I bought a Rock River, and was surprised with the accuracy (3/4" at 100 yards). I haven't played with reloads or various factory ammo yet. 55 grain BT bullets great. Good luck finding one. I heard there is a 60 day backorder, or pay extra bucks.
We own and are selling Rock Rivers. They are currently telling us 16 weeks on all complete rifle orders. We have sold more complete lowers the last month and a half than total in two years thanks to the election and our future. Recently received a complete rifle that arrived in 7 weeks and should have been 12.
The Colt's has the best resale value. Folks who own knock offs denigrate the Colt's. As long as your gun has a forged lower receiver, most other parts will likely be US Military.
Get one with a chrome lined bore and chamber. Also I do not recommend a collapsible stock. Some clearance drills will break them if they are not collapsed first. If you think you will collapse a stock to forcibly reduce a stoppage in a Lethal Confrontation, you are WRONG.
If you want an iron-sighted AR, the fixed carry handle will work well, and are more durable. Upper receivers of any flavor are available. Switching out parts is NOT manufacturing, and can be done by a regular smith, or anyone with the proper tools. BUILDING one from a kit IS manufacturing, and Uncle Sam wants his 11% Federal Excise Tax.
By the time you buy the tools, you will not come out ahead buying a kit. Do not spend money on tools if you are only wanting to own and shoot an AR. They do not require much in the way of replacement parts.
DO NOT USE REDUCED POWER HAMMER, TRIGGER, OR RECOIL SPRINGS!!!!!! For defensive usage, I would stay with the nearly bulletproof factory trigger and hammer. A Wolff Extra Power Extractor Spring is a wise add on. Hi Viz makes a front sight for it that works VERY well.
1-9 or 1-7 twist? The 1-9" is more versatile, but both will work with the commonly available loads at the ranges you are looking at in your situation.
A flash hider makes the gun louder, but is useful in one handed stoppage reduction drills. Recoil is negligible, so don't worry about that. Do not let a plain barrel be a deal breaker.
MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT BUY A 223 CHAMBERING. They will generate grossly excessive pressures with heavy ball military ammo. Make sure your barrel is stamped "5.56mm" or at least "223/5.56mm".
Shooting Coach is right on for most part - however, you are better off without the chrome lined barrel (http://www.star15.com/about.html) - the chrome is for longevity in military apps. Accuracy typically suffers for this.
Check the above link for a wealth of info.
1/9" twist is the most versatile (1/7" will only shoot the lighter spectrum of bullets, 1/11" will only shoot the heavier ones). Also, chase the 223/5.56 chamber - it will shoot all types of ammo
You are looking for a forged lower receiver and go from there (e.g., stay away from 'Hesse').
Good luck finding them. I would suggest you hit a gun show or two - expect to pay a premium right now, both for the rifle and the ammo. I saw basic rifles selling for $1,200 two week-ends ago at a show (old price $800 ~ $900) - and they were flying out the door. Ammo used to sell for under 20 cents a round - I see it now for over 50 cents...Don't forget mags either.
Often there are ones posted here - someone a bit short of cash selling off a rifle - I am assuming people who visit this site are honorable - with that in mind you might find a nice deal on a used rifle here. My personal experience bears this out.
One last thing - check your local state laws. I live in PA and what I can own is VERY different than what someone from NJ can own. You do not want to fall afoul of the law.
A minor correction on DavidD's post. The 1:9 twist barrels are the most versatile however, The 1:7 is to stabilize the heavier bullets and may not work well with 55 gr. and below, especially thin jacketed varmit bullets. The original standard for 55 gr. bullets was 1:11-12 depending on manufacturer.
At least the .308 is a real bullet and not a pop-gun .22! Have shot a bunch thru my M-14. It is a whopping real bullet. Buy in large quantity and military surplus is still pretty cheap. Check cheaperthandirt.com.
If you decide on a 308 semiauto stay away from the HK91/CETME if you plan on reloading. 1 firing and the case is finished because of the fluted chamber in these guns. You might want to look at the M1A or FAL. Even milsurp ammo is going as high as $.70 a round so it would be wise to get into reloading. The days of cheap milsurp ammo are over because of dwindling supplies and panic buying. If you decide on a AR-15 platform don't overlook the Stag arms rifles.
ismah, The ar-15 rifle dominates high power match shooting for many years now. When setup with the right barrel/trigger they will shoot .5 MOA or lower group after group from a bench rest. A friend of mine who is one of the top high power shooters in the country will shoot .35 accuracy from a rest. The M1A/M14 is considered obsolete, but a fine rifle.
