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Old June 6, 2014, 06:52 PM   #26
WhyteP38
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Use a good moly grease on the barrel nut, not anti-seize. Some types of anti-seize are gritty enough to damage the threads.

One big pain is getting the barrel nut to at least the minimum torque value and have one of the gaps in the nut teeth line up. Tight to min torque value and loose three times before trying for final torque. This helps with taking the play out of the aluminum threads. If you get to minimum torque value and a nut tooth is blocking the hole in the upper receiver for the gas tube, trying torqueing/loosening to slightly more than minimum torque value a few times. Generally, that takes even more play out of the threads. (Some people prefer to switch out barrel nuts, but I don't happen to have a tray full of barrel nuts handy.)

The other big, perhaps bigger, pain is lining up the BCG gas key with the gas tube. There are various ways to mark the two parts, but mark them you should so you can see whether the two are contacting each other evenly or not (they make contact no matter what, so you want it to be even all the way around). Doing it by feel will get you most of the way there, but at some point you'll need to mark them if you want it done right.

As for ammo, be aware that "free shipping" often means the shipping costs have been hidden in the ammo costs. The best price ALWAYS boils down to "price per round" after all costs are known. For example, 1,000 rounds of .223 that costs $400 but has "free shipping" still costs more than 1,000 rounds of .223 that costs $300 plus $50 shipping. Over the years, I've been amazed at the number of people who insist they're getting a better deal with "free shipping" even though they're paying more for 1,000 of the same ammo than I did. Sorry, but math doesn't lie.

Check out the following sites:

http://www.wikiarms.com/
http://gunbot.net/ammo/rifle/556/
http://ammoseek.com/

ETA: Stay away from remanufactured ammo, unless you reload your own.

Last edited by WhyteP38; June 6, 2014 at 06:58 PM.
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Old June 6, 2014, 09:38 PM   #27
idnative1948
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8MM


"That is a good point! After I purchased my first defensive pistol I realized I hadn't budgeted for ammo. I sold a table on craigslist to finance practice.

I should start soon buying up .223 when I see a deal.

Wise advice sir!"

No problem. Glad to help a brother out! What you are doing is how I built my first one. That one into for under $570. Next ones? Ouch!
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Old June 11, 2014, 06:35 PM   #28
ParabellumJ
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Before you start on an AR build you first need to determine what role or purpose this rifle will serve. At what range will it typically be shot? Is it a rifle for hunting, and if so for what type of game? The indented use of the rifle will affect the barrel (caliber, length, material, twist, and gas system), the furniture (handguard, stock) and definitely the optic (red dot, fixed/variable, low/high power magnification).

Do you want a carbine to engage targets within 100 yards? Maybe something for ranges of 100-300 yards or beyond? Do you want to hunt coyote or maybe pigs? Figuring this out before you start your build will keep your focus on parts that fit within your intended use and will help you avoid the cost of replacing something later that doesn't work for your rifle's purpose.

Other than that the best advise I can give is to spend the money where it counts: barrel, BCG, optic. Buying a quality barrel, BCG and optic will do more for the performance of your rifle than anything else.

Good luck!
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:39 PM   #29
Justice06RR
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Quote:
The best advice I can give you is "do not buy one built". Get a stripped lower. The reason is that you will want to select the trigger, maybe a safety lever, and maybe a heavy buffer and/or buffer spring. So you end up spending money on the parts you want later instead of just getting what you want the 1st time. Building a lower is easier than changing a tire on a car, so don't be intimidated at all. Get a stripped lower and built it exactly as YOU want it instead of getting what someone wants to sell you.
No no, that is not the point.

There's nothing wrong with Buying a complete rifle (or upper/lower) if its a quality brand or if it has the parts and configuration you want.

Believe me, many experienced shooters/professionals/Vets will buy a complete rifle from Colt or BCM, throw a good optic/sling, and call it a day. The customization mostly comes from the amateur civilian size (I can be guilty of this).

Building an AR15 with the exact parts you require is great esp for cost benefits, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a quality complete rifle. You get the manufacturer's warranty and assurance that it should be built to the correct specs and put together by professionals. It may also save you the cost of tools and the hassle/headache if you build your rifle incorrectly, which may happen often to newer individuals.

Just wanted to point that out.
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Old June 12, 2014, 05:36 AM   #30
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
There's nothing wrong with Buying a complete rifle (or upper/lower) if its a quality brand or if it has the parts and configuration you want.
Agreed. I built mine for three reasons:

1. I had the exact setup i wanted planned out, and it would be cheaper/easier to do it myself.

2. I thought building it myself would help me better understand how the rifle operates, and what i would need to do to fix it.

