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Old March 10, 2013, 01:10 PM   #1
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Advice for My First AR-15 Build

Hello everyone! I am new to ARs, and have done a fair amount of research and have decided to build my first AR15.
I am really looking for advice on brands, kits, set ups, so that I can keep my build hopefully under 800 dollars, or as cheap as possible without giving up too much quality. This gun is not for self-defense but really recreation, maybe some hunting, and home defense. I am pretty certain on getting a 16" barrel and a Middy gas system.

Please share your builds/ parts/ pricing expertise! Thank you!
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Old March 10, 2013, 02:20 PM   #2
Metal god
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I recommend building the lower and buying a complete upper for your first build . Now is not the best time for this . Depending on where you live you may want to put the buil;d off for a year or so . if your in CA or any other mega anti state you should do it now .

This would be a great ar for the price

All the psa stuff has been in stock this week

lower $120

lower build kit $130

upper $400

bcg & charging handle $210
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If you have some time IMO this is worth a listen/watch but it takes a few minutes to really get going . or a picture of Mohamed
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Old March 10, 2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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+1 to Metal.

I put mine together (not really a build, as the upper was comlete- all I had to assemble was the lower) for about 700 last summer, beating all the craziness.

It works.
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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Of all the items Metal posted links too only the uppers and charging handles are still in stock.

Man this stuff goes fast!
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Old March 10, 2013, 04:37 PM   #5
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thank you for the links Metal! I will most likely go with a complete upper and I like that PSA one that they still have in stock.

Jimbo- What was your setup?
Any other advice links/advice that would fit my budget and have good reputations?
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Old March 10, 2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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Just make sure you remember that upper comes minus charging handle or bolt carrier group. BCGs are out there but there is usually a waiting list unless you want to pay double for one from an individual.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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I'm all for building an AR. I built my 2nd one and it was a great learning experience and a lot of fun.

However, in this climate, I wouldn't rule out a complete rifle if you come across one. Parts are very difficult to come by and are often purchased by professional hoarders and flippers as they come available.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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I had wanted a Colt LE6920 for a long while, but the price pretty much stayed at around $1200 ..... a bit much for a gun in a caliber I have no practical use for at the moment.

I did quite a bit of looking, both before I picked the LE6920, and while I stacked the money to get it ..... I knew I wanted a 1:7 twist (for using heavy bullets) ..... I knew I wanted a forward assist (I'm a veteran, and my M16's needed help going into battery when in crappy environments on occasion), I knew I wanted a chrome lined bore (crappy envirnments, again) ...... I wanted a mid length gas system (I understand short ones can be problematic) ....I wanted a good quality BCG, .... and I wanted all this from a manufacturer that had a good repuatation ....... I looked at CMMG, BCM, Del-Ton..... never stopped looking. And then I stumbled on PSA ..... they did not have what I wanted in stock at the time, but I bookmarked the things I wanted, checked back often and one fine day (while they were offering free shipping, no less!) they had what I wanted, I had the money, and I made the call.

Assembly was not terribly complicated. YouTube videos and tools I already have..... Now I have a gun that has pretty much everything the LE6920 has, except the prancing pony, for $500 less ...... It has worked thus far.

I read somewhere that you can have a product or service "Of Quality", "Inexpensively", "Conveniently", "In Volume" and "Now", ...... pick two, three if the seller is reputable, and you are dilignet. I find this generally to ring true.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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I am building an AR right now. But, I think you can decent quality, fully assembled AR's for less than you can build them for. I saw that My LGS was selling S&W M&P AR's for about $850 last Friday - believe me, if I didn't have money invested in this AR project, I would have simply bought one of those. The AR that I am assembling will cost me about $1,200, and I already had a barrel and bolt carrier to start me off.

The problem is that you can find cheap parts to build a budget AR. But, if you want to use premium parts - good quality barrel, upper, lower, BCG, buffer-tube and stock and a free-floating barrel system, all this stuff will cost you.

This is the way I see it: If you are buying or assembling an AR at this time, you are probably concerned about a possible AW ban in the near future. In any AW Ban that basically stops production of AR's for civilian purchase, all of the premium parts (which are already hard to obtain) will become unobtainable. So, given that you (we, I) think there's a chance the antis will succeed with some kind of AW ban, it makes more sense to me to construct an AR out of premium parts and materials, if you can afford it.

Just look at the '89 import ban or the '86 machinegun ban for some history. See if you can locate an FNC bolt carrier group or barrel. An AC-556 parts set (full-auto mini-14) goes for close to $2,000 now, if you can find one. So, if there was an AW ban, do you think you would ever be able to get your hands on a good chrome or NiB M16 bolt carrier group? How many companies will continue to make good quality free-float hand guards? Or good quality matched receiver sets?

Last edited by Skans; March 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM.
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:14 PM   #10
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Good luck on your build.

My suggestion is just be patient and diligent when looking for parts right now. Most everything is out of stock, so you have to check almost daily for updates, and when they're in stock be ready to jump on it.

First things first, get a decent quality lower then go from there.
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Old March 12, 2013, 12:17 AM   #11
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+1 to jimbob's two posts. I also love everything about the Colt 6920 except its short gas system so have instead done three midlength builds. Like him, I completed a PSA build on my own stripped lower just before the panic buying. The lower was $100, the PSA LBK $80, the PSA URG plus charging handle $294, BCM BCG $150, and Magpul MBUS $55. Throw in a couple magazines and it came in around $700, amazing when people buy a comspec DPMS for the same money. It's pretty hard to beat PSA for the money.
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