I already have a good pre-ban 20" A2 barrel and the M-16 Technical Manual. I'm going with the Bushy stripped lower receiver (through FFL friend). and I plan to order the gas tube, lower parts kit, butt stock, carry-handle sight upper, bolt, carrier/charger handle and everything else I need for the A2 fixed upper style kit directly from Bushmaster. It looks like if I pay the full suggested retail for the stripped lower ($185.00) it will bring the total for the kit to approximately $700.00 plus shipping. Does this sound about right for a Bushmaster minus barrel?
Now, as for tools: I already have a big bench vise. I'm sure I'll also need to acquire a barrel wrench, vice blocks, roll pin punches and headspace gauges or go/no go set. Any advice on additional tools I will need, and where I can get the best deal on these would be appreciated.
The lower receiver is 180? Thats really high for a lower receiver when you can get many other brands that are just as good and in some cases better than what bushmaster produces.
If possible, I would go with a Rock River Arms lower receiver. Good value and excellent machining.
Its night and day better than the machining on my bushy even though both get the job done.
Well... one gets the job done and it looks better and costs less soo...
rethink the lower receiver and look on the equipment exhange right here on the board. Get your FFL friend to do a transfer and save yourself some $$
If you are set on Bushmaster, then looks like you have about everything. Tools included. Get you a gallon plastic bag for putting in the pivot detent pin and spring. Keeps it from flying across the room.
Actually, I can buy a complete Bushy at my dealer for $699, put together. He has the superlight carbine I have been drooling over. A lot of us put rifles together to save money for ammo, mags, and more AR's. It is hard to save alot on Bushmaster products due to their mark up. They sell high quality stuff, but then so do others.
You could get a Stag lower from Eagle Arms, $85, lower parts kit, carry handle, upper, charging carrier group and stock from ADCO ($4.00 shipping) a little over $400 if I am figuring right. And save a good bit of money.
Again, if you have settled on Bushy, thats fine. I have 2 myself. But just wanted to show you another way of going. The guys here talked me into it, and I have built 3 now from parts. Shop around and you could probably cut some more.
Good luck with your first rifle, and post pics when you are finished.....
Yeah, your prices sound a little high.
As far as tools, are you barreling the upper, or do you have a complete upper?
If you are in DFW? I have everything over here and you are welcome to use my stuff.
Personally, I would go with a stag arms lower for $85, or get a bushmaster lower for $149.... and then get the rest of the parts from a RRA dealer like ADCO or Eaglefirearms.net....
I agree, your resulting build cost sounds kinda high. $700-$185 for the lower=$525 for parts, not including the barrel (usually the most expensive component of any kit).
Buying bushmaster parts for your current barrel to have a bushmaster rifle when you're done may not be the most cost-effective, and if you aren't necessarily in the market for a "Bushmaster", but a quality 20" AR instead, it can be done cheaper than $700, even with buying a second barrel.
I've built rifles from kits as well as only buying each item that I needed to add to the parts I had on hand, and it has been my experience that, unless the planned rifle expected to have an aftermarket stock, forend, other-than-ordinary barrel, gas block items, etc., it was cheaper to buy a complete kit -minus the stripped lower, and come out way ahead on price, even when the kit included parts I didn't need.
For example, using a kit that includes a 20" pre-ban barrel, the upper comes assembled, so you don't need to buy barrel-assembly tools, and all the rest comes at a package price, witha lower profit margin than each part individually from the same retailer.
You can build a 20" A2 or A3 rifle from a complete kit for $400-450 + stripped lower, and be able to resell your current barrel to further reduce the cost.
Unless your heart is set on a Bushmaster, there are several lowers that are cheaper and the quality is high: Rock River, Mega, Ameetech, and DPMS all have good reputations and can be found for $80-115 ea. plus FFL transfer.
Hope this helps,
Stag Arms lowers are supposedly made by the same company that sells them to RRA.
RRA receivers are pretty much sold out everywhere for some reason, lately.
So it may be a good option for you. Here is a link to Eagle Firearms
I'd ask around to see what folks here think about Stag Recievers.
If you don't care too much, you can save yourself almost $100.
*disclaimer - I have yet to buy one... but I probably will for my next build.
*this is just going by what I've read from others here on ARFOCM.