SHTF AR on a budget, build or buy?
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SHTF AR on a budget, build or buy?


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Old 04-06-2014, 01:47 AM   #1
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Default SHTF AR on a budget, build or buy?

Hello all, I am in need of some guidance...

I'm a broke @$$ college student looking to score my very first modern gun for use in a SHTF situation (and for occasional target practice or home defense). I primarily collect WWI & II rifles, and am totally new to the AR platform.

I want to spend as little as possible for an entry level gun, but obviously I want something I can count on to a reasonable degree.

My the cheapest option I have seen is at my LGS, who is having a sale on Smith & Wesson m&p sport AR-15s next weekend, with a sale price of $600. That seems like a candidate, but it's right at the top of my budget, and it does not have the chrome lined barrel or the forward assist. Those seem important...

I have heard multiple people say building your own AR is a great option, but I don't know what parts to get, where to get them cheap, what I can and can't skimp on, etc...

Should I just give up and get an AK?

Thanks for your input!
-Garandman
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:04 AM   #2
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We are at an interesting point in AR history.
So many to choose from.. unending availability . . . and prices are down.

Unless you buy all of your parts on sale (which could take a while), you may exceed the low end, low price AR's, such as the DPMS Oracle. . . .
I prefer to build because it's fun and it's part of the hobby. Yes, I tie my own flies for fishing also. . .

Go back and read the stickies, but be assured that there is very few junk AR's out there. Some will avoid certain brands for different reasons.
* Get a forged receiver, not poly. You can try poly later on build number 42 or so....
* be happy with mil-spec.
* try for a 5.56 or Wylde chamber to allow the fearful to rest.
* avoid the low front site block, but you can live with it.

If you decide to build, watch PSA's deals. I snagged a complete upper for $289, fine for me.
SlickGuns.com is also a good place to watch.

The kits usually are
LowerPartsKit (LPK) $49 all that trigger and hammer stuff with a grip! woohoo! it has all the parts!
Stock Kit: $49 Stock, tube, buffer, spring
Add that to your blemished receiver $69 and you have a completed lower.

If assembling the upper, you have your barrel and nut ($129)
then add gas block ($9) tube ($7) and a handguard .....yeeeeeee .... $39 for the global
You will need a dust door and forward assist ... ($??).
All of this should fill out a nice blemished upper ($49)...
You don't need no stinking sights BSA Red Dot ($29).

Edited to add: Bolt Carrier $89 and Charging Handle (free... ask someone)

So.. I have seen these prices online. I would to to the LGS has see what they have for a lower receiver. could be cheaper than FFL and shipping. Your Gun show may have a lot of these parts, cheap, used, etc... but buyer beware.

You may not find these prices, certainly not at the same time, but a lowend build can be cheap.

You will need to beg, borrow or build a wrench. more money, but use it on build number 44 an 45

You can get by without vise blocks for the upper and lower if you are careful with a wood faced vise. (I use my woodworking vise).

So, my advice is be happy. If you can swing the bucks for the store built, you can be happy in a day.
If you want to build, you can be happy if you spend time researching and waiting.....
If you want an AK, get one .


I like http://www.surplusammo.com/
Watch both them and http://aeroprecisionusa.com/ for blems

Others have great sites that they use.
Several forums have a thread for Deals of the Day. . . . ..

Last edited by KG7IL; 04-06-2014 at 08:00 PM. Reason: BCG and CH added
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:31 AM   #3
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I would get the M&P at $600. If you break something scavenging a M&P shouldn't be real hard. I would get the M&P or the cheapest rifle at Walmart. Both are common durable rifles.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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That M&P in the deals thread is a good deal.
I also love to build and you may be able to get a good rifle from PSA for a little cheaper if you look for their daily deals. It is so much fun to build and is very simple.
I have seen PSA complete lowers for around $150 which gives you a lot of room for an upper and optics.
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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I bought mine piece by piece, if you are patient, you can build a descent rifle at a descent price ,, it took about 9 months to build bcuz I waited on a part to go on sale and buy it then, I have a 16"carbine length ar15 , Anderson lower , fnh barrel, psa parts, magpul furniture and a Nikon prostaff 3x9x40mm and im at 600$ invested, but I wasn't in a hurry, it took along time to build it at that price , but it was worth waiting and I built it with my hands, that's what I like the most is the fact that I put every piece together and have a solid, complete, well made rifle, the only thing I still want to do is get a badger latch and a psa lower to match with my upper ,switch out and sell the Anderson stripped
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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I agree. Sign up for PSAs daily deals. Parts are getting cheaper and cheaper. I have seen several deals on parts over the past 2-3 weeks that would build a complete quality rifle for around $500.
I just build a PSA lower with a RRA LPK and national match trigger with a very nice upper for under $1000 but I wanted to spend that much on it. I'm in the middle of another build now, but my next one after that will be to see just how cheap I can build a quality rifle. If this is your first build you may want to consider buying a complete upper and just building the lower. The upper is a little more involved and requires special tools and a little more skill.

Last edited by ccase39; 04-06-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:56 PM   #7
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My second AR was an M&P SPORT, and it was a fine rifle. I put just over 2K rounds down the pipe before I parted it out, not a single malfunction. $600 is a good buy for one.

The barrel in the M&P SPORT in melonite coated. It does the same job as the chrome, but is supposed to be easier on the bullet. It is easier to clean, in my experience.

The forward assist.....???

I've owned 5 AR's, and shot thousands on rounds out of them. Never once have I needed a forward assist. Added weight IMO...
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:02 AM   #8
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Now's a great time to look and get an AR. Just DO NOT get, new or used, a Bushmaster Carbon 15, New Frontier, Hess or Vulcan model AR's.

OK, with that out of the way. You might want to also look at a Hi-Point Carbine TS in 9mm, 40S&W or 45ACP. Yes a Hi-Point Carbine. They're reliable, tough and fun as hell to shoot. I own a 9mm model, and ammo can be finicky to find at times, it's still cheap to shoot. I've never NOT been able to find 40S&W for my Hi-Point Pistol as Cops use this caliber, so Walmart and LGS always have this on hand in my area.

Warranty's above and beyond Lifetime with CS to match. You need a Part and are capable of fixing it, they'll send you the Part---unless it's determined that it has to be sent to them.
Even if you got the Gun used and it's dirty, and you think unreliable, send it in and they'll fix what needs fixed/cleaned/oiled and return to you a Gun that's virtually brand new.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:39 AM   #9
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Build... Can find parts easy now for 600 give or take a local transfer fees
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garandman1945 View Post
Hello all, I am in need of some guidance...

I'm a broke @$$ college student looking to score my very first modern gun for use in a SHTF situation (and for occasional target practice or home defense). I primarily collect WWI & II rifles, and am totally new to the AR platform.

I want to spend as little as possible for an entry level gun, but obviously I want something I can count on to a reasonable degree.


-Garandman
Right now, today, Cheaperthandirt.com has a flattop Colt rifle with no sights for about $800 give or take. Have that shipped to your LGS and you can save some cash with a tier 1 gun. Since the beginning, Colt has been the standard which to compare, and you can't go wrong with them. That is the best deal on an AR I have seen in years. Buy your own sights and you will be in business.
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