AR Builds -- What Parts Did You Choose and Why?? - Page 2 - THR

Go Back   THR > Tools and Technologies > Rifle Country

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Thread Tools
Old December 3, 2013, 04:02 PM   #26
Join Date: February 5, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 180
Great thread. This is a trashy bookmark.
heavydluxe is offline  
Old December 3, 2013, 04:26 PM   #27
Join Date: April 28, 2011
Posts: 286
Same here
Of every One-Hundred men, Ten shouldn't even be there, Eighty are nothing but targets, Nine are real fighters... We are lucky to have them...They make the battle. Ah, but the One, One of them is a Warrior... and He will bring the others back."
- Heraclitus (circa 500 BC)

God and the Soldier, all men adore
In time of danger but not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted,
God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.
BigShep85 is offline  
Old December 3, 2013, 04:35 PM   #28
Join Date: May 26, 2013
Posts: 1,370
Here is a good thread that answers a lot of AR 15 build questions/decisions.


"Every gun makes its own tune."
RussellC is offline  
Old December 3, 2013, 08:55 PM   #29
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 4,084
Still watching/listening.
Mike1234567 is offline  
Old December 3, 2013, 09:08 PM   #30
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,880
I went with PSA because I wanted a chrome lined 1/7 HPT/MPI barrel, m4 feed ramps, and a full auto C158 HPT/MPI bolt with staked gas key screws, and they were the cheapest one who produced an upper to those standards.

I was wanting a 20" GI profile upper, so really the only other ones I was looking at were BCM and CMMG. It was a bonus that the PSA's barrel was made by FN, the same company who makes the M-16 service rifles.

I used PSA again for my latest carbine build, because I wanted a rifle with HPT/MPI barrel and bolt, etc., but with a 16" pencil profile barrel with mid-length gas this time. Once again, they delivered for the lowest price.

They have been out of stock of any AR upper I would be interested in for some time though.
This motto may adorn their tombs,
(Let tyrants come and view)
“We rather seek these silent rooms
Than live as slaves to you”
-- Lemuel Haynes, 1775

henschman is offline  
Old December 3, 2013, 09:11 PM   #31
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: July 28, 2005
Location: Lewisberry, PA
Posts: 14,886

I really like what you did with that fore end.
Ken O'Donnell

NRA Expert - Highpower Rifle, Across-the-Course
NRA Expert - Highpower Rifle, Mid-Range Prone

Love THR? Help support it (and never see advertisements again) by becoming a Contributing Member.
BullfrogKen is offline  
Old December 4, 2013, 11:05 PM   #32
Join Date: July 5, 2011
Posts: 632
I purchased a complete LMT upper, 1:7 twist and added MOE handguard. I picked up a stripped spikes lower, DD LPK, FA Spikes BCG, BCM charging handle, MOE stock and grip, and an MBUS rear sight. No optic yet, still having fun with "irons."
StrutStopper is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 11:37 AM   #33
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 4,084
It would be interesting to see some pics.
Mike1234567 is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 02:56 PM   #34
Join Date: June 22, 2008
Location: Alabammy
Posts: 875
I built my newest not long ago. I wanted an accurate, fairly lightweight rifle with decent parts. Then I got a wild-hair and decided to use each part from a different manufacturer. What I ended up with:

Anderson stripped lower
PSA A2 stock kit
Hogue grip
Bill Springfield trigger work
DSA upper
BCM Mod 4 CH
microslicked bolt carrier
AR Stoner 18" 1/8 223 Wylde
15" Samson Evolution tube
BCM Low pro gas block
Burris PEPR
Bushnell Elite 10x mil/mil
WWII O.D. Green Duracoat

It had teething issues that drove me crazy at first. Turned out that it did NOT like the new Gen 3 Pmags that I was using. I switched to metal body mags and did a bit of polishing on the bottom of the carrier, and all is well. So far I have only been able to try 52 grain Hornady BTHPs on top of Varget. Not what I was hoping for, but shoots right around MOA. I'm thinking that a 68-75 grain projectile will show me what the gun and myself are really capable of.

"Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil"
juk is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 03:22 PM   #35
Join Date: January 5, 2010
Location: MN
Posts: 1,135
Aero Precision upper and lower - good quality low priced
DPMS MK12 18in barrel - really accurate barrels not expensive and comes with gas block
DPMS lower parts kit with mil spec trigger I will upgrade the trigger down the road
DPMS carbon fiber free float tube - very light and does not get cold like the aluminum tubes when coyote hunting in -20 temps
Magpul BUIS good quality
The stock is an A2 but I am ordering a Magpul PRS
Nikon P223 3x9x40 with 600BDC and a one piece Nikon mount.
mnhntr is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 10:06 PM   #36
Join Date: October 7, 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,514
Ok I'll play. Here's whats on the last 2 AR builds:

1. PSA/Aero build

PSA upper
AeroPrecision lower
16" Midlength barrel, CHF, 1:7 twist, Chrome-lined
Magpul FDE CTR stock, MOE grip, MS2 sling, and handguard
Bushnell TRS-25 red dot

I went with this build because it is a basis Midlength setup that is simple and lightweight. Not too fancy but works well. Total cost: ~ $850

2. Spikes Tactical Build:

Spikes lower (color filled FDE)
Spikes Upper ceracoated FDE
Magpul FDE STR stock, grip, AFG2
Alpha Omega 16" barrel, 1:7, Melonite
Rifle length quadrail

This build is more of a "tacticool" and color-matched AR. It works well but its quite heavy due to the longer quadrail and heavier barrel.

Both rifles cycle ammo very reliably including steel cased Tula 223 without a hitch. Total Cost: $1000
justice06rr is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 11:10 PM   #37
Crunchy Frog
Join Date: January 1, 2011
Posts: 314
My first build, "one piece at a time", iike the old Johnny Cash song:

PSA stripped lower, $50

MOE lower parts kit, $50

Ergo F93 stock assembly, $135

PSA 16" "stripped" Upper Receiver, Black Friday sale $300 (ish)

Geissele SSA-E trigger, Black Friday sale $190 (do NOT buy a Geissele trigger, never, never; it will spoil you for anything less)

Magpul BUIS rear sight, $55

No name charging handle, Lord-knows-who-made-it-bought-it-at-at-a-gun-show $25

PSA bolt carrier group (darn glad to find one and they didn't last long online once they became available) $125

Magpul MOE forearm to replace the standard one that came with the upper, $35

That's it, unless you count the model airplane paint that I bought at Hobby Lobby to fill in the lettering on the lower.

Working on a "lightweight" build the second time around!
Crunchy Frog is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 11:48 PM   #38
Join Date: August 11, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,697
Armalite stripped lower: Like the name, the rollmark and it is what my LGS had ~$140
PSA LPK with Magpul MOE grip and Enhanced trigger guard: Heard they had a good trigger for the price ~$70
PSA Receiver extension, spring and buffer, end plate: All I could find at the time ~$60
Magpul ACS stock: Like the friction lock and cheek weld ~$105
Colt castle nut: All I could find ~$15

