Snap Shot: 10.5″ Norinco AR-15
You might remember this little guy from an ultra-budget build I did back in February 2015. At the time the entire gun cost me just over $600.
Well I’ve still got it, and still shoot in on a regular basis. I’ve settled on a Meprolight optic, traded the A2 flash hider for a PWS brake, and removed the fancy Magpul ACS stock in favor of a matchy Magpul MOE stock.
I also bought my first M-Lok accessory for it, and found it to be a pain in the ass to install. I’m definitely a keymod person. The polymer-to-polymer connection of M-Lok was finicky.
Additionally with this rifle I’ve started using IMI .50 Beowulf magazines. I’ve been shooting .50 Beowulf mags for years now, and these are hands down the best I’ve used. They’re much stronger than some of the other .50 polymer magazines out there, and much better sized than the aluminum body mags I’ve used in the past. Definitely a keeper, and I’m glad I got a few.
I love this rifle because of it’s simplicity. It’s light, it’s handy, and it works. Even with the basic Meprolight red dot I can ring that 300 yard gong with consistency. I’d be curious to see how it handled a 10,000 round trial, but I’ve had no issues with it since I put it together. I feel like it works so darn well now that I’m naturally averse to any substantial changes. Firearms can be such a fluid thing for a hobbyist, always trying new concepts, new gear, or new platforms. But it’s nice to have a few guns in the safe that don’t change.
I still think that the most affordable way to get into the AR15 game is through a slow buy used gun. If you piece together the bits, you can take your time, watch for deals, and get a great gun for a great price. You don’t have to scour the internet and scrimp and save at every turn, but if you keep your eyes open and are patient, it pays off.