Build an AR cheap?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Pjj342, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Pjj342

    Pjj342 New Member

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    Cheap to me is $400-500. Id love to have one but buying one new, even an Olympic arms is kinda out of the question. What is the cheapest, least labor intensive option(if it works like that), for an affordable kit build. Any advise is appreciated.
     
  2. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Your best bet, I would think, is to buy a stripped lower, about a hundred bucks, and look online for a 16" barreled Carbine kit. I have seen complete kits go for as low as 600.00. You may be able to find it cheaper, but I would be willing to bet the least amount you are going to spend is around 700.00. Check out J and T Distributing online for some pric ing ideas. You will have to assemble the rifle yourself, but it's relatively simple.
     

  3. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Though I dont have experience w/ DelTon kits they are inexpensive. Maybe some of these guys can comment on them. Not including FFL fees you can get a lower for $69. You can also look for a used unit.
     
  4. DarinCraft

    DarinCraft New Member

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    everyone I know that has Delton says they love them
     
  5. kenhesr

    kenhesr New Member

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    Might want to pick up a copy of the, (latest) Jan. 10th 2011 issue of the Shotgun News magazine.

    David Fortier has an article titled "Building an ultra-affordable AR". He builds one for $419.00 and then does a range test.

    He uses the Plumcrazy composite, complete lower assembly and a pre assembled Weapons Systems International upper. This would be a basic pin together build, very simple.

    Don't know if I would go this route, but you said "cheap":)

    Good luck! Ken
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    In the end most people will be disappointed in a $400-500 AR. My advice is to do the free part first - weeks of research. Then make a decision on what you want and proceed from there.

    Building is a great way to stretch out the cost over time (weeks/months) and end up with a rifle you'll be proud of. Also you can use the "divide and conquer" technique and hone your research on the parts you're about to buy now. Of course have an overall plan but zero in on the parts you're buying next.

    If you buy a stripped lower receiver as Squirrel_Slayer suggested above then buy the parts kit and stock kit you'll have $250-300 invested. Throw in a magazine too, you'll need one later and can test your lower for proper function with it now. If a friend will loan you his upper you can really test it out.

    Then save up for a complete upper receiver as you research what's available. Think about the sights/optics/accessories you'll want but you can buy them later after a few more paychecks.

    Nah, pretty hard to make a good $500 AR. Odds are you'll rebuild it later and have crappy parts in the closet or for sale.
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    +100% on Quentin's advice. 3 or 4 years ago you could probably have gotten a decent build done for $500, not including optics, but these days the prices have risen across the board and $500 really isn't THAT much in the AR world I am afraid to say.

    Research is the key and I recommend everyone build their own to learn how it works, what needs cleaning, what moves, what should not, etc. This is just plain good knowledge to have stuff.

    I always recommend starting with the lower and then shop for a lower parts kit, a stock you want, and from there follow Quentin's advice. See if a buddy has an upper you can try out. Or research the hell out of uppers until you find one that is going to make you happy in the long run.

    I think everyone who is honest that went out and bought a "basic" AR, ended up changing stuff out after awhile anyways. :cool: It's the nature of the beautiful platform that is the AR.

    JD
     
  8. DarinCraft

    DarinCraft New Member

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    Yep one of mine is a good lower but I threw a double star upper on it and now it pretty much sits in the safe because of problems and accuracy issues. But there is a huge difference when speaking of affordable vs cheap and from what I know, double star is cheap...Delton is affordable.

    Lol, but you can never go wrong with Noveske, VLTOR and the like.
     
  9. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Darin, what kind of problems have you been having with your Doublestar upper? I have one on my rifle and love it. Is it an older upper? I swear by their components whole heartedly. Maybe this is something that can be fixed. I hate to hear of an AR just sitting in the safe and not gettin shot.
     
  10. Pjj342

    Pjj342 New Member

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    thanks guys, and another question

    It definately seems like this is something Ill take my time with. Ill get a 7.62x39 in a month or two and then maybe after that start pinchin pennies. What about olympic arms? I know I can find one of then in the 600-700 category. Whats really the difference between and olympic ar and one that costs $2000?
     
  11. DarinCraft

    DarinCraft New Member

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    Well it is actually going to a smith here before too long. I think the headspacing is wrong. Different ammo acts different in it. Some cases FTE and I have to use a rod to BEAT the case out, while others when in battery sound like they are almost rattling around. Not to mention the different ammos have completely different accuracy. however at the same time, the different ammos are consistent enough in my other AR that I can't tell that big of a difference.
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Yeah, that sounds like a gunsmith type issue to me. If some cases have to be beat out, but others seem to rattle around, I think your chamber might be a tad bit off. :eek:

    Stock barrel? Or a custom?
     
  13. Troy Michalik

    Troy Michalik Is it Friday yet? Supporter

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    Seriously, you should check out Del-Ton. I built one a few months ago for my boy and it's a really nice unit.

    You can buy the individual components or a complete rifle kit (less the stripped lower). Their kits run $465 and $485 and are upgradable if change out a component or two.
     
  14. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

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    Plum Crazy lowers, about $100 COMPLETE. I have no personal experience with them but they have received good reviews at predatormasters.com.

    Plumcrazy lower AR-15 Complete lower Plum crazy : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com

    Model 1 Sales 16 upper with BCG is $450. I have built half a dozen rifles with M1 uppers and had no problems.

    Model 1 Sales: 5.56/.223 C.A.R. Upper

    You said cheap... But as JD and Quentin stated, you will likely end up swapping stuff out later. The above will get you a rifle that functions though.
     
  15. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Im interested in trying a Cav Arms MKII composite lower. At around $90 it appears to be a decent deal.
     
  16. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    I don't understand buying a composite lower for the same price as you would pay for a forged lower. I wouldn't be worried about the strength, but build quality of the lower itself and wouldn't it look cheesy pinned to the upper receiver?
     
  17. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

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    MJ- I had a Cav Arms lower, worked just fine. The buffer spring retaining pin has to be held in with a cross pin though. It also uses special pivot and take down pins which came with the receiver

    The Plum Crazy lowers are not the same price as an aluminum lower. The Plum Crazy lowers are complete: stock, FCG, whole nine yards. A $100 aluminum lower will be just a lower, no parts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011