Recommendations for AR type rifle/carbine

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Bandit99, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have been getting beat up by the lads for doing the typical engineering thing and over analyzing the did GOG put it "Engineers tend to suffer from analysis paralysis." And, they are right. So...

    So, I have been considering a PWS MK116 which is made here in Idaho and costs ~$1700 but I thought I would take some recommendations since one could probably purchase a good rifle and optic for close to that amount.

    Now, I don't hunt, for a number of personal reasons, but certainly do have anything against it and would do so if I was hungry. Let's face it, hunters pay for most of the Fish & Game stuff and keep the deer herds in check, at least around here they do.

    So, the limitations are ~$1700-$2000 and I think I want a gas piston type...I am undecided about a 5.56 (more common and cheaper ammo) or a 7.62 (ammo costs could use for hunting if it came to that). Try to match it up with some good optics.

    So...Suggestions and recommendations?

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  2. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    Okay, I'll weigh in with some suggestions and observations. Understanding that opinions are...well, we've all got them.
    • Keep in mind that if you go 5.56, you can run .223 as well and .223 is considered a hunting round whereas 5.56 will get you in trouble during deer season in many if not all states (usually because almost all 5.56 is FMJ whereas you can get .223 without the jacket).
    • 7.62 x ??? 25 (Tokarev), 39, 51, 54, 63? That's a big field there and 7.62x54 gets heavy whereas 7.65x25 not so much (but you gotta have something that uses it and isn't super common)
    • Piston...why? I'm serious as to what your reasons are. I know, don't crap where you eat, blah blah blah. Don't run crappy ammo and/or clean every once in a while and you'll be fine. I know, keeps the BCG cooler. Um, when was the last time you ran 30+ rounds through rapid fire and then immediately field stripped the upper? Clearly, if there is a problem there is a problem but how likely is it (see below).
    Person experience/recommendations:
    Going along with the first bullet above, I have (well, had until the boating accident) a Bushmaster "Patrolman's Carbine" 16.5 carbine (semi, they just call it Patrolman's) in 5.56 that runs .223 all day long. .223 is much cheaper for killing those pesky paper plates and depending on the range, the trajectory is "close enough" (forehead vs throat, at worst...still dead). I can carry hundreds of rounds in loaded magazines if necessary. I cannot do that with 7.62.

    If I were to get 7.62, it'd be for an AK or SKS (which I don't own, no, not getting into that religious argument) so it'd be 7.62x39 (lighter but still bigger and heavier than the 5.56 by almost 50%).

    My AR-15, before I lost it in the boating accident, is direct impingement and it works well. In fact, it's worked every time I've pulled the trigger as long as the round wasn't a dud. I actually had a factory round (Federal) that had no powder. Weirdest damned sensation ever...story for another time. I run a boresnake at the range when I'm done (usually 30-60 rounds, sometimes as many as 240) and field strip and clean everything every 3 or 4 trips to the range. There's not much to clean. We can argue the brilliance of Eugene Stoner if we really want to and yes, piston does seem to work well for the AK/SKS, it really does, but I have had zero issues with my impingement system and have known 3 people who retrofitted their piston (factory) system with impingement when it failed and have seen one fail on the firing line. It also shoots a little differently. I can't put my finger on it but it feels different. You can tell the difference when it cycles. Lastly, with the piston, it's more parts to stock and if you need replacements in a "post fan" environment, it is at least possible that there will be replacement impingement systems (if not full rifles) around at some point where you'd likely need to stock your own parts for the piston.

    Can't say anything about optics because I'm iron sights on mine. I had a 0 magnification POS for a while (came off of another rifle) but it's gone. Don't have time for a red dot with no magnification that doesn't stay zeroed. If/when I get what I want, it'll be a Trijicon Acog but I can't afford twice what the rifle cost me new for optics...and while I didn't buy at the height of the panic, I didn't buy at the bottom either. Out the door mine was right around $1100 (with no hug).
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  3. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    There really is no reason to go with a gas piston AR over a DI AR except for the "I can has one" factor.

    If I had that kind of money...

    BCM BFH 16 Mid Length Upper Receiver Group w/ BCM KMR-*ALPHA* 15 Handguard at G and R Tactical

    BCM Lower at G and R Tactical

    (with the B5 Sopmod Bravo stock)

    Magpul MBUS 2 Rear at G and R Tactical

    Magpul MBUS 2 Front at G and R Tactical

    EOTech XPS2-2 - XPS2-2 - Primary Arms

    SureFire G2X LE - 400 Lumens - Black - G2XLE-BK - Primary Arms

    Odin Works 1" Flash Light Mount for KeyMod - ACC-FLM - Primary Arms

    And 10 of these:

    Magpul PMAG 30 AR/M4 Gen M2 MOE (Black) - MAG571-BLK - Primary Arms

    Brings you in under your $2,000 mark. And likely something you wouldn't need to upgrade save a sling.
  4. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    I'm thinking that it was 7.62x51 or .308 Winchester
    3M-TA3, AD1 and BTPost like this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You really need to try out, them all, at the Range... First hand experience, usually is the best determiner...
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  6. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    My favorite "fighting gun" is a Springfield M1a Scout Squad. .308/7.62x51mm, 20 round box mag. Great sights, handy (to me), 20 rounds standard capacity, mine came with a removable scope mount. Did a swap with a guy for Uberti Hiwall...miss both of them.

