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The AR-15 buyers guide

Updated on August 19, 2014

Which AR-15 is right for me?

There are countless options for you out there, make sure you buy the gun for you!Sort through the options,accessories,manufacturers,barrel lengths,stocks,cartridges,optics,ect. The purpose for the gun is what will decide its final dressing. Let's look deeper at the thought process behind building or purchasing a practical AR-15.

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Let’s face it, with all the available brands, types, sizes, calibers, even colors of the worlds most prominent weopons platform, where do you begin when you set out to purchase a new weapon? The options seem endless and the combinations of those offerings truly are endless,but believe it or not,there is a rhyme and reason behind every gun out there,and they make sence when you actually understand the logic behind their individual design.it all boils down to one thing, the purpose for wich you intend to use it. For simplicity sake, I catigorize them into two classes,tactical and hunting/target.Lets begin with the former and the typical attributes you would want (and not want ) from them.

Your tactical/defensive gun will be a weapon that you can shoulder and engage a target quickly,that is not too heavy to maneuver or hold for long periods of time,and typically has a barrel 16″ or shorter to aid in maneuverability .When I build or buy one for this purpose comfort is my guiding factor as it will be used to potentially save the life of myself or a family member under stressful circumstances.i will need a gun that I can hold for extended amounts of time and can easily move from hand to hand as I am walking or running.this is where the shorter barrel length comes into play,because for one it reduces overall weight,and two does not hinder mobility. Compound the fact that 90% of defensive scenarios take place within twenty yards!you are not forfeiting any substantial necessary range of the weapon by having a shorter barrel.
Secondly the optic is the most notable distinction when purchasing a weapon designated for this task.i always will go with a red dot scope,they are lighter,less bulkey so they will not get hung up or snagged while on the go, and more importantly fast. By fast I mean that target acquisition is fast, simply shoulder the gun ,put the dot where you want the bullet to impact,and pull the trigger, it becomes second nature with little practice,almost without thought even for the novice. As far as other accessories like flashlights and forward grips go, add what you like and doesn’t slow you down,you would be amazed how fast weight adds up,remember you are starting out with typically a seven pound gun,add two pounds of ammo in a 30 rd P-Mag and you are flirting with ten pounds before you add any other gear,including optics. It doesn’t sound like much but every pound counts when you are on the move.

Ok for all of you hunters and target shooters,take everything I said above and throw it out the window,for your gun will be focused around one thing and one thing alone,precision. For the most part weight is not much of variable in your decision unless you plan on long stalking ventures,but even then it is not much of a factor compared to accuracy. Typically hunters and bench shooters are pulling the trigger from a sitting position ,where the shot is not as rushed. Sacrificing barrel length,which in turn sacrifices velocity and down range ballistics at further yardages is actually counter productive. The heft of a larger scope is also a non issue and actually aids in your shot placement,after all your target acquisition time is much greater, and time is much more on your side before you squeeze the trigger. You will typically like a heavier barrel and honestly an over all heavier gun for follow up shots. Weight being a nonissue is your greatest advantage,as you can truly customize you gun to your taste without imposing any restrictions on yourself. Use what works for you and feels good.Hell, maybe you are hunting a dense patch of forrest and all shots are under fifty yards,maybe you have a short barreled Ar that will suffice.What if on the same lease you have stands that call for 300yard shots regularly? Bring your target upper along and with the snap of two pins you have a completely new gun…Ah..That’s the beauty of the weapon ..

Have you built your own AR-15?

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