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Posted: 9/12/2007 6:59:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2007 7:00:30 PM EST by JMP]
I know that this sounds ridiculous.. right? How can it be done ?... but I think it can.

I am challenging myself to do this, no matter how long it may take.
I am going to try to purchase all of the parts for the absolute cheapest I can find. I am not going for any kind of quality here. Matching colors do not matter, it isn't going to be pretty.
As pricey as all of the AR merchandise has become in recent years, i am going to try to prove a point while still coming away with a half decent rifle.
I think I am going to hold out buying until I can find everything ( except lower) for half price.
I see "spares" advertised here and there all the time. Extra barrelsburned out barrels, beat up upper receivers that just need TLC, not to mention I have seen ancient stock sets for dirt cheap ( $15) at shows. I think I can get a cast lower for under $100 used.

This is not just going to be an experiment... it will ultimately be a plinker rifle to give to someone ( a young 'un) as a gift to get them interested in AR's and shooting in general.


This may prove to be a lot of fun! Like a treasure hunt.

If anyone has any good leads on used ( abused) parts they find. I ask that you please email me a link if you think of it.

onetrekrider@yahoo.com

I will keep posting updates with pictures and the running price total as the rifle comes together.


Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:06:00 PM EST
I dunno, I don't really see the point. You can probably put it together for free if you wait long enough and bum a spare part here and there.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:08:35 PM EST
It's definitely doable, but it will take a long time of watching the EE. With all that time, you could save up an extra $200 or $250 and build an actually decent rifle...I guarantee some young-un getting into guns would be more likely to take to it with a quality weapon.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:12:48 PM EST
I dont see how, even a cheep barrel is still $150. And then you arnt going to find a stripped lower for less than $90.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:17:50 PM EST
you could ask for some spare parts. I have some apare parts from a build I would donate to your build. One trigger guard, grip and screw,front and rear take down pins,mag catch button. Rich
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:24:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By ar_mcadams:
I dont see how, even a cheep barrel is still $150. And then you arnt going to find a stripped lower for less than $90.


You could have gotten in on the $50 Cav Arms lower deal like I did . Guys are selling barrelled uppers on the EE for $205 Add a charging handle for $14 and Bolt carrier assl,y
for $115 and an LPK from Brownells for $44 (with C&R discount )and you would be around $428 plus shipping and transfer fees.


I forgot the buffer and buffer spring. You can get those on the EE for $20 easy.

so $448 gets you an A1 lightweight AR

Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:29:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By ar_mcadams:
I dont see how, even a cheep barrel is still $150. And then you arnt going to find a stripped lower for less than $90.


Essential Arms sells stripped lowers for $77 (less if you buy multiple), and older used barrels are on the EE all the time for $100.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:36:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:53:40 PM EST
Yes it can

You can get a cav arms lower for $90 so that saves time and money there. +10 shipping comes to $100

Barrel and upper can be had in the 175.00 range complete minus bolt and carrrier

Charging handle 15 bux

Bolt and carrier is all thats needed.

Gonna be close though.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 7:54:24 PM EST
I built one for $321. It was all lower quality parts though. I even had to make one or two of the detents out of finishing nails. I traded it at a gunshow for a nice left handed 870 wingmaster and $300.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 9:22:22 PM EST
I did the ultimate lower dollar build back in the late 80's using a $275 parts kit from the infamous NESARD and picked up a Essential arms lower for $55. Nesard was nice enough to barrel the upper for me but I put the rest of it together with an ice pick, nail set, a hammer and a screwdriver

Biggest POS rifle ever, plastic slip ring, mag release button, trigger guard. Cast FSB that looked like it was cast in playground sand and lets not forget the great bolt that came with the kit - broke at the cam pin hole during the first magazine Once the bolt was replaced the stamped disconnector started to slam fire/double fire....ended up replacing the disconnector, trigger and hammer (they were 16 parts in my 15 kit)

My lessons were many - I saw and learned how to fix many of the most common things that can go wrong with an AR. I ended up replacing more than half the kit including the barrel assembly, bolt, entire fire control group, trigger guard, receiver extension, recoil spring and buffer.

