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Old June 12, 2021, 08:25 PM   #1
kymasabe
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What to build next? Rifle? SBR? Pistol?

Well, my I've managed to slowly accumulate a stripped AR lower and upper, and most of the necessary parts for another build but...I'm at the "what size/what caliber" point. Everything I've ever built was 5.56. I've kicked around the idea of 7.62x39 or 6.8SPC, but never built one. I was thinking of maybe another 12.5 inch barrelled pistol, but with possible brace bans in the future and whispers of redefining what constitutes a pistol...am not sure I wanna go down that path so...was wondering what the collective thinks may be a good choice.
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Old June 12, 2021, 10:22 PM   #2
Shadow9mm
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Personally I would go rifle. Way too many pistol issues going on right now and IMHO the writing is on the wall, its just a matter of time.

7.62x39 can be a bit tricky to get to work properly in the AR platform. it can be done, but I would not mess with it personally.

Is there anything particular you are wanting to do with the gun? will it be a range toy, defensive gun, or hunting?

keep in mind ammo availability. If your other guns are 5.56 and you have 5.56 ammo its easy to feed. you get a caliber you don't have you are looking at another ammo to have to stock up on. before picking a caliber, check availability and price both locally and online.

a few AR calibers off the top of my head, im sure there are many more
5.56/223
7.62x39
6.8spc
6.5 grendel
300 blackout
350 legend
450 bushmaster
50 beowulf
458 socom

Personally I thing the 6.5 Grendel is the coolest
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Old June 13, 2021, 07:33 AM   #3
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Well, I have a nice 16 inch, 1:7 twist, 5.56 AR that I'm perfectly content with. I do kinda regret selling the 12.5 inch pistol I built a year ago, and I dont have a basic M4gery in the safe anymore so was considering going in one of those two directions. If I hunt with my AR, will be infrequent hog hunt and my current set up has scope and 75gr bthp for hogs, red dot for home defense. I don't really NEED another AR but figured "why not" since I'm halfway there.
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Old June 13, 2021, 08:50 AM   #4
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I've built most of the "flavors" that AR 15's can come in, IMO it really comes down to a whether or not you want to reload for it, what you want to use it for and the over-all simplicity/reliability of operations.

IMO the best AR 15 "alternative" cartridge ever developed in terms of all-around reliability, multiple roles (home defense, hunting), ammo availability etc. outside of the 5.56 is the 6.8 spc. And it just so happens some of the best barrels you can get are also some of the least expensive, by ARP.
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Old June 13, 2021, 02:26 PM   #5
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To me the starting point is always what do I want to do with this particular gun. If you're interested in going the pistol/sbr route, it's tough to beat 300 BLK. Excellent ballistics out of a short barrel. If you shoot subsonic ammo it's fantastic suppressed. Plus 10.5-12.5 AR's are just so versatile and fun to shoot.

For hog hunting, I know a bunch of people that love the .458 Socom. But that's a completely different direction. The round has fantastic stopping power, but if you don't reload it's very costly. And recoil is pretty stout. But for energy on target it's tough to beat under 200 yards.

Looking for a semi-long range gun, how about an 18" or 20" 6.5 Grendel?

Again, you can take this in any direction you want. But for sheer fun and versatility I'd just build a 11.5" in .223/5.56 add one of the original style pistol braces (which I think will remain legal no matter what the ATF does).
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Old June 13, 2021, 03:43 PM   #6
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Love my 7.62x39 AR. It’s a reliable sub 2MOA shooter at least to 200 yds, has been 100% reliable and is just a nice solid gun. I got an AR Stoner heavy barrel upper and put together an Anderson lower, Hogue stock and grip with a Magpul forearm, and my old reliable Nikon 3-9x40 scope on it. I did this a few years ago for under $600.00. The trick is using the right mags, both AR Stoner mags and C Product Defense mags have been 100% reliable. But for load development or bench shooting any AR15 mag will work as long as you only load five rounds in it.
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Old June 13, 2021, 06:10 PM   #7
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Another thing to keep in mind, not sure if you reload or planed to, but the majority of 7.62x39 ammo is steel cased and is generally not able to be reloaded. Back when it was super cheap not a big deal. But now I generally steer clear of calibers I cannot reload for with the exception of 22lr.

Again, especially with the shortage, make sure its a cartridge you can get reasonably easily, and preferably locally.
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Old June 14, 2021, 08:21 AM   #8
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I had an 8" 45acp AR Pistol built. With no gas port, I can shoot my favored 200 Cast SWC. What a blast to shoot.
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Old June 14, 2021, 01:27 PM   #9
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In the process of a 7.62x39 build myself. Last parts come tomorrow.

I reload but steel case can be bought cheaper than anything and is much of my drive to the caliber.
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Old June 15, 2021, 06:42 AM   #10
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I am really partial to the 6.5 Grendel and 6 ARC myself. I have both with 20 inch barrels for mid and long range accuracy
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Old June 18, 2021, 10:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-ker View Post
In the process of a 7.62x39 build myself. Last parts come tomorrow.