Daniel Defense stripped upper:Wanted a mostly DD upper-$90
DPMS Forward assist: all I could find~$13
PSA Dust cover:liked the black spring/all I could find~$15
BCM Charging handle:Heard it was great~$45
Daniel Defense BCG:best I could find in stock~$160
Daniel Defense 16" M4 profile 1:7" barrel:Best quality I could find in stock~$260
Daniel Defense clamp on low profile gas block: Daniel Defense did me well~$60
YHM gas tube: All I could find~$15
Midwest Industries T Series Midlength quadrail: wanted it to cover the gas block, wanted a quad rail~$150
YHM phantom flash hider:Just cause~$30
"The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants." -Albert Camus
"This is my way. Where is your way?...One true correct way does not exist"-Friedrich Nietzsche
HOOfan_1 is offline  
Old December 5, 2013, 11:54 PM   #39
Join Date: May 28, 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 155
I had to stick to NJ legal for my build. I wanted a Midlength, 16 inch bbl rifle that would be a "do-it-all". Someone told me that mine is similar to the Recce rifles that some special-ops crew uses, but I could care less, I just want it to do what I ask. I ended up the following after spending a very extended amount of time picking up individual parts when they were on sale or part of a blemish lot. It was time consuming and a pain, I had points where I wanted to just buy everything all at once, but I ended up saving quite a bit of money and getting a fancy rifle too.

PSA blem upper with YHM Diamond rail(Rifle length)

PSA Mid-length, 16inch bbl, Gov. Profile, 1:7 twist, CMV, CHF, MPI, HPT

AIM surplus 9310 BCG, MPI, HPT

BCM Mod A44 charging handle (I'm left handed and this is fantastic)

MBUS front and rear

SAA lower (Aero-precision with a cooler rollmark)

DSA mil-spec buffer tube assembly (Carbine)

Magpul Fixed Carbine stock (Perfect for ban compliant builds)

Kaw-Valley Precision Linear comp, pinned and welded (Again, ban compliancy and reduced felt blast and noise. Not a good way to reduce recoil.)

PSA LPK with ALG defense QMS (No take-up, no creep, glass-like break and great reset.)

Seekins precision billet trigger guard

BCM Gunfighter grip Mod1 (I'm going to try out the K2 grip and see if that's wider at the top. I love the angle of the BCM but it's very, very thin at the top and my hands are large.)

Ambi-safety selector, I want to say it was a DPMS or Doublestar, can't remember.

Toss in some 15rd mags from Midwest PX and I have a rockin' NJ legal rifle. So far I've got a little more than 200rds through it and no failures, even when mixing brass and steel case. I got the above parts because they met criteria I had and were on sale/clearance/blemished discount enough to be considered a great deal. You'd be amazed at what a little money and patience will get you.
You were good kid, real good. But, see, as long as I'm around you'll still always be second best.
ThatGuyHank is offline  
Old December 6, 2013, 01:06 AM   #40
Join Date: November 21, 2010
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 1,526
I call mine the accidental build

Stag Lower, bought it because I walked into a LGS in Tucson and it was on sale for 99.

Spike's Tactical LPK (80) and Rock River M4 style stock, because that's what the LGS had.

Magpul trigger guard (11) because I like Magpul

Magpul MOE handguards because I like them. Light weight, low cost with rails.

AIM Surplus 9130 bolt (80) and black friday special upper (60)

Spike's CHF 1:7 barrel because I like the repuation Spike's has and wanted a quality barrel

Rainier XTC compensator (25) because I need a muzzle device and it was on sale for only a few dollars more than a A2 device.
J_McLeod is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 07:06 AM   #41
Join Date: July 8, 2011
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,133
If I built one today, I'd go with this. I like to build rifle length ARs. I like to spend money where it is needed, and economize when it makes sense.

Cheap blem lower from PSA - $50 (Really, just about any stripped lower will do)
Stag Arms ambi LPK - $85 (Great LPK with extra detents)
Brownells MOE rifle kit - $90 (I love the Magpul fixed rifle stock
Upper from PSA - $500 (PSA uses FN barrels - Can't beat the price and quality) This price usually includes a decent FF rail.
Spike's Tactical nickel boron BCG - $$220 (Nickel boron is where it's at, and this is one good BCG)
Bravo Company charging handle - $45
Rear sights - There are so many good ones, just pick one. But, don't overlook the old retro carry handle sight. Bravo Company makes the best carry handle sight. I love mine. - $100+/-.

