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Posted: 8/30/2015 6:16:30 PM EST
Unlike most of GD I'm not a billionaire, I don't have a 10 inch cock, although my lady is pretty smoking... Pictures have been posted before.

I have some nice AR and other rifle builds, all top tier components, but if I get the hankering to build a new gun, I just can't see pouring a couple thousand bucks a pop into another rifle unless it fills a truly unique niche. So, for the guy who has a really nice rifle or two, and is doing a budget build, where will you cut corners to keep costs down?

Bargain AR lower receivers?
Run of the mill LPKs?
Standard charging handles instead of BCM or equivalent?
No name BCGs?
Non-issue red dots like Bushnell, Vortex, or Primary Arms?
Generic furniture instead of more ergonomic options with better adjustments?
Cheap backup sights?
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:19:03 PM EST
Do not skimp on Bolt Assemblies or Barrels.

Try to stay high end for the lower receiver and LPK. The price difference between top and bottom is minimal, making it very wise if possible.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:21:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 6:24:13 PM EST by GrasshopperNOmore]
No optics. EE carry handle. Discount lower.

But honestly I wouldn't build a boring run-of-the-mill AR just for the hell of it. I'd spring for a neat pistol or cheap AK. Maybe a CETME or something like that.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:22:19 PM EST
I bought an anderson lower for my current build, probably won't again due to their stupid grip screw threads being a fucked up.

7075 extruded buffer tube, DD LPK, Palmetto upper, which is the FN barrel, with a 158 steel full auto carrier. Pretty okay build otherwise
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:24:13 PM EST
Lego lower
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:24:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 762moose:
Do not skimp on Bolt Assemblies or Barrels.

Try to stay high end for the lower receiver and LPK. The price difference between top and bottom is minimal, making it very wise if possible.
View Quote


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:24:50 PM EST
I "cut corners" on the upper itself, lower, parts kit, and buffer tube typically. And by 'cut corners' i mean i don't spend $400 on a piece of fucking inconel that's costs $15 to produce from anywhere else, like KAC does lololol. If it's 'mil spec', its fine. Hell, even 'commercial' spec is fine, its still fucking forged aluminum, that slab of concrete that tactical thomas is going to throw his rifle onto (to 'battle test it') isn't going to care what roll marks you have.

Triggers, sure ill throw money at geissele.. but the pins themselves? Roll pins are roll pins.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:25:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 6:26:19 PM EST by mizzarley]
I usually go cheap on everything but barrels and charging handles. I buy all the other stuff as blems or on sale. Now I'm saving for optics.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:25:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 6:34:32 PM EST by Bartholomew_Roberts]
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Unlike most of GD I'm not a billionaire, I don't have a 10 inch cock, although my lady is pretty smoking... Pictures have been posted before.

I have some nice AR and other rifle builds, all top tier components, but if I get the hankering to build a new gun, I just can't see pouring a couple thousand bucks a pop into another rifle unless it fills a truly unique niche. So, for the guy who has a really nice rifle or two, and is doing a budget build, where will you cut corners to keep costs down?

Bargain AR lower receivers?
Run of the mill LPKs?
Standard charging handles instead of BCM or equivalent?
No name BCGs?
Non-issue red dots like Bushnell, Vortex, or Primary Arms?
Generic furniture instead of more ergonomic options with better adjustments?
Cheap backup sights?
View Quote


Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
For recreational/hunting guns
Magpul MOE furniture instead of rails
Sometimes

The key part to that is I have a decent batch of spare parts now. I could break every bolt on every rifle I have, a BCG or two as well, and half the LPKs and be up and running before the day is out. Knowing I can fix it easy if there is a problem and that I have spares (both parts and rifles) makes me a lot more willing to chance the budget gear.

ETA: I've been pleased with the PSA stuff. Also, if you have enough LPKs, you can mix and match the parts to get some fairly decent triggers - some sets will be better than others.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:26:55 PM EST
I build cheap AR's.

I mostly use PSA blems for lowers, and as many of their build kits as parts. That saves enough cash to get high end upper, BCG, and barrel parts.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:26:59 PM EST
Lower, that's about it.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:27:17 PM EST
Cheap lowers are the best lowers.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:28:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Originally Posted By 762moose:
Do not skimp on Bolt Assemblies or Barrels.

Try to stay high end for the lower receiver and LPK. The price difference between top and bottom is minimal, making it very wise if possible.


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?


There are minimal differences, roll marks, additional features, etc...the 2 places I don't scrimp when building an AR are the barrel and the BCG, if you have money left over get a good trigger, other than those things..meh
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:28:38 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Originally Posted By 762moose:
Do not skimp on Bolt Assemblies or Barrels.

Try to stay high end for the lower receiver and LPK. The price difference between top and bottom is minimal, making it very wise if possible.


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?

Well, you know what, it really does come down to how much use you plan to put a rifle though (as always).

And, full disclosure, I was looking at something like a Spikes receiver as the lower end of the spectrum.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:28:50 PM EST
Lowers
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:29:45 PM EST
Places I would skimp?
Use whatever furniture comes with your kit
lower, Anderson is fine.
GI front sight instead of Tritium
Mid range red dots like PA or Vortex instead of high end.

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:31:35 PM EST
Spend your cash on FCG, barrel and BCG.

As long as everything else is in spec, I don't sweat it.

Obviously, you get what you pay for in glass.

Just my opinion.
(I spent a shit ton on a mega matched billet set with an mkm rail, so my opinion isn't really worth a Damn.)
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:31:54 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 762moose:

Well, you know what, it really does come down to how much use you plan to put a rifle though (as always).

And, full disclosure, I was looking at something like a Spikes receiver as the lower end of the spectrum.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 762moose:
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Originally Posted By 762moose:
Do not skimp on Bolt Assemblies or Barrels.

Try to stay high end for the lower receiver and LPK. The price difference between top and bottom is minimal, making it very wise if possible.


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?

Well, you know what, it really does come down to how much use you plan to put a rifle though (as always).

And, full disclosure, I was looking at something like a Spikes receiver as the lower end of the spectrum.


I've had lowers from the late 80s that have probably 20k rounds through them. I was the third and fourth owner on some of them. They seemed to keep going and going. Curious, what lowers do you typically use?
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:32:03 PM EST
I dont think I'll ever buy another complete AR again.

I'd rather build my lowe how I want it, then buy a nice upper.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:32:25 PM EST
Cheap lower. I built a lot of my guns on Essential Arms lowers and they are excellent and were about the cheapest at the time. I think they stopped making lowers.
If the lower works then you can stop worrying, unlike a cheap bcg .etc which will always bug you.
Keep standard furniture and don't freefloat, whatever you might spend on a freefloat tube invest instead in a nicer barrel and bcg. Down the road you can always install a free float tube.

Uppers and lowers can be an area where you are cheap. If they work then you don't worry about them again, if they don't well you should be able to get replacements.

A cheap lower parts kit isn't a horrible idea as you could always upgrade the fcg if you ever felt it was subpar. The springs and detents an things should hold up if they were even trying to make something decent.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:32:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 6:33:25 PM EST by gotigers]
I never skimp. I do find good sales and deals. I don't typically buy the most expensive brand names. There are very good parts without spending LaThousands of dollars.

I never buy unmarked bulk AR parts, especially at gun shows.

No reason to go cheap and no reason to buy the most expensive.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:36:08 PM EST
I just buy parts when they're on sale and it looks like a good deal. Eventually I put them together when I have enough.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:39:50 PM EST
imo you can cheap out on

lower
upper
buffer tube and internals.
upper parts kit.
LPK minus the trigger
GB and tube

basically everything but

barrel, bolt and trigger.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:40:46 PM EST
I'll spend more on a trigger than I do on the upper, lower and LPK combined, but it's worth every penny. I just can't stand shooting a gun with a horrible trigger. Even the cheapest Geissele is worlds better than what comes in most LPK's.

And to a lesser extent I'll buy a good barrel, doesn't have to be chrome lined, but it has to be accurate, and a quality bolt.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:41:52 PM EST
I guess I'm going to have to pony up for one of these super duper premium triggers. I've been using stock triggers for more than 20 years.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:45:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
I guess I'm going to have to pony up for one of these super duper premium triggers. I've been using stock triggers for more than 20 years.
View Quote


OP might have more money for AR parts if he didn't have 8974378 watches.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:48:29 PM EST
GD answer
I gets cheep barrels and bcgs and parts insyd because the people dont see dat shit.

Den i get airsoft parts for d rest cuz dey luk n feel jst lyk d real thang, why pay double?!

Serious answer
The cheaper I go, the more retro/kiss it becomes. I substitute USGI pattern parts for more expensive parts as needed. I usually skimp on furniture first.


Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:54:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MNSwede:
I bought an anderson lower for my current build, probably won't again due to their stupid grip screw threads being a fucked up.

7075 extruded buffer tube, DD LPK, Palmetto upper, which is the FN barrel, with a 158 steel full auto carrier. Pretty okay build otherwise
View Quote



I run a tap through the grip screw threads before every build... Makes life so much easier!

