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AR Builds -- What Parts Did You Choose and Why??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mike1234567, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Per the title... I need ideas. Please post your parts lists and explain why you chose them. Also list the approximate prices if you can remember.

    This thread has nothing to do with what I want or need. Again, I just want ideas.
  2. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    First I pick a stripped lower with a rollmark I really like, even if it costs $50 more than something else that honestly would work well but isn't what I want. I figure the extra cost is a drop in the bucket when considering the total cost of the build so why not put YOUR mark on YOUR build. Lowers I got are S&W, ArmaLite, Valkyrie, Charles Daly and a Quentin Defense US Army Edition billet (that really put my mark on it!) The CD and Valkyrie didn't cost more actually, I liked them for various reasons.

    I like the BCM M4 receiver extension/stock kit with an H buffer, all truly milspec of course. And Magpul CTR stock and MOE+ pistol grip. LPKs by Daniel Defense, Stag and PSA have worked well for me. I've also tried PSA's M4 receiver extension/stock kit which is a bargain but the RE isn't always 7075-T6.

    I like 16" lightweight midlength uppers with fixed A2 FSBs and Magpul MOEs. I have bought Daniel Defense, BCM and PSA with the quality roughtly being in that order though I have no real complaints with the PSA upper. BCM's standard phosphate M16 BCG is my favorite but my DD BCG was fine too. My PSA Premium BCG seems ok but it's now a spare and my former spare (BCM) is in the PSA upper. I go with the Magpul MBUS2 rear sight and an RDS. A good two point sling (VTAC or VCAS) pretty much finishes it off.
  3. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    Mike1234567, it would be helpful if you could tell us what configuration of AR you are looking for parts ideas for. Defensive carbine? Plinker? Varminter? Precision rifle, 3-Gun rifle, SPR/DMR?
  4. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't 'build' my upper but I had it built the way I wanted from Model 1 Sales.

    16" Heavy ER Shaw 1:9 fluted threaded bbl, free float aluminum handguard w/swivel stud, steel railed fsb, a3 flat top upper. I went with a full length a2 stock in OD green, a houge monogrip in matching colors. This ran $650 or so.

    I used the Model 1 LPK, on a Noveske "Chainsaw" lower. Ran about $225 but the flared mag well and beefy trigger guard were worth it.

    The Burris optic wasn't cheap. But I really like it.

  5. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Fishbed77... Thank you. I understand but I intentionally left it completely open to interpretation. What I want to know is what YOU built, why you built it, with what parts... and include prices if possible.

    I'm completely open to ideas because I only HALF know what I want. Okay, maybe I know three-quarters what I want.

    I just want to know the HOW and WHY of what YOU did.
  6. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Dr. Rob... That "looks" pretty close to what I want except I prefer a SS barrel and all black.

    AGAIN THOUGH... I'm not expressing what I want. I need your ideas and input... I'm being completely open-minded at this point.
  7. atomd

    atomd Well-Known Member

    Here's the one I'm currently putting together. Well, it's actually together but I'm waiting for the scope mount to come in the mail still.

    Noveske SPR complete upper (18" stainless barrel) with the 14" noveske/sws quad rail. I picked this because I wanted something accurate, durable, and can be configured in different ways. I guess I wanted an SPR style gun and this just comes right out of the box how I wanted it. Easy.
    Vltor Emod stock with Vltor A5 kit.
    Geissele SSA trigger
    Currently it's using a Stag lower that I had from something else. I might keep it or I might change that to something different (the lowers don't matter that much to me as long as they are made correctly).
    LPK is CMT I think (that was left over too)
    Magpul Moe+ grip. I kind of like that grippy feel they have.
    I put Larue camo index clips and used them as a hand guard and also installed their handstop kit for the heck of it. I may or may not change that also.
    I have a bobro extended scope mount on order
    Scope I have for it is a vortex viper pst 1-4.

    This is kind of the first piecing together of it and I'm not 100% sold on this configuration. I'll have to take it out and shoot it to really see I guess.

    I'm also doing another one but it's going to be quite different and a fair amount less money. I am kind of debating a .300 blackout with this one but not sure.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  8. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Well-Known Member

    I did a budget build myself.

