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Old December 28, 2013, 12:42 PM   #1
veamon
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AR-15 Kit

I'm looking at building an AR-15, since I can't convince my dad to give me his. It seems that building it could come out cheaper than buying one (unless I'm mistaken).

I've seen kits - http://www.del-ton.com/ar_15_kits_s/1.htm , and all I would have to do is buy a lower receiver.

Anyone have thoughts / suggestions / better online places to buy something? Gunbroker seems high for what is out there.
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Old December 28, 2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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Personally I would stay away from the Del-Ton and go have a look at the Palmetto State Armory kits if you want to go that route. They are far better quality than the Del Ton in my opinion. You may have to watch for them as they sell out quickly when they have them in stock but it's worth the wait to get a lot better rifle for your money.
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Old December 28, 2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Ok I'll look. Del-Ton was the first google result so that's why I looked there.

So is building generally better / cheaper?
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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Not necessarily. You won't end up saving much by building one from scratch. You can save some if you catch one of the premium rifle kits on sale and then pick up one of their blem lowers. I picked up one of their blem lowers for $59 and cannot find the blemish. Looks perfect to me. How much were you looking to spend if I may ask?
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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Building can save you money if you know exactly what you want. The savings come from not having to replace inferior parts or parts you soon realize aren't working out for you. Also, you only pay the federal excise tax (11%) on the $60-100 lower receiver, not the $700-1000+ complete rifle (if you buy the lower separately from the rest of the rifle).
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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With building you can buy components you like when they are on sale. That helps some. I was able to build a rifle with all the exact specs I wanted, that ended up being cheaper than a factory rifle that wouldn't have had all the things I wanted.
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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The only pitfall to that idea is: everytime you buy something on sale you pay shipping for it. That adds up pretty quick if you are buying one part at a time.
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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True, I have gotten free shipping as part of the deal too a lot of the time. I cleaned up around black Friday.
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:40 PM   #9
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I'm looking to spend around 700-800, if that's reasonable. I don't need a top of the line one, but I don't want junk either.

I have a mini 14 ranch so I'm trying to stay in the 223, but there aren't a lot of accessories.
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Old December 28, 2013, 02:12 PM   #10
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I think the only advantage is that you don't pay for parts you don't want. For example, if you want a high-end trigger, you buy a LPK without trigger parts and save a few bucks. Same for rails, sights, stocks, etc.

This matters most if you are building something substantially different than what is available off the shelf.

Don't bother with trying to build your own upper, though, as the time, energy, and possibly gunsmithing to fix what you break will exceed what you save. As far as I can tell, there isn't anywhere near the savings in uppers, especially since you have to buy some specialized tools to do the job well.

Building a lower, however, is easier than building Ikea furniture, which is my job for the afternoon.

-J.
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Old December 28, 2013, 04:51 PM   #11
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Seems like the Palmetto Armory has some great deals, from the blemished line.

An upper for $379
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...ng-handle.html

and a lower for $199
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...-magazine.html

If I'm not mistaken, a lower has to be sent to an FFL, correct?
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Old December 28, 2013, 05:10 PM   #12
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Yes, the lower has to be shipped to an FFL. PSA will usually split the order and send an upper straight to your address and the lower will go to your FFL dealer.
BTW, that is a nice set up you found there. Don't take too long making up your mind or it will be gone. I've seen them sell out of items withing an hour of listing them.
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Old December 28, 2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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I have put together about five delton kits. They come with a high quality bcg, very accurate barrel and well executed m4 ramps. All have been 100% reliable including steel cased wolf. I would buy another in a heartbeat. The cheapest looking buffer tube I ever got came from palmetto.
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Old December 28, 2013, 06:04 PM   #14
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Building one just doesn't seem that great a savings over buying one from folks who know how.
Unless you want to learn how to make one from scratch, for your own satisfaction and edification.
And something else to consider is when you're finished it's still a home made gun.
One that will probably be more difficult to sell, and worth less, than a brand name one, off the shelf.
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Old December 28, 2013, 08:42 PM   #15
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Yes, the lower has to be shipped to an FFL. PSA will usually split the order and send an upper straight to your address and the lower will go to your FFL dealer.
BTW, that is a nice set up you found there. Don't take too long making up your mind or it will be gone. I've seen them sell out of items withing an hour of listing them.
I agree with Slappy, that's a good deal for a PSA, especially the upper. If you like the ACS-L stock then the lower is good too, though I'd try to upgrade to an H buffer over the standard weight.

Add some magazines, a good sling and a Magpul MBUS2 rear sight and you're under $700! And have a much better rifle than most $700 models.
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Old December 29, 2013, 01:35 PM   #16
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I say give the kit a shot....I doubt you'll save any money but you will learn a lot along the way.

