looking to buy ar15: kit or complete ar?

This is a discussion on looking to buy ar15: kit or complete ar? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; hello everyone, im looking to buy my first ar and to keep it simple, is it cheaper to buy a complete ar kit to put ...

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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    looking to buy ar15: kit or complete ar?

    hello everyone,

    im looking to buy my first ar and to keep it simple, is it cheaper to buy a complete ar kit to put together, put together custom (part by part), or just buy a complete ar? just from looking around i found Model 1 sales and they have a complete .223 kit for $495. i havent checked all of my LGSs but i can only find a .22 for that price at Hyatt gs which isnt too far away. thanks for any input and would love any ideas or recommendations, as said before this will be my first AR ( used plenty of traditional/hunting rifles). thanks
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    Member Array sammage's Avatar
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    Is this for a plinker or actual HD/SD use? If you're just shooting dirt clods and soda cans, go with the kit. Otherwise, I would look at offerings from reputable manufacturers.
    AR - build or buy? - Page 2

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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    thanks sammage, it will definatly see range time but i would like it for HD/SD aswell.
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    I think it really depends on what you want and how much shopping around you are willing to do.

    The two big problems I see with building one are: 1. Price creep. It's easy to start out with the "cheap" mindset, but it's pretty easy with AR parts to start wanting "upgrades" that go beyond the typical entry level stuff (better triggers, handguards, etc.). and 2. Shipping charges for a bunch of parts adds up, so take that into account when you are looking at buying from a bunch of internet vendors. That may not apply if you are looking at a "kit" where it all comes from one place...

    The advantage to building your own is you will get exactly what you want right out of the gate, as opposed to replacing components on a pre-built rifle. It is difficult to take a stock AR and just leave it alone!

    If you don't mind the wait time, keep an eye on Palmetto State Armory. They have some really good prices, especially when they put stuff on sale, and they do make quality rifles for the price. The post election/holiday rush has PSA pretty much out of almost everything, but if you aren't in a hurry, they could be a good resource for you.

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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    thanks for the input expat i will look into them, im in no hurry to buy still in the proccess of saving up for one so thats no problem.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    I think it really depends on what you want and how much shopping around you are willing to do.

    The two big problems I see with building one are: 1. Price creep. It's easy to start out with the "cheap" mindset, but it's pretty easy with AR parts to start wanting "upgrades" that go beyond the typical entry level stuff (better triggers, handguards, etc.). and 2. Shipping charges for a bunch of parts adds up, so take that into account when you are looking at buying from a bunch of internet vendors. That may not apply if you are looking at a "kit" where it all comes from one place...

    The advantage to building your own is you will get exactly what you want right out of the gate, as opposed to replacing components on a pre-built rifle. It is difficult to take a stock AR and just leave it alone!

    If you don't mind the wait time, keep an eye on Palmetto State Armory. They have some really good prices, especially when they put stuff on sale, and they do make quality rifles for the price. The post election/holiday rush has PSA pretty much out of almost everything, but if you aren't in a hurry, they could be a good resource for you.
    Boy is that ever the truth. I got a pretty good price on my Bushmaster through the store. Then I started seeing all sorts of neat stuff that I would like to have on it. Now, I have a $1500 Bushmaster. It's nice though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger91 View Post
    hello everyone,

    im looking to buy my first ar and to keep it simple, is it cheaper to buy a complete ar kit to put together, put together custom (part by part), or just buy a complete ar? just from looking around i found Model 1 sales and they have a complete .223 kit for $495. i havent checked all of my LGSs but i can only find a .22 for that price at Hyatt gs which isnt too far away. thanks for any input and would love any ideas or recommendations, as said before this will be my first AR ( used plenty of traditional/hunting rifles). thanks
    Well there really is no one answer. The best thing to do is what you are doing.....do your homework BEFORE buying. That way when you make your purchase, be it a complete gun or a bunch of parts, you will be happy. Going out and buying an AR and then doing the research is a sure recipe for heart ache.

    The first thing to decide is what will the gun be for? You've already said HD/SD so if I were you I'd focus on getting a quality AR built to Mil Spec (or darn near it). If you are patient and willing to shop hard for a deal you can get a good AR for around $700 and a complete Mil Spec AR for around $950. Good ARs are not falling out of trees at these prices but they can be had with patience and persistence.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Well there really is no one answer. The best thing to do is what you are doing.....do your homework BEFORE buying. That way when you make your purchase, be it a complete gun or a bunch of parts, you will be happy. Going out and buying an AR and then doing the research is a sure recipe for heart ache.

