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hexter2112
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Posted: 2/8/2013 9:57:47 PM
Just wondering. Can the self builders here tell me the cost of a build versus the cost of a complete rifle. Is it just the satisfaction of building it yourself or is there a savings involved after you finished? Thanks
Mister_Sir
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:15:22 PM
I decided to start building my own on December 20th. Since then, I have everything I need minus a bunch of ammo, front/rear sights, delta ring, handguard cap, and a crush washer. I was lucky (and diligent) enough to get parts and such just before they went out of stock. I heavily used the "email me when back in stock" feature on most websites. Total, I have spent close to 1200 on everything I have. Compare that to the shelf prices of 1900 + for a plain jane AR.
hexter2112
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:18:53 PM
Originally Posted By Mister_Sir:
I decided to start building my own on December 20th. Since then, I have everything I need minus a bunch of ammo, front/rear sights, delta ring, handguard cap, and a crush washer. I was lucky (and diligent) enough to get parts and such just before they went out of stock. I heavily used the "email me when back in stock" feature on most websites. Total, I have spent close to 1200 on everything I have. Compare that to the shelf prices of 1900 + for a plain jane AR.


Makes sense. I will wait until the craziness ends. Soon I hope.

TheAtticRat
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:35:10 PM
Doing my first build right now. I've been patient and shopped around. Got about half my parts. Another 1/4 is on the way. Still waiting for the rest to ship. all said and done I will have around around $950 in a basic build with a few pieces of bling. Good starting point. The deals are there to be had. Just takes a bit of searching.

Ammo, on the other hand................ Let's just say that my rifle may be more useful as a club than as a gun for a while.......
timmr
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:38:55 PM
I'm in the middle of a build right now.
Depending on how patient and how good a shopper you are, it can be done now without spending much more than it would have cost pre panic.
I think the advantage to putting it together yourself is getting the exact configuration that you want with out having to change out existing parts. There is some savings to be realized there.
peckerwood86
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:41:36 PM
im into my lower for about 250 total. Spikes zombie with psa moe build kit. Uper is a psa for just over 404 shipped and a stoner bcg for just over 150 and a charging handle frome a buddy. all i need is a rear sight. so I come in at just under 900 for a rifle and its not the best but its not the worst
ucf_stang
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:42:15 PM
I think the real savings in building an AR is buying what you want the first time, instead of replacing stuff piece by piece on a standard AR.
gorilladiver
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:59:42 PM
here is what I have in my build buying everything piece by piece, I started ordering parts the week after Sandy Hook


New Frontier complet poly lower $120 shipped plus $20 transfer fee
two Elander 30 round mags $40
DPMS Crush Washer AR-15 $2.99
DPMS Flash Hider A2 1/2"-28 Thread AR-15 $5.99
DPMS Barrel Nut AR-15 Matte $7.49
DPMS Gas Tube Carbine AR-15, $12.99
DPMS Delta Pack AR-15 Matte $11.99
Magpul Handguard MOE AR-15 $28.45
AO Precision Upper Receiver Stripped $109.99
DPMS Ejection Port Cover Assembly $5.99
DPMS Forward Assist Assembly $11.99
PK Firearms bolt assembly $60
Phase 5 bolt carrier $150
Daniel Defense,CHF M4 Barrel 16" Hammer Forged $265.00
Charging Handle Assembly $24.95
Firing Pin Retaining Pin $1.50
Gas Key Kit $13.50

Waiting
Bolt Cam Pin $4.95
Firing Pin $6.95
Handguard Cap $2.95
Gas Tube Spring Pin $0.50
MagPul MBUS Gen 2 Flip-Up Rear Sight $55.05
Troy Industries BattleMag 3-Pack - Black $69.99
Combo Wrench Tool $24.99
YHM Hooded Front Flip Sight Tower w/ Bottom Rail $86.95

$1010.17 total (not including mags and tools)
jgallamore
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:17:20 PM
In my brief experience you could purchase a full working rifle cheaper than building one yourself, if you leave it alone.

Building it allows you to build a rifle to your specifications, without having to replace parts you didn't want in the first place. It also allows you to spread the cost over a period of time, instead of dropping one large lump sum in a single instance.

Now isn't as bad as people are putting out. Mags are getting better to come by, I just got 6 troy mags yesterday. I haven't paid any hype prices on anything for my build and I didn't start until after Christmas. Just gotta be patient and ready to buy when stuff comes available.
hexter2112
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:33:18 PM
All good ideas. I will start shopping soon.
ohioktm125
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:44:57 PM
[Last Edit: 2/8/2013 11:47:23 PM by ohioktm125]
I've built two so far. I have about $1300 combined total. Just shopped around for parts, waited for deals, etc. One 20" full size rifle - nothing fancy except a Gunfighter CH, the second a mid - length 16" flat top carbine, again nothing fancy except for a Gunfighter CH. So yeah, it has saved me some money compared to buying complete rifles off the shelf.

ETA: the total includes shipping for all the different parts, etc. I include that in the cost of the builds. Probably got about $80 - 100 or so combined total for shipping.
balloo93
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:45:53 PM
I have been building them since late 09. IIRC- In the beginning, building your own would save you around $200-400.

08 panic came in and it was still possible to find the parts on sale when they were available, but the cost savings on a standard config was not as much. Now for custom rifles, it did allow you to build the rifle exactly how you wanted to from the start. This way you didn't end up with a box full of spare parts that you would sell or just let sit till you were ready for another build.

Then the market dropped and you could build a rifle for about the same cost saving and in some cases even more in the beginning. The market corrected itself buy dropping prices on complete rifles with some companies (ie Spike's, Palmetto, and even Colt). At that point it went back to the customized angle where it made more sense to build it with the exact handguard, upper/lower, grip, ect.............

With things the way they are now, it's a toss up. Most of the parts can still be found for decent prices, except for a few items that are VERY expensive now.
metal4all6
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:57:40 PM
For me, it's the satisfaction of doing it myself and putting the parts I want on it the first time. Also, my wife would kill me if I dropped $1500 at once to buy a complete rifle. Building it myself, I can spread out the cost over several months.
metal4all6
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:59:27 PM
[Last Edit: 2/9/2013 by metal4all6]
Edit: double post
1098cya
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Posted: 2/9/2013 12:14:46 AM
In my experience.....whether buying a whole rifle or putting together your own, owning a black rifle will never be cheap. I've bought one and have made one. Both have so far, served me well only

because I chose to use good quality parts from quality merchants here on Arfcom. You've heard from all those who chimed in, and they all would agree on one thing.....use good quality parts

and the rifle you choose to have or build will not fail you.
Ar-Bret
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Posted: 2/9/2013 12:22:36 AM
Well,

If you buy a rifle from whoever built them and it was exactly as you wanted...it would be cheaper in some cases to just buy a already built rifle...Especially counting in the expense of tools you may need to buy...

Now, I already owned all but a couple of special tools in my shop...So tools for me weren't much cost...And the only two things i did buy was a "Best Gun vice Ever" and an armorers tool...Neither have been used much...

I tend to work on my guns on the wood bench top and don't really need a specialized vice...i have the action blocks for my regular vice...

But, Where is really comes into play is in the plethora of spare parts that I took off my guns I bought...

I've sold many of them on here and elsewhere...So I did recoup some of the money...Even made a bit on a couple pieces...

But if you buy a weapon from a dealer and decide to start changing it around...It is much cheaper to just build it the way you want it from the get go...

I've bought many guns from hunting guns to weapons like the AR and M1...

Now, I build all my weapons myself, and know how to work on the better than any Armour's class is building them from scratch...

So, If you plan on getting more of these weapons or changing things around at least start building from kits then maybe from scratch...I still cheat sometimes with barreled receivers...I've even bought some complete uppers without bcg and charging handle...

I only use Raptors for the Charging handle and Fail zero for the BCG and hammer...

You'll know what you like after trying it...And you get to building exactly what you want and it doesn't take much time to build them either...

I just finished up a few builds the other day...

