Considering first AR-15 build

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by jkatl, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    Hello, all.

    I'm new here at the forum. There's a lot of fantastic information here! I'm impressed.

    I have shot the AR-15 (5.56/223) a few times; a RRA---I loved it. So, I was considering purchasing the RRA new ELITE COMP until I researched and found this forum. You all have me very interested in building my own.

    After reading, for several hours, the information here, I'm getting a better feel for what is required. However, I'm kind of overloaded by all the various manufacturers out there. I don't have much of a clue about who has the better quality products.

    I have seen (and read) a few of your builds. I've bookmarked the videos on how/to build. I also read a thread from Dillinger about a build, but it only referenced a build in the "projects" section---couldn't actually find the details.

    Can anyone provided a detailed build where quality was the primary concern---not cost. I'm needing something like a list of stuff where I can go research manufacturer and so forth.

    Thanks. I look forward to getting to know you all here.
     
  2. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    Welcome to the FTF community.
    That’s great that you want to build your own. I finished mine about two months ago and love it. I was building with what I could find in available parts, rather than any one manufacturer. I also had to start with an off name brand lower receiver due to restrictions here in Calif. I used mostly Stag parts, including a complete Stag upper. I think I may go back and upgrade the trigger to a two stage, but no hurry on that.
    Question; are you looking to build an AR for close up shooting and plinking, or a longer range extremely accurate weapon? This will make a difference in what parts to get.

    PS you may want to post a howdy thread in the intro section. Let everyone get to know you.

    Jo
     

  3. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    Hey...thanks for the reply.

    Just to clarify....I'm not set on any one manufacturer, and in that regard, I'm certainly interested in better quality pieces from different manufacturers that would make up the whole.

    To answer your question, I'm more interested in close up shooting and plinking----at least for the first build. I'm interested in long range accuracy, too, but not for the first build. Certainly, if I could build some good accuracy (say out to 100-150 yards) into a "plinking" build that would be great.
     
  4. 753X0

    753X0 New Member

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    JKatl, If I'm reading you correctly, you may be able to do both with the same upper. To a certain extent.
    If you like RRA, stick with them, they're a good Co.
    Just get a 16" bbl with float tube, tango down front grip. Shoot 55 gr fragmentary rounds for close up shooting..
    Also if you can get a 1x8 twist barrel, then you can shoot your close up rounds as well as your longer range heavier bullets.

    Rock River Arms: Mid-Length Upper Half
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Welcome jkatl - What are you looking for the weapon to do? Varmint Shooting at distance? Room clearing CQB style weapon? Target shooting at 100 yards or 150 yards?

    Plenty of the guys here have built their own AR's - so you are in good company.

    As for my build, it started off being a wildcat AR, but when the Anti-Christ was a shoe in for the White House, I dumped the idea because of the ammo that would be required to keep feeding it. I decided to scale back and build another .223/5.56 model for longer range shooting. I haven't finished it yet - and I still need to decide on a barrel....

    JD
     
  6. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    I'm looking more to shoot 50-150 yards. Precision would be good, but I'm not looking for a varmit rifle at this point. I do want to build a quality AR-15. (In other words, I'm willing to spend more money for good stuff, if available---particularly with respect to the barrel.)

    I'm researching the threads here and other places to come up with a components list. I hope to be able to post that here soon and get some feedback.

    Dillinger....you mentioned in some post a while back that you had documented one of your builds. I can't find it. Do you still have the info, and if so, would you be willing to share it?

    Thanks.
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f35/journey-begins-5287/

    There is also a thread in the Knowledge Base that shows how to build an AR Lower from a stripped receiver.

    For 50 yards to 150 yards, you can probably go with an 18 inch barrel and achieve what you want to do.

    You are going to need a good quality trigger. Several of us around here like the RRA 2 Stage Drop In.

    You are going to want a top quality free floated front handguard. I really like Yankee Hill Machine products. They make a good product, they stand behind it and it can be had at a good price. There are other companies that make the same products, but you are getting about the same damn piece of kit.

    For a barrel, I would recommend NOT getting a chrome lined barrel for an accurate rifle. The chrome lined barrels were designed for high sustained full auto fire. Chrome lined barrels are better quality these days than back in the day, but they still aren't as good as the quality of a non-chrome lined barrel.

    Krieger Barrels make some of the best barrels on the market, and they will make you a custom AR Barrel in your preferred twist rate and length right off the shelf. Yes, they cost more. Yes, they are worth it. Yes, I am a barrel snob. :D

    JD
     
  8. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    Ok. After reading for hours and hours, I have decided that my first build should be more of a CQB to 50/75 yard plinker. I need to learn the ropes a bit before I tackle building a true tack driver at 100-150+ yards. Provided this first build goes well, I'll build something like a varmit rifle next. In the meantime:

    So, here my thoughts so far:

    still sticking with .223/5.56

    RRA lower with 2 stage trigger (think I'll try to find a stipped receiver and build it up in order to learn)
    RRA upper ?; just not sure yet
    probably YHM float tube (nice stuff they have)
    Magpul stock (CTR)

    Questions:

    1. thinking about Krieger barrels. (like JD, I love nice barrels; I have a custom turned barrel on my .308 sniper rifle) It is still better to NOT get chrome lined in this application or does it matter?

