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View Full Version : I've narrowed it down to two AR uppers. Opinions wanted.


Bull's_eye
04-12-2012, 3:21 PM
Ok, so part of my tax refund was going to go into finishing my first AR build, and I thought I'd made up my mind on which upper I wanted, but it was out of stock. The money was burning a hole in my pocket so I bought a 1911.

Now I'm back to finishing my AR. I figure the way supplies are dwindling might as well buy it now. I have a complete lower I've assembled, so now all I need is the upper.

The original one I had my eye on was this one from new frontier armory:

http://newfrontierarmory.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=245_248_282&products_id=33241&zenid=59e9178b5a1c8649528b60e507d36b19

However, I am also contemplating this one from PSA:
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/complete-uppers/psa-16-hammer-forged-midlength-upperpper.html

And now I am also intrigued by this one, looks to be the same as the previous one but has a longer sight radius:
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/complete-uppers/psa-16-hammer-forged-midlength-dissipator.html

This is my first AR, and I just want a good all around rifle. I've shot a couple AR's, and I think I will eventually add a red dot, but price being the issue, will have irons on it for now.

I like the look of the quad rail in the new frontier armory upper, but I'm not sure I really need it. The only thing I know I want to add now for sure is a magpul AFG, which I really like the feel of, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn I've seen ARs with the MOE handguards that those PSA uppers come with with an AFG attached.

The other issue is the front sight. With the New Frontier upper, I will need to get both front and rear flip up sights, which will cost more than just a rear flip up. I'm assuming the MOE handguards will be lighter than the quad rail as well.

I'm aware that the PSA is 1:7 twist and the new frontier is 1:8, also midlength vs. carbine gas as well as chrome lined vs steel. I've read everything I can find on the topic and it seems that either one will be fine for my purposes. Thoughts?

Assuming I go with the PSA, any differences other than longer sight radius going to the dissipator model? If I wanted to add a rail in the future, what difference am I looking at both price and weight wise to do the longer rail vs the standard one?

Another question I have is assuming I go with the PSA upper, what is the difference between the standard charging handle and the one with a "tactical release latch"?

tacticalcity
04-12-2012, 3:35 PM
Of those shown I prefer the middle one from PSA. Hammer forged is nice, midlength gas systems has some perks, and you can add whatever forend you want rather than being stuck with what appears to be a YHM forend on the first one. Not really a YHM fan. I like that it has a 1:7 twist rate, is chrome lined, has m4 ramps, and I like that they do a quality inspection of the bolt. I didn't read the specs on the others, as they were not really my cup of tea right from the get go...but the specs on the PSA are great.

Rails are really just a lot of dead weight that you are adding. They look pretty. I have them on my M4. But unless you are using a laser sight they do not do much for you. Now if you were going to a precision rifle and getting a match grade barrel then some sort of free floating forend would help keep pressure off the barrel that might have the tiniest bit of impact on accuracy. However with a standard CQB setup, the amount of accuracy impacted by a non-free floating forend resting on something is so small your own heart rate would throw you off more.

Don't get me wrong. Rails are pretty. But they cost a lot of money for one that doesn't scream "cheese" and the MOE handguards offer you the same flexability with regards to mounting lights and foreward grips and are just as popular with professionals these days. Why? Super light weight.

Tactical latches are nice. Makes it easier to work the charging handle. I actually run a PRI Gas Buster charging handle with a tactical latch. Not only is is super easy to work the charging handle, it drastically cuts down on the amount of fumes and debris in my eyes and lungs.

Look into a Magpul BAD device. Of all the crap I have added to my rifle over the years, the BAD device, Ambi Safety and Gas Buster Charging Handle are my three favorites. The rest of the fancy stuff I can live without if necessary. But those I really dig and add to every AR I build.

Don't worry about "finishing" your build right away. Most this stuff can be added later. For now, just focus on building a really nice base rifle that is shootable. Get the nicest must have items first. Worry about the add-ons later. By that I mean...can you shoot it without it? Then worry about it later. The stuff that is required to shoot it should be top priority. Use the money for the fancy addons getting the nicest of that stuff that you can. You will be happier in the long run.

Bull's_eye
04-12-2012, 3:42 PM
The other PSA has the same specs. You'd take the shorter handgaurd over the longer one on the second PSA?

