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

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

  1. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    Those lowers are fine. I've got PSA, Spikes, Aero, and Anderson. All have worked just great for me.
     
  2. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    Lower just holds the good stuff in spend your money on a good trigger and barrel BCG
     
  3. mjkten

    mjkten Member

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    Because I'm located in the Palmetto State, I was very pleased to find PSA, and endeavored to build two AR's using all PSA parts. Due to political winds blowing foul, certain shortages arose during the build. So I reached out to Bravo Company for a couple of parts and looked to Brownells for the Smith ent. Vortex flash hiders. Nothing special parts-wise, but very pleased with price and function. And I used Magpul OE furniture, an Aimpoint PRO on one, and a carry handle on the other. 16" light profile barrels with mid length gas systems.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Hogan Guns .308 lower. It has an ambidextrous bolt catch release.
     
  5. Dale Gribble

    Dale Gribble Member

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    Matrix aerospace lower, BCM 1 in 7 twist carbine upper, forget the lpk but it was mil-spec, magpul furniture, vortex strikefire II optic....
     
  6. Devilfrog

    Devilfrog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
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    Location:
    Tampa Bay area, FL
    My current build I'm putting together based on personal preference...
    Upper:
    Aero Upper receiver
    16" Sprinta melonite 1:8 twist barrel
    Yankee Hill low profile gas block / mid length gas tube
    Diamondhead V-RS 10.25" forearm
    BCM gunfighter charging handle
    AIM Nitride BCG
    Yankee Hill Annihilator flash suppressor
    Magpul MBUS Gen 2 flip sights (front/rear)

    Lower:
    Sharps Bros Hellbreaker lower receiver
    Magpul STR buttstock
    Hogue pistol grip
    ALG Defense ACT trigger
    Lower parts kit from Red Barn
    Spikes buffer
    DPMS buffer tube and spring

    Plus odds and ends. All together it cost me $1255 but its got all the things I wanted, will add an EoTech optic eventually. Only have upper assembled so far...

    New%20AR%201.gif

    New%20AR%202.gif
     
  7. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    Thats tough ... this is more like an collection of parts, but these, above all others are the ones I'll be keeping and my kids will have to decide what to do with them when I'm gone.

    P4020770.jpg

    First, I started with an early (skinny barrel, triangle handguard, 3-prong F/H) complete M-16 ... it was around $13,000 a few years ago, I stripped it down to the receiver and rebuilt it with new springs & detents, added MagPul furniture, the skinny barrel upper is in a box somewhere around here.

    Then I found a Colt LMG upper as NIB kit, complete with the hydrolic buffer and heavy bolt/carrier/fireing pin ... I feel like I stole it for $2,200 on Gunbroker

    Then I added a Colt/Diamaco 11.5" Commando upper and and 3-round burst trigger ... it came as a kit and was $750 on Gunbroker

    Then I added a Colt/Diamaco 10" 9mm upper and and 3-lug adaptor... it also came as a kit and was $750 on Gunbroker

    Lastly, I added a CMMG 22LR upper ... because the Colt (walther) doesn't fit/work on an M-16 ... it was $650 from CMMG.

    The 223 suppressor and 22 suppressor are YHM and the 9mm is Octane
     
  8. B2Tall

    B2Tall Member

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    My experience in the firearm industry is that if you just want a basic AR-platform rifle, the brand isn't all that important. I've dealt with all sorts of AR manufacturers, both big and small, and have yet to come across a brand that I would call a POJ. Now, as other posters have pointed out, it's what you put inside the upper and lower that's important. Match-grade barrels and triggers will make a big difference but aren't really necessary for just someone who wants a basic, solid AR. I've put together ARs using big-name, expensive parts as well as no-name stuff. They've all worked just fine, although the discerning shooter can certainly tell the difference.
     
  9. Blade First

    Blade First Member

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    "I've dealt with all sorts of AR manufacturers, both big and small, and have yet to come across a brand that I would call a POJ."

