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jkatl 07-31-2009 12:27 PM

Considering first AR-15 build
Hello, all.

I'm new here at the forum. There's a lot of fantastic information here! I'm impressed.

I have shot the AR-15 (5.56/223) a few times; a RRA---I loved it. So, I was considering purchasing the RRA new ELITE COMP until I researched and found this forum. You all have me very interested in building my own.

After reading, for several hours, the information here, I'm getting a better feel for what is required. However, I'm kind of overloaded by all the various manufacturers out there. I don't have much of a clue about who has the better quality products.

I have seen (and read) a few of your builds. I've bookmarked the videos on how/to build. I also read a thread from Dillinger about a build, but it only referenced a build in the "projects" section---couldn't actually find the details.

Can anyone provided a detailed build where quality was the primary concern---not cost. I'm needing something like a list of stuff where I can go research manufacturer and so forth.

Thanks. I look forward to getting to know you all here.

Jo da Plumbr 07-31-2009 02:03 PM

Welcome to the FTF community.
Thatís great that you want to build your own. I finished mine about two months ago and love it. I was building with what I could find in available parts, rather than any one manufacturer. I also had to start with an off name brand lower receiver due to restrictions here in Calif. I used mostly Stag parts, including a complete Stag upper. I think I may go back and upgrade the trigger to a two stage, but no hurry on that.
Question; are you looking to build an AR for close up shooting and plinking, or a longer range extremely accurate weapon? This will make a difference in what parts to get.

PS you may want to post a howdy thread in the intro section. Let everyone get to know you.


jkatl 07-31-2009 02:15 PM

Hey...thanks for the reply.

Just to clarify....I'm not set on any one manufacturer, and in that regard, I'm certainly interested in better quality pieces from different manufacturers that would make up the whole.

To answer your question, I'm more interested in close up shooting and plinking----at least for the first build. I'm interested in long range accuracy, too, but not for the first build. Certainly, if I could build some good accuracy (say out to 100-150 yards) into a "plinking" build that would be great.

753X0 08-02-2009 03:07 AM

JKatl, If I'm reading you correctly, you may be able to do both with the same upper. To a certain extent.
If you like RRA, stick with them, they're a good Co.
Just get a 16" bbl with float tube, tango down front grip. Shoot 55 gr fragmentary rounds for close up shooting..
Also if you can get a 1x8 twist barrel, then you can shoot your close up rounds as well as your longer range heavier bullets.

Rock River Arms: Mid-Length Upper Half

Dillinger 08-02-2009 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by jkatl (Post 137450)
Can anyone provided a detailed build where quality was the primary concern---not cost. I'm needing something like a list of stuff where I can go research manufacturer and so forth.

Welcome jkatl - What are you looking for the weapon to do? Varmint Shooting at distance? Room clearing CQB style weapon? Target shooting at 100 yards or 150 yards?

Plenty of the guys here have built their own AR's - so you are in good company.

As for my build, it started off being a wildcat AR, but when the Anti-Christ was a shoe in for the White House, I dumped the idea because of the ammo that would be required to keep feeding it. I decided to scale back and build another .223/5.56 model for longer range shooting. I haven't finished it yet - and I still need to decide on a barrel....


jkatl 08-02-2009 05:38 PM

I'm looking more to shoot 50-150 yards. Precision would be good, but I'm not looking for a varmit rifle at this point. I do want to build a quality AR-15. (In other words, I'm willing to spend more money for good stuff, if available---particularly with respect to the barrel.)

I'm researching the threads here and other places to come up with a components list. I hope to be able to post that here soon and get some feedback. mentioned in some post a while back that you had documented one of your builds. I can't find it. Do you still have the info, and if so, would you be willing to share it?


Dillinger 08-02-2009 06:54 PM

There is also a thread in the Knowledge Base that shows how to build an AR Lower from a stripped receiver.

For 50 yards to 150 yards, you can probably go with an 18 inch barrel and achieve what you want to do.

You are going to need a good quality trigger. Several of us around here like the RRA 2 Stage Drop In.

You are going to want a top quality free floated front handguard. I really like Yankee Hill Machine products. They make a good product, they stand behind it and it can be had at a good price. There are other companies that make the same products, but you are getting about the same damn piece of kit.

For a barrel, I would recommend NOT getting a chrome lined barrel for an accurate rifle. The chrome lined barrels were designed for high sustained full auto fire. Chrome lined barrels are better quality these days than back in the day, but they still aren't as good as the quality of a non-chrome lined barrel.

Krieger Barrels make some of the best barrels on the market, and they will make you a custom AR Barrel in your preferred twist rate and length right off the shelf. Yes, they cost more. Yes, they are worth it. Yes, I am a barrel snob. :D


jkatl 08-03-2009 02:42 PM

Ok. After reading for hours and hours, I have decided that my first build should be more of a CQB to 50/75 yard plinker. I need to learn the ropes a bit before I tackle building a true tack driver at 100-150+ yards. Provided this first build goes well, I'll build something like a varmit rifle next. In the meantime:

So, here my thoughts so far:

still sticking with .223/5.56

RRA lower with 2 stage trigger (think I'll try to find a stipped receiver and build it up in order to learn)
RRA upper ?; just not sure yet
probably YHM float tube (nice stuff they have)
Magpul stock (CTR)


1. thinking about Krieger barrels. (like JD, I love nice barrels; I have a custom turned barrel on my .308 sniper rifle) It is still better to NOT get chrome lined in this application or does it matter?

2. re barrel: what twist? 1:9?

Dillinger 08-03-2009 03:51 PM

jkatl - Yep, you have officially reached the point of TOO MUCH information... :D It happens to everyone.

You don't need a fancy two stage trigger and a custom Krieger barrel on an entry gun.

75 yards, 100 yards, Minute of Bad Guy is going to be VERY easy to attain with a standard 16" barrel.

Chrome lined or not chrome lined - either way, you will be able to shoot a silhouette at that distance with some very mild practice and some decent optics.

Most of the guys here have shot out past 300 with an AR and open sights, able to hit a man sized target, so this is very do able.

When you want to bild a tack driver, like a varmint gun ( we don't use the evil "S" word around here ) THEN you need to look at tuning your rifle with a custom trigger and a 20" bull barrel.

A free float is always a good idea because it aids in cooling of the weapon.

What type of ammo do you want to shoot? .55grain military ball? 75 grain reloads? Or what? Twist rate will determine what the weapon will shoot well in different grains - but I am sure you knew that already.....


jkatl 08-03-2009 04:07 PM

JD...thanks. Well understood.

I'll stick to the 'basic' 55g stuff, I think. So, I'm guessing that a non-chromed lined OR chrome-lined 1:9 twist is fine? (either or)

I'll be fine tuning my list of parts/components and submit for review.

For now, thanks for the feedback. (btw, I've so liked this forum that I became a supporting member!)

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