Entry Level AR 15 for first time buyers

richard33

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Oct 7, 2020
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3
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Tampa,FL
I have been using a Beretta 92FS since 2019 and it is more comfortable to carry with me as a CCW. But I have not been able to do it for an Entry level AR 15.I am taking steps to building an AR 15 like the Ruger 5.56 , S&W M&P 15. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas about where I could know how to build a gun for entry level usages
 

cohunt

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Jan 21, 2016
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Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Google it, lots of info on net. My first one i used the mil manual (available on the web)
I'd wager that parts are hard to find right now though. For cheap entry level you are better off buying complete
 
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LuvDog

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Nov 13, 2020
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108
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New England
Building up a lower is simple. There are plenty of youtube videos on how to do it and it doesn't require any really special tools. Castle nut / AR Wrench for the buffer tube, but that's really it. It can be done at your kitchen table. I've literally built mine at the kitchen table or at my desk while on conference calls.

The upper is just slightly more challenging, but still very easy to do. You do need to torque the barrel nut, so you'll need a vise.

My opinion is to build the lower. Get a "cheap" forged lower and standard lower parts kits. Very easy to build.

Then buy a complete upper. I've found that its not really much cheaper to piece one together... and usually more expensive because you end up customizing parts.
 

budlight

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Sep 30, 2004
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1,131
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Nevada
Right now is not a good time. What parts you can find now are about doubled. Personally I like 18 and 20 inch stainless match barrels. 1:9 twist is good for 55 gr up through about 75 gr. get rifle length gas tubes. shorter barrel use Carbine and mid length gas tubes and they just beat the buffer weight to death because of the higher pressures of the shorter tubes because of where it is drilled into the barrel.
 

BigDon

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Oct 2, 2018
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111
Location
Cheyenne, Wy
I’ve built several at many price points. The Aero Precision M4E1 Lower is my go-to lower for all my builds - I buy them bare and use top quality components in them. (By the way - ‘Mil-Spec’ is highly over rated)

Decide what your end goal is with the gun - Shorty? Super Light? Self defense? Varmints? 3-Gun? The parts define the end result. I’ve used Faxon and Proof Carbons in the appropriate lengths with good results. I use adjustable gas blocks and both carbon fiber and aluminum fore ends. I’m partial to rifle-length gas systems. The field is wide open on butt stocks. I like CMC and Triggertech triggers. I tend to use nickel-boron bolts, or the latest TiN stuff.

Sights are defined by the theme of the build. I’m using a lot of red/green dots on the fast and short shooters and scopes on the varmint/long range rigs. On the defense builds I’m adding backup irons on 45 degree rails.

Uppers have really come a long way. I’ve been using the side charging models with great success. I like them a lot better on scoped guns because they are so much easier to use.

I’ve built a few AR pistols, too. I use Aero M4E1 lowers marked ‘pistol’ just to keep the busy-bodies at bay. Interesting options and lots of fun. Go for it.
 

RT2506

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Jan 10, 2008
Messages
2,143
YouTube is your friend on how to build. One tip I will pass on. If you plan on using any trigger other than a standard military type get it before you start your lower build. Some of the drop in triggers require you to put them in before you can put the safety in. You will need a vice, an AR vice block, a foot pounds torque wrench and depending on what barrel nut the proper wrench for that. Harbor freight is about the cheapest for vice and torque wrench. Good luck in finding parts.
 

ntsqd

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Nov 16, 2015
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Upper SoKA
I agree with the others who said it, unless you have some very specific needs that can't be met, buy a complete upper. PSA mentioned above is one of my go-to's for those. It's not that building one is difficult to do. It is more that for a basic upper you can't build it for what you can buy it for. At least not if your time in tracking down and then assembling all of the parts is worth anything.
However, if you NEED it to have things like a Lantac BCG, A.R.M.'s folding sights, SI Latchless Charging Handle, FN America's chrome bore barrel, Apex Gator Grip hand guard, and a Yankee Hill black gas tube, then your only option is to build it. Just know that the BCG and hand guard together will likely cost more than a basic complete upper.

