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Old June 1, 2014, 10:41 PM   #1
Famas
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AR - to build or not to build

Hello - I am considering building my own AR. I've seen several videos on YouTube of ARs blowing up when firing. Some of my friends, who are themselves AR freaks, have explained to me that while manufacturers all label their products as Milspec, it is very important that certain parts be made by the same company. They've singled out bolt/receiver parts as being crucial, claiming both should be made by the same company to ensure dependability and safety.

Can anyone confirm is this is true? Are AR builds more prone to failures than those assembled at the manufacturer? I'd like to leave out the issue of cost and concentrate of safety. Thank you.
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Old June 2, 2014, 11:13 PM   #2
Gary L. Griffiths
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From my experience, I'd say that is BS. The bolts and carriers on the two that my wife and I built came from different companies, as did the barrel, rails, stock, and lower parts. Everything went together fine, and both rifles were 100% reliable from the get-go. Sort of surprised me.
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Old June 3, 2014, 12:47 AM   #3
Xfire68
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I second the BS flying around! Bolts and bolt carriers are an important component of any AR15 but, they certainly do not need to be from the same manufacturer.

There are tons of good/great AR parts out there to choose from. Your "AR Freak" friends should have been able to point that out for you or maybe they are the source of the misinformation?
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Old June 3, 2014, 01:35 AM   #4
Theohazard
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I third that this is BS! Here's the thing; if you're building the rifle and you use a bunch of random parts from different manufacturers, it's possible that you might end up using some low-end parts that either fail or just don't go well together. But if you use good parts from different manufacturers that are all made to the proper specs, the rifle can easily end up being better than if it you used parts from all the same manufacturer.

As far as the mill-spec issue, in my opinion people put too much emphasis on their rifles being mil-spec. Sure, mil-spec is a good starting point because it gives you a certain minimum level of quality, but plenty of good rifles and parts aren't mil-spec. Wilson Combat ARs aren't milspec; they're actually manufactured to a higher quality standard than mil-spec.
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Old June 3, 2014, 02:41 AM   #5
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
They've singled out bolt/receiver parts as being crucial, claiming both should be made by the same company to ensure dependability and safety.
wot.

No. That's complete gibberish. A new bolt will work just fine with any new upper. The receiver "parts" can be from any reputable company out there. If you build it, always check the headspace(just in case). Some of the most reliable rifles i seen have been frankenguns.

Quote:
Are AR builds more prone to failures than those assembled at the manufacturer?
Technically? I'd say yes, but not for the reasons you think. I think that the AR i built is just a strong and reliable as those built at the factories. I'm sure dang near every single one built by members here are the same way. That being said, i'm not a complete moron(and i think the vast majority of the posters here aren't either). If you give a moron(and i mean a MORON. Someone who struggles to understand that the square block won't fit in the round hole type of guy) the tools to build an AR, it's very possible he/she could screw that up and build a rifle that will fail.

The parts themselves are not more prone to failure, there is a greater chance for human error because there is nothing to stop billy bob inbred from trying to build it. THAT BEING SAID, it's unbelievably easy to build an AR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theohazard
As far as the mill-spec issue, in my opinion people put too much emphasis on their rifles being mil-spec. Sure, mil-spec is a good starting point because it gives you a certain minimum level of quality, but plenty of good rifles and parts aren't mil-spec. Wilson Combat ARs aren't milspec; they're actually manufactured to a higher quality standard than mil-spec.
Great point. Don't become obsessed with "mil-spec". It's a good parameter to use, but not everything that isn't milspec is junk.
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Old June 5, 2014, 01:50 AM   #6
Justice06RR
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+100 Brother.

Most of my home builds are not milspec except for the barrels and BCG's. Those 2 are the most important parts of the rifle that you should not skimp on.

My last 2 builds, a 10.5" Pistol and a 16" Midlength rifle have been flawless even though they are assembled completely from parts. Its more important to know how to put them together and select the right parts (even if they are not milspec).

I.e. Milspec calls for Chrome-lined barrels but a non-CL barrel will work just fine for a casual shooter that shoots 100rds a month and stores his AR in the safe.
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Old June 5, 2014, 02:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice06RR
Most of my home builds are not milspec except for the barrels and BCG's. Those 2 are the most important parts of the rifle that you should not skimp on.
[...]
Milspec calls for Chrome-lined barrels but a non-CL barrel will work just fine for a casual shooter that shoots 100rds a month and stores his AR in the safe.
In my opinion, being mil-spec makes a barrel less desirable. First, chrome lining is inferior in every way to Melanited (nitrided) barrels, but the military still specs chrome so that's what everyone wants.

Second, almost nobody has a need for a 1:7 twist: Most people are better off with a 1:9, and if they really want to shoot long, heavy bullets a 1:8 will do the job better than a 1:7 with any bullet that will fit into the AR-15 magazine.

So I'd take a 1:8 or 1:9 nitrided barrel any day over a mil-spec 1:7 chrome-lined barrel: It will be more accurate and more durable than the mil-spec barrel if all other things are equal.
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Old June 6, 2014, 10:34 PM   #8
SRH78
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I am with Theohazard on this. Don't get too hung up on milspec. Is my Shilen select match barrel junk because it isn't milspec or some else's Krieger? Mine also isn't milspec because it isn't a 5.56. It is a 6x45 but any barrel with a Wylde chamber isn't milspec either. 1:7 twist is HIGHLY overrated. They are less accurate and wear out faster than slower twists with nearly any bullet the vast majority will shoot and chrome lining is detrimental to accuracy. It is easy to clean though.

Just figure out what your priorities are and what you want the rifle to do and select quality parts that complement those goals and you will be gtg.
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Old June 9, 2014, 07:55 AM   #9
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yeah, i cant tell you the brand names of most of the parts on my AR, its a really great rifle and has a ton of lead through it. if i could go back i would have gotten a longer barrell, but other than that, i like everything, even the polymer omni gen2 lower. ive built two ar's now from random manufactures and budget places at that and i dont have enough experince with my newest rifle to say its all that, but they both work great. obviously, find reviews on the parts your ordering first

plus you learn ALOT building your own and you save a good bit of cash
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Old June 10, 2014, 02:13 AM   #10
chris in va
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A guy at the range was having trouble with his built AR. Single shot only, and we finally determined the gas block port wasn't lined up with the barrel properly.

I'd rather just buy a factory rifle and be done with it.
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Old June 11, 2014, 03:45 AM   #11
Brotherbadger
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Yea, the gas port is the only part that takes a little time to get it right. Probably took me 5 minutes of constantly rechecking the position(I didn't want to have to fiddle with it again) to make sure it was in the right position.
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