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Thread: New to ARs...

  1. #1
    Plinker

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    New to ARs...

    I'm about to be finishing college and will finally have money to start a long awaited AR project, but all of my previous experience has come with handguns. I'm thinking 5.56, but am completely clueless in regards to quality of different manufacturers, different barrel twists, upper and lower compatibility, etc. Figured this was the best place to come for advice!

  2. #2
    Master Lock n Load's Avatar

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    Alot of questions to be answered there, but once you understand ARs then they are really pretty simple. Assembling one requires a few tools but not many and is really straight forward.

    I suggest to buy a stripped lower, LPK (lower parts kit) and the stock set of your choice. And right now its about as cheap to buy a complete upper as to get the barrel, upper and small parts seperately. You can also save $$ by purchasing a complete lower and complete upper seperately and then its just 2 pull/ push pins away from assembly.

    As far as brands, thats like Ford vs. Chevy but most are great as stripped lowers except Hesse and there have been some issues w/ Roggio Arsenal (SP?) too. (Shooter521 can give you a present day status on these)

    5.56 is always a good place to start, barrel twist depends on your expected usage and what bullet weights you intend to shoot, 1/9 is good for 55 & 62gr. or 1/7 if you intend to shoot alot of 62gr and heavier and at farther distances.

    As far as compatibilty, if you choose 5.56 just dont get a lower for 7.62 and then 9mm requires a mag block and a different hammer in most cases. And the uppers are dedicated to the caliber and should be marked as such... ie. 5.56mm.

    I know I havent answered everything but I HTH,

    Good luck and keep us posted
    "High drag and Low speed!!!"

  3. #3
    Plinker trigger643's Avatar

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    I've built a few, but am by no means an expert.

    The last 5 or 6 have all been with Tactical Innovations T-15 lowers. Cost wise, they run with the back (about $100), but have some features I really like, like an integral tensioning screw for firm upper/lower fit and a rear detent capture screw. The quality is first class. AR15 LOWER RECEIVERS - Tactical Innovations Inc. - Idaho Official.

    You should decide what you are going to be using it for. Like most things, trying to build a do-all, will usually end in a marginal result that may or may not be adequate for anything. So, you have to decide on whether you want a fun casual range gun, a tacticoolaid gun, a varmint or a precision rifle.

    A good place to play around and get some ideas is Brownell's AR builder.
    AR-15 Builder - Build and Customize your own AR15 | Brownells

    As you've no doubt noticed, there are numerous products out there. Most are really good. Some are questionable and some serve no purpose at all other than to separate you from your money and/or cause hours of frustration. A lot of the time it comes down to personal preference or cost.

    I second Lock and Load regarding a complete upper. Price-wise most of them are running about what you can get the sum of their part for. My last three builds were all done with complete uppers (YHM and Bushmaster), that from a cost standpoint, I couldn't have bought the parts individually.

  4. #4
    Certified Regular Guy esrice's Avatar

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    Read this first! I found it quite helpful.

    So you want to buy an AR-15, huh?

  5. #5
    Keeper of the Hammer
    MontereyC6's Avatar

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    I'm going to throw this idea out there, even though you are talking about building for your first. Buy a complete rifle. For your first AR, you might as well get one already put together so you can have fun with the platform. Find one in 5.56, 16" barrel carbine, and go from there. You will get a better idea of what it is you want/like in the rifle platform, and you can custormize your first one from there. Also, you won't save that much money building your own, so might as well save the time and spend it shootin!

    As far as which manufacture? One of the best deals running is coming from Spike Tactical. There are several sight advertisers that can hook you up with them.

    ST-15 M4 LE Carbine [STR5025-M4S] - $799.95 : Spikes Tactical

  6. #6
    Expert EvilElmo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontereyC6 View Post
    I'm going to throw this idea out there, even though you are talking about building for your first. Buy a complete rifle. For your first AR, you might as well get one already put together so you can have fun with the platform. Find one in 5.56, 16" barrel carbine, and go from there. You will get a better idea of what it is you want/like in the rifle platform, and you can custormize your first one from there. Also, you won't save that much money building your own, so might as well save the time and spend it shootin!

    As far as which manufacture? One of the best deals running is coming from Spike Tactical. There are several sight advertisers that can hook you up with them.

    ST-15 M4 LE Carbine [STR5025-M4S] - $799.95 : Spikes Tactical
    ^This, but I'm partial to the midlength:
    ST-15 Mid-Length LE Carbine [STR5035-MLS] - $809.95 : Spikes Tactical

  7. #7
    Certified Regular Guy esrice's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontereyC6 View Post
    Also, you won't save that much money building your own, so might as well save the time and spend it shootin!

    ST-15 M4 LE Carbine [STR5025-M4S] - $799.95 : Spikes Tactical
    I too am a fan of "buy your first, build the rest".

    Either of those above links are about the best deal going in complete mil-spec ARs.

    Here is my review on the carbine version: http://ingunowners.com/forums/long_g...e_carbine.html

  8. #8
    M67
    M67 is offline
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    ARs are nice projects, and pretty simple.

    But deciding if you want to build your own, or just buy on depends on a couple criteria:
    1) What are you going to use it for
    2) What do you want on it

    Sometimes, with special options, it would be cheaper just to build one, but if a simple stock one fits your needs the best might as well just by a stock one.

  9. #9
    Shooter

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    Good advice from all.

    Buying one of the above is sound advice and very cost effective. If you are considering the building of an AR as part of the enjoyment, as many do, watch all the videos at Ultimate Reloader's AR building project:

    AR-MPR AR-15 Project Kick-Off Ultimate Reloader
    Last edited by desmodue; 01-29-2011 at 13:00.

  10. #10
    Expert Jtgarner's Avatar

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    I am looking at building my first, I went with the "buy the first, build the rest" and I am glad I did, you can try out parts and then when you build your first you don't waste money on parts that you will replace anyways.

    I have done some pricing too and Del-Ton and Spikes are what I am looking at for stripped lowers and maybe BCM for an upper but I am no where near getting the upper yet.


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