Spend the money now or spend it later - either way...

Good Luck!

Link Posted: 9/12/2007 9:27:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2007 9:28:28 PM EST by justinwb]


Built this for $385


Complete bushy upper with bolt and all that with BUIS $185
Beater Arms Rail $50
Lower with VLTOR Stock $150

Yes it can be done, this is my beater AR and my most reliable. It went through 6k before getting a cleaning.
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 9:43:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/12/2007 9:52:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By cowboy7242001:

Originally Posted By justinwb:
a347.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/27/l_f6c5b5be258cf43bf9399b846af00222.jpg
i10.tinypic.com/4tfa1l4.jpg
Built this for $385


Complete bushy upper with bolt and all that with BUIS $185
Beater Arms Rail $50
Lower with VLTOR Stock $150

Yes it can be done, this is my beater AR and my most reliable. It went through 6k before getting a cleaning.


Damn. You win.

How much was the cat?

Free adopted him from a girl down the street

Watch the EE, I have never built an AR for more then $600. The last one I built for a friend was $590 or so with an aimpoint.
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 10:18:27 AM EST
That rifle is a real trip! Nice cat...

As of today... ( at work none the less) I have acquired a pistol grip and grip screw, a mag catch and detent and a trigger.
All free...


I only own 2 AR's I built myself. Neither of them are particularly flashy, but both of them are fine shooters. So I have a little pride in my work.

So, No worries on handing it over to a young sportsman in trashy condition. I have a friend who reconditions production/heavy machinery for a living. They can strip the rifle and powdercoat and paint when I find all the parts. I doubt they will charge me.

If you have spare parts you seriously would like to donate ( springs, catches, screws, barrel nuts, rings etc...) I will not turn them down. email me and I will pay postage and give you my address.
But I would still like to find the large parts myself as part of the challenge. I appreciate all the responses.

Link Posted: 9/13/2007 10:24:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By JMP:
That rifle is a real trip! Nice cat...

As of today... ( at work none the less) I have acquired a pistol grip and grip screw, a mag catch and detent and a trigger.
All free...


I only own 2 AR's I built myself. Neither of them are particularly flashy, but both of them are fine shooters. So I have a little pride in my work.

So, No worries on handing it over to a young sportsman in trashy condition. I have a friend who reconditions production/heavy machinery for a living. They can strip the rifle and powdercoat and paint when I find all the parts. I doubt they will charge me.

If you have spare parts you seriously would like to donate ( springs, catches, screws, barrel nuts, rings etc...) I will not turn them down. email me and I will pay postage and give you my address.
But I would still like to find the large parts myself as part of the challenge. I appreciate all the responses.


Just wait, pretty soon you will have to many. I had 6 at one time
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 11:00:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By justinwb:
Complete bushy upper with bolt and all that with BUIS $185
Beater Arms Rail $50
Lower with VLTOR Stock $150


How in the hell did you manage a COMPLETE upper WITH bolt for $185?
Seriously, that is outrageous.
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 11:31:41 AM EST
Did anybody notice his post count, that's what I call a lerker
Good luck on the treasure hunt
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 2:22:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By sic_ness:

Originally Posted By justinwb:
Complete bushy upper with bolt and all that with BUIS $185
Beater Arms Rail $50
Lower with VLTOR Stock $150


How in the hell did you manage a COMPLETE upper WITH bolt for $185?
Seriously, that is outrageous.

I used to be on the EE 24/7 365.......I have purchesed 7-8 uppers for no more then $210
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 3:43:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By justinwb:

Originally Posted By sic_ness:

Originally Posted By justinwb:
Complete bushy upper with bolt and all that with BUIS $185
Beater Arms Rail $50
Lower with VLTOR Stock $150


How in the hell did you manage a COMPLETE upper WITH bolt for $185?
Seriously, that is outrageous.

