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Posted: 12/13/2016 3:06:47 PM EST
Hey Everyone,

I just finished recommending a first AR to someone, and it really got me thinking about the AR community as a whole, and how I think a lot of us need to re-evaluate what we are spending money on, and be honest with ourselves.

Let's look at a lot of the common goals that people most people have when building their first AR:

-Lightweight
-Maneuverable/Pointable
-Reliable/Durable
-Accurate

(Now, before I start, I am not talking about precision long range builds, or 3-Gun and other competitive custom builds. That's completely different use and skill set then the average buyer/builder.)

(MY OPINION AND NOT HARD FACT!! KEEP IN MIND AS YOU READ)
Now, when people talk about building AR's that will fit all of those requirements, we start hearing about 15in free-float rails that cost $300+, trigger groups that cost $250+, and barrels that are half a grand or more! Several of these firearms come out to over $3000 when all is said and done. But why? I want to run down the list here and list out why maybe, you'd be just as well off a lot less. For reference, I will be comparing these parts to a Standard Mil-Spec Colt LE 6920, the closest thing you can buy to my beloved M4.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:07:19 PM EST
We'll start with handguards. Free-float handguards without a doubt enhance accuracy in two ways. First, they remove a lot of drift caused by the heating up of the barrel and handguard components, and secondly, they remove any interference that pressure on the handguard would have transferred to the barrel in a normal setup. But do we need that? Firstly, I doubt there are many regular people who are capable of shooting well enough when unsupported to notice the approx .5 MOA accuracy degradation that those two factors are likely able to cause. And for those of you shooting supported who are good enough to notice it yet don't fit into the long range precision category mentioned above, why are you shooting and AR supported? There are many firearms that are much more capable bench guns that would probably serve you better than an AR if you chose to only do bench work. I often see people dump thousands into the 10/22's to make them super accurate, only to get outshot by a sub $500 .22 bolt gun. The same applies with AR's. Then we come to the topic of thermal drift/groups widening up. At the range, if you are shooting supported, this is probably the only time you will notice this, and the same argument applies as above. Plus, at the end of the day, just about any option you pick will not be as light, and will certainly be more unwieldy than a standard M4 setup due to how the center of gravity changes based on the length of the rail.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:07:49 PM EST

The same basic things apply to barrel choice as well. Sure, that nice Wilson combat barrel sure looks good in those pictures you posted, but you should make sure that wasn't the reason you dropped the extra $200 on it. Many people pay tons of money for cryogenically treated, stainless steel, pixie dust infused barrels in search of that extra few tenths of an MOA. On an AR. Which, unless you are a long range precision shooter (which will then cause me to question why you are shooting a 5.56x45 past 400 yards), seems pointless to me. Some in the self-defense community put forth the idea that these super expensive barrels provide more accuracy should a high volume of fire be necessary. I'm sorry, but if .1 MOA is your concern at that point, you're probably already dead. Most will miss more than half of the shots they take with a rifle, even at close range, in an offensive or defense scenario. Even at 100 yards, when you should not be engaging a human at unless you are military (in which case this whole discussion if fairly pointless for you), chances are you're not going to miss even a few MOA. Remember, 2-3 MOA has been more than acceptable for hunters for a long time. If believe that you can, in a self defense/offensive scenario benefit from even a firearm that is capable of an extra full MOA of accuracy, I want to see your long tab.

Compensators/flash hiders: These are actually pretty useful in any situation in which you are firing a rifle. The birdcage is pretty lame. Just don't let me catch you spending a few hundred on one... Come on guys... (Competition guns of course exempt)
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:08:19 PM EST
BCG's: Nickel coated (or similar) I feel is a waste. When are you putting so many rounds through your AR that the lubricity of the coating on your BCG becomes a problem. Ladies and gentlemen, if you aren't cleaning your gun after every range trip, do your firearms a favor and sell them. You don't deserve them. Lube your guns ladies and gentlemen. I was recently discussing the correct lubing amounts with a weapons engineer from Picatinny Arsenal, and learned of a very interesting test that had been done ( I can't remember if it was the Army, Colt, or Picatinny themselves, I apologize) where they took several M4's, lubed them different amounts, and put them through a torture test. One group was left completely dry, one group was very lightly oiled, one group was oiled per the Colt manual, one group was dripping in oil, and the last group was full submerged in oil. They were then removed, cleared, then thrown into sand, mud, dirt, all while firing several hundred rounds. In all iterations of the test, the M4's that had been submerged in CLP were the most reliable by a statistically repeatable and significant number. The less oil that was applied, the less reliable. Now, I am in no way advocating that anyone dip their AR in a bucket of CLP. That's nasty!! But it's something that I always keep in mind when cleaning my rifle.

