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

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

  1. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Mar 24, 2019
    Upper assembled..... mostly need the bolt and associated bitz and I couldn't find the roll pin for the gas block, either I dropped it and it rolled into the '5th dimension' or it didn't come with the gas block. Dinged the upper rail on the receiver on the tool box too so a trip to the hardware store for some black paint and a roll pin is in order.

    Like the fde and the black more than I thought I would was a little disappointed that I couldn't find a black or od rail but it's much better in person the thread protector needs a washer but it's there as a temporary measure for right now.

    Everything fit together and nothing seems like it's interfering with anything else so far so good once I get the bolt carrier group I'll slap it on the stag arms and see how it functions.

    The angled tabs that hold the atlas on seem pretty legit it's a little bit of a pain to get it on because they tend to move together so you need to get them nice and aligned before you notch it down but once it's down by god it's down.

    Overall for a budget/the government sent me money build it's pretty nice.

    Attached Files:

  2. BoomRabbit

    BoomRabbit Member

    May 27, 2021
    Building an AR is... ENTIRELY a personal thing. What some people deem absolutely THE BEST of something... someone else will consider garbage (The Grendel vs SPC arguement is a good example). The only real way to know is to try out various things... but:

    - Vortex Scope
    - Spike upper
    - Spike lower
    - Carbon Fiber M-Lok 16" Rail
    - BSF Carbon Fiber Gunner 18" .224 Valkyrie Barrel
    - UTG light mount
    - Truglo 45 degree mount
    - Strike industries 6 way adjustable stock
    - Lantac Dragon and .224 Tuner to stop barrel whip
    - Strike side charging handle
    - Atlas Scope Rings
    - All Pins are Titanium
    - CMC 2.5lb drop in 2 Stage Trigger
    - Microslicked BCG and Bolt, FailZero Nickel Boron Firing Pin
    - Microslicked Upper interior
    - Improved Takedown Pins
    - XTS Rubberized Grip
    - JP Enterprises Silent Capture Buffer Spring
    - SilencerCo Harvester

    As to the WHY? Light weight, easy for me to carry and maneuver, and it was all stuff laying about the shop anyways. Also having both the Vortex and the 45° mount allows me to have both a basic red dot and a true scope, so I can fire at two different ranges and stay under MOA at both long and CQC.
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
    JayZee, Hikingman, Stew0576 and 3 others like this.
  3. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

    May 24, 2007
    Brandon, Florida
    My sole AR:
    Andersen full lower
    BCA heavy-barreled billet upper
    Freefloat aluminum M-lok foreend (included with upper)
    Basic Magpul all around. MBUS, MOE stock, K2 grip. 'Stealth Gray,' because it was in stock and I've never built anything to match before.

    7.62x39, too.
    Why the choices? It was all in stock when I got the urge, and was barely any more expensive than I would pay for it a couple years ago.
    The caliber? Already have a packed can of x39, didn't want the hassle of finding .223 and stocking yet another caliber. x39 does everything I would do with .223, and I'd be more comfortable hunting with it if I ever do get the chance to shoot hogs with my dad.
    The Magpul? Not a fanboy like some, but credit where it's due. 90% the quality of other makers and materials in my price range, 60% the price. I don't need $300 sights. Just the basics. And it was in stock.
    Besides, it may not be a dealbreaker, but it's nice that everything of a color matches. I've had stuff from single manufacturers with four colors of black. Magpul's at least consistent.
  4. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

    Feb 5, 2010

    I think you’ll like the AR in X39 it’s more accurate in my AR than any SiG, HK, AK or SKS that I own, of course they are all semiauto’s … the only gun I own that’s more accurate with the X39 than my AR is my Yugo Zastava M82 bolt action 762X39
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  5. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    May 24, 2008
    SW MO
    Starting a new build, using all those leftover parts murmuring from the box in my dreams. The core, of course, is a stripped lower. I've done two before, the first with an AGP lower with adjustable trigger screw for a 6.8 SPC. That screw did a magnificent job taking up all the creep and slack out of a DPMS trigger set that was at best "GI" milspec. Finish and assembly was all as it should be, no major issues. The next was a PSA, used an Anderson MIM stainless trigger kit, and it was surprisingly better than the other, with almost no creep or grit, a very close reset, and it installed that way no adjustments. As I was buying a new lower at the LGS the guy behind the counter agreed Anderson kits were doing well in their builds

    I went in with a budget figure in mind, wanting a PSA grade lower in the $70 range, and only stopped because I thought they might have some (overpriced) lowers in stock. With $70 plus an FFL fee, it would cost me over $100 in my hands if I ordered one into a FFL. I then thought, well, if they have a decent $100 lower, just get it. Same money for equal quality and no waiting. My FFL had recently passed away so engaging another for these builds would be the way to go.

