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I'm going to build an AR - and have a lot of questions

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by subman681, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. subman681

    subman681 McMinnville, Oregon Member

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    I'm going to build an AR (my first one of course) and want to make sure it will work the first time out and always there after. It will be mostly used for target/plinking and home defense, I believe in the 16-inch barrel length, mostly open sights, in the NATO 5.56 caliber, of course as inexpensive as possible without being "cheap", and as light as possible - therefore the following questions:

    What barrel twist (i.e., 1-7, 1-9, 1-10 etc.)?

    Chrome lined chamber and bore?

    What are better parts then not (i.e., what to stay away from)?

    I'm sure there are more questions I'll have as I start ordering parts for the build, and some may tell me to just buy "X Y Z" brands rather than do a build, but I have tons of time and little dollars (doesn't everyone now days), and just like building thing.

    Thank you for any directions and/or comments.
     
  2. oregonshooter

    oregonshooter AMERICA Member

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  3. westernsky20

    westernsky20 Portland, OR Member

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  4. RallySoob

    RallySoob Salem, OR Active Member

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    don't buy the cheap chinese looking parts. like CCA stuff, can't stand seeing their parts on a thousand dollar gun. rainierarms.com or bravocompanyusa.com has alot of quality parts... look at the trusted brands like Daniel Defense, Noveske, Larue, RRA, STAG, Vltor, troy, etc etc.
    GL

    http://www.rainierarms.com/
     
  5. gettersideways

    gettersideways PNW New Member

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    Posting so I can find this thread later. I'm also looking at starting a build here soon and have checked out rainier arms in person. Very knowledgeable staff and will help answer any questions.

    Side note - Might want to look into an ambidextrous safety. Even if your whole gun isn't ambidextrous wouldn't hurt to have your safety on both sides just in case.
     
  6. usrifle

    usrifle washington Member

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    Lego's for adults...Don't buy the cheap Chinese ones.
    usrifle
     
  7. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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  8. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    go to M4Carbine.net and read the AR stickies... then ask questions, as necessary.

    it's a big investment, and the difference of as little as $200 dollars on a final product can make the difference between a gun that functions "flawlessly" and a "jam-o-matic."
     
  9. nick425

    nick425 Eastside of Lake Washington Member

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    All I ask is: please don't buy sh!t from NcStar, UTG, CAA, etc. Thanks.
     
  10. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the grip set from CAA is actually fairly nice, and the stock is usable. Internals, stay with top end makers...
     
  11. M.Link

    M.Link Guest

    Seeing CAA and Mako and others like that make a very high quality looking gun look like it's from a toy store. If you are gunna spend money on any good parts, take your time and buy all good parts! That's like putting hub caps on your Ferrari....
     
  12. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    Del-ton is a great place to get stuff from, so it Bravo Co and JT distributing. Right now you can typically buy a complete gun for about the same as building one. Unless you are super specific on the parts you want, like me, or you want to learn how to buildify your own AR it might be better in the long run. Give Coctailer a buzz. I think he has some nice Del-ton rifles with some mag pul goodies on them for pretty cheap (700 or 800 bucks IIRC).

    That being said, if you want to DIY it here are some thoughts from my experience:

    Chrome lined barrels are over rated IMO. If its not seeing extreme service or corrosive ammo, its unnecessary IMO.

    1 in 7 twist barrels are for the heavier bullets, 62gr and above
    1 in 8 seems to be the hot ticket right now
    1 in 9 is super common. I have 2 guns with 1 in 9 dpms 16" heavy barrels and they shoot just about everything well, but really like 62gr bullets it seems
    lots of good barrel makers out there. Black Hole weaponry barrels are decent and cheap, DPMS is alright, RRA is good, Olympic barrels aint bad. For a plinker I wouldn't worry too much about it. Most barrels are 2moa at 100yds or less so you should be ok with any of them. I have still yet to out shoot my cheap DPMS barrel.

    Length 16" or 18" is fine, any longer and its not a ton of fun unless you have an A1 upper and triangle hand guards.
    Profile wise, I would say avoid the heavy barrel like I got. They really make the make the gun front heavy, but the lighter barrels can "walk" or "string" when they get hotter. An M4 profile seems to do ok.

    Lower Parts Kits Rock River, DPMS, jt dist, LMT. They are all pretty much the same. Go with a big name and you will be fine, same goes for your carrier and bolt. But send your trigger off to Bill Springfield. For $35 its the best money you will spend on the gun
    Magpul Moe trigger guard cause they are cool and cheap

    Get a free floated forend. At some point you are going to be tempted to hang some sort of cr@p off the top/side/bottom of the gun. this will save you some head ache in the future. It also helps make things more accurate. I really like the Troy TRX Xtreme Battle Rail (going on my next build). I have also used the YHM customizable forend and like them alot as well. Its nice to be able to put the rails where you want them.

