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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My tastes run towards pretty, classic deer rifles but inexplicably, I've got my eye on an AR15 5.56/.223. My use would be home protection from the coming mongol hordes and shooting at the range. Either one could be fitted with a combo red dot/holographic optical sight though I am thinking open sights would be best for the intended use.

There are two configurations that have caught my eye, the first one having a conventional hand-guard. It is listed for sale for $498 (new in box) so around $200 less than comparable Optics-ready MP15 Sport II's. However, it is listed as a CA Compliant model and lacks a flash suppressor though the barrel is threaded. Anyone know if the CA compliance thing results in an inferior (function) rifle? Nothing seems different from a standard MP15 Sport II besides the absence of a flash suppressor. That and sights would be inexpensive add-ons. Having a standard fore-end, I like that you can use a normal off-hand rifle stance to fire.

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The other configuration below has the full-length rail and ventilated handguard. Not having fired one, I am assuming one has to grip under and around the lower action ahead of the magazine rather than the fore-end when firing, which would seem an un-natural position. My gut says the rail and the shape of the unsupported ventilated guard would prevent you from using a conventional two-handed off-hand stance when shooting.
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Which configuration do you AR15 owners prefer?
 

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I think that the California compliant version also gets you that starnge rudder looking appendage that you see on the pistol grip in your 1st picture and also the so called bullet button that prevents you from dropping a maganzine without the use of some item such as a bullet, punch, etc to depress the mag release. Those are correctable mods but yo can probably find a model that doesn't have those detriments engineered into the package.

EDIT: And in your 2nd picture, your support hand certainly can and should be gripping the handguard. These new systems made for the Mlok accessories are quite smoth and comfortable to grip in most cases. The older Quad Rail handguards were really not too user friendly.
EDIT #2: I would get something configured like the 2nd picture. Much more adaptable and easily upgraded since you mentioned home defense and the range also.
 

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Are you in california? If so there isnt much choice, from a legality standpoint.

if your not in Cali, just get a regular ar-15. as chazam pointed out, the cali compliant model has a bit more differences than you may have expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I see now there are additional limitations in the rifle as pointed out. In the pic I just noticed the "Fin" on the back of the handgrip that prevents your thumb from wrapping around the pistol grip and also the 10 round magazine which is not quick changable. The stock is indicated as non-adjustable but the pic looks like a standard telescoping stock unless it is locked somehow for CA compliance.

So, there are significant differences indicative of the lower price. Better I consider a non-CA model instead.
 

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I see now there are additional limitations in the rifle as pointed out. In the pic I just noticed the "Fin" on the back of the handgrip that prevents your thumb from wrapping around the pistol grip and also the 10 round magazine which is not quick changable. The stock is indicated as non-adjustable but the pic looks like a standard telescoping stock unless it is locked somehow for CA compliance.

So, there are significant differences indicative of the lower price. Better I consider a non-CA model instead.
Yes, they have something incorporated that prevents the stock from being adjustable also. I forgot to menyion that.
 

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You are in Illinois, right?
G&G member @jerry is a Illinois resident also and has built and bought some AR platform rifles. He wold be able to advise whether Illinois has any quirky laws that you might want to be aware of.
 

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The CA compliant option should be rejected on principal. Unless of course you live there.

You also mention sights. Consider both a red dot and fold down iron sights. Red dots are sweet, but poop happens. A little redundancy can be a good thing.
 

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I have a floating Quad rail and I still good mine like a regular rifle. I just have plastic caps over where my hand connects the rails.
 

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The CA compliant option should be rejected on principal. Unless of course you live there.

You also mention sights. Consider both a red dot and fold down iron sights. Red dots are sweet, but poop happens. A little redundancy can be a good thing.

Unless one has really good eye sight i'd avoid red dots all together.
 

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It's a crime what commie states like Cali. do to a good rifle. 😩
 

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I am sorry but, wanting to protect your Family with a semiautomatic rifle is not blasphemy; believing that the 2nd Amendment is about hunting is! I love hunting but 2A has nothing to do with it!
 

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You are in Illinois, right?
G&G member @jerry is a Illinois resident also and has built and bought some AR platform rifles. He wold be able to advise whether Illinois has any quirky laws that you might want to be aware of.
Illinois has no restrictions on rifles. Now if you are up in some of the commie burbs of schiraq they have some magazine limitations and other bs.
 

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I assume you are new to ARs, and you will get 847 different opinions, if you ask that many people. I started carring my first one,in 1969, took the oath to enter the Army that day. I have carried them for the Army, the Air Force, some specialized units and the last many years have build several just for me. So, here are a bunch of unsolicited comments. Lots of folks on here know more about them than me, so hope they chime in.

You asked about the front handguard. I have several with different handguards. The current 3 gun shooters all hold the AR with the left or non dominant hand almost to the front of the muzzle. The longer you reach the more control you have. It looks and feels unnatural at first but it works. You can just hold it like you would any rifle at whatever length is comfortable for you. I shoot suppressed and varmint hunt wearing a leaf suit. I take camo wrap and cover most of my guns. On the ARs that covers up much of the empty space on the forend. It looks like this.
Tire Plant Automotive tire Rectangle Tree
View attachment 171009 It is like an Ace bandage, They just wrap on and off. And they give you a place to grip the gun pretty well. If you are preparing for the roving herds of zombies or just those bands of 85 smash and grab citizens from California, then you also need a leaf suit or a guilli suit. Personally, I think the guilli is a little too radical. I prefer just my simple leaf suit that I have worn for over 20 years. Both practical and stylish for wear around the farm or anywhere hunting. Mine looks like this.

