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Old 03-19-2011, 04:42 AM   #11
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I am one of those JD is talking about. I knew nothing about the platform other than having shot a friend's AR. I took JD's advice and built my own. I am so happy I did. I know the platform so much better than if I had just bought it put together.

I say go all the way and build the upper too. I did and it was no big deal. You may be able to get the upper a little cheaper but not much. There is a wealth of info here and everyone is very helpful.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:20 AM   #12
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I agree wholeheartedly with JD, 556, Nitrox and the others - build your rifle and you'll get more enjoyment from the acquisition process and pride in the completed rifle. But you can screw up royally if you don't do the research. $800-900 can build a fine AR, maybe even a little less depending on what you want. I'm proud of the two I've done and never had a problem that I couldn't work out.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
Can you purchase a rifle for the cost, or possibly cheaper, than building one?

Given the market, I think you can PROBABLY find one that would make the answer yes.

Let me ask you this though. What do you specialize in? What is your job or your hobby or something that you know really well because you have a passion for it??

Would a person paying for a generic, entry level version of THAT be doing the right thing??

I have said this 1,000 times. Building your own will teach you about the weapon and it will teach you how to clean it, how to inspect it and how to maintain it. In addition you will get a confident understanding of how the damn thing runs AND you will get to choose your parts that YOU want on it.

We have a ton of experienced builders here. I have been working on getting a tab for the certified builders so you can assign some value to the posts. But trust me when I say that I have 15 or 20 padwans here at FTF that thought they didn't know enough to build an AR, but with some help and encouragement, they all became AR Certified and built their own.

BUILD YOUR OWN!!! You can do it and you will be MUCH happier.

PM if you need help!

JD
quoted for truth...and I hope I get AR Certified...
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"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterner123 View Post
OK, so check out these links. Are the two compatible? They come in together under my $800 limit with shipping.

This is the upper FTF Industries: AR15 M16 UPPER RECEIVERS
I was looking at order number (AR-20HBA2A1A) it has all the specs I am looking for and what was recommended. However, check out the upper that says complete for just $152 (ARUPRECA2) right underneath it. Am I missing something?

Here is what I have in mind for the lower, great suggestion on Palmetto State Armory.
Complete PSA AR-15 Lower - Classic Edition
Does this "complete" lower mean that it has all the parts and can be mounted to an upper ready to go? Sorry for all the newbie questions, but I don't want to buy an upper and lower that won't fit and then be out all the money. I estimate total cost for this unit between $455-$715, including the $20 FFL fee for the lower and shipping costs. If that cheaper receiver is good to go, I would LOVE to save all that money and get a $500 dollar sweet sixteen that I can build myself.

I am starting to see a worrying beginning of addiction

By the way, I am looking for a multipurpose rifle, something I can take plinking, but can also be used for home defense if I can't get to my shotgun. The surplus mags, cleaning kits, and parts for aftermarket M16s is unbelievable, and I would like to own an American icon. I have heard that building is fun and also cheaper. The members of FTF also talk a lot about rewarding and successful builds, so hopefully I can get some good advice along the way once this plan comes to fruition (still saving money, and gas prices aren't heloing me get any closer )
All AR-15 parts are built to a common specification and are interchangible. So yes, the complete upper and lower will pin together even if they are from different manufacturers.

An upper can come without the charging handle and BCG (Bolt Carrier Group) or with the BCG and charging handle. You will need to add this to your order or buy them separately (BCM, BCM ) This points out the benefits of building your own...you get the choice of which charging handle and BCG YOU want, not what the seller wants to give you.

Why Build? - AR-15 Discussion
Why Build? - AR-15 Discussionhttp://www.ftfindustries.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=FI&Category_Co de=ARSP

Similarly a lower can come stripped (the actual firearm btw), assembled or complete. The complete lower in your link comes with the lower parts kit installed (LPK) and the stock mounted. Again, you can buy the individual parts and customize or upgrade beyond the basic parts the seller is giving you. Assembling a stripped lower is a relatively simple task that requires only basic mechanic ability, some simple tools, patience and the ability to follow simple directions. The more assembly you do, the more control you have over parts quality.

