In the market for an "entry level" AR. Spike's Tactical? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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smitty704
02-11-2012, 15:14
I am interested in buying my first AR. $900 is my limit, and have found a few good options(but, I don't really know much about AR's). I like the Spikes Tactical ST-15 16" mid length LE carbine. It has a MSRP of $859 which is right in my range.

I have seen a Rock River Arms rifle, as well as a Daniel Defense at LGS's(can't remember exactly what models) that are close to my price range that look pretty sweet. The gun shop employees/ninja's aren't always a good source for info, so I like to turn to you guys for some good advice.

The M&P-15 sport is WELL under my limit so naturally I have looked at that as well. But I feel that I can get more quality for just a few hundred more dollars.

This gun would be mainly for SHTF/home defense, but mostly just good old fashion target shooting. What I'm saying is this gun isn't going to be dragged through hell and back often, if at all. But would like something that could handle some abuse if the need did arise.

If you guys like any of theses options, or have any other suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!! :)

smitty

bmoore
02-11-2012, 15:30
First off, its hard to miss with Daniel Defense. If its in or close to your range I dont think you will be bummed with one. Id look at building a Palmetto state armory or BCM gun for 900 bucks. Any BCM stuff or go the hammer forged route through PSA to get the most for your $. Or save 100 bucks more and get a Colt. I really like my Smith M&P15 it may be an option for you. Seems like your dollar point is right there for a really solid rifle. Ive never really understood the entry level AR thing. If you do not want to build and your already at 900 bucks just get a Colt 6920 or the DD. Thats my input, hope it helps.

Quarter Tank
02-11-2012, 15:59
I too am looking for my 1st AR. I really like the BCM M4 Carbine with the Mod 2 kit. I think that would suit me a while and then could put a sight on it down the road.

DieselNut
02-11-2012, 16:09
You'll be okay with spikes. G&R tactical has Colt's for 900 something. Or you can build o e and save money as long as you build it with good parts.

craig19
02-11-2012, 16:20
Its hard to go wrong with DD or Colt. BCM is an option.

supatrucka
02-11-2012, 16:24
I just bought one of these and it seems like a nice product for $900 and it's the original buschmaster with a very cool story read on.

http://www.windhamweaponry.com/

Javelin
02-11-2012, 16:27
Agree with the DD, BCM. In your price range you are close to a Colt 6920 @$965 G&R Tactical. I would personally probably lean towards the Daniel Defense but hard to go wrong. I'm going to keep my mouth shut on S&W15 and PSA because of AR class warfare around here. People get their feelers hurt and panties all in knots.

:wavey:

cyphertext
02-11-2012, 16:57
Agree with the DD, BCM. In your price range you are close to a Colt 6920 @$965 G&R Tactical. I would personally probably lean towards the Daniel Defense but hard to go wrong. I'm going to keep my mouth shut on S&W15 and PSA because of AR class warfare around here. People get their feelers hurt and panties all in knots.

:wavey:

No panties in knots here. He looked at the Sport and decided he wanted more rifle. No issue what so ever.

Anybody have any hands on time with the Windham Weaponry rifle? Just got a flyer in the mail from Cabela's and they have the optics ready for $800, starting on the 16th. I know nothing about these, other than the PR story.

My buddy started with a Bushmaster, sold it at a gun show for more than he paid for it and bought a Daniel Defense. He is happy with it.

Javelin
02-11-2012, 17:07
No panties in knots here. He looked at the Sport and decided he wanted more rifle. No issue what so ever.

Anybody have any hands on time with the Windham Weaponry rifle? Just got a flyer in the mail from Cabela's and they have the optics ready for $800, starting on the 16th. I know nothing about these, other than the PR story.

My buddy started with a Bushmaster, sold it at a gun show for more than he paid for it and bought a Daniel Defense. He is happy with it.

I am glad he made out well on that Bushmaster and actually got himself a decent gun. Most don't make out so lucky peddling their used guns for new prices.

Ruggles
02-11-2012, 17:09
Agree with the DD, BCM. In your price range you are close to a Colt 6920 @$965 G&R Tactical. I would personally probably lean towards the Daniel Defense but hard to go wrong. I'm going to keep my mouth shut on S&W15 and PSA because of AR class warfare around here. People get their feelers hurt and panties all in knots.

