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Old 12-03-2012, 06:50 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Quentin
The thing is climate, if a newbie first invested time researching instead of whipping out the credit card to buy something off the rack he probably would make better decisions and not have to fix all the corners cut by DPMS, et al. At the same price point you could have bought PSA quality.
Maybe but you learn a lot about what you like starting with a stock gun and going from there. And you can do it a little at a time. By the way my DPMS off the shelf was a damn fine gun. I know this because I own a truly fine ar15. And my DPMS is right there with it at close to a fifth of the price. With all the upgrades it's close to 1100. But I did it a little at a time and when your on a budget it's the best way to go. You get the joy of a complete rifle and you have spare parts left over. It's a platform purchase. People may look at my DPMS ap4 like I put lingerie' on a nun, but there are far worse rifle makers putting out much worse products. In the end it's what you can afford. I love my Lwrc but I like my DPMS better. A big part of that is the cheaper price for my DPMS even with all my upgrades.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #42
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Maybe but you learn a lot about what you like starting with a stock gun and going from there. And you can do it a little at a time...
Still it makes more sense to start out with a stock AR that uses better parts for the same money. Like a milspec receiver extension, H buffer, HP/MPI bolt/barrel, proper sight height, proper staking, etc. Why fix shortcomings when you can instead research and avoid those problems in the first place without spending a dime?

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... By the way my DPMS off the shelf was a damn fine gun. I know this because I own a truly fine ar15. And my DPMS is right there with it at close to a fifth of the price. With all the upgrades it's close to 1100. But I did it a little at a time and when your on a budget it's the best way to go...
I'm glad you like your rifle but at $1100 you could have built a milspec AR (based on BCM, PSA or others), spreading out the cost as you said. I have no argument with building and do so myself for the same reasons. It worked for you but in all good conscience should you recommend someone start out with DPMS over, say PSA? Then proceed to over a grand?

Quote:
... You get the joy of a complete rifle and you have spare parts left over. It's a platform purchase. People may look at my DPMS ap4 like I put lingerie' on a nun, but there are far worse rifle makers putting out much worse products. In the end it's what you can afford. I love my Lwrc but I like my DPMS better. A big part of that is the cheaper price for my DPMS even with all my upgrades.
I really don't want a commercial receiver extension, short sights, standard buffer, etc. left over after replacement when the right stuff could have been purchased initially - and for about the same price if you bought a basic PSA. Also with the upgrades the DPMS actually would be more expensive.

Again, nothing against your choice as it works for you but should you recommend that a new buyer make the same purchase?

As far as piston vs. DI, well we know piston ARs can be quite pricey. It's hard to compare your upgraded DPMS or a BCM or Daniel Defense with the LWRC except that you could have at least two DIs for the price.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:57 PM   #43
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I've gotta throw in with Quentin and Tikki. I've built at least the lower on every AR I own and 3-4 more for friends and relatives. I'm "coaching" a couple co-workers through builds right now that had no idea what they wanted when they started and had done no research besides looking over the counter at (gulp) Cabelas. One came in the other day and said he really liked this carbon 15 that was on sale at Cabelas for only $999!!! The counter guy said it was a real nice rifle. I begged him never to go back there for anything AR related ever again.

Anyway, one of the more recent builds I did for my sister is a 14.5 middy lightweight with a Spikes blem lower, PSA complete upper, and Magpul MOE stock and grip. By being patient and knowing exactly what we wanted for a final product, this rifle came in right under $700 including a couple Pmags.

Now understand that my friends and family have benefited from my previous mistakes and impatience, that's how I learned what I think I know about AR's. I'm happy to pass that along so they don't have to make the same mistakes and learn the hard way. That's all anybody here is offering. We offer to let you learn form our mistakes the cheap way.



Edit: Just checked PSA's website and they have lowers in stock again. Also a decent selection of upper assemblies and lower build kits. And free shipping on anything over $50.

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:17 PM   #44
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Russ, I couldn't agree more. I also have friends who come to me wanting to buy the deal of the week from a local store. Almost every time I see problems but it's hard to explain to someone who doesn't understand the basics. Some trust my advice and others think the guy behind the counter must be an expert. All in all, most of us here try to help by sharing our knowledge freely but it's up to everyone new to the game to make their purchases. Hopefully it works out for most. Research helps.

Funny you mention a C-15 for $999! A buddy bought one for that price (at Cabelas of course) in the panic buying of late 2008. I tried to talk him out of it but he wanted something right now. I started my first build in 2009 and it took months to complete as parts were scarce. He kept saying I was wasting my time and could have something now but I kept at it, saving up and buying when I found a good deal in stock. Waiting actually helped since I had plenty of time to research components. Of course when it was done he realized there was a difference in quality even though mine came in $200 less than his.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:12 AM   #45
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Russ, Quentin, Tikki,

I get what your saying and I agree. Where I disagree is in getting some one to the range.

About me: I'm an NRA instructor. I say this not to give more weight to my words but to relay experience.

