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

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

  1. heavydluxe

    heavydluxe Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Great thread. This is a trashy bookmark. :)
  2. BigShep85

    BigShep85 Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Same here
  3. RussellC

    RussellC Member

    May 26, 2013
  4. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alamo City
    Still watching/listening.
  5. henschman

    henschman Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    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.
  6. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 28, 2005
    Lewisberry, PA

    I really like what you did with that fore end.
  7. StrutStopper

    StrutStopper Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    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."
  8. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alamo City
    It would be interesting to see some pics. :)
  9. juk

    juk Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    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.

  10. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    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.
  11. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

    Oct 7, 2011
    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
    PSA M16 BCG

    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
    Magpul FDE MBUS

    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
  12. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Greenville, SC
    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!
    cheygriz likes this.
  13. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    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
  14. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Member

    May 28, 2011
    New Jersey
    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.
  15. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

    Nov 21, 2010
    Homestead, FL
    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.
  16. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

    Jul 8, 2011
    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.
  17. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alamo City
    Interesting stuff. Please keep it coming.
  18. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Mike, you should have read enough to develop an opinion. Anything that strikes your fancy?
  19. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Phoenix AZ
    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.

  20. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

    May 5, 2012
    PR of NJ
    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.

  21. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alamo City
    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.
  22. tuj

    tuj Member

    May 2, 2011
    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: Dec 11, 2013
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  24. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alamo City
    Kalashnikitty stickers on an AR? I like. :D
  25. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    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'
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice