New year's resolution: save money, build an AR-15!

New year's resolution: save money, build an AR-15!

This is a discussion on New year's resolution: save money, build an AR-15! within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I had too much fun buying guns in 2013 and got a little behind on other financial aspects in my life. Nothing I can't ...

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Thread: New year's resolution: save money, build an AR-15!

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    New year's resolution: save money, build an AR-15!

    So I had too much fun buying guns in 2013 and got a little behind on other financial aspects in my life. Nothing I can't repair with some belt tightening and judicious firearms decisions.

    I came up with a modest plan. Something that will slow my spending way down but still feed my firearms hobby: I've decided to build an AR15 from scratch starting with a fully stripped lower and upper. I'll give myself $200 to spend each month and as I buy and accumulate enough parts I start building in portions. Depending on how the rest of my budget pans out and how fancy I want to make my rifle, this project could last 1-2 years! I hope it's more like 1 year but it will mean a more modest build.

    The component choices are fuzzy to me right now but I figured with the spreaded out build schedule I'll be able to research each component in detail and I'll be confident in my purchases when I make them. But I know what my basic goals are:

    High quality parts that will last and an end product I'll be proud of.

    It will be in .300 blackout (yeah baby)

    The barrel will be a 1 in 7 chromemoly, 16 inch carbine length. Suppressor ready. And yes a suppressor is a future nice-to-have but not part of this build yet.

    Local made stripped receivers.

    Possibly piston driven (wish list)

    Free float hand guard

    BIUS sights backing up a red dot and magnifier setup

    Magpul stock with adjustable comb

    Some sort of competition modular trigger. I have an eye on the Tac-Con short reset/bump fire trigger but I may blow my budget on that. It's spendy at $450 a pop.

    Part of me wants the novelty of buying everything except the lower from amazon and call it my online rifle :)

    Lots of details to figure out!

    This is month number 1 and my first purchases were an AR-15 builders manual and my stripped lower.

    The manual of choice was Glen Zediker's "Competitive AR-15 builders' guide"




    My lower is local fare from a company called Detroit Gun Works that I got from a LGS. Very nicely made receiver. Good to support local small business.



    Next month it will be the upper receiver and the month after that a .300 blackout barrel. That covers the major pieces. Everything else is more readily available and I may just amazon those.

    Anyway, just sharing my slow simmer strategy with similar minded individuals and also soliciting advice during stages of my build. Thanks in advance for any advice and I'll be updating this thread as I progress!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    My I make a suggestion.. Why not build if you legal can a AR pistol in 300 aac it was made for a short barrel and silencer .. Then save up 200 bucks to SBR it if you legal can.. WTK: 300 Blackout Optimum Barrel Length & Suppressor combo - AR15.COM


    and when you do get a silencer try to get one ratted for muilt cailbers. Many like the mystic will work with 300 blackout /45 /9mm etc etc helps in the long run
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Nice suggestion WrongRecroom. I recently found out & confirmed that the BATFE has no problem with a crutch tip or split tennis ball being placed over the buffer tube end of an AR pistol. Since most AR15 calibers don't present a recoil concern, IMHO, that padded end on the buffer tube might find its way...to my shoulder. All without an SBR stamp!
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    My New Years resolution was to buy an AK, but after further consideration I revised it to getting a reloading bench going. I'm ok on firearms right now and if last years ammo shortages showed me anything it's that all the guns in my closet are not doing me any good without ammo. If I budget well I hope to have everything up and running and just the way I want it by May.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Could just save money, and time and buy a Colt.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Could just save money, and time and buy a Colt.
    Yep. Cant go wrong with that...

    Or Chris, you could buy an 80 percent lower finish it. Buy the rest at palmetto state armory and have a legal gun of the books.....
    Aceoky, WrongRecroom and DetChris like this.
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    It will be in .300 blackout (yeah baby)
    The barrel will be a 1 in 7 chromemoly, 16 inch carbine length. Suppressor ready. And yes a suppressor is a future nice-to-have but not part of this build yet.
    Let me know when you're ready for that suppressor. The company I work for has a .300AAC specific can that's really nice. I'll get youa price when yo're ready if you like. It's the same can I use on my own .300 SBR

    Possibly piston driven (wish list)
    Don't bother. Unless you plan to drag it through the mud using it all day long, and not clean it between every 5000 rounds, piston drive ARs don't really do you any favors. They're less accurate than DI, and they have serious issues with carrier tilt. If you want an AK, build an AK. You can do that cheaper anyway since you can build the entire receiver yourself from some scrap sheet metal.

    Free float hand guard
    Look at the new Keymod stuff coming out. Keymod is awesome. No need to take the gun apart to attach a rail or accessory, just snap-together like legos, affordable, and customizable, and you don't have the discomfort of using a full quad-rail if you don't want it. (hell on the hands..)

    BUIS [sic] sights backing up a red dot and magnifier setup
    Try to save up for a good RDS. They aren't cheap, but they are worth the investment. It's one place you do NOT want to skimp. I read a lot of reviews by people who bought the cheaper Chinese knock-off sights, or the Burris and the like for $65-200, had them work for about 5 shots at the range, then fail completely. Look at either a used EOtech (be VERY careful about knock-offs. EOtech is made in Michigan, not China.) or a Trijicon RMR. (I use the EOtech EXPS3-2, and Trij RMR RM07-34, myself) If money is really tight, consider something like an AimPoint Patrolman or similar. Don't bother with SightMark (Sure Shot, Ultra Shot, etc) They are garbage.

    Magpul stock with adjustable comb
    Look at Vltor, too. They have some great stocks, like their Enhanced Sopmod stock, and are cheaper, generally, than Magpul. The B5 Systems stocks are great, too. If you want minimalist, I know a good one, too.

    Some sort of competition modular trigger. I have an eye on the Tac-Con short reset/bump fire trigger but I may blow my budget on that. It's spendy at $450 a pop.
    Don't bother with the TacCon 3MR. It's $499, and for under $200 you can have a CMC 3.5 pound flat trigger that's a better trigger, and faster in semi than the 3MR is in slide-fire mode. More accurate while doing it, too. I have two of the CMC triggers, and a Geissele. Harris Tactical has the CMC on sale right now for $150, which is nearly cost. You won't find a better trigger at a better price.

    Part of me wants the novelty of buying everything except the lower from amazon and call it my online rifle :)
    You can find better prices on most things on-line without using Amazon. Their prices for gun parts tend to be a bit higher than other sites that don't have to pay amazon for advertising their goods.

    Lots of details to figure out!
    I work for a company that makes AR platform parts and rifles, as well as being a Glock and FN dealer for class II/III LE and Mil firearms. If you want any help figuring stuff out, let me know, or just post here and someone will surely be happy to help.
    This is month number 1 and my first purchases were an AR-15 builders manual and my stripped lower.

    May I ask what your upper and lower are costing you from the local guys? We make them, too. I'm just curious to see how we're doing for price. We're not "cheap" but I like to see what the rest of the guys are charging to stay competitive.
    DetChris and sammage like this.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Yep. Cant go wrong with that...

    Or Chris, you could buy an 80 percent lower finish it. Buy the rest at palmetto state armory and have a legal gun of the books.....

    Yes 80% is the way to go imop off the books so to speak and you get to know your gun very well . Plus you will feel like you live back pre 68 having a 'gun' delivery to your door

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Nice suggestion WrongRecroom. I recently found out & confirmed that the BATFE has no problem with a crutch tip or split tennis ball being placed over the buffer tube end of an AR pistol. Since most AR15 calibers don't present a recoil concern, IMHO, that padded end on the buffer tube might find its way...to my shoulder. All without an SBR stamp!

    Or look at the saddle bag buffer tub or the sig brace alwasy fun nfa skiriting there .


    Or if you make the gun over 26inc over all and not add a stock you can a VFG non nfa

    This in 300 blackout could be fun XO-26b_800x235.jpg
    DetChris likes this.

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Nice suggestion WrongRecroom. I recently found out & confirmed that the BATFE has no problem with a crutch tip or split tennis ball being placed over the buffer tube end of an AR pistol. Since most AR15 calibers don't present a recoil concern, IMHO, that padded end on the buffer tube might find its way...to my shoulder. All without an SBR stamp!
    I'm liking the pistol idea. Maybe a 10.5 inch barrel version?

    And why SBR it (which I can't in Michigan currently but that might change) when I can use a SB15 pistol brace. Here's my current DB-15 with the sig arms brace.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Yep. Cant go wrong with that...

    Or Chris, you could buy an 80 percent lower finish it. Buy the rest at palmetto state armory and have a legal gun of the books.....
    Thought about that but went with the Detroit Gun Works finished lower instead. If I enjoy this build, my next will start with an 80% lower. It's cool that we can do stuff like that :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
    Let me know when you're ready for that suppressor. The company I work for has a .300AAC specific can that's really nice. I'll get youa price when yo're ready if you like. It's the same can I use on my own .300 SBR



    Don't bother. Unless you plan to drag it through the mud using it all day long, and not clean it between every 5000 rounds, piston drive ARs don't really do you any favors. They're less accurate than DI, and they have serious issues with carrier tilt. If you want an AK, build an AK. You can do that cheaper anyway since you can build the entire receiver yourself from some scrap sheet metal.



