AR-15 - Build or Buy?

This is a discussion on AR-15 - Build or Buy? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I want to acquire an AR-15 (or similar). I realize there are seemingly limitless options for everything related to the AR-15. But my main question ...

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Thread: AR-15 - Build or Buy?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    AR-15 - Build or Buy?

    I want to acquire an AR-15 (or similar). I realize there are seemingly limitless options for everything related to the AR-15.

    But my main question is this:
    If you were set on purchasing an AR-15, would you:
    A) shop around for a new one,
    B) look for a good used one, or,
    C) build one from scratch?


    Thanks

    -
    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    I would build one. It is easy and fun, and you can build to your own specs. I don't know how much you'll save but the knowledge you will gain about the functionality of your rifle will be valuable.

    Moderator JD posted a link yesterday that will walk you through a complete build. It is a Brownell's video series and it is very well done and complete.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Build your first, or at least as much as you feel you have skills to do. It's fun, it helps you understand how it all works together and after, you'll know what to look for on the next 3 or 4 you buy.

  5. #4
    Member Array oldogy's Avatar
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    i am looking and will buy one when I find one that I feel is realisticly priced. Me thinks the prices, they are a dropping.
    oldogy
    Government is out of control
    "If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying -- " Sen Orrin G. Hatch

  6. #5
    Member Array gumaro's Avatar
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    I built the 4 I have, you might want to build them, that way you can add any mods to them that you like. An example would be you can get the stock, hand guards, pistol grip, triggers, or any parts that would be suited to your personal taste. If you buy one that is also okay, but if you start changing out parts cost go up. If you go the route of building from a kit, like Model 1 sales, I believe there is some savings over buying one off the rack. AIM surplus ( aimsurplus.com) has 30rnd, aluminum, black coated teflon, orange follower C-Product AR 15 mags on sale at $7.95 right now.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumaro View Post
    I built the 4 I have, you might want to build them, that way you can add any mods to them that you like. An example would be you can get the stock, hand guards, pistol grip, triggers, or any parts that would be suited to your personal taste. If you buy one that is also okay, but if you start changing out parts cost go up. If you go the route of building from a kit, like Model 1 sales, I believe there is some savings over buying one off the rack. AIM surplus ( aimsurplus.com) has 30rnd, aluminum, black coated teflon, orange follower C-Product AR 15 mags on sale at $7.95 right now.
    4 of them, wow. I might be sending you some PM's for a little advice, if you don't mind.

    thanks

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    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

  8. #7
    BAC
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    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Buy an assembled upper and an assembled lower. Pop the pins on the lower, put the two together, close the pins and there ya go. If you're buying quality parts, you don't tend to save all that much by building it yourself. The parts you'd save money on are the parts whose prices are inflated due to this buying frenzy.


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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    First one should be a DIY'er... Primarily because you'll learn all the in's and out's of your rifle and it's easy with the plethora of how to guides on the web. It also may very well save you number of pennies on the cost. My last one I just finished a month or so ago ran me around $800+/-change, completely built out with a flip up rear buis and 6 mags. That didn't include any optics obviously.

    edit:
    Everything was purchased via private sale in VA. All components were NIB extra's that local folks had ordered so I got a few small discounts there...This is off the top of my head from work:

    For $800 and change + my own time to build I now have...
    Stag 5.56 stripped lower
    DMPS LPK
    5.56 CMMG Flat Top entire upper package(charging handle w/bcg, 16" chrome lined barrel, gasblock, frontsight, heatshields, etc...)
    DPMS 6 Pos Collapsible stock
    Flip up Rear Buis
    6 PMAGS

    Still looking to find an eotech on the cheap...

    edit again:
    I ran it last Thursday evening and everything was spot on. It fired 223 and 556 flawlessly. If I can get it done without screwing it up...surely others can.
    Last edited by packinnova; August 3rd, 2009 at 04:16 PM. Reason: component add
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    In this current political climate I believe it's just as easy and cost effective to purchase a decent complete lower and fully assembled upper and not spend any more or any less on your purchase.

    I too enjoy having assembled a couple of stripped lowers and uppers but today most everything is going to cost you, rather parts or complete reciever kits. Not to mention most parts kits for AR lowers are on back order and you might wait as much as 3-6 months before you can assemble your lower.

    That said, I'd look on Gunbroker for a complete RRA or LMT Defender lower. I've purchased two RRA LAR15 lowers for as little $320 a piece, which is only $15 more than RRA asks for them on their own web site.

    Currently Bravocompanyusa.com has several complete uppers that are built with LaRue rails systems, stainless barrels, Daniel Defense rails and 4150 barrels, all with M4 feed ramps, M4 barrel extensions, chrome lined etc, etc.

    Just my .02

    If you want one of the best rifles out of the box then you can find plenty of Colt LE 6920's on either Gunbroker or Guns America. You won't find a better rifle and since their already Mil Spec any modifications that you desire are easily fitted with little if any gunsmith requirements.
    Perhaps your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    I'd buy an LMT or BCM complete lower and an LMT or BCM complete upper to at least get around the 12.5% tax that's tacked on to the price of an assembled weapon.

    That said, if I was buying my first AR today instead of 6 months ago, I'd strongly look at the Daniel Defense VX. It's an M4 clone and can be had for right at $1,000-$1,100 if you look...
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I just bought some lowers on a group buy and with shipping they were about 87.00 ea.,Del-Ton 16" heavy barrel gun kit was 485.00 + S&H so for about $600.00 ,I built a 16" 5.56 AR15 w 6 position collapsible stock,you don't need any special tools and it can be fun
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  13. #12
    New Member Array Schmec's Avatar
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    If ya just want a standard .223/5.56 AR ya might want to look into buying one used or new in a setup ya like. If your leaning more towards a larger caliber ya might want to lean more towards building one.
    Im looking to build a AR in 6.8spc or maybe 6.5grendel havnt decided yet. gonna be expensive either way but at least i can get exactly what i want if i build it.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Get the rifle you want.

    For me, I couldn't find one with the features I wanted (telescoping stock, dissipator upper w/ quad rail) so I purchased the lower and upper separately. If I could have found one that met my specifications, I would have bought it.

    I bought a stripped lower for my wife back in March; we're still waiting for the parts kit from Model 1.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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  15. #14
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy Warcrimes View Post

    I bought a stripped lower for my wife back in March; we're still waiting for the parts kit from Model 1.
    I too was in that boat. I ordered a .204 Ruger kit that was "in stock" from Model 1 Sales in December. Supposed to be at my door in 4-6 weeks. After 8 weeks, assured it would arrive in another 10 weeks. Contacted them after the additional 10 weeks and was told at least another 18 week wait. Asked about switching to .223 and was told wait would be longer. Canceled my order and contacted M&A Parts . Had to call them because their website can't keep up w/ the inventory. There was no BS, had a 20" stainless A2 flattop varmint kit in my hands in 3 weeks. They apologized about the wait, but the shipping dept. was way behind. Saved ~$45 from the same kit at Model 1, and had it scoped and sited for my prairie dog trip in July.

    Cost of Kit and Lower ~$680
    Cost of similar "off the shelf" setup ~$1100 (and that was before the election)
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

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