So You've Decided To Buy an AR-15

Good old fashioned gas powered-style

                                    By Douglas R Frost


Let's start with what caliber to buy:

   There are many good choices but let’s get practical, the two most common are 5.56x45mm NATO and 223 Remington. I like both but if you build a 5.56 version you can shoot 223 Remington. Yes, there is a slight difference between the two. The 5.56 round is just a little longer in the neck & shoulder area. Usually you can find good deals on both.  Military surplus and used magazines are cheaper  than new ones and easy to find. 

       Next you have barrel lengths to consider

   To stay legal in most states you need to start with at least 16” in length. Some companies go up to 24”. You also have a choice of what the barrel is made of and whether or not it's chrome lined and chromed chambered, M4 style feed ramp which is for better feeding of ammo, and twist rate. 1.9 is the slower twist . This is good if you want to shoot just the lighter 55 grains and slightly higher. The 1.7 is a faster twist rate for up to 90 grains.

     Then you need to decide which gas block to  have on the forward part of the barrel

   A good choice is the fixed A2 type, which is used most often, or a removable front sight version. This gives you more options for front sights that can be used or removed.

Now which uppers version do you want to buy?

  The two most common are the A2 with built in carry handle  and rear sight or the A4 flat top that allows many different rear removable and flip ups, or you could just put on some good scope rings and a scope and be good to go. The first time around, if you buy one complete with charge handle, complete bolt and carrier, barrel, and hand guard,  it will usually  be  already reamed, head spaced and test fired.

Next you need to choose which brand to buy

    There are so many possibilities and I will cover those in a different article.

  Time to choose a butt stock

   Again, lots of choices, but let’s stick to the two most common:

A. The fixed A2 stock

B. The collapsible A4 stock “4 or 6 position “.

Be aware that there are others with more and less positions. 

Pick out a foreword hand guard     

  Choices here too:

A: STD A2 with single heat shield

B: STD A2 with double heat shield

C: Quad rails, Dualheat shields rails

D: Free floating  

One of the above will come with the complete AR-15.

 The two piece Quad Rails are a good choice for adding other accessories to the AR-15.


 Do not forget to pick up some magazines, ammo and a sling


  Magazines come in many capacities too:  5, 10, 20, 30, 40 ,45  and 60 or 100 just to start with, and can  go from 50 to 150 in drums.

  Remember to know your state law  about the above

  Now go out there and have a blast, and I did mean that!

  I hope this helps you decide that it is never too late to buy an AR-15 Rifle.  I  have really enjoyed shooting mine.

 Please take a look at my next article on some quick and easy upgrades you can do to your AR-15.


My personal email is

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.



         So You Bought an AR-15    

         Now lets make it your own

             by Douglas R Frost 

 There is nothing like getting a good grip on something, so we will start there. I wear big gloves so that means I have big hands and yes, that means I need a big grip on my guns. My personal favorite grip is made by Stark Equipment Inc. The model I like is the  SE-1 with the battery storage in the grip. It holds two AA or two CR-123 batteries . They come in a choice of colors. 

My choice is black like the guns I own. I normally do not

give out too many recommendations but I love my Stark grips that much.

Now let's not forget the forward grip, the one that attaches to the lower forearm, if you added a way to attach it. You may need a adapter if you did not get a rail system when you bought your AR, and again my pick is made by Starks, their  SE-3 model adapter. 

 Ok, your new AR-15 is in your hands and you have some ammo and  mag's. Let's get to the range 

Time to sight in your AR-15

First let’s get it sighted in at 25 yards with the Iron sights so that we have a starting point, AR’S shoot pretty flat at 100 yards. So when you have your AR sighted in at 25 yards it will be 1 inch high at 50 yards and two inches high at 100 yards and then 0-4 inches low at 200 yards depending on the muzzle velocity of the bullet and its ballistic coefficient. Even so, I will all ways fire shots at 50 yards, 100 yards and then 200 yards to check the point of contact.

 So how are we going to start? Well one simple way is to bore sight the barrel at 25 yards which means you simply remove the upper from the lower and the bolt assemble from the upper. But first things first you are going to make sure you AR is not loaded and that means remove the mag and pull the charging handle back and then look in to the rifle to make sure it does not have one in the chamber. Then fit it in on to a rifle vise and the line up the center of the target with the center of the barrel, then hold the gun vise in place so that it does not move. Now adjust the rear site up or down and left or right till you see the center of the target. Once you are done with that process put the bolt assembly  back in the upper and then attach the upper back to the lower. Head out to the range and put some rounds down range. You should be on target very close at the 25 yard mark. Dial the sites till you get them close to center as possible. Next move your target out to 50 yards and do the same. Once you’re getting them in the center go out to 100 yards. When you’re happy with the 100 yards hitting the center mark your there. You can all so buy a laser sight that mounts in the chamber that fits in gust like the ammo and do the same steps of adjustments and distances mentioned above

Let’s talk about optics now. If you plan on putting a scope, red/green dot or other devise on your carry handle it’s more than likely going to be to high up to use correctly without a lot of experimenting with mounts and ring heights . So you need to think about having a removable carry handle when you buy or build your ar-15.I build all mine this way. For one big reason if your scope gets jack up you can put you carry handle and forward site back on and be in the game again. One more thing to think about before you go out and spend your hard earned cash is how powerful of magnification do you want or need. This brings up a lot more thoughts .Are you going to shoot targets at 300 yards or more or are you just interested in taking down the zombies at 50-100 yards. I have two scopes set up for mine one is a 4 power scope for up close and quick shoots and the other is a 6-18 x50 power for long shoots and yes my vision is not what it used to be . A lot of shooters still use 3X9’s x 40.

This should be useful to get started and remember when you are adjusting the rear site , if you want to move the contact left adjust the adjustment knob to the right and then adjust the site up move the adjustment wheel down ,the same reverse adjustments apply for the other direction as well and the scope adjustments too. 


I've lived in Las Vegas for all most Five years now.

It's definitely one of the best gun states to live in and I've meet  so many great gun enthusiasts and friends here













































































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