close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

I want to build myself an AR-15

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by crsuribe, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. crsuribe

    crsuribe 10mm Auto

    1,752
    2
    Jul 3, 2010
    OH
    Hey guys!

    Most of you are lucky enough to own one of these beauties and I wanna join the club.

    I don't really have the funds for it right now but might be able to start purchasing parts little by little sometime in the near future.

    I got some questions though..

    I was looking at stripped lowers on Impact Guns and noticed that they do not require FFL transfer. So are you required to register your AR with the ATF somehow at some point during the process of building the AR? Because a finished lower does require FFL transfer.

    I don't want to end up breaking the law out of ignorance so I thought I should ask first.

    Also, there is SO MUCH to choose from! I really like the S&W M&P 5.56mm NATO lower for $129; what do you guys think about these?

    What about the parts kits? I see a Rock River Arms parts kit for $70, so for about $200 I could have a complete lower. I don't expect this kit to be awesome but I think at least the S&W lower is pretty decent quality and I can eventually get a better trigger/internals if I really find it necessary..

    Anyway, I'm thinking about starting with the lower since it seems like it requires the most work just to get it out of the way first.

    What do you guys think? Your opinions will be appreciated!
     
  2. BBJones

    BBJones

    1,173
    0
    Mar 2, 2010
    What lower are you seeing that does not require an FFL transfer? They all should unless you are buying something that will require machining to turn it into a lower.

    Most lowers are GTG. As long as it is in spec it will work. Check out this lower for alot less: http://palmettostatearmory.com/1560.php

    As for lower parts kits that I have experience with: Daniel Defense, G&R tactical, and Stag (in that order). I have heard that the Palmetto State Armory lower parts kits are good to go as well. PSA might be a one stop shop for you.
     

  3. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    6,711
    2
    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    No way a finished, stripped lower can be transferred from a dealer or manufacturer without going to another FFL. Once that lower has a serial number, it becomes a firearm.

    Like BBjones said - if the lower is in spec, it's GTG. The only part of the lower that really contributes to accuracy is the FCG (trigger, hammer, springs.) Budget some $$$ for a better trigger - you'll thank me later. A Geissele (Guy-Zlee) SSA is a good combination of feel and reliability. It's not a prceision trigger, but it's WAY better than the trigger you'll find in an OEM lower parts kit.

    Folks will try to convince you to learn to shoot with the craptastic OEM trigger. Pure nonsense. Trigger upgrade should be a priority.

    Also:

    - Get a free-float handguard.

    - Spend money on a good upper assembly (barrel, upper receiver.) The upper is the most important part of the gun. Get a flat-top. Much better optic options than a fixed carry handle.

    - The original A2 fixed stock is cool, but it's too long for me. You don't have to spend a bunch on a collapsible stock (unless you don't want a collapsible stock that feels like it's going to come apart every time you pick up the gun.) People spend $150-$250 on a quality stock for a reason. I'm not saying you need to, but if you have the budget, a good stock like a VLTOR or a Magpul is a nice upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  4. bullittmcqueen

    bullittmcqueen Gunfighter

    540
    0
    Feb 18, 2011
    Leesburg, GA
    Check out the palmetto state armory website like the above guys said. They occasionally run specials on their lowers for $49 (yeah I know!!) and they make quality parts and ship fast. Get the parts kit and stock assembly there to just to simplify things.

    The lower you were referring to must have been an un-machined blank with no serial number. Any lower with a serial # requires FFL transfer.
     
  5. 120mm

    120mm

    86
    0
    Jul 25, 2011
    What do you want to do with your AR???

    If you want to do precision shooting, eracer has some good suggestions.

    If you want to do combat shooting/plinking, you don't need to blow money on a Giessele or anything other than an OEM trigger or the free float barrel. Lots of extraordinary combat shooters run the stock trigger just fine and a free float barrel doesn't add any really usable accuracy in combat/self defense shooting.

    I second the suggestion to surf on over to Palmetto State Armory. You can't go far wrong with buying one of their kits and a stripped lower (ordered separately, of course, since you need to order the lower through an FFL, and this also eliminates the 11% Federal excise tax you pay for complete rifles.)

    You should be able to get a really nice rifle/carbine for around $600 with shipping and transfer, if you find a good FFL who doesn't charge too much.

    Once you shoot it well enough to need a Giessele and a free float forearm, you can add those later, and save yourself $300 starting out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  6. WayaX

    WayaX Lifetime Member

    2,596
    47
    Feb 27, 2007
    Yeah, that OEM trigger is SO bad...you can never be a good shot with the stock trigger :upeyes:.People who sacrifice reliability or other quality parts for an aftermarket trigger are generally just compensating for sucking. They have their place, but not every rifle needs one.


