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I'm looking at getting a semi-auto rifle of some sort, and wanted to hear from you folks - what are the strengths & weaknesses of the AR-15 design? Why do you have one, or why do you not have one?
 

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You can accesorize the crap out of an AR (lights, sights, "gangsta" grips, bi-pod, M203). That's not to mention ease of interchanging complete uppers (bull barrel, different cal.) I got a .22 rimfire upper for small plinking and its cheap ammo. I like the overall design of an AR, plus the reliability and accuracy is sufficient, and lets not forget it's a blast to shoot.
 

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I'm bumping this topic. The main attraction I've always seen are the gadget factor and the fact that if you have military experience, this is probably a good gun for you because it's what you've trained with so much. But I want to see if there's any other pros.

I hope George Hill will link to his excellent article on the cons of the AR family.
 

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I have often thought of getting a Bushy but cost has been one disincentive. Beyond that I am not over struck with it, having shot one or two - for some reason they don't float my boat. Just me.

My only 223 platform is Mini-14 - bit of a spray gun as it is in just std trim but - good enough to employ the cal.

For me, in this category (EBR, loosely) I feel better served by having the cheap reliability and capacity of an AK, and the FAL for serious work!
 

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Pros- light weight, good accuracy, proven combat performance, interchangable multiple acces. options, light recoil impulse, intimidating looking, and plentiful , cheap hi cap mags.


Cons- possible malfunction due to gas system(some problems first hand) , light bullet weight, over penetration thru walls& people, deemed an "assault rifle" by the media, all black and evil looking. Sproing noise during firing may cause ya to laugh and miss. Many configurations to choose from, accesories will empty your wallet if ya get em all. Causes BRD (black rifle disease) according to the surgeon general
 

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DirksterG30 said:
Euc,

I've read George Hill's thoughts on the AR - he pretty much hates them. For his thoughts on the matter:

http://www.madogre.com/Interviews/Hate_the_AR15.htm

Wow, what an extemly opinionated, not all factual account of AR's. If they were all that bad, I think out troops would have XM8's already. Also hundreds of civilian contractors in Iraq would choose a diffrent weapon.
 

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Dirk...

I'm just getting into firearms...well, just starting my collection.

I can tell you that one of the things I want is at least one AR lower reciever. For that reciever, I want a 16" upper in .22LR, .223, and 6.8mm. I might also add a 9mm upper to that list.

I also want a 20" .223 and a 24" .223 heavyweight. These last two might have seperate lowers so that specific optics can be installed on them.

So, the biggest pro that I see to the gun, with the exception of the fact that it is the issue weapon for the US military is that it's very easy (less then 5 minutes to change upper recievers) and therefore barrel lengths, and other options.

It's also very easy to customize the rifle to do what you want by adding sites, optics, lights, grips, etc.

--Jim
 

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My response to the neighsayers that think the platform is garbage. Granted it's not perfect, however, the design has been around since long before me, Vietnam if i'm not mistaken. They've been trying to replace it with something better but haven't figured it out yet....there's a reason for that.

Quick engineering generalization...tight tolerances require super maintance but result in super results. loose tolerances require minimal maintance but often result in less than ideal results.
 

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Tell the truth I've always wanted one and still do, but I put it off because I didn't want it to be my only gun.

Of course now it wouldn't have to be, so there you go. I told myself I would get one before Bush leaves office and I plan to carry through on that threat.
 

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I've had 2, a Colt and a Bushmaster. I'd agree with the "pro"s thus far. Only con I can think of is the cost - not only of the rifle, but the accessories. Another con - they do not hold their resale value once you're over the "wow" factor. I've gotten my AR-fix. Now, it's back to more bang for the buck - an SKS.
 

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Ar-15

My brother in-law has one and my 15 year old son loved it so much, he insisted on having his pic taken with it wearing my old BDU's.


Mike :AR15firin
 

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I've had my Colt AR-15 SP-1 model since I bought it new in 1984 for the now tranquil cost of $395. off the shelf. I also bought a first generation Aimpoint MKIII that still sits atop it. I have never altered anything on the weapon and it's still going strong at about 25,000 rounds. The only hic-up I've had with it was about 15 years ago. The lower reciever pin for the hammer slipped and caused the hammer to fall out of alignment, thusly jamming the gun. I replaced the pin and have never had another bad thing to say about "the black rifle."

I will say one more positive thing about the gun, from personal experience, when properly used it is an accurate and death dealing little SOB.
 

