Which AR to buy?

pewpew300WM

Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 31, 2019
273
46
PA
I’m in the market for a new 556 AR. With that being said I’d like to buy instead of build. I’ve looked into the Sons of Liberty, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, FN, Battle Arms Development, Christensen Arms, DRD, and POF. I’ve got my ffl so I’ll be saving a fair amount on the gun itself. Can anyone recommend any other brands that I’ve possibly overlooked? I want to buy a quality rifle and be done.
 

Budrichard

Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 16, 2019
119
67
LMT Monolithic Upper.
Quality product, ambi controls and barrels change out with two bolts.
LMT built a better product.
I just built one.
 

Attachments

  • 9AE763BC-5940-4D34-A3BA-9191A8DF6577.jpeg
    9AE763BC-5940-4D34-A3BA-9191A8DF6577.jpeg
    793.3 KB · Views: 107

Averageman

Supporter
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 27, 2020
164
689
Middle 'Merica!
I'd have to say a S&W M&P15 Sport II optics ready. I bought one last year to use as a range toy to keep from running up the round count on the DDM4 V7 Pro. The M&P is very accurate and 100% reliable. The factory trigger is actually pretty good, I won't change it. Fit and finish is impressive.
 

Harman117

Shooting Blanks
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 2, 2018
307
261
Ohio
You should really focus on what you plan on doing with the rifle and then what configuration best suits that.

Do you just want a milspec carbine? Do you plan on hunting with it? Any competitions in your future? Self defense? One rifle to do a little of everything?

Some brands do certain things better than others, once you figure out exactly how you're going to use it, you'll get better answers. Otherwise you'll get everyone's favorite AR brand with no context.
 

longshot2000

Sniper's Hide Dealer: CHARLIE'S
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Feb 19, 2017
    1,211
    489
    Northern VA
    charliescustomclones.com
    I would say you both have some great choices out there - and you have named some good ones - and you will likely experience a supply chain problem no matter where you look.

    Three questions you should ask yourself:

    1) Is this a tool or a masterpiece?
    2) Do you want a military type (or even clone correct) rifle, or a great shooting rifle?
    3) How are you going to use this rifle, and how far would you typically shoot?

    okay 4 questions

    4) What are the neighbors to this gun like in your safe?

    These are important questions. They seem simple. But, with the "AR15 realm" you are dealing with rifles are all a their core the same. A $699 S&W Saint functions the same way a $2,000+ Barrelt RC7 does. So, how do you differentiate. Everyone here has their favorite brands, so you will get that.

    My business is that of selling, assembling and making military correct rifles, so even if you want a simple military AR, I will probably point you to a mid-price point FN or Colt, and you will be happy. I also love some of the more refined precision rifles, both military spec and commercial. Something just feels good shooting a LaRue or a JP or a Barrett. It is like the steak at Morton's. Then again, the SIg Tread does a good enough job, if that is what you want. Sold, reliable, no frills. Think Outback Steakhouse. :)

    So, back it up. With an AR platform, the most important part is the barrel. I think with a bolt gun, it is the receiver first, and then the barrel. But AR15 upper receivers are all close to the same, one quality brand to another. Yes, there are some real stars, and yes, there are some real dud, but inside the realm of general quality, the AR upper receiver is not your first worry. The barrel will determine mission. A chrome lined barrel is best for a military general rifle, and you will be well served with a 1-1/2 MOA rifle with a chrome lined buttoned broached or CHF barrel. An average sized barrel is 16". If you want short barrel, CQBR type, then 10.3", 10.5", 11.5" are what you want. Military M4A1 is 14.5". If you want a traditional old-fashioned AR15, like the Colt Sporter, then 20" rifle length gas system is your choice. If you are looking for accuracy, you now move to 18" to 22", with 20" being the norm, and normally stainless steel (416R) and preferably single cut rifling. Just like you would with a bolt gun. Now, you have moved from a kick the doors down to a general purpose rifle to a precision rifle. The first military true sniper rifle in 5.56mm (I am going to get some Vietnam guys argue with me here) was the Mk12 SPR, at 18" Douglas SS cut rifled barrel, in 2000. That gun changed thinking about the AR platform from a 1-2 MOA shooter to a 3/4 MOA shooter.