3 Builds 1 From Scratch 2 Complete uppers without BCG or CH...

built them all in an afternoon...Not skimping on anything either...But they are really easy to build after doing quite a few...You know all the gotcha's and items that you like to use and desire in your weapons...

I've also taught a few people now how to build...

Building is relatively easy if you have the tools...And the best tool is AR15.com... Seriously...

These is imho more knowledge available on here than any other source in person even!

So, Bottom line!

Cheaper to buy on your first build if your not going to change anything out...

If your like most people on ARFCOM you will be better off building...Your incessant pursuit of the perfect AR-15 will cost too many trips to the gunsmith and end up costing way more than the tools...

My 2 Cents!
Bret
igozumn
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Posted: 2/9/2013 12:53:53 AM
[Last Edit: 2/9/2013 12:57:38 AM by igozumn]
I'd had a Bushmaster for about 13-14 years and decided I wanted to build an AR. Wanted to build it a certain way. Couldn't decide between a light, or cheap, or nice build. But I was just kinda cruisin' along and not doing anything about it. Had a hunch I'd better get my butt in gear, cause I knew if Obama was re-elected, we'd have problems. Weekend before the election, I found a couple lowers at a gunshow. Both New Frontier Armory. One was the complete polymer and the other, the aluminum stripped. Did some net surfing for pros/cons on them, and went back the next day and bought them.

*the below prices do not include shipping or sales tax

$120 Complete NFA LW-15 lower
$249 Palmetto M4 madness Black Friday upper w/ Strikefire w/o CH w/o BCG
$120 no-name BCG from CTD
$20 +/- charge handle PSA
$42 KNS anti-walk pins LGS
$55 MBUS from PSA
$55 for 5 non-window Pmags Quantico Tactical gun show

$661 total. Figure in shipping, etc, and you're at $700 for an inexpensive and lightweight AR. I added a Vltor sling mount, sling and MOE handguard, so figure another $100.

$100 Stripped NFA G-15 lower
$120 PSA MOE LBK
$24 MOE+ grip Quantico local gun show
$129 BCG Core15
$45 +/- BCM Gunfighter Mod 3 charge handle
$100 Spikes Stripped upper w/door and FA off the EE
$175 Larue 7.0 FF from the EE
$240 14.5 pencil barrel BCM
$45 BCM low profile gas block
$13 BCM gas tube
$22 Phantom flash hider from EE
$20 Vltor sling mount Midway/CTD, can't recall for sure
$33 Magpul MS2 sling from BCM
$70 5 window pmags Quantico local gun show
$50 XT panels and ladder rail covers ebay
$27 BAD lever Quantico local gun show
$65 Centerpoint red/green scope Wally world

$1278 and probably $1350 including shipping, but it's built exactly how I wanted it outfitted.

Now, you could discount the price of the mags and say, "Well, they can be used in any of the ARs...." Cool. Fine. And that's what I do. I only included them as if someone was starting from scratch 3 months back, that is what you'd need/want to be 100% complete. What's not included is the $100-$200 worth of tools (punches, wrenches, blocks, etc), but worth every penny.

