Need advise on first AR Platform build.

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by sledneck84, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. sledneck84

    sledneck84 Active Member

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    hey everyone, i am needing a little insight and direction from all the AR guys on here. Here is my story and what i am after in my quest to build an AR. It all started 2 years ago with a little extra cash saved up for a new gun, i didn't know what i wanted so i started looking aorund. i always had a certain intrigue with ar's but never owned one or had been around one. and little did i know, or do i know for that matter, about the ar platform, i thought they were just a standard .223/5.56. Then i walked into the local gun shop and seen the r-15 chambered in the .204. needless to say i left with that gun that day and have since learned alot more about ar's after a little research and the will to learn. Now don't get me wrong, i practically no nothing about ar's but i know more than i did that day, and it has intrigued me to stray away from my life long bolt guns and learn what i can about the Black Rifle. Now that you made it threw all that nonsense i will get down to business. I would like to build my own ar in either a 204 or a 243 wssm, not completely decided yet. but my dilemma is this. i have watched videos and read articles and watched more videos. but i am still confused as to what i actually need to do a build. do i need certain bolt carrier group for particular caliber? What brand parts do i use, there are so many out there, it's not like my remington 700's. I have no knowledge of most manufacturers of the parts. I know i can buy an upper and buy a lower and have a gun. But i want to build it and i figure their is no better way to know a gun than put it together yourself. i am very mechanically inclined so it doesn't worry me about the level of difficulty to do it. just the level of knowledge i have on what to use, which is none. So if you guys would be so kind as to send me in the right direction i would appreciate it. sorry for the long post, i am kind of a wind bag sometimes. lol. Thank You.
     
  2. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    Long posts are nothing to worry about, but try breaking it up with proper sentence and paragraph structure. That helps everyone read with comprehension :)

    Now, back to your quest. It's really only has hard as you want to make it.

    1) Pick your furniture.
    The reason I list this first, is because these are the parts that essentially don't matter. They are going to fit on any AR you decide to build. Pick a stock, and be sure to get a matching buffer tube assembly. ie, you'll want either a commercial stock and buffer or a mil spec stock and buffer. Which one is irrelevant, as long as they match.
    Pick a grip, you'll prob ably get a standard A2 pistol grip with your lower parts kit, but most guys simply toss it in a drawer. They are essentially worth less. I don't mean that they are bad, just that if you tried to sell it, you wouldn't be able to. There are probably a few hundred of options so start looking. What you want will depend on your purpose, (as will all these parts)
    Pick a hand guard. Carbine, rifle length, extended etc etc etc. Strait tube, quad rail, modular etc etc etc.
    For the best accuracy, you'll want something free floated. Some choose carbon fiber for weight savings, but you're only going to save an oz or two over aluminum, so that's a dumb reason to me. The only benefit to carbon fiber is that it doesn't get as cold on your hand in the winter.

    2) Pick your lower.
    Either complete, which will come ready to roll, but it seems you don't wanna go that way. You can go with forged which is probably the most common, or billet which just "look" cleaner and more modern...yet more expensive. One nice thing is that you can get a MATCHING billet upper/lower set that look really nice together.

    3) Pick your caliber.
    This is where things get interesting. If you're skilled in gunsmithing, you can chamber your own barrel and truely build it yourself...but most guys are looking to buy a barrel chambered in the caliber of your choice and get a bolt that will function with your new barrel.
    Study up on the bolt face options of certain calibers. The 223/5.56 is the standard bolt face for the AR15 (.384") If you want a caliber with a standard bolt face...shop for something with that diameter of case head.
    Something like the 6.5 Grendel will take a .440" bolt face so either buy one specifically for that, or open up a standard .384 to the size you need.
    The bolt is pretty specific, so you need to know what caliber you're trying to build.

    You won't be able to build a WSSM rifle yourself as the caliber is proprietary to Olympic Arms and the bolt/carrier is unique. You have 3 (actually 4) options with the caliber. Buy an upper (or complete rifle) from Olympic Arms. Buy a custom build from Mike at Dtech, or Carl at Accuracy Systems.
    With a caliber that runs on a more "typical" bolt face, you'll be able to get your hands on the barrel, bolt or carrier you need.

    4) Decide on a "factory upper" or a true home assembled upper.
    Just about anything you want in an upper, can be bought from someone else. It's not complex at all, which is what makes it fun to assemble, but it's where the most gunsmithing knowledge is needed, which is also why most guys choose to just buy an upper and build their lowers.

    5) Pick your parts
    You can either get a complete parts kit which will include everything you need to complete your lower...or you can get a parts kit "less the trigger group" which just means that you have the option of buying your own after market trigger without having to spend money on a factory trigger you're not going to use anyway.
    For most first time users, the factory trigger is just fine, because you don't know what you want or don't want.
    If you already know that the factory triggers are bad, this is where you can go wild with either a high end unit or a drop in style in either adjustable or not, and either single or two stage.

