Help me build my first AR


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Infidel Cowboy
November 21, 2008, 10:40 PM
Guys, I need your help. The check is in the mail - to me. Next week I'm placing an order for this LMT lower: http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=160&cid=4&session=a02584acc06e6f7563cf77f1e9652fd4

but I am torn about what to do about the upper. I was planning on their standard 16" upper with enhanced BCG, charging handle and handguards:
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=63&cid=6&session=a02584acc06e6f7563cf77f1e9652fd4

If i did that, I'd probably look for a 22lr upper as well.

Then I saw the Monolithic Rail Platform with the gas piston:
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=189&cid=6&session=a02584acc06e6f7563cf77f1e9652fd4


Caveats:
I've shot a firend's AR (~50 rounds over two sessions) and it sorta just fit. I'm not much of a marksman, but they seemed to go where I put them.
The COMPLETE rifle has to come in under ~ $2,500.
This is my first AR. I have a bolt gun with (very) limited exp. Yes, I already have $1000 budgeted for practice ammo / mags / range fees in addition to (up to if everything goes right and it never does) $150 / month shooting budget.
I'd rather pay for a quality product than repairs.
The closest rifle range is over an hour away and it's hard to find the time.
I have a pistol range I could shoot the .22 at on the way home from work but it's only 15 yds.
I do not reload but will eventually. Commercial ammo for at least a year or two - maybe more after this purchase.
The AR is for SHTF, so I want ultimate reliability. Ok, cuddling while watching zombie movies too:D
I have Home (apt) defense covered with pistol and shotgun.
While I plan on purchasing an Eotech, ACOG or the like in the future, irons will be primary for my platform learning curve so if you have recommendations for those please include them.
I've never built a rifle but am comfortable taking new (to me) stuff apart and putting it back together.


My questions for you:

Is the 16" upper the shortest I can go without all the NFA, etc. paperwork or does the flash hider on the 14.5" allow civillian ownership of that one?
What's the best dedicated .22lr upper that has controls (manual of arms?) equal to the ar-15?
Is the piston MRP worth not getting the .22lr upper?
Other than sights and a sling and mags (tons of ammo), what else will I need to turn the upper and lower into a working rifle?
How can I predispose myself to possibly add a silencer in the future?
What have I not thought of?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
IC

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HOLY DIVER
November 21, 2008, 10:46 PM
the barrell has to be 16" overall this includes the flash hider
i think the lower you have picked will serve you well
check DEL-TON uppers a 16"A3 was my last puchase (del-ton)ofcourse
but you know there are allot of options out there ......when you decide,order,assemble
WE want pics,full range report!

HOLY DIVER
November 21, 2008, 10:48 PM
i'd never mention that i wanted to add a silencer in public again if i was you

Infidel Cowboy
November 21, 2008, 10:57 PM
If I did that, it would of course be done with all ATF paperwork in good order. My thinking behind the silencer is that I'd like to be able to train my son on the platform when he's mature enough. That's also part of my reasoning for the .22lr upper. His ears are very sensitive, even for his youth.

Btw: The mention is on the internet now, too late to take it back:) But I do appreciate your concern.

Gord
November 21, 2008, 11:01 PM
i'd never mention that i wanted to add a silencer in public again if i was you

Del-Ton isn't anywhere close to being in the same league as LMT. And, suppressors are perfectly legal with the associated paperwork and tax stamp. No reason not to mention it... :rolleyes:

HOLY DIVER
November 21, 2008, 11:11 PM
ninja do tell what the defference in a 16"a3 del-ton and a 16"lmt?i'm interested

Gord
November 21, 2008, 11:50 PM
Do some reading. Info pertaining to "top-tier" manufacturers and their merits is abundant and easily found if you're genuinely curious, and if you're just looking for a "not gonna change my mind no matter what you say" argument, you can look elsewhere. :)

HOLY DIVER
November 22, 2008, 11:35 AM
ninja not looking for an argument....i know del-ton uses wilson barrels
i just wanted to know in what area does the lmt use better parts/steel?

vanfunk
November 22, 2008, 12:01 PM
oooBuckshot:

Do a search for "AR-15 chart" and that'll lead to numerous threads relating to the technical, and practical, differences between AR manufacturers. The "Cliff Notes" version of the difference between Del-Ton and LMT relates to the better materials LMT uses to construct their uppers. Whether or not those differences are worth it to the buyer is a personal decision, based on the budget available, and the intended use of the weapon.

vanfunk

Gord
November 22, 2008, 01:00 PM
LMT also does a lot of parts testing and "details" (like staking parts that should be staked) that lower-cost builders don't.

