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Noob question re: first build.

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by OzzyOsbourne, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. OzzyOsbourne

    OzzyOsbourne

    117
    0
    Feb 19, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Against my better judgment, I'm going to begin my 1st AR build.

    Right now, I have a completely stripped lower that I want to build up. If I understand correctly (and please correct me if I am wrong), a build-up of the lower is completely standard until you get to the extension tube / stock portion. Here's where I get confused.

    I think I understand the mil-spec vs commercial aspect (just make sure your stock has the same size threads as the extension tube). I opted for the mil-spec size, since it seemed to be more prevalent.

    But I'm thoroughly confused on a spring / buffer weight / stock. I see mention of "carbine" vs "rifle", and I don't understand. For example, on Bravo Company's website, they have 4 carbine buffers : standard, H, H2, H3, but only one rifle buffer. What's the deal here? I am not going to use an A2 stock, but am currently leaning towards a VLTOR. Even then, are there "carbine" and "rifle" stocks?

    Reading between the lines, I'm assuming I have to decide on what upper to build / buy, and that will determine what spring and weight to use. Is this correct? In my reading, it seems like "most" people recommend a non-carbine size (what is what exactly), but I don't know if this is from experience, or more like a glock vs. xd thing.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers!
     
  2. wct097

    wct097

    1,969
    24
    Jan 11, 2000
    VA
    Both of the stocks I've purchased came with the tube, spring, and buffer. Made it a no-brainer so to speak.

    Looks like VLTOR sells rifle length and carbine length stocks.


    Have not used one before, but looks like they sell a kit that has all of the parts:
    http://www.vltor.com/imod-combokit.html
     


  3. WayaX

    WayaX Lifetime Member

    2,568
    35
    Feb 27, 2007
    Gas system length and buffer are not a match up. Rifle buffers are for A1 and A2 fixed. All other buffers are for the collapsable stock. The gas system will determine the weight of the buffer required. Carbine and midlength systems work well with an H buffer. Rifle length gas systems work with carbine buffer. If you want a vltor stock (good choice) with an M4 style carbine you'll want an H buffer.
     
  4. OzzyOsbourne

    OzzyOsbourne

    117
    0
    Feb 19, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Let me see if I have this straight.

    1) The "upper" and the stock I choose to use have no bearing on each other.

    2) The words "carbine" and "rifle" apply both to upper and lower. On the upper, the "carbine" is a short-stroke gas system, while a "rifle" is a longer stroke. On the lower, the "rifle" is the A2 buttstock, while the carbine is the adjustable buttstock (like the VLTOR).

    3) On a carbine buttstock, I need to use the carbine spring and the appropriate carbine buffer weight (H, H2, H3, etc). On the rifle (A2) buttstock, I need to use the rifle spring and rifle buffer.

    If I am wrong, please correct me.

    And thanks for the help so far. This forum is great.

    Cheers!
     
  5. boomhower

    boomhower

    3,323
    2
    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    1. Correct.

    2. No. Neither have any bearing on the lower. You got it on carbine and rifle, there is also midlength. An A2 buttstock is just that, an A2 buttstock. It has nothing to do with the gas system.
     
  6. OzzyOsbourne

    OzzyOsbourne

    117
    0
    Feb 19, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Thanks for all the input. I think I've got (this portion) straight now.

    Cheers!
     
  7. WayaX

    WayaX Lifetime Member

    2,568
    35
    Feb 27, 2007
    I will add one thing to what boomhower said:

    The gas system is not long or short stroke. These refer to piston systems. Contrary to what seems obvious the length of the system does not determine short or long stroke. The true AR is a DI system which can be of different lengths. These ARE refered to by length (carbine, mid, or rifle).
     
  8. OzzyOsbourne

    OzzyOsbourne

    117
    0
    Feb 19, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I did not know that. Thanks for the info.

    Cheers!
     
  9. surf

    surf

    1,019
    4
    Jul 7, 2010
    First off, Damn Ozzy U DA MAN!

    The prior posters did a good job and I will add just a bit to perhaps help and make it a bit more easy to understand. Or maybe I might throw out too many stats and totally screw you up. :dunno:

    M16/M4/AR15 Complete Build Part 1 of 14
    If you can't build one from this series take up golf. :supergrin:

    The build is pretty straight forward. The "Receiver Extension Tube" commonly referred to as the buffer tube, does not get its milspec vs commercial designation from the threads. They are both the same threads however the milspec tubes are forged out of better quality steel and the commercial are generally extruded out of lesser quality steel. Because of the milspec forging the actual tube is a smaller diameter than the commercial tubes. The extruded commercial tubes have threads cut into the tube and tube diameter matches thread diameter. Besides a larger diameter the commercial tubes are a bit longer with a 5* slant or cant at the rear of the tube.

    So either tube will fit on the lower receiver but you must purchase the appropriate commercial or milspec stock.

    Rifle length receiver extension tubes and carbine tubes are different lengths, therefore you have different length springs. However the rifle length uses the rifle buffer in a standard rifle tube and spring set up.

    Since carbines have a shorter receiver extension tube you have a shorter carbine spring. The different weight buffers are used to get correct timing of the weapons cycle of operation. Different gas lengths often determined by barrel length may determine which buffer is needed. The shorter the barrel or the closer the end of the barrel gets to the gas block and gas port in the barrel the more the timing needs to be corrected and different buffers may address that.

    The M16 was basically designed around a rifle length gas system in a longer barrel with a fixed stock for longer receiver extension tube, a standard rifle buffer spring and rifle buffer. With the advent of the shorter carbines with collapsible telescoping stocks such as the M4 you needed a shorter receiver extension tube, shorter spring and you had a shorter barrel, which required a shorter gas system (gas tube) and different sized hole in the barrel (gas port) to bleed gasses into the gas tube to cycle the weapon. Because of the potential cycling issues various weighted buffers were created to address cycling within varying carbine length barrels. Even though the carbine gas system remains, barrel length also plays a role.

    So without getting too technical with a shorter gas system the weapons rate of fire increases, which generally means that the weapon is more violent or has less manners. This can also cause increased wear on parts, increase felt recoil which can lead to other shooting related issues. So the midlength gas system was developed to be a compromise between carbine and rifle length systems. Pretty much the general rule is on a carbine or midlength the starting place is an H buffer unless if a manufacturer specifically suggests something else.

    Hey Ozz, keep on Rockin Dude!