The Journey Begins

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Dillinger, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    So, I came across a deal too good to pass up & decided to take my own advice. Here it is -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is my new matching, forged, Olympic Arms Upper & Lower. Unbelievable price, considering even finding stripped parts is getting harder and harder with the election looming.

    So, the journey to build this into a tack driver starts here. I am going to try and keep a running record of the parts I buy, because I am doing this one piece meal, and will post as I go along for all to see.

    I have not decided on a caliber yet - WHAT? Yes, I know. But, I have a couple of ideas, and Brett ( my 'Smith ) has a couple of tricks up his sleeve, so we might be doing something a little fancy with this one.

    My goal is, with quality ammo and some good optics, to build a weapon that will consistantly hit with accuracy and power out to 500 or 600 yards - not an easy feat, but not impossible either. After all, if those Zombies start coming around, I don't want them getting too close to the house, they might mess up my generator. :eek:

    So far, I have "reserved" cash out of the upcoming check for the following parts:

    YHM Easy Take Down Pins

    YHM Rifle Fore End

    YHM-9627 – Front & YHM-9680-A1 - Rear

    I don't ever intend on needing the flip up sights, but as the old military motto goes "One is None" - This weapon will feature a very good scope for it's primary sight system, but in case the worst case scenario occurs, you need to have a back up.

    It's a start. I still need to decide on a caliber, a barrel maker and all the hardware to go with it, but so far, as this deal just fell into my lap, I am quite happy.

    More to follow -

    JD
     
  2. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Seems like those receivers would hold up to .308.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    They will Matt. I found out some interesting information today that has me broadening my plans.

    It would appear that the AR Platform has a few tricks up it's sleeve that I was not aware of, until today that is. Let that be a lesson to you guys, taking your gunsmith to lunch sometimes pays HUGE dividends...

    First it was the 6.5 Creedmoor, and then the 6.5 Grendel cartridge ( because of a few small, but important reasons ) is where I was leaning to go with this build. And in discussing it with my 'Smith today, he told me that the 6.5 Grendel will, really, only require a 7.62 x 39 bolt head and a barrel chambered for the cartridge. Outside of that, I can change out the bolt, or simply the bolt head, and swap in a different upper barreled action, and away I go with another cartridge, like .223/5.56. I knew I could swap long and short barreled .223/5.56 types, I didn't know I could go with a complete different caliber with only a barrel and a different bolt head.

    So, once I build up my lower with all quality parts, then I can prepare two or three different, special purpose uppers and have a small arsenal on one familiar platform.

    Options Abound....Which is kind of cool actually.

    JD
     
  4. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    I dunno' I like slow and heavy.
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    .458 Socom or .50 Beowulf then?

    JD
     
  6. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Didn't Accuracy International build some ARs in .50 Beo? That would be pretty slick.
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    As far as I know, I don't think A.I. ever created any AR platforms. They are a pretty rigid bolt gun company.

    You may be thinking of Alexander Arms. I think they were the first to turn out an AR variant in the .50 Beowulf caliber. Never seen one, never seen one fired, but the early reviews were pretty good. You can't beat 325-400 grains traveling at 1900-2000 fps if you absolutely, positively need to get someone, or something's, attention...

    JD
     
  8. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Could you squeeze a 45-70 in that sucker? Now that would be one differnt ar. One of the oldest military calibers in the newest military rifle platform!!!!!!
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Boy, I don't know Cpt - That would be an interesting rifle, that's for sure. I would need to hand build a stock and recoil pad for it though, I am not firing that monster with a plastic, 6 position tactical... LOL

    JD
     
  10. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    So, the piece meal build moves ahead. Today I received, in the mail, my set of YHM EZ Pull pins for the upper and lower.

    [​IMG]

    While I don't have anything to put them under tension yet, I thought I would plug them in and see how they look and feel.

    [​IMG]

    They fit nice and smooth, with only a little bit of drag. As you can see in the side view, they offer an extended knob for easier stripping down of the upper from the lower.

    As this will be a tactical sharpshooter, and I intend on putting a Krieger or 5R custom barrel on it, I will be braking it open on the front pin ( Pivot Pin ) for cleaning with a chamber guide and custom rod quite a bit. As such, having a rear pin ( Detent Pin ) that allows for easy pulling to open, and closing to get back shooting will be a plus.

    These pins fit the bill and only cost $21 shipped to my door.

    I have had plenty of people tell me over the years that they can't afford to build a gun on what they make. Well, this will be a test, as I am doing this whole thing piece meal. No credit cards, well - no carrying the debt. I am buying only what I can pay off with each pay check. I am using the credit cards for on line ordering for my protection.

    So far:

    Olympic Arms Upper & Lower:---:$200
    YHM EZ Pull Pin Set:-------------:$ 21
    Running Total:-------------------:$ 221

    More to follow -

    JD
     
  11. Doug1627

    Doug1627 New Member

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    Thanks for posting! Please keep us updated!
     
  12. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    I did a little reading on 6.5 Creedmoor. Sounds like an interesting route to take it. It would probably be a nice challenge to build an AR that was capable of accurately shooting out past the 1000m mark. I'd imagine that you'd need to drop some serious cash on a barrel though.

    Can you even hand fit an AR bolt and breech?
     
  13. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Well, I don't hold illusions about 1000m. I know that you and I see this as, realistically, a F**K of a long ways out there, especially with an autoloader, a split receiver and a couple of other factors working against me.

    The cartridge will reach it, but I am more interested in some serious knockdown power in the 500-600 yard range, with the ability to provide quick follow up shots.

    For 1,000 ( and over ) - I have Mjolnir being rolled up, if Brett ever gets around to it... LOL 7mm Mag on a Lawton Custom, Krieger Barrel and a Lone Wolf custom stock. That Baby will flat dial in and rain some lead on you. :D

    As for the bolt - luckily someone has already broke the mold on that one, so there is a couple of platforms out there. Might take a little finagling, but I am not doing this all by myself, I have a real technician/mad scientist behind me, so I am willing to bet on it being successful.

    My goal is to do the thing piece meal, show the steps we took, and the costs, then show what I got for the cash outlay with a couple of real range targets at 600 yards once we are all done.

    After doing some extensive research, and consulting with my 'smith, I got him thinking about adding a 6.5 Creedmoor upper to his platform as well, so now I KNOW I am on to something... LOL

    Will post more soon. I am planning on ordering up the handgrip this weekend.

    JD
     
  14. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    At those distances, I'd imagine that .308 Win would be your best bet. That's where it really tends to shine. 6.5 Creedmoor seems better suited for longer shots. I don't know if you'd get optimum terminal ballistics in that range without some serious hand loading work. M80 7.62x51 is cheap and plentiful though and .308 Win is available at every general store in BFE .

    6.5 Grendel would be another good choice for that range, but ammo is scarce in the 'real world'.

    What are your opinions on the Hogue grips? I'm a big fan of their stuff, but I've never handled a Hogue equipped AR. For $15, if they suck, you can always scrap them. They're made from the same sticky rubber as the Combat grips that I've got on my Kimber though. It works really well when wet or cold. USGI grips tend to fail in that department though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    We really discussed the 6.5 Grendel, and I was really leaning that way, but after some ballistic comparisons, it came down to the 6.5 Creedmoor by more than a nose to be honest. I guess the Grendel cartridge has a large primer, where the Creedmoor has a small primer. One of the differences is that the pressure builds SLIGHTLY slower with the smaller primer, so you get a more even ignition. In any event, the Creedmoor has some great ballistics and the guru's from benchrest land have already done ALL the work for me, where Grendel is brand new and there is only one brand ( Hornady I think ) that is making factory ammo to start with....

    I have a .308 boltgun, but I shoot Federal Gold Medal Match in it. I have a chamber that has been cut, specifically, for FGMM. If I make an AR-10, I have to buy another type of .308 ammo and I don't want another .308 to be honest. I have satiated "that" need right now.

    The Creedmoor will force me to get more into reloading, which is something I suck at to be honest. I want the drive to try and expand in that department. I kind of need that next level as something to aspire for, so the Creedmoor is making more and more sense to me all around.

    And there is always room to make a .308 upper in the future and add it to either one of my lowers. :D

    I actually like the Hogue grip for the AR. The problem is, they don't make a good "S/S" stock that matches colors and textures. Right now the MagPul version is about the best "S/S" stock I can find, and it's greens and blacks are just a bit different. Not a big deal, I know, but I kind of like to aim for uniformity if I can.

    In addition, the magpul grip offers the ability to house a complete bolt & head in the handle. With it, I can carry one upper, backpack another, should the need arise, switch to say a .223 CQB, pull the back up bolt & head from the grip and be good to go in a matter of minutes. Got to think field practicality and this makes good sense.

    But, we put the Hogue's on a lot of AR's and they feel good. They have a bit of a palm swell to them, so if you have small palms, or small fingers, you might not like them, but if you are already running on your pistols already, I would say give them a try. They feel really good to me.