I used to be on the EE 24/7 365.......I have purchesed 7-8 uppers for no more then $210





Everyone has to have a hobby I guess.
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 3:55:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2007 3:58:00 PM EST by yekimak]
Stickman has one he built for under $200....

I scored a colt m4 upper with pinned vortex FH and a removable carry handle for $200. I put it in a $250 stag complete lower and bought a carrier and ch for it....Total wad $570..

IF I had set on one of the cheap inexpensive cav arms lowers I have total outlay would be like $425 or so.
Link Posted: 9/13/2007 5:00:59 PM EST
I just built a pre-ban A2 HBAR for $526. New Bushy barrel, Stag lower, you know the drill.
Link Posted: 9/14/2007 5:16:05 AM EST
No lurker here... heThen, my mom and dad died, and my life changed quite a bit.

I'm just not much on internet chat forums unless I am looking for information.
I recently became more interested in shooting sports again. My cube partner was a DCMP shooter and we talk about guns and hunting every day.
I stay pretty busy with work and my real full-time-hobby, whitewater paddling, that I hardly ever log on. I do watch the boards for any current information I may need to stay up on, but for the most part, I just enjoy listening to all the great posts.

I will try to make more of a presence here in the future. I don't want to be an outcast just when I am getting back in the swing of things.
Link Posted: 9/15/2007 6:34:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By JMP:
No lurker here...
On the old board ( a long time ago) I was way more active.
Then, my mom and dad died, and my life changed quite a bit.

I'm just not much on internet chat forums unless I am looking for information.
I recently became more interested in shooting sports again. My cube partner was a DCMP shooter and we talk about guns and hunting every day.
I stay pretty busy with work and my real full-time-hobby, whitewater paddling, that I hardly ever log on. I do watch the boards for any current information I may need to stay up on, but for the most part, I just enjoy listening to all the great posts.

I will try to make more of a presence here in the future. I don't want to be an outcast just when I am getting back in the swing of things.



Posted By JMP
Post Count :: 27
Posts Per Day :: 0.01
Member Since :: 2/21/2001


You know, nobody likes a post whore.



Link Posted: 9/15/2007 7:36:58 PM EST
That's me...
At least on this board you don't have little red balls under your name ( one ball for every 100 posts) They do that on my canoe club's bulletin board.
It takes 200 posts just to have a nice set hamelessly

As of tonight, I was at a Football party for the Arkansas/Alabama game ( Arkansas was robbed by the stupid officials. I am so pissed... Sorry. I could write a whole thread on that...)

Anyway, while I was there, I told one of the guys what I was doing and he gave me a PSG-1 style grip for an AR-15.
It is not the wooden colored one. It is the black one.
I think I will try to make a trade for this, or a sale of it to acquire other parts.
Anyway. I think I'll take pics as I collect parts and post them.
Link Posted: 9/15/2007 7:48:43 PM EST
Maybe $450.
Link Posted: 9/16/2007 1:50:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2007 1:54:56 AM EST by Smead]
Haunting garage and estate sales where a gun owner has passed away and his daughter is selling everything for peanuts.
Link Posted: 9/16/2007 1:52:47 AM EST
My goal is a piece together for about $525.00.

100 each for the barrel, upper receiver assembly, BCG and lower, 70 for a LPK, 35 for a A2 buttstock, 10 for a CH and 10 for handguards.

The astute vulture/rapist may get better(Depending on what the attorney fees regarding the divorce are), but the above seems like a good average.

Desperation sales at gunshows may be an option also.

Link Posted: 9/16/2007 2:00:53 AM EST
I have built three of them and all came in just a tad over $500.00 each buying parts from gun shows on the last day and Stag lowers.
Link Posted: 9/16/2007 2:05:25 AM EST
I was going to go with Stag, then stumbled into Essential Arms with their duracoat, I can get one for 80 bucks, 10 for the FFL and 10 for shipping.

