First AR-15. Build or Buy?
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:04 AM   #1
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Default First AR-15. Build or Buy?

I really want an AR-15 and have for a long time. I have decided that I am going to start lobbying my soon to be wife to support me buying/building one.

So as a first timer to the AR-15, should I build one or buy one? I am pretty particular in what I want and don't want to, for lack of a better word, raped in todays market. I am extremely competent in mechanical items and building an AR-15 does not scare me so long as I find a barrel already attached to an upper receiver (don't want to worry about headspacing).

I want a M4 style, 1x7" twist chrome lined, quad rail up front, most everything else standard. I have found most of the parts online in stock if I look hard enough and it looks like I could build one for ~$1000.

So suggestions?

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Old 04-17-2013, 03:57 AM   #2
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Headspacing is already done for you as the barrel extention is already put on the barrel. Don't be afraid of boltiong on a barrel all by your lonesome but getting a upper prebuild saves you from having to buy a receiver block , barrel wrench, and torque wrench. Also saves you the pain of having to futz around with the gas block. But if you think you'll build another (and 99% of people do), having all the tools will save you money on all subsequent builds.

I vote build it. Far more satisfying.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:08 AM   #3
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my suggestion would be to build the lower and buy the upper. the upper would be thehardest part to build, but even that's not that difficult if you have the proper tools.

i did purchase mine complete, (older Bushmaster M4A2 Carbine) but my next one will definately be built by me. i thought about building mine, but decided that i wanted to learn more about the basics of the platform first before jumping into building at that time.

in light of current events, i have postponed building mine until parts become more reasonable in price.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
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Thats what I was suggesting is buy a completed or mostly completed upper and build out the lower.

I have been wanting to build a Del-Ton from their rifle kits for almost 2 years now but they have never been in stock. I e-mailed them this mornin and they said that they have no ETA and can't backorder

Is there any other sites like Del-Ton where you can go through and pick out exactly what you want on your completed upper, thats not too expensive?

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Old 04-17-2013, 05:40 AM   #5
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Being particular myself, I'd suggest looking beyond DTI and go south of the NC state line. PSA offers high quality at great prices. BCM is a top notch source too as is Daniel Defense. I have uppers from all three and recommend them highly. Building a lower and buying a barreled upper to your specs is a smart way to go. Take a long look at the AR Primer sticky and think about a 16" pencil profile midlength upper.

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Old 04-17-2013, 05:48 AM   #6
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Being particular myself, I'd suggest looking beyond DTI and go south of the NC state line. PSA offers high quality at great prices. BCM is a top notch source too as is Daniel Defense. I have uppers from all three and recommend them highly. Building a lower and buying a barreled upper to your specs is a smart way to go. Take a long look at the AR Primer sticky and think about a 16" pencil profile midlength upper.
I have thought about the mid length gas system; it's a possibility in my book. I have heard some cons about getting a pencil profile barrel.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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+1 on PSA. If budget is a concern, but you still want quality, PSA has some of the least expensive MILSPEC-compliant AR parts available. BCM and DD are undoubtedly top notch, but those builds will probably put you over $1000. Also consider parts availability overall. Barrel assemblies used to routinely cone with BCGs and charging handles. Not any more. MILSPEC BCGa are hard to find anywhere -- especially under $200. Colt, DD, Spikes, and LMT BCGs have vanished; and BCM is only available for a few minutes at a time before they immediately sell out. If you want a Colt BCG, buy a used one (overpriced) or buy the whole rifle. Or you can just wait until the "panic" blows over -- which could be awhile. Very frustrating.

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:43 AM   #8
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+1 on PSA. If budget is a concern, but you still want quality, PSA has some of the least expensive MILSPEC-compliant AR parts available. BCM and DD are undoubtedly top notch, but those builds will probably put you over $1000. Also consider parts availability overall. Barrel assemblies used to routinely cone with BCGs and charging handles. Not any more. MILSPEC BCGa are hard to find anywhere -- especially under $200. Colt, DD, Spikes, and LMT BCGs have vanished; and BCM is only available for a few minutes at a time before they immediately sell out. If you want a Colt BCG, buy a used one (overpriced) or buy the whole rifle. Or you can just wait until the "panic" blows over -- which could be awhile. Very frustrating.
Yeah I hear ya. I think it is blowing over though. I was gonna look at a shop down in the Ft Worth area when I'm down there in a few weeks to see what they have in stock. Called them and they said they had a ton of rifles in stock and just about every config I could think of. Their prices were MSRP or just above. I kind of hate paying MSRP.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:52 AM   #9
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You probably already know of the Slickguns Web site below, but it's a good resource to check out for both AR parts and complete rifles -- and it's updated often.

http://www.slickguns.com/ar-deals

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:58 AM   #10
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Currently building two and there are still pre-scare deals to be had out there. Just have to be very fast when something is in stock from a reputable company, it'll sell within minutes sometimes. Ammo should be the only thing difficult to grab up.

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