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I Know Absolutely Nothing About AR Rifles. Login/Join 
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted
It was just a couple weeks ago that ArtieS and I were at the gun club, shooting handguns.

After shooting, we were sitting, sipping some cold water, and discussing what kind of rifle I should go shopping for, to augment handguns and a 12 gauge for home defense.

I just won dwd1985's karma, so I expect that I'll have an AR lower on its way to me soon.

Now, I’ll need an education re what components I need to add to this karma, to make the rifle.

My anticipated use: A rifle for the house. That's it. I'm not a hunter, I'm not thinking about long range accuracy, just something reliable in the house for "just in case."

First question, for a home defense rifle, what caliber do I want? Do I want to stick with the “standard” AR in 5.56? Or, go with pistol caliber, since I load 9mm. Is there such a thing as an AR in .45 ACP?

As you can see, my knowledge is pretty thin.

I have never even fondled an AR, much less shot one.

Where do I go from here?

I'm going to sit back and listen for a while, I expect that there will be a lot of advice coming my way.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16288 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
posted Hide Post
Don't feel all that bad. I was an Army drill sergeant when the "Mattel" rifle was introduced. Always liked the M14 and simply couldn't warm up to the varmint gun. I thought the whole deal was as stupid as it could possibly be. No more cheek spot welds to stocks. Had to teach "quick kill" technique which had the recruits using BB guns with taped over sights instinctively firing from the hip at 10 feet at a rather small rubber ball I'd toss in the air. Most got to the point where they could hit it 9 out of 10 times which may sound astounding but....

To this day I haven't owned or shot a black rifle. Still figure I could field strip a M14 blindfolded from memory (even though I've never owned one) but would have cause for pause with an AR-15. That said were one to fall into my hands (karma or otherwise) I'd learn. Smile

I also got smart and dumped the Army in favor of a Navy commission. Smile

Looking forward to what our learned and experienced brothers offer up in advice.



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
COTEP #192
 
Posts: 7718 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by bald1:
To this day I haven't owned or shot a black rifle.

I also got smart and dumped the Army in favor of a Navy commission.
I was Navy, but not commissioned. Every officer program I tried for, I made the initial cut, and got as far as the medical. As soon as they said "take your glasses off and read the chart on the wall," I was finished.
Rifles: My total experience was an American Legion youth program when I was in Jr. High School, a couple of summers on my uncle's farm when I was in my early teens. He paid a bounty of twenty-five cents per woodchuck; .22 LR probably cost a penny or two a round back then. And a couple sessions on the rifle range in Navy boot camp. It has been more than half a century since I have touched a rifle, so I'm starting with a blank slate.

I'm sure that people will chime in here, and I'll probably have a bunch of questions, some of which will have people muttering "I didn't know that V-Tail was such a dumbass."



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16288 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:
I have never even fondled an AR, much less shot one.

Where do I go from here?

You need to fondle and shoot a few different ARs. ARs are very modular, and thus can be configured in many ways. Some of the many ways may work very well for your wants/needs. Other ways...not so much.

Go to ranges and ask to shoot other people's ARs. Most shooters will be happy to let you put a few rounds down range, and describe how their particular AR is the greatest thing man invented since fire.

Develop a budget. Rifles need a sling, some magazines, ammo, maybe a light, maybe some optics.

Determine if you want to use iron sights, a red dot sight, or glass. If glass, consider your desired magnification.

Consider if you want the rifle to be suppressed.

Consider if you want to build the rifle yourself, or farm it out to an experienced builder.

As for caliber, do your homework on the ballistics of a rifle caliber vs. a pistol caliber.

Did I mention you need to shoot a bunch of different ARs first?
 
Posts: 4986 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
Ideally, a 16" barrel in 5.56 with a red dot sight, light, and sling from a solid manufacturer.

5.56 caliber with a good soft point or open tip match bullet will breakup and penetrate less in a structure than any handgun round or buckshot, yet have more terminal performance (than the handgun).

A quality RDS is king for HD. Something like an Aimpoint stays always on and using a dot, both eyes open, feels like cheating, especially in low light.

My primary HD gun is a 10.5" barreled SBR with an Aimpoint H1 (always on, I change the batteries about every 3 years), Surefire X300 light, VTAC sling and I'm running Federal Fusion 62g bonded soft points.

You should look at Colt 6920 (M4 basically), the 6720 (lighter weight barrel), offerings from LMT, DD, BCM, and the Palmetto State Armory "premium" line.




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 2786 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yew got a spider
on yo head
Picture of DoctorSolo
posted Hide Post
This one:

https://aeroprecisionusa.com/m...s-one-handguard.html

M-lok and 12" handguard. At least for the upper. You still have the lower to do up. And the trigger...
 
