great enthusiasm, poor timing
I believe, even now, it is cheaper to assemble a rifle than to buy one
Ive built a dozen AR-15s and a few AR-10s from scratch.
off the shelf, there was a time that it was marginal savings to assemble one. Del-ton sold some ARs for $650. NO WAY you could build one for that cheap. That same rifle is selling for $2,000 now. i think with patience, perseverance, a graceful wife, and a deep pocket you can build an AR-15 now.
Lower Receiver ($350)
Lower parts kit ($200)
Carbine Buffer tube assembly ($150)
Magpul MOE Stock ($100)
Complete Upper Receiver ($800-$3,000)
no sights= ~$1,800
There's a catch. GOOD LUCK FINDING the stuff. Ive seen 'standard' lowers sell for $500.
I hope you have a COMPLETE lower parts kit. Ive had 2 kits have 'missing' springs.
Your rifle is only as good as your sights. Typically I'll budget my sights cost 50%-60% of the rifle. So my $2,000 rifle has a $1,100 optic on top. Trijicon, EOTech, Leupold, back up sights, lasers. I LOVE trijicon. Since you are starting out, i suggest Magpul's flip up sights. I think they are around ~$110 for the pair. They are plastic, so if you bang them around, they dont bend, they break.
Im happy you want to get into AR-15s. Best of luck to you and your build.
PLAN PLAN PLAN
A prudent man forsees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished