If you are trying to build an AR-15 and avoid having to go through the process of getting an ATF-approved tax stamp, you’re going to need to know the legal barrel length for your weapon.
In the military, M4 barrels are 14.5 inches long. This was a vast reduction in size and weight compared to the 20 inch barrel of the M16.
However, what barrel length is legal in the civilian world?
Putting it as simple as possible, the answer to this question is 16 inches. However, as with many things in the firearms world, there are some workarounds to this.
The first workaround is a permanently attached muzzle device, such as a flash suppressor.
In this situation, you are able to buy a 14.5 inch barrel and a specific muzzle device, and have a gunsmith pin-and-weld the muzzle device to the barrel.
In most of these flash suppressors, it will be specifically stated that you are able to have it pinned and welded, so be sure to check if it’s possible before buying the muzzle device.
Essentially, pinning and welding the muzzle device makes it permanent, which in turn makes it part of the barrel. For that reason, you are able to count the extra length of the flash suppressor as part of your barrel length.
Keep in mind that this will come at an added cost, since you’ll have to purchase the muzzle device and also pay to have it welded on for you.
The 16 inch barrel length only applies to rifles, NOT pistols.
You are able to build an AR pistol in various pistol and rifle calibers, which would eliminate the need for the 16 inch barrel. If it is technically a pistol, the barrel can be much shorter.
However, when building an AR pistol, there are a few laws that you need to keep in mind. Since that isn’t the point of this article, we won’t go too much into them. It basically boils down to the buttstock of the weapon, and there are some specific design features that must be accounted for. Make sure you know your laws if you take this route!
Lastly, if you want a shorter barrel, you can always just get the tax stamp from the ATF. Once your weapon is classified as a short-barreled rifle (often called SBR), the length of the barrel won’t be a problem.
This is a somewhat length and time consuming process, but it is the only way to legally have an AR-15 rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches. Related that, if you are intending buy a scope for your ar 15, you should choose Nikon or Vortex, it’s my favorite.
To make a long story short, the answer to the question is 16 inches. Your AR-15 barrel must be at least 16 inches in length to be considered legal by the ATF. Anything shorter than that, and you will have to get an SBR tax stamp from them.
However, as we mentioned in this article, there are a couple workarounds you could pursue to avoid having to get the tax stamp. But, like with anything, make sure you know the laws about what you are doing.
Don’t get me wrong, AR-15s are awesome. They are an extremely popular weapon system, because they are very easy to build and use. They are extremely customizable, and are available at inexpensive prices.
However, some people may not like them for a variety of reasons. They are extremely common, so maybe you are trying to stick out at the range.
Whatever, the reason may be, there are some excellent alternatives available to the classic AR-15. While these may be slightly more expensive for the most part, they are still fun weapons. In this article, we will go over a few examples of these AR-15 alternatives. Let’s get into it!
First and foremost, let me say how much I love the AK47. There are hundreds of different variants available, and I’ve enjoyed every one that I have shot.
Compared to an AR-15, AK47s aren’t quite as accurate, but they do shoot a larger bullet. For hunting and defense purposes, this could be a good feature for you.
I think the weapon is pretty sleek looking, especially with wood furniture, and they are notorious for their reliability.
Anyone who has spent some time playing video games is familiar with the SCAR. It is used by some militaries, and is an absolutely excellent weapon.
Similar to the AK47, this rifle also shoots a larger bullet. While the AK shoots 7.62×39, one version of the SCAR shoots 7.62×51. This is an excellent round for big game hunting or defense purposes. The other version of the SCAR shoots the same round as the AR-15.
However, for as high quality as this weapon is, it is also worth mentioning that is about five times as expensive as the least expensive AR-15 weapons. If that is not a problem to you, definitely check out this weapon!
Bushmaster makes a version of the SCAR, called the ACR, that is slightly less expensive.
This is the first of the so called “bullpup” rifles we will talk about. These types of rifles have the action behind the trigger, which shortens the overall length of the weapon. Essentially, these are similar to the P90, except they are in rifle calibers.
The AUG is used in the Austrian army, and is available with multiple different optics and rails from the manufacturer.
The rifle is extremely easy to breakdown, and shoots extremely well. Its distinct styling is sure to stand out, and the performance will be there to back it.
It shoots the same NATO ammunition as the AR-15, and is a pretty lightweight weapon. The trigger pull is slightly heavier than some others, but it is a great weapon to shoot.
However, similar to the SCAR, this weapon is significantly more expensive than the AR-15. Relevant to it, if you are looking the best scope for ar-15, i highly recommend the Vortex :).
