How cheap can I go with a AR?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by warhawk77, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    I have a green light to pick up another rifle and I always like the AR look so leaning toward that. I don't know much about the AR platform so if I screw this up please go easy on me.

    Here is what I need it for.

    The gun will be used at the range 90-100% of the time, I am thinking of coyote hunting so it might have double duty, and if the SHTF defense gun(not home defense got a shotgun for that).

    As I will be plinking at the range I sure I will buy one of the conversion kits so I can shoot .22. This will give my boys a chance to shoot it will me.

    I will be mounting a scope. I am not sure I can hit something at 300-400 yards but I am going to try(not with the .22 I know) as I hear the .223 can reach out to 500 yards.

    I know I want it to shoot .223 but the 5.56 while cool not a must. I hear some will shoot the 5.56 but not all.

    Name brand doesn't matter that much to me. Just want it to go bang when I pull the trigger and not brake the bank. So I am thinking about picking up a upper/lower then save for a bit and pick up the other.

    I am also pretty good with basic tools and mechanical inclined so if it saves me cash I will build it my self it that is a option. I really like the looks of the Zombie AR parts(I think spike makes them) and if I can buy only what I need to use with no extra parts it will save cash.

    My two boys and I are huge zombie fans so those zombie parts are pulling at my wallet even before I have anything to put them on.

    If you guys/gals can give me some info to point me in the right direction that would be great.
     
  2. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Off the top of my head I am thinking that about $600 is realistically as low as you will get with new parts without opting for real cheap crap parts. You may get a lower price with a scratched or blemished upper or lower if you don't mind the look.

    Any engraved lower will add a few bucks to the price as will shipping and FFL transfer fee if bought online. One of the vendors here offers zombie hunter engraved lowers by Aero for $129, non engraved lowers from Spikes, PSA, etc can be had for about $100. Gunbroker can offer some deals, as can e-bay and other sights for stocks, lower parts kits, optics and sights. Point is you will need to scour the web for the best prices unless you hit a good deal. Again, slick guns, another vendor, does some of that work for you.

    Uppers are a mixed back and where you should put the most money, getting a good setup with a reliable BCG and barrel is more critical than the lower, IMHO.

    Scan through the posts in the AR forum to get an idea for some of the brands and vendors.
     

  3. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Not counting optics and .22 conversion kits, a basic barebones 5.56 / .223 Rem. AR will run you $650-$700 if you're planning on building one yourself. $750-$800 if you buy a new one complete. Once you start adding in ammunition, magazines and accessories the price jumps up pretty quick from there.

    Look at Del-Ton if you're looking at a basic reliable AR's. :

    Del-Ton Rifles: 16" Rifles from Del-Ton, Inc.

    Most people building an AR start with a stripped lower that is the only part that requires a purchase through a licensed FFL dealer and then start buying all the parts on-line. Unless you're a pretty good gunsmith with tools, buying a complete upper is usually the next step. You can build an AR upper completely from parts purchased on-line, but it takes some skill to do.

    Good luck with your build.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  4. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    If I buy a upper and a lower what else do I need? Not that I want to to buy two items just want to see what else I would need.


    Looking at some treads I think I will try and build the lower but buy the upper complete. I think I will stay away from chrome lined barrel.

    EDIT: Looking at the Del-ton site they have the kits for a good price. I could order one of those and then pick up a zombie lower and be good to go. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  5. Kinetics

    Kinetics New Member

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    Here is my checklist, as well as the parts i will be getting :D

    Tools(Unnecessary):
    Midwest Industries AR Stock Wrench
    Wheeler Engineering Brass Punch Set (8-Piece)

    Stripped Lower(Necessary):
    PSA AR15 Lower

    Lower Parts Kit(Necessary):
    Palmetto State Armory Ergo LPK

    Upper Receiver(Necessary):
    Del-Ton, Inc. AR-15 16" Mid-Length Custom Upper

    And then sights and a couple of mags, Alternatively you can go with this package, will save you some money, but its not as good as a midlength upper~

    Palmetto State Armory 16" M4 Standard Rifle Kit
    PSA AR15 Lower

    Now those are just my suggestions for a cheap durable AR, not top of the line, but good enough :D
    Also chrome lined barrels are good, idk why you would want to stay away from them?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  6. Wambli

    Wambli New Member

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    Generic lower: $79
    Lower Parts kit: $59
    Used Upper: As low as $350
    Used A2 stock: About $25

    That's about as cheap as it gets.
     
  7. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Along with your stripped lower and lower parts kit you'll need a buttstock with buffer tube, buffer and buffer spring. Usually they come in a kit, but not always.

