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Posted: 1/11/2006 6:15:07 AM EDT
I'm looking to build a AR-15 . I really don't know where to start . Is it worth it to buy it allready assembeled or will I miss out on all the fun puting one together? I've seen a few at the gun store for around $719.00 223 w/ a 20" bbl and w/ flat upper. No scope on it but , fairly nice. Any ideas?
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:20:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 6:22:48 AM EDT by Gorilla]
Building an AR-15 from a parts kit is NOT difficult, and the rewards are big... you will have a total understanding of how the gun functions, you won't hesitate to replace parts at a later date, swap springs, etc. As for price, if you scrounge, and haunt flea markets and gun shows, you can probably save perhaps 30% (or more) off the cost of a new RRA or Bushmaster.

Go for it! You'll need an AR15 type of armorer's multi-tool, a set of good punches, a light hammer or press, and perhaps a vise + a torque wrench of you put an upper together from loose components rather than a complete upper 1/2.

For AR number 1, I'd recommend a good stripped lower, a lower parts kit, and the upper I'd probably go with a complete and assembled upper + carrier + charging handle.

The next step would be to build an upper as well as a lower. Or you can build another upper for your first lower, and have 1 lower + 2 uppers. At that point, it's crack, and you'll do more and more! The higher challenge involves machining a lower from a raw forging, but that does require machine tools and the knowledge to use them.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:22:00 AM EDT
Buy one first!

You're going to end up with several anyway. But if you buy one first, you learn the weapons system and how everything should function before you build your own.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:22:27 AM EDT
Welcome! Lots of CO members here, you‘ll feel right at home. Have you checked out the CO ARFCOM forum yet?

www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=8&f=20

I’d say hang out here in the BIY forum and read up on some of the previous posts. Your question is not uncommon and you might find the answer out there in a recent post!
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:32:30 AM EDT
Building one is not hard, and as mentioned previously will give you a good insight into how everything fits together and works.

However, for a first AR bear in mind the following:

1) You will more than compensate for the savings in building with the tools you will need to buy.
2) There can be problems in building, some self-built rifles can be difficult to get to function correctly.
3) It will take considerably longer to collect all the tools/parts than to just buy a new AR.

That said, you will want to get all the tools eventually, and there is more pride in the finished home-built AR to be had than just buying one from a shop.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 12:16:29 PM EDT
For your first AR build it from a kit.

In a kit you WON'T have to assemble the upper which requires special tools. All you will have to do is assmble the parts in the lower receiver which is pretty simple and only requires simple hand tool's and pin punches.

You can have the kit shipped right to you house no gun dealer/FFL invloved.

Good places to look for a kit are:
www.jtdistributing.com
www.del-ton.com
www.model1sales.com

Now for the stripped lower I'd suggest a Stag lower from Title II.
www.title2.com/Stagarms.html

Go over to Gunbroker.com to find an FFL willing to do the transfer for the lower. It has to be shipped to a dealer so you can fill out the background check paperwork. Look around while on gunbroker as different FFL fees vary from $10 to $25 or so.

I'd also suggest that you pick up a copy of the US Marine Corps M16 manual as it has all the info for assembly. Check GI Janes it's the best $6 you'll ever spend.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 5:12:54 PM EDT
i just recently purchased/built my first AR. i got an upper kit from model 1 sales with the upgrades that i wanted already installed. then i purchased a stripped lower from RB Precision (great people), i found them on ARFCOM. a buddy of mine had already purchased all the tools for his builds so that was not a problem. i used the post on the build it yourself thread to assemble the lower it was about a 4 on the difficulty scale. it was fun and rewarding to do-it-myself. it was even better when i shot it for the first time and had 0 problems with it. i hope that you have as much fun with yours as i am having with mine.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 5:54:07 PM EDT
Build it yourself! you may not save money but you will learn and you will have the tools you need to build your next one because once you build one you will not stop . The other benifit is you will have what most manufactuers will not build for you a CUSTOM RIFLE made to your specifications. If you have any problems with your build you have the best support group and advice here in The build it yourself forum . There is alot of experience lurking here willing to lend a hand a tool or advice. You cant go wrong with building your own if you plan on shooting it . For collector value just buy a complete rifle. Your first step is to determine what type of shooting you will be doing and that will dictate the best configuration of rifle or carbine to build.
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