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-   -   Build or buy upper??? (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/build-buy-upper-76917/)

LaiePoi 11-23-2012 05:34 AM

Build or buy upper???
 
Before I get into everything let me first say that yes I am a "noob" to the AR15 platform so I am very open to any of your ideas, opinions, or any input you may have. Been doing a lot of research on the Internet and watching videos on YouTube of people's new builds, installation, reviews, etc. I was planning on building the upper because I only want specific parts. I'm not really interested in buying a complete upper that i would have to switch out parts that i don't like so that is why I was leaning towards building it myself. I haven't come across a complete upper with the configuration I like...until tonight. I came across this complete upper that is configured exactly how I would like http://www.rogtac.com/upper-parts/complete-upper-assemblies/noveske-14-5-afghan-556-nsr13-bc15.html
The only thing that is different in this complete upper from the configuration I had in mind was the barrel and BCG. I was planning on buying a stripped BCM BFH 14.5 barrel and BCM BCG but the only other barrel and BCG I would swap out with right now would be a Noveske so I'm totally okay with that. So all this got me thinking...I'm pretty sure a person with all the right tools could easily build my configuration for cheaper than buying (the Noveske linked above), but I don't have all those special tools and if I went ahead and bought them all it could possibly add up to being more costly than buying the compete upper (I'm thinking). And then the fact that I could have had it installed by a professional for cheaper just wouldn't make sense (other than gaining the experience from trial and error I suppose). I've watched tons of install videos on YouTube but that won't mean I will get it done like someone who really knows their stuff. I thought about buying the parts and paying a gunsmith to do the things I don't have special tools for but gunsmith's aren't that cost effective either in this situation. So I guess my question is what do you think I should do in this situation...should I just buy the complete upper and save myself the trouble or should I go ahead and buy all the parts and tools to build it myself?

Here is my parts list for the upper I had in mind in case you were wondering:
-BCM BFH 14.5 mid length ($299)
-BCM BCG ($159)
-BCM gunfighter mod4 med charging handle ($45)
-VLTOR MUR1A ($189)
-Noveske NSR 13.5 ($260)
-Battlecomp 1.5 ($155)
***($1,107)***
Planning on pairing it with a Spike's lower.

I'm aware that some of these things are out of stock (including the complete Noveske upper) but I'm on the waiting list so I have some time to decide.

Hope to hear your thoughts! Thanks.

Aaron

Jpyle 11-23-2012 06:10 AM

Building the upper is a bit more complex than the lower but not so much that a newer enthusiast cannot do it. The only tools really required are a vice, upper receiver block, a few punches, an AR wrench and a torque wrench. Sounds like a lot but the only expensive tool is the torque wrench.

What concerns me with the parts you have selected is the 14.5" inch barrel. If left at 14.5" you will need a federal stamp for NFA Class III firearms ($200.00), i.e. a short barreled rifle. To avoid the stamp the barrel will need a 1.5" permanently pinned and soldered flash hider or muzzle break to bring it to the 16" minimum legal length. That becomes a problem when you try to install the barrel nut and/or the free float tube and the gas block. The factory built unit will have all that installed before they solder on the flash hider, you don't have that option.

LaiePoi 11-23-2012 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jpyle
Building the upper is a bit more complex than the lower but not so much that a newer enthusiast cannot do it. The only tools really required are a vice, upper receiver block, a few punches, an AR wrench and a torque wrench. Sounds like a lot but the only expensive tool is the torque wrench.

What concerns me with the parts you have selected is the 14.5" inch barrel. If left at 14.5" you will need a federal stamp for NFA Class III firearms ($200.00), i.e. a short barreled rifle. To avoid the stamp the barrel will need a 1.5" permanently pinned and soldered flash hider or muzzle break to bring it to the 16" minimum legal length. That becomes a problem when you try to install the barrel nut and/or the free float tube and the gas block. The factory built unit will have all that installed before they solder on the flash hider, you don't have that option.

I was semi aware of that but wasn't sure if i could have the battlecomp 1.5 pinned/welded on there after installing the gas block and hand guard. When you buy a 14.5 barrel does it have to be purchased with the flash hider permanently attached already in order to avoid that fee or can it be done as you build your AR?

Jpyle 11-23-2012 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaiePoi

I was semi aware of that but wasn't sure if i could have the battlecomp 1.5 pinned/welded on there after installing the gas block and hand guard. When you buy a 14.5 barrel does it have to be purchased with the flash hider permanently attached already in order to avoid that fee or can it be done as you build your AR?

It can be done after as long as it is 16" before the rifle is assembled. It is not, however, the type of thing a weekend warrior can do in the garage. The melting temp of silver solder is extremely high and the barrel can be damaged in the process. A gunsmith will probably charge about $75 for pinning the FH to the barrel...that should include grinding down the pin and refinishing the weld spot.

pagj17 11-23-2012 03:41 PM

In continuance with what jpyle has said, talk to BCM about the pinning, they might do it for a little less, then again they might not do it for you at all, it's up to them

LaiePoi 11-23-2012 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pagj17
In continuance with what jpyle has said, talk to BCM about the pinning, they might do it for a little less, then again they might not do it for you at all, it's up to them

Ahh will do. Thanks

AgentTikki 11-23-2012 06:13 PM

A 16" barrel will let you bypass all these shenanigans. Also if you feel that you don't like the BC, you will be able to swap it out easily if its not pinned and welded. 1.5" isn't really that big a deal, I'd recommend going with a 16" youR first time out to give you the greatest flexibility.

Quentin 11-23-2012 08:12 PM

I'd say if Rogtac has exactly the same upper configuration you want already factory assembled by Noveske I'd jump on it now while it's in stock.

It's getting hard to find every configuration preassembled and if going the parts route it's going to take time to get all those parts delivered, for example BCM BCGs are out of stock at the moment.

Finally, the odds are you won't get the quality of assembly by a third party as you would from Noveske. They do know their stuff. Usually it's worth paying a little more to get the job done right - and getting it NOW.

LaiePoi 11-23-2012 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quentin
I'd say if Rogtac has exactly the same upper configuration you want already factory assembled by Noveske I'd jump on it now while it's in stock.

It's getting hard to find every configuration preassembled and if going the parts route it's going to take time to get all those parts delivered, for example BCM BCGs are out of stock at the moment.

Finally, the odds are you won't get the quality of assembly by a third party as you would from Noveske. They do know their stuff. Usually it's worth paying a little more to get the job done right - and getting it NOW.

I Totally agree. I'm kind of scared to try and assemble the upper myself. I don't want to mess with the accuracy or anything like that. Maybe if i had a friend here that knew what he was doing and could be here to help me thru it would make assembling it myself a better option. Also it's looking like doing it myself won't save me much with the cost of the parts I chose vs. the complete price from Noveske. So this is looking like my best bet right now. Do you know anything about the quality of the Noveske BCG vs. the BCM BCG?

ScottA 11-23-2012 10:31 PM

I'm working on my first lower build (No, the Plum Crazy didn't break. Just wanting to build one.)

I'm fairly new to AR's (about 11 months). I'm more comfortable with building the lower right now than I am the upper. I would recommend build the lower first and see if you want to start building the upper, or buy the upper and get to shooting.


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