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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering building my own AR15 rifle in 223. I have been reading up on the process and doesn't look that tough. I see there are a few tools I will need to buy. When I roughly added up the parts and tool costs, before shipping charges, it's pretty much the same as buying the rifle. The model I like is S&W M&P15MOE which I can buy for around $1000 assembled. I'm sure it's something I can do with the right research, but will I even be saving any cost by building it myself? Thoughts?
Thanks,
Shane
 

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If you buy a complete gun and then replace every part on it i guess it would have been cheaper to build your own. Otherwise i doubt you'd save a dime. If you just want to build one to say you did, money should not be part of the equation. IMHO

Try one of the AR15 forums.

Matt
 

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Hey Rick, love the beer tap idea! Kinda like the still I have in the trunk of my hot rod, LOL. I imagine the recoil puts a pretty good head on the beer?
 

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The first thing to decide is - what are you going to use it for? Because that will dictate the configuration.

BTW, it's fun to build your own AR15. There are some tricks to it, but most people can do it if they are able to follow instructions. The biggest are to mess up is not getting the barrel on straight.

Pictured is just one example of an AR15 you can't buy off the shelf. No one makes a copy of the Colt Model 605, the original 16" carbine. The Bushmaster Dissipator comes close, but it has an A2 upper, with A2 furniture. I ordered a Dissipator barrel, installed it on an old Colt SP1 upper, permanently installed the front pin bushings to match a non-Colt lower, added A1 furniture, and bidda boom - a Colt 605 clone. And one that works, since the gas port is further back, under the handguards. (The originals had the gas port barely back from the muzzle, which is why they were unreliable.)



This photo shows how the trick is done.
 

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I have a couple, but always wanted a CNC machined lower. I found some at $99 - bare, but have since lost the ad.

Anyone have a comment on the CNC version versus the normal forged version?

Whiz
 

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A CNC lower without a CNC upper looks pretty mismatched to me.
 

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For 99 bucks I'd run like hell.....probably some 60 series or worse, junk aluminum .

Ya don't really build an AR.....well in Brian's case ok.......but its just a matter of putting the parts together and getting the barrel straight.

The headspace is set by the barrel manufacturer as the barrel will, "better", have , the barrel extension already mated to the barrel. Headspace on an AR is not something you are going to modify with a kitchen table build up. I've seen it time and time again that a guy will pick up a barrel and a bolt out of a box and check them and tell the customer the headspace was ok......you still have to check it but for the most part it's out of your hands.

If it's on your bucket list, have fun......just keep in mind that parts guns have no value. The market got flooded with them 2 yrs ago and the price just keeps going down.

I design and manufacture things for a living, so I'm not much into tinkering.....especially when the end result has less value than a factory model.

Now you can spend in excess of 3000.00 for a top shelf AR, but you are never going to duplicate them for 1000.00 and do it yourself.

If ya just gotta do it, then enjoy.....you will be glad you did.....it's the best way to visualize.. understand what makes them tic. It's pretty hard to do one wrong.
 

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Brownells has a full series of short videos on how to assemble an AR rifle.

Go outside and play...
 

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The ornery part is installing the roll pins in the lower receiver, especially the bolt release pin. Every time, I can just see myself snapping off an "ear".

The only other tricky part is making sure you don't install the disconnector spring upside down.

Other than that, get your parts together, get your laptop set up to play the instruction video on ar15.com, and have fun. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the help everyone, I realize it's not trapshooting. I have looked at some of the AR15 websites. I have a Carbon 15 AR now, and am just not happy with the accuracy I'm getting out of it, so I started looking for another. Just wondered if I was missing something about if I could put together a quality rifle for less money or better just to purchase a complete rifle. I thought there would be some savings. Seems the S&WM&P15MOE is almost exactly what I'm looking for. Although it would be a fun project to build my own........
 

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Just remember that G.I. parts are made by the lowest bidder,
and many parts that travel the gun show circut are rejects unless they have a brand name on them, and are warrinted.

Brownells has great parts for many types of firearms, and can give you help.

Buy a brand name AR, that will give you accurcy and dependabilty.

Check out the Rock River Arms AR's some have a 3/4 " MOA.

Tom
 

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I'm a dedicated DPMS and Bushmaster enthusiast..my Bushmaster with the stainless fluted bull barrel is a .5" grouper on average.....and with the DPMS 338Federal upper is an awesome big game rifle...theres a glut of barely used guns and componants out there ...unless you're doing it for a hobby or learning experience you're wasting your time...get a already built gun
 

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Calvin, sent you a PM.
 

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I think I disagree on the savings that can be had. I recenttly assembled a RRA lower with RRA parts for well under $300, and could have purchased the RRA uppers at substantial discounts during their Christmas sale. Now I know its past Christmas and all, but what I'm saying is if a guy is patient and keeps his eyes open, there are deals on parts to be had. I've built before, and find it fun and satisfying. Get the padded nose pads for some vise grips to install the roll pins, takes the stress out. AR15.com is a tremendous resource!
 

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Not counting labor, I am down to about $700 for the assembly of one. I have all the tools so I wrote that off with the first one. The trick I have found is to find a source that has the quality and quantity you want in stock. If you are patient you can find good deals and be ready to stock up. As soon as you "build" one, one of your buddies is gonna want one too. And as everyone says, it sure is fun and you really learn how they work. I like the ability to change to uppers too and get multiple calibers out of one lower.
 

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I also have a RRA blue case, new, that I accidentally over-ordered. My AR's won't fit in the case.

I'd like to sell it, so make an offer if interested.

Whiz
 

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Del-Ton has a lot of AR15 kits in various configurations that have everything you need except a stripped lower receiver. Prices range from $465 to $485. A stripped Del-Ton lower runs $120. Total would put the gun at $585 to $605. Of course, an FFL is needed for the stripped lower. If you have a dealer who will work with you, you might be able to order the lower and the kit for less.
 
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