AR-15 questions and research

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by Elrik, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Elrik

    Elrik Supporting Member

    So, a couple of days ago I was at the range with my girlfriend so she could get an idea of what she may want to use as a CCW once she's able. After she went to the car I got to looking around and one of the guys let me check out a Daniel Defense rifle. The thing was surprisingly light, and pretty comfortable with no parts that I felt like I had to wrestle. But for a price that seems to range from 1500-1800, that hurts to think about. I have a friend that has a DPMS Oracle and has said after a few upgrades, which he estimates I think is 800 total (including the gun?), who has told me that in the case of something more or less over 1k I'll just be paying for the name.

    So based on that, and the questioning looks from my girlfriend who didn't see the big deal in a rifle that doesn't come with what looks like anything special, I dug around on and managed to find Which hurts a lot less to think about spending. And I also managed to find, And I have thought an SU16 would be a nice firearm to have.

    But I've titled this thread AR-15 questions because I want to ask this community, with an SU16 are you losing out on a lot of features that a standard AR-15 would have? If I should stick with the 15 platform, is there one in the same relative price range that is better? Same friend said that the Diamondback doesn't have a forward assist. And while I have no idea what that is or what it means, he didn't make it sound like it was a good thing.

    Any help and suggestions would be appreciated, I'm in no real hurry to buy a 5.56/223, I want to make a well informed decision with a decent price that won't make me cringe too hard.
  2. rowiebowie

    rowiebowie Supporting Member


  3. SU-16 series; Pros from what I have read and seen on the net;

    -can be folded in half for discreet transport
    -has a built in bipod
    -can carry one to two magazines on some models
    -CA/NY compliant on some models
    -doesn't look "scary/evil' lol

    Cons of the SU-16
    -doesn't have much in way of accessories
    -mostly plastic (some horrific kaboom pics, but same can be said for some AR15s)
    -some models won't fire from folded position
    -some models won't fold completely if you add optics to top rail

    As for whether you need a Forward Assist..... or dust cover...its mostly a preference thing. The forward assist is meant to enable you to basically close the bolt fully if it doesn't return fully .... some AR15 users like having them, others don't. It doesn't impact functionality for the most part. carbon build up or excessive dirt in chamber may cause the bolt carrier group to not close fully, hence the use of a Forward Assist. Most firearms use the cocking handle for the same job however.
    Dust covers... with bolt closed and magazine in, it's useful to keep the bolt clean from dirt, grime, dust, sand..however it flies open whenever the bolt is opened, and this means that once you've fired the first round, it remains open...its more of peace of mind for users who go out in the outdoors a lot (camping, hiking, hunting, combat) where a clean storage option isn't always available.

    Most of the super lightweight AR builds do away with the dust cover and Forward Assist system, some go as far as doing away with the top rail except where the flip up sight is. (others uses A1 slickside carry handle uppers)
    I built my basic flat top AR carbine for under $600 and it's pretty lightweight, but not super lightweight, and it came with Dust cover and forward assist.. It is lighter than my Hi Point 995 with a 1-4x scope however.
  4. You should go to and read those posts. They know their stuff over there. Great Web-site with thick skinned people and no pay to read rooms.
  5. Dad_Roman

    Dad_Roman Supporting Member

    I have a DiamondBack Full Sized 9mm pistol. Based on my experience with them in engineering, sales/availability, customer service, build quality, etc I would not buy one of their AR15's.

    That being said I just bought a S&W M&P15 and absolutely LOVE it. Paid 569 for good ole S&W engineering and quality and its an awesome rifle.

    I would highly recommend you stick with the brand names. S&W and also Ruger offer great entry level AR's. I think Colt just came out with one also IIRC for a touch more on price.
  6. Tribes

    Tribes Supporting Member

    Slight clarification:)

    The SU16 is an under folder and installed optic will not effect complete folding of the stock. Though a installed adjustable AR style stock will not allow complete folding of stock

    It is the Keltec Sub 2000 that will not fold completely with optics on top rail as the barrel folds back over the top of the receiver.
  7. backbencher

    backbencher Supporting Member

    Daniel Defense uses great components, IDK if you want to pay that much for it. Given Diamondback's pistol, IDK if you want to buy a rifle from them - albeit ARs are hard to screw up.

    You can build an AR for just over/under $400 right now. For a $500 entry point I'd look @ the DPMS Sportical. A Forward Assist is something the Army required, and you might want on a HD gun. Other than that, it's a bragging point for folks who don't know the history of the rifle or how theirs works.
  8. My mistake. For some reason I switched Sub2k with Su16.
  9. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I was never a real fan of the MSR. I bought one, the DPMS Sportical, after Sandy Hook when the prices on them went through the roof. Why? Just because I still could. It languished in the safe a while until I went through my drawer of parts and started customizing it. Firefield quad rails, NcStar sighting systems.

    When I finally got around to shooting it, I discovered how accurate it was. Suddenly it was interesting. Decided I wanted a 223 Wylde. Was going to buy another DPMS, this time a Oracle, it's what they had in stock, and change it to suit me. I already had most of the parts, but I thought, why spend the $500. I bought a chrome-molybdenum barrel, a stripped lower and upper and a free float tube handrail and I have my 223 Wylde for around $250.

    A friend bought a Daniel Defense. It oozed quality. I decided I wanted one, but could not afford the <$2000 price tag. So again I built one. I have over $1000 in it, but still about $1000 less than he paid, and I have a "quality" rifle now. And yes, I can tell the difference between it and my el-cheapo builds, but the el-cheapo ones are still very serviceable.

    I guess what I am trying to say is build the MSR. You will save money and become familiar with your rifle at the same time. You will have exactly what you want. Take your time and look around , people are forever swapping out parts. I just sold a 16" 5.56 barrel complete with delta ring, barrel nut, handguards, gas block and muzzle break for $120. It came off a DPMS Oracle that was brought to me. I was given it in trade to install a stainless barrel and free float hand rail for him. Deals are out there. I'm headed to the flea market after breakfast to see what else I can find!

    ( I bought a Lee Loadmaster, complete in 40 S&W a few weeks ago for $75. As soon as I convert it to 9mm I'll tell you how it runs!)
  10. Jhow79

    Jhow79 Supporting Member

    For that price that Diamond Back is hard to beat, I've shot one several times, my main gripe with that rifle is the hand guard is like a cheese grater! you better wear gloves or put a fore grip on it, or change it out.
    Other than that it shoots as good as any other AR's in that price range. There are better options if you jump up to the $600-$650 range.
  11. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    DB are decent guns in that price range. Just remember your not buy a over priced AR. Your buying a basic one.
  12. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    We are giving one away this year at the xmas party.
  13. tjulian

    tjulian Member

    You can also check out the s&w mp 15, ruger ar 556, or the Colt expanse.

    I got the expanse and really like it.
  14. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    If you want a lightweight AR for cheap, with proven parts, use many of the GI parts like forend and pistol grip. I remove the top half of the heat shield, and I got a DTI-sourced GI handguard down to around 4oz. I also lightened a standard position collapsible stock to nearly the MFT "Minimalist" weight range, less than 1 oz difference. Still works perfectly! Te best way to save nearly a full pound is to get a Faxon 14.5" barrel, and install a pinned and welded ~2" flash hider. The barrel was $109 last I checked... I have estimated the build to be under $600 and under 6# (closer to 5#) but have not done one completely, as of yet. One can also use a lightweight BCG with a higher rate spring, with no recoil penalty if the BCG/Spring/Buffer/Gas is tuned properly. Less gas, less mass and less spring is a win-win!
  15. rowiebowie

    rowiebowie Supporting Member

    But you did remind me that you can't fully take-down an SU16 with a long scope on them (if it extends too far over the barrel).

  16. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    There is also a lightweight Polymer Quad Rail, pretty good looking piece, that weighs ~6.5oz. It's a ProMag unit, and I have one. Quite Stout! :cool:
  17. MarkWS

    MarkWS Member

    I just built a Palmetto State Armory kit. Don't be afraid to go that route. It's not hard. May save you some $ and you can always customize.
  18. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    Build your own! Find a take off lower(mine was off a DPMS sportical!), I picked up a stripped slick side upper for $50 in a group buy, added a match grade barrel, free float hand guard etc and ended with a sub moa rifle for $800 including the scope!
  19. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    Just did this very thing for my nephew. Posted another thread about it. I don't know what he actually has in it, but I am pretty sure it's only around $500. Everything except the sights and I think the handguard.
  20. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    $535 total with mine; including all parts, fees, shipping, optics, and accessories. All done by slow playing the build to find parts and catch them on sale. Really helped when Radical knocked off the shipping and upgraded my BCG for muffing up my order causing a 3 week delay.