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Thread: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

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    Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Hey guys,

    What are some of the best, inexpensive AR-15s that would be reliable for home defense? I am hoping to stay around the $600 mark if possible. Not really sure where AR-15s usually run. Thanks.

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    Moderator Jayhawker's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Two I am familiar with are:

    DPMS Sportical...Very basic, functional AR carbine, no forward assist, no dust cover...
    DPMS Oracle...Basic AR carbine with FA and dust cover...

    In either case you will been to add the price of either iron sights or optics....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"

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    Senior Member Jeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Don't forget the possibility of getting one of those "Plum-Crazy" polymer lowers and then buying an upper separately!! It would be pretty easy to stay under $600 with a basic build.

    http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Plum...021&Click=4368

    Just combine that with something like http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/513...-hider-pre-ban and you're in business for ~$500 before any shipping and transfer costs.



    Here's a link to one of the DPMS' mentioned above: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/70770

    Luis
    Last edited by Jeeper; 10-27-2011 at 08:27 AM.

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    Senior Member SirGeorgeKillian's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Here is my DPMS Sportical. I have about 1200 invested in it so far, and that includes a .22 conversion kit. I am very happy with it, and it's simplicity. I don't have a use for a forward assist or a dust cover. I would highly recommend one!
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    Senior Member bisley's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGeorgeKillian View Post
    I am very happy with it, and it's simplicity. I don't have a use for a forward assist or a dust cover. I would highly recommend one!
    I looked hard at those, when I'd see them advertised for under $700, but I cannot bring myself to do the research on them. All the AR guys I know act bored when I ask about them, and switch the topic to buying the individual components and assembling a 'better' one for the same price. I'm not really interested in doing that. I'd just like to have a short, semi-auto .223 that I could hit the sweet spot on a feral hog, out to maybe 150-200 yards...and mostly just play with. If I liked it enough, then, I might build one to replace it (probably not).

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    I have a S&W MP15 Sport that is about as simple as you can get. I won it in a drawing but I think they can be found for around your $600 budget. It comes with a good removable rear sight on a flat top and has no forward assist or dust cover. It's very light compared to my other ARs and is more than accurate enough for home defense or even hog or coyote hunting. I had no trouble keeping everything in the 3" circle at 100 yards with the irons, even with my poor eyesight.

    Here's a link to the S&W ad. Don't be put off by the MSRP - they go for a lot less than that around here.

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    I have heard good things regarding Spikes Tactical products and Palmetto State Armory AR-15s. They look to be quality firearms at good prices. I am not sure if they fit into the $600-$700 dollar category, but they may be an option.

    I do have first hand experience with the Smith and Wesson AR's, and they are quality rifles. Good luck.

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    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by bisley View Post
    I looked hard at those, when I'd see them advertised for under $700, but I cannot bring myself to do the research on them. All the AR guys I know act bored when I ask about them, and switch the topic to buying the individual components and assembling a 'better' one for the same price. I'm not really interested in doing that. I'd just like to have a short, semi-auto .223 that I could hit the sweet spot on a feral hog, out to maybe 150-200 yards...and mostly just play with. If I liked it enough, then, I might build one to replace it (probably not).
    Bis, you've summed up my EXACT feelings on ARs. I have said these same words myself. Too funny.
    When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the
    scabbard. - General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

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    Moderator Jayhawker's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by bisley View Post
    All the AR guys I know act bored when I ask about them, and switch the topic to buying the individual components and assembling a 'better' one for the same price.
    As in all niches of firearms ownership...there are AR snobs...NOTHING is better than what they have, and no opinions count more than theirs.

    I have a friend who bought a Sportical as an entry-level AR....and between the two of us we have run that gun hard!...no problems with it other than the silly name..."Sportical."
    "I kicked him right in the Sporticals!!!"
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Stag is also a good one that is reasonably priced. Heck, Stag's mother company makes uppers and lowers for a bunch of other manufacturer's
    "All I know for certain about Washington, D.C. and the Congress and Executive branches of government is this: If stupidity was directly convertible to money, there would be no national debt crisis." tennmike

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    Senior Member bisley's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyrlf3 View Post
    Bis, you've summed up my EXACT feelings on ARs. I have said these same words myself. Too funny.
    I'll buy one, if you will. Jayhawker says they are OK, and I can go with that. Bud's Gun Shop has them for $572 - that's with no tax and a $25 transfer fee for me. We can be the "Sportical Twins."
    Last edited by bisley; 10-27-2011 at 07:28 PM.

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Here is my DPMS Sportical. For what I do with it, plinking mostly, it has worked fine. It has never given me a problem. I am not an AR snob, so I am happy with this one. It has eaten any type of ammo I have fed it and just keeps on running. I added iron sights and a red dot. Should be fine for the zombie hoards when they come!

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Hey! thats my zombie gun too! Are you ready for ... hey, is this Friday another world ender like last Friday? Seriously though I bought one of the DPMS sportical last spring and really enjoy shooting it.

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    sounds like most of you like the dpms sportical, but that i wlould probably be spending close to 1,000 after buying a scope and other stuff. is there any other inexpensive, semi auto rifle you all woul recommend or should i just stick with the ar-15?

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    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by bisley View Post
    I'll buy one, if you will. Jayhawker says they are OK, and I can go with that. Bud's Gun Shop has them for $572 - that's with no tax and a $25 transfer fee for me. We can be the "Sportical Twins."