    JD
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  16. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    .450 Bushy? It seems to fit the same notch as the 6.8 Rem, so it doesn't give you the distance that you're looking for, but it might be an interesting idea for an extra upper.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC0f5wvgGew[/ame]

    http://www.hornady.com/story.php?s=543
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  17. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    HOLY COW! 250gr. traveling at over 2,000fps?! That's got to hit like a run away truck... LOL

    Hadn't seen that before. Neat idea Matt, thanks for the info...

    JD
     
  18. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    That's what I said when I first saw them.
     
  19. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Brownell's Shipment Friday!

    So, today was the magic brown truck showing up from Brownell's. Brownell's Friday is one of my favorite days of the month because that means I have Friday night and all weekend to play with my new toys.

    As those following the build know, I am doing this AR build completely piece meal. I am only ordering what I can afford to pay off immediately upon receipt of the order, so this week here is what I got.

    MIAD Full Grip Set for AR-15:...... $34.95
    MIAD Bolt & Firing Pin Grip Core:. $ 8.65
    AR-15 Star Safety Selector:......... $ 9.00
    AR-15 Oversized Selector:........... $14.95
    AR-15 Spring Kit:....................... $ 9.00
    AR-15 Pin Kit:............................ $12.00
    AR-15 Takedown Detent:............ $ 1.76
    AR-15 Takedown Spring:............ $ 2.55

    [​IMG]

    I won't need all these parts, and I ordered two different Fire Control Selectors because I wanted to try them both out on the gun to see which one I liked the best.

    [​IMG]

    I ordered the MIAD by MagPul, because it can be custom fit to any shooters hand. I really like the fit and feel of the final configuration that I ended up installing. The basic MIAD comes with a strange core system that allows you to hold three additional rounds and an extra firing pin. The three rounds are a military S.O.S. in a Search & Rescue operation, but beyond that, I don't see much use for them. Perhaps to use two to try and get more ammo, or another gun, and the last one on yourself if not. *shrug* In any event, I elected to get the optional core system that holds a complete new bolt assembly. Since I plan on having a couple of uppers on this platform, I can now make the changes in the field since I will have both bolts, and bolt heads, contained in the gun at all times. Very slick idea from the folks at MagPul.

    [​IMG]

    I won't kid you, the MagPul is NOT a direct drop in. I had to spend about 20 minutes with an Exacto knife scraping away some finer points on the inside of the grip to lower receiver contact points to get a good fit. It wasn't hard, but it was more work that I expected to have to do. This shouldn't be a problem for anyone willing to undertake putting their own lower together though, it was basic "scrape to fit" work.

    One thing I did find out about the MagPul MIAD grip. The son of a bitch who did the final cost evaluation packaging sign off has never assembled one! He didn't do you any favors guys. He sent you a slotted head screw to lock the handle to the lower receiver. Do you have ANY idea how much of a pain in the @ss it is to align a slotted screw into a recessed hole and tighten it down? I will be changing that out with a hex-head model this weekend and I would suggest everyone plan on doing the same.

    Here you can see the finished & installed MIAD to the Olympic Arms Lower this project is being built on. I used one detent and one spring from the DPMS misc parts kits that I ordered. I would have thought I would have been given a spring and detent with the grip kit, but I knew from previous experience in the shop that this is not the case. Make a note of that if you are going to order one for a stripper lower receiver. MagPul assumes that you are using their system to replace an existing grip system that already is in place.

    [​IMG]

    I ended up liking the STAR Fire Control Selector much better than the Oversized model, so I will be sending that model back. The STAR model seemed to have a much more comfortable thumb placement and movement from Fire to Safe for my thumb. That is not saying you won't like the Oversized model, it just seemed really large on the side of my unit and I elected to go with the STAR model.

    So far, the cost on the build is as follows:

    Olympic Arms Upper & Lower:---:$200
    YHM EZ Pull Pin Set:-------------:$ 21
    MIAD Grip Set:-------------------:$ 35
    MIAD Core Upgrade:-------------:$ 9
    STAR F.C.S.:---------------------:$ 9
    *Misc Pin & Spring:--------------:$ 4
    Running Total:-------------------:$278

    * - I estimated what the lone detent & spring would have cost at $2/ea. should you have to order them separate. If you buy a kit, you will get an overall better price per part needed.

    I have plans on ordering my trigger and fore end in the next couple of weeks, so the adventure continues....

    Hope you have enjoyed the build thus far.

    JD
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  20. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Okay, so what size bolt did you go with?