    6) Shop shop shop.
    Everything you need can be had from more than one place at different prices. As long as your patient, you'll be able to combine shipping, get coupons or discounts or even score some freebies.
    If you rush, you're going to end up wasting a lot of unnecessary money.





    I think that's a pretty good start, but I'm sure I forgot a few things in there somewhere.
    The lower is actually really really really easy to assemble once you've done it 2-3 times.
     

  3. sledneck84

    sledneck84 Active Member

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    Thanks c-bass, That helps me with what I am up against. I might just order a WSSM upper and build a lower as I already have a .204 and probably don't really need another. And sorry for all the bad sentences and grammar. I'm not real good at that stuff. haha. :)
     
  4. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    If you really wanna take advantage of the best bang for your buck...don't bother building another lower. Just modify the one you have to be "more perfect" for your goals.
    The two uppers (your 204 and whatever else you want) will can both be run on the existing lower you already have. Save the money and just make your one lower, the best it can be. Not only that, but you'll have the added benefit of having one "feel" that will be consistent across the board. Muscle memory is vital to accuracy under stress.
     
  5. sledneck84

    sledneck84 Active Member

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    It is an R-15 lower though. Aren't they different than a normal lower? Or not?? I don't know for sure.
     
  6. vatackdriver

    vatackdriver Well-Known Member

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    Not really, should work fine. I am partial to a 6.5 grendel you will have much more barrel life and superb accuracy
     
  7. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    No, the R-15 is just Remington's version of the AR15. It's actually even made by Bushmaster.
    The only difference you'll have is that your new upper won't have a matching camo pattern which leaves you two options. (ok three options)

    Either strip your complete rifle and have it refinished to match what you're new upper will probably look like. Either black or tan or whatever

    Have your new upper 'hydrodipped' in the pattern that your R-15 already has so that it will match the lower.

    or just leave the new upper alone...it'll be two tone, but who cares..it's just a gun.
     
  8. threejones

    threejones Well-Known Member

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    A big plus one. I dumped the best stuff I could get into my lower, knowing that I'd really only "need" one lower, and that I'd only need to spend the $$$ on the lower once (with Geissle trigger prices, once is enough... but still worth it). I have a couple different uppers that I swap around on the same lower. My calling upper is FDE w/camo, looks odd on a black lower, but not a single coyote has ever laughed at it:D. Having uppers in different calibers is pretty handy too, especially when the trigger, cheek weld, etc is always exactly the same. 5.56 for the range and the yotes, 6.8SPC when deer/wolf season opens.
     
  9. Jheard50

    Jheard50 New Member

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    The AR15 platform will handle many different calibers. The lower receiver will work with all of them so invest in a good lower with a good trigger assembly. There are several out there. Google reviews for the triggers and get other peoples feedback. Get a stock that is comfortable for you.
    Each caliber will require it's own upper with the appropriate barrel and bolt carrier group. Some calibers can use the same bolt. For instance the .223/5.56 and the .300 AAC Blackout use the same BCG but the 6.5 Grendel uses a different bolt. Once again a little research will let you know which ones require a special bolt. The same goes for magazines. Some are interchangeable other require a specific magazine.
    There is a lot of information out there so do lots of reading to help you decide which combo work for you.
    This is a fun platform and easy to customize. gun)
     
  10. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    Unless you want to run the 22-250.
    You'll likely need an Olympic Arms UMAR lower or complete rifle...but you're looking at at least a year long wait, unless you find one on places like Gunbroker or the Classifieds.
     
  11. sledneck84

    sledneck84 Active Member

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    I would love to have one, been unable to find one. There was one on here but the guy never replied to messages. If you find one let me know please.
     
  12. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    This is a really really old review so forgive the audio and length. You can skip toward the end to see the 100 yd groups.
    I know this isn't listed for sale anywhere, but it's got less than 50 rounds through it and shoots lights out. I know he'd be willing to let it go since he strictly runs bolt guns for hunting now.

    PM me if you're interested in talking it over with him. I'll be out there deer hunting this weekend.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWOXI7FDwpw"]22-250 UMAR Review - YouTube[/ame]
     
  13. notajeep

    notajeep Well-Known Member

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    Pardon me, I didn't have time to read all the posts, but If your wanting a cheap to shoot plinker go with the AR-74. At (.16ea) the 5.45X39 is plenty cheap to shoot. It's pretty small, just something to think about.
     
  14. sledneck84

    sledneck84 Active Member

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    ok thanks, but I am not looking to "PLINK".