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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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First AR-15: Buy or Build?

I am thinking about getting my first AR15 in the next year or so. This would just be a toy for plinking and range use, looking to spend in the $800 to $900 range.

Being a first timer (never even shot one) would you suggest buying a completed one and taking it apart/learning from there, or buying the parts and assembling one?

Also, are there any brands you stay away from. I hear about the good ones (Bushmaster, Olympic, Larue, DPMS, Stag, RRA), any bad ones?

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 01:56 PM
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Build it. It's not difficult.

RRA, Stag, Bushmaster, Colt, DPMS are all good complete rifles to buy.

You can get a CMMG, Stag, DPMS, Spikes Tactical etc. stripped lower receiver for about $100-120. RRA stripped lowers are hard to come by and run about $150.

The easiest way to go for your first rifle is a kit. Buy the stripped lower receiver and order a kit of your choosing from Del-ton.com. The kit will include everything you will need to finish a stripped lower...lower parts kit, buttstock, upper receiver assembly (usually already assembled if ordered from del-ton), bolt carrier group, charging handle etc. You can get a rifle kit for as low as $500, I think.

So for $600-700 you can have a nice, operable rifle. If you want to use different pistol grip, hand guards, flash hiders, etc, it will cost you more. For your first build, just keep it simple.

Also, remember that a single lower receiver is all you will really need since the uppers are interchangable between most calibers. You will benefit from a purpose built lower if you decide you want a 9mm upper.

BTW, AR15.com is an excellent resource for all thing AR related. They also have a AK section as well.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. It was AR15.com that got me wanting one so bad in the first place! I asked this question over there too, but there seem to be some pretty knowledgeable people here (gun-wise) that might have some good ideas.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
-Gerald Ford/Thomas Jefferson

"A Republic, if you can keep it"
- Benjamin Franklin

The way to peaceably remove elected officials who deviate from the constitution of the United States of America...
www.blowoutcongress.com
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 02:25 PM
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I just assembled one(used upper) for 550 or so.

**Disclaimer: Opinions cited by me are not necessarily my opinions.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 03:19 PM
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I started with a basic rifle kit from Del-ton. No upgrades. I had a working rifle for $700. I've upgraded a couple of parts already and I have my eye out for more used upgrade parts. That's the part of the hobby I enjoy. It's no fun to buy a car that runs fast on the 1/4 then be too broke to mess with it. I'd rather have a car that runs 14s then mod it as time goes on.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:14 AM
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I need to learn more about these and would prefer to build them instead of dropping the coin to pick one up.

1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
Pericles "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. "

"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams


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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 09:44 AM
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Assembling a lower is about as hard as making a paper airplane...

Build it yourself and have a little fun with it... I bought a CMMG lower from Military Gun Supply for $116 out the door.

Bought the lower parts kit from CMMG online for $60. http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/...159972&cat=28&

I bought my stock from Cheaper than Dirt for $25. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ARR007-3293-3025.html

If you purchase the A3-A4 flat top upper, you can buy a carrying handle from Cheaper than Dirt for $40. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ARR119-48296-1887.html

I havent bought my upper yet. The good thing is, an upper by itself doesnt have to go through a FFL holder so I can buy it anywhere and have it shipped directly to my house.

Last edited by GT Dan; 06-25-2008 at 09:58 AM.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 10:51 AM
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What will your total build cost be?

1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
Pericles "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. "

"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams


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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean88gt
What will your total build cost be?
Seriously, if you don't buy into the whole name brand thing on AR15.com, you can build a working one for $700. AR15.com and M4carbine.net have a lot of ninjas who spend thousands on SHTF, unbreakable, ultra-reliable, overpriced, only used by Navy Seals type stuff but keep their guns in a humidity controlled place and use it once a month to go plinking at the range.

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propellerhead
Seriously, if you don't buy into the whole name brand thing on AR15.com, you can build a working one for $700. AR15.com and M4carbine.net have a lot of ninjas who spend thousands on SHTF, unbreakable, ultra-reliable, overpriced, only used by Navy Seals type stuff but keep their guns in a humidity controlled place and use it once a month to go plinking at the range.
I could care less! I just want the thing to keep myself protected.

1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
Pericles "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. "

"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams


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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean88gt
I could care less! I just want the thing to keep myself protected.
That's the angle the AR fashion queens are gonna get you. They'll talk you into the expensive "more reliable" stuff saying why bet your life on a rifle that's less than $3,500. Somehow they believe the more expensive it is, the more reliable it is. My $700 AR has fired about 300 rounds through it and it hasn't stopped. Some of that was rapid firing a 20 round magazine as fast as I could.

However, if you have the money to spend, go for it.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Same here. I'm going to start by reading up on them. I have been looking around and it seems like every time I find a hand guard I like (quad rail) it is $150 - $200. I might need to go with something more basic for my first, just to keep costs down.

Oh and by the way I can't make paper airplanes for shit. Damn things always come back and hit me in the face. Maybe I better stick to buying one

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
-Gerald Ford/Thomas Jefferson

"A Republic, if you can keep it"
- Benjamin Franklin

The way to peaceably remove elected officials who deviate from the constitution of the United States of America...
www.blowoutcongress.com
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 12:57 PM
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean88gt
What will your total build cost be?
It depends on how much I spend for an upper...

