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Rack Grade AR 15 Suggestions.
To those of you in the firearms business, the Gunsmithing business, or have been in/are in the service using the real deal what would you suggest for a rack grade AR 15? Make, model, brand, and Why? I have my opinions, but what I'm asking for is Experience. I'd rather build my own, But times and budget don't allow. I don't want to allow my pickiness to keep me from getting a perfectly usable rifle I can fix to my specs... Thanks again.
 

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I'm not in the business but I like Bravo Company (BCM) and Windham Weaponry off the top of my head. Finding what you want on the rack at the moment is not going to be easy.
I have experience with Bravo, but none with Windham.
Last time at the shop they had Springfield rifles, at reasonable prices, and Rugers. I prefer the Saints, but that might just be personal preference...
I'd get an LMT, but Their Plain Jain Rack grade cost as much as the M14/M1A I keep drooling over. I Use to dig Colt, but their Their rack grade is Outsourced if I understand correctly.
I SERIOUSLY dig PRI, but again....... Seriously high end.
 

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Basic M4 style Carbine such as that made by S&W or Windham or Daniel defense. Or make one using Aero Precision parts----all good and will be reliable.
 

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As you asked for opinion.. I like the gear from Rock River Arms. When I first got into the platform it was recommended by guys I trust. I understand them to be used by many professionals. I am no expert.

That being said, if you build “ they” say spend on the barrel and the trigger... the rest is just supporting characters....
 

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Not sure what you mean by "rack grade", but I am quite happy with both my Ruger AR 556 carbines.Ruger now offers a line of their 556's that come with rail installed and in multiple calibers from 5.56 to .450 cal. and 16" 18" (and IIRC 20" too?) barrel lengths,as well and also are now offering pistol lengths too.

Check out the Ruger site. Ruger builds and makes all parts in house. In Mayodan NC.
 

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Not sure what you mean by "rack grade", but I am quite happy with both my Ruger AR 556 carbines.Ruger now offers a line of their 556's that come with rail installed and in multiple calibers from 5.56 to .450 cal. and 16" 18" (and IIRC 20" too?) barrel lengths,as well and also are now offering pistol lengths too.

Check out the Ruger site. Ruger builds and makes all parts in house. In Mayodan NC.
The Rugers are priced right (or were, last time I checked) and I've been favorably impressed when others have shown up for instruction with the Rugers. A good, basic rifle that worked just fine and shot well. Honestly, some of the prices on these have been ridiculously low at our local gun stores in recent years.

Guy
 

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https://jtdistributing.com/

Their house brand on fully assembled guns is Double Star. An old class III guy told me that's where he gets all of his AR related stuff.

You say you don't have time to build one, but most kits come with the upper assembled and headspaced, and all you have to do is assemble the lower receiver.

You can put a lower together in under an hour easily. It's like legos for adults.

Palmetto State Armory is cheap and decent.
 

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While there are many acceptable brands and models, it depends on what your goals are with the rifle and your price point. There are some that say they're "mil spec" yet when you try and change out hand guards or other items they do not fit; because the rifle is not a actual "mil spec." As others have said, Ruger is hard to beat for the money if you want a basic rifle that comes with a good barrel. You can change the hand guards and stock to something you prefer at a later time. Rock River is another that is pretty good for the money and the accuracy depending what your want. I love LMT's and is what I use most of the time while my work rifle is a Colt that's supplied to me. I've been running the LMT's for almost 10 years now and get exceptional accuracy out of their standard rifles, both in 556 and 308. Bravo is another very good quality rifle. While their prices have gone up a little bit with their popularity, they still give a great value for what you get.

I'd suggest the mid length gas system vs the carbine length. They will give a smoother recoil impulse and there are enough makes/models you can pick which one you want.

Watch the used market too for them although this may not be the best time to be trying to purchase a used one with the demand going on. But, they'll most likely only get more expensive as the year goes on with the nearing election.
 

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As you asked for opinion.. I like the gear from Rock River Arms. When I first got into the platform it was recommended by guys I trust. I understand them to be used by many professionals. I am no expert.

That being said, if you build “ they” say spend on the barrel and the trigger... the rest is just supporting characters....
You are right--For all my builds the upper receivers are pretty much all of equal quality if they are Mil Spec hard anodized. I stick with flat top with forward assist. Your money should be invested in a good barrel with fast twist rate 1:7 or 1:8 and a std flash hider. Next area of spending is in a good bolt carrier and bolt. On a Car I stick with the plain round free float hand guard because it is the strongest and offers the most protection to the gas tube. On a SHTF rifle stay away from those thin cheap Key-mod or M-key hand guards because they are weak and will shatter if impacted hard. The old plain round ones are the strongest.
 

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I'm not up to date on any of the AR-15 platforms from the last 10 years or more, but...

I recommend an AR that does NOT blow the gases back into the bolt and bolt carrier!

Get one with a flat top so you can add a scope. Maybe even a fold down front sight and rear sight as well. I prefer a 20" barrel.
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms!
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I'm not up to date on any of the AR-15 platforms from the last 10 years or more, but...

I recommend an AR that does NOT blow the gases back into the bolt and bolt carrier!

Get one with a flat top so you can add a scope. Maybe even a fold down front sight and rear sight as well. I prefer a 20" barrel.
Are you thinking piston gun?

AC
 

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I'm not up to date on any of the AR-15 platforms from the last 10 years or more, but...

I recommend an AR that does NOT blow the gases back into the bolt and bolt carrier!

Get one with a flat top so you can add a scope. Maybe even a fold down front sight and rear sight as well.
Don't be surprised but a piston driven AR still needs to be cleaned for powder fouling at the front gas block and piston cylinder area. The bolt and carrier may not be dirty like a conventional gas impingement AR but you still need to maintain it. It operates more like a M14 or M1 Garand gas system. The trick here is to buy a good bolt carrier that is hard chromed or Titanium Nitrided or Black Nitrided so the powder fouling does not stick and is cleaned easily. Make sure the bolt hole in the carrier is chrome plated. I have seen some bargain basement cheap bolt carriers that were not chromed.
 

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I just bought a Palmetto State Armory plane jane AR for 495, was accurate out of the box, fired everything I fed it no jams, good product. this was my first ar so my only experience.
 

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Don't be surprised but a piston driven AR still needs to be cleaned for powder fouling at the front gas block and piston cylinder area. The bolt and carrier may not be dirty like a conventional gas impingement AR but you still need to maintain it. It operates more like a M14 or M1 Garand gas system. The trick here is to buy a good bolt carrier that is hard chromed or Titanium Nitrided or Black Nitrided so the powder fouling does not stick and is cleaned easily. Make sure the bolt hole in the carrier is chrome plated. I have seen some bargain basement cheap bolt carriers that were not chromed.
I've always preferred the Mini 14 over the AR, but the rack grade AR is more accurate than the Mini 14. I prefer the gas system on the M1/M14 type rifles.

I know they all require maintenence, but I was never impressed with how dirty the bolt & carrier gets on the M16 platform of rifles. I've never owned or fired a piston driven AR, so I can't speak from experience on that gas system. I just know that I had my fill of dirty M16/M4 rifles during my 20 years in the Army Light Infantry.
 

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Ruger had piston AR's for awhile, I think they discontinued them. Buddy had one, I thought it was heavy particularly nose heavy.

I never considered LMT a "rack" rifle either, I considered them to be a upper tier gun.
 
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