Wanting to get an AR15. I don't have much experience with one and my question is. What rifle manufactures should I avoid? The gun will be mostly for target out to 300yds, maybe some hunting. I don't want to throw a ton of money into one until I get some advice. Thanks
I'd suggest being cautious with the DPMS. You need to be aware of what components are in an AR-15 just like with any other rifle. What is the spec on the barrel ? Try to get a stainless 1:8 twist barrel. 1:9 and 1:12 will limit ammo choices. What trigger is in it ? Single stage military type or a 2 stage with the "modern" sear position ? A new trigger is at least $100 and up to $250, so much better to get something with a decent trigger to begin with.
Is the handguard free floated ? Its much harder to shoot accurately if the handguard loads the barrel. What length is the gas system ? Carbine (short) mid or rifle ? This affects the timing and will determine how picky the rifle is with its ammo, how hard it will eject the brass etc.
DPMS sells a lot of base quality rifles. They have the cheapest of the cheap in every dept. It is not financially viable to buy one of these and upgrade it, since people will look at it and say "Oh, is a DPMS" and walk away or lowball you. Rock River tends to sell a generally higher spec rifle, while not being ridiculously expensive. PSA has a sort of "a la cart" approach and often the best thing you can do is pick quality components and put it together yourself.
1:9 twist "limiting" ammo choice? If all that you shoot is 80 gr AMax, 80 gr HPBT, or 90 grain pills...then yes...you would be limited.
1:9 twist stabilizes everything from 40 to 75 AMax & 77 Sierra's.
But, do NOT buy anything with a cast receiver or lower. Minimum if forged.
Of note, if you buy a complete rifle, if it does not have what you want on it, it will cost to change. So, go shopping and handle different flavors of handguards, stocks, barrel lengths, & barrel weights.
It IS cheaper to build than buy...including the minimal amount of tools needed.
I cannot give you more advice since I got rid of my DPMS and that was the only AR I owned. I generally did not like the ergonomics of the AR (no folding stock, charging handle in what I thought was an awkward place, did not like the direct impingement gas system). I prefer the Sig 556 style system with folding stock, gas piston design, adjustable gas valve, side charging handle etc.
To me the Sig style rifle is the natural development of the Galil, which does not provide a sensible way to attach optics but has many of the other desirable features in an overly heavy and angular weapon. The Galil in turn was an improvement on the crude AK 47/74 design. All with gas system and rotating bolt. I also have a few SKS rifles, which are a bit crude, but extremely reliable, simple and make good project rifles. I have one in a handmade wooden bullpup stock that is simply an outstanding close quarters weapon.
It is always recommended to be as familiar as possible with the different systems out there before making a major investment. The ergonomics of the AR are definitely unique and you will either love it or hate it. I hated mine and it had to go. The quality issues were a separate consideration.
Remember that most semi rifles are pretty hard on brass. If you don't mind not finding your brass when you fire it out in the field, and dealing with dented, dinged, scraped brass, this might not be a factor. If you reload, you will also have to add mill spec primers to your inventory or risk the possibilities of slamfires or doubling which could get anyone in hot water with the ATF.
I have had a smith & Wesson and a Del-ton. I liked the smith but could get accuracy out of it. Apparently mine was the only one with the problem. But the others I shot were tight fitting and consistently accurate.
The Del-ton I had was very tight and very accurate with everything I put through it. I got rid of it to get a gun back for my uncle from my cousin. ( that side of my family is picky picky picky when it comes to trades) if I were to get an ad for any reason I would go with Del-Ton and not think twice about it.
The poor commentary on the DPMS surprises me. I don't know about the Ar15 DPMS lowers, but I have owned an upper with a 24" heavy varmint, stainless 1:9 twist barrel. I have used this upper on my Colt lower for over three years, 3000+ failure free rounds of 69gr SMK's over 25 gr of Varget. I clean every 200 rounds. It continues to hold .25MOA, 5 shot groups, and has been used in 200 and 300 yard competitive eggs shoots winning numerous matches. Seeing the performance of my rifle, a few other shooters at our club have purchased the same upper and were able to get comparable results to mine. I own a few other AR's, Colts and Bushmasters which not as accurate as the DPMS. I also own a DPMS Ar10 in 7mm08. I must admit that trigger had to be replaced, which was very rough. But then again i have had to replsce the yrigger on every AR i have ever owned. Other than that this rifle is also very accurate(.5MOA), and functions flawlessly.I have owned this rifle and have several hundred trouble free rounds through it. Am I missing something?
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt