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Thread: Is it time to buy…

  1. #1
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    Default Is it time to buy…

    a black rifle? I have been waffling on this issue for a few years and have always talked myself out of it but given the current socio-political climate I’m thinking now might be the time to do it but I don’t want to get caught up in a buying frenzy and pay an inflated price. I have no real need for one and I might get to the outdoor range once a month (in nice weather) to take on a few 200 yard paper targets. My problem is that I have not kept up with the current trends and brands of ARs. I see variants that are $550 BNIB and I see others that are $1500 BNIB and 20 feet away you can’t tell one from the other. My first experience with an AR was in the mid-1960s with a civilian Colt AR-15 which I liked then and still admire today but I’m not interested buying a museum piece. My second experience with an AR was a .223 Valmet in the early 70s. So given all the AR-15 clones today what is the Ninja Mall’s collective recommendation for an over the counter semiauto make, model and price point? I am also interested to know your recommendation for accessories such as an optical red-dot sight, etc. the brand of quality magazines and a list of spare parts to keep on hand. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    They are readily available and at pretty competitive prices, although I'm betting there has been a surge in sales and maybe an increase in prices due to very recent and tragic events.

    The 2.23 vs 5.56 thread below contains some information to start with. The difference in price should largely come down to such factors as quality of materials, configuration, tolerances, etc. Some of these are not going to be readily seen externally (e.g. chrome lined barrel) so be sure to do some research on the specifications. If your only use case is for punching holes in paper targets at 200 yards then I wouldn't get too deep into barrel twist, barrel length, etc. If you think you have other use cases or want to futureproof in the this regard probably best to spend a little time on that.

    For an off the shelf purchase I'd decide what calibre (5.56 gets my vote) and what look you want (anything from simple retro M16 look to heavily accessorised tacticool) and then see what what is available in your price range. I'm guessing by your comments on museum pieces and optical sight that you are more towards the space age than the retro, so with that in mind ...

    Manufacturer. Colt, Bushmaster, DPMS, BCM are all good in my experience. It has been said that DPMS are the Ford of the AR world and is as good a place to start as any.

    The only spares you probably should keep to hand is a lower parts kits (LPK) which contains everything that you need to build up a stripped lower into an operational lower. Strictly speaking all you need are the springs, detents and the like but it doesn't harm to have a full LPK or two just in case and they are reasonably cheap.

    IMHO magazines are much of a muchness - USGI aluminium magazines can still be had (in those states that allow more than 10 rounds) and there are companies such as Magpul that so some nice magazines. Buy a well known brand and you should be OK.

    Your choice of optics/sights may be influenced by your choice of configuration. A carry handle will have an iron sight built in and you will have to mount an optic on top of that. If you don't have a carry handle or remove it then you can mount optics onto the rail which will provide a lower profile. If you mount optics then consider either also mount back up iron sights (BUIS) or having spares for the optics (batteries, etc) and/or the carry handle sights in your range bag.

    IAP
    Last edited by ianp; 06-16-2016 at 14:28.
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  3. #3

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    Patrick;
    I was in the same boat for years - sort of wanted an AR but was in no big rush to acquire one. Last Summer, I ended up purchasing 3 over the span of a few weeks. After a lot of research I ended up getting the basic Colt 6920, then an HBAR, and finally the retro, M16 looking model. The general opinion seems to be that Colt is a good quality weapon for the money. If you get a 5.56 you can shoot either caliber. As for the best time to buy, this may be it. A local gun shop owner told me that this is a really slow time of year for him - tax refunds have been spent, vacation season takes money away from gun sales and there is a glut of AR's on the market right now. I'm afraid that the panic buying may start, depending on the polls, as we go into Fall. I've been trying to decide if there are any "must have" guns that I need to be looking for. I'm thinking maybe one more 1911 and possibly an AR in 7.62.
    Tom

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    ARs are as generic as anything ever made. One wrench and a set of punches and an inch pounds torque wrench and you can take them completely down and modify them as you see fit. The design of barrel extension and multi lug bolt makes headspace a non issue, so you can change barrels in a few minutes. There are only a few manufacturers of the components so there is none that are any better than another. You need to make a few decisions: Do you want a target floating handguard or a military style? Barrel and twist rate? buffers and spring to match barrel. Trigger. You can use a standard trigger or spend $500 on a Jewel, your choice.

    From a political standpoint, they are definitely going to try and take them away. It is essential if they want a dictatorship and believe me they want us to be a nice controllable group of mega cities. I bought one in about 1980 and they were trying to outlaw them then. I had to register mine as an assault rifle with the DOJ and all of the magazines I have are about to be confiscated by the politburo here in Calif. The only reason that these are still around is that there are about a million being used for target shooting. I bought one because I wanted something that used the same round as the military as I figured that if the shit hit the fan and anarchy erupted I could always get some ammo from the army guys. That is now a joke because they've fully trained the army to control and round up people with guns, and they will create another false flag operation to make it happen.
    I would recommend a chrome lined chamber and barrel simply because that was what was necessary to keep them running in Vietnam. I would also recommend handloading and purchasing a quantity of brass, bullets powder and primers before they make that hard to get. They will eventually control guns by controlling ammunition. We just got a 3 year trial run and it worked perfectly. That will be the next step as they are already trying to make us have a background check and permit to buy ammunition here in Kalif. If it works here everyone will eventually get it. IF you think I am being overly pessimistic, think again, it is coming like a freight train.

