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School me, AR build?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tarosean, Feb 18, 2012.

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  1. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    okay so I gave up nicotine 1 month ago after 26yrs of use, and it must be affecting me more than I thought. I purchased my first poly gun the other day and I ordered a LaRue stripped Lower and Upper.

    so what are my caliber options given the 5.56 lower I ordered?



    Of course this will be my first build and still not real sure of what all I need. krieger barrel and geissele or timney trigger will be next
     
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    What do you want to do with it?
     
  3. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    hogs/plink. etc
     
  4. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    First thing you're gonna need is some tools. What most folks who suggest building an AR always seem to forget is that you'll need $200 worth of specialized tools. You'll need wrenches for the delta ring, the barrel nut and the buffer tube locknut. Plus a torque wrench. You'll also need a receiver block and if building a flat-top or using a quad rail forend, you'll need the fixture that allows you to torque the delta ring while holding the upper rails perfectly aligned. A vise block is a good idea too. Not to mention a vise, if you don't already have one.

    http://www.brownells.com

    I would also suggest a decent book on the subject. Of all the online write-ups I've seen, including the tutorials on AR15.com, I never saw one that didn't have a few missing details. For example, you will see virtually no reference to the torque specs required for the barrel nut or the tightening procedure.
     
  5. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    lots of choices with caliber. Any reason not to consider the 5.56?
     
  6. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    None at all.. just trying to get info on all the harder hitting options with the lower I bought. (Not at all interesting in 22LR or Pistol Calibers, etc.)
     
  7. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Lot of hog killers like both the 6.8 and 6.5G.
     
  8. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

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    $200? Really?
     
  9. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    Yup, there are many options for your lower.

    Regarding tools, a punch set, some screw drivers, and a spanner wrench/armorer's wrench if you use a carbine stock. You will need a few other things if you build your upper, but their are so many standard, semi-custom, and custom builders out there that can provide your top half just the way you want it for about the same price as you could build it (sometimes cheaper).

    Definitely trading one addiction for another! Good luck.
     
  10. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    $100 in tools..max for tools. Your major expenditures will be a good quality armorers wrench and an upper reciever block. Having a good bench vise and a workbench is a given for any project. You only need a couple of punches that at most will cost you under ten bucks at Sears.

    Most folks have the rest of the tools needed as part of just being a guy. Allen wrenches, flat tip screwdriver, hammer, and electric tape. You may have to buy some high temp grease if you don't have any on hand. A torque wrench is not needed. Tighten, loosen and retighten the barrel nut 3 times and finally index the nut. If you can index the gas tube hole with one hand, you are not using enough torque. If you need to break out a cheater bar and huse gorilla like strength, you are using too much.

    In fact, with the exception of using my vise to start my trigger guard pin, I built my last lower on the couch.
     
  11. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    To do it right. I'm sure plenty of folks will say they did it with a pair of vise grips and a hammer. My receiver and vice block set cost me $75 and the upper receiver block was $50. Wrenches are $20-$30 and you'll need two. So right off the top of my head that's $165-$185. Forgot to add that you'll need a punch set as well.
     
  12. gp911

    gp911 Member

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    A quick google search will show there are tons of options, but there are a handful that are most popular. Right now .300 BLK is the hot new thing, very similar to 300 Whisper but SAAMI-spec'd so it may become very popular even with non-reloaders. Others include 7.62x39, .30 AR, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, :450 Bushmaster .458 SOCOM, .50 Beowulf, and so on. I plan on a .50 Beowulf soon and a .300 BLK once the hype dies down a little.
     
  13. HankB

    HankB Member

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    Perhaps if you buy & assemble every individual component yourself, but if you use a barreled upper, additional tools (over what you probably already have if you're a normal guy) are minimal - a handguard removal tool is handy but not essential, plus a stock wrench; less than $30 for the two.
     
  14. PPS43

    PPS43 Member

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    Add to it no-go and field gauge and you're over $200.
     
  15. Pindarslight

    Pindarslight member

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    I've never been suggested 200$ worth of tools, I've been told vise block, punches, the AR-15 multi wrench which has everything on it to remove barrel nut, stock etc and a torque wrench though most don't use that. From what understand is headspace gauge isn't one of those super needed deals.
     
  16. Patriot1/3

    Patriot1/3 member

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    You can always go LMT upper MRP and have the 6.8 cal as well. Change your bolt face to that paticular cal. You'll have to purchase the 6.8 mags as well. The barrels change out quickly. It's your best bet.
     
  17. BsChoy

    BsChoy Member

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    I'd have to second what Patriot1/3 says. If funds allow an MRP to switch cals is a great option. Otherwise I wouldn't rely on a 5.56 for all pigs. I would go 6.8 if its hunting/plinking. Hard hitting and a fair amount of ammunition choices on the market nowadays.
     
  18. PPS43

    PPS43 Member

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    It is not needed if you buy barrel and bolt together that are already headspaced by the manufacturer.

    If barrel and bolt come from different places headspace will most likely be fine, but there are rare exceptions. It's so easy to check, though, so why skip it. You can always sell the gauges if you no longer need them, or just keep them and let your friends borrow them.
     
  19. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    My response is similar to PPS43, it's not super needed, only if you want to do it right, and safely. Many people also say you don't need a no-go gauge for rebarreling a Savage, but I have one anyway.

    If you are going to do something it's almost always worth doing it right. Headspace gauges, torque wrenches, etc., why bother doing it if you aren't going to do a good job.