So this gets us to your choice of upper. First thing I notice is the A2 style upper. Nothing wrong with it if you are going to limit yourself to plinking but you do have a 20" HBAR barrel which can get out to some distance with the right optics. Only problem is the fixed carry handle on the upper limits your choices here, handle mounted optics are of little use. See if you can get an A3 upper for the same money. (update- FTF actually has the A3 for $20 more) hmmm, thats really a nice looking upper for the money...

http://www.ftfindustries.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=FI&Product_Cod e=AR-20HBA3B2A&Category_Code=ARUP

Why Build? - AR-15 Discussion

Same with the front sight post, (FSP), a free float fore-end and railed gas block opens up more options for mounting optics and increased accuracy.

Please don't take this the wrong way, your choice is fine as is...just offering up my .02, and yes be wary of the addiction...
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"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterner123 View Post
OK, so check out these links. Are the two compatible? They come in together under my $800 limit with shipping.

This is the upper FTF Industries: AR15 M16 UPPER RECEIVERS
I only got this far with this company:THIS IS INSANE! $80.00 for a FCG?!?!?!

You can get a complete lower parst kit that includes this for 50.00 - 60.00 Bucks. I would look real hard at their other items based upon this.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:49 PM   #16
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Very nice and helpful post, Jpyle! I'd say you're AR Certified...
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #17
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I looked over that ftfindustries site and was shocked. You can get much better manufactured parts for cheaper from places like BCM. $50 for a charging handle when I can get a Gunfighter in whatever size I want for $45, shakes head. $174 for a Bushmaster BCG when I can get BCM BCG for $139, rollls eyes. Not all parts are built the same.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:57 PM   #18
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Good catch, MJ. I have to be honest, I never clicked on the link until you pointed that out. I really didn't have the time so figured, yeah most uppers will fit and left it at that. But no doubt it's best to keep looking for something better.

This points out how important it is for new people to read the stickies and get a clear idea of what's out there, the quality and what's a fair price before pulling out the CC. Sometimes our safety net of experienced members doesn't catch you!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:46 PM   #19
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Build your Own!!!

I've done 2 rifles for less than $500
One ya'll are familiar with http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/scrappy-450-ar-15-a-39040/ I call him "Scrapy" others call him "Crapy" I was patient, mostly bought items that were on clearance, used, blemished, etc. And did every last bit of work myself.

The other AR is awaiting its barrel and then it'll be done. Unlike Scrapy every last part is NEW! I'll obviously start a new thread when it's done.

While those are fine, I started with better (near top) quality for my first builds. I spent about $1000 on my first one, including optics. It's a BCM 14.5" middy upper on a Spike's lower and hits a 10" plate at 200 yards almost every shot with mid grade ammo.

GET A BOOK!

Nobody does this, but if they did folks would save loads of time and money. Patrick Sweeny has three AR-15 books available that you will benefit from owning "The AR-15 Volumes I & II" and "Gunsmithing The AR-15".

If you don't like Sweeny (which some don't, but I find his writing easy to stick to and digest) or are just a cheap ass "The AR-15 Complete Owner's Guide" and "The AR-15 Complete Assembly Guide" both by Walt Kuleck are $10 each and are all you need to complete your build, service your rifle, troubleshoot, etc.

Of course there are some things that pop up that you just must deal with using the experience of others or learning hard lessons. That's why we're here!

Know what you're working with.

Even if you do not build your first AR, you should know how to service it and repair it. If you don't you will forever rely upon someone else to fix and maintain you investment. It's the same as having handy man skills. By you having a skill set you can avoid having to pay someone to utilize their skills.

I'm a Carpenter by trade and I can't even tell you how many times my knowledge and wisdom in the building industry has saved me time and money on my own home, office and shop and the homes, offices and shops of my friends and acquaintances.

The only time I took an AR to a gunsmith, (I was upset with my usual gun shop) I got my gun back with more problems and ended up having to ask a couple board members (JD and Jim) for help and got it right myself. Looking back now I did not need to take the gun anywhere, but simply needed to be patient and learn how to do it right.

In Conclusion. . .

Enough yacking, I guess I'm trying to tell you that even if you save a couple hundred $$$ by buying a complete rifle, you will end up spending double that in time and repairs/maintained if you cannot do the work yourself. Why not learn the gun first and spend that money on becoming a better marksman?

By the way. . . since I started I now have half a dozen rifles in the safe in different configurations, all but one was built. . .
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #20
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FYI...Walt Kuleck is a SM on the forum...
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"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington
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