Charging Handle: WHAT ARE YOU DOING SPENDING $100+ ON A CHARGING HANDLE!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH(deep breath)HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:08:49 PM EST
Sights: That's all personal preference and has to do with your uses for the rifle. Red dots/scopes are not where you should be skimping. Always buy the best you can afford (which does not mean the highest magnification). But you should always have some form of BUIS, and be VERY competent at using them. Chances are, if you are using them instead of fixing your sight, something has gone pretty bad and rounds need to go down range now!

Stocks: Is that UBR really worth $200? No... No it's not.

Buffer/Buffer Spring: Donate the money you are about to spend on that JP Silent Capture buffer to the WWP, or your local American Legion, or use it to buy some food for your kids school Christmas food drive. It'll do more good there.

Trigger: Okay, concession time. Mil-Spec triggers are junk. Grittier than the beach, and creepier than the 60 year old guy that keeps looking at your wife while you're there. Get yourself a good trigger. But just be aware that you probably won't be able to tell the difference between a carrot and a candy cane breaking, so keep the extra hundred or so in your pocket or donate it if saving money isn't your style.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:09:21 PM EST
Ambidextrous Controls: You don't need these unless you can shoot with both hands, which unless you've practiced a lot, I guarantee you can't. (Or you're a lefty, or your significant other is, or any combination of the two)

And lastly, my absolute biggest pet peeve in the galaxy: Billet Receivers. It's exactly like those kids that stick 20 inch chrome rims on their 1990's Accord. You think it looks cool, but in reality, they are heavier, weaker, but still for some reason much more expensive than what came stock. Oh, and everyone knows you are pissing away money for the sake of it. Congratulations: you played yourself.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:09:51 PM EST
Sorry for the rant, but I felt like some of that had to be said, especially for people who are looking into building or buying (highly recommend building btw). You don't have to, and shouldn't, spend the kind of money that a lot of people tell you that you should. But also remember to get what you want. If you hold out pretty far on the handguard like I do, a slightly longer handguard might benefit you. If you're using a scope that makes it really awkward to reach the charging handle properly, then an extended release sounds like something you need. Just remember, always spell out your reasons for why you are spending the money you are spending, and make sure that they make sense for you. There is a reason why you don't drive race cars on the street.

And no matter what, keep this in mind: you will be a better shot after spending $50 on a trigger and $200 on ammo then the other way around. The same is true for just about every part of the firearm.

Very Respectfully,

F23
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:29:00 PM EST
A lotta common sense for a guy with 13 posts in three years. 
The accessory kids will be butthurt though.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:39:26 PM EST
Jesus..
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 3:51:33 PM EST
Best money spent on a gun is on ammo and training.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:00:47 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By japsw20:
Best money spent on a gun is on ammo and training.
View Quote



THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You need to shoot (also dry) and train till you fall over from fatigue or lack of food/water...lol

All the fancy dan horseshit you plug into your rifle wont make you any better............until you are already good.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:02:56 PM EST
A few good points and a few retarded ones.

A good lightweight rail/barrel nut/flip up front sight and low pro gas block will weigh less than the comparable parts on an M4 while giving you a longer sight radius, free float resulting in less POI change under sling tension and allow for gripping the rail farther down the barrel.

Great triggers are only about $125 these days.  Nice barrels can be had for ~$225. NIB is nice for cleaning though I don't view it as a big deal either way.  I like sub MOA guns so I'm willing to spend some extra even if it's just an AR and not one of my bolt guns.  All that fancy barrel won't do a bit of good if you run crap ammo.

