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Posted: 12/31/2005 7:20:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 7:23:04 PM EDT by Lovesguns]
Alright guys I have been browsing this place for a couple days and there are so many opinions that Ill never decide on anything... so Im asking for a little help.:) Kind of an annoying itch that has been growing for a few weeks and within a month Ill have just enough cash set aside to hopefully purchase my first AR-15.

So lets say for $600 is it possible to peice an M4 style carbine together with a few goodies like the front grip and maybe a couple 30 round clips? Please if you guys could give me some links or if youre a dealer give me some prices. I dont care about color match other than I want an all black rifle so any upper/lower receive combo that is sure to work together is all im after I guess I should also add Ill be adding a red dot scope later on and like the look of the flat top upper. And I have no problem assembling the rifle from scratch and Id actually prefer a kit with no preassembled parts.

Thanks guys and I look forward to reading your responses!
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 7:30:52 PM EDT
Gonna be tough to do it on $600.00.
Maybe check the used AR Used parts section of the EE to gather up some of the necessary parts to save you some money.
Good Luck with your project.
TS
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 7:45:32 PM EDT
Ill have to look around I guess but the problem is I really dont know what the necessary parts are for building an AR from the bottom up. Only must have items are the ones listed in my original post forgetting to mention a collapsable stock.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 8:43:46 PM EDT
first off, Welcome to the site!


second, they are "mags" not 'clips'

then, $600 will be cutting it kinda close, your best bet is to wait around and scour the EE for good deals on parts and build it piece by piece....

if you front another $100, you can get the whole AR kit ASAP--$530 for a 16in AR kit from del-ton (industry forum), +~$89+FFL fees for a stripped AR lower (EE/industry forum--lots of dealers)

h/w, you could also get (now) a LPK ~$60, M4 spec stock ~$60(get the GOOD brands (lmt, rra, etc), NO chicom/import crap--you will thank me later), stripped AR lower=~$250
that leaves you: $350 to find a used AR upper in the EE, that may or might not come around soon, or just save up another $100 and get a complete RRA upper from eaglefireams.net (industry forum)

stick w/ USGI mags, stay away from chicom/imported accessories or parts

good luck
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 10:29:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 10:30:36 PM EDT by Stickman]
Is it possible? Yes, but highly doubtful that you will be able to do it.

The trick to building cheap is to accept good buys when they come up, and not with getting stuck on the idea of it being a M4.



I've also got to ask how much building you plan on doing? Do you already have the tools?

Check around at look at JT Distributing kits and their website. It may give you some ideas.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:16:07 PM EDT
Deals that can help you get closer to the $600 mark.

RBPrecision is doing a deal on blemished Superior Arms lowers. They also have a "first time builder" lower parts kit for a very good price.

Also check out Del-ton. They have a discount for arfcom members.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:50:54 PM EDT
ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=21&t=311790
Here's complete lower for $210. It has the old style stock which is a little less expensive.

www.eaglefirearms.net/ef_upper_assy.htm
Eagle Firearms M4 upper here is $429. So you're at $639, a little over... if you could go with an HBAR upper instead of the M4 barrel you'd save $29, putting you only $10 over (plus shipping on the upper and FFL transfer on the lower)

All new, good quality stuff and almost makes your budget. Spend the extra $10-39 and get good stuff.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:20:34 PM EDT
Easy on $600 - it CAN be done:

$99 - DPMS (Good Stuff) Lower + FFL Fees ($20 - don't pay more)

J&T Ditributing (Good Stuff) - sub $500 - get 20" barrel - more accurate, steel is fine

- OR -

$50 - A2 Stock & Buffer tuber, used - doesn't matter

$250 - $350 - Upper Assembly, used - this could get sketchy - high mileage, abuse, idiots - but you could get a cool deal....

$75 - Trigger Kit - New, single stage - Colt, DPMS, etc... (good Stuff) 2x $$ for match grade 2 stage - J&T Dist Kit comes with a Colt

I have done it 3x over the past 4 years - the J&T 1:9 20" shot 1/2 MOA @ 50 yards - yes, that's 3 holes a total of 1" apart - all good shooters.

Factor in ammo and mags - only buy USGI mags. I get 'em as wore out and used up as possible - thw wear parts are easily and cheaply replaced. DON'T BUY CHINA KNOCKOFF MAGS!

hug.gif
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:31:28 PM EDT
From another post:

Just my .02........

My first AR platform was an M16A2 that I carried as an Infantry Rifleman / Security Forces Marine while in the USMC. I often find myself comparing the quality of civilan AR15's to the quality that I came accustom to on the Colt M16A2.

In my opinion DPMS and Olympic are junk (owned both, and during the numerous Tactical Carbine courses I have attended over the years DPMS, Olympic, Modle 1 Sales, home brews, parts guns, and other tier III manufacturers guns tend to go tits up at a MUCH high rate than quality manufacturers). I have owned several Eagle and Armalite AR's and none of them have impressed me.

For the last decade I have been a Bushmaster type of guy. That being said I currently don't recommend them. Over the last 12 years I have owned 20 to 30 Bushmasters. What I have noticed with Bushmaster is when the demand for their guns are high, their quality really suffers. I really noticed this pre and post Y2K and pre and post Assault Weapons Ban Sunset. In the last 18 months I have purchased 4 Bushmasters. All 4 had to go back to the factory for different quality control / reliability issues. Some of them even had to back to the factory more than once.

I have seen some problems with LMT (uppers not true, etc), not many, but enough for "me" not to purchase from LMT.


Currently I recommend and use Stag Arms (aka CMT), Rock River Arms, and Colt. I would give a definate edge to Stag (CMT) due to the price and features (mil spec buffer tube, covered firing pin on bolt carrier, etc). I recently purchased 2 Stag guns, and the upper to lower fit is superior to any other gun I have on hand (Colt LE6920's, Rock River Arms, Bushmasters, etc)


Here is a post I wrote on another thread on another forum in reference to Stag Arms:



Just my opinion, but during Patrol Rifle classes, SWAT Carbine classes, Carbine classes that I attend, and Tactical Carbine classes that I help instruct, I see more problems with guns that have parts made from several manufacturers.

In a recent carbine class one guy had a complete Olympic lower with a complete Colt lower and another guy that had a complete Bushmaster lower and a complete DPMS upper. Both guys had trouble with their guns. All the factory complete guns were running fine.


Here is a quote from a student who had a gun with a different upper and lower come to a Tactical Carbine class and his gun went tit's up:

"This rifle had previously been part of some sick frankenblaster, and after some bad experiences with it at a Tactical Response Carbine Course, and some sage advise by our own Jeff Carpenter, it has been restored to its core factory components. "

See the entire thread here: getoffthex.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/182106881/m/396100896

I just wrote this for a friend who live here in Colorado and had planned on getting a Colt LE6920 once he got back from Iraq:


I've got 3 Colt LE6920's and I paid around $950 each for plus $100 to have Ken Elmore at S.A.W. do his reliablity upgrade on a each gun.

CMT is Contentinal Machine and Tool (not to be confused with LMT Lewis Machine and Tool). CMT and Stag Arms are the SAME COMPANY. CMT / Stag is the sub-contractor who makes Colt's uppers, lowers, etc, and they also make the same parts for Rock River Arms.

I had heard a lot of good things about CMT / Stag and have had the chance to check out quite a few of their guns recently. I am very impressed with the fit, finish, qulaity, and features on the Stag Arms guns.

When comparing my Colt LE6920's to factory Stag Arms M4's here are the only difference I noted:

-Stag has a 1/9" twist barrel, the Colt a 1/7" (but both have the Colt M4 feed ramps). Barrel twist is a non issue as most of us shoot 55 grain to 62 grain ammo 99% of the time.

-The Stag finish was about 1 shade darker, you had to look had at both and be in direct sunlight to tell the difference.

-The Stag has a Colt mil-spec buffer tube, but has 6 positions instead of the 4 on the Colt buffer tube....Because Stag makes Colt's buffer tubes, they are the same spec....Both Vltor and LMT SOPMOD stocks will fit perfectly on the Stag tube.

-The Stag handguard only had 1 heat shiled.

-The Stag has a M16 style bolt carrier that covers the firing pin. The Colt has Colt's nuetered bolt carrier group. I prefer Stag's bolt carrier group.

