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AR15 Upper Reciever

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by G19CCW, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. G19CCW


    Dec 6, 2005
    Haymarket, VA
    I'm currently building my 1st AR. I have the stripped lower, lower parts kit. I'm ordering the Butt Stock this week. The last piece that I need to purchase will be the Upper Reciever. Any suggestions that will provide plenty of room for upgrades???

    What are your thoughts????
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  2. furioso2112


    Dec 12, 2007
    Depends if you mean 'upper assembly' rather than just the upper receiver. I suppose you do, because an upper receiver that leaves plenty of room for upgrades would likely be just any plain old upper receiver, likely a picatinny-rail topped model, perhaps with M4 cutouts. If you mean the entire assembly, 'plenty of room for upgrades' could still mean a number of things, depending on what upgrades you want to consider prior to purchasing the upper assembly (or components).

    For an upper assembly, you need to decide whether you want M4 cutouts in the receiver and barrel extension (helps feeding during rapid fire, essentially, not a huge deal, but a question you will come across when ordering); barrel length, material, and twist rate; flash suppressor/compensator style; gas tube length (perhaps this will be determined by the barrel length, but not always); gas block (low profile so you can use a long handguard, or one with an integral sight, etc.); the type and style of handguards (free-floated or not, aluminum or plastic, length, attachment system); finish color and material, and possibly what kind of rail covers you like.

    A basic setup is typical M4 style non-free floated handguards, A2 birdcage flash suppressor, front sight base gas block, carbine length gas system - cheap, easy enough to deal with, but few options for attaching things like sights, fore grips, slings, bi-pods, etc.

    More poopular lately seems to be the mid-length gas system on a 16" barrel with 1 in 7" twist rate. Smooths things out, more accurate with heavier bullet weights. I like a long (12") free floated handguard so I can get the sight radius extended, put a bi-pod out front underneath on a quick-detach, and potentially switch my accessories rifle to rifle. Also, at long range, especially when using a bunch of accessories, having a free-float setup potentially increases accuracy/consistency of shots. I run cheap MagPul MBUS sights and an EoTech (because I like the smaller dot reticle). Keeps costs down and suits my application (range/3-gun).

    Anyway, it depends on your application and budget, mostly. If you want something versatile that you don't have to wrench on and can change parts on pretty easily, check out Bravo Company's website - they have lots of pictures of complete uppers they sell, with different lengths and manufacturers of handguards, barrel materials and weights, gas systems, flash supressor/compensators, etc. The descriptions are pretty basic, but it gives a complete range of price options, and BCM stuff is highly regarded. I have one of their mid-length SS 16" IonBond barreled uppers with a DD 12" Lite rail, and I put a PWS TTO comp, QD sling mount, and MagPul AFG on it. I run it with a Spike's Tactical T2 buffer and spring, ACS stock, and a heavy Young NM chrome BCG. This is my 3-gun match gun, so I have the Magpul BAD lever, an extended mag release, Ergo-Grip Rite Pull and fat grip, and an ambi safety catch on it. I use a Geissele NM high speed trigger. I have a QD bi-pod and a Light holder avaliable but setup on other guns. I use an EoTech on a GGG QD mount, and a Leupold 4.5-14x40 on a LaRue QD mount. Everything I got from BCM was as advertised, flawless, fitting for their high reputation, and fairly priced.

    As the above paragraph indicates, there are tons of things that one might consider if he wants to buy one setup once. I did a lot of internet forum searching, talking to other shooters, and website visiting to compare items, then back to find someone who had some items so I could try them or ask their opinion on use, or at least see it setup on gun. After all my careful planning, searching, and intention to buy just one that would be just right for me, I ended with several and parts to build more. Most of that could have been avoided, and I didn't buy anything at inflated prices, so I'm not 'out' anything except space in the safe, but if this is another consideration for you, heed my advice to FIRST try hard to figure out your application and budget, then buy. there are lots of opinions and reccommendations here and on other sites, if you read and think, you'll be able to get pretty close, but it might take a while. Otherwise, be prepared that you might get a setup, shoot it for a while, then start thinking "geez, now I see what people meant when they talked about (free float rails, different buffers/stock/optics, etc.)."

    Apologies for the ramble, hope it's helpful.

  3. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    What do you want the gun for? (Varmint, plinker, SHTF rifle....)
    Do you want to shoot light bullets or heavy bullets?
    How much do you have to spend?
    How long do you want it to last? (# rounds)

    I am kind of going through the same thing. I have a couple ARs, but I want another.
  4. Kabarred


    Jan 2, 2009
    North Dakota
    I'll be the guy in the thread that recommends you check out BCM!
  5. coq

    coq Raging Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    The High Sierra
    I would suggest just a 16" carbine or midlength barrel, with front sight post, standard or M4 handguards, A3 flattop receiver (1/7 twist, extended ramps optional). Put a flip-up rear sight behind an EOTech or similar, and call it good. Rather than free float rails, light, laser, vert grip, bipod, etc., spend that cash on a second that one with a 20 inch barrel, lo-pro or railed gas block and put a nice scope on it.
  6. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Just buy the STAG Arms 2HT and have a complete setup that is ready to accept any accessory you want.
  7. slyoteboy


    Jan 31, 2010
    This also if it is in the budget. Great complete upper groups.
  8. Cobra6


    Jan 20, 2009
    Tennessee Valley