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Discussion Starter #1
I have been messing with pistols for a few years now and think it would be fun to build my own AR-15. However, I have no clue what I am doing. I would appreciate any advice on kits to buy, not buying a kit, makes easier to assemble (that shoot well, MOA) than others, manuals, or any other advice anyone would share.



Thanks.
 

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I would recommend buying a complete lower receiver from LMT or RRA, and start from there. LMT is about as good as you can get for upper and lower receivers. A complete LMT lower with the standard M4 collapsible stock should run about $330.00. You can then build your upper receiver to the exact specifications that you want.



If you can be more specific on your application for the rifle you want to build, I can give more advice on exactly what configurations will suit your needs best. A standard chrome-lined 16" barrel will shoot MOA with good ammo, so unless you are looking for ultra precision sub MOA accuracy, I recommend a 16" carbine or midlength gas system chrome lined barrel. There are several options out there to consider.



Building your first AR from a "kit" is do-able, but can be an adventure if you dont have the proper tools for the job(s). There is also an issue of liability that unfortunately could arise if you had to use the homebuilt rifle to defend you or your family. Sad, but true, and unfortunately something to consider.



Buying a complete lower and/or upper from LMT gives you the advantage of a solid warranty with a good company with great customer service to fall back on in case of any issues. If you build up a stripped lower from a kit, you will be on your own unless you can prove that the issue is due to a faulty lower receiver, and will most likely leave you on your own to fix the problem. That can be a pain in the ass with little or no experience to guide you. So, for your first "build" I would suggest starting off with a complete lower receiver, and LMT or RRA complete lowers are readily available, and are as good as you can get as far as quality goes. LMT uses the proper "Milspec" buffer tube assemblies, which will give you more options when looking to replace the standard M4 stock to one of the more desireable after market stocks such as MagPul, Vltor, or the LMT SOPMOD stock. RRA, Bushmaster and most other civilian market manufacturers use a different spec tube which will not work with the aftermarket stocks listed. MagPul is now making their excellent CTR stock in a version that will fit the civilian spec'ed buffer tubes, so I would also recommend getting a RRA complete lower receiver with their 2 stage trigger upgrade. Going the RRA route on the complete lower will likely save you some cash over the LMT lower, especially if you go with LMT's 2 stage trigger option. I second G56's recommendation of Eagle Firearms in Wheatridge, CO. They have complete RRA lower receivers with the 2-stage NM trigger in-stock for $350.00 or without any stock/buffer tube assembly for $269.00. If you go with the complete lower with NO stock assembly, you can get a Milspec diameter buffer tube/assembly, such as a Vltor, LMT, CMT, or Colt and buy which stock you want right off the bat, instead of swapping out the standard M4 stock later. This will end up saving you a few dollars in the end. Im sure Chris at Eagle firearms has Milspec buffer tubes that he can mount on a RRA lower for you along with the stock of your choice.



As far as upper receivers go, I find it hard to recommend RRA's due to the fact that they have what they refer to as "enhanced" feed-ramps on their uppers, which amount to them taking a dremel tool to a standard A3 flattop upper receiver and standard rifle barrel extension and grinding extended feedramps into both of them. This likely wont cause any function issues initially, but may cause other issues down the road depending on your application of the rifle. If your going to get a complete upper receiver, I suggest going with one that EITHER uses a standard rifle barrel extension and a standard A3 upper receiver, or one that uses a real M4 barrel extension, and a real M4 upper receiver. I have seen some RRA uppers with their "enhanced'" feedramps that looked well done, and I have seen others that look like they were done by a chimp.



As far as recommending a standard A3 (flattop) upper receiver goes, Stag Arms(CMT), or Bushmaster would be good choices. I recommend LMT, or Bravo Company for M4 uppers with true M4 receivers/barrel extensions. Sabre Defense seems to be quality as well, but I have not had personal experience with their products. They offer a few different configurations with their M4 uppers, such as Mid-length gas systems, different barrels profiles and different twist rates (1/8, 1/7, or 1/9)etc. If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask :wink:



Here's my duty carbine:





And my 6.8 precision rifle that is currently in pieces awaiting my new LaRue "Stealth" M4 upper receiver:

 

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I've got 3 AR's and I've never bought an assembled AR, if you are handy with tools at all, it is quite easy to assemble a stripped lower receiver and build from a kit. The biggest trick is to decide what you want to build, you start with a stripped lower receiver, I've used RRA and Stag Arms, both are machined by CMT, Continental Machine & Tool, you can get a Stag Arms stripped lower for about $100 to $120, then all you need is a kit, which can come from a lot of different companies.



As I mentioned I have built 3 AR's, I got my receivers from Eagle Firearms in Colorado, great guy to do business with, then all you need is a local dealer to do the transfer, most dealers charge $20-25 for a transfer, that's receiving the shipment and doing the Federal paperwork, the lower reciever is the only part that has to be transferred by a FFL. Then you can buy a kit the way you want it, the kit will include everything you need to finish the rifle, fire control parts, butstock, springs etc, when you normally buy a kit the upper is already assembled, all you have to do is to assemble the lower, and it isn't hard. I have bought kits from J&T Distributing and Del Ton, both are great dealers with excellent reputations.



http://www.eaglefirearms.net/stag_arms.htm



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



http://www.jtdistributing.com/



Here are instructions on how to do it: http://www.ar15.com/content/guides/assembly/lower/



The only specialized tools you need are roll pin punches, they are available from Brownells for a very reasonable price. You DO NOT NEED the roll pin punches and the roll pin holders listed in the instructions! The instructions tell you to buy 3 different roll pin punches, the hitch is that there are only 2 roll pins in the lower, so you only need 2 and I have listed them below.



