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  • Cheapest way toward a decent AR

    Obviously dont want a POS, but want something at the lowest possible price. Pap already has a 6920 and its a sweet little rifle IMO but outside my price range. Looking for something 16-18". Which way should I go? Buy a M&P15? Wait/look for the right deals on uppers/lowers and snatch em when they come? Build one?

    Thanks yall
    I am the reincarnation of Sammy Davis Jr. But atleast I'm taller than Frank. And I like men.

  • #26
    I have two thoughts about the OPs question. One side of me says that for 800 bucks you can get a Colt le6920 OEM2 without any furniture for 700 bucks. Then you get whatever stock/rail you want and maybe a new trigger later on. Could probably do that for less than a 1000 and be into a very decent setup.

    The other side of me says to get a matched receiver set used or otherwise, get your parts list and wait for deals to come to you. The major downside to this is that people are silly and we buy stuff we don't need because it was cheap. Then your budget build somehow morphed into 3 rifles and a box of illegitimate parts.

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    • #27
      Build. I always build mine. Just wait for good deals on small things and get your bigger things on sale days.

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      • #28
        Originally posted by Buckshotu2 View Post
        I have two thoughts about the OPs question. One side of me says that for 800 bucks you can get a Colt le6920 OEM2 without any furniture for 700 bucks. Then you get whatever stock/rail you want and maybe a new trigger later on. Could probably do that for less than a 1000 and be into a very decent setup.

        The other side of me says to get a matched receiver set used or otherwise, get your parts list and wait for deals to come to you. The major downside to this is that people are silly and we buy stuff we don't need because it was cheap. Then your budget build somehow morphed into 3 rifles and a box of illegitimate parts.

        Funny you should mention that- I have two budget build ARs left out of three that I'm selling off. Fortunately, I managed to end up with only a few illegitimate parts. I'm moving on to Mega builds with top quality parts.

        Mine is more a case of "Oh crap, 20-odd kids shot at a school- I better buy some lowers NOW while I still can..." Before I know it, I have four stripped lowers and boxes of parts. Then I start buying Mega lowers; for which, I don't want to use any of the previously mentioned items. Easiest way to sell budget rifle parts? Built into a budget rifle... And that is the story of how I ended up with like, nearly a dozen stripped lowers, almost half of which I didn't really want anymore.

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        • #29
          My history with ARs may be limited. I don't shoot competitively. I'm not an operator. I shoot weekly at the range typically 100-600 yards with my ARs. I had a stock Stag model 6 I got for about $1K like 9 years ago a little 14.5" LMT, I have a 20" A2 compass lake service rifle upper and a bone stock 16" PSA $299 stainless special with a 1-7 twist. And as par as accuracy and reliability they are all within the margins of my capability.
          As far as I'm concerned and AR is a good barrel with proper twist to match desired round and a good trigger. Everything else is meaningless as far as accuracy. Reliability is a proper gas system and general a mid length or rifle length with any decent ammo will work
          Right now by far the best deals are on some used A2 service rifle uppers. Now that they are allowing optics in service rifle their are some premium low round count uppers out there in talking WOA full build uppers with low round count for $500 or less


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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          • #30
            When I think of an AR I'm gravitating toward a gun that allows me to bang away shooting drills, driving the rifle from target to target, etc. It's a gun that is dedicated to work & real life's worst case scenarios. Firstly, it has to be dependable. I don't mind spending a few bucks on high end guns. You're life, or that of a family member's life may depend on that particular weapon at some point. Personally, I got a smokin' deal on a DDM4V1 & ran w/ it. I keep it as wet as a Kardashian in a Girls Gone Wild video. It runs like a fucking champ. As for accuracy, I haven't shot my personal M4 beyond 200 meters. I run a 50 yard zero in the event of a home invasion, training, etc. I don't care for mounting a ton of useless, gimmicky shit either. I mounted an AimPoint T-1, light & a sling. For any shooting in regards to accuracy at any real distances I use a bolt gun. Don't get me wrong as I'm not telling you that an AR can't be used as a precision weapon. It's just not the tool I'm using for that task.

