Re: Need some help from ar15 people.
I'm a long time AR/evil black rifle owner, do the shooting/tactical schools, etc. I'll try to point you in the right direction..
First thing you need to do is decide what the gun will be used for.. There's no point in building a precision 24" tack driver with a magnified optic if you are going to use it for things that go bump in the night or shooting zombies across the yard. For most guys, iron sights and a 16" mil spec barrel is perfect. In fact, a plain jane 16" flat top AR is perfect for 95% of the shooting public. AR15's are almost bolt gun accruate as they come in standard configurations, hanging a lot of shit off of them and using heavy barrels gets them away from the purpose they were designed for: Shooting people out to 300 meters practically and out to 800 meters with practiced, aimed shots.
Yes, you can change things in the basic AR recipe to bias the rifle's capability one way or another but to be honest there's not much you can't do with a standard M4 copy. If I were in your place, I would just buy a lower, assemble it with a match trigger, put a decent stock on it and then buy a cheap milspec upper for it already assembled. Buying cheap and then upgrading later if you want to optimize it to your needs is better than spending a metric assload of cash on a rifle you don't even know and finding out it doesn't serve you well.
My honest opinion is that you want to build a rifle that is very fast shooting in practical combat application to 350 meters. This is about as far as you could ever conceivably shoot in a self defense situation, and if you were shooting further than that you likely are using a different gun in the first place or know your AR well enough to make the hits at further distances. A 16" AR with decent factory ammo (as in Not the expensive match ammo) will put rounds into a 600 meter torso sized target all day long if you do your part. It's not hard, so don't get hung up on a heavy barrel and freefloat this or that.
As far as the kind of shit to hang off of it, keep it simple. You want a red dot/reflex type sight with no magnification. I am partial to Trijicon products because they don't use batteries (they run on daylight or tritium at night). The RX30 or ReflexII sights are wonderful and I highly recommend them. Their magnified ACOGs are great but don't offer a huge speed or accuracy advantage (remember, we are talking about shooting people here and doing it under stress) until you get past 200 meters-they cost a lot more too. Lastly you want a flashlight on the gun-if you can't identify a target, you can't shoot at it. Avoid things like lasers (unless you shoot with IR lasers using NVG's to see them), bipods and other "tactical" crap you don't need. They are a distraction a lot of the time. Get a good 3 point sling and call it a day.
Visit AR15.com and join. It's free and you'll learn a huge amount of information in a short time.
Last edited by DeviousDave; 11-19-2010 at 04:13 AM.