Most affordable, but accurate AR?

Posted by: Dogdownohio2016

Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 01:22 PM

Really debating on buying an AR for coyote hunting and plinking but not really sure where to start. I have nice bolt actions that shoots amazing but they wear big target scopes and heavy laminate stocks. I am currently looking at an M&P sport, optics ready and a Ruger AR556. If it wont shoot a quality bullet MOA or better I don't want it. I will admit up until about 3 months ago I had never shot an AR so don't know anything about them. I figure it would be better than a cheap bolt gun.
Posted by: spotstalkshoot

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 01:29 PM

Barrel quality and shooting technique are keys to AR accuracy.
Posted by: Dogdownohio2016

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 01:33 PM

I can keep it MOA or better out to 300yards with some of my bolt actions. How do I tell if these two rifles have good barrel quality? I shot the AR with flip up sights and a red dot at something like 40yards free hand and was able to keep them in a baseball/softball group with cheap ammo. I believe this rifle was a higher end model though.
Posted by: pyscodog

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 01:54 PM

Spend a little more and buy a Rock River. It will be worth it in the end.
Posted by: Hibs

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 03:00 PM

Honestly not sure if there will be much difference in accuracy when you compare some of the entry level ARs.... I would stay away from Bear Creek... but lowest I would consider likely a DPMS, my next pick would be something from Palmetto State Armory, then S&W M&P Sport, then a Ruger, and as already mentioned Rock River Arms tops my list of affordable ARs.

My recommendation, get something that has a free-float handguard (most these days come like this, with M-lok), 18", and a .223WYLDE chamber. The next biggest thing you can get is a trigger upgrade! Any number of drop ins available. On my hunting rig I personally have a RRA national match 2 stage trigger with JP yellow lightweight springs and it's pretty awesome.
Posted by: Dogdownohio2016

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 03:28 PM

I am assuming I want an optics ready rifle without the front sight? Is a forward assist and dust cover needed? I figure I would change the stock, trigger and handguard. From what i read the Ruger comes with a match trigger and M lock handguard so that's why it was on my list.

What about getting a complete lower and adding a trigger, grip, etc and buying an upper separate? Doesn't seem to be much around as far as uppers.
Posted by: Hibs

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Dogdownohio2016
I am assuming I want an optics ready rifle without the front sight? Is a forward assist and dust cover needed? I figure I would change the stock, trigger and handguard. From what i read the Ruger comes with a match trigger and M lock handguard so that's why it was on my list.

What about getting a complete lower and adding a trigger, grip, etc and buying an upper separate? Doesn't seem to be much around as far as uppers.


All options, the world is your oyster as you open your wallet. I would say, a complete gun from one manufacture likely has higher resale value versus something you pieced together.

Forward assist and dust cover most definitely not needed.

"Best bang for your buck" is buying a stripped lower, buying one good trigger, put whatever buttstock you want on it, then but a complete upper from someone (PSA has some great deals on optics ready hunting uppers)
Posted by: pyscodog

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 05:01 PM

Your initial investment, basically the rifle, then stock, trigger and hand guard,that you said you'd probably replace,now you've already spent what a RRA comes with stock. I don't think, short of a custom rifle,that you'll get one that shoots any better than a Rock River rifle. JMO
Posted by: deaddogwalkin

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 05:06 PM

right now PSA has a 18in 223 wylde with 2stage precision trigger and a vortex 1-8 strike eagle with mount for $749.99 and all you need is a stripped lower to complete the rifle and with some hand tools put the lower together and you are into it for under $900.00 and i have built a couple for beater guns and they shoot good. Not as good as my rocks or the ones that I built with early BA barrels but for truck guns they are acceptable.
Posted by: spotstalkshoot

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 09:30 PM

I forget not everyone builds/assembles their AR's. Rock River for a full rifle purchase, if one of the models suits your needs. The accuracy(sub moa should be there).
Posted by: B23

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 09:35 PM

I've had really good results with Seekins AR's. Seekins may not be the most economical but they've been good for me so far.
Posted by: alf

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/10/21 10:04 PM


I bought this Ruger MPR, and wouldn't hesitate to buy another if I were in the market.

https://www.ruger.com/products/ar556MPR/specSheets/8514.html
Posted by: AWS

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 11:11 AM

Personally I'd put my money into a dedicated bolt action calling rifle. ARs are way over rated as hunting weapons. The only shot that counts is the first one.

I do own a very good AR with both 223 and 20P uppers and have killed coyotes with it but it is pretty much the last rifle I would take out. A well set up bolt can have quite fast repeat shots if you spend some time practicing with it. See if you can find a video of a British mad minute drill.