            If y'all are looking to build a cheap gun whose main purpose is just to bang away w/ surplus ammo why not opt for an AK? An AK will eat cases of Silver Bear & Wolf ammo by the ton. Just a thought.

            EDIT: I forgot to mention, using descent ammo this gun shoots MOA w/ no problems. A few thousand rounds through it w/ no malfunctions of any kind.
            Last edited by WATERWALKER; 02-25-2017, 08:13 AM.

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            • #31
              I assembled a great AR with minimal (for me, and I bought a KAC SR 15E3 during the post sandy hook troubles) investment.

              Larue Stealth 16" barrel with M4 feed ramps
              Surplus Ammo and Arms upper receiver.
              Larue 12" rail
              Larue bolt
              No Name Phospate Bolt carrier
              BCM charging handle.

              The lower was a complete BCM unit, all I did was replace the trigger with a Larue MBT.

              This rifle shoots MOA with Freedom Munitions 223 re-manufactured rounds loaded with 60 grain VMAX and SUB MOA with 69 grain SMKs loaded in Lake City Brass with TAC powder.
              Get it wet with the oil of your choice and it will run all day long.

              If forced to do it again, I would buy a complete Stealth upper with MBT trigger and a complete BCM lower receiver. About $1600, but should be rock solid in the accuracy and dependability market.

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              • #32
                Originally posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
                Has MoneyManWithAGun made it to the new/old site yet? He'll tell you everything you need to know about everything, just ask him.
                Nah, he's still searching for his toupť. It blew off his head when he wrecked his leased BMW.

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                • #33
                  Originally posted by bogeybrown View Post
                  I'm not sure I totally agree. I totally accept a loss of accuracy by going cheap, but I don't know that cheap necessarily also means undependable.
                  Look at the other side of the pyramid of price/accurate/dependable: how many threads are there on super accurate super expensive rifles that aren't cycling properly. We here have just forgotten that the vast amount of shooters in the world will NEVER spend the amount of money that we do chasing "the best". There's still a place in the sport for folks who want to get into it without going broke, and would rather buy a ton of Wolf ammo before spending the $300 that we will drop on a trigger. Nor will they ever spend $1+ per round for match ammo when they can buy surplus for pennies.

                  Ive got a ridiculously cheap Olympic/Stag without a single internal upgrade and it is crazy dependable, but nowhere near as accurate as my mini SASS or WOA Service rifle.
                  I understand what you are saying and think you also have to define reliable. When I say reliable I mean I can bet my life on it to go bang 99.9% of the time. If by reliable you mean go plinking on the weekend and it works 90% of the time that's very different IMO.

                  Sure, you can always find an example of a cheaper rifle that runs good. I've even seen some cheap ones that hold MOA but it's not the norm. I run my ARs pretty hard so I learned earlier on to just buy once cry once. I had a DPMS at one time that never malfunctioned on me. Still wouldn't trust my life to it as a hard use gun.

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                  • #34
                    Originally posted by Rerun7 View Post

                    I understand what you are saying and think you also have to define reliable. When I say reliable I mean I can bet my life on it to go bang 99.9% of the time. If by reliable you mean go plinking on the weekend and it works 90% of the time that's very different IMO.

                    Sure, you can always find an example of a cheaper rifle that runs good. I've even seen some cheap ones that hold MOA but it's not the norm. I run my ARs pretty hard so I learned earlier on to just buy once cry once. I had a DPMS at one time that never malfunctioned on me. Still wouldn't trust my life to it as a hard use gun.
                    Fair enough, we're on the same page. He doesn't need reliable for a gunfight, just that'll go "pew" when he jerks the hell out of a shitty trigger. No one likes to deal with malfunctions, but this is a cheap plinker, period.

                    I found a $500 model from a company I've never heard of. For $500 he'll have somemoney left for ammo and a red dot off of eBay or amazon or wherever. If it sucks he can resell it in a heartbeat up here in Chicago or I can swap out a part if necessary.
                    I am The German's spirit animal

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                    • #35
                      Yeah from that standpoint I agree. I just saw you can get a new m&p sport II for $540 online. That's hard to beat for a plinker.

