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Old February 18, 2013, 04:00 AM   #1
TheRaskalKing
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New AR build, Where to start?

Hey fellas-

I'm a regular over on the Handgun forums, but am just beginning my foray into the rifle world. Anyway, I'm thinking it's high time for me to finally build an AR15. I'm starting my research on the subject, and TFL folks are always helpful.

So where should I start on my build? I realize that volumes can and have been written on this subject, but I'm mostly looking for any resources on the subject, general things to look for, things to avoid, good places to get parts, etc.

I'm thinking on putting an order in for one of these ---> http://www.shadowopsweaponry.com/pro...-for-sale.aspx because I'm really in no hurry.

I realize that just like nearly everything else in the shooting world, AR parts are in high demand right now with all the hysteria. I'm going to wait until the crap gets done hitting the fan- let's not get sidetracked with talk about when that will or won't be.

I'm mostly looking to learn right now rather than just buy up any and all parts I can get my hands on at 5x normal price. I'd like to have the build done sometime this summer, if all goes according to plan. Again, I don't want to start a discussion on the AWB and politically induced gun grabbing. I'm not in any hurry to buy parts, I want to do this right and am willing to do the extra legwork.

Any advice, resources, thoughts, opinions, anecdotes, are greatly appreciated. Many thanks!
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:30 AM   #2
R1145
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Absolutely. Get that stripped lower ASAP.
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Old February 18, 2013, 06:12 AM   #3
Brotherbadger
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First get the lower, as no matter how you build this gun, you will need that. Next, figure out what you want this gun to do(also figure out how much you want to spend). Will it be a plinker, a predator gun, HD gun, ect. Once you figure that out, it makes a big difference for what parts you are going to want to get. For example, if this is only going to be a gun that shoots paper, you might not want to spend the extra money on a top of the line trigger/optics, or opt for the PSA upper instead of the DD and save a few hundred bucks, or twist rate might not be all that important to you as you. I would also look into if you want to buy a prebuilt upper, or build your own. Lower Parts Kits(specifically the trigger), Stock Kits, ect. When you find them at a good price, buy it. Also, while most of the companies out there make excellent products, there are a few that most will tell you to stay away from(Olympic, Blackthorne and Vulcan comes to mind. I wouldn't buy from them, and i'm sure many here would agree).

Also, i'm a bit sleep deprived right now, so if something i write doesn't make sense, someone please correct me.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:39 AM   #4
CTS
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Just a side note, I ordered an upper and charging handle from SOTA Arms on Jan 21 and I got shipping notification on Saturday. That's just over 3 weeks and not bad for the current situation. And they are priced at roughly the pre panic pricing. I think the upper itself went up $10 from last December.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:51 AM   #5
madcratebuilder
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Lower prices are starting to go down, $150 if you look around. The LPK's and other parts well be down in price and more available in a few months. Same thing in '08, prices shot up and you couldn't buy anything. One year later I was buying lowers in three packs for $48 each.

I don't think we well see those prices again, I can only hope so.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:41 AM   #6
globemaster3
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I'm going to +1 on Brotherbadger, as I always recommend someone new to ARs sit down and have an honest conversation with themselves about what they want it to do. There are so many options with ARs, it's easy for someone just getting started to get lost. Kinda like walking through Bass Pro Shops when all I need are some crappie jigs... Seems I always find stuff I "need" that I didn't before I walked in!

The only point of departure I will make with Brotherbadger is his warning on Olympic Arms. If you use the search tool on here, you will find oodles of discussions on them. I've not heard anyone with first hand knowledge of their products purchased in the last decade or so have any complaints... This from someone who just happens to own a few...

There are some videos on you tube as well as some gun smithing videos I see in the rags you might want to consider. ARs are really not that difficult to assemble, especially after you've had someone who knows what they are doing walk you through it.
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Old February 18, 2013, 12:03 PM   #7
MarkCO
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Bolt Carrier Group...or you have nothing.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:25 PM   #8
globemaster3
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?

BCGs (of the AR variety) are not controlled. In limited supply right now, but certainly not the controlling point. Since the lower is serial numbered and is the controlling point (especially if you live in a state which is considering some kind of AWB, ala NY), it should be at the top of the list.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:20 PM   #9
MarkCO
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Quote:
BCGs (of the AR variety) are not controlled. In limited supply right now, but certainly not the controlling point. Since the lower is serial numbered and is the controlling point (especially if you live in a state which is considering some kind of AWB, ala NY), it should be at the top of the list.
Right...OP lives in Utah...which will be one of the last states to fall, or suceed altogether. However, there are no manufacturers of bolts or carriers in Utah at this point.

So still, the BCG is the most important part. Lowers can be bought today from several sources, BCGs can not!