    I looked in the case, and BEHOLD, there were AFFORDABLE LOWERS! Of course the first one I saw was $249, and looking no further, I began to scan the white tags, not all of which were visible, as usual. I have a flea market exhibit and that is a pet peeve, so, my price is on BOTH sides of the ticket, and I check them to see they are exposed. The gun store guy arrived as I was looking, and I asked anything on the low end, but no, I'm not looking for Andersen.He pulled out a lower and set it on the glass top.

    17 Design and MFG of OKC. Hmmmm. Most of the type face was reserved, small, non decorative. Logo on the magwell was a graphic "17" but minimal,

    MOD: 17DM-4
    SN: 21-F05XXX

    Above the safety :17 DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING

    with SAFE/FIRE markings. Clean, no billboarding, possibly CNC lettering deep enough to take paint. Consistent black anodizing, maybe one or two parting line marks but compared to the other lowers I've bought, it's clean and smooth. The mag well was smooth, too, no marks. Grip screw was fully tapped, my others weren't, and an added bonus, a tensioner screw under the grip to take out the slop of an unmatched upper. Nice touch, adjustable by hex key.

    Less than $82 out the door with tax NO FFL fee as they had it in stock. I see it as not only saving at least $20 but also in hand today not next week compared to a blem PSA, on the shelf waiting. I figured this time I would be stupid not to get it as compared to the past where stripped lowers were always $100 more than internet locally.

    These lowers are offered at a number of well known AR makers and suppliers, they aren't shying away from trying to keep them in stock. !7 Design also offers billet, and has the folding stock lower that integrates the hinge, making the overall lenght shorter than one with a LAW addon I suspect we may see complete rifles as they grow. That is the way you stay in business. Those that collect lowers know they tend to disappear in about five years, very few last. It's not the quality they offer, it's usually the long term business issues that plague any new start up, and for firearms makers, there is also that banking thing the administration tries to pull, jerking finances out from under them. Good luck 17 Design.
    JayZee and taliv like this.
  6. md7

    md7 Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    Update on my parts for build. I’ve settled on a 14.5 (pinned/welded) M4 type and also a block II type with FSP cutout rail

    I’ve got three lowers (mix of aero and psa), 3 lpk’s (mix of spikes and Wilson combat), and a stripped FN upper.

    The block II rifle is a gift. It gets priority in the build and must be done by Christmas. Up next, receiver extension, spring, and castle nut. Maybe bcg too. One step at a time.

    Last will be barrel and a Midwest industries FSP cutout rail.
    JayZee likes this.
  7. 65panhed

    65panhed Member

    Mar 7, 2019
    I started with a Sig 516 14.5" upper, good platform that I am familiar with.
    Ergo ODG rail ladders
    Magpul AFG 2 ODG
    Surefire 556 Warcomp P/W
    Burris PEPR scope mount
    Leupold VX-R 2-7x33 scope
    Geiselle SCH

    Aero X15 lower OD green, setup as follows.
    Geiselle ultra lower parts kit
    Geiselle SSA-E
    Geiselle Super42/H2 buffer & DDC tube
    BAD single side safety (didn't like the G ambi safety.)
    Sig 516 Grip (I like it!)
    Okay Surefeed mags.
    Magpul STR ODG stock

    My rifle.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
    JayZee likes this.
  8. misser

    misser Member

    Jun 15, 2020
    ordered a UPR-10 upper in 708 22inch .its a bolt action upper .fits to a DPMS pattern lower
  9. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    The last 2 are still not assembled, started with a Spikes receivers, one is their Gadsden receiver and this kit from Unique that has the snake wrapped around it (click on the image to see it better.)


    And this on that has “We The People” milled into it along with stars & stripes and I’ve got another Spikes receiver that has Trumps profile engraved in it (click on the image to see it better.)

  10. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    Up State New York
    Very cool looking but looks heavy, be nice on a bench gun tho.
  11. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Yeah, but the tubes are aluminum so it shouldn't be much if any heavier than most standard weight guns and while its no feather-weight for sure, that weight will help to reduce wobble shooting off-hand & prone as well as stay on target through recoil.
    JayZee and troy fairweather like this.
  12. ClaymoreAKM

    ClaymoreAKM Member

    Jan 2, 2017
    South of the Mason Dixon - SC
    Honestly I've built several from PSA and Aero parts and I've got thousands of rounds through a couple, no issues, boring.

    most are middys, one is a carbine gas system from PSA. I prefer the mid-length. Have a PSA AR-10, I'm grouping half dollar sized groups of 5 rounds at 100.

    PSA nitride and stainless barrels are good to go.

