get a lot of conflicting info on how long it extends the life of the barrel, as well as other info, such as improvement in accuracy and heat displacement. Can anyone help clarify that for me?

If I plan on shooting 200-300 rounds a month, how long will the barrel last me (ball park value)?

How important are other chrome lined parts?

Thanks,

Wyld
At 200-300 rds. a month it make much boom boom , It love you long time.
 

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M+P 15 sport [ no dust cover or forward assist but I don't need either] I got at Gander[ not my favorite place] for 599 w/5 extra mags. that was a couple of years ago when the gouging was slowing down.
 
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