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Building an AR 15 or not

1424 Views 20 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  michael_b
I have looked at a Daniel Defense M4 V11 pro 5.56 and it seems to me to build a 5.56 AR it cost about the same. Unless you wait for sales and you are patient. Anyhow any advice on building or buying? Thank you.
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I have looked at a Daniel Defense M4 V11 pro 5.56 and it seems to me to build a 5.56 AR it cost about the same. Unless you wait for sales and you are patient. Anyhow any advice on building or buying? Thank you.
It all depends on what you want. If you are looking for particular brands and types of products, then building is better. You get what you want to start with. Personally, I plan my builds carefully and shop wisely taking advantage of sales. It may take me a few to several months to get everything I want in order to save money on good quality parts. I also have taken advantage of the classified section on another forum to find slightly used parts at a huge savings over buying them new. Also, if you have any mechanical ability, building is a good way to learn how the ARs are assembled and how things work together. If you can find an AR that is set up exactly the way you want it without having to change anything, then it may be best to buy. It is all up to you as to what YOU want. Me, I prefer to build because I can tailor it to suit my needs for the build. After 11 years of building and over 3 dozen builds later, I have learned a lot.
 

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I have looked at a Daniel Defense M4 V11 pro 5.56 and it seems to me to build a 5.56 AR it cost about the same. Unless you wait for sales and you are patient. Anyhow any advice on building or buying? Thank you.
I think in general they will all work ok if you use good parts.

I think the one thing you get building it is you can get/do it EXACTLY as you want it. you get the Lower(design on the lower or what ever its almost endless anymore),trigger,stock,grips,caliber,barrel profile,handguards,caliber..ANYTHING you want...but then you also run the risk of if everything doesnt matchup or you use the wrong buffer/spring of trying to figure out whats wrong IF anything is wrong.

The advantage of getting it from a single builder pre-built is more or less just like any gun from a manufacturer..you get their warranty and you know that if its good quality it will pretty much go bang..and now days you can get them almost built to your specs...PLUS if something goes wrong or it isnt working right you get factory support/warranty...


I kinda did a combo...I built my own lower as I wanted..and bought a FULL BCM Upper to top it off. Oh and it works GREAT!
 

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I have looked at a Daniel Defense M4 V11 pro 5.56 and it seems to me to build a 5.56 AR it cost about the same. Unless you wait for sales and you are patient. Anyhow any advice on building or buying? Thank you.

It really depends on your comfort level. I'm on my third build now and enjoy it. Even if I don't save money over a prebuilt, for me, I agree with the statements above:

-It's fun.
-I get exactly what I want.
-I learn from each build.
-If you ever want to customize further, you have the knowledge base to do it yourself rather than pay someone.

I watch for sales a LOT and try and minimize cost. Then I spend more on upgrading certian parts so it basically evens out.

My first build, standard setup, bought a complete upper, heavy CHF CL barrel, Magpul furniture.

My second build for a friend, complete BCM upper with rail/FSB, muzzle brake. Here are one and two together:



My third- in mid build now, bought a complete upper, shaved down the FSB, and added a 12.5" rail.

Each time I'm trying something a little different. By build 4 or 5, I'll assemble the upper myself.

So it's fun, and if you build, but don't worry about all the tacticool stuff, take your time, keep it simple build a nice rifle. You always upgrade parts and customize it more later.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I have looked at a Daniel Defense M4 V11 pro 5.56 and it seems to me to build a 5.56 AR it cost about the same. Unless you wait for sales and you are patient. Anyhow any advice on building or buying? Thank you.
If you're a normal person, just buy the DD and be done with it. Yes, you can build them. But if building one, the very idea and act of building an AR, doesn't intrigue and excite you, just buy a quality AR and enjoy it.
 

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If you can detail strip (and reassemble) a Ruger Mk II/III - you can assemble an AR type rifle - Even if you can't strip/assemble a Mk II/III (but can get close) you probably can assemble an AR. There is a lot of step-by-step information on the internet.

I have done a few. I started out trying to assemble one as cheaply as possible. By the time I assembled my 3rd one, I figured out what I wanted. I sold the early ones to people I knew to finance better ones (permit holders and members of our club where a full background check is required to be a member). I never sold them at a loss - but I didn't make much either.