Next up is another bullpup rifle. The Tavor X95 shoots the same NATO round as the AR-15. It cycles extremely smoothly, and has an excellent trigger pull. It’s got a great rail system, and is a very accurate weapon.
It is available in a few different colors, and has some excellent stock sights. The front folding sight has tritium inserts, so they are extremely easy to use. In my opinion, this weapon is slightly better looking than the AUG, and is also available at a less expensive cost.
In my opinion, both the AUG and the Tavor are fun to shoot. The difference between the two is almost negligible.
The last bullpup rifle on our list is the FS2000. Similar to the SCAR, this rifle is made by FN, and it is an extremely high weapon. It shoots 5.56x45mm NATO.
This weapon only has one rail, as opposed to some of the others, which had more.
In my opinion, this rifle isn’t as sleek looking as the other bullpup rifles, but it is still a cool looking weapon. In terms of action, this is a good weapon. The FS2000 is also significantly less expensive than the other bullpup rifles.
Last up is a modernized predecessor to the AR-15. The Springfield M1A is a modern tactical M14. It is an extremely high quality weapon, and is a great AR-15 alternative. It shoots 7.62×51 NATO, so it is a larger cartridge than the AR-15.
This weapon has been around for a long time, and the modernization is a welcome touch. There are multiple models, so you will be able to meet your needs. Overall, this is a great quality weapon.
The AR-15 is obviously an extremely popular weapon, and as I’m sure you’re aware, there are thousands of parts available. Due to how easy it is to do, building AR-15s is an extremely common trend these days.
However, is it actually worth it to build your own AR-15, or are you better off just buying one? In this article, we will go over some of the pros and cons of building and buying an AR-15 and make some general recommendations about what we would do if we were in your shoes.
When you buy an AR-15 from a manufacturer, it really couldn’t be any easier. You walk into a gun store and walk out with a completely functioning rifle. You don’t have to know each and every internal part, and you don’t have to make any decisions, other than which manufacturer you like.
When we say the guarantee, we mean the guarantee that everything will work exactly as designed. The internal parts will all fit together and work flawlessly.
Sometimes, internal parts from different manufacturers may not work together exactly as they should. Buying an AR-15 gives you the ease of purchase, since you know it will work. If you aren’t too familiar with the AR platform, it can be very nerve wracking trying to build an AR-15.
Another pro is the fact that most manufacturers back their products with some type of warranty, which you will not get if you are building your own AR-15.
The cons of buying an AR-15
When you buy an AR-15, you are getting a very basic rifle. More than likely, everything about the weapon will be very simple. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is something to keep in mind.
Manufacturers tend to overcharge when they sell a fully put together AR-15. You could build a very similar AR-15 for much less money, but it is going to be more difficult and time consuming for you. How much is the assembly time worth to you?
When you build an AR-15, you can completely customize every single part of it. This allows you to fine tune it to be exactly as you like it. You can customize every inch of it to fit your needs.
Building an AR-15 may also save some money. When you buy the parts and assemble them yourself, it saves money as opposed to buying a full weapon.
It also will give you a complete understanding of your weapon. You will know each and every inch of the weapon, because you put it all together. You know exactly what parts are where, because you ordered all of them.
It is also worth mentioning that it is possible to get an unregistered weapon if you build an AR-15, if you start with an 80% lower receiver. Some states have laws preventing this, but it is worth looking into.
The cons of building an AR-15:
There are some aspects of building an AR-15 that are great. With the exception of the lower receiver, you can buy any part online, get it shipped to your house, and put the weapon together in the comfort of your own home. However, you are going to have to put all of those parts together. It will take you some time.
If you don’t understand the AR-15 weapon system well, it may be a little overwhelming trying to build one. There are a pretty decent number of parts that are involved, so you really need to have a full understanding of the weapon before trying to build your own.
Building an AR-15 also requires some basic mechanical skill and a little bit of patience. It can be very frustrating, especially when parts don’t fit together the way they’re supposed to. Best scope for AR-15 is most important part when you build ar15
If this is going to be your first AR-15, we recommend simply buying one. Buying an AR-15 will give you a complete, working weapon that you can begin to shoot and understand. If you were to buy the parts to build an AR-15 having never seen the inside of one, it is going to be very difficult for you.
Buying your first AR-15 also allows you to figure out exactly what you like in your weapon. This will make an AR that you build even better, because you’ll have more experience with the weapon system. Buy your first AR-15, and build your next to fit you exactly.
If you are going to be doing any competitive shooting, you absolutely should build your rifle.
If you are just a casual shooter, buying an AR-15 will likely be good enough, but it may be more enjoyable and slightly less expensive to build one.
