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Old 10-12-2008, 04:07 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by SGT-MILLER View Post
A standard length Bushmaster AR in .223 will do nicely for plinking and general shooting. Runs usually around 800 dollars.

That is not bad for a Bushy. Most of the Bushys I have found around where I live are priced more than that (sometimes a little too overpriced). Are there any M4 Carbines that are priced around the same price from Bushy?

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Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
Okay, you have definitely been doing some reading.

For $1,000 - there are a tons of parts kits that could build you a great AR.

One member here recently built a 16" AR for less than $700. Check out his thread and see what you think.

Now, for ammo, if you build a 5.56mm chambered model, there are .22lr kits that you can get to safely and cheaply spend the days at the range without breaking the bank out of the same, exact unit. Always a nice way to get familiar with the unit & it's operation.

Since you have been doing some reading, what are your thoughts?

A 16" is good close range works.

A 20" is better for longer ranges, like 500+ yards.

There are plenty of members here who would be more than willing to help you with your build.

Welcome to the Forum, and Welcome to the wonderful world of the Black Rifle...

JD
Thank you for the warm welcome!

I guess I should start from the beginning huh?

To start off with, I know absolutely nothing when it comes to rifles. I didn’t get into the AR scene until December, 2007. I became interested in the subject when I had ordered a catalog from Stag Arms/CMT. What had caught my eye was the fact that the company makes left handed model rifles. However, as I started to do some research on the subject I had discovered that many right handed model rifles have better built brass deflectors now, and are much more versatile for the left handed or left eye dominant user. Add in an ambi-selector and an ambi-catch, and you end up saving more money than just buying a left handed model rifle.

It is with that, that I set off to invest some time into looking into many of the mainstream companies. Armalite, Bushmaster, CMMG, Rock River Arms, and Stag Arms/CMT all have some nice set ups and are rock solid companies. However, some of the rifles that they offer are all a bit too overpriced in some instances and lack quality control in others to really invest some hard earned cash into. I have heard that the latter has become a serious issue lately with a couple of manufacturers since the demand for ARs has gone up. Now that doesn't mean that everything they make is crap, far from it. Many of the parts I have looked into are solid in terms of quality. It is just with all these ARs flying out the doors so quickly, and all the rumors and horror stories I have heard on the issue, it is something that I would just like to keep mind of. However, I did not limit my search there. I have also looked into some of the “budget” line companies like Del-Ton Inc., DPMS, and Olympic Arms, but in some instances those too I am a bit leery to put any hard earned cash down on. Once again some of the selections offered are indeed worth while, but others are just not worth the cheap price. For example, I am not too happy with Del-Ton’s warranty on parts. 60 days and a 20% restocking fee in case something goes wrong is not a good deal.

I have also spent some time talking to individuals who are either extremely knowledgeable about ARs, or who are intimately involved in the industry to get some feedback on what to look out for. Of course the information that I received, while extremely helpful, also gave way to a bit of an elitist attitude on the subject. Let’s just say the ARs that were recommended to me were the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins of the AR world. Of course you have the big three (Noveske, Colt, and Lewis Machine and Tool), as well as your heavy hitters in uppers (Bravo Company Manufacturing, Daniel Defense, and Wilson Combat just to name a few), but those aren’t really what I am looking for. Not only do they go way beyond my means in purchasing power, but also beyond my needs as well. Sure having a complete mil-spec AR is great for both personal and home defense, but I would much rather use my Mossberg 500 Tactical to get the job done of stopping a perpetrator in my home dead in his tracks over an AR.

Not only that, but instead of paying $1,500-$5,000 for a top notch AR, I can always swap out a few key parts (barrel, upper, BCG, and buffer) to get a mil-spec rifle for much less. It is with in mind that I am looking more and more into building my own AR. As I stated earlier my needs are only currently for plinking and target shooting as my means in purchasing power are restrained at the most to $1,000, and I want the rifle to be reliable enough to handle the abuse of having a lot of rounds being fired out of it. In other words, a solid rifle with few frills. I don’t need all the fancy EO Techs, ACOGs, laser grips, fore grips, free float rails, high end collapsible stock, etc for this baby. A simple scope or magnified red dot should suffice. Perhaps one day I’ll get a free float rail and a fore grip, but for right now it is unnecessary to have. I was thinking about buying an upper kit with M4 feed ramps but without a BCG, buy an LMT BCG, buy a good lower with a properly staked end plate, get a chrome lined barrel, and just go from there. I was also thinking about buying a mainstream brand name rifle for a decent price and then swapping out the parts that I want to build on for extended reliability later on down the road. The last option that came to mind was to buy a nicer AR (such as an Armalite or Charles Daly Defense) for a decent price and have everything that I want from the get go. It is just hard to figure out where to go from here.

I truly am afraid that Obama will become President, therefore, I want something before he is sworn into office, but I don’t want it to be a rush job that will far apart on me. Do you see where I am coming from with my dilemma? I was initially looking into going with a 20’’ government profile build, but considering that I’m only going to be using this at a maximum of 100 yards, perhaps a 16’’ is a better bet. I would like the rifle to have the ability to fire both .223 and 5.56 if at all possible, but if not .223 is probably the round I would go with. I am also looking into getting a flattop receiver as that will give me more options if I choose to take them later on down the road. If I have to cut out any features that I have listed to help lower the price that is fine, but I still want a quality BCG for solid reliability issues since it along with the barrel are the heart of the rifle. So there you have it. Is any of this helpful for you?
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:13 AM   #132
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Thank you for the warm welcome!

I guess I should start from the beginning huh?

To start off with, I know absolutely nothing when it comes to rifles. I didn’t get into the AR scene until December, 2007. I became interested in the subject when I had ordered a catalog from Stag Arms/CMT. What had caught my eye was the fact that the company makes left handed model rifles. However, as I started to do some research on the subject I had discovered that many right handed model rifles have better built brass deflectors now, and are much more versatile for the left handed or left eye dominant user. Add in an ambi-selector and an ambi-catch, and you end up saving more money than just buying a left handed model rifle.

It is with that, that I set off to invest some time into looking into many of the mainstream companies. Armalite, Bushmaster, CMMG, Rock River Arms, and Stag Arms/CMT all have some nice set ups for those interested in the AR platform, but they are all a bit too overpriced in some instances and lack quality control in others to really invest some hard earned cash into. I have heard that the latter has become a serious issue lately with a couple of manufacturers since the demand for ARs has gone up. Now that doesn't mean that everything they make is crap, far from it. Many of the parts I have looked into are solid in terms of quality. It is just with all these ARs flying out the doors so quickly, and all the rumors and horror stories I have heard on the issue, it is something that I would just like to keep mind of. However, I did not limit my search there. I have also looked into some of the “budget” line companies like Del-Ton Inc., DPMS, and Olympic Arms, but in some instances those too I am a bit leery to put any hard earned cash down on. Once again some of the selections offered are indeed worth while, but others are just not worth the cheap price. For example, I am not too happy with Del-Ton’s warranty on parts. 60 days and a 20% restocking fee in case something goes wrong is not a good deal.

I have also spent some time talking to individuals who are either extremely knowledgeable about ARs, or who are intimately involved in the industry to get some feedback on what to look out for. Of course the information that I received, while extremely helpful, also gave way to a bit of an elitist attitude on the subject. Let’s just say the ARs that were recommended to me were the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins of the AR world. Of course you have your big three (Noveske, Colt, and Lewis Machine and Tool), as well as your heavy hitters in uppers (Bravo Company Manufacturing, Daniel Defense, and Wilson Combat just to name a few), but those aren’t really what I am looking for. Not only do they go way beyond my means in purchasing power, but also beyond my needs as well. Sure having a complete mil-spec AR is great for both personal and home defense, but I would much rather use my Mossberg 500 Tactical to get the job done of stopping a perpetrator dead in his tracks over an AR.

Not only that, but instead of paying $1,500-$5,000 for a top notch AR, I can always swap out a few key parts (barrel, upper, BCG, and buffer) to get a mil-spec rifle for much less. It is with in mind that I am looking more and more into building my own AR. As I stated earlier my needs are only currently for plinking and target shooting as my means in purchasing power are restrained at the most to $1,000, and I want the rifle to be reliable enough to handle the abuse of having a lot of rounds being fired out of it. In other words, a solid rifle with few frills. I don’t need all the fancy EO Techs, ACOGs, laser grips, fore grips, free float rails, high end collapsible stock, etc for this baby. A simple scope or magnified red dot should suffice. Perhaps one day I’ll get a free float rail and a fore grip, but for right now it is unnecessary to have. I was thinking about buying an upper kit with M4 feed ramps but without a BCG, buy an LMT BCG, buy a good lower with a properly staked end plate, get a chrome lined barrel, and just go from there. I was also thinking about buying a mainstream brand name rifle for a decent price and then swapping out the parts that I want to build on for extended reliability later on down the road. The last option that came to mind was to buy a nicer AR (such as an Armalite or Charles Daly Defense) for a decent price and have everything that I want from the get go. It is just hard to figure out where to go from here.

