Just wondering, what is the cheapest AR15 style rifle that you have paid for? To start thing off I built a RRA lower $100, lower parts $50, CAR stock $45, and a H-BAR, postban CAR-type upper for $290. Total cost: less than $500. I know, my AR was not that super cheap, but what is your cheapest AR? Who sells the cheapest components? Who has amassed a large parts bin over the years and can build up a stripped lower into a $100 gun?
Heh, years ago.....bought a nesard parts kit for $275 (everything but the lower) and a Essential Arms lower for $80 + $10 FFL fees - total = $365
It was a craptastic rifle to say the least. Nesard was horrible horrible quality...cast FSB that looked like it was made in a sand box. Plastic parts everywhere...the bolt snapped in half at the cam pin hole after about 60 rounds, the pistol grip cracked; etc.
Fun rifle though. I built it from parts and rebuilt it many many times - I learned a lot about the AR series of rifles trying to get that rifle 'right'
Ended up in pretty good shape....after I basically replaced every Nesard part it had
Bought a complete upper once for $400. Put a $500 lower on it, so I only had $900 into it.
My build was
Model 1 16" car kit $400+12 shipping
Eagle Arms lower $75+15 transfer fee+8 shipping
Don't have TOO much in this one. $400 for complete kit from M&A (less bolt, which I already had), $80 used Colt carry handle; I bought the stripped lower in the late '80s for I think $65, so that's $545, not too bad for a brand-new midlength.
I bought this upper off a gun show table for the grand sum of $100 in the late '80s (not long before, I'd bought a minty SP1 with the Colt scope for $475). It appears to be M16A1 that someone home-flattopped before the real ones became common. No sights or bolt carrier for that price, and it had a funky homemade muzzle brake. The top of the upper had an aluminum block bolted on, then some kind of Weaver base bolted onto that. I added a $40 gun show 3-9 scope, A2 handguards, and a stock A1 flash hider. Already had an extra bolt. Then I bought a Quality Parts (now Bushmaster) complete lower for it for $150 (at that time), giving me a complete beater AR for around $300. Stupid thing shoots into an inch or thereabouts @ 100 with cheap 55 grainers. These days it spends most of its time with an M261 conversion in it, and it stacks cheap Winchester Dynapoints into 3/8" @ 25 yards. (Haven't shot that combo at 50 but should stay well in an inch.)
I love these stories. Ireally like the $100 upper one. Man, you never know when the ugly duckling turns out to be a real swan, and shoots like that!
I passed on a beat-up, no finish SGW [the old name for Olympic Arms] AR years ago $350.
Yes, I have seen a lot of these, and they gave Essential Arms a bad name.
The cheapest uppers I have bought were from J&T, and also some of the nicest! High quality parts, no plastic, well assembled, well packaged. In my opinion, these are the best bang for the buck!
Edited to add: I used to have a rifle on an Essential Arms lower. The only reason I sold the lower was due to color mismatch, and I picked up a nice black PWA lower that did match. But at that time I did not know about Norrell's Moly Resin, and don't think some of the other good coatings were available then. Still, the Essential lower worked perfectly, and there were no assembly or fitting problems.
A2 free-floated NM upper with b/c/ch - $250
Ameetec Arms lower - $80
RRA lower parts - $54
A2 stock assembly - $50
Total - $434
All bought this year.
115 upper - DPMS
98 bolt/carrier - Colt
100 lower - Eagle Arms
52 lower parts - Colt
30 stock - Bushmaster
First AR built from parts (2002):
DPMS LoPro upper from MidwayUSA on sale $65 (ordered and marked as a "stripped A3" oops.)
DPMS 16" stainless bull barrel, (kit:FF tube, gas tube, etc) from Delton $210
RRA B/B/C (enhanced) & LPK from Pete-in-NH $175 shipped
Eagle Arms lower from Quantico Arms $106 with tax
Bushmaster A2 stock from Bealton gunshow in 2000 $55
JP reduced power spring kit $10 MidwayUSA
Barrel wrench $12, homemade wood barrel vise $0
Total: $626 for a near-exact copy of a DPMS LoPro Bull MSRP$850-ish, street price around $725+tax at the time.
All I've done to it is replace the reddot with a ACOG Ta-44 (also from a super-sale from MidwayUSA), switch to an A1 stock and add a Samco grip.
Its my IPSC gun and even shoots "that russian crap" nicely.
Two things you can't say about a rifle you built yourself, "who put that there?" and "what does this thing do?"
I love it and have built many more since.
BUT my cheapest AR:
Colt A1 upper with a 11.5+5.5 FH XM-177 lookalike barrel
Essential Arms lower, Aluminum CAR stock, Colt 30rnd mag
$400, with 700 rounds of LC on stripper clips in 1997.
I forgot to mention about my $100 gunshow upper shown above that the scope is EXACTLY where I want the sights to be. It is the best handling/sighting AR I've ever seen as the sight line is about 1/4-3/8" lower than the sight line on normal iron sights, and it gives me a perfect cheek weld. It's now shooting .22LRs so well that I wish it had iron sights on it, but I can't figure out how to make that work.
1. Can't get a front sight on the cut-down gas block without welding, which I can't do.
2. Can't get a picatinny gas block in the .625 diameter of the A1 barrel.
3. Replacement A1 FSB would put the front sight up where I don't want it. I'd go that way if I have to, but requires spending $$$ and I'd like to keep this a low-buck deal.
4. Regular carry handle won't work on the upper. The block on there is taller.
1. Come up with a front sight that attaches to the top/front of the upper handguard, maybe by bolting/riveting through a vent hole. I'm thinking along the lines of an M1 Carbine front sight with the barrel band cut off it (I like the GI sight picture). Rear sight could also be M1 Carbine rigged up some way to clamp into the rear Weaver rail groove.
2. Another option would be to make me a rail out of aluminum or steel or maybe even some kind of strong plastic that would replace the Weaver base and run out over the handguards. To this rail I'd affix the sights at each end, again maybe M1 Carbine sights. The whole setup doesn't have to be milspec strong as I'm interested in using this with the M261 22LR conversion and would most likely sight it in for 50 yards and leave it alone.
Anyone else got any CHEAP ideas?
i bought my first ar(a sp1 colt) for $450....................................in '82
I'm in the middle of building it right now. I just purchased a full 16" upper minus gas tube and handguards for $170 shipped from this website. I just bought a gas tube $8 and handguards $15. Ameetec lower for $100, A2 buttstock $20 and lower parts kit for $40. Grand Total on working Ar15........ $353 !!! Gotta love that!!!