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I have decided to purchase .223 semi auto rifle as a primary self defense weapon.

I spent 21 years in the military USMC and National Guard so I am very familiar with the military M-16 and with the range and ballistics of the round... which is why i am not going to go with an AK...

I figure it is better to go with what you know.

So my question... which weapon that looks like and functions like the M-16 is the best one to own...

What are the pro and cons of the different makes and models

what should I be considering and looking for??
 

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I agree do it now. I would suggest a bushmaster. I have a Bushmaster ar-15 varminater with a free floating barrel and 26" fluted barrel and an eotech site i love it. Only down side is its heavier then the M16s we use in the marine corps. But its made for longer range and hunting. Or i almost got a Rock River they are amazing decently priced ars and they come with a match trigger which alot of ars you have to upgrade. Oh and you can shoot 5.56 through it which not all ars can do since its a hotter round then the .223.
Good Luck.

"Which is heavier a soldiers pack or a slaves chains" Napoleon
 

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USMC and United State Army here.

Thank you for your service.

There's a decision to make right off the bat, more relevant as you're a Marine and are more likely use to the 20" barrel version. The vast majority of the rifles in the shops around here and perhaps elsewhere are the M4 like carbines types. They are handier, HOWEVER, if you're more familiar with and can maneuver with the 20" ones more similar to the M16A2 and M16A4's (or whatever they're called now) then you eliminate a lot of concerns regarding lethal effects for whatever ammo you wind up with and you'll have the advantage of range.

I prefer Colt and Rock River Arms. I know professional armorers who prefer Bush Master-they see a lot of firearms overall and know which they'd rather deal with factoring in numbnuts, not a problem the average firearm owner needs to be concerned with, but telling...

From personal experience I dislike and don't trust, Olympic Arms and Armalite firearms.

I don't know much about Stag Arms. One odd thing...I noted at the local gun show a week ago that there was a Stag Arms AR, full factory, going for $675 and sitting there Sunday Afternoon when overpriced and beat Colts, Bushies, and other firearms USED were around $1000.
 

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Here's my safety Sir
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My last 3 builds have been DelTons been happy with them. Sent two guys from work who purchased completed weapons from them have been real happy.

http://www.del-ton.com/
 
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I got my wife a Spikes Tactical for an early Birthday present for the 4th of July. It's shorter/lighter than the M16 and has the M4 collapsable stock. At first, it took a little getting use to for her, but now she loves it so much better than her M16.

Wife pulled hers apart after shooting about 120rds and it came apart just as an m16 - no real difference. The model I got her also had the same types of sights she had in the Army so it would be very familiar to her.

I would honestly recommend that you visit a storefront that has a lot of different versions of the AR15 to try out. Colt is nice, but expensive, on the other end of the spectrum is Armalite and such. Stay away from Composite stuff - I picked up one of those and it barely made it 4 inches off the shelf before going back... If it feels like a toy, it's not worth trusting in it....
 

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Old timer, so did I.

(In training on Ft. Lewis I actually got my hands on an ancient pencil barrel M16-A nothing, no A. Three prong flash suppressor, no forward assist. It worked well on modern ammo.)
 

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Being an ARMY vet from the mid 1980s to the mid 90s I went from the M16A1 and then to the M16A2. Currently I own 11 AR15 style rifles and 5 Sig 556 rifle. The rifle to me that feels and shoots like the M16A2 minus the auto mode is the Bushmaster A3 HBAR 20inch that I have. Very accurate, I do use the A2 carry handle on this rifle and have not mounted a scope on it since I have other AR 15s equibt with optics. Iron sights all the way on this rifle. I get a better reach and accuracy with the 20inch barrel than I do with my M4 style rifles. So if you are not a collector (l am collector thats why I have the numbers) and you want only one rifle Id go with the Bushmaster A3 or a Rock River in the same config. I have noticed that the Bushmaster HBARS have been a bit hard to find on auctions as of late, but the Rock Rivers are around http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=245291514 .

No offense to the poster above me: the Sigs are great rifles but to me they are bit diffrent than the AR 15. I love mine but I would say they breakdown more like a FAL or AK to me. If I only could have one and I was vet Id go with what I know.
 