If you got to www.stagarms.com they only offer 3 different carbines and 1 20" flat top AR15A3. On Stag's website the guns start off at $900 and go up. NONE of Stag's dealers (that I could find) carry COMPLETE Rifle / Carbines. BUT many of the dealers carry COMPLETE UPPERS and COMPLETE LOWERS (you just have to put the upper on the lower and close the pins).

www.eaglefirearms.net in Brighton, CO. carries the COMPLETE Carbine lower for $215 and the COMPLETE M4 upper (no carry handle) for $429. That is $644 (plus tax, shipping, and transfer fee....still under $700) for a COMPLETE M4 carbine, that is pretty much the same thing as the Colt LE6920. Excluding tax, shipping, transfer fee, you can buy 2 Stag M4's for the price of the average LE6920 (average civilian price on a Colt 6920 is $1250 to $1350).

I just bought 2 complete Stag Carbine's (minus the barrel). I'm putting Rock River Arms mid-length barrels (custom countoured for me by ADCO Firearms) on both guns.

The way I understand it is, CMT has been in buisness as a sub-contractor for well known quality AR15 manufacturers for quite some time (Colt and Rock River Arms). In 2003 CMT came out with a "retail" line of their own and named it "Stag Arms". Don't quote me on this but from what I was told some time ago, it's a father / son team. Dad runs CMT while son runs Stag Arms.


You can NOT beat the quality or the price. A COMPLETE M4 carbine for $644 ...... you can't even build a piece of shit parts gun for that.....It's a NO BRAINER.....there should be NO REASON for me to see another DMPS Upper / Colt lower, or Colt Upper / Olympic Lower, or Model 1 Sales Upper / Bushmaster Lower, or just a parts gun in general at a class ever again!!!

Good luck

Link Posted: 1/3/2006 4:15:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2006 4:16:29 PM EDT by rideage]
for sure possible.. I just put my first AR togeather (M4).... got stock for $26 shipped...stag lower from eagle firearms for $163 (shipped &transferd) and a compleat Del-ton upper off the EE for $355 shipped.... total $544 plus another $30 some for three mags to start with. from what I have seen in my relitivly short time here, thats not too bad.
Jim
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:00:20 PM EDT
It CAN be done. If you look for deals here and there you CAN do it.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:05:39 PM EDT
Very possible through a number of channels..

Del Ton offers a complete rifle kit for not much money if you go with the A2, it's $455 + shipping for the complete kit(with stock and lower parts). Just add a lower and you are good to go.

Now..

I used building a cheap rifle for my dad as an excuse to spend the money on a good action block and armorers wrench, so the rifle I'm building him will have a complete upper for $350 shipped with a new M16 BCG, lightly used Bushy 1x7 Chrome lined barrel, lightly used RRA flat top. Add another $50 for the carry handle, $50-60 for the LPK and $100 for the lower and you got a complete rifle, and this one will come out around $550-575 for a complete flat top rifle with a chrome lined barrel, depending on where I get the stock(probably a used one off the EE).
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:32:14 PM EDT
I had originally thought about building my first AR myself too.. well let me shed some light from what I discovered...
1. AR's are a BITCH to put together from the ground up for the first time
2. There are more than a few quality makers but they will cost you
3. You have no idea how much of a bitch of an undertaking you want until you buy your first AR and realize all there is to it.

I was in the same position about a year back, lucky me i just went out and bought a bushmaster M4 A2 after the ban ended for about $850... so its not much more than you got now, Bushmaster is top of the line (with respects to you non-Bushmaster fans) in my opinion. Or, like what was stated above, just look for a used one.

I wanted to get a Bushmaster complete M4 upper with 16" barrel, flash supressor and bayonet lug which was $645, the lower, which with a 6-position stock, will cost you $ 339.00. BAM! you're already at over the cost if you just bought the damn gun to begin with. Yeah, you can go with cheaper lowers, but keep in mind the quality of the product for what price...

