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#1 8uck5nort

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:57 AM

I have been seduced by the dark side and now am thinking of selling off some of my rifles to save towards getting an AR. Any ideas on which manufacturer, pros and cons. I know nothing about them other than .223 and .308 seems to be the most readily available calibers. I would like a bull barrel version for varmint hunting, but I don't really know what is the most versitile configuration. You guys will probably have alot more knowledge and experience. I see alot of "brand names" out there as well.

Thanks for the input,

Darin

#2 FALPhil

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:36 AM

Darin, I have several ARs, all of which I have assembled with parts from different vendors. If you go with a mainline vendor for a complete rifle, it is hard to go wrong. Remington/Bushmaster, Rock River, DPMS, Colt, Armalite, CMMG in no particular order will all serve you well. Then you have the boutique vendors like Noveske, LWRC, C3 Defense, Spikes Tactical, and a myriad of others, whose fit and finish are fantastic, and they add bells and whistles which drives up the price, but they don't shoot any better.

I get varmint accuracy out of most of my ARs without the bull barrel. In fact, I have a "varmint" upper with a really heavy barrel, and it is not as accurate as one of my 16 inch carbine uppers. Others have had the same experience. A friend of mine has a Rock River in the Highpower Match configuration that will put 20 rounds into 0.8 inches at 100 meters and he bought it mail order.

Unfortunately, on a lot of AR internet boards, there is a high degree of unwarranted brand snobbery. On the two largest boards, the discussions about which vendor has the "best" is like watching a bunch high school girls all suffering from PMS on the same day. Reason goes out the window and the catfights are brutal. Even the moderators get involved and take sides.

To get the most for your money, the rule of thumb is go with a vendor with a known reputation for putting together a good rifle. There are a bunch of them in the AR space. If you want accuracy, stay away from chrome lined barrels unless you are willing to pay top dollar. Only a couple of barrel makers have figured out how to apply chrome lining in a manner that does not adversely affect accuracy. If you plan to shoot a thousand rounds a month, go with the chrome lining.

ARs of the 22 centerfire variety can generally be found in two chamberings: 5.56 NATO and 223 Remington. You can shoot 223 in a 5.56 chamber but you should not shoot 5.56 in a 223 chamber due to potential pressure spikes. OTOH, 223 in a 5.56 does not give the best accuracy. A compromise is something called a 223 Wylde chamber, which is a compromise allowing both cartridges to be used with good accuracy.

You will find barrel twists ranging from 1:12 to 1:7 in the 22 centerfire chamberings. I tend to shoot heavier bullets, so my preference is a 1:8 twist. However, my accurate carbine is 1:9 and does best with 55 grain projectiles. I have found that I have to shoot really heavy bullets to get the best accuracy from a 1:7.

When it comes to customizing and accessories, the AR has become the 1911A1 of the rifle world. It can be overwhelming. My advice is to find a good shooting, solid platform and shoot it for a year before attempting to trick it out. That way, you will know the idiosyncrasies of your particular rifle and what options would offer the best return on investment.

Good luck and keep us posted!

#3 ken98k

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:25 AM

Very well said. Welcome aboard Phil.

#4 Dr.Hess

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:07 AM

Yeah, Phil, good post and welcome to the board.

As for the AR, from what I've read, a free floated barrel is real important for the accuracy, so if you're going for a varmint shooter, you would want that. I think almost all are these days, at least those marketed as "varmint." SGN had an article not too long ago on building your own, and I'm sure there are plenty of other mags with good info in them. Personally, my Colt SP1 is not a tack driver, but then it was not designed to be and the AR world evolved quite a bit since I bought it almost 30 years ago. If money is not much of an object, then a custom rifle from one of the big name guys would be the easy way to go. Les Baer sells one that comes with the test target and a guarantee of 1/2 moa. http://www.lesbaer.com/223varmint.html . If I had the money and wanted a varmint rifle, I'd go that route. If I didn't have the money, I'd go the "buy a complete varmint upper" out of SGN route with a good lower and a drop in target trigger.

#5 Ron

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:21 PM

I was bit by the AR bug about a year ago after talking to Rod (tanglewood16137) about an AR build he was working on. I built 2 AR's by assembling parts purchased on the internet; one, a 223 Wilde chambered rifle and the other, a 6.8 SPC II chambered rifle. There are many of good AR building sites online with detailed instructions on how to build an AR from parts. I can attest to the fact that it's not hard to do. From other postings you've made on this site, I am of the opinion that you already have all the skills you need to put an AR together from parts.

I don't think you save money by building an AR from parts yourself as you tend to buy better parts and the shipping on the multiple orders adds up. But you will end up with a rifle built to your own specs, a rifle that you'll understand the workings of intimately, and a rifle that you'll show with pride and have a lot of fun building.

Ron

#6 ken98k

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:46 PM

I don't think you save money by building an AR from parts yourself as you tend to buy better parts and the shipping on the multiple orders adds up. But you will end up with a rifle built to your own specs, a rifle that you'll understand the workings of intimately, and a rifle that you'll show with pride and have a lot of fun building.
Ron


I agree 100% with Rons statement. However, I would lean towards FALPhil's advice
"My advice is to find a good shooting, solid platform and shoot it for a year before attempting to trick it out. That way, you will know the idiosyncrasies of your particular rifle and what options would offer the best return on investment."

#7 tanglewood16137

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:52 PM

right now i can build a a3 flat top with anylength bbl. from 16 up to 20 for no more than 500 bucksif you know where to get the right kit and lower.

Rod

#8 ken98k

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:47 PM

right now i can build a a3 flat top with anylength bbl. from 16 up to 20 for no more than 500 bucksif you know where to get the right kit and lower.

Rod


So are you gonna let us in on your secret source, or are you cornering the market on homebuilt AR's?

#9 dirtyjim

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 03:30 PM

mine is a put together gun from the pawnshop but its very close to what i would have built if i had done it myself.
armalite eagle lower, dmps low-pro upper, les bear nm bolt & carrier, 18" heavy barrel.
eventually i'll swap out the free float tube with something a little nicer & swap out the brake for a vortex flash hider.
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#10 Ron

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 05:30 PM

mine is a put together gun from the pawnshop but its very close to what i would have built if i had done it myself.
armalite eagle lower, dmps low-pro upper, les bear nm bolt & carrier, 18" heavy barrel.
eventually i'll swap out the free float tube with something a little nicer & swap out the brake for a vortex flash hider.
Posted Image


That's a nice looking rifle, Jim. Is that a Burris scope you have mounted on it?

#11 Brenden

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

I have been seduced by the dark side and now am thinking of selling off some of my rifles to save towards getting an AR. Any ideas on which manufacturer, pros and cons. I know nothing about them other than .223 and .308 seems to be the most readily available calibers. I would like a bull barrel version for varmint hunting, but I don't really know what is the most versitile configuration. You guys will probably have alot more knowledge and experience. I see alot of "brand names" out there as well.

Thanks for the input,

Darin



Darin,

I cannot believe a man would say such a thing!? I may be the odd ball and yes AR's do go bang and are fun to shoot; but in the end you just have another "black gun". The plus side is they are cheap to shoot, and high capacity mags are pretty cool. I just can't bring myself to do it; I'd rather have a mauser. I've been to a few gun shows where Bushmaster's go from 4-600 and Olympic Arms are about the same. I don't really follow the price of these weapons much. The black gun craze has happened and is over in this area for now. If it is what you like, treat it like a mauser and piece it together. We can buy bolt guns a lot of times in the caliber we want cheaper than what we build it for but where is the fun in that?

