Newbie to AR rifles. Buy or build Target AR under $1000. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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2rott
03-03-2012, 18:05
Been lurking in Blackrifles for a while. Thought by reading everything I can, I would have a revelation & understand everything AR there is to know. Not working for me yet.
Been a pistol shooter for many years & think it's time I get an AR & join some of my buddies. I'm interested in bench shooting 100-200yds. I would use a scope because my old eyes wouldn't allow me to shoot the small groups I'd strive for. .223 cal, & 18-20 " barrel.1:9 or 1:8 twist. A decent trigger. Probably will only shoot 100-150 rounds a month. Don't want chromed barrel I think. Maybe SS. Probably A2 buttstock. Maybe this ,but a little expensive...RRA...http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=228 or this...STAG...STAG ARMS Model 6 (Super Varminter)..longer barrel than I really want/need. Would really like to shoot sub MOA...Is it possible for around $1000 or less. By the way, I reload. Bud's is out of stock on a Doublestar DSC Super Match $ 889. Is it junk?
The other consideration is to build. I'm fairly handy, but don't know where to start. Too many choices. It would probably be easier buying a complete lower & complete upper. I'm not sure. Don't want to pay for stuff I don't need like carry handle, sights, etc. Am I expecting too much? Any suggestions?

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 18:14
Stay away from DoubleStar.

You can still get sub-MOA accuracy from a chrome lined barrel at 200 yards, so long as you use a quality barrel/upper. However, it's easier to get that accuracy from a stainless barrel.

I'd suggest hunting around for an upper that fits you needs, and buying a decent lower separately. If you're feeling industrious, you can order a stripped lower, along with the lower parts kit you want, stock, etc. and build up the lower yourself fairly easily.

An 18-20" barrel is all you'll need - anything longer will give no benefit to accuracy. Heck, a 16" barrel is more than capable of reaching 200 yards with excellent accuracy, assuming you use a quality barrel. I can make solid hits on steel (and respectable paper groups) at 150 yards with nothing more than a 10.5" SBR and an Aimpoint with a 4MOA dot - the dot in the optic covers 6" on the target at that distance, and my groups are about the same size.

A decent optic will eat up a lot of that $1,000 budget, unless you already planned a separate budget for the scope.

2rott
03-03-2012, 18:26
A decent optic will eat up a lot of that $1,000 budget, unless you already planned a separate budget for the scope.[/QUOTE

I have to be realistic. I don't think I could do it with the scope included. I'm planning on the scope being in addition to the $1000. I would love to be able to get the rifle for less than $1000 & have some $ to add to the scope.

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 18:37
A decent optic will eat up a lot of that $1,000 budget, unless you already planned a separate budget for the scope.[/QUOTE

I have to be realistic. I don't think I could do it with the scope included. I'm planning on the scope being in addition to the $1000. I would love to be able to get the rifle for less than $1000 & have some $ to add to the scope.

If all you want is a range/target gun, take a good hard look at Palmetto State Armory. Their popularity has shot up recently, so you'll probably have to wait a bit to catch the one you want in stock, then a wait for it to be built and shipped. With the exception of one or two relatively minor hiccups, their uppers seem to be VERY good for the money. Plus, they put their stripped lowers on sale every now and then for $50 - everyday price is $80. Add in a decent LPK (lower parts kit) and stock kit, and you're about set. You can either upgrade the trigger, or follow one of several different guides online for smoothing out a milspec trigger.

Most of PSA's uppers come with fixed front sights, which can present an issue with lower-powered magnified optics. Higher magnification, though, will cause the front sight to appear as a very faint image, or disappear completely. You can also look at getting the front gas block shaved or replaced with a low-profile option. PSA isn't currently offering any 5.56 options with a low profile block already installed, but their offerings tend to change based on what they have available.

Edit to add: You may also want to consider a free-floated fore end, as it will help prevent the bench rest or bipod from interfering with the barrel, thereby limiting your potential accuracy.

While most of the barrels from PSA are chrome lined (in some cases using heavy lining), and may not be as accurate as some of the high-end offerings, you'll have a lot more luck with getting a decent upper without blowing your budget with PSA, and leave money left over for mags, ammo/reloading supplies, optic, etc...

Another option would be to save up a little more money, and get a top-range upper. It all depends on what kind of accuracy you really want. Most any upper will give you 2-4MOA at 200 yards and under. The good ones will give you anywhere from .5MOA to 1.5, depending on the maker and configuration.

