AR build in CA, need suggestions


Mauser lover
June 21, 2012, 12:16 AM
I am looking to build an AR on the cheep, here in lovely Fascist California.

Question one: What is the cheapest decent quality lower receiver? I am not looking for match grade accuracy, so anything that is legal here qualifies.

Question two: I want a 16 inch or so long barrel, do I have to be longer than 16 inches, or do I just have to make the 16 inch mark? I think that I have to be above 16 inches, just not sure. Is there some way of permanently attaching a compensator, not a flash suppressor, because we all know that flash suppressors are evil, to make it greater than 16 inches?

Question three: Where do I get a lower parts kit that comes without the mag release and comes with a bullet button instead?

This is my first AR build, so I need all the help that I can get :D

Mods, if this needs to go to "Gunsmithing and Repairs", please move it.

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June 21, 2012, 12:26 AM
1. PSA lowers are a great deal, especially when they're on sale.

2. Just has to meet 16", but most commercial barrels are a hair over just in case. Compensators can be permanently attached by tack welds, pinning and welding, or 1100 degree silver solder.

3. Can't help on this one, CT at least allows us to have real magazines. :o

June 21, 2012, 12:34 AM
If you don't mind polymer this one is CA compliant complete lower for $129.99. If you are going to go the bullet button route, you might as well put a flash hider on. Once you fix a 10 round mag you can have as many "evil" features as you want.

June 21, 2012, 01:02 AM
Yeah get all the features; the bullet button is not the end of the world at the end of the world!

Mauser lover
June 21, 2012, 01:11 AM
Okay, I do mind plastic, but I am not really a fan of aluminum either, and for that price I like it. Is there as long a life on those plastic ones as there on the aluminum ones? It will be .223/5.56, as far as I plan right now.

Are there going to be any headspacing problems if I get the barrel and upper receiver separately? Or should I just get a complete upper assembly and bypass the problem?

Does anybody have any suggestions for "value priced" upper assemblies? Again, no need to do anything special, a piston system is what I am looking for, but it isn't a deal breaker if it is a standard system.

I really want a compensator, because I don't really care about hiding the flash on the gun range, and who needs a giant sign on their rifle that says "Hey, look at me, I look scary!" Yeah, yeah, I know, a compensator looks just as scary...

June 21, 2012, 01:23 AM
One of the mods has been testing out one of those lowers. "Dr. Rob" here is a link to the thread.

I have played with several "low budget" AR kits. I would recommend PSA, but model 1 sales treated me right too.

June 21, 2012, 06:12 AM
What part of CA are you located in?

Some CA gun stores have sales that can help you out.

Mauser lover
June 21, 2012, 10:50 AM
The "Central Coast".

That plastic lower looks like it is just barely cheaper than a PSA...

June 21, 2012, 02:34 PM
There are also a couple of different bullet buttons to think about. For $2 more than the regular I got a bullet button convertible. It has an allen screw that adjusts it from mag lock to bullet button to regular mag release. Kinda neat for converting back and forth from a featureless rifle to use your pre-ban high-caps.

June 21, 2012, 06:05 PM
A California company that I've purchased lowers from is JD machining.

Bought several at a gun show in Orange county for 100$. Of course though two months after I bought them the local gun shop "Turners Outdoorsman" was selling them for 90$. They are standard AR receivers that can be sold either in or out of California.

Have already put together a 6.5 Grendel that I'm very happy with. Just ordered a 7.62 Russian to build another.

The bullet button is an accessory you can buy for about 20$ at a gun shop or a gun show. More likely than not the store you purchase your stripped lower will also sell you your button. Don't know of any lower parts kit that is button specific. When you assemble your lower just save the factory original mag release button and spring in case you leave the state.

June 21, 2012, 08:30 PM
I too, am stuck in the Peoples Republic of ********** (at least for a couple more years). I built a legal AR via a PSA lower + a PSA complete parts kit. Trust me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the PSA lowers or rifle kits. Don't let the gear snobs fool you, they have been acquiring a reputation as a well made rifle at a very good price point. Just order the bullet button separate and install it when you assemble the rifle

As to your question regarding barrel length, as long as the barrel is 16" long INCLUDING the flash suppressor and/or the muzzle device, it is legal. As has been already stated, if the barrel itself is under the 16" measurement, the muzzle device has to be permanently attached.

Here is a pic of my PSA M4gery. 14.7" barrel with a pinned (from PSA) flash hider w/Vortex SPARC red dot sight.

BTW, I too, live on the Central Coast.

Mauser lover
June 22, 2012, 12:58 AM
Haha, I will be out of here in August! (For at least a couple of years...)

Whereabouts do you live in the central coast? San Luis Obispo County?

June 22, 2012, 07:59 AM
J.d.machine....have built 3 rifles using their stuff and love them. 6.8 7.62x39 and 556. Great people to deal with

Tony P.

June 22, 2012, 08:43 AM
Haha, I will be out of here in August! (For at least a couple of years...)

Lucky guy. All I am waiting for is to retire (early), then I'm outa here

Whereabouts do you live in the central coast? San Luis Obispo County?

Good guess, I'm in AG

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