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Newby to AR-15s, Looking for Tips on Accessories Login/Join 
Ugly Bag of
Mostly Water
Picture of ridgerat
posted
Hi all. Just purchased an entry level AR, an S&W M&P. My son and I went to the local range to shoot it for the first time on Saturday.

However, I can see that to shoot it well past about 25 yeards, we need to get something better than the stock sites. They just 'cover' the target area. I am interested in sighting it in at say, 100 hards, then possibly further out a later time.

Red Dot? Magnifying scope? If so, what's a good power range to start?

Also want to get a rifle rest, and am looking at both the Caldwell Stinger and Caldwell Matrix. How do these stack up? Any problem with them moving around due to recoil? Any other tips on other items I should plan on? There are literally thousands of add-ons, and frankly, I don't know what's what. All help is very appreciated! Thanks!



Endowment Life Member, NRA • Member, Arizona Citizens Defense League
 
Posts: 2234 | Location: Tucson AZ | Registered: March 25, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
Picture of flesheatingvirus
posted Hide Post
How about a red dot? Aimpoint or Eotech? Further out than that, perhaps a low magnification scope.

Knowing your budget would help with optics.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 14813 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
Picture of gearhounds
posted Hide Post
What is the intent? To punch paper or a home/self defense weapon? Both? What kind of range for either option expected?

For any kind of self protection duty, a 2 moa (at most) red dot with back up irons would be my choice. 2 moa would give you respectable accuracy out to 100 yards easily, more with practice.

I've been kicking around options for getting the most out of my A2 in another thread. An excellent suggestion was made to have more than a single upper to cater to the type of shooting I was interested in doing. A shorter barreled carbine with a red dot, vs. a longer barreled flat top with quality optics for +100 yard precision shooting.




I'm very discreet. I have no code of ethics. I will kill anyone, anywhere. Children, animals, old people, doesn't matter. I just love killing.
Krombopulos Michael
 
Posts: 10461 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Chilihead and Barbeque Aficionado
Picture of 2Adefender
posted Hide Post
A red dot sight from Primary Arms would be a good start. They are decent quality for what you will spend. For more serious tasks consider spending more, like an Aimpoint.

Vortex also has some reasonably priced magnified scopes if you decide you want to go that route. You can get Aero Precision AR scope mounts for good prices on the net. 3-9X scopes are common and inexpensive. 1-6X is plenty for 100 yard shooting, and looks better on an AR.

Keep in mind there are a zillion options, and everyone will recommend their favorite gear. For punching holes in paper at the range, you don’t have to spend a fortune.


_________________________
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The Second Amendment is not about hunting or sport shooting.
 
Posts: 9647 | Location: FL | Registered: December 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of myrottiety
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For most basic shooting a Red Dot will get you there. I've no problem hitting a 15" gong with my SBR @ 300 yards. Using just a simple red dot.

https://palmettostatearmory.co...ht-black-r52001.html

A variable optic such as a strike eagle or others will cost a little more. But get you a bit of zoom if it's needed.




Train how you intend to Fight

Remember - Training is not sparring. Sparring is not fighting. Fighting is not combat.
 
Posts: 7886 | Location: Alpharetta, GA | Registered: August 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ugly Bag of
Mostly Water
Picture of ridgerat
posted Hide Post
Use will be Primarily target shooting at the range.

Budget-wise, I am looking at this as entry level. I will progress as I learn more about the platform, so for now just your thoughts about what to buy, what to buy early that I won’t replace later. Eventually we will nave at least a couple ARs.



Endowment Life Member, NRA • Member, Arizona Citizens Defense League
 
Posts: 2234 | Location: Tucson AZ | Registered: March 25, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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Add a butt stock, a handguard of your choosing, and a red dot to this one.

https://www.brownells.com/fire...r_1=AERO%2bPRECISION
 
Posts: 2850 | Location: San Marcos,Tx. | Registered: July 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ridgerat:
Use will be Primarily target shooting at the range.

Budget-wise, I am looking at this as entry level. I will progress as I learn more about the platform, so for now just your thoughts about what to buy, what to buy early that I won’t replace later. Eventually we will nave at least a couple ARs.



Vortex Viper PST Gen2 1-6 with MRAD reticle and put it in a Warne X-Skel 30mm mount.


Very high quality and won't break the bank.


If the price is a bit steep, the Strike Eagle is pretty good as well.

Red dots are ok... but just ok. I appreciate the optical quality of a good enough that I only have one red dot and it is on an AR pistol.
 
Posts: 13441 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ridgerat:

Also want to get a rifle rest, and am looking at both the Caldwell Stinger and Caldwell Matrix. How do these stack up?


I would much rather have either just a front and rear sandbag. Or a bipod and a rear bag. Or just a bipod.

I have no use for rifle rests because once you get away from the shooting bench, you can't carry them with you and then what do you do?
 
Posts: 13441 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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A good trigger is the single best upgrade that can be made to a stock AR15 carbine.

The LaRue MBT for $87 is a tremendous value.
 
Posts: 13441 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by IndianaBoy:
I have no use for rifle rests because once you get away from the shooting bench, you can't carry them with you and then what do you do?

Bingo

Rifle rests become crutches if used often. Rests inhibit a shooter's learning process of supporting and aiming the rifle, and ultimately of pressing the trigger without disturbing the sight picture.
 
