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TacticalDon
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Posted: 12/13/2011 9:04:16 AM EST
I want to build a complete AR15 from scratch that will be reliable and cheap. What are the best parts for the price? How much are they? What parts have to be shipped to an FFL dealer? Where can I find the parts?

And finally can it be done for $500 or less?

Thanks in advance
fnub315
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Posted: 12/13/2011 9:10:46 AM EST
The lower is the only part that needs to be shipped through an FFL...Your best bet is to buy slightly used quality everything else if you want an AR for $500 or less IMO...Its funny you like everybody else building their first AR have a price they want to stick with...When in fact usually you will be going over that price.. I went way over mine that I wanted to keep it to.. Just check the EE...
RPM509
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Posted: 12/13/2011 10:17:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By fnub315:
The lower is the only part that needs to be shipped through an FFL...Your best bet is to buy slightly used quality everything else if you want an AR for $500 or less IMO...Its funny you like everybody else building their first AR have a price they want to stick with...When in fact usually you will be going over that price.. I went way over mine that I wanted to keep it to.. Just check the EE...


I laughed out loud on this, thanks!

Yes, unless you're homeless or a starving artist/student, you're gonna go over budget and you'll enjoy every inch of the ride
TacticalDon
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Posted: 12/13/2011 10:22:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By RPM509:
Originally Posted By fnub315:
The lower is the only part that needs to be shipped through an FFL...Your best bet is to buy slightly used quality everything else if you want an AR for $500 or less IMO...Its funny you like everybody else building their first AR have a price they want to stick with...When in fact usually you will be going over that price.. I went way over mine that I wanted to keep it to.. Just check the EE...


I laughed out loud on this, thanks!

Yes, unless you're homeless or a starving artist/student, you're gonna go over budget and you'll enjoy every inch of the ride


I am a student and have a limited budget but would I be better off just taking my time and building a better more reliable AR15?
sdailey5
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:05:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 11:09:06 AM EST by sdailey5]
You can easily get yourself a functional and reliable AR for under $650.

I had it all planned out how I was going to build my first AR on an $800 budget. The finished product cost roughly $1,500.
However, I could have done it for under $650. Verry doable. So if your budget is $500, I would just up it to $650 (take an extra month or two of saving). Look for parts on AIM. Find a lower pretty much anywhere for around $100. Then check out companies like PSA, DS Arms, and Del-Ton for uppers. You can also check out J&T and M&A. I think Armalite or Bushmaster also has one for $399. Most of those companies should be able to get you an upper for under $400.

All of these companies websites can be found at the top and bottom of this page.
It started out just a dude sitting there (clothed) then the camera turned to my mom and she said "lets have some fun".--- Casimir_Pulaski
Saddlerocker
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:07:32 AM EST
Reliable and $500 dont go together.

I would build a PSA Build Kit (Palmetto State Armory)
Or buy one of their complete guns for about $700

You can come in at about $600 depending on your FFL transfer fee for the Lower receiver.
PSA is the best quality for the money right now hands down.
The only other option around that money would be the S&W M&P15 Sport for about $600-$650. Its good quality also, but no chromed barrel, no dust cover or forward assist, but the last 2 arent needed really.

Nightwraith
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:08:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By sdailey5:
You can easily get yourself a functional and reliable AR for under $650.

I had it all planned out how I was going to build my first AR on an $800 budget. The finished product cost roughly $1,500.
However, I could have done it for under $650. Verry doable. So if your budget is $500, I would just up it to $650 (take an extra month or two of saving). Look for parts on AIM. Find a lower pretty much anywhere for aroun $100. Then check out companies like PSA, DS Arms, Armalite or BM has one for $399 I think, Del-Ton. Most of those companies should be able to get you an upper for under $400.


I second this. I don't think its really possible get a new AR that will function reliably for $500 unless you know how to build and already own all the tools. And, you hit some sweet deals on various parts.

$600-$700 is very doable though. Buy something like this, add a rear sight....done.
HK-USP
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:09:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 11:10:59 AM EST by HK-USP]
Yes, taking your time and doing it right is more important than rushing into it and going cheap on parts.
A few places to begin looking...Palmetto State Armory, Spikes Tactical, Bravo Company, CMMG and Del-Ton.
Watch for deals at Aim Surplus, DSG Arms, Primary Arms and other online dealers this site supports.
They carry some of these.
ArmedNAlabama
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:15:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 11:16:40 AM EST by ArmedNAlabama]
You could do it for that price. It would have helped if you had started before Black Friday. You could've ordered a stripped lower from PSA for $57 shipped (I have an FFL that doesn't charge a transfer fee, so that saved me some $), and a rifle kit from Del-Ton for around $425 shipped with their 15% off Black Friday sale. That would put you under budget with a pretty good carbine.