The problem now, is that you can't buy any of that stuff as quickly as I was able to. This wave of, out of this, out of that, can't get this, nor that, followed me every step of the way since the election. Bought the window pmags the weekend of Sandyhook. Yeah, those waves were starting to get my knees wet. I don't envy anybody that's trying to finish one right now. I've been telling people at work, that everything is available on the classifieds, but the prices are astronomical! The MOE LBK was $120 on Thanksgiving day. 4 weeks later, it was $170. They are $230 on the EE when they are there. BGC approaching $450 for Super Duper Brand? Wow. Just.......wow. Can't imagine what it would cost to do one of the above if I started today!
Switchrkc
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Posted: 2/9/2013 2:50:13 AM
I built my first one. I picked up a Spikes lower and a stripped 16 in.upper from PSA which was $299 pre panic. When I was all done I had an extra trigger and a few parts I upgraded from my original lower parts kit. Since I had extra parts I had to start another one. Bought a LRB lower a the gunshow fairly cheap, this was going to be a cheap build. I went with a 20 in. PSA upper for something different. Then JP Ent trigger group and Failzero BCG, cheap has flown out the window. I have two more lowers on the way and I am just one trigger group away from having all the parts to complete the lowers. I was able to put together lower parts kits by piecing them together from different websites buying individual components of the LPK ala cart, I spent $120 with shipping to gather all the pieces for two lowers. To answer the original question it is not cheaper to build your own because you can't build just one
gabeowp
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Posted: 2/9/2013 5:39:40 AM
Pre crazy days i could make a a m4 flat top for less than 550 any day of the week with new parts. Made one for 300 using used but good condition parts once. At the start of all the talk i ordered enough to build 3 more at 660 each as prices started to rise. Currently the market is just whack! Dsa and aero still have decent prices compared to everyone else but the production is months behind.
shadow7874
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Posted: 2/9/2013 8:32:53 AM
I built mine last summer with a 12" free float rail, CHF chrome lines barrel, MOE parts, and a slightly pricier BCG than I was looking for and only spend $1100 or so.
Its worth building yourself in my eyes, at least a lower. The lower is so easy to do and I built mine for a good bit cheaper than a complete one would have cost.
AR45fan
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Posted: 2/9/2013 9:38:19 AM
[Last Edit: 2/9/2013 9:39:57 AM by AR45fan]
Xxx
ls92teg
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Posted: 2/9/2013 9:53:19 AM
I spent $1001 on my build

Code red lower $156
PSA lower build kit $120
PSA upper with free float rail $505
Bcg &CH from pk $ 220
JParis6014
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Posted: 2/9/2013 10:27:04 AM
Originally Posted By hexter2112:
Just wondering. Can the self builders here tell me the cost of a build versus the cost of a complete rifle. Is it just the satisfaction of building it yourself or is there a savings involved after you finished? Thanks


PSA 16" M4 upper $365 shipped, New Frontier Armory LW-15 lower $113 shipped and transferred through my FFL, PSA Magpul ACS-L build kit $207 shipped, Bravo Company BCG and Gunfighter Mod4 charging handle about $240 shipped, Magpul Mbus Gen 2 rear flip up sight $60 shipped, so I'm right at a $1,000 in mine. Including my stockpile of .223 ammo and 30 round magazines and spare parts which I have alot of I have anywhere between $2,500 and $3,000 in my AR stuff. Hope this helps. Even right now you can still build a decent AR for around a grand or a little more. All just depends on what parts you go with, finding those parts in stock somewhere and then paying a good price for them.
"Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

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wagonwheel1
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Posted: 2/9/2013 11:30:54 AM
Originally Posted By peckerwood86:
im into my lower for about 250 total. Spikes zombie with psa moe build kit. Uper is a psa for just over 404 shipped and a stoner bcg for just over 150 and a charging handle frome a buddy. all i need is a rear sight. so I come in at just under 900 for a rifle and its not the best but its not the worst


Nothing wrong with this rifle.
lunchie
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Posted: 2/9/2013 11:54:13 AM
aero precission lower (pre-panic) $120 including ffl transfer
psa acs-l lpk $150 (black friday deal)
psa m4 madness $405 shipped (snapped few days back)
bcm bcg $238 shipped (was able to get it yesterday)

I am missing mbuis and CH, which I hope will get under $100 to be within $1k with this one.
AmBull
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Posted: 2/9/2013 12:13:00 PM
Mid-Length Light Profile Premium Madness - 16'' CMV Chrome-Lined Stripped Upper - Without BCG or Charging Handle- $319.95
AR15/M16 7075 T6 Forged Mil-Spec Charging Handle- $24.99
Palmetto State Armory Classic Lower Build Kit- $89.99
2 Magpul 30 rd. n/w PMAG- $23.98
Surplus Ammo and Arms Stripped Lower- $75
WMD NiB FA BCG- $220
Total so far without shipping is $754.
I am still deciding on what rear sight to go with, I have a cheap carry handle on it now that was given to me. I started buying parts a little at a time back in June. The last part was the BCG which I received the second week of January. Patience is a virtue as the wise man once said
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