Tuesday, June 06, 2023

AR-15 Buyer's Guide: Part I

We go over what to look for when selecting your first AR15. Today we focus on the barrel, bolt carrier group, and muzzle device.

VIDEO HERE  (49:28 minutes)

I'll post Part II tomorrow.


  1. I never thought NY’s law banning mags that hold more than 10 rounds would be useful, but a 10 rd. mag is useful when shooting prone. The video with the guy resting the rifle on the mag reminded me of that.

    1. Or shooting from a bench. I've got 10 rounders in my range bag.

    2. I use the 10 rounders for match ammo. both in my AR 15 and 10. I find it is easier to
      grab if and when I need to do a "long shot'" and I find them handy to use off a bench.
      prone with a bipod I use 20 for the most part. and after having a couple of Pmags crack at the feed lips, I went with C-products stainless steel ones for most of my magazines. one weird thing I find with a lot of AR shooters is a shortage of magazines. like maybe 5 or 10 magazines total (?) I keep at least 20-30 on hand.
      and get a good trigger. the ones made by Larue are very good !
      try to catch a sale on them. last time I picked up 3 just because the price was too good to pass up. dave in pa.

    3. I've got so many magazines here I trip over them. When I moved here from California, I was tripping that I could walk into a gun shop and buy a 30 round magazine, so I did - every time I walked through the doors.
      I'm with you on the LaRue triggers. Every one of my ARs has one.

    4. had a old army buddy turn me on to LaRue years ago. I have a few of their scope mounts as well. but their triggers are great. hands down the best I ever tried in a AR platform for the money. the first one I got was like 125 or so. the last ones I picked up at 87 or so each when I bought 3 of them.
      also check out the Duramags by C-products. I like their stainless steel ones the best.
      again, for the money you can't beat them.
      SG ammo has them at a very good price when you buy 10 or more.
      they "HAD" some Raug Swiss ammo in a while back, 69 grain hollow point
      box said "outstanding stopping power" on it. took a chance on one box. like 44 bucks for 50 rounds. well, blew the shit put of a 5 gallon water bucket with a sealed lid.
      the 77 grain ammo does make a nice splash, but this stuff, damn near blew the bucket to pieces. wish I got more of it. dave in pa.

    5. I prefer the 30 round for prone. Wedge your hand closer to the receiver, and rest the 30 round mag against your forward arm forearm.
      Eliminates rifle cant.
      Try it!

  2. I've got mostly 20s and 30s, and just a couple odd 10s. I almost always use 20s due to the excess protrusion of the 30s, but do keep a bunch of 30s around loaded in case I need to shoot the fuck out of something.

    Speaking of 30s, down in the swamp on Maryland's eastern shore, most people take care of their own problems. One of the guys had a score to settle with another...something about running a stop sign and mashing his dog in the process. The guy did a 30 round mag dump into the back end of an almost new F-250. Most of the bullets went through the tailgate and stopped in the toolbox, but some went through and over and into the cab, hitting the dashboard, back window and windshield. Truck was totaled.


    1. Hahahaha!! As a resident of the northeast this warms my heart! It's nice to still that there's still America out there somewhere. It's mostly disappeared in my neck of the woods before my time.

  3. I’ve found almost all AR’s from PSA to a “new” Colt and everything in between to be acceptable for the average guy. They are generally not super accurate, ie sub minute of angle, but most run well and will perform better than the person holding them. Same with damn near every weapon made. I think a cheap Milspec AR and a shitload of range time with a live fire class or two will do a new shooter far more good than a $2500 SuperDuty with another grand or two of cool shit bolted on it. Most likely preaching to the choir, though! Eod1sg Ret

    1. I’ve Mod’D quite afew PSA “Base Model” to full length rail, thumbover, folding sight, blah blah blah…

      imo…PSA does a very decent job for the coin. Btw..they just had blem stripped rcvrs…$29.99
      IDC who ya are, if ya didnt score at Least 1…ya missed out.

  4. AR-15 in 5.56….
    You might want a Ruger Ranch (bolt action)….
    to back it up.

    1. 1000% agree - I still believe libs will ban ARs eventually bc stupid has no limits.

      Keep a bolt action same chamber (556, 308, 22 whatever blk gun you have) JIC

      Yes, they will have to come take it & may be the shtf but nice to have options imo



  5. The following is opinionated. Deal with it.

    Barrel: 7 or 8 twist, to stabilize 75 or 77gr bullets. The only bad barrel I ever bought was an 18" Criterion with a rifle length gas system. Not enough gas dwell to cycle the bolt. What was I thinking?

    Bolt and carrier: buy something quality. You can obsess about steel type and heat, MPT, and so on, but I don't, have fired tens of thousands of rounds through numerous ARs, and have never broken a bolt or encountered a bad carrier. I have worn a few out. Buy a decent name brand and get on with it.

    Muzzle device: Brakes are nice until you have to fire the thing without ear pro.

    20 round mags, such as Magpuls, are plenty short enough to use prone with either a sling or bipod. IMO you should never ever shoot while comfortably seated at a bench. Your bench zero is useless, as the rifle recoils in a different manner than when you are prone, sitting, standing, etc. Similarly, because of the above, your bench groups are useless and prove nothing. Shoot prone enough that you actually trust your prone position enough to do load development from it.

    Shoot the damned rifle. Spend money on ammo, and shoot it.

    BUY A DECENT TRIGGER and put a few K rounds on it, your brain will function differently. Seriously, you will be amazed. Fighting a crap trigger will ruin your shooting, you will pull the thing instead of squeezing it, and overtravel moves the gun while the bullet is still in the barrel.


  6. I will grab the Mini-14 before a 5.56 AR-15. Just my preference. I also prefer something larger than 5.56mm. I have a 6.8SPC that fits the bill nicely.

  7. Might take some flack for this but here it is. Most of us won't last a basic combat load and can party with any damn thing we want. If'n, however, you are unfortunate enough to survive longer than that you will need the following chamberings and nothing more: 22LR, 5.56 NATO, 7.62/ .308 WIN and 9mm NATO, and, unfortunately, 7.62 by 39. A 7mm REM MAG might be a good choice for a "sniper" rifle, as, believe it or not, it's still the most common hunting caliber in North America. You may find some .45 APC laying around because OG's like me love them and some .40 S&W because cops got saddled with them, but any other caliber is going to be hard to find. You may not like these choices, but that just does not matter. All the cool guy calibers will be like finding a needle in a haystack.


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