Thinking of an AR-15 part by part build...

This is a discussion on Thinking of an AR-15 part by part build... within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; i am thinking of doing a part by part build of an AR-15. normally i would be tempted to just pick one up, but at ...

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Thread: Thinking of an AR-15 part by part build...

  1. #1
    Member Array mikeprekopa's Avatar
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    Thinking of an AR-15 part by part build...

    i am thinking of doing a part by part build of an AR-15. normally i would be tempted to just pick one up, but at almost $1000 plus customizing it, i think i would rather save a few dollars, get just what i want, and have the pride to say that i built it.

    from what i have read it isn't an amazingly complicated task, however i was wondering if anyone here had done something similar. from what i understand the only part you need to be checked out for is the lower. i had looked at a few "complete kits" where all you have to get is a stripped lower, and then assemble everything.

    what i had thought of doing was picking up a lower, then part by part researching the parts i want, then buying them and building the gun. am i horribly ignorant to the complication of the task and the skill level that this is going to require, or is it something that is accomplish able ?

    thanks a lot
    Mike
    NREMT-B

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  3. #2
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Check out AR15.COM for all kinds of build questions and answers. depending on if you want to buy tools to install the barrel, ect may determine how much you get into it.
    My personal suggestion is to buy mostly the same brand lwr/upper / internals if possible. I have seen Frankenrifles that don't work with out tweaking or sometimes needing part replacement.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Member Array jsebens's Avatar
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    Be aware that while building your own gives you complete control over components, it's often more expensive than buying one outright. You'll be paying shipping on every single part, for example.

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    Member Array mikeprekopa's Avatar
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    yea, i hadn't thought about shipping, but the way im thinking of it is a part or two each week or something. but ill also be able to get just the part i want, as in if i want XYZ stock, im not buying a complete gun, then another stock. and while that is the number one source for extra parts, i dont have that kinda money :|
    NREMT-B

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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    IMHO 99% of the 'custom' AR15 parts are wallet emptying devices without a lot of function. If you are cost sensitive, I'd suggest starting with a GI-style kit and modifying/swapping parts after you have it running.

    Model1sales has some great prices on kits, $460ish and up. Add another $120 for a lower and you will be running to the range for short money. Run it, then tune it.

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    Member Array roadsiderob's Avatar
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    If you have enough mechanical skill to change the oil in your car, you can assemble an AR15. The lower can be assembled with minimal tools. The upper requires a holding fixture and special spanner wrench to adequately tighten the barrel nut. I enjoy building and shooting my own. A couple pieces of advice...stock triggers aren't great, a Rock River 2 stage NM trigger is a worthwhile, but relatively inexpensive upgrade. Also, a flat top upper will give you more sighting options. Once you get a basic gun with a decent trigger and sights, the sky's the limit and there's no end to the fun and accessories to add.

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    New Member Array atrembla's Avatar
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    I found the following web sites appealing to me for building one from the groun up.
    Lower Receiver parts for the AR-15 and M-16 rifles.

    Has Blems for sale 90.00 not bad if you can live with a slight cosmetic imperfection.

    and
    ARR-167 - AR-15 CMMG Complete Parts Kit Less Lower Receiver WASP Coated Steel Parts

    seems to have a decent price.

    they also have some used weapons for sale from private folks.

    hope this helps.

  9. #8
    Member Array mikeprekopa's Avatar
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    from what ive seen in the kits, theres a 5.56 nato, and a .223 remington... whats the difference ? which is cheaper ? does the lower differ between the two ?

    i think im gonna check out some shops around here and look at prices on some lowers.
    NREMT-B

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    "Yea, till we show up with jumper cables and drugs to debate it"

  10. #9
    Member Array dealer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeprekopa View Post
    from what ive seen in the kits, theres a 5.56 nato, and a .223 remington... whats the difference ? which is cheaper ? does the lower differ between the two ?

    i think im gonna check out some shops around here and look at prices on some lowers.
    You can shoot 5.56 and .223 out of a barrel marked 5.56, but not 5.56 out of a barrel marked .223. Not rated for the hotter ammo. Lower is the same.

    One thing you can consider is buying the lower parts (LPK, lower, stock, buffer tube, etc.), putting that together and then buying a complete upper. (Which is what you're getting in the second link that atrembla posted.)

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I bought a 20"SS match barrel once and then built a gun around it,I researched several sites and calculated cost of parts vs. shipping etc.One thing you must have to assemble an upper is a barrel wrench and a receiver block or barrel clamps for a vise.I think my build with a RRA 2 stage trigger cost me around 850.00
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    You'll need this

    I just ordered my stripped lower from Brownells. I think the first one I build might be a 9mm.
    Categories

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    Without knowing much about AR's...I was pointed in the direction of just buying my BushMaster outright rather than piece by piece...glad I did.
    You may get a variety of opinions here...
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    Ex Member Array jmsstnr's Avatar
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  15. #14
    New Member Array atrembla's Avatar
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    Ammunition types

    I just read a post about what the difference is between .223 and 5.56NATO ammunition. Here is some information regarding the NATO 5.56ammunition types.

    Types for A1 and A2 first let me start with the differences of the 2 types regarding the rifling.

