Getting My Numbers Straight
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:47 AM   #1
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Default Getting My Numbers Straight

So I have decided to jump into the world of AR-15s, but I have run into a small problem; I don't know jack about ARs I am having real trouble finding out what are good prices, what is not worth it, etc. I have decided to buy a complete setup with only the very basics, and then add on the parts I want and such. The absolute cheapest AR I could find in the STL area is a DPMS sportacle for $725 + tax. Is that a good price honestly? Is that even a good brand?

So my main questions are:

1. Is the above deal a fair price?

2. Are there any better deals out there?

3. What brands should I look for? Ones I should avoid?

4. Is there anything I'm not considering?

$750 is the max I can afford to spend on a basic model. I would prefer to buy locally, but if there is a great deal online, I wouldn't pass it up. I apologize for being such a noobcake. I also apologize if this thread type has been beaten to death. If you need/want more information let me know, please!

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Old 04-27-2011, 02:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSadPanda View Post
So I have decided to jump into the world of AR-15s, but I have run into a small problem; I don't know jack about ARs I am having real trouble finding out what are good prices, what is not worth it, etc. I have decided to buy a complete setup with only the very basics, and then add on the parts I want and such. The absolute cheapest AR I could find in the STL area is a DPMS sportacle for $725 + tax. Is that a good price honestly? Is that even a good brand?

So my main questions are:

1. Is the above deal a fair price?

2. Are there any better deals out there?

3. What brands should I look for? Ones I should avoid?

4. Is there anything I'm not considering?

$750 is the max I can afford to spend on a basic model. I would prefer to buy locally, but if there is a great deal online, I wouldn't pass it up. I apologize for being such a noobcake. I also apologize if this thread type has been beaten to death. If you need/want more information let me know, please!
The DPMS Sportacle is a decent starter BUT it all depends on what you wanna put on your AR. Honestly i think alot of guys will agree when i say it will be more financially sound if you just build your own. I don't know much about AR's and yet i just got done building my lower receiver. They are pretty easy and the guys on this site are more than happy to help.

Honestly you could probably build a better rifle than the DPMS for about the same price maybe even cheaper with some of the add ons you want. Just food for thought
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:03 AM   #3
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Well, you certainly approached the situation better than the REAL newbs.

That is a fair price and there is not much wrong with DPMS. Keep in mind, there are other manufacturers that offer ARs for $700ish - shop around a little.

Of course we are going to recommend you build one up from a lower, but if you just want to jump into ARs, go for it.

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:07 AM   #4
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Several things that you might want to consider the very first one being how much could I, meaning you, build it for? When you buy a complete rifle you are paying a premium for the assembly work...why not keep that extra money in your pocket and use it to build what you want.

Do you know what parts are in the DPMS rifle, whose barrel, what BCG, etc? Point is when you buy off the shelf you have to take what the builder offers...then spend more money to throw those parts away and upgrade to suit your tastes/needs. When you are the builder you can mix and match the parts to your specifications.

What do you want the rifle to do...a plinker, varmint gun, and a 3 gun setup all require certain specific configurations that may or may not be present in the Sportacle.

Finally, how much will you learn about the gun if you buy it complete? A build is a great way to gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep it running, customize it as needed and tweek it to your liking.

Before you wave off a build take a peek in the AR thread and look at how many "novices" have completed one. Several of the guys here are always helpful in sharing their knowledge, giving advice on parts and helping a new builder find their way to a successful project.

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:10 AM   #5
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Panda - Love the screen name and avatar!!

What do you want this stick to do for you?? What is your end goal? Is it a target weapon? Is it a SHTF weapon? How many rounds will you shoot through it a year?

That will help us, help you.

But I just want to say that BUILDING ONE will earn you a special place in FTF existence by earning an FTF Builder tab.