    Why? Not every rifle needs one. The handguard should be matched to the purpose of the rifle. For most, a Magpul MOE handguard will be fine.

    A good upper is important, but a $1000 upper does jack squat if your fire control assembly takes a dump. A gun is only as good as it's weakest link.
     
  7. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    6,711
    2
    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Waya, I agree with everything you just said.

    And still...

    I believe that a quality trigger is a cost-effective way to significantly improve the AR-15 platform. You simply don't compromise reliability with a good aftermarket trigger.

    I believe that a free-float handguard is a cost-effective way to significantly improve the AR-15 platform. A free-float handguard definitely improves repeatability - that's simply a fact.

    I believe that a quality upper assembly is a cost-effective way to significantly improve the AR-15 platform. The barrel is by far the most important contributor to accuracy. Again, simple fact.

    Want a good truck gun? Buy a $600 A2 clone.

    Want a quality AR-15 that can reliably hit a 4" target at 200 yards with military ball? Spend some money on the upgrades I suggested.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  8. BBJones

    BBJones

    1,173
    0
    Mar 2, 2010

    Geissele are just as reliable as a stock trigger, if not more so in some cases. They have a proven reputation.

    I think we all agree a quality barrel is the most important factor in contributing to accuracy of the rifle.

    FF or non-FF is something the OP will have to decide based on what he desires out of the gun.

    Everyone has made good suggestions, lets not confuse the OP by arguing small details.


    OP - What type of shooting do you expect to do with this rifle? for Self Defense, plinking, hunting, some medium range precision? Any ideas on overall budget.
     
  9. crsuribe

    crsuribe 10mm Auto

    1,752
    2
    Jul 3, 2010
    OH
    First of all thank you guys so much for the very good advise. I did check out the PSA website and there is some really nice stuff on there.

    I was under the assumption that you didn't have to go through FFL with the M&P receiver because of the reviews and the fact that when I went to checkout (just to check) it said I wasn't required to select an FFL for that order and the shipping address listed was my address. But I now think it must've been some kind of error. Here's the receiver I was looking at: CLICK ME

    Anyway! I appreciate the insight about the free float barrel and the nice trigger, which I do agree would improve the platform considerably, but unfortunately I do not have the funds right now for that kind of stuff and I personally prefer to start with simpler things and slowly move into the better stuff as the need arises. I simple get more joy out of it because it feels like I get to appreciate every step of the way. The sweet can't be sweet without the sour, that kinda thing...haha. (It really has a lot more to do with my budget than anything else). But I will eventually hit those upgrades and appreciate the suggestion!

    What I plan to do with this rifle/carbine is mostly just regular range shooting and home defense. Maybe more as I get better with it and new upgrades are done but the main reason I want one is because I'm tired of drooling over all of your AR's pictures. I think AR's are simply beautiful and just really really want one of my own.

    I probably won't pimp it out too much at all since I like things to be simple, but won't get an upper with a fixed handle because I can see myself regretting that in the future when I decide to start saving for a nice AimPoint.

    Probably won't add any extra rails to it for a long time unless I find I really need them just because I want a clean, simpler build, but without going too low and just buying a cheap DPMS or used Bushmaster.

    Hope I did a decent job at illustrating what's on my mind.... basically I'd love to have something like this:
    http://glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=17786072&postcount=2414

    Simply beautiful and with lots of possibilities for future mods!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  10. alexanderg23

    alexanderg23

    2,170
    0
    May 13, 2009
    NW AR
    I say Palmetto state Armory for the lower, Del-ton for the kit. You could have it for <600
     
  11. surf

    surf

    1,019
    4
    Jul 7, 2010
    Goodness, the fellow is on a tight budget where he needs to take time to acquire parts to put together a rifle and there is a suggestion of purchasing a $170 trigger?

    Buy a quality Lower Parts Kit and the stock trigger will be more than fine for your needs. As your skill level and familiarity with this weapon platform increases so will your knowledge on what changes you might want to do with it. Working a trigger isn't Rocket Surgery or Brain Science and a USGI just requires more concentration on the basic fundamentals of shooting and maintaining those fundamentals throughout a more difficult trigger pull. Invariably if you do it correctly and can master a USGI type trigger, when you change to a slick trigger, you will absolutely smoke anyone who didn't master the stock one first.
     