I truly am afraid that Obama will become President, therefore, I want something before he is sworn into office, but I don’t want it to be a rush job that will far apart on me. Do you see where I am coming from with my dilemma? I was initially looking into going with a 20’’ government profile build, but considering that I’m only going to be using this at a maximum of 100 yards, perhaps a 16’’ is a better bet. I would like the rifle to have the ability to fire both .223 and 5.56 if at all possible, but if not .223 is probably the round I would go with. I am also looking into getting a flattop receiver as that will give me more options if I choose to take them later on down the road. If I have to cut out any features that I have listed to help lower the price that is fine, but I still want a quality BCG for solid reliability issues since it along with the barrel are the heart of the rifle. So there you have it. Is any of this helpful for you?
it seems like you're looking for a rifle that's almost exactly like mine

check it out in my signature
its a 16" M4 feed ramp flat top chambered in 5.56(can also take .223)
hope that helps
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:21 AM   #133
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it seems like you're looking for a rifle that's almost exactly like mine

check it out in my signature
its a 16" M4 feed ramp flat top chambered in 5.56(can also take .223)
hope that helps
Actually I have, and it is nice.

I'm wondering though if that DTI kit would fit on a Stag/CMT or Armalite lower, and also be functional enough to allow me to put in a better BGC and barrel. Does that DTI kit feature taper pins or straight pins for the front sight base? Also is the barrel you have 4140 or 4150?
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:21 AM   #134
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In my searching for a lower I found this guy who sells DPMS lowers in various configurations. His prices seem pretty decent and he'll do a trigger job for 40 bucks. He's a gulf war vet, I like the idea of supporting a vet and I'm hoping he knows his way around an AR:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=112808213

I'm sure there's someone local in TX who could beat the price by 40 or 50 bucks, hell everyone has an AR in the safe around here.

I hooked up with a FFL dealer who lives not more than 4 miles from here. As usual, he'll only do transfers from other FFL dealers - I think it would be easier to get my FFL than find one who does non FFL transfers, (I started looking into getting a FFL a while back after hooking up with some suppliers). He placed the order for my Beretta CX-4 - it'll be here Wednesday and he gave me an excellent price on it. My wife is going to register on it and it'll be her first weapon. I wanted to teach her to shoot and figured a 9 mm storm would be an excellent home defense weapon for a petite female. My biggest fear is that she wouldn't pull down in a situation so I want her holding a gun that will make someone stay back further than if they see a woman holding a pink handled hand cannon.

I have it on pretty good authority that McCain is getting elected no matter what the polls say. I'm an old time conservative but I have to say, no matter who gets into office they'll be coming for our guns. These two parties serve the same agendas now and the rest is just a show for the TV, IMO. McCain is the lessor of two evils but he's still evil. I'm writing in Ron Paul anyway.

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Old 10-12-2008, 08:12 PM   #135
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TwoHandRevy - Wow, it would appear you have done some extensive research up to this point. And it would also appear that you have ran into one of my main complaints about the "information" about this rifle. Everyone has an "expert" opinion and no two people can ever agree on what is, and what is not, needed to build one, shoot one, or purchase a "good" one.

So, let me see if I can address a few of the issues in your excellent post and give you some food for thought. Many of the members here and knowledgable about the rifle, and while we don't always agree, there is a lot of good information available in these boards, so don't hesitiate to ask any questions.

I believe $1,000 is a totally doable budget for a good, quality built, reliable AR. If you hear otherwise, you are probably talking to some folks who believe that only the Ferrari's and Aston Martin AR's will do. While they will do the job, they also aren't the only reliable weapons out there.

One of the first things I came across in your post was the talk of the "free floated rails". Let me clarify that a bit. The foreend on the AR can either be a normal configuration or it can be "free floated". I always encourage getting a free floated foreend because it helps with accuracy & heat dissipation. Since no extra tension is being applied to the barrel by your fore hand grip or your sling when the foreend is free floated, you don't have any unforeseen variables on the shooting platform to worry about affecting your shooting. Yankee Hill Machine makes some great foreends that are free floated and definitely worth their money. They also make plenty of other parts for your AR, including their own upper and lower. Give them a look and see what you think.