    If you have a bench vise get an armorers tool and action blocks. Makes life a lot easier when you want to swap barrels, flash hiders, or forends
    Get some sort of comp/brake (PWS FSC556, Battle Comp, Etc). Really makes follow up shots faster and helps keep the gun on target. Not a necessity but a very nice addition to a sweet gun.

    Thats all I have for now. Just figure out how much you want/can afford to spend on this and go from there.
     
  13. Blov

    Blov Oregon Central Coast Member

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    Thanks for the great info.
     
  14. motohead185

    motohead185 Portland, OR Member

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    rainer arms is a great bunch of folks and they know their stuff.
    but i have to recommendations

    1) Go piston ie. Adam arms, LWRC etc.
    2) Go with a .308 because you should only have to shoot once.

    I built a Piston AR15 not that long ago, it hit 1600 really fast. Just fair warning it is addictive!
     
  15. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    uhg... please visit M4Carbine.net... read the stickies
     
  16. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    For the record, twist ratio des matter...especially when dealing with heavier grains of bullets. Yes, I got the chrome/stainless messed up- but as for the twist ratio, it depends on the grain of bullet.

    The heavier the grain, the less twist...62gr 5.56 is not nearly as accurate down a 1:9 twist as a 1:7. However, 45grs LOVE the 1:9 twist. I can put all 3 shots into a quarter at 100M out of a 16" HBAR. The heavier the twist, the more grain the bullet can be fired- accuratly. Each twist ratio has it's pros and cons...depending on the bullet grain you intend on using is the deciding factor for which twist ratio you should get.
     
  17. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    oh my gawh... you guys seriously need to not post on bubblegum you don't know about. this is how the internet became known as the "error net," and why gunshows are the absolute worst places on earth to get information about anything. people will spew complete garbage and act like they know what they're talking about.

    i'm not gonna sugar coat it. it's your own fault for talking about something you have apparently NO working knowledge of. thecheese's post is about 70% utterly wrong, and now this one..

    thecheese's post was so big and so bad, i'm just not gonna waste my time editing it. the whole post is bogus, so disregard anything in there. but this one's at least short and to the point enough to quickly fix...

    1/9 twists are not a "compromise" of anything except money. there's nothing they're best at, and there's no other twist that isn't better at something. 1/9s exist for no apparent purpose, as you cannot use them for 40gr hot/fast varmint loads any more than you can a 1/7. but a 1/7 will shoot anything from 45 HP to 80gr OTMs- and do it as well or better than 1/9.

    the only thing 1/9 does is limit what you can shoot. use 1/7 for anything except varminting. use a 1/12 for varminting. end of story.

    as to steel and linings- you have it completely backwards. stainless steel is softer than chromoly (CM, 4140), and softer still than chromoly vanadium (CMV, 4150)... chrome lining is even harder, and exists for corrosion prevention and erosion control. stainless barrels have limited service life and are generally used for match barrels only because chrome lining generally negatively effects accuracy- but un-chromed barrels are highly susceptible to corrosion. therefor, for barrels that need a higher degree of accuracy, but still must be corrosion resistant, stainless steel is used. stainless is a hard metal, but CMV is much harder.
     
  18. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    LOL. No.
    STAINLESS is more accurate, CHROME LINED is more durable. But honestly unless you're doing extreem target shooting, the average chrome lined barrel will do just fine.

    Also, 1:9 is iffy if you want to shoot the 70+gr bullets like Hornandy 75gr TAP or Black Hills 77gr mk 262. I'd go with a 1:7 barrel. It can shoot the standard 55gr stuff just fine and will be VERY accurate with the heavy bullets.
     
  19. subman681

    subman681 McMinnville, Oregon Member

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    Well, it looks like I've done it now.

    Where is the skinny on my reasons even thinking about building an AR:

    To get the best possible AR product for the very least out of pocket (I've very restricted on funds, but know that I will not enjoy something that will be a headach to me);

    I want to use it for plinking/target shooting (target only as good as I am, which isn't very), and for the possible "when the .... hits the fan" time - which would be for self/family protection;

    Ammo that I'll be using, would be the cheapest for the most part - in the NATO 5.56 55gr type, and

    As far as cleaning and maintenance, it would need to be easy to maintain and clean. I'm usually really good about cleaning, so it would be for the times it would get loaned out and brought back "not so clean".

    Thanks for any and all help.
     
  20. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Probably a BCM upper would be the way to go then. They are pretty inexpensive and on par with Colt for quality. Lower doesn't matter too much just pick the one whose graphic you like best.