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                      • #36
                        After review and upon reflection, here's what I would suggest. First, buy the whole enchilada already assembled from a known producer. It costs what it costs, but they at least have put it through development as a model, and through QC as an individual product. That's got to be worth at least something. What small amount more you pay has a bearing on your stress level down the road. No-one should have to hate their first AR.

                        I don't like iron sights, and I like the SPARC AR for a quick handling firearm, so a flat top is a plus. If you're gonna run a flat top, then that goofy M-16 front sight is a pain.

                        If you're looking to shoot beyond 'Credible AK Distance', you're already outside the scope of the original question.

                        Yes, you could build; but I'm assuming that's not atop your pile of preferences.

                        My main point here refers back to the word 'decent' in the topic title.

                        Greg

                        PS Searching under 'inexpensive flat top AR' this came up.
                        Last edited by Greg Langelius *; 02-26-2017, 11:11 AM.
                        Life is more interesting when one keeps a neurotic cat... (Oops, make that two cats...), (Oops, add two Jack Russels...) Greg Langelius

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                        • #37
                          I am usually totally in the buy once cry once category an get the best i can afford. HOWEVER, back when things were uncertain how votes were going etc I decided to give the Palmetto folks a try and I am happy with the results. I picked up their 16" 1/7 hb flat top with a2 post variant and it shoots under an inch with my "cheap" reloads at least at 100y, Im not trying to make it a super match just something fun and reasonably accurate. The only issue I had with theirs is an undersized trigger/hammer pin on a lower my Dad purchased from them. A phone call got a replacement shipped but thats the only bad thing I can remember. Also the "cheap" reload is...gov brass, cfe 223, win primer and a varmint nightmare 55gr hp from Midsouth.

                          Good luck! Btw they just had a complete upper for 279 and complete lower at 129 SOME times they include free shipping. Good luck!

                          .
                          Heb 13:6 So that we may BOLDLY say, The Lord is my helper, and I WILL NOT FEAR what man shall do unto me. (KJV)
                          .
                          Adversity is like a flame, it melts the weak but tempers the strong.

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                          • #38
                            The local gun shop always has used colts for sale
                            The ones i used were worn out dirt bags overseas in olden times.
                            Maybe monkey man was the armor.
                            Get an entry level gun, when you can out shoot it build the next one.

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                            • #39
                              If I were in the market for a budget ar-15, Troy makes some pretty good ones available at the 600$ nowadays.

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                              • #40
                                I never realized troy had budget options. What do you guys say about this?http://www.primaryarms.com/troy-carb...ar-ca4-16bt-01

                                Kind of nice it has flip up sites to use until i would get an optic

                                Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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                                • #41
                                  Conceptually a cheap AR should just as a reliable IF

                                  - Upper / lower / mag well / pin and hole sizes are all within spec (specs are out there and you can walk into the store with a caliper)
                                  - Owner is willing to go through it and make sure everything is tightened / torqued / staked
                                  - A BEST quality bolt is installed - a sheared lug turns an AR into a shitty spear.

                                  End of the day, there is a relative handful of foundries that are making most all of the receiver sets, only so many folks pumping out hammer forged barrels - i.e. brand Wookie vs ABC vs DPMS vs Colt - there are fewer real differences, and a lot of margin for a name in a blaster class car-bean.

                                  I like used - most folks do the dry finger fondle, and nicks and dings are from safe rash. It is rare to see someone that has put more than 5k through any kind of bullet launcher.
                                  Last edited by Mike_Honcho; 05-04-2017, 09:06 AM.
                                  Two books every American should read:

                                  The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations - Shaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, and Political Decline of the United States of America (a free PDF)

                                  The Creature From Jekyll Island - A Second look at the Federal Reserve (a free PDF)

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                                  • #42
                                    I have always bought off the shelf and did the additions as needed, you may find off the shelf fits the bill. My dpms LR 260 got all the little goodies and shot in 6's with factory 24" bull barrel. Another dpms 223 oracle 16" barrel 499.00 and trigger upgrade would only do 1".......so I went all in ff tube, barrel, stock etc. Now that I have been doing this and parts are available I would build no question about it.

