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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about getting an AR for varmints. I've only shot one once. Would anyone care to share thoughts on barrel weight, make, flat top or not, anything else I should be aware of.

Thanks Swede
 

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I've owned a few ARs.

As a minimum, get a bone stock heavy barreled 20" A2. This is the basic AR-15 starter rifle to begin with.

Options from there are:

1) Longer barrel
2) A3 (flattop) design.

The latter is a good way to go if you are planning to scope the rifle. The scope mounts on the A2 carryhandle are field expedients at best... they place the scope too high. Usable, but the distance between barrel and scope makes for a less than optimal trajectory above the line of sight.

There are 24" barrel options, but those turn your rifle into more of a pure benchrest/varminter. If that's what you want, then they are great for that, although very heavy.
 

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Swede AR,s make good critter getters. Just get the best quality barrel you can afford. I,ve got a OLY. ARMS. older 1-10 broach cut stainless, I think they used to call them ultra match? I put it together on a flattop its about the best shooter I got it,ll hang with my savage bolt gun. JP,s adjustable trigger are excellent too. If you want a self loader in 223 ARs about the only thing that will shoot good enough once ya start reachin out there. Their not to hard to buid yourself either Bushmaster has every thing ya need. Build it apiece at a time!
 

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Originally posted by Flak 2
Their not to hard to buid yourself either Bushmaster has every thing ya need. Build it apiece at a time!
Yeah, my first AR-15 was an Oly Arms, 20" A2 with a Stainless Ultra Match barrel (SUM, same one you have I believe). I loved that rifle! I assembled it from a kit... that's the best thing I could have done, as it familiarized me with every component of the rifle.

I sold it for more than it cost to assemble, and bought myself a Colt Sporter preban... that was an A2 HBAR. I have converted it to a carbine with an M4 barrel and flattop, collapsing stock. It's so small, I love it!

My "reach out and touch" rifle is now my FAL. I had that assembled FOR me by a gunsmith.

This is it:

StG-58

The wood is Claro Walnut. The guy who makes the wood (Ironwood designs) got stuck with a large blank of Claro by a purchaser who backed out, so I got a good deal on the furniture.
 

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Bill I agree the best way to understand the rifle is build it yourself. The tools needed ar,nt to much barrel blocks about $15.00 and a wrench for the barrel nut, I like the one you use with a half in. rachet, I think $12.00. Maybe $20.00 for pin punch set, and you,ll need headspace gauges or have a shop check it for you. One thing about an AR you can have quite a few rifles with 1 lower. I also like those FAL,s TAPCO has S.A. lowers for $25.00 complete. I just picked 2 up their in good shape. Rifles always look better with wood furniture IRON WOOD makes some nice stock sets!
 

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Actually, a beginner doesn't even need any barrel tools.

Just buy a complete upper receiver, build a lower, and you are good to go! That way you can rest assured that it will be safe and reasonably accurate. Then acquire the tools and build your second upper from scratch!

:cool:
 

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You can pick up a brand new Limited Edition AR15 in M4 configuration for $660.00 over at AR15.com. Then, for a couple-three hundred more buy a nice extra barrel of your choice or... trade the M4 barrel to gerreyowen (he's on the same board all the time) for just about straight across... gerryowen has a good deal on 20" or 24" barrels for the LE. Rifle is a flat top and will be worth about $900.00 - $1,000.00 after the group buy is done and over with. Good luck,
W
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help guys. I'm on my why over to AR15.com to check it out.

And Bill I like your FAL.
 

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Thanks. I like it too, but it cost me a bundle to do it right. One can have $600 Century built FALs that may or may not be any good, and may or may not be legal if used with import mags (it's a long story... domestic content includes the makeup of the mags).

In my case, we not only went with enough domestic content to clear up that issue, but also chose NOT to replace the cheapest parts, but those that made the most sense.... i.e. kept the Steyr trigger group (hammer, trigger, sear) instead of using domestic built repro parts.
 

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Swede

I recently purchased a Bush 20in Flat top Target; it gets 1.25in groups with the issue sights and that 10lb trigger....(gonna fix that) I can't wait till I get glass on it. THis is the first AR type rifle I have owned and am toooo happy!!!!!! Regards, xxring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm going to have to put the AR on hold. I picked up an M1A at an auction and the gun funds are a little on the low side right now. Maybe I could sell one of the kids.....
 

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If you have not yet gotten your AR, I'd like to suggest taking a look at DPMS Arms of Minnesota..... I have had 2 of their AR's both with A3 uppers using a scope, one in 16in/bull, and the current one in 24in/bull. All I have for these rifles is praise, their customer support is second to none either.....LOL, coyotes in Nebraska and Louisiana live in fear of this rifle anyway......Good Luck!!!:rapid:
 

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Swede
You will like the M1A. It is a "real" rifle. I recently got a fiberglass stock for mine from Springfield Armory. I had to do a little rasping on the top where the receiver sits. I am glad they sent it a little tall rather than having a loose fit. I have always preferred steel guns to pot metal guns though I am getting another AR15 soon. The ammo is lighter if you have to pack a whole bunch. The rifle is probably lighter than the 7 1/2 lb M1A too. The fiberglass stock takes a pound off of the M1A. I sure liked that. In the woods you need the ghost ring type sight on the AR15 more than a regular peep like on the M1A because you will lose your target and the "deer" or "varmint" will get away.
ches
 

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Recenlty got a colt Target Match Competition. It does real good. It is not called a A3 on the side but it has an A3 upper. I tried the bushnell holo sight on it and that thing is wild. Right now I have the handle sight on it. The handle sight comes with it at no extra cost. A regular A2 colt Hbar weights 8lb 12 oz and this weights 9 lb 2 oz I cannot tell the difference hefting both vertically in my hands one in each hand. I did not try it but they may seem different if you hold them in both hands off hand (probably heavier barrel on the target match competition.
The used mags I got all work. Some had sand and dirt on them and cleaned up fine. The blacking is worn off but they still all work great.
ches
 

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Ches-

Aren't USGI mags great? One of the great features of an AR-15 or M1A/M14 pattern rifle, in my opinion!
 

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Yeah, Bill. You can see some of my weeping on AR15.com re: mini 14's and on here re: mini 14's. I got bushmaster mags and 90% of them worked after I bent up the rear left lip on the mag. Other various ones after market types 5 worked out of about 20. Booohooo hooo. I like the M855 it shoots good. Been shooting Israeli IMI.
ches
 
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