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Thread: ARs! Good grief…

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    Default ARs! Good grief…

    I have wanted to buy an AR15 type rifle/carbine for some time and I keep telling myself “stop the research and just go buy one” but the more I read to more confused I become. There are more AR clones than there are Submariner clones and just like Sub clones there are quality ARs and junk ARs. Our leader Bob has, in the past, recommended the Colt M4 Carbine (civilian version) and other guys whose opinions I respect have recommended the Springfield Saint, both of which are in the same general price range. Then there is shopping for the lowest price. The dealers in my area all have their prices inflated. All I’m looking for is a fun shooter to take to the range every few weeks and punch some holes in paper at various distances. Then there are the optics and other accessories, I even read somewhere that there is a .22LR conversion kit. It’s never ending and easy to see why I can’t make a decision. Any words of wisdom you guys would like to share will be greatly appreciated.

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    Hi Patrick;
    I probably weighed in on your other posts, but I'll offer up my 2 cents worth here. I would make my first AR a Colt A4 and here is why. First, it is the modern iteration of the original AR with a solid stock and removable carry handle. I like it because it is a full sized rifle with a 20" barrel and just "feels right" to me. I think it is a great platform for learning to be knowledgeable about, and proficient with the AR. I also like it because it is iconic, sort of like shooting a 1911, wearing a Submariner, carrying a Randall knife, riding a Harley, whatever. Second, Colt builds a good, solid, quality rifle. You can pay a lot more for a "boutique" brand, or somewhat less for a bargain basement one, but I think Colt represents a good middle of the road. I would ignore the guys who say to build your own. If it ever needs work (in or out of warranty) who are you going to send it to? And, if you ever decide to sell it, a "put together" is just a bunch of parts. Everyone recognizes the value of a Colt. I also like the idea of starting out with a basic version and shooting it enough to learn what you like, and don't like, before adding a lot of bells and whistles. I've been down this road with 1911's and have ended up gravitating back to the basic GI configuration (except with better sights). If you can, try shooting a few different flavors of AR's to see what you like best. I you prefer carbines, the Colt LE6920 is a great rifle, although I have a Ruger that I honestly can't say anything bad about. I can say that if i had to pare down my little collection of AR's, my A4 would be the last to go. Another honorable mention is this category is a company called Windham Weaponry. My understanding is that it is the old "Bushmaster" group. They make one in the same full sized configuration, and the ones that I have seen are nicely done. Just my personal observations here. If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me a PM.
    Tom

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Great advice from Tom. My son recently bought a bullet button Colt just before Calif. outlawed buying them. It has a Colt marked flat top upper and is Melonite treated in barrel and chamber. I've heard that these Colts are now assembled by a company called Anderson. What to buy? I have been messing around with ARs since the 80s. They are quite literally the easiest rifles to work on and assemble of any made. Most of the components are made by probably less than a half dozen companies. There are hundreds of race parts that are supposed to be vast improvements over standard parts, things like chrome plated bolt carriers and parts made of sophisticated metals. Do they make a difference in anything but the price? Maybe. An expensive AR like a Daniel Defense or White Oak is better because it uses the best of these parts and is carefully assembled, it also costs 2-3 times as much as a regular AR. In my opinion the choice would be gas or piston, one does not dump hot gasses directly into the chamber area and uses a piston like an AK. It will be more reliable and cost double what a standard gas impinged AR costs. The salient point is that the old AR15 A2 was developed and lubricated with sophisticated oils to the point that it could shoot 4-500 rds without a hiccup if you could still hold it after that much heat. Probably more than that. The A4 carbine is handy and easy to handle, put an Aimpoint on it and you are kitted up like a 11B today. It gives up some velocity and accuracy, but not much. The AR is an inherently accurate rifle in any configuration, I mean much more accurate than the AK. I have an old billet lower, and A2 upper and a Vietnam era 1/12" chrome lined Colt barrel. It will shoot groups around 2" at 100 yards with the standard Army sights. It never jams with factory ammo and rarely with my reloads. If a pending gunfight is in the works, I'd probably grab the AR instead of the Garand simply because I know how to shoot it better. A bandoleer of 20s and I'm good to go. I also have a 1/9" heavy barrel that I can change in about 1/2 hour if I want to do some serious target shooting. Bottom line, buy the best you can afford but don't be afraid to go cheap because they will shoot just as well.
    D

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    Hi Patrick;
    Have you made a decision on an AR yet? If so, what did you end up with and how do you like it?
    Tom

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    I do believe I have located the item I want but cannot pick it up until the first week in November. I'll report bak when it is in hand. Thanks

