When they asked if I would help here I had to make the decision not to talk about specific brands in this area but, I'll try to help. Some companies are DOD contractors who make weapons for mil use and sell to the public , some also have sister companies that sell to the general public. IMO these companies usually produce better products than those who build primarily for civilian use with the possible exception of those private companies who build high end rifles for specific uses.
The $ range you are talking about is lower than most if not all of the MSRPs, If you were to spend an extra $100 over the lowest costing AR on the market you could get you a decent rifle that you may not need to upgrade or not upgrade much any way, where with the lowest costing rifle you may have to toss every single part or just sell it and start all over.
Most guys shoot 55gr surplus or WWB(Winchester white box) from Wally World so a 9 twist will be fine for most shooting, if you plan to shoot 75-77-80gr projectiles or tracers then you may want to look at a 7 twist. A chrome-lined barrel will last longer but, I just read where a guy shot 50000 rounds or so through a stainless barrel before it failed so IMO a non chrome-lined barrel would not be a deal stopper for your first rifle. There are a few companies in Ill. you should check out. So much for no brands LOL. I am usually in the shop running machines and it may take a while for me to answer but, you can PM me anytime.
Last edited by Constructor; 03-29-2010 at 20:12..
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