What I can't figure is Bushmaster with the wine and cheese $195.00 stripped lower.
Link Posted: 9/16/2007 2:47:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Smead:
I was going to go with Stag, then stumbled into Essential Arms with their duracoat, I can get one for 80 bucks, 10 for the FFL and 10 for shipping.

What I can't figure is Bushmaster with the wine and cheese $195.00 stripped lower.


Yeah Bushmaster's MSRPs are all pretty insane.

In general, you should always go through a dealer for Bushy stuff.
Link Posted: 9/16/2007 3:16:58 PM EST
Wannemachers Tulsa Arms Show is coming up in October. ( 4,000 to 5,000 tables)
I hope to use that opportunity to pickup the last remaining parts I may be missing.

It used to be a really great place to find unusual parts, but now it has pretty much become a place for regular retail dealers to show their wares at full price.
Luckily there is still enough room for the smaller private guys.

Link Posted: 9/16/2007 3:36:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2007 3:37:24 PM EST by BadSVT]
Built this a couple days ago for 450.00



CMMG upper and stag lower.
Link Posted: 9/16/2007 4:33:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/17/2007 7:49:41 PM EST
Ouch... Ok.
I don't know if this is a good deal or not.

It's a (complete) DPMS lower with nylon 6 position stock for $160.


Good deal or not?

If it is a good deal, I might have to get it and forget putting together the lower...

It feels like cheating though...
Link Posted: 9/17/2007 8:10:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2007 8:13:47 PM EST by BillofRights]

Originally Posted By JMP:
Ouch... Ok.
I don't know if this is a good deal or not.

It's a (complete) DPMS lower with nylon 6 position stock for $160.


Good deal or not?

If it is a good deal, I might have to get it and forget putting together the lower...

It feels like cheating though...



It's a good deal. $80-100 for a lower, $40-60 for the LPK, and $40-50 for the stock. You are not going to be able to piece it together for much less. Buy it if it works correctly.
Link Posted: 9/17/2007 8:23:22 PM EST
i've done exactly what you're wanting to do. it took 2.5 years of searching and i completed for a tad under $400. the $100 Giffman barrels that were drilled 1/8" too far on the gas port were a lifesaver. i had to custom make a spacer and gas tube but it came out really well.
Link Posted: 9/17/2007 9:48:06 PM EST
yes, its possible; check the EE for used stuff

expect to wait a LONG time...
Link Posted: 9/18/2007 10:43:01 PM EST
do you intend it to actually function reliably ? or just one to put together for the hell of it ? just don't depend on the $300 rifle for a shtf situation.

Honestly I doubt it possible to build and KEEP a $3-400.00 AR... you will damn sure upgrade one thing, then another and another until you turn it into a $2-3000.00 rifle :-x

Dirty BlackRifleDisease owns us all
Link Posted: 9/18/2007 11:45:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By Shadowstep:
do you intend it to actually function reliably ? or just one to put together for the hell of it ? just don't depend on the $300 rifle for a shtf situation.

Honestly I doubt it possible to build and KEEP a $3-400.00 AR... you will damn sure upgrade one thing, then another and another until you turn it into a $2-3000.00 rifle :-x

Dirty BlackRifleDisease owns us all

Your wrong there, my rifle on page one is more reliable then any other AR I have ever had. 6k rounds of .223 and .22 before a cleaning, never had 1 malfunction that was weapon related with it. I would trust my life to it more than any other gun I own, I have built many uppers (over 600) and many ARs but this one is one that will never change.
Link Posted: 9/19/2007 6:29:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By BUIS:
Did anybody notice his post count, that's what I call a lerker
Good luck on the treasure hunt


Ha, read his story if you want to confirm your an a$$ with less than 70 posts yourself.

WTF is wrong with some people...

I think we all stated with zero posts, but I could be wrong.


