Before we go any further with this discussion, let me say unequivocally that I am not in the market for an AR-15 rifle [10,000 words of unnecessary explanation omitted].
However, many people are, these days, and let’s look at the situation from this perspective. A couple days back I received this
junk mail advertising missive from my old friends at CheaperThanDirt(dotcom):
Now, Readers, here’s my question: if you were a newby assault rifle prospective purchaser and saw this ad, what are the questions one should ask before making one’s decision? Here are my thoughts, to kick the discussion off.
Bushmaster is a recognized brand, Stag a little less so, and the top two are complete unknowns. Do you go with the “brand leader” (at the apparent premium price), or get the cheapest knowing that you may have to do a little aftermarket improvement — or will that be the case regardless of which brand you pick? It’s one thing to want to arrive at this conclusion, so to speak:
…but it’s a different issue if you’ll need to buy a new barrel, different trigger assembly etc. just to get the thing to work in its most basic form. Is this an issue with budget ARs, or has the situation resolved itself like that of the many budget 1911 pistols, where most are now acceptable out of the box?
I’ve never concerned myself with these questions as the AR-15 (especially in the poodleshooter 5.56mm NATO chambering) has never been a contender for my purchase decision — in fact, one of the primary reasons I’ve always chosen AK-47 rifles is that you hardly have to do anything with them to make them “more” functional. My own SAR-1 only needed an Ultimak mount and red-dot sight, for example:
But I digress.
So, Loyal Readers: what are your opinions on making that AR-15 purchase? (Try to keep your responses to about 1,000 words… and eschew the temptation to make suggestions for alternatives. Stick to AR-15s only.)