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If you spend decent money, for a decent mil-spec brand (Bushy, RRA, Oly), learn fundamental maintenance, and "tweak" it to your needs/preferences, the AR family really can't be beat. (Don't like the "sproing"? Get Oly's new pneumatic buffer- allows you to adjust action for varied loads and/or regulate rate of fire. Rails, light, barrels, etc., etc..)

Having said that, I traded my Bushy 20" HB for a -91, not long ago. The only disadvantage to a quality AR? It isn't a quality .308.......and that is a situational comparison. :wink:
 

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Hey, everybody, just got my POWER back from the first strike of Katrina down in Miami although we are still waiting to hear about family in Slidell LA and it doesn't look good...AT ALL.

Anyway, I had one of the FABLED "GREEN GUNS" of the AR15 type and I sold it in '93 for about...well enough to buy THREE new assault rifles (semiauto, not full...but I coulda bought ONE of those with the $$) I'm in a "will" to get an oldie CAR15 style and that could happen anytime. The AR is not bad, but I MUCH prefer the M1A, especially in SOCOM 16 with picatinny rail and ACOG or Holosight. I have a Ruger Mini14 with the rare Factory Folding Stock that I may sell or trade for the SOCOM16. This is a good idea for me since it cuts down on different mag requirements. I already have a SUPERMATCH M1A that I had tuned by ROBAR for "Reach Out & Touch" capability. I kept a ton of M16 mags, so I'm ready to take possession of the rifle, eventually. And I have several thousand rounds of both .308 and .223 ammo.
 

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For me it boiled down to weight. As a specialized platform with my night vision scope, the AR weighed less than my FAL without it. It's pretty well the only reason I own one, besides the fact that I finally found a carbine that didn't look like it was growing an extra-long nose in the barrel area to comply with the 16" minimum: the RRA midlength uppers.

The three I've owned over the years (and I'm not selling one this time, as I finally actually found a purpose for it other than range toy) have all been flawless beasts if fed the right ammo and cleaned occasionally. I'm not fond of the round and my preferred platform for launching is the FAL, but for what it is, it's a nice range toy and moderately effective carbine-type beast.

It'll also put one hole groups boringly consistently if you're in to that sort of thing.

And it has functional 100 round drums available. ;)

I don't particularly like the weapon, but I have enough rifles that I'm allowed to have ones I only sometimes enjoy. The linked essay is mostly hyperbole, and I say that as someone who has converted many an AR-o-phile to the FAL dark side.
 

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Currently I own 3.
Ive got two in .223 and one in .300 whisper.

Pros...

Any body with half a clue can take one apart, put it in a bag,shake it up and eventually figure out how it goes back together.

They are modular weapons. Dont like the issue stock ? Take it off and put a collapsible on it. Ther are at least 3 gazillion aftermarket items for AR's. Sights, triggers mods,forearms, you name it, its out there.

Barrel lengths go anywhere from 6 inches to 24" in every configuration known to man.

You can make it look cool, or you can make it look like you are a total gadget geek and hang 50 pounds of accessorys off of it.

You can get it in a dozen different calibers and still have basically the same platform.

Break something ? Take it out and replace the part. Can be done in a few minutes. Shot out barrel ? Take it off, throw it in the lake and put a new one on it. With the right tools it wont take over 30 minutes even for the mechanically challenged.

Spectacular kills on armadillos that are suitable for digital cameras with video that jsut be to be distributed on the internet...


Cons...

pipsqueak varmint round.
Not good for deer.
Can be persnickety about ammo.
Requires maintenance to remain reliable.
Looks kind of ugly.
Magazines are easily rendered useless.
Feared by liberal politicians and other with an antigun phobia.
tiny little round .22 bullet
hard to see holes in target at more than 25 yards.
addictive,causing one to spend way too much on ammo
itty bitty caliber :AR15firin
 

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OOOOOooooh HotGuns: What are the pros and cons of the AR15 in .300 Whisper and who makes that one? Any idea of the $$$?
 

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Yep.

Model One Sales.

Cost me 335 for a 16 inch top half.

They call it the ."300 Fireball " because JDJones devoloped it and has the patent on the .300 "Whisper" name.

Pros..

30 caliber
can shoot from 110 to 220 grainer
good for deer
can be loaded to subsonic for suppressors or supersonic for hard hitting
uses existing AR mags and bolt
easy to swap out upper halves
easy to reload

Cons..
Ammo is hard to get
ammo is expensive

You can get in any configuration you want...
heres a link..Model 1 Sales
 
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