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Old 02-13-2011, 10:57 PM   #21
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...I'm still liking the look of the DPMS parts, but I may go with a different lower and go with a stripped lower and a kit. Any recommendations on a good kit? How about a decent quality cheap lower? ...
You can get away with DPMS parts but keep in the back of your mind that a little more money buys a lot more quality. Sorry to keep harping on that but I can't tell you how many times you see people go cheap then realize later what they could have bought for so little more.

As far as lowers, like JD said go for a forged lower receiver, it's the standard and they make so many of them that you get a lot for your money. Choose the rollmark you like best at the price you're willing to pay. Spikes Tactical stripped lowers are very good and often go for about $80 plus shipping plus transfer fees at your FFL and maybe sales tax. Others are good too and may be a little less.

You may find a good deal locally which is what I did - S&W and ArmaLite lowers for about $120 each with no transfer fee or shipping, just sales tax. I probably spent an extra $15-20 on each but to me it was worth it to get a rollmark I really liked - and knowing a respected name increases the overall value of the rifle at least that much. (No matter how good the parts, what would you offer someone selling an AR with "Eric Lee's Bar-B-Que House and AR Shop" plastered on the side? )

As far as the LPK, Stag is really good and about $5 more than DPMS. Receiver extension/stock kit, pay a bit more for milspec and H buffer. BCM sells blemished complete lowers for about $250-270 and that's a great way to go.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:42 PM   #22
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As far as the LPK, Stag is really good and about $5 more than DPMS.
I did a bit of research, and I really liked the look of the Stag kit. I also found the RRA kit with the single stage trigger for about 70 bucks, so I will almost certainly go with one of those kits.

Now, when you all say "Rollmark" I assume you are referring to the image cut into the side of the lower?
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #23
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I concur that Rock River Arms makes good lower parts kits. I believe my build (one of those stickies up there) used a RRA lower parts kits. I'm not sure your first AR need a 2-stage trigger, but that's your choice.

I also bought too many tools. Besides a few normal hand-tools any home-owner should have, I used a stock installing tool (forget the proper name right now...) to tighten the stock recoil tube onto the lower, and a magazine port block (again...name?) for my bench vise.

There are AR-15 tool sets that include a clam-shell block and a barrel block that you'd only need if you were to build the upper.

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Old 02-14-2011, 02:52 AM   #24
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...Now, when you all say "Rollmark" I assume you are referring to the image cut into the side of the lower?
Rollmarks are letters/numbers/etc. and logos pressed in the sides of the AR lower receiver. That of course included manufacturer's name and address and model number. Often caliber as well. Serial numbers are done later since they're unique. I guess laser etching might be used instead of a roll press making the imprints.

Anyway, rollmark is an easy and general way to describe what's on the side of the lower. Quality is more important than rollmark but when someone looks at your AR and it says Colt or BCM, etc. they think quality. If they see Vulcan, Hesse or Blackthorne they think something else no matter how good the build is.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:02 AM   #25
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If you are going to build a 16" target gun, I don't think a 2 stage trigger is an option that is going to be necessary to achieve operation and rounds on target.

If you are going to build a "varmint gun" ( and this realm varmint means a lot of variables ) with a 20" bull barrel, a 2 stage trigger is going to be critical to achieving full blown accuracy.

Some things with the AR platform need to be broken down by "need".

Minute of Bad Guy?

or

Minute of Angle?

There is a HUGE difference in cost, equipment and labor between the two. So the best thing I can recommend is to fully define your application and we can help you from there.

JD

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:14 AM   #26
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If you are going to build a 16" target gun, I don't think a 2 stage trigger is an option that is going to be necessary to achieve operation and rounds on target.

If you are going to build a "varmint gun" ( and this realm varmint means a lot of variables ) with a 20" bull barrel, a 2 stage trigger is going to be critical to achieving full blown accuracy.

Some things with the AR platform need to be broken down by "need".

Minute of Bad Guy?

or

Minute of Angle?

There is a HUGE difference in cost, equipment and labor between the two. So the best thing I can recommend is to fully define your application and we can help you from there.

JD
Sorry if I wasn't very clear before, I'm thinking minute of bad guy. What I want is to punch some paper, have friendly competitions like "see who can hit the water jug at 200 yards", with the occasional "varmint", by which I mean prairie dogs. They are plentiful in the area and no license is needed to hunt them. I've used a 10/22 to pick them off before, they rarely hide beyond 50 yards. Hope that helps!
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:24 AM   #27
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Okay, another question. I think I'm going to build my own lower, but I would like to know what kind of tools I'll need to do this. I've perused the stickies a bit, and most of the tools I can get easily enough. But I was wondering about any specialty tools that might be needed.

