Your First AR15: Choices, choices...

Project ar15 Sep 09, 2023
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Ar15 Purchases options collection

Finding the Ar15 that best suits you.

If you've never owned an AR 15, choosing one for the first time can be a bit overwhelming.  With so many companies to choose from. So may configurations possible. And a wide range of prices. It can be hard to know what you're paying for from model to model.
Luckily we live in the Golden Age of Firearms! With copious amounts of parts and accessories available to ship directly to your home its easy to get exactly what you want. Also, the modern Era of steel machining has reached a standard far above what it's ever been. What used to be uncommon precision has now been standardized into a term called "mill spec". Universal dimensions, tolerances and designs for the ar15.
What does this mean for 1st time gun buyers? Lower prices for quality firearms. This is why our Recommendation is to buy a completed AR15 from a reputable company, rather than building one for your 1st time. This will allow you to become a user right away and get familiar with the platform through its use and maintenance. And to have some fun in the process!
Still Before we can purchase our first ar15 we need to ask ourselves a very specific question: What is its intended purpose?,
Target shooting? Hunting? Self/Home defense? Competitive shooting?
The answer to this question is going to help you determine many specifications about the AR15 that fits you the best.


The Caliber

By far The most common caliber for the AR15 is .556 x 45mm NATO Which can also fire the .223 Remington cartridge.  But There is a wide array of calibers to choose from:  300 blackout, .223 Wyld, 300 HAMR, 50 Beowulf, 6.5 Creedmoor, .224 Valkyrie 6.8 mm Remington, 450 bushmaster, 6.5 Grendel, .223 Remington and so on...For  Hunting larger calibers are preferred and in some States required (check your local hunting laws for specifics)  And varies on a state by state basis. For target and competition shooting smaller calibers are preferred for the lower cost and recoil.  The correct caliber for home defense is highly debatable; this is likely due to the fact that nearly any caliber selection will be an effective choice for home or self defense.

 Ar15 Calibers Ammunition
Our caliber recommendation for first time buyers: .556x45mm NATO, .223 Remington or 300 Blackout.


What Barrel length is Right for You? 

The standard barrel length for an AR15 is 16" though 18" and 20" Barrel lengths are also common. Shorter barrel lengths include 14.5" with a pinned welded Muzzle device,  12" 10" Add even shorter. Though these shorter barrel lengths present some legal hurdles In terms of their final configuration, They are available to the general public.   Barrel length significantly impacts the muzzle velocity of the projectile. Shorter barrels are lighter and more maneuverable in small spaces. Conversely they expel much of the gas and pressures from the explosion of the fired cartridge as flame or Muzzle flash,  Thereby reducing the overall velocity of the projectile. Longer barrels on the other hand are quite the opposite. Heavier more difficult or cumbersome to maneuver in smaller spaces. Yet allow the powders of a fired round to fully burn within the barrel and propel the projectile to higher velocities.

Ar15 barrel gas tube front sight post
Our Barrel length recommendation: 16"
  These 2 main considerations should allow you to choose your 1st AR15. A close 3rd  Consideration would be 

Ar15 Gas System.

These range from pistol length, carbine length, mid-length and rifle length. Referring to the amount of gas the barrel diverts back in order to cycle the action.  A longer gas system will divert less gas and pressure and shorter system will divert more gas and pressure since it's closer to that source of gas and pressure.  Our ar15 gas system Recommendation: Carbine length or Mid-length.  Each choice will ensure proper functionality with a wide variety of ammunition.

With these things in mind feel free to choose an AR that fits your budget from a reputable company like: Stag Arms, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, Arrow Precision and many more.  These companies have a reputation for producing high quality AR15s at affordable prices. The learning and fun being when you get your hands on your first AR15.