Posts: 4108 | Location: Colorado Springs | Registered: April 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you're only going to have one AR (cue the congregation rolling in the aisles holding their sides) it should probably be a 5.56 with midlength gas system, a lightweight 16" barrel and an adjustable stock.
That's your standard, plain vanilla, do it all AR.
Kits can be found at PSA for not much money.
Iron sights are fine but a red dot is handy.

Luck,

Bruce



Hanlon's Razor /prov./ A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, that reads "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

--Leonardo da Vinci

 
Posts: 2455 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Instant Karma for you, check your email.




Looking for an Alaskan Malamute? Look here: http://www.moonsongmals.org
Do not send me to a heaven where there are no dogs.
Step Up or Stand Aside: Support the Troops !
 
Posts: 6610 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I recommend rereading Strambo and Fritz's email and take notes. Then go find which of your friends have ARs and shoot theirs. My recommendation is that you do a lot of research preferably from reputable sources before you buy a single part.

I'd grab a copy of Chris Bartocci's Armorer manual off amazon, or If you don't want to spend money, download the current USMC/US ARMY armorers manual from on line (Make sure you get the current version). This will break down the mechanics of the rifle and the key assembly steps. You can also watch Chris Bartocci's videos on you tube. He did a good video on a cutaway AR describing how it works, his video on buffers is very good. I'd also look at his reviews on the BCM carbine and the Colt 6920. He had a particularly scathing review on the Colt Expanse, which is a good video on what not to do.

Then sit down and ask your self how much money you are willing to spend on the project. Also ask your self if you can resist the urge to build more than one. Most folks I know that own ARs and enjoy shooting them own several. If you think you might build more in the future then buying AR specific tools can be a good investment if not, then ammo is a better investment.

Also ask yourself if you really intend to use this rifle as a defensive weapon or as a range gun/fun gun. If you are looking at a no kidding defensive rifle I would recommend you look towards either having an experienced builder build it for you or partnering with one during the build. Most of the rifles I've seen fail in carbine classes have been home built Franken guns. A failure in a class is loss of money, a failure in a fight is potentially loss of life. I'm not saying that you can't build a reliable AR at home, but given that you are new to ARs I would not recommend it. Also, if you are building a true defensive rifle, I would point you towards a handful of trusted vendors (DD, BCM, COLT, LMT).

You say the rifle is for the house. I assume you mean that its for defensive use within the house and that it will mainly be used at short ranges (contact to 25 yards, probably less?). I also assume that your house is wood and sheet rock.

If my assumptions are correct and you are using it as a defensive weapon, I'd point you towards a 16" 5.56mm carbine with collapsing stock a light and sling, loaded with expanding ammo (Gold Dots, TSX, Federal Fusion etc.). I'd also recommend a red dots sight (RDS) like the aimpoint pro. RDS are quick to learn, easy to zero, fast on target and usable in very low light. But, again, do your research before you spend your money. You might find that an Aimpoint doesn't work for you because of astigmatism. There are reasons behind each element of my recommendation but, I don't want to make the post too long.

Again, do research, lots of it. Ask lots of questions.
 
Posts: 3657 | Location: Where ever Uncle Sam Sends Me | Registered: March 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
posted Hide Post
My story,military it was M-1's
Love them,good with them,field strip them blind folded.
Our in civilian life had to have one.
Hunted with it.
Damn it was heavy and an injury to back was a no go.
When president Reagan was in office I bought my first A/R car.
Hunted and taught my children and grand children how to use them,Their own as I gave all of them one.
I am down sizing and just recently gave youngest [40 years] son my first little Colt .
I also gave his wife one also so they can spent some quality range time together,with a couple cans of ammo.
I have got some extra room in the safes but there are eight A/R 's and two M-1's left.
 
Posts: 21175 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of RichardC
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http://floridagunexchange.com/event-calendar/


Beginner AR15 Maintenance & Modification Class

Event Details


COURSE TOPICS INCLUDE:
•DISASSEMBLY
•INSPECTION
•CLEANING & LUBRICATION
•MODIFICATION
•REASSEMBLY
•FUNCTION CHECK

FREE TO ATTEND. ORMOND BEACH LOCATION ONLY.






Time

(Saturday) 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM


_____________________


 
Posts: 8775 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by RichardC:
http://floridagunexchange.com/event-calendar/

Beginner AR15 Maintenance & Modification Class

Event Details

COURSE TOPICS INCLUDE:
•DISASSEMBLY
•INSPECTION
•CLEANING & LUBRICATION
•MODIFICATION
•REASSEMBLY
•FUNCTION CHECK

FREE TO ATTEND. ORMOND BEACH LOCATION ONLY.

