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Posted: 5/19/2003 9:15:35 AM EDT
Hey guys!

I currently have an AR with a floated 20" SS bull barrel on it:


Shoots great with a cheapie 4-16x40 Simmons Blazer scope (sub-MOA with Q3131A, sub-1/2MOA with Fed GMM), but is too damn heavy to be anything but a dedicated bench rifle.

Here's my dilemma: I would like to do something along the lines of an SPR upper to go on this lower (ie lighter, more versatile, just as accurate or better). But I need to keep the budget reasonable; no way I can afford the real thing like MSTN sells, nor would I appreciate the quality of such a product doing what I do with it (punching paper at 100-300 yards). Re-using any components of my existing upper would be a possibility, otherwise that upper would get sold to help finance the SPR build.

So, I welcome any suggestions from anybody that's done a "poor man's SPR" project - what float tubes, scopes, barrels etc did you all end up with? How should I tackle my project?

TIA!

Link Posted: 5/19/2003 11:09:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2003 11:10:01 AM EDT by davkenrem]
If you want the SPR look, you can have your barrel turned down to a more comfortable contour, Kurts Kustom does this all the time. Also Kurt does a Free Float Tube that is significantly less expensive that the PRI Carbon Fiber. I'd lose the scope mount you have and get the ARMS #22M rings. You might need the High Rings for your scope. And Kurt cvan also make a Arms full length Rail work with his tube. I personally think the full length Rail is one of the best aesthetic components of the orginal SPR. Also Young MFG. Makes a Float Tube Rail Combo that gives the overall look of the SPR with the small rails at the front. I had one. I think I paid 175.00 for it. I eventually sold it and got all the PRI stuff. I had a heavy 20" Barrel like your and I had it turned down in front of the handguard for the PRI front sight.It's still pretty heavy but mine only sees the safe and the range. Here are a couple of pics of both versions. Version 1.0 [img]http://davkenrem.net/myspr.jpg[/img] Version 2.0 [img]http://davkenrem.net/sprcloseup.jpg[/img] I have a 1:8 twist barrel. With Black Hills 75grain bullets I have had 3/4 and 1/2 in groups. I don't shoot it enough to get it any tighter. I'm sure it will shoot better than that. Once I get back to work I will buy some .223 dies for my Dillion RL550b and load some 77gr Matchkings. Just to see how she does. I can ring a 5in steel plate at 300yds all day long as it is. Only other thing I might do is, if and when the AW ban expires and it looks good that it will. I will have the barrel cut down to 18" and get the OPS INC suppressor collar and 2 port brake. and Hopefully a suppressor too.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 8:42:45 AM EDT
I keep thinking about doing something along the lines of an SPR. Like you shooter, I don't have the funds for the top shelf stuff like MSTN sells, although I wish I could get one of their uppers. Here's what I'm thinking about for the upper. 1) Rock River Arms flattop upper, w/ s/s 20" hbar and weaver gas block. These are options from RRA. 2) Olympic Arms Firsh handguard. 3) Some type of rail, maybe ARMS #38 or if they sell it, the one that you see with the PRI handguard. 4) Bushmaster flipup front sight. I don't remember the price I worked out last week, but it wasn't too bad. These are just my ideas this week. Next week they may change. I know it isn't going to be an exact copy of an SPR, but it should do what I want for the money I can spend on it. Scott
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:32:16 AM EDT
watertower: Thanks for the reply; I couldn't believe that NOBODY else has built an SPR-type rifle on the cheap. I plan to have the railed FF tube (not PRI), flip-up front & rear sights and ARMS scope mounts on *whatever* SPR configuration I end up building. Where the big cost difference comes in is the barrel. I wonder if a CLE 18" SPR barrel from MSTN would show markedly superior performance over a Wilson 20" SS HBAR, with me on the trigger? Like I said, I can shoot sub-MOA groups (sub-1/2 with match ammo) with my current SS bull barrel; how much tighter do I realistically want or need?
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:43:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2003 10:35:51 AM EDT by TheRicker]
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 12:20:30 PM EDT
Shooter, I'm sure the CLE barrel is great, especially if you go with the brake and have the option for a supressor. I figure a 20" s/s barrel from RRA will be good enough for me. In the future I may have my dad or a friend port it or machine a brake into it. Ned Christiansen has done some sweet ar15 comps that are machined into the barrel. Check out www.m-guns.com Thericker is right, you quite possibly will be able to reuse your free float tube by just adding rails to it. That would save you at least $100, probably more. It sounds like you have a good barrel, maybe you should see about having it turned down. If I ever get this rifle put together, I'll be thrilled to shoot sub MOA groups. I'm not much of a rifle shooter. Scott
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 4:03:34 PM EDT
Just had another thought on this cheap SPR. Why couldn't we take an aluminun free float and drill a few holes in it, then attach rails like you see on the PRI or the one shown on the ADCO site? I'm not trying to take away from what good companies are doing, but I can order an aluminum tube from almost anywhere for around $60. It would give the serve the same basic function for attaching a bipod, grip, etc. If it gets to hot then more holes could be added to help dissipate heat. On a side note, is it possible to buy the ARMS rail that I keep seeing on top of PRI handguards as a separate item? If so, anybody no where they can be had? Scott
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 5:57:19 PM EDT
I say just wait and save up some cash, and by the time the full length SIR comes out, you should be able to afford one. Of course, that may not be the cheap way to get the SPR look, but one can dream, right? Also, I've been thinking of gettin one of those Vltor stocks, like the rifle clubfoot. Probably look pretty sweet on an SPR set-up.
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