My First AR build

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by urban, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. urban

    urban New Member

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    So I'm pretty clueless when it comes to firearms sometimes... well, usually. Actually if I don't own it, tinker with it, take it apart, spend hours trying to put it back together, consult the internet, get frustrated, take a nap, wake up, finish re-assembly, and then take it to the range every week for a couple months, I don't have any idea how any specific one works. So after playing with The Daggle's AR 15 I decided my firearm collection is sadly lacking without one. So I began my build with little knowledge and a host of stupid questions. Lucky for me, Daggle is really only capable of answering stupid questions, so I had a resource on hand.

    The plan was simple, build as much of it as I can myself (stripped everything) to the following specifications for about 1200 bucks.
    - 16" Free float barrel
    - rifle length quad rail
    - adjustable stock
    - flat top upper.
    - Unmagnified red dot

    The parts list Thus far
    • Mega lower (Addax Tactical, Bought locally) $145 after state fees and taxes
    As an aside, Midway was instrumental in determining quality and reviews on the parts I got from other sites (and in person). But not everything was the best price, and not everything was in stock, so I had to do more searching. BUT searching google for midway coupon codes turned up a 20 dollar off code, so that was a plus.
    • JD Machine Upper complete receiver (Gun show) $80
    • Stag Arms 6 position adjustable stock (Gun Show) $60
    • Vertical Grip and Bipod (Gun Show) $20
    • Bolt Carrier Group and charging handle (Gun Show) $135
    • Rifle Length YHM diamond quad rail (Gun Show) $140

    Since I can't find any lower parts kits that aren't going to cost as much as addax without shipping I'll probably buy from them when I pick up my lower (the 25th can't come soon enough). The only thing I wasn't able to find was the YHM phantom flash hider, but so be it. With the remaining parts coming in around 70 dollars that brings the grand total up to 1253. So I went a little over budget, but not by much.

    So what I have I learned so far?
    • Without having somebody to ask stupid questions to, it would have been close to impossible. I would utilize this forum more, but it's blocked at work (spam?). But thanks for the guides that are posted here. I do lurk pretty often, and a big thanks to Daggle who never once let the absurdity and redundancy of my questions make him throw things at me... though I'm sure the temptation was there.
    • Shopping is a pain in the butt. Especially if you're as ignorant about things as I am. But it pays off eventually. Both in terms of understanding and at the gun show. Shopping for dummies: once you find a part you want, put it into google, check the google shopping feature first to find some low prices, then if you have the patience go back and open the first three pages of web links. Generally speaking if you can't find a lower price there, you wont.
    • Buying a complete upper (receiver, bolt, charging handle, barrel, flash hider, gas block, etc) might have saved me some money, but finding one a floated 16" barrel through a rifle length quad rail was tricky... and expensive. So while this seems like a lot of excessive work (and Im sure it was) it's been fun piecing together this Frankenstein's monster of a gun and getting exactly what I want instead of having an extra hand guard, barrel, etc.
    • In retrospect, I could have probably saved some money and more importantly some weight by forgoing the rifle length quad rail. I initially wanted it cause it looked cool and put a rail mounted front sight further out towards the barrel. While I do like the aesthetics of it, I kinda get the feeling that once I figure out where I like the front grip I may sell it and buy a shorter one for the sake of weight. But maybe not, I won't know till the gun's completed!

    The lower won't be available for pick-up until the 25th, the midway parts should be here on the 24th, and the rest of the upper is as assembled as I can make it. Really excited! Will post pics and range report the INSTANT I can.

    The moral of the story is that you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat.... or something.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  2. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    It sounds like you did your homework, good for you. We all look forward to seeing the progress and more importantly ... a range report.

    Good luck and keep us posted ;)
     

  3. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Yes you sure did your homework and even fit in an EOtech! I hope it all gets there quickly and turns out to be a fine rifle. I share your pain, I'm still waiting on a Daniel Defense upper ordered 12/9. It's scheduled to arrive Thursday. I went the complete upper route since I found exactly what I wanted from DD.
     
  4. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Sounds like its going to turn out great.
     
  5. urban

    urban New Member

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    Did my homework, maybe, but I was looking at my upper yesterday trying to figure out why the cover over the ejection port wouldn't closed and I realized I had the bolt in backwards... :eek:

    in any event, just as an addendum, Big River was out of the eotech 510 (discontinued), which was unfortunate. So I picked up the 511 from opticsale for a few bucks less with a 5% coupon code I found through google... Shopping tip of the moment, always google for promotional codes when ordering from sites online. Worked for midway USA, worked for Opticsale.com.
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Big river? Hmmm... Amazon.com? Anyway, I hope you like your new RDS Urban.

    But you shouldn't be able to get a well made bolt in the carrier upside down because the cam pin drops in only one side of the cam pin hole. Yours goes in both sides? That ain't right.