If someone wants to spend $200 on a butt stock and $100 on a spring I don't really care - though I tend to be pretty happy with a $50 Sopmod and a $6 Damage Industries enhanced spring that's good fro 700,000 cycles.

A2 flash hiders work fairly well, especially considering their price.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:07:45 PM EST
Mostly agree but I bought "military grade" firearms for a reason and it damn sure wasn't to clean them after EVERY trip to the range. I clean every 1000 rounds or so....maybe....
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:11:38 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jaqufrost:
A few good points and a few retarded ones.

A good lightweight rail/barrel nut/flip up front sight and low pro gas block will weigh less than the comparable parts on an M4 while giving you a longer sight radius, free float resulting in less POI change under sling tension and allow for gripping the rail farther down the barrel.

Great triggers are only about $125 these days.  Nice barrels can be had for ~$225. NIB is nice for cleaning though I don't view it as a big deal either way.  I like sub MOA guns so I'm willing to spend some extra even if it's just an AR and not one of my bolt guns.  All that fancy barrel won't do a bit of good if you run crap ammo.

If someone wants to spend $200 on a butt stock and $100 on a spring I don't really care - though I tend to be pretty happy with a $50 Sopmod and a $6 Damage Industries enhanced spring that's good fro 700,000 cycles.

A2 flash hiders work fairly well, especially considering their price.
View Quote



And a place to easily and cheaply mount a light....you DO NEED A LIGHT on your Gun.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:12:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2016 4:15:30 PM EST by Finslayer83]
Free float HG - lighter than traditional ones (fsp, handguard, and delta ring). ALG set ups are excellent for under $150

Charging handles - BCM mod4 - helps reduce gas blowback when shooting suppressed.

Muzzle device - QD suppressor mounts are often $85+

Trigger - LaRue MBT or Geissele G2S can be had for $100-$125

All worth it, that said I've got plain ones too.

Attachment Attached File


Link Posted: 12/13/2016 4:20:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2016 4:21:07 PM EST by ag04blast]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By f23blackwidow2:
- -

Charging Handle: WHAT ARE YOU DOING SPENDING $100+ ON A CHARGING HANDLE!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH(deep breath)HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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Lefty here...every Raptor ($65-100) I have bought has been worth every penny!

And to your entire post(s): Most of it seems to be a complaint about what other people decide to spend their money on, who cares. Oh and I don't clean my guns after every range trip... Thanks for all your valuable insight....
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 5:16:39 PM EST
Thank you for the advice (opinion) for a budget built rifle. For those of us that have the money, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade the parts listed.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 6:09:44 PM EST
I always point people to a basic configuration ar for their first. Because everyone who's asks me about buying building has 5-600 to spend so I say psa freedom melonite done. Get it shoot it then decide what extras you want.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 7:59:53 PM EST
Hey guys,

This was mostly just me putting an opinion out there, and looking to see what other people had to say about what I thought. The flashlight, for instance, was something that I had not really considered, and definitely lends legitimacy to modular forends. Suppressors are definitely what I would consider a more advanced set up, and definitely not something the majority of first time AR builders are worried about, but point made.

Again, the main point of this post was to present a different view than seems to be the norm about building AR's, and to stimulate conversation about it.

F23
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 8:00:03 PM EST
haha I mean i get a few of your points i guess but it's not really about what i need it's about what i want. I love to tinker with shit and rifles are one of the things i enjoy building and using different parts and upgrading and so on and so forth. I work hard and like some of the finer things in life and feel that i should be able to buy them for myself because i can. American dream pal
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 8:18:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By f23blackwidow2:Trigger: Okay, concession time. Mil-Spec triggers are junk. Grittier than the beach, and creepier than the 60 year old guy that keeps looking at your wife while you're there. Get yourself a good trigger. But just be aware that you probably won't be able to tell the difference between a carrot and a candy cane breaking, so keep the extra hundred or so in your pocket or donate it if saving money isn't your style.
View Quote