    Unfortunately for me, the shops here require that I pay sales tax as well as the transfer fee; tax rate is 10%, and the lowest transfer fee I've found is $60 at Cabela's. Maybe I can convince the Mrs. to be extra nice to me this Christmas
    When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the
    scabbard. - General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by amtilton17 View Post
    is there any other inexpensive, semi auto rifle you all woul recommend
    For the budget amount you've mentioned, you could buy TWO Mossberg 500's, one set up for buckshot, and the other for slugs, and have better home defense firepower than any EBR I can think of.
    Jerry
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    For the budget amount you've mentioned, you could buy TWO Mossberg 500's, one set up for buckshot, and the other for slugs, and have better home defense firepower than any EBR I can think of.
    Jerry
    If this rifle is going to only be for home defense then I am going to agree with Jerry and go buy a shotgun. You could buy a good shotgun and a bolt action rifle in .223(like a used Savage or Marlin) for about the same money as your AR15.

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    Senior Member shotgunshooter3's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    For the budget amount you've mentioned, you could buy TWO Mossberg 500's, one set up for buckshot, and the other for slugs, and have better home defense firepower than any EBR I can think of.
    Jerry
    That is an idea right there. My HD setup is a $140 Maverick 88 (economy version of the Mossberg 500) with 5 shots of 7.5 birdshot. The AR and Glock are backups if I get attacked by a Zombie Hoard.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
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    Senior Member bisley's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyrlf3 View Post


    Unfortunately for me, the shops here require that I pay sales tax as well as the transfer fee; tax rate is 10%, and the lowest transfer fee I've found is $60 at Cabela's. Maybe I can convince the Mrs. to be extra nice to me this Christmas
    Well, since Mrs. Bisley just bought me a gun safe last week for anniversary, I guess I owe it to her to lay low for a brief period on gun expenditures...maybe a month.

  20. #20

    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    I just bought a DPMS Sportical .223 Upper for my Spikes Tactical lower. I purchased a 4 rail hand guard for it, but when I went to install it it did not fit despite them being the same size. I noticed that my stock DPMS hand guard is tapered on both ends, unlike other AR-15 hand guards I have seen are only tapered on one end. I have not been able to find an aftermarket hand guard like yours that fits my Sportical. Any suggestions or brands I should look into? I noticed you had a 4 rail set up on your Sportical.

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    Senior Member NN's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by drawlin2 View Post
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    While I personally have nothing against AR's, I like Jerry's idea for HD.

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    Senior Member jbp-ohio's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    In Dunham's Sports black friday ad is a Bushmaster Optics Ready carbine. It's $749 and you get $100 back, so final price is $649....

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    I would at least insist on something with a chrome lined barrel for your purposes. A little more expensive, but longer lasting and far easier to clean.

    There are a couple of makers using polymer lowers (Plumb Crazy, I think) with polymer fire control components. This will drop your cost down, but you may be loosing some interchangeability with standard AR parts, and the jury is still out on longevity.

    I'll join the shotgun crowd for the purposes of home defense, but if your goal is a reliable semi auto rifle for not a lot of money, think AK-47.
    WWJMBD?

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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    You can buy a complete (minus lower) kit from Del-Ton for $465 and a stripped lower
    http://www.del-ton.com/AR_15_Rifle_Kits_20_s/58.htm

    And a stripped lower from Palmetto State Armory for $80 (Though you might be able to find one on sale for less elsewhere)
    http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/1560.php
    And can have a nice basic AR for well under your $600 budget (depending on your dealers transfer fee for the lower)
    Ya do STUPID stuff, ya win STUPID prizes

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    Senior Member Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    You can buy a complete (minus lower) kit from Del-Ton for $465 and a stripped lower
    http://www.del-ton.com/AR_15_Rifle_Kits_20_s/58.htm

    And a stripped lower from Palmetto State Armory for $80 (Though you might be able to find one on sale for less elsewhere)
    http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/1560.php
    And can have a nice basic AR for well under your $600 budget (depending on your dealers transfer fee for the lower)


    I've built two carbines using Del-Ton kits. Both were upgraded and weren't the basic package, but the base price kit would do just fine. IMHO, I will not buy a Del-Ton kit without at least upgrading to the RRA NM trigger. It's hard to beat the price they give you on it with the kit.

    I would also have no problem buying a Sportical and looked at them before ordering the stuff to put mine together. But I decided I wanted a little more and probably would have spent as much buying a sportical and swapping parts.

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    Senior Member NCFUBAR's Avatar
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    You can buy a complete (minus lower) kit from Del-Ton for $465 and a stripped lower
    http://www.del-ton.com/AR_15_Rifle_Kits_20_s/58.htm

    And a stripped lower from Palmetto State Armory for $80 (Though you might be able to find one on sale for less elsewhere)
    http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/1560.php
    And can have a nice basic AR for well under your $600 budget (depending on your dealers transfer fee for the lower)
    Or if you just want to buy 1 Palmetto has the basic carbine on sale for $599 and it has a warranty from them.

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/8923.php
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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense


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    Re: Best, inexpensive AR-15 for Home Defense

    If you can come up with about 800 i would suggest checking out Spikes Tactical. Its the only company that i know of that has all the basic features any AR rifle should have including chrome line bore, gas key etc. They really go above and beyond and it really shows in the attention to detail on all the components. Other companies should take notice, there is no need to charge a rediculous amount of money for options that should come standard on a rifle. They also have a lifetime warantee unlike other companies like Bushmaster, DPMS and others. IMHO i beleive that you cant beat the value considering the quality you get. I have the carbine lenght and it has been great. Very accurate and reliable. 1000 rounds thru it so far and not one single hiccup. I highly reccomend it. And if you want to upgrade it, you will have an awesome platform to start with. Check out their specs:

    http://www.spikestactical.com/new/z/...ine-p-387.html

    Here is a photo of mine with Magpul furniture:

    Last edited by glockman0422; 11-26-2011 at 03:54 PM.

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