I know you're probably thinking, "great! What good does that do me? I already missed it!" But my point is it can be done if you are willing to wait for the right deals. Don't get antsy and buy something because you are tired of waiting.

BTW do you have any tools? That will add to your 1st build cost.
TK5
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:29:47 AM EST
Don't forget about the EE. No reason to spend new retail if you don't have to.
TacticalDon
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:34:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedNAlabama:
You could do it for that price. It would have helped if you had started before Black Friday. You could've ordered a stripped lower from PSA for $57 shipped (I have an FFL that doesn't charge a transfer fee, so that saved me some $), and a rifle kit from Del-Ton for around $425 shipped with their 15% off Black Friday sale. That would put you under budget with a pretty good carbine.

I know you're probably thinking, "great! What good does that do me? I already missed it!" But my point is it can be done if you are willing to wait for the right deals. Don't get antsy and buy something because you are tired of waiting.

BTW do you have any tools? That will add to your 1st build cost.


I have regular hand tools but no special tools for ARs
sdailey5
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:57:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By TacticalDon:
Originally Posted By ArmedNAlabama:
You could do it for that price. It would have helped if you had started before Black Friday. You could've ordered a stripped lower from PSA for $57 shipped (I have an FFL that doesn't charge a transfer fee, so that saved me some $), and a rifle kit from Del-Ton for around $425 shipped with their 15% off Black Friday sale. That would put you under budget with a pretty good carbine.

I know you're probably thinking, "great! What good does that do me? I already missed it!" But my point is it can be done if you are willing to wait for the right deals. Don't get antsy and buy something because you are tired of waiting.

BTW do you have any tools? That will add to your 1st build cost.


I have regular hand tools but no special tools for ARs


The only special tool needed for the lower assembly is the spanner wrench for the castle nut on the buffer tube. Pretty much anybody who sells parts also sells the cheap DPMS wrench that I bought for like $7. The only other tools would really be punches and something to smack them with. Oh yeah, and a screwdriver.
It started out just a dude sitting there (clothed) then the camera turned to my mom and she said "lets have some fun".--- Casimir_Pulaski
rod727
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Posted: 12/13/2011 11:59:27 AM EST
Actually I just waved goodbye to the UPS man who dropped off a Del-Ton 16" carbine kit...$395 + shipping from the black Friday sale...I will mate that with a lower I recently picked up at a Gunshow and will have less than $500 in a decent quality rifle....yeah you missed the black Friday sale but you can still pick up a Del-Ton Kit for at $465....two weeks from the day I ordered to day it shipped...
thecolter383
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Posted: 12/13/2011 12:36:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 12:38:02 PM EST by thecolter383]
Here's an option that I believe meets the criteria for a rifle you're looking for.

Del-ton 20" Rifle Kit: $465
http://www.del-ton.com/Rifle_Kit_p/rkt106.htm

Spikes Tactical Stripped Lower: $85
http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/SPKSTLS014.aspx

Carry handle / rear sight: $35
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/683902/gmg-detachable-carry-handle-with-a2-rear-sight-ar-15-aluminum-matte


I just put one of these together for a friend of mine who didn't want to spend alot either. It's not a tier 1 'mil-spec' rifle, but it shoots great and has not had any issues yet. It's a great range rifle and chances are you won't be fighting any wars with your personal rifle anyways. For $585 (not factoring in shipping and the FFL fee for the lower), it's not a bad deal.
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TacticalDon
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Posted: 12/13/2011 3:16:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By thecolter383:
Here's an option that I believe meets the criteria for a rifle you're looking for.

Del-ton 20" Rifle Kit: $465
http://www.del-ton.com/Rifle_Kit_p/rkt106.htm

Spikes Tactical Stripped Lower: $85
http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/SPKSTLS014.aspx

Carry handle / rear sight: $35
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/683902/gmg-detachable-carry-handle-with-a2-rear-sight-ar-15-aluminum-matte


I just put one of these together for a friend of mine who didn't want to spend alot either. It's not a tier 1 'mil-spec' rifle, but it shoots great and has not had any issues yet. It's a great range rifle and chances are you won't be fighting any wars with your personal rifle anyways. For $585 (not factoring in shipping and the FFL fee for the lower), it's not a bad deal.


