Playing with the idea of building my own rifle
Howdy folks, new here and looking for some thoughts/advice from those who undoubtedly know more than I on the subject.
Former USMC 0311, 03-07. So I have some knowledge of the system to a point but damned if I know the nuts and bolts. Thats what the boys in the armory were for.
Looking to build a rifle for street to street, house to house and down to door to door type ranges. Id say realistically 300 yds max and inside of 100 yds 60% of the time, though if need be id still like to push back to 500 yds and still drop rounds on target. Pretty much just holding MOA, not looking for a tack driver. Pretty much a M4 knock off I figure.
Im really looking for a basic platform from which I can add to as money allows. This is going to be a fairly long term project as I dont want to dip into my deployment/savings fund. As such ill be picking up the parts as I find good deals and as I have the spare funds.
Back to the platform concept, im looking for fairly bare bones, I dont need an ACOG at this point nor do I need any highspeed crap. Just a solid foundation to build on.
I thrive on lists, so heres mine so far. Feel free to add if ive overlooked something. Like I said before, I know next to nothing about the nuts and bolts and actually building an M16/M4 so my list is just pretty much the parts I do know.
Id like to build it from as scratch as I possibly/cost effectively can.
-Lower Rec Parts
-Bolt Carrier Group
-Ejection Port Cover
Reckon ill pick out the big items first:
Lower Rec - Kinda figure the Lower doesnt really matter, id prolly care more about my charging handle than the Lower.
Upper Rec- A3 flattop, possibly CMMG(?)($135)
Barrel - Thinking 16'', 5.56, 1:8, Chromed. Eyeing the DSA Zm4 Upper/barrel for $265. Seems hard to beat, plus it'll knock out several items at once but then again I loose doing it all from scratch. Odds are ill be firing mil surplus ammo 90% of the time. Im just guessing at 1:8 mainly because its between 1:7 and 1:9 and not because I actually know anything about twist rates.
Trigger- Might just spring for a 2 stage and get it out of the way early on. I doubt I really need it but I doubt I really need a chromed barrel either. But ill leave that to yall.
Rails/handguards- Something free floating, im sure I have some issue handguards laying around somewhere.
Stock- Something collapsible would be nice depending on price, or I could just toss on an old A2 solid stock and pick up the collapsible later on. Once again ill leave that to yall.
Sights- Irons for now. Either pop up rear sights or an attachable carrying handle.
Bolt Carrier Group - No idea on that.
Sorry for the long post but I kinda figured Id lay out what I was looking for and what id sort of researched already on my own so yall could help me more easily. Id love to get some feedback on this idea, maybe some links, some ideas/thoughts, and anything else yall are willing to throw my way. Appreciate it boys.
Check out M4 barrels at gunkings.com. I've recently built three M4s with the Yankee Hill Machine 16.5", chrome-lined, fluted barrels. They're excellent. Also picked up a really nice Daniel Defense M4 barrel from Brownell's for $169. All these barrels are 1/7 twist, chrome-lined. Gun Kings does offer the YHM barrels in 1/9.
You can also get the excellent YHM stripped upper, which does include the forward assist and ejection port door already installed @ Gunkings for $102. Both the YHM barrels and uppers all come with M4 ramps.
YHM A3 Upper Receiver, AR-15 ( Free Shipping) [YHM-100] - $102.00 : Gunkings, 10-22 and AR15 parts and accessories
You can also pick up some good deals on lower parts kits, etc., from adcofirearms.com
Appreciate the feedback Mutabam. My bookmark folder continues to grow rapidly. I cant seem to find out what a fluted barrel is in laymans terms. From what ive gathered its just a chopped down barrel to save weight?
So far what ive found is:
Trigger- RRA 2 stage -$120ish
Handguards - Yankee Hill - $100-140ish
Stock - $90ish
Sights - Yankee Hill QDS sights- 120ish
Bolt carrier group - Lewis Machine Tool- 130
Lower Rec -
Lower Rec Parts - 50-70
Barrel - 170-180
Upper Rec- 102-130
yes, fluting a bbl is just making lengthwise cuts on the outside of it to save weight, and increase teh surface area to aid in cooling.