SpectreRider
03-03-2012, 19:28
The other consideration is to build. I'm fairly handy, but don't know where to start. Too many choices. It would probably be easier buying a complete lower & complete upper. I'm not sure. Any suggestions?

Building is fun and easy. Think of it as a man puzzle. The upper comes fully assembled and a lower is a couple hours the first time, taking it slow and consulting back to online assembly directions. (Google it...they are out there)

Take a look at the site for M&A Parts. A kit has every part but the stripped lower (and sights depending on model) and ships right to the house.

I think what you might be interested in is the 5.56 24" Varmint Kit found here for just $575.00 plus about 30 shipping:
http://www.mapartsinc.com/products.asp?catId=79&subOne=301&subTwo=320

Hope that helps.

Building is a blast. Give it some more consideration.

My favorite (Well, truly the only ones I use) Stripped Lower comes from TM, Tactical Machining found here for $109.00 (sometimes on sale for $90.00. The fit between the TM reciever and the M&A Parts kits has been really tight on all four of the AR's I've built and the coloration of the black hard anodizing has been a perfect match:
http://www.tacticalmachining.com/receivers/lower-receivers.html

Good Luck (and no, I don't work for either company),

Brad

SpectreRider
03-03-2012, 19:33
Just looked back at the OP. M&A Parts has in stock also a 20" Varmint, Also STAINLESS 1:8 twist free float.

575.00 no tax
30.00 shipping
109.00 plus tax (company in FL like you)
20.00 shipping
25.00 FFL transfer plus tax
APPROX
767.00

A couple hundred left over towards optics. And you have a real connection to your rifle.

bulletandgrunt
03-03-2012, 19:45
2rott,


Man, building your own to me is the only way. I went to a gun show last weekend. I bought a Spikes stripped lower and a 16" DPMS upper. I admit I could have bought a Spikes lower cheaper online, but I didn't want to mess with the FFL shipping/transfers etc etc. I have $600 in the gun. I spent $400 on an Aimpoint PRO (I chose this since I'm in the Army and this is identical to ours). So I have a $1000 gun including optic. Now if you add gucci stuff like rails, BUIS, pimp pistol grip and buttstock you'll go over. I had a few gucci items left over from a few deployments, but that was just luck. Just a note on the 16" barrels, I drill E-type silouhettes "man type targets" at 400m. The Army says the difference in the 20" and 16" is 50 meters at a point target.

But back to the orginal question, build it. You can get instructions on building a stripped lower online and all you need is a punch set, a hammer, a screwdriver and some patience. Very rewarding and my 16yo son and I did it together and the shot it together.

2rott
03-03-2012, 19:58
Thanks for all the help guys. Sounds like building is the way to go.

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 20:03
Thanks for all the help guys. Sounds like building is the way to go.

It is, but I'd suggest sticking to known, reputable companies. Otherwise, you might get a good rifle, or you might get a total lemon. Worse, you get a lemon and get left holding the bag to fix it yourself. Companies like PSA, Bravo Company, Noveske, LMT,etc are known for quality parts and quality service (albeit sometimes a bit slow to answer when they're busy).

SpectreRider
03-03-2012, 20:03
Another advantage of building... Every new firearm has a 10% built in tax that was put there by sportsmen lobbying for it as a mechanism to fund wildlife programs.

When you buy an assembled rifle the 10% tax is applied (again it is buried in the price) to the entire rifle cost. When the stripped lower is bought as a seperate item, the stripped lower IS the firearm and the tax is 10% of a hundred dollar item rather than a 800-900 dollar item.

Even though the tax goes towards a better use than most tax money, I, for one, try to give the government as little as I can.

As far as sticking with the big names, some truth there, but I have had NO issues with the four kits from M&A or the five lowers from TM.

GotFour
03-04-2012, 17:45
AR prices have come way down now that production has exceeded demand. You can save a few bucks if you build you own, and building one yourself is a very satisfying undertaking so to me its one half dozen or other........your choice. A word of caution, whether you build or buy do it soon in advance of the coming election. Last go round everything was snapped up including rifles, parts, primers, powder, ammo etc.

GSSF17
03-04-2012, 18:21
Hearing what you have to say and assuming what your goals are, I would build.

Check out www.palmettostatearmory.com (http://www.palmettostatearmory.com) and/or www.aimsurplus.com (http://www.aimsurplus.com) and never look back. You could end up with an AR with a cold hammer forged barrel and decked out in Magpul furniture for less than 800 ,easy. Good luck and holler on which you decide. :thumbsup: