Entry Level AR 15 for first time buyers

Johnslam

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
119
Location
Texas
Honestly, buy whatever fits your budget and train, train, train. The military uses the lowest bidder and those rifles keep functioning somehow (mine were all FN stamped). You don’t need a noveske, seekins, Daniel defense, etc... to get the job done.
 

jvr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
79
Lots of opinions. Buy a dd 14.5 with pinned QUALITY flash hider and call it a day. Runs great. Light weight. Small muzzle flash and your set. Solid resale value too.
 

jfloyd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
56
Location
Orlando
Budget is a major factor here. Do you have AR experience behind the trigger to be able to know what you like and don’t like? The advise to define your use/purpose is the very first decision to make. If you don’t have that down, I would agree with locating a complete rifle or at least complete upper and go from there. Just building one is easy, building one that fits your needs is a different thing. If you can find them, POF USA stuff is super good for the money. I would skip the piston stuff and go DI. I have a couple of their products, one complete rifle and one of their uppers. Ive shot Spikes, Danial Defense, and many lower tier rifles. All of them worked and did the job but the job is the first thing to consider. This is definitely not a time when you are going to save any money so biting the bullet and getting something good is going to be spendy.
 

budlight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
1,049
Location
Nevada
Stay away from junk like this. https://www.sarcoinc.com/ar15-m16-parts-kit-flat-top-optics-ready-kit/

You are not a friend telling someone to buy this. You don't even want to go down the junk rabbit hole. They never shoot a good group because everything is cheap junk.

You buy an upper or a barrel with free floating front hand guard. That way the barrel is held on really well to the upper receiver with a big barrel nut. 1:9 twist or possibly 8 twist never 7 twist. most barrel manufactures tell you a barrel weight. The gas block size is an indicator of barrel weight. .750 gas block size is your medium weight. .625 are really light weight. I have 18 and 20 inch barrels in both sizes. I've got away from barrels with threaded ends. It just adds length putting on a flash hider or muzzle brake M-lok hand guards are the some of the best.

I buy forged everything upper and lowers. I've got away from the phoney forward assist type uppers. These are much lighter and trouble free.


This is a quality piston type rifle 20 inch match SS barrel titanium muzzle brake 9 twist Hogue rubber grips and stock. 3 pound drop in trigger dime sized groups at 200 yards using a lead sled to sight it in.

Piston rifle.jpg
 

lyle2231

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
113
Location
Hollywood
I recommend getting a White Oak Armament upper. Mr Holliger is a 1st class AR builder and offers complete uppers. Obtain a lower off of GB, put 'em together. HTH
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
853
Location
Upper SoKA
We can all point to our favorite high end parts to use in a build, but that's not what the OP asked for. Specifically: "Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas about where I could know how to build a gun for entry level usages?"

When I suggested the ALG ACT trigger I was considering the Return on Investment for the OP. It's a little more cost, but the change is huge as most of those LPK triggers are truly atrocious. Some of the suggestions are a large increase in cost. Granted they too will make a huge difference, but the key point is Entry Level Usages and for this use the ROI on those suggestions isn't there.

My wife can ping the 36" gong at 300 yards off-hand at our local range nearly at will with her PSA built M4 upper (complete with it's 1/7 twist light weight 16" barrel and CAR type hand guards) on an M&P lower with mostly generic parts in it. It has a Sabre Tube butt because her stature is such that it provides her with the ideal LOP, and the ACT trigger. A $125 Bushnell 1-4x in a Burris one-piece mount is the current sight set-up. Other than those parts it is a simple, generic build.
I've since moved away from the Sabre Tubes for me because they're just too short for me. Instead I'm using the Ace Skeleton Stock because the PRK's nannies don't allow those dangerous collapsible stocks.
 

redneckdan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
260
Location
MN Iron Range
Entry level for what purpose? Entry level range blasting will be different from entry level across the course which is different from entry level diffensive rifle.
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
853
Location
Upper SoKA
I see entry level range blasting/plinking and entry level defensive as being pretty much the same rifle and I think that my suggestions apply. However, entry level 3 Gun or Across the Course is a whole different rifle and none of my suggestions apply, but the White Oak Arms suggestion does.