    You are getting ready to build something that can blow up in your hands if not done correctly. How much are your fingers and eyes worth?
     
  20. Pindarslight

    Pindarslight member

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    Like I said everyone I've talked to does it differently. Maybe not done with torque wrenches headspace gauges kryptonite screws or what have you, but what I've heard and seen none of that craziness is needed. It is what it is.

    No matter read these and do what you will either way good articles

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_4/315921_Headspace__Torque_values__and_Barrel_Break_in.html

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_4/226782_Assemble_your_own_LOWER__UPPER__FREE_FLOAT__TRIGGER__GAS_BLOCK___Step_by_step_instructions_.html
     
  21. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Then you're not really "building" your rifle, are you? You're just assembling a lower and slapping a complete upper on it. In which case it should be obvious that you don't need the specialized tools necessary to properly assemble an upper. However, a quick glance back at the OP you will see that he has a stripped upper and lower receiver. So he won't be using a pre-assembled anything.


    Well you can certainly build an engine without using a torque wrench but how long is it gonna last? Like my old man always said, there's nothing like having the right tool for the job. If your goal is simply to slap one together that goes "bang", skip the tools. IMHO, if you're not gonna do it right, just go out and buy a complete rifle with a warranty. Just consider the source of your information. Do they anonymous internet guys that post tutorials on building AR's have any credibility or accountability? No. Is "Pindarslight" gonna come over and help you fix the problem you ran into because you skimped on tools? No. Do the guys who write books on the subject have any credibility or accountability? You bet! Their livelihood is on the line with every word they write. Do you think professional gunsmiths and manufacturers build them without using the proper tools? Hell no, that's why they never get rich. They're three mortgages deep in tools and equipment!


    Yeah, been there, done that. Buy the book instead.
     
  22. XxBulletBendeRXx

    XxBulletBendeRXx Member

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    Well since noone but RockyMtnTactical has said it, I feel like being captian obvious on this one...
    How about building it with a 5.56/.223 upper?

    --Disclaimer... ITS A JOKE!! :neener:
     
  23. XxBulletBendeRXx

    XxBulletBendeRXx Member

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    IMO you are correct... I found this bit of info and find it a bit much, but worthy of the headspace topic. Whether you check the headspace on your rifle is up to you. The following is provided for your information…
    .Headspace:
    There is some dispute over the need to check the headspace on AR15/M16 rifles on these forums. Some say you must. Some say you should. Some say you don't have to.

    The Forster/SAAMI gauges available from Brownells are primarily intended for use with .223 Remington civilian rifles, but can be used with your AR15. The M16/AR15 series use their own peculiar specs for headspace, making it necessary to ignore the "Go' and "No-Go" markings, and look instead at the measurement marked on the gauge.

    The current military specifications for the M16 series call for headspace of not less than 1.4646” and not more than 1.4706” on a new rifle. The commercial Forster/SAAMI gauges are marked in 1,000ths of an inch instead the 10,000ths of an inch that the dedicated M16 gauges are. When installing a new barrel, the commercial gauge measuring 1.465" can be used in place of the M16 "Go" gauge. Consider the 4/10,000ths of an inch difference an extra margin of safety. The commercial 1.470" gauge (the commercial "Field" gauge) can be used to confirm that the headspace is within spec for a new rifle. Unfortunately, there are no gauges available to measure between 1.470" and 1.4730", the latter being the measurement on the M16 "Field" gauge.

    The M16 Field Service gauge measures a dimension of greater than 1.4730”. A rifle with a bolt that does not close on a Field Service gauge is considered safe to fire by the army, but not the Marines who use the military "No-Go" gauge for that measurement. Without using military Go or No-Go gauges, or commercial gauges marked with their measurements, you cannot know whether or not it is truly in spec. An interesting tidbit of information is that the Colt M16/AR15 Field gauge measures a dimension in excess of 1.4736”. It seems that the military has built in a bit more of a safety factor with their gauge.

    You should remove the extractor parts and the ejector, which normally requires four hands. Removing the ejector is a two-handed job if you have the proper tools, specifically a Sinclair Bolt Vice for the AR15.

    You can’t really reset the headspace on an AR15 with a chrome-lined chamber. That is set when the barrel extension is installed on the barrel. If you have an unlined barrel, with short headspace, a gunsmith can adjust it by cutting the chamber deeper with the appropriate chambering reamers. If the headspace is long, or the chamber chrome-lined, the only option is to try a different bolt until headspace checks good, or you run out of bolts. Then it is time for a new barrel.

    THis post was not a job for captian obvious. This is simply a Job for THE HIGH ROAD.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  24. XxBulletBendeRXx

    XxBulletBendeRXx Member

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  25. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Yikes this one kind of went all over the place.

    Someone said it best.. Most tools I already own by virtue of being an over 40yr old man. Even own an assortment of spanner wrenches, not sure if they would fit till I try them though. :)

    With exception of the upper block that I could probably just as easily make out of wood for a few pennies, and it seems I can destroy a cheap Mag as a lower vise block or use wood too. However, What do I know? :)

    Torn between 6.8 SPC and 5.56 so it looks like I will put in an order for another upper... might as well do both..

    I do have an additional question thou... I see a lot of AR pictures with a "grey" mag catch and bolt catch.. Does no one make a true black lpk? or should they be individually ordered from someone?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
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