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SaCCaL
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Posted: 11/26/2011 9:24:07 AM
I am interested in adding a new M4 Style AR15 to my collection but not sure which route to go. I currently have a pre-ban '94 Colt AR15 with 20" Barrel. I'd like to add a 16" or 14.5" M4 style AR15 but not sure if I should just purchase one already built or build one. I never built a gun before but I am very mechanical/technical and have assembled and disassembled guns a lot. If I purchased one, I would love to buy a Colt again if possible, I see they run somewhere between $1200 and $1500 for the style I mentioned previous.

My question is, is it better/cheaper to build one or buy an already built one?

If building, without breaking the bank, what are a good brand receiver/uppers/barrel/trigger group, etc to purchase? What would be a typical cost? Is it worth building over buying a complete one? Is there any advantage/disadvantage to buying a 14.5" version other than having to pay the $200 tax as a disadvantage? If buying a complete, are there other manufactures that are good? I am looking for it to be preferably GI compatible or as close to GI as possible.

Thank you in advance for your help, sorry for so many questions I am sure a lot of them have been asked before. Thanks again.

Steve
INgunner54
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Posted: 11/26/2011 9:50:31 AM
BUILD. It is a lot of fun to build a rifle, and it's very cool to have something that you know you put together. I am not sure about the laws in your state, but usually you don't need a tax stamp for the 14.5, just have the flash hider pinned and welded to make it the legal 16". As for manufacturers for the lower and upper if you like colts then you could just look for colt receivers. Bravo company puts out good stuff in my opinion too, but there are so many good companies out there now making great parts. You will find all the info you need in the build it yourself section, also check out the equipment exchange, there are usually some great deals to be had in there. Good luck!
sgthalvo
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Posted: 11/26/2011 9:53:18 AM
I have to say build. I was originally going to buy, found this site. Never looked back. Originally, price had been a factor in my build, was trying to keep the cost low. Didn't turn out that way, my dream got the better of me and spent about 2200 dollars. But know I have the pride of building my rifle, and knowing every damn part down to the pins. Love it. Here are some companies to take a look at, but you will find whatever grabs your attention, go with that.

Palmetto State Armory - has great priced lower receivers, might still be running them for 50 dollars. Somebody correct me if wrong.

Spike's Tactical - great company, awesome CS.

Bravo Company USA - great company, awesome BCG's.

Take a look at Rainier Arms website.

Larue Tactical - For the damn win!

Take a look around, start surfing. You will find there are too many to list. These are just some out of my personal experience, others may vary.
Semper Gumbi

Larue FTW!!!
hk404me
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Posted: 11/26/2011 11:15:09 AM
Again, I agree with the above, to build. A ton of options. If, you have access to a mill, you can go with an 80% lower (from Tactical Machining maybe) then have your own personal identification on the lower. Kinda neat. If not purchase a lower from any of a number of vendors. I have seen complete machined lowers for $79.00, but you have to go through an FFL, at least in California.

Buttstock, again a ton of options.

Upper, got wild of this one, too many calibers and options here to even start to list.

Bottom line is that you can build what YOU like and don't have to swap out parts later. Also, a big plus is you understand how everything goes together and if you should have a problem, maybe figure out what the issue is.

Make sure the dis-connect spring goes BIG end into the trigger or you can have BIG trouble. Just found that out from personal experience....

If you do have an issue putting it together, I guarantee someone here will have the answer!

Either way, you are going to LOVE this firearm. AR's are like potato chips, ya can't have just one....

Good luck!

hk404me
okcaveman
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Posted: 11/26/2011 5:22:58 PM
Build! I have built several using Double Star, with Spikes tatical lowers and have had zero problems.
Kilroytheknifesnob
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Posted: 11/26/2011 5:30:27 PM
Always build! It will probably cost a little more, but it's a lot of fun, and you can make a rifle EXACTLY how you want it.
PFC
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Posted: 11/26/2011 5:32:58 PM
For a person with the capability DIY has significant benefits in the long run.
Overall costs are more difficult to quantify because of all the possible variations.
To me barrel length is all about how one plans to use the weapon.
I can’t see going the SBR route unless you are really serious about how it looks.
At one time there was a spreadsheet on the internet that listed manufacturers and material specs the different ones used.
jeep123
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Posted: 11/26/2011 5:55:13 PM
There is a new M4chart out, just google for it.

It includes DD, BCM, Spikes, etc as well as all the old names that still responded. PSA isn't on there.
BBURN
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Posted: 11/26/2011 10:19:14 PM
Build, bulld, build.

Buyers can only buy.

Builders can both build and/or buy.

Which do you want to be?
BurtSaun1049
I am the intergalactic warlord, Xenu.
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Posted: 11/26/2011 10:31:07 PM
Originally Posted By SaCCaL:
I am interested in adding a new M4 Style AR15 to my collection but not sure which route to go. I currently have a pre-ban '94 Colt AR15 with 20" Barrel. I'd like to add a 16" or 14.5" M4 style AR15 but not sure if I should just purchase one already built or build one. I never built a gun before but I am very mechanical/technical and have assembled and disassembled guns a lot. If I purchased one, I would love to buy a Colt again if possible, I see they run somewhere between $1200 and $1500 for the style I mentioned previous.

