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Ryan-17
03-11-2012, 14:43
hey guys! I am looking into getting an Ar-15 I know there are millions of threads on this topic but I want what's best for me and my needs. I have never owned an Ar, just shot one or 2 before. I am just looking for a reliable weapon and something to bug-out with or protect my home with.

I was looking at the S&W m&p 15 sport, looks nice but doesn't have a dust cover or forward assist... its that a big deal or not???

also don't know if I should build my own or just buy one, I don't want to mess it up, and I want it to be reliable.

my budget is not a penny more than $1,000

Thanks in advance!!!!!

RyanNREMTP
03-11-2012, 15:38
Don't have much to add but we need more info. What type of optics? What kind of environment do you live in? How much training do you have or intend to get regarding the rifle? What else are you planning on doing with the rifle? Does your budget of $1,000 include the optic, magazines, ammo and other options?

If you ask me, I would suggest your first AR be bought complete.

Ryan-17
03-11-2012, 15:53
Don't have much to add but we need more info. What type of optics? What kind of environment do you live in? How much training do you have or intend to get regarding the rifle? What else are you planning on doing with the rifle? Does your budget of $1,000 include the optic, magazines, ammo and other options?

If you ask me, I would suggest your first AR be bought complete.

sorry about the lack of info, I didn't know what else to add.
To answer your questions-

Optics- iron sights are fine for now, I don't need to hit a target a mile away. I will upgrade or add optics later.

Environment- I live in California, north of sacramento. Hot in summer. cold, wet and rainy in the winter.

Training- I have shot a military surplus M-16 in the police academy, and thats about it. I will train frequently with my new AR when I get it, example- Run & gun, LE type training and occasional target practice

Magazines- I would like to have a few extra magazines in the price (about 5 to 7) for bug out bag, or training

Ammo- I would also like a few thousand rounds saved up just in case but I can buy a little at a time so its not included in my budget price of the weapon.

anything else?- would like to have a sling (for run and gun practice), adjustable stock, and later down the road I will probably add a light and forward grip but thats down the road.

G30Mike
03-11-2012, 16:19
This is probably one of the best deals going. You can't go wrong here. Colt 6920......$995
http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/CO6920.aspx

cyphertext
03-11-2012, 16:37
I own a M&P 15 Sport and personally feel that it is a great rifle for what you describe. If it is going to be used for range use, run and gun type games, and possibly be deployed in a HD role, it should fit your needs.

If you are LE and are going to be using it for high round count and hard use carbine courses, I can't state one way or the other. There is one story about how the rifle performed at Gunsite, but S&W was onsite. That review can be found here http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/06/benjamin-t-shotzberger/%EF%BB%BF-gun-review-smith-and-wesson-mp15-sport/ Some on this forum will say that it can't do it, but I don't know of any other tests. The market for this gun is not the type that are using it for professional use though.

As far as needing a forward assist and dust cover, that is a huge debate as well. I do not have a need for forward assist at all. I would like a dust cover, but since my use is range use and hunting, it is not necessary. I am able to keep my gun clean and functioning. Some are going to come on here and say that they wouldn't bet their life on this gun for HD because it isn't built to mil-spec or the chart, but I question that logic. The Remington 870 is not "mil-spec" either and was produced as a sporting arm, yet there are a lot of homes that are being protected by one.

Restless28
03-11-2012, 16:56
This is probably one of the best deals going. You can't go wrong here. Colt 6920......$995
http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/CO6920.aspx

OUT OF STOCK. Has been for some time.:wavey:

Ryan-17
03-11-2012, 17:17
I am starting to stray away from the m&p sport. Is there anything just one step above an m&p sport with a dust cover and forward assist???

cyphertext
03-11-2012, 17:34
I am starting to stray away from the m&p sport. Is there anything just one step above an m&p sport with a dust cover and forward assist???

It depends....why are you losing interest in the M&P 15 Sport? Is it just because of dust cover and forward assist? The next step in the M&P line is probably the M&P 15 optics ready. However, with that rifle, you don't get any sights and I feel that the barrel on the Sport is better. Both are 4140, however the Sport is melonite treated with a 1:8 twist. The OR carbine is chrome lined barrel with 1:9 twist.

