Thread: Fun future AR-15 project
1/20/2014 9:19pm, #61
Also, with the money I saved on a BHW barrel I am thinking about upgrading to Geissele SSA-E and moving the ACT over to the other build."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
1/20/2014 10:08pm, #62
1/20/2014 10:34pm, #63"No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
1/23/2014 7:29pm, #64"No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
2/23/2014 9:57am, #65
My barrel is on its way (as are 400 rounds of assorted ammo to play with). I don't have an optic (probably going with a Primary Arms 1-6 initially), but did go with the Rainier version of the Diamondhead BUIS. It wasn't intentional, but I did end up going with mostly Rainier furniture. I also decided I wanted a more precise trigger on this build, so I swapped the ACT for a Hipertouch 24C. The parts I didn't use for this build won't be going to waste though. They are all better suited for my .300 blk build.
In other annoying news, I couldn't find an upper receiver block that worked with my leftie AR, so I ended up going with a geissele reaction rod to work on the thing.
At any rate, I should have everything here and ready to put together by next weekend."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
2/23/2014 4:48pm, #66
I have recently decided to build 1 or 2 AR's myself. I have begun my journey by purchasing 2 Palmetto State Armory lowers:
I did this based on the advice of a knowledgeable friend. Hopefully he was correct. I admit, I'm completely overwhelmed when it comes to the vast assortment of available AR parts.
So, does this company make quality lowers?
2/23/2014 6:05pm, #67
2/24/2014 7:12pm, #68
2/24/2014 9:49pm, #69
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Maryland, near DC
Second the vote for PSA - good place, good stuff. They can be slow to ship, but they're a small operation.
And their deals on lowers are incredibly frustrating for us in the DPRMD who, since last October, are banned from purchasing so many more things...
I'll leave that alone now, it just gets my blood pressure up.
But I did get one finished lower before the ban hammer so I've been following this thread - maybe this year I'll build up my boomstick, so keeping current on parts and manufacturers is helpful.
2/28/2014 1:47am, #70
First build complete!
I finished my first build. I actually took crappy cell phone pictures as I went through the process, but it's late and I don't feel like uploading them all right now. Will try to get to it later.
Final parts list, in case anyone cares:
Hipertouch 24C trigger w/ light springs installed (2.5ish lb trigger pull)
B.A.D. CASS ambi (long right side, short left side)
B.A.D. Enhanced pivot/takedown pins
Troy ambi mag release
Troy ambi bolt catch
Troy extended trigger guard
KNS anti-roll pins
PWS Enhanced Buffer Tube (blemish)
Magpul CTR stock w/ extended recoil pad
Stock buffer spring
Stag lefty upper
Stag chromed lefty bolt
Stag chromed lefty bcg
Blackhole Weaponry 18" standard profile rifle length gas barrel, shot peened black
SLR Rifleworks DA-7C adjustable low profile gas block
WMD Nitromet rifle length gas tube
Rainier Raptor ambi charging handle
VG6 Precision Epsilon Muzzle Brake
Rainier Arms Evolution 15" Free Float Rail System
Rainier Arms Diamondhead Flip up BUIS
This has been a fun process so far. I can see why people get addicted to building unreasonable numbers of these things. Really hoping to get some range time this weekend, but it appears that the bulk ammo I ordered to break the rifle in won't be here until Monday. May try to find 100 rounds or so locally to at least play around with.
I do have a few lessons learned from this adventure that I think are worth sharing with the group:
1.) Building a precision rifle on my own was in no way, shape, or form cheaper than buying one. Due to the fact that I wanted a lefty upper, I had to be picky about gunsmithing tools and that drove cost up. That said, to mod one that had 85% of the features I wanted would have required all the same gunsmithing tools, so I think I set myself up pretty well for future tinkering. Regardless, tinkering and assembling this rifle was incredibly fun, and really gave me something to look forward to while dealing with a really horrible fall/winter full of illness and death in my family. I learned an enormous amount about the firearm I have carried in combat, and honestly feel like I am a more well-rounded Soldier for it.
2.) Putting together an upper is a lot easier than I expected. I cleaned and lubricated all upper parts before install, so I think that helped. I anticipated installing the barrel to be a serious pain in the ass, but it was actually very easy. The barrel slid right into place on the upper, and the barrel nut was generally well behaved and easy to torque to spec. I attribute this to lubing the barrel, barrel nut, and upper correctly with aeroshell 33ms.
3.) The gas block (SLR DA-7C) slid on pretty easily and seems to be placed/timed properly, but I won't know for sure until I test it with some canned air (not to mention getting it dialed in to function optimally).
4.) The accu-washer system I got to mount the VG6 Epsilon made installing and timing said Epsilon fairly easy, and should keep it from causing any funny business later on. I had to loosen and tighten a few times to get it timed properly, but it seems to be pretty decent right now.
5.) The Rainier Evo FF rail system was pretty easy to install, but the instructions that come with it and the online tutorials don't go as in depth as they maybe should (specifically RE: the small set screw that opens the rails up to easier slide over the thermal bushings). I did have to do some minor tapping with a nylon hammer to get the anti-rotation tabs fully seated against my upper, but nothing too crazy.
6.) The Geissele reaction rod helped A LOT. Given that I don't have a dedicated work bench and thus had to build a rudimentary mount for my bench vise, this puppy paid for itself tonight as far as I'm concerned. It allowed me to completely assemble the upper in less than an hour, and the results are far more professional than I believe I would otherwise have gotten. Especially since most vise blocks don't accommodate lefty uppers.
7.) Folks: Grease your roll pins prior to inserting them. Turns that semi-harrowing task into a snap. And use electrical tape anywhere you can to avoid scratching your AR.
8.) I went with the Hipertouch 24C because I wanted a nice trigger that was a little different from the ones offered by Geissele or the new AR Gold trigger. I'll have to shoot it to verify, but the dry firing I have done leads me to believe that it is an amazing single stage trigger, with a very light, crisp pull and a short, noticeable reset. Feels sort of like a plastic 1911 trigger.
Overall, I'm sure my headaches with this build are just starting, given that I tried feeding 3 different types of match grade ammo I bought for accuracy testing down the road and 2/3 did not load correctly from the magazine (69 grain SMKs and 75 grain Hornady match did not feed properly. 77 grain Remington loaded and extracted/ejected like a dream, oddly enough). Once I applied extremely liberal lube and manually cycled the action a few dozen times, I was able to cycle rounds out of a magazine successfully. Extraction is positive, and does not appear to mar brass excessively for an un-broken in gun, but I can tell I am going to have issues with this bolt being sticky, at least until I get a couple hundred rounds through it and the rifle settles down.
One final thought: AS I MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY, THIS WAS NOT AN ECONOMY BUILD. Please do not take my love of fancy things to be an elitist attitude toward more plain "workhorse" style carbines. I built this rifle specifically to be sub-moa out to 100-200 yards, and "minute of steel" plate out past 400-500 yards.
Last edited by Cassius; 2/28/2014 1:51am at ."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal