First AR-15


September 10, 2008, 11:22 PM
Im thinking my next gun is going to be a AR15. I have been reading you can build one for cheaper than you can buy one put together for from a mfgr. Lets say I have $1000 to spend, what would be the best brand/model to buy already together in your experiences? Also what would be some of the best parts to build my own, in your experiences, and how hard is it to build one your self? I have no experience in building one. Sorry if this question is asked alot, but im going to ask it again.
Ive read LMT and Bushmaster are two good ones for around 1k. If you have experience with the mfgs what model numbers are you shooting, tryin to do alot of research before I purchase.

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September 10, 2008, 11:39 PM
If you want a M4 style 16" carbine weapon:

For under a 1k, get a complete LMT lower receiver and mate it to the 16" LMT upper receiver. Add a LMT m16 BCG and a charging handle. You would then arguably have one of the best AR15 M4 style weapons on the market.

Bushmaster and LMT are not even in the same class. The LMT Defender is one of the best deals going. Don't waste your time with Bushmaster.

A good reference to the different M4 carbines on the market is the link below:

Hope this helps.

God Bless America.

September 10, 2008, 11:42 PM
I should add, building an AR15 is a fairly simple task. There is a lot of information available on the internet on how to build one.

Browse over to and as they are most knowledgeable AR15 websites.

September 10, 2008, 11:44 PM
LMT is going to be a little higher than your 1k limit. Nearly every AR manufacturer offers a quality rifle, at least any of the ones on here you'll see frequently discussed. Bushy, Rock River, Stag, DPMS, S&W, CMMG, etc. all offer high quality AR's. It also depends on what you plan on using it for...

Also remember that the cost of the rifle is just the beginning. Feeding it gets quite expensive with ammo as expensive as it is right now.

September 10, 2008, 11:45 PM
how hard is it to build one your self?

September 10, 2008, 11:49 PM
LMT is going to be a little higher than your 1k limit

LMT lower - 330
LMT upper - 485
LMT BCG - 130
CH - 20
Total ----> 965

September 10, 2008, 11:54 PM
Add in shipping.

September 10, 2008, 11:57 PM
Add in shipping.

The OP may or may not choose to ship it. In any case, purchasing all items from the same online store will keep shipping down. Even with the FFL transfer fee (national average is $15) we are still just around the 1k. :neener:

September 11, 2008, 12:04 AM
You people and your simplification of all of it... this whole internet thing is just a fad anyways... you just wait and see. People will be ordering over the phone in a few years again... :p

September 11, 2008, 12:12 AM
Well, it's due in any day now - I ordered it 2 months ago.

My LMT Defender will cost me exactly $1100 with everything included when I go pick it up - shipping, factory assembled and warranty.

That's just 10% over your number, and I'd said well worth the extra cash.


September 11, 2008, 12:14 AM
there are too many options out there,

but i build mine with a Spike Tactical Lower and a CMMG Kit. ( ( (

September 11, 2008, 12:26 AM
Unless you want to get nit-picky or be an AR snob, any of the big names will do the job. I've seen some fine Colts fail, yet my Bushmaster that some look down on has never missed a beat. Do I hate Colts now? Nope...any AR from any manufacturer can fail. I have shot some damn awesome groups from just about every manufacturer out there so I really don't have anything bad to say about any make in particular.

Just buy the best gun you can for your money and shoot the hell out of it...don't get caught up in the "my AR has a higher quality xxxx than yours" BS. No matter what company made your AR, you can always get a lemon or have a parts failure.

September 11, 2008, 12:34 AM
Want LMT quality at a price closer to $1K?

Buy a complete Stag lower and a complete LMT upper.

September 11, 2008, 12:35 AM
There are a TON of options out there. Here are two places to check out:


Both AimSurplus and Del-Ton have great prices and customer service too, so check them out regardless of whether you decide to build your own, buy assembled parts and slap them together, or buy a complete rifle.

If you need help deciding what avenue to take, check out this link, it will be VERY helpful:

Good luck on your first AR, its addicting and it most likely won't be your last!

September 11, 2008, 12:36 AM
I love my Lmt runs like a champ

September 11, 2008, 12:39 AM
i agreed with tantrix,

you may get a hi-end AR and fail with woft ammo (hardly happen but happens) or get a low-end AR and turn out that it shoot wolf ammo all day long without a problem, i recommend you do a search for whatever brand and model you want then learn what others have to say about that expecific weapon.

BTW i recomend a CMMG it's a good quality weapon for a reasonable price.

September 11, 2008, 12:39 AM
Don't waste your time with Bushmaster.

my bushmaster has fired over 5000 rounds, some factory, some handloads.
it has never failed to feed a single time.
it has never failed to eject a single time.
it has never had a stoppage of any kind a single time.

my brother was so impressed he bought one exactly like it with exactly the same results. never a single jam of any kind.

my buddy heath was so impressed he bought one exactly like it (except he got the a3) with the exact same results.

my other buddy oneal was so impressed with ours he bought one exactly like my other buds with the exact same results.

of the four i have personal experience with, they just dont stop running.

im sure there are bad ones out there, but hey,the 4 out of 4 ive seen have sold me on the fact that they are reliable runners

oh yea, they are pretty accurate too (at least the 4 we shoot)


they avg about an inch and a day at the 100yd line will give you a handful like this.

these are not target rifles. these are 6lb rifles costing less than 900bux.

im sure the other ar's mentioned here are good rifles too.

September 11, 2008, 12:44 AM
The LMT is a real nice choice for an AR, but honestly unless you're planning on running 3 gun, its going to eat your entire budget and not leave you with money for mags or ammo.

