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Where around portland can I buy AR lowers?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Roland, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Roland

    Roland SE Portland New Member

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    I'm new to firearms and really want to buy a lower from a physical store where I can go in, look at several options, and ask questions about what I should buy for my first AR build. Any recommendations on local gun shops with at least a couple options and knowledgable employees?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Garg

    Garg east of portland metro Hold my beer..... watch this Bronze Supporter

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    Curt's Discount Shooters Supply. Have several different ones in stock, with great prices, and service.

    They are a vendor here. Check the vendor pages.
     
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  3. Roland

    Roland SE Portland New Member

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    Thanks. I'll check out curts.

    Any suggestions for someone wanting to build on a budget? Where should I spend the extra bucks and what can I buy inexpensive and still end up with a good first AR?
     
  4. Garg

    Garg east of portland metro Hold my beer..... watch this Bronze Supporter

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    Whats your budget?
     
  5. Roland

    Roland SE Portland New Member

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    It's not totally fixed. I'd say it tops out at around 800, but I'd really like to come in cheaper and have money left over for ammo and other goodies. I know I could put together a PSA for under 500, or even cheaper with a polymer gun instead of metal. But I've heard those ones don't hold up if you shoot a couple hundred rounds in quick succession. I certainly feel for the full 800 I should be able to have a very good starter AR.
     
  6. Garg

    Garg east of portland metro Hold my beer..... watch this Bronze Supporter

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    I agree. That should be more than enough.
    I guess is depends on what you want. Do you have tools?
    Curt's sells and entry level complete unit for about 600 IIRC. Maybe you should get one, and then learn how to build them, by taking it apart, and adding, or removing what you do not want.
    I really would not be too concerned on the lower parts, as they are pretty generic, as well as the parts kits. I would however advise to buy a good barrel, and bolt carrier group. Get the FA BCG. They just work better IMO.
    Building them is fairly easy. A lot of good videos online to show you how. There are a few little gotcha's as you learn, but once you get past that, it is really a lot of fun.

    You can spend more on ammo and good sights than a complete AR these day :)

    Have fun. O BTW, if you buy the parts from Curt's, he will also help you with assembly issues.
     
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  7. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Don't forget the extra cost of the tools you will need to build the AR.
     
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  8. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Yep, Trying to put together a AR without the proper tools is not only no fun its very easy to damage or even destroy parts.
     
  9. Roland

    Roland SE Portland New Member

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    Great suggestions. Thanks. I will put FA BCG on things to check. As far as tools, I just have regular everyday tools, I guess I'll have to look into that. I have one friend who has built in the past, I just never see the guy anymore since he has six children. But perhaps I could borrow tools from him.

    As far as what I want an AR for? I just to shoot around at the range and more importantly just become comfortable and capable with it as my just in case of emergency gun. 6 months ago I had never owned a gun, now I have four and trying to get a bare minimum of different types of guns so I can enjoy all aspects of the sport.
     
  10. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The lower can be assembled with just standard shop tools.
    It's the upper that requires an armorers wrench and a receiver vice block to hold it while torquing the barrel nut/flash hider.
     
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  11. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I would not consider myself a AR expert, however I have owned probably 40-50 of them over the last 25 years. In my opinion part of what is so fun about the AR platform is the ability to approach it as a universal platform. I have everything from pistols to 24" barreled precision shooters and everything in-between. I think what I would recommend for a starting point is a 16" mid length light weight configuration with a rail system you like (or fits your budget) If you buy a good barrel ( I would recommend a Bravo Co. BFH) it will cover a broad range of tasks. Most of your money should be spent on a good barrel and a good BCG ( the Bravo Co is also a fantastic choice) That is the heart of the firearm. You can skimp on just about everything else but if you skimp on the BCG and barrel you will end up most likely regretting it.

    If I was trying to get a friend set up with his first AR on a budget I would tell him to forgo any fancy furniture. Buy a lower kit that comes with a pistol grip and carbine stock. Spend the money on a BCG, Barrel and rail with whats left over on BUIS and a couple good magazines. a $80 receiver in this case will do everything a $300 one will and there is no sense in spending money on designer parts till you have a reliable firearm. All those fancy bits can always come later
     
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  12. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I am sure there is someone that is relatively close to you that has the tools that would be willing to help if it comes to that. At least I would offer if you where closer. Its better to search out someone that has the tools than to try and wing it. jbett98 is on the money. A receiver vise block (and a solid vise to use it in), barrel wrench (or specific wrench for your rail system) and a torque wrench are not optional. Don't attempt assembly till you have at least those bases covered.
     
  13. Roland

    Roland SE Portland New Member

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    Awesome info, thank you. When it comes to a barrel, how do I know what's good?
     
  14. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Depends on what you are going to do with the gun. Long range target rifle, or a plinker using cheap ammo.
     
  15. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Read reviews and buy a reputable name brand. The information is out there. I have bought a bad barrel because I didn't do my research first and was lured in by the cheap price. The other thing is a recognizable quality barrel will increase the resale value. Savy AR buyers tend to stay way from no name parts.

    There are lots of quality parts, some more high end than others.
    Back to Bravo Co, I dont think for the price you can go wrong with one of there upper M4 receivers and a BFH barrel. Might be at the top end of your budget but you wont regret it.
     
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  16. Garg

    Garg east of portland metro Hold my beer..... watch this Bronze Supporter

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  17. Roland

    Roland SE Portland New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I just contacted my friend to ask about tools and he offered to sell me a complete lower assembly that he's not using for the sweet price of only $100. So I think I'm just going to do that. It's nothing special but he said its a good working extra he just has laying around.

    Good friends really are something special.
     
  18. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    True.
    I was going to note
    (in case no one mentioned it)
    Most lowers you cant go wrong with.
    The only time I had a lower fail on me was a polymer one, aside from that most lowers will do you well.
     
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  19. Garg

    Garg east of portland metro Hold my beer..... watch this Bronze Supporter

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    ZA, I am interested in what the failure on the Polymer lower was.
     
  20. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Cracked buffertube housing on a plumcrazy polymer lower.
    Wasnt MY lower (not silly enough to buy an unreinforced polymer lower)
    But my buddy was all about the "weight savings".. Durring our range session we traded off and had some fun drills we ran..
    When I had the rifle, I noticed the upper was lifting a little more than normal.. Upper and lower play can be normal for out of spec lowers but I was getting some vertical play.. We popped the upper off and saw a nice crack
    (and some polymer shavings in the FCG)
    so somewhere in our run it had cracked and we kept shooting until I noticed the play which probably didnt help. The forces we were putting the rifle under werent anything I havent dine with any other rifle.. But few and far stand up to an AK ;)

    Im sure the shavings were from the bolt hitting something or at least skimming by.. If I can find his posts on a few of the AR websites Ill post links. Im pretty sure he said he did some trash talking about polyemer lowers after that. :)

    In my opinion, unless they reinforce those polymer lowers with a steel or aluminum cage or at the very least, contact/wear areas.. A simple aluminum lower beats all.
     
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