Best Complete AR-15 kits on the net?


PDA






sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 07:27 PM
I've seen ads about model 1 kits but have heard horror stories.

This will be my first gun purchas and also my first gun build. I'm quite excited about it.

I just want to know which site has the best price/quality for complete AR-15 kits.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Complete AR-15 kits on the net?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Zerodefect
August 5, 2010, 07:29 PM
No such thing.

Best= hand picking every single part yourself.

HGUNHNTR
August 5, 2010, 07:30 PM
Bravo Company will have everything you need. You don't need to pick every part yourself, you could order a complete upper from Spikes or BCM and feel confident that the parts are all up to snuff.

I'm not a gambler so I avoid outfits like model1 sales.

Robert
August 5, 2010, 07:34 PM
CMMG has great deals on their bargain bin rifles, though they are complete rifles and not kits.

sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 07:34 PM
http://www.model1sales.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=208

No such thing?

Sky
August 5, 2010, 07:42 PM
I agree with everyone. I would rather buy a Del-Ton for $750ish or a hand picked cmmg bargain bin $599.95 non-chromed version or $650ish for the chrome lined. You can always take them apart and still have a life time warranty. Some guys maybe can buy parts and stuff and beat those prices but when I started I could not do better than these two guns. The money I saved I used to trick out my guns for the wife and me.

Mags
August 5, 2010, 07:46 PM
No such thing? Zereoedeffect meant you would be better off picking your components yourself than relying on a kit.

sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 07:54 PM
OK then what parts do I need to fully build an AR-15?

Best sites to find these?

Mags
August 5, 2010, 07:58 PM
Go to http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/
Pick out an upper, get the complete BCM bolt and carrier, charging handle, get any mil-spec lower, get any of the 3 lower parts kits on the site (Stag, RRA, DPMS) , pick out what buttstock you want, get an extension tube, buffer and spring, just add sights and you are ready to rock.

DoubleTapDrew
August 5, 2010, 08:02 PM
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com has some quality brands

How To Build (Lower Receiver) (http://www.ar15.com/content/guides/assembly/lower/)

Zerodefect
August 5, 2010, 08:07 PM
everthing you'll need to know:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=226782
AGI also has a good AR building DVD.

I like using prebuilt BCM uppers.

sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 08:08 PM
Thanks guys! Tons of info! I'm excited to start

sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 08:29 PM
Another question:
"Building an AR is not smart. If you already own several, have the $400 in special tools, and have been to Colt or a service school - then sure. But if you do not know the difference between a crisp trigger and how a match trigger should feel, or, how to attach a barrel and head space it - this is not something you want to do on your kitchen table.

Factory AR's are assembled by a guy (or gal) with 7 years experienced and then tested, checked, fired, and quality assured by at least 3-4 master gunsmiths with 15+ years of building AR's as thier job. Each one has a 'standard' AR next to them to test against.

When a novice like you builds one - it comes out sloppy. Lots of dings, dents and scratches from not using the right tools. You don't have the $150 Brownell's trigger jig to properly align and match the sear, hammer and trigger - so the trigger feels like two coke cans crushed together. Worse - by not having the experience and training to headspace the barrel - it can blow up in your face.

Bottom line. Go buy a nice new factory made AR that comes in the original box with a warranty card."
-from yahoo answers

Is this true?

TonyAngel
August 5, 2010, 08:31 PM
If you're willing to take on the build, more power to you, but if you have to ask where to get parts, I'd suggest that you not build your first. Yes, they are easy to put together, if all goes as it should, but it can be a real PITA when things go wrong or don't go as smoothly as you would like.

For example, what will you do if the alignment pin isn't quite lined up with the gas port, or one notch on the barrel nut is too loose and you can't get to the next one without severely over torquing the nut.

I would suggest that if you want to start out building something, build a lower first. They are super easy and there isn't much that you can screw up that can't be undone. Then I'd buy a complete upper and slap that sucker on the lower you built and go shoot it.

Whatever the case, I'd get parts from a reputable company. You can tilt the odds of getting good parts in your favor by doing this. What I've found with "cheaper" kits is that you run an increased risk of getting sub standard small parts that can have you tearing your hair out. Like underpowered extractor springs or extractors that aren't up to snuff. Out of spec gas rings can make you crazy or a gas block that doesn't seal up as well as it should. Or a barrel that has too big or too small of a gas port drilled in it. Gas tubes that are just a hair too small in diameter. I've run across all of this.

I get most of my parts from Bravo Company. They springs and stuff are top notch and their bolts and carriers are MP and HP tested to help insure long life. There are other firms like Spike's and Denny's. I've ordered quite a bit of stuff from PK Firearms too.