    Well, in my experience, yes and no. Have worked on junk from many mfrs./brands. Some have even made it on to my personal 'don't buy' list.

    The issue is not that well-known brands vend perfect products but that some second or third tier wholesalers/vendors have QC standards that are poor to nonexistent.

    Those companies are perfectly happy to purchase and sell AR parts that would not meet spec by more responsible companies with adequate QC programs; parts that are, by common-standard definition, defective...but sometimes acceptable to customers in high-demand/low-availability situations. The last two periods of Great Unpleasantness are testament to that fact.

    Just keep in mind that where they are concerned, 'all sales are final' means that customer service is going to be an absolute joke.

    There is a distinction between 'cheap' and 'inexpensive'.

    Caveat emptor...
     
  10. B2Tall

    B2Tall Member

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    I've probably dealt with a couple of dozen brands over the years, but there are literally hundreds of brands out there. Here's the thing - there are very few actual manufacturers....only a handful. And when I say "manufacturers" I mean those who actually make the parts from raw materials. Most brands simply purchase their parts from one of these factories with their logo on it (in the case of uppers or lowers) or simply repackage it under their own name (in the case of smaller parts).

    Triggers and barrels will be the biggest difference makers when it comes to performance. The rest of the stuff is pretty much the same to the casual shooter or hobbyist (i.e. 95% of gun owners). Only a truly discerning shooter should be overly concerned with who makes what part.
     
  11. JB_3

    JB_3 Member

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    I just finished my build I used an Anderson lower, a DPMS lower parts kit , a UTG full length buttstock, a Palmetto State Armory freedom upper with a Noveske bolt.

    After finishing my build I started to realize my gun seems to be heavy, it feels about like my Mosin Nagant is that normal or should I replace some parts?
     
  12. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    just buy a new stripped lower and start over ;)
     
  13. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    I don't own a Nagant so I can't comment to that, but an AR, depending on your barrel length and how many accessories you've hung on it, it should weigh around 6 to 7.5 pounds ...
     
  14. JonB

    JonB Member

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    iroKwpQn0WmjHskHRZEw88dlfETmWqkZJbXRLNcu1kY=w506-h899-no.jpg
    - Aero Precision Upper/Lower recievers (Tungsten Cerakote)
    - Magpul ACS stock
    - AIM surplus BCG (Nitride Bolt, NiB carrier)
    - Midwest Industries Gen2 hand guard (Tungsten Cerakote)
    - 18" White Oak barrel (rifle length gas system)
    - Burris PEPR QD scope mount
    - Nikon M223 2x8 scope
    - Phantom flash hider

    This is my first 'from scratch' build. I am hoping the WOA barrel will be quite accurate after I dial in a load for it. I have a load ready - H335 starting at 23.6gr and working up to 25gr all ready to go. Now just need to get some range time in to see what it will do and what it likes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
    Browning likes this.
  15. .45cultist

    .45cultist Member

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    I wanted a semiauto rifle like the one I was issued in 1995. An R604 M16 with 54,XXX serial number. I like Del-Ton's 1-9 pencil barrels enough that I'd make an "A2" and "A4" variant for light carry in the truck on the farm.
     
  16. Jesse H

    Jesse H Member

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    Never had an AR until I was issued a Bushmaster with an Eotech at work, didn't have any major issues with it until a couple thousand rounds it started having extraction issues. A new spring fixed it but it gave me an excuse to buy my own so I ended up with a 6920. Actually I had a DPMS but after some research I was convinced to go with the Colt.

    Aimpoint PRO - Eotech on my issued rifle took a dump, although I preferred the reticle on the Eotech, the battery life and reliability of the Aimpoint was a winner for me

    ADM - Wanted lower 1/3 co-witness and the mount that comes with the PRO was bulky

    Magpul - Rifle came with Magpul stuff, but I replaced the MOE stock with a CTR for the quick release mount.

    Geissele G2S - Had a ACT trigger but wanted to try the Geissele. Now I'm spoiled and will need this trigger on any future rifles

    Centurion Arms C4 rail - Arguably one of the best rails out there that accommodates a FSP

    Surefire X300u - Originally was going to stick with TLR's as I'm familiar with them, but after one had an issue with the switch and failed right before a SWAT call, I switched them all over to Surefire

    Raptor charging handle - Mostly a splurge purchase, but it is a very nice piece

    Vickers sling - simple, priced fairly, and does the job

    Impact Weapon Components quick detach sling hardware - Used stuff from them in the past and had no issues

    So far approximately 1K rounds downrange without an issue, mostly with cheap Remington training ammo. Looking at doing an SBR with a can for my next rifle, probably BCM.
     

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  17. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    I always build lightweight. If an AR weighs more than 7.5lbs, I might as well carry a .308.
     
  18. mf-dif

    mf-dif Member

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    This is the build on working on now and it also happens to be my first. My goal is to make a rifle for $500 that isn't plain jane, with features you would find for something that retails in the $800 mid-range. Secondary goal is to make it under 6-lbs. I'm about 80% there.

    Lower:
    Anderson stripped lower - $50 just as good as any lower, except the hole for the pistol grip was drilled too short. Had to use a spacer.
    PSA Enforcer nickel lower parts kit w/m4 grip- $60 small upgrade from standard with the nickel trigger. It's slick, breaks cleaner then my S&W mil trigger.
    GFG buffer tube assembly - $20 from amazon. Mil tube, castle nut, spring and 3oz buffer. Cheapest kit I could find. Finish on it is thin. Everything fit perfect.
    MFT Minimalist Stock - $45 on ebay. That's the lowest cost I could find for it online. Good stuff, but don't get too excited about it's lightweight. Even though it's claimed to be the lightest stock on the market...if you take the metal sling mount off a standard M4 stock it is lighter than MFT. Weighed it myself.

    Upper:
    Thunderguns upper + part kit - $60 for a stripped upper, forward assist and dust cover. Finish is poor. Evenly sprayed on the outside, but inside is only partly coated. Forward assist and dust cover paint is semi-gloss, not matte. Fit is good though. Nice and tight mated with anderson, no wobble.
    PSA premium BCG - $70. Reliability everyone says comes from this piece so I didn't want to gamble on it too much. Nicely put together BCG. I don't expect it to give me any problems.
    Rousch charging handle - $10 from amazon. Finish on this budget part was actually very good. Nothing wrong with the fit. No need for an extended handle yet. I don't plan on mounting any large optics.
    Classic Firearms SS barrel - $71. M4 profile, 1:7, .223 wylde, carbine gas. Wow this thing is beautiful. Hope it shoots as well as it looks. Reviews seem to report good accuracy on it.
    Flip-up sights - $16 from ebay. Aluminum fair diamond shaped irons. As long as the parts don't rattle and walk, I'll be OK with it.

    Need to buy:
    Low profile gas block. A2 flash hider, 12" slim keymod handguard. I have it picked out, it's going to be Rousch parts again from Amazon. Should cost me about $70 for the lot. It weighs exactly 5lbs now, so it's gonna be close.

    So far I've learned that yeah it's going to be possible to build a mid-price featured rifle for $500. The draw back is the finish on a lot of these budget parts are poor...but they fit perfect. It will not be a pretty rifle and thats ok since it's going to be a shooter and nicked up anyways. Hopefully it's run well.
    1D352790-A588-467A-A3C6-8DB5B3B0D217_zps2kwttsbf.jpg
     
  19. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    When Hillary gets in you'll probably be able to get around $2K for it ... :evil:
     
  20. Warp

    Warp Member

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    When Hillry gets in what...her car?
     