Like Prop was saying, he built his with a lower from Military Gun Supply and a kit from Del-Ton for $700. I've held it and it doesnt look any better or worse than any other AR I've seen... (I'm sure there are people that will disagree with me)

I'm buying it for plinking and playing... If I need something to defend me or mine, I'm going to reach for my handgun, not an AR.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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That is what I want to build/buy.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
-Gerald Ford/Thomas Jefferson

"A Republic, if you can keep it"
- Benjamin Franklin

The way to peaceably remove elected officials who deviate from the constitution of the United States of America...
www.blowoutcongress.com
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slow06


That is what I want to build/buy.
Thats what i built(less the carying handle and front sight) for 550.. look around.. wait for a deal

**Disclaimer: Opinions cited by me are not necessarily my opinions.
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propellerhead
That's the angle the AR fashion queens are gonna get you. They'll talk you into the expensive "more reliable" stuff saying why bet your life on a rifle that's less than $3,500. Somehow they believe the more expensive it is, the more reliable it is. My $700 AR has fired about 300 rounds through it and it hasn't stopped. Some of that was rapid firing a 20 round magazine as fast as I could.

However, if you have the money to spend, go for it.
I'm frugal. I will not spend $3500 for a gun unless I can really fuck some shit up.

1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
Pericles "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. "

"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams


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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 07:57 AM
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Mine


Shot with NIKON D80 at 2008-06-26

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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT Dan
...I'm buying it for plinking and playing... If I need something to defend me or mine, I'm going to reach for my handgun, not an AR.
A handgun is only good for fighting your way back to your long gun, which you should never have left behind to begin with.

I carry a handgun for personal protection in public, but always have my AR15 close by at the house. It's not the best weapon for home defense, but works. I need to pickup a 12 gauge...

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobra93teal
Mine


Shot with NIKON D80 at 2008-06-26
That's nice, but I can't say that I like the looks of a rifle length handguard on a 16" barrel...

I'll post a pic of mine later on.

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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:51 AM
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That's nice, but I can't say that I like the looks of a rifle length handguard on a 16" barrel...

I'll post a pic of mine later on.
I have to agree... but it came with that one....

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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 10:16 AM
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I have to agree... but it came with that one....
BTW, I just noticed that your lower is RRA...do you have any issues with GI mags dropping free?

My RRA won't drop GIs, even loaded. But it will drop Pmags empty.

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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOOCBB
BTW, I just noticed that your lower is RRA...do you have any issues with GI mags dropping free?

My RRA won't drop GIs, even loaded. But it will drop Pmags empty.
No does not seem to have a problem... but I use pmags mostly also. I have a GI that works smoothly.

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Last edited by cobra93teal; 06-27-2008 at 02:49 PM.
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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOOCBB
You can get a CMMG, Stag, DPMS, Spikes Tactical etc. stripped lower receiver for about $100-120. RRA stripped lowers are hard to come by and run about $150.
any differences in these brands? why is rra more?
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 02:48 PM
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http://www.lonestarwholesale.com/2.html
Shoot Robbie an email..... he has some really good prices.

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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
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any differences in these brands? why is rra more?
The only real difference is forge markings and the name on the side.

Truthfully, for any AR15 based build, any forged lower would be fine as long as it is within specs.

The reason I asked above about an RRA lower dropping mags free is because RRA has let a batch through QC that had out of spec magwells. I think mine is one of these lowers, but I'm coping because Pmags work fine.

RRA stripped lowers are more expensive because they only release them to the public when the have a few left over from rifle production. They will use them to build rifles before they sell them. With a limited supply, and demand up because they have the cleanest forge markings (IMO), they are going to be more expensive.

Is an RRA lower worth it? Probably not, because the same company that produces their lowers also produces the Stag lowers along with a couple of other brands.

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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 03:10 PM
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http://www.lonestarwholesale.com/2.html
Shoot Robbie an email..... he has some really good prices.
I bought my RRA complete lower and Stag stripped lower from Robbie back in September. Paid $240 for the RRA and $110 for the Stag. I passed his table at the last Market Hall show and his Stag stripped lowers were $120. I didn't look at the other lowers.

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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 03:26 PM
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thanks for the info! im gonna give robbie a call and try to buy a complete lower this weekend.

i planned on buying the stripped from MGS, but if i can save a trip to fort worth and not even have to put the lower together... shit yea!
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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 06:37 PM
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I was planning on building one, but then a friend of mine decided to get rid of one he had built and cut me a deal I couldnt pass up. Mine is a DMPS lower with a Model 1 Sales upper with their heavy varmint barrel. It is a blast at the range, first time out I put a 5 shot group at 100 yards that you can cover with a quarter.

I'm going to visit my parents next week and I'll have the chance to see what it will do at some longer ranges

Here is mine

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One
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America

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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cobra93teal
Mine


Shot with NIKON D80 at 2008-06-26
Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
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post #31 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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Heres mine
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post #32 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wright_94z28
Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
I always intend to fire!

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post #33 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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I always intend to fire!
Well unless you have one round in chamber its going to be hard. LOL
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post #34 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Wright_94z28
Well unless you have one round in chamber its going to be hard. LOL
They will be looking at that ar... when I sneak up behind them with the SOCOM!

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post #35 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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They will be looking at that ar... when I sneak up behind them with the SOCOM!
Which Socom you got, my dad was looking into getting one a little while back
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post #36 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 08:24 PM
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Which Socom you got, my dad was looking into getting one a little while back
I have a RRA 458

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