I Want to Build A Rifle.

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Liberty
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I Want to Build A Rifle.

#1

Post by Liberty » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:31 am

I'm thinking of building an Ar 15. I own a Ruger AR 556, ad have had a lot of run with it. It's as close to a do anything rifle that I can imagine.

I'd like to build a nice gun. and take my time building it. My intention is to build a quality gun, but to keep the price down as best as I can.
The lower seems to me to be the best place to start, and is leaving me a bit confused.
I want a good quality casting, but is any one stripped lower better than another? What should I look for? I suspect that the plastic is not as ideal as the military grade metal ones. Is there an advantage to the enclosed trigger guard vs. the milspec bottom piece? I believe that all colors are created equal.I am having a hard time telling the difference between a $39 and a $300 piece.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#2

Post by mrvmax » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:45 am

I think you’re best bet is to buy the Larue Tactical kit (mine was a little over $1000 delivered). You get everything you need and it’s a great quality rifle. I haven’t monitored wholesale AR component prices but I think getting a quality build for the Larue price will be tough. Of course Black Friday is coming up so there will be some deals there too.

https://www.larue.com/products/larue-ul ... upper-kit/


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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#3

Post by jason812 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:56 am

Forgings are generally made by only a few companies. How the companies machine and finish the lowers is what sets them apart. From talking to the local gun shop, apparently there are foreign forgings out there but he didn't give me an indication on how to differentiate between the American forgings and Chinese. I have been told you can't go wrong with a forging that has the keyhole manufacturing mark.

I've built rifles out of Anderson $50 lowers, $35 uppers and Aero Precision $100 lowers & uppers and haven't had any issues with either. The Aero's have a nicer finish. If you want the upper and lower to match color exactly, get both from the same company. I have a billet set I bought years ago when billet was all the rage but never put any parts in the receivers. You don't need a $3-400 billet set to make a nice or accurate rifle.

Closed trigger guard might make the lower stiffer but really is a personal preference. You can't change it out if you want to but you also don't have to worry about breaking the ears off the lower installing the pin for the trigger guard.

Be prepared once you build one, they some how end up multiplying like Gremlins.

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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#4

Post by Liberty » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:32 am

I am looking primarily at Anderson. I wish to build with an 18 to 20 inch barrel. Probably never put a scope on it, although a red dot might be installed. I want mostly reliable, more than pretty. Likely use Magpul MOE furniture.

What confuses me is differences between a 40 dollar Anderson, and a $300 dollar stepped lower. This will be a project gun, and I expect that it will take me a while to purchase and build the whole gun.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#5

Post by couzin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:52 am

Buy a stripped matched upper and lower - or at least from the same company. Less issues with poor fit, and you will be able to put the parts on you want. As suggested already, go for some quality and don't just buy the cheapest you can find. If you want a different make upper and lower and you are able to check, test it carefully for fit. Sometimes there is just slight variations, not really critical (esp if not building a long distance 1/4" tack driver), but you don't want to much slop. Decide what you want the rifle to be primarily used for and select parts accordingly. If a plinking target/hog/home defense, there is little need for $400 BCG or $300 trigger.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#6

Post by jason812 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:53 pm

Liberty wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:32 am


What confuses me is differences between a 40 dollar Anderson, and a $300 dollar stepped lower.
$300 minus $40 = $260... I couldn't resist. :biggrinjester:

Really, other than the quality of the finish, if the forgings are the same, you are paying for a name. Some names are associated with better quality than others. Also, some companies may not even machine their own lowers. They will get one of the suppliers to do this and put their name on them. If you are going less expensive as you can, get an Anderson. I would have a hard time spending more than $100 on a stripped lower which is twice what an Anderson can be bought for but $100 is my limit. If you're piecing this together slowly and can spread the pain, I would get a lower in the $80-$100 range and then the upper from the same company.

I wish I would have loaded up on Aero's when a local shop had them on sale for $60 a couple of years ago. I have resisted buying any more Anderson's. Not because I don't like them, but because they are cheap enough to buy without remorse and I have more than I need. If Aero's or another of similar quality go on sale in the $50-60 range, I don't think I could hold off and would have to get a couple or 3 more.