  5. #5

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    Totally agree Dave. The media (i.e. Politik Bureau) is slowly softening up the masses for this. The evening news here consists of one shooting related story after another. Typically with a microphone stuck in some clueless millennial's face for a few tears and quick sound bite on how something just has to be done about "guns" killing people. These stories will occasionally be interspersed with a few that vilify gun owners as hate mongering red necks. I've seen so much of this crap that I could almost start to believe it myself, if I weren't a grumpy old man with some knowledge of history. We are engaged in a war that our government refuses to acknowledge and yet that same government is doing it's damnedest to disarm its law abiding citizens at the same time that it sells arms into the Middle East where they end up in the hands of people that want to kill us. They'll start by banning sales to anyone on a no-fly list and end up banning sales to white, Christian males.
    Tom

  6. #6
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Spend a few hours researching all of the various terrorist incidents. They all stink like dead fish. I started to be skeptical when 911 happened. Listening to a live broadcast, some citizen called in and said "I was stuck in traffic when the pentagon was hit. It flew right over the top of the car, it wasn't an airliner, it was a little thing" . Which explains how a 100' wide airliner could fit through a 20' hole and leave no debris, engines seats dead people, nothing. The same radio show I was listening to, interviewed a reporter on the scene. He described the inside: no wreckage, no luggage, no seats, no bodies, no engines. A few weeks later the same reporter was whistling a different tune.
    Most of the shootings involved a training exercise in progress at the same time with crisis actors involved. Even the London Bus bombing had a parallel training exercise. Why would suicide bombers buy a round trip train ticket??

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    There are a lot of people who see life as a long corridor with lots of side doors. They go through life walking straight down the hall, never looking in any of the side doors because they might have something unpleasant or different behind them. They do as they are told striding confidently down the hall, absolutely sure that they are the smartest person in the room.

    I've spent 60 years of my 71 reading history. A lot of things have happened in the last 60 years. A group of people blew the president's brains out in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people and got away with it. The gulf of Tonkin, which got 53K killed, The invasion of Iraq which got maybe another 10K killed. Both complete fabrications. It is safe to assume that there were a lot more that we will never know about. Enjoy your walk down the hall Joe, keep your earplugs in and your blinders on.

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    Well hell! So much for my post about acquiring an AR-15A2 HB. Another thread down the tube. I had planned to share my progress toward making a decision.

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Patrick, this was my fault. Out here on the left coast the politics of guns is just a mess. When you do buy an AR, and the AR15A2 is a very wise choice, I will send you some GI 30 round magazines as there is a good chance that the State will be confiscating them after this legislative cycle. Again, sorry for my rant.
    For spare parts, I'd make sure to have a few extra gas rings for the bolt as these are wear items. A spare extractor w/plunger and spring. A word of caution on these small spares: since the rifle is made world wide, there are a lot of foreign made injected molding parts out there, some fit, some don't. If you buy a major brand say Colt, or any of the better known brands, you will get parts that fit. The best uppers are made by White Oak but may have a long wait to get them.

  10. #10

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    My 2 Cents........
    Colt is what I use. (21 year army retired airborne ranger) As far as barrel twist, well a 1/7 is what the military uses, the reason is essentially the same as the chrome barrel lining, they are both for shooting tracers. Military tracers start igniting around half way down the barrel. The tracer is a heavier round but because it is burning up as it flies, highly unstable, hence the faster twist rate of 1/7.
    A real issue is the barrel length. Carbine lenths place the gas impingement port very close to the chamber, in effect, there is a lot of still unburned gas as it passes this port. That is what carbines have cycling troubles, excess unburned residue entering the bolt recess within the bolt carrier. A possible answer is keep it clean and well oiled, or......go to a mid length gas port, or a rifle length barrel (20 inch). As others have mentioned, there are many makers, but know this, differences occure from the assembled parts, almost all the upper and lower forgings are done at the same forges, like Alcoa forge etc. By the way, there are also CNC billet receivers, very nice, but the AR is designed to be somewhat loose to be able to exchange parts etc. Billet is stronger.... Gas piston systems are worse the shorter the barrel. My two cents, SKS...........they are bad ass, especially a Russian version, most of them carry a factory refurbish stamp on receiver........Cost for an SKS.....maybe $600-$700 range for a Russian version. Best of all, ammo is everywhere, you can fire cheap steel cased ammo as well, which you can not......and should not ever do in an AR....especially a carbine length. Get what you want, can afford, and you will be able to change it up anyway you want it down the line.
    Just sayin.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Colt offers a low end rifle which is missing nothing that I can see, it is an M4 clone and comes in under $800. My son just bought one before the new year.
    D

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