I've been contemplating and researching all the options and variations on a good rookie AR build for the last few weeks. Was about to go brain dead with the overwhelming possibilities and could have ended up doing nothing for who knows how long. Over the last couple of days, I decided to just go for it and learn along the way. I'm sure there will be things I find I like or dislike and others I wish I could add but have to wait on; but here we go anyway!! PLEASE chime in with thoughts and suggestions. Here's where I'm at so far: Started with getting a Spikes stripped lower on the way thanks to a great guy here. Perfect. I was really having a hard time deciding on my upper. And when I thought I had it figured out ... backordered. Well, today I solved that problem. JSE Surplus is based just outside of town here; so when I got a little free time this afternoon I stopped in to see what they actually had in stock vs what is online. Turned out to be a great time to go. Didn't actually plan on a purchase today. But ... DTI flat top upper - 5.56 NATO 16" chrome lined 1x9 barrel Mil-spec bcg Midwest Industries Gen2 10" ff hand guard YHM Comp flash hider What made it easy was I got it for in trade for my RIA .45 even up. Came out just right IMHO. Here's what's up next that I've decided on: RRA lpk Magpul MOE stock Magpul backup rear sight Magpul backup front sight Not sure 100% on the optics yet, but leaning towards the Vortex SPARC.