Stay with a name brand kit and they are not too bad in my experience.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 8:37:30 PM EST
We all have our own point of diminishing returns. For example, I chuckle at people who spend $500 on slide work for their Glock while simultaneously spending the same on a red dot for my rifle. Using a firearm effectively and efficiently is always a push/pull between hardware and software.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 8:37:31 PM EST
I thought the OP's post was pretty good. We buy a lot of crap we don't really need today. I have a 16" free float that I built myself. For some reason I bought a rather inexpensive 20" barrel and free float hand guard that is rifle length. I didn't spend a lot of $$$ on any of the parts. I knew I was probably wasting a little money. I am waiting on the hand guard to get here, then I thought what am I doing? I have a nice rifle here. I am not 100% sure I am even going to do it. Reading this post about made me decide to send the parts back and forget it. I have an M1A that I shoot pretty well, but that thing weights a ton. I am in my early 60's, and just like to mess around. I have another AR 15 that I built that is not free floated, has a crappy stock trigger, an Aimpoint Patrol red dot on it. With a standard 2 point sling, I can shoot the crap out of it. Good advice, and thank you for posting it. ( I don't have many posts a year either)

Merry Christmas,
Mark
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 8:44:13 PM EST
Buy a Colt 6920
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 9:04:47 PM EST
Nobody can really tell someone what they need for their first gun.

It's an opinion. Everyone needs their own. There is no common goal.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 9:22:49 PM EST
Well lets at the least hope that some of these "High End" guns come with a staked gas key...

Because the factory 6920 that I purchased new did not have that high end feature included.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 9:43:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
Buy a Colt 6920
View Quote

LOL
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 9:47:09 PM EST
It didn't have a staked key?? I hope that that's an anomaly vs the norm!


F23
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:21:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2016 10:26:31 PM EST by MS556]
I agree with some, maybe most of the OP post, especially regarding the need for good, regulated backup sights and quality red dots and other optics.

Even Uncle Sam is moving away, however, from delta ring plastic handguards in favor of rails on the M4A1. And, please know that the .5 MOA claimed POI shift is greater than that and can mushroom out to 4"-6" at 100 yards when using a tight sling properly tensioned. A free float rail eliminates this problem.

The suggestion that match grade barrels are worthless for the "puny" 5.56 because of its limited effective range would seem quite strange to elite units that are above grunt skill level, but not snipers, like designated marksmen. The amazing accuracy of the Navy SEAL recon 16" stainless 1:8 twist barrels also come to mind. 1/2 MOA is easily attainable in a relatively maneuverable package that can also provide much better purely defensive firepower than their bolt gun counterparts. And better triggers go hand in glove with such freefloated barrels.

The versatility of the AR15 platform and its easy end user modification for a variety of different missions, is its strong point. While I agree that it may lend itself to a lot of wannabe poser modification, and while a return to basics makes some sense for perhaps most uses, let's not underestimate the value of special purpose and "recce" rifles, and what individual users can do to carefully and thoughtfully modify their rifles for specific tasks.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:23:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2016 10:25:31 PM EST by BisonWorld]
Alright I'll counter point.

I look at assembling an ar the same way I look at building precision rifles. Over the course of its useable lifespan, your actual firearm, even if you spend a couple grand on it, is going to be one of your smallest expenses.

To break it down on price per round basis,
Let's say the average ar, whether high end or just a rack grade colt will be good for about 50,000 rounds over its life.
Throw in a new barrel and bolt over the course of that period.

High end rifle
Rifle cost 2000
Replacement barrel and bolt cost 500
Cost per shot over life of rifle stemming from rifle cost: $0.05



Cost per shot for the cheapest 5.56 ammo avaliable today $0.22 (tula steel cased)

Even using the cheapest ammo available, ammunition costs are going to dwarf the amount you spend on your rifle massively over the course of its life. And we haven't even considered the price of training classes, range time, targets, optics, etc.

Simply put, if you are at all serious about shooting, buy what you want, in the long run its peanuts compared to the rest of the costs associated with this hobby.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:27:51 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By f23blackwidow2:
Hey guys,

This was mostly just me putting an opinion out there, and looking to see what other people had to say about what I thought. The flashlight, for instance, was something that I had not really considered, and definitely lends legitimacy to modular forends. Suppressors are definitely what I would consider a more advanced set up, and definitely not something the majority of first time AR builders are worried about, but point made.

Again, the main point of this post was to present a different view than seems to be the norm about building AR's, and to stimulate conversation about it.