I reload but steel case can be bought cheaper than anything and is much of my drive to the caliber.
I slapped together a pretty inexpensive 7.62x39 recently. Not going to say "built", all I did was get a BCA upper, a KG complete lower, and some C Products mags. I did put an enhanced firing pin in, got it from Red X Arms after looking into things a bit.

The gun runs wonderfully with cheap steel, and I've got the iron sights pretty well locked in. I think a lot of the concerns about the caliber for ARs have been ironed out at this point, and you just can't beat the ammo for price and availability.

Last I've seen, Tula is now back under $300 for a case.
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Old June 19, 2021, 09:23 PM   #12
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Well, someone said stick to .223/5.56 so you don't have to buy another caliber so...I ran with that advice. I'm keepin this build cheap so...MOE stock and handguard, bought a new Bushmaster barrel, 16", 5.56, melonite, 1:8, comes with a gas block and barrel nut. I have a delta ring laying around somewhere. No front sight, but I'll use a red dot, it'll be fine for a basic build. No fancy trigger in this one. Budget build. I can upgade later.
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Old June 20, 2021, 11:05 AM   #13
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I've been putting parts together for over a year and am a scope mount away from a 6mm arc rifle, that comes tomorrow, I'm working most of the day so weather permitting I'll be running the initial accuracy test on Tuesday.
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Old June 21, 2021, 03:12 PM   #14
Shadow9mm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kymasabe View Post
Well, someone said stick to .223/5.56 so you don't have to buy another caliber so...I ran with that advice. I'm keepin this build cheap so...MOE stock and handguard, bought a new Bushmaster barrel, 16", 5.56, melonite, 1:8, comes with a gas block and barrel nut. I have a delta ring laying around somewhere. No front sight, but I'll use a red dot, it'll be fine for a basic build. No fancy trigger in this one. Budget build. I can upgade later.
Spend a couple extra bucks on a jp enhanced reliability spring kit for the trigger. It's like $12. Much better trigger imho. 100% reliable with all ammo/primers in the guns I have put it in. Great upgrade for a budget build.
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Old June 21, 2021, 05:57 PM   #15
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Spend a couple extra bucks on a jp enhanced reliability spring kit for the trigger. It's like $12. Much better trigger imho. 100% reliable with all ammo/primers in the guns I have put it in. Great upgrade for a budget build.
Already did.
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Old June 22, 2021, 10:50 PM   #16
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kymasabe: Is your vision pretty good?

I've never owned any rifle scope (age 65), and would love to own a friend's 1985 ("green box") Colt AR. He very seldom shoots it but would not sell it. I couldn't justify the money to buy it even If it were available.

The sight distance of the 20" barrel combined with the nice small aperture, to me, is highly preferable to a typical 16" sight distance.
Almost all of the AR owners here are probably into scopes etc.

In case this isn't somewhat clear, if you must build, how about with a 20" barrel? The longer, solid look has always appealed to me.

Last edited by Ignition Override; June 22, 2021 at 10:56 PM.
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Old June 23, 2021, 12:29 PM   #17
Joe-ker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobysnacker View Post
I slapped together a pretty inexpensive 7.62x39 recently. Not going to say "built", all I did was get a BCA upper, a KG complete lower, and some C Products mags. I did put an enhanced firing pin in, got it from Red X Arms after looking into things a bit.

The gun runs wonderfully with cheap steel, and I've got the iron sights pretty well locked in. I think a lot of the concerns about the caliber for ARs have been ironed out at this point, and you just can't beat the ammo for price and availability.

Last I've seen, Tula is now back under $300 for a case.
I should have shopped around a little better as now I see uppers cheaper than mine…..go figure. I got a complete bolt from Red X…..they were out of just firing pins. Running Magpul sights for now but may add a red dot later. Have a scope I can toss on too. Just running a A2 stock for now but want a collapsible at some point.

So far it performed great….a few hang ups on the 10 rd duramag when full…….the 30s worked great but I didn’t fill them full. The wolf Polyperfomance was flawless. Some old surplus stuff I would get a light strike maybe one per box. Could always get a heavy hammer spring if I need to, but I probably won’t be buying more of that stuff.

Got a case of wolf mpa for .32/rd.

I’m loving it so far. Fun cheap shooter.
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Old June 25, 2021, 04:51 AM   #18
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How about something completely different? You own short .223's, now go the opposite direction and scratch the itch for something large in a big caliber!
.458 Beowulf 20'' upper, rattlecan-spraypaint it in some cool camo, open sights only.... Big Game AR!

Last edited by Moloch; June 25, 2021 at 05:00 AM.
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Old June 25, 2021, 05:02 AM   #19
kymasabe
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How about something completely different? You own short .223's, now go the opposite direction and scratch the itch for something large in a big caliber!
.458 Beowulf 20'' upper, rattlecan-spraypaint it in some cool camo, open sights only.... Big Game AR!
Hmmm, that's an interesting idea. I think I'll read up a little this weekend on big caliber options, like .450 Bushmaster, or .458 Socom.
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