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AR15 - Inspired But Ignorant

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by SA Shooter, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I would like to spec and purchase a 5.56 AR style rifle. I am inspired to do so by all the great looking builds I have seen here

    I may be inspired but I'm also ignorant. Well, maybe that's a bit harsh. Just call me uninformed.

    Basically I have no clue about the various types of builds, options, "furniture", optics, specific features and specifications so I am looking for information, "do's and do not's", any specific experience (good or bad) that you've had with various builds, parts and options.

    I don't need you to lay it all out for me as I can do the research but I just need an overview of the good, bad and the ugly. Linking to sources, articles and other information you feel is relevant will be welcomed.

    Heck, if I learn enough I may even try my own build vs. buying one off the rack. Now how's that for inspired??? :D

    Thanks for any and all input.
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  2. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you build it I can't stress enough to buy the right tools, and mark it with blue tape!
    Tools will run you about $200 for everything give or take.

    But I've built 3 AR15s and bought 3 others. Really unless your spending serious coin $1500+ they are mostly the same. You won't tell the difference.
    I would start with a lower end AR in the $700-$800 range and modify it from there.
    Put in a nice trigger. And more than like you will buy and sell stocks, and handguards until you find one you like.

    Just because something is expensive doesn't always mean it's better.

    After buying one and changing out some options on it you will be bit by the bug. You'll buy or build another.
    Soon you will have a space in the garage full of parts.
     
  3. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Rather than buying a rifle and then switching out the stock, grip, trigger, trigger guard, muzzle device, handguard, etc, I suggest building what you want from the get go.

    To figure out what you want, fondle a bunch and shoot them if possible.
     
  4. bsa1917hunter

    bsa1917hunter T.D Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you go to Curt's discount shooters supply near Gladstone/ Milwaukie area. I believe they are on Mcloughlin blvd. It's a great place to look at and buy AR's and they are very informative. Great group of guys there that love to share their AR building wisdom...
     
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  5. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Outstanding advice and info, gents. Thank you!

    I would agree that building one would be the way to go. clearconscience...what do I need to have the "right tools"?

    slimer13...that sounds like a great way to go. Seems to me that purchasing the items you want on your AR makes sense. However, aren't some parts not compatible with others? I hate buying stuff only to find it won't fit what I already have. Are there some good information sources on putting one together without too much of that sort of thing?

    Thank you, bsa1917hunter. I wondered if there wasn't a local source that has stock I can put my hands on.

    I guess that brings up another question...Any AR builders in the area anyone would care to recommend?
     
  6. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    YouTube has thousands of videos that you can learn everything there is to learn about them.

    As far as compatability most parts are interchangeable with a few exeptions. For example depending on how heavy or light of a barrel you want, you have to get different diameter gas blocks. If you want carbine, mid or rifle length gas systems you need different gas blocks and handguards.

    Like I said, watch a bunch of youtube and read old threads on here and you will quickly learn everything you need.
     
  7. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    First determine what you want to do with it. Long range target shooting, home defence or just all around plinking.
    The build part is rather simple. It's will be easier and cheaper to have an idea of what the end product will be so you don't waste time and money ordering the wrong parts.
     
  8. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of recent threads here about first builds. The one I started about the shortage of parts, has tons of links to sources and suppliers. Might not be a bad idea to just start with a list of components and then start shopping. As you shop, you'll get more ideas. Before you actually buy anything, you'll probably change your plans many times as you get a bit more refined. Sign up for suppliers newsletters and you'll be able to get even more ideas and see components that you want on sale, or at least as they become available. Just jump in and see what the fun is all about.
     
  9. 2A2Dend

    2A2Dend .. Well-Known Member

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    Or, fork out the bucks. Buy something already proven to get it NOW. Play later to build as most won't tell you openly what you really "need" to know. ;)
     
  10. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    There are many here who have much more experience with the AR platform, but I recommend buying a standard Colt 6920 (~$950) off the shelf for your first AR. Considering that I only own one (complete) AR right now, I need to make sure I can depend on it out of the box. I don't feel like I could do that with one I built myself, simply due to my inexperience in identifying possible issues before they become showstoppers. Another benefit is resale value, many people look for complete factory-built rifles vs home built.
     
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  11. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Curts for sure!

    And if you build youtube is a must.
     
  12. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    i bought my first AR and have never bought another... i build them now. i build them because I get what i want when i build instead of having to remove existing parts and try to sell them or start a spare parts drawer.

    my most expensive build is $2600
    my least expensive is $850(so far...lol)
    i plan on doing a sub $600 build too

    there is lots of good info and youtube videos out there so read and watch reviews and as others have mentioned go handle some and/or go to curts and talk to ANYONE there.

    one thing to consider while reading reviews is that you should take any thing you hear from AR15.com with a grain of salt... those guys can be brutal to one another IMO.

    to build an AR i have the following:

    BLUE TAPE
    Work bench
    Basic punch set
    Plastic hammer
    upper vise block
    3/4" wrench
    bench vise
    pliers
    Hex keys
    Torx bits

    i do not have an armorers wrench because just about every handguard i buy comes with a proprietary barrel nut and wrench. also, no lower vise block either. unnecessary.

    Good luck!!
     
  13. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    buy a factory build. it is solid and has a warrantee. as your budget builds, you can add an optic. then you can decide what features you want to improve: trigger? BUIS? (back up iron site), grip? add a tactical light?(it's only daylight a few hours a day don't cha'know)...

    You get the picture. Besides. Many of the guys saying "build your own" themselves started off as said above and they learned a lot along the way. Why not follow suit, learn and enjoy the ride?
     
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  14. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    This is probably the best advice. You may not start out knowing exactly what you want, but getting that basic idea will allow you to refine and build on your use.

    The two most important components, when it comes to accuracy, are the trigger and the barrel. Keep that in mind when you're selecting components.
     
    AirResq likes this.
  15. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Thank you for your input, gentlemen.

    I've started digging into the interwebs for specifics on actions, barrels, triggers, etc...
     
    Joe Link likes this.
  16. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I have all the needed tools to put uppers and lowers together. They are an investment and I don't mind letting folks in my area borrow them if needed. Let me know.

    I can also show you a few things and tips if needed.
     
  17. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I find scrolling through AR15 dot coms picture threads help me a lot too. Especially if they post specs.
     
  18. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Nutnfancy has some good protocols for equipment, one of which is weight which is heavily influenced by barrel weight, forend and butt stock chosen
     
  19. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I just started doing that and you are right!
     
  20. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Thank you! I'm in Hillsboro as well so that will work well.