Also, let's hear some recommendations about lower receivers. I'd like to stay in the 50-150 dollar range, and forged. Opinions?
I picked up a Yankee Hill Machine lower on gunbroker.com for about $100. Completed it with a DPMS parts kit and mated it to a RRA upper...fit like they were made for each other. No special tools required for a lower build...standard punches, pliers, mallet are all that is needed. Electrical or masking tape is helpful to prevent marring the finish...I masked off the receiver and covered the plier's vices in electrical tape.

Just keep an eye on those springs and detents...they have an ability to disappear into thin air.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:30 AM   #28
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Okay, you are talking minute of bad guy for a first level / first entry into the AR world gun.

As such, here is the recommendation I would give to a friend:

16" barrel. Normal profile. You don't need, or what, chrome lining ( it was designed for full auto applications ) and you also don't need a bull barrel or something from Krieger or White Oak Armament.

Free Float Fore end: This is personal preference. It will cost more, but it will pay for itself in better accuracy and a more comfortable weapon to shoot during a day at the range because the fore end won't heat up as drastically. I would recommend getting the free float, but it's not necessary on a Minute of Bad Guy gun.

Flat Top: You are going to want some sort of quick speed, eyes open optic. A scope with a high power, like a 3x9 is going to be overkill for 50-100 yard shots if you are not shooting for dimes.

Stock: Personal preference. A straight A2, fixed, is the cheapest and most stable. A collapsible is going to offer "other" applications like room to room or street to street. More options with a 3 or 6 position stock.

Interals: You don't need a 2 stage trigger or anything other than a basic lower parts kit. You can do a simple tune on the trigger to ease up the pull and take up, but you don't need an additional $50-$100 option for a 2-stage and don't let anyone talk you into something crazy like a Giselle.

Mags: I now only recommend Cammenga Easy mags. They are awesome and feature all the good stuff ( anti tilt follwers, strong stainless spring ) plus they are durable and a piece of cake to load.

Barrel Twist Rate: This depends on what you intended to shoot. M193 is a NATO 55 grain that is VERY common and easy to acquire. This round shoots really well out of a 1:8 or 1:9 twist barrel. However if you don't plan on shooting one specific round, a 1:12 twist rate barrel will handle just about everything out there in the .223/5.56mm ammo - it just won't print any of them specifically super small on target. However for Minute of Bad Guy, they are great.

I like the Magpul MIAD grip, but get the one with room for batteries or a Bolt Head for the carrier group instead of the "3-round" option. You aren't going down in a plane and are going to need 3 short fired rounds as a distress call to troops in your area. Presumably.

That, in a nutshell, is what I would recommend for your first build/application with 100 yard targets in mind. This will give you good bang for your buck and get you into the platform.

From there you will be screwed, because I don't know anyone that only has (1) AR once the build their first.

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:30 AM   #29
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$70, what a rip! use this link and get YOUR PARTS KIT. believe me, the 2 stage IS worth it. there are better prices on the net with some of RRA's inventory, but NOT MANY! AND NOT AS QUALITY.

Rock River Arms: RRA Trigger Kits

you won't be sorry.

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:43 AM   #30
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ordered RRA upper -- flattop, 16-inch mid-length w/heavy barrel and RRA flip front sight and gas block combo, M4 feed ramps, forward assist, and brass deflector. ordered April of 2009, received November 2009;

paired with a YHM (Yankee Hills) lower, and RRA 2-stage trigger and lower parts kit; MagPul CTR stock, MagPul AFG (angle forward grip);

YHM flip rear sight.

laid the parts kit out according to a diagram i found online (PM me if you want it) on a white bath towel (if you use a towel with the "thread" poking up, it tends to hold the small pieces in place), walked myself through step by step, and all i needed was a small hammer, a pair of needle nose, and a razor blade...........no tape, no punches, nothing else. THE BIGGEST THING IS TO TAKE YOUR TIME, AND MOVE SLOWLY.

oh yeah, plan on getting a floating handguard @ a later date.
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Last edited by USEBOTHHANDS; 02-14-2011 at 03:48 AM.
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