I usually think things through - AR-15 purchase


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95XL883
December 10, 2012, 03:20 PM
I usually think these things through pretty carefully, researching and reading to the point of being ridiculous. But not this time, so I could use a little advice.

Kansas requires a .25 or larger caliber bullet for deer hunting. My two boys that hunt aren't very confident with my Marlin 30-30. One is a little recoil sensitive so I've been thinking an AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel or 6.8.

So last week I looked online at an Alexander Arms Grendel but I kind of choked on the price. I bounced over to Palmetto State Armory and saw they were out of lower receivers and assembled lowers. I went to Del-ton and while they were out of assembled lowers, they still had a stripped lower. Next thing I knew I had ordered the following, all from Del-ton:

stripped lower
lower parts kit
JP adjustable trigger
Magpul ACS-L Carbine stock with buffer tube, H-buffer and spring
Magpul enhanced rubber buttpad

I must have been nuts at the time. I've never assembled a lower before. Heck, all I've ever successfully done is dis-assemble, clean and re-assemble my pistols and revolvers. I did put a Wild West trigger in my 336 but putting a new hand and cylinder in my 740 resulted in a trip to the smith.

Anyway, I'm perusing the lower assembly threads on AR15.com. While I'm a little apprehensive I'm guessing my boys and I will get the lower assembled successfully. For testing it, I'll probably just use the upper from my Windham Weaponry AR.

So here is where I would appreciate any advice.

On the gun, did I forget any parts that will be needed for the lower?

On an upper, I really don't want to try to assemble an upper. So far my choices are the 20" or 24" barrel complete 6.5 uppers from Alexander Arms. I'm willing to consider a 6.8 or even a 300 Blackout but don't have a clue which one to choose. I'd appreciate any suggestions as to caliber and/or supplier. I don't want to get into expensive match grade assemblies, just something that can take deer/hogs/coyotes out to 350, maybe 400, yards. (Most shots at game will be under 200 yards, but I've come up with a place where we can do some longer range target shooting.)

On optics, my old eyes need a scope and my boys are a lot more confident with a scope. I'm thinking a fixed 4 or 6 power Leupold, maybe a 3 - 9 variable, illuminated would be a plus but realistically it isn't needed. I have limited experience with optics but do have a Leupold VXI 2- 7. Its ability to see clearly in failing light amazes me. I'm sure there are other good brands. Again any suggestions are appreciated.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I'm heading in the right direction. Thanks in advance for any advice. No matter what, the boys and I are going to have fun.

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bhhacker
December 10, 2012, 04:01 PM
I just did my first lower assembly a few weeks ago. Im sure you will be fine! I think you have all that you need so far.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6AZ1jxJGRM



that video helped me out a lot, ymmv, but figured id let you check it out.


Remeber to wrap pliers and such with electrical tape so you dont mar up your finish. My friend didnt and his looks beat up "right out of the box"


be careful with some of those springs because they like to shoot out all over the place, but it should take you 30 minutes, maybe an hour tops and youll have an awesome lower begging to be completed. I know mine is!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

fishshocker
December 10, 2012, 04:28 PM
its easy.

listen to the tape advice.

use the tutorials on ar15.com.

when done be sure to function test everything (just keep the hammer from going full force into the lower, use you hand to slow it down) to be sure the safety and disconnector work correctly. there is a step by step "function test" somewhere on ar15.com.

Telekinesis
December 10, 2012, 04:39 PM
I recently assembled my first stripped lower as well and it really isn't difficult at all. The only thing I had problems with was inserting the roll pins - it really helps to have a third hand to keep the lower still while hammering in the pins (I used a pair of needle nose pliars to compress the roll pin before inserting it) but that could make it a nice father-son(s) project. I would definitely recommend a set of roll-pin punches too if you don't already have a set.

tyeo098
December 10, 2012, 06:13 PM
I stand the lower on its nose, and pound the bolt release in with a long punch.
A couple pieces of scrap wood can make it level and a heckuva lot easier.

cfullgraf
December 10, 2012, 06:46 PM
On an upper, I really don't want to try to assemble an upper. So far my choices are the 20" or 24" barrel complete 6.5 uppers from Alexander Arms. I'm willing to consider a 6.8 or even a 300 Blackout but don't have a clue which one to choose.

I have and enjoy shooting the 300 BLK but I do not consider it having the long range potential you are looking for. So far, it seems most of the stuff for the 300 BLK is geared to the suppressed mall ninja crowd with the supersonic guys as an after thought.

7.62x40NT (Wilson Combat) would be an alternate better suited for hunting but it has supply limitations as I think Wilson Combat is the only folks making barrels and ammunition. 7.62x40NT is similar to 300 BLK but the case is a bit longer and it requires a modified magazine. It gets 100-200 fps more than the 300 BLK.

So, look at the 6.8SPC as an alternate to the Grendel in my opinion.

If you are comfortable working with hand tools such as pin punches, assembling a lower is easy. There are lots of good tutorials and books out there on assembling AR-15s. Get a set of roll pin punches and it will make installing the roll pins easier. (Note, roll pins are also called spring pins) Brownell's is one source for the punches.

Uppers are not any more difficult, but do requires more specialized tools.

adelbridge
December 10, 2012, 06:50 PM
6.8 has plenty of factory ammo and is gaining in popularity.