The next thing that I was taken to in your post was the talk of the Bolt Carrier Group.

Lewis Machine & Tool does make a very good BCG. Dave Lauck of D&L Sports makes a very good one as well. However, I don't personally believe you NEED to spend $275 or $300 on a BCG when the budget for your rifle is $1,000. The tolerances on their BCG's are very good, and they are well built, but that doesn't mean you NEED one in your weapon for it to run effectively and go bang when you want it to. There is a common misconception that the better the BCG, the better your rifle. While that is an interesting theory, I don't subscribe to it, and I don't know many who have built these weapons who do.

There is nothing wrong with getting a good BCG, especially if you have some specific concern, but spending 1/4 of your overall budget for one part isn't needed, especially when there are plenty of other very good, quality BCG's out there that will serve you just as well.

As for your caliber concern, most AR's are being shipped right now as 5.56mm NATO. This is a chamber that will allow you to shoot the civilian rated .223 round ( conventional wisdom ). It will also allow you to get an aftermarket kit that will shoot .22lr, so you can shoot all day and get familiar with the weapon without breaking your piggy bank.

The 5.56 round is one that can be found everywhere ( Sporting Goods stores, Police Stations, Military Armories, etc. ) so in the unlikely event of the fall of civilization as we know it, you should be able to find a nice supply when the Space Zombies are walking about.

As for barrel length, that is truly subjective to use. 16" is fine for 100 yards. A 20" barrel is more what we see for a varmit slayer style rifle, but it will shoot tight at 100 yards as well, and a little better than the 16". It's personal preference really, but for your applications, 16" is probably just fine.

Chrome lining is fine for high volume fire, but you probably don't "need" it. The chrome lining isn't applied with the most even finish, so the accuracy from a chrome lined barrel isn't "as good" as one that isn't. That said, both types of barrels will shoot for the kind of accuracy you are looking for. 1.5 Minute of Angle is easily achieved at 100 yards with either barrel choice, and just gets easier with a 20" barrel.

So, give that some thought and see what you think. Look forward to hearing of your build plans moving forward.

JD

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Old 10-12-2008, 08:36 PM   #136
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In my searching for a lower I found this guy who sells DPMS lowers in various configurations. His prices seem pretty decent and he'll do a trigger job for 40 bucks.
DPMS is making a good quality product at the moment. However, in all fairness, they have been marking up their units for awhile now for no other reason than their "good" company name being on them. Their receivers aren't that much different from most of the others out there, and unless they have changed recently, I believe they are still outsourcing their lowers just like a lot of manufacturers. I need to double check that, but I am pretty sure for years they have been buying their receivers on contract.

That said, if you can buy one at a price you are comfortable with, there is nothing wrong with it and compatibility won't be a problem.

As for the trigger, and I don't want to step on any toes here, I am all for supporting the locals, especially Vets, but $40 for a trigger job you can do yourself in about 15 to 20 minutes... well, it's not money well spent in my opinion.

The trigger and hammer of an AR is a very easy to understand group of parts. All 6 of them. There is a trigger, a trigger spring, a hammer and a hammer spring, plus the 2 pins that hold them in place. You can order a new trigger and hammer spring kit from Brownells for about $15 and take some of the creep and about 20% of the pull weight off a stock unit in mere minutes. Here's a picture of the parts in question:





For what it's worth...

Look forward to seeing your progress, please post pictures and write ups as you go for the rest of the forum to learn from.

JD
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:01 PM   #137
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TwoHandRevy - Wow, it would appear you have done some extensive research up to this point. And it would also appear that you have ran into one of my main complaints about the "information" about this rifle. Everyone has an "expert" opinion and no two people can ever agree on what is, and what is not, needed to build one, shoot one, or purchase a "good" one.

So, let me see if I can address a few of the issues in your excellent post and give you some food for thought. Many of the members here and knowledgable about the rifle, and while we don't always agree, there is a lot of good information available in these boards, so don't hesitiate to ask any questions.

I believe $1,000 is a totally doable budget for a good, quality built, reliable AR. If you hear otherwise, you are probably talking to some folks who believe that only the Ferrari's and Aston Martin AR's will do. While they will do the job, they also aren't the only reliable weapons out there.

