Want to build my first AR-15

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by adrenalinejunkie, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. adrenalinejunkie

    adrenalinejunkie New Member

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    Hey everyone. So i'm new to the forum and am hoping to build an AR-15 in the near future. Only problem is that i'm a little tight on cash, so i'm hoping to build a relatively inexpensive one that is still of good quality and accuracy. I found some other forum threads through google from 2006 where people were building entry level AR's for around $500 or $600 for a complete rifle. I know prices have gone up but if I could get one close to this that'd be great. I live in CA, so i'll also have a more restricted list of what manufacturers i'm allowed to buy from. I was wondering what would be the most inexpensive way to go about doing this, either:

    buying a kit and then the lower

    buying a fully assembled upper and lower and putting them together

    buying everything disassembled and building it all

    Whichever is less expensive, what are some good brands that offer some decent quality stuff for an entry level AR-15 at good prices. I'm not looking for a 600yd tack driver or anything, but i still want something that will be accurate to about 200 yds.

    I've heard some stuff about Model 1, both good and bad. Some say that they make great stuff at low prices, but some also say that they have horrible customer service and sell some faulty stuff. I was also looking into some Rock River Arms kits and uppers. heard great things about them. I was also looking at Stag, which seems to also be another reputable brand.

    So just to reiterate, which method would be the cheapest, and what manufacturer sells cheaper but still decent quality AR stuff that's CA legal?

    Thanks a lot guys and I look forward to getting to use this forum more.
     
  2. Car54

    Car54 New Member

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    Welcome to the FTF. Head over to the introduction thread and let us know a little about you.

    Google is your friend, also check specific AR threads which often gives various websites and other info where others buy parts or complete rifles. Eventually you'll have a list of companies bookmarked to find the things you need. Check the manufacturers website and get to know who builds what, and how they are built. Then you can decide what you want to go after.

    In most case building your own is the least expensive way to go. Another option is to buy the upper, and lower separate and build from there.

    Good luck and have fun.
     

  3. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    I have yet to build an AR, but I recently had a Rock River 2 stage trigger installed to replace my stock DPMS. The shop where I bought the trigger sells a lot of Rock River rifles and endorses them.

    The trigger pull on my AR dropped from ~7 lb to 3 with minimal creep. At $125.00 + postage on Brownells, it is hard to beat the price of a Rock River trigger, although some of the AR veterans may have some tips for you.

    The dealer installed my trigger for no extra charge, likely because I also picked up used XD45 that day, and the cost was a push vs buying over the Net and paying postage.
     
  4. adrenalinejunkie

    adrenalinejunkie New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the help guys. I'm thinking i'll most likely go with a kit and the stripped lower. Can't wait
     
  5. havasu

    havasu Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I purchased a stripped lower and completed it with spare parts my son had laying around. I then ordered a Stag fully assembled upper and put it together. Other than the 10 day wait for the serial numbered lower, the process went pretty smooth.
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    It's hard for us guys in free states to recommend for California, just too many legal issues that we don't know. You can have a Stag lower but not Colt or ArmaLite. Or whatever it is this week. My head hurts after a while. They sure don't make it easy on you guys. All I can say is make sure you deal with vendors that understand the law.

    Good luck and show us some pictures!
     
  7. havasu

    havasu Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Quentin, You are speaking the truth. I'm very new to the AR scene, but my son has been involved for quite some time. It appears some of our finest politicians had a round table meeting and decided for themselves which guns should be banned based on their names, their offensive looks, and the descriptions of the guns. Pretty stupid IMHO!

    To the OP, I found a relatively close brick and motor store with guys who know the law and knows their stuff. If you want the information on the location, send me a PM, so as to not bother other non-local folks.
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Oh no, you guys aren't bothering us at all. And maybe we'll learn something. Also maybe someone else will chime in who can add important information.

    It's just that so many of us here are next to clueless when it comes to laws in ban states. I'd never want to give advice to someone new that turns out to be wrong. Even what normally would be simple like recommending parts other than the lower - we could be recommending something that violates the law there.
     
  9. havasu

    havasu Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I'm amazed at how the laws are overlooked in California. I went to a public range Sunday, where there were at least 30 people shooting various AR-15's. All but one shooter had 30 round magazines, but most shooters looked like gang members, and not police officers. Pretty scary for my first public range experience in 25 years!
     
  10. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Dont they make 30rd mags that only hold whatever the legal limit is? I sure wouldnt want to go to the slammer over a few rounds. Id atleast save those for when I was shooting alone or w/ close friends.
     
  11. 556plinker

    556plinker New Member

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    important

    see my post....AR lower build...important notes to stupid. Neophytes need to stick together! When things GO BAD, Dillinger, Quentin and others will be standing by to laugh, offer belated contructive criticism and welcomed advice. Definitely share your experience with all of us. You will not regret the experience.:D
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    The more of these threads about people wanting to build their first, of many, the better as far as I am concerned. By no means are you "bothering" us.

    JD
     
  13. 556plinker

    556plinker New Member

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    As JD anxiously awaits the first report of a launched detent!:)
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Yeah it's a rite of passage around here! :p You can't officially have BRD until you've put at least one detent in low orbit!
     
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    :D

    If you haven't done it, you haven't joined the club yet. We have ALL done it. :cool:
     
  16. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    I know I have. . . we also want to hear what sort of horrible, cluttered, un-swept surface the part landed on and how it was retrieved! :)
     
  17. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Man, just think you could've ordered you're first stripped lower of any roll-mark of your choosing for that amount of $cash$ :eek: I find the standard single stage plenty good for inside 300 yds, which is all you want out of that DPMS.

    You can basically pick and choose from dozens of great quality lowers right now. It's awesome and quite expensive at the same time. I've also gotten a few stripped lowers for $75 and DPMS kits for another $55. There's your $130
     
  18. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    I heard a good technique the other day! One guy told me you will never guess what I do when I am working on my ARs! When it starts out that way! You know it is going to be something original. Crazy as it was I could understand his logic since we have all been there!
    He gets all of his tools and parts in one area of his work bench, His vise is mounted in the middle. Then after Putting two TV Trays on each end of his bench. He drapes a white sheet over the TV Trays like a tent with the front open for working and tacks the back up against the wall like a tent. That way only the front side is open. He advised it catches Buffer Retainers "Real Well! I guess if it works it works!!!!!!! Now that is original! Anyone else got a secret technique you would be willing to share?:D
     
  19. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    They probably (hopefully) had pre ban magazines. I have to get the same thing for MA, and they are super easy to get a hold of. There is a guy on gunbroker.com right now unloading cases of them.