Fishbed77
December 10, 2012, 09:13 PM
The trickiest part is driving in the trigger guard pin. My suggestion is to use a c-clamp to slowly press it in. That way there is no way to bend the trigger guard "ears."

Quentin
December 10, 2012, 09:47 PM
The lower build is pretty easy. You didn't specifically say you ordered an end plate or castle nut but they usually come with the receiver extension.

Did you order a milspec diameter RE and milspec ACS-L? Commercial would work but I recommend milspec. Just be sure both the RE and stock are the same diameter.

rsilvers
December 10, 2012, 10:32 PM
7.62x40NT (Wilson Combat) would be an alternate better suited for hunting but it has supply limitations as I think Wilson Combat is the only folks making barrels and ammunition. 7.62x40NT is similar to 300 BLK but the case is a bit longer and it requires a modified magazine. It gets 100-200 fps more than the 300 BLK.

Actually it only gets about 70-80 fps more than the 300 BLK. The reason why people have claimed 100-200 is that they are comparing over-pressure hand loads in 7.62x40mm to sub-max factory loads in 300 BLK.

Tim the student
December 10, 2012, 10:54 PM
Watch out for disappearing detents.

Ask me how I know.

dvdcrr
December 10, 2012, 10:55 PM
Let me offer some advice. Google lower parts kit and click the images tab. Print and blow up a diagram with each part labeled so you know exactly what is what. Print out a step by step guide for building the lower . I think I found one on ar15.com. As stated a long punch or piece of brass rod helps with the bolt catch roll pin. The pivot pin detent and spring will probly launch itself across your shop so be careful and A second set of eyes helps but I usually tell guys to keep their paws out of my way. Look at the 20" Bison uppers using a 95 gr Barnes tsx solid.

henschman
December 10, 2012, 11:07 PM
Putting together a lower is pretty easy. It's like following a recipe... as long as you do everything the way the instructions say, you can't go too far wrong.

Think of .300 blackout as a .30-30 that feeds from an AR. Definitely not a very long range cartridge. It does fine at typical hunting distances (under 150 yards) though. But if you want to be able to go longer, you would be well served with a 6.5 or 6.8. I would go with the 6.8 for more variety in uppers and ammo selection. Palmetto State has about the best deals there are, and a wide variety of barrel profiles and lengths to choose from. I would go light profile for hunting. Either chrome lined or stainless would be plenty accurate enough for the purpose, but the stainless will be a little more accurate. The CL is more corrosion resistant and easier to clean.

Tim the student
December 10, 2012, 11:10 PM
Yep, AR15.com has a lot of info. I think they have a sticky or two there too. Good info.

Lots of videos on Youtube too.

95XL883
December 10, 2012, 11:41 PM
Thanks guys for all the advice. I'll be re-reading this several times for the tips. Good thoughts on the tape, roll pin punches, the C clamp and having the parts diagram. I'll have to check if the ACS-L is milspec or commercial. I didn't think of it when ordering. And thanks for the quick course in 6.5 vs 6.8 vs 300. Looks like 6.5 or 6.8 is the way to go. And thanks for the Bison reference and youtube link. I'll check those out as well. Thanks again. And I'll post a pic or two when I get it assembled.

fanchisimo
December 11, 2012, 12:11 AM
The functions test would be:

1) Put it on safe
2) Pull the trigger, the hammer shouldn't spring.
3) Change selector to fire.
4) Pull the trigger (ride the hammer forward) and keep holding the trigger.
5) Manually cock the hammer.
6) Release the trigger.
7) You should hear a click.

That means everything is working, at least as far as the lower goes.

JFtheGR8
December 11, 2012, 03:56 AM
You don't need roll pin punches to assemble a lower. Use Vice Grips with the jaws wrapped in tape to press the pins in a little at a time. Press, adjust, repeat until they're in. You'll need punches if you ever want to remove them though. Do the assembly in a tiled bathroom with the drains closed and the toilet lid shut. Any springs or detents that launch will be easier to find in there. Follow a step by step guide and you'll have no problems.


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Roadking Rider
December 11, 2012, 08:43 AM
I think I'd have bought them each a 30/30 and a couple boxes of ammo for there 30/30's and told them to get used to it. Nothing builds confidence in a rifle like a couple boxes of ammo. ;)

longdayjake
December 11, 2012, 11:21 AM
If you are looking for a cheap 6.5 then here ya go. Its a good one.

http://jtdistributing.net/store/product1136.html

95XL883
December 11, 2012, 11:27 AM
I think I'd have bought them each a 30/30 and a couple boxes of ammo for there 30/30's and told them to get used to it. Nothing builds confidence in a rifle like a couple boxes of ammo.

That is a really good point. They both carry the 30/30 without a complaint. (I just know them well enough to know they don't have great confidence in their ability.) More ammo and more range time will be a good thing. I'll have them try some 150 gr bullets or load some even lighter bullets for the recoil sensitive one.

Still, we're looking forward to the AR build even if I didn't plan this one out in advance. Thanks for the suggestion.

JFtheGR8
December 11, 2012, 12:06 PM
Everyone should own a AR pattern rifle... and a AK clone too. After doing the AR build you can tackle a Saiga conversion.


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