OK guys, I’m looking for some advice to help me figure out what options to pick for my first SUR-15 project. I'm pretty new at this, but have been spending some time reading through the material on the forum and elsewhere. First, what do I want to do with the weapon? Realistically, it’s probably going to mainly be used for target shooting, and maybe some plinking out in the desert. I suppose in some wild SHTF scenario it might be called upon in a personal defense role, or maybe putting some food on the table. I’m trying to remain hopeful that things won’t reach that point. Mostly I’m doing this because I want to, because I can, and because I think it will be a fun project that will also provide a good learning experience. I’ve already procured a CMMG lower, a lower parts kit, and a buffer tube (with all the related buffer tube parts). I’m pretty sure I want to go with the MagPul CTR stock. I like the ability to solidly lock it on the buffer tube, and I like the look. I’m still looking around for one in stock at a reasonable price. I’m overwhelmed with all the choices on the upper. I’ve studied this post: http://everything you want know about ar-15 models/. My preliminary thoughts are influenced by the information in the writeup by JWise. Based on his evaluations I’m kind of leaning towards a CMMG upper. I haven’t completely decided but I may go for a complete upper for this first gun, and then maybe build another that I build up completely from components. This choice is about expediency – not sure I have the patience at this point to track down available stock on all the individual pieces. Upper Type: I’m thinking of an A3 style upper. No particular reason other than I like the look, and will want to put optics on the gun eventually. M4 Feed Ramps: I understand these are desirable to help ensure reliable operation. But then I realize the choice isn’t quite that simple because CMMG (maybe others?) offers the choice between “anodized feed ramps” or “extended polished feed ramps”. Not a big up charge for the later ($10), but is it worth it? What are the tradeoffs? Barrel: Probably leaning towards a 16” Government profile, chrome lined, 1/7 twist. I’ve given some thought to an 18” barrel, since I don’t see close quarters work as being a really high priority for this gun. Any thoughts on the alternatives here? Gas Length: Leaning towards mid length – is that a reasonable choice? Front Sight/Glass Block: Here’s where the options seem to get out of hand. My guess is I will initially build and shoot the gun with iron sights, but will eventually want to put optics on the gun. Given that, is there a good choice for front sight and gas block that will eventually be compatible with optics? Do I necessarily want a folding sight to be compatible with the optics? Rear Sight: Basically, I have the same questions about what makes sense to do initially if I plan to add optics later. Is there a good rear sight that will work well until I get optics and then be compatible with optics down the road, or do I need to be thinking of changing the sights to some BUIS later when the optics are installed? Handguards: Probably will just get standard handguards to start with, and think about upgrading to some sort of rail system down the road. That should save a bit of money up front, and I’ll probably have a better idea how we’re using the weapon by then Flash Suppressor: Another area where there are too many choices! What works, what doesn’t? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!