Compensator - Really, the standard bird cage ain't that bad. It is greatly under-rated. But, the best budget compensators out there are Bravo Company and Griffin Armament. Both can be had for less than $100.
KNS Anti-Rotation Pins - I put these on all my ARs. Keep pins from walking out on you, and really smooth out a mil-spec trigger.
WinThePennant is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 05:21 PM   #42
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 4,084
Interesting stuff. Please keep it coming.
Mike1234567 is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 06:03 PM   #43
Join Date: August 17, 2005
Posts: 2,022
Mike, you should have read enough to develop an opinion. Anything that strikes your fancy?
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words" -Phillip K. Dick
Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
I would think that lack of food, water, and shelter would kill you faster than the wrong gas system
MistWolf is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 06:57 PM   #44
Join Date: August 10, 2007
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 3,892
The rifle I built here with my friend shooting it is a PSA 16" Premium M4 1-7" upper CH and BCG with a Aero Precision lower and Magpul ACS-L stock lower build kit from PSA

I added an inexpensive quadrail, magpul rear sight, some pmags, Primary Arms micro dot and QD riser.

jpwilly is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 07:12 PM   #45
Join Date: May 5, 2012
Location: PR of NJ
Posts: 615
Originally Posted by MistWolf View Post
Mike, you should have read enough to develop an opinion. Anything that strikes your fancy?
I, too, am curious what the OP is going to go with.

I am in the midst of my very first build and am tackling it from the ground up. I have all the parts for the lower so I feel like I can play...

Mega Arms forged lower-Great reputation and seemingly well built
Midwest PX LPK less the trigger group
Magpul MOE grip-Comfy
ALG-ACT trigger- good reviews and fits my current needs
ACE Skeleton Stock, standard length-Light and strong. Also, in NJ we have to pin our stocks.

Upper parts are in process of being picked out and sourced, however what I do know is where this is going. I have a Mega Arms forged upper. BCG will be nickel-boron and MPI'd. I want to go with a 16" barrel in 1/8 with the compensator integral to the barrel. Caliber will be 300Blk. Carbine length gas system. Gas block will be low profile and under the handguard. Handguard brand un-known, however it will be smooth. Possibly a "keymod" type. Optic will be something in 2-7 or so with a 20mm(ish) objective.

Uses will be primarily as a range toy and home defense. I'd like to hunt it as well. I've never hunted, but doing it with a rifle that I built as well as ammo that I make just seems right.

Tophernj is online now  
Old December 7, 2013, 08:26 PM   #46
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 4,084
RE: What I've decided: I haven't made any new decisions yet. I need to research each component listed to determine the pros and cons of each one and weigh them against cost. That'll take a little time.
Mike1234567 is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 08:57 PM   #47
Join Date: May 2, 2011
Location: Puerto Rico, a US territory with more people than 21 states.
Posts: 1,954
Geissele hi-speed national match trigger - 'cause its the best. Yes its the most expensive, but it has the fastest lock-time of any AR trigger and has extremely smooth 2-stage break.

Last edited by tuj; December 11, 2013 at 01:31 AM.
tuj is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 09:05 PM   #48
Join Date: November 20, 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 43,527
Charles Daily Lower, BCM Middy 16" Upper, ALG ACT trigger, Magpul Furniture, and a Troy Battle Sight folding rear BUIS. Simple, rugged, effective carbine for self defense.

I built an Aero Precision stripped lower up with an A2 stock. I used a 300 BLK marked upper from Black Dawn and an AR Stoner 16" barrel with a Hogue mid-length free float forearm. Magpul grip. DoubleStar break. YHM riser. Burris Zee rings. Nikon 3x M223 scope. Light, fast, and lots of fun.

PSA lower and classic parts kit, A3 stock, Houge FF forearm, BSA 4X scope, Leapers scope mounts. Two Kalashnikitty stickers. Prison Pink Cerakote. CMMG LW .22 upper with the front sight cut off. The wife loves it.