F23
View Quote


You're overstating the costs of most of the parts, not that many of us buy $500 barrels etc.

You can build a great AR for under a grand these days. (Less optics etc).

BA Hanson, gas block, gas tube - 200
ALG/KMR/CMR/SMR etc - 100-200
Aero Receiver set: 150
MBT/SSA-E- 100-200
7075 buffer kit - 35
Stock- 50
LPK - 50
BCG - 100
CH - 15-40
Irons like DD fixed, Mbus pro, MBUS, used KAC - 70-140

That's a grand right there
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:47:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2016 10:53:14 PM EST by fla556guy]
I cannot disagree in theory with OP's point, to a point.

Someone new to black rifles would be best served by a basic weapon until they understand what they want after cutting their teeth, and a 6920 (or comparable quality rifle) does that.

It lets them throw an optic on it, can easily replace the hand guard with a magpul that will allow attachment of a light.  Reliable.  

Makes as good of a range blaster as it does a rifle they can take to a class or two and see what they actually want in a rifle.

The thing about the AR is that even when they want to upgrade, and they will....it's as easy as popping two pins and tossing on another upper.  

I get it.  I really do.  There's a lot of merit in that line of thought, and it gets them in the game for $1k, including optic.

HOWEVER

At the end of the day, if someone goes down the upgrades over time path, they will end up with a $2k gun anyhow.  

Some of OP's points are a little embellished.  He claims $300 free floated rails, $500 barrels, and $300 triggers are the norm when in reality.....that isn't the only way to get into the more modernized rifle game.  I know it because I have 15" keymod rails (sure, not M-lok but let's put the attachment system wars aside for a minute for the sake of brevity because we all know that M-lok doesn't really cost more, it's just a different take), a LaRue MBT, and lights.

An example of this is that one does not need to buy a top of the line rail in order to get a good 15" rail that will be serviceable for the average person who might pick up that rifle 2-3 times a year.

One doesn't need an aftermarket trigger, and if they want one...a damn good one can be had for $100 (MBT) not $300 for a top of the line Geiselle (nothing against them, just talking price here....G's triggers are reportedly worth the $ if it's important to you).  

So, on those 2 parts, I've saved $350.  One doesn't need to buy an Aimpoint for a basic HD rifle....PA and Vortex make a damn good red dot.  Saved another $250ish.  Streamlight sells a good light for $100, replete with tape switch and attachment.  Saved another $200 over a surefire.  

The thing about it is that there is a middle ground here.  Having a rifle that will work better for the average person that takes advantage of the more modern thoughts on the AR for about what it would cost to outfit a 6920 with red dot and light and the only thing they have to do is either shop a little for an upper that comes with the rail attached or buy it piecemeal and assemble one themselves.  

I can see the simplicity argument, the known quantity argument.....and that has merit.....but one does not need to spend $2k on the rifle alone to get a more modern setup that has numerous advantages over the basic carbine 6920...and if that person would eventually upgrade their way to having that end product.....it will be cheaper in the long run to just start there....especially right now when parts are as cheap as they have ever been.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 10:47:57 PM EST
I have a 90's AR15A3 flat top. If I simply needed an AR for home defense or to throw some freedom down range, I certainly wouldn't do what 99% of AR15.com does or buy what I have bought.

However, you are on an AR15 enthusiast site. If there's going to be a group a people that do all kinds of unnecessary shit to an AR beyond making is go bang and putting a decent optic on it, it's here. For example, the deer I shot this year would have been just as dead if I shot it with a $250 old ass 270 repeater with a budget Nikon, but I used a $4000 AR10 setup... And that was with an aimpoint. If I used my S&B it would be pushing $8000 of rifle.

Your information isn't particularly wrong, but aside from the hopeless idiots, we've decided to drop the money on the bullshit because we like too - not because we need to.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 11:16:20 PM EST
I own one AR-15, specifically a Colt M4. The only added doodads are a KAC micro BUIS, Geissele absolute co-witness mount and a Trijicon MRO. 