MrPlink
04-12-2012, 3:49 PM
The other PSA has the same specs. You'd take the shorter handgaurd over the longer one on the second PSA?

thats up to you. Those are both midlengths, so the issue is do you want a dissy or a standard mid?

tacticalcity
04-12-2012, 3:53 PM
The other PSA has the same specs. You'd take the shorter handgaurd over the longer one on the second PSA?

Yes. Why? Weight. Personally I prefer the M4 carbine. If it were legal I would run and SBR with an 11.5" barrel like I was issued when I was in the military or even 10.3" barrel as seen on the CQB-R. Sadly...SBRs are not legal in CA.

It all comes down to how you use your rifle.

Running and gunning, sprinting from cover to cover, etc. during an advanced carbine course the lighter the rifle the better. With kill houses with mock hallways, doors, rooms and popup targets a shorter barrel is a major plus (but only some states let you go below 16 inches total barrel length).

On an a flat range sitting at a benchrest, shooting 600+ meter targets all day long with a nice cup of coffee next to you...the priorities change.

Any of the rifles you looked at would be just fine for both CQB and bench resting. I just lean towards the first PSA because it more closely matches how I use my rifle and the things I look for in an upper. How you use it could be totally different. What you preferr could be totally different. Nothing wrong with that at all.

6doubleR
04-12-2012, 4:05 PM
Go with the PSA, you won't be disappointed. Add the MOE handguard option for $20, get a rail section attachment for the MOE handguard and you can run the AFG. With regards to midlength vs carbine and 1x7 to 1x8 twist, either will be fine if you are shooting paper. All comes down to preference. I have both and prefer my midlength. Have fun with the build.

Bull's_eye
04-12-2012, 4:09 PM
Go with the PSA, you won't be disappointed. Add the MOE handguard option for $20, get a rail section attachment for the MOE handguard and you can run the AFG. With regards to midlength vs carbine and 1x7 to 1x8 twist, either will be fine if you are shooting paper. All comes down to preference. I have both and prefer my midlength. Have fun with the build.

You mean one of these?

http://store.magpul.com/product/MAG409/104

Bull's_eye
04-12-2012, 4:11 PM
Yes. Why? Weight. Personally I prefer the M4 carbine. If it were legal I would run and SBR with an 11.5" barrel like I was issued when I was in the military or even 10.3" barrel as seen on the CQB-R. Sadly...SBRs are not legal in CA.

It all comes down to how you use your rifle.

Running and gunning, sprinting from cover to cover, etc. during an advanced carbine course the lighter the rifle the better. With kill houses with mock hallways, doors, rooms and popup targets a shorter barrel is a major plus (but only some states let you go below 16 inches total barrel length).

On an a flat range sitting at a benchrest, shooting 600+ meter targets all day long with a nice cup of coffee next to you...the priorities change.

Any of the rifles you looked at would be just fine for both CQB and bench resting. I just lean towards the first PSA because it more closely matches how I use my rifle and the things I look for in an upper. How you use it could be totally different. What you preferr could be totally different. Nothing wrong with that at all.

I am more interested in the run and gun option for this AR vs the long range bench shooting. I am also intrigued by 3-gun competitions, and is something I would like to get into in the future.

tacticalcity
04-12-2012, 4:18 PM
I am more interested in the run and gun option for this AR vs the long range bench shooting. I am also intrigued by 3-gun competitions, and is something I would like to get into in the future.

Very cool. Welcome to the club.

negolien
04-12-2012, 5:13 PM
Most ranges won't allow R&G to be honest soo..... Unless you're doing classes or 3-gun /shrug.. I Own the G-tach in an 18" just ask em by E-Mail if you want a differant length or one without a BCG yadda yadda yadda CS was awesome...

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/New%20Upper/th_NewNFAUpper010.jpg (http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/New%20Upper/?action=view&current=NewNFAUpper010.jpg)

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/th_groupshot007.jpg (http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Negolien/?action=view&current=groupshot007.jpg)

Bull's_eye
04-12-2012, 11:08 PM
Thanks for the input. Not really interested in an 18". And I've read nothing but good things about New Frontier customer service.

If I do go with the PSA, any input on if its worth it going with the troy muzzle brake for the extra $50?

TheHammerOfTruth
04-13-2012, 12:04 AM
OP, where are you located? I was in the Turners in Reseda tonight and they had the JP-15 upper and a Wilson combat upper both in stock. It was the first time I had ever seen the JP in stock anywhere. It was impressive. If you are close to there, go by and take a look. They are both AWESOME!!

Bull's_eye
04-13-2012, 12:31 AM
I'm in north cal. Sac area.