Brenden

#12 Ron

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:16 PM

Darin,

I cannot believe a man would say such a thing!? I may be the odd ball and yes AR's do go bang and are fun to shoot; but in the end you just have another "black gun". The plus side is they are cheap to shoot, and high capacity mags are pretty cool. I just can't bring myself to do it; I'd rather have a mauser. I've been to a few gun shows where Bushmaster's go from 4-600 and Olympic Arms are about the same. I don't really follow the price of these weapons much. The black gun craze has happened and is over in this area for now. If it is what you like, treat it like a mauser and piece it together. We can buy bolt guns a lot of times in the caliber we want cheaper than what we build it for but where is the fun in that?

Brenden


Brenden,

Your statement about AR would have reflected my own views a few years ago. However, I read an article in the American Rifleman magazine some time back that talked about how Mauser bolt action rifles were initially recieved around the turn of the century. At that time, the Mauser action was considered to be a military action. A conservative hunter used his muzzle loader for fare chase. It wasn't until soldiers trained in the use of the bolt action returned home after WW1 and popularized the bolt action for hunting in the US.

We seem to be going through a similar adoption period now. While I still much prefer the looks and operation of a custom bolt action rifle, I must admit that the AR platform is inherently accurate, light weight, and easily assembled or customized. As a hunter, being able to accurately place a bullet in the right place to quickly dispatch game is the bottom line. If an AR platformed rifle can do that well and give me the ability to make up for an error in range estimation with a quick follow up shot, then that is the platform that I should be using.

Now that being said, will I use an AR for hunting? Probably not. I'm old fashion and still prefer the Mauser action. But, I will no longer look down my nose at anyone I see in the field with an AR; provided, of course, that he doesn't have a 30 round magazine installed. I guess that I'm still a little prejudice.

Ron

#13 8uck5nort

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:27 AM

To All,

I appreciate all your feedback.

Brenden,

Fear not, I have not given up on doing mausers, enfields, carcanos, and mosins. However, I do have to pair down my collection for space and I am pulling the ones I know I will not use very often, if at all. Besides you said it yourself, AR's do go bang and that is enough for me.

I have had my bias removed after getting to shoot a target rifle in .308. It was a nice one and it made shooting easier. It didn't make me a better shooter, but that ability to rapidly get on target with minimal movement was attractive. The more I am finding out about them the more I would like one to play with, modify/build, and yes, just like all the rest of my rifles, go and bloody it. All of them have to be used for me to want to keep them.

I am still looking and gathering information. I sold off my SKS and one of my Ruger 77/44 bolt actions. (I had two through winning one more auction than I intended). So I have enough to get an entry level AR. I am looking to sell off one or two more rifles to have have enough to finish up my remaining projects. Possibly my 8mm german mauser or one of my project rifles that is partially completed. Need a a scope. Just not decided yet which ones will go.

I have found a new DPMS Oracle for 673.00 from the local gunshop, but not sure if that is a good deal. Looks like I can shave off about 60.00 bucks if I bid at GB and have it shipped in. I also have not decided on going with a .223 or the .308 version. Still many questions like which one has more upper options? Can you go with a .308 and just get an adpter for the mag and .223 upper if you want the best of both?

Thank you all and keep the comments coming.

Darin

#14 8uck5nort

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:33 AM

Well I took the plunge. I ended up purchasing a DPMS Panther Oracle. I mounted a Simmons 4x32 scope with medium rings last night just cause I had it lying around. I am itching to get out and shoot it. I will not get to until this weekend sometime. Need to do some more bow hunting though. Dohhhh! So little time for all the fun things. Posted Image

Oh! I almost forgot. Speaking of bow hunting I already found my first upper: the PSE TAC15 crossbow for an AR15!!!!! How cool is that!

#15 dirtyjim

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 11:29 AM

the scope in the picture is a cheap centerpoint 4x16 from wally world. its been replaced with a leupold 3.3x10 mk4 clone in a burris pepr mount.

#16 Quick Karl

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

This is my black baby...

Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

An AR-15 can get the job done!

The barrel has since been duracoated!




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