    Del-ton Dissipator barrel for $154 for the Barrel, FSB and handguard cap.
    Magpul MOE handguards, $38
    PSA blem upper, $50
    PSA blem FA BCG $100
    PSA for all the needed small parts, approx $80
    Benny Hill Rolling Thunder comp $100 (my one splurge)

    Used my dept issue lower. Great 3-gun rifle.
  9. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Well-Known Member

    I built an AR that I was hoping would be as close as possible to a do-it-all rifle. I wanted as much accuracy as possible in as light a weight as possible. I chose a BCM 18" 410SS barrel in 1:8. I chose the 410 because it is a tiny bit harder and more durable than the 416 used in most other barrels. The 1:8 allows the use of the widest range of bullet weights that I would fire. It has a medium contour so is a bit lighter than a full bull. Also, the 18" barrel has a rifle length gas system so as to keep port pressure and recoil to a minimum.

    I chose the Troy Claymore linear compensator to put as much noise down range, rather than laterally as possible. And to reduce the dust signature from muzzle blast.

    For an upper I chose the VLTOR MUR-1. It's a bit heavier than a standard forged upper but has the highest build quality and tolerances of any forged upper.

    I chose the Midwest Industries SS GenII forearm because it's lightweight, slim, high quality, customizable and very reasonably priced.

    The Giessle trigger should be self explanatory. It's the best at what it does.

    For a buttstock I went with the VLTOR A5 system. It has a great reputation for smoothing out the recoil and operation of unusual barrel combos. I didn't want to run into issues with the short dwell on my barrel and didn't want to be continuously futzing around trying to find the perfect buffer weight.

    For a scope I wanted as much utility as the rifle it was to be mounted on. I chose the Leupold VX-R Patrol 3-9X40. It offered a clean and clear reticle with minimal holdover points and a single illuminated dot. It has capped turrets to insure no change in settings in field conditions and is only 12" long and weighs only a pound.

    I went with the American Defense Recon mount because it has an excellent reputation for quality. And was a bit cheaper than the Larue. If I were on my way to Afghanistan, I would have chosen the Larue. For Central Oregon coyotes, the Adco is super okay.

    That's about it. There were some other incidental parts, but that's the meat of the matter. Very accurate so far and light enough to shoulder. About 8lbs or so. Heavy for an AR but not unreasonable, especially considering its capabilities.

    DSCN1071 by barlow.bum, on Flickr

    DSCN1068 by barlow.bum, on Flickr
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  10. atomd

    atomd Well-Known Member

    Nice jack, ours are similar in a lot of ways. I think mine is going to weigh more though which kind of stinks but hey....it's not supposed to be lightweight.
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    OK let me illuminate the 'why'.

    I have a Colt 6920, 'the yardstick' by which most AR's are measured. I use it in a run and gun style competition shooting at ranges out to 400+ yards. I wanted a more accurate rifle I could run as hard as I run my Colt. That means shooting 150-200 rounds of rapid fire shooting and moving in and over and around a variety of terrain and obstacles and 30 rounds of slow fire once a month March-October.

    I wanted a stiffer, free floated barrel for better long range accuracy. I went with 16 inches so it would still be handy moving around barricades, shooting though loopholes etc. I want with a threaded barrel because the later style flash hider is closed on the bottom and kicks up less dust AND I've been toying with the idea of getting a suppressor at some point. Fluted to save some weight, cool it faster. (Model one lists this as a 'varmint' barrel)

    I have TRIED quad rails and found them overly bulky/chunky in my grip and not to my liking, hence the bare free floated tube.

    I wanted a flat top upper for a mounting a wide variety of optics. I LIKE the a2 carry handle sights on my Colt, but I wasn't planning on iron sights for this rifle. (I since added a low profile front sight I can line up with the aperture under the prism sight.)

    IF I want to mount a light I still have a rail block to mount on. (Though it now has a front sight)

    I wanted a sling swivel that did NOT contact the barrel. I wanted a sling that was not as heavy as the 1903 style but could be adjusted quickly.

    I went with a fixed A2 stock because I wanted a more stable (no slop) cheek weld. Adjustable stocks can end up in the wrong position. Color choice was strictly because I thought it would look cool.

    I chose a Houge monogrip for the palm swells and tacky pebbled grip surface with interior reinforcement. All 3 of my AR's have them.

    I did NOT upgrade the trigger because I can do that later, and I wanted to run the rifle a bit before upgrading that part.

    I wasn't going to get a high end billet lower like Noveske but a local supplier got a bunch of them in and the flared magwell and the heavy trigger guard were bonus points over a standard lower and Noveske has a good rep.