    2. re barrel: what twist? 1:9?
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    jkatl - Yep, you have officially reached the point of TOO MUCH information... :D It happens to everyone.

    You don't need a fancy two stage trigger and a custom Krieger barrel on an entry gun.

    75 yards, 100 yards, Minute of Bad Guy is going to be VERY easy to attain with a standard 16" barrel.

    Chrome lined or not chrome lined - either way, you will be able to shoot a silhouette at that distance with some very mild practice and some decent optics.

    Most of the guys here have shot out past 300 with an AR and open sights, able to hit a man sized target, so this is very do able.

    When you want to bild a tack driver, like a varmint gun ( we don't use the evil "S" word around here ) THEN you need to look at tuning your rifle with a custom trigger and a 20" bull barrel.

    A free float is always a good idea because it aids in cooling of the weapon.

    What type of ammo do you want to shoot? .55grain military ball? 75 grain reloads? Or what? Twist rate will determine what the weapon will shoot well in different grains - but I am sure you knew that already.....

    JD
     
  10. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    JD...thanks. Well understood.

    I'll stick to the 'basic' 55g stuff, I think. So, I'm guessing that a non-chromed lined OR chrome-lined 1:9 twist is fine? (either or)

    I'll be fine tuning my list of parts/components and submit for review.

    For now, thanks for the feedback. (btw, I've so liked this forum that I became a supporting member!)
     
  11. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    jkatl - Thanks for signing up, that is really great news.

    1:9 twist rates are great for the 55 grain stuff and you can go heavier as well. It's avery good twist rate for that type of ammo.

    One thing I would recommend is that you get a NATO cut chamber. The 5.56mm chamber is cut differently to be able to handle the slightly larger pressure of the military ammo. The rifle will still shoot the civilian .223, but you will see a SLIGHT decrease in accuracy because of the dimensional changes.

    If you have the option, go with a 5.56 chamber as opposed to a .223 chamber.

    Several makers offer a "wildey" chamber that is basically for both calibers to end some of the confusion, and that is fine, but it's not a chamber that is cut specifically for either round. IN a CQB weapon, this doesn't make much difference at all. In a longer range tack driver, it can negatively affect accuracy....

    Looking forward to seeing your progress along the way!

    JD
     
  12. Aggressive1

    Aggressive1 New Member

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    I like what you are putting together. I'd like to put together an AR as well just to learn how to shoot longer ranges then my 1911's. I also would like to get into some 3 gun matches and the AR seems like the ideal weapon. After my father in law picked up a RRA AR recently and after finding out that the company that machines their lower also machines the lower for Colt, Smith and Wesson, and a few others that make impressive firearms. I've been pretty set on starting with a RRA lower. So i'll be watching and learning.

    But I'm curious what type of finishes you've been considering? I saw an SOG in Carbine Tan that caught my eye.
     
  13. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    I haven't considered any finishes. I, too, have seen many variants. I'll probably just stick with the plain black for the first build.
     
  14. jkatl

    jkatl New Member

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    Well, finally got a "first-list" together of parts and pieces desired, but as luck would have it, it's all hard to find in stock----you all already knew this, of course!

    But, I have found some RRA stuff in stock. So, how's this look to you?

    (All .223/5.56 NATO)

    RRA LPK (might opt for 2 stage trigger upgrade)
    RRA Lower Receiver with Magpul CTR stock
    ERGO Grip
    Elite CAR A4 upper half

    Need opinions on what type of handguard/forearm:

    What do you think of the new RRA half & half on the Elite Comp?

    Also, what type of muzzle brake? Maybe RRA tactical? I want to be able to put on one of the quick detach suppressors.

    Anything I left out? (Other than sights. I'll be adding a EOTECH.)
     
  15. peabody

    peabody New Member

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    haves you thought of something like an A2 bushmaster dissipator ?:D
     
  16. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    jkatl, glad you found this forum and welcome. now this is just my opinion and maybe a suggestion and what i did. i had given a lot of thought on building my own AR15, but instead went with my friends advise and bought my first one, (Bushmaster M4A2 carbine) i've had it almost a year now and really enjoy it. i have decided to build my next one though after owning one that is pretty much stock. now i have more of an idea of what i want to build. i am not trying to discourage you from building your own, just giving you another option. your budget may be that you can't pay for one full price up front and to own one is to buy a piece here and there as you can afford to. i think most of us here have been there at some time. i can understand that, and i am putting in my two cents worth.
     
  17. 32tudor

    32tudor New Member

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    Not trying to steal his thread But I did what hes doing ,When I decided I wanted and AR15 I went shopping and found that for a nice one and we all want a nice one they are around 950.00 to 1000.00 so I did a lot of reading and like jkatl I found this forum .
    I ended up with a RRA lower just your basic lower, and a Armalite upper nothing fancy and it's a flat top so adding specialty sights is easier, ready to shoot
    600.00 not including optics and mags
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    there are some good deals on AR's out there. sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time with money in your pocket. i got a very lightly used Bushmaster M4A2 carbine for $800. my budget when i was looking to buy was 1000-1200. i spent 1100 on the rifle and extras. i have been happy with it for nine months now. my next AR rifle i plan to build in 6.8 SPC.