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Old 07-27-2011, 14:37   #1
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Best AR-15 for less then $1,000

I would like some suggestions on what is the best AR-15 in the sub-$1,000 price range.

Some of the rifles I have looked at are:

Bushmaster
DS Arms
DPMS
S&W M&P
Stag Arms
Colt

Chamber must be 5.56mm
Flat top would be nice
16 inch barrel
Lifetime warranty would be nice

Rifle is going to be used for target shooting in the 100 yard range, maybe coyote and/or hog hunting, security on camping trips, home security after a hurricane passes through.

After hurricane Rita passed through this area my family went 18 days without power. The local police department was on the radio station telling people not to call 911 because the roads were blocked and they were not able to respond.

In short:
I want a good quality, cheap AR-15 for small and hog sized game, and for security after natural disasters.
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Old 07-27-2011, 16:59   #2
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Life time warranty? check Olympic Arms out.
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Old 07-27-2011, 17:52   #3
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Rock River Arms has a lifetime warranty and can be had for less than $1k.

Rock River Arms:
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Old 07-27-2011, 18:10   #4
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STAG-I have several and they are outstanding!
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:21   #5
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S&W MP-15OE. It's often on sale for $800.00 has the S&W lifetime warranty. Mine's very accurate, good trigger and because it comes without any sights you can put on whatever type you want and swap them out for something else down the road easily if desired. I lucked out and got mine last year for $799.00 at the same time they were having the p-mag rebate where when you bought the rifle by a certain date you got a coupon for 5 free p-mags to go with the one that comes with the rifle.
Mine has a set of Daniel Defense sights on it in the pic.

edit to add: true 5.56 chamber, chrome lined bore, 1 in 9 twist and a mil spec stock.Also the rifle comes with standard CAR type handguards. I added the fatter M4 type ones in the pic for about $25.
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Old 07-28-2011, 21:24   #6
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:24   #7
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Out of your list:
Colt--won't find one for less than $1000 new
Stag makes a good rifle.
Bushmaster has good barrels. BCG is probably not staked correctly.
I avoid DPMS like the plaegue

I would check into a BCM myself.
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Old 07-29-2011, 22:38   #8
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You can get a good rifle for under a grand.

Only two choices IMHO----
Spikes
BCM
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:14   #9
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So what did you decide on Kevin?
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:36   #10
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I purchased a 'build your own' kit from del-ton.com. Very happy with the quality, but their customer service is TERRIBLE. If you find somebody selling a del-ton rifle, I bet it'd be great; but I'd never give any business direct to the company.
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Old 07-31-2011, 13:31   #11
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I would go with a Spikes or S&W but that has to do with my experience. I bought a S&W right after they were released. It didn't like steel at first but it's eating it without issue now. I built a Spikes and it's had zero issues from the start.

I have a CMMG build that's pretty good also but the Spikes and S&W is a bit better.

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Old 07-31-2011, 18:39   #12
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Originally Posted by shadow1 View Post
Out of your list:
...Bushmaster has good barrels. BCG is probably not staked correctly.
I avoid DPMS like the plaegue

I would check into a BCM myself.
Dave
I purchased a Bushmaster 16" M4 upper a few months back to go on a Smith & Wesson lower that I had laying around, and it's bolt carrier was staked as good as any Smith & Wessons or BCM's that I have seen. As for DPMS, their stuff is decent enough but on the examples that I have handled, the receiver extension castle nuts are not tightened to spec or staked for that matter, i.e., they came loose while shooting. Additionally I have noticed on at least two examples of DPMS's that I have handled, that their lowers are too tight for some Magpul PMags to fit (I have heard the same problem about early Smith and Wesson lowers but have not found that to be the case myself). So if you go with a DPMS, it needs to be checked over good.
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Old 07-31-2011, 19:00   #13
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Kevin, like others have posted, I think you would be hard pressed to find a new Colt for under $1000. As to Bushmaster, Smith & Wesson, Stag, I think it would come down to what rollmark you wanted on your lower, as they seem to be of a similiar quality range. I don't know if for your purposes you want/need a chrome chamber and bore, I didn't think that that was standard for either DS or DPMS, but I know you could specify such when ordering.

