AR 15 Info Needed - Gun Hub
Gun Hub

Go Back   Gun Hub > Battle Rifles > AR15

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-11-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: California
Posts: 344
AR 15 Info Needed

I am fairly new to rifles in general and brand new to AR 15 and would appreciate some information. All AR 15 rifles appear very similar to me, so I don't know if these questions will be general or specific to the brand I was shooting.
I had the opportunity to shoot an AR 15 rifle made by Windham Weaponry and enjoyed shooting it very much. I am now interested in getting an AR 15, leaning toward a Windham, but not necessarily.
My purpose in this is mostly just to 1. have fun, and 2. shoot nice tight groups on paper or to make a plastic jug jump around. I'm not necessarily a tactical type of person, but that eventuality can't be overlooked. You never know what will happen in this world. For purchasing, my priorities are mechanical reliability and accuracy.
I liked the idea of having both fixed sights as well as a scope, but I question putting the scope on top of the carry handle. It doesn't seem very secure or sturdy. What is usually under the handle and a can a scope be mounted high enough on that to be able to use either scope or sights?
The front sight is attached to the barrel and is pretty substantial. Does mounting such a large/heavy sight directly to the barrel affect accuracy in any way? Does it negate the idea of free floating a barrel?
I know there are "flip up" sights made for AR 15s. They appear to be much smaller than the sights offered on new rifles, but if they are, does this reduce their functionality? In other words, is the front blade harder to focus on because it is smaller?
My purpose in asking is not for a brand recommendation. I am in California, so my options are somewhat limited. But these are not inexpensive. I have a budget of $1,000 - $1,200 and this is really a major purchase for me. I want to be certain as possible that the rifle will do what I want.
Thanks,
David Berkowitz is offline  
Old 02-11-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,135
the "carry handle" version has been superceded by things like the m4quite some time ago; do some looking around , esp at the h&k 416 and others- i prefer the flip-up buis ( flip up back up iron sights) , but you can get others that mount right on the rail and are permanent- i found you had to crane your neck way too much with 16a2 and a1 versions- even with the riser cheekpiece installed-
t-star is offline  
Old 02-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Snake45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: "Close, but no donut!"
Posts: 12,693
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Berkowitz View Post
I liked the idea of having both fixed sights as well as a scope, but I question putting the scope on top of the carry handle. It doesn't seem very secure or sturdy. What is usually under the handle and a can a scope be mounted high enough on that to be able to use either scope or sights?
A scope is "secure and steady" enough mounted on top of a carry handle, but that's not the problem. The problem is getting a halfway decent cheek weld with a scope that high (you can't use an add-on cheekpiece because of the goofy charging handle system), and then there's the size of the whole mess, and the annoyance of what might be termed "triangulation" and trajectory with a scope mounted that high.
Quote:
The front sight is attached to the barrel and is pretty substantial. Does mounting such a large/heavy sight directly to the barrel affect accuracy in any way? Does it negate the idea of free floating a barrel?
Long story short, no, not really. AR accuracy and how to get it are known quantities. If everything is in spec and put together right, the front sight is a non-factor in accuracy.
Quote:
I know there are "flip up" sights made for AR 15s. They appear to be much smaller than the sights offered on new rifles, but if they are, does this reduce their functionality? In other words, is the front blade harder to focus on because it is smaller?
No. The front sight itself isn't smaller (and isn't a blade, it's a pin, either round or square), just the mounting/housing of the detachable or flip-up units. In fact, these use exactly the same front pins as the regular solid front sight. The sight picture is exactly the same with all of them (unless you go with a thin "National Match" front sight pin or something else non-standard, of course).

You want irons AND a scope. This is no problem, get a flat-topped gun and flip iron sights. Mount a scope on the remaining part of the rail and you're done. Oh, you will want the scope mounted with some kind of readily detachable, return-to-zero system because you can't use the iron sights with the scope mounted down where you want to mount it. If you put the scope on mounts high enough that you can see the flip-up sights under them, then you're back to having it as high as if it were on a carry handle again. All AR iron sights are made to the same goofy height for some reason--how I wish someone would make iron sights mounted about 1/4" to 1/2" lower than "standard" so I could get the nice, tight cheek weld that I prefer with an AR. I have an old M16A1 upper half that someone milled the carry handle off of and mounted a scope on it "normally," with no regard for where the "standard" sights should be, and that thing handles just wonderfully--raise that rifle up and the scope is exactly where your eye wants it to be. Well, MY eye, anyway.
Snake45 is offline  
 
Old 02-12-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
IrishCop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Decatur, Al
Posts: 2,555
T-Star and Snake have pretty well covered it for you.

