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

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

  1. Dirt farmer

    Dirt farmer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
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    Location:
    Hauser, Idaho
    I started an AR-15 build in 1990 from an Olympic Arms lower receiver. I am continuing on that AR-15 platform with a new 458 Socom upper from Tromix. I'm convinced that 223 is not adequate man-stopper without multiple hits so I have chosen the "45-70 glory wrapped in AR-15 clothing". I dived right in and bought all I need for this caliber for just under $2,000. I'm excited to develop loads for this weapon maybe up to 525 gr "pile driver" from Beartooth Bullets. Has anyone done the same build? I've attached some photos. 20220608_085025.jpg 20220608_094259.jpg 20220608_093539.jpg
     
  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I just wanted to share some info. For those not familiar with Tom's Tactical. Tool Craft bolt/carrier groups for $99 and their LPK's are all milspec, forge parts with the FCG stamped with the Schmidt mark. I'd recommend spending the extra $10 for the nickel boron version of the FCG. Very smooth milspec.

    I have a few new builds since I last posted. I'll share those later.
     
  3. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Good to see you back, @TonyAngel and thank you for the heads up on the BCGs.
     
  4. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Hey man, yeah, I've been away for a while. Been really busy since COVID hit. Have gotten bitten by the AR bug again. LOL
     
  5. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Hey guys,

    It's been a while, but I just finished a fresh new build. Well, it's almost finished. I still have a couple of finishing touches to get to, but it's shootable.

    20220727-220320.jpg

    So ... as they say ... "tip to butt" ...
    1. I went with an A2 flash hider. What can I say? They work. I time mine so that the partition between the last two ports on the left is centered. Yes, it helps. If you don't think that an A2 has any compensator qualities, put one on upside down and see what happens.
    2. You're not gonna believe this. I ran across Dirty Bird handguards. They run about $100. I don't know what to say, except that they check all of the boxes for me. Made in the U.S.A., T6 6061 and it's pretty thick, but not so much that they are unduly heavy. The anodizing is excellent. It is pretty thick as well. It locks up solid and has a no nonsense design. Every cut in it serves a purpose, that being M-Lok. Yes, if you noticed, I cut the end off. Hey, it was an inch too long and it's what I had and I was hot to get this thing put together. I got the handguard at ar15discounts.com if anyone wants to check them out.
    3. The sling is a Magpul MS. I like these slings. They are simple, they work well and they're pretty inexpensive.
    4. The barrel ... oh, man ... the barrel. Criterion ... 12.5" hybrid contour. I went with the hybrid because with this barrel length, I didn't think the Core contour would make much of a difference and I was planning on hard use, so I wanted the extra mass. I also wanted the maximum accuracy. Does it shoot? Oh, geez. I'm getting 3 MOA with trash 55gr ball. With good 77s, it shoots as well as I'm up to. I've shot near one hole groups with it. Not with the scope you see on it. I put a 22X on it for testing.
    5. As for the scope, Vortex Razor 1-6X Gen II E. I can't tell you how many scopes I went through trying to find just the right one. Vortex PST Gen II 1-6X, Trijicon Credo HX 1-6X, Steiner P4xi 1-4X, I borrowed a Khales K16i and a Swaro Z6i and there were others that I can't even remember now. What came the closest was the PST in terms of 1X, which was what I was most concerned about, but the PST couldn't keep up at higher magnification. The Steiner was nice. REALLY nice. Killer 1X, but in the end, the 4X top end wasn't going to be enough and the controls were mushy. I was also a little concerned about the robustness of the optic (and the Steiner warranty). The Kahles and the Swaro were arguably better, but they seemed a lot less better when the price came to mind. Seriously, if you've never shot with a Razor and are on a budget or just prefer not to spend Swaro or Kahles money, the Razor is truly a buy once, cry once and keep it forever optic. You owe it to yourself to check it out, especially if you're like me. I don't collect guns, I don't buy them to have them. I have them to shoot and so they'll be there when I need them and I'll know how to use them, so this is my only AR with a magnified optic on it.
    6. The scope mount is a 1.59 height Vortex Sport mount. It's actually a pretty nice mount. The recoil lug is a steel insert and the the rail mount screws have steel inserts. Still, I'm just using this until I make a decision on the whole 1.93 height debate going on in my head. The 1.93 height in conjunction with the generous eyebox of the Razor is a stupid fast combo for up close, but when you get to around 50 yards and you're looking for that solid cheek weld for stability, it gets tough. I think I've settled on a Badger Ordnance Condition 1 mount with the 1.7" height. Gotta do a bit more thinking and run a few more drills with the timer to decide.
    7. The upper is a Wilson Combat "Mil Spec Plus" receiver. I still can't figure out what the "plus" is all about. The barrel extension to receiver fit wasn't as tight as I would have liked. I didn't even need to heat it up to get it to fit, so I bedded it. Truing it up took some doing too. In short, it's nothing special. It was cheap though. Like $70. The finish is more grayish than black. Still, I think it looks cool.
    8. The grip is one of the Reptilia grips meant for PDWs. It's about as vertical as you can get. Super handy if you like getting close up on the gun. The only downside is that it is kinda short. Not a problem for me, I have small hands, but if you have big hands, you might want to give this a pass. What I like about it is that I don't get the fatigue that I usually get in my wrists and it has a bit of meat to it. If you're interested, tactical link makes a PDW grip that has some meat to it and it's a bit longer too.
    9. The receiver extension is a Vltor A5. I'm not going to jump up and down and say that it's a night and day difference from a standard carbine tube and buffer, but it does make a difference. I don't know if I'd say that you should run out and do an upgrade (although I did on my other two ARs), but if you're doing a fresh build and need to buy a tube and buffer anyway, you should definitely check these out. It's smooth.
    10. The brace is an SBA3. Enough said.
    11. The BCG is a Bravo Company carrier and an LMT bolt. I don't think I need to explain these. Some of the best.
    12. The trigger. Geissele SSA-E. Great trigger and they work and keep on working. I actually have one of the ones that were first on the market. The serial number and stuff were hand written on with some sort of paint pen or something. That one hasn't missed a beat. Why would I try any other for something special? On that note, when I have need for a general purpose trigger, I also use the enhanced milspec triggers from Tom's Tactical. The ones with the nickel boron coating. They go on sale often for around $40. They have the Schmidt marks on the parts and they are full milspec, just super smooth. I run these in my 7.62X39, 9mm and .22 builds.
    13. The lower receiver is an Aero Precision. I wanted to try one out. It's pretty nice. Integrated trigger guard, flared magwell and the screw that you can use to tighten the upper fit. It looks nice and does what it's supposed to do. It's a lower.
    14. Lastly, the M-Lok rail panels are made by Manta. They are rubber and have a neat little insert that locks them to the handguard. They really block the heat. I picked these up on a blow out sale for $8 a set of three. They work well.
     
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  6. sisyphus

    sisyphus Member

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    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    Iowa
    qOY63tr.jpg
    Larue match upper
    Larue lower
    Larue furniture and rail panels
    Velocity 3.5# single stage
    Radian charging handle and safety
    JP ambi mag release
    PWS ratcheting receiver extension
    Sprinco blue + H2 buffer
    Streamlight with Cloud Defensive switch mount
    Leupold Match AR mount. I have three of these. They're strong, light, and they put the scope right down on the rail.
    Trijicon Credo HX 223 BDC. I have a Vortex Razor on my 308 carbine and it's the best lpvo there is. This Trijicon is so good I'm buying a second. It's 90% as bright as the Razor, the glass is 94% as good, almost half a pound lighter, and it costs about 1/3 less than the Razor does.

    This is my favorite rifle. Shoots moa. Looks and feels like a million bucks.
     
  7. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    A suggestion, if you aren’t a lefty; move your light to the opposite side to clear your field of view on support side. I mount mine on the left but I don’t use switches so I’m stuck with an obscured view. Nice rifle you got there!
     