One of the first things I came across in your post was the talk of the "free floated rails". Let me clarify that a bit. The foreend on the AR can either be a normal configuration or it can be "free floated". I always encourage getting a free floated foreend because it helps with accuracy & heat dissipation. Since no extra tension is being applied to the barrel by your fore hand grip or your sling when the foreend is free floated, you don't have any unforeseen variables on the shooting platform to worry about affecting your shooting. Yankee Hill Machine makes some great foreends that are free floated and definitely worth their money. They also make plenty of other parts for your AR, including their own upper and lower. Give them a look and see what you think.

The next thing that I was taken to in your post was the talk of the Bolt Carrier Group.

Lewis Machine & Tool does make a very good BCG. Dave Lauck of D&L Sports makes a very good one as well. However, I don't personally believe you NEED to spend $275 or $300 on a BCG when the budget for your rifle is $1,000. The tolerances on their BCG's are very good, and they are well built, but that doesn't mean you NEED one in your weapon for it to run effectively and go bang when you want it to. There is a common misconception that the better the BCG, the better your rifle. While that is an interesting theory, I don't subscribe to it, and I don't know many who have built these weapons who do.

There is nothing wrong with getting a good BCG, especially if you have some specific concern, but spending 1/4 of your overall budget for one part isn't needed, especially when there are plenty of other very good, quality BCG's out there that will serve you just as well.

As for your caliber concern, most AR's are being shipped right now as 5.56mm NATO. This is a chamber that will allow you to shoot the civilian rated .223 round ( conventional wisdom ). It will also allow you to get an aftermarket kit that will shoot .22lr, so you can shoot all day and get familiar with the weapon without breaking your piggy bank.

The 5.56 round is one that can be found everywhere ( Sporting Goods stores, Police Stations, Military Armories, etc. ) so in the unlikely event of the fall of civilization as we know it, you should be able to find a nice supply when the Space Zombies are walking about.

As for barrel length, that is truly subjective to use. 16" is fine for 100 yards. A 20" barrel is more what we see for a varmit slayer style rifle, but it will shoot tight at 100 yards as well, and a little better than the 16". It's personal preference really, but for your applications, 16" is probably just fine.

Chrome lining is fine for high volume fire, but you probably don't "need" it. The chrome lining isn't applied with the most even finish, so the accuracy from a chrome lined barrel isn't "as good" as one that isn't. That said, both types of barrels will shoot for the kind of accuracy you are looking for. 1.5 Minute of Angle is easily achieved at 100 yards with either barrel choice, and just gets easier with a 20" barrel.

So, give that some thought and see what you think. Look forward to hearing of your build plans moving forward.

JD
I have in fact looked in YHM, but some of their stuff is just too expensive for me. I might just go with the standard double shielded handguards since they are a lot cheaper. As for the BCG, many retailers are selling LMT's standard BCG for $130 now.

I have had one idea rattling around in the old skull for a while now on a build, but it isn't the only option I have been looking at though. Check it out:

Let's say I buy most my stuff directly from Armalite. Okay here's what I have been looking into in buying from them:

- M15-A4 LEC CARBINE COMPLETE BARREL RECEIVER KIT, BLACK = $354.00
- CHARGE HANDLE ASSEMBLY= $26.00
- LMT STANDARD BCG = $130.00
- M15 ARMALITE LOWER HALF ASSY W/O BUTTSTOCK = $200.00
- M-15 CARBINE BUTTSTOCK KIT, BLACK = $56.00
- SUBTOTAL = $766.00
- ESTIMATED TOTAL COST INCLUDING ALL OTHER CHARGES = $850-$870

That's not too terribly bad for a rifle where most of the parts come from Armalite, but I know I could probably shave off an extra $100-$150 with other completed parts such as Stag Arms/CMT from other wholesale and retail vendors. Right now www.lonestarwholesale.com is selling fully completed Stag lowers for roughly $230.00 which is not bad considering that they are one of the few companies that make excellent lowers (with the exception of that stupid deer engraved on it). I have done some other tinkering with that estimate, and depending on where I purchase my parts from it can either go down a little bit, or go up really high.

