AR upper and lower??
I have been hanging around here for about a year now and I have grown to trust what I read on this site.
I just joined AR-15.com but they don't seem to be as nice and I don't know who to trust over there so I am going to read stuff there and then verify what is said over here if that is OK with everyone.
Does this post sound right to you guys?
"Whatever you buy, buy the upper and lower SEPARATE. This will save you the 11% excise tax on complete firearms. You can order the complete upper by mail, and get a complete lower through your local FFL dealer. Then, snap the 2 together (takes 10 seconds) and you have a complete AR and likey saved 80-100 bucks."
Most Dealers seem to price their generic stripped lowers at about $100
and fully assembled lowers at about $200
I really doubt they are avoiding paying the FET.
(Legally They HAVE to pay it , whether it's in Your price or not )
Uppers sold alone are just "Parts" , so yes they aren't paying tax on them.
Unless you look at their business records - you'll really never know.
The reason for the tax savings is when you buy them seperate, the tax is based on the cost of the lower, which is cheaper than the cost of a complete rifle. At least that’s the theory
You can often save money by buying them separate, but it depends on the brand and configuration you want. If you want a real common configuration, you may get the complete rifle for about what it cost you if you bought the upper and lower separately. For example, you can get a Bushmaster with the M-4 style barrel at a gun show or Academy for about what you would pay if you bought the two parts separately. Generally you can’t find a Bushmaster upper cheaper than you would get it directly from Bushmaster. So what happens is you save money on the lower, but not on the upper, which in the end makes it about what you could find in a "good deal" on a complete rifle. With other brands it is possible to find the upper for a little less than the manufacturer is selling them for.
In my case, I wanted a less common barrel. I wanted a 16” fluted H-Bar. Something you do not find very often, so you’re not going to get a good deal on a complete rifle. So I bought a complete lower from a dealer and then purchased the upper I wanted directly form Bushmaster. I got a good price because of the savings on the lower, and got the exact configuration I wanted.
And yes, you are correct about AR-15.com not being nearly as nice as people are here.
TJ, I don't remember what you said your experience was with the AR platform, but the one caveat I would have for you is that guys who cobble their own together, with a part from this maker, a piece from that, and create a Franken-AR, are generally the ones whose rifles give the most trouble. If you do decide to buy seperate parts, I would strongly suggest that you buy them from the same maker (preferably a "complete" upper and "complete "lower, so that you can just plug them together).
Two other "gun-guy" sites I would recommend would be www.hkpro.com "BigBore" in particular, and www.parkcitiestactical.com "Cult of the P7" These are HK-centric forums, but the members are fairly broadbased in experience, and (like here) extremely polite, as a norm.:wink: They would have sound AR advice as well.
I don't consider a complete lower and a complete upper from different manufacturers a Franken-AR. To me the term more applies to builds. If you go with a top tier manufacturers, there should not be a problem combining different uppers and lowers (expect possibly with Colt).
However, I do prefer to get my upper and lower from the same manufacturer because I like them to match.
Where you save the money is in the fancy configurations. If you want a KISS rifle (my preference) just buy a complete rifle. You can get an upper an lower seperate but I don't think you'll save much. Remember the lower IS A GUN according to the law. There is no "it's only a gun part" thing. You must do the transfer as your local laws require.
Personally, if this is your 1st AR, buy a complete rifle, shoot it, shoot it some more and THEN decide what goodies you may want. You can DIY your next rifle.
From what i have seen on it, I can't really notice a price savings when you ensure the EXACT same components for the upper and lower as opposed to the complete gun.
Thanks guys I don't think I want to go to the trouble of buying uppers and lowers I will probably just buy it off the shelf or order exactly what I want.
That is when I figure out what exactly I want. Right now I think I want a Colt 6920 but I have not talked to anyone at the gun store to find out what it will cost so I may have to go for a cheaper one.