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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#7

Post by AF-Odin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:43 pm

I have built using DPMS lowers ($100ish), Rock River lowers ($125ish), and Anderson ($30-$45 depending on sale). As stated, can't tell the difference in functioning and, as stated earlier, finish MAY be a difference--Rock Rivers appear a little nicer than Anderson, but don't function any differently. I have never personally experienced any issue with interchangeability of parts. Have built a number with PSA kits and, again, never had an issue for building a plinker/hog/fun/truck gun. Some people have had issues with PSA
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#8

Post by Paladin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:48 pm

I like Spikes lowers as the fit is slightly better than Anderson... but Anderson stripped lowers run well and I've never had a real issue with them. I don't care for the Anderson build kits, as they are bare bones and I've had issues with some of the springs.

PSA has amazing deals from time to time, but I would stay away from their low end PTAC line as those don't have the same quality as their other components.
Last edited by Paladin on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#9

Post by Paladin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:54 pm

Open trigger guards were created so that soldiers could operate the AR-15 with mittens in arctic conditions where gloves do not keep your hands warm enough.

That is not an issue in Texas. Closed trigger guard lowers are easier to assemble, they save you time and some hassle.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#10

Post by tk1700 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:04 pm

Check out this Anderson complete kit. The barrel is only 16 inches though. Everything you need except optic.
https://www.andersonmanufacturing.com/p ... -magazine/

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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#11

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:26 pm

Liberty wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:32 am
I am looking primarily at Anderson. I wish to build with an 18 to 20 inch barrel. Probably never put a scope on it, although a red dot might be installed. I want mostly reliable, more than pretty. Likely use Magpul MOE furniture.

What confuses me is differences between a 40 dollar Anderson, and a $300 dollar stepped lower. This will be a project gun, and I expect that it will take me a while to purchase and build the whole gun.
I was going to build 18" guns, until I saw the videos below. The increase in velocity using an 18" or 20" barrel over a 16" barrel is insignificant. I chose to use 16" barrels. I plan to build a 6.5 Creedmoor on an AR-10 platform. I'll use a longer barrel on that gun.

Chas.

Part 1. See the chart at 12:54 if you don't want to watch the entire video.


Part 2. Different ammo. Chart at 5:26
Image

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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#12

Post by Paladin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:43 pm

JP Triggers are known for their combination of speed and reliability.

If you don't want to spend the time/effort/money on a JP Trigger, the PSA Enhanced Polished Trigger is a lower cost, easier to install trigger upgrade.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#13

Post by Medley86 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:52 pm

I just put the optic on my build, used an Anderson lower I caught on sale for 30$, Anderson parts kit in the lower, I do plan on putting a Joe bob trigger kit in it to eliminate some of the creep. After that it has a radical 16" mid length upper I caught on sale around July 4 for 280$ complete with bcg and charging handle. With just those parts I could have had a complete rifle in the 400$ range. I did get a FDE buffer tube, FDE viper pdw stock, BCM FDE grip, and FDE handguard, and a king comp (muzzle brake/compensator) those made the price go up more in the 600$ range. I do really like the BCM grip over an A2 that I have on another AR. Plus changing my handguard freed up the 15" mlok that came on the upper for a future long range rebuild on my first AR.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#14

Post by The Annoyed Man » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:12 pm

I’ve built ARs out of both forged and billet receivers. The billet receivers were very nice in appearance - and in one case, had additional features not found on most other receivers - but I can’t truthfully say that the billet receiver rifles were any more accurate than the forged receiver rifles. Accuracy came from using premium barrels, good aftermarket triggers, and quality ammo. Optics don’t make a rifle any more accurate. They just make it easier for the shooter to shoot it more accurately. But an optic cannot cause a rifle to exceed it’s inherent accuracy.

Here are the things I would counsel:

- ambidestrous controls, to the extent possible.
- a high quality trigger from a company like Geissele or Timney ... or something in that quality range.
- a premium barrel in either 1:8 or 1:7 twist.
- a decent quality BCG, with an M16 cut carrier.
- a comfortable buttstock that gives you a decent cheek weld.

Every thing else.... and I mean EVERY thing else.... is just a matter of marketing hype and/or personal preferences.

The cheapest receiver I ever bought was $70. The most expensive was $450.

And speaking of accuracy, with an AR15 in carbine format, count your stars if you can achieve 1 MOA. Consistent sub-MOA is a rarity in the AR15 world, and it require an investment of cash to make it happen. Your average Colt 6920 carbine, for instance, is a 2-3 MOA rifle. This is perfectly normal and OK.
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Re: I Want to Build A Rifle.

#15

Post by cirus » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:25 pm

Anderson lower, PSA 20" upper, 1/7 twist
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Anderson lower, PSA 20" upper, 1/7 twist, very accurate with 62gr handloads

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