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  1. #1
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    Default Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Ordered a stripped Stag lower from my local range (not the best price, but convenient), and now I'm thinking about what to do with it.

    When I get it, I think I'll first file a Form 1 and pay the $200 tax to build a SBR. Anyone here know how long processing a Form 1 takes? The SBR will be LLC-owned as I am in Philadelphia. Once I get approval and have the lower engraved with my info, I'll order the other pieces.

    I don't think I want to invest in the tools I'd need to assemble an upper, so I'm looking at complete uppers from the likely candidates, at least those that sell uppers with 10.3" barrels, such as CMMG. I doubt that I'll add a suppressor. With .223 supersonic loads it won't do that much good and subsonic .223 is not that useful. Maybe I'll do a later 9mm build to use a suppressor.

    This will be a "fun at the range" gun and, an imaginary (I hope), SHTF gun.

    There are quite a few options, though, that are hard for a newbie to sort out. I do plan on some sort of red dot optics, but no scope. Lots of choices. Thoughts?

    Front Sight Base/Gas Block Option:
    F Marked Front Sight Base
    Standard Front Sight Base
    Micro Gas Block (+$60.00)
    Midwest Industries Gas Block (+$44.95)
    GG&G Flipsight/Gas Block (+$173.50)
    YHM Spectre Gas Block (+$33.95)
    YHM Low-Profile Gas Block (+$38.95)
    YHM Single Picatinny Gas Block (+$59.95)
    YHM Double Picatinny Gas Block (+$66.95)
    YHM Four Rail Gas Block (+$69.95)
    Aluminum Single Picatinny Gas Block (+$49.95)
    YHM Single Picatinny Rail w/Bayo Lug and Sling Loop (+$72.95)
    YHM Gas Block/Flip Front Sight w/Bayo Lug and Sling Loop (+$89.95)
    GGG Clamp on Gas Block/Flip Front Site (+$175.00)
    PRI Gas Block/Flip Front Sight (+$179.95)
    Aluminum Four Rail Gas Block (+$54.95)
    Gas Block/Flip Front Sight w/Picatinny Rail Bottom (+$115.95)
    VLTOR VST-1C Folding Front Sight (+$225.00)

    Forward Assist Option:
    Round Forward Assist
    Tear Drop Forward Assist

    Handguard Option:
    M4 Handguard-Single Heat Shield
    M4 Handguard-Double Heat Shield (+$20.00)
    CAR Handguard-Single Heat Shield
    No Handguards (-$20.00)
    YHM Lightweight Carbine Length Four Rail Free Float Four Rail (+$105.00)
    YHM Standard Carbine Length Four Rail Free Float Four Rail (+$105.00)
    YHM 2 Piece Carbine Length Four Rail Handguards (+$147.50)
    YHM Lightweight Mid-Length Free Float Four Rail (+$128.00)
    YHM Standard Mid-Length Free Float Four Rai (+$128.00)
    YHM Lightweight Spectre Length Free Float Four Rail (+$128.00)
    YHM Standard Spectre Length Free Float Four Rai (+$128.00)
    YHM Light Weight Rifle Length Free Float Four Rail Handguard (+$159.95)
    YHM Standard Rifle Length Free Float Four Rail Handguard (+$159.95)
    Midwest Industries MCTAR-20 2 Piece Free Float Carbine Length Forearm (+$184.95)
    Midwest Industries MCTAR-20X 2 Piece Free Float Carbine Length Forearm (+$217.95)
    Midwest Industries MCTAR-17 2 Piece Carbine Length (+$154.95)
    Midwest Industries MCTAR-17X 2 Piece Extended Carbine Length (+$179.95)
    Midwest Industries MCTAR-21 2 Piece Free Float Mid Length Forearm (+$224.95)
    Midwest Industires MCTAR-22 2 Piece Free Float Full Length Forearm (+$257.95)
    Daniel Defense 7.0 Free Float Handguard (+$275.00)
    Daniel Defense 9.5 FSP Carbine Free Float Handguard (+$320.00)
    Daniel Defense 12.0 FSP Carbine Free Float Handguard (+$310.00)
    Daniel Defense 9.0 Free Float Handguard (+$310.00)
    Daniel Defense 12.0 FSPM Mid-Length Free Float Handguard (+$360.00)
    Daniel Defense 12.0 Rifle Length Four Rail Free Float (+$345.00)
    Daniel Defense Lite Rail 7.0 Free Float Handguard (+$325.00)
    Daniel Defense Lite Rail 9.5 FSP Carbine Free Float Handguard (+$386.00)
    Daniel Defense Lite Rail 12.0 FSP Carbine Free Float Handguard (+$442.00)
    Daniel Defense Lite Rail 9.0 Free Float Handguard (+$375.00)
    Daniel Defense Lite Rail 12.0 FSPM Mid-Length Free Float Handguard (+$442.00)
    Daniel Defense Lite Rail 12.0 Free Float Handguard (+$425.00)
    PRI Gen III Carbon Fiber Carbine Length Free Float Handguard (+$312.00)
    PRI Gen III Carbon Fiber Mid Length Free Float Handguard (+$315.00)
    PRI Gen III Carbon Fiber Rifle Handguard (+$320.00)
    GG&G Modular Free Float Carbine Length Handguards (+$235.00)
    GG&G Modular Carbine Length Handguards (+$225.00)
    Troy 7.0 MRF-C (+$230.00)
    Troy 9.0 MRF-M (+$235.00)
    Troy 10.0 MRF-MX (+$240.00)
    Troy 12.0 MRF-R (+$270.00)
    Troy 13.5 MRF-RX (+$285.00)
    Troy 12.0 MRFCX (+$275.00)
    LaRue Carbine Length Handguards (+$282.00)
    LaRue Mid Length Handguard (+$308.00)
    LaRue Rifle Length Handguards (+$334.00)
    LaRue 13.2 Handguards (+$364.00)

