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Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by rigjumpr, Sep 2, 2011.
How cost effective is to build your own AR platform as to buying it outright?
You can save money by building yourself if you are patient shopping for deals and sales.
Also helps if you are not afraid of good used parts.
Build it yourself and you get the experience of assembly and maybe a little fitting on your weapon.
Make sure you factor in the cost of specialty tools.
They are not too expensive but they are not free unless you can borrow them.
It all depends on what you are buying, I have build 3 ar's for less than $700 each, Are they going into battle? nope, But I have had zero issues with any of them.
If you know what you want out of the rifle, Like 1000y shot, close quarters, HD, SHIF, Etc. I'm certain someone here will point you in the best dirrection.
When you build one you get first hand knowledge of its workings, Buying one off the shelf may lend itsself to a warranty.
I'm a cheap SOB, So I built mine.
Best of luck.
Most of us that have built ARs didn't do it to save money. It's for the satisfaction of doing a build. That, and its the best way to intimately familiarize yourself with the inner-workings of the rifle.
If you know the gun and can't be bothered with the build, then by all means buy a complete gun.
But, most members want to personalize their AR and by building it, you get what you want, not just what's for sale.
Yeah, im starting my first AR build tonight, im ordering my lower! anyways im doing it to save money and learn about the rifle itself
Thank you all for your answers and point if views. I was thinking that the experience far outweighed the offsetting of cost. To simplify : a model for grown ups.
One thing not to forget, if you buy a complete AR you pay 11% FET on the whole shebang, maybe $1000. But if you buy a stripped lower by itself you pay that tax on only the lower, maybe $75-100. You don't pay FET on the rest of the rifle. Right off that can be a $100 savings.
Really, it's important for you to know what kind of person you are. If you'll take your time, study components, pay attention to details and know exactly what you want then building is ideal. But a person who's lazy and/or cuts corners might as well buy something off the rack.
You really get out of this exactly what you put into it - gray matter and quality of components.
At first when you look at building vs. buying a complete rifle, it may not seem like much of a difference. Where the savings start showing up, is say you buy that complete rifle, and maybe it has a flat-top with detachable carry handle, plain old molded handguards, and an a2 buttstock, but what you really wanted were flip up sights, a forend with rails, and a Magpul CTR for a buttstock, well now you just paid for all of the original stuff for nothing, whereas if you had built your own, you could've gotten that stuff to begin with and saved yourself the cash. And that's not to say that you can't buy a complete rifle that has those things, but those are typically when you start getting into the $1000+ price range.
Plus as everyone else has stated, there is the knowledge you gain from assembling it that cannot be bought, yet is ever important.
Another advantage (for some) to building over buying complete is you don't have to come up with all the cash at once. Spread out parts buying over a period of time.
Or , if a person uses credit, just throw caution to the wind and order it all at once...what the hay.
Guilty as charged.
being an "armchair" machinist i cant help but tinker with and build things. also - i AINT got NO money. it took me from Jan to July to gather all the parts and pieces but i now have a very reliable,very accurate bang around ranch rifle. i used an 80% lower which required about 2-3 hrs of milling machine work . Im a beginner with a mill but it matches perfectly with a buddies purchased AR. Ive got about $560 minus the x long end mil and new drill bits in it. a lot of computer time searching for deals is needed. Im researching a new build in a different caliber.
I'm a cross breed. Since I Have NO patience and the worlds most impulsive buyer, I was at my local gun store looking at all the parts and different configs...basically just doing my homework/due diligence, when <insert the opening lines of "Dream Weaver"> a customized Colt CR6724 jumped off the wall and in to the hollow of my shoulder like it belonged there. Nice scope, Magpul PRS stock, tons of extras, and that nice long stainless bbl. A real tack driver with everything I wanted. Big sale at the store so the owner threw in some ammo AND after I said he took away the fun of building my own, offered a freebee FFL on my stripped lower that I ordered as soon as I got home (Palmetto State Armory, thanks to you guys)
So, I sweat out the three day cooling off period, get to go shooting next weekend and get to start building my lighter, more tactical AR at the same time. Best of both worlds!
Pics to come!
IMO, there have been many valid points made here, and i will throw in my 2 cents worth on the matter. i bought my first (bushmaster m4a2 carbine) my next one will be built, not sure as to the maker of parts yet, but i do know the caliber (6.8 spc rem.) i agree that you can build a ar for less than the price of one off the shelf, bare bones and not a lot of frills though. i believe that if you shop carefully and maybe catch a few parts on sale and take your time, and buy quality parts, you can have a very reliable, and custom rifle for less than one off the shelf. another option is buying one used in decent shape for a decent price and customizing it to suit you, sights, grips, stock, ect. ect. also by building of customizing it yourself, you gain a lot of knowledge into the inner workings of your rifle.