    Once you pick the mission, you have picked the barrel, now pick military correct or best shooting. Certainly, there is some overlap. LMT, Knights and Barrett do both, and do both quite well. LaRue is also in that group, but has not seen quite as many military deployments.

    Personally, I think scope comes after barrel, but let's put that aside. You can come back later.

    Now, the upper receiver and bolt carrier group matter after barrel. The truth is, there are very few bad BCGs and bad upper receivers, within the middle 80% of AR15s on the market, but they do exist. Avoid the no-names. You can also spend a great deal on a BCG. LMT probably has the best performing BCG, and others, like Young's Manufacturing, Geissele, Surefire, JP all have their adaptation, and others that are not coming to mind. The difference between a solid BCG and a really outstanding BCG might be 3% to 9% improvement in performance or life expectancy and 2x to 5x the difference in price. Same with the upper receiver.

    Next in line is the trigger group and lower parts kit. I will go out on a limb and say the lower receiver -- other than a solid buffer and buffer tube -- is the least important part. Even the trigger, is a personal preference, and you will need to decide: single stage or double stage. There are a handful of great trigger makers in double stage. Single stage, I will probably opt for simple. Double stage, I like Geissele and LaRue, but LMT, KAC are others are out there, and you can upgrade that later as well.

    So, have I done a good job of muddling the waters for you. Go back to the basic questions, and answer those, and I can probably limit your search, and others will have equally valuable opinions.
     

    pewpew300WM

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 31, 2019
    273
    46
    PA
    There are a lot of options, what do you want from this AR. Reliability , accuracy, all the above?
    I have had some insane luck with 3 Rock River Arms, all sub MOA rifles. Not the lightest but sure some of the most accurate
    So mainly I want one for home defense but I’d like to have a quality, accurate and reliable option incase I ever want to get into comp shooting with it. That was why I was checking out the ddm4v7. Weight isn’t an issue as I have a 20lb long range comp rifle that I use for hunting also.
     

    Shooter McGavin

    NTRP TEAM MEMBER #33
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 22, 2009
    1,728
    2,632
    Some where in the US
    I only see one problem with LMT and KAC, they are not in stock any where. I have been on the list at Kelly Enterprise for which seems like over a year. Even companies like BCM and Geissele have low stock on everything.
     

    pewpew300WM

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 31, 2019
    273
    46
    PA
    This is the best AR on the planet ... albeit an AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor. Of all the high quality rifles I own, this would be the last one I'd vote off the island. Reliable, smooth, well-equipped, sub-MOA out to 1,400 yards with a decent scope (I use a Leupold Mark-5 HD 3.6-18).

    I’d like to stay with a 556. I’ve got a 300wm comp rifle for long range.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: drewthebrave

    pewpew300WM

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 31, 2019
    273
    46
    PA
    You should really focus on what you plan on doing with the rifle and then what configuration best suits that.

    Do you just want a milspec carbine? Do you plan on hunting with it? Any competitions in your future? Self defense? One rifle to do a little of everything?

    Some brands do certain things better than others, once you figure out exactly how you're going to use it, you'll get better answers. Otherwise you'll get everyone's favorite AR brand with no context.
    So mainly I want one for home defense but I’d like to have a quality, accurate and reliable option incase I ever want to get into comp shooting with it. That was why I was checking out the ddm4v7. Weight isn’t an issue as I have a 20lb long range comp rifle that I use for hunting also.
     

    pewpew300WM

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 31, 2019
    273
    46
    PA
    I would say you both have some great choices out there - and you have named some good ones - and you will likely experience a supply chain problem no matter where you look.

    Three questions you should ask yourself:

    1) Is this a tool or a masterpiece?
    2) Do you want a military type (or even clone correct) rifle, or a great shooting rifle?
    3) How are you going to use this rifle, and how far would you typically shoot?

    okay 4 questions

    4) What are the neighbors to this gun like in your safe?

    These are important questions. They seem simple. But, with the "AR15 realm" you are dealing with rifles are all a their core the same. A $699 S&W Saint functions the same way a $2,000+ Barrelt RC7 does. So, how do you differentiate. Everyone here has their favorite brands, so you will get that.

