Complete Uppers or Upper Builds

This is a discussion on Complete Uppers or Upper Builds within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Oooooook.... I've done some looking around and haven't found answers to my questions. I'm starting a build for a 5.56 AR. I have all the ...

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Thread: Complete Uppers or Upper Builds

  1. #1
    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    Complete Uppers or Upper Builds

    Oooooook....
    I've done some looking around and haven't found answers to my questions.

    I'm starting a build for a 5.56 AR. I have all the parts planned out for the lower but the upper is whats throwing me since those components are so crucial.
    I'm wanting to build this for hunting so I need it to be capable of MOA or better.

    I've done lots of reading and I have some questions.
    Do any of you have any personal experience with some of the products below? If so please feel free to give me a little review. Pictures are always welcomed.
    If you don't, but have a suggestion for something you do have experience with, and don't see it below, please feel free to share it.

    Custom
    I'm not opposed to a "from the ground up" build.
    I have researched several custom barrel makers and it always seems to come down to Satern, Krieger, Shilen, Bartlein, Hart and a few others.
    Money isn't a huge issue, as I have no time limit and can save up, but of course I don't want to spend more than I have to to accomplish my goal.
    I have read that WOA(White Oak Armament) makes a fantastic barrel but I can't find any proof, only peoples opinions.

    Complete
    I have read some reviews that state BCM(Bravo Company) and Palmetto State Armory make a fine product that us also affordable. But how to they perform?
    I'm really leaning towards a LaRue Stealth upper due to their stellar reputation. Getting to keep my money in Texas is a nice bonus as well.
    I hear that Noveske is nice, but boy are they pricey.
    Rainier Arms has a few uppers that have peeked my interest especially since they use a Shilen barrel.
    LMT is another one that seems to come highly recommended but I haven't heard much about the other than on the inter-webs.

    What are y'alls takes?
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

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  3. #2
    Member Array TheGiant's Avatar
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    After reading their story my next AR will be from Windham
    This one might fit your needs
    Windham Weaponry Online - Varmint Exterminator 20? Ban Compliant Upper Receiver Assembly for AR15 / M16
    Last edited by TheGiant; May 17th, 2012 at 07:59 AM.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Realistically, you can not build a complete upper cheaper than buying one outright. The only reason I could see doing it would be for the satisfaction of doing it yourself and hope you don't screw it. I pondered that during my AR assembly, figured it would cost me near $200 more before tooling, and went with a Centurion 16" CHF middy, Low Profile pinned gas block, Vltor MUR1-A and the Centurion 12"C4 rail. Ordered the BCG, Charging Handle, and BUIS separate elsewhere.

    You do have the option of a lot of online retailers that will let you pick and choose components (that they have in stock) to have a "custom" upper.

    All depends on your budget.

    If you are looking to build a tack driver, longer barrel, quality ammo, optic, and a lower and FCG to match.

    I started out with an $1800 budget, and passed $2400 long ago for a multipurpose rifle. So far it has been great (I have no baseline for comparison), but it shoots better than I do (3 - 10 shot strings at a NRA 100 rifle target got me a consistent 98 shooting prone off the mag, an Aimpoint PRO RDS, my reloaded M193), and I have had no firearm related malfunctions.

    I have yet to get out to do some serious shooting with my MK262 reloads (need to get them tuned).

    Spend the time shopping around for the best quality and configuration you want.
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  5. #4
    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    Right now I'm waiting on my Spike's lower to come in.
    Trigger is planned to be a Geissele SD-E.
    Still narrowing down the stock options out there but I'll probably be an ACS or an EMOD.
    Other than that I'm still open to suggestions.
    I may end up just buying an upper but most come with hand guards I don't care for and I don't want I have to take off the factory ones just to have to buy something else.
    We'll see, maybe I can get what I want sans the hand guards.
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Go to Bravo Co or Neil at Gun Gallery in Jacksonville and get whatever upper you'd like with any hand guard/barrel combo you prefer.

    Bravo Co (and Colt) are the epitome of a fighting rifle. LaRue uppers are nice, but they lean towards accuracy. When a barrel/chamber is more accurate, it is often less reliable (in a way) or has a lower life expectancy. Centurion is a great compromise here as the CL barrels are capable of 1 MOA accuracy with the right ammo and optic.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    Yeah, BCM is up there as far as choices....the only problem is their almost nonexistent inventory.
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

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    I build my own uppers and lowers, get a Krieger Barrel!

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedicMan218 View Post
    Yeah, BCM is up there as far as choices....the only problem is their almost nonexistent inventory.
    Just need to know where to look. Give Neil a call at Gun Gallery in Jacksonville.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  10. #9
    Member Array jrizzleP95's Avatar
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    There are tons of options online but little to no inventory. I'm in the same boat I have a spikes tactical complete lower but I need an upper. Goin to the gun show Saturday hopefully spikes will be there and I can get some shtuff! GL!


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  11. #10
    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    Will do.
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    G&R has BCM uppers in stock. They sell them without handguards, charging handle, or BCG, though.

  13. #12
    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    I'm ok with that. I want to pick and choose those parts anyways.
    Now, if they only had the assembly I was looking for.
    I'll keep an eye out though and thanks for the heads up.
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

  14. #13
    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    I think I've decided on a build using a White Oak Aramament 18" SPR barrel.
    But there is a dilemma....I have read that the rifle gas system would be best for an 18" barrel vs a mid-length gas system.
    I can get a mid-length right now or I can wait three months and get the rifle gas system barrel.

    I heard that the rifle length gas provides a softer recoil, cycling of the action and generally causes less wear in the moving internals.
    What's y'all's take?
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    The rifle length is to necessarily idea for an 18". Actually, an intermediate length is ideal, but both will work. If you want to run all ammo types, the mid length may have a slight advantage.

    Personally though, I only buy an 18" for precision and it'll only run quality 5.56 ammo, so I'd only buy a rifle length. So, you want a bench shooter? I don't know why, but I assumed it was more for general use. Grant at G&R will get you whatever hand guard you want and can install it too.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  16. #15
    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    It'll be for mostly hunting from a stand.
    So what then? You suggest a 16" instead? If so, why?
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
    "Not everyone can be born with common sense, some are born liberals." -- MM218

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