RRA 9MM carbine. Midwest Industries free float forearm. Magpul stock and grip. Aimpoint 5000 8 or so MOA (Very fast) dot. Cheap to shoot and everyone loves to shoot it.
Do you ever wonder why nobody ever robs the bag man for the mob? No, you don't.

"Oh bother" said Pooh, as he chambered another round. Author unknown.

Last edited by Walkalong; December 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Fixed 9MM pic link
Walkalong is offline  
Old December 7, 2013, 09:30 PM   #49
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 4,084
Kalashnikitty stickers on an AR? I like.
Mike1234567 is offline  
Old December 8, 2013, 12:14 PM   #50
Join Date: August 17, 2005
Posts: 2,022
Originally Posted by Mike1234567 View Post
RE: What I've decided: I haven't made any new decisions yet. I need to research each component listed to determine the pros and cons of each one and weigh them against cost. That'll take a little time.
All the work has been done for you so I'll give you a couple of free fish-

Build a basic configuration carbine with a 16 inch barrel. It will do anything you ask an AR to do. There are a couple of niche areas where a more specialized configuration is better but even then, the 16" carbine will still do the job. The middy gas system isn't significantly better than a carbine gas system but the longer handguards of the middy offer an advantage.

Use a good barrel. Barrel material and chrome plating are not a big concern to the civilian shooter as long as you choose a quality barrel. If you choose a match barrel, realize that you'll need to use good quality ammo to get the best accuracy from it. Chrome plating may open up groups 1 MOA at the most. Usually it's less than that. If you're just gonna use bulk, blaster ammo, there's no need to spend the extra dough on a match barrel. Chrome lined or not, 4150 CMV, 4140 CM or stainless steel, it will take several thousands of round to wear out a quality barrel.

Don't get wrapped around the axle about barrel profile. Really, the only danger here is getting stuck with one that's too heavy. However, I would choose what PSA calls a "lighter profile" barrel. It uses a .750 gas block ans has a thinner profile ahead of the gas block as well as under the handguards. The M4 and government profiles work but are made backwards as they are thinner under the handguards than they are ahead of the gas block. They are backwards because that extra material would be better located near the chamber where it can help deal with heat. The SOCOM barrel is thicker under the handguards to better deal with heat but is heavier. Basically, it's shooter's choice. I'd go for the lighter weight.

As long as you choose a quality stock, use what strikes your fancy. Magpul, VLTOR or standard M4. The Magpul MOE & CTR and the SOPMOD stocks are popular for good reasons. The Magpul MOE handguard is a good one to start with.

Pick a lower from PSA, Aero Precision, LRB, or BCM and you'll be fine. Folks tell me Spikes is good but I've never tried one. Billets cost more, must use more material for the same strength and are not good values.

Full auto carriers always work and bolts made from Carpenter 158 that are shot peened are good choices. You're probably gonna find out your carbine works best with either an H1 or H2 buffer so start with one of those. Choose sights to match the mission. Stay away from fancy controls like BAD levers until you've had a chance to shoot your carbine and determine if you even want one. The BCM gunfighter Mod IV charging handle is a good choice.

If you're a trigger snob, get the Geiselle SSA-E, SD-E or SSA. If a basic AR trigger works fine for you, get the ALG. Regardless of which of these you choose, you can easily sell it and get your money back if you don't like it.

The easiest choice in magazines is Magpul. Others work too but Magpul always work right out of the bag.

A forward assist is nice but not necessary.

Don't over think it. Get good quality parts from trusted vendors and put your rifle together. Starting with a basic carbine means making changes later will cost less than making changes to a fancy configuration. Now, go build your rifle so you can get to shootin'
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words" -Phillip K. Dick
Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
I would think that lack of food, water, and shelter would kill you faster than the wrong gas system

Last edited by MistWolf; December 8, 2013 at 12:43 PM.
MistWolf is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2016 Firearms Forum, Inc.
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.