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Well I think I may have convinced the wife that I need an AR! Still trying to decide what I "need" or what would best fit my "wants." Here is what I am thinking: the gun would be used for target shooting, hopefully some hunting, and somewhere in the home defense plan. I have read many people say that ARs can be a bit addictive but I'm not there yet. Not sure of the round count per year but currently thinking in the 500-2,000 range with the hope that will increase.

My thoughts on what I "want" include a flat top profile with no tall front sight, 16-18" barrel with a faster twist (1/7 or 1/8??) to use heavier/longer bullets, prefer free float, and adjustable stock. I'm not sure about Crome lined vs. stainless. What other features I should be looking for as I'm not sure the differences between the different models/variations.

I'm thinking of going one of two ways:
One is going with something like a Bushmaster QRC or a DPMS Oracle and adding a "hunting upper" later OR something like a Rock River Coyote. I know the RR is about twice the price which is part of my quandary. I have read on other forums about RR is almost always very accurate and might be better for the hunting target shooting aspect.

Thanks for the help,
Mark
 

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Ahhh, something I can finally answer with some confidence.

A few years ago, around 7 to be exact, I was in the same mindset as you. I wanted a black rifle. No particular reason but just mostly fun plinking and maybe home defense.

I built that rifle, well, assembled that rifle more like it. I bought a matched Mega upper and lower receiver set and the best of everything else and ended up with about $1600 in it. I shot it a few times and it mostly sat in the corner lonely.

Eventually I sold it and lost my arse.

Fast forward to 2014. I wanted another. This time I bought and assembled an Anderson lower receiver with good, but not the absolute best, trigger parts, Daniel Defense collapsible stock, and BCM grip. To add to that I shopped around and found a very nice and lightly used Daniel Defense M4V3 complete upper with nickel boron bolt installed. I got that for $499. So for less than $700 I now have a very good rifle in 5.56mm that I love to shoot.

I have since added another rifle I assembled in 6.8spc. I built this one for whatever reason and now have it scoped and ready to use as a hunt rifle.

To my point I guess.

Whatever you build it will cost more than what you can go buy already assembled usually. It may or may not perform any better than an assembled rifle.

Chromed bores and chambers, chromed lined gas keys and such make the parts last longer. Stainless barrels are heavier than regular steel but are supposedly more accurate.

As to brand, almost any of them are good rifles. I like PSA, Anderson, Daniel Defense, Spikes Tactical and others. Personally I would not probably buy Bushmaster or DPMS now. I read that they are owned by Remington Arms and the quality has gone down a bit. Just my opinion though so don't take it as gospel.

Caliber choice. . . . . 5.56/223 for range duty, home defense and hunting smaller game and varmints. This is also cheaper ammo prices than most any other caliber you would choose. For larger game hunting their is a variety of other good choices, mostly what is called wildcat calibers such as 6.8spc and .277 wolverine, but some more standard calibers as well.

What I suggest one look for when making a purchase is a good fit of the upper and lower receiver and making sure the overall finish is good with little to no tool marks anywhere, including in the mag well. Reputable manufacturers will have good square upper receivers so that the barrel extension squares up and fits nice and tight. This is important for accuracy.

Getting a good upper and lower is the most important. Anything else can be added or changed to something better or different if you aren't happy. A good barrel is also another important addition.
 

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Echo above either build it or get a Colt , FN or a Ruger ,spikes also

Me I would just get a basic Sport 2 or 6920 have fun then buy a cheep flat top PSA upper and go from there

Dont go all crazy and shell out a lot of money on a fancy gun till you know what you want as above poster stated


Frankly unlike AK ,fal etc most AR are pretty close you get any decent metal made with USA mil spec part guns it will normal be all the same now the fancier guns will have better out box trigger etc maybe but its a AR its a pretty easy gun to build and take apart with basic tools heck the barrel normal head spaces on its own ..


Right now if you wanting one get it now not to push you but we are nearing Nov 8 and prices might go up for a while at min get 556 and Pmags now they are still at 10 bucks a pmag or so get 10 at least and at min 500 rounds mixed FMJ and green tips and at least 100-500 soft point or other SD loads ..Really should aim for more 1k of FMJ if you can though
 

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I recently bought a complete lower (for my first AR), but I'm holding off on buying an upper because I know I just won't shoot it very much.

If I was in the market for a complete gun, I think you will be hard pressed to pass up on the Colt OEM 6920s. For $800 or less, you can get the OEM1 which has the front sight (not flattop). You just need to add what ever furniture you want. The OEM2 are flattop, but rarely seem to be in stock anywhere. Everyone praises the reliability of the Colt which is why I think it is so attractive at this price.
 

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I am a Daniel Defense fan, but there are many equally high quality ARs out there for you to look at and play with. Do you actually NEED and AR? Well or course you do. It is the difference in being a civilized adult and having an AR, or not.
 

