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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/26/2004 1:20:37 AM EST
well after doing much research i have decided that i am going to build my first ar. this will be my first ar period so i am a greenhorn. :)

i am currently thinking of getting a stripped lower and then assembling that and getting a complete upper.

my questions:

what is a good stripped lower? bushmaster, dpms, mega, ameetec, grizzly? there are quite a few, so what have you all had good luck with?

what parts kit brand?

and finally, where did you all make mistakes? i hate to ask but please don't let me make the same mistakes as this will be my first one.

thanks for your assistance :)

Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:46:36 AM EST
Thats more of a preference thing, but there are a few issues....

It's probably best to match the manufacturor of your lower with the same manufacturor for the upper not essential, but it will greatly increase the chances of a proper fit (not really a problem but who knows....), also the finnish will be more likely to match up, also I'de highly recommend you go with a FORGED reciever NOT Cast, there slightly more expensive but it's WELL worth it there substantually stronger, and look better, cast lowers have a reputation of breaking, and they offen have a poor finnish, and can even be bumpy and LOOK molded sort of like a die cast toy....

As for the manufacturors there all prettymuch the same however there are some differences with a few of them....:

Colt: Well respected brand with a long history, and a reputation for excelent reliability, however they have consistently shit on us mere civilians, and with the exception of match rifles the only way us lowly peasents can have the "privilage" of owning one of there rifles is second hand, also they don't make there stuff to spec, infact there intentionaly out of spec both because they don't trust us in the unwashed masses not to illegaly convert there weapons, and because they want only colt parts to fit in colt rifles, and you guessed it colt parts are more expensive, as are there rifles they are perhaps the highest priced priced manufacturors on the market, if you use a Colt in your build expect issues with parts not fitting correctly....

Bushmaster: With Colt going down hill Bushmaster is happily scooping up there market share, and like Colt Bushmaster also has a reputation for excellent reliability, and there a highly respected company, and there starting to pick up something else Colt has to notariety, the name is famouse and fame comes with a price just like Niki shoes, and Pentium Proccessors haveing Bushmaster parts will cost you more, there not really any better then any body elses products, your essentually paying for a name....

Rock River Arms: One of the other big manufacturors RRA is well known and respected by match shooters, and are offen used right off the shelf with no modification for competitive shooting, theyn are also quickly gaining a wide spread following as well and are well known for there accuracy and excellent fit and finnish, they also enjoy the lowest amount of reliability issues, however it's this same fit and finnish that is it's only real big issue there known to be unusually tight fitting one of the reasons there so accurite, but it also makes them tricky to assemble, take down, and creats issues useing other manufacturors parts they'll fit but they may be a little tight, and there could be a little overhang caused by the RRA's slightly thicker reciever walls, this thick construction also makes them a little tougher than the others, the finnish on RRA's is excelent, and if mated with RRA parts will match up perfectly, and it's smoother than satin, when I first held mine if I hadn't have known better I'de have sworn I was holding plastic, the finnish is also very tough and scratch resistant, RRA is also one of the cheaper manufacturors to boot....

DPMS: Another well known brand, and also a very accurite rifle, however there are some realiability issues....

Cavalry Arms: Well what more can I say.... there plastic....

Fultan Armory: One of the smaller manufacturors Fulton Armory offers among the best costomer service, and are very reliable, Fultan Armory is also the only company I know of still manufacturing the classic pattern AR-15's from M-16A1 (Colt SP1....) clones, back to the classic M-16 "slicksides" desighn if you want a classic desighn than Fulton Armory the way to go, however all this comes with a cost a high one, Fulton Armory is one of the highest priced manufacturors out there rivaling even Colt, and Bushmaster....

Armalite: Contrary to Colts slogan of everything else is an imitation the AR-15 is actually Armalites desighn, Armalite is also the only manufacturor I've seen offering the AR-15 in 7.62 NATO (.308....) the AR-10,however Armalite also is rather high priced....

Vulcan Arms: Avoid Vulcan like the plague don't even think about it, Vulcan uses a cast reciever and has perhaps the worst reliability record out there there rifles have been known to litterly blow up as in KABOOM!!!!, yeah there cheap, cheap for a reason....
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:01:03 AM EST
The Armalite you are refering to is a different company than the one that Stoner was working for when they designed the AR.

