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urban 01-17-2011 04:39 PM

My First AR build
So I'm pretty clueless when it comes to firearms sometimes... well, usually. Actually if I don't own it, tinker with it, take it apart, spend hours trying to put it back together, consult the internet, get frustrated, take a nap, wake up, finish re-assembly, and then take it to the range every week for a couple months, I don't have any idea how any specific one works. So after playing with The Daggle's AR 15 I decided my firearm collection is sadly lacking without one. So I began my build with little knowledge and a host of stupid questions. Lucky for me, Daggle is really only capable of answering stupid questions, so I had a resource on hand.

The plan was simple, build as much of it as I can myself (stripped everything) to the following specifications for about 1200 bucks.
- 16" Free float barrel
- rifle length quad rail
- adjustable stock
- flat top upper.
- Unmagnified red dot

The parts list Thus far
  • Mega lower (Addax Tactical, Bought locally) $145 after state fees and taxes
As an aside, Midway was instrumental in determining quality and reviews on the parts I got from other sites (and in person). But not everything was the best price, and not everything was in stock, so I had to do more searching. BUT searching google for midway coupon codes turned up a 20 dollar off code, so that was a plus.
  • JD Machine Upper complete receiver (Gun show) $80
  • Stag Arms 6 position adjustable stock (Gun Show) $60
  • Vertical Grip and Bipod (Gun Show) $20
  • Bolt Carrier Group and charging handle (Gun Show) $135
  • Rifle Length YHM diamond quad rail (Gun Show) $140

Since I can't find any lower parts kits that aren't going to cost as much as addax without shipping I'll probably buy from them when I pick up my lower (the 25th can't come soon enough). The only thing I wasn't able to find was the YHM phantom flash hider, but so be it. With the remaining parts coming in around 70 dollars that brings the grand total up to 1253. So I went a little over budget, but not by much.

So what I have I learned so far?
  • Without having somebody to ask stupid questions to, it would have been close to impossible. I would utilize this forum more, but it's blocked at work (spam?). But thanks for the guides that are posted here. I do lurk pretty often, and a big thanks to Daggle who never once let the absurdity and redundancy of my questions make him throw things at me... though I'm sure the temptation was there.
  • Shopping is a pain in the butt. Especially if you're as ignorant about things as I am. But it pays off eventually. Both in terms of understanding and at the gun show. Shopping for dummies: once you find a part you want, put it into google, check the google shopping feature first to find some low prices, then if you have the patience go back and open the first three pages of web links. Generally speaking if you can't find a lower price there, you wont.
  • Buying a complete upper (receiver, bolt, charging handle, barrel, flash hider, gas block, etc) might have saved me some money, but finding one a floated 16" barrel through a rifle length quad rail was tricky... and expensive. So while this seems like a lot of excessive work (and Im sure it was) it's been fun piecing together this Frankenstein's monster of a gun and getting exactly what I want instead of having an extra hand guard, barrel, etc.
  • In retrospect, I could have probably saved some money and more importantly some weight by forgoing the rifle length quad rail. I initially wanted it cause it looked cool and put a rail mounted front sight further out towards the barrel. While I do like the aesthetics of it, I kinda get the feeling that once I figure out where I like the front grip I may sell it and buy a shorter one for the sake of weight. But maybe not, I won't know till the gun's completed!

The lower won't be available for pick-up until the 25th, the midway parts should be here on the 24th, and the rest of the upper is as assembled as I can make it. Really excited! Will post pics and range report the INSTANT I can.

The moral of the story is that you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat.... or something.

dog2000tj 01-17-2011 05:16 PM

It sounds like you did your homework, good for you. We all look forward to seeing the progress and more importantly ... a range report.

Good luck and keep us posted ;)

Quentin 01-17-2011 05:31 PM

Yes you sure did your homework and even fit in an EOtech! I hope it all gets there quickly and turns out to be a fine rifle. I share your pain, I'm still waiting on a Daniel Defense upper ordered 12/9. It's scheduled to arrive Thursday. I went the complete upper route since I found exactly what I wanted from DD.

mjkeat 01-17-2011 05:47 PM

Sounds like its going to turn out great.

urban 01-18-2011 04:09 PM

Did my homework, maybe, but I was looking at my upper yesterday trying to figure out why the cover over the ejection port wouldn't closed and I realized I had the bolt in backwards... :o

in any event, just as an addendum, Big River was out of the eotech 510 (discontinued), which was unfortunate. So I picked up the 511 from opticsale for a few bucks less with a 5% coupon code I found through google... Shopping tip of the moment, always google for promotional codes when ordering from sites online. Worked for midway USA, worked for

Quentin 01-18-2011 06:57 PM

Big river? Hmmm... Anyway, I hope you like your new RDS Urban.

But you shouldn't be able to get a well made bolt in the carrier upside down because the cam pin drops in only one side of the cam pin hole. Yours goes in both sides? That ain't right.

Do you know who made the BCG? I'm afraid it sounds low quality if the cam pin goes in either way...

Bolt Carrier Group and charging handle (Gun Show) $135

mjkeat 01-18-2011 07:14 PM

Daniel Defence $124 shipped.

BCM $135 + shipping.

diggsbakes 01-18-2011 07:20 PM


Originally Posted by Quentin (Post 424618)
Do you know who made the BCG? I'm afraid it sounds low quality if the cam pin goes in either way...

Quentin you beat me to it, but I'll ask again. . .

Who made your bolt carrier group? That is the most important component in your upper in regards to function and reliability. To me that is everything.

If you made a mistake and bought a bad one, don't just go with it. Cut you losses and buy a quality BCG. It doesn't have to be a $200+ BCG, especially for your first AR, BUT Spike's, BCM, DD and LMT all make high quality BCGs and all of them are in the $150 range. Some less, some more. I have a BCM and Spike's, like 'em both.

Squirrel_Slayer 01-18-2011 11:23 PM

What is the whole point of having a chromed BCG? Is it just ease of cleaning?

mjkeat 01-19-2011 01:42 AM

Easier cleaning and smoother surface for improved function.

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