    Hokie_PhD likes this.
  21. JSin'88

    JSin'88 Member

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    Dec 14, 2015
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    Fortis rev rails

    I'm really leaning towards the fortis rev rails for my mid-length but I have the yankee hill gasblock with flip up front sight which I'd like to keep if I got their 9" rails would the yankee be in the way? would "mid cut-out" work for me? or should I just get a low-profile gas block and get longer rails and cover it up, I use an eotech with magnifier so I don't need the front sight on the yankee I just like the looks of it.
     
  22. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Cheapest route to an XM-177 without the tax stamp.

    Meaning a one piece at a time parts build with a 11.5/5.5 welded flash suppressor. Why? I wanted a true lightweight but potent carbine for short range (think 'house gun') use. And maybe just for fun at the annual AK vs AR match.

    I have just about $700 into the build total including an M-1 carbine sling. I bought my parts bit by bit over the course of a year.

    The build started when I got a deal on a DPMS A1 upper with a Brenton bump. The price was too good to pass up at $50, compared a true Colt or repro Nodak part. The forward assist, sights, charging handle and LPK are DPMS. The bolt is an MPI M-16 spec part from Surplus Arms and Ammo. The barrel came from Tony's customs and is a 1:9. The lower is an Anderson. (I was thinking of going Aero Precision but again, the price was too good to pass up.) The stock came from Tony's, the grip and fore end came from Model One.
     

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  23. MCab

    MCab Member

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    Jan 31, 2010
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    BCM Keymod upper. I like the idea of putting attachments but when I see picatinnys, I imagine a belt sander with 3-grit paper on it being run over my hands. I really like it, but the handguard gets hot after shooting a while. I see this as a feature as well, with the plasticization of everything we're losing heat dissipation in our rifles. Glad to know mine will do that a little better and it's not a problem some mechanix and rail panels can't fix.

    Lower is Ranier zombie with bare-bones stock. Zombie cuz, why not and I'll know it's mine and the stock is just to my liking. Over all, it's very balanced weapon, sits in my shoulder crease very well, can damn near one-hand shoot it.

    Other add ons have included BCM's short vertical grip, BCM rail panels, arisaka finger guard, BCM picatinny rail adapter (inforce light coming soon), Magpull battery assist device and Troy diamond BUIS.

    Coming up, I've just purchased a Nikon p223 and will be putting it on a riser. BUIS will be on angled picatinny adapters.

    Overall, went with this build because I want it to last and function reliably. In hindsight, I regret the chrome lined barrel in light of how they perform against melonite and similar treatments. I got it for self-defense, but also want to do some coyote hunting with it.
     
  24. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Location:
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    So I'll classify mine as cheap! Maybe not dirt cheap, but cheap. :)
    I really had planned on saving for a Ruger M77/357, but the darn AR bug bit me. Outside influences, you know. This is my testing the AR waters, to see if I would want/need to go further with another build.

    Two of everything on the lowers.

    Lower stripped, anodized receiver is an 80% from Daytona Tactical. Just because as a toolmaker, I can.

    Lower kit, up to and including 6-position tail stock, PSA. Christmas special.

    Complete upper with BCG and charging handle, another Daytona Tactical, Christmas special. A-2 flash suppressor. 16" and 1:7 twist.

    Bought an off-brand scope through Amazon that is 2.5-10x with crosshairs that illuminate red or green.

    As I said, this was on the cheap. OTD, it ran me $542. Oh, I forgot, 4 30 rd. IMI magazines at $8 each.

    Got it out to the range today with son and grandson. Got it sighted in up to 50 yds. Ran 80 rds. through it, swapping out lowers half way. 40 rds. were 55 gr. and the other 40 were 62 gr. No noticeable difference. Next time with be the 100 yd. That is max at our range.

    I do realize now that some 5 and 10 rd. magazines would be nice for bench shooting. And a riser for the scope. Could barely get my cheek buried into the stock to see through the scope.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. grogetr

    grogetr Member

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    Sep 20, 2013
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    Location:
    Il.
    I put a 3/4" scope riser on mine and it made a big difference. 10 rd mags work great
     
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