That Armalite was a division of the Fairchild aircraft corp and is now defunct.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:23:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 3:47:01 AM EST by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 8:16:03 AM EST
There is no need to match uppers and lowers, just about any upper works on just about any lower as long as they are mil-spec, which most are. If you really want to know how your gun works internally, I would buy a stripped Mega, Ameetec or Stag Arms lower and a parts kit and assemble.

HOWEVER, if you are on a budget you can buy an assembled lower for less that a parts kit and a stripped lower. The assembled lower for any of the three aformentioned lowers is about $150, which is about how much it would cost for a parts kit and a stripped lower anyway, plus you have to get some basic tools. From there, you can just add a buttstock to your assembled lower and add the upper of your choice.

For uppers, I highly recommend a Bushmaster. However, they charge $150 or so for one of their bolt carriers, so if you decide to buy one of their uppers buy it without the bolt carrier and charging handle. For a bolt carrier I recommend the RRA, which has a little more meat around the firing pin area which aids in extraction. Plus, it's black, which I think is cool since it seems odd to have a silver B/BC assembly when the rest of the rifle is pitch black. Brand of charging handle doesn't matter much, although I've heard the Model 1 charging handles are a bit soft. Can't comfirm that though.

I can't tell you about any mistakes I have made since I haven't built any rifles yet (this will be my first). Just make sure you know how to fit the charging handle and bolt/bolt carrier assembly into the upper, whch is fairly simple. Also know how to take the bolt and bolt carriers apart and remove the extractor. This is fairly simple as well, and requires only a small pointy object (I use a 1/16" punch I picked up while my parents were shopping at Lowe's).

This will be literally my first gun so I have done an assload of research on the subject. If you have any questions IM me.

p.s. Get a flattop.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:53:28 PM EST
thanks for all the assistance. i am looking to build the lower so i can really learn how they work and get an assembled upper because the assembly instructions require special tools, which i will acquire later.

what items need to be sent to an ffl, is it just the lower? since i am in phx az, where would you recommend to pick up a good, forged stripped lower at a decent price? i see on the ameetec website that the rra, dpms and ameetec stripped lowers are all pretty equal in price and from i have read pretty equal in quality. do you gain anything besides a name when paying the extra $50 for the bushmaster?

i am just looking to get 1-2 moa (16" barrel), does the accuracy come from the upper or lower or is it a combination of both (taking the person out of the equation)?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:42:54 PM EST
I'm going to pick up a stripped Mega lower from Ameetec this week and finish it with a M4 kit from Model 1 Sales. This will be my first build as well. This whole thing about braking things and screwing up the finish has me a little worried, but I'm going to do it anyway.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:52:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 3:30:42 PM EST by mjrowley]

Originally Posted By 89grand:
I'm going to pick up a stripped Mega lower from Ameetec this week and finish it with a M4 kit from Model 1 Sales. This will be my first build as well. This whole thing about braking things and screwing up the finish has me a little worried, but I'm going to do it anyway.



89Grand,

Be-sure and post this in the AZ HOMETOWN Area. The guys and Gals will give you all kinds of help on your first build. What part of AZ you in?

BTW welcome to AR15.com

AZ Hometown
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:55:57 PM EST
As 9245 stated Cav Arms stuff is plastic. But its some kind of special reinforced plastic. I don't own a Cav Arms Rife yet, but I will someday. They really stand behind there product. I know people that own Cav Arm's stuff, and they like it. So don't shy away from there stuff, you will not get burned.

Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:18:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 3:19:27 PM EST by 89grand]
I live near down town Mesa. What's the AZ Hometown area? I will definetely be wanting questions answered and advice.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:21:36 PM EST
Nevermind, I found the Hometown area. Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:25:30 PM EST
If your are in Mesa, you have a bunch of great guys to get help from. Like Winston Wolf, MCTLTD, AZSKI, among others.

I also live in Mesa. But I have never "Built" one yet but I am going to soon.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:36:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By bob332:
thanks for all the assistance. i am looking to build the lower so i can really learn how they work and get an assembled upper because the assembly instructions require special tools, which i will acquire later.

what items need to be sent to an ffl, is it just the lower? since i am in phx az, where would you recommend to pick up a good, forged stripped lower at a decent price? i see on the ameetec website that the rra, dpms and ameetec stripped lowers are all pretty equal in price and from i have read pretty equal in quality. do you gain anything besides a name when paying the extra $50 for the bushmaster?

i am just looking to get 1-2 moa (16" barrel), does the accuracy come from the upper or lower or is it a combination of both (taking the person out of the equation)?



Is a drive to Gilbert/Mesa out of the question for you?

If not look into these Guyswww.ameetecarms.com/.

Great stuff what i'v been told.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 4:56:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By mjrowley:

Originally Posted By bob332:
thanks for all the assistance. i am looking to build the lower so i can really learn how they work and get an assembled upper because the assembly instructions require special tools, which i will acquire later.

what items need to be sent to an ffl, is it just the lower? since i am in phx az, where would you recommend to pick up a good, forged stripped lower at a decent price? i see on the ameetec website that the rra, dpms and ameetec stripped lowers are all pretty equal in price and from i have read pretty equal in quality. do you gain anything besides a name when paying the extra $50 for the bushmaster?

i am just looking to get 1-2 moa (16" barrel), does the accuracy come from the upper or lower or is it a combination of both (taking the person out of the equation)?



Is a drive to Gilbert/Mesa out of the question for you?

If not look into these Guyswww.ameetecarms.com/.

Great stuff what i'v been told.



i will drive just about anywhere in the valley to get good, friendly service from people that will stand behind their products. i have looked over their site and the prices look good too.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 5:36:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 5:37:22 PM EST by mjrowley]

Originally Posted By bob332:

Originally Posted By mjrowley:

Originally Posted By bob332:
thanks for all the assistance. i am looking to build the lower so i can really learn how they work and get an assembled upper because the assembly instructions require special tools, which i will acquire later.

what items need to be sent to an ffl, is it just the lower? since i am in phx AZ, where would you recommend to pick up a good, forged stripped lower at a decent price? i see on the Ameetec website that the rra, dpms and Ameetec stripped lowers are all pretty equal in price and from i have read pretty equal in quality. do you gain anything besides a name when paying the extra $50 for the bushmaster?

i am just looking to get 1-2 moa (16" barrel), does the accuracy come from the upper or lower or is it a combination of both (taking the person out of the equation)?





Is a drive to Gilbert/Mesa out of the question for you?

If not look into these Guyswww.ameetecarms.com/.

Great stuff what I've been told.



i will drive just about anywhere in the valley to get good, friendly service from people that will stand behind their products. i have looked over their site and the prices look good too.





The only thing is Warren is a busy guy. Hard to get ahold of him.

Cav Arms is right there as well.

ETA:

Lower is all that is registered with FLL.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 5:40:15 PM EST
This response might be a bit late, but you don't gain anything for paying that extra $50 or so for a Bushy lower besides a snake logo.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 5:40:53 PM EST
I got a hold of someone from there friday, I don't know who it was, but anyway he said they were out of Mega lowers but would have more this coming week. The only weird thing is that you can't just go there like a store, you have to make an appointment to see them. No big deal I guess, I'll call them again this week and make an appointment when they get the Mega's instock.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 6:52:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By N3rday:
This response might be a bit late, but you don't gain anything for paying that extra $50 or so for a Bushy lower besides a snake logo.



if they are all pretty much the same - dpms, rra, ameetec and bushmaster, i really don't care what logo is on it as long as it quality :) thanks for the info
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 2:13:00 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 8:40:12 AM EST
another couple of questions -

are the kits a pretty good way to go? the prices seem very good.
gas block sight base -> are they useful and also if you go that way with a flip down sight does it really do much with accuracy @ 100-200yds? how sturdy are they? or should i just go with the regular front sight setup?

free float -> any benefits?

the last question is are certain brands of kits any better than the other? what do i need to look for?

it appears that you could do a complete rifle for ~$600(options dependant), which to me is excellent as i am a cheap bastard and was looking to spend ~$900 for a bushmaster just a couple of weeks ago.

