Downsides of building an AR15?
Do any of you that has "built" AR's (or more like assembled them as I call it) run into some issues?
I'm on my third AR15 build, not a lot by any means but I have come across a couple of small issues when you build an AR15 from different parts manufacturers.
First, there is a chance that some of the parts you build may not be completely compatible, or not completely in-spec. By that I mean that things like trigger pins or take down pins that are too loose/tight or just not fitting at all without a little modification. For example on my 2nd AR15, I bought both upper and lower receivers stripped from one company (Spikes Tactical), but the LPK from another (Palmetto). The trigger pin seems to be 'walking out' when first shot 40rds to test the rifle. In comparison to a factory built AR15 like my M&P, pins are all very tight fitting and will not wobble or loosen with recoil.
Of course i'm looking to add the KNS anti-walk pins so its not a big deal, but compared to a factory built gun you will most likely not have that issue.
Secondly, any problems you run into like I mentioned above may not be necessarily covered by warranty. In the issue I had with the trigger pin walking out is not necessarily a major issue, but if that happend to your factory AR15 it will be covered by warranty. With AR builds, YOU as the builder are responsible to choose good quality parts that will hopefully fit when you assemble them together. And if they don't work/fit 100%, you have to fix it yourself
On the flipside of all this, the advantages are more significant than the disadvantages. I was able to build my Spikes AR at a good price--below or at the same cost as a factory built gun. After finally completing my Spikes Tactical AR even during the panic, I was still able to keep it under $1k.
Prices for example:
Stripped lower receiver - $115 (bought the day after Sandy Hook)
Upper receiver - $99
BCG - $175
Barrel - $140
Another advantage is that you can pick and choose every part/upgrade you want to install on the gun already while saving a lot of money. I chose Magpul parts (AFG, CTR stock, mags, etc) so they all match perfectly along with a Noveske rail that I got for less than a bill.
Just wanted to share my experience with anyone thinking of building an AR15. Parts are becoming available and cheap again so its a good time to build if you have been thinking of doing it instead of buying a factory built gun