Okay - now that I feel totally stupid for not seeing the "Assemble your own AR15 rifle from parts.... for dummies" thread let me ask a better question.
I read all the posts dealing with the "BEST budget kit?" and got a lot of info from it - thanks! Aside from kits, have any of you ever made your rifle from buying bit parts?
I have plenty of time to build the rifle and I have been wondering about buying a kit or the various parts - that's why I asked about a guide book.
I am needing to stretch the money as far as I can. The wife is all for me making my own, so that is no problem, we are just trying to find out if it is cheaper to go with a kit or buy the parts that make up the kit a hand full at a time.
For example, the Bolt Carrier Assembly breaks down into 17 pieces. I was thinking about just buying all of those pieces and assembling it. Then go on to the next section.
Is this even feasible or would you just go with a kit?
Thanks for the help.
I think buying the parts individually would be a good idea in the sense that you could pre buy your next two or three necessary for spares and your next few builds at the same time. I think any other attempt than this, with shipping and whatnot, will be more expensive than buying a lower part kit and the big pieces seperately.
But you do need some spares and a good reason to start on build's #2-9.
I would just do a kit. You will end up spending a shit load on shipping for small parts and the individual parts are most likely more expensive that a complete assembly. You might have good luch picking up used parts in the EE, though. Otherwise, I would get a kit.
I just ordered a J&T kit and it seems to be pretty good. I would recomend their kits and I think the A2 and CAR-15 kits are $469. Add a Superior Arms lower from the EE at $75 and you have a $544 AR-15 A2.
Here are the details from my
Sabre Lower (shipped and transfered)......$160
J&T M4 kit.............................................$569
Magpul CTR milspec assembly.................$150
Magpul Miad Grip.....................................$34
Troy MRF-DI Handguards........................$160
Verticle Front Grip....................................$30
Surefire G2 Light and mount.....................$90
Magpul Ladder Rail Covers........................$40
Larue LT105 Mount.................................$110
Trijicon ACOG TA50-4..............................$475
Sabre extended A2 FH and per install.........$70
18 magazines from 44mag.com...............$190
Total Cost (not counting shipping) $2,218
bad part is that that total does not even include ammo or a sling.
You are right - shipping would start to eat into it. But the spares for the others might just sweeten the deal.
there was a franken rifle thread a couple of days ago. Some of the best AR's ever to tock the range came from bits and parts. However those are the rifles you build after building 4-5 others and changing stuff around. Before long you release you have almost enough parts to build a new one so you order the couple of missing parts and assemble the franken gun.
For a first rifle or a rifle where you don't have a pile of parts a kit is ALWAYS going to be cheaper and the best place to start.
For that matter even if you have one or two parts, a kit is better and sell whatever you don't need.
Or let's say you want a Magpul CTR stock. Great order a kit, order the stock, and sell the M4 stock that came with the kit. It really will almost always work out better.
That is what I did in my above post. Now I have an extra M4 stock, M4 handguards, and an extra A2 grip. I think I minght paint them camo or green or something.
Opinions will undoubtably vary, but my approach to a best bang for your buck somewhat build it yourself AR would be to get a carbine upper from Del-Ton, Model 1 or J&T without a BCG, a Bravo Co. BCG, the standard lower of your choice that you find the least expensive (Stag, CMMG, DoubleStar, DPMS, Spikes, etc.) and a triggerless WOA LPK from ADCO. And a charging handle from one of whomever you buy one of the above.
That leaves you needing a trigger and a stock if you go with an A2 upper; if you get an A3 you'll need a rear sight as well.
For your trigger the ultimate choice would be a Geissele SSA for $149 delivered. The caveat to that choice is that if you order it now you'll probably wait 3-5 months to get it. Of course, if you're considering buying all 17 pieces of a BCG individually and assembling them, time might not be a huge concern.
An alternate in that price range is the LMT two stage; I'm using them in a couple of guns that await their SSAs. A little cheaper option would be the RRA two stage that many people like and use, but I see more gripes about that trigger than I do for others. Any of those will be better than the stock FCG you'll get in a standard LPK.
Stock options are many and varied, but for an economical and quite functional stock you might consider either a CAR stock or an A2, both of which are available complete with buffer, tube and spring in the +/-$50 range.
If you anticipate just using iron sights you might want to get an A2 upper and be done with it. A flattop is a better choice if optics are likely in the future, in which case you'll need a rear sight to get started. I'm not sure where to start on that subject, but I will say you can put a functional, decent quality rear BUIS in place for far less than the Troy level prices.
And that will get you into a rifle that will likely last you for decades, as long as we have an intact 2nd Amendment.
Just for fun I took a quick look around and came up with:
Model 1 1:9 16" 5.56 Chrome Moly upper (A2 or A3) 315.00
For a total of $822 - call it $850 with all the shipping. It's not one of the $650-700 budget builds, but it is a fairly inexpensive rifle that will likely do all that you ask it to, forever.
But if you just wanted a good AR, you could have had an entire M4 kit from a couple of sources for what you paid for the upper and BCG...
I still see your point but, if the issue is what's the cheapest route... well there you have it.
Not to mention if you don't have a spare parts stash yet, then even if you are going with a two stage trigger, for SHTF scenarios, you should but the std fire control group into your spare parts, keep 'er runnin' bin.
I think its kind of hard to stay under $1000 here is what i am working on!
Stag Lower $137
cmt 6pos car stock and m4 hanguards $99
LPK, CH, Side sling adapter $109
A3 upper w feed ramps/t marks, gas tube, roll pin $125
YHM Flip up buis $ 84
CMMG 14.7 with a2 FH 1/7 twist $291 waited 6 weeks for this
Eotech512 july 4 sale $367
SA BCG-$0 had it already and it infected me with a intense case of BRD..kept saying that BCG looks lonely on the shelf.
Total costs without optic around $845
With Eotech $1212.00
What do u think good or bad? By the way all prices are after shipping!
I honestly think it's easy to stay under $1,000, depending, of course, on what you want...
just think "Del-ton" =)
16" chrome lined barrel Hbar or M4 kit...
YHM free float, JP trigger upgrade, spr grip= $719 + Buis (70-80)
Stripped lower (<$100)
Now... stripped bare-bones, you can get a very nice AR15 for under $600 if you play your cards right...
And under $500 if you hawk on the EE...
That said... my latest SPR build ran me about $2100 when optics are taken into consideration...
Yah optics are a big chunk of change! I think making a good bare bones AR is very possible under $1000 probably would have saved some money on a pre assembled ar upper though..I really liked that CMMG Barrel though! Bare bones carbine between $850-$1000 Range sounds about right to me!
Buying a kit is almost always cheaper than buying individual parts...I bought a kit, and a different trigger guard and pistol grip...ended up costing me around $75 with the Magpul trigger guard and Hogue grip...
I'd say your best bet would be an M4 kit and a lower receiver (totals to around $650-700) and then buy a few aftermarket parts that you want...