Had a 'sorted Pro-Target' but it took several trips back to AA until they finally fixed the reg problems, which didn't fill me with a lot of confidence in it and this was years before the likes of John Ostler or Wayne Twelvetrees to sort them out. Independent guys like that hadn't started.
I've had in the past from 1994 to 2000 the following...
Airmasters fettled FN19..............still being used by another club member
Airmasters fettled Shamal ......... also still being used by another club member
It's fairly clear that Jon doesn't like the AR and fine that's his choice, and as for the' real thing' just what is that ???
I'm not sure that to take up FT seriously you have to end up with a sorted PT or EV2 as stated by PaulD ?. By that he is obviously putting everything else such as the Styer's , ISP's etc, in the same class as the AR20 ?
The fact that none of the top shooters use one. Well, for as long as I can remember in FT there has always been a 'must have' gun. Be it the Pro-Target, Ripley AR4 then the 5S, the Styer Lg and so on. How long before the must have is the FTP900.
The same with scopes it was the Premier Ret Leupolds back in the day and now it's Big Nikko .
So it, the AR, has a plastic grip so what..... that's not one of the parts that makes it shoot straight and there are suppliers of LG300 laminate grips if you want a wooden one.
End of the day it's always going to be down to personal choice and on these forums we are all allowed to have our opinions are we not. Issues arise on forums, not just this one, when peoples opinions start to be more than just that.
So my opinion of the AR20 FT is ....
Yes the AR's are cheap, and yes they are accurate. One other important point not mentioned in this thread, AFAIK ,the AR is fully ambidextrous out of the box both cocking and cheek piece not all manufacturers can claim that, even the Pro-target is only ambi on the cocking side.