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Old July 8, 2019, 07:03 PM   #1
ks_wayward_son
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Why do you build?

Okay. This is definitely a thread for funsies. I am pretty late to the AR build scene, but have finished one and starting to gather components for number two. I haven't really broken in the first one a whole lot but constantly find myself wondering what can I put together next, next, then after that. Its sort of like the Lays effect, "You can't really stop with just one." So I am just asking:

A. How many have you folks built? Calibers?
B. What is/are your reason(s) for building? (Operate a business, each rifle has a specific niche or purpose, for fun, just because I can, etc. etc.)

I know there are budget builds and stuff, but it's not really like Johnny C. where I'm getting it one piece at a time that doesn't cost me a dime. Because it does. Lots and lots of dimes. But, I digress.
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Old July 8, 2019, 07:39 PM   #2
rickyrick
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I assembled them because I wanted something to fiddle with in my spare time.

It’s not cheaper anymore mostly, but I like doing it.
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Old July 8, 2019, 07:59 PM   #3
GarandTd
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I have one in 5.56/223. I chose to build for the savings and the experience and, I wanted an AR. I am mechanically inclined, so I knew I could handle it. I enjoy shooting it......ALOT. I don't have any desire to build another. If I want something different, I'll change this one.
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Old July 8, 2019, 08:10 PM   #4
mdThanatos
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I had certain criteria for the rifles that I have put together and building was the best route to go to make sure I got the parts I wanted. Plus it is fun putting them together.
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Old July 8, 2019, 08:37 PM   #5
9x19
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I have specific roles in mind for each of mine.

I only have 12, but I do have a completed lower that doesn't have a dedicated upper.... yet.
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Old July 8, 2019, 08:44 PM   #6
rickyrick
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Also I’ll agree with the others, you also get the exact rifle that you want.
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Old July 8, 2019, 09:01 PM   #7
Ed4032
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32 but I can quit anytime. Really.
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Old July 9, 2019, 05:47 AM   #8
ks_wayward_son
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Dang 9X and Ed...you guys have built a few! Curious, are all those 5.56? Got some SBR's and pistols in those collections?
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Old July 9, 2019, 07:05 AM   #9
AgedWarrior
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Never owned an AR until a couple years ago, shooting M16 in military did not impress me much, but then I got to thinking it might be nice to have one chambered in 6.5 Grendel. So I built it from an 80% lower. After I worked through some issues to get it to cycle properly, it is an amazingly accurate rifle for an AR. I liked it enough I figured it needed a big brother so I went through the same process and built an AR10 chambered in 7.62x51. It is a good shooter too. But, that is it for me, I am not really interested in AR pistols or a plethora of calibers. I am quite satisfied.
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Old July 9, 2019, 07:33 AM   #10
9x19
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Mine are chambered in .22LR, .22WMR, 9mm, 5.56, 6.5, .300, and .450.

Three are registered SBRs, four are carbines, the other five are pistols... Of course those uppers can be mated to one of the SBR lowers it desired.
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Old July 9, 2019, 08:15 AM   #11
DaveBj
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A. How many have you folks built? Calibers?

I haven't built anything yet, but I'm scheduled for the build class at our range in a week and a half. I'm going to do one in the standard 5.56/.223. Somewhere down the line I may build a second one in a larger caliber, but I don't really want to build a large collection.

B. What is/are your reason(s) for building? (Operate a business, each rifle has a specific niche or purpose, for fun, just because I can, etc. etc.)

My reasons for building is that I've always wanted one, and given the manifold DIY opportunities in the AR15 world, I want to build one myself, but, of course, with the appropriate expert help. At this point I don't even know what I'm going to do with it.

D
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Old July 9, 2019, 09:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdThanatos View Post
I had certain criteria for the rifles that I have put together and building was the best route to go to make sure I got the parts I wanted. Plus it is fun putting them together.
Same here. I wanted something like an A2 dedicated marksman rifle. I know they didn't make one like that but I can...

Tony
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Old July 9, 2019, 10:09 AM   #13
Cheapshooter
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I've always enjoyed erector sets when I was a kid. An AR build is just an adult version.
But I could say because I can, and "they" don't want me to!

