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Minimum $ required to get a reliable AR

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jerkface11, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    What is the consensus for the lowest price AR that you could actually use without fear of it breaking or being a complete piece of garbage? I'm kicking around the idea of buying an entry level AR and upgrading it later on and need to know what brands I should stay clear of.
  2. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Well-Known Member

    It really depends...

    You could piece together a quality AR from used parts for ~$550-750 bucks...
    The only people I would say to stay clear of would be Model 1 Sales, but not because of a reliability issue. Their fit and finish can be a little suspect is my reasoning, but my AR pistol that I built from one of their kits has been completely reliable, I just don't like the uppers finish. The kit plus a Rock River lower receiver ran me $650 all brand new. Get yourself a Stag lower(I don't own one but everyone here raves about them), and then head to the equipment exchange and I bet you could come out a good bit below my $650 dollar AR pistol, especially if you don't mind being patient. You should also check out AR15.com's equipment exchange if you are not going to be buying new. Good luck, AR's are addictive:evil: !
  3. mrmeval

    mrmeval Well-Known Member

    My Model 1 Sales varmint rifle with A3 upper and 24" bull barrel works just fine and I've had no problem dealing with them at the local gun show. I've not had to send anything back because it worked. It has fed everything I've put in it. The fit is superb, as tight as you could want. I put it together on an Rock River Arms receiver. Accuracy seems to be on par with most factory rifles except very high end expensive ones. It was $850 total but can be much cheaper depending on options, they have kits with a single price, you need to get the lower elsewhere at about $120.

    About the only vendor there seems to be consensus on as 'avoid like plague' is Hesse/Vulcan. I've seen some online examples of their work, the worst is their 'carbon fiber' stuff which looked like it disintigrated. It's a pity because their carbon fiber lower receivers do look interesting.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2006
  4. browningguy

    browningguy Well-Known Member

    I put together a new AR about 6 weeks ago. RRA complete lower was $229 Houston Gunshow), DPMS 16" bull barrel, free float upper was $385 (Midway USA). Total was $614 plus tax on the lower and shipping on the upper. Can't think of anything else I need in an AR.


    I did have the scope riser base and scope laying around so didn't count them in the price.
  5. RCR29

    RCR29 Well-Known Member

    Hesse/Vulcan-absolute junk
    I think $550 is a fair estimate for an AR build. You could shop around for a while, searching for used parts and other good deals to cut your costs.
    The cheapest I have ever built one for was $321. It was all used parts, but it ran great.
  6. nvshooter

    nvshooter member

    Which AR?

    Lots of people seem to like the Bushmaster offerings...
  7. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Well-Known Member


    Like I said previously, Model 1 will probably be as reliable as any other maker, BUT, I don't like the finish on the upper. It is rough as sand paper. But for 650 total, I decided I could live with it. Model 1 did send me two of the same part in my kit and left one out, but they did fix it fairly promptly. I simply had to wait another week before I could fully assemble my AR- Pistol. I should probably take back the ,"fit", portion of my previous statement, as the Rock River lower does have a tight fit with the M1 sales upper(I think that is more of the RR lower being tight to begin with though). Model 1 will get you a base-line entry model AR, but knowing what I know now about how easy it is to piece an AR together, I would opt for more quality parts...YMMV.

    PS- Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The front pivot pin detent would not fit into the lower receiver enough to seat it without taking a dremmel to it. Something I attribute to the RR lower reciever being tight, and possibly a slightly out of spec part as I didn't measure it. All my Model 1 gripes were minor annoyances, but I understood you get what you pay for...
  8. yongxingfreesty

    yongxingfreesty Well-Known Member

    i was thinking 600, just look around. it wont happen in a day, just gather all the pieces.
  9. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Well-Known Member

    I have no idea what your definition of "reliable" is. But, if you want the best AR's, and this isn't opinion, but fact, then:


    Anyone of the top 3 models pictured on that page. 4th one is an M4 which is a short-barreled rifle and requires special paperwork.


    This is a little high for this rifle. I got mine for $999. Usually, it goes for around $1,100.


    This is about right for this rifle. This is more popular and in demand because it is a flattop with detachable carry handle and it is the closest thing to a real military M4 that you can get. Actually, it IS an M4, with no select fire and 1.5" longer barrel.

    Good price on these is usually $1,250-$1,350. Anything under $1,400 is actually good. But when they are in high demand or in short supply, they can go up to $1,800. That's a bit steep.

    Now, if you just want something that works, and isn't "junk"...then I'm sure a Bushmaster or a RRA will be just fine.
  10. Phantom Warrior

    Phantom Warrior Well-Known Member

    Don't mind me. I just want to find this thread later...
  11. Frog48

    Frog48 Well-Known Member

    Bushmaster and Rock River are solid choices. Both can be had for $800-$900 if you shop around.

    Olympic Arms can be had for under $700, but opinions on them are mixed. Some love them, some swear they're crap.
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Well-Known Member


    You can get a DPMS for around $600 and they are decent, but I'd spend an extra $100-150 for a Stag... Stag makes a better AR than many of the $1000 AR's out there...
  13. Frog48

    Frog48 Well-Known Member

    Where? The only place I've seen DPMS locally is CheaperThanDirt in Fort Worth, and they wanted $950 for a basic model.

    I'll second the Stag recommendation. They make nice stuff.
  14. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Well-Known Member

    Depends, you can build them for $600 with ease, but I've seen DPMS rifles in the $600-700 range.

    But I would prefer a Stag in that general price range personally.
  15. JTW Jr.

    JTW Jr. Well-Known Member

    I saw AR's NIB at the last gun show here for $600 , believe it was an Olympic Arms , it was a model called " the Plinker ". A friend bought one a year ago and hasnt had a problem with it .

    My parts bin build AR was built for under $300 but that was with horse trading , my other AR I bought from a friend who had it custom built and it was $1400 ( though I think he was into in for about $2K ).

    Decide first if you are sticking with Iron Sights or going with a scope. If you have plans of doing mostly scope shooting , go with a flat top.

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  16. WESTTX357

    WESTTX357 Well-Known Member

    I just saw a DPMS carbine A2 style $775 plus tax.
  17. 1K$

    I'm completing an AR build:

    Rock River bare lower receiver.
    Rock River National Match upper. (all lower parts included, but not purchased from RRA)
    Geisele trigger.

    Total bill? Almost exactly 1K $.

    So, a person could conceivably build a darn good AR for around $650.

    Seems to me CDNN has complete Colt A/M4 uppers for $399, add a lower receiver for $100 or so, a parts kit, an A2 stock and there ya go!
  18. VaughnT

    VaughnT Well-Known Member

    Stag Arms is tops and cheap. M&A parts has a good reputation.

    If you shop around and haunt the equip exchange at ar15.com, you can find very good deals on slightly used parts.

    I built my m4gery for just over six bills. It's since been upgraded, but that's part and parcel with the disease!

    My next build....
  19. john paul

    john paul Well-Known Member

    cost me a thousand

    but to be fair i also put an eotech on mine. i used a model 1 kit on a stag lower that i got for 90 bucks on gunbroker.com so yeah i'd say 550 for a workin gun you can build on your kitchen table.(just make sure the wife don't catch you)
  20. erict

    erict Well-Known Member


    new RRA lower

    used preban upper (preban made it cheap)

    new Doublestar bolt/carrier/handle.

    That's out the door complete for $450 w/o the handle, I robbed it from another AR of mine.

    It runs like a sewing machine. I've had over 300 rounds through it now without a single hiccup.

    Dig around for used deals and you can put one together on a decent deal.

    Attached Files:

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