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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I have been on the fence for some time trying to decide between building, or buying an AR. I have done a bunch of research. I actually wanted to go with a .224 with a 20" barrel, etc., but range ammo is not readily available at my local Walmart. So that may be a future build. I ordered a rifle kit from PSA on a clearance sale last night. Here is a short description:
PSA 16" 5.56 NATO 1/7 Mid-Length Nitride 13.5" Lightweight M-Lok MOE CTR EPT Rifle Kit with MBUS Sight Set - 5165449492
I have not ordered a stripped lower yet. I was had planned to pick up a Scorpion Armaments enhanced stability lower locally from 22Mods4All, but they have moved to Orlando, so now I am looking at PSA's stripped lower that's also on sale. I am mechanically inclined, so I figure this is going to be a fun project. My next door neighbor is very knowledgeable, and has done some higher end builds, so I know I can pick his brain for tips, if needed. I am planning to spend @ $200 on a scope to use on the new Shooting Park that is being built. Right now I am considering a Vortex Diamondback Tactical scope. I would love to get some input from some of the more experience members on the site on good scopes in this price range that would be good out to about 400 yards. Also looking for a decent lower receiver vise block and some basic AR tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can build an AR kit like that with no special tools. The hardest parts are putting in the pivot pin detent and the roll pin for the bolt catch.

The closest thing to a "necessary" tool is probably the wrench for the stock castle nut, but you could do it without one. After that, the flat sided roll-pin punches from Wheeler are handy for the bolt catch roll pin and decrease the chance of scratching your lower, but you can do it without them.

For the pivot pin detent, there are tools from Caldwell and others, but the cheapest is a 1/4" clevis pin from the local hardware store - you insert the detent through one of the holes in the pin, then turn it to hold the detent in, then carefully use the pivot pin to push the clevis pin out and capture the detent. https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/H...n_using_a__1_clevis_pin___56K_death/4-362116/

A roll pin punch for the trigger guard roll pin is helpful, too.

You can buy sets of tools from Wheeler and others just about anywhere that sells AR accessories, but most of them are unnecessary, especially where you are assembling a kit with an assembled upper.

Wow, Thanks! What a great idea. I found a FFL with PSA lowers about 40 miles away, and his price is very reasonable. So tomorrow afternoon I am going to pick one up (maybe more :). Plus a few Magpul mags. Any real benefit to the Gen 3 mags with the window? I got a email from PSA this morning with the tracking number for my rifle kit. Waiting for a UPS status update.
It almost looks like I could use a piece of wood as a vise block for the lower? I will make a stop at Home Depot on my way home and pick up the clevis pin, and take the lower with me to see if a piece of wood might work for the vice block. Anyone tried that, or have another solution? Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice looking rifle. Sorry to hear that you had to return the rifle to have it properly repaired, and disappointment that they didn't repackage it properly? A little bubble wrap would have prevented the damage. Right now I only have access to a 25 yard indoor range, but the PB county is building a Shooting Park west of town. Unfortunately it was not well planned as they planned to use Porta- A- Potty's, but the building department would not CO the facility upon completion without restrooms and it is about six months overdue now from the proposed opening. When it does open it will have ranges to 400 yards. Can't wait! I have Bushnell's AK red dot on my AK. Lot's of fun and cheap, and fine till the Shooting Park opens. My kit comes with Magpul iron sights which will hold me over till I find the right scope to use at the new outdoor Shooting Park. Happy shooting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks! Good luck with your project.

I just took the TRS-25 off another project that I never fired... my MechTech/G21 SF carbine. I decided that wasn't what I wanted and never shot it. The sight has been moved around quite a bit... the carbine the latest and was on my Ruger M3 22/45 project until the "tactical" Bushnell red dot I sight I bought for the carbine turned out to be activated by light... not so tacticool! I moved that to the pistol since it would usually be at the range... with light.