Or you can go up to the M&P Model 15t (the newer one). That one appears to have the same barrel as the Sport and also has a quad rail on it. Not sure what the street price is. You can compare the models here http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757785_-1_757784_757784_image

I feel the Sport is a good value, but the higher you go up in price, the more options you have with other brands as well. None of these rifles are "mil-spec" if that is what you are looking for.

WoodenPlank
03-11-2012, 17:55
Before too many jump in with suggestions, realize the OP lives in California, which comes with it's own PITA restrictions.

cyphertext
03-11-2012, 18:38
Before too many jump in with suggestions, realize the OP lives in California, which comes with it's own PITA restrictions.

Good point. I know the Sport can be had in a CA compliant model, and assume the other S&W rifles do as well...

Honestlty, not sure I would even be interested in the AR if I lived in those restrictive states.

SCSU74
03-11-2012, 19:17
OUT OF STOCK. Has been for some time.:wavey:

They had them there Wednesday when I was there buying stuff... That price actually went up I think i paid 940 from there back in September. The elite operator on rock rivers site is on sale for 1068 including tax with free shipping. Comes with 3 30 rd mags all you'd really need is a sling.


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cfec2008
03-11-2012, 19:44
look around at gun shows and the net and try to find a good complete lower, and buy a bcm upper from their website. I think if youll spend some time looking pretty well that you can make your 1k budget. Good luck .

Cole125
03-11-2012, 19:54
You cannot go wrong with the S&W Sport, and as you know they make a CA compliant model.

Use the savings for mags, and ammo, Aimpoint, ect. Good luck.

jrs93accord
03-11-2012, 19:58
Before too many jump in with suggestions, realize the OP lives in California, which comes with it's own PITA restrictions.

Good eyes Brandon. I was just going to point that out.

First problem you have will be with magazines. In CA compliant ARs, the magazine (10 round) is affixed to the AR lower and is not to be removed as long as it is in-state. Additionally, there may also be an issue with ammunition. You need to check the CA laws regarding ARs and ammo purchases. You will also need to see which companies make a CA legal AR.

WoodenPlank
03-11-2012, 20:07
Good eyes Brandon. I was just going to point that out.

First problem you have will be with magazines. In CA compliant ARs, the magazine (10 round) is affixed to the AR lower and is not to be removed as long as it is in-state. Additionally, there may also be an issue with ammunition. You need to check the CA laws regarding ARs and ammo purchases. You will also need to see which companies make a CA legal AR.

The mag can be removed, you just have to have it configured to need a tool for the removal. That's where things like the bullet button come in - it converts the usual mag release button into a tool-required magazine release.

Still sucks.

Honestly, if I lived in CA, I'd look at something like an SKS or Mini-14 long before an AR, just to get around some of the butt-pain.

Ryan-17
03-11-2012, 20:16
yea I know CA sucks but I have to adapt and overcome!

bmoore
03-11-2012, 21:52
yea I know CA sucks but I have to adapt and overcome!

Its not a big deal man. Pick up a stripped lower from a local shop (89-125 bucks depending on what and where you buy), buy a 19 dollar bullet button from Riflegear.com- they are in Fountain Valley and ship in like 2 days. Then look into BCM or Palmetto state armory uppers. You can put together a very solid rifle for 800 bucks from Palmetto or BCM. I am a Palmetto fan myself so my advice would be to look at their entire rifle kits.

The rifle kits come with everything needed (excluding a rear site) to turn your stripped lower into a rifle. If you go with a BCM upper you will have to snag a lower parts kit and stock. Example---if you did a stripped lower with a BCM upper, Daniel Defense lower parts kit and then a BCM standard carbine stock kit you would probably still be under the 1K price range. That being said you could also do a Palmetto state armory hammer forged rifle kit and be under the 1k mark also, that would be a damn fine rifle too.

WoodenPlank
03-11-2012, 22:05
Out of curiosity (since I don't keep up with CA law) does the BB mean you can have bayonet lugs and flash hiders? I know it allows pistol grips and collapsible stocks, but the bayo lug and FH have always made me wonder...

