Warning! Walk away. Now! AR-15’s can be very addicting. Most rifles that you buy are not modified very much. You choose and mount your optics and then mostly fine tune the performance using different ammunition. Not so with AR-15’s. Sure you can buy one and use it out of the box and never change anything on it. They are very good out-of-the box. Since all Ar-15 type rifles, (Actually AR-15 is a trademark of Colt) are based on Mil-Spec M16’s, parts from different manufacturers are interchangeable. This has led to a virtual explosion of aftermarket parts and accessories for the rifles in addition to a multitude of actual manufacturers. You can spend as little as $500 to as much as $5000 on setting up your AR-15. In addition, the used gun and parts market is flush with good deals. Every single part on the rifle can be purchased independently and is available in many configurations. The rifle is split into two main assemblies, the upper and lower. The lower assembly contains the main receiver, trigger assembly, hand grip and rear stock. The upper assembly contains the upper receiver, barrel, bolt carrier group, gas system and optics.
I purchased my first AR-15 as a used rifle that was custom built by the owner. It is not a typical M4 Carbine assembly but has a longer barrel and rifle-length gas system. I will blog about what this means and how the rifle operates. I have arranged this blog into categories including Upper Build, Lower Build, Optics, Accessories, and Ammunition. I hope you enjoy the blog and that it helps with your own AR-15 adventure.
My latest build is a very lightweight rifle. This thing is quick to handle. The Burris red dot has ben upgraded to an Aimpoint Micro T-1 which is an awesome sight. Barrel is a Noveske 14.5 inch lightweight profile with a pinned flash hider.
I finished adding my sling and Bi-Pod so I thought I would take a few pics.
Here is a test video from youtube.
AR-15s are chambered for 5.56mm x 45 NATO ammunition or .223 Remington. They are not always interchangeable. In general, barrels chambered for 5.56mm ammo can reliably use .223 Remington but the opposite is not always true. Also, There are many different types and weights of bullets available from lightweight 43 grain varmint rounds to 62 grain armor piercing military rounds. Some rifles cycle better with a particular type of ammunition. Also, some rifles are more accurate with a particular typ of ammunition. The best way to know which ammunition works best with your rifle is to buy a small quantity of different types and go shooting! Keep careful track of targets and which rounds go with it. Record all of your data in a table format. Since the AR-15 is a centerfire round, re-loading is a viable option and gives you a wide variety of choices. You can vary the amount of powder, type of powder, bullet weight, bullet type, etc.
Blatantly taken from Wikipedia:
The AR-15 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle, with a rotating-lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation. It is manufactured with the extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials.
The AR-15 was first built by ArmaLite as a selective fire assault rifle for the United States armed forces. Because of financial problems, ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt. The select-fire AR-15 entered the US military system as the M16 rifle. Colt then marketed the Colt AR-15 as a semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle for civilian sales in 1963. The name “AR-15” is a Colt registered trademark, which refers only to the semi-automatic rifle.
So many choices, so little money. I decided to go the scope route for longer distance shooting. In the future I may add a mini red-dot on the side. My present scope is a Burris TAC-30 3-9 x40mm with a 30mm tube. It is mounted on a cantilevered mount for better eye relief. It has a very fine reticle for exact target acquisition and a very clear field of view. It is not the best for quick, close target acquisition but that is not the main purpose of this rifle build.
There are many choices for slings that it is hard to decide what to get. You need to realistically consider how you want to use your rifle and what you want the sling to do for you. I am looking for maximum flexibility. I would like the sling to hold the rifle close to the body for walking through deep woods but allow quick deployment to off hand shooting. This sling is an example of what I am considering. Any comments from actual users are welcome.