My 1st AR Build - DefConGun1R

This is a discussion on My 1st AR Build - DefConGun1R within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by DefConGun Thanks! I originally planned to go with a DD upper but parts are scarce right now. I've had my eye, however, ...

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Thread: My 1st AR Build - DefConGun1R

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefConGun View Post
    Thanks!

    I originally planned to go with a DD upper but parts are scarce right now. I've had my eye, however, on that BCM upper for weeks and am glad it was still there when I was ready to place an order. I'd still like to have a DD but I'm also really excited about this BCM and can't wait to see how its going to perform.

    I agree with your comment about DD rails. I also think they're great rails and If I ever get a rail, it will probably be a DD (like 99% likely).

    The reason I didn't get a DD rail is mostly due to funds or lack thereof. The Magpul handguard is considerably cheaper and is going to allow me to get up and running a lot sooner. I do wonder, however, about the weight difference. This handguard should make for a light rifle and it'll be interesting to see if its going to be too light? I watched one of the videos that came with the upper last night and Pat Rogers said something about a light rifle being nice for mobility but can make for a jerky rife per recoil - so it'll be interesting to see how its going to affect this one.
    I think your assessment is spot on and you will be up and running with your choices! Your components are great and will be very reliable, I don't have any issues with BCM uppers as they are very good. By the way, a rifle can never be too light! I may be an odd ball but it's one of the big reasons I like DI guns over piston driven AR's.
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    My BCM BCG Came Today



    This Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) is the last major component I needed for my AR. I got this from Grant @ G&R Tactical. Grant had it listed for the same money that Bravo Company has it for but Grant offers free shipping contingent upon your order meeting the listed guidelines on the website.

    As listed, the BCG fell $1.00 short from qualifying for free shipping, hence the FDE Magpul Ranger Floorplate you see listed in the picture. By ordering the floorplate, my order qualified for free shipping. I'm kind of glad that I got it because I can't wait to try it out. I don't think I would have tried one of these devices out anytime soon if it had not been for placing this order. I think I'm going to like it and will probably order some more when I order my Pmags.

    Grant must be clairvoyant because the next item on my "to get" list is a sighting system. For now, I'm going with a rear fold-up BUIS but in the future, I would like to add an Aimpoint red dot. Predicting my next move, Grant sent me a 2012 Aimpoint catalog. Thanks, Grant!


    Assuming I'll have the funds to do so, I plan on ordering the BCM BUIS as soon as it is in stock.

    For now, I've ordered a wrench to help me with assembling the lower (more details later) and it will be here soon. I really want to put the lower together in the next few days but I'll probably wait until I have a safe way/method of storing it before I assemble it.

    Other misc. (but still very important) items to get before I can take the DefConGun1R over the ridge and try it out are;

    • Tac bag
    • Pmags
    • Ammo


    Originally, I really wanted a Pelican case (I still do) but for now I'm seriously thinking about getting the 5.11 rifle case (36"). I'm open to suggestions if you think I should consider another bag.

    For now, I'm pretty much sold on Pmags without ever even using them yet. They got such rave reviews from you guys on here, they must really be something. I'll get most of them in FDE but I'll get some in black too.

    Ammo? I'd really like to get a can of the Federal stuff if I can swing the price. To keep on hand for HD, I'm not sure, TAP or something in TSX?

    Thanks for viewing my post. As always, please feel free to comment.

    God bless,
    DCG

  4. #18
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    Good luck on your build! Nice selection of parts so far. The hardest part about building a rifle is waiting for UPS deliveries!!
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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    95% Complete!

    The DefConGun1R project is in its final stages and as much as I'm looking forward to taking my rifle out and shooting it, there's a part of me that hates to see it come to an end. I have enjoyed the research, planning and the execution, thereof. All throughout the past two weeks, my brother and I have both spent our evenings working on this gun in an attempt to complete the project. We would have completed it much sooner than this but there were some snags along the way that prolonged matters. Originally, I didn't plan on getting any help but considering that I didn't have a good work bench and a vice, the extra hands were very helpful with holding things in place. Sometimes you have to make due with what you have so we built this AR in the Kitchen. That's why the pictures in this post show everything laying on a cardboard matt - so we wouldn't scratch up the Kitchen table.

    I started assembling the lower by installing the magazine catch. This isn't a difficult task but you do have to depress the button inside of the receiver as you tighten the magazine catch on the opposite side. If you remember, I bought a tool to help with this stage. Its a little black piece that looks like a button. After I bought the thing, I thought to myself that I hope I didn't just blow $8.00. Well, you don't have to have this tool, you could take an alan key or screw driver and hold the button in. Irrespective of this, however, the tool does make the task easier. If you're going to take up AR assembly as a hobby then by all means spend the $8 bucks and make your life a little easier.

    I used YouTube videos as a means of referring to demonstrations. I'm a visual learner and watching someone perform a task helps me with comprehension in a manner that is leaps and bounds more effective than simply reading instructions - although I did refer to them via Arfcom's directions. Just use discretion if you do this because some video posts are more helpful than others. Some videos are a true asset if the person giving the instruction really knows what he/she is doing, etc. Some videos aren't helpful at all and may even hinder you if the person providing the instruction doesn't really know what he/she is doing, etc. One thing that became very apparent to me by watching the videos is that most people have their own way of assembling an AR and one way isn't necessarily better than another. I watched one gentleman, for example, assemble most of the lower with a pair of Knipex pliers. He didn't have a complete set of punches and other various tools that some people will say you have to have, etc. I'm not saying that you should assemble an AR this way but would rather say for you to use whichever method that works for you. Knowing what works for you, however, is going to be something that comes with experience and if you're clueless like me on your first build, you just have to jump in it and see what happens.