I am going to take a gander at some local shops in my area and see what they have to offer for completed rifles as well. There is actually a shop that sells Charles Daly Defense DR-15s for $884.00 which is not bad for a quality made rifle. I'll do some more searching around and see what else I can come up with. If you have any other suggestions then by all means give them. I could use all the help I can get on this issue.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:51 PM   #138
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^ That looks like a pretty good build actually, for the money, provided the prices are the same at the time of sale.

I always forget LMT sells two versions of their BCG. $130 is a decent price for that unit. Good call.

Of the things I would add would be a Badger Ord Tactical Latch for your charging handle. It gives a much more positive feel in low light, dark or with gloves on type of situation. Easy to find on line for under $20.

You got no rear sight with that package though. And the front ramp site is fixed in position, so if you are adding optics later on, you might have a bit of a problem.

What are your thoughts on the analog sights for your weapon? A lot of people who come through the shop prefer folding front and rear sights that can be either up, down, or co-witnessed with a heads up unit.

I am a little concerned that Armalite is selling you a barreled upper, then telling you that you need to have a gunsmith headspace it before you shoot it.

Quote:
Proper headspace should be verified by trained gunsmith before using.
That doesn't instill much confidence in the overall quality of the unit they are shipping, but the parts themselves all look sound on the surface from what I can read on them. I notice they don't go into to much detail about their trigger/hammer group parts. I imagine they are normal parts, but it would be nice to see what they are including. Didn't you mention that you needed an Ambi Selector?

Outside of that, I would say you are definitely on the right track. *thumbs up*

JD
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:56 AM   #139
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Actually I have, and it is nice.

I'm wondering though if that DTI kit would fit on a Stag/CMT or Armalite lower, and also be functional enough to allow me to put in a better BGC and barrel. Does that DTI kit feature taper pins or straight pins for the front sight base? Also is the barrel you have 4140 or 4150?
it should fit other lowers
it has taper pins
not too sure what you're talking about when you say 4140 or 4150
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:45 AM   #140
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DPMS is making a good quality product at the moment. However, in all fairness, they have been marking up their units for awhile now for no other reason than their "good" company name being on them. Their receivers aren't that much different from most of the others out there, and unless they have changed recently, I believe they are still outsourcing their lowers just like a lot of manufacturers. I need to double check that, but I am pretty sure for years they have been buying their receivers on contract.

That said, if you can buy one at a price you are comfortable with, there is nothing wrong with it and compatibility won't be a problem.

As for the trigger, and I don't want to step on any toes here, I am all for supporting the locals, especially Vets, but $40 for a trigger job you can do yourself in about 15 to 20 minutes... well, it's not money well spent in my opinion.

The trigger and hammer of an AR is a very easy to understand group of parts. All 6 of them. There is a trigger, a trigger spring, a hammer and a hammer spring, plus the 2 pins that hold them in place. You can order a new trigger and hammer spring kit from Brownells for about $15 and take some of the creep and about 20% of the pull weight off a stock unit in mere minutes. Here's a picture of the parts in question:





For what it's worth...

Look forward to seeing your progress, please post pictures and write ups as you go for the rest of the forum to learn from.

JD
Great points as always.
I was actually considering the trigger job as an educational investment. The trigger mechanism is one of the areas I had in mind to redesign and machine - I was wondering if a combat vet used to duty use might have some "wisdom" in the modification. Could be a huge reach, I know but I planned to talk to him and try to verify things prior to investing that kind of money.

I had actually planned to order the assembled and tuned lower from him with the goal of taking it apart, seeing what I can learn from him and then replacing some parts with other sourced items and my own custom parts. I wasn't clear that my 700 budget didn't factor in extras for my education, optics, etc. (You already knew the optics weren't in that budget, though - clearly).

I built up an extensive collection of gunsmith videos to study but hands on examination or even hopefully eventually watching someone work in person will be in my future plans. I think I'm slightly OCD - I have to know things inside out and usually try to become somewhat of an expert on them. If I could design and fabricate an AR completely on my own a year from now I'll be partway there.

My only concern is that current events might change things, and sooner rather than later.
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‘‘War clouds were gathering rapidly. The sending of more than 3,000 British army regulars under Maj. Gen. Thomas Gage to Boston further exacerbated the imperial rift. When a column of these troops under Lt. Col. Francis Smith moved into the countryside to collect arms and munitions gathered by the patriot militia, hostilities erupted at Lexington and Concord on Apr. 19, 1775.’’ - The American Revolution Begins
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