Should I buy a complete upper, or buy the parts?

Should I buy a complete upper, or buy the parts?

This is a discussion on Should I buy a complete upper, or buy the parts? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; For my High school graduation present my uncle gave me a complete lower for an AR-15. I was ecstatic! Now I am looking at .223 ...

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Thread: Should I buy a complete upper, or buy the parts?

  1. #1
    Member Array G17leb's Avatar
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    Should I buy a complete upper, or buy the parts?

    For my High school graduation present my uncle gave me a complete lower for an AR-15. I was ecstatic! Now I am looking at .223 uppers and I was just wondering if it is cheaper to buy a complete upper or buy all of the parts separate? Any suggestions, links, etc. would be helpful.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Navydude's Avatar
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    You can google and find all kinds of sights to look at. Youtube has a couple of good videos that shows a complete build. I bought my AR complete but after playing with it the last two years I would have been better off buying parts and building it myself. Very nice present from your uncle. Enjoy and stay safe.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    It's a great time to buy... I don't think prices will ever be cheaper. The cost is not that much different. You find an upper ready to go for a good price, go for it. If you want to spend your money a little at the time.. buy parts.

    When buying uppers read very carefully to know what you are getting. Often they don't have sights or bolts or charging handles which is fine you just want to know that before you buy.
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  4. #4
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    Unlike putting lower together, building an upper requires some significant expenditure on specialty tools. I see it as money well spent, but only if you anticipate make more than a few uppers.

    So, the answer to your question is "No, you can't build one upper cheaper than you could buy it complete." But, you will save in the long run if you think you might build multiple rifles in the future.
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    New Member Array bearleft's Avatar
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    dukalmighty likes this.

  6. #6
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    Buy a complete upper. Don't fool with it.
    dukalmighty and nortelrye like this.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    PSA runs sale all the time .. I think they have free shipping now ... Really just firgured out what size and style you want and go from there .. Of course there are other cailbers too.. My next is a 45acp upper

    But this is a big sales weekend so I have seen PSA upper with a halfway good scope for like 400 bucks or less

    I alwasy say unless you have a specific need/goal for the gun in mind that a off the shelf kit wont do just buy whole esp if you have not built one before ..



    And as a FYI .. You could make this a handgun if there was never a butstock on it .....

    Just alsway in case you dont know .... Dont ever put a under 16.5 barrel upper on a butstock lower .. You can buy 14.5 inch uppers pinned to 16inc.. Sure you know that just adding ..
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    Unless you are going to be building multiple uppers to justify the costs of investing in the tools (to do it properly), I would just buy a complete upper.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmy40 View Post
    Unlike putting lower together, building an upper requires some significant expenditure on specialty tools. I see it as money well spent, but only if you anticipate make more than a few uppers.

    So, the answer to your question is "No, you can't build one upper cheaper than you could buy it complete." But, you will save in the long run if you think you might build multiple rifles in the future.
    ^^^yes^^^

    An upper requires special tools and special attention to keeping the gas system plumb and getting the barrel torqued. The hardest part of a lower is keeping the stock square and staking the castle nut.

    A complete upper can be shipped to your door UPS. No transfers or special paperwork. Make sure it includes a BCG, or that the seller has reduced the price accordingly.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrongRecroom View Post
    PSA runs sale all the time .. I think they have free shipping now ... Really just firgured out what size and style you want and go from there .. Of course there are other cailbers too.. My next is a 45acp upper

    But this is a big sales weekend so I have seen PSA upper with a halfway good scope for like 400 bucks or less

    I alwasy say unless you have a specific need/goal for the gun in mind that a off the shelf kit wont do just buy whole esp if you have not built one before ..



    And as a FYI .. You could make this a handgun if there was never a butstock on it .....

    Just alsway in case you dont know .... Dont ever put a under 16.5 barrel upper on a butstock lower .. You can buy 14.5 inch uppers pinned to 16inc.. Sure you know that just adding ..
    It's 16" minimum on rifles
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