    The first thing to decide is what will the gun be for? You've already said HD/SD so if I were you I'd focus on getting a quality AR built to Mil Spec (or darn near it). If you are patient and willing to shop hard for a deal you can get a good AR for around $700 and a complete Mil Spec AR for around $950. Good ARs are not falling out of trees at these prices but they can be had with patience and persistence.
    Oh, Do your homework BEFORE buying!! They must have taught that on the day I fell asleep during Gun Ownership 101.
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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    thanx atctimmy i will keep that in mind. thanks everyone for all the feedback and reccomendations
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    Senior Member Array tmoore912's Avatar
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    Recommendation:

    Palmetto State Armory M4 Optic Ready AR-15 Rifle @ Classic Firearms $719.99

    Good quality parts are used in these guns. A lot of the parts put into these guns are the same parts put into the FN guns made for the military. Full auto, chrome lined, tested BCG. F marked FSB. Staked gas key. Staked castle nut. FN made 16" 1/7 twist chrome lined barrel. Chrome lined 5.56 chamber. M4 feedramps. Forged upper and lower. Mil-spec Buffer tube. etc........

    You are going to have a much easier time buying a completed rifle from a manufacturer, than you are trying to buy all the parts you need for a quality AR-15 build. It's almost impossible to find a quality, tested Bolt Carrier Group right now. Most parts are now priced at a premium now. You should have done this back in the early Summer.

    Good luck...........
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    Senior Member Array KoriBustard's Avatar
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    I'm considering an AR as well and have spoken to some local dealers and gunsmiths and will probably have one built for me by a very talented gunsmith. I'm leaning toward 5.56 over .223 and probably direct impingement over gas piston (due to price). Any thoughts on which you prefer in terms of both type of ammunition and between direct impingement and gas piston would be appreciated.
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    Senior Member Array tmoore912's Avatar
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    Build it with a 5.56 chamber so you can shoot 5.56 and .223

    I wouldn't want an AR-15 that could not shoot 5.56
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoriBustard View Post
    I'm considering an AR as well and have spoken to some local dealers and gunsmiths and will probably have one built for me by a very talented gunsmith. I'm leaning toward 5.56 over .223 and probably direct impingement over gas piston (due to price). Any thoughts on which you prefer in terms of both type of ammunition and between direct impingement and gas piston would be appreciated.
    I suggest you buy one in 5.56 directly from a company that makes them.

    A monkey can build an AR from parts. You don't need a "very talented gunsmith", what you need is knowledge about what goes into your gun. If you buy from a local gunsmith you are going to get whatever cheapo crap parts he can find. You will get a Frankengun with no control over what went in it.

    Large companies have the buying power to purchase parts in bulk to their specifications. This allows them (and you) to have a greater control over quality and cost. Your local guy is buying parts from a distributor or maybe even from places like Midway or Brownells. He gets no volume price breaks and gets whatever he can find in stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I suggest you buy one in 5.56 directly from a company that makes them.

    A monkey can build an AR from parts. You don't need a "very talented gunsmith", what you need is knowledge about what goes into your gun. If you buy from a local gunsmith you are going to get whatever cheapo crap parts he can find. You will get a Frankengun with no control over what went in it.

    Large companies have the buying power to purchase parts in bulk to their specifications. This allows them (and you) to have a greater control over quality and cost. Your local guy is buying parts from a distributor or maybe even from places like Midway or Brownells. He gets no volume price breaks and gets whatever he can find in stock.
    I agree, sorta...

    Just because you buy one from a local source, that doesn't necessarily mean that your parts are of lower quality, nor does buying from a name brand assure you of high quality.

    What I would suggest is if you really want one "built", buy quality parts and do it yourself. A monkey probably could build one if he had internet access and watched some youtube videos, so why spend the money on the labor when you could put that money into better parts.

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    Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    I think you can also save some money by buying a complete upper and complete lower separately. I was told once that there is a 11% tax that is added to fully assembled guns. But don't quote me on that. I did that and saved about $100. Don't forget to count the cost of tools if you're going to do a complete build.

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