Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Williamsport, Pennsylvania
    (Lycoming County)
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    Default Build or Buy an AR

    Hi,

    This might have been covered in another thread but most of the threads that I read were from a few years ago so things might have changed. I would like to have an AR style rifle and I was wondering if it is cheaper to build one or to buy an AR? I will be using it for plinking/target shooting. The features that I want are: 1.) 20" barrel with a front sight
    2.) A flat top receiver with a detachable carrying handle with rear sight
    3.) solid butt stock (not the M4 type collapsible stock)
    4.) My budget is $850.00
    Most of the AR's that I have been seeing in the shops have the collapsible stock and a 16" barrel (like the M4 carbine). I have the basic metal working tools (files, punches, screw drivers, grinder, drill press, taps, micrometers etc.). I have basic metal working skills and have done a few firearms projects in the past. Also being retired military I have had experience with the M16 and M4 rifles.

    Thank you in advance for your advise.

    Twister87

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    West Newton, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    Build it. I just made an M4 style AR for $604 for all new parts including shipping.
    Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    West Reading, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    buy the upper, build the lower. they say you need special tools for the lower, but really you just need a pliers, hammer, masking tape, and to not loose any of the pics or screws

    I did that and ended up with the exact rifle you mention, except for the stock. tell ya what, just buy mine!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    (Lycoming County)
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    Thanks for your advise. What parts do I need and were's the best place to get them? Is there an instruction manual for the assemble?

    Twister87

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    West Reading, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    you can buy the complete upper on here in the ammo/accessories section, or any number of places online.

    the lower you can pick up at your local store or from a FTF deal

    then you just need a lower parts kit (LPK) and that can be had online for around 50 bucks or so.

    there are a few you tube "how to assemble an AR lower" vids online, and AR15.com.

    I don't have the link handy for you though...

    PM sent, btw.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Dillsburg Area, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    Quote Originally Posted by Twister87 View Post
    Thanks for your advise. What parts do I need and were's the best place to get them? Is there an instruction manual for the assemble?

    Twister87
    PM SENT................

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    Quote Originally Posted by Twister87 View Post
    Thanks for your advise. What parts do I need and were's the best place to get them? Is there an instruction manual for the assemble?

    Twister87
    Depends on what "look" your going for. There are a ton of options.

    Check out these for parts:

    bravocompanyusa.com
    gandrtactical.com
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    If the police could confiscate all of your guns and ammo using just one van, then you didn't own enough guns or ammo.
    WTB - NDS3 or NDS1 receiver FTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Sigel, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    Building is a bit less, especially if you already have the tools. Installing the barrel on the upper requires a specialty tool or 2 but they aren't all that expensive. Once you start wanting parts that are generally nonstandard on a new rifle (flat top upper with an A2 style stock, for instance), it gets cheaper to build in a hurry.

    I just put together a distance shooter with exactly the parts I wanted. It came out to a good bit more than $850, but I selected quite a few expensive and unnecessary parts (Geissele trigger, Magpul stuff, free floated barrel, etc). I think if I was going for cheap I could do it for around $650.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    Take a look at 20" upper receiver from Bravo Company, BCM A4 style, $385:

    http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-M...urg-gov-20.htm

    With complete bolt carrier group $520. BCM is probably best value in a 20". All milspec+ Same or on par as Colt, FN, A2s and A4s. I have a BCM middy and it shoots like Lee Marvin in a foul mood.

    If this is a project gun to learn how to build an upper, and it is just going to be a range toy, well, so be it. However, if this is a defense weapon, unless you have experience as an armorer BUY IT, IMHO. If you are retired military then you should know how finicky M16/M4 family is, and how crappy some rifles end up after being rebarreled and rebuilt by armorers a thousand times.

    Assembling a lower is easy. However, if you do want to buy a lower, allow me to suggest http://www.lewismachine.net/product....14c1d792750356 for $330

    Buying, BCM A4 style upper + LMT A2 style lower total= $850. All top notch.

    2.) A flat top receiver with a detachable carrying handle with rear sight
    If you have a reason why you want a carrying handle, then feel free to ignore my suggestion, however I don't really see a need for one. You can put a fixed rear-BUIS, and have a much range of options, depending on what type of shooting you are going to do, and how much you are willing to spend.

    Anyway, Good luck.
    Last edited by panther76; July 22nd, 2010 at 04:11 PM. Reason: was thinking CMT

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Sigel, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Build or Buy an AR

    I like panther76's suggestions for parts. All top notch, especially for a $850 AR-15. I personally just put together my AR with a BCM 20" upper and it's pretty great.

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