For the hunters and the outdoorsmen, either way will work. Building will allow you to customize the weapon more, but buying an AR-15 will be just fine as well. The choice is really up to you.
If you are trying to get an AR-15 as inexpensive as possible, you should build one.
If you’re short on time, you should buy an AR-15. Building one can be very time consuming.
Whether you buy or build an AR-15, you really can’t go wrong. It is a great weapon system that can do many different things.
Building an AR-15 allows you to fully customize the weapon while saving you a little money, but it requires some knowledge of the weapon and time to put it together. Buying an AR-15 can be slightly more expensive, but is a much easier purchase to make for most people.
It is also worth mentioning that if you buy an AR-15, you can always make upgrades and changes to it as you go. Or, if you take our advice from before, buy your first AR-15 to figure out exactly what you want your weapon to do, and then build your next one.
The AR-15 is an extremely popular weapon, for a variety of reasons. Due to the number of internal parts and external accessories available, it is a very common weapon for people to build.
Many people like to build their own AR-15s because it allows them to fine-tune exactly what the weapon can do for them. It also gives you a better appreciate for the weapon as a whole, while allowing you to customize nearly every aspect of it.
No matter what the part is, there’s bound to be hundreds of different manufacturers making one. With this wide assortment for each individual part, it’s easy to see how customizable the AR-15 platform can be.
But, before looking into building your own AR-15, one very important decision must be made. What caliber do you want the weapon to shoot?
Now, this is a simple question with a plethora of answers. For brevity’s sake, I will keep this list to some of the most common builds. I will also focus on calibers that can be built on the traditional AR-15 lower.
The biggest limiting factor in the caliber is the size of the magazines and magazine well. As you will see, there are some extremely large caliber bullets that have been fit into short casings. These rounds were designed specifically for AR-15s.
However, some of the classic larger caliber cartridges, such as .308 Winchester and .338 Lapua, are longer cartridges that won’t fit into the magazine well of a standard AR-15 lower.
If you do a little research, there are a few common calibers that you can build an AR-15 in. Some of these are: .223/5.56x45mm, .300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel, .458 SOCOM, .50 Beowulf, 6.8 Remington, and .22LR. While there are countless more options, these are just some of the most common. We will briefly go over each one, and make a few recommendations.
This is the classic. A “normal” AR-15 fires .223. It is a fun to shoot round that is easy to find. There are many different ammunition options available to you.
We recommend this caliber for general shooting, varmint hunting, and potentially competitive shooting. With the proper gun, this could be decent at longer ranges.
Due to the cheap prices available, it is also a good round for plinking.
This is one of the most popular options out there. It is a .308 bullet in a necked down case. As you can imagine, this provides excellent terminal performance, but will die off at distances greater than 300 yards.
We recommend this one for home defense and medium game hunting. This would definitely be suitable for deer hunting.
6.5 Grendel is somewhat of a jack of all trades. It was designed to be an improvement over the traditional 5.56x45mm cartridge, in terms of ballistics and effective range.
The bullets are larger and heavier than 5.56x45mm NATO, but they are fired slightly slower. Due to the added size and weight, these rounds will perform better in a target. 6.5 Grendel also offers a greater effective range than 5.56x45mm NATO, and can be shot out to around 1000 yards.
We recommend this caliber for long range shooting, competition shooting, and potentially some hunting. While there are better options for deer hunting, this caliber would be acceptable in the eyes of most.
These two calibers are lumped together because they are so similar. They are both extremely large bullets that are in a specialized cartridge that will fit a standard AR-15 lower.
The .458 SOCOM came first, after demands from the special ops community for a round that had more stopping power than the traditional 5.56x45mm. The projectiles of both of these cartridges are absolutely massive.
For home defense, these rounds can’t be beat. However, keep in mind that the range of these calibers is severely limited due to the weight of the bullets. Similarly, they are popular rounds for big game hunting at close range. Simply put, whatever you hit with one of these rounds will go down.
6.8 Remington is similar to 6.5 Grendel in that it was designed to be an improvement over 5.56x45mm NATO. The projectiles are larger, but are fired slightly slower than the 6.5 Grendel projectiles.
The projectile is actually from a .270 Winchester cartridge. Most hunters know that this round is extremely popular in the deer hunting community. For this reason, this round is another option for deer hunting. We prefer .300 Blackout, but 6.8 Remington will also work. The range of this round is slightly greater than that of .300 Blackout.
As backwards as it seems, you can build an AR-15 in an AK-47 caliber. However, there are a few reasons that we recommend not doing this.
First, 7.62x39mm is generally considered inaccurate. Part of this comes with being shot from an AK-47, but it also comes from the round being less accurate than some of its competition.
Second, due to low gas pressure, a traditional AR-15 may have trouble chambering a 7.62x39mm round repeatedly. We would avoid that.
The size of the bullet is great for terminal performance, but it is also very similar to .300 Blackout. While 7.62x39mm is a viable option, .300 Blackout can outperform it in almost every aspect.
The one plus side that 7.62x39mm does have is that the ammunition is cheap.
Many people know that .223, or the classic AR-15, is actually very similar in size to a .22LR projectile. There are plenty of conversion kits out there that will allow you to shoot .22LR from an otherwise stock AR-15.
Due to how cheap this rimfire ammunition is, this is a great round for plinking and for teaching firearms safety. best ar 15 scope for .22lr is good option for ar15 owner.
Similarly, there are conversion kits out there to allow your AR-15 to shoot pistol cartridges. These are nifty, but in our opinion, they lack much of a purpose. For general rifle shooting, there are far better options out there.
As you can see, there are quite a few options out there. Keep in mind that this is just the beginning, and there are even more calibers available to you!
While it can seem like a difficult decision to make, keeping in mind what the weapon is for will help to make the decision.
Just getting into weapons? Looking for your first rifle? Trust us, we understand the feeling! Everyone has to start somewhere.
This guide will provide a few key factors to keep in mind, which will hopefully help in your decision making.
Let’s get started!
Before getting into anything, we are going to assume that you have a general understanding of firearms safety, and are familiar with the process of purchasing a firearm.
There are a few basic terminologies to understand before getting any further.
Action. Action refers to the way in which the rifle ejects the empty shell after firing, chambers the next round, and fires that next round. A few examples are: semiautomatic, fully automatic, bolt action, lever action, and pump action.
Magazine. The magazine is a device that holds ammo. It is usually spring loaded to assist in feeding the next round into the chamber. The magazine capacity is how many rounds the magazine can hold.
Caliber. Caliber refers to the size of the bullet that the weapon fires.
This has to be the first question that crosses your mind when you start shopping for a rifle. What are you going to use it for?
Generally speaking, a hunting rifle is going to be much different than a plinking rifle. Identifying your use for the rifle will help to pick which factors are important to you.
Durability and reliability are extremely important. As you are hunting, there is a chance it will be exposed to the elements.
Identifying what you are going to be hunting for will help to pick the caliber. Do your research, there is plenty of information out there on the best caliber for different animals.
When looking for ammunition, there is a plethora of hunting-specific ammunition. There are some great options, and you really can’t go wrong with Federal Power-Shok, Remington Core-Lokt, or Winchester Deer Season, although these are just a few recommendations.
Generally speaking, jacketed hollow point ammunition will expand on impact and cause a lot of damage, which helps to bring down the target. However, when using a larger bullet, such as .308, this becomes less important.
As far as action is concerned, hunting rifles are commonly bolt action and lever action, as they are more reliable. However, semiautomatic rifles are becoming more and more popular.
For some types of hunting, such as hog and coyote hunting, semiautomatic may even be preferred. Pick the best ar15 scope for deer hunting will be good for you.
These competition grade weapons are usually pretty expensive, and are commonly bolt action as well, as they are slightly more accurate than their counterparts. However, more and more precision rifles are semiautomatic.
As far as caliber is concerned, it really depends on your range.
If you are planning to do some accuracy shooting at longer distances, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua are all excellent choices. For closer ranges (think 400 yards and closer), 5.56x45mm NATO (used in AR-15s) is popular because of the number of aftermarket parts and accessories available.
When it comes to ammunition choices, there are plenty of options available specifically for accurate shooting. Lapua ammunition is notoriously accurate, as are Hornady Superformance and Federal MatchKing.
When you pull that trigger, you need to be sure that you are going to be firing at the threat, whatever that may be.
Semiautomatic is generally preferential, as you would be able to shoot faster at a potential threat.
As far as calibers are concerned, 5.56x45mm NATO is a popular choice (AR-15), but some prefer larger calibers, such as .308 Winchester.
The caliber is slightly less important than the ammunition chosen. High quality defense ammo, such as jacketed hollow point ammunition, is very important, as it will do the most damage on impact.
As wrong as it sounds, if the ammunition is good for bringing down large game, it will also be good for bringing down a potential intruder. You should keep rifle in best gun safe for the money to make it work stability.
They don’t need to be too fancy or durable, as it is a just for fun gun. While not always true, the caliber is usually not that big of a deal for a rifle that is only for fun.