As to the OP, go for it!!
Link Posted: 9/19/2007 9:52:55 AM EST
Less than a week into this this thing and I am already getting impatient. I think I am going to pickup that lower end for $160.
With the fees from my local FFL, it will still be under $170.
I figure that is a pretty good deal still...

I found a 16" barrel stashed away at a junk store/flea market yesterday.
My wife was buying some scrapbooking stuff and I saw what looked like a barrel pointing out at me from a top shelf. I got up there and looked and saw it was an AR15 barrel with a front sight but the sight is not pinned in place. There is no nut or anything else there except the sight.
It has $60 on it, but I do not have a bore scope. I am going to swing by my LGS and see if they will loan me one for a few hours. The outside of the barrel is dusted with a light coat of rust. I am hoping the bore is in good shape.

I'll report back
Link Posted: 9/25/2007 4:20:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2007 4:21:50 PM EST by brushdog]
About $425 without really trying too hard. Stag lower, DPMS LPK, DPMS Chrome lined barrel, and a few various others.

Link Posted: 9/25/2007 6:31:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2007 6:32:11 PM EST by ALPHAGHOST]
its possible--my cheapest build, mostly from used parts from the EE: $362

FWIW: i'd just save you cash, over the time you would expecting to find great EE deals, get a delton/JTD, etc AR kit and stripped lower and build it

skip the cast lowers; you can get some blemished forged AL lowers for ~$75...
Link Posted: 9/26/2007 6:10:50 AM EST
My lower arrived lastnight.
It is NOT a 6 position. It is a crappy 4 Position copy that will most likely break according to most of what I have read on here.
My Bushmaster has a 6 position that locks tight. This one locks up loose with lots of play.

The hammer has a bit of wear, but it looks like the surface of the sear and trigger were either polished, or just used a lot.

Overall, not bad for $167.50.


Link Posted: 9/26/2007 12:02:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2007 12:13:57 PM EST by Glock_10mm]

Originally Posted By BadSVT:
Built this a couple days ago for 450.00

aggunner.com/pictures/ar/lw/middy.jpg

CMMG upper and stag lower.


Huh?

You can't even touch that upper for close to that (about $525 new).


Originally Posted By justinwb:
I have built many uppers (over 600)


Link Posted: 9/26/2007 2:46:04 PM EST
this thread is making me excited! im doing it.. Im going to nickel and dime peices when i can afford them and throw together a 20'' flattop
Link Posted: 9/26/2007 2:54:58 PM EST
I have owned 3 that have been in the 400-450 range, from getting a free stock from a buddy who changed out an A2 for a CAR style, and getting good deals on used uppers... but I have yet to break the 400 mark.
Link Posted: 9/26/2007 2:56:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By JMP:
My lower arrived lastnight.
It is NOT a 6 position. It is a crappy 4 Position copy that will most likely break according to most of what I have read on here.
My Bushmaster has a 6 position that locks tight. This one locks up loose with lots of play.

The hammer has a bit of wear, but it looks like the surface of the sear and trigger were either polished, or just used a lot.

Overall, not bad for $167.50.




www.colt.com/law/ar15a3.asp

Notice the 'crappy four-position stock' on this expensive Colt. It'll do the job.
Link Posted: 9/26/2007 4:45:12 PM EST
That looks a whole lot better than mine.
I threw one of my ( no name) uppers on to the lower.
Shouldered it, and it feels OK. Not great. I think that I may be able to disassemble it and take some of the play out of it.

We'll see.
Link Posted: 9/27/2007 12:47:37 PM EST
AR15s are very sensitive to crappy, used or out of spec parts. This is why they had such a negative reputation in civilian circles back in the 1980s.

My time is worth more than saving $50 - $100. Not to mention diagnosing issues at the range with ammo costs a lot these days.

New lower with quality stock, probably build it yourself. $200
Surplus Colt Upper from Adco $250
Bolt carrier group and CH $130
New Handguards $15

Total $595. Runs great. If you used A1 stockset, it could be done for less than $550.

Picture of Budget AR
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