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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What is the best battle rattle AR-15 for the money? Just had someone push the SA SAINT to me and it seems nice for the money, but ARs are like rocks these days, they're everywhere, but some are definitely better than others. I'm looking to acquire another AR, but not one of these top level precision guns. I'm looking for a gun that is going to be a great value, one that is going to be tossed around, per se, used and run hard, but dead bolt reliable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As much as I love my MCX, for value, gotta say SW MP 15. I've seen them as low as $539. Whether or not it can be classified as "battle rattle" is up for debate is suppose...
I have the M&P15 Sport and love it, but it's really my daughter's gun when she gets old enough for her own. The new sport II has the dust cover and port assist, which I guess would bring it on par with the standard accepted version of a true battle rifle, but except for the twist rate, I wonder what the "military grade" rifles have that these lower end ARs don't.
 
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Hard to beat the Colt LE6920 though it is about a $900 rifle. As far as a budget AR15 the S&W Sport II would be hard to beat. A lot like the Ruger too but S&W Sport has been around quite a bit longer I believe. BCM is supposed to be excellent too for around $1100, such as the Mid-16.

http://grabagun.com/bcm-mid-16-mod-0-5-56-16-30rd.html
 

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If I was looking for a serious AR, the BCM or Colt are hard to beat.

If you're bored some time, Google "BCM filthy 14". I started trying out the Bravo Company stuff after reading that article and have yet to be disappointed with any of their products.

And now that Colt has gone back to using mil-spec parts again you can get a solid rifle for under $1,000.
 

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SW Sport II , never heard anyone complain. Its Smith and Wesson, they have the funds, knowledge and r&D to give us a solid rifle at a lower price. MilSPec is , well, MilSPec.
Have you ever had Mil SPec Milk.... Yep..
 
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The great thing about a cheap AR is you can always upgrade. Stock, rail, trigger...it never ends. Do you have a budget? The Saint is really sweet. I finally fired one the other week. I helped a guy at the range zero his and I almost didn't want to give it back.
 

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I have seen M&P15 Sport IIs for around $500 and Ruger AR 556s for under $500 recently. Both are excellent "entry level" AR 15 type carbines. I put "entry level" in quotes because for the use many owners are going to put them to, they will probably serve every bit as well as a more expensive model such as a Colt LE6920. Not that I am knocking the Colt LE6920. If anyone wants to trade me theirs for my Ruger, I'm all ears.

I looked pretty hard at both the Ruger AR 556 and the M&P15 Sport II, and I suspect these are going to be the two most popular choices in the (currently) around $500 price range. I have seen Andersons and DPMS Oracles for the same price or a little less, and Bushmasters for around the same price. I have also seen the Aero Precision X15 on sale at Brownell's a few times in the last year for $500 (currently $559) and that carbine seems to be very well regarded. The Aero has a front sight post but no rear sight or magazine, so those would be additional expenses. These are all direct gas impingement carbines with 16 inch barrels and carbine length gas systems, except for the Aero which has a mid-length gas system, which is preferred by some.

I have heard so many positive testimonials for the M&P 15 Sport II and the Ruger AR 556 that I would be rather reluctant to go with an Anderson or DPMS simply because they are going to cost about as much, and I haven't heard of nearly as many good experiences with them. Likewise, Bushmaster used to have a quite good reputation in the past, but that company has been sold and the reports I have read recently are not as good.

So in the $500 price range I would look hard at the M&P15 Sport II and the Ruger AR 556. Since I looked pretty hard at these two carbines before I chose one, I will give a rundown on the differences. I ultimately chose the AR 556 primarily for its barrel twist rate, although if I had seen a smoking deal on the M&P15 I probably would have gone for that.

M&P15 Sport II: This has a melonite/nitride treated barrel with a 1:9 rifling twist rate. The barrel nitriding might extend barrel life. It is not the same as a lined barrel. Mil-spec AR 15 carbines have chrome-lined barrels to help resist corrosion in adverse conditions. Chrome-lined barrels are often slightly less accurate, however, not that it is likely to make a difference for the typical shooter. The M&P has a forged, integral trigger guard (which is also not mil-spec, not that it matters a hoot), and a bolt carrier group with a fully-shrouded firing pin. The trigger is a single-stage mil-spec type trigger group, although I don't know if it is strictly mil-spec (I have read that it is MIM machined). The flip-up rear sight is a Magpul MBUS Gen2 with dual apertures. The Delta ring is the spring-loaded type that is seen with mil-spec AR 15 carbines.

AR 556: This has a cold, hammer-forged barrel with a 1:8 twist rate that is not lined or nitrided. The bolt carrier group has an unshrouded firing pin. The significance of a BCG with an unshrouded pin is that it can result in wear to the firing pin collar and/or the firing pin retaining pin (cotter pin). Despite this possibility, I have spoken to owners of AR 556 carbines with high round counts who have not experienced these issues. The flip-up rear sight on the Ruger is proprietary and has only a single aperture, not as good as the Magpul MBUS in my opinion. Of course, the rear sight is easily changed. Many have complained about the threaded Ruger Delta ring which is also proprietary. I happen to prefer the threaded Delta ring to the spring-loaded type as it makes removing and installing the fore-end easier. The trigger is once again a mil-spec, single stage type which I believe is MIM. I have heard some say the M&P15 has a much better trigger than the Ruger. On the couple of M&P15s I have shot the trigger action was not significantly better IMO, but the pull weight seemed to be a little lighter.

Both carbines have pretty basic polymer furniture. I happened to find the Ruger pistol grip more comfortable for my hand than the M&P's, but that is subjective, of course, and pistol grips are easily changed. Both carbines come with a single 30 round Magpul P-MAG 30 Gen 2 magazine.

I have had no reliability issues whatsoever with my AR 556 except for a few light primer strikes after I swapped the hammer spring for a reduced power spring. That issue resolved when I put a standard power hammer spring back in.

As I said, the main feature that led me to favor the AR 556 was the rifling twist rate. Either the 1:9 or the 1:8 twist rates will be fine to stabilize the most common 55 or 62 grain 5.56 or .223 loads accurately. The faster 1:8 twist rate is more likely to adequately stabilize projectiles of greater than 69 grain weight, however. Some of the more popular self-defense loads are in this weight range, if that is a consideration.
 

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I have a Bushmaster ORC which is a decent shooter and was priced right. I fired a friend's LWRC A5 with a Trijicon sight and it was incredible. Unbelievably accurate, light recoil, and
comfortable to sight in. Best AR I have ever fired and wish I could afford one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Anyone familiar with Knights Armament?
 
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