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#6077705 - 12/10/15 08:25 PM New to ARs and need some guidance
HillbillyDeluxe Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 7236
Loc: North Texas
Been hunting and shooting for decades, but finally have the itch to get into the AR game and I know nothing about them and admit the more I read (including the sticky at the top), the more confused I get. I was hoping to get a little guidance from the THF experts.

I'm a total newbie and really just looking for something of an entry level gun primarily for just nothing more than shooting, but may end up using it for hogs or varmints at some point. and something that is ready to go out of the box, not looking for a project or to buy parts to assemble at all.

First of all, brands.....I see some of the old regulars, Colt, Ruger, S&W, and then some I've never heard of like Bushmaster, American Tactical (OMNI?), Windham and DPMS. I've heard conflicting info about different brands, some that you can't go wrong with XYZ brand and it's components are better than the others, and then others who say that most all AR components are the same and you're just paying for the name. Any thoughts on brands that are stellar or ones to steer away from?

Also caliber.....a buddy bought one last year in 7.62 because he wanted to use it for hog hunting. 5.56/.223 seems to be the most popular caliber, but would it do the job for what he was wanting it for? I've even seen one in 300 AAC blackout, something I've never heard of. Any caliber to stick with or steer away from? Some much more affordable and easier to find than others?

Another thing is the components, or lack of, that come with them. One guy told me to go with the steel sights, another said stick with the flat top if I ever wanted to add a scope.

As far as price, I've seen them from around $500 up to over $2K. Definitely wanting to stay in that $500-$1K range for this one. I've seen a few in the Swap & Shop that I was interested in, but wasn't quite sure what kind of deal they were and didn't act. They went pretty quick, so I assume they were a bargain.

I know there will be some differing opinions, and that's fine. Just trying to get a quick education and any help or guidance is appreciated.

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#6077923 - 12/10/15 10:51 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2849
Loc: Abilene
DPMS Oracle at buds for $500. Buy a CMC or RRA National Match trigger, and a Burris MTAC 1-4 scope. You will have an accurate, reliable rifle that will do everything from riding in your truck to deer hunting to home defense for roughly $1k.
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#6077925 - 12/10/15 10:52 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2849
Loc: Abilene
Also, stay away from polymer lowers.
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The secret to a long life is to try not to shorten it

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#6077940 - 12/10/15 11:07 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
CRAnderson52 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2299
Loc: Highland Village, Texas
Following this!
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#6077945 - 12/10/15 11:11 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
cyphertext Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/06
Posts: 893
Loc: Wylie, TX
For entry level, right out of the box, the S&W M&P 15 Sport is hard to beat. They have a new version that is about to hit dealers that includes the forward assist and ejection port cover... great debate on if these items are needed or not, but many want them.

As far as caliber, the standard is 5.56mm. 7.62, 300 Blackout, and a host of others are available as well, but for the first one, I would stick with 5.56mm. I have used mine for hogs and haven't had any issues.

This rifle will run you around $600, leaving some room for an optic... or you can shoot with the sights that it comes with right out of the box.

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#6077951 - 12/10/15 11:24 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: Tactical Cowboy]
BushFamilyNine Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 752
Loc: Iowa
The good news is that now is the best time ever to find a good priced AR. The bad news is there are so many choices.

The nice AR that you get to shoot paper with will make you cringe every time you drag it in the brush and mud when hog hunting. Get a cheaper one with the dust cover. The factory built ones in $500 to $650 dollar range are good all-around rifles. M&P Sport, Ruger AR556, or a higher optioned DPMS. The $800 to $1000 range buys you a nice one in today's market (Rock River, Colt, etc), and even some 308 rifles are in this range now.

There is nothing wrong with a home built AR with quality parts and proper assembly. There are plenty of bad crossbred ones, so watch out.