    Just my .02
    JayZee and Saddleman51 like this.
  13. Uffdaphil

    Uffdaphil Member

    Feb 6, 2021
    When I traded an upgraded BCM AR15 for a Midwest Industries .308 AR a fire was lit to build another .308. My goal was to make the build for precision and the MI a battle rifle. Both ended up weighing 8.5 lbs sans optic.

    i chose a TA11 3.5x Acog with green chevron .308 reticle for the M.I. as I have one in .223 and love the glass clarity and eye relief.

    For the build I got to make a lot more choices. (The fun part.) Aero M5 stripped upper/lower because many builders recommended it. Optic is a Busnell Elite LRTS 4.5-18 chosen because a friend knocked $1250 off MSRP. Nice quality though I would prefer a 3x on the low end. Barrel is a Faxon 18” LW rifle gas. Picked because I got tired of waiting for the preferred Ranier Ultramatch to come back in stock. Seems to shoot well with SLR adjustable gas block. Both .308s run suppressed always. Handguard is an SLR Solo Ultra Lite because it’s light and I’ve used SLRs in several other builds. The big unnecessary splurge, just because curious if it really helped with gas blowback, was a Lantac Enhanced BCG. It’s a pretty, shiny black, but neither .308 is gassy so probably not worth the extra bucks. The camo cerakote was part of the deal with the friend who bought my old Land Cruiser.

    JayZee, Demi-human, Chuck R. and 2 others like this.
  14. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Leavenworth, KS
    I've had nothing, but fantastic luck with the SLR handguards and AGBs! Great looking build!
    Demi-human and Uffdaphil like this.
  15. Ethan Verity

    Ethan Verity Member

    May 8, 2021
    I typed all this out for my own records, so I might as well share it here also.

    This is my home defense rifle setup, so I put maximum emphasis on overall quality, simplicity, and reliability. I'm very satisfied with the end result.

    Tip to butt.
    Flash Hider= BCM A2, with BCM crush washer.

    Barrel= ArmaLite 16” SOCOM profile, chrome lined 1/7” RH twist CR-MO-V steel, with mid length gas system.

    A2 Front Sight Gas Block = BCM F marked, along with BCM 2/0 anodized taper pins. I drilled/reamed the virgin Armalite barrel, and cold-blued the drill holes for added corrosion resistance.

    Hand Guard= Magpul MOE M-LOK black hand guard with black anodized aluminum heat shield.

    Upper= ArmaLite finished, Cerro Forged 7075T6 aluminum, black mil-spec anodized.

    Lower= ArmaLite finished, forged 7075T6 aluminum, black mil-spec anodized.

    = ArmaLite tactical two-staged trigger.

    Bolt = ArmaLite standard bolt, with improved lug geometry.

    Bolt Carrier = Colt 'C' marked, mil-spec.

    Buffer= BCM H1 Buffer, with staked roll pin.

    Stock = Standard M4 pattern, on 6 position mil-spec buffer tube.

    Rear Sights= BCM mil-spec A2 pattern carry handle. 25in/lbs torque applied to both thumb screws.

    Pistol Grip= Magpul MOE, with CLP bottle insert.

    Sling= Silent Sling (heavy weave black nylon, with two black anodized buckles).

    Light= Surefire M300C Scout Light w/ Magpul M-LOK Extended Cantilever Scout Mount.

    Assembly Specs

    Barrel Nut Torque: 60ft/lbs to perfectly index with the gas tube; threads coated with AeroShell 33MS mil-spec grease. Note: Mil-spec torque range = 30-80ft/lbs.

    Grips: Attached with standard hex screw and star lock washer. Threads also coated with AeroShell 33MS (steel bolt in aluminum threads), torqued to 35in/lbs.

    AR15 March 2021.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  16. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Hawkeye East
    @Ethan Verity classy rifle you’ve got there, good choices!
    Demi-human and Ethan Verity like this.
  17. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Duplicate post
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  18. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Mar 24, 2019
    Bought a stripped lower to build into a basic iron sighted rifle to replace the left handed stag arms rifle I have.

    So I got a 10.5 Moe upper and a basic pistol lower build kit off palmetto state armory

    download (7).jpeg
    JayZee and Demi-human like this.
  19. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    I put a pair together over the last week with parts I’ve had waiting for way too long. I generally buy two (or more) of everything I order in deference to “anticipating future desires,” but these didn’t get put together nearly soon enough - partly delayed by 1) the fact I had similar/duplicate rifles already, and 2) I didn’t send in the stamp application at the same time for the SBR as I did the original SBR.

    Ruger AR-556 lower, Brownells upper, Midwest Suppressor Ready handguard, 10.5” Black Hole Weaponry barrel in 6.8 SPC, JP Low Profile AGB, Brownells/toolcraft BCG, KVP H2 buffer, MDT pistol grip, BCM Charger, Strike FA, Troy ambi mag release with Odin extended button, Seekins ambi Selector, Geissele Hi Speed NM 2 stage trigger, Magpul UBR Gen2 stock, SiCo Omega. I stuck a Bushnell Elite 2.5-16x50mm on top in an anodized red Warne X-skel mount for now, will switch to a Sig Tango4 4-16x44mm with FFP Dev-L reticle once it delivers. Double stamp deer and coyote hunting rifle for my son.


