If you were going to build a defense AR-15, with the best of everything, what parts?


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harmon rabb
August 7, 2011, 03:23 PM
Instead of buying a P90 as a christmas present to myself this year, I'm going to build something more practical -- another AR. My current AR is just a base Sabre Defense M4.

I'm not a world class shooter, so I don't necessarily need sub MOA groups and the like. What I'd like to build is a 16" or 18" barrel AR, carbine or mid length gas system, with the highest quality, most durable components out there.

I've never looked into building an AR before, so I don't really know who to go with for the various parts.

Thoughts?

(oh, one caveat, none of this piston crap. DI works fine, and the piston systems make the rifle heavier. if i wanted a high quality piston rifle, I'd buy a SCAR and be done with it).

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mod60rimfire
August 7, 2011, 03:32 PM
1. acquire cheap lower that is still milspec(they are all the same really)
2. acquire nice barrel
3. acquire nice stripped upper(any good one) and rest of parts
4. ???
5. PROFIT?

You dont need a "elite tacticool" rifle and throw out MOA.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 7, 2011, 03:34 PM
If it were me, I would spend that much money on ammo and go take my AR out and shoot, shoot, shoot!

You will get really good with your existing gun, if you give it a chance!

jawn
August 7, 2011, 03:55 PM
NiB BCGs seem to be the flavor of the month. NiB coatings are quite impressive, and should add to the durability of a rifle. Otherwise, what the other folks said - buy a bunch of ammo. Any gun is only really as useful as the amount of ammo you have for it, and any rifle is only as good as the shooter.

harmon rabb
August 7, 2011, 04:11 PM
You guys aren't helping. Lol. I want to build this.

Mike1234567
August 7, 2011, 04:22 PM
This may not be what you want to hear but I wouldn't build an AR for SHTF. I'd build an AK because I'd be less concerned about MOA accuracy than just being tough-as-nails reliable.

harmon rabb
August 7, 2011, 04:39 PM
This may not be what you want to hear but I wouldn't build an AR for SHTF. I'd build an AK because I'd be less concerned about MOA accuracy than just being tough-as-nails reliable.

I have an AK 47 and 74. I think the reliability difference between AR's and AK's is overblown... and AK's aren't modular like an AR. Good luck scavenging parts from a WASR to fix a Tantal. On the other hand, your chances of scavenging parts from one AR to fix another are excellent.

I think an AR plus a choice selection of repair parts is probably a better SHTF rifle than an AK.

M1key
August 7, 2011, 05:33 PM
Why build one when you already have a darn good one in the Sabre Def?

Besides, you may end up overlooking something in the build and lose some of the higher reliability you were trying to achieve.

JMO

M

bri
August 7, 2011, 05:34 PM
Jeeze, the guy asks a reasonable question and there's already replies about how an AK would be more reliable after planet nibru collides with the earth and armegedon is upon us?

Too funny.

Harmon - check out the CHF barrels from Noveske (and Palmetto State now, as well, I hear). BCM or Colt BCG. BCM gunfighter charging handle maybe?

harmon rabb
August 7, 2011, 05:38 PM
Why build one when you already have a darn good one in the Sabre Def?

I know it's a decent rifle, but I'm pretty sure it's not the best of everything, like I'm looking for. Why? For the hell of it, and because I want one, that's why. I don't think the zombies are coming (any time soon anyway ;)), and I don't think were facing a global collapse of society like in the book Patriots.

Hacker15E
August 7, 2011, 05:54 PM
According to the enthusiast forums, Colt is the gold standard for AR rifles.

If you're looking for a particular vendor to buy from, the popular "top tier" vendors are Bravo Company (BCM), Daniel Defense, LMT, and Noveske.

dldbrandon
August 7, 2011, 06:24 PM
Didn't sabre def. go out of business? I thought they got charged with breaking several import and export laws and had to declare bankruptcy... There website doesn't work.

harmon rabb
August 7, 2011, 06:29 PM
Didn't sabre def. go out of business?

Yep. They got owned. Clearly, my rifle was purchased prior to this.

HOLY DIVER
August 7, 2011, 07:28 PM
can't go wrong with BCM parts.

taliv
August 7, 2011, 07:41 PM
good grief you guys. at least try to answer the question.

i honestly don't think you can build a better gun with higher quality more durable parts than the KAC SR15.

however, i'd look at some of the following:

JP bolt made from better steel than milspec (e.g. BCM) http://www.jprifles.com/1.4.7_bc.php#1, though i'd put it in a BCM carrier.

