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Wanting to build an AR and need some help.


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Since the recent purchase of my XDs .45 and Beretta PX4 compact 40, I have caught the gun and shooting ...


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Old 02-21-2014, 11:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Wanting to build an AR and need some help.
Since the recent purchase of my XDs .45 and Beretta PX4 compact 40, I have caught the gun and shooting bug. I've always loved firearms and hunting, but now it's gotten bigger. I would like to build an AR and have no idea where to start. I've researched parts and different websites with steps, but not sure which direction to go.

What I would like to have is a rifle I can have fun with on the farm shooting targets as close as 10-15 yards, to something I could use for hunting deer. Possibly something I can swap out firing pins to change calibers for plinking with cheaper ammo. I like the tactical appearances, with a rail to possibly add accessories. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Also, if you have websites with good prices, easy to follow steps, or anything else you feel I need that would be great.


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Old 02-21-2014, 11:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I've thought of this as well. I'd be interested in what the guys post in here!


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Old 02-22-2014, 12:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Go for 1:7 twist barrel if you want to shoot deer and you're going to stick to 5.56. The handle the heavier loads better than a 1:8 or 1:9. I personally had a S&W m&p15x, before I tragically lost all of my firearms in a freak canoeing accident.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Gotta watch those damn boating accidents....


OP, to begin your build (if you decide to go this route over buying a complete off the shelf rifle) you need to buy a stripped lower receiver. You can not get this piece via mail, it has to be bought via a dealer. You can usually find them at gun shows from several distributors. You will need a few specific tools if you go forward with a build. You'll need an AR armorers wrench, torque wrench, upper vice block, bench vice and a set of roll pin punches. That should be about all, off the top of my head.

By building it piece by piece, you can control cost and spread it out over time. Don't pay more than about $120 for the stripped lower. You can usually find them between $80 and $120, when people aren't gouging. Try and find CMMG, Spikes, LMT and DSA lowers. Next comes the lower parts kit or LPK. This will have all the pins, springs and trigger pieces, etc. This goes from about 80-150 bucks depending what else you want in it. You'll then need a rear stock and receiver extension (sometimes called a buffer tube), buffer and buffer spring. That should round out the lower.

As for the upper, you're really not going to simply drop in a firing pin and barrel to swap calibers. You can swap uppers easily however. So say you want a 22lr dedicated upper, that's simply popping the 2 takedown pins and putting on the other upper. You can not get a .308 ar and pin on a 5.56. I've only seen 1 specific maker where this capability is interchangeable.

Building them isn't terribly hard, just need some time and a few specific tools. If you were closer I'd help ya out. Let me know if you want more info.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I appreciate your help and the info about pricing. As for the upper, can the swap be done for a 308 and 556 like it can to a 22? Also, what are some pricings I should expect to see on uppers?


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Old 02-22-2014, 09:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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5.56 and .308 are not interchangeable on a single lower. .308 requires an AR10 style lower while 5.56 requires an AR15 style lower. Different designs. You can, however, use a single AR15 style lower for uppers in calibers like .300BLK, 6.8SPC, 6.5 Grendel, .458 SOCOM, .50 Beowolf, .22LR. Just make sure the caliber marked on the lower is "Multi" and you're all set.

For a quality lower I'd suggest Mega Arms.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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All lowers are now machined at only 3 places. All are milled from T-7075 aluminum. This was not the case in the past but it is now. The only thing different from lower to lower is each companies mag well design and roll marks. Cosmetics aside, all new uppers and lowers are essentially the same. The exception is polymer lowers. Stay the hell away from them. So, unless you have one in mind for looks, just buy the cheapest. Also, if you can find blems you can save a lot more money. It's an AR. It's supposed to be blemished. Have fun.


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Old 02-22-2014, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by VolsRam View Post
I appreciate your help and the info about pricing. As for the upper, can the swap be done for a 308 and 556 like it can to a 22? Also, what are some pricings I should expect to see on uppers?
The Colt 901 is the only rifle that can swap from 7.62 down to 5.56. I've never handled this rifle and don't know how well it performs that function.

Colt 901 Modular Carbine .308/.223 – New Gun Review – LE901-16S


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Old 02-22-2014, 12:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Am I really saving money by doing a build myself instead of buying a completed gun? I understand that accessories will cost money, and that would be the same case for both scenarios. But if you have a strictly stock AR that can function and fire like it needs to, what is the cost saving I would see?


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Old 02-22-2014, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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you can build a functioning ar for right around $600 if you hit the deals right. Once you start customizing the price can raise quickly


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