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For the same usage scenario you describe I chose a DPMS Oracle when Cabelas had them on sale for $529 and used some Cabellas points to get the price down to $329. That's a heckuva price for a complete rife (sans sights)
I added a scope for range shooting, some offset BUIS & Flashlight for home defense, a Magpul grip & stock and Keymod handguard just to personalize it a bit.
Also, I followed the break in procedure recommended by DPMS...basically swabbed the barrel after each of the first 10 rounds and then after each 5 rounds or so up to 25 rounds. Which was not an issue since I was sighting in the scope at the same time.
So far I've put 300 rounds thru it without an issue. The ONLY complaint I had with it was the trigger pull, which was long, heavey, and course. So after a while I added a Timney trigger which made a HUGE difference.
When I was looking for an AR I was advised that any concerns with different builders and expense levels/parts selection really comes into play at around 10,000 rounds. The better parts will surpass that to the 20,000 round mark. Since I seriously doubt I'll ever put 10,000 rounds thru it I went with the DPMS and it's been a fine rifle shooting so far. Groups well, shoots well, and compared to the first gen Colt I had in the 80's, is a much better fitted selection of parts.
ARs are like Fender guitars...just an assembly of parts. You can build one for much less than the cost of buying a complete rifle so you might look at that option too. Just source the various parts and put it together. But there are certainly a lot of options out there.
 

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One word of advice. Don't buy a cheaper rifle and then start changing parts.....it's not worth it. If you have an idea what yout want, start with a something like a Colt OEM2 then add the handguard, stock, sights etc that you want. It will save you a ton of money.....and a large spare parts box from sitting in your closet.
 

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I would recommend going with the M&P Sport or Ruger AR 556 instead of the DPMS or new Bushmaster. They are about equal in price but the Ruger or S&W are much better AR's than the other two. If you bump up your budget another $200 I would definitely go with the Colt or FN (both are pretty equal in my book). Good luck!
 
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Do not get the DPMS. You don't need a $1500 rifle to enjoy it, but step up to a solid build. PSA upper with a FN barrel is equal to Colt. FN barrels is about all you'll see in our soldier's M4's.

Get chrome lined for the added hardness. 1:8 or 1:9 will shoot most hunting rounds you need. 1:7 is really only for the really long (heavy )rounds. 1:9 will be easier on light jacketed varmint rounds than 1:7. It really depends on what you are hunting.

I agree with you on a 16" free floated barrel with low profile gas block, rather than the A2 FSB. I still put an A2 solid sight on the front rail. My foregrip extends nearly to the compensator for maximum sight radius. Id also look for a mid length gas system over a carbine length, but that is not a deal breaker for me.

Lowers are easy to properly assemble and stake. Assembled lowers are priced fine,but may not have the stock and grip you want. Buy from a private sale in your state and there is no paperwork. Then get the upper you want from PSA.
 

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Stay away from the bushmasters, dpms, and any of the other entry level rifles. At this time the prices are just too close to what you can buy a much higher quality rifle for, so spend the extra $300-$500 and get a quality gun from the start. I'm not saying that you have to spend $2000 to get a nice AR, but if you can budget yourself $1000 for the gun itself you are going to be able to buy from companies that have been Battle proven. The AR market right now is flooded with junk. Sure most of them will perform as a range plinker and even hunting gun with possibly very little issues, but I would much rather have too much gun than not enough. Especially when you're talking about just a few hundred more dollars. I would suggest sticking with brands like BCM, Spikes Tactical, or Colt. Those companies all make rifles that can be bought for just under that $1000 mark and they have all been proven as hard core fighting carbines that will run when you need them too no matter what.

You've waited until the final hour to get this done as availability is going to start becoming an issue and with that comes pricing increases. So you really don't have too much time to do much research. So I would find a gun by one of the manufacturers that I listed that is in stock and in your budget range and just buy it. After all if things get crazy for a bit and you end up not loving it, you will have no problem selling it for what you pay for it or more.

Ammo and magazines are another thing I wouldn't drag your feet on. I just got a couple 1000 round cases from Palmetto state armory. They have been running some great sales so snatch some up quickly. I've seen these panics before around these elections, and I really thought this would go to a republican this time so I wasn't too worried early on, but it's not looking good now so I just wrapped up another build and stocked up on ammo for all my rifles and handguns so I can still enjoy my hobby for a couple years until things hopefully calm back down.
 

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Two friends and I went to an outdoor range... 3 days and shooting things from pistols to rilfes, etc.
I did not have an AR, so they had a Colt, Bushmaster , and Rock River. Set up the same, etc. Shot the Colt only twice and said .. forget that, too barrel / front end heavy and not a well balanced gun to me. Didn't like it at all. I shot the Bushmaster and Rock River several times. The Bushmaster didn't have the quality the Rock River had, and .... I always shot much better with the Rock River and accuracy.... was much better.
I got a Rock River (M4 version).

Since that time, I've shot the BCM, PSA , other Bushmasters, Ruger, and several other brands. What I got out of all of it, for me, Rock Rivers is the # 1 choice and still beats all of them to me. If I wanted to get less expensive... the PSA is the one that costs less, is very accurate, comes with Magpul furniture, and shoots great .... and that's what I would recommend to someone. I compared the PSA , Bushmaster and BCM together.... and BCM is fine (wouldn't argue that at all ) , but when I can get a PSA that shoots equally to it, weight is better, and is less expensive but with good quality on it..... I'ld go with the PSA. I would definitely go a PSA or BCM over a Bushmaster and Ruger any day....

Mentioned above is Spikes as well, wouldn't argue with that. I liked Spikes, but in terms of costs, the PSA to me is equivalent, better furniture, and cost less. IF cost is equivalent, pick either of them ...

My #1 pick over anything for me .. is Rock River.... and maybe it's me, maybe it's the gun, but .... I'm always much more accurate with the Rock River's I've shot.
 
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