Building my first AR-15
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default Building my first AR-15

I finally have the funds to build an AR-15 . I have absolutely no experience with the AR series of rifles so I obviously have some research to do. My main question at this point is could I take for instance a Bushmaster lower and a Rock River upper and combine the two? Basically I'm curious to know if I can take a different brand upper and lower and combine them to finish my AR-15 build.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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Yes, the AR-15 platform is modular and most parts are interchangable. Having one brand of lower and another brand upper is common among AR builders.

Good luck on your build.

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Old 09-14-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Congradulations, I was exactly in your shoes abotu 2 months ago. Now I have my very own AR that runs like a top (well atleast so far, work has gotten hectic and no time to go to the range) but it is a blast and it's easier than it looks as long as you buy a complete upper.

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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I've decided to go with Bushmaster for the lower receiver. I'm still looking at upper receivers, but I'm considering Rock River Arms, Bushmaster, and Armalite. Does anyone have experience with either of the three manufacturers?

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Old 09-14-2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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I've decided to go with Bushmaster for the lower receiver. I'm still looking at upper receivers, but I'm considering Rock River Arms, Bushmaster, and Armalite. Does anyone have experience with either of the three manufacturers?
I ordered a RRA A4 Mid-length upper because of their reputation for reliability and sub-MOA accuracy. The downside is that there is a 12-14 week delivery wait to get one.

My lower is an Armalite with Rock River parts installed.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:55 AM   #6
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I have experience with Bushmaster and ArmaLite uppers and would choose ArmaLite. But there are other brands that I believe are better, starting with BCM, Daniel Defense, Spikes and PSA.

My DD upper is assembled better than my ArmaLite and consists of higher quality materials. I'd say the latter is of average quality, nothing terribly wrong with it. I have no experience with RRA.

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Old 09-15-2011, 02:17 PM   #7
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I have experience with Bushmaster and ArmaLite uppers and would choose ArmaLite. But there are other brands that I believe are better, starting with BCM, Daniel Defense, Spikes and PSA.

My DD upper is assembled better than my ArmaLite and consists of higher quality materials. I'd say the latter is of average quality, nothing terribly wrong with it. I have no experience with RRA.
Of course Quentin is correct about Daniel Defense being a superior product, he is a wizard when it comes to all things AR, but the problem is the cost of DD products.

If you have $950-1,000 to spend on a complete upper DD is the way to go, but unfortunately my budget was around $500 for my upper.

Bravo Company (BCM) also makes a superior product. Their complete uppers run from $700-1,000 depending on options wanted. Again, it was beyond my budget.

Not to be a product basher, but there more than a few people on other AR related sites that are currently having quality control issues with their Palmetto State Armory (PSA) products, so I'm not sure whether I would go that way. Their prices are much lower though.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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I've got the RRA standard A2 style upper and really enjoy it. I've only got about 300 rounds through it so far, but it seems well made.

I think it was Cane that said he recommended to build the lower and buy a complete up if it was your first build. (It may have been someone else, can't remember.)

So I built a Spike's lower and purchased the RRA upper. Only thing that sucks, is the wait time on from RRA. Mine was right around 2 months.

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakedriver View Post
Of course Quentin is correct about Daniel Defense being a superior product, he is a wizard when it comes to all things AR, but the problem is the cost of DD products.

If you have $950-1,000 to spend on a complete upper DD is the way to go, but unfortunately my budget was around $500 for my upper.

Bravo Company (BCM) also makes a superior product. Their complete uppers run from $700-1,000 depending on options wanted. Again, it was beyond my budget.

Not to be a product basher, but there more than a few people on other AR related sites that are currently having quality control issues with their Palmetto State Armory (PSA) products, so I'm not sure whether I would go that way. Their prices are much lower though.
You can get a DD upper for under $600 including handguard and BCG from smartgunner.com. Thats a cold hammer forged chrome lined barrel. Now those are made to order at the DD factory so sometimes they can take a few weeks. Mine took 5 or 6 weeks. But if you look at how long others are waiting for lesser quality products it's a great deal.

BCM uppers can be had for unedr $600 including handguard and BCG as well. Non hammer forged barrel.

That sucks about PSA. Do you have any links to these posts?
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakedriver View Post
Of course Quentin is correct about Daniel Defense being a superior product, he is a wizard when it comes to all things AR, but the problem is the cost of DD products.
I've recently found out why the price of DD is a bit higher. Buddy of mine is currently serving in the Army and was given the opportunity to be issued a custom DD M4 as his service weapon. Included in this deal was a tour of the DD factory as well as a free lunch not to mention the lower has his units insignia and motto etched onto it! He informed me that all DD products are made in house which usually means more machines which equals a higher bottom line that will increase the sell price. Needless to say i've been nothing but impressed with DD's combat worthy, quality product and WILL add one of their rifles to my collection at some point in time. Just my .02
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