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#6078015 - 12/11/15 05:55 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
scottfromdallas Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/23/15
Posts: 360
Loc: TX
First AR, go with a 5.56. Ammo is cheap and plentiful and the right loads will work on hogs. A lot of people use it for that. An 308 AR is a much bigger platform the negates most of the great handing characteristics of the AR15.
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#6078112 - 12/11/15 07:41 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
HillbillyDeluxe Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 7236
Loc: North Texas
Great info guys.....just what I was looking for and definitely appreciated. Keep 'em coming.

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#6078316 - 12/11/15 09:24 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
Korean Redneck Online   content


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2277
Loc: Houston
One thing I have a "problem" or lesson I've learned is not to end up with just spare parts. And what I mean by that is if I'd thought about it enough and took my time to ask around I would have had a more clear idea of what I wanted and not end up with a bunch of spare parts because I kept upgrading. Next thing I know I spent more in parts and spares than if I just got a fully assembled gun with everything I wanted.

I'm sure others have seen the YouTube guy Nutnfancy. Regardless of what anyone thinks about him, he uses a term I really like; philosophy of use or POU as he calls it. basically if u can decide on what sort of function, role or use u want from this ar, then I think the "experts" here can help u translate it into what that will actually be.

That said, this is the fun for some people and maybe I fit in that category of enjoying the tinkering process. Heck, I made the same "mistake" with my road bicycle but I absolutely love my road bike.

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#6078320 - 12/11/15 09:27 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
TTUhunter4 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 626
Loc: Texas
The rifles in the price range you are looking are going to all be very similar quality-wise. Don't beat yourself up over brand, just buy the gun that feels the most comfortable to you. Many of the brands use the same parts from a handful of true manufacturers.
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"God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal."

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#6078401 - 12/11/15 10:27 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
Classic Rocks Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/18/12
Posts: 1850
First you need to decide where you will buy from. This will pare down some of your decision making.
Online retailer?
Academy?
Cabelas?
Private sale?
Gun show?

Personally I am the kind of person who likes something a little different. Such as Core 15. I am not a "dime a dozen" type (Anderson, etc) although I do have an affinity for old bushmaster so Windham would be a good choice too.
My opinion? Go to Academy and handle every one in your price range. The will eliminate the hundreds of options a gun show will offer and second guessing your choice all day.

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#6081137 - 12/13/15 09:55 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
Roll-Tide Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 1842
I was in same scenario 3 months ago. Had the itch. Did research, wanted to be on a budget you can toss a coin on s&w ar or the ruger 556. I went ruger 556 from gt distributers for 550. left me some money for mags, bag, sling, ammo.

I'm happy. I was considering the 308 AR or 6.8, something I could also use on deer. At the end of the day, I was over analyzing it and pulled the trigger on ruger. 100 percent happy

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#6081264 - 12/13/15 11:35 AM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: Korean Redneck]
swmays Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 5808
Loc: Dallas / Hopkins Co.
Originally Posted By: Korean Redneck
One thing I have a "problem" or lesson I've learned is not to end up with just spare parts.

What KR said and all of the recommendations above...

I'll add or re-emphasize, purchase a rifle with a quad rail and not a glacier guard if you plan on adding a light or other accessories (like a sling swivel). Or just get one that comes with a sling swivel. Of course if you plan to add nothing, a glacier guard is just fine. What is never 'fine' on an entry level rifle is the trigger. A nice drop trigger is a NIGHT AND DAY improvement. I like Timney but also have a Geissele.

Glass - 3x9 or by x12 for me. This is overkill for the pigs I've taken at twenty yards, but quite handy when shooting coyotes at 100 or 200 yards.

2cents

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#6081512 - 12/13/15 02:00 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
helomech Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 13306
Loc: Latexo, tx
Since swmays brought up quadrails. I hate the normal quadrail. I like the ones that are smooth, but you can add rails anywhere you want. I have the troy battle rail and love it. The ones with the rails in fixed are very uncomfortable unless you put covers on them, then it is to thick IMO.
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#6081725 - 12/13/15 04:07 PM Re: New to ARs and need some guidance [Re: HillbillyDeluxe]
swmays Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 5808
Loc: Dallas / Hopkins Co.
...and I agree with helomech. I was using quad rail generically for any type of fore stock you can attach stuff to.

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