    On the next step, I started to install the bolt catch assembly and this is when I found out that I was missing the bolt catch spring. I also found that I had a piece that I shouldn't have had - a Ruger Pawl Spring plunger S/S - whatever that is, etc. I had another piece and at first I was convinced that it was another piece I shouldn't have - it was labeled, "ejector/selector spring". Later I realized that this is the spring that goes into the pistol grip and provides tension for the "safety" selector. Remember when I said that I had snags that prolonged matters? Well, this was the first snag. I had to call Brownell's the next day to tell them that my LPK didn't come with the bolt catch spring. They were very nice about it and told me to keep the extra part/s that I shouldn't have received and that they would get my spring out to me soon. Well, they weren't kidding. I had the spring delivered via 2-day shipping - and they paid for the shipping. Kuddos to Brownell's for excellent customer service.

    Other snags I ran into were relatively minor glitches considering everything that goes into the whole. There were a couple of times when I would drop something like a spring. Everytime you drop something, you obviously have to take time and look for it and sometimes it takes awhile to find it. I had a very difficult time, for example, installing the spring that goes in the pivot pin. That crazy spring kept popping out on me and I must've dropped it five or six times. Luckily for me, my brother has a magnet and it turned out to be a life saver. I would still be in the Kitchen looking for that stupid spring if we had not have had that magnet. We also used it at other times when a spring would slip out and find its way on the floor. Maybe this is a tool people should include in their, "tools to get" list when they recommend the tools you'll need, etc. Here is what it looks like;



    There was another time the buffer retainer popped out on me and it took us awhile to find it. I forgot to install the take-down spring after we had already tightened up the castle nut. I was backing off of the nut so that I could back the plate off and insert the spring. With my attention on this, the buffer retainer popped out before I knew it even though I was trying to hold it in place with my thumb. All of these delays prolong things and eats away at your time.

    I wish I could say my lower came out without a mar on it. I was very carful and in spite of my precautions, I still have some small marks here and there. I don't know if you can hammer in the trigger guard pin without taking some color off. If its possible, I didn't succeed. I also have a small mar on the front pin and for the life of me I don't know how it got there. I didn't have any trouble installing it and there was never a tool used on it to scratch it (you push it in with your fingers), so go figure.

    I have another mark and I'm not sure how it got there. The piece of the lower receiver that comes up and forms into the piece the extension receiver tube screws into has a small mark on it. Again, I have no idea how this got there and it kind of bugs me that its there but I'm not going to loose life over it. They make markers that you can get to touch up problem areas but I don't know if I'm going to bother with it. I'm sure it will have a lot more marks on it before I'm finished with it. I plan on getting a lot of use out of this rifle and with use will come wear, etc.

    Here is the logo side of the lower - its mostly complete here.


    The other side, is very clean;


    For some reason I had a snag when it came to installing the pistol grip. The bolt that came with the LPK seemed to have been too long. I tightened it down pretty good (circa 15 lbs/ft) but didn't want to over do it so I wouldn't strip anything. In spite of having it tightened down, there was a large gap between the handle and the receiver if you pulled down on the handle. The handle wasn't securely in place at all.

    My brother decided to pick up a shorter screw the next day. The long screw is the one that came with the LPK and the shorter one is the one my brother bought;


    Even after installing the shorter screw, the handle still had play in it. My brother looked around and found a washer. We installed a small washer in addition to the one that came with the LPK. This did the trick. The handle is solid as a rock now and has zero play in it.

    If you remember from a previous post, I found a torque wrench at Sears for $12.00. I wanted to torque down my castle nut at the 35-39 lbs/ft. of torque that is listed in the Colt manual. The Rock River Arms castle nut wrench I bought didn't have any way of attaching my torque wrench. I did some research to find a method of attaching a torque wrench to a castle nut wrench and didn't find very much information at all. It sounds like most people just place some blue loctite on, torque it down and have at it.

    One way to torque down your castle nut with a torque wrench (if you really want to do it this way) is to get a Hammerhead wrench - which I did - get, that is...


    Here's what it looks like attached,


    I torqued down the castle nut with the Hammerhead and then staked the nut at two different places. The Hammerhead works well, you just have to make sure that you properly seat it by securely holding it in place using two hands. I did scratch my receiver extension tube but I think I did this when I had to take the castle nut off when I forgot to install the take-down spring. Luckily for me, I had not staked the nut yet when I discovered my mistake.

    Here are both views of the lower with butt stock installed.





    Lower Meet Upper. Upper, meet Lower.


    I still need to get a BUIS and a magazine before the ole girl is ready to take out. I ordered these the other night and should have them sometime next week. I also still need to get ammo and a soft shell case. I'm thinking about getting the 36" 5.11 bag.

    In the meantime, here is what I have right now.




    I am really pleased with how this rifle turned out. I love the CTR stock and really like the flat dark earth color scheme. I'll also say that the Colt LPK is really nice. The fit and finish of the pieces are that of quality. Overall, I'm really impressed with the fit and finish of the rifle as a whole. The moving parts like buttons, for example, are firm and the pieces move in a very smooth fashion. I'm also pleased with the weight. This rifle is very light. I need to find a set of scales so I can weigh it. I'm guessing that its no more than 6 lbs. It wouldn't surprise me if its 5 1/2 lbs. without a mag and ammo.

    I'll post more pics when I get my Troy rear folding BUIS installed and my FDE Pmag in place.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

    God bless,
    DCG

  6. #20
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    Go to sleep!
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  7. #21
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    It's coming along nicely.
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  8. #22
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    Looks great. I use the magpul funiture on my Stag Arms and really like it. I find it is more comfortable and tighter than stock handguards and stock (using the MOE stock). Get some sights and mags , enjoy shooting the rifle.
    DefConGun likes this.
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