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Posted: 9/10/2013 7:26:55 AM EDT
Hey guys, long time reader first time poster. After a couple of months  of browsing the forums I can no longer resist the urge to build (read: assemble) my own AR-15 and now that I’ve popped the engagement ring out I have a bit more of a say in what I can do with my money.

What I want to do is use my current Bushmaster as a stepping stone, because even though I’m in the clear with the engagement ring, we are still saving money for a house so I am trying to avoid dropping a lot of money at one time. I am looking to upgrade current AR piece-meal style, starting with the upper/barrel and keep going until I have a complete new AR + my original BM. Anyone see an issue with that?

Here is what I’m currently looking at as far as parts for the upper:

1.Upper: Either Spikes or Noveske stripped (I was looking at Vltor, and although they are great uppers, I really don’t see the need for my type of shooting needs and would rather save the $60-80 towards an optic)
2.Barrel: Either BCM or DD 16” Lightweight chrome lined 1:7 twist. These are NON-CHF barrels, again, trying to not spend $$ on something that I will see little to no benefit from. My current barrel on the BM has the flash hider pinned/welded to the barrel so I would have to have it drilled out so I figured I’d just go ahead and leave it be and buy a new barrel/flash hider.
3.Gas Block: Midwest/DD/BCM gas block + Gas Tube
4.Rails: Midwest Industries SS Gen 2 Free-floating tube
5.BUIS:  Haven’t looked too much at these, but I see a lot of people using Troy and MagPul sights.

*****Misc Question:  with the new barrel, should I buy a new BCG or can I “recycle” my BM BCG?

All of this will be used on my current BM lower until it is replaced by either a Spikes or Noveske lower some time down the line.
Think that’s about it. Now I’m looking for questions, comments, concerns, suggestions.

Link Posted: 9/10/2013 7:35:41 AM EDT
The BCG from your Bushy should work fine. Check your headspace!
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 7:51:25 AM EDT
Any suggestions/heartburn as far as Noveske vs Spikes for upper, BCM vs DD for barrels, free float tubes in the sub-$200 range preferably? Or other suggestions as far as manufacturers go?
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 7:51:12 PM EDT
RM:  I suggest you leave the Bushmaster rifle as is and start over again with a new upper receiver and barrel, with a new BCG.  The conventional wisdom is to let a new bolt marry with a new barrel extension.  Be sure to get a mid-length gas port, which is best for a 16" barrel.  A 12" MI handguard will cover the gas block nicely.  If you get the thin SS gen 2 model, the gas block will need to be the set screw variety to fit inside.   Magpul's MBUS sights are excellent and don't cost very much. When you are done with the new upper, it can fit onto our existing lower just fine.  Then you can start thinking about an upgraded trigger, grip, buttstock, etc.  good luck - CW
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 8:40:41 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies, guys.

As for BCGs, is there any significant advantage to going NiB rather than "regular" chrome lined BCGs other than ease of cleaning and looking shiny? The price differences between the two types do not appear to be too significant, just want to see if it would be worth some extra $$. Otherwise, I'll be looking at standard (auto) chrome lined BCGs from BCM, Spikes, Rainier...
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 8:59:46 AM EDT
do not re use your bcg.  swapping bolts between rifles is a bad thing (if the round count is low and it is going to be PERMANENTALLY moved to another rifle, its fine).  bolts wear to barrel extensions.  swapping them between barrels leads to premature bolt failure.  you can re-use the carrier and use another bolt for the time being, but it's cheaper to buy a bcg vs. a carrier and bolt separately.

ease of cleaning on nib.  I've never felt a phosphate bcg was hard to clean.  I used to buy chrome bcgs (nib wasn't really around).  I decided it was a waste of money and stick to regular phosphate bcgs, just my opinion.

bcm vs dd barrels, take your pick.

upper receivers from any reputable manufacturer are all pretty much the same.  buy whatever has the laser etch/engraving you want, or is cheap, and don't worry about it.

the mi gen2 ss ff you were looking at is a pretty nice rail.  it's scary light and very thin.
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