My first AR build 2012...
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
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Default My first AR build 2012...

Hello, new guy to the forum, great info on here! I have been thinking about doing this for some time after seeing a couple people build their lowers. Seems like a fun project, but like any other hobby cars, comps, etc I can see it becoming an expensive and addicting hobby.

So ill jump into it I will be building my first AR-15. Now this is my first AR, however I have been around rifles and other firearms most of my life i.e hunting with the pops, going to the range, some handgun aspects etc. Back on topic I will say the main purpose of this rifle is target / shtf, however accuracy is still a big part, but for a tactical carbine style AR I am paying close attention to weight. In essence FFR is not a priority (This may change).

I picked up a Stripped Stag lower. Grabbing a PSA Lower build kit w/ milspec CTR & Miad grip soon, just trying to choose which color to go with I would grab the MOE kit but I am fond of the CTR friction lock.

Onto the upper. Well this aspect is still in the air. I am looking for 5.56 chambered. Barrel wise I am fond of medium profile maybe heavy but no pencil barrels. I would run a PSA upper but the 1:7 twist standard HF barrels they run I think as of what I know about twist v. weight (which is minimal) and grain will be to aggressive for the budget ammo for target shooting. Looking in the 16" barrel size. I have checked out BCM and Del-ton as well as RRA and other mainstream manufacturers.

In the same retrospect I am thinking about building my own upper. This all seems straight forward w/ proper gas tube sizing and tq specs, but that's what I said about the first time I stripped an engine haha. I am looking for some guidance in choosing which way to go with this. I am open to all brands granted this is on a budget but I am open to widen that IF I can truly justify the reason.

Again I will say thank you in advance for any and all help. I am looking forward to this build and with any build I'm sure things will change. Comments welcome!

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Last edited by QFive; 01-01-2012 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Addition of information in regards to the build.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #2
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Figure out what rounds you want to put through before you do anything else! 5.56 is great for multi-use. It can shoot .223 (an obviously abundant round) and 5.56 for that extra oomf. .233 rounds alone will make this a cheaper buy but you may regret it later on. Either of these two will allow you to keep lightweight. If you want to try your hand at a 7.62 you're completely changing the dynamics of your AR15 and making it a heavy bastardization with supreme killing potential. The 6.8 SPC is a great middleground between the 5.56 and 7.62 because it still keeps a close relation to build and parts as the 5.56 but still has almost as much power as the 7.62 with a little less weight.

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Old 01-01-2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Secondhand_Hero View Post
Figure out what rounds you want to put through before you do anything else! 5.56 is great for multi-use. It can shoot .223 (an obviously abundant round) and 5.56 for that extra oomf. .233 rounds alone will make this a cheaper buy but you may regret it later on. Either of these two will allow you to keep lightweight. If you want to try your hand at a 7.62 you're completely changing the dynamics of your AR15 and making it a heavy bastardization with supreme killing potential. The 6.8 SPC is a great middleground between the 5.56 and 7.62 because it still keeps a close relation to build and parts as the 5.56 but still has almost as much power as the 7.62 with a little less weight.
I should of mentioned this my apologies and thank you for pointing this out. I am looking for a 5.56 chamber. I am willing to take the hit on accuracy with the .223 rounds for the ability to run 5.56 safely. This is another reason why I worry about running a 1:7 twist which I may be completely wrong about so if I am feel free to correct me.

I will edit my first post to reflect this.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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Very good! 16 inch barrels are realistically probably about as smart as you can get. As for the twist, it depends on the ammo grain. 1/7 twist is good, 1/9 is best. Still a dang good investment either way

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Old 01-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
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Chances are you're going to be using 55 grain and up, so I'd prefer and use 1:7.

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Old 01-01-2012, 09:31 AM   #6
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If your emphasis is on precision, get afree floating rail. I honestly don't think you'll like a hbar they really are fat bastards.

If you looking for tacticool, y not a spr type build...maybe a wylde hybrid chamber on stainless.

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Old 01-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Very good! 16 inch barrels are realistically probably about as smart as you can get. As for the twist, it depends on the ammo grain. 1/7 twist is good, 1/9 is best. Still a dang good investment either way
Good to know, thanks for the info.



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Chances are you're going to be using 55 grain and up, so I'd prefer and use 1:7.
I was referring to the thread on here that has an overview of twist/grain. Would you mind going a little more in depth about how a 1:7 isn't too fast for a 55 grain?




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If your emphasis is on precision, get afree floating rail. I honestly don't think you'll like a hbar they really are fat bastards.

If you looking for tacticool, y not a spr type build...maybe a wylde hybrid chamber on stainless.
I wouldn't say emphasis on precision, but it is definitely an aspect I would like to retain. Not dedicated distance but still accurate. I have a few concerns going with an FFR setup since either you get a cheaper heavier rail or you pay for a lighter (still heavy) less bulky rail. The added accuracy and future additions of a vgrip and or flip up BUIS are making me think about it. Then again I could grab an railed gas block. I just don't want to lug a 9lb AR around. I mean the Midwest rails are affordable and are an option with the PSA uppers, but Idk how they rate in comparrison.

I hear you on the hbar but if what I have been told is correct most are 1" profile for the first 7 inches thinning out to a med profile. Ill say this heavy isn't my first choice, but my research hasn't come up with many well priced medium profile barrel / full assemblies. Going off of what this site shows. If the information is incorrect then let me know otherwise.
AR15BARRELS.COM - Barrel Profiles

I wouldn't say for my first build that an spr would be the direction I am going, however I did go back and fourth on this for a while trying to see whether I would like more of a DMR type, SPR rifle, or lighter less accurate at distance carbine type AR.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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QFive I'm with you, I shoot exclusively 55 & 62 grain .223/5.56 ammo at ranges under 300 yards and I also believe 1/7 twist is too fast for the light stuff. Will it shoot through a 1/7 twist barrel? Sure, but I'm not convinced that it'll be accurate spinning that fast. I went with the RRA 1/9 twist upper with a 16" mid-length barrel. They use a heavy profile in their AR's that yields excellent accuracy. It's not overly heavy despite some who may think so.

If I ever decide to begin shooting tracers and 80 grain bullets at 500 yards & more out of my AR, I'll consider getting a 1/7 twist barrel. Until then, I'll be happy with my 1/9 twist AR.

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Old 01-01-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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I've been in communication with PSA. They are expecting some slower barrels by mid-Jan or beginning of February. Hopefully just in time for my birthday.

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Old 01-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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ScottA, a little thread drift here, but my Dad was part of the TWA Team in Kansas City that restored that old Connie into flying condition. He was with TWA for 55 years.

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