    A1 = RH 1 twist per 12 inches 1:12 ratio
    Muzzle velocity of 3250 FPS Max range of 2653 meters with a Max effective range of 460 meters

    A2 = RH 1 twist per 7 inches 1:7 ratio
    Muzzle velocity of 3100 FPS Max range of 3600 meters with a Max effective range of (Point target 550 meters, area target 800 meters)

    Ammo types
    M193 Ball
    M196 Tracer
    M855 Ball
    M856 Tracer

    M193 Ball type
    CF cartridge with a 55 grain, gilding-metal, jacketed lead alloy core bullet. The M193 is the standard cartridge for use the M16A1 rifle. This cartridge has a projectile weight of 55 grains and is 1.9cm long.

    M855 Ball type
    CF cartridge with a 62 grain gilding-metal, jacketed lead alloy core bullet with steel penetrator. This is the NATO standard round for the M16A2 rifle (also used in the M249 SAW) It is identified with a green tip. The projectile is 62 grains and is 2.3cm long.


    Ballistics are catorized into 3 areas, Internal, External and Terminal
    Internal: what happens to the bullet before it leaves the barrel (muzzle of the rifle)
    External: deals with the factors affecting the flight path between muzzle and target.
    Terminal: what happens when the bullet comes in contact with the target.

    Int: the overall dimensions of the two ammunition types are identical which allow the rounds to be fired from either rifle type. The internal differences that affect firing accuracy are the rate of twist per inch. The A1 barrel with a 1:12 ratio does not put enough spin on the heavier M855 round therefore sacrificing accuracy greatly beyond the 91 meter range "stats are ((30.48 to 35.56 cm at 91.4 meters) and a 72 inch shot group at 274.2 meters)) while they claim it's safe to shoot the M855 ball in the A1 it should be used in emergencies only. The A2 on the other hand with a 1:7 ratio can shoot both types out to 500 meters with little change in accuracy, the A2 rounds are better beyond 500 meters due to better stabilization.

    Although there are several barrel types and twist ratios available on the market which makes choices extremely challenging. My opinion would be to understand what you intend to use the rifle for, weigh the options or PROS and CONS of the options available to you, research ballistic reports for the ammunition you think you might want, try to match the ammunition type for the barrel you're interested in so that you have a decent chance of being successful.


    Please feel free to add your comments, suggestions etc. I hope this has helped.


    regards
    Aaron


    Excerpt from Wikipedia
    5.56x45mm NATO - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    5.56 mm NATO versus .223 Remington
    While the 5.56 mm and .223 cartridges are very similar, they are not identical. Military cases are generally made from thicker brass than commercial cases; this reduces the powder capacity (an important consideration for handloaders[1]), and the NATO specification allows a higher chamber pressure. test barrels made for 5.56 mm NATO measure chamber pressure at a the case mouth, as opposed to the SAAMI location. This difference accounts for upwards of 20,000 psi (140 MPa) difference in pressure measurements. That means that advertised pressure of 58,000 psi (400 MPa) for 5.56 mm NATO, is around 78,000 psi (540 MPa) tested in .223 Rem test barrels. The 5.56 mm chambering, known as a NATO or mil-spec chambers, have a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 chambering, known as SAAMI chamber, is allowed to have a shorter leade, and is only required to be proof tested to the lower SAAMI chamber pressure. To address these issues, various proprietary chambers exist, such as the Wylde chamber (Rock River Arms)[2] or the Armalite chamber, which are designed to handle both 5.56 mm and .223 equally well.

    Using commercial .223 cartridges in a 5.56-chambered rifle should work reliably, but generally will not be as accurate as when fired from a .223-chambered gun due to the longer leade.[3] Using 5.56 mil-spec cartridges (such as the M855) in a .223-chambered rifle can lead to excessive wear and stress on the rifle and even be unsafe, and the SAAMI recommends against the practice.[4] Some commercial rifles marked as ".223 Remington" are in fact suited for 5.56 mm, such as many commercial AR-15 variants and the Ruger Mini-14, but the manufacturer should always be consulted to verify that this is acceptable before attempting it, and signs of excessive pressure (such as flattening or gas staining of the primers) should be looked for in the initial testing with 5.56 mm ammunition.[5]


    [edit] Comparison of 5.56 mm versus 7.62 mm NATO
    Round Cartridge size Bullet weight Velocity Energy
    5.56 mm NATO 5.56x45mm 3.955.18 g 772930 m/s (25263051 ft/s)[citation needed] 1,1772,240 J[6]
    7.62 mm NATO 7.62x51mm 9.33 g 838 m/s (2749 ft/s)[citation needed] 3,275 J

    The NATO Ball round (U.S.: M855) can penetrate up to 3 mm (about 1/8") of steel at 600 meters[2]. According to Nammo, a Norwegian ammunition producer, the M995 can penetrate up to 12 mm (nearly 1/2") of RHA steel at 100 meters. [3]

  16. #15
    Member Array mikeprekopa's Avatar
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    is there a difference between the different lowers ? ive seen them from $99 to $199, and thats strictly a stripped lower, not one with a stock... i imagine they would all have the same (just about at least) measurements, but whats the difference between the prices ? the only difference i have seen is the logos over the mag well. i sort of like the spikes lower with the colored bullet markings (granted the color will probably be gone after shooting it for a bit). but why such a range ?
    NREMT-B

    "Dead is dead"
    "Yea, till we show up with jumper cables and drugs to debate it"

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