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  8. sisyphus

    sisyphus Member

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    Location:
    Iowa
    100% lefty, with a rifle
    shooting a rifle right handed is like a girl throwing a baseball for me
     
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  9. uuolf

    uuolf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2022
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    163
    Location:
    Georgia
    I'm an older shooter... 50 ish... Started hand loading 12g when I was 17, rifle when I was 18 and pistol when I was 22... I've been an IT tech geek my entire life (I use several progs and apps for ALL aspects of shooting and loading). I say all this so it's understood that I put a lot of stock in specs, "real world" experience and science. I have a 90's colt comp AR so that's my comparison. With that outta the way... I built a "test" bed 5 years ago, and one two weeks ago, that includes an Anderson lower ($43), Aero enhanced LPK ($39), BCM complete stock kit ($59), and a Bear Creek complete upper in 5.56 24" ($200), Cabela's 6x12x50 scope ($99 including a cantilevered mount). Total was about $400 including s/h plus $25 transfer fee. Some would call this a "frankegun" and that's ok... It's fun and rewarding to hit steel at 500 yards as time permits. I also have 458 socom 16", 6.8 spc 24", 224 valkyrie 24" and 5.56 10.5" uppers... All from Bear Creek and all shoot really well for my needs. (I buy from BCA because they're the cheapest and I've never had to return anything.) This particular package shoots 1/2 MOA from a rest. I use what "I" consider "perfect" handloads...lol. my son bought a "WC" Wylde chambered AR for $1200 and it shoots "almost" as good. I'm poor but like accuracy... So I get what I can when I can. I really like the fit and finish of my old colt and newish sig 5.56. I like to "tinker" with ammo and the gun itself and don't wanna possibly damage the finishes on my "nice" firearms. Almost all firearms can be made to shoot really well given the right ammo adjustment and care on assembly... I like the fit and finish of the high end guns... They're like a Lamborghini where as this one is a base model GMC 1500...lol. I really like the way this thread is going... It says a lot about people in general and us shooters in particular... It takes all kinds.
     
  10. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    I only have an AR because they got so cheap it was not wise to not buy one. I have a Delton . Only mods grip screw mod to take up over travel and ambidextrous safety. It wears a Sigg Sauer Romeo 5
    I never was a big AR fan but this little rifle is growing on me
     
  11. USNvet

    USNvet Member

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    Location:
    SoCal
    This thread is aged but still relevant. My first AR was a M-16 my Seabee battalion was issued in 1967. Previous to that we had M-14's, which were retained and not really traded for the 16's.

    In the late 90's the useful idiots that invaded California (it was certainly free when I was growing up) and took over political power, decided black rifles had to be banned but could legally be purchased up until some date in 2020 if I remember. If they were going to outlaw them, of course I needed one! Since there was a rush to buy before the cut-off date, DPMS was the only brand available, so that is what I bought.

    Not long after, California decided .50BMG's were also evil and needed to be banned, followed by a cut-off date to register and keep what you already owned. Again, if the state is going to outlaw something, sounds like a good reason to own one before the cut-off date arrived. This time I built my own AR based lower, and that didn't mean buying a lower and assembling parts to complete one! No, I bought a raw 7075 forging, not even an 80%er, and machined my own. It looks just like a 5.56/.223 AR receiver except that the mag well is solid aluminum as no .50BMG round is going to fit through it. I haven't checked recently, but back then there were several .50BMG uppers available, mostly single shot, but at least one could handle a side fed magazine.

    Nowadays, it looks like it's getting easier and easier to build your own lower from scratch with the push of a button:
     
  12. Megawatt maker

    Megawatt maker Member

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    I suggest you leave California, and take your taxmoney with you. Only way to fix that once great state is to bankrupt it.
     
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  13. USNvet

    USNvet Member

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    We can't all run away and hide. I'll be sticking around to help fight the a..holes!