3. it was easier to justify the cost $100 at a time, compared to $900 all at once.

If i were to get another rifle, i'd have no issue with buying one prebuilt.
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Old June 13, 2014, 06:15 AM   #31
8MM Mauser
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Quote:
Before you start on an AR build you first need to determine what role or purpose this rifle will serve. At what range will it typically be shot? Is it a rifle for hunting, and if so for what type of game? The indented use of the rifle will affect the barrel (caliber, length, material, twist, and gas system), the furniture (handguard, stock) and definitely the optic (red dot, fixed/variable, low/high power magnification).

Do you want a carbine to engage targets within 100 yards? Maybe something for ranges of 100-300 yards or beyond? Do you want to hunt coyote or maybe pigs? Figuring this out before you start your build will keep your focus on parts that fit within your intended use and will help you avoid the cost of replacing something later that doesn't work for your rifle's purpose.

Other than that the best advise I can give is to spend the money where it counts: barrel, BCG, optic. Buying a quality barrel, BCG and optic will do more for the performance of your rifle than anything else.

Good luck!
Thanks!

Basically I want a rifle that will be for shooting at the range. Accuracy will be important, but it doesn't have to be perfect. I really want a good all-around system that can engage targets out to 300-400 yards but would mostly be shot at 100 yards; and also be a useful tool for home defense. Understand that by HD, I mean sheltering in place with a longgun; if I had to leave my bedroom I would carry a pistol instead. So barrel length is not a huge issue, which makes me lean, tentatively, towards a longer barrel and a rifle length gas system.

For an optic I would probably stick to irons at first,and then buy a really nice red dot sight once I have saved up.

I appreciate the advice about where to best spend my money, that sort of thing is very, very helpful. Thanks!
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Old June 13, 2014, 06:20 AM   #32
8MM Mauser
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Quote:
No no, that is not the point.

There's nothing wrong with Buying a complete rifle (or upper/lower) if its a quality brand or if it has the parts and configuration you want.

Believe me, many experienced shooters/professionals/Vets will buy a complete rifle from Colt or BCM, throw a good optic/sling, and call it a day. The customization mostly comes from the amateur civilian size (I can be guilty of this).

Building an AR15 with the exact parts you require is great esp for cost benefits, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a quality complete rifle. You get the manufacturer's warranty and assurance that it should be built to the correct specs and put together by professionals. It may also save you the cost of tools and the hassle/headache if you build your rifle incorrectly, which may happen often to newer individuals.

Just wanted to point that out.
Man, if I had infinite money there would be 3-4 Colts (rifles, don't get me started on pistols) in my safe right now. There would also be probably 2-3 AR's I built from parts. I am interested in both.

Quote:
Agreed. I built mine for three reasons:

1. I had the exact setup i wanted planned out, and it would be cheaper/easier to do it myself.

2. I thought building it myself would help me better understand how the rifle operates, and what i would need to do to fix it.

3. it was easier to justify the cost $100 at a time, compared to $900 all at once.

If i were to get another rifle, i'd have no issue with buying one prebuilt.
This is basically why I want to build a rifle instead of buying one. I'm the father of a young child, I am in college; my car is not worth what a new Colt LE6920 is, and that is not a joke.

That said, I also want to build one so that I can have some really great parts (trigger, barrel, BCG) in a rifle that isn't phenomenally expensive.
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Old June 14, 2014, 08:04 AM   #33
longdude17@yahoo.com
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^^^^I agree with the above post completely.

I built my first AR a few months ago, and its exactly what I wanted. Going into it I knew what I wanted as a final rifle and built it a piece at a time and wound up saving a ton of money.

I bought a Complete JSE upper with stainless barrel, Magpul MOE furniture, rail height gas block, chrome BCG and charging handle off Gunbroker for $350.... the jury is still out on this but so far its been a great upper.

Built the lower with a PSA stripped lower (from a gun show), and a PSA Complete Magpul lower parts kit. Total was $250 and a few hours of my time.

Slapped some Troy battle sights on the top and a few magpul magazines and presto I have a great gun for under $750.

I went to academy last night and the closest gun to mine was $1100 with a standard fixed front sight post and ordinary barrel. The point to all this is... if you take your time, look look look you can build what you want at a cheaper price and learn some valuable information while doing it.
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