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Posted: 11/5/2003 1:41:51 PM EDT
Ok everyone, I need some feedback. I am finally going to be building up a rifle. I can not decide which one to build. I am currently looking at the FAL's (stg 58 or G 1 config) or an AR (car-15 config, or as close as I can get).

Ok pros/cons on each. I do not have a kit as for either. Either one is going to be my b-day present (11-3) to myself (yippe).

I have around 500.00 to spend but I know I can suck up to my S/O for a little more.

Any prefrence as to kits,recievers,accessories and the such.

Any who to buy/not buy from.

I appreciate your time on the matter.

Thanks

Buzz.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 1:57:35 PM EDT
I will defer to the guys that have built AR's...I predict you will get an ear full from BookHound. He is probably composing an epic for you to read right now...
Though I do know who I will call when I start building myself one. I am probably going with an 80% lower...for the experience.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 4:11:36 PM EDT
Well we are working on a group buy right now for RRA lowers and uppers. I think we have the amount for the lowers and Im sure we can pull the uppers off as well. The striped lowers are going for $80 and the Complete upper (A3) is also going for $80. That will save you some money right there and they are great parts. You would be looking for a lower parts kit. Say $50 and a complete car stock for say another $65 or so on EE. Then its just the upper parts. Barrel, hand gaurds, Delta ring, gas tube, and some other parts like sites and such but you could pull off a AR-15 for close to $550 or so and have a really nice gun. If you like join us this weekend for the shoot at CE. You will get to meet most of us (the non gay ones) and have a great time. Im sure you can shoot some of our guns (mine if you like) and see what it is that you really want. I am meeting most of them for the first time also and with the wall test and the bowling pins (I did get them :)) it looks to be a fun time. ATLGA I got you a set for the living room!.

Look above and find the link for 11-8-03 and the directions are there. Its early in BFE but its a nice range.

LAter
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 5:40:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/5/2003 5:46:19 PM EDT by P806]
I've built several ARs and FALs. What ever you build buy quality parts and tools. I like building my ARs on RRA lowers and most RRA parts, except barrels, I'm of the 'go chrome' barrel clique. I do have a post ban RRA M4gery style barrel (chromed) and it is excellent in quality and accuracy. The rest of my AR's are of the standard length variety. I can assemble an AR in about an hour and it usually takes me several evenings to build an FAL due to barrel timing issues, head spacing and ordering a correct locking shoulder.

Tools for AR Build:
Big ass vise
Receiver block
Barrel wrench
1/2 torque wrench
Ball peen hammer and punches
Detent tool (or a big plastic bag to get in)
stock wrench
no go gauge
field gauge
loctite
anti-seize
Beer
Sense of humor, cause you have to order a new detent and spring

Tools for FAL build:
Huge ass vise
1 1/16 hand wrench
Huge ass breaker bar
Receiver wrench
Barrel vise
Pin gauges
Go, No go, Field gauges (I prefer Clymer)
Barrel shaving tool
Extractor tool
Front site wrench
Barrel timing tool
anti-seize
Beer
Sense of humor, cause you just timed your barrel perfect and realized you forgot the handguard ring...and...now you have to do it over.


Edited to add: When building the FAL, it's best to have a 1st aid kit available. I've had multiple contusions, slight abrasions, and minor blood loss while building them big dogs.


Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:19:02 PM EDT
I am ordering the rra lowers and uppers for a build where can I get the Detent tool?




Originally Posted By P806:
I've built several ARs and FALs. What ever you build buy quality parts and tools. I like building my ARs on RRA lowers and most RRA parts, except barrels, I'm of the 'go chrome' barrel clique. I do have a post ban RRA M4gery style barrel (chromed) and it is excellent in quality and accuracy. The rest of my AR's are of the standard length variety. I can assemble an AR in about an hour and it usually takes me several evenings to build an FAL due to barrel timing issues, head spacing and ordering a correct locking shoulder.

Tools for AR Build:
Big ass vise
Receiver block
Barrel wrench
1/2 torque wrench
Ball peen hammer and punches
Detent tool (or a big plastic bag to get in)
stock wrench
no go gauge
field gauge
loctite
anti-seize
Beer
Sense of humor, cause you have to order a new detent and spring

Tools for FAL build:
Huge ass vise
1 1/16 hand wrench
Huge ass breaker bar
Receiver wrench
Barrel vise
Pin gauges
Go, No go, Field gauges (I prefer Clymer)
Barrel shaving tool
Extractor tool
Front site wrench
Barrel timing tool
anti-seize
Beer
Sense of humor, cause you just timed your barrel perfect and realized you forgot the handguard ring...and...now you have to do it over.


