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Good Moderately Priced Lower Parts Kits for AR Builds?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by etrain16, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't see any recent threads on this topic, so please bear with me for asking something that may have been asked before.

    I'm hoping to build an AR this year (well, build out the lower myself, probably attach a completed or nearly completed upper for the first build). I've got 2 lowers already, a PSA and Bushmaster. I've understood that, at least with PSA, it's a good idea to use the PSA branded kit. I don't know if that's critical or not, so I'd love to hear any input on compatibility of LPK's with various lowers.

    Another question, while I'm not aiming to build a high-end, match grade AR, does it necessarily mean that I need to spend more on an LPK, just to get something that's decently functional? I'm not trying for a low-end build, but saving money is always a good thing, and will help to speed up the build if I can save a few bucks here and there.

    I've done some reading on these kits and honestly, at my level of building, I'm having a hard time knowing how much difference there is between say a $60 kit versus a kit for double the price. Just how much more are you gaining for that extra money?

    Anyway, I appreciate the input. You folks always do such a good job of answering my questions.
     
  2. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    The big thing is the FCG. All the little detents and springs are not that big of a deal unless you are doing a top shelf build down to the spring. So one way to go is buy a lpk without a FCG then pick what you want. ALG ACT FCG is hard to beat for a milspec type trigger.

    DPMS, CMMG, PSA etc are all fine sub $60 lpks. For a few bucks more you can start getting into the enhanced stuff from Spikes, ALG etc.
     
    jbett98 and etrain16 like this.
  3. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I think you can buy a Colt lower for like $1000. It's got holes and everthang!
    lol
     
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  4. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good point. I do hear people really like to focus on the FCG's. Just out of curiosity, do you have any thoughts on the 'self contained' drop-in FCG's? Do they offer any benefits, other than the fact you don't have to assemble those particular parts?
     
  5. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I have probably assembled around 50 AR's and I have yet to come across a LPK that didn't work (I did get a CMMG that had a funky pit in a hammer, but it still worked and was a $30 LPK so I did not complain)

    I would buy what you can find cheap, Really.

    I see Anderson kits for less than $40 fairly often, PSA's for a few bucks more.

    If you are building a simple rifle there is no reason to spend $125 on a lower parts kit. (unless you want a upgraded trigger, then buy one with it included)
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  6. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I have never done a high dollar trigger that was not a drop in. I have a couple CMC's and a lot of MechArmor Defense (I think 9?) The MechArmor trigger's I got in on a group buy for $105 a pop. I bought three groups of three over a year. the normal price is $135

    http://mechdefense.com/products/rough-justice-30-drop-in-match-trigger-for-ar

    Is it the best trigger? Probably not, but for the money it is really nice. I prefer it to several other triggers I have shot in other folks rifles that cost twice as much (I am sure a big part of that is because I am used to these)

    As far as it being a pod and some big benefit to that, I cant see any. It just makes a clean package.
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  7. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Also good info. Just out of curiosity, where do you usually get your LPK's, such as the Anderson kits?
     
  8. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    At this point, I have very little experience with AR triggers, so I'm not sure if I could really much difference between a 'standard' and an upgraded AR trigger. That will come in time, I'm sure.
     
  9. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I buy what ever pops up on sale.

    The last 4 I bought from RRC Firearms after a deal popped up here. They had CMMG's on sale for $25 each. I had at least 4 on hand but when they pop up for $25 you buy just because.
     
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  10. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'll check them out. Thanks :)
     
  11. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    You could tell the difference, but it might not be important for what you want either.

    There are rifles I dont want a 3 lb trigger in. I like a nice single stage trigger in a play toy but for a rifle in my truck for self defense I would run a standard trigger, maybe even with a heavy hammer spring. I want to have to make it fire in that situation, not risk a light pull.
     
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  12. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    I guess the reason I say focus on the FCG is because all the ones I've ever done were purpose built rifles. I've thrown a cheap milspec trigger in a coyote rifle and ended up yanking it out for a target type trigger when I could have saved a couple bucks and just bought it that way. And my opinion is that on a self defense/SHTF rifle a few bucks more for a less gritty trigger is worth it. Ymmv

    On the other hand, a well stocked extra parts bin is great if you do end up swapping parts later.
     
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  13. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    They're a bit like wine. Some people say they can taste the direction of the breeze over the grapes and to me they all taste like fermented fruit

    I have geissele's and a timmey and a bunch of really cheep ones and you can tell the difference but its really not by much in my opinion.

    I say get a cheep kit like a PSA or a CMMG and then replace parts as you want to in the future.

    Too bad you missed out on RRC's sale. The CMMG kits were <$20 and I got a bunch

    9q0f6uO.jpg

    9q0f6uO.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  14. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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  15. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Until recently, I wasn't even looking. I'm patient though, I can keep my eyes open for a good sale. Just good to know where to look. And having some extras for spare parts sounds like a good idea too.
     
  16. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Don't be too patient. Getting close to the election and depending on the outcome they could be real scarce.
     
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  17. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have used CMMG as well and had no issues. Good quality for a mil-spec kit. Triggers are ok. You can polish for better results. As far as the election and LPK's, I don't think anything will change. Now lower receivers.........
     
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  18. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, I've done some looking around since last night and the answers on this thread. It looks like LPK's are a bit scarce at the moment (not completely gone, just the ones I am interested in). I found some decent deals on kits I liked, but everything I liked was out of stock. There is a nice Anderson Pistol Build Kit that comes with everything including the buffer tube, spring, sling mount. I'd like to build my lowers as pistols first, just in case I want to change my mind later. I'll keep searching around. Something is bound to come up.
     
  19. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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  20. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Any of the lower end parts kits will work! All of those kits are manufactured by the same company then sold in bulk to the big companies. There is a shop right near Clackamas that makes parts for all these kits. The difference then is in the hammer/trigger. Also the bolt release varies slightly.
    You (I) can polish up the Mil Spec parts and make it feel like an aftermarket trigger pretty easy. Then use it as is, or upgrade to something nicer.

    I highly recommend the RRA two stage trigger! As posted above by Ron

    I will admit that I have only built a few hundred AR-15's, so I am still learning the in's and outs!
    Anything I can help with just let me know. I get dealer cost on everything AR related and will gladly pass the savings on to a fellow NWF member!
     
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