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Colt Trooper (LE6920) vs Sig Sauer M400 Elite

Colt Sig Sauer AR-15 Rifle Budget $1000

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#1 JakubWrobel

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:26 PM

Ok. Here goes.

 

For the past 6 months, I've been toying around with the idea of purchasing my first ever rifle. I bounced around on how much I am willing to spend and have finally settled on no more than $1,000 (+/- a few dollars). I have also settled on 2 choices: Colt Trooper (LE6920) ( the Sig Sauer M400 Elite (https://www.sigsauer.com/store/sigm400-elite.html). Both of these rifles can be had for about $950 at Marengo Guns.

 

I do want to say that I do not feel comfortable building my own; at least not for my 1st rifle. This rifle would be used as target practice, taking rifle-focused classes and would belong as part of my home defense arsenal.

 

I have done research on both of these, but I would like to hear what the Illinois Carry community has to say about these rifles. Any and all information is welcome: pros, cons, horror stories, happy owner stories, etc.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 chicagoresident

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:48 PM

In the price range you're looking in I think you're better off building. Or if you're really against building look at the base models like an M&P 15 sport and spend your extra dollars on an optic or other stuff like a nicer handguard or stock.

Or look at some of the pre-built uppers and lowers from Aero precision. One idea is to get a pre-built pistol lower and a 16" upper so you can convert between a rifle and a pistol.

You dont have to build, but IMO in the pre-built price range your looking in it's diminishing returns unless you really like the exact configuration.

You could argue warranty but who knows if colt will be around in a year in its current form. And with Sig and just about everyone else a lot of their AR parts are contract made, not in house. So you have to question what you're paying for.

#3 THE KING

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:01 PM

Ok. Here goes.
 
For the past 6 months, I've been toying around with the idea of purchasing my first ever rifle. I bounced around on how much I am willing to spend and have finally settled on no more than $1,000 (+/- a few dollars). I have also settled on 2 choices: Colt Trooper (LE6920) ( the Sig Sauer M400 Elite (https://www.sigsauer...m400-elite.html). Both of these rifles can be had for about $950 at Marengo Guns.
 
I do want to say that I do not feel comfortable building my own; at least not for my 1st rifle. This rifle would be used as target practice, taking rifle-focused classes and would belong as part of my home defense arsenal.
 
I have done research on both of these, but I would like to hear what the Illinois Carry community has to say about these rifles. Any and all information is welcome: pros, cons, horror stories, happy owner stories, etc.
 
Thanks in advance.


Let me say that I was in the same boat as you years back. I bought my first rifle. Spent about $1000. I have built multiple rifles since then. In my research it was cheaper to buy the upper complete and build the lower.

My suggestion would be to buy a stripped lower. You can get an Anderson for less than $50. Buy a complete rifle kit. Opinions vary, but Palmetto State Armory currently has a complete mid-length rifle kit with a 13.5" key mod hand guard with MBUS flip up sights for $449.

You can save a lot of money by building yourself. It's super easy and depending on your location someone including myself would be more than happy to help you.

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#4 dukemason

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:10 PM

My suggestion is to find a complete upper assembly that you like. Bravo Company comes to mind. Spend some time researching what barrel length, gas system, and muzzle device you want. I just got a BCM assembly with 14.5" barrel, midlength gas system, and a pinned and welded Mod 1 Comp to bring it to 16 inches. I built the lower from an Aero Precision stripped lower receiver, and a CMMG parts kit. I probably should have gotten the BCM lower parts kit, because the trigger was nicer. You can get a high quality Toolcraft bolt carrier assembly for $80. Then you will need the carbine buffer tube, buffer, stock, charging handle, and a grip. This thing is soft shooting and very accurate. I added Troy fold down Battle Sights. It's not hard to build the lower, there are youtube videos that explain everything. Good luck whatever route you choose.


Edited by dukemason, 08 March 2018 - 05:13 PM.


#5 JakubWrobel

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:54 PM

Thanks for the input. I will have to research this topic more in-depth; I guess I only scratched the surface here.

 

I do see that there are threads on IC on how to DIY an AR; I'll look at those to see if I can convince myself that building my own is not that hard to do. I do have a question right off the bat: are there any specialty tools required to build my own AR?


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#6 InterestedBystander

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:03 PM

Thanks for the input. I will have to research this topic more in-depth; I guess I only scratched the surface here.
 
I do see that there are threads on IC on how to DIY an AR; I'll look at those to see if I can convince myself that building my own is not that hard to do. I do have a question right off the bat: are there any specialty tools required to build my own AR?

There are also detailed videos over at the technical forums on ar15.com. for example https://www.ar15.com...eiver/4-615304/

As for tools, some will tell you no that most can be done with common tools , others will suggest an AR wrench, maybe a vise/block, some roll pin starters, a punch set, etc. Has also been discussed in those prior DIY threads.

Edited by InterestedBystander, 08 March 2018 - 06:09 PM.

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#7 spanishjames

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:50 PM

I'd buy my first rifle instead of building it. Once you become really familiar with it, you can decide if building one is right for you.

And yes, you do need a few special tools to build one.

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#8 dukemason

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:52 PM

Thanks for the input. I will have to research this topic more in-depth; I guess I only scratched the surface here.

 

I do see that there are threads on IC on how to DIY an AR; I'll look at those to see if I can convince myself that building my own is not that hard to do. I do have a question right off the bat: are there any specialty tools required to build my own AR?

Gunsmith hammer and punches, and an AR armorers wrench for the castle nut. Probably $40-$50 worth of tools that you can use whenever you work on firearms.



#9 spanishjames

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:00 PM

BTW, either one of your choices would serve you well.

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#10 Mike

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:33 AM

Start with a Ruger AR556 for around $600, shoot it for a while and see where you want to a spend the rest of your money.  I think its a good idea to have a "standard" no frills AR in the collection in any case.



#11 chicagoresident

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:27 AM

Thanks for the input. I will have to research this topic more in-depth; I guess I only scratched the surface here.
 
I do see that there are threads on IC on how to DIY an AR; I'll look at those to see if I can convince myself that building my own is not that hard to do. I do have a question right off the bat: are there any specialty tools required to build my own AR?

The hardest part of building an AR is all on the upper. The 2 hardest parts are lining up the gas tube at the correct torque for the barrel nut and aligning the muzzle brake/flash hider using a crush washer (more important if using a brake, obviously).

By buying a pre-built upper it definitely takes away the difficulty.

Faxon makes an awesome line of barrel devices with "Muzzlock" that eliminate the PITA crush washer.

The barrel nut usually determines your handguard, especially if getting the better free float type. Different brands have different attachments to the barrel nut. Non free float handguards have to interface up against the gas block so it's just easier to do free float if building. Just make sure to use antisieze on your barrel nut if you ever want to get it off.

For the upper you need an armorer's block (or something in your vice to evenly distribute clamping without marring). Personally I'm a huge fan of the geissele reaction rod, and a similar device is required on less strong lightweight billet uppers. Instead of applying torque to the soft aluminum upper it applies torque to the stronger chrome lined steel barrel. But it's expensive compared to some wood blocks some people use.

I dont think armorers blocks are really needed for the lower, but it might make it a little easier. The buffer tube requires way less torque then a barrel nut. And you stake it (punch a piece of metal to expand into a notch) so it's not going anywhere. As long as you're not magilla the gorilla you could probably get by without a torque wrench for the lower as long as you stake the buffer tube. So for the lower you just need a buffer tube wrench. But armorers wrenches are pretty cheap outside the magpul one and that gives both the barrel nut, buffer tube, and muzzle device wrench, along with the squares to attach a torque wrench socket.

And the trigger really makes the gun, so there's another reason to at least build your own lower. Plus non GI triggers are easier to install. Spend some money here, it's worth it.

I've only built one AR and it was my first, there really isn't much to it, they're big kid Legos.

Edited by chicagoresident, 09 March 2018 - 09:28 AM.


#12 JakubWrobel

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:46 AM

You guys do make a compelling case to build my own rifle. It seems the advantages of putting parts you want/better-than-stock parts on your rifle outweigh the cons of taking the time to learn and then build the rifle.

 

I think for me, at this moment, buying a complete rifle for my 1st rifle will be the best option as I have very limited knowledge on the AR platform and even less knowledge on how to build my own. As spanishjames and Mike put it, a complete rifle will help me understand the mechanics and get used to the platform, so that down the road, I can build one that I truly want based on my knowledge.

 

Again, thanks for the input from you guys. It'd be a shame not to use your guys' knowledge on these matters.


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#13 NRApistol

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:27 AM

M&P Sport II add an Aimpoint Pro optic right at $1000


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#14 speedbump

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:14 PM

For your first rifle - buy before attempting to build. Colt, Aero Precision, Sons of Liberty Gun Works, S&W M&P Sport II, are all workable to excellent rifles for reasonable cost. You can definitely go more expensive, but a wise move is to get a moderate cost piece, a few magazines, a case of ammo, and get some training and experience.

