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LegitimateHacker 01-23-2011 01:25 AM

First New Build - Suggestions?
I've been bitten by the bug to build an AR-15. There are many options out there so I wanted to check with you all to get your opinion. This is my first build so you guys take it easy on me here :). I'm going to build the lower first and then look at tackling the upper after the lower is complete. I'm not sure if I want to completely piece together an upper half or not. I may buy something like an RRA Tactical CAR A4 complete upper...but then maybe not...not real sure yet. I'm open to suggestions. I'm entertaining the idea of purchasing a Wilson lower along with the lower parts kit which will get this thing started. They seem to be a little more expensive but I've heard that they are fantastic. Is there any real advantage that one bare lower has over another?

Quentin 01-23-2011 01:34 AM

Welcome LH!

Sounds like you've got the same disease many of us have. As you know there are endless choices in building an AR but if you do your research it will be very rewarding. Definitely read through the stickies and build threads to get ideas. Define what YOUR rifle's uses will be and buy components that work well with your vision.

JD has a great sticky on building a lower receiver so look at it too. As far as which stripped lower to buy there is good news - most of them are plenty good so you can go for price or for the rollmark you like best. No doubt there are differences in quality and finish but you can expect most lowers to work fine. So get the one you like! As far as paying more for an expensive one like Wilson, that's fine too. Do what you want and really in the big picture a little more money on the lower is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall cost of the rifle so why not splurge to get the rollmark you want to go on your creation!

LegitimateHacker 01-25-2011 12:34 AM

Thanks for the reply Quentin. I think I've made my decision! I'm going with the Wilson lower and for the upper I've decided on a RRA Tactical CAR A4. I like the RRA because you have some say with regard to parts that they're shipped with and they're relatively reasonable as far as price is concerned. I'm going with the chrome lined barrel, Dominator 2 Mount, quad rail free floats, flip front sight, chrome bolt carrier group, and the plain A2 flash hider. Considering the Operator CAR stock kit for the stock. I'll put some pictures up when it all comes in.

Quentin 01-25-2011 05:03 AM

Well definitely let us know how it turns out! To be honest I don't know much about that upper, does it have a carbine length or midlength gas system? And what is the barrel profile, heavy, gov't or LW/pencil? Is the twist rate advantageous to how you plan to use the rifle?

Also I'm curious about the chrome (exterior?) BCG, how much does it cost and have you considered getting a really strong BCG like BCM or Daniel Defense? (No chromed exterior but higher quality and about $130.)

Not trying to throw curveballs at you, just doublechecking things that I would be concerned about with any upper receiver group.

LegitimateHacker 01-27-2011 12:03 AM

It's a carbine length gas system with a gov't barrel. It has a 1:9 twist and I have to be honest with you and forgive my ignorance, but I hadn't paid much attention to the twist until you asked. Looks like I need to do some more research to find out why I need to consider the twist!

The chrome BCG is an upgrade that RRA is offering free of charge right now. The barrel is not chrome just the BCG.

Curveballs are fine...remember...this is my first build so your advice is valued and appreciated!

Check it out and tell me what you think. I'm looking at the last one on the page (Tactical CAR A4 Upper Half / Chrome Lined Barrel / with Dominator2 Mount)
If you think I can do better for less money please let me know! Remember...I'm the new guy!
Rock River Arms: Tactical CAR A4 Upper Half

canebrake 01-27-2011 12:24 AM

I went with a billet lower. The added strength will be used with the big-bore 45 and the looks are great!

Rainier Arms, Mega Billet Lower - GTR-3S

Quentin 01-27-2011 01:26 AM

Nice looking lower, Cane!

LH, I have to say that for $650 there are soooo many great uppers that I'd keep looking. Of course that's just my opinion but I'd say research more. You really need to determine what you'll be using your AR for and the ammo you'll use most of the time. That's where twist comes in, the RRA's 1:9 twist would be good for 62gr and lower and the 1:7 would be better for 55gr and higher. As you can see there is overlap and to further complicate it, not all barrels perform the same. I would strongly consider a midlength gas upper too over carbine length.

Hopefully others will chime in with more suggestions. My main one is more research.

mjkeat 01-27-2011 03:11 AM

You can do a lot w/ $650. If youre wanting something along the lines of what you have pictured look into BCM. The offer all the options you could ever want in a top end AR.

BCM 16" Mid Length Upper Receiver Group

I personally like 1:7 midlength. My 1:7s shoot everything well.

Quentin 01-27-2011 06:32 AM

I have to agree with MJ on that BCM. Throw in a BCM M16 BCG, charging handle and MOE handguards and you're well under $650 and have a superior upper. I would suggest looking at the lightweight profile barrel for the same price but unfortunately it has been out of stock and may not be available for a couple months.

Last week I finally received a Daniel Defense 16" LW profile midlength upper (ordered last month), DD M16 BCG, charging handle and MOE handguards for about $550. The twist rate is 1:7 which in my initial testing seems to be accurate with 55gr. This upper went on a S&W M&P-15 lower I built a couple years ago.

Anyway there's a lot of good stuff out there and it's important to get up to speed before buying. I'd say you could go ahead and build a lower but spend plenty of time researching before buying an upper.

LegitimateHacker 01-27-2011 11:57 AM

That is a sweet lower Cane. I will definitely take a closer look at that one. Seems the options never end! MJ I took a look at the BCM Mid Length and it's definitely on my radar now. It's hard to beat that price and quality. Quentin, after doing some research I think a 1:7 twist would suit me best. Thanks for the input. I'm going to look a little deeper into parts for the receiver group and get back to you guys.

What do you guys think about this upper?

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