View Full Version : Unusual AR builds in process?

September 3, 2012, 04:36 PM
Anyone building an AR right now that has some out of the ordinary features?

I'm not talking about caliber, but rather interesting and uncommon parts like... Fail Zero BCGs (http://www.failzero.com/), Teludyne "StraightJacket" (https://www.teludynetech.com/technology/) uppers, White Oak match uppers (http://www.whiteoakprecision.com/uppers-match.htm), monolithic uppers (http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=524), special or hydraulic buffers (http://www.nokick.com/AR_15_AR_10_Parts_s/29.htm), laser range finding optics (http://www.burrisoptics.com/pdf/eliminatorIII.pdf), unusual materials like the Nemo (http://nemoarms.com/)... or just something different from the usual stuff? :p

No conjecture or opinion on something you don't actually have please... just real folks with actual real parts on hand.

Revision as of 9-5-2012: OK... no one seems to be building anything out of the ordinary, so I'll open this up to a "What If" format. With a budget of say... $3000 all in, what would you do? Adjust the questions below to accommodate.

My questions would be:

Why did you want to try this item out? In other words, what was so sucky about the normal part that you decided this might be the way to go?
If the gun is done, how is the part or parts working out?
How would you compare it to a more standard part... where applicable?
If the gun is done and you've had the chance to thoroughly test the part(s)... would you buy them again?

If you have extremely interesting optics, it can be on any rifle.


September 4, 2012, 10:05 PM
only thing unusual on my gun:

-Black Rain milled upper and lower receiver
-Adams Arms piston system
not sure those are that unusual, particularly, but they are not common either.

Q:Why did you want to try this item out? In other words, what was so sucky about the normal part that you decided this might be the way to go?
A: i have stock upper and lower sitting around as replacement parts. they are not bad, just boring.

Q:If the gun is done, how is the part or parts working out?
A:several hundred rounds including factory and handloads, all differnt bullet types with no failures to feed, eject, or fire

Q:How would you compare it to a more standard part... where applicable?
A:the billet parts are a little heavier, but they are so dang well made. they are like sculptures
the adams arms piston system is doing what its suppsoed to - receiver stays cool to the touch. can fire 100 rounds and take the bolt out and hold it in your hand. very clean - almost no time spent cleaning the BCG or receivers on this gun

Q:If the gun is done and you've had the chance to thoroughly test the part(s)... would you buy them again?
A: absolutely. thinking of getting a second Adams Arms piston system and Black Rain upper to build a 300 Blackout version

September 4, 2012, 11:47 PM
Thanks Herman... very nice, and reasonably objective responses. BRO does make some lovely parts don't they. ;)

I've not used an Adams Arms system in anything I've done as I'm a bit of a DGI purist, but their system appears to be well thought out and made.
As I see it, the biggest problem with any piston system is that there are no points of reference. No milspec to base a design on means that everyone tries out their ideas and hope they float.
Adams retro-fit design allows anyone to try a quality piston system on an existing gun without breaking the bank... and their complete uppers are reasonably priced.

The reason I started this was to see if anyone was trying new things, or just doing the same old stuff. Nothing wrong with the same old stuff, but man... it sure gets boring after awhile.
I realize that times are tight for a lot of folks and that spending $2000-$3000 or more building an AR is just not gona' happen... so in that sense, perhaps my inquiry is too restrictive.
I'll let it bump for awhile as it stands... and we'll see where it goes.


September 5, 2012, 10:41 PM
Well... it looks like no one is building an AR with interesting or unusual parts, save for Herman... so, I'm going to revise the OP to include a bit of wiggle room.

Thanks for lookin',

September 6, 2012, 10:15 PM
I have a build in the works using a pof np3 upper and lower, melonited krieger 24" fluted barrel, extended length gas piston system with a custom machined gas block, and op rod. The piston and gas plug are made by pof. It has a custom made rail similar to the hsr that pof makes, ut longer. It will also have a geissele dmr trigger chambered in .300 remington short action ultra mag and a prs stock. I am still waiting on the barrel:( Real surprise there:rolleyes::rolleyes:

September 6, 2012, 10:50 PM
Just finished this one. I assembled the lower and Big Shot armorers of San Diego built the upper. The only unusual part is the Loki Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group.

I hadn't originally intended to use this part, but Rock River Arms, who supplied the upper and mid-length stainless heavy match barrel discontinued their chrome BCG while I was waiting for my parts.

It's pricy, but very well made. Feels like it's lubricated even when dry. My rifle has had zero malfunctions through the first 300 rounds using various commercial and milsurp ammo. Also has been very accurate.