Posts: 6021 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
posted Hide Post
You' ll need a copy of the AR15 Book of Acronyms... Big Grin
 
Posts: 15194 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ugly Bag of
Mostly Water
Picture of ridgerat
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by David Lee:
You' ll need a copy of the AR15 Book of Acronyms... Big Grin


Ha! I was thinking about this today.....is there an "ARs for Dummies?" And does it have pictures?



Endowment Life Member, NRA • Member, Arizona Citizens Defense League
 
Posts: 2234 | Location: Tucson AZ | Registered: March 25, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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As already mentioned, you will get a gazillion suggestions and opinions, so here’s a couple more:

The Caldwell rests you mentioned originally are more suited for getting good results from highly accurate rifles. There’s nothing wrong with having a decent rest for testing loads, reaching out to difficult targets, etc., but with a garden variety AR, a few sandbags will serve as good starters.

I concur with the advice to get a reasonably decent conventional scopesight to avoid frustrations and to learn what your rifle is capable of. Sights with illuminated red dot reticles were designed and developed for one reason: to engage large targets at close ranges as quickly as possible. Is it possible to hit smaller targets at longer ranges with them? Of course. Is that as easy and accurate as with a conventional magnifying scopesight? No.

My ARs with Aimpoints get used much more than the one with a 1-6× Leupold scope and Magpul PRS, but that’s because most of my rifle shooting is in a course that’s intended to develop and test high speed close range defensive skills. When I shoot the course that starts at 300 yards and includes a 2 inch target at 100 yards, the rifle with a sight that gives me more precision and accuracy is far more suitable.




“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
 
Posts: 39825 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
quote:
Originally posted by IndianaBoy:
I have no use for rifle rests because once you get away from the shooting bench, you can't carry them with you and then what do you do?

Bingo

Rifle rests become crutches if used often. Rests inhibit a shooter's learning process of supporting and aiming the rifle, and ultimately of pressing the trigger without disturbing the sight picture.


good irons, good scope or dot, and a better sling,

rest is ammo, magazines, and range time



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 7704 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
posted Hide Post
Early on I spent too much time bench shooting. I mean its a valuable skill to use a bipod / bag correctly but to me its better to get used to shooting in a variety of postions with just the weapon and a sling.

Now I normally shoot less than a magazine from a bench at most, usually only to tighten / confirm a zero if the ammo is a different load, etc.

I know the rifle can shoot, so I am the limfac. Lots of standing drills, reloads, using impromptu supports, kneeling, etc. Stuff that you really need to do sometime. Standing shooting with some magnification on the scope, etc.

You have to push yourself, you’ll be surprised at what you and the weapon can do.
 
Posts: 42602 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Veteran of the
Psychic Wars
posted Hide Post
Simple "upgrades" for a new AR owner:

1) magazines: (at least 10 per rifle...more if you like to shoot a lot).

2) ammo: buy in bulk and save!!! Case lots of 1000 or more.

3) red dot sight: makes the learning curve of getting decent accuracy much easier.

Lastly (and most importantly):

Attend some sort of training... a one-day carbine class will do wonders with getting you up to speed with your AR.


__________________________
"just look at the flowers..."
 
Posts: 1092 | Location: Va | Registered: March 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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The stock sights are perfectly fine for shooting out to several hundred yards. Really, they are. If you're trying to shoot Camp Perry quality groups, you may come up disappointed, but for anything less, they do just fine. There is no end to available accessory options including optics of every variety.
 
Posts: 2843 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of hunter62
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Don’t get a rifle rest unless you want to sight it in. I have one of these on my 16” AR and it is perfect. bi Pod Grip

For the optics, I have a Eotech with a 3x magnifier on my SBR and on my full size I have the Primary Arms 5x fixed scope.
 
Posts: 3084 | Location: Germantown, TN | Registered: June 28, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
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Be careful how much stuff you hang on that rifle...it'll get heavy quick, and that detracts from the handiness of a carbine. Somebody said upgrade the trigger with a Larue MBT, and I'll second that. It's a good value at $87, and worlds better than the mil-spec single-stage.

I also like the Magpul MOE stock better than the cheap mil-spec collapsible. The Magpul lacks the lip around the opening for the buffer tube, which makes for a far more comfortable cheek weld. Having big hands, I'm also fond of the magpul MIAD grip...it fills my hand better than the standard A2 style. YMMV.

I also replaced all the trigger guards on my rifles with the Magpul or BCM enlarged ones...not because I needed the larger opening, but because they fill the area between the ears on the frame better and keep them from digging into my finger.

As to an optic...if you're going to be shooting inside of 100 yards, the irons should be adequate. If you must have a sight, I'd go with a red dot for that purpose. It probably won't make you any more precise than you could be with proper application of iron sights, but it will make target acquisition faster, at the cost of money and weight. I have an Aimpoint PRO on my work AR, and a Vortex Strikefire II on my 9mm. The Vortex is very similar to the Aimpoint, but lacks the "always on" capability and has klunkier controls...but at 1/3 the price it was easier to justify for a plinker. I have two of them on different rifles and have no complaints. One did die shortly after arrival, but Vortex was very responsive to the warranty request, paid shipping both ways, and it's been 100% since I got it back.

Longer than 100 yards magnification is nice...but then you start to get back into compromising the close-range handiness of a carbine. My vote there would be build another rifle for the long-range stuff and scope it...but they do make 1-X optics that might suit your needs just fine. Just be aware that if you're going to mount a scope on an AR, make sure you mount it in such a way that it doesn't interfere with access to the charging handle.
 
Posts: 3107 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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