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Just throwing it out there that my wife was using the M16A2 with a full stock and such. Now she's got the M4 stock with a 16" barrel. She made the comment that the thing was no where as tall as the A2.

But again, depending on where you are, you should be able to find a decent store that has many versions of the AR15 - if not, try a gun show as well.
 

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Not a bad thing to stay with what you know, but the carbine length is a bit handier IMO. My one big recommendation is forget a .223 Rem and get one chambered in 5.56mm, they are not exactly the same.

Good luck
 

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I have owned 5. 2 Bushmasters, 2 DPMS and an LMT. I've found that they all functioned exactly the same. I have had 20" and 16". Again, function about the same. Get what you can afford and spend the money that you save from not wasting it on a costly name brand.

Good shooting and thank you for your service
 

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Had a discussion with my father in law yesterday same topic. He has not many words, but when he does talk, people listen. He made a simple statement. What's going to be lying around after the shootin' begins? He believes 223, and 9mm, anything else is well, limited. I had said a well built 30-30 with a 3-9 scope, he said "where you gonna get ammo?" Good point, I'm looking for a 223 lol..

P.S. this is a guy who has carried a firearm on his side for 35yrs. carries a custom 1911, but has some 9's tucked away. I'm a 45guy myself (love the G21)
 

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Thank you for your service........
One of the better AR's is Rock River has great service and have had bushmasters their
service is not the best.....
The good rule you get what you pay for, Colt a top product is over priced....but a good product.....
 

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Thanks for your service and hope you find a rifle that speaks to you. Lots of good stuff out there, some more expensive than the other. One motto I've learned when it comes to buying an AR: You should only have to cry once. You don't have to spend $2000 to get a good build, but I would stay away from the bottom of the barrel. A decent set up should cost between $800 and $1100 for the minimum options like trigger, stock, forearm, chromed bolt/chamber/bore, iron sights, ect, and a few hundred more for an optic. Or, you could build what you want and pay about 60-75% of the cost of a factory assembled unit and actually know what is in your weapon.
 

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Thank you for your service........
One of the better AR's is Rock River has great service and have had bushmasters their
service is not the best.....
The good rule you get what you pay for, Colt a top product is over priced....but a good product.....
disagree. you pay for a name. colt buys thier receivers from lar and lmt who also cuts the same milspec for several other manuf. aero cuts for a ton as well as several gov gun suppliers. if it is milspec no reason to pay the over price colt demands.

now if you want resale then by all means spend the money on colt. for me though it aint for resale. have yet to sell a gun.

oh and my aero and kb mfg build has had several thousand rounds down range. not one fte or ftf's and i shot everything through it from brown bear to some good match grade rounds and its sub moa at 250 yards.
 

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I got my wife a Spikes Tactical for an early Birthday present for the 4th of July. It's shorter/lighter than the M16 and has the M4 collapsable stock. At first, it took a little getting use to for her, but now she loves it so much better than her M16.

Wife pulled hers apart after shooting about 120rds and it came apart just as an m16 - no real difference. The model I got her also had the same types of sights she had in the Army so it would be very familiar to her.

I would honestly recommend that you visit a storefront that has a lot of different versions of the AR15 to try out. Colt is nice, but expensive, on the other end of the spectrum is Armalite and such. Stay away from Composite stuff - I picked up one of those and it barely made it 4 inches off the shelf before going back... If it feels like a toy, it's not worth trusting in it....
before i put the aero lower on my 24" flattop heavy barrel i had the plumb crazy and it worked fine for several thousand rounds. that lower is now waiting for a light weight build coming up. trying to keep weight around 5lbs or below. just remember when the m16 was coming out. all the old timers laughed and said the toy gun wont work. c15's have been out for a couple years and work well for every many. might not be in wars but know several swat dept's issued in sbr's
 

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I have 2 Bushmasters, 1 Superior Arms and 1 Stag Arms rifles. They all work great. Pick a type and model that fits you best. Scope it or red dot it. Then go practice with it. Do it real soon. Yesterday would have been nice.
 
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