Quantcast
AR-15 noob build. Better options than..... - THR
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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 15, 2015, 08:22 PM   #1
Just Us
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 2, 2015
Posts: 11
AR-15 noob build. Better options than.....

...a PSA premium rifle kit and PSA stripped lower, that is under $600?

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...moe-rifle-kit/

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...category/4514/

This is what I am looking at. I have been educating myself on the platform, and surfin the interwebs for reviews/opinions on entry level AR's. From what I have found, this seems to be about the best "bang for the buck", and PSA seems to have a decent rep.

My intended use for the weapon would be primarily as a plinker/range toy, and obviously for for personal defense/shtf use if needed. Only upgrades I would consider (bet ya'll have heard that before), would be a drop in rail system, a rear flip up, red dot, and a flashlight.

Any opinions/better ideas are more than welcome!! Please, no "buy a colt, sig, DD, etc." comments, though. I am not a brand fan boy, and $600 is my max budget on the gun itself.
I would rather spend any excess money on good optics and ammo. Thanks!!

Edit:
I was looking at this PRK as well.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...rifle-kit.html

Is there a "better than" between those two kits, primarily concerning the barrel profile?

Last edited by Just Us; August 15, 2015 at 08:44 PM.
Just Us is offline  
Old August 15, 2015, 08:48 PM   #2
maxxhavoc
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 8, 2008
Location: SC Lowcountry
Posts: 397
That is a good middy build kit. You can't go wrong with an FN barrel.

If you can afford it in your budget, I would highly recommend getting this as well
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...5-199-act.html
maxxhavoc is offline  
Old August 15, 2015, 09:34 PM   #3
Zerodefect
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 28, 2009
Location: Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
Posts: 3,893
Yeah, that's a fine start. Go for it.

Next step up, and more expensive,would be this upper:
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-1...urg-mid-14.htm
14.5" middy, with a pinned a2x flash hider is 16" and legal. And I swear by BCM's reliability. Just another option for a little more.
Zerodefect is offline  
Old August 15, 2015, 09:57 PM   #4
spazzymcgee
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 29, 2009
Location: DE
Posts: 181
A PSA upper will serve you well. The premium line is very nice, and the "PTAC" and "Freedom" lines are pretty acceptable. What I do recommend though is to get a nice BCG if you don't get one with the PSA upper. A good, affordable option is a nitride BCG from Aimsurplus. Also, you might want to shop around for an Anderson lower and see if you could get one cheaper after shipping than the lowers sold by PSA.
spazzymcgee is offline  
Old August 15, 2015, 10:09 PM   #5
tarosean
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 4,283
Quote:
I am not a brand fan boy, and $600 is my max budget on the gun itself.
I would rather spend any excess money on good optics and ammo. Thanks!!
Then pick up one of those complete AR's from GrabaGun or CDNN + others, for 479-485.00.
i.e.
http://grabagun.com/sale-items.html?caliber=2617
tarosean is offline  
Old August 15, 2015, 11:27 PM   #6
DougW
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 16, 2004
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,970
Son built a mid length (kit) and I built a pistol (upper) from PSA. Both are very nice builds, and the fit and finish on both are excellent. Very happy with the results.
__________________
Enfield shooter and accumulator
Proud Father of a US Army Soldier
DougW is offline  
Old August 16, 2015, 12:19 AM   #7
Just Us
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 2, 2015
Posts: 11
Quote:
"Then pick up one of those complete AR's from GrabaGun or CDNN + others, for 479-485.00.
i.e.
http://grabagun.com/sale-items.html?caliber=2617"
-------------------

Those super cheap pre-built AR's are sub-par on components, cutting corners to sell at a rock bottom price.

The FN barrels and PSA bcg's (esp. the NB premium) are in another pay grade. Not the best, but far from the worst.
Besides, I am a mech-nerd tinkerer, so I would enjoy building (at least partially) it myself.

Since I plan to change to a rail anyway, I am now looking at this route:

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...category/4514/
with this:
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...boron-bcg.html
That route would still be middy, comes with a FF rail, and I would have the NB premium BCG!
The barrel is CMV, but doesn't state if it's an FN piece or not.
I still would come in under or on budget. Would lose the A2 fsb, but I want to use Magpul's anyway.

Quote:
If you can afford it in your budget, I would highly recommend getting this as well
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...5-199-act.html
I am eyeballing that hard, lol!

Thanks for the input, guys! Keep it comin!

Last edited by Just Us; August 16, 2015 at 12:35 AM.
Just Us is offline  
Old August 16, 2015, 01:45 AM   #8
Zerodefect
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 28, 2009
Location: Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
Posts: 3,893

$464.99



$339.99
Zerodefect is offline  
Old August 16, 2015, 12:11 PM   #9
Jackal
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 9, 2006
Location: Northwest Washington
Posts: 3,383
Unless your willing to buy individual components and assemble yourself, its pretty darn hard to beat PSA.... They sit right in the sweet spot where price/quality meet. However, I've been seeing Colt 6720's as low as $750 online, that extra $150 sure would buy better resale value down the line... Fit between the upper/lowers will be a lot better than the PSA too. PSA lowers are machined quite generously to allow fitment to almost any upper (they dont want phone calls saying "I cant get it to fit"). This makes them loose/wobble masters with most uppers. Not a deal breaker certainly, but just something to be aware of. I've built at least 10 AR's on PSA lowers and they are the loosest lowers I've ever used.
Jackal is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 12:25 AM   #10
ironworkerwill
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 3, 2013
Location: AUabama
Posts: 1,384
Loose upper to lower mating is not something one can build out. It be remedied with an accu wedge.

Conversely one of the cheap polymer lowers I had once fit very well. But plastic gives....aluminum, not so much.
__________________
One shot 2 kills, and mostly on purpose.
100% all American cornbread aficionado.
ironworkerwill is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 12:28 AM   #11
henschman
Member
 
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,785
No, you can't do better than that for the money. PSA kits are the best value going for a serious use AR. I would go with the light profile one. The handling is noticeably better. There is no downside, as it is only lighter from the gas block forward, where it has negligible effect on accuracy or anything else.
__________________
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

III
henschman is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 02:28 AM   #12
M1key
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 18, 2007
Location: SW
Posts: 2,024
I like the Aero Precision Gen 2 lowers. They have a 4-40 hex screw that tightens the fit on the upper assembly. Good design.

M
M1key is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 12:30 PM   #13
Blade First
Member
 
 
Join Date: May 20, 2012
Location: Free Republic of Tennessee
Posts: 317
That rear takedown pin's detent/spring channel is threaded for the tiny 4-40 allen-head set screw. If you experiment as much as I do with different stock configurations, it's mighty handy.

Here's what tensions the Gen 2 lower to the upper:

http://aeroprecisionusa.com/ar15-str...zed-black.html

Aero Precision products are of exceptional quality...just what you'd expect from an aerospace engineering company.
__________________
... Mr.O

-Certified Armorer for AR-10/-15/M16/M4 Platforms

-Certified Armorer for S&W M&P Rifles & Pistols
Blade First is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 03:22 PM   #14
Just Us
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 2, 2015
Posts: 11
I checked out the Aero gen 2 lower. That tension screw looks like it could be easily replicated with some patience, a drill press, a tap, and an appropriate screw on most any lower.

I have been reading ALOT of reviews/opinions on PSA, and this is the first I have heard about loose upper/lower tolerances.
I don't mind spending a little more coin if necessary to get a guaranteed tight fit. Is there a reasonably priced lower that is known for this, or is this something to expect on entry/mid level gear?

I don't expect "swiss watch" precision, but a clanky rattle gun would drive me nuts!
Just Us is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 03:26 PM   #15
readyeddy
Member
 
 
Join Date: May 8, 2012
Posts: 840
My one PSA AR has no rattle or loose fit. It locks up tight.
readyeddy is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 03:37 PM   #16
ironworkerwill
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 3, 2013
Location: AUabama
Posts: 1,384
Looks like someone at Aero had their thinking cap on.

Also the easy way out:accuwedge
__________________
One shot 2 kills, and mostly on purpose.
100% all American cornbread aficionado.
ironworkerwill is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 03:38 PM   #17
Jackal
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 9, 2006
Location: Northwest Washington
Posts: 3,383
The lower tension screw that some companies use now are awesome when speccing parts from multiple vendors. That tension screw gives you matched receiver set solidarity at stripped lower prices. Either way though, for the money, PSA and Anderson are hard to beat in the forged lower market. The Anderson lowers with integrated trigger guard are quite nice as well, worth a close look.
Jackal is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 07:23 PM   #18
Nathanael_Greene
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 27, 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,415
How about Anderson uppers?
__________________
"We fight, get beat, rise and fight again." --Nathanael Greene, 1781
Nathanael_Greene is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 07:49 PM   #19
Jackal
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 9, 2006
Location: Northwest Washington
Posts: 3,383
Quote:
How about Anderson uppers?
I've only used the Anderson lightweight upper, the one with only the brass deflector, no forward assist or port cover. I really liked it. Very light, well machined and paired with a Faxon barrel, it had quite literally perfect M4 feed ramp alignment. I do however prefer the Aero Precision lightweight upper over the Anderson, due to the Aero having the port cover. I will note, in my experience, the Anderson upper was more well machined than the Aero was. YMMV

Last edited by Jackal; August 17, 2015 at 07:54 PM.
Jackal is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 08:52 PM   #20
henschman
Member
 
 
Join Date: November 13, 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,785
My one experience with an Anderson upper isn't great. It replaced a PSA upper that I mangled on a barrel install gone bad. Something is out of spec in the front takedown pin hole. The pin is ridiculously tight in it, unless you pull the rear one first and swing the lower down 30 degrees or so. This is on a PSA lower that has for many different uppers with no issues.

Upper/lower slop is a non-issue. It doesn't have any effect on the functioning or accuracy of the rifle.
__________________
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

III
henschman is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 09:03 PM   #21
btg3
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 30, 2007
Posts: 1,920
I went with a premium mid-length upper and built the lower -- both from PSA. No regrets. Would do it again. In fact, already have the stripped lower.

DO IT!!!
btg3 is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 09:11 PM   #22
Jackal
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 9, 2006
Location: Northwest Washington
Posts: 3,383
Quote:
Upper/lower slop is a non-issue. It doesn't have any effect on the functioning or accuracy of the rifle.
Exactly. The time it can be bothersome is when using a scope, due to the possibility of scope cant due to loose upper/lower fit. Since your cheek is welded, a little torque on the upper can tilt it enough to cause your crosshairs to cant. Not an issue unless your going for tiny groups, in which case you likely have a matched receiver set/tension screw already.
Jackal is offline  
Old August 17, 2015, 10:42 PM   #23
Just Us
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 2, 2015
Posts: 11
Well, I just dropped the hammer on the PSA lower. Will start gathering the rest over the next few weeks, wish me luck!

Thanks everyone for the input and advice!
Just Us is offline  
Old August 18, 2015, 12:14 AM   #24
Jackal
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 9, 2006
Location: Northwest Washington
Posts: 3,383
Quote:
Well, I just dropped the hammer on the PSA lower. Will start gathering the rest over the next few weeks, wish me luck!

Thanks everyone for the input and advice!
Awesome. Be sure to check PSA around the holidays for some killer deals.
Jackal is offline  
Old August 18, 2015, 01:28 AM   #25
MachIVshooter
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 11, 2005
Location: Elbert County, CO
Posts: 12,492
Quote:
The barrel is CMV, but doesn't state if it's an FN piece or not.
If the barrel is FN, it will say so. I'm not sure where PSA sources their other barrels, but they seem to be decent. I have two of their "freedom" stainless middy uppers and one .308 18" stainless; all have been reliable, and very respectable in the accuracy department. A couple of friends have had the PTAC phosphate uppers, and while they never equipped them with optics that would demonstrate the rifle's accuracy potential, they're able to hit what they're aiming at, and the rifles run just fine.

Having said all that, give this one some serious consideration:

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...ng-handle.html

It isn't much more, melonite makes the barrel more durable, and I think you'll find the balance better with a pencil or LW barrel than gov't profile or heavy.
__________________
"Life is harder when you're stupid. Sometimes, it's also quite a bit shorter."-1911Tuner
MachIVshooter is offline  
Reply


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 09:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
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.