Hour13
03-11-2012, 22:07
The Sport is a great little rifle, perfect starter AR. The dust cover and forward assist can always be added later if you want, by changing out the upper receiver. This will only set you back about $100, I did this on my Sport.

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn269/hour13/gun%20stuff/AR15s/mps3.jpg
http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn269/hour13/gun%20stuff/AR15s/mps2.jpg

I'm not a total newb, lol, I appreciate a quality rifle. I've got a few nice ones on my bench in progress right now. But no joke, I genuinely regret selling my Sport, and plan to get another one soon.

bmoore
03-11-2012, 22:23
Out of curiosity (since I don't keep up with CA law) does the BB mean you can have bayonet lugs and flash hiders? I know it allows pistol grips and collapsible stocks, but the bayo lug and FH have always made me wonder...

Yes, once you have the BB you are set.

WoodenPlank
03-11-2012, 22:26
Yes, once you have the BB you are set.

Cool. I'm helping an acquaintance on another board with the concept of building a CA-compliant AR. It's making me REALLY appreciate living in a state without all these BS laws.

bmoore
03-12-2012, 08:26
Cool. I'm helping an acquaintance on another board with the concept of building a CA-compliant AR. It's making me REALLY appreciate living in a state without all these BS laws.

Im glad you are taking the time to appreciate it:cool: It does suck but at I guess I am just happy I can own one. My wife and I are already talking about our AZ river house for retirement.

B.Reid
03-12-2012, 08:55
Sorry you can't have one in CA. At least not with full cap mags.

Ryan-17
03-14-2012, 13:14
I feel the Sport is a good value, but the higher you go up in price, the more options you have with other brands as well. None of these rifles are "mil-spec" if that is what you are looking for.

What exactly is "Mil-Spec"? is that just standard specifications so all mil-spec parts will be interchangeable?
sorry I know that is a total newb question...

Ryan-17
03-14-2012, 13:16
Sorry you can't have one in CA. At least not with full cap mags.

I know it totally upsets me when I watch youtube videos of people shooting AR-15's with 30 round mags and doing fast mag changes!!!!!

cyphertext
03-14-2012, 13:35
What exactly is "Mil-Spec"? is that just standard specifications so all mil-spec parts will be interchangeable?
sorry I know that is a total newb question...

"Mil-spec" is a standard which parts for US Gov contracts are built to. It insures part interoperability and that the parts are held to certain levels of QC. However, some aspects of mil-spec may not be necessary or desirable, depending upon your application of the rifle. For example, if you are only going to shoot the 55g surplus rounds, or the lighter varmint rounds, the 1:7 twist mil-spec barrel would not be the best barrel for your use. Some folks prefer melonite or tennifer treated barrels, or stainless steel barrels over the mil-spec chrome lining. You will need to decide how you are going to use the rifle and choose accordingly.

WoodenPlank
03-14-2012, 14:41
What exactly is "Mil-Spec"? is that just standard specifications so all mil-spec parts will be interchangeable?
sorry I know that is a total newb question...

"Mil-spec" is a standard which parts for US Gov contracts are built to. It insures part interoperability and that the parts are held to certain levels of QC. However, some aspects of mil-spec may not be necessary or desirable, depending upon your application of the rifle. For example, if you are only going to shoot the 55g surplus rounds, or the lighter varmint rounds, the 1:7 twist mil-spec barrel would not be the best barrel for your use. Some folks prefer melonite or tennifer treated barrels, or stainless steel barrels over the mil-spec chrome lining. You will need to decide how you are going to use the rifle and choose accordingly.


Cypher gave you about the best answer you could ask for. I will add, though, that every 1:7 twist barrel I have owned shot 55gr just fine, and had more than reasonable enough accuracy.

SCSU74
03-14-2012, 15:37
Cypher gave you about the best answer you could ask for. I will add, though, that every 1:7 twist barrel I have owned shot 55gr just fine, and had more than reasonable enough accuracy.

Mine is fine 25 and in. Rounds start dropping and drifting right further out with 55g. 62g is spot on at further distances.


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WoodenPlank
03-14-2012, 15:51
Mine is fine 25 and in. Rounds start dropping and drifting right further out with 55g. 62g is spot on at further distances.


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Interestingly, my 1/7 twist 10.5" upper holds about a 3-4" group at 100 yards with a 4MOA Aimpoint M2 mounted on it. I haven't tried it with a magnified optic to see if I can get that group size any smaller.
Edit: That's using Federal XM193 55gr.

SCSU74
03-14-2012, 20:41
Interestingly, my 1/7 twist 10.5" upper holds about a 3-4" group at 100 yards with a 4MOA Aimpoint M2 mounted on it. I haven't tried it with a magnified optic to see if I can get that group size any smaller.
Edit: That's using Federal XM193 55gr.

Ya I was pretty surprised. The instructor i had said it wasn't too uncommon and just let me shoot the qual course with duty ammo. Same pattern for irons as with aimpoint pro.


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Ryan-17
03-15-2012, 13:53
So what would be the best barrel to get then?

cyphertext
03-15-2012, 14:22
So what would be the best barrel to get then?

Best depends on your use. What grain bullet do you intend to shoot the most of, and what range? I've heard from friends that their 1:9 twist will stabilize the heavy loads out to 100 yards. If you don't plan to shoot 40gr varmint rounds at prairie dogs, the 1:7 would probably work, but as SCSU74 has shown, different barrels will produce different results.

I chose the Sport because the other rifles in my price range had 1:9 barrels and I wanted the 1:8 so that I could shoot heavier loads more accurately for hog hunting. For me, real world application....honestly, probably doesn't make a bit of difference from the range I am shooting from.

M&P15T
03-15-2012, 14:34
I gotta share.

My M&P15T has a 1/9 barrel, and all I shoot is M193.

With my Eotech at 50 yards, it is stupid accurate. Take out the center circle of the target.

Ryan-17
03-15-2012, 14:35
Best depends on your use. What grain bullet do you intend to shoot the most of, and what range? I've heard from friends that their 1:9 twist will stabilize the heavy loads out to 100 yards. If you don't plan to shoot 40gr varmint rounds at prairie dogs, the 1:7 would probably work, but as SCSU74 has shown, different barrels will produce different results.

I chose the Sport because the other rifles in my price range had 1:9 barrels and I wanted the 1:8 so that I could shoot heavier loads more accurately for hog hunting. For me, real world application....honestly, probably doesn't make a bit of difference from the range I am shooting from.

What would you recommend for home protection, practical training, LE type training (shooting on the move, from behind barricade and such) possibly hit a target for a distance, but I don't need to be hitting quarters from a mile away...

cyphertext
03-15-2012, 15:01
What would you recommend for home protection, practical training, LE type training (shooting on the move, from behind barricade and such) possibly hit a target for a distance, but I don't need to be hitting quarters from a mile away...

With LE use involved, I will defer to some of the other users on the forum. I shoot paper and critters, neither which make me a target or put me in harms way.

WoodenPlank
03-15-2012, 15:23
What would you recommend for home protection, practical training, LE type training (shooting on the move, from behind barricade and such) possibly hit a target for a distance, but I don't need to be hitting quarters from a mile away...

Most LEOs I have seen issue anywhere from 55 to 69 grain ammunition, either JHP or soft point. As long as you're not worried about using anything heavier than 69gr, a 1:9 will be fine. SOME 1:9 barrels will work with up to 75 grain, but this is hit and miss.


If you want the be able to use the top-shelf OTM and JHP loads, without worrying about if uour particular barrel will work with them, you'll need no slower than 1:8. This mainly applies to 75gr Hornady TAP (both the #8126N LEO loads and the FPD version), 70gr Brown Tip, and 77gr Mk. 262 loads. 1:8 will also work with cheap 55gr loads with little to no loss in accuracy.

1:7 will work with all the heavy stuff, but might have issues with accuracy with 55gr ammo. This varies between individual barrels.

TnGlocker12
03-15-2012, 19:24
This is probably one of the best deals going. You can't go wrong here. Colt 6920......$995
http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/CO6920.aspx


I agree with the above. I bought my first AR last November and finally fired it a little. I got the LE6920 by Colt and it is everything I need. The above price is great and you can't go wrong with the Colt 6920.