Playing with the idea of building my own rifle

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by JR36, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    Howdy folks, new here and looking for some thoughts/advice from those who undoubtedly know more than I on the subject.

    Former USMC 0311, 03-07. So I have some knowledge of the system to a point but damned if I know the nuts and bolts. Thats what the boys in the armory were for.

    Looking to build a rifle for street to street, house to house and down to door to door type ranges. Id say realistically 300 yds max and inside of 100 yds 60% of the time, though if need be id still like to push back to 500 yds and still drop rounds on target. Pretty much just holding MOA, not looking for a tack driver. Pretty much a M4 knock off I figure.

    Im really looking for a basic platform from which I can add to as money allows. This is going to be a fairly long term project as I dont want to dip into my deployment/savings fund. As such ill be picking up the parts as I find good deals and as I have the spare funds.

    Back to the platform concept, im looking for fairly bare bones, I dont need an ACOG at this point nor do I need any highspeed crap. Just a solid foundation to build on.

    I thrive on lists, so heres mine so far. Feel free to add if ive overlooked something. Like I said before, I know next to nothing about the nuts and bolts and actually building an M16/M4 so my list is just pretty much the parts I do know.

    Id like to build it from as scratch as I possibly/cost effectively can.

    +Lower Rec
    -Lower Rec Parts
    -Trigger assembly
    -Buffer/Buffer Spring
    +Upper Rec
    -Bolt Carrier Group
    -Charging Handle
    -Forward Assist
    -Ejection Port Cover
    +Stock
    +Barrel
    +Rails/Handguards
    +Sights

    Reckon ill pick out the big items first:

    Lower Rec - Kinda figure the Lower doesnt really matter, id prolly care more about my charging handle than the Lower.

    Upper Rec- A3 flattop, possibly CMMG(?)($135)

    Barrel - Thinking 16'', 5.56, 1:8, Chromed. Eyeing the DSA Zm4 Upper/barrel for $265. Seems hard to beat, plus it'll knock out several items at once but then again I loose doing it all from scratch. Odds are ill be firing mil surplus ammo 90% of the time. Im just guessing at 1:8 mainly because its between 1:7 and 1:9 and not because I actually know anything about twist rates.

    Trigger- Might just spring for a 2 stage and get it out of the way early on. I doubt I really need it but I doubt I really need a chromed barrel either. But ill leave that to yall.

    Rails/handguards- Something free floating, im sure I have some issue handguards laying around somewhere.

    Stock- Something collapsible would be nice depending on price, or I could just toss on an old A2 solid stock and pick up the collapsible later on. Once again ill leave that to yall.

    Sights- Irons for now. Either pop up rear sights or an attachable carrying handle.

    Bolt Carrier Group - No idea on that.


    Sorry for the long post but I kinda figured Id lay out what I was looking for and what id sort of researched already on my own so yall could help me more easily. Id love to get some feedback on this idea, maybe some links, some ideas/thoughts, and anything else yall are willing to throw my way. Appreciate it boys.
     
  2. Mutabam

    Mutabam New Member

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    Check out M4 barrels at gunkings.com. I've recently built three M4s with the Yankee Hill Machine 16.5", chrome-lined, fluted barrels. They're excellent. Also picked up a really nice Daniel Defense M4 barrel from Brownell's for $169. All these barrels are 1/7 twist, chrome-lined. Gun Kings does offer the YHM barrels in 1/9.

    You can also get the excellent YHM stripped upper, which does include the forward assist and ejection port door already installed @ Gunkings for $102. Both the YHM barrels and uppers all come with M4 ramps.

    YHM A3 Upper Receiver, AR-15 ( Free Shipping) [YHM-100] - $102.00 : Gunkings, 10-22 and AR15 parts and accessories

    You can also pick up some good deals on lower parts kits, etc., from adcofirearms.com
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010

  3. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    Appreciate the feedback Mutabam. My bookmark folder continues to grow rapidly. I cant seem to find out what a fluted barrel is in laymans terms. From what ive gathered its just a chopped down barrel to save weight?

    So far what ive found is:

    Trigger- RRA 2 stage -$120ish
    Handguards - Yankee Hill - $100-140ish
    Stock - $90ish
    Sights - Yankee Hill QDS sights- 120ish
    Bolt carrier group - Lewis Machine Tool- 130
    Lower Rec -
    Lower Rec Parts - 50-70
    Barrel - 170-180
    Upper Rec- 102-130
     
  4. deth502

    deth502 New Member

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    yes, fluting a bbl is just making lengthwise cuts on the outside of it to save weight, and increase teh surface area to aid in cooling.

    1/8 should be a fine for milsurp. weather your shooting 55 or 62gn.

    its your rifle, get what you want, but since you asked for opinions, i wouldnt get the chrome lined bbl. in general, lined bbls are less acurate, and they cost more. if you are shooting dirty ammo in full auto on extended missions where you may have to go weeks without cleaning the rifle in wet conditions, then by all means, get teh chrome. for a civilian semi rifle that will be put away every night and cleaned regularly, imo, it not worth the increased price and loss in acuracy.
     
  5. Mutabam

    Mutabam New Member

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    Since we are just expressing opinions, let me opine that another reason to get a chrome-lined barrel is that it's easier to clean and last thousands of rounds longer than a non-chrome barrel.

    Accuracy is a matter of personal interpretation. My chrome-lined 16" Bushy Shorty has shot some 1/2", five-shot groups @ 100 yds. If you're going to be doing serious benchrest competition, which I'd assume that you're not, then, yeah, skip the chrome-lined barrel. Otherwise, for an M4 configuration, you'll like the chrome-lined barrel! Get the 1/7 twist.
     
  6. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    Honestly the only reason I threw out the chromed barrel was due to the fact that its what I was issued and therefore used to. I dont plan on babying this rifle but then again rifle maintenance isnt anything new to me. Its going to get beaten around, get wet, get muddy and get rode hard. Im going to assume its going to be on par if not better than my issued m16a4 and I should know when it needs to be taken care of. If im wrong and there is some glaring differences between issued and civ market stuff, please feel free to catch me up to speed.

    Is there a drastic price difference between chromed and non chromed?

    All opinions are welcomed and weighed.
     
  7. Mutabam

    Mutabam New Member

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    The chrome-lined barrels I referred you to run from $169 to $200. Not much difference in them and the non-chrome models.

    My first build used a RRA bull varmint barrel that's stainless, not chrome-lined; however, all since have been with chrome-lined barrels.

    You can probably find a better price on that RRA match trigger.
     
  8. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Welcome to the group. Here a few threads I suggest everyone read before building their own weapon. A lot of this area has been covered time and time again, so some of your answers might be found here for you.

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/lets-end-ar-bs-5843/

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/how-build-ar-lower-receiver-4987/

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/its-finally-finished-my-first-ar-6910/


    Now, onto what you are looking for in parts.

    If you want a street to street weapon, you probably want a 16" barrel, free floated, and don't need a two stage trigger. 2 Stages are nice, but they really only benefit you in longer shooting, like varmints. The exta money saved on a stock trigger that you can touch up with a Google interest can be spent for better overall parts.

    Yankee Hill Machine has great products and they are definitely affordable. Below market value in my opinion and we have installed a ton of them.

    Brownell's currently has an AR-15 catalog that they just set out that has EVERY product for the AR platform they carry, and at really good prices. I would suggest getting it and looking through it for some values before you go interwebz shopping.

    Chrome Lined versus Non Chrome Lined: The arguement that never ends.

    Chrome lined lasts longer and is easier to clean.

    Non Chrome lined is a better shooting barrel in every configuration, and isn't THAT much harder to clean.

    The Chrome lining was designed to handle the high intensity firing of an M4 on full auto. You don't need it on a civilian rig. You aren't going to approach the same level of usage unless you have more ammo than money considering you are building and not buying a complete gun. :p

    Buy whatever you can get a good deal on. If money is the prime obstacle, saving cash on some parts can be perfectly fine in a house to house gun.

    Having a tack driver at 600 yards with all custom parts and a 4lb bull barrel doesn't do you any good going through a doorway and having to lift that heavy sucker. :)

    Do some reading of what the other folks have done and see if that sparks a specific model in your head. Assembling one of these is very easy. Tons of people here have done it in the last two years since I have been here and most of them never had ANY experience with the platform to begin with.

    Best of luck - PM if you have questions.

    JD
     
  9. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    Thanks a lot Dillinger. Your Lets End the AR BS thread has proved to be most helpful and im only about halfway through it so far. Between yourself, slowryde45, and junho ive very little work left to do on pricing out what I want. Ive got 4 lists running on paper and over 20 bookmarks so far comprised of various builds and options!

    I might have to take you up on your offer and toss you a PM or two so you can eye over my choices.
     
  10. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    No problem JR, send it over over when you get close and we can go over it together.