Yes, you can build a cheap AR, but that may not be the best thing to do. Buy quality parts and build something that will run right.

sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 08:35 PM
If you're willing to take on the build, more power to you, but if you have to ask where to get parts, I'd suggest that you not build your first. Yes, they are easy to put together, if all goes as it should, but it can be a real PITA when things go wrong or don't go as smoothly as you would like.

For example, what will you do if the alignment pin isn't quite lined up with the gas port, or one notch on the barrel nut is too loose and you can't get to the next one without severely over torquing the nut.

I would suggest that if you want to start out building something, build a lower first. They are super easy and there isn't much that you can screw up that can't be undone. Then I'd buy a complete upper and slap that sucker on the lower you built and go shoot it.

Whatever the case, I'd get parts from a reputable company. You can tilt the odds of getting good parts in your favor by doing this. What I've found with "cheaper" kits is that you run an increased risk of getting sub standard small parts that can have you tearing your hair out. Like underpowered extractor springs or extractors that aren't up to snuff. Out of spec gas rings can make you crazy or a gas block that doesn't seal up as well as it should. Or a barrel that has too big or too small of a gas port drilled in it. Gas tubes that are just a hair too small in diameter. I've run across all of this.

I get most of my parts from Bravo Company. They springs and stuff are top notch and their bolts and carriers are MP and HP tested to help insure long life. There are other firms like Spike's and Denny's. I've ordered quite a bit of stuff from PK Firearms too.

Yes, you can build a cheap AR, but that may not be the best thing to do. Buy quality parts and build something that will run right.


That sounds more realistic. If I make the lower and just buy the upper is it still gonna save me a good amount of cash? And I'm assuming the upper is where I can mess up royally?

TonyAngel
August 5, 2010, 08:35 PM
That post with info from Yahoo answers is true and it isn't. If QC was that tight, I don't think that a bad rifle would ever get through and they do. Head spacing is also not really an issue, although I do check head space on new builds and well worn rifles with a no go gauge.

You also don't need to worry about the trigger. No jigs involved in installing a fire control group. Just buy a good lower parts kit.

TonyAngel
August 5, 2010, 08:39 PM
It isn't about saving money. Well, it can be, but not a good premise to base a build on. Building is more about using the parts that you want and not wasting money on parts you're gonna wind up not needing or using.

Check two things out. Go to aimsurplus.com and check out the Spike's uppers. Go to Bravo Company and check out their uppers. Both are running sales right now.

HGUNHNTR
August 5, 2010, 08:52 PM
Another question:
"Building an AR is not smart. If you already own several, have the $400 in special tools, and have been to Colt or a service school - then sure. But if you do not know the difference between a crisp trigger and how a match trigger should feel, or, how to attach a barrel and head space it - this is not something you want to do on your kitchen table.

Factory AR's are assembled by a guy (or gal) with 7 years experienced and then tested, checked, fired, and quality assured by at least 3-4 master gunsmiths with 15+ years of building AR's as thier job. Each one has a 'standard' AR next to them to test against.

When a novice like you builds one - it comes out sloppy. Lots of dings, dents and scratches from not using the right tools. You don't have the $150 Brownell's trigger jig to properly align and match the sear, hammer and trigger - so the trigger feels like two coke cans crushed together. Worse - by not having the experience and training to headspace the barrel - it can blow up in your face.

Bottom line. Go buy a nice new factory made AR that comes in the original box with a warranty card."
-from yahoo answers

Is this true?

Posted by a dude that had no patience or ability to learn.
You may need to buy $150 in tools if you totally build it from scratch, yes. Do you need to be a master gunsmith? No. As long as you are a fairly competant and literate adult you should have no problems putting it together. I had a tougher time putting a dresser together I bought from IKEA, but I did finish it, and it didn't require a master carpenter.

TonyAngel
August 5, 2010, 10:36 PM
Assuming that you already have a basic work space equipped with basic tools and a good vise, another $200 investment will get you everything you need to do a professional job of putting together an AR. If you have the itch to do it, have at it. I really enjoy the fact that I can change up one of my rifles just because I got tired of the way it was.

Just today, I stripped the upper on my KISS rifle, yanked the piston system, went back to direct impingement, added a low profile gas block and went with a rifle length free float tube. Looks and feels totally different and I feel like I have a new toy. Total cost was around $60 and an hour of my time.

It's a lot of fun. It just helps to have a resource to help you out when things go wrong, like some of the stuff that I talked about above. The main problem with being new to building is that if the new build won't run right, you'll have little idea why and trying to trouble shoot on the net is difficult.

Zerodefect
August 5, 2010, 10:57 PM
Another question:
"Building an AR is not smart. If you already own several, have the $400 in special tools, and have been to Colt or a service school - then sure. But if you do not know the difference between a crisp trigger and how a match trigger should feel, or, how to attach a barrel and head space it - this is not something you want to do on your kitchen table.

Factory AR's are assembled by a guy (or gal) with 7 years experienced and then tested, checked, fired, and quality assured by at least 3-4 master gunsmiths with 15+ years of building AR's as thier job. Each one has a 'standard' AR next to them to test against.

When a novice like you builds one - it comes out sloppy. Lots of dings, dents and scratches from not using the right tools. You don't have the $150 Brownell's trigger jig to properly align and match the sear, hammer and trigger - so the trigger feels like two coke cans crushed together. Worse - by not having the experience and training to headspace the barrel - it can blow up in your face.

Bottom line. Go buy a nice new factory made AR that comes in the original box with a warranty card."
-from yahoo answers

Is this true?



No not true. Just some google fool making stuff up. Probaly a libby troll scared that folks can build these and he can't.


There is no majic trigger jig. *** is that all about. You just pop them in, tap the pin in and presto.

There is no head space to check on an AR15! That's set on your barrel/barrel extension before that barrel leaves the factory. And all good bolts are so nearly identical in dimensions it really deosn't matter. You can check it with a gauge. it's a simple as closing the bolt on a metal bullet shaped gauge thing. 5.56 really deosn't have the power to stretc out your headspacing the way 7.62 or 30.06 M1's do. Headspace is no big deal on Ar's assuming quality components.

The dings and stuff is just silly. Last comp I landed on my AR dropping to urban prone with my secondary while that Colt 6920 was slung. Rough use training is going to kill an Ar finish in no time.

You only need a few basic tools for building an AR, nothing crazy, especially if your upper is prebuilt anyway. Check out that build link i posted above, it's all in there.

Fact: Most of those master gunsmith AR builders he's referring to haven't a clue what a fighting rifle needs to be. Experience 15 years ago means nothing. The weapon system has evolved alot since then. Look how much obsolete aftermarket junk still floats around the net.

And each part you build with still as a warranty, assuming quality parts. Usually 30 days, but the better companies will still work with you long after wArranty expires if its a legit complaint. The good co.s want you to have a quality rifle you can defend yourself with. they have morals and care about your well being. The bad ones don't, and you'll spot those quickly the more research you do.

That's the kind of chump that gets excited about a LesBaer overpriced AR that deosn't even have a basic ambi safety!

Very few companies are really in tune to what works.
Good ones:
Magpul, Larue, KAC, BCM, LMT.

taliv
August 5, 2010, 11:25 PM
agree with zero

imho, you really only NEED one tool to build most ARs. the hammerhead is a great tool (send a pm to member hammerheadbob), but any of the various ar15 multi-tools will work, like dpms'. and really, that's just for the spanner wrench to work the castle nut and or barrel nut, depending on which stock/forearm you choose.

that and a set of punches (assuming you don't already have a punch) certainly won't add up to $400.

i also suspect most ARs leave the factory having never been fired, (or maybe once if they're going to a state that requires a fired cartridge) and none of them get checked by master gunsmiths, and if they did get checked by a master gunsmith, he wouldn't use "a standard AR" as a comparison tool. he'd use gauges and calipers or other measuring tools.

the guy who wrote that yahoo answer just has no idea what he's talking about.

sxechainsaw
August 5, 2010, 11:35 PM
Well one of the reasons I wanted to build my own was to save money. Now my dad has a pretty good array of tools. I don't know about punches though. Should I throw the money saving idea out the window and just buy fully assembled?

Mags
August 5, 2010, 11:58 PM
Well if you want quality on a fully assembled rifle look at BCM, Daniel Defense, and LMT. Colt, Sabre, and S&W M&P are good but not as good as the ones I mentioned earlier.

For quality and price BCM first and then S&W.

Don't get fooled into thinking RRA or Bushmaster is good for the money I drank the Kool Aid on both those brands and regretted it. I traded the RRA and upgraded the Bushmaster with BCM parts.

Maybe if you must have an AR now just get a rifle with mil-spec upper and lower receivers and a chrome lined 1/7 barrel. Then upgrade the "guts" as you see fit.

trickyasafox
August 6, 2010, 12:18 AM
I've had great luck with del-ton kits. Some say the staking on the key is not adequate, but I suspect for most shooters- the job they do is fine. The nice thing about most 'kits' is the upper comes assembled and headspaced. It removes the need for special tools for assembly. Don't be intimidated. there are plenty of walk throughs online with good pictures and solid explanations.

Welcome to the world of black rifles!

kwelz
August 6, 2010, 12:45 AM
Don't buy crap. Feel free to build but don't get something like Model 1 sales or other junk. Get quality components like BCM.