With medical and dental stuff popping up... a new car for Wifey(old one was iffy at 17+years) and a new lawn tractor... shower... and other things, I've been trying to not bust the budget, but there's always something! Ammo, mags, sights, sling....
:flag:
Wynn

I had some interest in the MechTech at one time, but never moved forward. The AR build is a more affordable platform for me at this time. Now I will have to start accumulating ammo and mags for the new AR.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have built (assembled) several rifles from PSA kits and parts. They are not bad for the price point in my opinion. I have one that doesn't like russian ammo to much but other than that they all run fine. The one that does not like russian ammo does not have M4 feed ramps on the lower, however I am not sure if that is the problem or not. Once it gets dirty with that ammo it will not cycle. Vortex Diamondback Tactical - I have the 6-24 50 mrad mounted on my .224. In my opinion for the price point it is a very good scope. It is hard to see all the detail of the retical at low power (6-8) for me. Other than that it is a great scope. I mounted it with a G4 2" cantilever mount which is pretty much the same mount as the vortex however its half the price. Look it up on Amazon. Also go on Ebay and look up focuscamera that is a vortex authorized seller who sold me mine for a very good price (on his page for vortex, you can make an offer instead of hitting the buy it now) Good luck with your build.
Hey, thanks for the info. How do you like shooting the .224? That's what I had originally planned to purchase, but I like to buy my ammo locally and it is a little harder to find. Tomorrow when I go to pick up the stripped lower, I will check out the FFL's ammo prices for .224. He has been one of the ammo vendors at the local gun show for a couple years. I have bought some AK ammo from him and his prices are as good as anyone's. He must have recently gotten is FFL as he is now selling firearms, ammo, parts, etc. and recently opened a storefront. I may pick up an extra stripped lower, if he has one for the .224. If not, I will probably wait to till the "Black Friday" sales and see what the deals are this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I use a clevis pin as well. Works perfectly. https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-4-in-x-2-in-Zinc-Plated-Universal-Clevis-Pin-815418/204276164

I use needle nose pliers with electrical tape to put in the bolt catch roll pin, oiled up and squeezing in slowly of course. I solve the trigger guard pin issue by using screw in trigger guards like this one from Aero Precision: https://aeroprecisionusa.com/billet-trigger-guard-anodized.html

Use blue loctite of course.

Everything else is complete cake to do. You truly do not need a lot of specialized tools beyond the AR armorers tool (for the castle nut and the barrel nut).

Thanks! For all the great help I am getting. Leaving within the hour to go pick up the lower and some mags, etc. I got an update from UPS this morning and my upper should be here sometime tomorrow morning. On my way back from picking up the lower I plan to stop at Home Depot for the clevis pin. I always have loctite on hand. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Picked up the lower receiver today, and three Magpul mags. I went to a Home Depot while I was waiting for the FFL to process my background check to get the clevis pin that Bren suggested. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry to get back to pick up my lower and also beat the rush hour traffic in Broward County. Due to my rush I grabbed a 3/8 " Clevis Pin, instead of the 1/4" one. Someone had put it in the 1/4" x 2" bin. Oh well, I meant to pick up some red Loctite thread locker for the Castle Nut, so another trip is in order. Actually I came up with my own idea for a vise block. I have two options on hand. 1. A short piece of 1" x 3", actual 3/4" x 2 3/4" wrapped with some wide electrical tape for a tighter fit (or a wood shim). 2. a piece of Celluar PVC Trim board (with a polymer shim). Either should work? I will use a couple pieces of old bike inner tube to cover/pad the vise's jaws. The only thing I don't have is an Armorer's multi-tool. I do have a cheap Harbor Freight pin punch set, but probably need to invest in something better, as the smaller punch bent last time I used it.
I got the PSA lower for PJ's Armory in Plantation. What a great guy! He took one of his PSA AR's off the wall rack, and dissembled the parts and did a short "how to" for me. I have bought ammo from him from his table at the gun PBC gun show. Really good prices. His business seems to be growing, and I was surprised how much inventory he has in the storefront. Hopefully I will be able to work on the build on Sunday, if I can get all the things I need together by then.
:exercise:
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Spend 30 bucks on the vice blocks, makes life easier. Tape areas around pin holes so you don't mar up the upper/lower. Do some research on gas block installation, you may need to dimple the barrel.
You can get a decent 1-4 or 1-6 scope from primary arms (they are heavy though) for 200.00 but you still need a mount or rings. That's another 50 to 100 bucks.

