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am looking to acquire my first AR, but have no idea where to begin as far as brands and features etc. I would welcome any suggestions about what to look for etc. Thanks in advance for your guidance!
 

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Thanks for the reference, I'll check it out. I'd like to stay under a grand if possible.
Just get any AR you want. As long as it is anything BUT Olympic you are good to go.
 

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Just get any AR you want. As long as it is anything BUT Olympic you are good to go.
I'd probably throw Century Arms (aka Blackthorne) in there as well.
 

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I would do some research instead of going with anything other than Oly (as someone suggested). They all have their pros and cons, but some happen to have less cons. Here is a list of companies that I like and have read good things about:

CMMG (this is what I own)
Del-Ton
RRA
Stag
 

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That link above is a great resource. Have read it twice now thinking about getting an AR in the next couple months.

Asking people in the gunstores around here I have found is pretty useless, they really don't know and just try to sell you what they have on the shelf.

I think one good piece of advice that I heard at the gunstore was that if you just want a range/plinking gun the DPMS sportical is a good bet. Its a nice gun without a bunch of stuff you wont need in a plinker.

If you invision more of a SHTF gun, then you might pay more attention to some of the more serious features and want to spent the cash needed to get them.

Good luck in your search and of course do not forget pics when you get your new rifle.
 

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I'd probably throw Century Arms (aka Blackthorne) in there as well.
Watch out for

Hesse
Vulcan
Blackthorne

I've found 2 things out about gunstores/gun ranges.

1. when they know you they will offer better information, 1st timers tend to get the standard run of the mill answer. basically a 'cover-their-ass' answer, buy top of the line always cause that's all we carry. where as when you know the guys they are more likely to speak freely on what works, where deals can be found, why A is better than B but B is more expensive.

2. unless they are gunsmiths alot of them are like us, they know what they own and know the talking points on everything else. I've had guys tell me talking points on the XD despite the fact that I told him I owned one.
 

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am looking to acquire my first AR, but have no idea where to begin as far as brands and features etc. I would welcome any suggestions about what to look for etc. Thanks in advance for your guidance!
Get on the various ar15 forums.....there are a bunch of them. READ everything you can. Educate yourself first. Then ask questions later.

For now you need to have a better idea of what you want, and what you want to use it for. Look at the picture threads on the forums. That will give you an idea of all the styles of ARs that you can buy/build.
 

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So you want to buy an AR-15, huh? - Police Forums & Law Enforcement Forums @ Officer.com

Theres a great read for anyone trying to decide which company to go with. The guy eventually suggest going with CMMG.

A lot of it depends on what you're willing to spend. Do you have a budget in mind yet?
That's a great read. I skimmed it quite some time ago. While I was looking at some ARs online I had no idea what most of the options were, so looked that up again. It really explains everything very well and makes choosing what's important to you quite a bit easier. Most of all, I finally have comprehension of what "the chart" is actually referring to.

Disclaimer: That doesn't mean I think "the chart" is infallible or that one gun is infinitely better because it has 2 more Xs than another gun, or that certain brands are junk because they have fewer Xs, but it is helpful nonetheless.
 

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am looking to acquire my first AR, but have no idea where to begin as far as brands and features etc. I would welcome any suggestions about what to look for etc. Thanks in advance for your guidance!
Good luck with this most of us AR people are overly opinionated and will tell you what we prefer.

you will hear everything from

"buy Colt everything else is inferior"
"buy LMT or nothing at all"
"DPMS is just as good as anything out there"
"my (insert brand here) has never failed"

its taken me a while to come around here but buy the best you can afford and shoot the heck out of it

if your un an unlimited budget get a colt/LMT/Noveske and you will have everything in a rifle that you could ever want (less add ons such as rails optics sights) for around $1250-$1500+

If your looking for a middle of the road rifle with a moderate budget IE are willing to sacrafice some added QC testing and procedure stick with STAG/CMMG/S&W/RRA for around $850-$900

but if however you are looking for a basic entry level AR on a tight budget pick up a DMPS or OLY for around $600

FWIW
I have 2 STAGS/1 Colt/1 LMT/1 S&W and i have not had any problems out any of them other than The LMT which is a 10.5" SBR blowing out primer pockets but that was easily fixed with some fine tuning

Good Luck on your search I hope you find what you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for all the great "coaching" and information to research! I have found most gunshops to be of little help so far for the reasons mentioned in this thread. Knowing what I want is part of the problem. I have several handguns, have a CCL, shoot as often as possible but want a more substantial home defensive weapon. I'm a little more than concerned about where our country is heading and would like to be better prepared if we have major civil unrest.

I'm thinking of a short carbine, but unsure of the best configuration etc. I know there are many upgrades and accessories available, so I want flexibility to add-on as I see fit.
 

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there is always the option of spreading the cost out over a couple paychecks like I did. first week I ordered a GG&G Dominator upper which had all the features I wanted then the next paycheck I went to Anvil Arms and picked up the lower all put together with the LPK and stock. its not too fancy but it shoots pretty nice and didn't make me go a week without eating ($$$).

oh yea then on to optics...
 

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My AR has a 20" heavy barrel with floated front end, traditional scope and Harris bi-pod. I got mine with hunting varmints, coyotes, bobcat, etc.. in mind. A friend has a S&W M&P M4 stock and open sights. They are totally different guns, his is great for home defense, mine for sniping unsuspecting animals. I love mine, but his seems just a little more fun to play with. Think really hard about what you're wanting to use it for, either way you'll enjoy it!
 
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