    I went with a fixed optic because 4x is usually enough for the ranges I shoot at and I have been through a number of inexpensive fixed scopes. The Burris prism is something I've been wanting to try for a while. It has a built in BDC and works even if the battery is dead.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  12. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    My budget mid-length:

    PSA complete upper / rifle kit....$500
    PSA stripped blemished lower.....$60
    Magpul rear pop-up sight...........$40 used
    Hogue grip..................................$25

    Assembled the lower and done.

    Why? The objectives:
    PSA (home state)
    Stock grips are trash
  13. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Well-Known Member

    You could write a whole book on this, but to keep it simple, I only build defensive/offensive guns, hunters varmiters and target shooter will give you different answers. First I only use spikes tactical lowers, very high quality and dirt cheap around $100. Parts for the lower I usually buy a DPMS parts kit, $60-$70 and a DSA stock kit $30-$40, I add a MOE+ grip and a MOE stock or a CTR stock $50-$70. Also I add a BAD lever $25 and a $10 MOE trigger guard.
    Upper wise I only used pre assembled uppers from BCM or spikes midlength gas lightweight or gov profile cold hammer forged CMV barrels these barrels are all chrome lined I believe as well. Then I personally don't like rails so I use the MOE hand guard $30 and vert grip $17 and I add a 2" pic rail $5 for a light. You can also add brakes if you like, but I like to run a can that needs a USGI type flash hider so I stick with it. Sights I use the knights armament micro that the usmc gets now, go on ebay you can get a stolen one for $50-$60 and optis I only run an aimpoint and I usually buy the PRO $400 because it is cheap and good to go with a mount.
  14. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    A 5 round magazine and a bipod that attaches to the swing swivel stud makes mine a 'varminter' in a about a minute. ;)
  15. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Well-Known Member

    yes, me too lol, but I'm trying not to confuse the OP lol
  16. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Well-Known Member

    jakk280rem, whats up with the hand stop on the top rail of that AR?

    btw I like your taste in optics, I have that same scope on my mid range AR.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  17. atomd

    atomd Well-Known Member

    If you're referring to the pic above, that's not his. The pic that jakk280rem posted has a Larue handstop on the top. The kit comes with 2 hand stops and index clips to hold them in place. You can position one stop on one rail and another stop on a different one if you want so when your hand wraps around it, it makes contact on 2 points instead of one. They seem to work pretty well. I have one on the bottom rail and one on the left...when my hand wraps around it is sort of snugged up between the 2 in a way. I assume the top stop is to have the right side of his left thumb up against it?
  18. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Well-Known Member

    oops, I thought that had his name on it, well whose ever it is lmao
  19. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Well-Known Member

    I actually wrap my thumb up and over the top rail and hook my thumb onto the stop. Makes the muzzle very controllable and puts my wrist in the same position as when I shoot a pistol.
  20. MistWolf

    MistWolf Well-Known Member

    I got a PSA 16" middy because I wanted an AR carbine.
    The barrel is a 1:8 twist, government profile barrel with the 223 Wilde chamber. It's stainless because that's what they had at the time and I wanted to see how it would hold up. So far, it has and it shoots good. I would not have seen any difference in performance if I'd gotten a 4150 chrome lined barrel instead. It has a Battlecomp on it. I hate muzzle brakes, but what I'd been hearing about the BC intrigued me. It's expensive but it works without being obnoxious. I started with a standard AR trigger which was surprisingly good for it's type but it got replaced when I was making good money on a contract last year and somebody had a sale on SSA triggers. I used a PSA lower because the work good and during one of the early sales, cost $50. Magpul furniture was chosen because I like it. Before optics and BC I think the rifle cost about $600 with Magpul BUIS. PSA had a sale on H2 micros for about $400. I should have grabbed two

    Before I built the 16" carbine, I built a 20" precision.
    Barrel used is a Lothar-Walther HBar profile with 1:8 rifling and 223 Wylde chamber and it's very accurate. It's mated to a VLTOR MUR and is surrounded by a PRI carbon fiber Delta free float tube with no rails. Carbon fiber is friendlier than aluminum when it's hot or cold and the shape fits my hand well. Lower is from LRB which sells for a good price. Trigger is a clean breaking SSA-E. Stock is a Magpul UBR which I chose because it's rugged and has the best cheekweld of any of the adjustable stocks. Optic is a Leupold MkIV 10x I robbed of another rifle and a KAC mount was used because it's light, durable and I got one for a killer deal. I think this rifle cost just over $2k before optics & mount (KAC mount was installed after these photos were taken)

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