Idempotent
August 6, 2010, 01:15 AM
I'm in a somewhat similar position to the OP, except that I already have a stripped lower. This Spikes upper (http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=XSTU5035&groupid=150) looks perfect to me. It has exactly the features I want -- 16" length, mid-length gas system, a rail on top (to attach an MBUS now and maybe a reflex sight later), and a traditional forward grip (I really don't like the quad rails). And that price is really good. But is the quality up to par, or should I look for a BCM instead?

kwelz
August 6, 2010, 03:03 AM
Spikes aren't bad, but the BCM are far better for about the same money.

TonyAngel
August 6, 2010, 03:40 AM
I've handled and shot both the BCM stuff and Spike's stuff. I wouldn't say that the BCM is far better. I mean, receivers are receivers. As long as they are milspec and all of the holes are in the right places, the brand doesn't matter. Both BCM and Spike's use quality barrels and bolt carrier groups which are the most important parts. I'd say it's a toss up. I'm personally partial to BCM stuff. Why? I don't know. I just am. The service is good and I've always had good experiences with them and they ship pretty darned quick.

juk
August 6, 2010, 03:45 AM
I didn't start my builds to save money as much as knowing the gun inside and out and controlling the parts that went in it. A bare-bones Del-ton kit will run you 650 or so (after shipping and lower receiver). I've got 300 in my lower alone, but it was built with quality parts. Installing the lower parts kit is not difficult. Just look at some of the videos on youtube, read a few guides, gather tools, and get to work.

HGUNHNTR
August 6, 2010, 12:22 PM
Posted by Azziza Spikes aren't bad, but the BCM are far better for about the same money.
__________________
Not to start a brand x vs. brand y argument but how is BCM better than the spikes? This is not meant to be inflammatory, just a serious question. If you look at a spec sheet they seem to be identical with properly staked keys, mpi bolts, chrome lined chambers and bores, etc. The spikes is $480 complete, the BCM is $480 without the bolt,carrier, and charging handle so its about $150 higher. I know BCM is great and their Koolaide is wonderful over ar AR-15.com, but there don't seem to be any real world differences between them and Spikes. Are there?

LeonCarr
August 6, 2010, 03:14 PM
Spend another 100-200 bucks and get an LMT or a BCM. If you are confident that your Model 1 Sales AR is just as good, take that rifle to a training class and put 1000 rounds through it in a couple of days. I know which rifle will make it through with the least malfunctions.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

SSN Vet
August 6, 2010, 03:40 PM
I was in the same boat 2.5 years ago...

For my first build, I opted for a 'kit' from Delton, which was really a completely assembled upper, with a stock and a LPK. I wanted to make sure the head spacing was done by someone who was trained, and didn't want to buy the block to hold the upper in a vice.

I picked up the stripped lower and the rest is history.

With all the detailed instructions, with pics of each step available on the web, putting together a lower was not difficult at all. I didn't even purchased a multi-tool and I already had punches.

The rifle has been 100% reliable for my purposes (target shooting on the range and plinking in the gravel pit) and is very accurate. The whole gig (with mags) cost me about $650.

Is it the "best" ... no, far from it. But then again, I am not an LEO, whose life may depend on his patrol rifle. Some day when I'm rich and hopefully not famous, I'll build another with hand picked parts. But as of today, I have no regrets with my decision.

Read up on the AR15.com articles and see what you think your really need.

If you're not interested in dropping ~$500 on an optic, I would suggest saving some money and getting an A1 or A2 upper, rather than purchasing an A3 upper and then having to buy a DCH or BIS, as the traditional AR sights are excellent.

I would also suggest getting a middy, but will let you read up on that and convince yourself.

Whether you drop $600 or $1,200, you are going to love having an AR.

What I find amusing is when guys pump >$1k into their AR and then pick up a CMMG 22 conversion kit and that's all they shoot with it. ;)

kwelz
August 6, 2010, 05:10 PM
I don't see that as inflammatory.
First off let me say that I think Spikes has come a long way. A year ago I would not have suggested Spikes to anyone. However they have really improved int he last months.

That being said they still have a way to go.

There is a lot of info in this thread.

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=54922

TonyAngel
August 6, 2010, 05:18 PM
Is money an issue and are you just frugal? If money is an issue, buying the kit that gets you the best price/performance balance is the way to go. The problem is that once you have the rifle, it's just beginning.

Handguards and stocks can be a money pit and don't forget mags. You'll need lots of mags. And ammo. Lots and lots of ammo.

If you think you're going to want to "customize" your build, consider that now if you can and just save up. You can order complete uppers from both BCM and Spike's as stripped or loaded out as you want.

As far as BCM and Spike's go as vendors, yes, they sell good stuff. Is it the best? I don't know. I use their stuff and have been more than satisfied with it. The key is customer service. From what I've seen, if you have a problem, they don't start off with an assumption that you did something wrong. They will walk you through the problem and make it right.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Complete AR-15 kits on the net?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!