AR-15 Building


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MAURICE
December 14, 2004, 07:47 PM
My new years resolution being, of course, to obtain more boomsticks, me and a friend have decided to pair up and build a couple of M4geries this coming Jan. I have been reading and looking around for parts/recievers, etc. and was wondering if you fine gentlemen and women had any advice/tips/tricks for our little project.

One specific question comes to mind while im wrapping this up. Has anyone any experience with Stag Arms lower recievers, and where can I find them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Robert

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jefmad
December 14, 2004, 08:22 PM
How about Carricoz Armory? http://www.carricozarmory.com/ He has a nice product for $89 shipped. Then go to J & T Dist for your M4 kit and you are all set. If you go with Carricoz, just print his order form, indicate what you want and then mail it with money and an FFL's form and you will soon get your lower.

cliffjr
December 14, 2004, 08:54 PM
Eagle firearms has them. I don't have any experience but am thinking about getting one.

http://www.eaglefirearms.net/

762x51
December 14, 2004, 10:30 PM
Stag Arms receivers are made by Continental Machine. Same company that makes them for Rock River Arms. Same receivers aside from the logo.

ZeroX
December 14, 2004, 10:45 PM
This topic, http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=115135&highlight=stag+lower+upper , has some good suggestions. Makes me want to get started on one.

444
December 15, 2004, 12:04 AM
I have a piece of advice that you won't get anywhere else.
Seriously.
Just because you are building this carbine yourself, doesn't mean that you have to build it for the absolute lowest possible cost at the expense of quality. Be unique and decide that you want to build the BEST possible AR15 and not just the CHEAPEST possible AR15. Use quality parts made by well known and respected manufacturers. Research the subject and find out what the current state of the art is and try to duplicate it. If you can't afford the current state of the art, then buy what was state of the art before the current stuff came out. Don't buy anything that was never state of the art. Research the subject to the point that you know who the experts are and who the amateurs are. Know what makes a part good and what makes a part not so good. Know what the pros are using: the people who depend on their weapon for their life.
There is nothing wrong with trying to save money on good products. However there is something wrong with trying to save money by buying off brand junk. Shop around. Look for group buys. Scour the used boards like the equipment exchange on AR15.com.

PS: none of this is in reference to the receiver mentioned above: I know nothing about it, good or bad.

lycanthrope
December 15, 2004, 12:15 AM
Stags are fine and identical to the RRA receiver. You can get them cheap from Eagle Firearms.

You can pair it with a Kit from Model 1 sales in pretty much any configuration you want for a total of about $515.

MAURICE
December 15, 2004, 12:31 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, so far I am thinking a stag lower and DPMS upper. As for the parts, I am going to keep looking around for those. My goal is not to build the cheapest one possible, the reason I ask about Stag is because a friends uncle built an AR on a stag lower, and it works like a charm. The fact that they are the same as RRA cant hurt, either.

rock jock
December 15, 2004, 12:55 AM
Be unique and decide that you want to build the BEST possible AR15 and not just the CHEAPEST possible AR15. Use quality parts made by well known and respected manufacturers. Research the subject and find out what the current state of the art is and try to duplicate it.
Excellent advice. IMO, the advantage of building your own has nothing to do with cost. The two M4's I built this year were made with the best of the best.

Bullet
December 15, 2004, 02:10 AM
rock jock

Quote (The two M4's I built this year were made with the best of the best.)

So what is the best of the best?

444
December 15, 2004, 07:49 AM
It is kind of interesting when you think about it: the people who are at the tip of the spear. The operators. The soldier. These people depend on a weapon built on this same platform to protect them from harm and to inflict maximum damage on the enemy. Most of us use our carbines for much more mundane tasks, BUT, we both have the same requirements. Yes, that's right. We both want a carbine that is reliable. We want it built from quality parts that will be dependable and will last a lifetime. We both want accurracy. ETC. Their desires are our desires. The difference is that if they made a mistake in judgement with their carbine, it may get them or their buddies killed. With us, it is just a big diappointment.
As I mentioned, you don't need everything on your carbine to be the latest, cutting edge design. But, it should have at least been the state of the art at one time (IMO). For example, let's say you are looking at a chinese optic in one of those catalogs you get in the mail. The optic costs $39.95. Ask yourself: What high speed, low drag team depended on this optic ? Delta Force ? LAPD SWAT ? ................ If your answer is, none of the above: pass on it. There is a reason none of them depended on it. If you decide to buy a brand X lower receiver, a brand Y upper reciever, and some lower receiver parts you bought at a gun show whose manufacturer you can't identify: ask yourself, which high speed low drag team is using brand X lowers +brand Y uppers and no-name parts kits from the gun show ? If you can't come up with an answer then there probably is a good reason they arn't using it.
If all the serious operators in the world are using chrome lined barrels and chambers: there is a reason. If you turn on the news every night and the people you see engaged in combat are using Aimpoints and ACOGs, there is a reason.
Again, you may not be depending on that carbine to save your life, but you want it to work every time, you want it to continue to work every time for yoru lifetime. Quality will be appreciated long after price is forgotten.
The beautiful thing about building up your own carbine from parts is that you can, in effect, make payments on it. That is, if you have the patience and desire. Instead of taking your lunch money and buying a complete carbine so that you can shoot it this weekend, you might take your lunch money and buy one part that is the "best of the best'. Then use your lunch money next week to buy something else that is the best of the best. Before long, you will have everything and did not take any shortcuts or make any compromises. Your pride of ownership will be much greater and odds are your enjoyment of the carbine over your lifetime will be much greater. Think about this: when these threads come up, almost everyone that posts to them tells you how to get a bargin basement carbine. But when a thread comes up about what kind of AR you own, you seldom see these same guys bragging about their carbine. They don't jump in and post: Yeah, well that's nothing, I got the cheapest possible carbine assembled with parts so secret that I don't even know who made them. I don't blame tham. That isn't something I would brag about either.

ilmonster
December 15, 2004, 09:06 AM
Agree with 444. You may also want to puruse a thread called "AR deficiancies" over on tacticalforum.com Lots of good info there by people who have much more direct knowledge of such things than I (armorers, rifle class instructors, etc.).

g56
December 15, 2004, 02:29 PM
This week I built my second AR15, the first one was 1 year ago, I got an RRA stripped lower receiver from Eagle Firearms, and a kit to complete it from M&A Parts, I built a standard AR15A2. Having shot it for a year I had a better idea what I would want, mostly optical sights, my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, so I decided to build another AR15. In November I ordered a Stag Arms stripped lower receiver from Eagle Firearms, and a couple of weeks ago I ordered the Bull Barrel Kit from J&T Distributing, a 24" stainless bull barrel with a flat top receiver, I received the kit a couple of days ago and assembled it the same evening, an excellent rifle! As mentioned above CMT machines the receivers for Rock River as well as their own brand which is Stag Arms, my Stag is identical to the more expensive Rock River that I purchased a year ago.

The receivers from Rock River and Stag Arms, as well as the kit from J&T Distributing to complete the rifle are first class in every aspect, and I'm really anxious for a break in the weather so I can take out the new rifle for the first time!

I personally recommend both these companies for quality and service.

Eagle Firearms (http://www.eaglefirearms.net/)

J&T Distributing (http://www.jtdistributing.com/)

petrel800
December 15, 2004, 02:44 PM
"Ask yourself: What high speed, low drag team depended on this optic ? Delta Force ? LAPD SWAT ?"

And then ask yourself how they paid for these weapons and accessories? With your tax dollar. If I was handed a weapon at no cost to me, of course it would be the most expensive thing I could find.

"Your pride of ownership will be much greater and odds are your enjoyment of the carbine over your lifetime will be much greater. Think about this: when these threads come up, almost everyone that posts to them tells you how to get a bargin basement carbine. But when a thread comes up about what kind of AR you own, you seldom see these same guys bragging about their carbine. They don't jump in and post: Yeah, well that's nothing, I got the cheapest possible carbine assembled with parts so secret that I don't even know who made them."

You'll find that most people who build their own carbines from model one sales and J&T Distributing without crome lined barrels and can openers hanging off their $500 rail system are just as proud of their rifles. I know I hold my personal built 16" AR-15 Carbine higher and more proudly than my Bushmaster M4gery, and I payed $200 less for my 16".

That being said the Stag Arms lowers are great for what you're going to be doing, and if you can't afford an Lauer Custom M4 carbine upper with rail system and urban camo finish, than a Model 1 Sales or J&T upper will serve you nicely. Good luck with your build.

Risasi
December 15, 2004, 08:52 PM
Okay, don't want to hijack this thread. So point me in the right direction. I've heard that AR pistols can be assembled out of parts as long as the receiver has not been previously built into a rifle configuration. I also believe there is something about the magazine outside of the grip a no-no, and no foregrip for a second hold. Unless the receiver is pre <insert ban here> A. Is this true? B. Where do I find info on people who have built such a monster if it is allowed. I'm in Nebraska, so anything is free game.

Thanks

lycanthrope
December 15, 2004, 09:20 PM
Yeah, you can register the receiver as a pistol with your FFL. The magazine goes where it always does.........

You can just get a Pistol Kit from several manufacturers such as Model 1 sales.


As for bragging about my builds, how about a White Oak Precision upper mated to a RRA lower with Jewell trigger? Can your AR drive dimes at 100 yards? 1/4 minute adjustable staked rear sight, free floated and 1:7 twist.

http://members.bellatlantic.net/~jefwolfe/RRA.JPG

All in all, it cost me around $1000 and is a lot more gun than what you can buy from off the shelf from your local shop.

That being said, I've shot a lot of "cheap" builds that functioned perfectly and saw a lot of factory guns with malfunctions. The truth is a lot of AR parts are manufactured at the same machine shops.

cgv69
December 15, 2004, 10:45 PM
444 has some great advice. Build your own to learn the system and for the opportunity to build a better rifle than you can buy. If you just want to save money, buy a used AR. Be aware that most people who have problems with "home made AR's" are the guys who bought "kits" and other cheaps parts in an effort to save money.

Here is my advice. For a lower receiver, there are many that will do the job just fine (Stag included) but if you think you will ever sell it, keep in mind that most people consider whatever is stamped on the lower as "What kind of AR" it is. That means a rifle with a Bushmaster lower receiver will generally bring you back more money than the exact same rifle built using a Stag (or other obscure) lower. What ever you do, make sure it's forged and doesn't say Hesse or Vulcan Arms on it!

For the lower parts kit (LPK) - J&T distributing can't be beat. They have one of the best quality LPK's out there for about the cheapest price you will find ($55). The next best IMO is RRA.

IMO, The two most important parts of an AR for function and reliability is the barrel and the bolt. Do not look to save money here.

For barrels, your best bet are Colt, LMT or Bushmaster. They are all 4150 steel and fully chrome lined (well some Colt's have only the chamber chromed). A fully chromed lined Wilson barrel isn't bad either. What ever you get, make sure its chrome lined. Trust me, its not worth saving money here

For the Bolt, Colt is the only one I really trust but BM, RRA and LMT make decent units. For the bolt carrier, make sure it fully shrouds the firing pin. I like a Colt M16 carrier which is fully legal contrary to what some would have you believe. Again, the RRA "Enhanced" carrier is a decent alternative.

For flexibility, use an A3 upper. There is a lot more but that should give you some food for thought. Spend some time on AR15.com and soak in as much as possible before buying anything. Here is an M4gery that I built just to get your mind going :)...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/cgv69/LMTM4-Ls.jpg

MAURICE
December 15, 2004, 11:28 PM
Wow. Quite a response here. Thanks for all the advice guys.
I was thinking about the reciever issue today, and may just go with a bushmaster lower for the reason pointed out by cgv69.
Also, I believe it was CDNN Investments where I saw the Colt M-16 bolt carriers advertised for sale. So it IS legal for these to go into a civilian AR-15/M4gery...that may be the way I go.

So here is what I am thinking so far. Lower by Bushmaster or Stag. I like the lower price of the stag, but everyone knows Bushmaster. Not that I ever plan on selling it. Maybe a RRA lower parts kit and as for the upper, who knows.
Still have not decided if i want a tack driver with a 22 inch barrel, or a 16" CAR or M4 style upper.

Decisions, decisions. How dare I think this was going to be easy. I guess I could build more that one. :evil:

Firearms are turning into an expensive hobby. Any sugar mommas on the board? :D

Risasi
December 16, 2004, 07:42 AM
MAURICE:
Also, I believe it was CDNN Investments where I saw the Colt M-16 bolt carriers advertised for sale...So it IS legal for these to go into a civilian AR-15/M4gery...

Check the legality. I'm pretty sure all M-16 parts are just replacement parts. Not to be used in AR-15's (not even sure they fit)


MAURICE:
So here is what I am thinking so far. Lower by Bushmaster or Stag. I like the lower price of the stag, but everyone knows Bushmaster. Not that I ever plan on selling it...

Yeah, I was looking at those Stag Arms lowers myself. I think I'm going with RRA though. To say I love RRA firearms is an understatement. But the reason I'll go with an RRA lower is resale value, and they are the same parts as Stag. Their only $15 more.


MAURICE:
Maybe a RRA lower parts kit and as for the upper, who knows.
Still have not decided if i want a tack driver with a 22 inch barrel, or a 16" CAR or M4 style upper.

Get both.

Risasi
December 16, 2004, 07:54 AM
Just found the info I was looking for on pistol building. Man Quarterbore gets around...

http://www.quarterbore.com/nfa/sbr-aow-pistol.html

My question is has the forward grip thing disappeared with the expiration if the AWB? If not it doesn't matter that much. My thoughts are to build a pistol and setup a mount system to allow for a sling. I don't know if anybody is familiar with the Steyr TMP? Basically it's a machine pistol that uses the two grips and sling in unison to allow a firm foundation for accurate fire out to 25-50 yards.

http://www.quarterbore.com/ar15m16/postbanar15pistol.htm

Lots of pics.

Ignore this post I think I'll repost under a new thread. I just posted here as there are lots of pictures on that second hyperlink.

cgv69
December 16, 2004, 07:58 AM
I believe it was CDNN Investments where I saw the Colt M-16 bolt carriers advertised for sale. So it IS legal for these to go into a civilian AR-15/M4gery...that may be the way I go.
Yes they are. It's what I have in both of my AR's. These are great units (especially for the price) and are perfectly legal because they in no way change your rifles semi-auto status. One down side, CDNN hasn't had any in stock for more than a few months.


I guess I could build more that one. :evil:
Sounds like the true beginnings of BRD! (Black Rifle Disease!)

Bix
December 16, 2004, 09:43 AM
I just picked up a Stag lower/A2 stock on the cheap for my first AR build. Planning to mate it with an RRA upper from Adco and sneak in under $600 for the entire rifle (minus optic).

I went with the Stag on the advice of several members of a club I shoot with, all of whom had had good results with the receiver.

GlocksRock
December 16, 2004, 11:48 AM
I have a Stag Arms lower and love it, it's great. I was gonna get an RRA upper from Adco as well, but there were no chrome lined barrels available at the time, so I went with a complete upper from CMMG Inc. I got the MOD4A3 upper, and that combo is awesome, I got a A.R.M.S. #40 BUIS for it too, and I'm still waiting on enough money to put an EOtech 512 on it too!

rock jock
December 16, 2004, 12:24 PM
So what is the best of the best?
I guess that's matter of opinion, but I spent many an hour doing searches on AR-15.com and tacticalforums to find out what the concensus was on "the best" for any individual part/accessory. I then mated these choices with my own personal preferences. I built two ARs, so when there were two competing contenders for "the best" part, I used both, with one on each AR. Of course, I guess to be truly "the best", I would have to try each option out myself, but that would involve building several more ARs and.......hmmmmm..............I have to go get busy. :D

ftierson
December 16, 2004, 12:39 PM
Personally, I'd get the "parts" from either J&T/DoubleStar or RRA...

But that's just me...

Well, now that I think of it, maybe it's not just me...

boofus
December 16, 2004, 12:47 PM
If cost isn't a real issue the LMT uppers are great. Pretty much the same thing as Colt except a tad cheaper. They also use the 'F' marked front sights that Colt uses on their flat-tops. Some other companies like M1S and Bushmaster don't use the taller 'F' front sights.

Here's my Armalite lower + LMT 14.5" upper with phantom hider and TA01-NSN. Hasn't given me any problems so far.

http://webs.tconline.net/jasonk/jignig/m4left.jpg

Duke of Lawnchair
December 16, 2004, 01:02 PM
Another big +1 for the LMT assembled uppers (if you're going the M4 route).

Boofus is correct in saying that they use the taller front sight bases, but not all of them are 'F' stamped.

-Jim

Bullet
December 16, 2004, 02:54 PM
So what is the best of the best?

I guess I'll have to answer my own question.

COLT

Everything else is just second.

ftierson
December 16, 2004, 04:05 PM
You come up with one answer...

Mine would be different...

But then again, variability is the spice of life.

444
December 16, 2004, 04:11 PM
There is only one best.

g56
December 16, 2004, 05:18 PM
A lot of the malfunctions experienced with AR's are magazine related, the general advice is to only use USGI magazines, the aftermarket magazines cause a lot of problems. Here is a good source of information about magazines, it's a great help in finding something that works.

AR Magazine FAQ (http://magfaq.tripod.com/)

Bullet
December 16, 2004, 06:19 PM
For a combat AR (M16) there is only one COLT.

Where I come from it's (Variety is the spice of life).

Risasi
December 16, 2004, 07:18 PM
Sheesh, I leave to actually get soem work done and look at all the posts.

Oh great, we got a COLT vs. everybody else argument. Go take that over to AR15.com where it belongs!! :D J/K

Personally I still prefer an RRA lower, with an RRA trigger job. Those guys are sweet. I can empty a 30 round clip from my stock CAR-4 in about 5 seconds. It's like shooting one of my paintball guns.

I did this at my local indoor range before they starting allowing full auto weapons. Everybody on the line FREAKED. And about four seconds later one of the guys at the front desk came back to see what I had.

He said, "Well looks like you emptied them all into the paper, just watch it next time, you should have seen on the camera what your neighbors next to you did"...

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