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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen

I have fooled with guns for at least 25 years now, but have only shot one AR-15 type rifle, a Smith and Wesson. I have held several, but this is the only one I have actually shot. I have really had the urge to go out and buy one before the inmates that are running the asylum outlaw them. I want a 16 inch fairly heavy barrel, with the ability to mount a scope, what I believe is called a flattop receiver (shades of Ruger!). Now, I know I will get as many answers to this as their are gun makers, but which company do you recommend? I have heard a lot of good things about Bushmaster, among others. The Smiths are made by someone else, but I am not sure who. Do any of you know who makes them? Thanks in advance for your answers.
 

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There are lots of good makers out there such as bushmaster, olymipic arms, aramalite, etc.
Everyone has their favorites.
I like bushmaster as they offer a ton of styles. For a flat top configuration i would go with the "A3" which has the removable carry handle.
At my former department, i had a bushmaster "patrolman" carbine with the A3 set up. What i did on mine was to remove the handle and install a small apeture adj sight on the flat-top.. In back of that i installed a bushnell holo-site. With this set-up i co-witnessed my iron sights thru the holo-site. That way if the holo-site ever failed, i could just look thru it using my irons and still be in the thick of it without having to withdraw to remove anything.
I also took a different approach and went with a light barrel profile instead of a heavy one. The heavy barrels are great if you are going to do a ton of shooting in one setting, but for my purposes i wanted a weight savings--especially being out somewhere for several hours carrying it. Found that the lighter barrel was plenty accurate for my needs and in slow fire shot just as well as the heavy barrel counter-parts.
This is a link to basically what i had from bushmaster in an A3 config:

http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/bcwa3f16sl.asp

If you want a heavy barrel--nothing wrong with that--i just ain't as young as i use to be. Wish i still had that ar but it went south for moving expenses back then.

From general comments that i have heard, bushmaster has outstanding service. Some folks that had armalites loved theirs but had some trouble getting some parts from them as they seemed to be out-of stock often.
Olympic arms site is
www.olyarms.com
They are generally cheaper than anyone else and have a lifetime warranty but some complaints that they do not chrome line their barrels. Others claim an increase in accuracy without the chrome lineing. Do love the looks of their 1911's however as they are the old safri-arms.

Those folks that i knew that turned them into target/varm rigs often change out the triggers as well as a few other modifications---capable of very fine accuracy with the heavy barrel models of sub 1".

Don't know much about the s&w AR system. Everyone i've talked to says with Colt you are paying too much for the name.

Ifr you are planning on scope for a flat top, make sure your front sight is detachable. they sell A3's both ways with a permenant front sight and a detachable one.

Been out of the AR game for a while so i don't know what all may have changed.

My current "AR" is a issue M-16. A golden oldie with the light barrel triangular forarm and full birdcage. Have to put a snap-on shell deflector on it to keep from eating the brass shooting it left-handed.
 

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Stay with a good brand, you will get a nice rifle. If your only after a sporter model, then I suggest a Rock River Arms or DPMS. They cost MUCH less than a Smith or Armalite.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really like that one, Tweek! Deputy125 you have some great points. I do want a heavy barrel, does not have to be a bull barrel, but heavier than the pencil thin Mini 14 barrel. I want a gun that will shoot much more accurately than my Mini will. And not drop all it's shots when the barrel gets a little hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Went out today and bought a Bushmaster. Here are a couple of pics:



Will let you know how it shoots later. Been up all night and all day and now it is bedie bie time. With dreams of ARs dancing in my head.
 

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Nice!!!!!!!!!!! looks like the m-4?
 

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Ya did good I have an AR 10 on lay away Bushmaster its a very heavy barrel. I will post pictures of it once I get it out. Won't until the end of the year but hey once I get its all mine.
 

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I like the Bushmaster flat top with the removable carry handle that deputy described. I also like the Colt 6700 which is also a flat top with the removable carry handle. I have been "gun shy" of ordering a S&W. I want to hear more about their dependability. Tweek, your Rock River Arms Tactical looks GREAT!
 

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Stoped by my buddies house on the way home from work last night. While I was there, the lower for my new AR came. Since it's too wet to cut wheat around here, he will probably have it finished by the time I get home tonight. I'll get some pictures up soon. It has a 20" barrel & part's from several differen't manufactures. I haven't decided what scope to put on it yet.
 
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