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Posted: 7/18/2008 4:26:42 PM EDT
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.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 5:10:46 PM EDT
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.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 5:15:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 5:27:28 PM EDT by EagleArmsHBAR]
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 last most recent build:
Sabre Lower (shipped and transfered)......$160
J&T M4 kit.............................................$569
Magpul CTR milspec assembly.................$150
Magpul Miad Grip.....................................$34
Troy BUIS.............................................$140
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.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 5:17:41 PM EDT
You are right - shipping would start to eat into it. But the spares for the others might just sweeten the deal.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 5:45:16 PM EDT
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.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 6:07:11 PM EDT
GREAT advice guys!!!

Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:09:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2FALable:
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.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 6:20:33 AM EDT
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.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 8:13:12 AM EDT
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
M1S charging handle 16.00
M1S A2 buttstock complete 55.00
Bravo Company BCG 130.00
Geissele SSA trigger 145.00
WOA triggerless LPK 41.00
Gunshow lower 120.00


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.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 3:13:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcfpd:
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
M1S charging handle 16.00
M1S A2 buttstock complete 55.00
Bravo Company BCG 130.00
Geissele SSA trigger 145.00
WOA triggerless LPK 41.00
Gunshow lower 120.00


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.

Link Posted: 7/20/2008 8:57:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 8:57:59 AM EDT by BROvet04]
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!
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 10:56:06 AM EDT
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...
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 5:46:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 5:47:53 PM EDT by BROvet04]
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!
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:28:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 6:29:10 PM EDT by Ridge_Runner_5]
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...
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