    Rear Sight Option:
    No Rear Sight
    Detachable Carry Handle (+$89.95)
    YHM Solid Rear Sight YHM-9493S (+$53.95)
    YHM Solid A2 Rear Sight YHM-643K (+$98.95)
    YHM A1 Style Flip Rear Sight YHM-9680-A1 (+$89.95)
    YHM Flip Rear SightYHM-9680 (+$89.95)
    YHM 500 Meter Folding Battle Sight YHM-9605 (+$159.95)
    Midwest Industries Flip Rear Sight MCT (ERS) (+$105.21)
    GGG A2 Back Up Iron Sight(BUIS) (+$124.95)
    GGG MAD (Multiple Aperture Device) Back-up Iron Sight (BUIS) (+$140.00)LMT Stand Alone Sight (+$119.95)
    DPMS CAT Sight (+$99.95)
    DPMS Detachable Rear Sight (+$89.95)
    A.R.M.S Flip Rear Sight (+$110.95)
    Matech BUIS (+$145.00)
    Troy Folding Battle Rear Sight (+$140.00)

    Hider Option:
    A2 Hider
    No Hider (-$8.00)
    A1 Hider (+$4.00)
    3 ProngPhantom (+$30.00)
    Phantom 5C1 (+$30.00)
    Phantom 5C2 (+$30.00)
    Phantom 3102A (+$75.00)
    Phantom Brake 5M2 (+$30.00)
    Vortex (+$55.00)
    Vortex Striker (+$120.00)
    Bennie Cooley Parkerized Brake (+$90.00)
    Benny Cooley SST Brake (+$90.00)
    Miculek Brake (+$55.00)
    Troy Medieval Flash Hider (+$45.00)
    Troy Medieval Muzzle Brake (+$45.00)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Go to the section about NFA firearms, there are stickys that explain how/what to do.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Thanks, Ron. I'm not so concerned about the NFA aspects, but rather the long list of options listed in the first post of this thread. For example, I do not expect to get the LMT Enhanced bolt or bolt/carrier upgrade as I understand some have had many FTE problems. The E.G.R.E.S.S. bolt upgrade may make sense as it is not very expensive and does make cleaning easier.

    But the many options I listed are quite confusing!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    its all personal preference. You can get a $400 bushmaster 11.5in A1 style upper and call it a day, or you can custom design one with some of the parts from above and end up paying close to $1000.

    I drove myself nuts for a month or two trying to get my latest SBR to what i wanted, best thing I did was looked at almost every page of AR build pics at arfcom and just got ideas of what caught my eye and went from there.

    ETA: Time frame is kind of up in the air right now, seems the average return times are all over and that they are back to their old ways. I sent my F1 in on apr 4, they received it the 7th, and cashed the check the 15th of april. I haven't called to check the status.
    Last edited by XD45; May 19th, 2008 at 02:28 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Quote Originally Posted by XD45 View Post
    its all personal preference. You can get a $400 bushmaster 11.5in A1 style upper and call it a day, or you can custom design one with some of the parts from above and end up paying close to $1000.

    I drove myself nuts for a month or two trying to get my latest SBR to what i wanted, best thing I did was looked at almost every page of AR build pics at arfcom and just got ideas of what caught my eye and went from there.
    Much truth there.

    Took me a while to decide on a stock, brand of float tube etc.....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Understood that it's personal preference and that appearance is important. Could you share your build sheets with me, and maybe a bit about why you chose what you did?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    I got a rock river lower(figured since I was registering it I was gonna spend the extra money and get an RRA) with an RRA national match LPK including the 2-stage trigger. magpul CTR stock, with complete magpul pistol grip including the trigger guard.(which I totally love that whole setup big +1 to magpul stuff). The engraving for my name/location was done by orion arms.

    for the upper it's an RRA 10.5in(see an RRA trend here?) with a 10in. troy industries free float rail, low profile gas block, eotech 552, and the magpul VFG. I haven't gotten BUIS yet, I am gonna wait until I find good deals those damn little things are expensive. I also haven't decided on a brake.

    Can't tell you how it runs, because the upper isn't in my possession yet besides the eotech and VFG until my paperwork comes threw. Been using the lower though and it runs like a champ but that is a given.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Mine is not an SBR but I guess the barrel is all that's different. Mine is literally a slop of parts.

    Anvil Arms engraved lower
    DPMS lpk / ejection port assy / teardrop assist assy
    Oly upper
    oly carrier
    colt bolt
    model 1 firing pin
    wilson 16" HBAR
    YHM lightweight float rail
    A1E1 rear sight
    ACE skeleton stock
    usgi mags
    badger tactical latch charging handle

    havnt bought a brake/comp yet...going to get a miculek most likely though.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    You can go crazy with this stuff, really. I bought my one and only AR because it was a bargain. I only had to drop $100 cash and two shot-out pistols to get it in trade.

    This is what I started with:



    It's a Bushmaster Shorty AK A3 rifle, which means that it ...

    (1) ... has a 14.5" HBAR barrel, with a "permanently" attached muzzle device, which is ...
    (2) ... an insanely loud, but effective AK-74 style brake, bringing it up to 16", and has ...
    (3) ... an A3, or detachable carrying handle with a built-in dual-aperture rear peep, and ...
    (4) ... an A2, or full-length, traditional buttstock, and no bayonet lug.

    It was cheap because it was an unpopular ban model. So far, I have added or swapped out the following parts:

    (1) ... right hand Ergo pistol grip, with cavity for storage
    (2) ... Bell & Carlson CVT cheekpiece
    (3) ... CMMG HBAR bayonet lug adapter
    (4) ... XS tritium front post
    (5) ... MATECH BUIS
    (6) ... EOTech 557 Holosight
    (7) ... M7 bayonet
    (8) ... $275 worth of magazines (on big sales) from Midway and directly from CProducts
    (9) ... Specter MOUT Single Point Sling
    (10) ...A2 single point stock adapter

    Let's add that up, ballpark style, with tax and/or shipping: $30 for the grip, $110 for the cheekpiece, $35 for the lug adapter, $50 for the tritium post and rear aperture set, $135 for the rear BUIS, $350 (SCORE!) for the EOTech 557, $30 for the bayonet, $275 for the magazines, $30 for the sling, and another $30 for the attachment point.

    That's $1,100 dollars, give or take, on top of a "$100" rifle, and the trade value of two pistols. Did I mention the cost of ammo?

    The lessons are clear: you pay for the convenience of preconfiguration, shipping from multiple vendors kills you, and you have to save wherever you can unless you're made of money.

    I still need to ("need" is a relative word) replace the muzzle device with something that will work with the bayonet, and while I'm at it, probably replace the FSB, too. Right there is at least another $100 to $150, and that doesn't even touch upon the idea of replacing the handguards with 4 sided rails and getting a front vertical handgrip or doing something about lights for it.
    Last edited by King 5.45; May 19th, 2008 at 03:47 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advise my AR-15 SBR build, please--it's my first AR-15

    Quote Originally Posted by XD45 View Post
    The engraving for my name/location was done by orion arms.
    I was going to ask whether you had to ship the lower through a FFL, but the Orion Arms web site says that it's classified as a repair so that you can use standard UPS to/from them in MN.

    Is there not a local place that can do this simple engraving?

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