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Posted: 11/3/2009 7:28:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 7:56:10 AM EST by gijoe985]
Hey Everyone!

This is my first post. I am trying to still get my bearings on everything, so I thought I'd start my first post and ask a few of the basic questions that I have. To start off I'll say that I have not yet figured out what I am wanting to build. The largest attraction to the ARs was how versatile they are. I have gathered a lot of the general possibilities, yet still have been running into some things that puzzle me.

First off, what makes this legal?

10.5" barrel and telescoping stock

I gather that it is legal from the thread, but not why. (Please correct me if I am ever wrong about something in this thread, it's the best way for me to learn.) From what I have read you can build a pistol, under 16", if it is a virgin lower among other stuff, but you cannot have a stock. So what allows you to have a shorter than 16" stock and a stock?

Second, it seems that there are limitations to the stock when you modify to other calibers. Is that correct? For instance it looks like you must have an A2 or longer stock if you were to be using .308? I only ask this because I am still trying to grasp how versatile the AR really is. I liked the idea of being able to slap a different upper and lower together and have a significantly different gun. Obviously they'd need to be matched properly, which is what I am trying to learn about. So if I have a 16" .223 carbine style gun with a telescoping stock, I can't just unbolt the upper and then put on a long barreled .308. I am assuming the firing pin and related would need to be changed?


Lastly, and most importantly, once I have an idea of what I want to do, my goal is to make the cheapest rifle possible, without using junk, or without limiting myself in the future. I.e. build from scratch, keep it pretty basic, but buy parts that keep my options open.

Can anyone give me an estimate on how cheap you could make an A3 (or maybe A2) rifle? Looking at individual parts it doesn't seem bad, but it adds up when I start looking at upgraded triggers, types of stocks, etc...

That's it to now, links to other good threads are appreciated. I have learned a lot from Brownells Video Series about the parts and options. Thanks!


EDIT-And so quickly after posting I seem to find that yo must have AR-10 lowers for .308? Either way, I was mainly looking to see if there was a way to up the caliber for increased accuracy on long distance shooting...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:32:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 7:41:39 AM EST by wrenchmonkey]
That rifle would be illegal (I was the one who went off half-cocked in that thread), if the OP had not already registered it as a short barreled rifle, paid a tax stamp, and waited months to get the paperwork back, then sent it off to get it engraved.

He went through the correct process, though, so it's all legit.

As far as how little you can spend for a basic build, you can get a DECENT rifle build for about $550 or so, if you do some serious shopping. Del-Ton makes the best kit for the money in that price, but they're backed up by about 6 months on everything.

You can also buy the parts individually, but you'll end up spending more money on shipping individual parts.

Good, Cheap, Fast––Pick any two.

ETA:

You can't put a .308 upper on a standard lower. If you build an AR15, some of the calibers you can go with are:

Sub calibers 9mm, .45 ACP, 40S&W, etc.
Light rifle: 5.56/.223, 7.62x39, 6.8SPC, 6.5 Grendel, etc.

If you want to build a .308, you would need to build what is essentially the AR-10. large rifle platform.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:03:59 AM EST
If you build a 300 fireball, you can shot 308 bullets out of a modifed 223 case.

There are whole sites dedicated to that round also called 300 whisper.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 1:00:55 PM EST
SBR= short barrel rifle. Good to know.

My question on that topic is, once you register and make a SBR, can you change it out for a long barrel? Kinda like going from a pistol to a rifle? Or are you stuck with it being short?

How much does it cost to register the SBR?


As for the cheap build, that a little less than I expected. As of right now, what I think I want is a .223, adjustable stock, A3 upper, 16 or 20" barrel. Part of me thinks it'd be fun to go smaller than 16" If so, I'd consider having the gun setup so I could go short or long, depending on what I wanted. I wanted to go A3 upper since it seems to be very versatile and I could put A2 iron sights on or a scope ans swap fairly easily. As for right now, I haven't had the chance to fire an AR, so I'd not sure what other little changes I'd want, like trigger, or other lever adjustments etc...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 1:21:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By gijoe985:
SBR= short barrel rifle. Good to know.

My question on that topic is, once you register and make a SBR, can you change it out for a long barrel? Kinda like going from a pistol to a rifle? Or are you stuck with it being short?


You can put whatever upper you want on it. Just don't ever put one of your short uppers on your non-SBR lowers. Also, there's a small chance that you COULD have problems, if you have spare short uppers, and empty lowers. They can get you for "intent". Yes, they will charge you with THINKING about it. And you have the burden of proof to prove that you WEREN'T thinking about it.

So, if you're going to have more than 1 lower, make sure any lowers that you have that are NOT SBRed, have a 16"+ upper on them.

It's probably over-kill, but if you don't want your family to be burned alive, or shot, by masked men in the middle of the night, well... better safe than sorry.


How much does it cost to register the SBR?


I believe the tax is $200. Plus whatever it costs you to get the engraving done on the lower.

As for the cheap build, that a little less than I expected. As of right now, what I think I want is a .223, adjustable stock, A3 upper, 16 or 20" barrel. Part of me thinks it'd be fun to go smaller than 16" If so, I'd consider having the gun setup so I could go short or long, depending on what I wanted. I wanted to go A3 upper since it seems to be very versatile and I could put A2 iron sights on or a scope ans swap fairly easily. As for right now, I haven't had the chance to fire an AR, so I'd not sure what other little changes I'd want, like trigger, or other lever adjustments etc...


Yeah, so many options. You'll find that once you get one, you'll need others... My advice is to build the first one from a kit, and then experiment with aftermarket parts (like triggers, grips, etc) from the equipment exchange, until you find what suits you best.

If you are willing to wait, Del-Ton is about as cheap as you can get, without sacrificing quality. For slightly more money, and faster shipping, look at J&T distributing.

If you don't mind sacrificing the dust cover, and forward assist, you can get a DPMS "sportical" kit, with a slick-side upper receiver from JSE Surplus for $440+ VERY REASONABLE shipping.

I've got 2 del-ton M4 kits on the way (finally shipped, after waiting since June), and 4 JSE DPMS, which shipped the very morning after I placed the order.

Stay AWAY from AKPartskits.com, and don't bother with Model1Sales.

Keep in mind that whatever you spend on your kit, you will still need to buy a stripped lower. Lots of guys prefer to buy them locally. I have a REALLY good FFL in my area who charges $25/year for unlimited transfers, so I buy most of my lowers online, and get a better rate. If you decide to purchase online, take into account whatever your FFL is going to charge you to do the transfer, and count that into the over-all cost.

Lowers have started getting pretty cheap in the past several weeks, so you should be able to get one in the $100 range pretty easily.

[/$0.02]
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 1:26:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 1:44:55 PM EST by gijoe985]
Alright, well now that my cost questions are getting answered so well, I'll keep asking a few more. I was going to start another thread specifically on that, but nevermind now.

So you think buying a kit would be cheaper than parting a few things together? I'll look into those two places you mentioned.

Here is what I am thinking thus far, though I have no specific brands of models or even designs in mind yet.

I am thinking A3 style upper, with attachable A2 iron sights, and a foldaway front sight, so I can move it down for if I have a scope. I don't know if this is standard or not, but I liked the two sized circular rear sights I saw on what I assumed was a standard A2 rear sight. You could flip between the two.

Probably an 16" barrel to start, I'd like a flash suppressor, otherwise nothing fancy. I figure get one with a bayonet receptical rather than not. Keep my doors open.

And I'd like to get an adjustable stock. I've heard good things about 6 way adjustable stocks out there, which would mean that I'd need a compatible buffer tube.

Other than those things that I have mentioned, are there things that I should put some consideration into? Like I said, I'm trying to keep it cheap by not having every bell and whistle, but again, buy a platform that I can build off of in the future. I'm the type who has a few things he puts a lot of time into, rather than many different things. I've got a bunch of guns passed down, but one shotgun, one pistol, and soon one rifle, that will be my pride in each section.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 1:45:43 PM EST
What options would you like to learn about?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 1:47:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 2:46:57 PM EST by easttexas]
Right now you can buy a complete lower stock and all for $215. +15 ship. (check auction sites), DSA upper $275 then you need bolt and charging handle so maybe $120 or so? I guess. DPMS has a complete upper for around $330. Or just buy a rifle kit from Legal Transfers $600 and just buy a lower like from Lauer at $75. That's about the cheapest new rifle I've found.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:29:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 2:33:55 PM EST by gijoe985]
Alright, first off, before I get started, I want to thank everyone for all the help. I typically avoid asking tons of questions, back-to-back, on a forum. But I am getting quick answers and my knowledge of everything is progressing quickly. (easy to do when you start with so little)

So, I am looking at the kits on Del-Ton and J&T. Each kit has options on each section, I am going to try to ask questions related to those options, to better help me understand what I'd be getting.

I am using the cheapest kit from both as my standard. Del-Ton Rifle Kit and 16" CAR kit

I'll admit, I am not starting to ask myself if I really want a 16" barrel, or if I want a 20, or maybe even a 24. Probably not 24 since I might as well save the longer barrel for a higher powered rifle for the future. I want to keep this shorter, so that I don't lose anyone, but I feel like I want to get all my ideas out so that you guys know how to better help me. Anyway, for more info about WHY I want an AR. I like having a variety of guns that would be "practical" in a "worst case scenario". I've already got the security edition shotgun dealt with, and a nice pistol. IMO, since the shotgun is pointed toward close combat/tactical/room clearing style usage, I might as well have a rifle for longer distances, which leads me toward a 20" barrel. I figure probably not the 24" since, if I wanted to really shoot long distances, I should be investing in a AR10. Which may be a future investment. That way I'll have a gun for varying distances of shooting.

Moving on, before I mention the options, on the Del Ton site I had to choose between a "mid length" heavy barrel and a regular heavy barrel. Both 16" Any idea what the difference is?

Barrels- Lightweight vs heavy. And whether I get chrome or not. I don't think I need lightweight, but chrom might be worth it.
Handguard- I understand the concept of free floating vs non. Other than that I am lost. What is M4 style? Double heat shields, is I am assuming just what it says... Anything else I should consider? 4 rail would have rails on the sides?
Bolt and Carrier- Titanium... probably not for me, yet...
Buttstock- I like 6 position. What makes one a tactical buttstock? Or SOCOM for that matter.
Carrying handle- I am assuming this is for a flattop? Would that include the rear A2 sight?
Flash Hider- I want one, whether A2 or something else, I don't know. Holes, slots, aesthetic?
Gas Block- Here is where I would want to opt for a folding, or flip up sight. That's what I think I'd like. Anything else to consider?
Trigger- 2 stage? Adjustable? Vanity for me at this point? I don't know if I need those. Or even the advantage of the 2 stage. I understand what an adjustable trigger is for, but not if I'll want one.
Charging handle- T latch? Or just go with the basics.
Upper- Hi rise? What are T marks? Is that the rail you attach things to?

That should be it. Or at least a good start. I've probably had replies to this thread in the time it took me to compile all this.

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:26:59 PM EST
Alright, I am slowly finding stuff out about my list from above, but it is still unclear. I've been looking up the items on the sites, but it really only gives me a picture, so it doesn't tell me much about the practicality of it, or the advantages either...
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