    Look at the new Keymod stuff coming out. Keymod is awesome. No need to take the gun apart to attach a rail or accessory, just snap-together like legos, affordable, and customizable, and you don't have the discomfort of using a full quad-rail if you don't want it. (hell on the hands..)



    Try to save up for a good RDS. They aren't cheap, but they are worth the investment. It's one place you do NOT want to skimp. I read a lot of reviews by people who bought the cheaper Chinese knock-off sights, or the Burris and the like for $65-200, had them work for about 5 shots at the range, then fail completely. Look at either a used EOtech (be VERY careful about knock-offs. EOtech is made in Michigan, not China.) or a Trijicon RMR. (I use the EOtech EXPS3-2, and Trij RMR RM07-34, myself) If money is really tight, consider something like an AimPoint Patrolman or similar. Don't bother with SightMark (Sure Shot, Ultra Shot, etc) They are garbage.



    Look at Vltor, too. They have some great stocks, like their Enhanced Sopmod stock, and are cheaper, generally, than Magpul. The B5 Systems stocks are great, too. If you want minimalist, I know a good one, too.



    Don't bother with the TacCon 3MR. It's $499, and for under $200 you can have a CMC 3.5 pound flat trigger that's a better trigger, and faster in semi than the 3MR is in slide-fire mode. More accurate while doing it, too. I have two of the CMC triggers, and a Geissele. Harris Tactical has the CMC on sale right now for $150, which is nearly cost. You won't find a better trigger at a better price.



    You can find better prices on most things on-line without using Amazon. Their prices for gun parts tend to be a bit higher than other sites that don't have to pay amazon for advertising their goods.



    I work for a company that makes AR platform parts and rifles, as well as being a Glock and FN dealer for class II/III LE and Mil firearms. If you want any help figuring stuff out, let me know, or just post here and someone will surely be happy to help.
    This is month number 1 and my first purchases were an AR-15 builders manual and my stripped lower.

    May I ask what your upper and lower are costing you from the local guys? We make them, too. I'm just curious to see how we're doing for price. We're not "cheap" but I like to see what the rest of the guys are charging to stay competitive.
    Thanks for the great tips, GlassWolf !

    DGW's MSRP is $120 per receiver and from what I can tell they're fairly local with their distribution. I'm thinking about getting their matching upper.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    You would do well to save up and buy everything at once. Shipping adds up quick. I daresay more than the interest would be on a $2k personal loan from the bank.

    Here is my list of usual suspects for buying online.

    http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin...keywords=lower

    AR-15

    BCM

    https://www.outdoorgearbarn.com/c-20...lection=897129

    DSG Arms

    Midwest Industries:

    https://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/index

    https://www.centurionarms.net/

    Amazon.com

    MidwayUSA.com

    BuyItNowBay (EBay)

    M4carbine buy sell trade.
    DetChris likes this.
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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    Thanks for the great tips, GlassWolf !

    DGW's MSRP is $120 per receiver and from what I can tell they're fairly local with their distribution. I'm thinking about getting their matching upper.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Good price, and yes, get the upper and lower from the same place.. at the same time if you can, and ask them to find a good matched pair for fitment. Then you get minimal play between upper and lower without shimming them.

    If you go AR pistol, and use the SigTec forearm brace (stock) take a look at this:
    NEW!! SIG SB15 Dedicated Pistol Tube from KAK Industry | AR15NEWS.COM - Your AR-15 news source!

    It's a Sig-brace speciofic buffer tube that's made to fit perfectly with the brace, and add a little length for proper shouldering of the gun.
    DetChris likes this.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
    Good price, and yes, get the upper and lower from the same place.. at the same time if you can, and ask them to find a good matched pair for fitment. Then you get minimal play between upper and lower without shimming them.

    If you go AR pistol, and use the SigTec forearm brace (stock) take a look at this:
    NEW!! SIG SB15 Dedicated Pistol Tube from KAK Industry | AR15NEWS.COM - Your AR-15 news source!

    It's a Sig-brace speciofic buffer tube that's made to fit perfectly with the brace, and add a little length for proper shouldering of the gun.
    That's an awesome buffer tube! I have a pistol with the sig brace already. Might just pick this us for that pistol to try it out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aceoky likes this.

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