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Any suggestions for first AR build

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Big Bore Fan, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Big Bore Fan

    Big Bore Fan

    Feb 15, 2005
    Hello all,
    I have wanted an AR style rifle for years now and just haven't taken the plunge, until now. Over the past few months I have been looking at all the makes and models to chose from and can't settle on one. Then I started looking into whats involved with building my own and realized that the build looks easier than I thought. I've spent the last three days online looking at all the parts and options and now I'm starting to think the shopping is going to be more overwhelming than the build:wow:. So I wanted to know if anyone has any advice for the build itself or if there are any "bad" parts to stay away from. I want to build a good solid 16" mid-length carbine in 5.56 with out braking the bank, I am on a budget. But if there is something that I should not skimp on than so be it. The gun will be mostly used for plinking but I want to know that if the world does ever go down the crapper then I have a rifle I can trust. Thanks for your help guys. I'm sure there will be more questions in the future.

  2. I just completed my first lower build last night. I am waiting on my upper to arrive.

    I went with all PSA parts, the price was right, the reputation is good and I am pleased so far with how painless and easy this has been.

    There are a lot of horror stories out there of putting together a lower, and a lot of guys that make videos and then try to make it sound hard. It is cake. Granted, I am an experienced mechanic and have been a scale model hobbyist for thirty years.

    I bought a set of roll pin punches (get brass, I don't like the steel ones I got) a simple clamp and a small hammer. After doing this I will be investing in a nice set of brass punches and a nylon hammer. The take down pin installation tool would be nice to have, but it cost me less to pick up five extra detents and use a razorblade. I did have to use one of the extra detents.

    It took me about three hours to complete, set-up to clean-up, and I used the Brownell's video tutorial to complete it. Good stuff.

    I purchased a handful of PSA lowers last year on sale, and I have been sitting on them ever since, trying to decide what to do with them. That is the hardest part I have found about building my own. There are million different flavors. To make it easier on yourself, just buy a couple of lowers, that way you won't feel locked in with your first one. If you wait till they are on sale you can grab them at $67 shipped before your fees. I think I have a total of $80 in each of my lowers.

    A few weeks ago I decided to stop procrastinating and build a simple 16" carbine. I again went through PSA. I purchased a full lower build kit using Magpul MOE furniture, the plain jane chrome lined M4 upper, BCG, and MOE MBUS. Out the door I am around the $700 mark before magazines and ammo. Magpul PMags can be found around $12 a pop if you look.

    All in all I am into this first rifle for $800. That includes 500 rounds of mixed ammo (M855, steel cased .223 and brass cased .223) and four PMags.

    MOE Mil-Spec Stock.
    MOE Grip.
    MOE Trigger Guard.
    MOE Hand Guard.
    Fullauto BCG with all the fancy labels and certifications behind it.
    16" regular profile carbine length gas system chrome lined 5.56 chambered 1/7" twist barrel.
    M4 Feedramps.
    A2 Flash hider.

    I could have gotten an M&P Sport for around the same price without the rear site and regular furniture, so I pleased with how I made out. I could have gone cheaper and come in near the $500-$550 mark, but I wanted what I wanted.
  3. Big Bore Fan

    Big Bore Fan

    Feb 15, 2005
    I've been looking at the Spikes lower and adding there battle trigger with the rest of the insides reg. run of the mill stuff. From what I have been reading Spikes seems to be pretty well liked and they seem to have a good warranty. Still looking at uppers.