If you are in Eastern MA, Zero Hour Arms in Easton probably has the most ARs in stock at any one time. I dropped in there ~10 days ago and counted 18 of them hanging from the walls/ceiling. Most are pre-ban, but it seems their prices aren't much higher than many shops for "MA Compliant" ARs! Good bunch of folks there too.
Lots of info on that place in NortheastShooters.com forum. Caution, going in on Renker Drive is like driving over a bombed out dirt path. There is a way in from the back, thru Bristol Industrial Park that keeps you on flat, paved roadways.
Take a look at this one if you can get to that shop:
5004 Colt Sporter 223 Used Preban
Colt is still the top of the heap. They're the guns that last under hard use. Also in the top five are LMT, Daniel Defense, and Noveske, all of which will be harder to find. These guns are built to a standard, whereas commercial spec guns like Stag, Bushamster, DPMS, and the like aren't built to any particular standard. Sometimes they run, sometimes they don't. If you want it to run and want it to last, hold out for the aforementioned TOL guns. If its gonna be a gun you're gonna use for several hundred rounds a year, rather than 1500 in a couple/three days as you'd get in an intense carbine class, then just about anything will work. Avoid Hesse, Vulcan, American Eagle, Century Arms and parts guns.
Add Olympic to the list to "avoid" (at all costs)!
BTW, Zero Hour Arms usually has some YHM ARs up on the rack. They are also a Fed Licensed mfr of full auto toys (for PDs) and have a full machine shop. If there are problems with what you buy there, they will take care of you . . . I've never had to use that service, however.
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