A couple of AR questions..

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by SmokyMtnHiker, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. SmokyMtnHiker

    SmokyMtnHiker New Member

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    I've been looking into ARs again. Still stuck on building one or ordering one. The only issues are, i'm on a tight budget and I dont really have the time build one, I'll have a new born soon so all my attention will be on the baby. I dont mind ordering one prebuilt, entry level of course. If I do go entry level could I change out the front sight/gas block for a low profile block? Also, could I switch out the stock hand guard to a quad-rail? I dont like the looks of the stock M16/M4 tapered hand guard.

    One more thing, what is a 2 stage trigger?

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  2. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Check out PSA www.palmettostatearmory.com. They have rifle kits that only require a stripped lower for around $500. Your looking at a $600 AR.

    At this point I would hold off on the trigger. Go w/ a mil spec and put the money into the base rifle.
     

  3. SmokyMtnHiker

    SmokyMtnHiker New Member

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    Okay. I was wondering what it was..how does it differ?

    Yea i'm looking fairly low cost. This AR will be just a casual range rifle, just shooting for fun with my buddies.

    Later on down the road i'll put a different grip and stock on it but for right now just a plinking AR

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  4. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    One of the Vendors here at FTF has complete Palmetto State Armory AR's on sale and in-stock for $750. All you have to do is have it transfered to your local gun shop and pay a small transfer fee. They're great guys to deal with.

    One of the members here bought one from Joe Bob's recently and had it in about 3 days.

    For a starter AR it's hard to beat that deal for a mil-spec type AR. All you need is ammo and magazines.

    Here's a link:

    http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Palmetto_State_Armory_AR15_ORC_16_Chrome_Lined_5_p/gun-psam4-cl.htm

    You might be able to save a couple of bucks by building one from parts, but for a complete rifle to start out, I think this is the way to go. :cool:
     
  5. SmokyMtnHiker

    SmokyMtnHiker New Member

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    @snakedriver: would you know if I could switch out the stock guard for a different type myself and switch out the front sight/gas block for a low profile? Not a fan of the stock ones.

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  6. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Well sure, with a handguard tool ($15-$30) you can switchout the handguards to any type you like. It takes maybe 15 minutes to do.

    Swapping out the A2 front sight to a low-profile style is a different matter. That requires a good amount of skill.

    For the same price as the Palmetto rifle Joe Bob's has a nice Rock River rifle that is similar, but has the low-pro front sight you're looking for:

    http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Rock_River_Arms_LAR_15_Fall_Special_Midlength_Hand_p/rra-bb1001.htm

    I have a Rock River AR and really like it a lot. The RRA rifle at Joe Bob's will need a scope set-up or a set of irons added to it to be able to aim it. The cool thing about the Palmetto is that it's got sights and is ready to go.

    ETA: Here's another RRA AR at Joe Bob's with another set-up you may like, but more expensive:

    http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Rock_River_Arms_LAR_15_Fall_Special_Carbine_Quadra_p/rra-bb1000.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  7. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I'm no gunsmith at all. Typically, if I need any changes to a gun I take it to the experts. However, I have found the AR to be dirt simple to make changes on.

    I picked up a hand guard tool on Amazon for $14. It was very easy to remove the hand guard on my PSA upper and add rail to it (It's MOE). To change out the hand guard would probably take all of one minute.
     
  8. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Wow, you're pretty fast!
     
  9. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Picky, picky, picky.

    It's clear to me, BUILD one!

    Why?
    • When you build you save on assembly labor costs.
    • When you build you get the gun you want the first time.
    • When you build you you don't have to take off and discard parts you've paid for.
    • When you build you learn the AR.
    • When you build you capture the missing half of AR ownership enjoyment lost in the purchase of a completed gun.
    • When you build you can purchase a completed upper and still claim you built your gun.
    • When you build you are no longer just a consumer.

    Build one, we will help you and don't worry about the time. You've got this far in life sans AR, an additional month or two is a cake walk. And the completion is cathartic!