Compared to Del-Ton (which is probably made up of mostly DPMS parts) pretty much everything on the LMT is probably going to be of better quality. It will also have been made to, and tested good as, USGI spec. Whether that's worth an extra $400+ is up to the buyer and what his or her intentions for the gun are. Me, I'm happy with my $475 Del-Ton kit.

Shade00
November 22, 2008, 01:20 PM
Spike's Tactical produces (what I think is) the most popular dedicated .22 LR upper. I would go that route.

Personally I would not spend money on the tacti-cool crazy piston upper. That's just WAY too much cash - heck, I think it'd be cheaper to get the other barreled upper and convert it to gas piston! Even just adding a free-float rail system would be a lot cheaper. To me a gas piston setup isn't necessary for a .223 AR - I'd say you won't be shooting any corrosive ammo, so not a lot of chance of corrosion because of the AR's gas system. Just keep the AR's gas tube clean.

Look at Spike's .22 uppers and configure a .223 upper just like the one you want - that way you can switch out the uppers and have two ARs in one that will weigh the same and allow you to practice a lot with .22 LR.

Erik
November 22, 2008, 01:26 PM
You're on the right track with LMT. You could do far worse, by the way, than ordering an LMT rifle and adding optics and white light as necessary and/or desired. Note: Don't skimp on the optics and light, and given your price point, you don't have to. But know the difference between your "needs" and "wants." That's the hard part, if you haven't figured it out.

RP88
May 1, 2010, 01:22 PM
thought I'd necromance this thread for a second.

I e-mailed Del-Ton and they told me some of the specs in reference to "the chart":
-park under FSB
-FSB uses tapered pins
-F-marked front sights available upon request over the commercial sights
-1:7 twist on Middies and M4s only, as an optional upgrade. The chrome-lined 1:7 barrels are apparently 4150 instead of 4140 steel. However, it is not 4150 MIL-B115 steel/milspec CMV
-milspec buffer tubes are available upon request, but since all of their stock options are in commercial diameters, this mean you cannot get a stock
-M4 ramps are properly cut (google has pics, apparently)
-M16/auto carriers are available upon request; did not mention if these were staked or not (some companies stake their auto carriers but not their semi carriers).

so, Del-Ton is offering a decent rifle to the right specs. So for $570, you can get a bare-bones plinker. But, for an extra hundred bucks of extra options and a few requests (and grabbing a milspec bolt and staking the receiver extension yourself), you can have a pretty reliable and rugged rifle that beats the right-end of the chart.

mljdeckard
May 1, 2010, 01:28 PM
I've been researching this one to death, I've settled on building the lower, and either Noveske or BCM for the upper.

bk1
May 1, 2010, 01:51 PM
Which BCM upper are you looking at? I personally am thinking Spike's complete lower and a BCM upper.

I have not figured out the details though.

ramis
May 1, 2010, 02:02 PM
so, Del-Ton is offering a decent rifle to the right specs. So for $570, you can get a bare-bones plinker. But, for an extra hundred bucks of extra options and a few requests (and grabbing a milspec bolt and staking the receiver extension yourself), you can have a pretty reliable and rugged rifle that beats the right-end of the chart.

Or you could just buy this (http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-16-Mid-Length-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-mid-16.htm) plus this (http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Lower-Receiver-Groups-M4-AR15-s/117.htm) and have it right from the get go.

mljdeckard
May 1, 2010, 02:27 PM
Probably something 14.5" railed.

RP88
May 1, 2010, 02:29 PM
Or you could just buy this plus this and have it right from the get go.

or...you can save $300 for a lesser AR that will still serve you well.

I'm a BCM fan myself, but the difference between a mid-tier AR and a high-tier AR is negligible if you don't ever run it hard. Apparently, not even a carbine course is that hard on a gun.

So for a good first gun, saving a bit of money is always a good perk, until you become aware of exactly what you want.

