Thinking seriously about getting my first AR platform

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
Ok. I have pre-approval(spouse on board)(I do tell/ask when I’m buying vs browsing.. of course.. once she was sound a sleep, but that was her fault for being bored to sleep listening to me. It was a fascinating story... then I told her I was buying a perf shop Benelli. Yes, not in the dog house after she shot it... lol. Great having a spouse that will occasionally shoot with me... and can discern great guns from average.

So AR,,, What it won’t be.
Not a “pistol AR”
Not a 300blackout
Not anything that eats commie rounds..
Not a long distance rifle (300+)
Probably not used...not for the first one..maybe a subsequent one..

What it will be...
Hopefully MOA at 100,
Can shoot mil surplus ammo (personal bias..I like heavier weight rounds, ie 70gn vs 50){ 6.5 something might be an exception }
Can accessorize if I get the itch...
...
I think there’s a decent chance I’ll have a Mini14 in my future..so not that...

Will be some thing I could use plinking, 3 gun, critter whacking.

I’ve been looking at the Sig 516G2, RRA and a couple others in the 1000-2000 range.

One thing I have my eye out for is... is anyone making a AR-6.5 anything? (Back to the heavy for caliber...)


Anyone have something real sweet I should check out?

Optics will likely be a low power scout scope or some sort of red dot...

Looking forward to your thoughts...





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hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,168
370
I'm really enjoying the 6.5 grendel, So far it's been very accurate, affordable to load/shoot, and from what I've seen a friend do with his, it's a great whitetail and hog round. He uses the 123 SST's
 

balew6254

Beginner
Oct 9, 2010
81
0
I agree with hunter24605. I built three 6.5 Grendel's last year with Lilja barrels from a group buy on the 6.5 Grendel Forum. 12'5" pistol, 14.5" that I can use on my SBR lower and a 16" rifle. All shoot great from the bench and are fun to shoot. Haven't taken any game with them yet.

Bruce
 

Slimfinn

Handloader
Nov 28, 2018
557
133
If you want to be a little different you could mess around with a 25-45 Sharps its kinda interesting, doesn't shoot surplus tho.
 

djauofd

Beginner
Oct 30, 2017
129
0
I started buying my first AR 15 back in 2012 only had previously owned a bolt hunting rifle in 270 win. Any hoot first rifle was a Loki weapon systems 16” light profile with Magpul furniture. They have since gone out of business. I believe they sold some rifles without sending them to an FFL. Nice rifle shots about 1 - 1 1/2 moa. Good defensive platform it’s light and it handles really well. Flat top with a front post. Then I wanted something with a little more umph !! I built this one though 20” 264 LBC (basically a Grendel) medium contour Black Hope Weaponry polygonal barrel. Shoots Hornady 123 SST’s sub moa. Heavier and longer. But you can do some serious hunting with this round l. Some bullets are supersonic past 1,000 yds at sea level. Loved it so much I made another upper though 24” BHW bull barrel. Heavy but can push 130’s way down range. Then I built another AR15 223 with a BHW 20”. bull barrel. Sub moa 800 yd rifle. Then it was time the build some LR308’s. I have two LR308 in 308 win. One 20” bull one 20” medium contour. Both BHW polygonal barrel 1-11 twist. First time out shot some m80 ball just to sight in at50 yds. First shot 5” low 1” right on a grid just curious how accurate it was I just adjusted 1” left 5” high. Hole dead center. The next four rounds went through the same hole. So after that I wanted two build a 260 Rem so the LR308 could reach out an touch you. BHW was selling 22” 260 Rem barrels for $75. The whole 260 Remington thing did not catch on and then the 6.5 Creedmoor so they were dumping inventory. Have not had these two to the range but the ballistics will be slightly better than Creedmoor and 130 RDF loads will be supersonic at sea level to 1,500 yds. So take your pick all have pros and cons. In AR15 Grendel all the way for me. In LR308 260 Remington it just out performs the 308 win in every way. For shit hit the fan defensive weaponry 5.56 or 223 Wilde chamber shots all the mil spec ammo and Same with the LR308 bulk mil spec AMMO and 308 win rounds everywhere. Just depends what your purpose of use is. The 22 Nosler is just a hot rod 223 and the 224 Valkyrie is good for one thing long range shooting and hunting with 90 gr plus projectiles. The brass have primer loose after one or two firings so not for the reloader. All of the above is my honest opinion of corse. Other have other opinions which are great. Just expanding on my experience. Have a great day!


