Advice on conversion from AR Pistol to Rifle

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I am thinking about converting an AR build from pistol to rifle, but am rather new to this. The pistol has a gently used 11.5" Spikes factory upper. I would like to keep costs low and performance optimal, so the options I see are :

Buy an XM177 5.5" Flash hider, pin& weld - $ 20-40

Buy a new Spike's 16" Barrel, and swap them- $200+ ( I am not positive that I wouldn't need new parts in the gas-related department, and I don't have the armorer's tools for that)

Make a new post specifically to see if anyone will trade across for a 16" upper?

I really don't want to buy a whole new upper, I'm just not getting anything out of the benefits of the pistol designation in this build at this time. The pin & weld seems the most straightforward, are there major drawbacks to that? I am fairly confident I can handle that process myself.

Thanks
 

1775usmc

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All of those a legal options. Personally if I was going to a rifle I would get a 16 inch barrel and improve ballistics. Or you could form 1 it (200 dollars tax stamp/30-40 dollar engraving) and once approved slap a stock on it. Same cost as a barrel. What gas tube length are you running?
 

WTC

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Welding a long flash hider gives you a rifle length barrel with pistol length ballistics. No advantage whatsoever other than cost. My question is: why do you want to change to a rifle? What aren't you getting out of your pistol that you want?
I'm thinking op wants to use a stock. Lots of talk about this on the forums.

I would use the opportunity to learn and upgrade. Your current setup is most likely using a carbine length gas system with a .750 barrel. You will need to verify this of course. They make plenty of 16in barrels with carbine length gas system. With one of those you can use all the old parts from you pistol. A good Ballistic Advantage or Faxon would be my suggestion. $150

After that it's time to go Handguard shopping. I can help with that if need be. $70-120 for something decent.

You will need an armorer's wench $50, and upper vice block$15, a 3/8 or 1/2in drive torque wrench $20harborFreight. Lastly you need some blue loctite and Molly assembly grease($15 together).

It's easy as pie past that. Lots of videos online and I can help walk you through if need be.

However this will probably be a lot better than any sub 400 upper you can buy that's factory-built
 
OP
A
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Welding a long flash hider gives you a rifle length barrel with pistol length ballistics. No advantage whatsoever other than cost. My question is: why do you want to change to a rifle? What aren't you getting out of your pistol that you want?
It's a multifold thing- the legal bonuses of pistol v. rifle are nice, but the compact factor doesn't really make a huge difference with just 5" of change in this particular case. Maybe if I put a folder on, and had an even shorter upper. The whole AR pistol & brace BS Saga re: yea/nay//legality is annoying, and having injuries I was hoping it would be more useful for one handed shooting when I wanted to - but I think I'd need to go super light for that to actually work well (which this is not).

Good question though, and good to know it basically maintains the ballistic of the barrel.
 
OP
A
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I'm thinking op wants to use a stock. Lots of talk about this on the forums.

I would use the opportunity to learn and upgrade. Your current setup is most likely using a carbine length gas system with a .750 barrel. You will need to verify this of course. They make plenty of 16in barrels with carbine length gas system. With one of those you can use all the old parts from you pistol. A good Ballistic Advantage or Faxon would be my suggestion. $150

After that it's time to go Handguard shopping. I can help with that if need be. $70-120 for something decent.

You will need an armorer's wench $50, and upper vice block$15, a 3/8 or 1/2in drive torque wrench $20harborFreight. Lastly you need some blue loctite and Molly assembly grease($15 together).

It's easy as pie past that. Lots of videos online and I can help walk you through if need be.

However this will probably be a lot better than any sub 400 upper you can buy that's factory-built
Thanks for the thorough coverage.
I've looked over the process and it's doable, for sure, I just don't think I'm going to be doing a lot more of this in the future and I'd normally seek out some assistance but it's a sub-optimal time to solicit workshop time. The use of stocks/grips and better ballistics, while having (for now) less lurking legal concerns, are primary objectives.
 

WTC

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Thanks for the thorough coverage.
I've looked over the process and it's doable, for sure, I just don't think I'm going to be doing a lot more of this in the future and I'd normally seek out some assistance but it's a sub-optimal time to solicit workshop time. The use of stocks/grips and better ballistics, while having (for now) less lurking legal concerns, are primary objectives.
Just throwing it out there but I mean if you trust me(I can give you sufficient information or whatever) you can mail me your stuff and pay shipping back. It takes me like 30-40min to swap a barrel and clamp on style handguard. I can have it back in the mail the next day. No charge as someone gave me a cool gift tonight and I would love to pay it forward.
 

WTC

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Just throwing it out there but I mean if you trust me(I can give you sufficient information or whatever) you can mail me your stuff and pay shipping back. It takes me like 30-40min to swap a barrel and clamp on style handguard. I can have it back in the mail the next day. No charge as someone gave me a cool gift tonight and I would love to pay it forward.
And even if you don't go that way. There is still a significant market for your used parts. So factor that into the cost
 

WTC

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Just had another idea.

Do the pin and weld but use a narrow flash hider. Then you can swap to a long Handguard like 13-15in for cheap and the rifle still "look correct" . Total cost would be under 150 and you get the full functionality your looking for
 

1775usmc

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Be careful with the muzzle brake sitting inside your handguard. I’ve never been a fan of the actual barrel sitting behind where I grip the rifle. Not to say it will happen but depending on the brake set up it can be sketchy.

8A48C310-9ED5-459E-B459-9B6862C671C7.jpeg
 

WTC

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Be careful with the muzzle brake sitting inside your handguard. I’ve never been a fan of the actual barrel sitting behind where I grip the rifle. Not to say it will happen but depending on the brake set up it can be sketchy.

View attachment 784730
That picture is going all over the internet. So it's not having a muzzle device that's the issue here. It's what it's made of. From my understanding of the story (don't mean much) this was an aluminum Chinese muzzle device and was built flawed. The round impacted a baffle and exploded. Again that's what I heard....

Anyways with a quality US made tool steel Muzzle device this will not happen
 

1775usmc

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That picture is going all over the internet. So it's not having a muzzle device that's the issue here. It's what it's made of. From my understanding of the story (don't mean much) this was an aluminum Chinese muzzle device and was built flawed. The round impacted a baffle and exploded. Again that's what I heard....

Anyways with a quality US made tool steel Muzzle device this will not happen
I don’t think it’s the muzzle device. It’s the rail. And there are many other instances of this happening. I personally would stay away from cheaper rails. The cheapest I personally would go is MI. And I would never put a brake inside the handguard. Unless it was like the Noveske PIG. But that’s just me.
 

WTC

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I don’t think it’s the muzzle device. It’s the rail. And there are many other instances of this happening. I personally would stay away from cheaper rails. The cheapest I personally would go is MI. And I would never put a brake inside the handguard. Unless it was like the Noveske PIG. But that’s just me.
Yes definitely and wow that could be gas????

And I would recommend a linear compensator myself. I am not a fan of the brake. Although I do have a 7.5 firedragon with a brake and 60rnd drum......just for the days I want to make the RSO smile:s0005:
 
OP
A
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All of those a legal options. Personally if I was going to a rifle I would get a 16 inch barrel and improve ballistics. Or you could form 1 it (200 dollars tax stamp/30-40 dollar engraving) and once approved slap a stock on it. Same cost as a barrel. What gas tube length are you running?
Carbine length. Not really interested in SBR though if someone bought the setup outright, I'd probably go buy my first can right after.
 

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