BTW, I've gotten the same amount of shavings out of just about every brand lower I've tried...

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:54:56 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
I guess I'm going to have to pony up for one of these super duper premium triggers. I've been using stock triggers for more than 20 years.
View Quote


I used to use whatever was in the LPK also. I bought a supressor and got a 200 dollar credit for sticking it to the man! With that credit I bought a Geissele G2S and went to CWW and obtained a SSA-E. I hate to shoot anything but the rifles with my Geissele triggers.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:00:13 PM EST
80% lower for $29. Everything else is middle shelf.

I build everything I can out of quality parts, used from the EE. I save a few bucks but still get a good rifle.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:02:18 PM EST
I just finished a budget build truck gun. Here are the places I saved money:

Barrel - There are lots of sub $200 4150 CMV barrels with Nitride, Melonite, or another similar finish. There's nothing wrong with just an old CMV barrel either. It will be more accurate than almost all chrome lined, at the expense of barrel life.

Handguard - You can still attach a light to a plastic MOE handguard. I ended up going with one of the offerings from ALG. It's light weight and does everything I need it to do. No complaints.

Back up sights - The plastic magpul sights work fine.

Receiver - Anderson lower and upper.

AIM has the DSA Milspec receiver extensions + buffer, spring, and castle nut for $29. They also have full BCGs for $90~$110. I don't have enough rounds down range to judge these yet.

There are some very good stocks now for under $60. I got the new BCM.

Optic - My "go to" rifles have Aimpoints, but I've had good luck with Vortex reddots too. I'm using a Sparc 2 for my budget build.






The biggest money saver is the box of spare AR parts we've accumulated over the years.


Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:03:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 7:05:16 PM EST by m6z]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By gotigers:
I never skimp. I do find good sales and deals. I don't typically buy the most expensive brand names. There are very good parts without spending LaThousands of dollars.

I never buy unmarked bulk AR parts, especially at gun shows.

No reason to go cheap and no reason to buy the most expensive.
View Quote


This. Some of my builds take months to gather all the parts. Figure out what you want and then buy when you find a good deal.

Btw, those Velocity 3lb triggers that are around $130 right now are quite the bargain.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:05:03 PM EST
Trigger. Although, the clean break of a G or RRA is very nice, the good old $7 GI trigger gets cleaner the more you shoot it and become part of you. The AR has a nice stock trigger, as far as utilitarian rugged guns go. It's beefy as fuck.

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:05:24 PM EST
... No paint
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:07:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By quick2k3:


OP might have more money for AR parts if he didn't have 8974378 watches.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By quick2k3:
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
I guess I'm going to have to pony up for one of these super duper premium triggers. I've been using stock triggers for more than 20 years.


OP might have more money for AR parts if he didn't have 8974378 watches.


Wanna by a watch? /opens trench coat
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:07:40 PM EST

BCG, barrel, and optics gotta be high quality.

The rest can vary based on what exactly you're doing.

I'd rather have good iron sights than a cheap red dot.

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:07:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 7:12:04 PM EST by Nameless_Hobo]
I like the RAS as an option for a handguard, you can pick them up for nothing if you don't mind them being banged up. I've also been known to skimp on shit like takedown pin springs. Don't spend the money on BUIS.

Basically, the things I want high end/milspec parts on: barrel, trigger, bolt/carrier, receiver extension, optics. Anything else is fair game as long as it's not Hesse level garbage. I don't care about having a pretty lower/upper, as long as the important parts are good quality.

ETA: Don't buy as many guns/sell your unused ones off. Use that to buy better barrels, triggers, and optics. That's the advice I give most people who want to look into saving money on guns. Those are the parts that give you the most bang for the buck in my opinion.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:08:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
... No paint
View Quote



I'll spot you the .97 for any color of Walmart's finest spray paint.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:09:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
I guess I'm going to have to pony up for one of these super duper premium triggers. I've been using stock triggers for more than 20 years.
View Quote


Not really it depends on what you are looking to get from the rifle, a range rifle 2-4 moa just use what ever trigger/barrel/bcg you want, if you want a target rifle you are going to have to pony up for at least a good barrel and trigger. It doesn't have to be a $250 or 400 trigger even a RRA 2 stage, which I have seen the EE for $75 is going to be an improvement for a target rifle over a GI trigger.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:10:49 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By g300d:
GD answer
I gets cheep barrels and bcgs and parts insyd because the people dont see dat shit.

Den i get airsoft parts for d rest cuz dey luk n feel jst lyk d real thang, why pay double?!