Let me tell you a little something about AR15 parts....Many of the different companies that supply parts to us get them from the same places. The parts are simply branded with a specific companies logo and then marketed as their own components....I wouldn't get too wrapped up in the name.
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Old December 29, 2013, 01:45 PM   #17
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You can actually save quite a bit by building from a kt. It is when building completely from scratch that is hard to save any money unless of course you get dealer pricing and then it is still hard to compete with some of these black Friday and Christmas specials.
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Old December 31, 2013, 05:47 AM   #18
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Del-Ton produces some fine quality merchandise, I have two mid length gas, heavy and light barrels and both are super accurate. I also have a half dozen PSA rifles (premium...CHF barrels) and they too have excellent quality and accuracy. PSA offers more variety, Del-Ton has excellent customer service, you will not go wrong with either.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:34 AM   #19
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build

I think every one should build their ARs. I think you should get the stripped lower and a kit. Both del-ton and PSA allow you to customize the kit. You save the money they pay the guy to assemble the lower and the excise tax on the kit and because you buy it online you save the sales tax on the kit as well. If someone ask me is it homemade I say "yep you don't have to worry about who put that baby together. It was done right." After your first couple of builds you may decide to assemble the upper also. This takes a little skill but nothing that cannot be learned on the internet. Watch the Brownells videos on the lowers and uppers before ordering anything. I use a hammer and some roll pin punches only to assemble the lowers.
as far a quality most people could not pick a delton from a psa or a rock river trigger and they may all come from the same factory. Few places make all there parts much less there own lower receivers. Many only engrave their logo, finish the milling, and coat the surface to match there uppers.
So build one sell it and build another. Then teach someone else to do the same. I myself will build five this week.
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Old December 31, 2013, 05:30 PM   #20
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My son built his, and saved money- but that's because it was a "higher-end" build in 6.5 Grendel.

If you're just looking for the least expensive AR you can get, you won't save much, if any $$. DPMS, and other "decent" makes are available for under $600 now (who would have thunk it this past spring...).

That said, it can be fun and a learning experience, but you do need minimal tools and receiver blocks- pushing the cost of the build well over the cost of factory unless you plan on building more than one.
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Old January 1, 2014, 08:59 PM   #21
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"Personally I would stay away from the Del-Ton "
Personally, I would say that is a big mistake. Every DTI (DelTon) upper I've shot has turned in extremely good accuracy plus 100% functionality. I don't waste money buying "off brands" anymore when DelTon is economical and performs great.
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Old January 1, 2014, 10:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Personally, I would say that is a big mistake. Every DTI (DelTon) upper I've shot has turned in extremely good accuracy plus 100% functionality. I don't waste money buying "off brands" anymore when DelTon is economical and performs great.
I am very happy for you. You spend your money how you want and I will do the same. The man asked for an opinion and I gave him mine. It's not for you to decide if my opinions are a mistake or not. Thank you very much. If you want a decent low cost non mil-spec rifle the DTI is fine. PSA is higher quality in my opinion as stated.
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Old January 2, 2014, 07:12 AM   #23
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So Slappy there are two Del-Ton owners who have indicated the rifles are of excellent quality and quite accurate however your apparently non supported opinion should carry more weight. This is not a forum to vent anger on another's statement and probably leaves the OP wondering why his straight forward question is now WWIII. If you need an outlet go to one of the AR forums, seems like no one there has an opinion that is not subject to attack.
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Old January 2, 2014, 07:35 AM   #24
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I went back and forth with this decision myself. I wanted an economical AR-15 style rifle, but I wasn't sure if buying or building would be the way to go. A couple of things to consider:

Buying new gets you a complete gun with parts that have been chosen to somewhat work together...the more expensive, the better the quality/fit/function of the individual parts...to a point. You will invariably want to swap out factory parts for 'better' parts

Assembling yourself - if you know what you are doing, you can get exactly the gun you want. If you don't know what you want then you might be in trouble. There is also a small investment in some specific tools. If you decide to sell the complete gun later, you may not get as good of a return as a complete factory gun. Even if you list out all of the parts, most people who know if the parts you are listing are any good probably could just build their own AR if that's what they wanted. Anybody who doesn't know if the parts are any good is probably just looking for the cheapest AR they can find.

While researching local availability of parts, I stumbled upon a used Smith & Wesson M&P 15X gun in excellent shape for less than I could build something similar. That's the way I ended up going.

I still want to build one, but now I also have a good reference for when I do.
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Old January 2, 2014, 09:14 AM   #25
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So Slappy there are two Del-Ton owners who have indicated the rifles are of excellent quality and quite accurate however your apparently non supported opinion should carry more weight. This is not a forum to vent anger on another's statement and probably leaves the OP wondering why his straight forward question is now WWIII. If you need an outlet go to one of the AR forums, seems like no one there has an opinion that is not subject to attack.
I never once said my opinion should carry more weight than anyone else's nor have I vented any anger towards anyone. If you have an opinion about the OP's question then give it and leave your comments about my opinion out of it. Mobuck was the one apparently venting because he disagreed with my opinion about a certain product. I did not vent any anger towards anyone, there is no WWIII going on here and you have quite an imagination. Did you see me telling anyone they were wrong because they had a different opinion than me? I don't think so.
I have done nothing here but try to help the OP make an informed decision based on years of experience in the military, law enforcement and as a trained and licensed gunsmith. If you like what you have then as I said to Mobuck: I am happy for you. Now, do you see that as some kind of attack?
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