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Discussion Starter #1
It is time to start shopping for a new AR. So, for all the resident experts, should I build it myself, or just go buy one that is complete. I like to tinker ALOT, so I think the build would be fun, but I don't want to waste all that money and end up with an expensive paper weight. I know there are AR specific forums, but I kinda like this place and thought I would ask here first.
 

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I am also planning on a AR build

20 inch barrel a4 with kac ris m-5 hand gaurd

when i can ever raise the funds up to buy the parts
 

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everything I have read about building an AR is that it's fun, but they arn't as reliable as the "off the shelf"
 

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Build an AR for something to do if you want the experience. You should end with a pretty good weapon, but will probably end up paying more in the end. The off the shelfs are usually a much better deal.



I have built a few ARs and would be willing to do it again but I am ready to buy the MP15T listed above, as soon as I sell my current AR.



Dan
 

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I didn't want to hijack this thread and this isn't the for sale forum so I sent you a PM.



Thanks,

Dan
 

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I have built a couple AR's but they are only as reliable as the parts you use to build them. If you do choose to build, stick with quality parts. You will definately take an extra amount of pride in doing the work yourself.
 

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Jester said:
everything I have read about building an AR is that it's fun, but they arn't as reliable as the "off the shelf"


I built my own. So far it has been more reliable than most off-the shelf guns I have run into. less picky about ammo as well.



Just pick quality parts and take your time and do things right.



There are also some things you can do to make your job easier. For example building a flat-top with no iron sights make barrel clocking essentially a non-issue.



Be picky about your barrel, bolt, and blot carrier, and most of the gotchas go away. Also, spring for an action block and a good barrel wrench, they are worth the money.



The visual guides on ar15.com are really very useful and pretty well done. I highly recommend them.



Here's mine.. it's not wearing the red dot anymore, but other than disliking the carbine legnth float tube, I'm happy with it.



great trigger, can plink 8in flashers 4 out of 5 times all day long at 350 yards with it using cheap ammo.
 

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AR 15 brands

I teach at TDI and we do two tac rifle schools a year. Most of the home built guns die a miserable death during these classes.

The Rock River, Colt, and Lewis Machine and tool do the best. They hold up well and many of our instructors shoot these with very little to no problems. I have a Rock River and a Colt. The Colt is my duty rifle for patrol and SWAT. It has been almost perfect for over 5 years now, and alot of bullets. I have seen two S&W M&P rifles through our class and they have done very well. Magazines Magazines, and Magazines. DO NOT buy crap mags or no matter what you get it will puke.



I hope this helps CHECK 360 David J. Bowie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I saw the M&P at the gun shop, I like the looks of it. Right now I am torn between it and the Rock River. I am saving my pennies right now, so I have a couple of months to decide. I do think I am going to purchase one off the shelf though.
 

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Most of those "home built guns that die a miserable death" are probably the ones that are bought in kit form. There are several places online and at gun shows where one can get these kits. I heard enough horror stories to stay away from those.



That being said, the parts that I used are RRA. Lower parts kit, stock, complete upper assembly including bolt and carrier are all RRA. The one thing that is not RRA is the stripped lower receiver and it is made by STAG Arms. Fit and finish are excellent. 8)
 

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I have a Stag built Lefty AR. Stag is a sister company to CMT, which make parts for RRA, Colt and S&W (I think Stag even builds the M&P rifles for Smith). Good quality stuff...go to the source.
 

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I might not know much about the M&P yet but I can help with this!



First, don't plan on saving money if you build your own. I build mine so that I can get the exact configuration that I want, the first time. Instead of buying one off the shelf and reconfiguring it I would rather build it the way I want from the start. If the configuration you want is readily available from S&W, Colt, LMT, Stag or RRA (to name a few) then buy a complete factory rifle.



Second, you can build one that is just as reliable and sometimes more reliable than a factory carbine if you know what you're doing and you use quality parts from quality sources. I've had factory carbines go TU in the first mags and I've built carbines that ran for 5K without a single issue. There are several things that I know do to each and every AR I own, whether I build it or buy it; add a HD extractor spring and Defender or Crane O-Ring, re-stake the gas key and add an H buffer and an ISMI buffer spring. These simple and cheap upgrades help ensure a carbine runs successfully.



That is, of course, after I've used quality barrels, uppers and bolt carrier groups. Hope this helps.
 

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My franken gun runs like a top. Much less picky than some very pricey guns from some big name custom palces that I have run into.



Like bowie said, #1 is the magazines. If your mags don't run, your gun doesn't.



Second is the bolt carrier and bolt. Get a good bolt. Then make sure you know how to tell your gas key is in good shape and that it is staked properly. Avoid the full chrome job, it will likely just flake and get into things. The RRA carrier is good, and you just have to check if it is staked right, and get the extractor tension right (RRA plus a defender ring seem to work nicely).



Third is get a receiver to match yoru barrel. Mixing upper receivers and barrels with and without m4 cuts will make for VERY unhappy times.



Fourth is all the rest. Parts interaction, lubrication, ammo selection, etc.



Basically if you read ar15.com enough to not jsut know what good parts are, but WHY they are good parts, your chance of building a reliable gun goes way up.
 

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Buckshot said:
Most of those "home built guns that die a miserable death" are probably the ones that are bought in kit form. There are several places online and at gun shows where one can get these kits. I heard enough horror stories to stay away from those.



That being said, the parts that I used are RRA. Lower parts kit, stock, complete upper assembly including bolt and carrier are all RRA. The one thing that is not RRA is the stripped lower receiver and it is made by STAG Arms. Fit and finish are excellent. 8)


same thing. the same company makes stag and rra lowers. they also make the m&p lowers as well.
 

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I built mine from a kit from model 1 sales. the upper half was fully assembled and I assembled the lower half. It really isn't too difficult and you should have good luck with anything from a reputable company.



www.model1sales.com



there are other places to get kits, or check out ar15.com and go to the equipment exchange and you can build one for a great price!
 
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