Want to build my first Tactical Rifle. Help...

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by jps37033, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. jps37033

    jps37033 New Member

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    Can I please get a list of the parts and kits I will need to build a nice .223 AR type rifle.

    I see all these stripped uppers, stripped lowers, kits, etc. I would like to stay under $850 finished if possible.

    If I wanted to build from scratch, what do I need? What parts are serial #'d and need an FFL? Which parts can I buy online and have shipped to me? Thanks
     
  2. Yunus

    Yunus New Member

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    The AR lower receiver is the only piece that you need to go through an FFL for. Everything else is just parts, you can order them online or go to a store or gun show and buy them with no paperwork required.
     

  3. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    The only serial numbered part you'll have to go through an FFL with, is the lower receiver. Everything else, you can find and buy online, from a gun shop, gun shows, from the forum classifieds, etc.

    Go over to the AR section of the forum and do a little searching on there. You'll find quite a few postings similar to what you are asking, with all the same info.

    Then decide, what kind of shooting you'll be doing mostly with this piece, what ranges (distance) you think you'll be shooting at, if you want something set up for long range accuracy, varmint shooting, target, plinking, home self defense, etc. Will you be shooting from a bipod or mainly off-hand? Do you want a longer heavy barrel (great for distance and accuracy) or a shorter lightweight barrel (better for CQB type shooting). Do you need a 4-rail forearm on it or lightweight tube, or standard forearm? Will you mounting optics on it (multi-powered scope/red-dot/BUIS) or do you want the standard A2 carry handle or maybe an A3 with removable handle? Do you want an aftermarket trigger (service/2-stage NM)or standard service issue? What type of stock do you want on it (A1/A2 standard solid stock/collapsible/precision stock)? Same with grips - what type of grip(they range from standard A2 to all kinds of tacticool grips)?

    And these are only a few questions you should be thinking of. Then it's easier for us to recommend what types of parts/pieces/kits you might want to look into. Price wise, you'll be doing well if you can keep it in the $850 range right now. Not impossible, but just so you know up front, the fancier you get with all the tacticool things, the faster that price will jump up. Do a search online for AR15 parts sites, such as Bravo Co., PK Firearms, Rainier Arms, Global Tactical, ADCO, Yankee Hill Machine, even the gun sites, like Bushmaster, Rock River, DPMS, etc. and you'll get a broader picture of what is available, and what kinds of options and prices go with them.

    Putting the pieces together is the EASIEST part. You will need some tools, too. Again, the AR15 section of the forum has posts on this, too. For the most part, there are only a few tools that I would say you almost HAVE to have to put it together (Action Block, Multi-Tool). The rest of the tools, you probably already have in the tool box.

    Anyway, not trying to be evasive with the answer, it's just a whole lot easier if you do a little searching and narrowing down your choices first, then we can fine tune it or offer pros/cons or other suggestions.

    Slo
     
  4. jps37033

    jps37033 New Member

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    Wow. I think I might just buy one assembled.... :eek:
     
  5. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    LOL...oh come on now. I didn't scare you away with all that did I? Didn't mean to. There is a bit that goes into these things. You could buy an assembled one, and then change whatever to suit your needs. That would be the easiest way to go.

    But...you wouldn't learn too much about your gun that way. If anything should ever go wrong, would you know where to look, what to fix, etc? Probably not. And your only recourse would be, send it back to the manufacturer or take it in to a gunsmith. Either way, you might be paying bucks, either for shipping to the manf. or pay the gunsmith, because he won't be paying much attention to the warranty. But that choice is yours.

    Another way of doing it, and I know quite a few who have...buy an assembled one first, get to know it, find out what you'd like to change, then make the changes to that one. The problem with doing it that way, you pay for the complete gun up front. Then you are paying for replacement parts, too, not to mention you'll end up with a pile of parts that you take off and replace. Doing it this way is more expensive.

    The SECOND one,...yes...there will most likely be another...buy parts for that one, and build it the way you want, right from the start. This is usually cheaper than the other way, but it all depends on what you put on it. If you are a brand name kind of guy, then know that you will pay for those names. Not saying you should not buy quality, just saying that know that quality parts can be bought without the names, too. ;) So there are ways to keep the price down, without sacrificing too much.

    Whichever way you decide to do it, belcome to the world of SUR's.

    Slo
     
  6. ktmboyz

    ktmboyz New Member

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    I purchased my first and just build my second and am now planning on my third.. they seem to be addicting:confused:

    If you know what you want then its a little easier to price and gather parts but there can be so may variations of the black rifle that it can get confusing.

    if the build is what is got you apprehensive than cruise through JD's post on building a lower receiver , he did a great job with this and its a huge help to a newbie like me
     
  7. james_black

    james_black New Member

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    HE GOT SCARED!! LOL :D

    Brother. I have built 3 of my 4 rifles and there is not better satisfaction than to gain this knowledge. DO IT!! :)

    You are not gonna regret it.
     
  8. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    A few options in that $850 range...from PK Firearms:

    PK Firearms | Online Store

    DPMS Rifles DPMS AP4 16 inch A3 Complete Rifle The 16" chrome-moly barrel in 5.56 chamber has the government profile with the M203 "cut out". The A3 upper receiver can accommodate an array of optics, and comes with a detachable carry handle. The current issue 6 position AP4 stock makes this rifle easy to handle for any shooter. Includes 2 teflon coated 30rd alloy magazines, carry strap sling, and a cleaning kit. Copy of FFL required for purchase.

    Our Price: each $850.00

    PK Firearms | Online Store

    Rock River Arms Rifles Rock River Arms Mid-Length A4 Rifle This Rifle features a 16" Wilson chrome moly mid length barrel and gas system 1:9 twist, 5.56 NATO chamber, 2 stage match trigger and 6 pos stock. Copy of FFL is required for purchase of a complete firearm.

    Our Price: each $869.50

    Note: buying a complete one online, you will need to have it sent to a FFL, pay a transfer fee. But good complete AR's are available in that price range.

    There are more out there, check GunBroker, RGuns, etc.

    You can find some really good prices on Kits out there, from Model 1 Sales, JT Distrib., Del-Ton, CMMG, etc. Keep in mind, almost all of them are still filling back-orders that started last year after the election. So if you want to order a kit, contact them and ask about wait times.

    Slo
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  9. jps37033

    jps37033 New Member

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    Ok, Im no Beotch, so I am gonna have to build now. LOL :p

    Ya'll called me out. Just one question, can I buy an assembled lower instead of a stripped and a kit? That way I can duck out on a few steps. I am familiar with these somewhat as I have taken them apart and cleaned them many times in the Army.

    I guess it would be more gratifying to build to suit rather than to buy assembled.
     
  10. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    Check out Juhno's thread - http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/its-finally-finished-my-first-ar-6910/.

    C'mon man don't be a girly man! :p Give it a shot and build your own. Not only do you get the satisfaction you get the knowledge behind it. Plus you get to hand pick the components.

    you-can-do-it.jpg

    :D

    edit - Sorry, I didn't answer the question - yes you can buy a complete lower. This will consist of the lower receiver, lower parts kit, trigger group, pistol grip and stock. But as I stated, by building your own you can choose the parts that go into the completed lower.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  11. jps37033

    jps37033 New Member

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    Love the Rob Schnieder pic! Ok, you now pulled my Beotch card too. Screw it, I am going to buy the aluminum scrap, and machine the whole thing myself!

    No, really, I will by it piece by piece and post its progress on here. BUT:

    I want a tactical 50yds top rifle. I am not looking to snipe anyone as if SHTF around here, the most I get is a 100ft shot. So I am looking for portable short barrel, kick *** rail for light, bayonet, laser, and whatever.

    I want the open hole sights I had on my Army rifle. Screw a scope, no time for that.

    So, what parts should I look at, by what companys, and what specs, etc;

    Thanks
     
  12. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    Hahaha, just giving you some ribbing. ;)


    Well to start most of your questions have been answered in Juhno's build thread. But to paraphrase a little,

    1. Start with the AR lower receiver. Most are of the same quality build and finish. Prices vary from just over $100 and upwards of $300 (ridiculous).

    2. Your looking for a 50yd rifle tops so a shorter lighter barrel should do fine.

    3. Flip up iron sights are made by a variety of comapnies and are easy to install and use.

    4. See previous threads in the AR section - read, read, read and read some more. ;)


    From what I've learned is that most basic set ups will suit just about everybody for the basics. It's when you get into personal/unique requirements/set-ups that ones AR platform really starts to shine. :)

    Good luck :)

    Edit - here are a few links to get you started. Basic AR15 set ups, take a look and compare.

    Online Store — DPMS: AR-15 Rifles, Parts and Accessories.

    Stag Arms

    Rock River Arms: CAR A2 / A4

    Bushmaster - Home Defense & Recreation Rifles
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  13. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Well, it appears that you are in good hands here so I am not needed. I will say this, build your own, you will gain knowledge that will be INVALUABLE to servicing and maintaining your rifle and it will be a labor of love that you will take great pride in.

    Since this forum started growing, we have had about 12 or 15 folks undertake their own builds, none of whom had any experience and all of them loved the results.

    Ask the questions and these good forum guys will help you out of any jam you might get into.

    But trust me, it's not THAT hard to build and maintain an AR. They are very easy machines to understand.