Serious answer
The cheaper I go, the more retro/kiss it becomes. I substitute USGI pattern parts for more expensive parts as needed. I usually skimp on furniture first.


View Quote

No one in GD types like that besides you. Just sayin...
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:13:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 7:14:20 PM EST by 444]
I use cheap receivers. Which I don't personally feel equals cutting corners. I have used receivers over again also. In other words, most of my current guns had a previous life in another configuration.

I also never put optics on a new build for awhile. I start with irons and eventually spring for optics.

One big thing is that after you do this for awhile you have a bunch of stuff lying around. You use this stuff in a build, then slowly upgrade things gradually. You buy a Geisile trigger. Now you have your old fire control parts for your next build......etc.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:13:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Cheap lowers are the best lowers.
View Quote
Yup. Stack them high. Anderson's are just fine. Just take the time to look them over. I have plans for 5 more next month......maybe 10.
20 receivers in addition to my current rifles should be enough?

Furniture is where I cut corners. A2 grip is fine. I don't need a fancy stock, just a solid telescoping stock.
Plain handguards instead of rails on every Rifle.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:14:13 PM EST
I've never had a problem with:

cheapo lower
no-frills LPK
standard phosphate BCG

Fancy charging handle is nice if you have a scope sitting there, but not really necessary if you have a red dot (IMHO)
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:16:56 PM EST
Spend your money on a good barrell and bcg. But AR parts are cheap right now.

Go nuts
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:17:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 7:18:26 PM EST by peligro113]
I can regularly do this



with a $400 Lilja barrel, good bolt, and a RRA 2 stage trigger all the other parts on the rifle are cheap.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:17:56 PM EST
A lower is a lower is a lower.
As long as it's in spec, then one doesn't have anything over the other (speaking of forged lowers).
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:24:02 PM EST
Build cheap rifle.
Replace parts with better parts.
When done, reassemble cheap rifle from parts bin and start over.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:26:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 7:29:01 PM EST by Doc_Hurley]
Anderson and PSA Blem lowers build just as well as a Noveske.
I've always used Mil-Spec triggers.
I do spend money on quality BCG and barrels, but I won't hesitate to buy a blem if its from a good company.
Must have a BCM or Raptor CH, personal preference.
If I'm not gonna be beating the gun to death, I'll go cheaper on the optics, which is rare.
Furniture is 90% something used that I pick up off the EE for stupid cheap.
I rarely put BUIS on a gun.

And take into account I'm not like most gun owners, I treat my guns like shit. I shoot the piss out of them, bang them around, drop them, only occasionally lube them, and very rarely clean them.

I don't really care what they look like, and so what if all my parts are mismatched in color? I'll just cover it in Walmart tan and green and call it a day.

Exhibit A



ETA: Exhibit B

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:32:16 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By peligro113:


There are minimal differences, roll marks, additional features, etc...the 2 places I don't scrimp when building an AR are the barrel and the BCG, if you have money left over get a good trigger, other than those things..meh
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By peligro113:
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Originally Posted By 762moose:
Do not skimp on Bolt Assemblies or Barrels.

Try to stay high end for the lower receiver and LPK. The price difference between top and bottom is minimal, making it very wise if possible.


Honest question, what difference does the lower make so long as it is in spec. Is a $50 stripped forged lower from PSA that inferior to a much more expensive lower like Spikes or Mega?


There are minimal differences, roll marks, additional features, etc...the 2 places I don't scrimp when building an AR are the barrel and the BCG, if you have money left over get a good trigger, other than those things..meh

I totally agree.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:35:04 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kinglou0:
Yup. Stack them high. Anderson's are just fine. Just take the time to look them over. I have plans for 5 more next month......maybe 10.
20 receivers in addition to my current rifles should be enough?


Furniture is where I cut corners. A2 grip is fine. I don't need a fancy stock, just a solid telescoping stock.
Plain handguards instead of rails on every Rifle.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kinglou0:
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Cheap lowers are the best lowers.
Yup. Stack them high. Anderson's are just fine. Just take the time to look them over. I have plans for 5 more next month......maybe 10.
20 receivers in addition to my current rifles should be enough?


Furniture is where I cut corners. A2 grip is fine. I don't need a fancy stock, just a solid telescoping stock.
Plain handguards instead of rails on every Rifle.


Andersons with the integrated trigger guards are my favorite at the moment. You get the winter style guard for free
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:36:33 PM EST
I buy used like new quality uppers. Whatever lowers. Stag LPK. BCM stock kits. So buying used uppers is where I cut corners.
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