A nice light weight rifle that fits well with a decent scop with at least 40 feet of FOV on the bottom end will work well for called coyotes. 223 will work best for saving furs, it will be easier to find a load that works. 22 250 or larger if you feel the need to reach out there farther and pelts aren't important.
Posted by: GC

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 11:40 AM

Different strokes for different folks...
Posted by: AWS

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 02:02 PM

the only advantage over a bolt they have is they hold lots of cartridges and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger. They are awkward, complicated, noisy, hard to shoot off a bench, not great triggers, not very handy off shooting sticks and not great for fast target acquisition. Lots of minuses for the one plus.

comments from experience
Posted by: pyscodog

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 03:39 PM

Originally Posted By: AWS
the only advantage over a bolt they have is they hold lots of cartridges and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger. They are awkward, complicated, noisy, hard to shoot off a bench, not great triggers, not very handy off shooting sticks and not great for fast target acquisition. Lots of minuses for the one plus.

comments from experience



Sorry but I can't agree with some of this and I'm not an AR guy. I've had a few but those days are gone. While certain stocks don't work well on a bench, there are some that work just fine, as for triggers, you'll never get a jewell type trigger but there are some pretty good triggers on the market today. Shooting off a bench or sticks, with a float tube type fore-end, I can't say it was ever a problem. Complicated, Nah! Actually pretty simple to work on but may need a few specialty tools. My main nitch is I hate picking up brass. Granted the bolt slamming is noisy and some can get heavy but for fast follow up shots they're hard to beat. For coyotes I really prefer my bolt rifles but if I was hunting hogs, I can see where an AR might be a better choice. I want to kill all those corn robbing SOB's I could.
Posted by: LUCKYDOG

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 03:50 PM

. I have a Ruger AR .556. I also have a couple of Palmetto state armory AR's. They are great rifles but not that accurate. If you want an accurate AR without breaking the bank, I think you need took at a 20" barrel. I had a DPMS Prairie Panther that would shoot bug holes straight from the factory with factory ammo. It really liked the 55 grain ballistic tips remanufactured ammo from Black Hills. However, I really prefer my bolt guns for hunting.
Posted by: pyscodog

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 04:25 PM

My first AR was a Colt. What a POS! It was minute of human body at best. My 2nd was a RRA Pred. with a 20" heavy barrel. In all honesty, I would put it up against just about any bolt gun out there. It was stupid accurate. Had a custom build in 204R that shot pretty good to but it went down the road. somewhere in the mix, I built a few, but after the RRA I just lost interest as none held a candle to the Rock. I haven't owned an AR in years and unless another RRA Pred comes around I probably won't own another.
Posted by: alf

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 04:31 PM


I used to feel the same as AWS, but I've changed my tune biggly with night hunting on the menu....
Posted by: GC

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 04:57 PM

Originally Posted By: AWS
the only advantage over a bolt they have is they hold lots of cartridges and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger. They are awkward, complicated, noisy, hard to shoot off a bench, not great triggers, not very handy off shooting sticks and not great for fast target acquisition. Lots of minuses for the one plus.

comments from experience


Again, some of that is simple preference. AR's do hold lots of cartridges, though I'm not sure that's a big deal in a typical hunting situation. Follow up shots are very quick and come without disturbing the sight picture because of a need to physically manipulate the action to reload. That is a plus.

Awkward is a draw, give that to personal preference and what you get used to. AR's are not complicated, in fact they are very straightforward to manipulate and keep them operating.

Noisy... maybe so when chambering the first round. Mine stays hot from the time I leave the truck so that's not a consideration for me personally. Hard to shoot from a bench? Ten round magazines pretty much solve that issue.

Good triggers are all over the place and don't need to cost an arm and a leg. The RRA two stage is a very good trigger and often can be found for around $100. Install can be done without needing a gunsmith unless you're a putz in the shop. I've seen those combo shotgun/rifles you favor and I'd be willing to bet on a good AR trigger as much better than those combo guns have. Shooting off sticks is an issue? Can't possibly see how. And it has never been an issue for me or anyone I know.

Not great for fast target acquisition? C'mon... that's silly. The sporting world blazes down targets in various matches and law enforcement and the military burn down bad guys PDQ. Other than a shotgun I don't know anything faster.

It seems you just aren't comfortable with the AR platform and don't like them. That's ok, you don't have to. Your issues with the platform aren't other peoples experiences.
Different strokes...
Posted by: Plant.One

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 05:11 PM

if you wanna end up with a winner on a budget....

buy an entry level ar with a free float handguard on it. BCA, PSA, ARStoner from midway... whoever... pick your poison. shop for price though.

then go spend $250-$300 on a quality barrel to swap out, put a better grip on it (I like houge overmold ergo, but whatever floats your boat), throw a Rise ARmamement trigger in there and you're pretty much good to go.



just for giggles here's your price list if you wanted to assemble a good bundle today.

$159 - BCA complete lower - (+ whatever your transfer fee locally will be)
https://www.bearcreekarsenal.com/ar-15/a...ber-billet.html

$285 - 223 wylde side charging upper - 18" barrel, mid gas, 15" handguard
https://www.bearcreekarsenal.com/caliber...lash-upper.html

so you're at $444 for a complete rifle, just add magazine and optics.




rise armament RA140 drop in trigger is on sale right now for $80 - seriously - go buy one of these now if you're thinking about a budget AR anytime in the near future. you cant beat it with a stick at this price to get a decent trigger. these are normally $149 and on sale for $129
https://www.primaryarms.com/rise-armament-super-sporting-single-stage-trigger-with-anti-walk-pins

i just bought two of them to upgrade some lowers for $176 delivered with tax and shipping.

so now you're at $532 with a VERY respectable trigger thats stupid simple to install.




if by chance that doesnt shoot for crap.... - we've got 4 of BCA's 223 uppers in the family and they're all MOA or better with quality ammo mind you.

for $275 stuff a WOA 18" SPR in there
https://www.whiteoakarmament.com/spr-barrels-mid-rifle-gas-7-8-twist.html

or a 18" predator from them for $295
https://www.whiteoakarmament.com/223-5-56-predator-barrel-1-8-twist-with-gas-manifold-875.html

total invested at that point for a gun that'll shoot bugholes and have a nice crisp trigger break call it $810-$830 for a round number.


HTH
Posted by: Dark moon 63

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 05:25 PM

+1 for plant one. The barrel is everything. I can live with not the best trigger with a good barrel.
Posted by: AWS

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 07:29 PM

Bolt actions and combo guns, no BCGs to tear down and clean, no gas tubes to clean. All but one of my combo guns have set triggers that can go down into ounces. You rarely see an AR in competition unless it is geared to fast repeated shots.

On sticks they tend to flop over while calling.

On the bench even with a ten round mag they are hard to shoot with a rear bag.

They just aren't the be all for everyone. You have to be someone who thinks fast multiple shots are more important. There is nothing an AR does better than a bolt for the first accurate shot.

All my combo guns are basically single shots and I never feel under gunned when I use them. In more open country a bolt gives me enough fire power to shoot multiple targets.
Posted by: SlickerThanSnot

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 07:56 PM

Originally Posted By: AWS
the only advantage over a bolt they have is they hold lots of cartridges and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.


some guys do need that. you know who you are. smile
Posted by: GC

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 09:00 PM

Originally Posted By: SlickerThanSnot
Originally Posted By: AWS
the only advantage over a bolt they have is they hold lots of cartridges and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.


some guys do need that. you know who you are. smile


Hey now, rumor and gossip, nothing more.
Posted by: hm1996

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/11/21 11:26 PM

Originally Posted By: AWS
the only advantage over a bolt they have is they hold lots of cartridges and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger. They are awkward, complicated, noisy, hard to shoot off a bench, not great triggers, not very handy off shooting sticks and not great for fast target acquisition. Lots of minuses for the one plus.

comments from experience


Understand your preference for your platforms, but, as stated by GC, most of the minuses are not the reality experienced by others.

I was slow to learn to appreciate the AR's having shot XTC rifle competition first with the Garand and transitioned to a bolt gun when ageing eyes dictated aperture sights. Inaccurate rifles do not interest me, but as the AR's began to gain favor on competition ranges, I began to appreciate their accuracy, but never shot one until I quit shooting competition.

Have to say, the AR is a perfect calling rifle. I do not find them awkward or complicated. I never load more than 10 rounds in a magazine and that only when I'll be away from the jeep for extended period of time. While a full size AR can be on the heavier side, this little M4gery is short/fast and plenty accurate. Put the lower together from a parts kit, added a PSA upper and it shoots under MOA groups on demand right out of the box Did add a $9.95 JOE BOB'S TRIGGER ADJUSTING SCREW which produced a very crisp 2 stage trigger (PSA M4 pic below right).

