Purchasing an AR 15 type gun

Old 08-08-15, 08:55 AM
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Purchasing an AR 15 type gun

I am involved in a college ROTC program. There is almost no training in shooting but when we do we shoot m-16 type rifles. we do it once or twice a year and because there is no $ for ammo we get to shoot about 5 rounds tops. I would like to purchase an AR 15 type gun, which I understand is close to the M 16, to practice on my own. Any suggestions on one that is affordable, good quality and close to the military version I am using? Also i noticed 5.56 ammo is pretty pricey. I have seen other guns similar to AR 15 that take 9mm. Is that ammo much cheaper? I want to stay pretty close to what I would be using in the military. Any other suggestions as to what to look for in an AR before purchasing would be helpful.

Last edited by Gunguy45; 08-08-15 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Trying to correct title
Old 08-08-15, 01:38 PM
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The M16 has not been used in a long time but if you do get to shoot one consider it a privilege and pray you get to flip the selector and get your five shots with one pull of the trigger. But, any AR platform is probably close enough for practice. There are some many, many, many versions of the AR even within the military that you shouldn't concern yourself with a specific configuration.

Ammo prices have come back down so I would stick with the 5.56 if that's what you want to practice with. If you go to a different caliber like the 7.62x39 then the magazine shape will be different so you step further away from being "exactly" like the ROTC rifle you use. Generally if a gun is in a pistol caliber it is not gas operated like the AR and is blowback operated which is a pretty big difference in operation and really hurts at least part of the training benefit.

If you still think that 5.56 ammo is expensive then I suggest looking at a .22LR alternative. While a .22LR AR may have the same ergonomics and weight as the 5.56 version and allow you to practice trigger pull I find that the "pop" doesn't train you well enough to handle the much louder crack of a 5.56 for developing flinch resistance. And, a .22 is going to be blowback operated which is totally different than a M16 even though they may look nearly identical on the outside.

Since you are a student I assume money is tight. I would just practice with whatever you can get your hands on but I consider the .223/5.56 the minimum to provide enough repot to practice controlling your flinch reflex. An AR of any configuration will give you practice handling that platform and get used to the sloshing feeling that happens when shooting.

Congratulations on your path. I really enjoyed my time in Air Force ROTC. My poor eyesight and the fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Soviet Union provided me an easy (golden ticket) out but I still consider those years some of the best and most important of my life.

Do you guys still play amphibious sea monster?
Old 08-08-15, 05:35 PM
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If you want the style of rifle without the high priced ammo, there are AR look a likes in .22 caliber.
Old 08-08-15, 10:49 PM
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I agree with PD. A .22 version is ok for the basics but they are still quite pricey. And (out here at least) .22 rimfire is almost harder to come by than .223/5.56

I would suggest going to local gun ranges and talking to folks. Most are more than willing to help. But, just like here, don't believe everything you hear.
Old 08-09-15, 06:34 AM
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The gun range suggested would be a good place to start as it also provides a safe place to shoot. You might also find a place that can provide the various styles to gain some first hand experience before you buy.

My needs are different, but I enjoy shooting and the 22 is my economical choice. Takes some searching, but ammo is still available here.

Old 08-10-15, 08:06 AM
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You can rent guns at many gun ranges. I would at least try out a few different ones before buying if not making rental the long term solution.
kathann voted this post useful.

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