If I could get what I wanted for less money out-of-the-box, I'd go that way. For a -$20 differential - I'd probably assemble - all of mine have functioned very well, I'm not too concerned about the warranty and assembling is enjoyable.

By the way - the JPE trigger kit works really, really well. It is as good as the trigger on my Virgil Tripp tuned STI 1911. (Although the JPE video is a bit confusing).
 

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Building is fun and you will learn a lot, but you would need to buy a lot of proper tools and a good mechanical ability. A AR can be put together in no time, it's not that hard, but how well everything works and for how long it will work is a different story. Especially the gas system. There are a lot of things that can be done wrong. Gas tube/gas key engagement (takes time and patience), proper installation of the gas block, etc. Some issues don't show up right away, they show up later after some use when the gas tube and the gas key start to wear prematurely at the engagement areas, which causes gas leaks/malfunctions and other problems.
 

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Build it. Lot more fun. Usually you will save the tax $.

Plus there is something about taking that first shot after you build it. You sort of flinch a little and hope it all does not fall apart, then when it works and works well there is a moment of banging on your chest and chanting "I am man... I build gun"....

Boy did I get strange looks at the range...
 

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If you know what you want and there's one available configured as such, buy it and usually you'll come out ahead plus a warranty. If you plan to change handguards, triggers, barrel, gas block, and furniture, it may be better for you to build Bc those items will be additional to your base rifle you were going to buy. You probably couldn't build one cheaper than what radical firearms makes them for. And bcm puts out a quality product for a few hundred less than a Daniel defense. I personally love my noveske and Seekins rifle
 

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Building can be good if you know what you're doing, but I've seen too many builds awful builds to recommend anyone do it for a fighting rifle, without knowing how competent they are around the AR.

I've seen gas blocks fall off, castle nuts come off, backwards castle nuts, backwards sights, muzzle devices without shims or crush washers, broken trigger guard "ears", etc. Any trust I had that just anyone could build an AR is gone.

So, if you know how to actually build one, you might save a few bucks and have an emptier parts bin, but the real benefit is that you are inspecting and assembling every part the way it should be done. Personally, I'd rather just buy the DD.
 

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I'd buy off the rack a ready made AR-15 with the basic specs I am looking for. No need to piece together a gun and hope it will run at the end.
 

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I'm on my first, but I might as well have built it. Winding up replacing everything but the upper, lower, and barrel. Even the barrel might get whacked. Almost done. Right at $2k in it, and maybe a hundred bucks in parts to sell. Except the gas block. Don't ask.... :whistling:
 

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I'm on my first, but I might as well have built it. Winding up replacing everything but the upper, lower, and barrel. Even the barrel might get whacked. Almost done. Right at $2k in it, and maybe a hundred bucks in parts to sell. Except the gas block. Don't ask.... :whistling:
 

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Building can be good if you know what you're doing, but I've seen too many builds awful builds to recommend anyone do it for a fighting rifle, without knowing how competent they are around the AR.

I've seen gas blocks fall off, castle nuts come off, backwards castle nuts, backwards sights, muzzle devices without shims or crush washers, broken trigger guard "ears", etc. Any trust I had that just anyone could build an AR is gone.

So, if you know how to actually build one, you might save a few bucks and have an emptier parts bin, but the real benefit is that you are inspecting and assembling every part the way it should be done. Personally, I'd rather just buy the DD.

Good advice really. I decided to build my own for my first AR and loved doing it. Zero malfunctions, has ears, etc.

I also did about 6 months of loose research just reading about different manufacturers, techniques, barrel twist etc. All that reading paid off.

It's not for everyone that's for sure.

My first -

 
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My take on this here in 2015 is that it's a lot like building a computer. If you just want to save money, buy one that's already built and has a warranty. If you want the cheapest computer, go to Wal-Mart, and buy one of those all in one boxes for $399. If you want the cheapest AR, it's a buyers market. The $599 AR market is getting crowded.

If you want something a little better, there's where you can benefit from rolling your own. Even on rifles costing north of $1,000, the big manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere on almost every rifle. If you build your own, you don't need to do that. You can make sure every component is exactly what you want, and then scour the internet for the best price on each part.
 
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