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Posted: 11/19/2010 2:21:42 AM EST
I put my current Colt A2 up for sale on the EE. I have a problem with the stock not fitting me and it was going to take at least a couple hundred bucks to make it work so I decieded to sell it and buy or build a KISS mid-length. I have been searching BCM and Spikes upon members raves and recommendations. I read in the past that it is cheaper to build than buy but I am finding the opposite though. If I build the whole rifle myself starting with a striped lower and upper receiver with parts from BCM or Spikes I figure this project is easily going to cost me over 1K. What do you all think? Is it cheaper to build a kiss midlength or to buy it in halves/whole?
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Posted: 11/19/2010 2:43:46 AM EST
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Posted: 11/19/2010 3:10:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2010 3:32:29 AM EST by KILLERB6]
I will admit I am not versed in all of the options out there, but have been putting some BCMs away of late.

Do the math (BCM website pricing):

Upper: $100
Barrel (stripped): $229
Gas tube: $13
Delta ring: $10
FSB: $30
Flash hider: $8
Upper assembly: $385 = <part +tools+shipping.

Similar story with the lower.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 3:13:08 AM EST
If you want a 16" middy, it's hard to beat the Spike's deal right now. It's only $810, you can get a quality buis for only $10 more (instead of the carry handle), and you can use the ARFCOM code to get like $50 off.

Spike's Tactical - ST-15 Mid-Length LE Carbine

If you want something else (like a 14.5"), check out the sale BCM still has on many of their uppers. Match that with a complete lower from Spike's, which is on sale right now for $250.

Bravo Company USA - BCM Uppers

Spike's Tactical - Spike's Tactical Complete Lower w/ M4 Stock




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Posted: 11/19/2010 3:34:40 AM EST
If you choose to use higher quality parts than what the standard AR manufacturer is using then it's more expensive to build. Nothing wrong with that, though.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 3:36:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2010 3:37:52 AM EST by AngryEwok]
It is much cheaper to buy. If you build your own, you're going to be much more picky about the quality of parts and whatnot. Very quickly a $700 concept rifle becomes a $1000 rifle.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 4:58:17 AM EST
Buying has never been cheaper IMHO.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 5:55:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2010 5:56:58 AM EST by lightguy]
You can build a DD for about $700 total if you KISS at smartgunner getting a stripped lower and adding a Magpul MOE stock/hanguard set.
$35 more for middy.


That Spikes deal is just killer though.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 6:03:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By AngryEwok:
It is much cheaper to buy. If you build your own, you're going to be much more picky about the quality of parts and whatnot. Very quickly a $700 concept rifle becomes a $1000 rifle.


I disagree. It is a relative comparison. Being picky doesn't make it more expensive. If you were to take a basic rifle and then replicate just that basic rifle, it will always come out cheaper. If you end up opting for expensive parts, a fair comparison would be to buy a rifle with those same components. I have a Noveske SPR that I built 4 or 5 years ago (when Noveske was using LaRue handguards instead of the VIS) to the same specs as a complete rifle. It ended up costing me $600 less than what they were asking for a complete rifle.

I understand though that once you begin to build your own, you nearly always start going for higher end components. Kind of like going grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 6:08:33 AM EST
Eh. You can build cheaper if you don't mind waiting for deals. That being said, there are some pretty good deals on full guns right now if you just go buy one.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 6:35:25 AM EST
I think it comes down to how much you want a particular item on it, or your purposes for it.

I'm coming in completely new and decided making my own would give me some additional benefit of learning about the platform while assembling some pieces myself. I know I won't end up with something as nice as what I could buy, but even then, the price is lower than I could purchase for locally...so accepting that I'd be using a lot of cheaper Magpul items, I ended up with:

Palmetto State Armory lower (110 shipped, including FFL transfer)
DD Lower parts kit, Magpul stock/buffer set, midlength handguards, trigger guard, and some tools: 185 shipped
And planning on going with a DD upper from smartgunner, midlength, with bolt and charging handle: 517 shipped

So I'm hoping it will be a pretty darn decent starter for $812 delivered...and that's all new parts...(probably a little higher when I screw something up), while the awesome Spikes deal would be about $860 shipped and fees...so really a pretty close call.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 7:03:43 AM EST
In my opinion if you compare apples to apples when looking at building vs buying, you will always come out cheaper building. That is to say, if you wanted to build a rifle to the exact same specs as one you would buy from larue or noveske you will save money building it rather than buying it from them. You will also save money in the long run by building a gun exactly how you want it the first time than buying a box rifle and changing out parts to get it how you want.

To often I see people saying that building is much more costly than buying a stock rifle from rra or spikes, but they are comparing their super spec build with magpul everything , larue rails, kac or toy buis and whatever else to a bare bones m4. It's just not a fair comparison that way.

