Considering building my own rifle

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by Lone_Wolf, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Lone_Wolf

    Lone_Wolf New Member

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    What rifle would yall suggest? I am thinking an AR-15...not sure yet...I want something dependable and can be used for home defense...I would get the 80% lower simply because I have no interest in dealing with the government sticking its nose in what I am buying etc...but wanted to know if I am going with the right rifle? Should a newbie start off with something different?
     
  2. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The AR-15 is not that difficult to build.
     

  3. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    Yup, a monkey with a basic knowledge of handtools could do it. The 80% lower on the other hand, requires special tools including a mill.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  4. XCR-C

    XCR-C New Member

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    Yeah an ar platforms good to start with, especially with its simple system, and you can make it in a variety of calibers. Like .223,.22, 308,243,6.8 and 6.5. Its ok in accuracy for a semi auto, at longer distance, and well suited for close combat.
     
  5. hoovco

    hoovco New Member

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    Don't do it.




    It's addicting.
     
  6. hoovco

    hoovco New Member

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    But seriously ... The ar15 is a fun platform. I started building in college and I've got like 5 now.
     
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    unless you have access to a milling machine, look for an 80% lower thats made to be able to use a common drill press. lot's of YouTube videos about them and do lot's of research before buying. there are even a few members here that have built an AR using an 80% lower. maybe they will chime in and provide some insight.
     
  8. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Building one is fun easy, and as said above very addicting. I do not recommend you try an 80% lower unless you at least have some basic skills with doing stuff like that. IIRC, you can get by with a drill press and a good bit, but it's still requires some skill.

    What state do you live in? If it's a state that allows face to face sells without a background check, you can find someone selling a stripped lower and buy it that way.
     
  9. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    80% lower is not the way to go unless your day job is something like machinist. Just order a stripped lower.

    I have built 5 80%ers this way over the last year. Takes something like 6 to 8 hours with a drill press alone. The jig costs as much as 2 or 3x an completed receivers. Not recommended as a beginners project.

    If your from Ohio I have a couple psa lowers that I might part with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  10. lattin1

    lattin1 New Member

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    You can finish 80% lowers with just a drill press and functionally it will be fine but they don't necessarily look too good when u open it up. Milling machine is definitely the better route to go though
     
  11. LocoTonyF

    LocoTonyF New Member

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    If you want an AR, I recommend a Stag model 8 because it is piston driven. There are other makes of piston ARs too. Direct Impingement ARs just get way too dirty way too fast. Then trick it out in whatever way you like. My Stag model 8 is a pleasure to shoot and the action stays clean due to the piston. It's also deadly accurate with just the iron sights.

    Mini 14s are also cool. I just got one but haven't shot it yet.[​IMG]
     
  12. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I'm also interested in building a rifle, but NOT necessarily an AR. AR's are easy because anywhere you look, there are parts. Most other guns, not so much. The only other exception I can think of would be the 10/22, which I don't have a real interest in. Are there any websites by any chance that deal mostly with building bolt guns?
     
  13. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Wolf,

    Nothing wrong with the direct impingement either! The pistons are also good systems if the rifle was built to be a piston gun. But even they have their falts also as everyother weapon does. But in all the years I have never had any issues with any of my impingment guns or piston guns. I take care of them all and I am not too lazy to keep my weapons in clean and operating condition. I have piston guns also so I am not biased to either. A good AR is a good AR regardless of the system. And also the piston guns do cost more as a rule.
    But as AXXE advised you! Thumbs down on the 80% project idea! Not when you can buy a good lower receiver from Anderson Arms and others when they have specials for around $70.00-$85.00?

    03
     
  14. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    The savage bolt guns are probably the easiest to build. They require the least amount(not zero tools!) of tooling to build up. Start with a nice 110/111 type action, rebarrel and accurize to your hearts content, add a really nice trigger(base accutrigger is pretty good) and stock and glass to your taste. Easy system that allows a home smith to headspace without a lathe...

    Mausers are probably the most customized bolt guns out there. Closely followed by Remingtons 700. Both require machine tools (lathe+tooling$$$) to work on. Much cheaper to farm out the metalwork to a good gunsmith and spend your time/money on the other parts of the project, if you decide to go this direction.

    You can restock pretty much any rifle out there on your kitchen table with just hand tools. Read some of the articles on action bedding/pillar bedding/action glassing first. Optics are also a handtool project and makes a nice starting point for begining builder. Choose your scope/mounts/rings and install. Again watch some videos first, its not as simple as just screwing the parts together!
     
  15. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Yes, I keep hearing that. But I am still unsure of how/where to get ahold of an action. Buy new or buy a used beater, disassemble, and build up? Like I said, AR parts fall out of the sky, not so much for Bolt Actions.
     
  16. jackrich3

    jackrich3 Active Member Supporter

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    It doesn't make sense to build a bolt action anymore. I used to build rifles in the early 70's when you could buy a 98 mauser or an '03 for off the rack for $35. Kept the action and tossed the rest in the burn barrel. Nowadays, there are reasonable rifles that are very accurate right out of the box. I've never been a fan of ARs but I'm seriously considering putting one together. Guess I just miss the building part, or the lack of ammo has me bored to tears, I dunno....
     
  17. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    You know, that's a good point. Is there even anything to gain by building?
     
  18. Warlock999

    Warlock999 New Member

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    actually there is. you can build a rifle in calibers not offered by the factory or some of the wildcat cartridges as well as in some that haven't been offered in a factory rifle in some years.

    plus you can get the rifle in a barrel contour in a caliber of your choice that may not be offered by a factory rifle maker.

    building your own or having one built to your specs, opens up options that may not even be available in a factory built rifle.
     
  19. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Hmmm, also a good point.
     
  20. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    Knowledge and skills....

    I used to do a lot of Mausers in the 80's-early 90's before the supply went away and the prices soared. I totally agree with the point about modern rifle accuracy. Off the shelf has come to the quality point of what you used to need a "basic" custom rifle for just a few years ago. The $400 Savage today can match the last decades $1000 Remington 700 pretty well.

    Look for a used gun first, the actions don't wear out. Small local gun shows and local gun shops are the first place I look. The local classifieds and local clubs are always a good place to check. I've bought guns with damaged/bent barrels before for less than $100. Ask if they have something behind the counter or in the back room. The second choice is a new base model gun and sell off the parts you dont use. You can recoup a sizable % of your investment this way.

    And that is the reason that most of us get involved it this type of project. In addition to bolt guns I also build custom 10/22's, 1911's, AR15 and AR10's. I've played around with some of the 80% stuff for my personal collection also(AR15, AR10, 10/22 and 10/22 Magnum). They are all tools for getting the job done. Don't ignore the modern AR's and what they offer. But learning the skills that older smiths had to use on previous generation weapons will make you better at ALL build types. Fitting and handwork skills never go out of style, allow you to make/modify parts and build something truely unique.

    Soap box put away for the day....:D

    Update: Links

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hVDu1EARBc[/ame]

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGroqvya_is[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014