    I have property in another state, but have too much to lose here. My family have been real Californians since the 1800's, and this lefty mess will soon pass. Crap, even the useful idiots who voted for all the wonderful socialism in the state, which or course is failing, are leaving the state to flee their own doings, heading for places like Phoenix to start screwing things up once again! They've already been successful at that; just look at the all the voter fraud being exposed in Arizona (2000 Mules) and other states that was the only way for the left to chock up AZ and other states as wins in 2020.

    Here is why the anti-gun laws are about to fall like dominoes in the state...of course you've heard of the big recent 2A Supreme Court win in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. versus Bruen! Before that came a win in California with a ruling by Judge Roger Benitez (appropriately renamed Saint Benitez) who crapped on the state's socalled assault weapons laws, stating they were unconstitutional based upon the history of the 2A. The 9th Circus three judge panel agreed, but the en banc group of lefty judges put the decision on hold, waiting for the Bruen decision. Thanks to the writings of Clarence Thomas, the 9th Circus is now screwed, so they have sent the case back to Saint Benitez to really pile on his original unconstitutional ruling.

    This all comes from the Youtube channel of a California lawyer, Armed Scholar, who has been keeping track of all these legal wranglings. Check out all of his videos, but this one in particular is about kicking the football back to Benitez:
     
  14. powermad

    powermad Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Oregon
    Mine started out as a PSA kit and an Anderson Lower.
    It shot terrible groups and went through a few changes like a Faxon Gunner profile, mid gas barrel and such.
    Got re gassed with a BRT tube and an A5 action.
    Went through a few scopes, mounts and red dots messing around.

    Put an 8" AR9 together had fun with it and sold off the upper and stuff.
    Then I checked out a buddies 14.5" and picked up a PSA, FN barreled 14.5" upper with a pinned and welded A2 flash hider.

    Sold off the Faxon barreled PSA to another buddy that had a stripped Anderson lower.
    I had a bunch of extra stuff so it didn't take much to make it a functioning rifle.
    Just a left over parts gun.
    Anderson lower with a CMMG LPK and a BCM PNT trigger. Magpul grip and stock.
    A5 action with an A5H2 buffer and a green spring.
    Faxon mid gas barrel with a BRT gas drive sized to run with the action and full powered ammo.
    UWYbAz6l.jpg

    The parts I had back ordered from Wilson Combat started coming in so some of what was used on the original PSA kit was used with the Aero lower from the AR9.

    The 14.7" has a mid gas barrel and I was using the Vltor A5 action but that went to the other.
    I had a left over .308 carbine tube so used it with an A5H2 buffer and green spring.
    PSA upper, FN 14.7" mid gas barrel with a Toolcraft nitride BCG and a BCM charging handle. That'll get swapped out for a Radian later on.
    Looks like Midwest Industries 13.5" handguard.
    The Anderson lower locked up with the upper, no slop so I used it.
    I have it fleshed out with the A5 action, Magpul stock and K2 XL grip.
    Radian safety selector and a Centurion Arms two stage trigger.

    Romeo5 XDR on an ADM mount and a Primary Arms 1-8x24 on a Swampfox 1.6" mount are zeroed for M855 and Mk318 62 gr.
    Inforce light on a BCM offset mount.
    JfOfWXxl.jpg
    fJMNphfl.jpg

    Wilson Combat 18" fluted, rifle gas in .223 Wylde.
    WC upper, 15" handguard and gas system.
    Re-used the Radian BCG and CH from the first.
    Aero lower, BCM LPK, I swapped the CMC PCC trigger for another Centurion Arms two stage and a Radian selector.
    Swapped out the carbine action, brace and Law Folder for the Vltor with an A5H2 buffer and a Tubbs flat wire spring.
    Vltor Emod stock, just swapped swapped out the BCM grip for a K2 XL.
    A bit bigger compared to a standard MOE grip.
    FKuGpjsl.jpg