There are TONS of AR's sold with flat tops and modified gas blocks that allow you to add BUIS sights front and rear, co-witnessed with a mounted scope. In fact, Windham offers several, and their MSRP's look like they are in your budget range.

A word about Windham. They are the old Bushmaster. Richard Dyke, the owner of Bushmaster, sold the company to Remington a few years back. Remington moved the plant to Ilion, Illinois, and all of the folks who worked for Bushmaster were suddenly out of a job. This bothered Mr. Dyke, so when his non-compete clause ran out, he started Windham and hired all of his old employees back. Helluva guy.

Their warranty is also transferable from original owner to any successive owner. That's a nice selling point if you ever decide you want to sell yours and upgrade.
IrishCop is offline  
Old 02-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: California
Posts: 344
Thank you all for the quick responses.
A couple of follow up questions, if I may.
First, just confirming, BUIS = Back Up Iron Sights. Also, are some rigid and others flip-up? I think the flip up would offer more options yet I have to keep in mind that they likely would never be used.
Re: Cheek weld. I assume this is the contact point where your cheek meets the stock. Is this important for rifle control, comfort, or both? While I was not uncomfortable shooting the AR 15, I didn't do it long enough to become uncomfortable. If it is important for control, then I would have to assume that consistency of position would be important, as in golf, and the more comfortable you are, the easier to be consistent.
Re: triangulation of the scope. Would this be analogous to parallax as you might find on a camera? If so, I can see this being a BIG problem on elevation at any distance other than the exact one for which the scope is zeroed. Windage adjustment would be unaffected?
Speaking of zero, are you saying there are quick release mounts that allow for reattachment without the need to readjust or recalibrate the scope?
Lastly, are carry handles detachable? My only experience is with the Windam Weaponry rifles and there are only 2 that are California complaint. One has the carry handle and a large front sight, the other only has a front and back rail.
Where I am going on that is if I purchase the model with carry handle, can I remove the handle and sights, put on lower mounting scope and lower mounting back up sights, and still retain the option of going back to original if I need to?
Irish, if you are correct, it sounds as if this this company has ethics. That, and buying American made, would justify buying from this company, assuming the quality control is also maintained, which it probably would.
I'll worry about brand once I decide what features I need. There probably is a thread, or many of them, that offer advice on what to buy. I'm guessing no one can really answer that, but there may be some to avoid because of poor quality or lacking the accuracy I want to have.
Thanks again for the responses.
David Berkowitz is offline  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,135
the BIG question is" what are you going to use it for?" precision shooting at 300 yards, or just plinking, cqb, or just be/c you like the "look " of the m16et al- precision would be a flat top with a good big scope, and 20 inch barrel just plinking would be a m4 type of configuration with a 16- cqb could be as little as 7 inch, but 10s and 14s are more popular, and if all you want is the "look" anything will do- myself i have an ar15a2 with a 20 inch barrel, but i don't use it very much as i also have a beretta bm59 and that does the lion's share of the bush work- and yes, the flat tops come with a handle that you spin off and that usually has the rear sight in it- the front sight is the same as the a2/a1 series in most models- if that bothers you, get a model with no sights and carry handle and attach a buis to the rail -
however, if you're doing cqb, there are other options out there that should be considered- we're looking at throwing the whole m16 platform out as far as cqb/bolthole defense is concerned and going with the TAVOR - or the bushmaster m17-the m16 is too antiquated and clumsy
i wish we still had the augs

Last edited by t-star; 02-12-2012 at 09:30 AM.
t-star is offline  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
IrishCop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Decatur, Al
Posts: 2,555
Dave, if you get an A3 model, the carrying handle is attached via a picatinny rail system, and is removable, making the rails available for attachment of scopes and sights.

BUIS...yep, that's what it stands for. With the flip up sights you can have a scope or other sighting system (Eotech, Aimpoint, etc) mounted, and if they give out, you pop up the BUIS. They are co-witnessed, meaning they sight through your aiming system. This works well with the red dot/holographic type sighting systems. Don't know about a target style scope. But that's where the quick release system on your scope mount comes in...throw two levers and the scope pops off.

Cheek weld (or spot weld)...it all has to do with consistency, which translates to accuracy. Once you "find" your cheek weld...a point on the stock which you obtain naturally and consistently, and which presents your eye to the scope at the optimum point...you'll be able to hit. If you keep moving your weld, your point of impact can/will change, especially at distance.

A young man who works for me recently bought a Windham. I can vouch for the quality of the specimen I've seen. It's a fine weapon, and he got it for $800, which in AR-15 land is a bargain.
IrishCop is offline  
Old 02-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: California
Posts: 344
Any rifle I buy has to have excellent reliability and be able to fill a secondary purpose of self-defense.
The primary use of this rifle is "recreational" shooting. In terms of most common usage, I will be shooting at paper targets or aluminum cans at 200 yds. Most of ranges in close proximity to my home are 200 yds or less, although there is one that goes to 300. Some open desert areas are flat enough for longer, but I haven't gone there in years.
For this, I will need a magnifying scope, most likely in a 3-9 variable, but if I can afford it, 3-12 would be better. In terms of strict bullseye shooting, a variable up to 40 would be ideal, but the company that holds the mortgage on my house would miss me.
In practical terms, I know I can't afford a top of the line target scope and competition ammunition is not affordable. So the goal becomes shoot as tight a group as I can with cheap ammo and average scope. A good quality rifle will allow me to upgrade, when I can.

Is the front sight on a BUIS mounted in front of the hand guard? If so, that will settle the question of buying one with a carry handle as there is no rail in front of the hand guard and the sight on the barrel appears to be weilded. (Can that be true?). The flat model has a rail both in front of the guard and on top of the receiver.
David Berkowitz is offline  
Old 02-12-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,135
up till now we've avoided the ELEPHANT in the room- you live in KALIFORNIA, and there's a whole passle of cockeyed laws in that state- you'd best review those before going any further- 2 other notes- 10 you're foolish to look at anything above 10-12x in a hunting rifle- even at 18, your breathing moves the crosshairs a good foot or more, adn california is espically hard on folks wanting an ar15/m16/whatever- just ask one who's got one out there
most of the 223s will shoot well to 300, so 200 is no sweat- and the buis front sight is mounted to the front of the handgard- usually the foremost notch on the cheese grater- and the back is in the rearmost - or it's on the gas block

Last edited by t-star; 02-12-2012 at 03:17 PM.
t-star is offline  
Old 02-13-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: California
Posts: 344
There are many Calif. legal AR 15's available, although definitely limited compared to other states. That's why I was trying to figure what features I want before I start looking at which to buy. If what I want isn't available, then I have to go in another direction.
I looked again at the pictures of the stocks on these rifles and they don't look as if they even come up to the cheek at all. Guess I'm off to the gun shop to actually shoulder one and see how it feels.
David Berkowitz is offline  
Old 02-13-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,135
from what i understand, it's a kind of tradeoff- you trade off a pistol grip for a bayonet lug, that sort of thing- well you don't NEED a bayonet lug, and you'll find a fixed buttstock quicker to deploy than a telescopic unless you have people with different lengths of pull, or have to fit in a confined spot
t-star is offline  
Old 02-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: California
Posts: 344
Thank you all for the input.
I have decided on getting the flat top, probably from Windham since I shot that and I liked it, although I am not set on that. Smith & Wesson makes one that is readily available in Calif, but I have no experience with that one, or any others.
The next issue will be sights and scope.
Since this was a general topic and that is specific, I'm starting another thread on that, hoping that is the proper thing to do.
Again, my thanks for the input. It helped tremendously.
David Berkowitz is offline  
Reply

  Gun Hub > Battle Rifles > AR15


Search tags for this page
fixed sights on windham weaponry
,
how to remove the front sight post on a windham ar-15
,

info on ar15

,

remove front sight windham ar15

,
should i get iron sight or a scope for my windham ar 15
,
windham ar 15 iron sights
,

windham front sight removal

,
windham weaponry ar 15 scope riser how to attach
,

windham weaponry bayonet

Click on a term to search for related topics.

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old Primer Info Needed HighPowerShooter Ammunition 6 10-08-2009 12:56 PM
Info needed Mutilator M1 Garand 2 07-08-2007 01:07 PM
Rockola info needed Eric H M1 Carbine 0 01-20-2007 10:25 AM
Carbine info needed woof M1 Carbine 1 08-13-2006 07:39 PM
P99 mag info needed Sgt_Gold Handguns 6 08-07-2005 10:15 AM




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002 - 2017 Gun Hub. All rights reserved.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.