Good info, thanks. Luckily, I consider this a budget build. Not that I don't have the cash. I'm $200 in and figure I can get a fully functional weapon for under another $300 if I'm careful not to get to excited about parts. My chief concern is that it works reliably, so if the carbine buffer is good enough, then I can forgo the extra $5-insanity prices on additional weight or crazy recoil systems. I'm not relinquishing my man card anytime soon.
Different strokes so I cant say what's best for you, but I...like many others...went cheap initially but then wound up paying for so many "upgrades" that I probably would have got off cheaper just buying what I wanted in the first place.
Originally Posted by submessenger
On the flip side though....I learned a lot doing my research and upgrading on my own.
I think it's hard not to go cheap at first to get a bare minimum working firearm in a hurry. Look at it this way: If it are like me and often seem to learn from breaking things, going cheap the first time might not be the worst idea ever. The only parts that I absolutely cannot stand to break are the lowers, since I currently live in a communist republik that will be banning AR15s in the next 24 days.
Originally Posted by tgace
Personally, I'm planning on buying nicer parts slowly. Or at least that's my plan until prices come down a little.
Several of my friends have asked me why I don't just buy a full rifle. Within about 5 minutes of assembling the lower, I was hooked - building this is about as much fun as (I hope) shooting it will be when it's done.
Originally Posted by tgace
And, the added benefit of becoming a novice armorer may actually save me money in the long run, too.
My collection of tools (which my wife thinks excessive) now includes a ball peen hammer, punches, and snap-ring pliers - all things that I've wanted, but have managed to do without in the past. I also picked up this neat AR multi-tool: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
So I did a cost estimate spreadsheet, and it looks like I can piece out the entire rest of the Stag AR15 build for around $800, and have basically everything I want in a rifle, minus the optic. I also have no idea which butt stock I want, but the generic blackhawk milspec will do for now.
Of course, if I wasn't wronghanded, I wouldn't have to fork over 600 bucks for a decent lefty upper like this:
A great source for "desirable features" on an M4 and why they are so:
You also save on 11% excise tax for buying a full rifle.
I'm getting complete stock kits in pretty soon, complete with buffer tube and buffer. It'll be under 90 bucks.
So, I'm looking at this BCG: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=366068581
It seems to have all the right buzzwords - MPI, chrome lined, staked gas keys... and, the price seems good. Opinions?
As long as you think the seller is legit and the item isn't just a marked knockoff Id go for it.
Originally Posted by submessenger
Well, I've gotten the first round of parts in and assembled my very first AR15 lower.
I did a few function checks and mag swaps using a friend's M&P15 upper, and it appears to be good to go. This bar none the most comfortable AR I have ever dry fired (thanks again to my friend for the loaner upper), so hopefully it will also be fun to shoot for real, once I get around to ordering the upper I've decided on -- notes on that below. For now, I thought I'd detail what I ended up going with. It is important to note that while I am not attempting to spend all the money, I am not overly worried about the budget for this first build. My goal is to create something that is basically mil spec 5.56, but comfortable for me to shoot. So here's what I've gone with so far:
Stag Arms Stripped Lower. You all know that already.
Stag Arms Ambi Lower Parts kit. The parts are really nice, but it ended up being a waste of money due to the fact that I ended up ordering so many extras. Next time I'll be a little more careful and go with individual parts, or an LPK - Fire Control Group.
Battle Arms Development Enhanced Pin Set:
BAD-Combat Ambidextrous Safety Selector:
ALG Defense ACT:
KNS Non Rotating Hammer and Trigger Pin Set
Troy Ambi Mag Release:
Troy Ambi Bolt Release:
Ergo 2 AR Grip:
And last but not least, the mag came from my friends at pdsrifles.com:
I haven't shot with these mags yet, but they work like a charm with my lower so far, empty and fully of 5.56.
Finally, I'm thinking about adding something in to give me a little more room in the trigger guard area, such as this:
I'm going to be straight with you: I've been firing right handed weapons for the better part of a decade. I have long since figured out how to work the bolt release and mag release as a left handed firer. The Troy doodads were just for fun. I'm def. going to keep the mag release, but I'm not 100% on the bolt release. The upgraded Pin Set and anti roll Fire Control Group pins are nice, but also not necessary, though they make things easier and nicer. The two MVPs of the upgrades I ordered from a plain jane LPK are the Ergo Grip and the ACT trigger. Incidentally, the Ergo Grip was recommended to me by the guy who stood up MARSOC's advanced sniper course, so . . . yeah. I just did what he said. MAGPULs CTR stock exceeded my expectations, and the the I Kick Hippies SLAP plate is both going to be awesome for transitions and a great conversation piece.
Onto the next portion of this gargantuan post. I've changed my mind a couple times about the direction I want to take the upper. I had it all figured out, then decided to go back to a piston system, since that would accomplish my goal of shooting left handed and not getting hit in the face with hot gasses also (what can I say, H&K416s will spoil you), and then decided to take a step back. So I thought about what I was going to do with my second AR15. And I decided I'm going to attempt to do a suppressed/SBR build in .300 Blackout, wife willing. So why waste my time on a 14.5" piston system, or with any of the carbine length options stag arms is offering in lefty. So I think I'm going to go in the opposite direction, but still get a lefty upper:
The reviews I've read of both the right handed and left handed versions are great. Also, keep in mind that I don't give a **** about the zombie apocalypse, so if someone tries to hijack my thread by berating me for wanting non-standard weapons with non-standard BCGs, I will strap them to a table, cover them in paper cuts, and dump lemon juice on them.