Nope, not a public service announcement. Given my proclivities, and the banner image, even if it was, it wouldn't be a "guns R bad mmmkay" kindof thing.
Instead, I wanted to shed some light on what I consider one of the better budget manufacturers of AR-platform rifles. Palmetto State Armory.
Now, you're not going to get a JP Rifles Cazador special out of these guys, but what you will get is a solidly mid-grade rifle at upper end "commercial" / sport/intro - tier prices. Their $700 firearms, often on sale for $500 or less, and even less if you don't mind doing some of the final assembly, thus saving an 11% fee built into the assembled firearm prices, include features like:
- "A2" profile barrels instead of the A1/Pencil barrels
- Chromed barrel internals
- Top rails for optics
- Dust Covers
- Forward Assist
- Properly staked gas keys
- Milspec-grade triggers and buffer tubes
- A2 flash hider
- Free-floating handguard with Mlok attachment points and front sight rails
OK, Milspec isn't top-end, but it's more than good enough, and better than bottom of the barrell commercial grade. You can also save a few bucks and get a rifle with a traditional handguard and a pinned A2 sight/gas block, or spring a few extra bucks, still less than $500 usually, for a rifle with a better stock and polished trigger. Either way, the only reason you can't put a bullet within 3 inches of where you want at 100 yards will be the shooter or the ammo. The rifle itself, if maintained, will be fine.
While the product isn't always flawless, PSA seems to stand by their product and readily ship out replacment parts as needed.
For more reviews, pew-pew tactical looks at several of the PSA firearms.
Also, a few vids. The last one the reviewer puts the rifle through absolute hell.
Update: Perhaps, since it's a post about how to get your hands on reliable firearms cheap in the furtherance of freedom, it is also that kind of PSA as well.