    Another Ruger AR-556 lower, Aero upper, Geissele Mk18 handguard with integral ARCA rail, another Brownells/Toolcraft BCG in 7.62x39, 24” Semi-Bull Black Hole Weaponry barrel in 243 LBC (6 Grendel, 6 ARC on steroids), Impact Precision 2 port brake, Ergo grip, Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II Pro 3.5-21x50mm in 20moa Warne X-Skel mount, Magpul PRS stock, Seekins ambi selector, BCM ambi Charger, Strike FA, Seekins AGB (pictured JP, didn’t fit in the handguard once installed on the barrel), Geissele HS NM 2 stage, Troy Ambi mag release with extended Odin button. Will be adding some Mlok weights to move the balance point about 4” forward for PRS matches. Probably do some long range coyote calling with this one as well.

    JayZee, Demi-human, Uffdaphil and 4 others like this.
  20. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

    Mar 24, 2019
    Really just assemble lower and attach upper but 10.5 MOE upper Anderson arms lower and the cheapest PSA pistol lower parts kit I could find.

    Total springs in orbit: 2 (I had spares)

    Still needs the bolt catch and the trigger guard put on but launching the detent spring for the buffer and the rear takedown pin ate up all my patience for the night. Also need to torque down the castle nut but that's a problem for Sunday.

    Overall it's actually not bad stupid but I think I kinda like it. I'll have to find a red dot to put on it and see how obnoxious it really is to shoot but it's kinda cute.

    I almost want to rattle some coyote brown paint over it to pair it up with the fde 20 inch rifle.

    If I do another one I'm going to avoid carbine tubes and just use a rifle buffer it was much easier to get on.
    JayZee, Demi-human and Chuck R. like this.
  21. olav_a

    olav_a Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I added a MPX folding stock to my ZM Weapons LR300.

    Turned out nice I think.

    Attached Files:

    Demi-human and Chuck R. like this.
  22. misser

    misser Member

    Jun 15, 2020
    do you mean it shoots less than a inch ?
  23. small town life

    small town life Member

    Mar 3, 2022
    Top O' Texas
    I've bought only 3 complete (factory) ARs + 1 (4) for a donor 6.5creed build. A decent range of parts from manufacturers became a learning experience (exactly what I wanted). Cartridges from 223/5.56, 243win, 6.5gren, 6.5creed, 260rem, 6.8spc, 300bo and 308win/7.62 with barrel lengths from 8.5" - 24". Weights from (without optics) 3# 14oz to 14#. My go to trigger has been CMC ($75 - 200). The best no tune barrel has been AP 6.5creed with rifle length gas system (not + length) even without and adjustable gb it doesn't op. Way too much I could post about, but most small parts are of no concern. Most just come down too preference/style/budget. The best 308win barrel has been CBI with M118 chamber ($230ish on sale). As far as receivers go I've had 0 issues with poly in the 15 platform and haven't found any in the 10s. Having built more than 50 ARs it's getting boring, so I've moved on too ba, but cost way more to do!
  24. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Green Mountains Vermont
    This was my last build. It was an "elusive" 11.5" PSA complete upper on sale for $219 and the Spikes lower was all I could get at my LGS, had I gone with an Anderson like usual, I would have kept this build around the $325 mark. I ended up paying more for the lower than usual but I used up some spare parts I had kicking around and a Mil Spec single stage trigger out of an M&P that is actually a really great, smooth single stage if I've ever felt one. Not sure if I just broke it in really good while it was in my M&P or what but it has a really crisp break with very lil creep and good reset. In any case, this was my "budget" franken build and it has become my favorite AR.

    I later put a very inexpensive AIM QR on it, with some rail covers that I got for free, a very cheap but serviceable 1pt Sling, a Surefire G2L white light held on with a 1" Leupold Scope ring and a rear iron sight that came with the QR. It was all very inexpensive buy has held up well and seems to be of decent quality...... also has a 45° short throw ambi safety that was kind of a leftover and the whole thing came in probably right around $550 all in......pretty good by any standard and has never skipped a beat. Anybody that sneers at budget priced AR's has probably not had a ton of experience with em because these things run with the best of em. I can say from experience with the budget VS. GUCCI brands...

    JayZee and small town life like this.
  25. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

    Mar 18, 2017
    The armpit of Satan (south Louisiana)
    17 design used to be 2 vets arms a maker of upper end battle ready rifles assembled by Veterans. I believe the owner used to be an armorer.
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