Help a beginner build his first AR

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by ssonnier, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    So I've been lurking around these forums for a while now, and I've made the decision to start buying up parts as I can and maybe asking for some birthday/christmas gifts lol. I was hoping you folks could give me some pointers/tips and help me develop a cheap parts list.

    What I'm looking for right now is just a bare bones platform. No frills or fancy stuff. Just a 5.56 chambered AR15 platform to build on later. But I'm ready to get shooting. I've been reading every chance I get and looking at dozens of websites and even going into gun shops checking out AR stuff. But honestly it is kind of overwhelming. I am completely new to AR's except for what I've learned in the last few months and beside shooting some friends on a half dozen occasions. My experience with them is quite limited.

    I'm just looking to do this on a budget and over time so I would like to set up a good list of all the quality parts I NEED to get this rifle shooting. THat way I can just buy one thing at a time over the next few weeks, and know what I have left to get.

    Sorry for the long post but I look forward to sharing my experiences on here with all of you great gun enthusiasts.
     
  2. linuxuser3890

    linuxuser3890 New Member

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    Remember that if you start with cheap parts you end up with a cheap gun. If your AR experience is really as little as you claim I wouldn't suggest it and you are not even considering the tools that you need for the build. I would consider buying a rifle already built and start buying the tools you need to alter it later if shooting it now is what you really want to do.

    If you are truly adamant about building the rifle, maybe you should start by just building a lower and buying a complete upper. That way you can ensure that you have a multi cal lower that will legally accommodate anything you want later.

    I wish you the best in your decision.

    Sent from my Inspire 4G using FirearmsTalk
     

  3. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    The fact that I am on a budget does not persuade me to use cheap parts. I am pretty set on building this rifle myself completely. Although my experience with the AR platform is limited. I am not unfamiliar with firearms. And when I spoke of my inexperience of the platform I am talking "hands on" time with stripping and rebuilding and shooting. As far as the tools needed to complete the job. Rest assured I have full access to a full service gunsmith and his entire facility. He has offered to guide me through the entire process.

    I am hoping that with some time in the next month or so and the help of my friend along with the members of the forum I can build a good budget built plain and simple AR15.
     
  4. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    Lucky you to have found the right place. When I came here all I could do was point and pull a trigger. After much reading and some great advice I managed to not only build an AR15 but I built a custom in .458SOCOM as well. My next project will be a custom AR10 when time and funds permit.

    As for advice on a budget I would suggest limiting your search to the most popular 3-5 AR parts websites and keep a look out for deals. Check out Brownell's and get yourself a list of all the parts that are needed. Then decide how much you want to build - lower only, lower and upper, upper only?

    But the best advice is to probably read the stickied build threads .. then reread them again. You will see how easy it can be and then realize just how good a quality rifle one can build.

    Both my AR's shoot MOA at 100yds ... not bad for a guys who could just point and shoot just a few years ago.
     
  5. linuxuser3890

    linuxuser3890 New Member

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    Ok well check out the brownells series on building an AR they have a complete list of parts you will need and how to assemble them. Plus the videos are broken down into the different variations. Your gunsmith friend would prolly be able to explain things to you better than anyone could in text. Just sayin.

    Sent from my Inspire 4G using FirearmsTalk
     
  6. JeffCooper

    JeffCooper New Member

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    I completely agree that a stripped lower, parts kit and complete upper (ordered separately) is the way to go. Other than maybe a good pair of needle nose, a couple of pin-punches and a castle wrench you don't need anything else, other than the guides provides all over the internet (here, ar15.com, youtube.com, etc). I snagged a stripped lower and parts kit with a 2-stage NM trigger for $170. Palmetto and RRA, so no cheap crap there. Palmetto really treated me right too.
     
  7. theboarbuster

    theboarbuster New Member

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    I build a lot of AR's for people. I help build 16 last month. All that is required for a good AR is that it functions reliably and its accurate. Anything else is just for looks.
    Spend your money on a good barrel bolt combo ( I recomend AR Performance)
    If you get barrel bolt combo you wont have to worry about headspace. After that your just buying parts. While not necessary you could spend a little money on a trigger maybe an RRA 2 stage or a JP. The rest of the parts you can get from Cheaper Than Dirt. Your gun may not look as slick as a Spikes, Larue, Wilson, ect. but it will shoot just as good.
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Do you have a dollar figure in mind? You can cut corners and do a build for $600 or less for a basic rifle but I'd suggest getting better components and budget more like $750-$850. I'm talking basic parts including iron sights, no optics.

