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Old 07-09-2010, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default Budget HBAR AR-15 build options

First post; First AR-15

I am looking to start building my first AR-15. and am trying to keep the budget under $800. I know exactly what I want and am just trying to find the right combination of parts that will produce a decent quality gun.

For the Lower I have a source for a bushmaster stripped lower for $50 and I am going with a Rock River National Match lower parts kit for $130 and a commercial spec collapsible stock by DSA for $50.

For the upper, I want a heavy barrel. No M4 profile. I do not like how thin it gets under the handguard. Additionally, I don't want the A2 front sight. I just want a rail so I can add flip up sights that won't interfere with any optics. A railed handguard is not not necessary. I just plan on buying a short section of rail from brownells and mounting it on the side of the handguard for a tactical light. The only upper I have found that meets this criteria is a Del-Ton upper HERE

It has the heavy barrel, railed gas block with YHM sight already included for $425. I read alot of people recommending spikes tactical but it seems that all their uppers come with the A2 front sight.

Are there any other options that I am missing?

***EDIT***
Also I forgot to mention that I want a 16" barrel. Also, if there is a big advantage to accuracy, I may be convinced to go with a free float front end. Was trying to stay away from it to keep the weight down since I already have a heavy barrel.

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:27 AM   #2
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Skip the railed gas block and go for a rail that covers the GB and then add a Magpul MBus set. The railed GB gets hot and most flip sights are not recomended for use on a railed GB. Plus IMO the longer rail looks better and really isnt but a couple $ more. And YES to the free floated rail.

Go 14.5 w/ a pinned brake midlength gas system for an overall length of roughly 16". Just as accurate, a little lighter, a little shorter, great all purpose length.

Spikes is great for the money. I just got one a couple weeks ago and it shoots as well as my $2k piston gun.

$479 and comes w/ BCG and one of the best buffers available and free shipping.
http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=XSTU5035&search=spike

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:59 AM   #3
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I did find that particular spikes tactical upper but I don't like the A2 front sight so I'd have to replace that, and also, that barrel is a 1 in 7 twist which, from what I under stand, is to high for lighter weight ammo. This is going to be a plinking/SHTF rifle so it will mostly shoot 55-62 gr. bullets. The del-ton upper is 1 in 9.

If I go with a custom heavy barrel Del-Ton upper, I can add chrome lining to the barrel, YHM low profile gas block, and YHM light weight 4 rail free float tube for a total of $529. I might also add a phantom 5c2 flash suppressor for $20 because I like the way it looks.

***EDIT***
$484 if I skip the chrome lining. Just did a quick search and might save on that feature. I don't think this rifle will see enough action to warrant the durability gained with a chrome barrel

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi940 View Post
I did find that particular spikes tactical upper but I don't like the A2 front sight so I'd have to replace that, and also, that barrel is a 1 in 7 twist which, from what I under stand, is to high for lighter weight ammo. This is going to be a plinking/SHTF rifle so it will mostly shoot 55-62 gr. bullets. The del-ton upper is 1 in 9.

If I go with a custom heavy barrel Del-Ton upper, I can add chrome lining to the barrel, YHM low profile gas block, and YHM light weight 4 rail free float tube for a total of $529. I might also add a phantom 5c2 flash suppressor for $20 because I like the way it looks.
The 1/7 twist works well w/ everything and gives you the option to shoot the heavy stuff if you want. I shoot the bulk light grain stuff like its going out of style and get great results. The front sight can be removed and a low profile added w/ the removal of 2 pins. The Spikes is already chrome lined.

How long is the "YHM light weight 4 rail free float tube" ?
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:21 AM   #5
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Well it sounds like you've done research so if you like the way the Del-Ton upper is configured and the YHM sight, don't let yourself get talked out of it unless something else is clearly superior.

Actually I went a similar route last year and bought the ArmaLite U15A4CB midlength upper with railed gas block and 1:9 twist since I mostly shoot 55-62 gr as well. Some 1:7 bores do ok with 55gr and many do not so 1:9 is a good bet to give better accuracy. I've found that the standard handguards work fine and your mounting solution for a light is sound.

I do think chrome lining is worth the extra cost but it's not necessary of course.

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:25 AM   #6
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Well it sounds like you've done research so if you like the way the Del-Ton upper is configured and the YHM sight, don't let yourself get talked out of it unless something else is clearly superior.

Actually I went a similar route last year and bought the ArmaLite U15A4CB midlength upper with railed gas block and 1:9 twist since I mostly shoot 55-62 gr as well. I've found that the standard handguards work fine and your mounting solution for a light is sound.

I do think chrome lining is worth the extra cost but it's not necessary of course.
Sorry if I came across as trying to talk him out of the Del-Ton. I have been there and know from my own experience that sometimes its more expensive to learn on your own. I wouldnt want to see someone spend as much or more on something to turn around and out grow it when they could have purchased something and grew into it.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:30 AM   #7
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Looking at yhm.net, and assuming del-ton would put the mid length rail with it since it is a mid length gas system, it would be 9.2 inches.

YHM, Yankee Hill Machine Co., Inc. – Makers of High Quality Firearms, Accessories & Sound Suppressors | Forearms

@Quentin

Don't get me wrong, I like the way a railed AR looks and wouldn't mind having one but other than a light, I don't think I will be putting anything else up there in order to save weight (Maybe a vertical grip but if i never had one, don't think I'd miss it. If heat on the flip up sights is an issue, I don't want to shorten the life of the sight by going with that gas block. In addition, if I can get better accuracy with a free float front end, that might be worth it to me. However if that increase in accuracy is going to be 0.1 MOA, then perhaps not.

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:36 AM   #8
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Yeah it's difficult to recommend for someone else since you can't be sure that it's right for them especially in the future as their needs may change. I actually agree with you on the Spikes LE uppers, they're incredible bargains and the odds are that 1:7 will handle 55gr. just fine. Also there are ways to live with a fixed A2/F-marked FSB.

I was just saying that if Jedi has chosen the Del-Ton because it offers the features he wants for the best price then maybe give it a little more thought but in the end it is his decision. One thing for sure, there are so many great choices -it ain't easy!

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:36 AM   #9
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Upon closer inspection, the custom upper is a carbine length hand guard so I assume that is also a carbine length gas system which would put the ytm rail at 7.2 inches. The upper with the flip up front sight, is a mid length system. I might send them an email and see if I can get the mid length gas system on the custom upper. From what I have read, that will be easier on the whole rifle.

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:42 AM   #10
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Jedi, I didn't see your post until I posted. I agree that it's usually better to get a midlength - especially since you want an HBAR anyway. As far as a sight on a railed gas block, the plastic magpuls aren't recommended but the YHM should be fine (looks like it's integral with the gas block anyway).

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