    I can tell you not to pick up a S&W 15. They are junk. Other than that, the only thing in .223/5.56 that I have even liked has been a Keltec SU-16C, with the underfolder.

    If you want an AK type of platform, the C39V2 seem to get high reviews, and the price is hard to beat.

    The Sig rifles seem to be destined to have issues running. Makes me sad. If I had the coin you have, I would look into them, if nothing else. Have not seen any review since just after the last models came out, so you would have to look into it, make a judgement call if you were interested.
  7. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    In your price range, there are quite good few choices. Do you need to spend that much is the question? Personally in that $ area, I prefer Daniel Defense or Barnes. There are plenty of others; just as good.
    What you should get in that price area are Giselle or Hyperfire triggers, Magpul furniture. Also 7075-T6 aluminum alloy instead of 6065.
    80% Arms:6061-T6 vs 7075-T6 Billet Lower I prefer 7075-T6 simply because that alloy in forged billet it is stronger. We can debate all night if the extra strength is needed and it isn't.

    For that amount expect less than .5 MOA accuracy using quality ammunition. M193 and M855 are not quality ammunition. The question, is it worth a serious hit in price to go from sub .5 MOA to 1 MOA or so? Answer, it is your money.
    There is a lot of debate about cut and hammer forged barrels. Metallurgically, with grain alignment the hammer forge has the advantage. That being said Border barrels are cut rifled and make one of the most accurate bench rest barrels. Cut is different than button rifling.

    Here is an example using a 1-4X scope at 630 yards:

    At 630 yards a 1-4X is a handicap.

    I also prefer a Wylde chamber.
    "This chamber allows the use of both pressure levels safely while also increasing accuracy potential across the range of potential pressures. The .223 Wylde hybrid chamber was designed by Bill Wylde of Greenup, Illinois, to exploit the accuracy advantages of the .223 Remington chambering without pressure problems or compromising the functional reliability of semi-auto weapons like the AR-15 family when using 5.56×45mm NATO military ammunition."
    .223 Wylde - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    With me In 5,56, the Wylde is a requirement.

    The ballistics and accuracy of the 5,56 are better than the 5,45 or 7,62x39.

    Again by personal choice or opinion, the selection of optics varies from "iron", scope, dot, NV etc. As long as it floats your boat; it is the best choice.

    I don't have a dog in this fight; however I suggest as a new buyer you read these articles.
    6 Facts About AR-15 Gas Impingement Vs. Piston - Gun Digest
    Direct Gas and Piston AR-15 Pros and Cons
    To those who disagree write the authors to vent and leave me out of it.
    That being said Boron Nickel coatings makes the DI (direct impingement) AR a lot easier to clean.

    I'm an accuracy addict which explains a lot. I also own a lot of ARs and AKs etc. Or I can't knock any of them without someone saying if they aren't as good why do you own one? ;)

    BTW, "Engineers tend to suffer from analysis paralysis." I'm so anal I used the comma for metric and a decimal for inch calibers. I guess I gave away what I did for a paycheck.
    Garand69 and Yard Dart like this.
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Darklight and Grand58742,
    Thanks guys! I must admit I am a bit shock that you both recommend DI ARs. But, I also have a buddy that says they have come a long way. Why was I think piston, Darklight? Probably because the M16s I was using in the military would get filthy causing problems. No other real reason just seemed like a good idea. I will check out the parts list Grand58742.

    BTPost, That is a good idea. We have a store that actually rents. I will give them a bell tomorrow.

  9. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    You might wanna go Youtube somebody like nutnfancy.

    If you are as out of the market as I am, you can find a lot of those engineery things here to mull over, and see some things in action.
  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    AX, Yeah, I like the Springfield Scout also, a whole lot. ....How is it mounting a scope as read somewhere it was a pain due to how loads and ejects? I would like to purchase a Scout for if I ever did do any hunting.

