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Old 07-18-2010, 09:19 AM
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Default S&W M&P 15 Rifle v. Colt AR15 LE 6920 M4 Carbine

Well, things have gotten to the point here on the farm where I have to buy some sort of utility rifle or carbine that is capable of knocking down coyotes. Coyotes! In the Blue Ridge!!

I'm a pistol guy and I don't own a deer rifle, heretical as that sounds. But, I can say after yesterday that my preferred coon, groundhog, and possum control device -- a Model 52-2 with iron sights loaded with .38 Special 148-gr. wadcutters -- is not the best way to go when coyotes are involved. I will spare you the details.

I think something on the M-4 pattern is right for me. Any educated opinions about the better of these two carbines--the Smith or the Colt--as to accuracy, reliability, and durability? I'm really not interested in other brands right now.

Whichever way I go, I want a detachable A-3 style carry handle and A-2 style iron sights, so that optics can be easily added later if necessary. I don't need to worry about flashlights, grenade launchers, and such. A rancher friend out in South Dakota carries the Colt in his truck, and I have seen him do some fine shooting on coyotes with it. Here, we have a lot more trees and fields of fire are much shorter, but still, I want something that is good out to 200-300 yards firing from a supported position.

Your guidance is appreciated. Thanks.


Bullseye
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:07 AM
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Owned them both. Both fine weapons. Don't see where you could go wrong with either one. The S&W is just as good as the Colt for the $$$ for the purpose you intend. If it were me I'd go the cheaper route and get the optics ready carbine by S&W. They also have a rebate program going on right now.

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Old 07-18-2010, 11:53 AM
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I like the M&P15, if you do your research you will find the M&P is best overall AR platform for the money. M4Carbine.net has a chart comparing the top 10 AR's and the M&P is well within the top 5, and #1 overall for the price.

You can't go wrong with the S&W customer service, production and owners choice...
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:28 PM
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Firehouse and Walker45,

You guys have persuaded me. Printed out the coupon. With it, I think I can get OTD for $850 for the rifle I want. Pretty good deal, I'd say.

I notice that the Smith uses a barrel twist rate of 1:9 while Colt and most of the other manufacturers use 1:7. What commercially available loaded ammo (weight bullet and muzzle velocity) is best optimized for a 1:9 16-inch barrel?

Thanks again for your help.



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Old 07-18-2010, 05:39 PM
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I differ, buy the Colt and be done with it.

It’s a little more money up front but quality costs.

This colt of mine shoots MOA at 200 yards with cheap Federal AAE 55 grn ball.

I can't do it every time, but I've done it more than once, 5 rounds into less than 2" at 200 yards, and it will do even better with better ammo.


That's from the scoped Colt with the 1.75X6 Leopold.


Emory
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:42 PM
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A 1 in 9" barrel will shoot most 50 grain grain and up to 69 grain bullets quite well.
Before I got messed up and had a non-shooting dry spell imposed on me I was shooting the Federal 69gr match bullets with good accuracy.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:53 PM
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Joni Lynn,

Thank you for the information. I hope you are doing better and that you get back to sending rounds down range soon!

crofoot629,

That, sir, is what I'm talkin' 'bout! Is the trigger on the Colt that produced that group factory, or, did you replace it or have it tweaked after market? Was there anything else done to this rifle to improve its out of the box accuracy? As someone trained in bullseye, accuracy is for me literally the name of the game. And given the intended application, a MOA gun/ammo combination at 200 yards is just the ticket, so I am all ears.

Thanks.


Bullseye
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:14 PM
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I also have both, and concur that the S&W is a very good gun, and a good value. The S&W should hold up fine with the type of use you intend, and it is also accurate. I put a Aimpoint red dot sight on mine, and that set up would work well for what you are looking to do... This being said, if I were to have only one AR, it would be the Colt.

If you have the extra money, I'd go with the Colt, as it is the best quality production AR you can get; buy it once. Either way, I hope you enjoy your new carbine. Just my two cents...
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:15 PM
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Firerhouse pretty well hit the nail on the head.
Both are excellent weapons.
For almost the same price, I'd go with the Colt.
But if you're going to only have one AR, I'd go with a
20 inch barreled gun.

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Old 07-18-2010, 07:47 PM
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850 is a bit high for a Smith carbine. Check out CDNN, they have blow out prices on the optics ready variants.

The Colt is the standard by which all others are judged. However, the extra money that one pays is geared towards testing and standards designed to make a better combat weapon. Since coyotes don't shoot back, you should be fine with the S&W, though the Colt will hold resale value better.

Honestly, a blow out priced current generation Mini14 - see also CDNN - will also do fine for what you want. They're easier to clean and have fewer small pieces to lose.

M4 carbines are designed to be a relatively compact weapon useful when going in and out vehicles, in urban combat, and have collapisble stocks to fit various users and users wearing body armor. None of that is really relevant. They are not designed to be precision weapons. If that is what you are seeking, then what you want is actually an A4 type rifle - longer barrel, flat top, fixed stock. You can probably drop critters out to 500 or 600 meters with a good one. In the tactical community, it'd be a DMR - designated marksman rifle.

Though if you find that you want to shoot coyotes at night, the flat op ARs will be easier to use with something like a PVS14 and an electro-optical device than the Ruger offering.

You need the 1:7 twist barrels primarily to fire tracers and relatively heavy JHP rounds such as used to increase lethality when fired from short barreled carbines at close range.

For coyotes, I would think that M193 type(55 gr) fmj or lighter JHPs would be fine. Some 1:7 guns don't do well with bullets under 55 grains.

Also for what you're spending on the Colt, you could get a Sig 556 from CDNN and they now give you a free Sig .22 understudy rifle for it with it. The Sigs are heavier, but easier to clean than the ARs and are quite accurate.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:32 PM
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I'd talk to some of your local high power folks before I spent anything.

I would go with Stag or Doublestar or Danial Defense in a lower. For a complete rifle, look to Bushmaster. All have good reputations. If you think you want Colt, make sure the takedown pins are the same size. I don't know about any S&W oddities.

I would look for a 6 position stock with any lower.

Uppers (think slide, barrel unit) can also be mail ordered (no FFL required) as a unit. So you can swap out an M4 carbine upper with integrel carry handle, 1:9 chrome lined barrel chambered in 5.56Nato for one with a longer bull air-guaged barrel, 1:12 rifling, flat top for optics and flip up open sights, high power 600 yard ready by pulling two pins.

Caution: Never run 5.56Nato in a rile chambered for .223 Rem. Overpressure!! But you can run .223Rem in a 5.56Nato chamber safely (just a little less accurate).
You can get barrels with a Wylde chamber that will be accurate and safe for 5.56Nato or .223Rem.

For 'yotes I'd run one of the 60gr or 65gr V-max cartridges or a similar weight softpoint.

A 1:9 twist is a good general purpose rate. Heavier bullets tend to become unstable or desintigrate in 1:7. 1:10+rates don't spin the under 70gr bullets fast enough to be accurate.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:29 PM
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Does anybody produce an AR carbine with a 223 Remington chamber? I suspect that pretty much all of them either come in 5.56 or Wylde.

Now for long range varmint or target uppers, I would expect to find more .223 chamberings.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:22 PM
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I can't speak to the S&W since I've never even seen one. But I have a Colt, and it's very accurate. the 1 in 7" twist will handle the heavier bullets better; you probably want something heavier than the lightly constructed 55 gr varmint bullets for coyotes. The design has a very straight stock, for better control in full auto fire; not a consideration with us. However it means that the scope has to be set fairly high, so with your cheek down on the stock you can see through the scope. Mine is marked 223, and i shoot both 223s and 5.56 through it without a problem

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Old 07-19-2010, 06:26 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all of this very useful and interesting information.

On the CDNN website there is a $500 difference between the cost of the Smith ($700) and the cost of the Colt ($1200).

I really don't want a varmint rifle. I need something handy, and light weight, that I can carry in the truck, or when I go truckin' across the back 40 on foot.

I am going to consider this decision some more. I hear what the people who recommend the Colt are saying -- better to spend the money once and get something that may be overbuilt for this intended use, but which will get the job done and retain more of its value.

On the other hand, the Smith gets great reviews, I'm not going to be taking it to Afghanistan, and $500 will still buy a pile of quality ballistic-tipped or soft point ammo.

I need to consider this. Any other suggestions or information will be appreciated.

Best regards to all,



Bullseye
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:32 AM
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If you are in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I would suspect that any coyote you see will be at the most 100 yards away and in all likelyhood a good bit closer. With that in mind, my vote goes for a stainless mini 14.. Put a 4x (my suggestion is a Leoupold fixed 2x shotgun scope)scope on it and you'll be fine. If they are farthe than 100 yards, you probably won't be able to see them in the woods anyway.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:26 AM
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Colts marked .223 have always actually been 5.56mm. My old SP1 and SP2 were thus marked. The former, which I foolishly traded, was only a year younger than I am and left the factory back in '75.

I remember the .22 mag as being considered fine medicine for coyotes, so I'm not sure why someone needs 5.56mm rounds on the heavier end of the scale unless using them at long range.

Some lower tier makers have produced guns with .223 chambers, and some varmint type uppers have also been thus made.

Colt actually made some ARs in .222, mainly for export, but they are rarely seen collectors items in the United States.

The old SP-1s, used in their day for everything from varmints to tigers and even polar bears, had 1:12 barrels and wouldn't work well for the most part with anything heavier than 55 grain bullets. Mine had been apparently an Eskimos (sorry, don't know the PC name for them) gun up in Alaska for shooting most anything big and small.

For a rattle around truck gun good out to 100 to 200yards, Cajun is correct about the Mini 14s. They tolerate rattling around and dust better. ARs just left to rattle around tend to collect crud rapidly and malfunction. The carbine length gas systems in particular are prone to problems when they get dirty or aren't kept clean and lubed.
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223, 629, aimpoint, bullseye, bushmaster, carbine, cdnn, colt, model 52, remington, ruger, s&w, scope, stag, tactical, takedown

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