    My business is that of selling, assembling and making military correct rifles, so even if you want a simple military AR, I will probably point you to a mid-price point FN or Colt, and you will be happy. I also love some of the more refined precision rifles, both military spec and commercial. Something just feels good shooting a LaRue or a JP or a Barrett. It is like the steak at Morton's. Then again, the SIg Tread does a good enough job, if that is what you want. Sold, reliable, no frills. Think Outback Steakhouse. :)

    So, back it up. With an AR platform, the most important part is the barrel. I think with a bolt gun, it is the receiver first, and then the barrel. But AR15 upper receivers are all close to the same, one quality brand to another. Yes, there are some real stars, and yes, there are some real dud, but inside the realm of general quality, the AR upper receiver is not your first worry. The barrel will determine mission. A chrome lined barrel is best for a military general rifle, and you will be well served with a 1-1/2 MOA rifle with a chrome lined buttoned broached or CHF barrel. An average sized barrel is 16". If you want short barrel, CQBR type, then 10.3", 10.5", 11.5" are what you want. Military M4A1 is 14.5". If you want a traditional old-fashioned AR15, like the Colt Sporter, then 20" rifle length gas system is your choice. If you are looking for accuracy, you now move to 18" to 22", with 20" being the norm, and normally stainless steel (416R) and preferably single cut rifling. Just like you would with a bolt gun. Now, you have moved from a kick the doors down to a general purpose rifle to a precision rifle. The first military true sniper rifle in 5.56mm (I am going to get some Vietnam guys argue with me here) was the Mk12 SPR, at 18" Douglas SS cut rifled barrel, in 2000. That gun changed thinking about the AR platform from a 1-2 MOA shooter to a 3/4 MOA shooter.

    Once you pick the mission, you have picked the barrel, now pick military correct or best shooting. Certainly, there is some overlap. LMT, Knights and Barrett do both, and do both quite well. LaRue is also in that group, but has not seen quite as many military deployments.

    Personally, I think scope comes after barrel, but let's put that aside. You can come back later.

    Now, the upper receiver and bolt carrier group matter after barrel. The truth is, there are very few bad BCGs and bad upper receivers, within the middle 80% of AR15s on the market, but they do exist. Avoid the no-names. You can also spend a great deal on a BCG. LMT probably has the best performing BCG, and others, like Young's Manufacturing, Geissele, Surefire, JP all have their adaptation, and others that are not coming to mind. The difference between a solid BCG and a really outstanding BCG might be 3% to 9% improvement in performance or life expectancy and 2x to 5x the difference in price. Same with the upper receiver.

    Next in line is the trigger group and lower parts kit. I will go out on a limb and say the lower receiver -- other than a solid buffer and buffer tube -- is the least important part. Even the trigger, is a personal preference, and you will need to decide: single stage or double stage. There are a handful of great trigger makers in double stage. Single stage, I will probably opt for simple. Double stage, I like Geissele and LaRue, but LMT, KAC are others are out there, and you can upgrade that later as well.

    So, have I done a good job of muddling the waters for you. Go back to the basic questions, and answer those, and I can probably limit your search, and others will have equally valuable opinions.
    It’s going to be used not a safe queen for sure. I’m not big into clone AR’s so it doesn’t have to be the military look. I’m looking for home defense and the possibility of comp shooting. Im looking to go with a 14.5” barrel like the ddm4v7 but I’d like to stay under 20” for the barrel. I’m a buy once cry once person so the cost is the cost but I will buy quality the first time. The neighbor gun to this is my rem 700 long range setup, 700 action, mdt acc chassis, elfman tac trigger, spuhr mount, zco 527 optic, mdt cyke pod and some bolt flute and add ons.
     

    Attachments

    • 12EA8619-9172-4CE3-AD79-FFDBEE95B83D.jpeg
      12EA8619-9172-4CE3-AD79-FFDBEE95B83D.jpeg
      1.2 MB · Views: 59

    Clayman

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 29, 2021
    370
    420
    AZ
    I’m in the market for a new 556 AR. With that being said I’d like to buy instead of build. I’ve looked into the Sons of Liberty, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, FN, Battle Arms Development, Christensen Arms, DRD, and POF. I’ve got my ffl so I’ll be saving a fair amount on the gun itself. Can anyone recommend any other brands that I’ve possibly overlooked? I want to buy a quality rifle and be done.

    Noveske
    Radian Model 1
    American Defense Manufacturing UIC mod 2
    LMT MARS
    KAC SR15
    HODGE
    ZEV
     

    FuhQ

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 26, 2013
    1,648
    1,193
    Alabama
    I’m in the market for a new 556 AR. With that being said I’d like to buy instead of build. I’ve looked into the Sons of Liberty, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, FN, Battle Arms Development, Christensen Arms, DRD, and POF. I’ve got my ffl so I’ll be saving a fair amount on the gun itself. Can anyone recommend any other brands that I’ve possibly overlooked? I want to buy a quality rifle and be done.
    The best of the best... LWRC. Had my M6A1 since 2009, and it's been flawless through thousands of rounds. The gas piston really makes it nice suppressed, too. Really quiet, really clean, smooth operation, ridiculously accurate... I can't say enough good things. They really are the best out there for a reason.

    3259.jpeg
     
    Last edited:

    FuhQ

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 26, 2013
    1,648
    1,193
    Alabama
    This is the best AR on the planet ... albeit an AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor. Of all the high quality rifles I own, this would be the last one I'd vote off the island. Reliable, smooth, well-equipped, sub-MOA out to 1,400 yards with a decent scope (I use a Leupold Mark-5 HD 3.6-18).

    Yep, hands-down you won't beat an LWRC in precision and quality. They are hand-built and hand-fitted rifles.
     

    mrtoyz

    Armchair Commando
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 11, 2009
    1,036
    495
    Western WA
    So mainly I want one for home defense but I’d like to have a quality, accurate and reliable option incase I ever want to get into comp shooting with it. That was why I was checking out the ddm4v7. Weight isn’t an issue as I have a 20lb long range comp rifle that I use for hunting also.
    Check out ADM rifles. Spec’d well, look great, ambi.
     

    ut755ln

    Sergeant
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 24, 2011
    254
    45
    57
    Houston Texas
    I’m in the market for a new 556 AR. With that being said I’d like to buy instead of build. I’ve looked into the Sons of Liberty, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, FN, Battle Arms Development, Christensen Arms, DRD, and POF. I’ve got my ffl so I’ll be saving a fair amount on the gun itself. Can anyone recommend any other brands that I’ve possibly overlooked? I want to buy a quality rifle and be done.
    You did not specify the purpose of the AR. So this is a very general answer, if I had to buy an new AR that was kind of a do it all I would get the Geissele Super Duty Rifle with the 16" barrel. NVM, you did. Same rifle in the 14.5" barrel.
     

    DocRDS

    Totally not turning you guys over to the feds.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2012
    1,424
    2,365
    Moldova
    Bushmaster BITCHES!! (I don't even think they are around). (And stay away from that piston crap. You want a piston GET AN AK!!)

    Buy one that goes bang every time.

    Colt, BCM, are good brands in the 'mid price' point with BCM being the best

    JP, DD, Noveske, KAC, LMT take up the 'upper tier' price point. Some KAC parts may not be compatible with others (I think its the bolt that's slightly different) LMT and DD tend to be less pricey.

    In the bargin bin you have S&W, Ruger, Aero, Armalite and a host of other options. Less refined. Still go bang.

    Its tough to buy a bad AR these days (make no mistake it can be done). LMT or BCM would be probably the best price/performance bang for the buck. LMT's are hard to find though.

    But real men have a snek gun. Bushmaster 4 life yo! 25 years and counting!!
     