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1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
3
If you are not a hand loader and what to shoot cheap then get something in 223/5.56 with an 8" or 9" twist.

If you want to through in hog or deer hunting in the AR 15 platform step up to 6.5 Grendel. Ammo is a little more expensive and you will not find it on the store shelf as easy as 223/5.56 but in the hunting field it is WAY MORE effective than 223/5.56.

Here is what I have learned about ARs. First off BUILD YOUR OWN. They are just big boy tinker toys. Go to YouTube and see how easy it is. You do not have to have a whole bunch of tools either and you can normally borrow from auto parts stores a torque wench for free.

Second thing I learned. STAY AWAY FROM ANYTIHNG FROM BEAR CREEK ARSENAL Other people also use their barrels and they are a crap shoot as to weather you get one that will shoot or not.

Third thing. Put most of your money in the barrel. You will not get sub MOA accuracy as an average with different ammo with a $200 barrel. Accuracy cost.

Forth lesson. Cry once. Pay for top quality barrel and trigger ( I prefer drop in triggers CMC, POF, Timmany sp?) are just some.

Fifth lesson. With the lower and upper frames don't get caught up in the NAME GAME. if it is mil speck it is mil speck don't matter who's name is on it. I have used Anderson in my last 4 builds and can't tell the difference between them and any other brand. Matter of fact you can do a search on YouTube and there was a video about the markings you can find on the lower frame that will tell you what foundry they come from. I have seen what people rave as being "the best" lowers that come from different foundries but have the same brand name.

Have fun with what ever you choose.
 

Deer Hunter

Beginner
Jan 21, 2020
2
0
First post here... I just bought a Savage MSR Recon in 223/5.56... For the money I can’t complain... it shoots my reloads under s 1” at 100 yards and at 300 it’s around 2.5-3”...

I’m not a big at guy I just wanted one and thought the savage would fit the bill... if I was serious ar guy I’d prob go the build route... or maybe a Danials Defense
 

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
Thank you All. So many good thoughts and suggestions!

I think I’ve come full circle and will build a 5.56, then follow it with a bigger center fire like a 6.5 grendal or 7mm08

Deerhunter.. not surprised by the Savage shooting so well! Those guys know how to put together guns that shoot well!


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26NosFan

Handloader
Apr 3, 2015
410
0
mjc, I just went through this evolution last year. I went with the grendel, which is amazing I might add, and also a 300 BLK upper to complement it. Next we are adding a big bore, likely 50 Beowulf so the grendel can have a big brother. At some point I'll get a .224 upper but it won't be 5.56/223. I think it will be 224 Valkyrie or 22 Nosler.
 

1100 Remington Man

Handloader
May 1, 2007
1,037
54
I have not bought any AR because everyone issued to me in the Marine Corp 79-82 I had jam on me. This has not instilled confidence in the platform. I know there have been a lot of improvements in the last 40 years.
I would like one for Predator hunting in a Remington R15 in .223 Rem. with 22 inch barrel fixed stock, Only problem is I would like to see one in person to pick up and inspect it and see if it's what I really want.
I have never seen one in a Gun Store in my travels.
 

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
26NosFan":21kgsege said:
mjc, I just went through this evolution last year. I went with the grendel, which is amazing I might add, and also a 300 BLK upper to complement it. Next we are adding a big bore, likely 50 Beowulf so the grendel can have a big brother. At some point I'll get a .224 upper but it won't be 5.56/223. I think it will be 224 Valkyrie or 22 Nosler.

I’m looking at the 5.56 is a modern version of the venerable/versatile 22LR. It will be a plinker. I’m not going to obsess about loads for the 5.56 like I would anything else. I really like jagged holes vs groups.. I’m sure many of you are that way too...

I haven’t bought a Nosler mag yet, but I get the itch... periodically, mostly the Nosler 33.

Love the 50 Beowulf choice for a big brother.

When I get to the bigger bore, I saw a really nice graphic that basically showed you what you can build on top of an AR15 vs AR10 platform.

This might be a mistake getting started... especially that part where I’m thinking I’m only going to build 2.....not sure my wife would be happy about a third safe....but after 36 years... she hasn’t divorced me yet... she does love venison and bear! (And fish and small game)



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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
419
So I have a pile of the darned things and I have had excellent luck with the Palmetto State Armory uppers and Lowers. I just put together a 20” 6.5 Grendel, have had a 6.5 CM AR10 quite awhile. A bunch of 16-18” 5.56’s.

They run about 500 bucks for a upper and lower with MAGPUL stocks and pistol grips. The Grendel is a wicked little sleeper in my opinion. Just last weekend I finished up a course and us instructors decided to shoot at the 600 yard range. I didn’t have any issues keeping up with the 6.5 CM shooting 139 Scenars at 2750 vs shooting 123 ELDs at 2500 from the Grendel, out to 600 yards. Dialed the dope and commenced to hammering steel.

My little 5.56’s were pretty easy as well with the 77 SMK’s too. Those are all 1-7 twists.

Personally, I buy a complete upper including the Bolt Carrier Group from PSA and pick the lower I want. Get the lower from My FFL and two pins later it’s ready to go.

I do swap triggers to the Geiselle G2S or G2SE models and that is the biggest expense I’ve got but the largest payback in accuracy.

So, I guess what I’m saying is you don’t have to spend a ton for a reliable weapon. Get you a quart of Mobil 1 0/20 synthetic and keep the bolt and bolt carrier wet during break in, use some decent Mags and they will work well. No need for ultra Gucci lubes. The Mobil 1 is better than anything we can buy in a gun store, handles heat and carbon really well. Simple wipe downs most days and you’re back to shooting.

I’d vote for a 16-20” Grendel or a 16-18” 5.56 1-7 upper as a first. You can always upgrade and factor a trigger into the cost. I’d say no more than 750 total including a trigger. Hard to go wrong. Good luck. They are fun little devils. Although you may wanna start looking for a progressive.

Oh, the 224 Valkyrie with Starline brass and 75 ELDs at 3000 is an evil little combo. Cases last me just fine for multiple leadings as well, so if you want a hot rod deer and coyote killer it isn’t a bad way to fly. 88 ELDs at 2700 aren’t anything to turn your nose up at either.
 

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mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
Really excellent post Scotty. Thank-you!

The collection looks great!

I do run progressives for 45acp, 12 gauge and 20 gauge... might be time to think about a bottleneck progressive...




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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
419
I have a bunch of them. They’re sorta addicting, as you can tell from the others that have a bunch. They are pretty fun to put together and they aren’t too badly priced.

PSA has been very good to me. They may not be Krieger barrels but they shoot like crazy without too much fuss.
 

350JR

Handloader
Sep 21, 2012
339
1
I've avoided them simply because I'm afraid I'll like them. :|

Preacher friend has a few and is always bugging me to try one at is home range.
I'm weakening since Ive shot the Grendel in a bolt gun some.........(this is not good, lol)

God Bless
Steve
 

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
21
[emoji3] I ordered parts yesterday for a 18” 223 Wylde. Should be putting it together soon. I did not order an optic yet.




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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
419
mjcmichigan":1n3ajvmi said:
[emoji3] I ordered parts yesterday for a 18” 223 Wylde. Should be putting it together soon. I did not order an optic yet.




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Now that’s the spirit! :mrgreen:
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,459
709
I've only got one, the same 5.56 Bushmaster that was in my patrol car for a few years. Nothing fancy, but it does what I want from an AR-15. I like the little 1.5-4x Leupold too.

jQxaHGXh.jpg


Have messed around with some of the more exotic cartridges, but stayed with the 223/5.56 because it's so doggone available, and does what I need to do with it. Not legal for deer here in Washington, 6mm is the minimum, but I don't want it for deer hunting. Coyotes? Yes. I swear the AR-15 has replaced everything else for most folks around here as their "truck gun." Must be a zillion of them.

Local gun shops have been selling them like hotcakes, and the prices have come way down on some pretty decent, very basic, AR-15's.

Mostly I stick with 55 gr bullets, though I sometimes handload 69 gr match bullets - about as heavy as I can successfully go with the 1/9 twist barrel.

Guy
 
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