In my opinion, I'm glad I waited to understand the AR parts scene alot more before building a rifle...
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:59:51 PM EDT
I did it. My lower is all Stag and was done for $195, NIB. The upper was a used M4gery with bunches of Makers involved, and it only cost $385. To date, it has seen 1000 rounds fired through it with no malfunctions whatsoever, and that includes a lot of Wolf ammo. It's not been to a class, but I feel confident.

You'll have to shop around, but there are used uppers out there that will be practically new and perfectly good for range or defense.

That being said, I'm in the market for a second AR. This one will be a midlength gas system to take advantage of the 16" of bbl that most makers offer.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 6:04:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jonathon:
Very possible through a number of channels..

Del Ton offers a complete rifle kit for not much money if you go with the A2, it's $455 + shipping for the complete kit(with stock and lower parts). Just add a lower and you are good to go.

Now..

I used building a cheap rifle for my dad as an excuse to spend the money on a good action block and armorers wrench, so the rifle I'm building him will have a complete upper for $350 shipped with a new M16 BCG, lightly used Bushy 1x7 Chrome lined barrel, lightly used RRA flat top. Add another $50 for the carry handle, $50-60 for the LPK and $100 for the lower and you got a complete rifle, and this one will come out around $550-575 for a complete flat top rifle with a chrome lined barrel, depending on where I get the stock(probably a used one off the EE).



+1
I buit mine from their 16" kit and their stag lower under $700, but i got a bunch of bells and whistles.
I highly recommend Del-Ton
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 6:29:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MasterChief-M4:
Yeah, you can go with cheaper lowers, but keep in mind the quality of the product for what price...




There's many high quality lowers out there that are $60, $80, and $100 less than what Bushmaster wants (retail) for their lower. Stag, Superior, Mega, Ameetec, RRA, DPMS, Eagle Arms, and a handful of others that I can't remember right now make lowers just as good as any lower Busy is kicking out the door. The LPK's migh fluctuate, but that's because they all get them from big sub-contractors. They don't make the LPK's in-house. Stocks are also sub-contracted. Ever notice that RRA and Bushmaster stocks look identical excpet for the little snake or text? They both use the commercial buffer tube as well, not the mil-spec tube.

Bushy isn't infalible. None of them are. But there are plenty of quality manufacturers out there as well, not just Bushy.

WIZZO
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 6:33:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MasterChief-M4:
I had originally thought about building my first AR myself too.. well let me shed some light from what I discovered...
1. AR's are a BITCH to put together from the ground up for the first time
Only if you have to build the upper, the lower is EASY to assemble, and can be done with under $15 in tools
2. There are more than a few quality makers but they will cost you
A lot of these makers you are refering to overcharge for their stuff(if you were to build a Bushy, it'd cost the same as a new one). Research, research, research and you'll find you can still get the best quality for not much money.
3. You have no idea how much of a bitch of an undertaking you want until you buy your first AR and realize all there is to it.
Again not true if the upper is assembled, and even then..



Well actually..

My first AR15 ever is my pistol, assembled myself with the exception of the upper. Ultimatly you don't save much assembling the upper unless you get a screaming deal on the barrel assembly. Lower assemly was the easiest thing I've put together in a while.

I'll be assembling my first upper in a week or two, but reading up on it, with the proper tools it will be easier than the lower(and no damn springs), but we'll see. I'll definatly make a post on it here when I get it done.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 9:41:33 PM EDT
I built my first AR upper and lower, the only thing that was put together for me was the bolt/carrier but I tore it apart to understand how it worked anyways. Honestly it was pretty easy, the hardest parts were getting the front takedown spring detent installed and getting the gas tube past the little lock ring spring. For the lock ring spring I just used a small flat head screw driver and moved the spring tell I got a place for the gas tube to go in and I used that same screw driver to hold down the detent so I could get the take down pin installed. It’s really easy with the info on this site.
I think I could have done the build for 600 if I did not want the 2 stage trigger and the flat top upper with carry handle. one thing to remember with your build is don’t cheap out on parts, I was talked into a tapco carry handle and I had nothing but problems with it, first it was cheap as hell and second it would not hold a zero, thanks to C&S Gun works I now have a Colt carry handle and it shoots so nice now . The place that I bought the tapco POS exchanged it for a nice Yankee hill railed gas block.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 11:38:33 PM EDT
model1 kit

blemished lower
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 6:58:34 AM EDT
Check out these guys for a Stag Lower

http://www.title2.com/Stagarms.html
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 7:02:37 AM EDT
Check out these guys for a Stag Lower

http://www.title2.com/Stagarms.html
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 7:15:19 AM EDT
I CAN DO IT!!

