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View Full Version : Want to buy my first AR! HELP!!! Carbine?? or Rifle???


bravoecho
09-10-2010, 4:44 PM
Well, I've decided to to step into the AR world (5.56/.223). Thought I would start with buying a complete basic setup to start off rather than lower, upper and piece together. (I'm sure I could likely contract "AR-itis" just like I contracted garand-itis.) My dilemma is an overall length issue. Can't make up my mind :confused: What was it that influenced your choice of weapon length at the time of your first purchase? Thanks for the help!;)

sevensix2x51
09-10-2010, 4:46 PM
how far do you want to shoot it, do you want a bunch of gizmos hanging off it, home defense or bullseye range shooting?

freonr22
09-10-2010, 4:46 PM
NICE JOB! 15 posts and a Contributor!! woohoo!

wash
09-10-2010, 5:22 PM
If money is a concern, price it out complete and pieced together. Assembly is quite easy and can save some $$.

In heavy winds shooting 55 grain PMC Bronze I was able to get about a 2' group shooting 500 yards with a 16" mid-length rifle and a 1.5-4.5x26 scope at 4.5x. The group was about 2' wide and about 12" high. I blamed the width on the wind so I'm pretty impressed and it will work well for short to medium range shooting. With less wind and better ammo I'm sure it would shoot 2 MOA or less at that range.

If that kind of performance is good enough, a carbine with OK ammo will work for you.

X-NewYawker
09-10-2010, 5:23 PM
Are you sure..?

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 5:26 PM
Build your own. You will waste money buying a complete setup unless you're looking for something high-end like a LWRC setup.

U5512
09-10-2010, 5:27 PM
A standard 20" rifle length always looks GREAT to me. YMMV.

bravoecho
09-10-2010, 5:38 PM
how far do you want to shoot it, do you want a bunch of gizmos hanging off it, home defense or bullseye range shooting?

Well, I do want to get into shooting some distance...say up to 500 yards or so. I know with my garands they can reach out to 600yds plus. I really don't want a bunch of gizmos hanging off it. Mainly for range shooting and NOT for home defense. I have a desire for getting into competition. I admire the USAMU. Service rifle for them is based on the M16A2. This is what leans me over to a full length weapon.

bravoecho
09-10-2010, 5:39 PM
NICE JOB! 15 posts and a Contributor!! woohoo!

Thank you very much!

ZX-10R
09-10-2010, 5:40 PM
Longer the barrel the better.

sevensix2x51
09-10-2010, 5:50 PM
Well, I do want to get into shooting some distance...say up to 500 yards or so. I know with my garands they can reach out to 600yds plus. I really don't want a bunch of gizmos hanging off it. Mainly for range shooting and NOT for home defense. I have a desire for getting into competition. I admire the USAMU. Service rifle for them is based on the M16A2. This is what leans me over to a full length weapon.

you would probably be best served by a full length a2 then, if you want to get into service rifle matches.

bravoecho
09-10-2010, 6:04 PM
Build your own. You will waste money buying a complete setup unless you're looking for something high-end like a LWRC setup.

That would certainly allow me to become intimate with every part and it's function in a hurry. Maybe you're onto something that didn't occur to me. I'm not looking for a high end set-up. What $ savings (range) could I expect with doing my own build rather than a complete purchase at approx $1K?

sevensix2x51
09-10-2010, 6:17 PM
for around $1k, you could probably land a nat'l match upper onto your homebuilt lower, and have an amazing iron sights shooter. and go featureless, so you dont have to fiddle with a bullet button for mag changes in a match. :thumbsup:

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 6:20 PM
That would certainly allow me to become intimate with every part and it's function in a hurry. Maybe you're onto something that didn't occur to me. I'm not looking for a high end set-up. What $ savings (range) could I expect with doing my own build rather than a complete purchase at approx $1K?

for around $1k, you could probably land a nat'l match upper onto your homebuilt lower, and have an amazing iron sights shooter. and go featureless, so you dont have to fiddle with a bullet button for mag changes in a match. :thumbsup:

Exactly as said above.

You will be able to build a rifle you want that shoots the way you want. Can't beat that. Plus you save tons of money for ammo and range time.

bravoecho
09-10-2010, 6:32 PM
Exactly as said above.

You will be able to build a rifle you want that shoots the way you want. Can't beat that. Plus you save tons of money for ammo and range time.

Thank you gentlemen. You are right. Building a rifle you want that shoots the way you want cannot be beat. Yup, there's even an OLL assembly guide at the top of the page!

