Biting the bullet

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by johnsteele, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    I finally bit the bullet and started on my first EBR.

    I've ordered the Doublestar Stripped Lower from Buds Gun Shop (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/411534767).

    I'm looking at the Del-Ton 16" M4 Rifle Kit RKT100 (http://www.del-ton.com/Rifle_Kit_p/rkt100.htm) that contains the
    rest of the parts needed.

    I need to decide about a few things like handguards --- I'm leaning to something with rails rather than the standard handguard for flexibility; and for sights installing a scope and going with a flip up front sight rather than the fixed sight.

    Any thoughts, Dillinger :)

    I'm going the build route for the fun of building my own and I need to save some money so I can finally get my M-1 Garand without my wife evicting me.
     
  2. junho806

    junho806 New Member

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    good choice on the del-ton kit
    that's what i basically went with
    as for the handguards you can get the standard CAR guards and have rails installed
    but JD knows a lot more than me so...
    he'll answer your question
    :D
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Thanks for the shout out John, there are several good knowledgable people who will weigh in as well. We have a good community of well informed guys ( and gals ) here.

    Fore-ends? Do you want free floated? Or do you want a standard AR fore-end?

    Free floated are more accurate, and dissipate heat better, they also cost more.

    The best stuff going, for the price, in my mind is the stuff from Yankee Hill Machine. Their fore-ends are all free floated and a great deal. I have three YHM fore-ends on my 2 complete builds and the one I am working on. They have several with rails as well. I believe they also offer a "to order" version of one of their rails that will allow you to spec out what you want.

    Their folding sights are as good, if not better, than the Troy models at like 1/2 the price.

    You can get other standard front end hand guards that have rails on them. The key with the rails is to get something that's comfortable. I don't know about a lot of the guys, but I can't stand the M4 fore end that is 4 solid rails from the receiver to the end of the handguard. It's just too bulky and uncomfortable.

    Give me an idea of your end goal, and your price range for each part, and I will see what I can find in my list O' many things. :D

    JD
     
  4. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    JD

    Thanks much. For fore-ends I'm a novice at the EBR. I like the idea of the free-float from a heat standpoint and if it provides better accuracy and handling so much the better. Del-Ton offers the YHM fore-ends (4 rail free-float) for the kit at a reasonable upcharge ($70.00) compared to the other options.

    They also offer the YMH flip up front gas block for an upcharge of $65.

    My primary end goal is a good target piece and the satisfaction of assembling one of these myself. I am not a hunter so that isn't a consideration. At this point I'm interested in completing a servicable AR without breaking the bank --- need some money left for ammo, and to finally buy my Garand :)

    John
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    john - Yeah, that is what kind of scares me with that drop down menu pricing they have. I am not 100% sure of what product you are getting.

    For handguards, they have a couple of YHM listed, but they don't match the names and prices of ones on the YHM website.

    Two of the ones they offer are of the 4 rail varity, which is fine, if you want four rails for your fore end. It's not really practical unless you are adding a front mounted tac light, a pistol front grip, perhaps a bipod and/or a laser ( which I don't personally care for ).

    The four rail systems are sharp on the hands, and they are bulky. Personally I don't care for them. That is a personal choice. If you want the extra rail space, go with the upgrade because it's a good piece of kit. The YHM is top shelf.

    For $28 bucks I would try the DPMS Free Float tube and see how YOU like it. If you hate it, you can buy plenty of free float tubes in the after market. I wouldn't risk the extra cash on the YHM unless you really want a full length 4 full rail configuration.

    For $60 the Magpul CTR is a great upgrade if you want a real good multi position collapsible stock.

    If not, go with the standard M4 for "free" or the A2, which is the standard, one position fixed stock.

    Grip choice? I like the Ergo ambi for $17. They have a nice feel in the hand and are resistant to some moisture like sweat. They are easy to buy and install in the after market though, so if price is a problem, try the bone stock one and see what YOU like.

    Detachable carry handle? I vote for none. That is a personal choice, but if you are planning on getting folding sights, there isn't a reason to have the handle too.

    Flash hider is a crap shoot. Phantom are good, but not nearly the best out there, so any one of them is probably fine unless you plan on doing A LOT night work. :rolleyes:

    I think the YHM flip up gas block is their combo gas block and folding front site. If you can confirm that, that is a great price for that piece of gear. I would totally go for that if that is the case.

    Lower parts kit? If you can afford it, the RRA 2-stage trigger upgrade is a wonderful addition. If you can't it only costs about $95 in the aftermarket and you can change the trigger in about 5 minutes with a little know how. The stock trigger will be fine, and there are a couple of tuning tricks I can share with you, but right now RRA is turning out the best trigger for the money out there...

    Charging handle? I like the Badger Ord add on for $17. It's not necessary, but I added it to both my current weapons and I like the added real estate it gives for positive reloads.

    That's what I would think about doing, running down that page brother. Your mileage may vary - as will the opinions on the board here. :D

    JD
     
  6. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    JD. Appreciate the observations. I'm inclined to your suggestions as you have loads more experience in this than me :) The upgrades you suggest are not that much more money (where have we heard that before ?) and it sounds like they will improve the handling of the weapon.

    John
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    John - Those are just the ones that I like. I have tried a lot of stuff, so I generally go with what I know. It would be easy to say the most expensive option is the best, but in the AR world, that isn't the case 100% of the time.

    Wait a few days and let some of the other guys way in. Slowrdy, JPBeck & RL357 also have a ton of AR knowledge and will no doubt weigh in, they are pretty active in the AR threads. There are also some other guys who weigh in occassionally.

    JD
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  8. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    JD

    Would you suggest staying with the standard 1x9 barrel or going to the 1x9 Chrome or the 1x7 Chrome? I've read things that seem to indicate the chrome lined barrel doesn't do much for most applications.

    John
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    John - The chrome lined barrel was first put into place for rapid fire, high ammo count firefights. It will allow you to have a barrel that lasts a good long time, the down side is that it's not the best for accuracy.

    Now, facts being what they are - you aren't building a tack driver for 400 yard or 600 yard competition with a 16" factory barrel on a factory action. If you want a tack driver, better plan on adding a few hundred to your base line budget and start shopping a little higher end parts.

    A 16" factory barrel, put together on a well built upper, will probably pull 2 to 3 MOA ( Minute of Angle ) or a little better. What that means is, you can group multiple shots in 2" at 100 yards for 2 MOA or 3" at 100 yards for 3 MOA.

    There is nothing wrong with that level of accuracy on a tactical carbine style rifle. For home defense, that is more than adequate.

    Now, as to twist rate.

    What grain bullet are you going to be shooting? If your planning on stocking up on SHTF surplus ammo, like the 55 grain stuff, the 1:7 will be just fine for your applications. This twist rate should also shoot the heavier grain stuff well.

    Now, if you are going to shoot lower grain weight bullets, you want to slow the twist rate of the ammo down so they don't over cycle and split. 1:9 is really a good across the middle spectrum twist rate. It won't shoot real light, or real heavy bullets, as accurately but anything in the middle of the spectrum it will shoot all day.

    A 1:12 if you want to drop way down to like 40 grain, or below, for varmint slaying.

    Hope that helps -

    JD
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  10. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    Yes, very helpful actually. Standard non-chrome 1x9 sounds like a good broad range compromise.

    John
     
  11. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Nothing wrong with 1:7 or 1:9 if you plan on getting Mil-Surp ammo and just shooting the daylights out of it. Either one will do the job and your accuracy will be more than good enough for standard application.

    Looking forward to your build results and a range report! Don't be afraid to post some pictures for the good of the site. The more members we have with evil black rifles before the new election, the better as far as I am concerned. :D

    JD
     
  12. johnsteele

    johnsteele New Member

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    JD

    I will certainly do that :)

    John
     
  13. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    JD, good info. Except, chrome lined isn't a bad thing either. For alot of the newer folks to the field of firearms or just to AR's, chrome lining could be a blessing of sorts, too.

    True, if you were to get down to the business of building a tack driver for competition target shooting, I would definitely leave the chrome lining off the shopping list. The main reason being that we haven't developed a method, or at least a cost effective method of applying chrome lining to the bore that is consistent and equal thickness all around. How far off is it? Not enough to really worry about for most of the shooting population. Still there are those that feel that the fact that it isn't concentric in the bore will effect their shooting enough to make them stay away from chrome lining. I think it's the extra $40-50 more than anything ;)

    For newer shooters, I find that the chrome lining is more of a blessing, in that it eases maintenance and cleaning of their new firearm and offers a bit more protection to the bore and chamber. No, it isn't a necessity, nor is it a bad thing either. For target or varmint guns, I do prefer a non-chromed line barrel or a stainless steel one. For tactical application or home defense, either is acceptable, but if it is something that will see alot of rounds - I will go with chrome, just for the easier cleaning. No, I'm not lazy at maintenance either, as anyone in my house will attest to. I'm a fanatic at keeping my 'tools' in working order and where they belong.

    So to Johnsteele, you are getting alot of great info here, and as some of the other members will tell you, helpful, too. Good luck on your new AR.

    Slo
     
  14. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    excellent post slow - I was posting in a hurry before leaving for the day and really didn't delve into the deeper points of the chrome barrel.

    I wouldn't put one on a tack driving comp rifle, but to be honest, my 17" home tac unit is a chrome lined barrel and it groups just fine.

    Great information as always from the Slow & Ready man...

    JD
     
  15. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    Midway USA sale

    I just checked my mail box and noticed that Midway USA has a sale going on and a HUGE clearance sale, too. Check out the following links for example:

    DPMS - 6-position stock and A2 stocks:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eclearance.exe/browse?promotionid=9076&brandid=1413

    Stoner Mult-tool for AR-15 (great price)

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=271183&t=11082005

    Great price on the Millet DMS red-dot scope:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=186660&t=11082005

    And the huge clearance link:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/Promotion/?promotionid=13371&eblastid=909200816&custnum=100820486&utm_source=shopnow&utm_medium=eblast909200816

    Hopefully not breaking any forum regs by posting helpful links.;) I have ordered quite a few items from these folks with nothing but excellent results and prices.

    Slo
     
  16. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    My RRA came with a 20" stainless bbl. with 1 in 9 twist. I like that rate because it allows accurate shooting of 55 to 80 grain bullets. My handloads using Sierral 69 gr. BTHP Matchkings( basically the middle of the spectrum) groups well within an inch (1/2" if I do my part!) at 100 yds. Your 16" tube with a 1:9 twist should provide you with very good accuracy - in the 1-2" range with ammo in the 62-80gr range. As JD pointed out, the free-float handguard makes a difference as well as dissipating heat better. Also, if you bench rest you rifle you have less chance of barrel distortion with the free-float handguard. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008