The M14 will NEVER be obsolete. Can't say the same for the AR15. M14 has a proven reliability and accuracy. Shooting matches are won by the person pulling on the trigger. Dan Bonillas could win matches with a Mossberg 500.
The next time you're at an armory-gunshop put an AR15 next to an M14 on the counter. Compare for yourself and you'll see what I mean. Put them both to your shoulder, dry fire one time each. Look down the barrel of each.
The M14 is a thing of beauty. A friend you'll have for life.
Always interesting how these topics get turned into gun writer material. Seems to me there is a vast difference between a combat firearm and a target/hunting gun. The black rifle is only one of these; how about the 1911? You can pay thousands for refinements that make the gun a better target gun. If I were to bet my life I'd have to favor the military model made to work under extreme conditions. Just my thoughts though.
It seems the question was about AR-15's. They are one of the most common firearms being made/used today. While the M1A is a great rifle it is no longer in the forefront. That's neither good nor bad, just is.
If I were to suggest one rifle for urban defense it would be the AR - not because I think it is perfect, but it is a good compromise with ammo and parts readily available. This will matter if the s*$t hits the fan.
The 223/5.56 cartridge weighs less than one half of that of the 308, so you can carry twice as much ammo (one of the reasons the military switched to this round).
A 62 grain bullet is more than sufficient to deal with most any animal up to 400 pounds, out to 200 yards - shot placement matters. While a 308 will overcome many shortcomings in the shooter a 223 used properly will deal with any human threat you might meet. No, you should not 'spray and pray' with a 223, but this is true for the proper use of any and all firearms. Shot placement in king.
Further the AR's are designed for simplicity - parts interchange - repairs and field maintenance are fairly easy. Stripping and cleaning are also simple.
Yes, provisions are a good start in preparing for anarchy, but without a firearm you will be at the mercy of those who have guns. Much will depend on their temperaments. Are you willing to trust that??
While DanBee is arriving late to the game, he is thinking reasonably and we should be helping him with his choices.
IMO you are correct to pick the AR-15. There are other choices, but for what you want this is the place to start. While the timing of this may be less than optimal (I cannot argue with magnumshot's point of view relative to timing and the future - If the Obama team DOES go after firearms history tells us there will be a political backlash, so it would most likely be during the last two years of his last term in office - hopefully this will be 2011/2012 and not 2015/2016) your head is in the right place.
There is a potential offer for one from this site and I would suggest you investigate. I know neither DanBee nor Mike Michalski so I have no stake in this one.
ismah, I will say it again. The AR-15 dominates highpower match shooting. Camp Perry, state championship shoots. If you bring a M1A you will be beat by a AR-15 The Frank Little, and Kay Ohye's of this sport use the AR-15. None use M1A's. At Camp Perry each year there are 1,300-1,500 shooters maybe 15 use M1A rifles none place in any standing. The Army shooting team use AR-15 rifles, Do you think there being punished and forced to use them? Do some research on the shooters and their equipment.
The design that has stood the test of time and has only improved during the Era of AR innovation, the M-15A2 is ArmaLite's semi-automatic civilian version of hte famed M16A2 Service Rifle.
Originated by the desire for a rifle that was durable, reliable, weather resistant, long-lasting and dead on accurate: the A2 design is an outstanding tactical rifle design, excellent for Law Enforcement, entry level Service Rifle training, hunting or collecting. The double-lapped and chrome lined barrel is hte basis of ArmaLite's rifles' superb accuracy
Also available in AWB(Assault Weapon Ban) configuration.
AWB Model numbers: 15A2-2 and 15A2B-2
*The holder of an active FFL must contact ArmaLite to order this product.
Model: A2 Rifle with Black or Green Furniture
Caliber: .223/5.56mm NATO
Barrel: 20" Double Lapped, Chrome Lined, Match, Threaded 1/2x28
Rifling Twist: RH 1:9 "
Muzzle Device: Flash Suppressor
Front Sight Base: A2 Front Sight Assembly
Upper Receiver: Forged A2
Trigger: Two Stage Tactical
Overall Length: 39.5"
Weight: 8.2 lbs
Finish: Hard Anodized Aluminum, Manganese Phosphated Steel
Accuracy: 1.5 - 2 MOA
Included with Rifle: One 30 Round Magazine, Sling, Black Case, Owner's Manual, Limited Lifetime Warranty