    JD
     
  14. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

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    You can buy a completed lower receiver, they start around $250 and up, depending on what brand name you want. That isn't too bad, considering that a lower receiver will run you $100 +/- a few $$'s, around $65 for a parts kit, then another $100 + for a stock. Check out that link I gave you earlier, PK Firearms, on the left hand side, scroll down to Lower Receivers. They list a Rock River complete lower starting at $275. Also, another great brand, the Sabre Defense complete lowers starting at $265. So if you start with the complete lower, you'll actually save a few pennies. That is assuming you find one with the rollmark (brand) you like, that also comes with the type of stock you like, etc. But, you'll also miss out on learning how to put one together from a parts kit if you buy it complete. Now, you're right back to what I was talking about earlier, buying something pre-assembled, then having to change out what you don't like. If you are happy with it the way it is, then you are ahead of the game. But if you are going to be changing out the stock for a different one, changing out the grip, etc., then that lower just ended up costing you another $150 and up. So now, you are into the lower $400! :eek::D

    But that is the fun part of this disease. Trying to find the best deals, the best set-ups, all for what suits YOUR needs. That's why it's kind of hard for us to tell you what to buy, until we know what you are looking for.

    Look around your area gun shops, or any gun shows, check out prices on complete lowers. Unless you really have to have one, I'd recommend staying away from the NM 2-stage trigger/lowers up front. Those receivers are going to run you close to $400 by themselves. If you are comfortable with the standard A2 type stock (solid), those lowers will be the most affordable - generally. The collapsible (M4-Type 4/6 position retractable) stocks, will run a little higher than the A2. Or, you could buy a 80% lower, with no stock, and spend the money on the type of stock you want. There are dozens to choose from, so you'll have to do a little research on which style you like best. Check out Magpul, LMT, Vltor, Bravo Co., etc.

    Speaking of Bravo Co., they just came out with their own complete lower:

    BCM Lower Receiver Groups M4 AR15 - check out the site, their price is reasonable for what all they put in it @ $350, plus $100 shipping, plus FFL fee. (another reason I suggest looking around locally)

    As for a light, short range upper - the skies the limit. Do you want a flat top receiver (allows you to mount optics if/when you want) or the standard A2 w/carry handle? The flat tops are more popular, and usually a little cheaper.
    From what you were saying, short range, a 16" barrel would suffice, also be lightweight and quick to swing on target. Here, they range from pencil thin barrels to heavy barrels, M4 barrels with M4 feedramps and M4 profile, mid-length gas tubes, carbine length gas tubes, chrome lined, nitride coated, stainless steel, chrome moly, etc, etc, etc. Each with it's own pros/cons, and priced to match. To give you an example of where the prices will range here...you can buy an ALMOST complete upper, DSA, with 16" M4 style barrel, handguards, front sight, etc. complete - except without a bolt carrier group assembly and charging handle - for $275.

    DSA ZM4 Forged 7075T6 A3 AR15 Upper Receiver - DSZM4CBU-D S Arms

    This is a great offer, because all you would need then is a good BCG and a charging handle, which you can get for another $150 or so. So now you have a complete upper for around $425. Add on the complete lower from above, and you'd have an almost complete AR for around $700! I said almost, because you'd still have to buy a rear sight (add on another $70+) and you'll have that AR for UNDER $800. Damn...it was possible. ;) - but you'd have to change out the forearm to add the railed front end you wanted. Oops...add on another $150+. Now...you see how this can all go up quickly?

    But that's just one option, you can still build the whole upper assembly, and buy the parts you like, too. Again, I'd suggest searching some of the sites, like Bravo Co., PK Firearms, Rainier Arms, Stag, Rock River, DPMS, etc. to get an idea of the kinds of parts that are out there right now, and what prices they will run. Once you get it down to what you like, we can help you work out how to put it all together.

    Slo
     
  15. _Adam_

    _Adam_ New Member

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    I built mine for around 800 bucks. Midway usa usually has a lot of parts in stock with decent prices. [​IMG]
     
  16. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    I having been thinking of doing this as well. Brownells has a great series of short videos on their website that gives you a complete understanding of the parts required and the various options. Well worth the hour or so to view them all. Also, I believe there is a knowledge base on this forum that may outline the parts required along with some 1st hand advice from others that have built their own.

    As others have stated, a stripped lower is the firearm per BATF and requires a FFL transfer. A so-called paper weight lower (80% completed)can be purchased without the need of an FFL but you would need to complete it or have an experienced machinist finish it for you. All other parts, i.e. lower parts kits, upper receiver, stock, barrel, etc can be shipped directly to you. Check your state and local regs before ordering. Most restrictions disappeared when the AWB expired but states like NJ, CA and CT still retain most of the pre-ban/post-ban restrictions on certain features, e.g. mag capacity, bayonet lug, flash suppressors, telescopic/folding stock, etc .


    Good Luck