Never a problem to shoot off sticks or bench w/standard 20 round mags. In fact a bit higher front rest and rear bag makes for a much more comfortable (upright) benchrest shooting position IMO and the AR pistol grip places strong hand in a much more natural angle to make trigger pull much straighter to the rear than conventional stocks....again, my opinion/preference.

When forced to switch from AR to bolt gun (landowner preference), had a terrible time switching back until I altered my Savage pistol grip to get angle closer to the AR.

Back to accuracy, bear in mind the PSA upper was an entry level rifle. Bushmaster Predator and most other higher end AR's shoot sub 1/2 moa w/great regularity.

The only time I appreciate the large capacity magazine is for still hunting and when hogs are the target. Nothing like an AR when you're up to your ears in hogs. lol


As GC said, what one sees as minuses, others put in the plus column.

Originally Posted By: GC
Again, some of that is simple preference. AR's do hold lots of cartridges, though I'm not sure that's a big deal in a typical hunting situation. Follow up shots are very quick and come without disturbing the sight picture because of a need to physically manipulate the action to reload. That is a plus.

Awkward is a draw, give that to personal preference and what you get used to. AR's are not complicated, in fact they are very straightforward to manipulate and keep them operating.

Noisy... maybe so when chambering the first round. Mine stays hot from the time I leave the truck so that's not a consideration for me personally. Hard to shoot from a bench? Ten round magazines pretty much solve that issue.

Good triggers are all over the place and don't need to cost an arm and a leg. The RRA two stage is a very good trigger and often can be found for around $100. Install can be done without needing a gunsmith unless you're a putz in the shop. I've seen those combo shotgun/rifles you favor and I'd be willing to bet on a good AR trigger as much better than those combo guns have. Shooting off sticks is an issue? Can't possibly see how. And it has never been an issue for me or anyone I know.

Not great for fast target acquisition? C'mon... that's silly. The sporting world blazes down targets in various matches and law enforcement and the military burn down bad guys PDQ. Other than a shotgun I don't know anything faster.

It seems you just aren't comfortable with the AR platform and don't like them. That's ok, you don't have to. Your issues with the platform aren't other peoples experiences.
Different strokes...


+1

Regards,
hm
Posted by: AdamT

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/12/21 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Plant.One
if you wanna end up with a winner on a budget....

buy an entry level ar with a free float handguard on it. BCA, PSA, ARStoner from midway... whoever... pick your poison. shop for price though.

then go spend $250-$300 on a quality barrel to swap out, put a better grip on it (I like houge overmold ergo, but whatever floats your boat), throw a Rise ARmamement trigger in there and you're pretty much good to go.


just for giggles here's your price list if you wanted to assemble a good bundle today.

$159 - BCA complete lower - (+ whatever your transfer fee locally will be)
https://www.bearcreekarsenal.com/ar-15/a...ber-billet.html

$285 - 223 wylde side charging upper - 18" barrel, mid gas, 15" handguard
https://www.bearcreekarsenal.com/caliber...lash-upper.html

so you're at $444 for a complete rifle, just add magazine and optics.




rise armament RA140 drop in trigger is on sale right now for $80 - seriously - go buy one of these now if you're thinking about a budget AR anytime in the near future. you cant beat it with a stick at this price to get a decent trigger. these are normally $149 and on sale for $129
https://www.primaryarms.com/rise-armament-super-sporting-single-stage-trigger-with-anti-walk-pins

i just bought two of them to upgrade some lowers for $176 delivered with tax and shipping.

so now you're at $532 with a VERY respectable trigger thats stupid simple to install.




if by chance that doesnt shoot for crap.... - we've got 4 of BCA's 223 uppers in the family and they're all MOA or better with quality ammo mind you.

for $275 stuff a WOA 18" SPR in there
https://www.whiteoakarmament.com/spr-barrels-mid-rifle-gas-7-8-twist.html

or a 18" predator from them for $295
https://www.whiteoakarmament.com/223-5-56-predator-barrel-1-8-twist-with-gas-manifold-875.html

total invested at that point for a gun that'll shoot bugholes and have a nice crisp trigger break call it $810-$830 for a round number.


