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Posted: 9/26/2003 7:49:13 PM EDT
I am considering adding my first .223 AR to my collections (already have a DPMS .308 AR) and I need a little direction.....(posted this on the hometown board but have not gotten any responses yet)..

I have pretty much settled on a heavy barrel that will allow me to put a scope on top or use the peep sights (probably a flat top with removeable handle &/or site). I would like a 20 to 24" barrel, stainless). Regular stock. Added sight block on front for a post site when using the peep site (can you use a spare gas block with picatinny rail on the front?).

First do I want to build or buy finished? As a hobby a number of years ago I built 1911 style guns for use in IPSC & Pin shooting. Built some muzzleloader and slicked up actions on single action rugers. So I am not a novice to gun work, just never worked with the Semi-Auto
Chuckers in rifles before.

Next, who should I look at for parts? I have been leaning toward DPMS cause they are located close. Any thoughts there would be helpful?

Finally if I go the "build" route what is the $100 federal fee and who do you pay it to and when?

My ultimate goal is to end up with a rifle I can use for paper punching and occasional varmint hunting using a scope, then pop off the scope attach the handle (or rear sight) and front site and set up for military matches they have locally. So I need something that will meet both requirements.

Some direction would be helpful.....

Thanks... DonT

Link Posted: 9/26/2003 8:29:04 PM EDT
My first build was a DPMS LO-PRO upper w/ DPMS bolt group, and a custom "KRIEGER" .920" muzzle diameter 20" stainless steel 1-9 twist cut rifled barrel. Had a Free Float DPMS tube, and a "SOCOM-DIAMOND" Clear finish Lower Receiver. Also had a J.P. Enterprise 3.5 lb single stage fire control package and speed hammer setup. Oh yeah, also had a VAIS muzzle brake blended into the barrel (work was done at KRIEGER, couldn't tell it was threaded). I sold this to fund my M4 (gery) build, which has a 16" Krieger Barrel (1-9, chrome-moly, cut rifled of course, .720 at muzzle.) Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 6:33:19 AM EDT
Finally if I go the "build" route what is the $100 federal fee and who do you pay it to and when?
View Quote
There is no fee to build a rifle. The government just doesn't want you building rifles for resale at a profit. You can build it for your own personal use free of government fees. The only reason I would build an AR-15 instead of buying a complete rifle would be to put something together not currently marketed by the manufacturers. It appears that what you are wanting (stainless-barreled A3 upper) is readily available from various manufacturers.
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 6:41:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2003 6:42:27 AM EDT by FMJunkie]
Well, unless you are looking to actually machine your own lower, there is no fee for building up a rifle. (I don't know that there is even if you did cut your own) You will purchase a 'registered' lower from some FFL and go from there. (the lower is the firearm, the rest is all just parts) Since you have settled on a heavy barrel and that you are referring to DPMS parts it seems you are talking about a 'big' bull barrel. In this case, I would say go ahead with 24". Have you decided on stainless barrel, chrome moly or hard chrome lined? I've owned all three. I defintely liked my DPMS stainless bull barrel. My Armalite stainless barrel performs flawlessly. I've had a chrome moly barrelled Bushmaster Varminter which also performed very well. Of course, the chrome lined barrels all perform very well too. I would recommend that you consider an Armalite barrell assembly or even complete upper. They come with picattiny rail gas blocks, which addresses one of your needs, and they are definitely top performers. As for a lower receiver (and upper if you don't buy a complete one), if you're going to the build-up route, I'd say go for the best deal you can find. Eagle Arms stripped lowers can be had cheap and are good stuff. Check out [url]www.quanticoarms.com[/url] for those. Rock River lowers are pretty cheap and widely available, check out Legal Transfers a.k.a. Pete in NH here on the site for those (check out the equipment exchange or the industry forum to find him). Also, these relatively new Stinger Arms/MEGA lowers seem to be decent and can be had cheap. I've seen one in person and they aren't bad. Lower parts kits are pretty standard. I prefer Armalite lower kits simply because they have always been perfect for me. You should be able to get them for about $60 including all lower internals and a pistol grip. Check out Quantico Arms for those as well. Other kits can be had, probably much cheaper, so go with what you feel comfortable with. Other accessories like carry handles, removable front sights, buttstocks, etc. can be found everywhere. Check out the equipment exchange and try to pay as little as possible for these. (Although, Armalite sells a removable front sight tower that mounts the rail gas blocks that works really well) Speaking in broad terms, that's about all I can think of... If you have any more specific questions, post them! I know someone here will have the answer.
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 7:16:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2003 7:20:04 AM EDT by Fruit_of_the_Looms]
It sounds like you have enough know-how and tools to assemble your own rifle. No problem there. It also sounds like you want something that is redily available from several manufacturer's. Thus [u]I[/u] wouldn't build one unless I wanted the experience of doing so. The Bushmaster Varminter is an excellent gun, but the gas block is shaved and you can't add a front sight to it. It's a scope only rifle. I think ArmaLite has rifles with the gas block grooved like the flat top receivers so you can add a front sight. Just about everybody makes flat topped rifles with the standard front sight base. Ooooppps. I just read your last sentence. If the military rifle matches you are thinking of joining in on are the NRA Service Rifle matches then you can not use a rifle with detachable sights or carry handle. The carry handle must be integral with the receiver and the front sight base nonremovable. If however, these are more informal shoots then there probably isn't any reason you can't use a rifle with the removable sight bases.
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 7:23:00 AM EDT
Given your experience, I'd definintely go the "build it yourself" route. Apart from the special wrench and action block there aeren't any special tools to buy. Re brand, there are a number of good labels out there. Take a look at the Rock River line. As between them and DPMS, I think RR does a little better job of finishing. I have rifles built on both brand lowers, and just got my second Rock River piece last week. Welcome to the AR "club". You'll enjoy it[:D]
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