Eventually I might install a Colt xm177 stock and fore-arm.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 12:00:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 12:07:37 AM EST by sdrake100]
Why do you care what other people spend their money on? What authority do you have in determining need? Expensive to you could be a drop in the bucket to others. The value of an object goes far beyond just basic function. I'm glad it's the market, and not you, determining what something is worth.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:15:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 8:16:43 AM EST by TaylorWSO]
Originally Posted By f23blackwidow2:
Again, the main point of this post was to present a different view than seems to be the norm about building AR's, and to stimulate conversation about it.
View Quote

Or you could become a member and read hundreds of threads just like this one.

You have way too many assumptions in your post to even consider this "good advice"

more training will do more good than any accessory ever will
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:18:27 AM EST
After next week I will have built 4 rifles in the last few months. 1 was a 14.5" pinned m4 clone with carry handle. Under $600. 2 are 16" PSA midlengths with standard FSB and carry handles. Both under $600. The last is a purpose built recce with a 16" Ranier match barrel, fail zero BCG, giessele trigger, SWFA 1-4x scope and it was around $2000. All on Anderson lowers.

The first 3 were for brand new AR owners that wanted in the game with a simple kiss concept rifle that didn't break the bank. They can upgrade parts on these rifles as they see fit.

The last was a recce for myslef. I have reevaluated it and am selling it because I really don't have a spot for it. I have a 10.5" AR that will do anything I need it do do. If I need to make. 500 meter shot then I will use my Remy 700 bolt gun.

My SBR started out as a modest build a few years ago but has evolved over time. It currently has an aimpoint, dbal i2, geissele super charging handle, wml light, upgraded saftey, pivot pins, mag release, and bolt release. I also have a griffin taper mount FH and use a can on it most of the time.

I think you have to define what your intent and goal for the rifle is and go from there.

I also think you can over due things. I went with a rainier barrel instead of a Noveske barrel. Why? While I feel a $250 Rainier match barrel is a significant upgrade over a standard $100 barrel, I do not feel a $450 Noveske barrel is a significant upgrade over the $250 Rainier barrel. The same can be said regarding fore ends, stocks, BCGs, and just about any part of the rifle but it is all based on the users opinion.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:28:27 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By f23blackwidow2:
Ambidextrous Controls: You don't need these unless you can shoot with both hands, which unless you've practiced a lot, I guarantee you can't. (Or you're a lefty, or your significant other is, or any combination of the two)

And lastly, my absolute biggest pet peeve in the galaxy: Billet Receivers. It's exactly like those kids that stick 20 inch chrome rims on their 1990's Accord. You think it looks cool, but in reality, they are heavier, weaker, but still for some reason much more expensive than what came stock. Oh, and everyone knows you are pissing away money for the sake of it. Congratulations: you played yourself.
View Quote


Heavier? Usually, yes. Weaker? I have seen nothing to prove that and more than likely an argument for the opposite could be true due to them being over built in certain areas and causing them to be heavier. Some billets have good features. Trigger take ups built in. Captive detents. Removable forward assists. Once again, it comes down to what the user wants.

I have a billet upper and lower that were around $100 each and would purchase them again over other $100 non billet lowers.

I have also used $50 Andersons and they have been flawless so I agree with you that if you just need a lower to complete a build then there are more economical options.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:38:49 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 85_Ranger4x4:


Stay with a name brand kit and they are not too bad in my experience.
View Quote


I got a standard trigger kit from PSA a few months ago and it was the best standard trigger I ever had! Crisp, almost felt like a single stage, no grit, probably around 7 lbs. I stick with standard mil spec triggers unless it's a precision gun.

I do want to try the ALG triggers though.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:51:23 AM EST
I am going to add my .02 worth.