One of the things keeping potential shooters away from our sport and growing our membership is escalating shooting costs. Ammunition, components, and weapons themselves are becoming more expensive. Lower end weapons address these concerns nicely. 600-800 dollar AR's run the gambit between ok and good. In the end can you really say that a gound up build is really that much better than an off the rack gun? In my opinion no. My reasons are simple it's still a DI gun it just has fancy furniture. Period. People make a big deal out of staking, it's an issue but not a huge one. You have to remember not to be AR snobs. Yes yours is cooler, but his is just as effective. I'd rather see some one get out training rather than wait around for components and try and build there own gun. The AR is an assault rifle read combat gun. You can nit pick details on the platform all day but it's still for use between 0-300 yards primarily. At those distances almost any AR is effective.

Notes on building a gun;
It's not for every one. Yes every one can probably do it but will they enjoy it?

Tomyk12

Look at other platforms as well.
Keltec makes a sweet AR that's gas piston for like 600-700 buck and they make adapters for standard AR furniture (stocks, grips, rails). One thing to note about the keltec is that the trigger sucks but it is easily fixed with a kit form Midwest Industries.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:34 AM   #46
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I have found that when a gunshop downs a product that most shooters are happy with they are feeding you BS. Just put that incident in your mental file and take everything they say with a grain of salt. Back when NAA pistols became popular one local shop had them for $120. Everyone else told me they had BS pistols at the shop with lowball price. I bought the $120 NAA pistol. Everyone else had the exact same gun for around $200. MSRP on the gun was around $160.

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:05 AM   #47
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climate, I get your point and it's clear we aren't going to change your mind. And in all fairness, while "we" always recommend building, when it's clear that building isn't right for someone (for whatever reason), the AR consortium here will try to help them make the best purchase they can (which will never, under any circumstances, I mean ever, include a bushy carbon 15).

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:29 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by climate17 View Post
Russ, Quentin, Tikki,

I get what your saying and I agree. Where I disagree is in getting some one to the range.

About me: I'm an NRA instructor. I say this not to give more weight to my words but to relay experience.

One of the things keeping potential shooters away from our sport and growing our membership is escalating shooting costs. Ammunition, components, and weapons themselves are becoming more expensive. Lower end weapons address these concerns nicely. 600-800 dollar AR's run the gambit between ok and good. In the end can you really say that a gound up build is really that much better than an off the rack gun? In my opinion no. My reasons are simple it's still a DI gun it just has fancy furniture. Period. People make a big deal out of staking, it's an issue but not a huge one. You have to remember not to be AR snobs. Yes yours is cooler, but his is just as effective. I'd rather see some one get out training rather than wait around for components and try and build there own gun. The AR is an assault rifle read combat gun. You can nit pick details on the platform all day but it's still for use between 0-300 yards primarily. At those distances almost any AR is effective.

Notes on building a gun;
It's not for every one. Yes every one can probably do it but will they enjoy it?

Tomyk12

Look at other platforms as well.
Keltec makes a sweet AR that's gas piston for like 600-700 buck and they make adapters for standard AR furniture (stocks, grips, rails). One thing to note about the keltec is that the trigger sucks but it is easily fixed with a kit form Midwest Industries.
climate17, I agree that training is extremely important and it plus ammo should be a huge portion of your AR budget. But here we're talking about buying an AR not training or ammo.

I also agree that many folks can only budget $800 or less for an AR but there is a tremendous difference between models that fall in that range. Features abound however there's no point getting into that now but overall quality IS important.

There's no getting around that an intelligent "build" will be better than your average off the rack AR. And that some factory built rifles in the <$800 range are better than others. Proper research is how you find which components to buy or which complete rifle. There doesn't have to be any snobbery about it, it's just a fact that the same money can go much farther if you are informed. And the guy at the LGS isn't likely to tell you a model they don't carry is better, he'll sell you his DPMS instead.

Sure, it takes longer to put together your own rifle but it's an enjoyable process, just ask those that have done it.

And no, the AR-15 most of us buy is not an assault rifle, it's a semiauto rifle.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:32 AM   #49
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Wow, thank you all here. I can see this is a topic of some contention. I have definitely commited to a build, as mentioned with a Smith and Wesson M/P stripped lower, and today brought a PSA premium LBK for 79.99, normally 114.00, and free shipping to my email inbox. I bought that; it is certainly not be the ultimate stock, but will complete the lower and at that price the psa m4 stock appears free. This will get my lower up and running, and leave a little more room for the upper budget. I will try not to cut corners here, and want a simple, light build. I understand the PSA trigger may need a little attention, and am ok with that.. So far i have 140.00 in the lower receiver, and 80.00 for the LBK; 220.00 for the complete lower + 30.00 dros = 250.00 for the lower out of pocket. Hmmmm, tk

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:45 AM   #50
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Looks like you are off to a good start Tom. Do you have something specific in mind for the upper yet?

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