Build or Buy AR-15?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by ReginaldPFisticuffs, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. ReginaldPFisticuffs

    ReginaldPFisticuffs New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I'd really, really like to put together an AR kit, but my brother-in-law (policeman) says its really not worth it and to just buy a Rock River. While I cannot deny that RR has great quality, I'm always looking to save money, plus I enjoy putting things together. Has anyone on here put together an AR before? What would you recommend? I was considering a Del-ton parts kit, which would end up saving me a couple hundred bucks over the RR. Any other kits worth checking out or should I just spend the money on an already built gun?
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    with the price of AR parts, youd be better off to buy one already built. Id grab a DPMS or a RRA. Get one already built and customize it.

    I priced a build for an AR10 for a friend of mine and it came out about 400 bucks more than hed spend on a DPMS LR308 set up the same way.
  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Its almost cheaper to buy one now days. I have a dealers license and I built one for 800 and it was bare bones. Without a license you would be looking at around 950 to 1100. You can buy a SW M&P or a DPMS entry level for around 675.
  4. ReginaldPFisticuffs

    ReginaldPFisticuffs New Member

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  5. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

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    I'm going to build ours, but thats just me.
  6. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    I built mine for like $650..........

    $125 Rock River stripped lower
    somewhere around $450 for a Del-Ton complete upper kit........(chrome lined barrel, m4 feed ramps, chrome bolt assembly) ...it came with the complete upper, and all the pieces to build the lower

    the rest was random parts and shipping.....

    I think you can still build a cheap one of you really take the time to find good deals.
  7. Ledslnger

    Ledslnger New Member

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    Oh, I think you can build a cheap one. I missed someone breaking in their cheap one out at the range a while back, guess he blew the receiver in half and luckily wasn't hurt. If you build one find quality parts on sale, don't buy the cheapest you can find...at least I wouldn't. I honestly think you are better off buying what you want, but if you want the experience of building it go for it.
  8. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    By the time you buy the accessories on that model, just buy it out right. 8 position stocks like that run in the 150's on their own. The shop I work at has a RRA Flat top used for 720. You add what they have on that gun as far as stock, handguards, sighs and 2 mags. Its a good deal what your looking at there.
  9. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Even if you come out even (no savings), I would still build. It was just a really fun project for me.

    You can get a stripped lower to your FFL for $87 from Palmetto State Armory. That's a great place to start... it's like a blank canvas.

    If you found a model that has everything you want, then you can just buy that one. I never found such, so I chose to build. I would make the same choice again.
  10. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Intended use defines this.

    I have an EOTech on mine, and I love it.

    If I were trying to shoot really small groups, it would be wearing something from Leupold or Nikon.
    But since the real reason I have it is to shoot varmints on run, the EOTech is the perfect choice. Very quick to get basically on target, and it doesn't take a "good" hit with a 5.56 to end a raccoon almost instantly.
  11. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  12. H-D

    H-D Active Member

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    This is an awesome deal!
    I was planning to build one at tax time and the 2 you have posted are the ones I have been looking at but they are cheaper than building it myself Maybe I could order one and have yall take it apart and send it to me that way I built it ;)
  13. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Because of RRA's solid reputation for reliability and accuracy, I just put together my first AR starting with a stripped Armalite lower that I bought at a local gun store for $130 OTD, then installing all Rock River parts including a complete RRA 16" mid-lenght A4 upper. With only a MBUS sight on the rear using the A2 irons the basic functional AR came to $815 with 1-30 round magazine. I figure I saved maybe $100 by installing the parts in my lower myself over buying a complete rifle. Optics, mounts, tools, ammo magazines and plenty of ammo will all be extra costs to consider in your AR purchase

    As long as the stripped lower is mil-spec., cast aluminum it becomes nothing more than a beauty contest over which roll-mark you like the most. They are mostly the same otherwise. The parts you put into them are far more important than the alum. shell that holds them. If I were you, I'd go for the one that costs the least and has the best availability in your area. The lower is the only piece of the AR that requires transfer through a FFL holder (gun dealer). The rest of the AR parts can be bought on-line and shipped directly to you.

    You mentioned Del-Ton, I don't have any of their products, but I believe that you will get a solid value out of a Del-Ton rifle. People who have them seem to think they are great. They were my second choice after RRA.

    There are plenty of other good choices for manufacturers, I think there are something like over 140 different folks currently putting out AR's. In any case, good luck with getting your new AR, keep us in the loop.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  14. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    ReginaldPFisticuffs.....................those are great prices on those guns. Also, this is from a reputable member on the forum.

    I enjoyed building mine, but it did take me several months to find good deals on the parts I wanted.
  15. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    [​IMG]

    In October I was shopping around looking at ARs. A friend pointed me to an Introduction Offer from Palmetto State Armory on their 16” 5.56, M4A1 Hammer-forged, chrome lined Patrol Carbine. I read the specs and was impressed. I drove over to their store and took a real close look at it. It followed me home.

    [​IMG]

    After the first range trip, I decided to make some changes to it. I added an Aimpoint 3x Magnifier and switched out the forearm grips for a Daniel Defense EZ CAR 7.0.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s a close up look at optics and changes. I think it enhances the package. I haven’t messed around with an AR since I retired from the military in 1993. But one thing is for sure, this isn’t my old military issue M16-GAU.

    You can of course build your own package or get a basic one and make a few additions.
  16. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    depends on what you want.

    Do you want a plinker rang gun that you can feed any number of wolf through it and it runs.

    or

    Do you want a highly accurate precision rifle for varmint hunting? Or something else.

    If you buy right and get the cheapest of everything for a range fodder gun they are cheaper to build.
  17. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Buy AR-15

    Buy AR-15 , to many aftermarket parts not up to standard.
  18. pkcgbifaid

    pkcgbifaid Member

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    You haven't said anything about your mechanical knowledge of firearms or specifically the AR. The platform is pretty easy to completely tear down and reassemble... IF you know the right proceedure and all the tricks. And while it CAN be done with standard punches and tools, there are a few special tools that make working on them MUCH easier. So unless you or someone you know has all the tools, then you have to consider those costs on top of the cost for all the parts.

    Are you planning on building the upper too or just buying one pre-assembled? Because there is another whole other batch of tools to buy if you want to do it right.

    My suggestion to get the best of both worlds would be go ahead and buy a rifle pre-built. Become familiar with the mechanics of it, how it works and how it all goes together. THEN start buying your aftermarket parts and build up the rifle to how you want it. Nothing saying you can't have one lower and multiple uppers to fit the situation... shorter carbine length for competition and a long heavy barrel for any varmint hunting you want to do.

    I'd go Eotech for optics... I really like mine.
  19. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    We only build on forged aluminum receivers, no cast receivers. Actually, I don't know of many cast receivers out there. The big thing to look for is 7075 series aluminum vs 6061. We will not build on Plum Crazy or any other polycarbonate receiver.

    All of the internals are exactly the same as virtually all of the other manufacturers, including Rock River (same contractor makes them all). Our upper receiver is the same as used by Yankee Hill, Wilson Combat, etc.

    We check each gas key and restake if necessary. All uppers are gauged, headspaced and test-fired before leaving our shop.

    We can build any configuration of AR15 you might want. We have filled several law enforcement contracts for patrol rifles, SBR's and select-fire carbines.

    We are factory direct with Noveske, Yankee Hill Machine, Midwest Industries, Krieger, etc.

    We also build AR15 rifles with side-charging upper receivers, perfect for scoped rifles.
    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=96930
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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