Noveske barrel with the double-thick chrome
magpul UBR stock
geissele SSA-E trigger

Vltor MUR upper with a DD lite rail, or the vltor 1-piece upper with rail

more later... wife is calling :)

mc223
August 7, 2011, 07:50 PM
Each to his own with the best of anything. Especially AR parts. I think that all the parts are made in one big factory.(probably some place like Olympic or DPMS) and sold throughout the market. So what are you really getting anyway?

In this market I do not believe you can buy quality or reliability. I think you are just trying to buy better luck than the guy on the other side.



Your money, spend it as you will. Maybe the P-90 aint such a bad idea any way.





o

kscharlie
August 7, 2011, 08:12 PM
I built one for the same reason that you want to build one. I won't go through all the thought processes that went into this but here is what I ended up with.

1. Double Star stripped lower receiver. Good, high quality mil-spec lower made of 7075 T6 aluminum.
2. DPMS lower parts kit. Many lower parts kit on the market. Again, just make sure the parts are all mil-spec.
3. BCM 16" standard mid-length upper, complete. I went with a complete upper because I did not want to purchase tools required to assemble an upper that I would most likely use only once. Plus, this upper had every single feature that I wanted. To this upper, I added a BCM M16 Auto Bolt Carrier Group, mil-spec M4 6-position stock, buffer tube and spring, Cavalry Arms mid-length hand guard, and MagPul trigger guard.

BCM and Colt are two manufacturers that meet or exceed every single military specification.

I have been very happy with the end result. Not lots of rounds through the gun, about 1k, but have had zero problems of any kind. IIRC, about $950 total in the gun.

full metal
August 8, 2011, 09:15 AM
Smith and Wesson VTAC with a Leupold Scope and lots of mags and ammo. How much is your life worth to you my friend? mine is priceless only the best will do for when the SHTF, Nuff said.

TonyAngel
August 8, 2011, 11:26 AM
Is there any particular reason why you are insisting on building it yourself? I'm just asking because the only real advantage to building it yourself is that you get to choose the parts that you prefer to use. If you just want a good rifle, there are many to choose from.

In any case, if I were to build a rifle with what I thought were the best parts (or some of the best parts) I'd go with Daniel Defense receivers, DD or BCM bolt/carrier group, Magpul stock, DD or Noveske barrel and either DD or Larue handguards for free float or Magpul for something more conventional.

Moose458
August 8, 2011, 11:32 AM
I have an AK 47 and 74. I think the reliability difference between AR's and AK's is overblown... and AK's aren't modular like an AR. Good luck scavenging parts from a WASR to fix a Tantal. On the other hand, your chances of scavenging parts from one AR to fix another are excellent.

I think an AR plus a choice selection of repair parts is probably a better SHTF rifle than an AK.
Parts from an AK 47 wont match parts from an AK 74, but using this example you can also say that parts from an AR-10 wont fit an AR-15. Anything can happen, however, I have never had a part break or need to be replaced on any of my AKs.

But, getting back to the subject, as stated before the only real advantage to building an AR, is that you end up with exactly the rifle you want plus there is a lot of satisfaction in putting your own rifle together. If you start out with high quality parts, you will end up with a high quality AR. I've been real happy with everything I've gotten from BCM and their CS is top notch.

Tirod
August 8, 2011, 11:34 AM
What parts might be in it for the extreme use are already out there - it's called milspec, a minimum standard to protect the taxpayer and soldier, which provides a floor of reliability that will endure 5-10,000 rounds. You will never shoot that much, and likely won't survive carrying 500.

Bluntly, no one person will be guaranteed any life expectancy after 30 days. If it's really really SHTF, then there will be little food by then. Water, good luck, after three days you will need to purify every drop, you cannot carry enough of it.

So many of the gun threads totally ignore the logistics of survival - where are you going to get the majority of your basic needs? Water, food, shelter? You can't run and gun enough from one source to another without confronting numerous other people equally concerned about maintaining possession of their meager supply.

What gun you have or use will only take disposable income away from being able to maintain a potable source of water. Frankly, you'd be better off with a water collection system that can hold enough to ride through a dry summer, and a purification method that needs no arcane or hard to find chemical. Rainwater collection and a drum of bleach will be a better investment than ion treated parts. A loading press and brass catcher will do more than expecting to pick up ammo off the dead. No guarantee it won't be .30-30 - America's most popular cartridge.

Just leave it at iron sights, or a simple 2x, if it needs batteries, they will all eventually be used up. Remember, it's SHTF, the factories are all shut down, no transport, no stores, nada. Give that more than a few years, no socks or underwear, either. Your last battery might be used up as you listen to the final radio station sign off in a hail of gunfire.

Complete political collapse would be a picnic, just stand in an area clear cut by an EF5 and see nothing usable as far as the eye can see, then think SHTF. If the infrastructure really goes down, there won't be firefighting, entire suburbs and cities will burn to the ground - set to the torch by looters, opportunists, or those who lash out and want everyone to suffer equally. Natural fires from storms will sweep uncontrolled county wide, just like they used to do.

A working .30-30 lever will be the SHTF gun, it's the one cartridge that can be found nearly everywhere. 5.56 will be hoarded, only .Gov issued after the stores close, and resistance to the Authority Exercising Jurisdiction will be put down severely. Open carry of any military weapon could be met with Shoot on Sight.

That wonderful fantasy gun now the pride and joy of the local District Chief. Stray dogs being fattened for slaughter cracking your bones.

SHTF indeed. Childrens game. Lets start talking Apocalypse, now that's a disaster.

Entirely why these threads are entirely worthless. A gun will be the least useful answer. Clean water, some food, a place to stay warm, and a simple knife are what our ancestors prized in the day. Not having the skills to obtain the first three will kill more people in thirty days than not having a gun.

Focusing on firearms as the solution will create more zombies than survivors.

Cal-gun Fan
August 8, 2011, 11:34 AM
Parts from an AK 47 wont match parts from an AK 74, but using this example you can also say that parts from an AR-10 wont fit an AR-15. Anything can happen, however, I have never had a part break or need to be replaced on any of my AKs.
Stock, pistol grip, handguards, dust cover, recoil spring...I think that there are a few more that are interchangeable from a 74 to a 47.

taliv
August 8, 2011, 01:18 PM
So many of the gun threads totally ignore the logistics of survival

yes, because this is a gun forum, not a survival forum.

and if this thread is going to remain open, it will continue to discuss firearms, not water supplies, political collapse, etc

kamagong
August 8, 2011, 02:14 PM
i honestly don't think you can build a better gun with higher quality more durable parts than the KAC SR15.

^ This.

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/7682/kaclmt.jpg

The only problem may be that the SR-15 uses proprietary parts. Those proprietary parts are real improvements however, and they are designed for a minimum of 20,000 rounds. For hypothesis sake let's pretend that I could actually find those thousands of rounds and manage to wear out the barrel or the bolt of my SR-15. Not a real big problem as the SR-15 upper is like any other AR upper and will fit with any in-spec AR lower. Problem solved. Swap out the worn out SR-15 upper with the spare Noveske Light Recce in my safe and I'm back in business.

sv51macross
August 8, 2011, 03:46 PM
^ Why not just use the Noveske barrel from the get-go? Don't they use M249 barrel blanks? Double-chrome lined and the best possible barrel steel. I think that in a semi-auto AR-15 it would the the proverbial cockroach. Long after you and I are gone, it'll still be around.

kamagong
August 8, 2011, 04:13 PM
^ Why not just use the Noveske barrel from the get-go? Don't they use M249 barrel blanks? Double-chrome lined and the best possible barrel steel. I think that in a semi-auto AR-15 it would the the proverbial cockroach. Long after you and I are gone, it'll still be around.

The Noveske is a highly refined AR, made without cutting any corners as all firearms should be. On the other hand, the KAC SR-15 is an evolution of the AR platform. Its gas system is longer than a midlength's and shorter than a rifle's leading to increased reliability and a softer recoil impulse compared to carbine and midlength ARs. The SR-15's proprietary bolt has several improvements (i.e., rounded lugs, dual spring extractor, stronger cam pin and firing pin). The KAC BUIS is capable of being used out to 600m, not that I can see out that far. And its barrel is top notch as well. A well-known trainer, Travis Haley (formerly of Magpul Dynamics), has 80,000 documented rounds through the barrel of his SR-15.

On top of that, the balance of the SR-15 has to be felt to be believed. It feels much more lively than my Noveske.

ugaarguy
August 8, 2011, 04:49 PM
JP bolt made from better steel than milspec (e.g. BCM) http://www.jprifles.com/1.4.7_bc.php#1, though i'd put it in a BCM carrier.
I'm going to strongly disagree. A couple (few?) years ago someone here on THR asked why AR bolts were made from Carpenter 158 steel, rather than something stronger & newer. My reply was that you don't want the bolt to be made from stronger steel than the carrier, and especially not the barrel extension. You want the easiest to change part to be the one that wears out first. A bolt is easily carried on the rifle (PG or butt stock storage compartment), and is easily swapped out with no tools. The carrier is easily swapped as well, but is a bit harder to carry, and, other than the carrier key, they don't wear out. The barrel extension, as we know, is an armorer level replacement with specialized tools required. YMMV.

sarduy
August 8, 2011, 05:10 PM
so you want to build a shtf rifle....

that's cool,

cmmg m4 profile upper
cmmg lower part kit
any milspec lower, cmmg, spikes, stag, double star...(like someone said before, they are the same)

i recommend BUIS and keep it light as possible, last thing you need is a heavy shtf rifle, another thing is mags... get as much as you can but 10 is my standard, keep them loaded in a bag next to the rifle.

Varob
August 8, 2011, 05:30 PM
If I was building a SHTF rifle, I'd use as many parts as I could from Bravo Co.
BCM

Z-Michigan
August 8, 2011, 05:42 PM
A few options:

1) The aforementioned KAC SR-15 is arguably the best rifle yet made that can still be called an AR15. The main drawbacks are price and proprietary parts. The only part on it that can really be improved is the trigger - the KAC trigger is good, but the Geissele SSA has been shown much more durable in use by the military.

2) The LMT MRP CQB is quite similar to the SR-15 but uses fewer proprietary parts (only the barrel extension and upper receiver are totally incompatible, although it also uses a slightly different gas tube). It's under $2k and IMHO is the best AR15 that has mostly interchangeable parts.

3) Going to a standard pattern AR15 with all or nearly all interchangeable parts with the Colt standard, I would choose any of Daniel Defense, Noveske, or BCM with their respective hammer-forged barrel options. Standard plastic handguards are very durable, but if you must have a quadrail I would suggest a Daniel Defense quadrail. Use top quality parts in the build - namely parts from those three plus Colt and LMT - and the result should be excellent.

TonyAngel
August 8, 2011, 05:50 PM
Whenever someone asks for information relative to what the "best" of anything is, it always opens a can of worms. I tend to try to stick with what I believe to be better, because determining what is the best is a near impossibility.

Some consider the Noveske to be the best. Some consider the Larue to be the best. Still others will argue for the KAC or some other brand. If I was in an argumentative mood, I'd take each opinion and ask that the proponent to prove what he is saying to be true. It can't be done, unless you consider the recitation of specs to be proof.

My personal beater AR is a parts gun. Although it was built with leftover parts, they are what I consider to be "better" parts. Daniel Defense upper, Spike's lower, Geissele trigger, 14.5" Bushmaster barrel, BCM bolt/carrier group and Magpul furniture. This rifle has been wet, dropped in the mud, banged around, etc and it has over 10K rounds through it, all without a hitch. Are the parts that I used the best? I wouldn't make that claim. Would I trade it for a Noveske? In a heartbeat, although I couldn't give you a tangible reason why.

My point is that there is lots of good stuff out there. I wouldn't lose too much sleep trying to figure out what is the best. Get good parts and put it together right and you'll have a good rifle. The reason that I suggested the Daniel Defense parts in my earlier post is because I do believe that their quality control is very good and that the parts that they have made for them (or manufacture themselves) are held to closer toloerances or stricter standards.

MikePaiN
August 8, 2011, 05:52 PM
All you all forgot the most important part for any SHTF AR...........a parts bag.
A few basic tools, a firing pin or two, lots of cotter pins, roll pins and springs. A spray can of lube/cleaner too

BFC
August 8, 2011, 05:57 PM
Standard Mil-spec with an EOtech works pretty good for the guys in Iraq/Afganhistan and the SHTF pretty much everyday there..........

Strykervet
August 8, 2011, 06:24 PM
Didn't sabre def. go out of business? I thought they got charged with breaking several import and export laws and had to declare bankruptcy... There website doesn't work.
Yeah, they also are under federal indictment and one of the things they are in trouble for is selling out of spec parts on the internet. The employees were taking the out of spec stuff they couldn't sell to Sam and selling it online.

For that reason and that reason alone I would not ever buy their stuff. I have no way of knowing if I got the good stuff or the junk without considerable effort and time measuring the thing. Definitely not worth the money in that case.

I second Colt for the best all around. I had a new one in the army and I couldn't tear it up easily. After tens of thousands of rounds, it would still shoot a couple of minutes at 600m. Not bad for a rifle that came with a $600 price tag on the invoice! It came with a blank adapter, a sling, and one mag. FN made the one I used in basic, I think they'd be a big seller but they don't make 'em for civvies. Those were TOUGH M16 rifles. NO finish at all left on them, shiny metal. But they worked just fine.

The rifle I am currently building uses a Satern barrel, JP Ent. bolt carrier, RRA two stage trigger, KAC free float rail, and that is about it. The rest of the parts are just quality milspec, like an AR Stoner buttstock, DPMS small parts, and Aero Precision receivers (cheap milspec like the first fellow said).