Time

(Saturday) 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
About an hour drive from me. Just down the street from DB Pickles, a NY-style deli, for a good pastrami on rye.

Looks like they do this class once a month; the next one is in a week and a half, November 18, 2017. I'm going to try to make it. They will probably have AR stuff for sale at the time, else why would they offer a free class?

I'm gonna try to find a good book on care and feeding of ARs. Any recommendations from the forum would be great. Not sure if I want hard copy or Kindle edition. I'm in the habit of using Kindle for entertainment reading and hard copy for reference materials.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16288 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In addition to the books I mentioned above:
Green Eyes and Black rifles by Kyle Lamb (Lamb now works for SIG).
Mike Pannone's Pocket M4/M16 guide
TC 3-22.9-the current Army rifle maunaul
The TM for the M4/M16 series rifle TM 9-1005-319-23&P I thing.
You should be able to download the TM and TC for free from the net. they have a bunch of Army Programmatic content like qualification, documentation and the like) but they have a bunch of useful info and they can be had for free.
 
Posts: 3657 | Location: Where ever Uncle Sam Sends Me | Registered: March 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Old Air Cavalryman
Picture of ARMT Guy
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:

I have never even fondled an AR, much less shot one.


Eek

Where on earth do you people come from?! Razz


Ok.. now that I got that out of my system, plenty of great advice thus far.

Probably best to stick with a 5.56 AR upper, ( greatest selection of parts/brands of uppers to choose from, ) rather than a pistol caliber, ( though there's plenty of options in pistol caliber carbines - even .45 ACP - I highly recommend looking at Macon Armory's products in that category:

https://www.maconarmory.com

Since you're wanting a dedicated HD AR, good defensive rifle ammo, ( Speer Gold Dots, etc, ) a good weapon light, ( for IFF ) and several good magazines for starters once you've your lower.

A quality, complete upper, ( again as others have already recommended, ) would be the ticket. Look for something with either a 14.5" length barrel with a pinned and welded flash hider, ( for a shorter rifle that's more easier to use in the confines of a home, ) or a light weight 16" barrel.

The light and comfortable to hold M-lok rails would probably be a better option over something with the older quad rails, ( so a weapon light can be attached. )

A simple red dot sight, ( along the lines of Trijicon's MRO or Aimpoint's H1/T1 series, ) would give you a very fast, very simple sight for close-in HD use, that's very effective all the way out to several hundred yards, if needed. Basic iron sights, ( such as Magpul's or Daniel Defense, for example, ) would be a good choice, too.




"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying who shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here am I, send me."

GCO member


 
Posts: 6628 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stick with one chambered for .223 / 5.56mm.

Also - do you have a price range?

ARs are crazy affordable now at the 'bottom' level.

You can get in the game for ~$500 and up.

Where you set your 'total spend' matters. You will also likely want to have money left over for a case, a sling, 500 rds ammo, 5 mags minimum and likely an optic of some kind.

--------------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 6067 | Location: Eastern NC | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
For anyone who has no experience with AR-type rifles, I would make the same recommendation I would about any gun: start with simple and reliable.

I know the question is about putting together a gun with parts that are already owned, but with MSR prices as they are for the moment, the risk of frustration is much less if we simply buy one off the rack. Building such rifles is easy: If one has the good and proper parts, the good and proper tools, the proper know-how, and a place to do it all. The people who have all those things don’t hesitate to urge others to build their own, but often forget about their own frustrations, past and present.

During a recent team training session our most skilled shooter started having problems with cartridge cases being left in the chamber of his AR after the extractor was ripping the case rims off. It was one of many good-looking rifles he’d built himself, and it worked just fine with M193 ammunition. It did not, however, function reliably with the (also Federal) AE223 that everyone else was using in their store-bought guns, and which I’d been issuing for everyone to use (including him in a different rifle) for years. (It appears now that a different lot of AE223 works in his home-built, but to stress the point, only his gun out of a dozen others choked on the problematic lot—and we still don’t know why.)

To start with an AR to be used for initial training and practice and defensive purposes, there are countless options that can be relied upon if one buys an established make. Then what is needed? (Needed, not neat to have for some possible purpose.) A good optical sight (not even backups if the gun doesn’t come with irons, but make sure the rifle comes with a removable carry handle), a half dozen or so magazines, decent ammunition, and a few cleaning supplies. Any of countless videos or books will show how to disassemble and maintain the gun.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 37296 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sigfreund,
Not that you need any affirmation, but that's damn good advice you posted above.

Also, I purchased and read the Brubaker book Pulling the Trigger based on your recommendation. It was very informative and definitively laid out Law Enforcement shootings for the layman.
 