These make assembling the lower much easier:



http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/Pro...OLL+PIN+PUNCHES



3/32 is #3 Roll pin punch (for bolt release pin)

item #230-100-003

#3 Roll Pin Punch $4.05



1/8 is #4 Roll pin punch (for trigger guard pin)

item #230-100-004

#4 Roll Pin Punch $4.15



Small item shipping $3.95



total delivered $12.15



Prices current as of 8/11/2006



This is my most recent build:

 

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Being from California, I was forced to buy a stripped lower and build-up from there. The lower is at my FFL waiting for 10 days, and I'm buying a complete Stag upper which should bolt straight up. The whole parts hunt has been fun even though I ended up with an easy factory kit and I'm sure building it will be neat (but I like that sort of thing). But to be perfectly honest with you, if you live in a free state it's probably cheaper and easier to buy a complete rifle. Bud's has the M&P15 for $825 right now. I'll be into mine for about that much by the time I'm done. There are plenty of vendors that have various complete rifles around that price depending on what options you want.



Take a look through ar15.com to see the infinite possibilities of what you can build. They also have some great tutorials on building your own. What are you looking for?



G56 -- nice build! What is that scope?
 

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The scopes a Bushnell red dot, got it from Midway.



http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...leitemid=859535



I built the 16" carbine shown above for less than $600, I don't think you can come anywhere close to that with a new one that's already assembled, most of the dealers around here they start at $900 and go up from there.



Assembling the lower is fairly simple, it only takes an hour or so, a lot of guys claim they can put one together in less than 30 minutes.
 

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I built mine with the help of the ar-15.com guide. All aprts came from eaglefirearms, del-ton, bushmaster, yhm, and midway (the CMC trigger as they had stock).



I assembled the uper as well, so i needed a barrel wrench and a receiver block as well as a vise. The wheeler engineering vise is nice and occasionally on sale for $39.99. You can also look for a Shop Fox H3302 Parrot Vise® which appears to be the exact same vise except blue instead of gray. Lots more places sell it than the wheeler, so finding it for $39.99 is a lot easier. It's also sold under a third name that has bear in it, but can't remember the name.



Here's my build. Stag lower, CMT upper, yankee hill tube, ambi ergorgrip, ARMS srear, YHM front, bushmater barrel. CMC trigger.





 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I think I've read everything there is to read on the subject. Now it's time for some hands on experience. I think I will try to find a Les Baer matching upper and lower(stripped), add a Jewell 2 stage trigger, non chromed bolt and carrier, titanium firing pin, 20' stainless (maybe bull) barrel.

Other options include 16" barrel, and if I can't get the LB receivers (it doesn't look good, backordered 16 weeks) I'm thinking WOA. Have no clue as to stock. I want a floating sleek looking handguard.



Whata ya think?
 

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I think you should consider something other than Les Baer. Not that he doesnt built a nice precision rifle, its just that the components used do not justify the cost that you are going to pay for a Baer.

Basically, you dont get much more for the money you spend on a Les Baer, than you would if you just bought a RRA rifle. The fit of the upper and lower receivers together does not affect the accuracy potential of a rifle at all. All it does is make it harder to take the damn thing apart for cleaning.



If you want a true precision AR style rifle, I would suggest you look at Noveske Rifle works: http://www.noveskerifleworks.com/ They make a great quality barrel for a reasonable price. They can also build you up a complete upper receiver made of the best quality products available. If you want a rifle that can be as compact as possible, and still shoot sub MOA, Noveske is who you should got to. A 16" Noveske SS barreled upper with a LaRue tactical FF handguard built up by Noveske would shoot just as good or better than any Les Baer rifle.



If you want to go all out, you can get a LaRue Tactical "Stealth" billet upper receiver. LaRue has just recently released these upper receivers. LaRue also makes the best mounts available for optics, so dont even look at anything else. There is nothing better at any price!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like where you are going with that. I was thinking the stripped Les upper and lower for resale.

It seems anytime someone has one for sale the first question is "What name(S) are on it. I am going to look at the barrels you mentioned and had thought about WOA barrels. I definitely don't want to spend LBC money on the internals. Yes I do want a sub MOA gun.

Thanks for the help...





Edit. Wow those are big time, high dollar barrels. Is that nec. for MOA?
 

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$370 is reasonable for the quality that you get from a standard SS Noveske. Their "17-4 Extreme Duty" barrels are way outta my price range though!



The short answer to your question is NO. A good WOA or Wilson barrel will usually shoot sub MOA if you do your part. Adco usually has some good configurations in stock for around $200-$300 and will also build up a very nice upper for you: http://www.adcofirearms.com/sprbuild.cfm?page=build



Denny's Guns/GTS is another great source for AR's, and he can also build a hell of an upper:http://globaltactical.com/



Jtac as well. Great guy to deal with:http://jtacsupply.com/catalog/barrels-c-22.html Jason has some nice 16" WOA SS Recon barrels to pic from.
 

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I built my AR from a Superior Arms stripped lower and a Model 1 rifle kit.



It's the 16" C.A.R. kit from model 1



It cost me around $800 since I bought the flat top and an armalite carry handle for it as well.



Don't be afraid to build it yourself! It really isn't that difficult if you are even the least bit mechanically inclined. I have since put a front vertical grip on there and a lower end red dot sight. I'll get a holosight for it one of these days, almost bought one yesterday!



 

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he he, looks like you are holding a toy.
 

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Try the LR300 upper from ZM weapons. My buddy has one, we shot it at Knob Creek range and man is that one accurate soft shooting AR style rifle. It feels like a .22LR, and i am not jocking. It fires 5.56. Im waiting for them to come out with a 6.8mm rifle. The bad side is they are really expensive.
 

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I've seen a TV segment about the ZM, it's a very interesting design!
 
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