I'd stick with mostly milspec stuff myself, where I'd splurge is on the barrel and the trigger (but you can make a DPMS standard trigger into a GREAT trigger with a little polishing). The barrel more than anything else determines the accuracy of the AR --get a good one. Satern was the best I could find. The KAC free float is probably as good as the next free float system, but I like it because I have used their stuff a lot and it doesn't fall off in the field. I also have a ton of panels for them, so that helps. The JP bolt carrier is just the nicest I could find. At least it seemed to have the most attention to detail regarding the millwork. It cost $30 more than the next nicest milspec carrier with a bolt, but I didn't need the bolt so I went with the JP.

On the other hand, I have a rifle that I built to see how cheap I could build it. It got Oly receivers, an Oly rail (not as bad as I thought it would be actually) and an Oly barrel and bolt carrier. The internals are a mish mash of stuff I had in my box, the buttstock is army surplus M4 along with the pistol grip. The M4 carry handle (which it seldom wears) is army surplus, either Colt or FN. The trigger is DPMS left over from another build (4.5lb., crisp and just awesome, all it needed was a little work). That rifle shoots about 1.5-2MOA and has been very reliable. I use it for my HD rifle in fact. But I've shot enough through it to know what works and what doesn't. All in all, it cost about $400. It would have maybe cost $600 if I had to buy all the parts I used at once. For a 100% milspec rifle.

If you are doing this for reliability, you may be better off getting the Colt. Just note that when you build a rifle, getting it right is all on you. The best advice I can give on building an AR is to go and get the army armorer manual. The one that shows how to install barrels, the whole nine yards.

Having go no-go gauges are nice too, and you'll definitly need an action block, a vise, and a barrel wrench, as well as the appropriate punches. By the time you invest in all this, you could have gotten a nicer rifle... I'd only invest in the build materials if you plan on building more than one. Or try and find a buddy that wants to build one too and then you each get half the supplies or something.

Oh yeah, also stay away from the bolt on or set screw parts. Like gas blocks; hard to get a pinned gas block these days. That is because they are marketed to the tacticool crowd that hasn't spent a month under a rock in the rain. They are sold to folks that want to take off their traditional sight tower and replace it with a cool looking flip sight. But the selfsame folks don't own punches or action blocks so they sell them as bolt on pieces. Then they can mangle the old ones off and just bolt on the new ones for that tacticool look. FWIW, I tested a set screw gas block in the army. We just kept loading mags and feeding them into the rifle and pulling the burst trigger ten times, then reload. We did this for a few hundred rounds, let it cool, then did it all over again. After about a 1000+ rounds or so, sparks and gas escaped, and then it just blew it off the end of the rifle. End of that test.

And as far as flip up sights go, why spend hundreds of dollars for a sight that WILL NOT be accurate at distance? The KAC one is made for 600m, sells for $200, and may be good to 300m. And that is the best one. I haven't found a front sight that works at all. Any movement whatsoever negates the usefulness of the sight, especially the front sight. For the price, a backup reflex sight, one of the tiny ones, would be more useful. But what I do is install the regular sight tower. Then I just use the carry handle when and if I need it. It gets tied off on the rucksack, always there if I need it.

For SHTF, just look at what the army uses. Forget the AK, we don't live in a 3rd world backwater. As soon as SHTF, the borders will be locked down, the economy will stall. Good luck maintaining those AK rifles, better luck getting ammo for something you can't easily reload. As I recall, every maker in America makes an AR now. Were I in Russia or Africa, I'd go with the AK. Save the AK for the really bad times when all the AR parts run out... But you'd likely be the last man standing, so perhaps it doens't matter anyway.

Fishbed77
August 8, 2011, 06:46 PM
Quote:
This may not be what you want to hear but I wouldn't build an AR for SHTF. I'd build an AK because I'd be less concerned about MOA accuracy than just being tough-as-nails reliable.

I have an AK 47 and 74. I think the reliability difference between AR's and AK's is overblown... and AK's aren't modular like an AR. Good luck scavenging parts from a WASR to fix a Tantal. On the other hand, your chances of scavenging parts from one AR to fix another are excellent.

I think an AR plus a choice selection of repair parts is probably a better SHTF rifle than an AK.

What he said. ^

ARs are much easier to work on, and unless you are a complete doofus when it comes to basic maintenance, are every bit as reliable.

harmon rabb
August 11, 2011, 05:11 PM
yes, because this is a gun forum, not a survival forum.

and if this thread is going to remain open, it will continue to discuss firearms, not water supplies, political collapse, etc

i don't actually think society is going to collapse or that zombies are going to invade. i just want an excuse to build a top notch AR. why build instead of buy? satisfaction of doing it myself.

Dr.Rob
August 11, 2011, 05:29 PM
I'd buy a rifle already built by a reputable mfg and a few spare parts.

kamagong
August 11, 2011, 06:04 PM
i don't actually think society is going to collapse or that zombies are going to invade. i just want an excuse to build a top notch AR. why build instead of buy? satisfaction of doing it myself.

If that's the case, I'd suggest you familiarize yourself with the Bravo Company website.

Here are the parts I'd use for a top notch build -

BCM BFH 16" midlength upper
Noveske forged flared lower
Daniel Defense LPK
Geissele SSA trigger
LMT enhanced BCG
BCM Gunfighter CH (Model 4 medium charging latch)
Magpul MOE grip
Vltor A5 receiver extension, buffer, and spring
Magpul CTR stock (ACS if I wanted storage)
Troy TRX Extreme 13" (or DD Lite 12" if I wanted a rail)
Troy front and rear BUIS
AAC Blackout FH (or Battle Comp 1.0 if you wanted)
Aimpoint T1 in a Larue Tactical mount
SureFire X300 light
Blue Force Gear padded 2-point sling

I think that would do nicely.

Strahley
August 11, 2011, 07:14 PM
i would buy an ak that already was bullet proof and spend $12.50 on ammo

HammerheadSSN663
August 11, 2011, 08:28 PM
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=13532

kwelz
August 11, 2011, 09:27 PM
If we are talking the best then I would go with a Noveske N4 14.5" midd w/pinned vortexy. Add a rail system, light and an Aimpoint H-1. Perfect defensive carbine. No muss no fuss.

Aiko492
August 11, 2011, 09:36 PM
Check out Palmetto Armory, they have parts as well as complete uppers, lowers, bcg's...excellent reputation. Very affordable for quality.

Boanerges57
August 12, 2011, 01:19 PM
Dont order a spikes tactical lower unless you want to wait FOREVER (3 months and counting)
I am getting a grendel barrel and upper, but i realize that this isnt to everyones taste or needs. I prefer stainless steel barrels to chromed, but i realize also that most people are going to want chromed. Noveske does a good chrome lined barrel.
I would get a nice monolithic upper if it is in your budget. hard to beat those since few companies make them and the only ones im aware of are very high quality.
You might want to look into the awesome world of bolt carrier groups and coatings. NP3 is pretty good, chrome is better than nothing, very smooth and easier to clean.
Timney or cmc make some nice trigger options.
The whole problem with building an AR is that there are so many good components.
the crap ones are usually easy to spot. The good ones are just hard to decide between.
YHM manufactures a lot of good quality components.

valnar
August 12, 2011, 01:37 PM
Forgive me Mods, I'll make it short:

I must have missed THR conversation 10 years ago that started this fantasy about "finding parts" being an important factor in choosing a gun, like a modular AR. In a truly apocalyptic scenario, you're just going to pick up the dead guys' gun, not sit in a corner and rebuild yours. Guns will be plentiful. Ammo will not. MidwayUSA won't be shipping DPMS uppers if FedEx ain't around.

Now, if you're talking about keeping your gun working for decades to come in a civilized world, that's different.

Andrew Wyatt
August 12, 2011, 04:22 PM
I'd ring up JP and ask them nicely to make me one of their tactical guns.

LiquidTension
August 13, 2011, 12:45 AM
Bravo Company, Noveske, Daniel Defense, or Spikes would be my choices.

rsilvers
August 13, 2011, 08:16 PM
I have maybe 30 or 40 ARs. I would say just buy an SR15E3 and be done with it.

valnar
August 13, 2011, 08:23 PM
@rsilvers. :eek:

Wow. What did the last 25 do that the first 5 didn't do? Just curious....not knocking the collection at all.

rsilvers
August 13, 2011, 08:29 PM
Most of them are M16s. Ever since I saw the TV show SWAT as a kid, I wanted a rack of M16s.

rsilvers
August 13, 2011, 08:31 PM
I would be very happy with a Colt if they made a mid-length gas system, but I can't love a 16 inch barrel 5.56mm rifle with a short carbine gas system.

valnar
August 13, 2011, 08:36 PM
Pictures are a must.

Hacker15E
August 13, 2011, 10:24 PM
I can't love a 16 inch barrel 5.56mm rifle with a short carbine gas system

Why exactly is that?

I've been reading ARFcom and M4C a while, and still can't find a cogent rationale for the love of the mid-length gas system (and the related dislike of the carbine gas system). There is the perception of reduced recoil, and wives' tales of damage to the action because of the gas pressure....

...yet there are a lot of M4s out there getting a lot of use with the military in a combat environment, and nobody seems to be able to produce evidence of this damage.