My question is, is it better/cheaper to build one or buy an already built one? Yes to both of those (even including all the tools you would need to build one). For the money, you can buy a lot nicer components when assembling them yourself

If building, without breaking the bank, what are a good brand receiver/uppers/barrel/trigger group, etc to purchase? LPK's––just buy one from a reputable brand; they're all pretty similar. Triggers? Geissele makes the best, IMO, but I think it's important to learn trigger control/manipulation on a stock trigger first. YMMV. Barrels––Lilja, Krieger, Douglas, WOA, Noveske are all some of the best. However, if you want to build a workhorse M4, I would just buy a Daniel Defense, LMT, or BCM barrel assembly and forget about the rest. What would be a typical cost? That will totally depend on what components you choose. You can make it as expensive or as cheap as you like. Is it worth building over buying a complete one? Is there any advantage/disadvantage to buying a 14.5" version other than having to pay the $200 tax as a disadvantage? I would strongly urge you to not buy a 14.5" barrel unless you are 150% sure you will never change out the muzzle device. I am personally way too finicky to ever perm install one (and not to mention, I think the advantages of a 14.5" barrel vs. a 16" barrel are non-existent). Also, SBR a lower just to have a 14.5" barrel is not worth it, IMO. If buying a complete, are there other manufactures that are good? Sure. Colt, Noveske, BCM, Daniel Defense, LMT, KAC, Larue are all gtg. I am looking for it to be preferably GI compatible or as close to GI as possible. I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Thank you in advance for your help, sorry for so many questions I am sure a lot of them have been asked before. Thanks again.

Steve


"Es bleibet dabei, Die Gedanken sind frei."
Striker071
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Posted: 11/27/2011 12:05:33 PM
Well right now it is a wash as far as prices go. Not counting tools... which you have to in the long run. I priced out some parts recently and only came out with a small difference in price especially with the sales going on.

The advantages are:

You are doing it yourself so the attention to detail can be what ever level you want it to be.

Personal accomplishment and gained knowledge of the weapon platform

custom setup - basically your setup will be exactly what you decide it to be.

If you are going to do one it might not be the best idea to build it. BRD (Black Rifle Disease) is a very insidious thing to get and most people do find they get it to one degree or another. If you build one ..... another follows.

What most people have found when they buy a compete rifle from a company.... It isn't exactly what they want.... close.... but not what they want. Then the next step is to change it. Standard hand guard to quad rail then back again. new triggers.... different stocks .. you get the idea.
Building just avoids that "Not exactly what you want" thing.
seast
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Posted: 11/27/2011 5:17:55 PM
BRD has taken a hold of me. I'm in process of building #7. So, always build. If you ever want to change a barrel , add a piston kit, etc, you will have to experience to build on. Pun intended.
snaggletooth1925
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Posted: 11/27/2011 5:30:20 PM
If this isnt your 1st rifle. Build one. It will be cheaper and youll get exactly what you want out of it.
warpig8654
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Posted: 11/27/2011 6:02:04 PM
Building doesn't automatically mean lower cost than a factory complete AR. You can spend way more on a build using quality parts than you can with a factory complete. Conversly, if you shop around or don't mind used parts, you can come out ahead with a build vs. factory.
I think it takes a particular coward to criticize procedures that you don't understand; particularly when they apply to places that you don't have the bravery to go.



Mtn395
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Posted: 11/28/2011 12:26:32 PM
[Last Edit: 11/28/2011 12:29:49 PM by Mtn395]
Build, you learn a lot when you build it your self
Striker071
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Posted: 11/28/2011 8:00:24 PM
The other advantage to building you can get parts over time if your Budget is tight.

like
start with a lower and LPK....
then upper
then the barrel.


You get the idea... patience gets it done..
Herknav90
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Posted: 11/28/2011 8:34:39 PM
Agree with Striker and Warpig. Build is fun, but you have to watch the bottom line - shipping, tools. However, you won't build just one. It's addictive, and a blast to put you first couple together. I would love to say it gets old, but it NEVER does. I am now working on triggers and facing the lowers. I am going all out for accuracy...These things are tack drivers, and very easy to work on.

If you need to shoot now, go buy one and build the second. If you are on a budget. Buy and piece together is needed. If neither is a huge issue, pull the trigger and go for it on a build.

Follow this guide for parts and just do it. It's a blast.

Guide
Not all the tools are necesary. Read posts or post questions before buying a bunch of tools.

Videos
Again, these videos show a bunch of tools that are NECESSARY...Helpful, but not necessary.
SaCCaL
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Posted: 12/7/2011 5:58:37 PM
Thank you everyone for all your info. I am sorry it took me so long to get back, I have been really busy. It seems like you all listed so many manufactures to pick from. I guess let me ask this, is there a manufacturer I should stay away from? If buying and upper and a lower, is it better to buy them from the same manufacturer? Does buying a higher cost upper or lower mean your getting a better product? I see such a price range difference between manufacturers that I am stuck thinking the higher costing ones are better. Is this correct? Thanks.

Another question, how about building and AR in .308? Any information on this? Is it recommended? Does anyone have one and do they like it?

Thank you again for all your help.
LMoore57
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Posted: 12/7/2011 11:19:50 PM
Seriously, best advice was given already. If you have other guns and are not a total new guy then build for sure. Also someone said before even better advice, LURK on the BIY Forum page and read read read. Every question you could probably think of has most likely been asked atleast once maybe way more.

Caliber choices are insane. So many.

5.56, .308, 6.5, 6.8, 7.62, 9mm probably .40 & .45 out there somewhere, .22LR, 300 whisper or blackout or whatever it's called lately, .458 SOCOM and most likely a shit ton more I am unaware of.

Same with barrel length if you wanna go the tax stamp route for sub 16" lengths From like 5" to 24" if you want. Also the industry forums here are sweet. Most cool stuff manufacturers are supporters and regularly post and answer questions about old and new products they make.

It took me awhile to fully realize how much info is here. Look through all the forum choices and you'll see what I mean. ARFCOM rules.