    Here's a good definition from recguns;
    Most civilian rifle triggers are single stage. When you place your finger on it and apply pressure, the trigger shouldn't move at all, until it "breaks" and the gun fires. If it does move, it's called "take-up", and usually considered a Bad Thing.

    Actually, what you lable as "take-up" in the above para, is called creep, and trigger "creep" is what is considered a "bad thing." Take-up is all together another phenom.

    So let's understand the differences between "take-up" and "creep." Take-up is a wonderfully replicated feeling/action, found in 2 stage triggers, in preparation of firing, and creep is when you think you are trying to fire, but you just seem to keep pulling the trigger & it does not break cleanly. Creep is found in both single & double stage triggers.

    Now, why do those who have experienced a good 2 stage trigger want a 2 stage trigger?

    First, gas guns require a far greater pull weight than bolt guns, to be safe/legal for competition. So, when you must have a 4.5 lbs trigger, it's nice to split the weight between 2 stages, instead of one!

    Second, many want a relatively heavy trigger for defense/law enforcement applications.

    Third, there is a certain confidence in a 2 stage trigger. You pull through the first stage, and when you get to the "stop", you know you are on the ragged edge, and any movement of the trigger will fire the rifle. This is so in a match 2 stage trigger.

    --Clint McKee ​
     
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Buy an assembled upper and an assembled lower separately and you save the 11% fed excise tax which is on complete firearms.
     
  11. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Smoky,

    Cane has certainly explained the feeling and reward of building your own. The lower takes no specialty tolls to build. So you certainly could buy a good quality lower and have it transferred through a dealer close to you. They will probably charge a transfer fee. But better yet go to a larger gun show close and buy a good name brand lower at the show. But do not forget to barter a little with the seller. Sometimes it works! As far as the upper it will take a few specialty tools like a barrel nut wrench and the barrel must be tightened to a minimum of 35 ft. lbs which is very important. Usually you will go tighter than 35 ft. lbs. just to get the barrel nut lined up so the gas tube will go into the receiver. *It must be perfectly aligned! For some I suggest just to buy a basic complete upper and this will eliminate any problems with the need to get special tools and on occasion clearance problems with the carrier and lower receiver components, head space and etc. (Or you could find someone with the barrel nut tool and torque wrench that could install the barrel for you.) As far as putting quad rails on it is no problem. There are two piece units that simply replace the standard hand guards. Also the true M-4 Hanguards do not taper and are larger than the cheaper small AR Hand Guards. The low profile gas block should probably be done by someone with experience since at times the standard front sight housing can be a problem to get off and should be done with a taper pin punch. A small bubble level is also needed to assure the weaver gas block with the picatinny rail for the front sight is level with the upper A-4 Receiver. We certainly can walk you through it if you choose to do that later on. You have a lot of us here that are very knowledgeable about the AR Rifle. I guess if you have a good chance to buy a "good quality" complete rifle at a good price that would be great since your time is limited. Although a good rifle can be built in a few good evenings of work. And the assistance of someone with the tools you would need regarding the barrel assembly.
    Good Luck!:D

    03
     
  12. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Changing out the FSP for a Low profile GB is as easy as plugging in your Dremmel. You don't even have to take the FSP off of the barrel.

    Tools: Purchase an AR wrench. I always keep one in the range bag.
     
  13. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    What's the deal with this hand guard tool? It seems everyone has them I never had a problem taking them off with my hands.
     
  14. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I assume it's a two piece snap in like the MOE. If it requires anything other than that, I'll go back to my first statement until further notice. ;)
     
  15. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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  16. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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  17. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Nope, it's a synthetic material with rubber on the two prongs. It doesn't put a single mark on your gun. You use it as lever to push the the handguard ring down. :cool:
     
  18. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    Thanks snake maybe I'll have to break down and order me one.
     
  19. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    No problem, always glad to help! Unless you're buying it with some other stuff, be sure to shop around before you buy it at Midway. They kind of break-it-off in you on freight with small orders. I think I saw this very same tools for less on Amazon recently and their freight is always more reasonable. :)
     
  20. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    Yeah I don't order much from midway I usually go through Amazon or a couple of other smaller gun sites. Their shipping is redonkulious.