Good luck
The upper is already assembled. Do I still need to check the barrel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Maybe someone local could give you a hand that has the tools instead of buying unless more builds are in your future.
Clevis pin does make the pivot easy, I would suggest a Magpul Bev Block if your future holds only a few builds, small torx security bits that have the hole in the end are nice to start roll pins without buying dedicated punch, use leather (old belt) instead of inner tube to for padding the vise. Wheeler action block is actually quite useful for number on things though not really needed for a lower. And don't use red Loc-tite on the castle nut, will likely be a pain in the arse if you need to remove even with heat, use blue if you are not going to stake it and only one drop.
Thanks for the tips! I do have some security bits, with the hole in the end, and also plenty of blue loctite. The FFL recommended the red loctite, as he said the blue would melt??? I was hoping to borrow a couple tools like the muti-purpose Armorers tool and some better pin punches from my neighbor. I saw him headed out to the parking lot a few days ago, and asked him, but he was in a hurry, and said he would check, but never got back with me. He seemed to be in a grumpy mood, and rushed, so I won't bother him again. He is friends with the owner of the PB Shooting Center so he probably did his builds there and used their tools, etc. and may not have any of his own. I got an email update from UPS this morning, and my upper is out for delivery today. I don't know how important it is to use the Armorer's tool for the castle nut, etc. I don't want to bur anything up. I won't have much time to work on it till Sunday, or Monday, but will probably try to get whatever I can get done what I can till then. Do you know of a place to purchase the Armorer's Tool locally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
:dancingbanana::dancing: The upper arrived a few minutes ago. Just a quick check to make sure it wasn't damaged in shipping. All looks good. Headed to Home Depot to exchange the Clevis Pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Worked on it this evening. It was a bit frustrating at the start. I lost one of the indents in the first minute, and another a couple minutes later. Fortunately, I found one, and they gave me an extra spring and indent it the rifle kit. After that things went a bit better, even though I was lacking the proper tools. I am calling it a night. I made it a far as installing the safety selector and hand grip, hopefully I will be able to finish everything tomorrow night, with the exception of the buffer tube, and butt stock. I will try to call PB Shooting Center in the morning to see if they have the Armorers wrench needed to tighten the castle nut, unless someone has a work around solution?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I watched a PSA video on you tube to do my assembly. Pretty Good, but lacking some minor details for the first time builder. I used the Clevis Pin idea, and it worked OK, but I did lose one indent. I have a few questions for the experienced builders.
1.There is a pin that goes into the receiver followed by a spring, and then the hand grip. One end has a point and one end is flat? Which end goes into the receiver? Pointy or flat end? And which end butt's up to the spring?
2. In PSA's video it shows that after the front hinge pin is installed it moves from side to side? Mine does not. And appears to be a permanent fixture now with not side to side movement. The flat sided end appears to be in the right position.
3. PSA's video does not mention using loc-tite (blue or red?) when installing the castle nut? I still need the correct wrench, and am hoping to find one locally this weekend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Brass3, Thanks for your response! Only had a little time to work on it tonight. I stopped by the PB Shooting Center and picked up a quality Armor's Multi-wrench. They had a cheap one too, but I figured it would come in handy just to maintain my rifle, or repair anything. I had the pin that goes into the hand guard installed correctly, but thanks for confirm it.. I was fortunate to talk with the shop gunsmith, and asked him a few questions regarding my build. The front hinge pin was also in correctly it just needed to be tapped back and forth a few times and oiled till it it freed up and worked properly. Do any of you actually torque the castle nut down to 40 lbs with a torque wrench? I ended up using a Magpul Mag as a vise block.
It looks like I should finish it up tomorrow, and maybe take it to the range on Monday. I still have to install the Magpul iron sights on the upper. I don't have a bore sight, or a bench rest, so I may have to wait.