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:27 AM   #6
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The main reason I was leaning away from building from scratch is because I would have literally zero help from a real life person. Any problems I would come across would have to be diagnosed and fixed over the internet. Which we all know can be a difficult task! Is it really THAT easy to build it on your own? I have NO idea where I would start with process, and all my original questions would still apply to the uppers, lowers, and internals

My expectations of this AR would be minimal. I am not looking to shoot long distances or for it to be an absolute tack driver. I am looking for overall functionality; Good groups at 100 yds, goes BANG every time, and is aesthetically pleasing. It would be a cross between a SHTF, plinker, and a short to mid-range hunter, I think. It would not be a HD weapon at all.

Not gonna lie, you guys are kinda leaning me toward building my own. You all brought up some very good points about it. Plus, I want the FTF AR builder sign now

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:43 AM   #7
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The main reason I was leaning away from building from scratch is because I would have literally zero help from a real life person.
Not true. We are here for you. And I ALWAYS make my services available, even in real life.

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Any problems I would come across would have to be diagnosed and fixed over the internet. Which we all know can be a difficult task!
True. But if it came to that extent, I would personally offer to take your built lower and check it out for you.

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Originally Posted by TheSadPanda View Post
Is it really THAT easy to build it on your own?
Yes. The lower is quite simple to assemble. If you can turn a screwdriver and use a pin punch, it's nothing but a G thang.

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Originally Posted by TheSadPanda View Post
I have NO idea where I would start with process, and all my original questions would still apply to the uppers, lowers, and internals
Just ask. The good members here are more than willing to help with selections and good advice.


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Originally Posted by TheSadPanda View Post
My expectations of this AR would be minimal. I am not looking to shoot long distances or for it to be an absolute tack driver. I am looking for overall functionality; Good groups at 100 yds, goes BANG every time, and is aesthetically pleasing. It would be a cross between a SHTF, plinker, and a short to mid-range hunter, I think. It would not be a HD weapon at all.
All the more reason to build your own, because the best AR owners, are the ones that understand the platform. How to modifiy, fix, change, clean and diagnose the weapon system from cover to cover.

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Originally Posted by TheSadPanda View Post
Not gonna lie, you guys are kinda leaning me toward building my own. You all brought up some very good points about it. Plus, I want the FTF AR builder sign now
Yet another reason to build at least your own lower with the help of the good members here at FTF.

JD
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:16 AM   #8
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You make look like I wanted to build my own all along! Let's assume I am going to build my own then. I guess I start with a stripped lower, and then move onto internals for the lower? I have no idea where to go from here

What do I need to look for in these two sets of pieces?

What are the good price ranges for both?

Where would I even acquire these pieces?

Sorry I am asking so many questions, I am just literally direction-less in this task. I will go try to do a little research as well so that I can be a slice of noob instead of a full-on noobcake!

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Old 04-27-2011, 04:33 AM   #9
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Panda, the AR is SUPER easy to build. If you build the lower receiver, you can order a pre-assembled upper and avoid the expense of the receiver block and necessary tools, but you will still have the satisfaction of building one.

I could talk my 11 year old daughter through the process of assembling an AR lower. You can do it.

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Old 04-27-2011, 04:39 AM   #10
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Hello Panda! I think you'll be pleased with a rifle that you build over the Sportical which is a very minimalistic AR. Odds are you will spend more than $750 on a build but no doubt you'd spend more on the Sportical plus upgrades to attempt to get it up to speed. But the good thing is you can stretch out the cost over a couple months to make it easier. And you don't have to replace everything which often happens when you buy a bargain barrel factory AR.

As far as stripped lowers, you can find them for under $100 online then must pay a transfer fee to have it shipped to a local FFL - or you can shop around town and find one. In the latter case you don't pay the fee but must pay the store price which no doubt has the fee in there somewhere.

We have a stickie with pictures of lowers so take a look and write down the ones you like best. Almost all aluminum lowers are acceptable so you can buy the rollmark you like best. As far as a LPK, I like Stag and you can find one for about $65-69. For the stock kit, choose what you like best but if going with a collapsible then I'd go with a milspec diameter receiver extension and normally an H buffer (depending on the barrel you're planning on). BCM has a great RE and stock kit or you can look at a different slider if you want, like the very popular Magpul MOE.

For the upper, most people buy it complete. Anyway do a lot of research, take your time. And you'll be proud of YOUR rifle.

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