    Tried out a few scopes and mounts and wound up with a Nightforce 2.5-10x42 in a NF 1.93" mount.
    Waiting to get out, zero this one and see if it likes S&B 5.56 77gr
    ck4eXFkl.jpg
    4NKk0ySl.jpg

    Bought the .308, just swapped out a couple things.
    Radian charging handle and safety selector, K2 XL grip.
    Swapped out the carbine action for rifle and used a Luth-AR stock.
    Wasn't impressed with the Ruger FH and used a Precision Armament EFAB muzzle thingy.
    Came with a great two stage trigger already.
    Using an Arken 4-16x50 in a Midwest Industries 1.93" QD mount.
    Ruger SR762
    WItZDl4l.jpg
     
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  15. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,771

    I felt compelled to do an update. I found that the Aero lower that I used doesn't play very nicely with the Magpul BAD lever. Due to the slop in the way the BAD lever fits on the bolt catch and the shape of the lower, the BAD lever can prevent bolt catch from locking the bolt open. I remedied this by bedding the bolt stop button into the BAD lever with green Loctite (680 I think it is), which is what I use to bed the barrel extension to the upper. That seems to have done the trick thus far.

    If it doesn't hold, I'm gonna use JB Weld. If that doesn't work I'm gonna replace the lower. I've been running a BAD lever for a while now and I try to keep everything as close to the same as possible on all of my ARs.
     
  16. EBB67

    EBB67 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2022
    Messages:
    33
    Honestly, assemble your own, most important parts are quality barrel, bcg, gas block and trigger. I assembled a PSA 20” 224 Valkyrie with parts for $375 plus another $175 for a decent dropin trigger, and it puts my buddies $1800 Daniel Defense to shame. Sure his gun is pretty with a big name and lots of bling accessories, but in 5.56 and a red dot its an overpriced 300 yard gun, while my **** box 224 does 1100 yards with a good 5-25x50 Vortex attached for a whole lot less.

    Parts list base example.
    PSA complete lower $125
    PSA 224 20” Valkyrie complete upper $250
    CMC Drop in trigger $175

    And I have parts lists for the cheap option above to builds from stratch with $400 for a 24” Fluted Bull barrel alone, so the only limits are ones own wallet.

    it comes down to use, if you’re about name and want the bragging rights of most spent, then go for the big name 16” M4 Wannabe crowd, and plink at 100 yards, or if you have purpose, select your parts with research and do some real shooting.

    In the end its all personal preference, and no wrong or right, and my opinion is just that. My opinion. Others will see different and with the myriad of possibilities with the platform opinions are like asses as we all have one, take my post as just one the many opinions you’ll get and after reading them all you’ll be armed with everything you need to make your decision

    best of luck
     
  17. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    ytpLu02.jpg

    Just my latest one, a redirected rebuild if you will.

    SOLGW M76 (Zev) 13"
    Surefire M340C
    Arisaka Surefire 340/640 mount
    Modlite Modbutton Lite
    DD mid length gas tube
    PWS shim set
    FCD 6315KM-L
    Stag Arms (Aero Precision) upper
    DSA billet port cover
    FCD LSFA
    Magpul MBUS Pro front & rear MBUS Pro LR
    Magpul MIAD
    Magpul MVG
    LWRC stock
    Larue carbine extension
    Larue MBT
    Redimag
    POF USA Enhanced BC
    Reptilia Mlok sling QD mount
    HRF RAMP
    BA Hanson 13.9
    Eotech XPS2
    Eotech G43

    I didn't want to do another SBR, wanted a mini recce but am not a fan of LPVO's so the Eotech and magnifier gives me a meet in the middle vibe. I'm currently gun poor until the next payday so it'll be a few weeks before it's being dropped off for the P&W job.
     
  18. freakinout
    • Contributing Member

    freakinout Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Texas
    2021-12-27-13-22-51-510.jpg

    This is maybe SBR v3.0 or so.

    Larue 12" Stealth 5.56
    TA33 ACOG I've had since 07 or so
    BCM Keymod handguard
    Surefire Scout Mini offset
    YHM Phantom which is a heavy SOB.
    Larue MBT2S trigger
    Troy sights, Magpul furniture, etc.

