Want to build a budget AR15; please help.


November 22, 2008, 06:43 PM
Well, I decided after shooting my buddy's AR15, that I want one now. I don't have a ton of cash to toss around at one time, so I figured it would be more worth my while to build one myself. Still, I hardly know squat about the AR15, so I could use some help trying to select the most cost effective parts available and still get a decent rifle in the end. So, suggest away! :D

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November 22, 2008, 06:53 PM
Buy a Del-Ton kit and a stripped lower. You will probably have to wait a couple of months on a kit because everybody is out of everything since the election.

November 22, 2008, 06:55 PM
Pretty much, Del-Ton is the recomended brand. Doesn't get much cheaper without being junk.

November 22, 2008, 06:56 PM
With current demand for anything remotely "AR" you're going to have a hard time coming in under $1000.

November 22, 2008, 08:07 PM
I think you've waited a few weeks too long for any "budget" buying.

Good luck though.


November 22, 2008, 08:30 PM
No such thingie any longer

November 23, 2008, 01:33 AM
I'm well aware of the shortage of components. But I've come to accept that when dealing with guns, the word "cheap" is always relative.

Anyways, the Del-Ton lower receiver will certainly work for me. Would I be likely to save money by piecing together my own upper rather than buying a Del-Ton assembled upper?

November 23, 2008, 02:53 AM
Would I be likely to save money by piecing together my own upper rather than buying a Del-Ton assembled upper?
After you bought vice blocks, wrenches, punches, and headspace gauges; not at all.

November 23, 2008, 03:31 AM
We have all of those already. Fairly extensive set of tools available for use here.

November 23, 2008, 10:20 AM
You don't have to use a del-ton lower any brand will work. The kits have an assembled upper and the rest of the parts included minus the lower. I just suggested the the del-ton kit because you will wind up with a rifle that runs right for a reasonable price. Their kits haven't gone up in price but the wait time for them is much longer now.

November 23, 2008, 12:07 PM
You can still do it cheap if you shop around and are patient....

For instance i just ordered up a complete 20" hBAr upper to build myself for about 660 bucks with optics...

Browsing the forums (ar15.com) i got..

Bushy 20" HBAR CL Barrel Assembly ($250 shipped)

White Oak Upper parts kit/CH ($43 Shipped)

Stag Bolt/Carrier Assembly + BUIS ($179 Shipped)

Bushmaster FACOG Red Dot Demo ($124 shipped)

DSA Arms Stripped AS upper ($68 Shipped)

I have the tools necessary to complete this upper myself. Add a backorder no inflated lower and necessary parts and and you are well under 1000 with decent optics.

Everything I bought was brand new in stock and from reputable dealers that were no price gouging...

November 23, 2008, 08:05 PM
Basically the savings from building your own AR come from avoiding the $100 excise tax on completed guns.

Starting with a stripped lower and buying the remaining parts to complete the gun avoids the tax and lets you get the exact components you want if you are knowledgeable, if not you can get some marginal savings at the low end assuming you don't get burned by Vulcan/Blackthorne etc. rip off artists for parts.

Del-Ton has a good reputation, but I've no experience with them.


November 23, 2008, 08:21 PM
not only the excise tax, but also the extra 150-300 bucks for the warranty and assembling, etc.

I wanted a CMMG with the quad rail grip and a few small goodies.

Instead of getting the whole rifle for 1400+, I ordered the upper, parts kit, and buttstock, then bought a CMMG lower from my local shop. Total cost: 1080 including shipping and stripped lower, with quad rails, a nice grip, and phantom 5c2 flash hider

now, all I need now is for the order to actually ship :(

November 23, 2008, 08:48 PM

Complete 16" or 20" AR kit for 500 bucks plus a lower receiver you provide (100 bucks if you look hard enough).

$75 more if you want a removable carry handle (so you have more options for optics later).

I've been really happy with the upper I bought from them.

The Annoyed Man
November 23, 2008, 09:52 PM
I spoke to Del-Ton on the phone a few days ago. They told me that they were at least 8 weeks out on shipping anything.

I just built a new AR and finished it 2 days ago. All parts were purchased within the last 3 weeks:

M4 upper assembly w/ 16" ER Shaw barrel from Galati International - $364.00
Mil-spec bolt/carrier assembly from Galati International - $124.00
6 position collapsible stock from Galati International - $62.95
Rubber butt pad from Galati International - $11.95
DPMS stripped lower from Euless Guns and Ammo - $149.95
DPMS lower receiver parts kit from Euless Guns and Ammo - $69.95

Total cost for the rifle: $782.80

6 months ago, EGA was selling that same lower for $10 less. I suspect that some of the items I bought would have been a little bit cheaper, but not by that much. Say a total savings of $30-$40?

Also, I walked into the Bargain Cave at Cabela's and found an ATN Ultra Sight Digital holo-sight. This unit's MSRP is $199. It had been on sale for $149. Someone bought it and returned it for repairs. It was factory repaired and marked down to $80.00 So far, it works great. The point is that, if you keep your eyes open, the deals are out there.

Considering that I know of an Olympic Arms AR for sale by private party here in the DFW area that is going for $1,500.00, I think that my $782 is a good price. The same individual selling that AR is also offering a stripped DPMS lower for $170.00, which seems steep to me.

In a slight variation, my son built himself a short barreled AR at the same time as I built mine. His uses the same stock, lower, and lower parts kit. However, he bought a DPMS "Low Pro" upper assembly with a 16" bull barrel and a rail style gas block, which included the bolt/carrier assembly. The price for his upper was $409.00 ordered from Midway. Total cost for his rifle was $703.80.

We had originally bought the two uppers to mate to a couple varmint rifle lowers we already owned, but when we saw the reasonably priced stripped lowers and parts kits at EGA, we decided to go ahead and build complete rifles.

I hope that helps.

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