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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm ready to buy my first AR-15 style rifle, and I've narrowed it down to the SR556-E or the SR556-CLA, but I'm leaning towards the CLA. Here are my concerns:

I figure that after adding iron sights to the E, and maybe picking up an extra magazine or two, and possibly upgrading the grip (if that's possible on the E), I might save about $250 by getting the E instead of the CLA. I also like the hand guards and Picatinny rail sections that come with the CLA. I have a feeling that the reduced weight and the chrome-lined barrel are worth the extra money. What are your thoughts?

The integral flash suppressor on the CLA vs. the threaded flash suppressor on the E doesn't really make a difference to me, as I don't plan on purchasing a silencer anytime soon. Am I missing other benefits to the threaded flash suppressor? Obviously, with the integral flash suppressor the barrel can be shorter, helping to reduce the weight, which I feel is more important with this gun.

What are the benefits of a chrome-lined barrel? Does it just run cleaner and cooler? Are there any benefits to the fluted barrel on the CLA besides just weight reduction? Does it keep cooler because of the extra surface area, or does the thinner barrel negate that? I plan on using a Slide Fire Solutions bump-fire stock for rapid fire, so I'm curious as to what barrel would be better at handling that. With either the E or the CLA, is it possible to ruin the barrel w/ rapid fire shooting due to excessive heat? I would only be doing 30 rounds at a time and then letting it cool for a bit, so I hope this wouldn't be an issue with either model.

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions in advance!
 

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I'm going to say this and people may disagree with me but... If the SR556-CLA is what you want, then you're not going to be happy with anything else. The 'E' is roughly $625 cheaper. But...

A good set of back-up iron sights will run you $100-150 easily. You're going to have to purchase all of that rail real estate with covers. You'll be buying a couple more magazines. You know you want that Hogue grip! You're getting the chrome-plated bolt, which is an upgrade in some people's books (mine included).

If you wanted to build an AR, you would build an AR. If you want something ready to shoot right out of the box, get the rifle you want, right out of the box. It'll save you time and hassle and you won't end up with a bunch of loose parts that you don't need, nor will you be shelling out a few bucks here and there to piece something together that you should have gotten from the factory to begin with.

I'm the kind of guy that buys what I want. I recently started building an AR. It wasn't at the very top of my wish-list so I'm working on it a piece at a time. I really considered the SR556, but couldn't justify the cost as it's just something for me to tinker with so I went the build-it-on-a-budget route.

But if I had gotten an SR556, I'd have gone with the SR556C. It's a darn fine rifle and you'll be pleased you went with the one built the way you wanted it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Matthew, thanks for the input! You're right, I'm not going to like the E until it is modified to resemble the CLA. Now it's just a matter of finding a CLA...
 

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Matthew, thanks for the input! You're right, I'm not going to like the E until it is modified to resemble the CLA. Now it's just a matter of finding a CLA...
You're very welcome. Best of luck with the search and keep me posted with a range report when you do get it. I love to live vicariously through others' shooting experiences.
 

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I got the FB. I wanted everything they had for that gun.
 

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I bought a CLA. The E model never even crossed mind. The fluted barrel, sights, and chromed parts were the seller for me.
 

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I bought the SR556E. I don't need the extra rails( well, maybe a 3" one on the bottom), will get the pop up sights, a new Hogue grip, a new Magpul stock, and 2-3 mags for less than the SR556C. But if I decide to have the barrel threaded, that might make it more expensive than the SR556C.
 
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