  12. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    6,711
    2
    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Well surf, that's a difference between us. I think owning an AR with an OEM FCG is like eating horsemeat. Yeah, it'll work....but why, when it's a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that adds so much value? I can practice fundamentals with a good trigger, and get better faster than I can with a creepy, gritty, heavy stock trigger.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  13. surf

    surf

    1,019
    4
    Jul 7, 2010
    Hmmm, cheap improvement? He is trying to scrape together parts slowly because he is strapped for cash. He can't even afford all the parts and the suggestion of $170 for a trigger, when he can get a good USGI trigger in a good LPK for around $70 for the entire lower parts kit? You must have more money than me and this fella.

    For the OP, trust me my friend, you don't need anything more than a USGI trigger at this stage of the game. Using the same logic we should be suggesting red dot optics right now. But we don't need either right now. Put that money into actually getting a rifle together first. Even then, IMO you should avoid such purchases, until the correct time in your learning progression / familiarity with this platform, unless if you are already a top level shooter who just happens to be getting his first AR/M4.

    I will avoid hijacking this thread, turning it into a trigger debate and leave it at that.

    I will say for the original topic that it is sometimes a better option for saving money, especially if you factor shipping etc, to just purchase complete uppers and lowers and pushing a couple pins together. You generally save the 11% from it being a complete weapon. You can also find some great deals on blem lowers etc. Another good economical route is to put the lower together yourself and just buy the complete upper. You just gotta shop around and purchase wisely. No matter what you do, the more informed you become the better off you will be.
     
  14. cfec2008

    cfec2008

    386
    0
    May 2, 2010

    this^^^^^^^^^^^^^ buy a stripped lower from palmetto. then a lower parts kit from them, then bacis stock, buffer, buffer tube, buffer spring, then youll have a complete lower half. I havent used their lowers, but i have used their lower parts kit. everything was just as nice as others i used, and function was great. shipping is fast. the whole process went really smooth with palmetto.
     
  15. cfec2008

    cfec2008

    386
    0
    May 2, 2010
    by the way, if you want to build your upper dont let anyone talk you out of it. follow the intructions on ar15.com and you will be ok. nothing wrong with buying a complete upper either. just wanted to throw that in there.
     
  16. crsuribe

    crsuribe 10mm Auto

    1,752
    2
    Jul 3, 2010
    OH
    Truly appreciate everybody's suggestions.

    Since money's pretty tight I will focus on the lower first, which should take me a few months, if not the rest of the year.

    And I do want a decent upper. At this point I think BCM's are pretty decent. But it will be a relatively long time before I get to that. (They're expensive though!)

    And yeah, I'm not gonna worry about red dots for a while. Iron sights will be more than sufficient for me. I've never even fired an AR-15 before but I'm really good with my 10/22. I figure it will take me a couple thousand rounds to get pretty decent with the AR once I have it, and once I get to that point I will take it a little further.

    Thanks a lot for the help, guys! I'm pretty excited about this and can't wait to start placing the orders.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  17. LA_357SIG

    LA_357SIG Milspectacular

    999
    0
    Aug 28, 2006
    Not Los Angeles.
    Just some friendly advice from my adventures in AR15 DIY building is when in doubt, buy from BCM. They generally do not sell substandard parts.

    Personally I buy from AIM Surplus. I like Spikes LPK. I will only use BCM receiver extension kits. Lowers are personal preference. Do not skimp on BCG's. DD, BCM and Spike's can be found for around $100-125. (I am not 100% sold on PSA yet.) I am also pretty satisfied with Magpul for furniture.

    And just from my experiences and totally my opinion: Do not expect any spectacular results from the highly exhaulted 1/7, chrome lined, 11595E milspec super barrels if you are going to shoot surplus ammo or xm193.
     
  18. crsuribe

    crsuribe 10mm Auto

    1,752
    2
    Jul 3, 2010
    OH
    Yeah I've learned that 1/7 is better for heavier bullets and more versatile than 1/9 because of that. Which is why I plan on going with a 1/7. I will more than likely reload for this rifle anyway so I'll get to pick my bullet weights. I don't know what the prices run for 5.56mm or .223 ammo but I really enjoy hand loading, and who knows, it might save me a few bucks too.

    In reality, either twist rate will be more accurate than me haha
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  19. Trey83

    Trey83

    1,657
    34
    Feb 28, 2010
    Have you heard negative comments about them or is that just because they are new to the market? Just curious.
     
  20. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    6,711
    2
    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Fine. But if he's that broke, maybe he should consider not buying an AR at this time.

    I'm out.