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AR project

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by KK40384, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. KK40384


    Jun 19, 2009
    Finally got around to putting some stuff together and getting my project started. I picked up a stripped lower when that whole Obama craze started and paid more than I should've but oh well. Here's what I got so far:

    Stag stripped lower
    Magpul MOE stock
    Magpul Pmag
    Del-Ton LPK



    Being my first time assembleing a lower it took me close to an hour but here it is:


    As far as the upper half goes I decided on a flat-top 16" with a 4-way rail for mounting a vertical grip and light. As far as optics I'm split between Aimpoint and Eotech with a MBUS behind it. Any ideas as far as what brand upper, barrel, rail and that sort are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. Jon_R


    May 3, 2009
    Central Florida
    Unless you want to buy the required tools to put a barrel on an upper I would just get a complete upper. My next one will be BCM 11.5" they look nice. I like my Eotech but lots of people like Aimpoint and I have never used one. I don't have much experience with rails. Good luck.

    BTW you might want more then one mag. :)

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010

  3. KK40384


    Jun 19, 2009
    What tools are required to put together an upper? Barrel nut wrench, receiver block and punches? I wouldn't mind investing into tools since this won't be the only AR i'll build.
  4. harleyfx69


    Jan 25, 2007
    in a desert
    you have to be able to torque the barrel in to required specs ..
  5. furioso2112


    Dec 12, 2007
    Yeah - some will say you don't need it, because there is a pretty wide range of acceptable torque (35 lbs is standard, up to 70, IIRC). Also, is you put your own together, you'll need headspace go and no-go gauges, and a vice. The gauges
    seem expensive to me. Not that they aren't worth it, they just seem that way to me. I considered doing my own because I wanted the experience and ability to do as many as I wanted, but ended up buying complete uppers for my builds. Now my safe is full. Many places will build exactly what you want, and all the parts come assembled, headspaced and often test-fired, and the group parts savings are often a better deal than buying the individual parts, even from the place that builds it. Thus, you are saving oney on the parts, and have saved the money you would otherwise have spent on the tools.

    I recently bought a Bravo Company (BCM) upper - their 410 SS, ion-bonded (so it's black instead of silver in color, and a metal protectant), 16" mid-length gas system (smoothes out the cycling). The barrels are 1 in 8" twist - their site will tell you more about the benefits of that. I bought it because it offers a high quality and quite accurate barrel, and will work well with the bullet weights I want to use.

    There are also other twist rates and materials for barrels. Cold hammer forged barrels are a nice option, and standard barrels, chrome-lined or not, are fine for many applications. Barrel length is another consideration, as well as gas system length (carbine or mid for a 16").

    Your selections depend on what you intend to use the rifle for. You mentioned that you plan to build more. If you know your applications, that's a good start. Short-barreled rifles, 'rifle-length' or longer for varmint or long range shooting, there are myriad possibilities.

    Rails - free-float or not is the biggest question. You could start inexpensively and change later to a free-float; many FF rails require a barrel dis- and re-assembly, but there are also several good options for no-gunsmithing FF rails. Again, depends on application and budget.

    Red-dots - Aiimpoints and Trijicons are pricey and very high quality. EoTechs are around the $400 mark. They are very good and widely used, but look into the pros and cons before buying. I use an EoTech on a QD mount so that I can move it rifle to rifle and lower my glass cost. I also like the smaller dot the EoTechs use. Also, EoTechs seem the lowest profile to me, and can be used with AA batteries. A newer EoTech uses a single CR123(?) battery, mounted 'the long way' and is the smallest of the 3 brands mentioned. Each of the company's sites has good info, and plenty of threads have more info on user's likes and dislikes of the various models and manufacturers.

    Bolts are another consideration. Barrel, bolt, and stock are likely the most important consideations. I recently bought a Young Manufacturing National Match heavy chrome bolt, and I love it - cleaning is a snap, and it is a very high quality bolt carrier group. BCM's full auto bolts are great also, widely highly regarded.

    Another consideration is a charging handle (BCM makes recently introduced their Gunfighter CH - I have one and like it very well - look it up on their site, and the threads about why people like them so much). Back up sights (Magpul's MBUS are very decent and priced well, Troy is another highly regarded maker), and triggers (can run into several hundred dollars, again, not 'necessary' but depends on what you want to build) round out perhaps the most important considerations, as you have already mentioned mags. Ammo is unquestionably important, too.

    Any decent set of AR parts can result in a rifle that will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. I started by buying two complete rifles, then as my shooting needs and interests changed, built others. There is a phenomenon referred to as 'BRD' - Black Rifle Disease - that indicates that many people who get one and shoot it soon learn the world of options and configurations and find new needs that require different, additional builds.

    Have fun with your build.
  6. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    I just bought a complete STAG 2HT upper and was done with it. It is full length rail on top and quad rails upfront with no delta ring to create any gaps so you can mount your optics and magnifier and BUIS along anywhere you want on top. It comes with an ARMS 40L flip-up BUIS and Samson Star4C rails. Good stuff.

    I bought an EOTech 517 for the side controls so I can butt it up against the magnifier and still be able to use the controls. I put a KZ stubby aluminum foregrip, M3 light on the right side, and a KZ 2-point VTAC type sling and I think I am done. I prefer the 2 point setup better than the 1 point.
  7. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    Feb 9, 2005
    There are so many good two-piece free float rails on the market (meaning you don't have to disassemble the upper to install them, as you would with a one-piece rail) that the gunsmithing tools are not as crucial as they used to be. That said, if you don't mind dropping a couple of hundred dollars on them, they're nice to have around.

    You'll need a set of AR-15 punches, a multitool/wrench (I like the DPMS one), a 1/2" drive torque wrench (up to 100 ft/lbs or more), a bench vise, and a device to secure the upper in the vise (either the "clamshell" block or the DPMS "panther claw", which I believe is better).

    If I were in your position, I'd buy a Bravo Co. bolt group, a Bravo Co. mid-length upper (chrome-lined or stainless, depending on the gun's intended application), and I'd buy either a Daniel Defense Omega rail or an VLTOR CASV-M rail, both of which will drop in easily and allow you to mount a VFG and light.

    ETA: I would also stake that castle nut on your lower. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to buy a spring-loaded center punch from Home Depot or the local hardware store. Grind the tip down so that it's blunted (about like a ballpoint pen). You'll notice that there are little square notches in the castle nut which butt up against the end plate on your lower receiver (the flat steel plate which holds in the spring for the rear takedown pin detent). Use the center punch to displace some metal from the end plate into one or two of those notches. Slow and steady works best. I'd imagine that the force of the strikes varies by center punch brand, but with mine, each stake took 20-30 clicks.

    Like so:

    I just realized that the "notches" on my rifle are not square, they're the scalloped cut-outs peculiar to the castle nut that comes with the SOPMOD stock. But you get the idea.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  8. KK40384


    Jun 19, 2009
    Seeing how the diameter of a mil-spec buffer tube and a commercial tube are different, are there different sized buffers to go with them or does the mil-spec work in the commercial buffer tube also??
  9. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    Feb 9, 2005
    The buffers are the same.