Anyway, the point of resurrecting this thread was to find a suitable place to post a bit of info. Perhaps I should have made a new topic. Sorry mods.

Zerodefect
May 1, 2010, 02:43 PM
That LMT lower is one of my favorites to start a build with. The Sopmod stock is one of the best around. Ambi safety is a must have on a defensive weapon.

BCM offers a standard 14.5" barrel upper. It has an A2 flash hider permenantly installed to make it legal without SBR papers.


The standard LMT or BCM upper will make an excellent weapon system for defense. Look towards Troy or Diamonhead for your iron sights, and Larue for your optic mounts and youre set.



aaand not pertaining to the og post: Delton isnt even anywhere close to LMT in quality. A quality AR cannot be built for under $600. Not going to happen with todays USSA labor rates. Lets try to remember that when someone says "home defense" bad advice could go really, really bad.

RP88
May 1, 2010, 03:06 PM
'good quality' and 'top quality' are not synonymous. Del-Ton makes a fine rifle; but LMT does in fact make a finer one. Either can and will work fine for home defense, patrol, and to a certain extent, any of the SHTF or perceived rough scenarios. But, the LMT is guaranteed to put up with more abuse. As to how much more the LMT can take versus what a plain rifle can put up with, you'd be surprised. As long as they are made to the right specs (sizes, spacing, etc.) it works.

The only point where difference in quality is of most importance is the bolt carrier group, since that is where pretty much any failure or issue will take place. Staking the extension down is also very important, since an non-staked castle nut will begin to loosen and unscrew itself after just a box or two of ammo. The last thing you want is your BCG shooting out the back of the receiver.

APIT50
May 1, 2010, 04:58 PM
Unless you really want to "build" a rifle why don't you check out the complete offerings from places like Patriot Ordnance Factory or Noveske Rifleworks? They have complete rifle offerings which can fit your budget and they use top quality parts.

benEzra
May 1, 2010, 07:12 PM
The COMPLETE rifle has to come in under ~ $2,500.
If your budget is $2500, you could buy a complete top-of-the-line Noveske 16" midlength flattop for $1500-ish and have $1K left over for additional accessories or an optic (Eotech or Aimpoint is $430-$600 depending on model, ACOG is a bit more).

Carter
May 4, 2010, 12:11 PM
so, Del-Ton is offering a decent rifle to the right specs. So for $570, you can get a bare-bones plinker. But, for an extra hundred bucks of extra options and a few requests (and grabbing a milspec bolt and staking the receiver extension yourself), you can have a pretty reliable and rugged rifle that beats the right-end of the chart.

Had one. It liked to not properly eject a spent case so that it got slammed up into the receiver when the next round went to get chambered. They also have a lot of other failure to extract/eject stories because the warranty even mentions it and says the warranty is void if you use anything but brass cased ammo. Making cheap plinking not so cheap. And yes, I was using brass with it and it still failed to eject. Spend money wisely. Not on something that seems to good to be true.

TonyAngel
May 4, 2010, 03:09 PM
I'd have to give another plug to BCM. Not only do they build top tier stuff, but they stand behind it. You kind of have to watch that "milspec" claim. It gets thrown around pretty loosely these days. Take a look at the BCM website and take a look at what goes into one of their rifles and the parts that the rifles are made of.

If you have a problem, you call them and they will make it right.

I know that LMT also makes good stuff, but they are not perfect. A friend got an LMT upper that wouldn't run. He pulled the gas block and it turned out that the gas port wasn't drilled all the way through. He called LMT just to verify the size of the hole so that he could just finish popping it out to start running his rifle. He was told that it was proprietary information. Naturally, he just matched up a drill bit and popped the hole out, but the fact that he couldn't confirm with them seemed like BS to me. I've never had any dealing with LMT, so I can't say. No one is perfect and stuff can and does happen, but I think they could have handled it better. I have had dealings with BCM and know that they stand behind their stuff.

Their equipment is also reasonably priced.

If you want something handy, go for a 14.5" barrel with the pinned flash hider. This will satisfy the Feds without having to do SBR paperwork.

I built one with a 14.5" bushmaster barrel and I couldn't believe how much difference that little 1.5" made in the way it felt and handled.

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