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AR-15 kits

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bender, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    yeah, I know... yet another AR thread... I can't help myself

    I'm interested in getting one of the "complete kits" (without the stripped lower). Let's assume the CAR A4 kit from RRA. Already assembled, headspaced, and test fired. It's my understanding that this is not an "FFL" transaction...?

    Then later I would get a stripped lower - also say from RRA. This would require an FFL.

    Total cost $795 at full retail. The similar complete assembled CAR A4 rifle retails for $1000.

    Olympia also has a similar kit. I don't know which company is considered better quality, or even the many other companies.

    I figure this way: its cheaper, and you can buy the 2 parts at different times - as you can afford to. And its a learning experience.

    Or maybe you can shop the gun shows and get a similar complete rifle at the same price or even cheaper? I know some of you recommend buying a complete AR first, then trying your hand at building one later. However, it seems that the "complete rifle kits (but no stripped lower) are already assembled and tested for you. So all I would have to do is put the lower parts in.

    does this sound ok? and what about the other AR companies, do they also offer the complete rifle kits w/o the stripper lowers? Is Oly a decent company?

    thanks, and sorry for rambling...

    edit: I was tempted to add this post to clarkpat's "building an AR" thread, but I'm trying to stop hijacking threads...
  2. eng23ine

    eng23ine Well-Known Member

    I've been debating this very same thing for about 6 months now, so you're not alone. My main concern is that I've never even field stripped an AR before, let alone tried to assemble one from scratch.

    Are there any special tools needed to put one of these kits together?
    Is "model 1" sales a decend supplier for these kits?
  3. GTKrockeTT

    GTKrockeTT Well-Known Member

    i'd take RRA over Olympic anyday of the week. big plus of that kit, you get the 2-stage NM trigger. you may also want to check out www.del-ton.com. if you are on the cheap, check www.model1sales.com, but it's hit or miss.
  4. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    See the Lower Receiver Assembly instructions at ar15.com.

    Some people swear by them, others swear at them. I had a very positive experience with Del-Ton.
  5. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    To answer your question on tooling, all that is needed to assemble the lower is a stock wrench, like the one by RRA. It works on the CAR stock as well as the buffer tube used on A1/A2 rifle stocks. A lower reciever holding fixture is not a necessity, but helps while you assemble the lower. The hinge pin detent and spring can be fun. I found compressing the detent and spring into its hole with the flat side of a single edged razor bladewhile inserting the pin is the fastest way (IMO). A 3/16" allen head nut driver/bit for the grip screw is also needed, as is a 3/32" roll pin punch for the bolt stop roll pin, and a 1/8" roll pin punch for the trigger guard roll pin.

    Stock wrench=

    Lower reciever vise block=
  6. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    I've had great luck (so far) w/ my RRA middy...they make some good stuff!
  7. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    where does one buy the kit at a discount, that is if one is determined to not pay full retail ?
  8. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    That's for sure!

    Excellent idea!
  9. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    does the military use 20" barrels? and they are HBAR right? RRA doesn't have a 20" complete kit.

    and what about paying a slight premium for a chome lined barrel ($40 retail). Worth it? I probably will not shoot the rifle that much, but I may appreciate the "easier to clean" aspect of it.
  10. MisterPX

    MisterPX Well-Known Member

    An M16A2/3/4 is Gov't profile, thin under handguards. As far as chrome, if the rifle will just be a range toy, and you'll be using "good" ammo, then the chrome probably won't be worth it to you.
  11. BowStreetRunner

    BowStreetRunner Well-Known Member

    I just got a J%T kit and DPMS lower and am waiting to put it together soon. The kit (upper assembled) looks very nice.
    20 in. A2 BTW
  12. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    I've been browsing AR-15 kits. Some say "ban compliant".

    If the ban ended 2 years ago, why do companies still comply with it?

    Model 1 is one of the companies that still label their stuff "ban compliant"
  13. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    Certain states have their own AWBs in effect. The "pre-ban" items are not legal in such places as California, Massachusetts, etc.
  14. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    model 1 sales seems to have good prices, but I dont know what their rifle kit would be that is equivalent to this RRA kit:


    I want the flat top w/pic rail.

    Another question I have is, when you put a scope (whatever type...) on a flat top, does the front sight get in the sight picture? Is that front sight removable, or is it a functional part of the rifle (a gas thingie, or whatever)?
  15. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    http://www.model1sales.com/catalog-list.cfm?Category=01&Subcat=16-inch C.A.R.&storeid=1

    I believe this is a list of Model 1 CAR kits, roughly equivalent to RRAs offering, in style not quality. The scope you choose needs to clear the front sight base, or with Aimpoints/ EOTech etc, you can co-witness the height of the center of the sight to match your front sight height. For a low-pro scope mount, you can remove the front sight base and replace it with many different styles of gas blocks. This can be difficult to do without the right tools, but Model 1 can customize your kit with several different gas block styles.
  16. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Well-Known Member

    The comparative kit from Model 1 is here and would run about $480:


    The A2 front sight on those models have the gas integral to it and is not easily removeable. Mount a scope low and you will be obstructed somewhat by the sight. With a red dot, the dot is usually cowitnessed with the front sight pretty close. However, you can get a railed gas block and a detacheable front sight if you want to use irons.

    If you know you're going to scope it, I'd get the railed front gas block.
  17. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    I'm positively gonna scope it, but I need to study up on all the options available. I'm preferential to a plain old glass scope. All these eoTechs, red dots, holographics, ACOGs, and such... it's all new to me. Plus, some of those scopes are damn expensive.

    But I may scope it very much later after buying it. I will probably use the iron sights for a while first.

    Ok, here we go with AR-15's For Dummies:

    what's the diff between the standard CAR handguard, and the extra cost aluminum free float? I know they look different, but what's the operational diffs, if any? Pros & cons?

    is that Model 1 rifle being shown with the collapsable stock all the way collapsed? I mean, the length of pull looks pretty small... I would probably want a little longer LOP.

    do most people get the NATO chamber as opposed to a .223rem chamber? As far as I know, I'll only be shooting my own reloads (.223). I know that .223 can be shot in the NATO chamber, but not vice versa.

    does that mean that Model 1 is considered a "lesser quality" manufacturer?
  18. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    I have no experience with Model 1, but plenty with Bushmaster, RRA, Colt, DPMS, Olympic Arms and an Armalite. My RRAs are top notch, I do not feel you'll find a better quality AR for the price. The 4 position stock in the photo in the link posted by lycanthrope is fully collapsed. The aluminum free float handguard is mounted via a special barrel nut, which takes any stress you put on the barrel with your support hand out of the equation. The CAR handguards are secured in the front by a retainer attached to the front sight base/ barrel. My RRAs (one with a Colt upper) are .223/5.56 and 5.56. I'll let someone with more knowledge on that subject answer this one.


    Check out this thread for other THR members input on Model 1.
  19. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Well-Known Member

    The free float handguard offers a slight increase in accuracy. I like them.

    The Model 1 6 position stock is the same as the RRA 6 position. Yes, it's shown collpased...although the adjustable stocks aren't as long as the full stock A2 model. For a scoped rifle I really get a much better cheekweld on the full stock.

    Get the 5.56 chamber. With the 5.56 chamber you can shoot 5.56 ammo and .223 ammo. With a true .223 chamber in an AR you shouldn't shoot the hotter 5.56 ammo (the pressure it's loaded at is the only difference).

    I'm happy with my Model 1.....and my Clark Gator....and my Olympic.....and my White Oak....all have been very reliable and ALL have shot under 1 MOA with my handloads. "Lesser" quality is quite subjective and muddied by internet lore. My Model 1 cost $515 to build and my Gator cost about $1100. Most shelf rifles run about $750-$1000. My Gator and White Oak are a LOT better than a shelf rifle. My Model 1 runs just as well as all of them with a slightly rougher gas block casting and a trigger that looked painted verus parkerized.

    As a result, I think most shelf rifles are overpriced and my future rifles will all be either semi custom or cheap kits.
  20. KUJO2388

    KUJO2388 Active Member

    Is "model 1" sales a decend supplier for these kits?

    I bought a Rifle kit from them. It has been great to me so far. I have fired only around 1000 rounds through it and have had no problems, other then these stupid ten round clips in California. And there customer service was outstanding.

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