For many years, I have been building ARs. I have built just over 60 of them. When I get ready to do a build, I ask myself what the purpose will be. That is the key to unlocking the rest of the equation. Once purpose is determined, then budget needs to be considered. This determines just how far an individual can go with an intended build. Many newer guys in the AR world have champagne taste and a beer wallet. They also want every new gizmo on their ARs. Once a budget is determined for a proposed build, then the individual needs to consider a configuration that suits their budget. They need to determine a configuration that will work for the intended purpose and fit into their budget. Sometimes, this may mean not having the latest and greatest free-float handguards, barrels, optics, receiver sets, etc. For those that have a substantial budget, the sky is the limit, so to speak. The main thing is to get the best quality available for the amount of money they have to spend. Also, they need to shop wisely. New AR builders need to know what the products are along with their quality and reputation. One word of advice, beware of brand snobs when looking for advice on products. There are those of us who have used a wide variety of products and have seen what works and what dos not. We know what is good quality and what is not. We know what is a good buy and what is not worth spending any money on. Beware of the buzz phrase "mil-spec". It can be very misleading. Mil-Spec applies to military weapons, not commercially available weapons. That said, there are some products that are made to the same standards when it comes to materials and dimensions. Also, when someone claims that their AR-15 is mil-spec, it is not necessarily true. It may have parts of it that are made within the mil-spec standards, but no semi-auto AR-15 is mil-spec in totality, not even a Colt LE6920.

In essence, building an AR should take some serious consideration. Educate yourselves on the various configurations (based on purpose and performance) and the products. Determine what is important to you. Build smart and within your budget. Remember, there are additional costs incurred after the build. Those costs can include magazines, ammo, cleaning supplies, storage cases, and training.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:51:25 AM EST
I would like to add, when someone asks me to help them build a rifle they usually say, "I don't know anything about em but I want an AR15, so you just buy everything I need and tell me what I owe you".

My response is, " what is your budget and what is the intent of the rifle?".
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:06:39 AM EST
I've got to disagree with some of the original post.  My range one goes out to 600 yards.  I've got 5 AR's, 4 are 5.56 and one is 6.8 SPC.  It doesn't make sense for me to buy a 338 Lapua to shoot only 600 yards. 5.56 and 6.8 are completely capable of consistent hit from 400-600 yards.  And CHEAP to shoot, considering I reload.  All five of my rifles have match barrels.  I love reloading and shooting for groups.  The most I've spent on a barrel is $400.  Getting those .5-.75" five shot groups makes it totally worth it to me.  Yeah the barrel life will be a little shorter, but if I shoot one out, I'll just buy another one.  It's my money. I'm also a lefty, so I have a ton of ambi parts.  Again, completely worth it to me.   
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:13:14 AM EST
Forgot to comment on the cleaning aspect.  Since 4 of 5 of my rifles are precision rigs with magnified optics, I do not clean after every range trip.  If I scrubbed the barrel after every time I shot 20-40 rounds, I would never get anywhere.  I probably give the barrel a good cleaning every 400-500 rounds.  I'll usually break the bcg down and get it fairly clean too, but not always.  The rest of the gun pretty much stays as is.  
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:29:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 9:36:23 AM EST by O3scgt]
I dont personally care what someone spends their money on.At the same time I try and tell people who buy a $60 bcg and $100 barrel that they should spend more on those instead of the $280 rail they slapped on. A lot of it is just looking cool at this point
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:38:59 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jrs93accord:
I am going to add my .02 worth.

For many years, I have been building ARs. I have built just over 60 of them. When I get ready to do a build, I ask myself what the purpose will be. That is the key to unlocking the rest of the equation. Once purpose is determined, then budget needs to be considered. This determines just how far an individual can go with an intended build. Many newer guys in the AR world have champagne taste and a beer wallet. They also want every new gizmo on their ARs. Once a budget is determined for a proposed build, then the individual needs to consider a configuration that suits their budget. They need to determine a configuration that will work for the intended purpose and fit into their budget. Sometimes, this may mean not having the latest and greatest free-float handguards, barrels, optics, receiver sets, etc. For those that have a substantial budget, the sky is the limit, so to speak. The main thing is to get the best quality available for the amount of money they have to spend. Also, they need to shop wisely. New AR builders need to know what the products are along with their quality and reputation. One word of advice, beware of brand snobs when looking for advice on products. There are those of us who have used a wide variety of products and have seen what works and what dos not. We know what is good quality and what is not. We know what is a good buy and what is not worth spending any money on. Beware of the buzz phrase "mil-spec". It can be very misleading. Mil-Spec applies to military weapons, not commercially available weapons. That said, there are some products that are made to the same standards when it comes to materials and dimensions. Also, when someone claims that their AR-15 is mil-spec, it is not necessarily true. It may have parts of it that are made within the mil-spec standards, but no semi-auto AR-15 is mil-spec in totality, not even a Colt LE6920.

In essence, building an AR should take some serious consideration. Educate yourselves on the various configurations (based on purpose and performance) and the products. Determine what is important to you. Build smart and within your budget. Remember, there are additional costs incurred after the build. Those costs can include magazines, ammo, cleaning supplies, storage cases, and training.
View Quote

great post
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:47:30 AM EST
I concur on every point .
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 10:47:34 AM EST
I think the OP is right. Why doesn't the US Government give all service members some bargain $500 rifles? Top 'em off with a $50 Cabela's scope and they're ready to go

Why spend $2500 on a scope when you can get one from Walmart for a fraction of the price?

All jokes aside, there's obviously a reason why some things are more expensive. If you can't see why people spend more on certain items... It Might Be Time to Re-Evaluate...
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 12:12:12 PM EST
I don't modify my 556 or 308 semi's much. Other than a variable power quality scope, BCM charging handle and a Geissele trigger if needed. If the weapon has a picatinny quad rail then rail ladders.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 12:25:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rloba:
I think the OP is right. Why doesn't the US Government give all service members some bargain $500 rifles? Top 'em off with a $50 Cabela's scope and they're ready to go
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The US govt doesn't exactly hand out top end Danial Defense rifles either.

My fiance has been doing ride alongs with a big semi-local Sheriff department for school... they all have M&P-15's in the gun racks of their cruisers. They go looking for trouble (and find it) a lot more often than most guys on here do.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 12:43:16 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rloba:
I think the OP is right. Why doesn't the US Government give all service members some bargain $500 rifles? Top 'em off with a $50 Cabela's scope and they're ready to go

Why spend $2500 on a scope when you can get one from Walmart for a fraction of the price?

All jokes aside, there's obviously a reason why some things are more expensive. If you can't see why people spend more on certain items... It Might Be Time to Re-Evaluate...
View Quote


I agree, the OP comes off as that why, but I do understand that some people just want a cheap reliable rifle they can take to the range. That is why people need to ask themselves, intent and budget. Sometimes the budget will not be enough to meet the intent. Sometimes the budget is way above the intent and they can buy those premium items that may be overkill for the intent of the rifle.

I personally have no problem with people buying what they want, if it makes them happy then more power to em. What I don't like is people making outlandish claims that they cannot back up to justify their $500 barrel when a $300 dollar barrel will to do the same. Or claiming a standard charging handle is shit and you need the $100 charging handle that is the flavor of the week. I also don't like it when others are on the opposite side saying their NCstar scope is just as good as an aimpoint.

I am not arguing a UTG fore end over a KAC but you know what I mean.

Understand and be honest with the capabilities of the equipment you decide to use.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 3:59:30 PM EST
Jrs93accord: Awesome post!

2 Main points after reading everyone's replies:

Yes, looking back on it, a lot of those prices were for top of the range stuff, and prices have been dropping recently. As will many arguments, hyperbole is often used to make a point.

Many people are often raising objections based on their precision/long range builds. As stated in my original post, those builds are a whole nothing set of rules, and designed for a completely different mission than your average AR.

Specific Replies:

TaylorWSO: Not really sure what you meant by "Or you could become a member and read hundreds of posts like this."... Obviously, I am a member here. And just because I chose to observe a lot more than most, doesn't mean I know any less or more than anyone else. Either way, your last line was the nucleus of everything I was trying to say. All these gadgets and gizmo's people put on their rifle doesn't make them better shots: practice, practice, and more practice does. And most of the AR owners I know (and I suspect many I don't) simply don't put enough rounds down range.

BisonWorld: as a counterpoint to your counterpoint () how many people do you know that will ever shoot 50,000 rounds through any firearm, let alone through any single AR.

MS556: I've seen what Tier 1 guys can do with that kind of weaponry. But that's like saying everyone needs a Ferrari because Vettel can make them go around a race track faster. Comparing special forces to just about anyone else doesn't really make a good point, although I do agree with your handguard points. I honestly need to go back and add a note to that handguard part... lol

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