    This is my do it all setup, spends a lot of time riding around in the jeep at the ranch or my NM property. I regularly shoot it out at 270m and sometimes out to 500m which is how my ranch range is setup for. Killed a lot of pigs over the years with this and the previous 11.5" setup I had prior.
     
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  19. freakinout
    • Contributing Member

    freakinout Contributing Member

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    Location:
    Texas
    2021-12-27-13-22-16-316.jpg

    My secondary rig, would like to change some stuff up like CF handguard or some such.

    16" Larue PredatAR barrel (won on arfcom years ago)
    I think its an Aero upper and handguard I got cheap
    TA11 Acog
    Offset Scout Mini
    troy sights, magpul furniture. This setup obviously does better at distance with 4" more barrel. Just would like to drop a little weight on it as it could be a very light handy rifle
     
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  20. Tinker-S

    Tinker-S Member

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    Jan 29, 2022
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    108
    A few years ago, I undertook the assembly of an AR10 in .308.
    The parts were hard to find, and I used a conglomerate of parts: the 18" HBAR barrel from DMPS, PSA complete lower, etc, etc.
    I knew from the start that the finished product would have some issues, and to mitigate some of the most common issues, I decided to install an adjustable gas block, but I could not find the brand name I was looking for, so I settled for what was available, and it blew out on the second range visit. Finally, the one adjustable gas block in my mind was available, and it worked as advertised, in fact, it is still going on strong!
    So, back to the range I went, but I was experiencing some stove-pipe stoppages, and other maladies with the rifle. I was about to give up, and sell what I could to recoup some of my money, but I decided to investigate, and found a thread on-line that spoke of the same issues I was having with my rifle. After I was done with the reading, off I went to the hardware store, and purchased a packet of small plumber's rubber o-rings to install at the extractor. That, and the adjustable gas block saved the rifle from butchering.
    I still have the rifle, and did purchase a second complete upper in 6.5CM to use with the original lower.
     
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  21. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    Soon? Soon.

    ICT1JMh.jpg

    Can't assemble until after a few parts are cerakoted and that won't be until next month.
     
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  22. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    6,638
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I just finished up a long-term build... what I call my 5.56mm DRM build.

    LRB (JV) lower, generic (BAFE) upper, UBR gen2 stock, generic BGC (to be replaced by a NiB BCG in the future.)
    BA 18" rifle-length 1:7 SPR 5.56mm barrel, A2 flash hider.
    K2 grip, Trinity Force P1215 15" triangular forearm
    Crimson Trace 1-8x28 scope on an AP mount.

    I built this with some leftover and takeoff parts, so it wasn't super expensive... but I did spend the money on the barrel. My brother gave me the UBR for my birthday some years ago... for just this build.

    I test fired it mid-build... it works well enough, the BA barrel shows some potential. Now that it's together, I've got some test loads with the 62grn Hornady BTHP (which may or may not shoot well in the 1:7 twist,) and some 69grn SMK's... which, I'm sure, will. TAC and H335 are the powders, but I'm not opposed to trying IMR4895 if those don't work.

    U8Ejlzwl.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2022
  23. The_Quartermaster

    The_Quartermaster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    479
    Done with this one. Figured to give a follow-up with the previous of showing this one in parts and assembly half's.

    eALfuir.jpg
     
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  24. DesertFox

    DesertFox Member

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    Feb 9, 2006
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    487
    Location:
    TBD
    After assembling nearly every permutation of Colt catalog clones and testing just about every trigger known to man, really like Elftmann. Prefer mlock over quad rails but built both LE6940 and LE6945 Colt uppers on my built lowers. Magpul K2+ has become pretty standard. Several buttstocks preferred depending on setup. Built some with every spring specced but most LPK seem just fine, minus trigger.
     
  25. freakinout
    • Contributing Member

    freakinout Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Texas
    What light is that
     
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