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Discussion Starter #1
I have been interested in them but know nothing about them except what I read, and some of that is not very informative for the average shooter. Most of my varmint hunting is walking field edges looking for targets, how heavy is the average AR? For a new AR shooter, about how much does a basic set up (used gun?) cost? I will be scoping the rifle, is it better to remove the carry handle or use it as a flat top? I know there are lots of aftermarket parts out there but my budget would be slim to none, what are the must have accessories to make it more user friendly, reliable, and lightweight?
 

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my experience...

Gary,
Here's my thoguhts:AR's are heavy and not really balanced very well--most of the weight is forward of the trigger.A 24" bull barreled AR will weigh 12 pounds or more and be decidedly muzzle heavy.A flattop is the way to go for scope use--I never could get used to a scope on top of a carry handle...it's just WAY too high.Used gun prices will vary widely depending on specific parts/options/configuration with a top-of-the-line AR selling for nearly as much as a competitive bench gun..About the only really necesary option (presuming the gun functions as it should) is a good trigger...that can cost from $85 to $185..or MORE..... AR's can be every bit as accurate as most bolt guns and there are TONS of aftermarket parts availabale.They are just plain FUN to shoot !! Hope this is of some help.........
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yep, knowing that the trigger is the first upgrade is a help. Now that my research has started I am sure that I will start to absorb much more info about ARs. I am expecting to visit this part of GGVG more to pick more minds on this.
 

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Gary,

I have two AR's I hunt with, one is a 16" carbine and the other is a 20" National Match. Both have the A3 flat top with removable carry handle. That is the way to go for ease of mounting a scope. The NM is super accurate but tips the scales at 9 lbs w/o scope, and can be hand full to tote all day. Check out a standard 20" with flat top and a two stage trigger. I have a Rock River two stage in my NM and it is sweet, very much the same as a well tuned Remington. Del-Ton.com has very good service and you can put an AR together for about the best price you can find anywere. Thier parts are all good quality, both of mine came from Del-ton.
Pat
 

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My AR thoughts

You can have an AR to fit your every varminting needs. In my opinion most ARs are well balanced, except for the heavy barreled rifles.
Depending on what you are planning on doing with the rifle depends greatly on which style you should buy.
One nice thing about the AR, once you have a lower, you can buy uppers in differing styles and calibers to fit your changing needs.
GOOD LUCK
 

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Ar 15

AR's seem to be breeding in the gun room. I have 6 now and got the hots for more. My "Space Gun" weights 13 lbs and is used for long range varmits ( .204, Digital scope 24" Pac-Nor BBL ect ) At the other end is a Carbon 15 that weights 4.5 lbs and has a Red Dot sight. All will shoot 1MOA or better. I assembled all of the guns except for the Carbon 15, that is the fun of the AR line. build exactly what you want and they will probably out shoot most people. Be aware of the addiction factor though!! Used guns can start at $500.00 and go out of sight.Start with a flat top with a 16" barrel and work up from there. The lower can host several uppers to give infinite possibilitys. Happy shooting, building, collecting, hunting and Christmas O C
 

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Our ARs

We have 2 ARs both set up as prairie doggers. One is a RRA lower, the other is a DPMS. They both have the NM trigger and a 24" varmint barrel. One is a
.223, the other is .204 Ruger. They are not carry guns! I orginally intended Julie's to be a carry gun. It started life with a 16" HBAR and a 5-15 scope. Couple of negatives for that set up. Put a 20-30 rd magazine in it and it's still pretty hefty. The muzzle flash from that short barrel completely obscures the target in less than bright sunlight. The NM triggers are OK for a carry gun but not all that great compared to our bolt guns which are all "bench guns". They are both quite accurate, especially the .204.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Now, there are lots of mentions about barrels. I have heard of chromed lined barrels, is their cost worth the benifits to the average shooter?

I am planning on having one in .223. I know there are different chambers, some that work well with military surplus and some don't. What chambers work well with what? Right now I shoot an Encore rifle in .223 and shoot bulk civilian ammo and have shot some military stuff with no problems, how do the two types of ammo work, don't work in ARs?
 

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Hey Gary..

.. I've been tooling around with an AR for a little while now and I have to say that I really like the format.. For an eternally flaky kindof guy it's the cat's ass to be able to switch parts w/o a whole lot of hassle and wait.. Ya still get to spend the cash, tho'.. :D

.. My little 16" RRA that I've been toting for a coupla years now may be on the block soon.. My toys have changed and now I need way more rail estate.. I've traded for a custom job that meets my requirements better as it sets w/o any further mods..

The RRA has been a .625ish rifle from the first load.. I was somewhat apprehensive about getting a chrome lined mil-spec chamber but my fears were quickly lost after one range trip..

.. I haven't noticed any issues with muzzle flash even when using NV gear.. The 16's are a bit "boomier" but that's about it.. It's my favorite configuration for calling and general goofing around the woods.. The crow, groundhog, coyote and fox hate it.. The key to carrying it IMO is to get it in a comfortable position with a good strap.. I have mine rigged to be carried under my right arm and in an "upright" position..

.. The collapsible stock is the ticket for truck work and bulky clothing.. A good quality aftermarket just makes it that much better..

.. Good luck with whatever ya end up doing.!! d:^) Jake
 

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Gary, here is what I would recommend

Some of the feedback you have received here has been good, but I have to disagree with some of the things Dana told you about AR-15's being too heavy and poorly balanced.

While that does apply to AR's with heavy 24 inch bull barrels, that is certainly not the case across the board. Even his comment about an AR with 24 inch bull barrel weighing 12 lbs is way off in my experience. I own Colt's Accuraized Rifle Model 6724, and it weighs just under 10 lbs, and that is with scope included. And it has a stainless 24 inch bull barrel.

And here is a photo of it at the range. This is a great gun if you want something for the fields infested with ground squirrels or prairie dogs. But too heavy for carry rifle varminter.



Now Jake's advice to you is very sound. I strongly agree with his recommendation of Rock River Arms. They make a real quality product at a competitive price. I just bought one of their 16 inch carbines with a mid-length forend stock ( much more handy that the short CAR type forend ) for my son. And boy, is that gun a handy shooter. The base rifle, without scope or mag, is only 7.1 lbs, so it is by no means real heavy. And it handles just great, and certainly is not muzzle heavy.

And Rock River actually GUARANTEES 1 MOA accuracy, even from their guns with standard weight barrels. Jake's accuracy report is actually quite typical of these guns. You can expect to get 2/3 MOA accuracy.

Here is a photo of my son's Rock River Arms rifle:



Note the nice plastic case they come with.

The other great feature the Rock River guns have is their National Match 2 stage trigger, which comes standard. It is heads and shoulders above the standard triggers on AR-15's from other vendors like DPMS or Bushmaster. Dana's comment about needing to put in a new trigger would be appropriate for most brands. But the factory Rock River trigger is quite good.

Here is a link to the Rock River website with info on my son's rifle:

http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR1294X&storeid=1&image=06mida24.gif&CFID=28366451&CFTOKEN=56536580

The extras we ordered were the CAR collapsible stock, the chrome lined barrel, and Hogue handgrip: all well worth the extra money.

So for what you are saying your are looking for, I also recommend getting a Rock River Arms AR-15 You will be very pleased, believe me!

Lance in Orygun
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lance, thanks for the excellent post. I will follow the link tonight when time is more abundant.
 

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ARs

Another AR neophyte here... In spite of having one for several years now, I've done nothing to it except send it back to Bushmaster to replace a defective barrel (fast service, no charge).

I bought the Bushmaster Varmiter, a 24" fluted barrel past the gas port, but a full 1" from the barrel nut to the gas block (I'm told). It ain't light, but balance wise, it isn't all that bad. In fact, I rather think it is balanced quite well and the 24" bbl keeps muzzle flash and recoil down so I can see hits and conduct followup shots (handy when day PDs are charging my position!). I have NO complaints about balance, and never really thought of it's weight as being "too much". (Here a PD is about to take a 50 gn V-Max moly from me and my Bushmaster Varminter...)


I'm just now getting the urge to tinker with it (see post requesting info). From what I see, the AR is like a custom Harley: YOu can decide how you want to modify it and there are gobs of options so you can almost "roll you own"!!

Mine is a sub MOA shooter out of the box - averaging around 3/4 MOA - not bad as a varminter, but not that great as a comp gun. So, I'll be interested in procedures needed to get groups to "suck up" a bit more.

I took mine to the PD patch for the first time last spring. It was able to hold its own with the other .223 bolt rifles in hit %, and in a few cases I was able to cap several PDs before they could take cover; something I would not have been able to do with my bolt guns. After a little practice, I was able to get the lead angle so hitting running PDs was possible, and THAT is a hoot!!

Join the club. As for impressive ARs, the RAA and DPMS versions I've seen shoot some incredible groups - for sure better than many factory bolt guns. They (ARs) are not just a rifle. They're a shooting "system".

To say they are intriguing, is a gross understatement!! I'm fast becoming a big fan of the ARs!:)

P.
 

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Gary, I forgot to add this

If you do decide you want to get a Rock River Arms AR-15, I know a really great FFL in Missouri who is a pleasure to work with. And he stocks that specific model of Rock River AR-15 that I got my for my son.

Here is a link to his website, if you should desire to contact him:

http://www.ergservices.com/

He mainly focuses on products from RRA, Springfield Armory, and DSA. But he can order just about anything, too. Anyway, if you don't already have a dealer you would rather work through, I recommend Douglas highly.

Lance in Orygun
 

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while you are looking at Rock River look at

the Coyote model, I just bought one, a flattop, 20" medium sized barrel with flash suppressor and I think an ACE skelton stock, I had wanted a I think an A-4 carbine to carry, but when I picked up the Coyote, I knew this was it. I have yet to put a scope on it. I know I paid close to retail. I got a one piece scope and ring mount, total package after tax $1,100. No complaints from me though I passed up a Bushy with the 16" barrel @ $800 and I am one happy guy, can't wait to get it scoped, I plan a Kahles 3.5-10 with the range compensating reticle about $750-800. The good stuff don't come cheap.

Also have you ever noticed that the rifles used in offhand competitions are all MUZZLE HEAVY, it is your choice, the ar platform means you can choose from literally hundreds of combinations, go to a gun show and shoulder all of them.

joeinnm
 

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AR's can be made to fill most needs

I now have 4 AR's, and none are .223 or smaller... I am getting to the point where other guns don't do as much for me now....lol Mine are 16-24 inch barreled and the heaviest is my .243 WSSM and that's 12 pounds with everything on it! I used to carry a 15 pound gun, so it's not bad.... My 6.8 SPC is 9 pounds with everything on it, still not bad.... I may get a light .223 soon

Steven
 

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S3Gunner, if you had made those statements several years ago

people would have thought that you were crazy.

But with all the new calibers now available for both AR-15s and AR-10's now, one really does not need anything more than AR's to hunt with, unless you live in some crazy state like California or Pennsylvania.

I've been thinking that a .25 WSSM AR-15 would make a great deer rifle. Or simply go with an AR-10 in .308 Win. And for Elk and Bear, get an AR-10 in .300 WSM

Although that new .458 SOCOM AR-15 round looks like it could easily take out big game at reasonable ranges.

Lance in Orygun
 

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Gary
I just bought a Bushmaster Predator, it has 1:8 twist, 20" ss barrel. I want it for coyote hunting this winter as my other guns are at the gunsmiths. The other reason i bought this AR is shooting out to 600 yds (paper) with a 223. Other builders can put together a similar rifle, but I WANTED A BUSHMASTER. I am happy with my choice.
Jim
 

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what would be the best trigger and barrel combo?

any ideas?
 

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Of all the possible configurations I still like the basic A-4 NM the best. Rock River is about the best bang for buck right now.
 

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I think the .458 socom may die a quiet death... I have a wildcat out there that blows it away....350 grain bullet at approx 2600 fps
 
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