    With your upper you'll need to select what sights you want to use if you go with an A4 flat top. There are pop-up sights and fixed sights to choose from. If you go with an A2 style it will have rear sights built into the carry handle and an A2 front sight.

    The above will give you a functional rifle when combined with ammo and a magazine.

    After that, there is scopes mounts and optics to choose if you want to go that way. Really, who wouldn't right?

    Also don't forget there are also slings, more magazines, rails, bipods and lights if you want. It all depends on how deep your pockets are.

    Oh, and don't forget lots and lots of ammo to shoot. :cool:
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Honestly, when the cost of an AR goes under $800 I start having doubts about its overall quality. And that's not counting optics, sling and other accessories.

    Not saying it's an iron-clad rule, the $800, there are bargains but know exactly what you're getting.
     
  9. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    Thanks everyone I am a lot less worried building my own now.

    I am going to go to the local shops tomorrow and see what lowers they have in stock. Maybe save that FFL fee.

    On the chrome barrels I read that they will wear and accuracy will go down. And after a point the barrel will be ruined. Not sure if that is 25,000 rounds or what and like I said I am not a AR guy so I could have been misinformed.
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Chrome plated barrels tend to last longer than non-plated, sometimes called chrome moly. 25K is starting to reach the useful life of an AR barrel. Probably not ruined but accuracy is dropping. Depends though on lots of variables. A lot of us have been following the story of Filthy 14, a BCM AR that's now around 44K and going strong. Accuracy has dropped off but it's still adequate for combat. This rifle has only been cleaned a couple times and had a bolt replaced and the extractor a few times.
     
  11. wooleybooger

    wooleybooger New Member

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    i bought an "everything but the lower" kit from sarco for $400. bought an $80 lower from a gunshow and i have a very good bang around ranch rifle. the sarco kits are a jigsaw puzzle-a box of parts with no instructions. prior experience is very helpful. like i said-a bang around ranch rifle,not a $1000 bragging piece(thats on my list).
     
  12. 7.62 Man

    7.62 Man New Member

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    I just built my cheapest AR about a month ago.
    I was searching for a new plinker to buy & found an cheap custom blem upper at JSE surplus.
    So wanting to stick with the cheap theme I started searching for the cheapest lower that I could find, so here is what I found.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This upper has a 18" BD 1x8 twist SS air gauged 5.56 chambered barrel, it has M4 feed ramps, mid gas system, with a mid length free float Tube, M4 flat top upper, bolt/carrier and charging handle. cost $375 shipping $13.72
    With a 1 year warranty!;)
    And the lower is a complete Plum Crazy composite lower. cost $119.99 shipping $15 transfer $15 And it has a lifetime warranty from manufacturing defects.
    A pair of scope rings from a local gun shop. cost $15
    The scope I had off gun I sold.
    I have over 600+rds through it to date without any problems.
    Total cost as you see it is $553.71:eek:
    Keep looking you can find a cheap shooter too!
     
  13. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    If I was purchasing a rifle right now it would be a PSA. Id order a complete upper then the lower the next day to save the 11% tax.

    As far as distance 5.56 is capable of much more than 500yds.

    Id also look around online before committing to anything from a gun shop. Often you can come out on top even after paying a FFL fee.

    Theres also a big difference between cheap and inexpensive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  14. Kinetics

    Kinetics New Member

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    Yeah, PSA has some great prices, thats what i would go with :D
     
  15. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    The Del-ton kit was a extra $45 for a chrome lined barrel.

    The palmetto kit does look nice.

    One of the local shops had lowers but at $129.00. But that PSA lower is $80 so even with $25 FFL fee I am should come out ahead.

    After thinking it over I am going to get the 5.56 barrel.

    Do I have to get a lower receiver that lists muilt to be legal if I plan on using it for .22L?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  16. Kinetics

    Kinetics New Member

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    Umm, im not sure about that last part, good question though. So what upper are you going with?
     
  17. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    This is the kit I was thinking about.

    Palmetto State Armory 16" M4 Standard Rifle Kit

    At that price I only need to pick up a lower striped, sights, and mag I think.

    Researching a bit on the styles I want a M4 style. I like the short barrel and flat top.
     
  18. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    Question on Mags

    Do I need a mag to shoot 223 and a diff one to shoot 5.56? Or can they both share one?

    Thinking when I get mine built I have to get 3 or 4 mags and wondering if I can get double duty out of them.
     
  19. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    While there are some very small dimensional differences between 5.56mm NATO and .223 Rem., essentially they are one and the same. The real difference is in chamber pressure and bullet velocity. 5.56mm NATO is the stonger of the two.

    Oddly enough, when it comes to .308 Win. and 7.62mm NATO rounds, the .308 Win. is the stronger of the two.

    Yes the AR magazines are interchangable. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  20. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I will start looking for some deals