Posts: 3657 | Location: Where ever Uncle Sam Sends Me | Registered: March 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
posted Hide Post
V-tail...to start out you will need a LOWER PARTS KIT ("LPK" for short)...this YouTube video from Rock River Arms is an easy to follow and pretty straight forward primer on assembly...it looks simple and it really is...this is just one of many on YouTube...

One thing is certain...you can tell this gal is from the Midwest Big Grin...




Link to original video: https://youtu.be/MKA-L1KgmcA

For a lower parts kit...this is an example of an "all in one kit" that will have EVERYTHING needed to assemble your lower, including the buffer tube, buffer and spring as well as the castle nut and end plate...the Magpul stock, pistol grip and trigger guard are a step up from the standard M4 hardware...not needed, but Magpul stuff is nice...often Palmetto State Armory will have the same kit in basic black for $99 with free shipping in their "daily deals"...

http://palmettostatearmory.com...earth-516445631.html

This is another kit from a different website with everything to build your lower using the standard stock and pistol grip (non Magpul)...

http://www.tomstactical.com/To...-Lower-Build-Kit-LBK

If you are just wanting the AR for home defense "just in case"...there is nothing wrong with just using the "mil spec" trigger group that will come in the lower parts kit...they tend to be stiff, heavy and somewhat gritty but that's sorta "mil spec"...it keeps accidental discharges down in stressful situations from what I understand...anyway, the trigger is easy to upgrade later if you choose...

For the rest of your build...after the lower is finished out...the next big thing is the upper. You have the choice on purchasing a fully complete upper with a BOLT CARRIER GROUP (BCG) and CHARGING HANDLE included in the package or purchasing the complete assembled upper without the BCG or charging handle. If you opt to buy the upper complete with the BCG included you have the peace of mind that everything has been checked and the headspace is correct...I know Rock River Arms does this. But that being said...I personally have never seen an AR have headspace issues by swapping out bolts or BCGs...

This following is one example of a complete upper w/BCG and charging handle from a well known manufacture...

https://www.joeboboutfitters.c...5B-p/rra-ar0375b.htm

Note the one I linked to is a "mid-length" gas system...it is longer than a "carbine" gas system...two of my builds are mid-length and two are carbine length...if given a choice, I prefer the mid-length...to me it shoots smoother...the longest gas system is the "rifle length" which is the original length if I'm not mistaken...

Make sure you choose an upper chambered in .556...it will shoot both .556 NATO and .223 safely...the opposite is not true, a barrel marked as .223 should not be used with .556 NATO ammo or at least that is the general consensus. You might run across a barrel marked ".223 Wylde"...it will also shoot both .223 and .556 ammo.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bisleyblackhawk,


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 7361 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
I have one recommendation for V-Tail.

Don't do it.

Run away.

Ok, that's two recommendations. Seriously, if you do decide to enter the realm of the EBR, your wallet will deflate and your living space at home will diminish. These things reproduce spontaneously.

Consider yourself warned.

Of course, you'll ignore my sage advice. Have fun on your journey.
Razz
 
Posts: 2671 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not
Picture of Ronin101
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ARMT Guy:
quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:

I have never even fondled an AR, much less shot one.


Eek

Where on earth do you people come from?! Razz


Ok.. now that I got that out of my system, plenty of great advice thus far.

Probably best to stick with a 5.56 AR upper, ( greatest selection of parts/brands of uppers to choose from, ) rather than a pistol caliber, ( though there's plenty of options in pistol caliber carbines - even .45 ACP - I highly recommend looking at Macon Armory's products in that category:

https://www.maconarmory.com

Since you're wanting a dedicated HD AR, good defensive rifle ammo, ( Speer Gold Dots, etc, ) a good weapon light, ( for IFF ) and several good magazines for starters once you've your lower.

A quality, complete upper, ( again as others have already recommended, ) would be the ticket. Look for something with either a 14.5" length barrel with a pinned and welded flash hider, ( for a shorter rifle that's more easier to use in the confines of a home, ) or a light weight 16" barrel.

The light and comfortable to hold M-lok rails would probably be a better option over something with the older quad rails, ( so a weapon light can be attached. )

A simple red dot sight, ( along the lines of Trijicon's MRO or Aimpoint's H1/T1 series, ) would give you a very fast, very simple sight for close-in HD use, that's very effective all the way out to several hundred yards, if needed. Basic iron sights, ( such as Magpul's or Daniel Defense, for example, ) would be a good choice, too.


+1 light and simple with mlock or key mod.

still cant wrap my head around never holding one!?
 
Posts: 6446 | Location: Bismarck ND | Registered: February 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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