Shadow Ops makes good stuff!
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:28 PM   #10
Achilles11B
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Whatever parts you choose, whatever role your rifle fills, wherever you look to buy, remember: 'buy once, cry once'. You said you're in no real hurry to pick up parts, so take your time, pick up a few QUALITY parts here and there and just build it as you go. Whether it's a high-speed 'go fast' tactical carbine, a paper-puncher that will put up miniscule groups, a varmint hunter or just a soda-can hunter you're looking to build, do the homework (which is half the fun, actually), weigh the pros and cons and go for it.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:42 PM   #11
Marquezj16
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Start here for how to assemble your lower.

http://www.ar15.com/content/guides/assembly/lower/
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Old February 19, 2013, 12:17 AM   #12
TheRaskalKing
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Great replies, thanks fellas. I have a few buddies that are going To help me when the actual assembly part, so that will be helpful. The shadow ops lower seems solid, and really, the homework is half the fun. I'm definitely a believer in the "buy once cry once" idea.

I've been thinking about what role I want it to fill, and if I'm being honest, it will mostly just be for range fun. Of course there's the potential SHTF scenario, which I would use it for, but likely uses will mostly be range fun, maybe some rabbit hunting as well. I'd like to make it as accurate as possible, but isn't that kind of a given?

Thanks again, any other thoughts are appreciated!
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-Sometimes your best defense is a good reminder of your common sense-
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Old February 21, 2013, 04:06 PM   #13
Skans
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I'm doing an AR build right now. I agree with securing a stripped lower in short order. However, what I really recommend you get is a matched lower/upper.

1. Buy a good quality receiver set - either 7075 Billet Aluminum or a good forged set.

2. Next, buy the barrel. It's hard to know how to configure the rifle until you know what kind of barrel you will have on it.

3. Third, I'd try to secure a good bolt carrier - I personally like the M16 chrome carriers. I was lucky, already had one.

4. Fourth, I'd get whatever collapsible stock and buffer tube assembly you want, especially if you want a higher end one. Remember the '96 ban, if you didn't already have a folding stock, you were prohibited from converting it to one.

5. Fifth, I'd find a good quality bolt.

6. Lower receiver parts, bolts, charging handles, rail systems, and general doo-dads will be around. Tools, barrel blocks, etc. will also be plentiful.

Oh, don't forget magazines, if you don't already have a bunch. I'd buy a drum while you can too.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:08 AM   #14
okiewita40
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I will post a link from another site I visit. It has one of the best write up's I have ever seen for someone wanting to get into AR's for the first time.

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f...s-guide-59600/

It is a bit of a read but I think it has some really good info in it.
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:57 PM   #15
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
Right...OP lives in Utah...which will be one of the last states to fall, or suceed altogether. However, there are no manufacturers of bolts or carriers in Utah at this point.

So still, the BCG is the most important part. Lowers can be bought today from several sources, BCGs can not!

Shadow Ops makes good stuff!
I think you missed the point. BCG's can be shipped to your home, in any state of the Union. The lowers must go through a 01FFL and require back ground check.

BCG's are not that hard to find if you are welling to be scalped. Several manufacturers are letting BCG's trickle out at a slow pace and limit of one per customer.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:46 AM   #16
globemaster3
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That's what I was thinking, but he seems pretty convinced otherwise.

Eh, to each his own.
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Old February 23, 2013, 02:48 PM   #17
M4Punisher
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Post #11 has a thread to a guide at ar15.com and is very useful. I started there and ordered a stripped lower from Spike's Tactical back in November. Got her all put together on Thanksgiving day just before prices went up... It was built for hunting Wolves and varmints here in Idaho so it was purpose built. Study up on what you want it for and go from there. My upper came complete from PK firearms. It is a RRA 24" SS barrel with the Wylde Chamber and came complete with bolt carrier. Put on a Vortex Viper 6.4-20 x 50 for eyes and the lower kit is a RRA with the 2-stage trigger. Furniture is mostly Magpul (MOE grip, ACS stock) She turned out beautiful for me. Installed the acs stock because it clamps on and helps with accuracy as well as allowing my son to shoot it when adjusted to a short length of pull.

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Old February 23, 2013, 03:11 PM   #18
camosteve243
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Nice build!

How do you like the Wylde Chamber?
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Old February 28, 2013, 03:06 PM   #19
AGENT TIKKI
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try this out...

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f...s-guide-59600/
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Old February 28, 2013, 03:36 PM   #20
RonR6
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First decide what you want, then start buying parts as they become
available. Try to find the cheapest price on each part and take your time
Prices will come down, wait for a deal. The first part I bought for my last build was a Matech rear sight, it took me 3 months to find all my parts. With the way things are now it will take longer, don't rush it and you can build a really nice rifle. Just my two cents.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:42 AM   #21
Skans
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I'm doing just what Ron advised. I figure it'll take me a total of about 4-5 months to obtain every part - I'm taking my time and looking for reasonably priced parts; it ain't easy right now if you are looking for higher quality parts.
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Old March 5, 2013, 01:10 PM   #22
Nemsis
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here is a rifle i helped a buddy build that I think is the perfect all around AR.



It's a 14.5" mid length light weight Bravo Co upper with a 13" Troy TRX rail and a pinned Troy Claymore brake.It has an Aimpoint H1 in a Daniel Defense mount and a streamlight TLR-1 light and it weighs 7 lbs 3 oz.

You can clear your house with it and hit at 200+ yds and its light enough to take it hunting and I dumped 6 mags as fast as I can pull the trigger without overheating the barrel.
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