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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2019, 9:18 PM
Ishootforblood Ishootforblood is offline
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Default AR-15 A2 and A4 builds

Well, I didn't actually build them; I assembled them from parts. I'll give you the specs, prices, and then comment on performance.

The A4 style rifle was assembled using a complete Colt A4 upper that I purchased from Brownells. The Colt upper came complete, less the BCG. I purchased a Toolcraft BCG from WC Weaponry, and I had a PSC Carry Handle sight that I purchased for a different project. Cost: All in, the the Colt upper was $352.00; the Toolcraft BCG and charging handle were $75.00 and $10.00, the PSA Carry handle was about $70.00 ish? The lower is wearing a DPMS A2 stock, Simple Grip, and the FCG is a Rock River National Match.

The A2 style rifle is a DPMS A2 upper and the A2 sight, dust cover, forward assist, etc. were all in a DPMS kit. Again, these parts came from Brownells. The barrel is a Windham Weaponry 20" Government profile 1/7, Chrome Lined, etc. The hand guards on the A2 came off a Delton Dissipator upper that I never got around to using. The gas-tube is also Windham. The barrel nut came with the barrel, and the Delta ring, spring and snap ring came from my parts bin. The Lower is equipped with a Windham Weaponry A2 stock, but the receiver extension (Buffer Tube, spring & Buffer) are Brownells' own line. The BCG and FCG are PSA parts. Cost: All in, the DPMS upper was $82.00 and the A2 sights and upper parts kit was about $60.00. The Windham barrel was $212, gas tube was $12, and the A2 stock was about $50.00. The Brownells receiver extension was $42.00.

So what happened at the range? I'm very pleased with both rifles. The Colt upper required 6 clicks of windage to get dialed in at 50 yards. The Windham Weaponry barrel is dead-on at 50 yards at mechanical zero! That's incredible. Perhaps I got lucky, or maybe Windham knows what they are doing? Both rifles required a few clicks of elevation adjustment using the front sight. I have more trigger time with the Colt A4 upper because I built it first. The Colt has a better 2-stage trigger and it's no surprise that I shoot it much better than the A2-Windham. That will probably change when I upgrade the trigger on the Windham equipped rifle. I've shot a few clover leaf groups with the Colt A4, and I've shot groups a bit bigger. I won't say that it's a half-inch 50 yard shooter on demand, I know I'm not.
But it is a very capable upper. The Windham is also very capable, and I turned some very decent 1" and 2" groups at 50 yards.

I've often read gun write ups where the writer states he was sighted in with six (6) rounds, etc. I never had that experience. However, with the Windham barrel, I was sighted in at 50 yards in 9 shots. I could have done it in 6 if I started at 50 yards.

A couple of things I noticed. First, the Brownells Receiver extension is rough! When I rack the bolt to the rear, it feels rough, and it makes noise. I looked at the interior of the tube with a flashlight, and they could have done a better job smoothing it out. I went with the Brownells' receiver extension because they claim the tube is made from 7075. That may be, but they should look into polishing the interior of the buffer tube. In contrast, the DPMS Tube on the A4 is smooth. I may change out the buffer tube, but I'm going to shoot it a bit more, and see if it's a self correcting problem.

Another observation I made is the hand guards. The Colt hand guards fit well, and feel solid. They don't flex when squeezed, and they are fairly easy to remove. (None of them are really easy). In contrast, the Delton A2 Hand Guards are difficult to install and difficult to remove. The Delton Hand guards have a bit a flex, and actually make a cracking noise when gripped firmly. There really is a difference between Colt, BCM etc. vs. PSA and Delton, etc. You get what you pay for. Brownells does sell factory Colt A2 Hand Guards for about $40.00 a set, and Windham has the same price on theirs. Probably the same? I may have to return the Delton set to the Dissipator.

Another observation is the butt stocks. The Windham and DPMS stocks seem to be identical. The butt-plate & trap door have slightly different shape on the interior of the door. I swapped the parts around, and they appear to be interchangeable or modular or mil-spec? Anyway, there's not much difference. You can buy the whole stock kit, buffer tube etc. from Windham for about $80. I probably should have done that.

The take away is you can get a Factory Colt A4 upper from Brownells for about $350 when they have the 10% off sale. If you want to build an A4 using a Colt upper, it seems to be a good value at that price. Windham Weaponry is owned by the same guy that started Bushmaster way back in the day. They make a good barrel, and they know how to install the front sight base without canting it! If you read my older post about PSA and their canted rifle kits, you know that I really dislike PSA and their canted barrels. Also, Windham didn't charge me tax or shipping!

Thanks for reading & feel free to post photos of your retro builds. I see an A1 or C7 build in my future. They are not retro to me; just memories. Thanks again.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2019, 9:44 PM
pdaddy pdaddy is offline
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Thanks for the write-up OP. There is something about the A2 and A4s that I like. Something about the 20 inch barrels and the A2 stock. You are making me miss mine. I should have not sold it. I may ask for it back from my buddy. Thanks again for the write-up. Have fun shootin.
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Old 08-12-2019, 6:24 PM
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NOTABIKER NOTABIKER is offline
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I put a A2 stock on my M&P 15 so it would help be compliant. The main reason i did it is because i am a Army VN vet and i prefer that stock.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:59 PM
johncage johncage is offline
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the fin is gross looking. how is that supposed to stop mass shootings? they'll just buy a real grip off ebay
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Old 08-13-2019, 8:18 AM
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therealnickb therealnickb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johncage View Post
the fin is gross looking. how is that supposed to stop mass shootings? they'll just buy a real grip off ebay
Monsterman is the best looking compromise for an A2 IMO. I feels the most rifle-like as well.

OP, I agree with you on the A2 + 20" barrel. I just finished one with a bull barrel and it feels great to me.
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Old 08-13-2019, 1:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishootforblood View Post
Thanks for reading & feel free to post photos of your retro builds. I see an A1 or C7 build in my future. They are not retro to me; just memories. Thanks again.
I was on a retro kick a while back and I did several using the Colt M16A1 kits that were variable a while back. I have posted these up before, but what the heck, here they are again.....

top to bottom

Colt SP1
M16E1
M16A1
Colt M16A2.





The last one is a XM177E2

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Old 08-13-2019, 2:25 PM
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therealnickb therealnickb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishootforblood View Post
I've been curious about the Monster Man Grip, and I looked at one while in Turners. Turners is real proud of them at over $40 plus taxes. I know Brownells has them a bit cheaper. I don't mind buying A2 stocks, Groove Tech thread protectors, or CMMG Ambidextrous Selectors because it's useful gear regardless of venue. On the other hand, I'm certain that my fin grips will end up in a box with the completely useless bullet buttons. With that said, yeah, the Monster Man looks better & appears to be built better.
DA30021F-AAEB-4FAB-82B8-8D8330A34CE2.jpg

MM on top. Sparrow on bottom.

Do a search here. I think I saw both for sale @$25 shipped.
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Old 08-14-2019, 8:33 PM
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Sputnik Sputnik is offline
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I really like the old style A2 integrated carry handle (not so much the clamp-on). The A1 and A2 are just classic ARs. Sure you don't get easy optic mounts...so what?
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Old 08-14-2019, 8:44 PM
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I want to build an a2, as close to what I had in the service. I only plink, so 100 yds on irons is good enough for me

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