LawScholar
August 13, 2011, 10:35 PM
Daniel Defense
Noveske
Colt
BCM
LaRue
Magpul Components
Troy Industries

If I was building and money was not an issue, these manufacturers would be my toolbox.

ugaarguy
August 13, 2011, 10:38 PM
...yet there are a lot of M4s out there getting a lot of use with the military in a combat environment, and nobody seems to be able to produce evidence of this damage.
To be fair, those M4s - and the earlier Colt 653 & derivatives - have 14.5" barrels with a carbine length gas system. The longer 16" bbl. with carbine length increases dwell time, and hence increases pressure & carrier velocity. The 16" bbl. mid length gas tube essentially replicates the pressure, dwell time, and bolt velocity of a 14.5" bbl. w/ carbine length gas system (Mist Wolf or others can clarify anything I stated incorrectly, but that's essentially the concept). Of course, the easy solution is to use a heavier buffer to slow the cyclic rate.

rsilvers
August 14, 2011, 06:40 AM
Why exactly is that?

I've been reading ARFcom and M4C a while, and still can't find a cogent rationale for the love of the mid-length gas system (and the related dislike of the carbine gas system). There is the perception of reduced recoil, and wives' tales of damage to the action because of the gas pressure....

...yet there are a lot of M4s out there getting a lot of use with the military in a combat environment, and nobody seems to be able to produce evidence of this damage.

A 14.5 inch should have a carbine length gas - or maybe an inch longer. It is a 16 inch barrel that I was speaking of.

There is no reduced recoil and not sure why anyone would think that. A carbine gas system has more gas port erosion, and a faster rate of fire change over the life of the barrel and earlier unlocking of the bolt while pressure is higher, raising extraction forces. Once you know it is not as good, it makes no sense to want to still do it that way.

12131
August 14, 2011, 04:27 PM
@rsilvers.

Wow. What did the last 25 do that the first 5 didn't do? Just curious....not knocking the collection at all.
By your logic, why 5 when 2, or 1, would do? Folks buy same style gun for whatever personal reasons of theirs.

To rsilvers, I would love to see a pic of your AR collection. And, I thought I was nut about the EBR.:evil:

Hacker15E
August 14, 2011, 06:01 PM
A carbine gas system has more gas port erosion, and a faster rate of fire change over the life of the barrel and earlier unlocking of the bolt while pressure is higher, raising extraction forces. Once you know it is not as good, it makes no sense to want to still do it that way.

Again, I see a lot of "talk" about this, but still have yet to see an actual firearm in which this problem has occurred.

kwelz
August 14, 2011, 06:09 PM
And how many high round count guns do you have?

rsilvers
August 14, 2011, 06:09 PM
This is why the M4 needed a different / heavier extractor spring than the M16. The real cure would be to length the gas system. The M4 is close enough with carbine gas that it was generally fixable with the extractor spring change, but could still use an extra inch of gas system length.

Let me ask another way. What is the advantage of raising extraction forces, speeding up bolt unlocking, and increasing gas port erosion?

Mad Machinist
August 14, 2011, 07:45 PM
For a defensive AR......I'd go with a DI .45 ACP. no chance of out of battery discharge like the blowback guns, recoil is non existent, they run cleaner than the blowbacks and even if your foe has body armor...hammer center of mass with 4 or 5 230 grain FMJ's and you will definitely make him/her want to find another task to handle other than bothering you.:) Here is a picture of one of mine.....CNC guns lower and my design upper reciever......this is NOT a blow back...it is a locked breech gas operated carbine.....:D On a side note...it is NOT uncomfortable to shoot without ear protection in a social engagement.
http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo121/MadMachinist/th_DSCF0109.jpg (http://s368.photobucket.com/albums/oo121/MadMachinist/?action=view&current=DSCF0109.jpg)

and a video of it being test fired
http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo121/MadMachinist/th_MOV03327.jpg (http://s368.photobucket.com/albums/oo121/MadMachinist/?action=view&current=MOV03327.mp4)

Zerodefect
August 15, 2011, 12:11 AM
The nicest carbine I shot at the last shoot was something like this:

BCM 14.5" Middy with 12" Larue FF rail
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-14-5-Mid-Length-Upper-Receiver-LaRue-Tactical-p/bcm-urg-mid-14%20lt12.htm

PWS FSC566 Pinned Flash hider, some prefer the new Battle Comp 1.5.
BCM bolt carrier group
Mil spec or Gsl 3 gun trigger
Magpul ACS stock
Magpul Moe Grip
Magpul XTM covers
Gear Sector Hand stop
Gear Sector rail sling mount
Magul Sling mount plate
Magpul Ms2 sling
Aimpoint T1 in a Larue tall mount
BCM large charging handle
Stag ambi safety
Noveske Lower (any lower will do)
Stag lower parts kit
H1 or H2 buffer
Magpul Pmag 30
Magpul BAD lever
Troy BUIS
Larue offset QD light mount for G2 LED

kwelz
August 15, 2011, 01:14 AM
Zerodefect has the right idea. It is amazing how much shorter a 14.5 feels over a 16. While there are some minor things I would do different on the gun he linked the core idea is pretty much what I consider the optimal non-NFA defensive firearm.

