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Discussion Starter #1
It sounds like if you shop around you can find the M&P 15 for around $900 dollars. Can you build an AR 15 with comparable components for that?
 

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Yes you can. You can build an AR for a lot less than $900 if you're looking to save money. But, like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.



My recommendation is; if the M&P15 is what you want in an AR and is in the configuration (bbl length, hand guards, sights, etc) then save your self the trouble and buy it off the shelf. If it's not in the configuration you want then build one using quality parts. You will probably spend about the same, maybe a little more once you figure in all you time, but you'll save the expense of reconfiguring the M&P15 in the long run.



Here's the way I look at it; I don't build to save money and most of my builds end up costing more than an off the shelf carbine but I end up with the exact configuration I wanted.
 

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m4arc said:
Here's the way I look at it; I don't build to save money and most of my builds end up costing more than an off the shelf carbine but I end up with the exact configuration I wanted.


You can do a good build and save money, and do a good build and spend more than buying something very similar. It all depends on how you go about it and what you want.



I built mine, to get close to my configuration I would have had to drop $1400 on the rifle, and another $100 on the stock, and another $150 on the trigger. In the end with tools, it cost me a bit under $1200 to put together. I got some tools out of it, and i enjoy building stuff. So definitely more gun and fu for the buck for me.



You decide you want some boutique barrel and forearm and stock and whatnot, you can easily exceed the price of a fairly tricked out factory rifle that shoots practically the same. Sometimes you are jsut paying for name and scarcity.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess I don't know enough about the components in the M&P 15 to know if it is what I would want.



Do you guys have any advice for someone looking to buy/build their first AR 15? I'm basically looking to get a quality gun for a good price and I don't really have the money for all the "tacticool" stuff. What are the basic options for the various components and are certain options more of a must than others? What components would you invest your money in if you were on a limited budget.



Is there a good resource or another post some where that covers this? Building one sounds fun and I don't mind going about it slowly as I learn but if I'm going to end up spending more compared to something I could have just bought it isn't really worth it.



Thanks for the help.
 

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The biggest way to save some money is to buy the upper and lower seperate (avoid the 11% FET).



I build a quality upper for around $470 and quality lowers for around $263. Here are some specs:



Upper:



16" M4 profiled barrel in 1/7 twist, 5.56 NATO with M4 Barrel extension and F marked FSB

CMT M4 upper receiver

LMT BCG

LMT CH

M4 Handguards



Lower:



Stag or Sabre Defence stripped lower

Stag LPK

Stag collapsible stock with upgraded H buffer





C4



www.GRTactical.com
 

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utarch00 said:
C4



What can you do with a 14.5" barrel?



What kind of warranty do you offer with doing the above?



Thanks


A 14.5 will run more, but can build something like you see above.



I really don't offer a written warranty, but if the weapon is not running properly, I will do everything I can to make it work again.





C4
 

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Ok, this is one thing that keeps baffling me. Unless you are going the SBR route with all the paperwork, your 14.5" barrel will have a tube on the end to make it 16". You just lost velocity and range without making the gun smaller, and more than likely paid a premium for it. Why people do this to themselves is beyond me. If you want an m4 profile, get one of the m4 profile barrels that actually is a barrel the whole length.



IMO the stuff worth spending money on are a decent trigger, and a free floated forearm. Both contribute greatly to consistant accuracy.



You also don't want to cheap out on the bolt and bolt carrier. Get good reliable parts. You don't have to spend a ton to get those though. The rock river arms enhanced bolt carrier with bolt is a good one that isn't too pricey.
 

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The amount of velocity lost is negligible and I'll be damned if I can tell a difference in accuracy between my 14.5" & 16" M4 barrels. Then again I don't care about super tight groups at 300 yards either. However, 14.5" barrels are a pain in the arse if you don't SBR them because every time you want to reconfigure them (and believe me you will) you will need to send the whole upper off to have the FH cut off and then have it blind pinned again. Factor in shipping, the cost of new FHs, and labor and you spend a lot of money for nothing.



I only purchase 16" M4 barrels now. The LMT barrels C4iGrant talked about are some of my favorites and I really like LMT or CMT bolt carrier groups. I'd ask C4iGrant to do his little reliability package on them as well (proper gas key staking, Crane O-ring and HD extractor spring).
 

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Build VS Buy

Yes indeed you can build a good quality rifle for less than you can buy one, the problem is, unless you know someone who has all the tools to put it together, it is a pain in the butt to do. To prevent damage to the upper reciever while assmebling the upper, you really need to have the action block to put in a vice. The vice is important so that you can get your barrel nut good and tight, it makes the entire assembly much easier. This is just an example of what yhe dissadvantages are of buying parts and assembling it yourself. If, like me, you are good friends with a well know armorer, the benefits of building it yourself are endless. I gat all my parts at dealer cost (usually 10-15% less than normal), plus I had access to all the tools to assemble it myself properly (another 10-15% savings) and I do Duracoat, that is 2-$300 right there. I do not totally agree that a 14.5" barrel is not worth the trouble, My AR has a total overal length of about 31", that is not possible with a 16" if it has a compensator, which if you have ever shot in low light conditions, you know just how important that is. There is only about 200fps loss between the 20" and the 14.5", if you bought a 14.5" rifle, you should not expect 1" groups at 100 yards, if you bought a 20" rifle, you could expect 3/4" groups at 100 yards, easily. Different rifles for different purposes, the 20" rifle, is way to big to use as a cqb weapon, the 14.5" rifle with a collapsible stock is quite short, and still sub 2" groups at 100 yards with an optic. But it will not hold sub 8" groups at 600 yards like a 20" can, they have their purposes, you just have to choose what you want.
 

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Most people who build their own rifles use a kit from one of several companies, the kit will include a fully assembled upper and the parts necessary to finish the stripped lower receiver they buy separately, common hand tools are all you need, although I do recommend buying roll pin punches from Brownells to make that step easier, everything else you need you should already have.



The other way to do it is mentioned above, buy a complete upper, a stripped lower and then buy the parts in a "Lower Parts Kit", the LPK mentioned above, or a complete upper and a complete lower separately, then simply put the two big parts together.



I've used both these companies for AR kits.



http://www.del-ton.com/



http://jtdistributing.com/index.html
 
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