Thanks for all of the suggestions, this will most likely be what I go with except it would be the 16" rifle kit and maybe the PSA stripped lower.
sdailey5
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Posted: 12/13/2011 4:06:16 PM EST
Aim surplus may have that stripped spikes for a little less. Might want to check and see.
It started out just a dude sitting there (clothed) then the camera turned to my mom and she said "lets have some fun".--- Casimir_Pulaski
Bones45
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Posted: 12/14/2011 8:42:32 AM EST
The simplest thing you can do to ensure reliability is to get quality magazines. Pmags are nice. Other than that, upgrade the extractor and ejector springs with a BCM SOPMOD kit for about thirty bucks. Buy two and keep one in stock for bolt rebuilds. If all your parts are in spec, the gun should run like a champ.

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-SOPMOD-Bolt-Upgrade-Rebuild-Kit-p/bcm%20bolt%20upgrade%20kit.htm
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Shooter_G22
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Posted: 12/14/2011 10:58:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2011 11:17:10 AM EST by Shooter_G22]
I can build a Reliable AR for under $500.00 But that is because, i can go to my local Gunsmith that i have a great relation with and pick up a LRB striped lower for $80 bucks out the door tax and transfer included... and then i can order a complete parts kit for $419.00 shipped... that puts me at $499.00 even... but it is stock funiture and NO REAR sight... so after the cheapest $30.00 + tax UTG Standard rear sight... that puts me over the mark at right around $531.50

i Can do this but you cant... You see i would have to order a complete Parts kit from a very frowned upon company that i wont mention the name... becuase they have a very bad rep... the kit Come with a complet Upper pre-assembled and a Lower parts kit and a buttstock assembly (everything but the stripped lower)

But if and when i have ordered from them in the past... i completely take apart the completed upper, and i inspect everything to make sure everything is good to go.. i then hand lap the unchromed lined barrel, i lap and the upper reciever, and polish the bolt carrier race ways and rails, and true the reciever, and then restake the gas key on the bolt carrier, polish the gas tube, and then i re-assemble the upper reciever bedding the barrel to reciever, the lower parts kit on this cheap kit is ok.. but i have had a little trouble with the roll pins so i have to adjust them by squezing them and stoneing them a bit to get them to go in with minimal problems and then i do a triger job to get the trigger pul real nice and smooth...

So you See in my Opinion in order to get this cheap complete parts kit built up into a Reliable dependable Rifle... there is alot of Attention to detail things and it is way more involved than your standard build up... THERE FOR IT IS NOT FOR A FIRST RIFLE BUILD... and Even then after all that work, you would still have a rifle that people would turn there nose up to... so i DO NOT RECOMEND THIS...


the Best advise i could give to you has already been giving:

GO WITH THE PSA KIT... you will not be disappointed, and you will end up with a rifle that will be dependable, and very well respected..!
HOWEVER, i dont want to mis lead you... you will be able to build a rifle for around $600 - $650 with PSA but you are going to spend alot more, by out fittng it...
becuase eventually you will want optics and a sling and a case and more magazines and then there is always ammo... and more ammo.. so be prepared to spend some $$$$
NickySantoro
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Posted: 12/14/2011 11:09:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By TacticalDon:

And finally can it be done for $500 or less?


No. The reality is that the gun is going to cost well over $500 for parts only. Factor in shipping, NICS, mags, ammo, sling, and some tools and cleaning equipment and you will be closer to $1K. Decent optics will be another big hit.
In your place I'd keep putting spare money in the cookie jar until you have enough to do it right.
Espos1111
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Posted: 12/14/2011 12:01:45 PM EST
Helped a buddy build one for $554 with shipping. Did not include sling or optics (or BUIS). I gave him an old pay it forward scope so he is up and shooting. If you need to buy any of these (you do) or even a wrench for the castle nut, boom over budget. Agreed $600-$650 is a more reasonable budget for a "budget" AR. One thing about it though, it probably will be ALL stock. Nothing to get excited about. Just a descent starter AR. You WILL upgrade from these basic parts, then you WILL have spare parts, then you WILL have 2 AR's.....etc

Quality optics on top of it is a whole different story. At that price you can easily spend 2/3 to 2x the price of the rifle.
turb06le240
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Posted: 12/14/2011 5:15:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2011 5:16:30 PM EST by turb06le240]
just built one for less than $500, I bought a free float upper complete with bcg for $325 from SAA, then a SAA lower made by aero, nice lowers}with parts kit and collapsible stock for $150, they had to ship separate so shipping cost me $21 but still under $500, and my ffl transfers for free {I spend a lot there}, free float aluminum forearm 16" barrel, shoots very well, took me $20 minutes to throw it together... The only thing I am going to change is the trigger {DPMS parts kit trigger, is creepy gritty mess.}... But it works...