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Old February 16, 2019, 09:26 PM   #26
M88
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Yes 7.62 man, 5 inches of travel is enough IF you have that. My ShopBot has 5” from TABLE to BIT... the lower is couple inches off the table... so STARTS couple inches off table already, taking up 3+ inches already, thus not enough to mill down. Your setup using a drill press, not a CNC, where you can START on top of lower and go down from there would work.
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Old February 18, 2019, 03:22 PM   #27
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I have no experience or input on 80% lowers. . .

I just wanted to mention again that I think a cheap complete kit is a good idea. Being able to assemble a complete AR-15 that contains solid low priced but good quality parts for less than $400, that will be expected to be as reliable and durable as any other low priced complete rifle from the factory, is a win win in my book as well. Just having a rifle like that to play with/practice with/give away is a great option for the money. No need to worry about putting lots of rounds through it, no need to worry about using it hard and keeping it in perfect shape, you could just do quick cleans on it to keep it running and not bother cleaning it to perfection after every trip to the range because It's not some expensive high end AR that you want to keep in perfect shape (or maybe you do and that's fine too)

I guess I'm just saying, I don't see a downside to assembling a basic and reliable AR for under $400. Definitely go for it. And you will gain some confidence from this first project that can be applied to your future ones. Also, the more you put together, the better you get at it, that's just how that goes, even though it's not difficult to put them together, even the first time. . . You will learn a few tricks along the way so that you keep getting better at it with each assembly.
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Old February 19, 2019, 11:08 AM   #28
kymasabe
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^ what he said.
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Old February 19, 2019, 11:26 AM   #29
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A few reasons for building your own would be:
1) You can't get the features you want from completed ones.
2) You like to tinker and want to put one together from pieces.
3) You want to learn about the design and how it's assembled.
4) You want to save money.

The last one depends on what you want. If you want a basic AR, I don't think you'll save much, if any, money.

I (partially?) built two from parts/assemblies. I purchased completed uppers (so I was sure of the headspace). I then bought stripped lowers and a lower parts kit.

No experience with 80% lowers. I don't believe you really save much money with them, but if you want to do it, I see no reason not to try it.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:09 PM   #30
M88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBarn
2) You like to tinker and want to put one together from pieces.
3) You want to learn about the design and how it's assembled.
That says it all right there for ME! I'm not saving any money on this first one, cheap off the shelf AR's are indeed cheap. But... I get to put it together and see how the parts all work together in the lower etc. I also anticipate future builds, and bought the Easyjig Gen2 for routing out AR-15 and AR-10 lowers. With bits and router base etc, was $380 but it's a useful tool that I can add to my other toys in the shop! Again, I just like the idea of doing it myself. $380 buys a lot of ammo! Not saving any money here but that's not the point. I think I'm really going to enjoy this.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:18 PM   #31
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I think I'm really going to enjoy this.
ARholics has claimed yet another victim.
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Old February 20, 2019, 06:41 AM   #32
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Quote:
2) You like to tinker and want to put one together from pieces
3) you want learn about the design and how it's assembled
4) you want to save money
This sums it up for me. Funny thing is, if you would have asked me a year ago about an AR15, I would have said I'm not interested. The assembly process and understanding of the components and how they work together really grew on me. I'm not a mechanic or an engineer, but my mind functions in those realms. I am also a fan of LEGOs.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:23 PM   #33
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I did not really save much money building my own. A couple of budget builds early on due to the available parts at the time. As the market improved and higher quality parts became more commonplace, builds also got a little more expensive. However, the better parts also decreased in price.
I paid no attention to shipping costs, and sometimes paid extra for faster shipping. I did it all for the enjoyment of tinkering with them. I probably could have two more good rifles if I hadn’t paid for any shipping.
But I had fun, got the features that I wanted and I didn’t have to pay all at once.
One thing that they all have in common... Anderson stripped lowers lol.

Last edited by rickyrick; February 20, 2019 at 02:51 PM.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:41 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by RR
One thing that they all have in common... Anderson stripped lowers lol.
I'm a big fan of the Anderson lower with the closed trigger guard and the lightweight upper without forward assist or dust cover. They always fit well to one another and have never given me any surprises after the first time I tried to use a full length grip screw.

I must not get out enough, because I only recently learned that Anderson is regarded very poorly in some circles. I don't see what they lack that I should want. What am I missing out on that I would get at two or three times the price?

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Old February 20, 2019, 02:58 PM   #35
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I have one of Anderson’s lowest priced, unlined- 4150- carbine-gassed- 16” barrels and it shoots very well and seems slightly more accurate than a similar setup with an FN chromed barrel. I haven’t even experienced the grip screw issue, but I’ve seen plenty of people mention it, so I do believe it happens.
The only budget trigger that I still have in any of the lowers is a CMMG, those are great budget triggers.
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Old February 20, 2019, 05:02 PM   #36
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My PSA is built on an Anderson lower. I found the fit and finish to be great. My build kit included all Magpul furniture and from what I've read, the Magpul grip screw is shorter than a mil-spec, so there is no problem there. I wasn't aware of the Anderson/grip screw problem until after I put my kit together. My lower cost me $52+change after tax. With the Anderson lower, 1 Colt aluminum mag, and my build kit, I had $402 invested in my AR. That's after tax and delivery. I'm not sure how a pre built one could be less $ with comparable specs.
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Old February 21, 2019, 11:05 AM   #37
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I have built maybe a dozen or more AR's. For a person that is new to building AR's, I would highly recommend the PSA kits. Only the least expensive portion of the rifle has to go through a FFL (the lower receiver) and the rest gets shipped right to your door. If you get their premium kit you get a FN barrel. If down the road you decide to change it around a bit, because the AR is so modular, it is really easy to swap parts.

OTH, if you want some sort of a name brand rifle, I would stick with the better known manufacturers like Colt or DD, but rest assured, you will pay roughly double or more for the name.

For some odd reason, 80% receivers now cost more to buy than a finished one. It seems strange to me, but it is what it is. Assuming that you already have a suitable machine like a drill press, the rest of the tooling and the milling jig are going to cost you another $200 +. Doing 80% receivers only makes sense if you want to do it because you like building things with your own hands or a paranoid about the libtards taking over and stealing your firearms.

I am fortunate in that I was able to pick up an industrial mill + tooling for super cheap and am able to quickly and easily machine out receivers, but certainly if you only plan on doing one or two AR's, it is much, much cheaper to buy them already finished.

I am a tool whore though and I will buy pretty much any tool even if I only need it for one particular job.

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Old February 21, 2019, 04:04 PM   #38
M88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
ARholics has claimed yet another victim.
Yup... I'm hooked for sure. In fact, I just today ordered an AR-10 .308 80% lower kit from 5D Tactical. Was $799 for the 18", free shipping. I haven't finished my CBC AR-15 kit which I just opened and spread out on the bench, so just starting that. My jig to mill out lowers arrives Saturday. Was pricey, not going to save an money with it, but as I've said, that's not the point. Milling it out and piecing together the rifle will be the fun part.
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Old February 21, 2019, 04:10 PM   #39
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...another victim
yup...
I finally carefully packed my spare parts away out of site, quietly unsubscribed from all the suppliers’ mailing lists and hopefully I’m cured from the bug!
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