thanks in advance for all the knowledge, excellent suggestions and assistance for us noobs :)
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:06:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 7:04:32 AM EST by Daubs]
Check out Stag arms lowers. You can get them from eaglefirearms.net for $85, from what I hear they are the exact same as Rock River Arms. You can also get RRA complete bolt carrier from them for $95, the best bolt carrier in my opinion. A RRA lower parts kit from them will only set you back $54. A RRA A2 stock will run $54. At these prices it will cost $193 for a complete lower

For the lowest price for a lower check out Cavalry arms lowers from Amalite for $95. Add a $3.95 CAR buffer spring and an $8.50 CAR buffer from Del-Ton plus a RRA lower parts kit for $54 = complete lower for $161.45

If you do order from an out of the area supplier you will need to send a copy of your local gun shop's signed FFL license with your payment and have the lower shipped to the local dealers address. This is so you can fill out the background check paperwork for the lower. The lower is the only part you have to have sent to a dealer, the lower receiver is considered a gun the upper is not. My dealer will do an FFL transfer for $10 but some will gouge for as much as $30 so shop around.

As for assembly with the lower receiver use some gun oil on the roll pins to help them slide in. Work in a clean area as you will probably launch the front take down pin detent across the room and it's a pain to find.

I made a tool for the front take down pin detent install. Buy a steel rod the same size as the front take down pin. Drill a hole in the end of the steel rod the size of the detent or a 1/16" punch. Insert the tool in the front take down pin location on the receiver. Drop in the detent spring and the detent through the tool into the receiver. Push the detent down into the receiver just past the hole in your new tool with a 1/16" punch and rotate the steel rod so the detent is held in place pushing on the undrilled portion of the steel rod. Place your front take down pin against the end of the steel rod so the detent grove in the pin is facing the detent. Slowly pull the tool out of the receiver holding the front take down pin firmly against the end of the steel rod tool once the detent clears the gap between the pin and the tool push the pin into the receiver. I wish I still had a picture of this it would make it easier to understand. The front take down pin detent is the most troublesome part of assembling the lower IMHO. BTW you don't need to do this step if you buy a Cav arms lower it comes with the take down pins pre-installed.

(Edit) This is a picture of a front take down pin detent install tool:


If you run into trouble post and we'll bail you out.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 11:43:28 AM EST
thanks for the info, it is greatly appreciated :)
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 12:45:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
You'll do fine. This isn't rocket science and since you are concerned you won't make mistakes.

Tj



He's right.

I just finished my first lower build-up this afternoon, using the assembly guide on this site.

No Problems and needed no special tools, except I happened to have a 1/4x28 tap to clean out the threads for the grip screw.

Used a Fulton ARmory lower and a RRA LPK from ADCO. All parts fit perfectly.

Tim
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 1:35:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Daubs:
Check out Stag arms lowers. You can get them from eaglefirearms.net for $85, from what I hear they are the exact same as Rock River Arms. You can also get RRA complete bolt carrier from them for $95, the best bolt carrier in my opinion. A RRA lower parts kit from them will only set you back $54. A RRA A2 stock will run $54. At these prices it will cost $193 for a complete lower
.



Forgive me, but do stripped lowers need to be shipped to an FFL? If so, you can buy a completed Stag with A2 stok for $193, which would be less seeing you only pay shipping for one item instead of potentialy several from several retailers.

Link Posted: 9/27/2004 2:05:07 PM EST
Lowers, stripped or not need to be shipped to a FFL. I found a lower local so I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of the whole FFL and transfer fee thing.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 2:18:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 2:19:05 PM EST by Corbic]
I hate dealing with my FFLs here... money grubby bastards! My last transfer got an extra 15 added because he had to do some "extra" paper work (ie sign UPS slip) and he charged me tax on it as well, wtf. (the gun, shipping and transfer fee)

Now if I order something from a fellow Hoosier off this site or similar do we have to use an FFL? To my understanding peer to peer sales in In are A OK, I sold my buddy an WASR with the only paper working being for my personal records.

Do gun shows normaly have good deals? Last one I went too about a year ago sucked big time, only AR seller had about a dozen lowers and wanted $230 each (Bushmaster post-ban). I want to avoid FFL transfers like the plauge for now. Only a Vector Uzi is woth the hassel and that is on a back burnner for now.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 2:34:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand06:

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
You'll do fine. This isn't rocket science and since you are concerned you won't make mistakes.