    I lean toward building the lower first with good parts and researching uppers for the best price and configuration. (Take all the time you need since you said you want to stretch out this build over time.) Odds are you won't save money building the upper as prices are pretty good for complete uppers and unless you're wanting something really wild it's pretty easy to find exactly what you want for about $500 or a little more. The stripped lower, LPK and stock can come in for about $250-300 for good quality. Sights, sling and magazine can add $100+. Don't forget good used items, that's what I did for my rear irons initially.
     
  9. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    Thanks for all the input so far everyone. I am sorry I guess I forgot to mention my budget. Im hoping to stay right around 750-1000 dollars. All while getting the best "bang for my buck" That price figure hopefully will include a few mags and about 500 rounds. I dont think that is too hard on the wallet considering Ill be using a little off each paycheck over the next few weeks.

    I just got off work so Im going to be searching all night and I will post prices and parts I like as I come across them. I think Im convinced with buying a complete upper. It seems the general consensus is that its faster, easier, and just as affordable.

    I have already learned a ton from this site. Its great to be part of a forum again where people arent all pricks and are actually really helpful. Some of the better off-road and automotive forums have really went downhill. So thanks.
     
  10. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    AR15 UPPER COMPLETE WITH COYOTE TAN METAL QUAD RAIL WITH LATCH

    maybe something like that for the upper?

    found this on my first search for lower parts kit

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/8481.php

    this seemed like a good deal for a forged stripped lower. what do yall think?

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/1560.php

    may have already found a 6 pos stock today from a friend. he said 75 bucks but i dont yet know what brand it is. im getting more excited now. pretty anxious to start ordering parts but i want to do some more shopping around first and make some more calls. now if i could just get this dirtbike sold id have some more money to spend on the project!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  11. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    ssonnier you can do much better than that for the same money. Take a look @ AIM Surplus Home for Spikes Tactical uppers.
     
  12. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    wow man thanks for the link. see thats the part of this I needed the most guidance with. I dont have experience with all these parts suppliers. Now if we were talking custom automobiles or motorcycles. Im all there.

    Do most lowers offer a decent fit up to the spikes upper? Cant have a haggard looking rifle! ha
     
  13. FCross7

    FCross7 New Member

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    Most of the good uppers and lowers will fit up nice and tight, the only thing that might differ is the finish.

    -Fred
     
  14. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    I can live with that. There's always the option of powder coating everything later on since I have the equipment anyways. I'm just trying to ask all the right questions on this.
     
  15. FCross7

    FCross7 New Member

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    Just decide on the upper you want, then buy a lower from that same company. If you like the Spike's uppers, then buy a Spike's stripped lower to go with it. They make a great lower at a reasonable price, around $100 I think, and they have a few different roll marks to choose from. Just check out their website.

    www.spikestactical.com

    I would definitely recommend a Spikes. I have a ST-15 Carbine, and it's a great rifle. I know some of the guys who work there and they're great people. Spike's is only about 15 minutes from where i live. Their products have a lifetime warranty and I've heard their customer service is excellent.

    If I was gonna go with a company other than Spike's, it would be BCM. They're another great company to check out.

    -Fred
     
  16. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    Yeah Im looking now and they are pretty reasonable. So i think that made up my mind. I will be going with spikes upper and lower. I went ahead and committed to buy the stock. Turns out its a magpul. Which from my understanding is a good company? Ill post some pics in the next day or so.

    So now for a tricky part. Finding a grip. The reason is, and I hope someone here has the same issue, I have huge hands. I stand about 6' 9" and I've got big banana hands. lol. The most comfortable pistol I own is a SIG SAUER P226 Tac Op. It just fits real well. So something with those dimensions would be awesome.

    Heres a link to view the pistol.
    P226 Tactical Operations
     
  17. FCross7

    FCross7 New Member

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    Sounds like a plan. Magpul makes some great products. I've got their ACS stock, MIAD grip, MBUS rear sight on my rifle, and I use PMags.

    As far as grips go, the MIAD from Magpul comes with 3 different back straps to adjust it's size. I'm sure there are others that do the same sort of thing.

    -Fred
     
  18. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Spikes makes a nice lower.

    For furniture Magpul's MOE line is a good choice.
     
  19. ssonnier

    ssonnier New Member

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    Yeah having an adjustable grip would be sweet so that way the lady can shoot it too and be comfortable.