HTH


This!!! Those 18 predator barrels from WOA are great. Great price on that trigger also. Those are your two most important pieces.
Posted by: BobT

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/12/21 10:56 AM

I have several different AR rifles and pistols with barrel lengths from 10.5 inches to 22 inches and pretty well all of them are good shooters. I have assembled all of them from parts and I spend most of my money on triggers and barrels the rest of the parts don't really matter that much to me as long as they work. I shoot off sticks, bipods and bench rests all the time and have no issues with any of them. Accuracy wise they will not compete with a custom bolt gun but I have shot several groups in the half inch range at 100 yards. For come what may hunting and general woods walking while checking trail cameras etc. I tend to grab an AR more often than not, the only negatives I have experienced are brass chasing ( since about 1970 I handload for nearly everything I shoot) and I have yet to find a sling that I like for comfortable carry while loafing around in the woods. I might add that none of mine are chambered for the .223/5.56 cartridge and other than a couple in .300 BO they are all wildcats based on the .223 / 5.56 case.

As previous posters have said, different strokes!
Posted by: BMP

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/12/21 05:53 PM

It's been said above. Spend your money on a barrel/bolt assy and a good trigger. I have had quite a few custom barrels over the years and the top was an 18" Rainier Ultramatch intermediate gas, second was a 26" heavy bull John Hollinger did me from White Oak Armament and third was an 18" SPR barrel from Frank White at Compass Lake Engineering. All shot well under an inch. I did have an $80 PSA barrel that would shoot my handloads well. It would shoot 3/4" groups consistently. I was surprised. As for a trigger. A Giselle two stage national match - match rifle trigger is second to none.

Brad
Posted by: Coyote-conquest

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/14/21 11:58 AM

I think you would be happy with either. Personally I'd go with the S&W just because some of the stuff Ruger uses is proprietary.
Shoot it for a while then get you a decent trigger and you will be happy. You may end up changing a few things out just for preference.
I started out with a cheap DPMS years ago and now I have several.
Posted by: pyscodog

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/17/21 06:51 PM

My advice and a quarter about AR's is worth.....well a quarter, but I was in a local pawn shop today and they had two Diamondback DB15's IIRC for $569 ea. One had a little longer barrel than the other, coated FDE, free float hand guard and collapsible stocks. Nice looking rifles IMO. I went home and did a Google search and reviews were actually pretty good. Made in America, lifetime warranty. Granted, most said the trigger sucked but accuracy with good ammo was pretty impressive. Definitely an entry level rifle that won't break the bank.
Posted by: Hellgate

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/17/21 07:32 PM

RRA if it is in your budget.

A Remington R-15 or a Mossberg MMR. The two I have shot were both under MOA shooters and camo'd.

As others have said, get an affordable free floated AR and have a gunsmith put on a decent barrel. Replace the trigger with an upgrade ($$) or do the "shoelace trigger job" (free!) then install a Joe Bob's trigger adjuster screw to eliminate most of the creep.
Posted by: bigtommy

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/22/21 04:42 PM

Build your own. That way you have control over all your parts most importantly trigger and barrel. My AR has a geissele SSA trigger and a shilen barrel. This gun shoots sub mos with off the shelf ammo.
Posted by: Bowhunt

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 12/23/21 09:01 AM

Any decent upper and lower will do. Can't beat Anderson Manufacturing for the money. Add a quality BCG, 3 lb Veloicity trigger, screw on a White Oak barrel and you will have as much as any builder like Rock River can provide you.
Posted by: 10ring1

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 01/25/22 12:49 PM

To the OP, Get a WOA barrel and a good trigger and build your own. Will outshoot most reasonably price OEMs.
Posted by: coyote6974

Re: Most affordable, but accurate AR? - 01/30/22 11:56 AM

After spending six years in Uncle Sam's gun club from the mid 70's to early 80's, I just wasn't much of a fan of the AR platform. When I saw the A-3 upper though I began to take notice, and decided to give one a try. My hunting and shooting buddy had a 16" Colt 1-9 H-bar barrel he'd replaced in a Colt Match carbine, so I used it to build myself what turned out to be a Colt model 6721. I first finished the upper and mounted it to my M-16 patrol rifle lower. After zeroing the 3-9 scope, I put on it, It turned in a sub .5 MOA three shot group with the first three rounds I shot after getting it zeroed. It was a bug hole the size of my thumb nail. I was impressed to say the least. That barrel would shoot without really trying. I've since bought another Colt 6721. After free floating the barrel, it too will shoot .5 MOA with my hand loads. Both of my AR's are just as accurate as my bolt actions. I have also fit all of my AR's with Timney triggers that give a three pound single stage trigger pull. Exactly like my Bolt action rifles and my 1911, and S&W handguns. Good barrels, good triggers, and good glass, are what make an AR.
My suggestion to the OP is to get that S&W you mentioned. Get used to it, then decide if you want to start tinkering with more AR's. You can't own just one.