:wavey:

Ahhh a slam on PSA and S&W without a direct attack, very sly.....:tongueout:

smitty704
02-11-2012, 17:13
Thanks guys for the advice. I will look into the Daniel Defense a little more. As well as the Colt 6920, BCM, and PSA. I also would like to know a little more about the Windham Weaponry you guys are taking about.

And don't get me wrong, from the looks of them and the reviews I've read, the S&W MP-15's seem to be great guns. I was just referring to the Sport version, because for a few hundred more dollars I could get one bad a*s rifle.

Javelin
02-11-2012, 17:21
Thanks guys for the advice. I will look into the Daniel Defense a little more. As well as the Colt 6920, BCM, and PSA. I also would like to know a little more about the Windham Weaponry you guys are taking about.

And don't get me wrong, from the looks of them and the reviews I've read, the S&W MP-15's seem to be great guns. I was just referring to the Sport version, because for a few hundred more dollars I could get one bad a*s rifle.

I am going to give you some sage advice. Save up for the DD, BCM, Colt, etc. You won't be "trading up" in the near future by doing so.

smitty704
02-11-2012, 17:33
I am going to give you some sage advice. Save up for the DD, BCM, Colt, etc. You won't be "trading up" in the near future by doing so.

Will do. The DD is looking like the best bet.

Thanks

supatrucka
02-12-2012, 06:58
No panties in knots here. He looked at the Sport and decided he wanted more rifle. No issue what so ever.

Anybody have any hands on time with the Windham Weaponry rifle? Just got a flyer in the mail from Cabela's and they have the optics ready for $800, starting on the 16th. I know nothing about these, other than the PR story.

My buddy started with a Bushmaster, sold it at a gun show for more than he paid for it and bought a Daniel Defense. He is happy with it.
I have about 500 rds down the pipe and not a problem and there CS is top notch.

Mayhem like Me
02-12-2012, 07:50
Windham gun is overpriced IMHO.. that level of specs should be in the range of a PSA rifle. 1x9 .... don't plan on shooting any heavy bullets like the 75 grn. 5.56 TAP

Also new owners or whatever, give the company a few years to see what the track record holds..Bushmaster has always been sporadic no real record of high quality.




DD is awesome, BCM or Colt as well I have seen the colt for 959.. so look around.

Supa glad you are happy with the new blaster I am hopeful that they are going to keep production up and produce quality rifles.

cyphertext
02-12-2012, 07:51
I have about 500 rds down the pipe and not a problem and there CS is top notch.

Supatrucka, That's great. Congrats on your new rifle. Which one did you get?

txgunguy
02-12-2012, 09:38
It's a buyers market right now. Personally I would buy the spikes, dd, bcm, or colt. The sport is good rifle, but the lack of dustcover really is a deal breaker for me. If it was just a plinker then by all means,get it. But for a possible shtf gun, the dustcover is one part of an AR that I feel is important. Just my feelings on it.

My first ar was a rock river. Solid gun, but when prices came down, I upgraded to something better and lost a few bucks. I'm now a firm believer in the "buy once cry once".

supatrucka
02-12-2012, 11:45
Supatrucka, That's great. Congrats on your new rifle. Which one did you get?Thanks, it's not in the catalog it was speced by the shop I go to.
http://i810.photobucket.com/albums/zz24/supatrucka/2012-02-06_17-02-36_166.jpg

pleaforwar
02-12-2012, 12:19
I have about 500 rds down the pipe and not a problem and there CS is top notch.

Absolutely no offense intended, but 500 rounds is not a great baseline to endorse a firearm. Also, out of curiosity, how can you know their customer service is top notch if you haven't had any problems with their rifle?

pleaforwar
02-12-2012, 12:24
To the OP, my suggestion is the Colt SP6920. Why? As I and many other active shooters have noted before, the reliability and value of the 6920 is really hard to beat. This has been beaten to death over the years. That being said, the Colt will really hold its value, and if you decide to sell it if you get out of the AR game, it should command the highest return.

Out of the other options, in order of my recommendation, Daniel Defense, Spikes, Smith and Wesson. Good luck with your choice.

supatrucka
02-12-2012, 15:42
Absolutely no offense intended, but 500 rounds is not a great baseline to endorse a firearm. Also, out of curiosity, how can you know their customer service is top notch if you haven't had any problems with their rifle?I called them up to register the gun for the warranty and they were very pleasant. I like supporting local and small business my budget on a gun was $1500 and I'm just plinking around so I don't need a high end AR. I handled the S&W sportster for $599 and for a few hundred more I feel I bought a better gun. I was also looking at the 6920 I live in CT so I can't have the flash hider and collapsible stock and lug.