I would not suggest going with a pistol caliber AR. While they are neat toys, even a .45 is going tofall short of a 5.56 rifle round. If you are going that rout then you may as well use a pistol. Not that a pistol is a bad choice. But it does take away the advantages of using a carbine when you use a pistol round in it.

JustinJ
August 15, 2011, 10:58 AM
I'd say go with a pencil barrel. With the exception of an SPR type rifle i see no reason for a semi-auto civilain AR to have anything thicker. I just bought a Colt LE6720 and plan on improving accordingly to make my ultimate AR:
Troy TRX modular battle rail mid length
YH Flip Up front Site
Matech BUIS
DD single point sling attachment
DD vertical foregrip
YH Phantom Flash Hider for 5.56 Phantom Suppressor
Vltor Clubfoot stock
The stock trigger is surprisingly nice but if i were to change i'd go with a RR

harmon rabb
August 16, 2011, 07:36 PM
If you are going that rout then you may as well use a pistol. Not that a pistol is a bad choice. But it does take away the advantages of using a carbine when you use a pistol round in it.

I'm totally with you. ESPECIALLY 45acp which barely gains anything with additional barrel length.

The point of a rifle is to fire a rifle round. In my own very anecdotal tests, I've fired a 45acp, 9mm, etc vs. a 223 at objects. The different in damage is massive. The pistol rounds don't come close to doing the damage to random junk that 223 does.

rsilvers
August 16, 2011, 07:41 PM
There are not too many good reasons to take a rifle and shoot pistol ammo in it. You lose both power and capacity at the same time.

reeberom
August 17, 2011, 12:24 AM
For parts - in the range of what you describe - quality tends to go with accuracy.
Meaning: CHF barrel, either DD (Daniel defense), Noveske, Centurion, BCM. They will outlast most any.
G&Rtactical will offer you the best quality LPK's, or try AIMsurplus, they have a good deal on DD lpk's. So will Spikes tactical.
Spikes will also have other quality small parts, as does BCM.
When it comes to receivers, both upper and lower, AIM has killer deals on them, from Spikes. These are quality if you don't mind the roll-mark.
In general you really can't go wrong with anything BCM.

What it really comes down to is you doing research, and see who has what in stock.
Enjoy, you will find it to be highly addictive.

FWIW - m4carbine will be invaluable for detailed info when doing a build, especially your first....

madcratebuilder
August 17, 2011, 09:54 AM
To be fair, those M4s - and the earlier Colt 653 & derivatives - have 14.5" barrels with a carbine length gas system. The longer 16" bbl. with carbine length increases dwell time, and hence increases pressure & carrier velocity. The 16" bbl. mid length gas tube essentially replicates the pressure, dwell time, and bolt velocity of a 14.5" bbl. w/ carbine length gas system (Mist Wolf or others can clarify anything I stated incorrectly, but that's essentially the concept). Of course, the easy solution is to use a heavier buffer to slow the cyclic rate.


+1

The 16" may benefit from the middy gas location, but who wants a 16" carbine? I read a lot about the middies not likes low power ammo and choking on it.

If you feel you carbine is over gassed get a H or H2 buffer, it really is that simple.

gotigers
August 17, 2011, 11:57 AM
Hacker15E

I can't love a 16 inch barrel 5.56mm rifle with a short carbine gas system

Why exactly is that?

I've been reading ARFcom and M4C a while, and still can't find a cogent rationale for the love of the mid-length gas system (and the related dislike of the carbine gas system). There is the perception of reduced recoil, and wives' tales of damage to the action because of the gas pressure....

...yet there are a lot of M4s out there getting a lot of use with the military in a combat environment, and nobody seems to be able to produce evidence of this damage.

Longer gas systems have longer lock/dwell time, less pressure due to more powder being burnt further down the barrel and the longer sight radius due to the FSB being further down the barrel. These effects are barely noticable. The first two listed can cause faster wear on the gun, but the wear would only be noticed after thousands of rounds. The longer lock time slows cycle. This may not reduce recoil, but IMHO it makes the recoil feel "smoother". I like rifle gas systems over them all. I have shot all three gas systems in 3 gun comp. I definitely notice a diference.

Speaking to the statement about midlengths choking on low power ammo. Rifle gas systems seem to have no problem with factory loads, i would guess that this issue would be more a function of the gas port size and/or other components. Maybe with very low FPS or sub sonic home loads.

madcratebuilder
snip

If you feel you carbine is over gassed get a H or H2 buffer, it really is that simple.


+1

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