PS I also picked up a small bag on indents and springs, just in case I need to take it apart for some reason, and lose them again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
You may find an Armorer's tools at Advanced Firearms in Margate, would think Shoot Straight may be another possibility. I know for sure Bass Pro sells them but that's down off Griffin rd in Dania. I'd be more than happy to assist but unfortunately I'm heading out of town for at least two weeks, work is killing me as I've been on the road more than I've been home.
Picked up a Armorer's Tool at the PB shooting Center. They had two, one cheap, and a better one. I got the better one. Shooting Straight wanted almost double for their better one. It is a Tapco Intrafuse brand with a lifetime warranty. I got a inexpensive trigger for my AK from Tapco, and a was very happy with it for the price. Inexpensive, but a definite improvement from the stock trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Any multi cal or .223 (5.56) lower works for the .224 you just need to get 6.8 spc magazines for the round. Mine so far shoots well except for the 75g issues. I have not shot again to see if the problem persists. Grouping good at short yardages 100-300yrds Federal designed it to be capable of sub moa at 1000yrds but there is still some development and testing in barrel rifling to get the round to remain stable. My barrel and I believe all PSA .224 barrels are 1/7 and some manufactures are trying 1/6.5 and 1/6 (faster) rifling along with different lengths. For me I hope the round sticks around and other ammo becomes available. Right now my locol walmarts have the american eagle and most of the local gun shops have the Hornady and other Federal and prices are between $18 - $24 a box. Online it can be found for the same price ranges if all else fails.

So I could use the lower I just built with 6.8 mags. I think that PSA lists a stripped lower for the .224 for $79.00? What would be the difference between that and a PA15 multi- caliber? Different weight for the buffer? My Walmart does not carry .224. I read where they think the 6.5 rifling may increase stability for longer ranges.
Definitely interested in .224. I have not seen anything offered in 17HMR? I would also be interested in that round, but have only seen have only seen in in more traditional bolt style rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Several bags of springs and detents are always handy to keep around. One day, I'll find that missing buffer retainer..

Good luck with the build!
LOL. I heard my indents hit, but only found one. I got too much clutter in this room. Some day when I get it cleared out and run the vacuum it will probably get sucked up never to be seen again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
My kit included a Magpul CRT butt stock. The pin that secures it will not recess enough to slide it on when the positioning lever is activated? No info came with the kit. I am going to Google it to see how to adjust it. It looks like I may have to take it apart to adjust it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Ctr stock, in front of the lever and behind the locking latch there is a rollpin that you manually pull down with your fingers to get the stock on the tube. It's spring loaded and requires a bit of pressure to pull down.

I thought it was defective
You're mechanically inclined, throw a rest together with anything to and use a towel folded for the gun to rest on until you get a rest. That's what I did. You check out the videos I sent front the tube

First I tried a video from PSA, but it was missing some detail for the beginner, so I then checked out the ones you sent, which were much better. Unfortunately, I have a dial up connect (Yes, I know), so I watch the short one first (PSA's). I finished my build this morning once I was able to get the butt stack on. I couldn't get the pin to move far enough with my fingers, but once I confirmed that was what was needed I used a screw driver to have a little more leverage, and bingo it worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
The barrel nut gets more than 40. Go to U-Tube use search, type in barrel nut torque. It's a process, tighten, loosen, tighten loosen a few times before final I go to 50-70 sometimes more.
Be sure to antiseize the threads on both receiver and nut
I had some problems keeping the wrench in place when I tried to torque it down, so I just torqued it down pretty tight and added a drop of red thread locker (AKA Loc-tite). I am pretty sure I got it tight enough (I have a bad habit of over tightening things and snapping them off.) I do have some anti-seize, but didn't see your post in time. If it comes loose, I will get try to get a extra set of hands to help. I used my vise, using a Magpul mag for a vise block, but I didn't want to flex/bend the receiver. Here she is!

:milestone:

Gun Airsoft gun Machine gun
 
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