Additionally, just to give you a different experience from Bulk Ammo's, I have a Smith & Wesson MP15R that has had nothing but steel ammo shot through it without a single hicup, I know every rifle is/can be different as to ammo it likes, even the within the same brand name.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:50   #14
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Originally Posted by larryp View Post
So what did you decide on Kevin?
Thank you for asking, but I am still looking.

Spikes tactical is getting some outstanding reviews on just every site I look at.

I was leaning towards the DS Arms AR-15, but their rifles does not have a chrome lined barrel.

In the end, I suspect that I will either buy a S&W M&P, or a Spikes Tactical.

I am still a little aggregated towards Colt, the comments their ceo made, and how they stopped selling ar15 rifles to the public.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:07   #15
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Something to keep in mind. Watch out for the flavor of the month AR's. Spikes has a very specific and loyal fan base.
What other manufacturer do you see where the fans get the company logo as a tatoo
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:25   #16
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Originally Posted by shadow1 View Post
What other manufacturer do you see where the fans get the company logo as a tatoo
Uh,,,,, I can not think of any.

DS Arms, Colt and Spikes Tactical are all supposed to be milspec. Except for the barrel on the DS Arms, its some kind of hardened steel instead of chrome lined.

I am getting the feeling that picking between the popular brands is like picking between dodge, ford, chevy,,,, that regardless of which one you buy there are good ones and bad ones out there.

Several months ago I bought a DS Arms FN/FAL SA58, and the quality seems to be great so far. Based on my experience with the DS Arms SA58, that is why I listed the DS Arms AR-15
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:30   #17
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Originally Posted by shadow1 View Post
Something to keep in mind. Watch out for the flavor of the month AR's. Spikes has a very specific and loyal fan base.
What other manufacturer do you see where the fans get the company logo as a tatoo

I wouldn't consider Spikes flavor of the month. I have shot and carried about every quality make out there. I have to say my Spikes is as good of a rifle as any. I use my rifles hard and shoot them a few times a week. Years ago there were only a few quaity AR's out there. Luckily now we have choices and to be competitive in todays world most companies have tightened up on quality.

I still say Spikes and BCM are two of the best under 1K until you get into custom builds which exceed that. The only upgrade I would recomend is a Full Auto BCG.

Last edited by Sniper Cowboy; 08-02-2011 at 12:37.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:57   #18
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Keep in mind, Spikes has only been putting these out for a relatively short time frame compared to Colt or BCM. Their money was made on the now discontinued Spikes ST22. Discontinued, according to Spikes, for suppliers QC issues.
No problem so long as QC stands up and quality doesn't go down.
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Old 08-04-2011, 17:52   #19
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$1k will get you a built lower and complete upper from BCM and Spike's, but you're going to be waiting a while, they're seriously backordered.

Jim
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Old 08-27-2011, 00:42   #20
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Originally Posted by shadow1 View Post
What other manufacturer do you see where the fans get the company logo as a tatoo

Just sayin'...
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Old 08-31-2011, 16:25   #21
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Hard to beat DPMS, I have had a few AR"s and had the best luck with theirs...
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:17   #22
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Stag is good. I don't have one but I hear good things.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:48   #23
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My research kept turning up Stag, again and again. Lifetime warrantee, same specs as everybody else, free case and two mags, and proven first-class customer service.

Two things:
1- Why build your first when you can get 'smith-built and 'smith-checked/warranteed at no extra cost?

2- If you're near CT, Look up JoJo's Gunworks in Southington. They're right near the factory and good guys!

Good luck to you!
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:56   #24
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Originally Posted by shadow1 View Post

I would check into a BCM myself.
Dave
This.
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Old 09-26-2011, 19:55   #25
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Originally Posted by dmp View Post
I purchased a 'build your own' kit from del-ton.com. Very happy with the quality, but their customer service is TERRIBLE. If you find somebody selling a del-ton rifle, I bet it'd be great; but I'd never give any business direct to the company.
I registered just to say that this must have been a person having a bad day, from what I have dealt with during my duration with a Del-Ton AR, their Customer Service has been amazing.
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