For example the noveske crusader rifle costs 2255 from them, my build cost like 1500. It's not the exact same parts but in my opinion just as good if not better. Crusader barrel, battle comp, dd bolt group, larue 10 rail, kac micro buis, bcm gunfighter on the upper, bill Springfield trigger, Ergo grip, Okie stock, u2 buffer, all on mega upper and lowers. 1500 all gotten nib or like nib off the EE here. To me that's saving money on building vs buying.

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Posted: 11/19/2010 7:04:52 AM EST
You can build one for about $400... if half the parts you use are free.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 7:09:04 AM EST
The main reasons to build are to learn about your AR while building and/or to create just what you want.

Cost is usually not a good reason unless your budget works better to buy different parts as the year goes on.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 7:54:32 AM EST
All of you bring some good arguments to the table. Thanks for the replies, and keep them coming.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 8:18:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By BRONZ:
I have built several for my friends and I. To me the build your own, it will be cheaper is a myth.

In the past when I have built my own I always use pick of the litter parts. Colt, LMT, RRA stuff. So I never saved any money, but I would always have a rifle just the way I wanted it.

So I say build it exactly the way you want it.



Plus building allows you to learn how the gun goes together. If it breaks you can fix it your self.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 8:30:55 AM EST
I've built in the past. But when it came to pricing my current BCM 14.5 Recce, it was cheaper to buy. I've also spent the last month planning my SPR build. Even with dealer pricing with Brownells, it is cheaper to buy a complete upper from BCM than it is to build it myself. When considering that my SPR build is going north of $5K, it's quite an easy decision to go with one of BCM's Mk12 uppers than spend more to do it myself. And I get swag!

This is one of the several reasons why I am so satisfied with Bravo Company. You get top notch parts, matched with top notch accessories, with a side of second to none customer service.
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Posted: 11/19/2010 9:43:07 AM EST
My opinion is to build your lower from a stripped and parts YOU want on your gun.
(Plus you have less taxes this way compared to getting a built rifle, if I remember right there's like a 10% tax on em.)

Then go out and find a complete upper that you want, and slap it on!
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Posted: 11/19/2010 9:45:58 AM EST
Originally Posted By Birddog1911:
second to none customer service.


That's one issue I have when I build an AR. I'm so hard to please and my alter ego is an azzhat...

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Posted: 11/19/2010 10:03:32 AM EST
The Spikes Middy deal is cheaper with the ARFCOM code.

Mine was under $800 shipped.
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Posted: 11/24/2010 2:21:17 PM EST
I actually did the "math". I chose the setup I want from a "build your rifle" in the DPMS website (flattop, quad rail, grip, flash hider, etc) on an excel sheet, added everything up and then did the same with a rifle kit and parts I wanted, including tools for the build up since I don't have a single hammer then I calculated shipping. In the end the difference wasn't that much and one FINAL thing to keep in mind. If you buy a whole gun it will have some kind of warranty. It's hard to put a price on that until something goes south. IMHO.
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Posted: 11/24/2010 2:35:28 PM EST
One other factor to add to the build v. buy debate is the cost of buying a complete gun and then changing parts to make it the way you want it. Few guns come out of the box exactly the way you want it.

For me, I build my fun guns. My work guns are factory.
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Posted: 11/24/2010 2:39:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By AngryEwok:
It is much cheaper to buy. If you build your own, you're going to be much more picky about the quality of parts and whatnot. Very quickly a $700 concept rifle becomes a $1000 rifle.


Geebus, I wish my $700 concept rifles stopped at $1000........
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Posted: 11/24/2010 3:28:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/24/2010 3:30:01 PM EST by GlutealCleft]
Originally Posted By Maryland_Shooter:
Buying has never been cheaper IMHO.


I dunno. Even a Sportical still costs what, $630 or so? $500 at M&A and a $70 lower receiver will build you something just as good, or perhaps better.

Things may change as you move into different tiers () of rifle, but if all you're going for is cheap, I'd say that building can be as cheap, or maybe a little cheaper.
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Posted: 11/25/2010 6:28:43 PM EST

I know where one can buy a complete M4 flattop for under $500 ....

http://www.jsesurplus.com/16completem4rifle.aspx
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Posted: 11/26/2010 3:53:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By BRONZ:
I have built several for my friends and I. To me the build your own, it will be cheaper is a myth.

In the past when I have built my own I always use pick of the litter parts. Colt, LMT, RRA stuff. So I never saved any money, but I would always have a rifle just the way I wanted it.

So I say build it exactly the way you want it.


This
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Posted: 11/26/2010 5:08:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By mfischer13:
My opinion is to build your lower from a stripped and parts YOU want on your gun.
(Plus you have less taxes this way compared to getting a built rifle, if I remember right there's like a 10% tax on em.)

Then go out and find a complete upper that you want, and slap it on!


+1 At todays prices, it seems to me that the cost savings is pretty much all in the lower receiver group. And there's a lot to be said for letting the good folks at BCM/Spikes/DD/etc. do that which is best left to the pros. Putting the guts into a stripped lower requires no special tools, and is quite a bit lower in the skilled labor scale than assembling an upper. IMHO, anyway.
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