Even my entry level builds get an upgraded trigger. Nothing super trick, but a very nice trigger that is light years better than what comes in the typical complete LPK's. So I buy trigger-less LPK's and ALG's "ACT" trigger. Brownell's used to, and may still, sell them bundled together.
I also like BAD's Sabre Tube butt-stock. Here in the PRK telescoping butt-stocks are dangerous and our nannies won't allow us to play with them. Frankly the Sabre Tube is my default choice now even if I could buy a CAR buttstock assembly. Lighter and more rigid.

I bought both of the Sweeny books and Zedecker's book on building an AR. I liked all of them. The spiral binding of the Zedecker book lets it lay flat on the kitchen table.
 
D

Deleted member 103481

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Ruger, smith and Wesson sport, psa all good entry level first time ARs

imo you should buy a working, solid reputable AR and then play with building one for a 2nd rifle. That way if you need one for actual use you have something reliable that will work.
 

rewiltshire

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Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
146
You can go to Sarco and buy one of their cheap kits - about $400. All you will need extra is a striped lower. I did this years ago. And I am still shooting it, an A2 model. I have updated some parts (trigger, grip new gas tube), but i did work 'out of the box'. I have build better ones, but this one cost less that $500 to build. Remember, theses are 'used' to start with, the one I got came from a Vietnam era rifle.
 

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rewiltshire

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Sep 3, 2012
Messages
146
I agree with the others who said it, unless you have some very specific needs that can't be met, buy a complete upper. PSA mentioned above is one of my go-to's for those. It's not that building one is difficult to do. It is more that for a basic upper you can't build it for what you can buy it for. At least not if your time in tracking down and then assembling all of the parts is worth anything.
However, if you NEED it to have things like a Lantac BCG, A.R.M.'s folding sights, SI Latchless Charging Handle, FN America's chrome bore barrel, Apex Gator Grip hand guard, and a Yankee Hill black gas tube, then your only option is to build it. Just know that the BCG and hand guard together will likely cost more than a basic complete upper.

Even my entry level builds get an upgraded trigger. Nothing super trick, but a very nice trigger that is light years better than what comes in the typical complete LPK's. So I buy trigger-less LPK's and ALG's "ACT" trigger. Brownell's used to, and may still, sell them bundled together.
I also like BAD's Sabre Tube butt-stock. Here in the PRK telescoping butt-stocks are dangerous and our nannies won't allow us to play with them. Frankly the Sabre Tube is my default choice now even if I could buy a CAR buttstock assembly. Lighter and more rigid.

I bought both of the Sweeny books and Zedecker's book on building an AR. I liked all of them. The spiral binding of the Zedecker book lets it lay flat on the kitchen table.
I also use ALG triggers both ACT and QMS. ALG is owned by Geissele wife and the get they same basic treatment.
 
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brcfo_outdoors

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Mar 24, 2020
Messages
302
Location
Left Coast
Youtube is a good option for how-to videos. Having built a couple of AR's from the ground up I save myself the hassle now and just buy uppers and lowers as close to how I want them out of the box. Building the first one has this amazing feeling when you shoot it and it doesn't blow up in your hands, but then the novelty factor wears off.

A good place to check out for affordable uppers and lowers is https://androcorpind.com/.

They are in your home state, and I always like supporting local small businesses.
 

redneckdan

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Aug 2, 2007
Messages
280
Location
MN Iron Range
Whats your purpose for the rifle? Is it a range toy or varminter? Or is it something you plan to use for classes or God forbid stacking bodies?

If its something you intend for more serious uses, I would buy off the shelf. Look at a colt 6920, BCM or SOLGW for example. 2nd thing to buy is a sling. If you don't understand why, watch the videos from the Kenosha Kid. Particularly right before Lucky Contest #2 meets his demise. After that, a light and a sight.
 

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