    Do you know who made the BCG? I'm afraid it sounds low quality if the cam pin goes in either way...
     
  7. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Daniel Defence $124 shipped.

    BCM $135 + shipping.
     
  8. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Quentin you beat me to it, but I'll ask again. . .

    Who made your bolt carrier group? That is the most important component in your upper in regards to function and reliability. To me that is everything.

    If you made a mistake and bought a bad one, don't just go with it. Cut you losses and buy a quality BCG. It doesn't have to be a $200+ BCG, especially for your first AR, BUT Spike's, BCM, DD and LMT all make high quality BCGs and all of them are in the $150 range. Some less, some more. I have a BCM and Spike's, like 'em both.
     
  9. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    What is the whole point of having a chromed BCG? Is it just ease of cleaning?
     
  10. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Easier cleaning and smoother surface for improved function.
     
  11. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    Did I miss the listing for the lower receiver parts kit? More important the trigger selection? After my first build I went back and replaced the standard trigger springs with a JP light spring kit. Made a big difference in the trigger action. You may want to spend the extra 15 bucks right at the start if you haven;t already upgraded the trigger selection.


    RifleGear - JP Reduced Power Spring Kit
     
  12. urban

    urban New Member

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    I've been fretting over this since I first read this post, and I now realize where the confusion lies, what I meant was I put the bolt Carrier assembly in the upper backwards. I'm not sure that makes things any better, but the assembly came... well... assembled.

    As far as who made it, I remember recognizing the name, but can't remember what it was. The bolt is stamped MP, which from what I understand is good thing. It's also stamped WTC, but I've been totally unable to find anything that can tell me what THAT means. The bolt carrier group (that's the big part that houses the bolt and firing pin right?) is Stamped either WTB or WIB it's tough to tell.

    Had a chance to buy a bushmaster BCA but I passed to save 15 bucks cause I was told the difference wasn't that significant.
    If I bought a bad BCG what is the most likely result? I mean catastophic explosive failure resulting in death asside, is it likely to damage other parts of the gun from use? or am I looking at it just jamming more often? Can I use it in the meantime while I save up for a better BCA?
    I love vida in ways that are entirely emotionally unhealthy...
    I'll be buying my lower receiver parts kit from the same place I got my lower (addax). Since none of the places I got other parts from had a parts kit in stock. I'll call to confirm, but according to their site my options are daniel defense, double star, stag, and DPMS. any recommendations? Would any of those circumvent the need to for the JP light spring kit? I did the trigger job on my 10/22, polishing it all up, and stoning the sear, (even chamfered the bolt) and while I understand that the AR is a different animal, is that likely to improve trigger pull significantly?

    They also list a RRA NM lower parts kit that's a two stage trigger... worth the extra 70 bucks?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  13. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Well it's a good indication that the bolt is stamped MP. You would *assume* that means it was high pressure and magnetic particle inspected.

    Bushmaster BCGs are midrange so at $15 less you have to wonder about the quality of yours. If you subtract about $20 for the charging handle from the $135 you paid it's unlikely you got a high quality brand like Diggsbakes listed.

    I wouldn't expect it to blow up in your face but be skeptical of the BCG for now. Definitely have the headspacing checked when you get the upper assembled. Can you contact the seller for more info on it? Hopefully someone here will know what those codes are, I do not.

    As far as the LPKs you mentioned, I'd go with Daniel Defense or Stag. As far as triggers, I'm a fan of standard milspec in the AR and Stag has a good one in their kit. I'd live with the standard trigger for now and think about modding it later. You first want a stock rifle that functions before you start throwing curveballs at the design.

    ETA:
    I googled WIB bolt carrier and came up with these hits below. It sounds like a $90 BCG so you may want to read through what turned up. Honestly I would sell it or put it off to the side as a spare. Your Daniel Defense barrel cries for more quality.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=WIB+bolt+carrier&rls=com.microsoft:en-us

    ETA even more:
    Urban, I'm not trying to alarm you, just pointing out what concerns me. And I'll admit I'm biased toward high quality parts. No doubt many factory rifles on the shelf have marginal BCGs that would perform well for 90% of us. Where you really get worried is with high use/abuse and in a profession where you depend on your firearms.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  14. ktmboyz

    ktmboyz New Member

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    If you are going with the YHM diamond forearm than you should look at their barrels.. I am in the middle of my latest build and used a Diamond Spector rail and The Diamond fluted barrel really is a beautiful compliment to it :D
     
  15. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    In my first build I did DPMS as my lower kit and then went back to change to the JP springs. I do not think any of those other kits are a significant change to a standard trigger. A significant improvement to the trigger group will usually add a significant increase to the cost of the kit.

    In my second build I used the RR NM two stage. Very crisp. Is it worth 55 dollars more than the JP kit? IMO, not on a rifle used for plinking or zombie defense.