OP, can you clarify what your intended use is a bit better?
 

Pro2A

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
266
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.
The benefit of building both the AR upper and lower is that the builder better understands how the parts relate and function, and how to repair any issues. Cannot beat hands on experience. Beats "reading about it" or watching YouTube videos. Knowledge is power.
 

rewiltshire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
108
Stay away from junk like this. https://www.sarcoinc.com/ar15-m16-parts-kit-flat-top-optics-ready-kit/

You are not a friend telling someone to buy this. You don't even want to go down the junk rabbit hole. They never shoot a good group because everything is cheap junk.

You buy an upper or a barrel with free floating front hand guard. That way the barrel is held on really well to the upper receiver with a big barrel nut. 1:9 twist or possibly 8 twist never 7 twist. most barrel manufactures tell you a barrel weight. The gas block size is an indicator of barrel weight. .750 gas block size is your medium weight. .625 are really light weight. I have 18 and 20 inch barrels in both sizes. I've got away from barrels with threaded ends. It just adds length putting on a flash hider or muzzle brake M-lok hand guards are the some of the best.

I buy forged everything upper and lowers. I've got away from the phoney forward assist type uppers. These are much lighter and trouble free.


This is a quality piston type rifle 20 inch match SS barrel titanium muzzle brake 9 twist Hogue rubber grips and stock. 3 pound drop in trigger dime sized groups at 200 yards using a lead sled to sight it in.

View attachment 226829
The one I built years ago has been a great rifle. Not pretty, but shoots straight. What I started with was a Sarco 'parts kit' from a decommissioned Vietnam era M16A2 rifle. It was my first attempt at building one and I will admit I did have to purchase some extra detentes, but I learned how to get them in with out shooting them across the room. The complete rifle was about $450. I have built more 'impressive' rifles/carbines since. To this day I still shoot that old A2 in my clubs competition, and in a lot of cases beat out high dollar guns. But again maybe I was just lucky and got a good kit from Sarco.
The first photo cost $450, the second is a F class rifle good for 1000 yards, but I have closer to $4000 in it so I don't think it would classify as 'entry level'. And like I said, it was a good place to start and learn about all the parts of the AR15/M16/M4 at an reasonable expense.
 

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BigDon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
67
Location
Cheyenne, Wy
The one I built years ago has been a great rifle. Not pretty, but shoots straight. What I started with was a 'parts kit' from a decommissioned Vietnam era M16A2 rifle. It was my first attempt ant building one and I will admit I did have to purchase some extra detentes, but I learned how to get them in with out shooting them across the room. The complete rifle was about $450. I have built more 'impressive' rifles/carbines since, but to this day I still shoot that old A2 in my clubs competition, and in a lot of cases beat out high dollar guns. But again maybe I was just lucky and got a good kit from Sarco.
The first photo cot $450, the second is a F class rifle good for 1000 yards, but I have closer to $4000 in it so I don't think it would classify as 'entry level'


How about giving us the details on your F-Class rig.
 

budlight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
1,049
Location
Nevada
I bought one of these years ago just to try out prairie dog hunting. 24 inch bull for extended shooting periods. Before I ever shot it I spent hours with a bore cleaning snake polishing out the barrel with liquid chrome wheel polish. That way the barrel doesn't need a break in period. I loaded up a couple thousand 75 gr hpbts and sighted it in with a 8X32 power 60mm scope and went hunting. Heavy, but very accurate. Oh I did put on a 2.5 pound drop in trigger

 

rewiltshire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
108
How about giving us the details on your F-Class rig.
Started with a Sun Devil milled billet upper and lower. Used a Geiselle SSA trigger system. The barrel is a 24" Black Hole bull barrel in .264 LBR-AR (Les refused to pay the copyright fee for the name 6.5 Grendell) with an adjustable gas block. The BCG is from JP Enterprises. The weight was getting up there so I went with a carbon fiber front tube and an Ace skeletonized stock. Tried different scopes, but ended up with a Nighforce atop a 20 MOA base. Because of the weight I named it 'The Pig'. But that little puny round will really surprise you
 

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