Cole125
02-12-2012, 17:54
Get a PSA rifle kit, and the cheapest stripped lower you can get. Spend the rest on ammo, thank me later. :cool:

smitty704
02-14-2012, 10:30
Thanks guys. I asked this same question on AR15.com and got similar answers. The Colt does seem like an amazing firearm, as well as the Spikes, PSA, BCM, RRA, and I really like the DD.

But for me it seems like the PSA might be the overall best bet. I get a good quality rifle and save A LOT of money to spend on "furniture" as you guys say. ;) (I'm trying to learn the AR lingo here...) The PSA seems like an excellent choice for an AR noob like myself.

I don't see any complete rifles in stock on their site right now, but I will keep looking. Or maybe just go ahead and buy a compete lower and a complete upper and just snap them together.

Thanks again guys for the advice and wisdom.

cyphertext
02-14-2012, 11:07
But for me it seems like the PSA might be the overall best bet. I get a good quality rifle and save A LOT of money to spend on "furniture" as you guys say. ;) (I'm trying to learn the AR lingo here...) The PSA seems like an excellent choice for an AR noob like myself.

I don't see any complete rifles in stock on their site right now, but I will keep looking. Or maybe just go ahead and buy a compete lower and a complete upper and just snap them together.

Thanks again guys for the advice and wisdom.

Smitty, you just took this in a whole 'nother direction my friend! If you are looking at the PSA, then I would also give the S&W M&P 15 Sport another look as well, if you want a carbine. If you are looking at at a mid-length, well, stop reading here, as the rest will not apply.

My S&W Sport has many of the features to look for, such as:
1. Gas key is properly staked
2. Bolt is marked MP (don't know if it is batch tested or individually tested)
3. F marked front sight

It varies from the chart in these features:
1. Barrel is melonite treated vs. chromed lined. One good thing here is that the barrel is treated and then the front sight is put on, so there is corrosion protection on the barrel under the front sight, vs. some AR's that do not have finish under the front sight.
2. Barrel is 1:8 twist vs. 1:7 or 1:9 Should allow for shooting lightweight through the heavier grain rounds.
3. No heat shields (cheap move S&W, but will be replaced anyway.
4. No forward assist
5. No dust cover
6. Integrated, enlarged trigger guard (no need to purchase the magpull part, or opening the trigger guard for shooting with gloves)

Those are off the top of my head. I feel like I got a good rifle, for the money. When you originally said you wanted more rifle and had a bigger budget, then the Sport was not for you. But if you are looking at the budget rifles, the Sport is a good value, IMHO.

smitty704
02-14-2012, 14:18
Smitty, you just took this in a whole 'nother direction my friend! If you are looking at the PSA, then I would also give the S&W M&P 15 Sport another look as well, if you want a carbine. If you are looking at at a mid-length, well, stop reading here, as the rest will not apply.

My S&W Sport has many of the features to look for, such as:
1. Gas key is properly staked
2. Bolt is marked MP (don't know if it is batch tested or individually tested)
3. F marked front sight

It varies from the chart in these features:
1. Barrel is melonite treated vs. chromed lined. One good thing here is that the barrel is treated and then the front sight is put on, so there is corrosion protection on the barrel under the front sight, vs. some AR's that do not have finish under the front sight.
2. Barrel is 1:8 twist vs. 1:7 or 1:9 Should allow for shooting lightweight through the heavier grain rounds.
3. No heat shields (cheap move S&W, but will be replaced anyway.
4. No forward assist
5. No dust cover
6. Integrated, enlarged trigger guard (no need to purchase the magpull part, or opening the trigger guard for shooting with gloves)

Those are off the top of my head. I feel like I got a good rifle, for the money. When you originally said you wanted more rifle and had a bigger budget, then the Sport was not for you. But if you are looking at the budget rifles, the Sport is a good value, IMHO.
Lol. As you can tell, I wasn't really sure what direction I was headed to begin with.:)

I just got back from a LGS and the only AR they had within my price range was a S&W M&P15 sport. They had one that was completely stock, and another with some magpul upgrades.

Do y'all believe the M&P15 sport is a better rifle for the money?

JaPes
02-14-2012, 14:42
Do y'all believe the M&P15 sport is a better rifle for the money?

Here we go again...lol

It all depends on the OTD price of the 15-Sport. The closer it approaches the OTD price of a "full feature" AR, the less attractive it becomes.

I own a 15-Sport. No issues with it. I paid $614.99 OTD.

cyphertext
02-14-2012, 15:10
Do y'all believe the M&P15 sport is a better rifle for the money?

It is hard to beat a factory built rifle, backed by a manufacturer like S&W for the price point the Sport sells at.

smitty704
02-14-2012, 16:19
Here we go again...lol

It all depends on the OTD price of the 15-Sport. The closer it approaches the OTD price of a "full feature" AR, the less attractive it becomes.

I own a 15-Sport. No issues with it. I paid $614.99 OTD.

Lol. I just read some of the the thread I think you are referring to. All I can say is wow.

See, the M&P-15 sport at my LGS is $699 before tax. This is the cheapest price I have found in my area for a M&P-15 sport.

cyphertext
02-14-2012, 16:34
Lol. I just read some of the the thread I think you are referring to. All I can say is wow.

See, the M&P-15 sport at my LGS is $699 before tax. This is the cheapest price I have found in my area for a M&P-15 sport.

What are prices for other ARs in your local area? How does that pricing compare to what you would be charged for shipping and transfer fees?

Do you have an Academy in your area? They are $650 there, if you can find one in stock. You may even be able to order one from Wal-mart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Smith-Wesson-M-P-15-Sport-Rifle/19237914

JaPes
02-14-2012, 17:49
OP,

You also have the option of assembling a lower & topping it off with a complete upper. If you keep to a budget, you can build a good AR within the same price range as a M&P 15-Sport. Details of my experience are in the thread referenced below.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1398020

Here is my FrankenAR today. Transferred Magpul goodies off my S&W M&P 15-22.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f275/suba-saab/AR%20BUILD%201/IMG_0291-1.jpg

In the thread I shot irons. This is a slow fire group shot on a wobbly bench using the range's cruddy plastic rest. 100 ft ***(Originally listed yards, but cyphertext makes valid points that I may have faulty info. I changed it to ft to err on the side of caution because I'm feeling like an inadvertent, unintentional jerk and don't want to make outrageous claims)

Russian steel case .223 TulAmmo.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f275/suba-saab/AR%20Build%201%20Test%20Target/IMG_0290.jpg

Assembling a lower is easy. Follow directions step by step, and it's hard to screw it up.

***EDIT. Cyphertext makes a valid point about distance. Distance listed by range could be a typographical error. I will have to range it using a golf range finder in a couple weeks when I go back.

cyphertext
02-14-2012, 20:06
In the thread I shot irons. I mistakenly thought the distance in the rifle tube was in feet. It was in yards. This is a slow fire group shot on a wobbly bench using the range's cruddy plastic rest. 100 yds. Russian steel case .223 TulAmmo.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f275/suba-saab/AR%20Build%201%20Test%20Target/IMG_0290.jpg

Assembling a lower is easy. Follow directions step by step, and it's hard to screw it up.

You sure that was 100 yards? If that truly was 100 yards, that is some mighty fine shooting with open sights. It's good shooting at 25 yards! I had to go get a quarter to compare!

I still would like to see targets from both of your rifles shot with same ammo, on same day, at same distance.

TactiCool
02-14-2012, 20:58
High Standard makes very reliable AR's in the $800-$1K price range. One of my training partners put over 1,500 rounds through his without cleaning and not a single FTF.

JaPes
02-14-2012, 21:21
You sure that was 100 yards? If that truly was 100 yards, that is some mighty fine shooting with open sights. It's good shooting at 25 yards! I had to go get a quarter to compare!

I still would like to see targets from both of your rifles shot with same ammo, on same day, at same distance.


Cyphertext, you're making me question the distance listed at the range facility's website. I asked the person manning the counter, and they said yards. I never questioned it. :frown:

I'm not so good at guesstimating distance based on sight. The range facility listed a 100yd range, but the more I think about it... the more I want to kick myself in the posterior.

I'm feeling like a dumb jerk right now.:embarassed: I edited the original post to reflect feet to err on the side of caution.

I'm going to snag a golf range finder and confirm the distance when I go back in a couple weeks. I really don't want to make outrageous claims about anything, and I'll post up.

I'll bring both rifles. I'll use the same target. I'll use the same ammo in both. I'll shoot at a distance confirmed by a range finder.

