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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Just Us, Aug 15, 2015.

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  1. Just Us

    Just Us Member

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

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/inde...emium-5-56-nato-1-7-a2-profile-moe-rifle-kit/

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/10445/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/inde...ht-weight-chrome-lined-premium-rifle-kit.html

    Is there a "better than" between those two kits, primarily concerning the barrel profile?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  2. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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  3. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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  4. spazzymcgee

    spazzymcgee Member

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    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.
     
  5. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    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
     
  6. DougW

    DougW Member

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    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.
     
  7. Just Us

    Just Us Member

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    -------------------

    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. :D

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

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/inde...pper-no-bcg-or-charging-handle/category/4514/
    with this:
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/inde...-ar-sale/5-56-full-auto-nickel-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.

    I am eyeballing that hard, lol!

    Thanks for the input, guys! Keep it comin!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  8. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    [​IMG]
    $464.99


    14214501988892107890289.jpg
    $339.99
     
  9. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    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.
     
  10. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    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.
     
  11. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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.
     
  12. M1key

    M1key Member

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    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
     
  13. Blade First

    Blade First Member

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    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-stripped-lower-gen2-anodized-black.html

    Aero Precision products are of exceptional quality...just what you'd expect from an aerospace engineering company. :cool:
     
  14. Just Us

    Just Us Member

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    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! :banghead:
     
  15. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    My one PSA AR has no rattle or loose fit. It locks up tight.
     
  16. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    Looks like someone at Aero had their thinking cap on.

    Also the easy way out:accuwedge
     
  17. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    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. :D 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.
     
  18. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    How about Anderson uppers?
     
  19. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    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: Aug 17, 2015
  20. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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.
     
  21. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    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!!!
     
  22. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    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.
     
  23. Just Us

    Just Us Member

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    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!
     
  24. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Awesome. Be sure to check PSA around the holidays for some killer deals.
     
  25. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    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/inde...-freedom-upper-no-bcg-or-charging-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.
     
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