Plant Terrestrial plant Groundcover Grass Tree



As far as an AR, any of the standard entry level brands will do what you need to do. I like DPMS or Anderson at the lower price range and use their basic parts for many of my builds. Every company makes a good AR these days and you can upgrade them as you go. The only real item that might nees to be upgraded might be the trigger. Factory or mil=spec triggers are supposed to be not less than 5.5 pounds but many are in the 8-9 pound range. I can tune most down to around 5-6 pounds or so, but if you want a truly nice trigger in the 3-3.5 pound range, you will need to buy one, lots of the market.

Now, you can get along nicely with open sights. I have several types of dot sights and of course we had them in the military. They are great for night work if you have night optics but really are not needed in daylight. For fast shooting and games, like 3 gun they are what you want. But if you want to hunt or shoot very far at all, a scope is the only way to go. I suggest a short AR scope with the quick detach mounts and the flip up mounts on the gun. You can take a scope off in 3 seconds and flip up the others in 2 seconds, and put the scope back on in a pretty short time, best of both worlds. And of course, you can clip any light or laser on them in about 10 seconds.

Also, you can put any kind of scope on one. I have some set up for hunting and others for tactical use and other just for grins. An economical scope I like for Zombies is the little Barska, about $123 at SG, a 3 x 9 x 40 with an illuminated reticle. I have some that are red and green and one that is blue.
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At dusk and dawn they work great.
The blue mil plex reticle shows up really well on hogs and pale individuals like zombies. I have 5 or 6 of these, some 8-10 years old and never had one fail. I have some much more expensive ones that have failed.

Anyway, most any entry level AR will serve your needs. Just get one and shoot it a while and then make add ons as you desire. My 2 cents.
 

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IMHO if you are going to be shooting deer at 150 yards and using as self defence then go traditional,handguard iron sights and all.

If you are killing groundhogs at 200 yards or plan on using it to snipe across an open field in a shtf situation, then 18 inch barrel, floating hand guard, wild chamber bi pod, aftermarket optic of choice.

Great thing about AR 15's are, if you did not get your format just right for you, right of the bat. It is easy enough to change things up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good info. Thanks to all. Glad I got those clarifications on the CA compliant rifles. IL isn't too bad except where I live in Cook (Crook) County. Just researched and found the following:
  • Semiautomatic rifles are prohibited.
  • AR or AK pattern receivers are prohibited.
Oddly enough, my local Cabelas is located in Cook County and sells AR and AK patterned rifles and also other semiauto rifles. Perhaps they are legal to sell to non-Cook county residents but I cannot purchase since I live in Cook County. The AR/Semiautomatic rifle prohibition is very puzzling. The statute would also prevent me from buying even a Ruger 10/22. I'll call Cabellas and find out if.

I had a shipment of custom grips for a Browning HiPower clone confiscated once by the Postmaster and returned to the shipper as restricted for purchase in Cook County under the following:
  • No accessory capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand.
This was pretty much an over-reach but it was claimed the parts "could" be fashioned into a fore-end grip.

The AR/Semiautomatic rifle prohibition is very puzzling. I'll call Cabellas and find out if, as a purchaser living in Cook County, I cannot purchase
 

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D
Good info. Thanks to all. Glad I got those clarifications on the CA compliant rifles. IL isn't too bad except where I live in Cook (Crook) County. Just researched and found the following:
  • Semiautomatic rifles are prohibited.
  • AR or AK pattern receivers are prohibited.
Oddly enough, my local Cabelas is located in Cook County and sells AR and AK patterned rifles and also other semiauto rifles. Perhaps they are legal to sell to non-Cook county residents but I cannot purchase since I live in Cook County. The AR/Semiautomatic rifle prohibition is very puzzling. The statute would also prevent me from buying even a Ruger 10/22. I'll call Cabellas and find out if.

I had a shipment of custom grips for a Browning HiPower clone confiscated once by the Postmaster and returned to the shipper as restricted for purchase in Cook County under the following:
  • No accessory capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand.
This was pretty much an over-reach but it was claimed the parts "could" be fashioned into a fore-end grip.

The AR/Semiautomatic rifle prohibition is very puzzling. I'll call Cabellas and find out if, as a purchaser living in Cook County, I cannot purchase
Did I mention how great the small lever action carbines are and how fast I can work the action>? Hard to find right now but the 357 mag levers with the 16 and 18 inch barrels make excellant home defense carbines. My favorite is a stainless Rossi with the 16 inch barrel. Short and handy and as a lever gun not going to get folks excited in Cook county like they would with the evil black rifles. Hopefully Ruger will ramp up production of the Marlins and they will appear once again.

A friend of mine carried a Winchester Trapper, in 44 mag, with the 16 inch barrel. He traveled to California often and driving accross the country he wanted to be sure he was legal wherever he was. So he carried the short little 44 mag lever gun, in his Corvette.

Of course the alternative could always be a short black pump shotgun, in 12 or 20. My 2 centavos.
 
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357 Magnum from the Buffalo Bore website. The 44 mag will get over 2,000 foot pounds and the 30-30 will get about 1,500 foot pounds, with BB ammo. Any of the short lever actions would get the job done, seems to me. I have the stainless Rossi in 16 inch for that purpose. I was not aware Henry had a stainless one, Marlin made stainless in 357, but they are rare. Last one I saw was $1,099. Shows to be in production. 1 new message (marlinfirearmsusa.com)


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18.5-inch Marlin 1894 357 Magnum

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps-----1.300 foot pounds
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 2153 fps---- 1,600 foot pounds-----Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 2298 fps---- 1,460 foot pounds-------Or this?!!!
 
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