1/8 should be a fine for milsurp. weather your shooting 55 or 62gn.
its your rifle, get what you want, but since you asked for opinions, i wouldnt get the chrome lined bbl. in general, lined bbls are less acurate, and they cost more. if you are shooting dirty ammo in full auto on extended missions where you may have to go weeks without cleaning the rifle in wet conditions, then by all means, get teh chrome. for a civilian semi rifle that will be put away every night and cleaned regularly, imo, it not worth the increased price and loss in acuracy.
Since we are just expressing opinions, let me opine that another reason to get a chrome-lined barrel is that it's easier to clean and last thousands of rounds longer than a non-chrome barrel.
Accuracy is a matter of personal interpretation. My chrome-lined 16" Bushy Shorty has shot some 1/2", five-shot groups @ 100 yds. If you're going to be doing serious benchrest competition, which I'd assume that you're not, then, yeah, skip the chrome-lined barrel. Otherwise, for an M4 configuration, you'll like the chrome-lined barrel! Get the 1/7 twist.
Honestly the only reason I threw out the chromed barrel was due to the fact that its what I was issued and therefore used to. I dont plan on babying this rifle but then again rifle maintenance isnt anything new to me. Its going to get beaten around, get wet, get muddy and get rode hard. Im going to assume its going to be on par if not better than my issued m16a4 and I should know when it needs to be taken care of. If im wrong and there is some glaring differences between issued and civ market stuff, please feel free to catch me up to speed.
Is there a drastic price difference between chromed and non chromed?
All opinions are welcomed and weighed.
The chrome-lined barrels I referred you to run from $169 to $200. Not much difference in them and the non-chrome models.
My first build used a RRA bull varmint barrel that's stainless, not chrome-lined; however, all since have been with chrome-lined barrels.
You can probably find a better price on that RRA match trigger.
Now, onto what you are looking for in parts.
If you want a street to street weapon, you probably want a 16" barrel, free floated, and don't need a two stage trigger. 2 Stages are nice, but they really only benefit you in longer shooting, like varmints. The exta money saved on a stock trigger that you can touch up with a Google interest can be spent for better overall parts.
Yankee Hill Machine has great products and they are definitely affordable. Below market value in my opinion and we have installed a ton of them.
Brownell's currently has an AR-15 catalog that they just set out that has EVERY product for the AR platform they carry, and at really good prices. I would suggest getting it and looking through it for some values before you go interwebz shopping.
Chrome Lined versus Non Chrome Lined: The arguement that never ends.
Chrome lined lasts longer and is easier to clean.
Non Chrome lined is a better shooting barrel in every configuration, and isn't THAT much harder to clean.
The Chrome lining was designed to handle the high intensity firing of an M4 on full auto. You don't need it on a civilian rig. You aren't going to approach the same level of usage unless you have more ammo than money considering you are building and not buying a complete gun. :p
Buy whatever you can get a good deal on. If money is the prime obstacle, saving cash on some parts can be perfectly fine in a house to house gun.
Having a tack driver at 600 yards with all custom parts and a 4lb bull barrel doesn't do you any good going through a doorway and having to lift that heavy sucker. :)
Do some reading of what the other folks have done and see if that sparks a specific model in your head. Assembling one of these is very easy. Tons of people here have done it in the last two years since I have been here and most of them never had ANY experience with the platform to begin with.
Best of luck - PM if you have questions.
Thanks a lot Dillinger. Your Lets End the AR BS thread has proved to be most helpful and im only about halfway through it so far. Between yourself, slowryde45, and junho ive very little work left to do on pricing out what I want. Ive got 4 lists running on paper and over 20 bookmarks so far comprised of various builds and options!
I might have to take you up on your offer and toss you a PM or two so you can eye over my choices.
No problem JR, send it over over when you get close and we can go over it together.
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