Well, I guess I'm now definitely in the market for a great stripped lower!

maddoggie13
09-10-2010, 6:34 PM
You forgot AR pistol...

U5512
09-10-2010, 6:40 PM
hey bravocho....

Glad you decided to assemble one yourself and I just did that not too long ago....

Go buy this 20" upper from your relative Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM).....they're of very high quality and one of the BEST in the AR15 business....!!!


http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-M16-Government-20-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-gov-20.htm

sevensix2x51
09-10-2010, 6:46 PM
i was leaning a little more toward a match oriented upper, such as-

http://rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=268

i want one of these a2's soo bad...

bravoecho
09-10-2010, 6:47 PM
hey bravocho....

Glad you decided to assemble one yourself and I just did that not too long ago....

Go buy this 20" upper from your relative Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM).....they're of very high quality and one of the BEST in the AR15 business....!!!


http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-M16-Government-20-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-gov-20.htm

Thanks for the tip. I see the twist is a 1:7 which is what my preference was. Think their (or this) upper are good for a match build?

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 7:03 PM
Thanks for the tip. I see the twist is a 1:7 which is what my preference was. Think their (or this) upper are good for a match build?

It will do the trick and meet service rifle requirements. Bravo Company makes outstanding rifles.

Toast
09-10-2010, 7:14 PM
I assembled mine as a carbine because :
- a 14.5" barrel will pretty much be just as accurate as a 16-20", I'm no bench rest shooter
- I like the way it looks better
- If I ever did have to actually use it for defensive purposes, I'm not gonna be shooting at people/zombies from over 150 yards in SHTF or any other situation.
- With a 1/7 twist barrel (like mine) it can shoot the good stuff and get reliable fragmentation out to 300 yards anyways

DB2
09-10-2010, 7:20 PM
Go with the BCM upper. I know there is a chart that lays out who the top tier manufacturers are, but I don't have the link. I do know that RRA is not in the top.

Don29palms
09-10-2010, 7:33 PM
Thank you gentlemen. You are right. Building a rifle you want that shoots the way you want cannot be beat. Yup, there's even an OLL assembly guide at the top of the page!

Well, I guess I'm now definitely in the market for a great stripped lower!

JD Machine (http://www.sogarmory.com/Product.aspx?ProductId=104212&Catid=173&ParentId=0) makes a great lower and SOG Armory has them for $89.95.

U5512
09-10-2010, 7:54 PM
Bravoecho,

Go here to see who's making quality AR15 parts and who is NOT!!!

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html


There are lots of written instructions on how to put the lower together, but you can bet that it’s so much easier to do it by watching these YouTube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA_Vkb2UB1w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq4KfUaVp8M&feature=related



I put mine together sitting at my computer desk!!! Just hit “PAUSE” until you’re ready to continue. Take your time and do it slow and be careful not to scratch the lower. Cover the lower with plenty of electrical tape. You don’t need much tools at all: electrical tape, a small hammer, a large flat head screwdriver for A2 buttstock , a vise grips, a small needle nose pliers, and a small box cutter. If you want roll pin punches for the roll pins, go buy one of these sets from your local Harbor Freight store:

http://www.harborfreight.com/13-piece-pin-punch-set-93460.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/28-piece-transfer-punch-set-3577.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-punch-set-93424.html

I have the love for USGI M16 infantry rifles so I assembled for myself a USGI M16A4 KNOCKOFF!!!:D

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/U5512/AR15/k2.jpg

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/U5512/AR15/Picture1063.jpg

KaLiFORNIA
09-10-2010, 8:05 PM
Go midlength... Best of both

bravoecho
09-10-2010, 8:07 PM
U5512, Wow, what a wealth of information!!! That parts kit photo could be right up my alley. Nice job on your rifle. No, actually, beautiful! I know what you mean about the attraction that a military issue weapon has. Thanks. Was that entire kit from BCM?

U5512
09-10-2010, 8:28 PM
bravoecho,

I purchased these from BCM: 20” complete upper, Bolt Carrier Group (BCG), and mil-spec carry handle.

The rest:

1) A2 buttstock kit was from Rock River Arms (RRA) $65 shipped
2) New RRA rifle length hand guard for $10 from here (Private Firearm Parts & Accessories Sales Forum)
3) Lower Parts Kit for $50 also from here.
4) Spikes Tactical Lower $99 from Rifle Gear (SoCal).

Once you have all the parts, they're very easy to put together and you have a fine rifle!

javalos
09-10-2010, 8:33 PM
Buy two lower receivers and build a carbine and a rifle.

Some people claim that there is no difference in accuracy, however the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan are sticking with the 20" rifles versus the U.S. Army's M-4 Carbines. The 14.5-inch (37 cm) barrel of the U.S. military's M4 carbine generates considerably less initial velocity than the 20" barreled M16 and terminal performance has been a particular problem with the M4. For short ranges, the M-4 is fast handling and excellent, for retaining a better edge on terminal velocity at longer distances,the 20" rifle is better, the 5.56mm was developed to perform best in conjunction with 20" barrels back in the day, not Carbine barrels

gmcal
09-10-2010, 9:21 PM
I own a bcm 16" midlength rifle and I think they make great products but if you're looking for a service match rifle why not get an upper built for service rifle matches? Check out the cmp upper from White Oak Armament. It will probably go over your budget once you build the lower, but only by a little. However you may also want a match grade 2 stage trigger.

You-Two
09-11-2010, 8:21 AM
If you want to potentially shoot NRA or CMP Service Rifle you will need an A2 or A4 model with iron sights and 20" barrel to meet the rules. Any standard upper meeting those requirements will definitely get you in the game, but there are a few things you'd want at a minimum to be competetive (not inclusive):

1) Heavy Barrel
2) Match Sights with 1/2" or 1/4" adjustments
3) Free-Float Tube & Handguard
4) 2 stage Trigger that meets the min pull weight (5# I think)
5) Quality Sling

Those are generally the things that set a true "match" service rifle from the standard rifle. Just like a "match" Garand vs a standard grade Garand. If all you want to do is get better and learn to shoot well, then the standard rifle will work. If you want to become a match shooter then I would think you'd want to get a match rifle. This is for Service Rifle, don't confuse with the Match Rifle rules which are different and not applicable here.

That being said...I have a RRA Mid-Length and am building a match A2 this Fall on a LRB Arms lower. The mid-length is a really fun gun to shoot and I plan to take a tac rifle class one of these days. I'm looking forward to the A2 build also since I like the longer rifles. Later I have been thinking about building one just like the A4 in the post above with the BCM upper. Seems like a good general duty type rifle!

You just need to figure out what you want to do with the rifle...all the parts are readily available depending on what you want.

Good luck!

bravoecho
09-11-2010, 8:46 AM
If you want to potentially shoot NRA or CMP Service Rifle you will need an A2 or A4 model with iron sights and 20" barrel to meet the rules. Any standard upper meeting those requirements will definitely get you in the game, but there are a few things you'd want at a minimum to be competetive (not inclusive):

1) Heavy Barrel
2) Match Sights with 1/2" or 1/4" adjustments
3) Free-Float Tube & Handguard
4) 2 stage Trigger that meets the min pull weight (5# I think)
5) Quality Sling

Those are generally the things that set a true "match" service rifle from the standard rifle. Just like a "match" Garand vs a standard grade Garand. If all you want to do is get better and learn to shoot well, then the standard rifle will work. If you want to become a match shooter then I would think you'd want to get a match rifle. This is for Service Rifle, don't confuse with the Match Rifle rules which are different and not applicable here.

You-Two, If I complete a build which includes the upper 5 items, would I be able to compete in both Service and Match Rifle competitions? (I have to educate myself on the difference.) I can say that those items, at least for right now, are definitely in the plan for my build.

You-Two
09-11-2010, 9:12 AM
You-Two, If I complete a build which includes the upper 5 items, would I be able to compete in both Service and Match Rifle competitions? (I have to educate myself on the difference.) I can say that those items, at least for right now, are definitely in the plan for my build.

You COULD compete in both classes with a service rifle build, but you would be at a disadvantage against purpose built MATCH rifles. The match rules are less restrictive....basically you just need iron sights and the ability to hold 5 rds min. The AR based MATCH rifles will have long barrels with expensive aperture sights front and rear, adjustable buttstock and a handstop. The SERVICE rifles need to externally match the standard configuration. You could use the same lower potentially and just switch uppers depending on what particular style you wanted.

Match and Service rifles use the same course of fire, it is just the rules about the rifles that are different. Service rifle is essentially limited to the M1, M14 style, and M16A2/A4 style. There are too many options for match rifles to list...just the restrictions above.

A good resource for service rifle shooting is the National Match forums at www.usrifleteams.com. I think you need to register to view the posts, but lots of good info if you are serious about match shooting. Here is the link - http://www.usrifleteams.com/forums/index.php

Hope that helps!