AR question, build or buy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kahr33556, Dec 1, 2013.

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  1. Kahr33556

    Kahr33556 Member

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    I am thinking of getting a AR15 or building one.
    If I build one I was thinking of using Blem uppers and lowers.If I buy one getting a cheaper S&W or DPMS or some other low cost model.
    Don't know anything about building one but can learn.

    One thing it must be accurate.
    Any opinions or help would be great.
     
  2. zerobarrier
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    zerobarrier Contributing Member

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    You might want to post this in the rifle country section not the handguns you may get more responses, unless you are talking about a AR pistol
     
  3. zerobarrier
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    zerobarrier Contributing Member

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    I have a S&W M&P that I made some upgrades to and it shoots sub MOA out to 300 yards with my handloads using a harris bipod with no rear rest only my hand and shoulder.
     
  4. Kahr33556

    Kahr33556 Member

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    can a moderator please move this to the rifle section
    thanks
     
  5. HisStigness

    HisStigness Member

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    Build. Build. Build. Even if you buy a complete upper and a complete lower from the same company, you will undoubtedly save some money. I built my 300blk upper for under $400 (without bcg) and I am very happy with it.
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    I've never been sorry I built my ARs, even my first one. If you're patient, understand exactly what you want and look for good sales on quality parts it's pretty easy to build a better AR than cheap stuff off the rack at the LGS.
     
  7. Kahr33556

    Kahr33556 Member

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    I was going to buy blems from PSA to get off cheaper
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Nothing wrong with that!
     
  9. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    If you are like me, you probably will find it IMPOSSIBLE to build a super cheap AR.

    Build it because you want the EXACT AR that you WANT.

    Quite frankly, most people are better off buying a base AR and modifying it as they go.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Buy! Buy! Buy!!

    If it fails to work for any reason, it is under warranty.

    And you won't be posting 'how do I fix it' questions here on THR for the next two years!

    Once you get a running factory gun that works 1000% with any ammo??
    Then build the next one just exactly like you want it for $2 grand, Plus all the tools you need to build it.
    And hope it looks & works as well!!

    That's my story.
    And I'm sticking to it!!

    rc
     
  11. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    I've generally gone by the rule of buy it if, and only if, you can find one that's almost exactly like you want it. That way you're not spending thousands on swapping nearly every part on the gun.

    Of course, due to it's modular nature, and the availability of tacticool/neat/semi-useful/bargain-basement parts, as well as those that really serve a purpose, you might end up doing that, anyway...
     
  12. Krusty783

    Krusty783 Member

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    If you buy a complete rifle, it comes with a warranty which is helpful if you get one of the few lemons. But, you can switch out most of the components with tools you already have, so I agree that you should only buy a complete rifle if it is exactly (or a grip/stock away) like what you want. Even then, there's no guarantee that you won't decide that you want something else in 6 months/1 year and start tinkering with it.

    If you want to build one yourself, building a Lower requires the least investment in special tools; All you need is a buffer tube wrench/armorers wrench and some punches. There are a few helpful small tools you can get, but they aren't required.

    Building an Upper requires a vice and an upper receiver block or a Geisselle Reaction Rod (or an imitation), an armorers wrench, a torque wrench and perhaps a hand guard removal tool.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Agree with rcmodel.

    We read a lot about LEGOGuns that shoot great.
    We read some about, as he says, need help.
    We do not read about the ruined sets of parts on the back of the shelf.
    But they are there.
     
  14. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    If for no other reason than the tax on (complete) firearms.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Ruined parts? No doubt this happens when you have Homer Simpson types slapping things together but if the OP is handy with his hands and careful then broken parts are unlikely.

    My first AR was a custom build designed and put together by myself. No broken parts and it functioned fine. Over time I did replace some parts, selling the old ones. It now is exactly what I want.

    No doubt you'll end up with cast off parts after a build but that's even more likely when buying a cheap AR off the rack. Parts can be ruined but usually a bubba is involved.

    Anyway, the build vs. buy question is best answered after you know yourself extremely well.
     
  16. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    One mans opinion here. If you want to save money, wait for a good deal and just buy one. If you have a specific list of wants and/or needs for the rifle, build it.

    ETA: also consider the cost of buying tools and the availability of someone to help you out if you have questions. ARs are not difficult to build, but as RC and Jim Watson said, there are some spots tricky for the novice.
     
  17. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    If you are looking to save money, given the sales that are happening right now (Colt 6920 for 895 for example) then buying a complete gun makes more sense. The fact that a warranty comes with it is just icing on the cake.

    If you are into more "esoteric" stuff or are just generally difficult to please AND you are willing to spend a lot of time doing research on parts and how they go together, then build. No fallback, no warranty, no LGS to hit up when things go wrong. It'll most likely cost more as the parts list gets more specialized.

    I fall into the latter group. I've never done it before but I ain't skeered.

    C
     
  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I would buy the first one.

    Then you need to evaluate your mechanic abilities.

    Building an AR is not difficult, but ham fisted, shade tree, hammer mechanics will run into trouble.

    Also, buy or borrow the correct tools for assembly. Unless you are planning to build more or already have the tools on hand, it will ad to the cost. If you do not have the correct tools, you run a real risk of damaging parts of the gun.
     
  19. HisStigness

    HisStigness Member

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    Wouldn't money be saved even if you did something as simple as popping together an upper an lower of the same brand?
     
  20. wally

    wally Member

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    You'll have the best resale value if you buy, particularly Colt.

    But by building you save the $100 per gun Federal excise tax straight off the top, and get to pick and choose to get exactly what you want.
     
  21. Levan9X19

    Levan9X19 Member

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    I built this AR, tons of fun (megatons), significant savings and got the rifle I want without a necessity to customize factory made one

    [​IMG]
     
  22. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Exactly!

    Build one if you 'want' to build one or better yet, more than one. Build one if you already have the tools or foresee using them more than once or if you want to build a good one. Build one if you KNOW you can't buy the same thing for the same or less money. Don't build a cheap one 'just' to save money, it's a fool's errand. You'll need $150-$200 worth of special tools and implements to do it right. That kills "cheap" right there. Sure, lots of folks will say you can do it with a pipe wrench and a hammer but rest assured that if you buy one, it will be done right and by someone who has done hundreds if not thousands of them. To do it right, you'll need the right tools. You'll need the AR-specific wrenches, a good vise, punches, a chamber gauge, a receiver block and at least rent a good torque wrench. You'll also need a decent book, as I have never read an online tutorial that did not leave out something.
     
  23. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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  24. Devilfrog

    Devilfrog Member

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    My first one I went half way with, Built the lower with all the stuff I wanted and then found an assembled upper that had all the options I wanted. Still came out ahead and got what I wanted with few tools to buy.
    The 2nd and 3rd rifles were built completely, upper & lower. :)
     
  25. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    This ^

    As much as I would like to recommend building your first AR15, If you are new to the AR world It might be better to buy a complete rifle (or complete upper + complete lower).

    Very important when buying an AR15: buy from a quality/reputable manufacturer like Colt, Smith & Wesson, etc. I would stay away from lower end brands like DPMS, or anything with a polymer receiver.
     
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