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Posted: 5/29/2003 12:43:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/29/2003 2:02:00 PM EDT by darkknight9]
Next question from the depths of lurkerville:

Please tell me your experiences with assembling ar lowers and parts kits. No uppers, barrels, etc. Just your time spent (in bliss or frustration) putting together the foundation for your ar's.

Please include: 1)Where the lower came from/maker, 2)Where the lower parts kit came from/maker, 3)Length of TIME it took you to complete, 4)Your satisfaction level/usage of the lower today.

Please refrain from bashing, smashing, slanting, hazing, ribbing, poo-pooing, flaming, or otherwise hurting one another with the "a is crap, b is better" talk, I am trying to get a genuine feel for what I will (hopefully) be getting myself into soon.....

Thanks!

(Edited to add: Bashing etc. about Hesse Products mostly overlooked. I can't even get the man to talk to me via email, much less a phone call about his products.)
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 12:54:43 PM EDT
Lower was Eagle Arms, kit was Armalite, both from Quantico Arms. 30 minutes to assemble. Very satisfied, function every time. MM419
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 1:04:47 PM EDT
I'll try. I've build 7 stripped lowers. 3 Forged PWAs 1 cast Hesse 2 Cav arms. 1 forged bushmaster Lower parts mostly came from M&A parts and the Equipment Exchange. My first build took about 1 hr (not counting the 2 hours it took to find the front detent that shot across the room, and I did find it before I went completely crazy). It now takes me about 20min-30min. I will try to resist bashing, but the Hesse receiver was the worst built ever. It took 3 days. I had to deepen all of the holes and file the take down holds bigger to get the holes to match up, they were so out of spec. It was a nightmare. Cav lowers take a little time too. Some springs need to be snipped, but they go together pretty good. Satisfaction. I am extremely satified with the PWA lowers, they all run very well. The bushmaster was nice but it had the most play between the upper and lower, I sold it. The cavs are nice and tight and I have been happy with them. I've had a few minor problems that will soon be cleared up when the 2nd gen lowers are ready. I don't think I would buy another complete AR it's a great satifaction to build it yourself and be able to customize it how you want. I believe you will have an extremely pleasent building experience if you get a good forged lower. -RRA -Eagle arms (armalite) -bushmaster -Mega -PWA -there's probably more that are good also
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 1:36:29 PM EDT
Built my 9mm carbine using all rock river stuff, took me about 20min or so,,,wasnt even able to finish my corona....didnt have to fiddle with anything at all anfd the upper/lower fit is tight and solid....underdog
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 3:44:28 PM EDT
Stripped Bushmaster lower, Knights 2 stage trigger, Magpul M93 stock, Bushmaster parts on the rest of the lower, Samco G27 grip. Took about 3 hours total. The hardest part is driving in the roll pins without scratching anything up. If you have something to center and hold the pins its a cinch and could be done in about 30 min to an hour max your first time. With experience and the right tools about 20 min.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 3:45:04 PM EDT
I have built or rebuilt using many AR receivers. Bushmaster, Eagle Arms, DPMS, Olympic, and Colt. 1st olympic was a preban and went together well, 2nd one was a factory rifle that I ripped apart and rebuilt. It had a tight mag well, but is now fixed and refinished. Bushmasters and Eagles went together without a hitch. Colt had funky pins, but worked all right. My DPMS is an older preban that I rebuilt. It was really tight upper to lower fit with everything except for the receiver that came with it. Too tight to push the rear pin through. I had to do some stoning on the lower and refinish it, but it fits everything I own now. It is the one I shoot the most. I take it in to the woods when I go scouting too. I would have sent it back to DPMS, but when I called them they wanted to charge me for the work because the rifle was too old to be covered under warranty. I am happy with the finished project. I have helped a buddy put one together on a Armscorp, but he did the work, I was just moral and technical help. It went together well. Parts kits came from many different people. Model 1 kits sometimes needed springs cut and parts fitted. Bushmaster and DPMS parts dropped in 100%. ASA parts where all out of spec and required lots of fitting, this was back when they where sun valley and maybe things have changed. Olympic parts are pretty good, but I got one trigger that was supposed to be Olympic that was a FA trigger with a bead welded in the back to make it legal. 1st rifle took maybe 45 min, now I can barrel one up and put the lower together in about that time to an hour. IDHunt
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 4:04:49 PM EDT
Oh... I did once however get a undersized front pivot pin (in a Gunshow Lower Kit) that really caused slop between uppers and New Lower. Lesson learned, message to self. 1. Don't assume cause it's new it's perfect. 2. Get and become comfortable using measuring equipment. ie dial calipers, dial indicators and micrometers. 3. Have eyes checked and get light with magnifing glass in it. 4. Take your time, don't attempt it in a rush. 5. Have extra detents and springs. 6. Try not to cuss. Have fun! MM419
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 7:23:58 PM EDT
6. Try not to cuss.
View Quote
You really had me on board until I got to that one! :) Thank you for the replies so far guys!!! This is great info.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 8:26:44 PM EDT
I have built a couple of stripped Colt postban lowers. Lower small parts were RRA from Georgia Precision. DMPS ambi safeties, Accuracy Speaks trigger and hammer. Went together in about an hour with no cussing. Be sure to mask areas that may be scratched. I use fiberglass reinforced packing tape or a high quality fabric tape, like duct, but stronger.
Link Posted: 5/29/2003 9:32:12 PM EDT
I built a J&T kit with a Bushmaster lower. Total time spent putting it together was about 40 minutes, tops. No problems, no difficulty, no tools I didn't already own (and I don't have a huge tool chest). The fit between the upper and the lower was VERY good, and the finish matched well. Level of difficulty for anyone that can change the brakes on their car: on a scale of 1 to 10, a 3. If a person doesn't know what a pad or caliper is, then perhaps the difficulty for them would be 7. I'm going to be putting together three AR's later this year with my kids, ages eight and ten. They will enjoy it, will learn from it, and our lowers SN's are all going to be sequential. I'm sure it will be a good experience for them, and one they'll remember always.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 5:47:13 AM EDT
One...so far. Eagle Arms lower J&T kit 90 distracted minutes All parts fit like a glove, finish was flawless. I would rate this lower (not having any previous experience, mind you) on a scale of 1 - 10 as a 10. Sure the next one (?!!) will be under an hour.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 6:38:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 6:40:06 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
First was an Oly lower and Oly parts kit. About an hour, mostly just fiddling. Since then I have done quite a few, with more lowers from Oly, Essential Arms, PWA, and DPMS. No issues with any of these lowers. Parts kits were from Oly, DPMS, J&T, (and now defunct) Lone Star Ordnance. No problems with any of these, either. Most recent lower build was about 15 minutes. Last rifle I build completely from parts, the upper was separate parts, too, took under an hour. Actually, it takes me much more time for mounting scopes than I do building rifles.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 7:39:01 PM EDT
First (and only build, so far)... Eagle Arms stripped lower from Quantico Arms (bought from a guy here locally that had it for sale) 16" CAR kit from J&T Distributing Lower went together in about 45 minutes (while I was watching my 2 year old daughter) Had one detent go flying...the pivot pin detent. Lucky for me though, it flew up, hit the ceiling, and came down and hit me on the top of the head, and bounced onto the table right in front of me. I have only got to shoot about 50 rounds through it so far, but I am very satisfied with it. Just wish I could find another stripped lower here locally!!!
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