However, some people very strongly about having fancy, semiautomatic, large caliber weapons for plinking. My personal view is that I just need something basic, as I’m only practicing my skills for when I bring out my “real” guns – my competition shooting weapons and hunting rifles.
I practice with a bolt action .22LR that cost less than $300.
If you are looking for a home defense weapon, I really don’t think you can go wrong with an AR-15 or AR-10. With the number of aftermarket parts and accessories, you will be able to accomplish almost any type of shooting with this weapon.
For plinking, I recommend something simple, like I mentioned before. However, if you are just getting into weapons, I would recommend an AR-15. This is an easy recommendation to make, due to how ridiculously popular the weapon has become. They perform well and will let you meet many needs.
For precision shooting, I would look into anything made by Weatherby, Tikka precision rifles, and Howa precision rifles.
For hunting, it really just depends. However, the Ruger American is a basic bolt action weapon that is durable, reliable, inexpensive, and is available in just about every caliber imaginable. There are better options, but for the price, this is a great weapon.
There are hundreds of different factors to consider when buying your first rifle. This guide has hopefully given you a general concept of what to consider.
The M4 Carbine used in the military and the civilian AR-15 are extremely similar weapons.
Wondering what the differences are?
Look no further. In this article, we will go over some of the similarities and differences between the two weapons.
To start, we will talk about the history of both weapons.
The AR-15 was originally created by Armalite (as in ArmaLite Rifle…. Not Assault Rifle) in the 1950s, but due to financial issues, they sold the rights for the weapon to Colt.
Colt began producing the Colt ArmaLite AR-15. It was designed to be a lightweight assault weapon, so as a result, Colt pitched the weapon to multiple militaries.
After some modifications by Colt, the rifle was introduced in the military as the M16.
The M4 was created as an improvement to the M16.
Once the military realized the need of a weapon that could operate in close quarters, a shorter and lighter version of the M16 was created.
The M4 was designed in the late 80s to early 90s, before being accepted by the military in the mid 90s.
Compared to the M16, the M4 features a shorter barrel and a collapsible stock, as well as a few lighter parts to cut down on the weight.
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To compare the M4 to the AR-15, we will start with the differences because there are so many similarities.
The differences between the two are extremely small. The M4 has a 14.5 inch barrel, while the AR-15 generally has a 16 inch barrel, although multiple sizes are available.
The primary reason for this is the law in the United States about short-barreled rifles. This law requires that rifles have at least a 16 inch barrel.
As a result of this shorter barrel, the M4 has a shorter gas tube. To deal with the decreased pressure as a result of this shorter gas tube, the M4 also has more pronounced feed ramps to ensure that the next round is seated properly each time.
The barrel of an M4 has an hourglass shape cut into it, which allows for military members to mount a grenade launcher to it. The last big difference between the two is that the M4 has either a three round burst or fully automatic firing option.
As you can tell, there are very few differences between the two weapons.
The internals of the upper and lower receivers are very similar in both weapons.
The bolt and bolt carrier group of the two are the same.
The charging handle is the same.
The trigger and trigger assembly are the same.
Externally, the handguards and rail systems can be the same, dependent on which one you have on your AR-15.
Here is video about the fact you should know before buy M4 or Ar15
This is pretty much a trick question. Many people don’t know this, but the only way to get a true M4 is to go and talk to your local military recruiter.
The civilian AR-15 functions the exact same and is pretty much identical, but it is not the exact same as a true M4.
However, it is possible to get an AR-15 with the shorter barrel, as long as you have the proper tax stamp.
You can buy the exact same handguards as an M4, and could find a milspec lower, which would essentially give you the exact same weapon.
As far as the fully automatic feature, another tax stamp is required.
As you can see, the two weapons are extremely similar. There are very few differences between them. The primary differences are the barrel, gas tube, feed ramps, and fully automatic functioning. In terms of similarities, the two are nearly identical. If you have an AR-15, rest assured that it is extremely similar to the military M4.
The Ruger 10/22 is the most popular .22 rifle in America, and for good reason.
It has been around for over five decades and its popularity remains constant. Have you been looking for a .22LR weapon, or considering the Ruger 10/22?
This article will give some of the reasons for its popularity, to show you why it’s an excellent weapon for you to own.
There is so much to love about the Ruger 10/22, but these are just a few of the highlights.
It’s an extremely smooth and consistent weapon that is very easy to use. The durability will make you feel comfortable with your purchase.
As long as it is treated properly, there is no reason that you won’t be able to pass this weapon along to your children one day.
All of these features come at an affordable price, to sweeten the deal.
All in all, the Ruger 10/22 is likely the best .22LR weapon on the market, and there are plenty of reasons to own it.