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Old January 11, 2014, 05:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: March 18, 2009
Location: Central Colorado
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Adding my first AR build to the fray as well!

It's fun to watch everyone complete their different builds, and I embarked on the same journey about a month ago. I picked up a ST Calico Jack lower to start with. I don't really know why I was drawn to it at the time, but I figured it was a good place to start. I wanted this build to be a nice, reliable rifle that I won't fret when it gets a little beat up. Also, with it being a Franken-AR it allowed me to see how the internals operate. I'm pretty mechanically savvy, I just had never completely disassembled my other AR to decipher form and function. However, completing this build has allowed me to fix significant problems with my other one .

I'd like to get your opinion on what I've selected. I tried to keep it a relatively low cost build (aka no DD, Noveske, etc.), so I went with the Spike's lower, and installed a Windham LPK. Upon assembling, I have a newfound respect for installing the detent and spring for the forward pivot pin. I sent it flying three times, and I *cannot* believe I found it every time. From there, I installed a DSG buffer tube and carbine buffer, since it was relatively cheap (~69 for the tube, buffer, spring, nut , retaining plate and Magpul MOE stock).

I did kind of cheat, and went and bought an assembled upper. I saw PSA had a pretty good price on a completed 20" rifle length system (this is what I wanted originally) with a fixed sight. It has the FN barrel (PSA labeled) 1:7, which was nice to find instead of the common 1:9 in the 20" length, the M16 C158 bolt carrier and the fixed front sight (I plan on installing a BCM F-height carry handle later). The gas assembly on the bolt is staked - not beautifully - but it should serve its purpose. I wanted to go iron sights, to really teach me to get 200+ yards without relying on optics, plus it adds to it's purpose of being a beat-em-up rifle. The optics on it right now is just a cheap UTG sight that should survive for now.

The upper looked real good, it came with the original circular handguard that was a little rougher and uglier than I anticipated. I went the ye olde dress up route and went with Magpul MOE (I'm from CO, so i'm a fan of Magpul ) foliage green furniture. I don't plan on bolting anything to it minus a sling, so an Alpha or quad rail doesn't make much sense for me (i can hang all that stuff on my other carbine if I so choose). I didn't think i'd like the color, but I wanted to try something different and lo and behold, I really like it.

Also, it seems like there's a ton of debate on the net about what buffer weight/springs/gas system etc. to use. I wanted to be a little different and use the rifle length gas system with a carbine buffer and tube setup, so I can interchange uppers on lowers appropriately, as well as components between the two.There was a fantastic article in this month's G&A where Kyle Lamb broke down the AR gas system types and their appropriate pressures, and I'm more than confident that the carbine buffer will be fine for this rifle. I'll keep track of the brass pattern and adjust accordingly, but I don't think an H-1-2-3 buffer will be necessary (just IMO).

As far as I know, it should be a solid shooting gun. As I said earlier, i'm gonna go with a carry handle with iron sights (BCM) and possibly do the BCM gunfighter charging handle, and a 2-point sling. Beyond that, stick a fork in this guy.

What do you guys think? Thoughts?

Those who hammer their swords into plow shares will plow for those who didn't...

Last edited by MagnumWill; January 11, 2014 at 07:58 PM.
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Old January 11, 2014, 08:08 PM   #2
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Good job. Let us know how it shoots.
NRA member

Paintings were made to look at, and guns were made to be shot. If you aren't going to use them as they are intended for, get rid of them and buy a Picasso.
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Old January 11, 2014, 10:07 PM   #3
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Looks good. Congrats on a nice build. Let us know how it shoots.
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Old January 12, 2014, 08:59 AM   #4
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Try a Daniel Defense fixed rear sight to go with your pyramid front, I prefer open sights and D D makes the best. Also the extended Vltor compensator will keep that muzzle just where you want it during follow up shots. The sight and comp will not add but a bit of weight.
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Old January 12, 2014, 01:04 PM   #5
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Join Date: November 21, 2010
Location: Arizona
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She is a beauty MagWill! I am torn between building a mid length 16" and a good old fashioned 20".

Your pics are not making the decision any easier!
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Old January 12, 2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! And I might take you up on that mikey, I was originally looking at folding sights and they didn't feel substantial enough for me to leave up the whole time, and that DD sight is just the ticket. Also I do want to go with a compensator with this one, since there isn't as much flash compared to the carbine.
Those who hammer their swords into plow shares will plow for those who didn't...
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