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                                    • #43
                                      Take a look at Ruger's budget AR. It's pretty darn impressive.I got mine for under $500.
                                      Member: NRA (Life); GOA (Life); NSSF (Media).
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                                      • #44
                                        Ballistic Advantage with a blem lower from PSA, and BCMs LPK

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                                        • #45
                                          Not sure what your definition of lower priced is, however RRA is solid. I think for the price a RRA rifle length Ar is a pretty solid choice. I do not own any but elfster sure gets some great groups out of them.

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                                          • #46
                                            Of course build if you want to buy realize you may need to buy a few additional tools (mainly for the upper). The lower is very easy to build and function reliably. I have a few BCM uppers, this would be my top recommended balance of cost and reliability/quality. Had a few psa ones for ange toys but had occasional problems, though with effort you can get them to run. Aero of precision is a decent option too. The lowers are normally the same quality as long as you go 7075 forged...you can go lower alloy too but really can find the better alloy lowers for around $70-100. Lag or nickel plated milspec triggers are good for the money. All in you can build a good lower for ~$250 and get a upper for well under $500. Or go the build route on the upper too.

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                                            • #47
                                              Lag was supposed to be "alg" for the smoother milspec style trigger group

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                                              • #48
                                                Thanks for the replies yall. Im always checking PSA, but also thinking about maybe just finding a used Colt. Ive shot my paps 6920 a lot and IMO its a nice rifle. As said, just want something 16-18" that shoots well around 1.5 MOA or so with match ammo. And not a varmint weight beast. Gonna upgrade it as I go down the road into a SPR'ish deal. Might even do a mostly spec Mk 12. But thatll all come later,. Also, how bad/good are the SWFA fixed power scopes?
                                                I am the reincarnation of Sammy Davis Jr. But atleast I'm taller than Frank. And I like men.

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                                                • #49
                                                  Originally posted by Forgetful Coyote View Post
                                                  Thanks for the replies yall. Im always checking PSA, but also thinking about maybe just finding a used Colt. Ive shot my paps 6920 a lot and IMO its a nice rifle. As said, just want something 16-18" that shoots well around 1.5 MOA or so with match ammo. And not a varmint weight beast. Gonna upgrade it as I go down the road into a SPR'ish deal. Might even do a mostly spec Mk 12. But thatll all come later,. Also, how bad/good are the SWFA fixed power scopes?
                                                  What you define can be met by many $500-$800 factory ARs on the market. Honestly, if one doesn't reload, I question building an accuracy-targeted build from the ground up.

                                                  I would look at any Rock River models in your price range. I bought one right after Sandy Hook, I think it is a Service Rifle geared model with flat top but front sight. Slightly heavier barrel under the handguard and a match trigger, I think $800 out the door. It shoots .75 MOA with optimized handloads.

                                                  Last winter I went through a dedicated precision build with all the best components. It gets a tad under .5 MOA with optimized handloads.

                                                  Neither gun shoots as well with any factory load I have tried, add .25-.5 MOA.

                                                  If I were you I'd look at RRA and PSA and find something in your price range, shoot the hell out of it, and upgrade as wanted/affordable.

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                                                  • #50
                                                    So three months later no choice made on any of the sale priced servicabe and upgrade compatible firearms?
                                                    Some common upgrades.
                                                    A magpul stock with the tension device, gets rid of the wable as advertised. Less than 100$
                                                    ​​​A RRA match trigger, sweetest 100$ you can spend and still use in the field.
                                                    Those two items will suck a half moa out of any reasonable starter ar !
                                                    Match grade ammo for an ar, a huge waste of money until you load your own.
                                                    Use pmc bronze 55g I get sub moa at 36 cents a round.
                                                    I have to admit to adding a bro barrel 1x8 twist to the the items abovementioned, about 260$.
                                                    My 1x4 optics reticle cover a 1 moa dot so shooting sub moa is a chore but can be done.

                                                    You can't get sub moa out of a virtual gun.

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