    JD
     
  11. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    I got my LPK from RRA P/N AR0120ER, Lower Receiver Parts Kit, Single Stage Trigger, ERGO Grip Right Hand Black.

    Got everything I wanted in one kit. Love those ERGO grips! Went together with no issues!

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/build-time-has-come-22019/#post245210

    Got my lower and Charging Handle from Rainer Arms, great guys and good fast service.

    Rainier Arms, LLC™ | Browse | Receivers - Lowers | Mega Billet Lower - GTR3S

    [​IMG]

    And the charging handle is a PRI Gas Buster w/combat latch.

    Rainier Arms, LLC™ | Browse | Charging Handles | PRI - M84 Gas Buster Charging Handle - AR15

    [​IMG]

    Rainer has the Mega billet upper/lower combo, but I went with a complete upper from RRA.

    Rainier Arms, LLC™ | Browse | Receivers - Lowers | Mega Billet Upper / Lower / CH - Combo
     
  12. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Picked up my Spikes Tactical stripped lower from my FFL today($99 for lower+$12 shipping+$5 for EGA= $116). As I figured, I'm slipping down the slope already and eying my next few buys. Thought I'd post my current list and let you guys eye it over and let me know what you think/if anything conflicts/etc. Figured I might as well post public rather than PMs so those than come after can learn too.

    Upper Receiver - $60 - Aero Precision stripped flat top
    Upper Receiver Parts Kit - $46 - DPMS free float mid length
    Lower Receiver Parts Kit - $60 - DPMS parts kit
    Barrel - $205 - Yankee Hill 16" threaded, fluted, 1:9 twist, chromed. Cheaper somewhere else that isnt direct from manufacturer?
    Stock - $75 - RRA collapsible 6 position A4
    Hand guards - $120 - Yankee Hill Rifle Length Diamond Forearm
    Iron sights - $75ish - Magpul MBUS? No elevation adjustments.
    Bolt Carrier Group - $150 - Spikes Tactical
    Sling - 1,2, or 3 point. Unsure as for now. Have used them all in the past but unsure how applicable that experience is for this build and the type of shooting I'll be doing.

    I have links to the items listed if needed.

    Still on the fence about what I want to do for Irons and hand guards for the moment. Debating if I want to go for cheap clam shells and A2 tower for now and upgrade later or just go for what I'm after from the get go.

    As usual, I'm willing to hear anything you're willing to tell. I'm not certain if I can have a mid length gas system with a rifle length hand guard. I assume I can just use some sort of low profile gas block but this is the area I know the least about and as such I turn to those who know better. Also curious about the upper rec, and if anyone knows/has used this brand.

    Thanks for the help so far and for the help that I'm sure is to follow.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  13. pagj17

    pagj17 New Member

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    Yes sir, You can get a Lo-Pro gas block and have rifle length HGs:)
     
  14. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    Well I bought everything I need to build my new toy over Thanksgiving so if all goes to plan I should be tossing rounds down range come next weekend.

    BCM BCG $140
    YHM Rifle length lite weight rails $124
    YHM 16" chrome lined, threaded, fluted barrel $190
    YHM Complete upper rec $100
    Magpul MBUS $90ish
    DPMS lpk $50ish
    YHM 5C2 flash hider $23
    DD Charging handle $27
    YHM low pro gas block $22
    BCM M4 stock kit $65


    I'll let yall know how everything goes/check in when I hit bumps.
     
  15. peabody

    peabody New Member

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    i dont have a list' but sounds like you've got a plan, my only thoughts on this are.

    keep it light' keep it simple.

    looks like you'er using good quality parts. should work well.

    BCM and LMT make good stuff.


    peabody
     
  16. Recon 173

    Recon 173 New Member

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  17. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All in all it was pretty damn easy. Outside of my stuck trigger guard pin and my search for the front takedown detent. Just lacking my barrel now.
     
  18. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Looks like you got a great start there JR, but what are you going to do for a barrel and DI/Piston system??
     
  19. JR36

    JR36 New Member

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    Got a YHM 16" 1:9 threaded fluted in the mail from gunkings. Was an issue with my shipping address it seems, talked to the owner and we got it cleared up so its en route now. Got my mid length gas tube, low pro gas block sitting here just waiting for my barrel.

    Im going to try and swap my BCG/Charging handle with a buddies to see if I can narrow down why mine is so hard/rough/gritty to charge. Its hard enough that im not sure it'd cycle a round.
     
  20. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Every Gunfighter CH Ive owned was a little gritty at first. Lube and a couple quick pulls and everything was good to go.