Help me build a budget AR

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Thread: Help me build a budget AR

  1. #1
    Member Array rmxer85's Avatar
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    Help me build a budget AR

    You guys have convinced me it's time to make the jump. It's time to get started on that AR i've been putting off. Only problem is that I am pretty stretched in the cash department right now.
    But it looks like I'm gonna have to still try to beat Obama to the punch?

    I PRETTY MUCH KNOW NOTHING about them though.

    I am pretty mechanically inclined and fairly certain I can do this. But I don't know where to start?

    The only thing that I know i want are a relatively short barrel and a flat top or removable handle upper.

    Let the Games begin!!!
    I thoroughly disapprove of duels.
    If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand
    and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
    -Mark Twain

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  3. #2
    Member Array DblTap's Avatar
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    Great information to get you started:
    Police Forums & Law Enforcement Forums @ Officer.com
    AR15.COM :: Forums :: AR-15


    I decided to get the best platform I could afford and picked up a complete S&W M&P15X. I would have have spent as much trying to build what was already available:
    Product: Model M&P15X Rifle

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    If you're just going to buy one or two, it's not cost effective to build it yourself (absent building with nothing but the most expensive parts vs. buying a really tricked out rifle).

    On the other hand, if you want to know your rifle really well, then by all means it's a good way to go and what I did.

    Spend a good deal of time over at ar15.com, they have a section on builds.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Matiki is absolutely correct. Buying your first rifle is much (by several hundred bucks) cheaper than building your first. There are specific tools needed to do the job correctly and these can add up to a couple hundred dollars easily.

    Building also allows you to spend more on each seperate part, buying a better part each time, than just getting a good already built package.

    Now, if you want to spread your cost out over a year then by all means get started!! Just that most people wont wait a year to use a rifle they are building.

    Now, there is an alternative . . . build your lower yourself. Its easy and requires no special tools. Then buy a complete upper assembly. The upper with barrel is where the special tools and knowledge come in. The barrel has to fit right and has to be correctly indexed and torqued to specific specs. The bolt gas key has to be staked properly and headspace should be checked after assembly. The front sight bas has to be in place properly and gas tube aligned properly.

    So, by getting your upper assembly you still get some build knowledge and pride in your work, yet you end up with a rifle that works right the first time.

    I built mine piece by piece over a couple or three months and it cost a lot more than I had expected.

    Here is a link to my build and a price list with total cost.
    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...tor-lower.html







    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

  6. #5
    Member Array rmxer85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    Now, if you want to spread your cost out over a year then by all means get started!! Just that most people wont wait a year to use a rifle they are building.
    This was my thinking behind wanting to build one.^^^
    With starting with empty lowers an then a complete upper

    but if it is really that much cheaper to start with a full rifle I might have to part with some other toys that Obama doesn't want. Skis, bikes, paintball, ect.

    But, still have NO idea what I'm doin'
    I thoroughly disapprove of duels.
    If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand
    and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
    -Mark Twain

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    I suggest to go ahead and get your lower receiver. That is the only part you cannot buy without using an FFL.

    The rest is readily available (for now ).

    Get a lower parts kit, buttstock kit and receiver buffer tube system. Buy the buffer kit according to barrel length. For short barrel I think you want a heavier buffer.

    Use (print out) the information on ar15.com to assemble the lower. Its not as hard as it seems. Use caution so you dont ding up your receiver. You should buy a small gunsmithing hammer and a set of roll pin punches. Other than that you only need a screwdriver set, allen key set and some pliers.

    Tape off the areas you are working around with masking tape so you will lessen the chance of scratches.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

  8. #7
    Member Array rmxer85's Avatar
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    I have a gunsmithing hammer an pin punch set (for my blackpowder stuff) and i'm sure i can handle installing parts in the lower.

    What brands do you suggest? I was thinking Stag or DPMS? any big no-no's out there i should avoid?
    I thoroughly disapprove of duels.
    If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand
    and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
    -Mark Twain

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would buy a stripped lower then a rifle kit from model1 sales or some of the other kit places for around 500.00,the kit will contain everything you need to complete your rifle.Also by buying a kit instead of individual components you only have one shipping charge
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    The only lower I would avoid would be Olympic, but that is only because of what I have read about them. I personally have never seen an Olympic Arms upper or lower.

    Stag, MEGA, Lewis Machine Tool, DPMS should all work fine. Its mostly what upper/barrel combination you choose and what other items you put into the weapon.

    I purchased MEGA becasue they are sold locally at a small tactical shop and I liked the clean machining done by MEGA as compared to another brand side by side. They are an aerospace manufacturing company and make very clean millings with good tolerances.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

  11. #10
    New Member Array Speardivertampa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    I purchased MEGA becasue they are sold locally at a small tactical shop and I liked the clean machining done by MEGA as compared to another brand side by side. They are an aerospace manufacturing company and make very clean millings with good tolerances.
    I am in Tallahassee as well. Is the shop your talking about in tallahassee? I am looking to build an AR as well. Thanks,
    -Chris

  12. #11
    New Member Array niss's Avatar
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    I just finished building my first AR and am very pleased with the results. I bought a DPMS stripped lower at a local gun show a few months ago, and decided to go with a complete parts kit from model1sales to complete the rifle. With the upgrades to the basic package, 8 MagPul mags, and stripped lower I probably have right at 1k invested. I have yet to shoot it, but I hope to very soon.
    Attached Images

  13. #12
    Member Array nikdfish's Avatar
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    If you really mean to get a budget AR, there is nothing wrong with going with a shop that will configure a kit to meet your wants. You can start with a basic configuration and then add on or swap out options to get what you are looking for.

    I went with Del-Ton, partially because of reputation, partially due to price for a kit configured the way I wanted. I got one to build a 16" HBAR mid-length flat top, chrome lined with a collapsable stock, and a standard set of lower parts. The kit cost, including shipping, was $530. The upper assembly was already headspaced & tested. I already had a Double Star stripped lower I had purchased earlier for $126 (including tax), so my total build cost was $656 prior to adding BIUS, optics, magazines, sling, etc. I did not need to purchase any tools, everything I needed was already in the tool box.

    If you don't want to go the assembly route, but still want to go on the low cost side, aimsurplus has some Del-Ton (DTI) non-chrome lined 16" flat top M4 style carbines with collapsable stocks for $669.95. The package includes a 30rd Cammenga Easy Mag, a butt stock style cleaning kit and a hard case. You'd also have to cover the costs of shipping & FFL transfer.


    Nick
    Retired FBOP
    NRA Life member

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array tankdriver's Avatar
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    I have built about 6. They come in a kit with everything needed. Upper is already put together. All you do is build the lower. About 2 hours and your finished. All you need is a se of good screwdrivers, a hammer, punches, and pliers. Double Star is a good mid-price range kit. DPMS is a good mid-price range reciever. It will save you about 150.00.

    Here's my lastest.

    1942 M3 Autocar Half-track...M3A1 Diamond T Half-track...57mm Anti-Tank Cannon

    NRA Endowment Member...President West TN Military Vehicle Collectors...MVPA Member

  15. #14
    Member Array pwfd1613's Avatar
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    I just finished my first build about 2 weeks ago and have yet to shoot my new AR. I have a total of 625 in the rifle without my rear sight or mags (not pictured) and couldn't be happier.



    DPMS Lower
    DTI non lined Chrome Moly 16" barrel
    DTI upper
    DTI lpk
    DTI 6 pos M-4 stock

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