    HUNTERVASSER

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Minuteman
  • Mar 31, 2018
    61
    68
    Ft. Knox, KY
    FDB49DB9-85D4-4B2B-A8A0-A8D2D006CD59.jpeg
    8C7FF0DA-D090-45B2-92AF-91406B919E4F.jpeg


    I have an LMT Monolithic upper set up that has been both really accurate and never a hiccup. I personally like the fit and finish of Noveske’s, but I have ventured out and placed and order for a ADM MFG that I will build. In all there are a great number of quality builders in a sea of ARs. I look forward to seeing what you decided to pick up.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: pewpew300WM

    AngryKoala

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 30, 2020
    1,985
    1,508
    I have had LMT, JP, DD, S&W, Black Rain, Precision Firearms. The best was and still is all my JPs. I still own a MWS in LMT but everything else has been sold off to aquire more JPs and JP builds.
    My vote is JP all day everyday and 2x on Sunday.

    GAMER GUNS

    Sorry, had to say it in memory of crabby patty angry tits.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: RedRockCharlie

    NWnewguy

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 10, 2013
    473
    344
    I'm not trying to make the wait longer, but it's real hard to beat the LaRue UU kit for the money. I've had several in the last couple of years and they are nearly perfect. Accuracy with 16" barrels of two different contours has been considerably below MOA. Trigger is about as robust as any that I have seen and the feel is great. You can spend considerably more, but you can't get considerably better.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: pewpew300WM

    Luka

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 20, 2014
    19
    17
    Tbilisi. Georgia.
    Heckler & Koch MR223 A3 .223 Rem
     

    Attachments

    • 30168073_353874945019696_746723217728631997_o.jpg
      30168073_353874945019696_746723217728631997_o.jpg
      104.3 KB · Views: 33
    • 36114127_377656872641503_1727319963938586624_n.jpg
      36114127_377656872641503_1727319963938586624_n.jpg
      332.4 KB · Views: 23
    • 41739972_439460719794451_8518278878051958784_n.jpg
      41739972_439460719794451_8518278878051958784_n.jpg
      380.4 KB · Views: 23
    • 242841187_1105681586505691_5831399899020936540_n.jpg
      242841187_1105681586505691_5831399899020936540_n.jpg
      168.1 KB · Views: 30
    • 243209735_1106771096396740_400012991008487741_n.jpg
      243209735_1106771096396740_400012991008487741_n.jpg
      65.3 KB · Views: 30

    StLPro2A

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 27, 2011
    146
    117
    45
    I’m in the market for a new 556 AR. With that being said I’d like to buy instead of build. I’ve looked into the Sons of Liberty, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, FN, Battle Arms Development, Christensen Arms, DRD, and POF. I’ve got my ffl so I’ll be saving a fair amount on the gun itself. Can anyone recommend any other brands that I’ve possibly overlooked? I want to buy a quality rifle and be done.
    Barrett.........Ronnie and Chris are proud of what bears their name. They make great firearms.
     

    rlsmith1

    Legalize Freedom
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 1, 2019
    651
    368
    Midwest
    If you've got time to wait and want to venture into the custom world, Compass Lake Engineering and others do great work and will do almost anything you want down to sizing the gas port and turning the barrel profile down. They use great blanks, you just have to choose if you want CL or SS. I chose CL
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Harman117

    Shooter McGavin

    NTRP TEAM MEMBER #33
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 22, 2009
    1,728
    2,632
    Some where in the US
    Hodge Defense

     
    • Like
    Reactions: pewpew300WM

    NormanChang

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 31, 2017
    314
    106
    Primary Arms has these on sale right now
    few months a go local gun store have few this AR15 , for DDC color price is like $200 more then Black color ,that Time the DDC color Price is $22xx now is drop to $20xx , it's very nice and quality AR15 , But I buy more guns and rifle ( HK MR762A1 , SCAR 20s 308 ~~~~ ) so ~ , and I do have few AR15 , I do like it but I do not need it now , thanks
     

    Shooter McGavin

    NTRP TEAM MEMBER #33
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 22, 2009
    1,728
    2,632
    Some where in the US
    few months a go local gun store have few this AR15 , for DDC color price is like $200 more then Black color ,that Time the DDC color Price is $22xx now is drop to $20xx , it's very nice and quality AR15 , But I buy more guns and rifle ( HK MR762A1 , SCAR 20s 308 ~~~~ ) so ~ , and I do have few AR15 , I do like it but I do not need it now , thanks
    I hear you. If anyone else is interested.

     
    • Like
    Reactions: NormanChang