Kind of new at it. First was a 300 BLK pistol. Latest a 450 Bushy carbine.
Got a couple friends that want me to assist them with their builds. I know how that gonna go.
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Old July 9, 2019, 10:56 AM   #14
Onward Allusion
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Built 3 and I blame Midway USA for 2 of them due to their darn sales on Stoner AR uppers. Got 2 of 'em for $199 a piece with free shipping each time. The other one's a simple 11.5" pistol with backup iron. No frills on that one.

Why? 'Cause it's fun and in two cases for me, I got 'em built for $300 a piece.
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Old July 9, 2019, 10:56 AM   #15
DMK
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A. Eleven AR15s in 5.56, one 7.62x39, one 9mm and one 22lr.

Also two FALs (.308) and three Saigas (7.62x39, 5.56 and 308) that I stripped down to barreled receivers and installed gasblocks, FSBs, and riveted trigger guard/ mag latch assemblies, etc to restore to a military style configuration

B. I like to work with my hands. I build plastic scale models as a hobby. I do all the work on my cars including performance mods (suspension, camshafts, heads, intakes, etc), maintenance & repairs (brakes, timing belts, fluid changes, tuneups, etc).

I like to build guns mostly as a creative outlet, so I can pick and choose every component and put together something exactly as I envision it, rather than buying something off the shelf that isn't exactly what I want. Some of it is just doing it for the fun of it. Creating something from scratch.

I think my next project will be a Glock using an 80% frame. Probably a longslide 9mm.
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Old July 9, 2019, 11:15 AM   #16
odugrad
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I've built three of my own and several for some friends. All of them 5.56 in different configurations.

I've built primarily because I wanted to learn as much about the platform as possible.

I love it!
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Old July 9, 2019, 11:55 AM   #17
bedlamite
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It starts simple. You buy an AR. Then you realize you'd like a different handguard and change it. Then a different stock, trigger, charging handle, etc. Pretty soon you realize you only need a barrel and receiver set for another rifle. Oh, and that other part that looks cool. Then the process starts all over. Pretty soon you have an inventory.

I currently have a half a dozen or so in 3 calibers, with a couple extra uppers.
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Old July 9, 2019, 12:59 PM   #18
T. O'Heir
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"...It’s not cheaper anymore..." Never has been "cheap". Absolutely not less expensive to build than buy. Any more than doing it with a vehicle or anything else.
Most people build because it's fun.
Personally, I'm not interested in the same rifle in a bunch of chamberings. Much prefer milsurps myself.
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Old July 9, 2019, 01:19 PM   #19
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I do enjoy building/assembling them. But there are always additional factors.

Uppers:
Bought? Two. Sold one with a crappy lower. The other lives on as a constantly-evolving and changing test upper. (Many barrels, gas systems, and experiments. Sometimes, it can be found configured with the golf ball launcher.)

Built...? I'm not sure. It depends upon how you define the concept. I've rebuilt many uppers into different configurations, passed stripped uppers on to other projects, taken multiple uppers and swapped parts to reconfigure them all at the same time, and more.

But, from scratch, there's:
.223/5.56 (the biggest category for "define: 'build'" -- minimum of three; but could be twelve ... or more)
.17-223
6x45mm
.300 Blackout
.458 SOCOM
.475 Tremor

I feel like I'm missing something in that list, but probably not.

Let's start with the .458 SOCOM and the 5.56 pistol, as they were my first jump into the poops-where-it-eats world:
SOCOM barrels were unobtainable when I decided to jump in. I was sitting at about 3/4 of the way to the back of the line in a backlog said to be "18-22 months" for a barrel or complete upper. Suddenly, Tony Rumore got back into the .458 SOCOM business and started kicking out bolt/barrel combos. No option there, it must be built. (It was later rebuilt with a different upper receiver and free float tube.)

The pistol... Pistol uppers were stupidly expensive at the time - we're talking $800+ for a bottom-of-the-barrel upper with no BCG - and almost no one offered a barrel length shorter than 10". Yea... I built my 7.5" for under $250.

The other .223/5.56 uppers were built to save money, because what I wanted was not available on the market, and/or because I had a pile of left-over (or gifted) parts that I felt like testing together.

.17-223, 6x45mm, .475 Tremor: Not available on the market; though the Tremor did come as an unassembled "kit" with a timed muzzle brake and engraved upper. (6x45mm later rebuilt to lose weight, donating heavy parts to the more recent .17-223.)
.300 Blackout: I built it for $200 less than a comparable complete upper.

Lowers:
You can't run an upper without a lower, and it has always been cheaper for me to build/assemble than buy.
It didn't "help" that the first lower purchased was the pistol lower, and it was a special run for my military unit. So, I had to buy a few basic tools to assemble it.
I played with what are now called Polymer80 lowers and TAC polymer lowers for a while, but slowly replaced all of them with aluminum (almost exclusively Aero Precision).
Next up will probably be a Flat Spot steel flats lower...
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Old July 9, 2019, 02:14 PM   #20
kymasabe
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I started with PSA complete uppers and lowers, and then discovered I preferred a different stock, or grip, or handguard, and eventually decided it made more sense to just buy stripped upper and lower receivers and build what I want from the ground up. Now, I'm 3 dozen+ builds later and have friends and family asking to build their rifles.
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Old July 9, 2019, 02:59 PM   #21
DaleA
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At the risk of getting away from guns this might be a “guy” thing. (And women can be “guys” too but they usually aren’t.)

IMhO there is a “Y” chromosome based do-it-yourself gene. Look at cars. Look at computers. Heck, look at some people building airplanes for land sakes.

(Short discourse on building your own plane, the BD-5 in this case. The old joke is:
First guy: I’m going to build my own airplane.
Second guy: You’re crazy.
FG: Why? You built your own boat and a plane isn’t any more difficult.
SG: Yeah, but I can swim.)

ANYWAY, guys just want to have fun and building or modifying something puts your own brand or stamp on it. Some guys might remember one of the worst things you could say about somebody’s car was that it was “stock”.

Heck, the Heathkit Company out of Benton Harbor used to sell build-it-yourself electronics gear like ham radios, robots and even stereo receivers and big honking color television sets. My friend swore he had seen a picture of the Benton Harbor plant where dozens of Heathkit employees were taking apart RCA color TV’s, putting the pieces in bags and shipping them to hobbyists for a profit.

Again, it just might be a “guy” thing. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old July 9, 2019, 08:27 PM   #22
rickyrick
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For me, it’s not about appearance, it’s about what the rifle does.

No one sees my rifles but me and the close family.

I don’t care if the finish matches perfectly, I care if it functions as intended. My modest AR assortment has a different intended use for each one.
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Old July 9, 2019, 09:36 PM   #23
jonnyc
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A. Because I can!

B. Because I want to!

It's fun, like building models as a kid.
1. A standard mid-length carbine that evolved into a "DMR".
2. A .300 BLK carbine with all civilian features.
3. An M4gery that I built up from a Matech rear sight.
4. A standard carbine that I built just to paint camo.
5. Haven't decided yet, but the urge is growing.
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Old July 9, 2019, 09:41 PM   #24
armednfree
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I've built from pistols to 24" heavy barrels. Mostly 223 one 300 blackout pistol and one rifle. I built a 450 bushmaster but found that I still prefer my 1895 Marlin. I sold most of them, never took a loss on them. Sometimes using completed uppers, sometimes barreling myself.

I just built this one just to see what I could do for under $400. When I get the new trigger it will be right at $400.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6zI79fSpMI
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Old July 10, 2019, 08:12 AM   #25
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Cause it was cheap.

Had literally a box of spare parts left over from builds (parts for a complete lower, upper parts kit, hand guards, gas blocks, muzzle brakes, etc.) donated to me from two of my brothers. Some parts were used, but still perfectly serviceable, others were new parts that the brothers had duplicates, or parts where they had changed their minds during a build. Later the same brothers gave me a stripped upper, and a barrel for my birthday. The only parts I had to buy were the BCG, which I got as a blem unit from PSA. I’m into that rifle about $84.

The second one that is currently being built ,at a glacial pace, started as a build that would be $2,500 to buy, but I figure I can build for about $650-700. It’s a slow build, the wife and kids siphon off most of my fun money, but hopefully it’s done and suppressed within a year.
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