Thinking about building my first gun.

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by DCS, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    Ok, so I have been firing guns since i was just a kid, and im finally out of student housing, so id really like to own my own AR-15. Is it a mistake to have the first gun i own be one that i built? I hear that there are many advantages to building an AR, cost being my main motivator.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    First off, welcome!!! I can't think of a better way to get a full understanding of how an AR works than to build one yourself. It's not too tough and only requires a few specialized tools that are widely available at reasonable prices.

    You can save $100-200 by bulding your own. Depending on how much you want to get involved with the build, you may want to consider building the lower beginning with a "stripped lower" and then installing all the parts into and on it, then buying the upper completely assembled and mating the two halfs together to make your operational weapon. Assembling the upper yourself, while not difficult, requires more skill and more tools to do it right.

    I just built my first AR recently and $800 is a realistic budget for a good mid-range AR sans any optics.

    Good luck on whatever you decide to do. :cool:
     

  3. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    Do you have a link to somewhere that would get me started? I have friends within an hour of me that could lend me tools, and im pretty mechanically inclined, i just need an online educational source at this point.
     
  4. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    The AR-15 section on this website is full of good information on building an AR. There are also some very friendly & knowledgable folks here that can help too.

    Then there is AR15.com, the AR-15 section of that site also has abundent information on building an AR including a dedicated section to "Building Your Own".

    Oddly enough, I also found the videos on building and AR at Cheaperthandirt.com extremely helpful. Midway USA and Brownells also have instructionals on the subject.

    That should get you started and give you plenty of reading material. :)
     
  5. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    Awesome, thank you very much for the help!
     
  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    welcome DCS. snakedriver has given you some great advise on building an AR. and i agree very much with the advise he has given you. price is a big factor in building your own AR, because you can build from the ground up the AR that suits you and buying one that has the options you are looking for can be expensive either buying one with all the options you want or buying one and modifying it to fit you. how familiar are you with the AR platform? how familiar are with working on guns in general? another option i will suggest is buy one first, get to know it and learn all you can about it. i had thought about building my first one, but a good friend suggested buying my first one, then building one that suited me later when i truly figured out what i wanted in an AR. that said, i am not trying to discourage you, just giving you another option. i will build my next one as now after owning one, i have a clearer idea of what i want in my next one. good luck with whatever you decide and ask for advise if you get stuck, there are lots knowledgeable people here.
     
  7. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    As for shooting, im very familiar with the basic AR-15. I dont pretend to be a firearms guru, but of the guns ive ever shot, 90% of the rounds have been through your basic M-4 Config AR-15. I cant say ive done a lot of work on guns, beyond basic field striping/cleaning i dont have much experience. The AR i want to build now ill only really use for plinking/home defense, but if this build goes well id love to make an AR that i could take out and be accurate with at around 300 yards.

    Is this realistic for a beginner's build?
     
  8. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Building an AR is not too difficult and only requires a few specialized tools to do the job. I would recommend starting with stripped lower and then installing all the parts yourself on it. That part is a piece of cake.

    Building an upper from parts requires a bit more skill and specialized tools. I would recommend buying a complete upper already assembled then mating to two halfs for the complete weapon. This is common practice among AR builders and almost all AR manufacturers sell complete uppers. You still save money doing this and save yourself some trouble.

    The two halfs of your AR do not need to be matching manufacturers. The AR system is modular and the parts are interchangable. You have to use the services of an FFL dealer to obtain your stripped lower, but after that all other parts can be bought online without any FFL requirements. That said, go to your local gun shop and see what's available to you in a stripped lower. They may have just what you need with ready availability. They are all pretty much the same if they are forged aluminum and are mil-spec. The only thing that is different is the rollmark logo and name. The parts that go into the lower assembly is what makes the difference. My local gun shop ordered what I wanted and it only took a week to get it. $80 to $150 out the door for a stripped lower is normal.

    You can also purchase a stripped lower online and have it shipped to your local FFL for transfer to you, for a fee. The trick is in having someone local with a FFL that will do the deal for a reasonable price. $25 to $60 is normal.

    Good luck on your build. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    DCS, snakedriver has some very good info for you. i was not trying to discourage you or try and tell you i can't be done by the average person. just IMO, lots of people who have never shot or owned an AR15 think they want one and look on the websites and the gunstores are overwhelmed by the price and think they can build one cheaper. my suggestion is for those who have never owned or handled one before. start with a basic, bare bones, no frills AR and shoot it and get to know it. then you have a better idea of what you want or don't want in an AR. beings you have shot and used the AR before, you probably have some idea as to what you want to build and i wish you luck with it. snakedriver is right on the money with his advise to you on how to start. i bought my first Bushmaster M4A2 about nine months ago and now have decided i will build my next one. i am going to build the lower and purchase an upper. well good luck.
     
  10. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    I'm sure I'm about to sound like a total noob here, but what does FFL stand for?
     
  11. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    That is sorta' funny, but sorry for the jargon. FFL stands for "Federal Firearms License". Think licensed gun dealer. :cool:
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    what snake is saying, the lower receiver has the serial number on it and the BATF considers that a gun. so the lower receiver has to be bought through an FFL holder or transfered through one if you buy it online or out of state. some gun dealers are starting to carry just the lower receivers now, i know mine does. but if you buy online or from out of state, the FFL will charge you a transfer fee of about 20-50 dollars.
     
  13. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    Ok I figured it meant gun store one way or another haha
     
  14. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    Ok good to know. Out of curiosity, if I buy a lower (in state), what type of lists will I be put on? Are there requirements as far as registration goes? Or is that on a state by state basis?
     
  15. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Strictly a state-by-state issue and my impression of Utah is that it is a pretty gun-friendly state that doesn't infringe on people's rights to keep and bear arms. Your local gun dealer keeps the 4473 Form you'll fill-out, but it stays in his possession and won't put you on any Federal List.
     
  16. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i am pretty sure the restrictions apply to where the firearm is delivered to and not where it came from. you might check just to be sure. because a lot of states with gun restrictions manufacture weapons but have restrictions on them if a resident of that state wants to own one. stupid IMO, should be legal in one state to the next!
     
  17. DCS

    DCS New Member

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    I was trying not to sound like a nut, but that is exactly what i needed to know :) haha well ill sure post back if i start my build, thanks for all the help everyone!
     
  18. 762

    762 Member

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    i'm researching building my own AR as well, so post up some pics and links when you start!!

    i just dont know enough about them to get started. i think i'd rather buy a complete one, then take it apart and figure out how it works, then start collect parts to build my own.
     
  19. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    this is what i did. i bought a very lightly used Bushmaster M4A2 carbine. my next one i plan on building, as the next one will be in 6.8 SPC. buying the first one has taught me how to field strip it and get to know how AR's work in general and some of the things i would like in my next one.
     
  20. 762

    762 Member

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    i dont know anything about 6.8. i know its a bigger round, packs more punch, etc. my buddy just built AR chambered in it, but he says he's getting a new Sig AR platform as soon as the money is available. i've never seen 6.8 anywhere, i'm guessing it's kinda expensive too. maybe one of those cartridges that's better to reload than buy.