Edited to add: When building the FAL, it's best to have a 1st aid kit available. I've had multiple contusions, slight abrasions, and minor blood loss while building them big dogs.



Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:26:04 PM EDT
98 toyota are you going to jump in on the group buy?
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:27:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 98toyota:
I am ordering the rra lowers and uppers for a build where can I get the Detent tool?




Originally Posted By P806:
I've built several ARs and FALs. What ever you build buy quality parts and tools. I like building my ARs on RRA lowers and most RRA parts, except barrels, I'm of the 'go chrome' barrel clique. I do have a post ban RRA M4gery style barrel (chromed) and it is excellent in quality and accuracy. The rest of my AR's are of the standard length variety. I can assemble an AR in about an hour and it usually takes me several evenings to build an FAL due to barrel timing issues, head spacing and ordering a correct locking shoulder.

Tools for AR Build:
Big ass vise
Receiver block
Barrel wrench
1/2 torque wrench
Ball peen hammer and punches
Detent tool (or a big plastic bag to get in)
stock wrench
no go gauge
field gauge
loctite
anti-seize
Beer
Sense of humor, cause you have to order a new detent and spring

Tools for FAL build:
Huge ass vise
1 1/16 hand wrench
Huge ass breaker bar
Receiver wrench
Barrel vise
Pin gauges
Go, No go, Field gauges (I prefer Clymer)
Barrel shaving tool
Extractor tool
Front site wrench
Barrel timing tool
anti-seize
Beer
Sense of humor, cause you just timed your barrel perfect and realized you forgot the handguard ring...and...now you have to do it over.


Edited to add: When building the FAL, it's best to have a 1st aid kit available. I've had multiple contusions, slight abrasions, and minor blood loss while building them big dogs.






The best and easiest detent tool is a razor blade. Bookhound will tell you the same thing.
If you are going to buy anything to use, buy the roll pin punches. They make a HUGE difference.

RRA is the way to go. GPSS and Adco have very good service and prices. You may want to consider a built upper. It's just as cheap and a hell of alot easier, plus you don't need the block.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:30:47 PM EDT
I bought mine from bushmaster.com or I think Tommy at georgiaprecision.com has them.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:37:55 PM EDT
I got side-tracked at work tonight. But, you will get my LONG response tomorrow.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:47:02 PM EDT
Ok great, that really clear up some things. About a clear as the 14th hour coffee at your local awful wafful house.

Ok I guess that I like wood on my rifles. You know that loveable material that looks great when done right and is well pain in the kiester to clean up and make look right. Just gives me the feeling that "Hey I survived a World War, fended off the commies comming across some damn parallel, and may have been dropped once or twice by some army who was afraid to use me. Other than that I need a nice home. Got one?" Or you can say "Hey it was not my fault. How did I know that they were loading my ammo with the wrong propellent. Besides, you need to keep me clean. Whats that, you were not issued the proper equipment and you missed the latest issue of "sweet 16", whats your major malfuncion. Can't you read a picture? And no it does not say "Mattel" ANYWHERE on me.

Sorry for the diatribe. Must be the left over halloween candy and multiple moutain dews.

Do they even make replacement furniture for the ARs in wood? Thought I heard of one place that did, but I can't seem to find any info.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:57:25 PM EDT
yes there was a post in the Ar forums somewhere that a guy found a wood set for the ar. I dont know. Ar's are the "black" gun and anyother color would not look right. I am going to paint mine but would never put nothing on it but the standard stuff.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 7:14:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ByteTheBullet:
I am probably going with an 80% lower...for the experience.


ByteTheBullet (-:



Yeah...right...you're just afraid of da man!
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 4:27:30 AM EDT
There has already been a lot of good advice given. However, until you tell us what you want to do with this rifle, we can’t really advise you. Best advice given so far is to come out and shoot with us. You can shoot FALs and ARs in different configurations until you find what you really want. Then go from there.

Before going too much further about the build, I need to ask some basic questions.

What is the primary intended purpose of this rifle? Plinking, home defense, a cool toy, a hunting tool, three-gun competition, all of the above?

At what ranges will you primarily be shooting this rifle?

Do you have any thoughts on optics?

I’ve never built an FAL or an AR upper. However, I have built several AR lowers and have researched complete FAL and AR upper builds.

The FAL build will be more difficult and generally requires more tools. Around here, many of us consider P806 the FAL build expert. If you have questions, he’s the man. Building an FAL will require “timing” the barrel. Attaching an AR barrel is a lot more straightforward.

Building a complete (upper and lower) AR requires some special tools, such as the barrel wrenches, vice blocks, etc. Building an AR lower is quite easy and requires few specialized tools. The only tools maybe not considered common are the roll-pin punches. You can do it without these punches, but they make the job much easier and help make sure you don’t mar the receiver. The razor blade “trick” chainshaw mentions is indeed the way to go. I’ve never lost a spring.

I think building the AR lower and purchasing a complete upper is really the way to go. Building an upper doesn’t really save you a lot of money, especially if you have to buy any of the special tools. If you know someone with the tools and knowledge, you will save some money. I just don’t think the few dollars you save is worth the time to build one and the opportunity to screw up something. Just my opinion.

I saved money by building lowers because I waited until I found good deals on the Equipment Exchange for things like buttstocks. If you buy a buttstock kit and lower parts kit from Bushmaster, you won’t save anything.

I only use RRA lower parts kits for my builds. I strongly agree with the advice to use quality parts. I also agree chrome-lined bores are preferable. However, depending on the rifle’s intended use, chrome lining might not be that big of a deal to you.

Many people have built rifles from kits and they seem very happy with them. Companies like Model 1 Sales, J&T Distributing and others offer kits, which include a completely assembled and head spaced upper, a lower parts kit and a buttstock assembly. It is everything you need, except the stripped lower. In fact, I am planning to build a kit gun in the near future to use as a “truck gun.” For some reason, I don’t have a problem leaving a kit AR in the car, but can’t imagine doing that with a complete Bushmaster or RRA. Maybe that says something.

Bottom line, if you’re just looking for something cheap to shoot at the range, a kit AR might be okay. If you want something that has a little better resale value and perhaps better quality, build a lower with RRA parts and buy a quality complete upper assembly.

If you want something with which you can tinker, go for the FAL.

Then again, if you really are just looking for something cheap to shoot at empty cans, an SKS might be just the thing. Plus, ammo is dirt-cheap.

Whatever you decide, we’re here to help you.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 4:28:41 AM EDT
I'd pay big money to see Byte try building an 80%. I'll even supply the beer.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 6:44:58 AM EDT
I'll bring the gauze, band-aids, and betadine!
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 9:04:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/6/2003 9:06:15 AM EDT by Buzzstrike]
Well my goodness. What thougtfullness. I have shot a few AR's and it seems to have a certain fun factor. The cost of ownership, feeding, and upgrading seem to be well with in reason. Mild recoil, availability of cheap ammo, fairly low weight and good at putting holes in paper where you point it. Personally I would love to have a AR-180. The new B's look the part but just don't have the feel of the older ones.

As for the FAL's I have only picked up samples at gunshow and shops. I have never fired one. I quess I can relate to the .308 round as having some kick to it from other people that have one. I hear it is almost a strong as my M-1. The look of the FAL's and the M-1a/M-14's to me show a linage of history. Ammo and parts/upgrades are somwhat limited on these rifles, but if I am to build my own, this is not much of an issue.

I would love to come out to the CE shoot this weekend, but doing that damn third shift at the airport really sucks. Whats worse it is smack dab in the middle of the work week. I guess I could come out for only a few hours to meet some of you guys, but I will not be able to bring anything with me.

I would like to have the oppertunity to throw some rounds out of a FAL. If some one can IM me the directions I will see what I can do.

Thanks again for the interest.

Buzz.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 9:26:23 AM EDT
You can find directions on the CE 11-0803 shoot just below this post. Bookhound has posted all the info about it there. I also would like a FAL but as of right now not in my war chest. Hope to see you there.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 9:33:02 AM EDT
Buzz, if you can make the range even for only a little bit, you are more than welcome to shoot my FAL, ARs and whatever else I may bring.

Magazines and parts for the FALs are plentiful and cheap. The surplus ammo isn't too bad on the wallet either.
Link Posted: 11/9/2003 4:40:32 AM EDT
I would have to say the shoot at CE on the 8th was definatly a fun time. I do appreciate bookhound letting me burn through a few mags on his kick ass STG 58, AR, and his new SA 1911-A1. Thanks to all of the other guys who let me put some round down range with their toys.

Greatly appreciated.

Will definatly have to bring some of my toys to the next shoot.

Now I have to decide what to build/buy.

So how close does a FAL and a CETME feel?

Please drop me a line.

Buzz.
Link Posted: 11/9/2003 6:12:43 AM EDT
Go for the FAL. I built my G-1 and have 2 Coonan receivers on the way for building a STG-58 like Bookhounds. That DSA is a really quality weapon. I bought 2 G-1 kits, 1 Imbel kit and the STG kit. Expect to spend $200 on tools, including the ARS book and video. I also have 2 AK kits. Buy a completed rifle or expect to get addicted. Bookhound, was that the Nikon scope on your FAL?
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