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Hello everyone,
This site has been so helpful in answering my questions. I thought that everyone coud help me with a few questions about AR-15's. I have grown up with pistols for most of my life and I have really been getting into IDPA competition. The same range that I shoot IDPA at has 3 gun competitions too. Some time in the next year I would like to get an AR. I have been searching the web, but it seems like all I find is the difference between the m-16 and ar-15.

1. Could someone please tell me the difference between the different uppers, (A2, A3, ect.)?

2. Are there any differences in the lowers that I should look for?

3. What is the difference between the flash supressors (bird, cage, izzy)?

4. Any pros and cons to the different manufacturers?

Which all my searching so far, I think that I like the ones with the rail on top with the removable carry handle.

Thanks in advance,
Dingle
 

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Between the 2 above links you should have lots of reading and research. Can you guess what kind of rifle my daughter is shooting in my avtar?
 

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The A2 upper has a non-removable handle, the A3's handle is removable to a flat top rail.
The Izzy comes in 2 forms, ie compensator or flash suppressor. It is usually permanently fixed to a 14.5" barrel to make it a legal length barrel. My Bushmaster 14.5 has the compensator Izzy which is a 3 port 'suppressor/compensator' (no port on direct bottom). This helps to prevent barrel rise and blowing dirt up when firing in the prone position. The Birdcage is usually used on longer barrels . The Izzy also creates one hell of a fireball out the muzzle !!
For good suppressor info , go to:
http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=61542
 

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The one thing I will add is if you choose an AR...Colt rifles have some parts that can only be changed out with Colt parts. Most other rifles have all Mil-Spec parts and you can just drop in aftermarket parts as you please. That is the biggest difference in manufacturers and the only thing I would have agianst Colt (proprietary parts)
 

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Re, flash suppressors: the best, original, Vortex is made by Smith Enterprises. Well worth it.
http://www.smithenterprise.com/

Bushmaster, RRA and DPMS are all excellent. My preference was for the HBar profile(16" or 20"), unless you see yourself carrying it much and shooting little- more muzzle control, retains rigidity far better when hot, and gives a lot more "whap" to your slap, if you need to hit something with it. :biggrin:

Oh, yeah, I would seriously look at POF's products
http://www.pof-usa.com/P-416/P-416pricelist.htm
Essentially a copy oh the HK contract replacement upper. You pay more, but you eliminate most of the weaknesses and work inherent to the original gas system. (+/- $1250 for a complete POF rifle, VS. +/- $700-800 for a stock BM/RRA/etc..)
 

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+1 endorsement of the Vortex!

I'm a Bushy owner myself.
 

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AR's are fun and even historical, but they rate very low with me for serious "social" applications. My advice is to get something in .308 like an M1A or the M1A SOCOM or the various FAL rifles, or if you really like the AR platform, go for the AR-10. 5.56mm is a nice plinker. I have an old CAR-15 and a Ruger Mini-14 and they're fun. But when the SHTF, gimme the .308!
 

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Dingle,

The AR series of rifles are fun and capable.

The 5.56 M-16 & Ithaca 37 shotgun were the weapons of choice for Chief James "Patches" Watson who could have used any weapons he wanted. Of course he was ONLY a plank owner in SEAL Team 2 with three tours in Vietnam and 16 combat decorations, four of which are Bronze Stars with Combat "V" so he may not know as much as those of us on the errornet superhighway. :wink:
 

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M16 & 5.56mm History

OD said:
Dingle,

The AR series of rifles are fun and capable.

The 5.56 M-16 & Ithaca 37 shotgun were the weapons of choice for Chief James "Patches" Watson who could have used any weapons he wanted. Of course he was ONLY a plank owner in SEAL Team 2 with three tours in Vietnam and 16 combat decorations, four of which are Bronze Stars with Combat "V" so he may not know as much as those of us on the errornet superhighway. :wink:
Patches Watson is the current curator for the SEAL/UDT Museum in Fort Pierce, FL. I have corresponded with him and other SEAL types for several articles I had published some years ago on modern day piracy. It always seemed to me that he favored the SEAL sized (downsized) M-60 LMG, the one with the vertical foregrip. But maybe he was referring to the heavy fire backup for a SEAL Tm. I know that during 'Nam, most SEALS preferred M14's over the M16, at least early in the conflict. Even the famed SHARKMAN (Marcinko) preferred the M14. The original purpose for developing the M16 was as a wounding rather than a killing round, ostensibly to make the enemy work harder on the battlefield taking care of casualties rather than just burying bodies. Oh there was other chatter about the little gun and our dimunitive sized South Vietnamese allies....and the "advantage" of weight to ammo ratio yada yada yada.

Actually the whole thing was cooked up by the military industrial complex as a monetary boondoggle. Just another moneymaker for the CEO's and a widowmaker for the military. Originally, the M16 was a design nightmare. Rather than junk it....($$$$) it was gradually tweaked to conform to the standards of combat.
 

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I believe he referring to the heavy fire backup. I'm familiar with Chief Watson and have his books.
http://www.realseal.org/

I think that's the first time I've read most SEAL preferred the M-14, can you direct my to where you found that information? If you're not too set in your ways about the M-16, you may find THE BLACK RIFLE: M16 RETROSPECTIVE: ENHANCED 2ND ED. by R. Blake Stevens & Edward C. Ezell, informative. It dispels many myths, misconceptions and out right fabrications about the AR series of rifles.
 

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Consider the FBI Miami shootout. If the bad guy had been using something with a little more oomph than a Mini-14, things would not have turned out as well as they did for the FBI.
 

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Only Manauzzi and Orrantina were not seriously wounded, Risner was uninjured. Which brings us back to the mantra of shot placement.
 

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OD: You read Patches Watson and I read Dick Marcinko. It was also part of one of those MILITARY CHANNEL documentary shows on the SEALs. IIRC I also got that info as part of a packet sent to me from SEAL HQ at Coronado Naval Base when I was researching my articles on modern piracy....but you have to remember, this was waaaaay pre-911. It was something like 1993.
 

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I have 5 or 6 of Marcinko's books also, very entertaining for fiction, I like him.
 

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I think the 5.56mm cartridge doesn't perform as well for the military due to the use of FMJ only. Hps or soft points really enhance the performance. Haven't tried the Hornady TAP ammo yet, but have heard it performs well. Also , its all about application. 7.62 penetrates better, but is alot heavier to carry, ammo too.
 

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Rogue Warrior Not Fiction

OD said:
I have 5 or 6 of Marcinko's books also, very entertaining for fiction, I like him.

Remember his first books were not fiction. He got into trouble after writing Rogue Warrior for disclosing SEAL intensive stuff.
 
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