AR from scratch
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:29 AM   #1
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Default AR from scratch

just wondering if anyone here has assembled an AR from parts. i presently have an AK and would like to have an AR. Not sure if it would be best to purchase one outright or build one. just like to have some input from enthusiasts.

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:00 AM   #2
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Well... just about Half of we the AR owners have done a build.
I built my lower and bought a prebuilt upper...
and now I'm gonna go along and build an upper (half the parts are coming in a week from Monday and the other half sometime there after, when i order them)
It's one of the most recommended things to do, it cuts down a lot of cost if you want to do anything special to it, and you get the pride factor
AR15.com is a great resource, lots of pictures and stuff that makes the build go that much quicker

but be warned... there are A LOT of options
go down to the Ar15 part of our forum, and you'll see the which is better blah blah argument beaten to death, resurected, and shot in the foot
Welcome to the Forum btw.

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:10 AM   #3
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I'm in the middle of a build and it just took a good little bit of reading. For a rifle that would easily be $1200 bought built, I'm building one for about $870. Stripped lower, parts for the lower, and a complete upper. At least I will have a really good idea how the parts all work with each other.

Building the top from parts would be a good idea, too, but I don't want to really bother the first time. This is enough for me. Look at the stickies in the AR-15 subforum:

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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Here is a how to guide on the lower receiver if you choose to go this route.

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/how-build-ar-lower-receiver-4987/

I always encourage folks to build their own AR, because you learn a ton and it will help you with mainanence and upkeep down the road.

However, there are some really great prices on name brand AR's right now.

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/rock-river-low-low-prices-28936/

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/s-w-m-p-15-599-00-nib-28740/

Either way you go, be warned that having one is just a gateway drug to planning your next build.

Good luck.

JD

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Old 07-03-2010, 08:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Either way you go, be warned that having one is just a gateway drug to planning your next build.
Dam if you ain't right about that.

I am looking at building a 243 or 257wssm upper for mine. Both would offer a great varmint gun out to 500 yards and offer me a platform to tub along while deer hunting. 1 gun does it all.

I was wanting a 24" barrel Not sure if I want to build or buy yet.

I say if you have the time and patience build it. If you are like me and just have to have that instant gratification get buy a whole one. Or buy an upper and a lower. You can still save money by buying a complete upper and a complete lower.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:42 PM   #6
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thanks for the feedback. at present i wouldn't know an upper from a lower if i saw them. i am assuming the lower goes beneath the upper, ha. guess i'll just start reading. was just looking for some gentle nudging in the right direction. thanks all

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Old 07-09-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyh54 View Post
thanks for the feedback. at present i wouldn't know an upper from a lower if i saw them. i am assuming the lower goes beneath the upper, ha. guess i'll just start reading. was just looking for some gentle nudging in the right direction. thanks all
I too was a little concerned about building my first AR due to the springs in the lower reciever. I did my first with general hand tools from around the house. Though it went fine I now own a few tools to make builds easier. I highly recommend a punch set at the least. Though I would say an assortment of specialized blocks from Brownells or where ever make things much easier and you dont risk maring or even braking pieces. Snapping a tab off while installing a triggr guard will piss you off.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:46 PM   #8
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To piggyback on mj's ideas, I'll add that I barely used any tools. I have used so far in my build:

-punch set that I bought for this purpose
-magazine well block that I bought for this purpose (VERY useful)
-small hammer (but not a special gunsmith hammer)
-painter's tape (which in retrospect I should have applied even thicker during the install of the sideways pin...whatever it is called)
-needle-nose pliers and a spackle knife (for the detent spring on the pivot pin)

I also bought a stock wrench, but I haven't gotten my stock yet so I don't know if I'll need this. I don't think I'll be needing any more tools. I may want a front-sight tool, but that doesn't have much to do with the build.

I also need to buy a few cleaning tools specifically for the .223/5.56 AR rifle.

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Old 07-09-2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:48 AM   #10
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I'm another here who built my first AR. Started it last August and finished in two months. I did like Chris and built the lower (using tools I already had) then studied and saved up for a complete upper. At first I thought I'd build the upper but I couldn't save any money doing that over a complete upper especially since I did need to buy tools for the upper.

If I were building a lot of ARs I'd get the tools but not for one. I don't expect to be building another but if I do I'll go the same route at the first because that certainly would be my last AR.

Anyway, it's not hard and you learn a lot. Research is the important part, you'll end up with a better rifle at a better price if you do your homework. I know a lot more today and there are better deals than when I built mine so a few things would be different but overall I'm still pleased with the decisions I made. Without the research no doubt I'd have ended up with something not nearly as good.

The same can be said for buying a complete rifle, too - research, research, research. You need to know what components are going in to your AR whether you build it or you buy one factory assembled. You need to design the specs whether you build it or buy it assembled. My AR is better than most M4gerys I see in the stores.

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