I can get you all new stuff to build a M4gery for less than $600, go here to JSESURPLUS .
She sells most of her stuff for almost dealer costs. Pick out what you need for a M4 and you will be way less tha
$600..........
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:08:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 10:31:49 AM EDT by ieatpriests]
I have also been browsing this site for a while and would like to purchase either a kit or an inexpensive complete for <$800. I am looking for a plinker that could be used for rabbits, other small game and perhaps antelope and deer.

I prefer longer barrels of no less than 18" and would like the AR to resemble somewhat of a hybrid of an AR-10 and an M4. I also much prefer the flat top and would like iron sights for a bit. Most of my firearms expience is with Ruger 10/22s and Remington 721s and 700s so I don't necessarily think that I'll be able to assemble it myself.

I checked Del-ton and was unsuccessful in finding an AR kit (?). Will keep looking there.

As with "Lovesguns," I am uncertain where to start and what parts would suit my needs best. Any ideas?

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:22:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ieatpriests:
I have also been browsing this site for a while and would like to purchase either a kit or an inexpensive complete for <$800. I am looking for a plinker that could be used for rabbits, other small game and perhaps antelope and deer.

I prefer longer barrels of no less than 18" and would like the AR to resemble somewhat of a hybrid of an AR-10 and an M4. I also much prefer the flat top and would like iron sights for a bit. Most of my firearms expience is with Ruger 10/22s and Remington 721s and 700s so I don't necessarily think that I'll be able to assemble it myself.

I checked Del-ton and was unsuccessful in finding an AR kit (?). Will keep looking there.

As with "Lovesguns," I am uncertain where to start and what parts would suit my needs best. Any ideas?




For a first AR..

I would get a complete upper receiver...

and assemble the lower.

What is wrong with a 20" flat top with A2 handguards for a starter? Get a carry handle and you are ready to rock with iron sights, and then can later put some sort of optic on it if you want.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:25:39 AM EDT
These guys on Sturm seem to be selling everything but the lower for $450. It's the older vietnam style handguards, but add $100 for a lower and you'll be at $550, leaving a few bucks left for a few mags.

Disclaimer: Just saw the ad, no business relation to the seller on that ad.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:37:11 AM EDT


What is wrong with a 20" flat top with A2 handguards for a starter? Get a carry handle and you are ready to rock with iron sights, and then can later put some sort of optic on it if you want.



Exactly what I was thinking.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:40:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 12:28:06 PM EDT by ieatpriests]
Okay, found the AR kit on Del-ton (20" Del-ton AR Kit).

What would you reccommend for a beginner barrel, etc.? Most of the other choices are dependant upon taste, rather than quality/durabitlity, correct?

I would also like rails on the handguard which, I'm guessing isn't possible on a non-vented FF tube? Is there a reason that I have yet to see a FF tube wih an M4-type buttstock? It seems as though most prefer a non adjustable stock with the longer barrels, especially with a FF tube...

Which flat top upper would suit my needs? Would I be better off with a muzzle brake or a flash hider?

I also would like oppinions on lower parts, gas tubes, gas blocks, and bolt and carriers if possible.

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 10:45:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ieatpriests:


What is wrong with a 20" flat top with A2 handguards for a starter? Get a carry handle and you are ready to rock with iron sights, and then can later put some sort of optic on it if you want.



Exactly what I was thinking.



I would highly recomend a Stag lower, or any other of the high quality lowers(Mega makes a good one too). Stag also makes a great lower parts kit for $60. Add a stock, and your lower is complete for around $200. You can also order the complete stag lower for about $200. Check with the dealers here on AR15.com, they have good prices, most of the time better than you can find on the internet.

I've done business with CMMG, and was very pleased. They have the upper you might be interested in for a decent price. Their quality is top notch, and they did me right. I bought the M2 for my pistol, and I couldn't be happier.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:50:41 PM EDT
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