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View Poll Results: What Working Upper for a Spare Lower?
7.62 x 39mm 2 15.38%
5.45 x 39mm 5 38.46%
.223/5.56 x 345mm 3 23.08%
OTHER, explain. 3 23.08%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-23-2011, 05:23 AM   #1
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First off. . .Thank you to the folks that helped turn me on to working with this awesome firearm, the AR-15 that brings with it endless fun, excitement and fulfillment to my world and existing love of this sport, hobby and way of life! You know who you are.

I worked my way into having a spare lower with no plans for it. It's a cheapy, but it works. Most of the parts were pieced together and I'm only into it for ~$115 +/- $5, which beat my goal of $140, as I settled for a 4 position buffer tube, which is fine for me as I always have the stock fully extended anyhow.

This will obviously be a working type gun, which to me is a Mountain/truck/woods/loaner, that runs always.

I have 3 options. (maybe more. . . ) But 3 main (obvious, to me) choices. .22 LR is not an option as I already have a rimfire AR available.

1. 7.62 x 39mm.

-I'm stocked with ammo of ALL types.

- This is an excellent round inside 200 yards and a great pair up for the .223. It basically has very many of the qualities (mostly penetration) that the .223 doesn't and vise-versa.

-Since this is going to be a Mountain gun the 7.62 makes a lot of sense as it is better suited than the .223 for Bear Defense.

- magazines could be an issue?

2. 5.45 x 39mm.

- Stocked with some ammo and it is EVERYWHERE ! ! !

- Incredibly cheap to shoot, usually half the cost of 5.56 (.223) ! ! !

-I could set the upper up to train with for the use of another AR

- fairly accurate

- still makes a decent mountain gun

3. .223 (5.56 x 45mm)

- have plenty of components for spare parts

- have ammo, mags, etc.

- familiar with maintaining, repair, etc.


-Possibly an economical (Adams Arms) piston upper.

-Another (at least semi-) bear suitable dedicated upper

-I'm all ears!!!
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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458 SOCOM. Wait on Cane and Dog to post up.


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Last edited by Shihan; 01-23-2011 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:07 AM   #3
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No experience with 5.45 x 39, but from what have read, I'd stack it up against 5.56 any day with any target, that being said, if i thought I may encounter a bear... 7.62 at least, I don't play that crap, lol.
Just passing through...


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Old 01-23-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shihan View Post
458 SOCOM. Wait on Cane and Dog to post up. [/URL]
What he said

All in all for a custom set up in .458SOCOM the cost was very competitive. It really wasn't that much more than a high end AR. Now the cost of ammo is a good bit more compared to other calibers but that is where reloading becomes important. Hence one of the main reasons I went .458 to begin with.

Of course I am very much interested in the new .300 Blackout that Shi and JD have been posting about. The idea that outside of a new chamber the entire rifle is compatible really makes it appealing.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:28 PM   #5
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #6
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5.7x28 with 50 round mags.

I just always wanted one: AR57 upper assembly

The only 357 magnum to me is the Ruger Security Six!!
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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the uppers i have are 5.56nato, 458 socom, and 45acp.

i really like the socom but there is a learning curve with loading for it. the huge variety of bullets that can be used in it

i am very interested in the 300bo, but with data available for only 2 loads im not ready to get one. using the same bolt as a 5.56 is interesting but it would have its own dedicated bcg any way.

7.62x39 i would skip simply due to needing special mags that have problems under the best of circumstance.

my 45acp needs special mags but they work which is the main diff tween it and the 762x39 for reliabilty.

i think i would wait a bit till more shakes out with the 300 blackout.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:51 PM   #8
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As much sense as the 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 make ON PAPER, in practicality they are not good choices.

The geometry of the rounds are not compatible with the AR receiver. They require more curve to the mag than the (standard) AR lower allows.

For a cheap plinker where reliability is not required to be 100% they are fine.


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Old 01-23-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JonM View Post
... i think i would wait a bit till more shakes out with the 300 blackout.
I think that's good advice! Maybe that lower can wait a little longer...
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:12 PM   #10
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In your situation, 7.62x39. For me in the same situation, 6.5 Grendel. Good range, knock down power for hunting, + there's some good info out there on it for reloading, etc.
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