September 6, 2012, 11:01 PM
Thanks for the post BG-Z. I've been looking into Melonite. As far as I can understand, it's the US EPA legal version of the Tenifer or Tufftride process... and like Tenifer, an extremely hard and corrosion resistant finish.
In theory, it should extend the useful life of the barrel substantially.
Is your Krieger barrel steel or SS... and who did the Melonite, Krieger, or was it sub'd out to a professional service like HEF?


September 6, 2012, 11:09 PM
I wonder if the Loki BCG (http://www.wmdguns.com/shop/cart.cfm?cmd=view.item&tcat=3&scat=1000&productid=136) and the Fail Zero BCG (http://www.marksarmory.com/Fail_Zero_Semi_Auto_Nickel_Boron_BCG_p/009-fzar15-01.htm) are the same thing... as in the same manufacturer? They include all the same parts, including the hammer, have almost verbatim the same descriptions, and are the same price. :confused:


September 7, 2012, 07:47 AM
It's a stainless steel barrel. I'm still waiting on it. I will get it melonited after I break it in. The melonite finish wil make the barrel last at least twice as long.

GI Sandv
September 9, 2012, 02:34 PM
I didn't build it myself, but I bought an upper recently specifically with the NiBX BCG so that it would be easier to clean and more reliable in the long term. I used the general phosphorous BCGs back in the day and they were a pain to clean, especially the rounded backside of the bolt. Unfortunately, I've had some problems with this upper where the bolt doesn't seat fully forward sometimes when I load a new mag. I pull the trigger and get "click." I attempt to charge the charging handle but it gets stuck and I have to mortar the rifle to unseat the bolt from the star chamber. In every case, the round has been good (i.e. it's not a bad primer or something), and I can't figure out why the bolt gets stuck in the chamber. I believe part of it is that there appears to be a little more friction between the bolt and carrier which, when combined with other possible factors, adds enough resistance to prevent the charging handle from pulling the bolt back. The NiBX BCG is great to clean but I haven't been sold on its reliability. I've also read that other people still have to lube theirs. Other issues might be creating the particular problem with my rifle so until I figure out exactly what it is I can't say for sure that it's the NiBX coating. However, I'm hesitant to give it a thumbs up as worth the additional expense, unless you're willing to spend more to just make cleaning easier.

September 9, 2012, 05:54 PM
So would a 16" mid length gas system 6.8 SPC 1/11 chrome lined barrel from PSA with a rifle length free float forearm and low profile gas block qualify? I have a 1911 grip on the lower, standard A2 butt stock. :confused:

September 11, 2012, 07:53 AM
I'm not talking about caliber, but rather interesting and uncommon parts like... Fail Zero BCGs, Teludyne "StraightJacket" uppers, White Oak match uppers, monolithic uppers, special or hydraulic buffers, laser range finding optics, unusual materials like the Nemo... or just something different from the usual stuff?

Al the above has been on the AR market for a very long time. I'm not a fan of 'coating' the FCG or BCG. My initial experience was less than positive. As long as I have 100% reliability with the standard phosphate coated BCG's I well keeping using them.

Non standard uppers can enhance the AR, side chargers, billet uppers without FA and/or SD. One thing all uppers should have done is hone the face to be perpendicular to the BCG center line. I've seen some that were off by several thousandths.

Monolithic uppers look cool but add extra tooling and complexity. Your stuck with the same hand guard for ever.

Special or hydraulic buffers, buffer weight is a tuning aid. Hydraulic units are a leak waiting to happen.

Laser range finding has it's place I guess, long range trophy hunts is one time I would use them. Otherwise I range with mil-dots.

September 11, 2012, 06:19 PM
Well Creeper... just finished my AR build about a month ago... and though I didnt do anything really out of the ordinary I did try to build a Spikes Tactical OEM gun. By that I mean using as many ST components as physically possible. Though by no means a "complete" ST gun I was able to use about 90-95% ST components.

It was a lot of fun and required quite a bit of sourcing the parts. I believe I ended up doing business with about 5 or 6 different companies. Alot of times I could find a ST part somewhere else besides ST. In fact ST removed a few of the items from their site that I was able to find elsewhere.

I will be starting my another build soon and I am thinking maybe doing a Daniel Defense gun since it seems they are another MFG I can get about 90-95% complete with DD parts.

Perhaps one of these days I will find some MFG I can build with 100% oem parts but I am a bit pessimistic lol....

September 12, 2012, 09:01 AM
Here is a build I did with both a Black Rain upper and lower and Black Rain 3R 20" spiral fluted barrel. Generally, I use NiB BCGs; this one has a Fulton Armory BCG (same as a Colt).

In the picture at the bottom is a Fail Zero NiB BCG and a RGuns brand BCG? Can you tell the difference?



September 12, 2012, 10:19 AM
GIsandy, you probably have a misaligned gas tube. Or the tube is getting stuck in the charging handle hole...