I'm a self taught shooter. Only two of my friends shoot. None of my family currently shoots. I read books on technique & theory, asked questions of any shooter who would answer me, and watched videos. I then applied it at the range & made adjustments through trial & error.

demint1
02-14-2012, 21:25
If your looking at the M&P 15 sport, I have the M&P 15 MOE and would highly recomened it. Unlike the sport, it has the forward assist and dust cover plus all the magpul upgrades; grip, hand guard, and stock. $999 before tax at Cabelas. Great rifle for the price IMO.

cyphertext
02-14-2012, 21:48
Cyphertext, you're making me question the distance listed at the range facility's website. I asked the person manning the counter, and they said yards. I never questioned it. :frown:

I'm not so good at guesstimating distance based on sight. The range facility listed a 100yd range, but the more I think about it... the more I want to kick myself in the posterior.

I'm feeling like a dumb jerk right now.:embarassed: I edited the original post to reflect feet to err on the side of caution.

I'm going to snag a golf range finder and confirm the distance when I go back in a couple weeks. I really don't want to make outrageous claims about anything, and I'll post up.

I'll bring both rifles. I'll use the same target. I'll use the same ammo in both. I'll shoot at a distance confirmed by a range finder.

I'm a self taught shooter. Only two of my friends shoot. None of my family currently shoots. I read books on technique & theory, asked questions of any shooter who would answer me, and watched videos. I then applied it at the range & made adjustments through trial & error.

Feet, yards, meters, it's still dang good shooting! :wavey: I look forward to your next range report. I hope to get mine to the range here in the next week or two as well!

svtpwnz
02-15-2012, 07:38
I am going to give you some sage advice. Save up for the DD, BCM, Colt, etc. You won't be "trading up" in the near future by doing so.

+1 The DDM4, Colt and BCM are rifles that are ready to run right out of the box and are damn nice as well. You can get a BCM from G&R for less than a grand and all it needs is a stock and handguards. DDM4 V7's can be had for about a grand as well as a Colt 6920. I simply see no reason what so ever to even consider a BM, RRA, etc when there much better options for about the same money. I have a DDM4 V4 and could not be happier. Just my .02

0scarM!ke
02-15-2012, 10:01
It seems everyone likes All the guys with BCM's DD's Noveske's Colts etc., are always the first to bash the boys wanting to buy a S&W M&P Sport...but the truth to me is in the puddin'. I got mine for $600 OTD. Then I had enough money left over to buy EoTechXPS2, Sightmark 3X FTS magnifier, Oversized charging handle, Magpul BAD Lever, Magpul MOR grip, SOPMOD stock, single point sling with ambi receiver plate, YHM quad rail...3PMAGs...Magpul AFG, STreamlight Scorpion and mount. And 1000 rounds of ammo for a little more than a top shelf Full Mil-spec AR...now I'm enjoying just shooting the damn thing, or should I say abusing the damn thing...this rifle has seen some serious mag dump action with absolutely Zero failures of any kind. Some people's priorities are just different. I hope I don't have to "go to war" with the rifle and if I did, I think I'm off to a well equipped start.

Will I ever own a top shelf tier one "operator's" rifle...probably...and I'll have a lot of trigger time on this one and gain weapon familiarity...and have a sweet back-up rifle

To each his own though

0scarM!ke
02-15-2012, 10:02
Sorry I meant VFG...not MOR ;)

supatrucka
02-16-2012, 16:14
It seems everyone likes All the guys with BCM's DD's Noveske's Colts etc., are always the first to bash the boys wanting to buy a S&W M&P Sport...but the truth to me is in the puddin'. I got mine for $600 OTD. Then I had enough money left over to buy EoTechXPS2, Sightmark 3X FTS magnifier, Oversized charging handle, Magpul BAD Lever, Magpul MOR grip, SOPMOD stock, single point sling with ambi receiver plate, YHM quad rail...3PMAGs...Magpul AFG, STreamlight Scorpion and mount. And 1000 rounds of ammo for a little more than a top shelf Full Mil-spec AR...now I'm enjoying just shooting the damn thing, or should I say abusing the damn thing...this rifle has seen some serious mag dump action with absolutely Zero failures of any kind. Some people's priorities are just different. I hope I don't have to "go to war" with the rifle and if I did, I think I'm off to a well equipped start.

Will I ever own a top shelf tier one "operator's" rifle...probably...and I'll have a lot of trigger time on this one and gain weapon familiarity...and have a sweet back-up rifle

To each his own though
Agree

cyphertext
02-16-2012, 16:22
We haven't heard from Smitty in a couple of days...wonder which way he is leaning now?