You should be able to find a complete lower from a reputable manufacturer for $250-$300 (depending on manufacturer, stock type and trigger type) and a complete upper for around $500 (again depending on who made it and how its outfitted) Just make sure the upper includes the Bolt and Carrier. USGI AR mags can be found for $8-12 all over the place.

Honestly I don't understand the Bushmaster hate ... its not like its an Olympic :p

I've owned a Rock River, a Bushmaster and a DPMS and all of them functioned flawlessly (my current AR is a DPMS that was one of the infamous CMMG Bargain Bin guns ... its been just fine and cost me only $600).

September 11, 2008, 12:51 AM
(my current AR is a DPMS that was one of the infamous CMMG Bargain Bin guns ... its been just fine and cost me only $600).

now that is a great deal. why cant i ever run across deals like that????lol

September 11, 2008, 12:51 AM
W.E.G, good link, I just bought my stripped lower, and was wondering a bit hoto go about assembling it. That site looks VERY thorough.

September 11, 2008, 03:54 AM
Build a lower from any reputable source and throw on a stag upper. Badda Bing Badda Boom.

September 11, 2008, 07:23 AM
WOW. Thanks for the help fellas. This forum is awesome!! That should have all of the info I need.

September 11, 2008, 09:19 AM
Charles Daly D-M4LE looks like a solid choice for your budget.

September 11, 2008, 10:21 AM
We just posted several new "how-to" videos on AR-15 disassembly and cleaning at Gun Talk TV. It's a good way to start. They are not gunsmithing videos -- just the basics. (click on the "Recently Added" tab on the left, after you have click on Watch Now)

September 11, 2008, 10:27 AM
I can't believe that nobody has mentioned Del-Ton. I wanted a decent AR for the lowest possible price.

I ended up buying a lower for about $120 and a Del-Ton rifle kit. My kit cost around $580. You can add whatever you want and yours may even cost less than mine. That way, you don't end up paying for things that you don't want.

For $700 I had a AR with a chrome-lined barrel and a four-rail lightweight free float tube. I have yet to shoot it but I have no doubts that it will run like a champ. It's fun building your own rifle.

September 16, 2008, 10:56 PM
yup that del ton looks great

September 16, 2008, 11:00 PM
I just got a Del-Ton kit too (midlength). Add in a DS lower, and I'll have a brand new AR for about $585.

September 16, 2008, 11:04 PM
If you look around hard, you can find these for under $1100:

If you get bored with the A2 upper receiver, you can purchase a Colt A3 upper receiver from Brownells and swap out the barrel/bolt assembly.

September 17, 2008, 09:19 PM
I,ll agree on the Charles Daly someone else mentioned, as I just got one awhile back and shot it over the past weekend for the initial fire and sight-in. Ran great with no FTF or FTE, Rem and Wolf ammo. Shot milk jugs at 200 meters , hitting on first round per jug.

September 18, 2008, 01:46 AM
what would be the best brand/model to buy already together in your experiences?
Honestly, the one that looks the coolest that is in your budget. This question has been answered over and over again. You could put rifle manufacturers into brackets of best, middle and worst, but honestly, I doubt you are going to either shoot such a demanding course of fire or require such accuracy that a low end cheap-o AR wouldn't make you happy. Buy a lifetime warrantied rifle, a truckload of mags and a box car of ammo and have at it.

Get an Oly plinker and keep it clean and wet.

September 18, 2008, 02:23 AM
I have never ordered anything off this website but you can get all the LMT parts as quoted earlier in the thread with only 7 bucks flat rate shipping on all orders. But I have no experience with them.

September 18, 2008, 07:52 AM
My take on "build a better rifle (

With that said, someone mentioned Charles Daly and that may be a good option for you. You'll get a rifle that meets nearly all the important specs in the TDP, and you'll spend just under $1k doing it and get a warranty from a company that I know will take care of you.

March 21, 2010, 09:25 PM
I have a Spikes Tactical ST-15 Striker which is a bit above the price range you are going for , they have other models as well..I have to agree Spikes tactical makes fine quality weaponry ..Bushmaster I do not care for..But seems to be popular with many shooters.Colts have dropped in price and can be had for about 1000.00 bucks now.I just looked at a Colt Hbar and it was 950.00 and Colts hold their value.So many fine makers of AR's nowdays..

March 21, 2010, 10:57 PM
Hard to argue with the specs and the price...

March 21, 2010, 11:43 PM
Some price checking, currently LMT base model M4 $1005.00, not including shipping, transfer fees, taxes, etc.
LMT M4 with extra features such as 2 stage trigger, ambi selector, standard bolt carrier, SOPMOD stock would cost you $1215.70 not including shipping, transfer fees, taxes, etc.
Bushmaster would cost you $960 for the base M4, not including shipping, taxes, transfer fees, etc.
I personally bought a used model that was loaded up a bit with some expensive features, I spent $539.00 plus sales tax, etc.

March 22, 2010, 01:03 AM
LMT lower - 330
LMT upper - 485
LMT BCG - 130
CH - 20
Total ----> 965

Lol, don't forget - the model (I assume) you were looking at (first result for "LMT upper" on google) doesn't come with handguards, and also has shipping. :D

March 22, 2010, 05:27 PM
holy Zombie thread, Batman!


This thread is two years old..... If he doesn't have an AR by now, he might just be too old to use it.

March 22, 2010, 11:48 PM
Thats why the price I quoted on LMT was higher, it includes a charging handle, and handguards. I noticed their proces went up on a few models since I lloked at them and priced them a while back.

March 22, 2010, 11:55 PM

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