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ChangeMyNameToStupid
10-12-2011, 11:42 PM
Hi Guys, I'm looking to start building an ar15 space gun or match rifle 20-24", hopefully to start shooting competition. As of now, I am trying to find a decent upper for a low price ($300-400) new or used but I do now know what kind of upper it should be. I know the upper should have a 1-8 or 1-7 twist but other than that I do not know what I need. I have been looking at many uppers but they are EXPENSIVE! I'm a poor college student so shooting competition nonetheless shooting every week may not be a smart financial move but I love it.
Here is one upper I have been looking at. http://www.whiteoakarmament.com/xcart/product.php?productid=17553
The idea of having a side charging upper on my rifle is very appealing to me but the only thing that gets me is the price. I was wondering if this is a good upper or if there were cheaper uppers non-side charging good for a beginning competition shooter. Please make comments, suggestions or offer advice, everything is welcome.

Thank You

donking
10-12-2011, 11:53 PM
Yes, good. WOA rocks :punk:

KillerRabbit
10-13-2011, 2:29 AM
Every person on our rifle team uses a White Oak, they are actually very reasonably priced for what you get. What kind of competition do you want to participate in? If you want to shoot High Power you would be better off to go with a White Oak Service Rifle upper (since it comes with sights you won't need to buy a scope and that will help your college student budget). What part of the state do you live in?
Dirk

ChangeMyNameToStupid
10-13-2011, 7:54 AM
I'm in So-Cal, La county and want to start doing high power competition. It seems that WOA is pretty reputable then. Thank you guys, I'm going to start pulling funds together!

dlouie87
10-13-2011, 8:27 AM
WOA barrels and uppers are gtg! side charging are a worthless "cometic" feature.

KillerRabbit
10-13-2011, 9:04 AM
When starting out in High Power there are many reasons to begin with Service Rifle, less money for the upper, simpler than match rifle, do it while you still have young eyes etc.
Do you have any one local shooting High Power to help you get started or "mentor" you? If not send me a PM and I can probably hook you up with one of the So Cal guys to at least give you a little help starting out.
Dirk

jetspeedz
10-13-2011, 9:08 AM
I have WOA and could not be happier with quality. Will be posting a review of some barrels soon including the WO

double0b
10-13-2011, 9:17 AM
I completely agree with this statement. In your price range, I would look on the sales boards for a lightly used WOA or Compass Lake service rifle upper and further develop your fundamentals. Budget and Spacegun dont really go together. I have almost as much $$$ in sights as I do in my WOP match upper.

When starting out in High Power there are many reasons to begin with Service Rifle, less money for the upper, simpler than match rifle, do it while you still have young eyes etc.
Do you have any one local shooting High Power to help you get started or "mentor" you? If not send me a PM and I can probably hook you up with one of the So Cal guys to at least give you a little help starting out.
Dirk

captbilly
10-13-2011, 9:51 AM
The upper you linked to would make a fine beginner target AR, but it wouldn't be a great upper for "service rifle" competition (it's too long to be legal, I think?) If you are going to be shooting long range competition then you want something in the 24"+ barrel length, and pretty much as heavy as possible. But there are other competitions that favor much lighter/shorter barrels, because they require rapid target acquisition and offhand shooting. I used to be a big time target shooter (22 rifle and pistol), so when I first got back into shooting (just over a year ago) I decided I was going to build an AR style target rifle. But I wasn't sure how committed to shooting I was going to be so I didn't want to spend much on my first rifle. I ended up getting a Rock River varmint upper that only cost about $500, but it's shooting 10 shot 0.5moa groups with match ammo (cheap HSM, $14 a box). You can get similar uppers, or compete rifle kits, from Model One, AK parts kits, MA parts inc, AR15 kits, etc.

Now that I am more certain that I want to spend a fair bit of time shooting in competition I am building up a LR 308 (bigger version of an AR) that is meant as a serious target rifle. But with all that expense (over $5000 and counting) I doubt it will shoot much better than the 0.5moa that I am getting from my cheap Rock River Varmint with a Millett TRS scope. What you get when you start pouring money into any engineering project (car, plane, rifle, ....) is slight improvements for a lot of extra money. Those improvements may be worth the cost if: 1. you can afford it, 2. you are good enough that those improvements are not masked by your ability. I have heard many shooters say that most long range competitions could be won with a 1 MOA rifle because wind and other factors overwhelm the accuracy of the rifle.

One thing that I would suggest is worth the relatively small cost is a match trigger of some sort. I have JARD, Geiselle and ATC SR Gold triggers, that all cost well over $200, but the Rock River match trigger can be had, with an entire lower parts kit thrown in for free, for about $130. The Rock Rvier trigger isn't quite as good as the others but it is a huge upgrade from the standard AR trigger. The standard AR trigger is sloppy and gritty, and makes it very difficult to get off a clean shot.

An AR is inherently accurate by design (unlike AK, M1a, Mini-14) so it require nothing more than a free floating barrel (free float tube) and the best barrel you can afford to make an accurate rifle. You can get slight improvements in accuracy by truing the bolt face, adjusting the gas system to open the bolt as late as possible, extra ridged upper receiver, but the biggest factor is the barrel, so put you money into the barrel. Also, the biggest cost in becomming a good target shooter is going to be ammo. Even with decent match ammo available for as low as $0.50 - $1.00, if you shoot only 50 rounds per week, you will spend something like $1250 - $2500 a year on ammo. You will also need a new barrel every 5000 - 8000 rounds, at a cost of between $200 - $600.

ChangeMyNameToStupid
10-13-2011, 10:04 AM
When starting out in High Power there are many reasons to begin with Service Rifle, less money for the upper, simpler than match rifle, do it while you still have young eyes etc.
Do you have any one local shooting High Power to help you get started or "mentor" you? If not send me a PM and I can probably hook you up with one of the So Cal guys to at least give you a little help starting out.
Dirk

As of now, I do have a mentor I met at school who shoots 3 gun and high power so he's been showing me the ropes. I think I will start shooting competition in 2012 because this year has been so hectic for me. Depending on the schedule of my mentor I may need to find another mentor to guide me in competition so I am definitely open to all forms of help.

Thanks for all your input guys! :D

You-Two
10-13-2011, 11:08 AM
I would recommend finding a club in your area where you want to shoot highpower and contacting the match director or other point of contact. The NRA publication called Shooting Sports USA contains a list of various competitions listed by state. Find one near your area. Here is the link to SSUSA (http://www.nrapublications.org/ssusa/).

A lot of these clubs have rifles and equipment for beginners to start without the heavy investment in equipment...perfect for a broke college student. Sometimes these are just regular old M1 Garands and other times an AR-15 NM. Either way...it will give you the chance to actually try out highpower just for the cost of the ammo and match fee. I would try that before investing in a rifle or other gear.

After shooting a match or two you will get an idea of what you'll need...then you can budget appropriately.

Good luck!