First AR Build

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by SavageGlock, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. SavageGlock

    SavageGlock New Member

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    Hey all,

    I am fairly new to the forum and wanted to pick some of your brains. I am going to start my first AR build very soon. First I am looking to purchase a lower I've been looking at spikes and rock river mainly. Today I was on Aimsurplus.com when I stumbled across the R Guns receiver(as pictured)
    I was curious if they are of good quality compared to RR or spikes. Also what the difference was between this receiver and all the other stripped lowers. Is it just that it has the ramp, ejection door, and forward assist? Also I am wanting to put together the lower and buy an upper since uppers are more complex to work on. I am new to the AR world so I will have a lot of questions and any advice will be much appreciated!
     

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  2. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    Welcome Savage!!

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/ar15-primer-beginners-guide-59600/

    That's where I'd start the journey on building an AR. While the lower isn't that difficult to build, the upper can require some really specialized tools and such, so I'd recommend building your lower yourself, and then ordering the upper from a reputable source.
    The questions needed answered to help you on this are as follows:

    What are you going to be using it for? (SHTF? Home defense? Terrorizing paper targets?)

    Ranges you plan on shooting?

    Precision shooting or just hitting the target?

    What's your budget, and does that include optics?
     

  3. SavageGlock

    SavageGlock New Member

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    I basically want a good all around riffle. Definitely don't need another self defense weapon I have a Glock 22 and a pistol grip tactical Mosseburg 590. I want a riffle that I can hit a 6" target at 150-250 yards consistently but it doesn't have to be a tack driver that can also be a fun varmint riffle as well.
    Thanks or the link I have read over that thread a few days ago very good info. I mainly want a reliable parts list that will keep me under a $1000 budget.
     
  4. SavageGlock

    SavageGlock New Member

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  5. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    The geniuses will be along shortly. I am a rookie on this, but here's my take. A good lower receiver primarily needs to be mil-spec, and not a polymer. It's good to get a decent one, but it's not the spine of the set up. Spikes, PSA, RRA, BCM and other companies are solid for lowers.
    The Lower parts kit, get a good one, and decide on the furniture you want on it. Use companies with reputations and high commendations. Magpul, Troy, companies like that can meet most of your needs.
    Don't get fancy on the bling yet. Put together what you want and need, and then, after you've shot it a few times, determine what you want to add on. This will save you money, both upfront and down the road.
    Get a good barrel. I am biased, and think for the buck BCM is superb. You'll get other recommendations.
    Get a decent trigger in your lower parts kits. Again, depending on budget, PSA and others will be mentioned.
    Take your time and make sure you get what you want. Better to build what you are comfortable with, financially and shooting wise, than to get an expensive safe queen.
    I'd assume you want a 5.56 caliber.
     
  6. SavageGlock

    SavageGlock New Member

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    Thanks for all the info. again. I think I will get a spikes lower. Everything seems to be back ordered so I guess it becomes a waiting game.
    Yes a 5.56 I was thinking 308 but would need up being to expensive to shoot.
    Any idea of a website that lists gun parts locally for a lower instead of online?
     
  7. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Ben's got you covered!

    I highly recommend reading the stickies at the top of the forum. Read the Primer, and look at the "pictures of lower recievers"

    So long as the lower is in spec you really shouldn't have any problems with a plain jane milspec type. $1000 is a good budget, are you allocating more funds for optics? or is that budget including optics.

    Holding 6" at 150 isn't asking your AR to do much. With quality ammo, and a quality shooter (i kid), 6" at 300 should be within reason for any decent AR.

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/ar15-primer-beginners-guide-59600/
    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/pictures-lower-receivers-38440/
     
  8. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    You can wait on Spikes if you like the watermark, but realistically? This is 7150 aluminum as well.

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/psa-ar15-lower.html

    And it is in stock as we speak. Other thing to remember? Check out joebobsoutfitters.com. Any orders over $90 is free shipping and handling, and see if other sites will offer the same.
     
  9. SavageGlock

    SavageGlock New Member

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    $1000 budget would just be for the gun including iron sights... Eventually after I'd pick up an optic for it for sure. For now I just really want to build and start shooting! That's what they are for anyway right hah. Also is there any way to avoid the $50 transfer to FFL fee?
    One more thing I've been debating. Would it be cheaper/better quality to build one with my budget piece by piece or buy a say a S&W M&P AR then tailor it to my needs?

    With that said which is a better AR S&W or DPMS??
     
  10. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    Call around to the other FFL's in the area, and find out if you can get it done for less. I would shop for that just like you shop for parts and get it shipped to the lowest of the bunch.
     
  11. SavageGlock

    SavageGlock New Member

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    @Ben I mainly want the spikes lower because I've heard good things and I do like the symbol aesthetics. But I would be open to others such as the one you suggested. Thanks for the links.
     
  12. Todd_

    Todd_ New Member

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    One of the best things you can do, if you don't already know exactly what you want, is to take a look at the AR Picture Thread. When I first started, all I knew was I wasn't a fan of the stock front sight post. Looking at all the other rifles here gave me ideas, allowed me to pick a direction and know what I truly wanted, instead of buying what was at my Local Gun Store and finding out later that a 15" Handguard really DOES look that badass.

    But I'm biased :p

    Decide if you want a carbine or mid-length gas system. I advise the mid-length, I feel it runs slightly smoother and is easier on the internals of your gun. The rifle length has its has port 12" away from the chamber. The carbine length has system has the port 7" from the chamber. This causes a shorter dwell time and increased pressures flowing back up through the gas block and rod and back to your BCG. While this isn't a huge deal, it can cut some of the life span from the internals on the rifle. The mid-length solves this by placing the gas port the same 9" away from the chamber, therefore increasing the dwell time and allowing more room for the gas to expand prior to it entering the gas port and going back to blow back your bolt for the next round, decreasing some of the wear on said bolt. I don't think the difference is huge, but given the option with both being the same price, carbine or mid-length from the same manufacturer, I would as "why NOT go with a mid-length?". Plus, you can't mount a bayonet on your carbine, it's too far from the end of the barrel. With a bayonet lug, you CAN mount one on you middy! Not that I would mount a bayonet on my rifle, I don't even have the front sight post or bayonet lug, but it's the principle of the matter damnit!

    Once that's figured out, decide if you want a front sight post or if you want a low profile gas block and an extended rail. This can decide how you shoot your gun. Magpul preaches a C-clamp with the left arm far out on an extended rail, preaching that it increased accuracy and decreases follow-up shot time due to extra control. If you prefer to shoot using a forgrip instead, then you may not need an extended rail. It also comes in to play with other things you may want to add, such as a flashlight. A longer Handguard means less of a barrel shadow and allows you to put the light closer to the end of the gun. I'm an advocate for longer rails myself, but wish I would have gone with the tube design over the quad rail. 12" on a 14.5" barrel and 15" on a 16" barrel is where it's at! (in my oh so humble opinion)

    Depending on what you want from the gun will also help determine what type of barrel you want. For precision shooting, a stainless barrel will be the one to go with, they are the most accurate (not by much, but a little bit goes a long way in precision shooting) but will degrade faster. For none precision shooting, chrome lined barrels will still offer you the chance to shoot sub-MOA with excellent ammo and a great shooter, but will also last lover than a traditional stainless barrel. Chrome lined is by far the most popular due to the extended lifespan granted by compromising very little accuracy. You only need to be "minute of bad guy" to get the job done!

    Barrel length and twist will also be determined by what you want to do with the gun. Longer range shooting = longer barrel, with 20" to 24" being more common longer range type barrels and 16" or 14.5 with a tacked flash hider being the most common length due to legal restrictions limiting any less without a special permit for a short barreled rifle. 16" barrels will still get you out to 500 yards easy enough with the .223, it's considered the most practical length (opinion based information). The grain of bullet you will fire will determine the barrel twist. Of you are shooting very light bullets, varmint bullets, you would go with a lesser twist (the number escapes me, I don't shoot the super light varmint ammo). For heavier grain bullets, a 1:9, 1:8, and 1:7 are all available. The military uses 1:7 twist due to the heavy grain bullets they fire along with the tracer rounds. Tracer rounds are longer and require a faster twist to stabilize them during flight, hence the 1 in 7, or 1 full twist in ever 7" of barrel, twist rate. For home defense, plinking, SHTF and general rifle use, as long as you aren't going to be shooting the incredibly light ammo, any of the three above would work fine. I have 1:7, and it stabilizes 62 grain bullets just fine.

    Buy cheap, buy twice. The most important part of the rifle is the barrel, followed by the other upper components. Spend the money on a good complete upper, and the rest should fall in to place. I went with PSA, a company that's still relatively new on the big-time market and they use all the same materials and quality testing that the big names use, but they are lacking in the CS department due to their smaller size and recent explosive growth. Order through them and you may save $100-$150 on an upper, but you also may have to wait three weeks for an in stock it's to ship since all their uppers are assembled when ordered, not before. If you have that finds for it, I highly recommend Bravo Company Manufacturing, they have great shipping times, excellent CS, and make superb products. Daniel Defense is pricey, but their product is another that you can count your life and the lives of your family on and never be disappointed. All good things to say about DD and BCM. Spikes is also a great brand, they were where PSA was not too long ago and have established themselves a but more, hands the slightly higher prices. Around here, reputation is everything. You may make your parts with the same materials, using the same testing processes like high pressure testing and magnetic particle inspection, but until you have established yourself as a company that puts out the highest quality 99.9% of the time and have the CS there to go above and beyond, you can't charge the same as the big boys do. Hence the premium on DD, KAC, BCM, etc etc.... But with those guys, you are GUARANTEED the highest quality.

    Good luck on your build man, I'm sure the real experts like Tikki here will guide you to excellence. I was just bored and wanted to type for a while :p

    Edited for spelling and a hot fix on the gas system lengths from Tikki!
     

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  13. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    get a Magpul lower......
     
  14. Kinetics

    Kinetics New Member

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  15. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Todd- nevermind, I see that now that you are talking about from the muzzle. I'd also add that, gas port diameters are not constant between the gas systems.

    But on the money Todd, way to go man!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  16. Todd_

    Todd_ New Member

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    Thanks man, I try to regurgitate as much knowledge as I can to new guys looking for their first bits of advice, sometimes it gets a little jumbled :p.

    Thanks for the fix, will edit original post!
     
  17. Todd_

    Todd_ New Member

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    If I were in your shoes, I would opt to get the 1:9 chrome lined barrel instead of the 1:9 chrome moly. See above post for reasoning :-D

    I would also get the chrome BCG option, and look at the options for the gas blocks and free float tubes. But by then, the price is in the same range as the BCM uppers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  18. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    That's just wrong. Why do you want to send the young man on a snipe hunt?
     
  19. Todd_

    Todd_ New Member

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    LOL! He would be searching for hours!
     
  20. Kinetics

    Kinetics New Member

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    Yeah, unfortunately that is not an option from me, as im buying it from a friend. however im not as big of a shooter as most people, and im not old enough for a job yet, so i dont need chroming, that will come when im older and have more money :D Btw im only 15 so i have to go with the cheapest but still good quality parts that i can get