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#15 Mustang31

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 01:18 PM

Get the Colt trooper. Slap an Aimpoint Pro on it and enjoy it. For your second rifle, plan it out, spend time looking for deals on quality parts, and collect those parts overtime.

#16 Reeko

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:58 PM

Best deal I could find. This is the M&p mid moe, this is not the sport or sport 2. This is a higher model with 1/8 twist and 5r barrel with a mid length gas system. This has the magpul accessories and is 4150. It's 699 currently. Gat has this same rifle for 1149. Here is the link https://www.cdnnspor...ml#.Wqrr5spOl-E Here are the specs Features • 5R Rifling • Mid-Length Gas System • S&W®/Magpul® Co-Branded Lower Receiver • Patented Smith & Wesson Flash Suppressor • M4 - A2 Post Front Sight • Folding Magpul® MBUS Rear Sight • Magpul® MOE Stock, Grip, and Handguard • Magpul® MVG (Vertical Grip) • Magpul® PMAG Magazine • Chromed-Lined Bolt Carrier and Gas Key • Chromed Firing Pin • Armornite® Barrel Finish • Compatible with most standard AR15 components and accessories Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

#17 JakubWrobel

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:27 AM

So I've come to the conclusion that I will stick with my original plan of buying a complete rifle as my first rifle and then, as Mustang31 stated, spend the time to find quality parts and assemble my own rifle.

 

You guys have made a compelling case for building my own rifle right off the bat, but in the end I don't feel comfortable right now putting one together. Thanks for all the input; this forum never fails to make me look at things from a different angle when it comes to firearms.


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#18 capotwosix

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:10 AM

As others have mentioned, you’ll get better quality building at that price, but I understand not wanting to do that for your first rifle. One thing you can do is buy a complete upper, and complete lower separately. You will avoid the new extra tax this way, and all you have to do is place the upper in the lower. No tools required.
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#19 JakubWrobel

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:18 AM

What, if any, differences are there between the M&P 15 and the current M&P 15 Sport II? Anything major to keep in mind?


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#20 capotwosix

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:49 AM

What, if any, differences are there between the M&P 15 and the current M&P 15 Sport II? Anything major to keep in mind?


Can you be more specific on which mode of the Sport || because they come with diefferent options, then I could give you a better answer. As for general differences, I believe twits rate, carry handle vs no carry handle, hand guard options vs the old school plastic guard. Also fixed front sight post attached to gas block vs “optics ready” which is just a sales persons way of saying, “does not come with iron sights”
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#21 JakubWrobel

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 11:23 AM

"Can you be more specific on which mode of the Sport || because they come with diefferent options, then I could give you a better answer. As for general differences, I believe twits rate, carry handle vs no carry handle, hand guard options vs the old school plastic guard. Also fixed front sight post attached to gas block vs “optics ready” which is just a sales persons way of saying, “does not come with iron sights”

 

 

Here is what I am looking at:

https://www.cdnnspor...=U#.Wt9m5maZMsl(the only reason I'm looking at the complete package is because it's cheaper by $50 than just the rifle from these guys).

 

This is what I was/still am looking at:

https://www.sportsma...2.cfm/ID/189711

 

There are minor differences that I can tell just by reading the descriptions, but I was wondering if there were any major differences: materials used, any reliability issues, etc.


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#22 DD123

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 01:10 PM

Another vote for "build your own".  

 

I think that the mindset of "you can build it for cheaper" is a bit of a misnomer.  While you certainly can build something dirt cheap, you're more than likely using low quality parts to complete the build.  

 

Using the two models and the price point (around 1K), you can buy a fairly good lower, and really well made upper, spend a bit on a good barrel, shop around for a good handguard, adjustable gas block, decent comp/brake, good adjustable stock (if needed or wanted), a nice ergo grip or something similar, and you'd probably even have money left over for a decent trigger.  That would probably put you right into that price range depending on where you decided to splurge, and where you decided to sacrifice on some quality.  In the end though, you do wind up with a gun that has parts that you like and want, versus spending a grand, and then deciding you want a lighter/different handguard, a different trigger, buttstock, etc.  

 

Of course all of this doesn't matter if you have no interest in building one. It's just another option, and in the long run it probably would save you some money.  


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#23 capotwosix

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 07:26 AM

"Can you be more specific on which mode of the Sport || because they come with diefferent options, then I could give you a better answer. As for general differences, I believe twits rate, carry handle vs no carry handle, hand guard options vs the old school plastic guard. Also fixed front sight post attached to gas block vs “optics ready” which is just a sales persons way of saying, “does not come with iron sights”
 
 
Here is what I am looking at:
https://www.cdnnspor...=U#.Wt9m5maZMsl(the only reason I'm looking at the complete package is because it's cheaper by $50 than just the rifle from these guys).
 
This is what I was/still am looking at:
https://www.sportsma...2.cfm/ID/189711
 
There are minor differences that I can tell just by reading the descriptions, but I was wondering if there were any major differences: materials used, any reliability issues, etc.

"Can you be more specific on which mode of the Sport || because they come with diefferent options, then I could give you a better answer. As for general differences, I believe twits rate, carry handle vs no carry handle, hand guard options vs the old school plastic guard. Also fixed front sight post attached to gas block vs “optics ready” which is just a sales persons way of saying, “does not come with iron sights”
 
 
Here is what I am looking at:
https://www.cdnnspor...=U#.Wt9m5maZMsl(the only reason I'm looking at the complete package is because it's cheaper by $50 than just the rifle from these guys).
 
This is what I was/still am looking at:
https://www.sportsma...2.cfm/ID/189711
 
There are minor differences that I can tell just by reading the descriptions, but I was wondering if there were any major differences: materials used, any reliability issues, etc.


If you’re dead set on buying a complete rifle I would go with the cheaper option. The internals(most important parts of a rifle)seem to be identical, the major difference being the quad rail vs m-lok. If you get the cheaper one, you’ll have more money for ammo, optic, training. You can’t go wrong with either because Smith makes a solid working rifle. Buy the one for $699.00 imo
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#24 SiliconSorcerer

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 08:07 AM

If I were to buy an AR (vs machine one) 

 

For $799 this is a nice rifle...

 

https://grabagun.com...20-10-1-mb.html

 

I've shot the 308 version, it's not a Blaser R93 but it's very nice for the money... 

Just like Ruger's 1911R1 Ruger has been making some nice stuff lately. 


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#25 capotwosix

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 08:14 AM

If I were to buy an AR (vs machine one) 
 
For $799 this is a nice rifle...
 
https://grabagun.com...20-10-1-mb.html
 
I've shot the 308 version, it's not a Blaser R93 but it's very nice for the money... 
Just like Ruger's 1911R1 Ruger has been making some nice stuff lately.


From the OP, it seems he’s looking more for a home defense/shtf/plinking style gun, not a 20” barreled rifle.
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#26 JakubWrobel

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 08:59 AM

 

If I were to buy an AR (vs machine one) 
 
For $799 this is a nice rifle...
 
https://grabagun.com...20-10-1-mb.html
 
I've shot the 308 version, it's not a Blaser R93 but it's very nice for the money... 
Just like Ruger's 1911R1 Ruger has been making some nice stuff lately.


From the OP, it seems he’s looking more for a home defense/shtf/plinking style gun, not a 20” barreled rifle.

 

 

For my 1st rifle, yes, that's what I'm looking for. A precision rifle/bolt action for hunting, long distance shooting, etc. will come later.

 

Well, after more research than I thought was needed, I'll go with the S&W M&P 15 package from CDNN. They do have the best price for what I'm looking for and it will allow me to get shooting straight away. I really appreciate all your guys' input on this (as always, it'd be a shame for a newb to not ask wiser and more experienced minds on these matters). I'm sure the day will come when I will take your guys' advice and will build my own rifle; it's just a matter of time.


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#27 capotwosix

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 10:25 AM

Good choice imo. Once you start blowing through ammo, you’ll be happy you found a good deal on the rifle. Have fun and be safe!
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#28 Gamma

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 11:05 AM

Best deal I could find. This is the M&p mid moe, this is not the sport or sport 2. This is a higher model with 1/8 twist and 5r barrel with a mid length gas system. This has the magpul accessories and is 4150. It's 699 currently. Gat has this same rifle for 1149. Here is the link https://www.cdnnspor...ml#.Wqrr5spOl-E Here are the specs Features • 5R Rifling • Mid-Length Gas System • S&W®/Magpul® Co-Branded Lower Receiver • Patented Smith & Wesson Flash Suppressor • M4 - A2 Post Front Sight • Folding Magpul® MBUS Rear Sight • Magpul® MOE Stock, Grip, and Handguard • Magpul® MVG (Vertical Grip) • Magpul® PMAG Magazine • Chromed-Lined Bolt Carrier and Gas Key • Chromed Firing Pin • Armornite® Barrel Finish • Compatible with most standard AR15 components and accessories Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

That M&P Magpul edition is a great deal and one of the better factory options for a basic rifle, if that is the one you ordered.

For reference the other factory rifle I recommend is the Colt LE6960-CCU:
https://www.colt.com...AT_UNIT_CARBINE

The S&W will serve you well, and you can always customize later on.

For future reference, the reason I recommend these two is that I recommend avoiding the (most common) AR15 configuration which is the carbine length gas system with a 16" barrel. Both the S&W Magpul edition and that Colt CCU edition use the midlength gas system length.

Edited by Gamma, 25 April 2018 - 11:05 AM.

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#29 JakubWrobel

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 12:31 PM

 

Best deal I could find. This is the M&p mid moe, this is not the sport or sport 2. This is a higher model with 1/8 twist and 5r barrel with a mid length gas system. This has the magpul accessories and is 4150. It's 699 currently. Gat has this same rifle for 1149. Here is the link https://www.cdnnspor...ml#.Wqrr5spOl-E Here are the specs Features • 5R Rifling • Mid-Length Gas System • S&W®/Magpul® Co-Branded Lower Receiver • Patented Smith & Wesson Flash Suppressor • M4 - A2 Post Front Sight • Folding Magpul® MBUS Rear Sight • Magpul® MOE Stock, Grip, and Handguard • Magpul® MVG (Vertical Grip) • Magpul® PMAG Magazine • Chromed-Lined Bolt Carrier and Gas Key • Chromed Firing Pin • Armornite® Barrel Finish • Compatible with most standard AR15 components and accessories Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

That M&P Magpul edition is a great deal and one of the better factory options for a basic rifle, if that is the one you ordered.

For reference the other factory rifle I recommend is the Colt LE6960-CCU:
https://www.colt.com...AT_UNIT_CARBINE

The S&W will serve you well, and you can always customize later on.

For future reference, the reason I recommend these two is that I recommend avoiding the (most common) AR15 configuration which is the carbine length gas system with a 16" barrel. Both the S&W Magpul edition and that Colt CCU edition use the midlength gas system length.

 

 

Haven't ordered it yet, but if I ordered the mid-length gas system rifle with the M4 A2 Post Front Sight, how difficult would it be to put a folding front sight on it? I might (eventually) want to put a scope or a red dot sight on this rifle, so I'm wondering if the A2 sight will be in the way or if it'll not matter.


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#30 JakubWrobel

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 12:42 PM

 

 

Best deal I could find. This is the M&p mid moe, this is not the sport or sport 2. This is a higher model with 1/8 twist and 5r barrel with a mid length gas system. This has the magpul accessories and is 4150. It's 699 currently. Gat has this same rifle for 1149. Here is the link https://www.cdnnspor...ml#.Wqrr5spOl-E Here are the specs Features • 5R Rifling • Mid-Length Gas System • S&W®/Magpul® Co-Branded Lower Receiver • Patented Smith & Wesson Flash Suppressor • M4 - A2 Post Front Sight • Folding Magpul® MBUS Rear Sight • Magpul® MOE Stock, Grip, and Handguard • Magpul® MVG (Vertical Grip) • Magpul® PMAG Magazine • Chromed-Lined Bolt Carrier and Gas Key • Chromed Firing Pin • Armornite® Barrel Finish • Compatible with most standard AR15 components and accessories Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

That M&P Magpul edition is a great deal and one of the better factory options for a basic rifle, if that is the one you ordered.

For reference the other factory rifle I recommend is the Colt LE6960-CCU:
https://www.colt.com...AT_UNIT_CARBINE

The S&W will serve you well, and you can always customize later on.

For future reference, the reason I recommend these two is that I recommend avoiding the (most common) AR15 configuration which is the carbine length gas system with a 16" barrel. Both the S&W Magpul edition and that Colt CCU edition use the midlength gas system length.

 

 

Haven't ordered it yet, but if I ordered the mid-length gas system rifle with the M4 A2 Post Front Sight, how difficult would it be to put a folding front sight on it? I might (eventually) want to put a scope or a red dot sight on this rifle, so I'm wondering if the A2 sight will be in the way or if it'll not matter.

 

 

I think I just answered my own question by doing a quick search: for the most part, it won't matter if the front sight is removed or not. Most of the time, the magnification on the scope will be such that the front sight obstruction will be minimal. If the front sight will get in the way, then there are 2 easy solutions: remove the front sight or get a scope riser mount.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Colt, Sig Sauer, AR-15, Rifle, Budget, $1000

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