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    I finally acquired an AR. It is a previously owned but well maintained Smith & Wesson M&P 15 from 2007. The original S&W stock, hand guard and pistol grip were replaced with Colt M4 carbine components, as well as Colt back-up iron sights and a Colt side sling adapter. It also has an Aimpoint M4 Red Dot optic. It came with seven MagPul P mags with looped baseplates and the all the original S&W components and hard-shell case. I am very pleased with the entire set-up. I was able to complete a FTF transaction with the original owner which saved to cost, not to mention the risk, of shipping. I had originally been shopping for an “old school” Colt AR15A2HB but our leader Bob, through his posts on the Ninja Mall, convinced me that the carbine was the way to go. My first accessory purchase will be a tactical sling which is one of Bob’s priority recommendations. Since this will be my first experience with a red dot optic I do plan to avail myself of the services of a qualified instructor to learn about this device. I also plan to pay for a female instructor to train my wife in the fundamentals of the AR. I believe this will be money well spent. I’m waiting on a break in the weather to get to the range to punch a few holes in paper. I’ll keep you guys posted.
    (Gee, I wish Billy and Cheshire were still here)

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Sounds like you done good. The beauty of the AR platform is that you can change the barrel to something else in a half hour with hand tools. In fact everything can be changed in minutes. Good timing as well as Commissar Fienstein has introduced another AR ban after these recent shootings in Texas and Calif. Since most millennials now prefer a socialist/communist society, we may not have a chance for long. I'd suggest buying a dozen or so batteries for the Aimpoint and a quick 1K federal .223 while that can still be done. Are you fixed for magazines?

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    Congratulations Patrick! Please do let us know what you think of the AR platform after you have had a chance to spend some time with it. I am hoping to get to the range with mine sometime soon. Work and family have been keeping me too busy for hobbies lately. I have been thinking about adding a Colt A1 stock and carry handle to a LE6920 to make a sort of M4 carbine wannabee. I also recently traded into an old Colt SP1 from the early 70's that a watch collector buddy of mine bought when he got out of the service. He put about two dozen rounds through it when he got it and it hadn't been shot since. It is a real time capsule, with the original box, paperwork, even the long "pipe cleaner" thing that was in the barrel from the factory to absorb moisture. I can't decide if it should be a shooter or a collectible.
    Tom

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    What terrific acquisition. When I finally made up my mind to go ahead and buy an AR I had initially planned to go old school but I never could find one. The closet I came was a like new AR-15A2HB from an estate. The dealer who had the consignment priced it at $1495 which was more than I wanted to invest in just the rifle. If I had bought the HB I would be in the same quandary as you; do I keep it in mint condition and maintain the collector value or do I shoot it as much as I want? The AR I recently bought was used and I’m very happy with it because I don’t have to worry about the collector value. Besides I believe in the coming years a well maintained AR is going to retain its value, money in the bank so to speak. Having said all that, I still want an old school, no dust cover, no forward assist, tapered fore end rifle. Let us know if yours remains a collectable or a shooter.

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Pat: A mint condition Colt HBar is probably worth that asking price. They were around $1200 25 years ago. The SP-1 are very valuable and rare. Not much interest a few years back because they were a spitting image of what the US had in VN with no forward assist. Now they are just cool for that exact same reason. There is a lot of conjecture about forward assists and how they were not used early in the war. That is bogus, I never saw an M16 without forward assist. The AF guys had no FA but Army, even very early infantry (11/65) had FA.


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    That's a great looking rifle Dave, classic and clean.

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Thanks. This is about 38 years old. The lower is a machined billet aluminum item. Barrel is a chrome lined 1/12" Colt Army as are the handguards. I used to have a 1/9" Olympic heavy barrel but when my eyes lost their sharpness, I went back to the Army barrel as it digests anything put in it. It prefers 55 gr and I have a lot of them.

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    I understand the "eyes losing their sharpness" thing. If mine get any worse I'm going to have to start scoping my rifles..lol. Ah, the joys of getting older.

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    Here’s my Colt Sporter H-Bar with an original Colt 4 power scope. Quite accurate to at least 500 yards.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by boB; 01-15-2018 at 13:13.
    the Order of the Escopeta Recortada with Crossed Grappling Hooks

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    Bummer, don't have permission to access the image.

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    MWR Curmudgeon boB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    Bummer, don't have permission to access the image.

    See if this works
    the Order of the Escopeta Recortada with Crossed Grappling Hooks

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    Oh yea...great image. Love the Sporter and that old Colt scope. How is the optical quality compared with modern optics?

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