    Tikka, Thanks for the great write up! Yes, I am really big on the .223 Wylde which was what lead me to the PWS to begin with.
    I honestly haven't heard of I prefer Daniel Defense or Barnes but being out of the country and not being able to see, hold, shot or purchase weapons - well - I am sure there are a lot more out there that I don't know. It's kinda like football teams as I have no clue how many NFL teams there are now or where they are located. I am reading both your documents as soon as finish writing. I got them pulled up now.Boron Nickel coatings? I got a lot to learn... Thanks! - Rick
  11. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I really couldn't tell you. I just did it, and didn't notice anything. I'm not much of a scope guy though, so it honestly did not spend a heck of a lot of time on the gun. I will say from a different firearm that unless you buy the expensive ones, scout scopes are crap. Go reddot or go big big if you want forward mounted optics.
  12. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    The wife was looking over my shoulder and I am suppose to tell you her, "Mama doesn't wear combat/military boots!"
    She's Russian :):) - Rick
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  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When I bought my DPMS AR10, I gave AlaskaChick, First Shot.... I didn't get the weapon back for a week... And that was with the Iron Sights, that I got from a Monkey. When I put my Unitril Match Optics on it, she shot it for another few days... And when the Burris Eliminator III finally arrived and got mounted, I figured I might never get a chance to shoot it again... It sits on the wall, on Pegs, over the Front Windows, and I can shoot it when I get the itch, but it is REALLY, Her Gun, NOW... THE ONLY WAY I EVER GOT MY Belgein Browning HiPower back, after letting her, try it out, was to buy her a Stainless .357 Mag Dan Wesson PistolPak... Pictures of her shooting, later this summer...
  14. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    If its your first AR go gas/DI. As had been said, you can run them all day long without issues if you are diligent about cleaning after shooting.

    You will get it and dress it out for the cost of the piston.

    Be careful about the EoTech HWS as many are subject to a major recall initated from SOCOM. My 553 was mailed back and my refund check is coming.

    Get the 556 version as had been mentioned as it will run both 223/556.

    The 556/223 is way cheaper than shooting 762/308 by about 3 to 1.

    I "had" several before the boating accident. All but one was built off of "private sale" lower, which if you are a "mechanically inclined engineer" like me (mechanical) then building your own might be a good way to start.

    No better to learn the weapon system than building it from scratch. That way if you have a malfunction, you know the system well.

    Take a look at this Brownells video series. Thats what I used to learn my first build.
    How to Build An AR-15 Video | World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools - BROWNELLS

    Both Brownells and Miday have kits(just supply the lower)
    Rifle Parts Kits- MidwayUSA

    As Tikka said pick up one of these triggers
    Triggers - MidwayUSA
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    My wife also likes shooting, believe it or not. They use to teach the kids on a AK-47 in school in the Soviet days. She never shot again until she came to the states with me. We didn't get to shoot much last Spring and Summer because - well - 10,000 things to do as just got into the house in April. I have this great shooting range 5 minutes from here in the State Park where I can shoot for $5 a day but with the wind storm we had...well, it's going to be a while before I get over there because lots of trees down, lots of work this much for being a country gentleman and laze about all day. - Rick
  16. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Well, I was going to chime in but looks like the subject is pretty well covered.
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  17. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    AD1, Okay, I will check out the series tomorrow morning. 3 to 1, well that's a big point because one purchases a rifle to shoot it and one needs ammo to do so...Thanks! - Rick
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  18. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Here are ammo prices. Between 2 to 1 and higher depending on what you get.

    762x51/308 go for 60¢-$150+ per round depending on the brand and if FMJ or HP
    308 winchester ammo rifle

    556 runs 25-29¢ - ¢50 per round again depending on mjg and bullet type.
    5.56x45mm nato ammo rifle

    Look at the far right hand side for ¢/rnd
  19. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I have to say, that when it comes to being properly prepared for what may balance in your preps. Yes you can pull off a $2K firearm, but how are you doing with food, water, medical and other gear? The reason I say that is, you can easily get a great AR for the low $1K or so, spare mags and plenty of ammo to "get started". Then the remaining balance of that fund can be used to add another month or so worth of food, another few cases of water, an IFAK or improve upon your GHB gear... and so on.

    I can say that when I first started seriously prepping, I bought one thing at a time.... daily, weekly, monthly. Depending on what it was of course, but if I went into a store, I picked up "something" that went into preps. One day it might be a case of ammo, the next day it may be a box of bandages at the grocery store. The slow and steady pace wins the day in my opinion when working on a budget. We all strive to be ready TODAY, but the reality is, I have to do what I can today.... and tomorrow I will do what I can at that time.

    So in short, always look at what your ceiling is budget wise for that firearm, but realize that there is much more than just one item to address, in your quest to be better prepared for you and yours

    But to add my input, here are a few links on what I would do for your first set up.
    This is the Best Time to Pull the Triggeron a Colt LE 6920—Figuratively and Literally
    Colt AR 15 Rifle 6920 M-4 SALE
    Aimpoint Pro Patrol Rifle Optic Red Dot Riflescope - 30mm Red Dot Scope for Tactical, Shooting, Hunting and More! 12841 w/ Free S&H
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  20. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Nowadays, Ammo seek is my friend. ;) As I've been buying ammo for years; I still have $120 1K crates of 7,62N. Hert, Port, SA, and Radway. Green.

    I also have signed <8" groups at 1K yards shot at Williamsport, PA.. However, that was a 7-300 mag built benchrest rifle. At 85gr per load and $60 a pound or 82 rounds per $60; it has become too expensive. As I use to live under 2 hours and now a lot farther; maybe too far to drive also? :)

    In its early years, the M16 had a bad reputation. However, the battle of Ia Drang was fought in 1965 and if all the stories were true; thousands of NVA would have won and they didn't.
    AD1 and Yard Dart like this.
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