Tj



He's right.

I just finished my first lower build-up this afternoon, using the assembly guide on this site.

No Problems and needed no special tools, except I happened to have a 1/4x28 tap to clean out the threads for the grip screw.

Used a Fulton ARmory lower and a RRA LPK from ADCO. All parts fit perfectly.

Tim



congrats on you first buil-up :) hopefully i will acquire the parts soon.

also, the deal fof the cav arms looks good from armalite but every shop around here wants ~$30 for a transfer.... since i am in az i will probably just go out to ameetec an pick up on the brands they carry. i would do the cav arms because the price is good, but due to some weird shoulder/arm issues, i think i am going to put a adjustable on it.

since i am a cheap bastard and noob, i was looking over at the equipment exchange -> what should i definatelyl not buy used? or should i stay away from used until i build one so i know what is "correct"?
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 8:59:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By bob332:
another couple of questions -

are the kits a pretty good way to go? the prices seem very good.
gas block sight base -> are they useful and also if you go that way with a flip down sight does it really do much with accuracy @ 100-200yds? how sturdy are they? or should i just go with the regular front sight setup?

free float -> any benefits?



anybody with a suggestion to these questions?

thanks
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 12:48:32 AM EST
You might also think about having someone check it over before you go shoot it just in case. It may not be brain surgery but its not all that hard to make a mistake either.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 6:38:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By Corbic:

Forgive me, but do stripped lowers need to be shipped to an FFL? If so, you can buy a completed Stag with A2 stok for $193, which would be less seeing you only pay shipping for one item instead of potentialy several from several retailers.



Yep all lowers stripped or not have to be shipped to an FFL. Where you end up saving is on the sales tax. If you buy from an out of state supplier you DO NOT have to pay sales tax to your local drealer. The local dealer did not sell you a firearm, they just worked as a mediator for the NICS background check. I have an awsome local dealer so I don't mind doing FFL tansfers only costs me $10+S/H.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 9:51:38 AM EST
I got my Stinger lower at the Indy 1500, it's usually a decent show. ( I can't really compare as I've never been to any others) Pretty large, lots of dealers, not too much off topic stuff. Oh, I got it for $90 + some percent for credit card + sales tax.


Originally Posted By Corbic:
Do gun shows normaly have good deals? Last one I went too about a year ago sucked big time, only AR seller had about a dozen lowers and wanted $230 each (Bushmaster post-ban). I want to avoid FFL transfers like the plauge for now. Only a Vector Uzi is woth the hassel and that is on a back burnner for now.

Link Posted: 9/28/2004 10:00:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By Daubs:

Originally Posted By Corbic:

Forgive me, but do stripped lowers need to be shipped to an FFL? If so, you can buy a completed Stag with A2 stok for $193, which would be less seeing you only pay shipping for one item instead of potentialy several from several retailers.



Yep all lowers stripped or not have to be shipped to an FFL. Where you end up saving is on the sales tax. If you buy from an out of state supplier you DO NOT have to pay sales tax to your local drealer. The local dealer did not sell you a firearm, they just worked as a mediator for the NICS background check. I have an awsome local dealer so I don't mind doing FFL tansfers only costs me $10+S/H.



is it just local sales tax and not some other gun tax? i live in phx, az and if i go to ameetec and pick up one of the stripped lowers they sell for ~$100, i am assuming i just pay the sales tax of ~8% for the city they are in. is this correct or do i pay that tax plus some federal tax? will my receipt look like my phone bill with this tax and that tax?
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 11:48:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2004 11:49:27 AM EST by Daubs]

Originally Posted By bob332:

is it just local sales tax and not some other gun tax? i live in phx, az and if i go to ameetec and pick up one of the stripped lowers they sell for ~$100, i am assuming i just pay the sales tax of ~8% for the city they are in. is this correct or do i pay that tax plus some federal tax? will my receipt look like my phone bill with this tax and that tax?



Yep, all you have to pay when you purchase a firearm within the same state as your own is local sales tax. No special firearms taxes.

If we all don't do our JOB and VOTE Bush back in I can assure you we WILL be paying a special federal firearm tax under a Kerry Regime
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