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First AR Build, No Roadmap

Discussion in 'Long Guns' started by CaddmannQ, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Gentlemen, I don't have a clue what I'm doing on this one, so it's up to y'all, to help me make it good.

    What I have so far is:

    One stripped Anderson aluminium lower receiver, brand new, serialized, and registered to me in the state of Culfernia. I was told this was a very popular model.

    This might be one on sale recently for $39. The FFL had bought several at the time. I traded a used radio for it, so total cost to me so far: approximately nothing.

    What I don't have is: I don't have a clue as to what I should build from this.

    I don't have a budget either.

    Nor do I have any reason to hurry, So "grab it now" sale prices on merchandise will be far less important than the overall quality of the finished rifle.

    But at the same time I don't want to spend a fortune just for bragging rights nor do I want to spend money disproportionate to the quality of the receiver.

    The receiver is what it is and getting another one here will probably be totally illegal from here on out. This is also probably your one chance to make me love the AR platform, because my romance with my first AR has been less than stellar.
    95jza80tt likes this.
  2. 95jza80tt

    95jza80tt .270 WIN

    Messages:
    221
    Sub'd I wanna see where this goes.. I'm complete noob to the AR myself as putting together my 9mm Glock receiver AR was not as involved as it should have been. Interested to see what others have to suggest.
  3. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    12,375
    You are now entering a scary world where there is no turning back. Once you take this step you will forever become addicted and strive to find the "perfect build". The rabbit hole is endless my friend!

    I can offer more advice on small things to do or not do during a build as you go along than I can specific brands of parts to buy. My builds consist of anything from no name gas tubes to Geissele trigger assemblies to Daniel Defense and any brand in between.

    I have had good luck ordering from Joe Bob Outfitters, Brownell's, Primary Arms, Copes Distributing, etc. for parts as I have founds sales, etc. I'm a bargain shopper and will put my name on mailing lists and wait for parts to go on sale before I buy.

    One of the beauties of the AR platform you can build cheap and upgrade as needed, desired.

    Minimally you will need (going from memory so if anyone see's anything I missed fill in the blank):
    Upper receiver (assuming you are building this and not buying a complete upper):
    -Stripped Upper receiver
    -Bolt Control Group - I recommend getting a fully assembled Bolt Control Group, unless you have a good exploded diagram to show all the parts needed
    -Dust cover, dust cover pin, spring and retaining clip - Can be bought as a kit or individual parts from Brownells
    -Forward Assist - Button, Spring and retaining roll pin (if you receiver is machined for it, a few are not)
    -Barrel
    -Barrel nut (this may be std or vary depending on type of handguard installed)
    -Gas tube (length varies by type, pistol, carbine, rifle, match this to gas port location on barrel, most likely carbine length))
    -Gas block (typically low profile if installing full floating or semi floating handguards) I prefer models with dual set screws to hold them in place. (I also drill small detentes in bottom of the barrel once positioned to make sure it does not move)
    -Gas block roll pin (holds gas tube to gas block.
    -Flash hider or thread protector for end of barrel.
    -Crush ring for flash hider.
    -Charging handle.
    -Handguard
    -Sights

    Lower Receiver:
    -Lower Parts Kit (LPK) - the are all basically the same. Where the difference comes into play is the quality of trigger and sear. Trigger is an easy upgrade if you wish to swap out later. This will include all springs, detentes, safety lever, mag release, pivot pins, grip, etc. you need to complete the mechanical operation of the lower. Some of the more expensive ones also include locking trigger pins etc.
    -Buffer tube, Buffer Tube Spring, buffer, receiver plate and lock nut.
    -Stock - Mil Spec or Std based on what buffer tube you bought.


    Here is a decent video on assembling the lower:
  4. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    I'm not sure what calibers this could be built to, but I understand several are possible. I dont think shotshells would be legal here unless designed as a strict "straight-pull" bolt gun.

    But I have two .223 rifles now, so there are pluses and minuses to keeping it a .223.
  5. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Oops DP...
  6. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Also I would lean toward a long barrel, as this will be most often shot from a bench, for 200 yds+.

    What I have now is more a CQB AR, so this one will be kind of the opposite.
  7. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,213
    ALG Defense makes enhanced mil spec triggers. For considerably less than Geissle. Although I've never handled one, I've used other ALG products that were outstanding. Also, ALG stands for Amy Lynn Geissle..... so I presume it's made on the same tooling.
  8. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    12,375

    You have quite a selection that are possible in a STD AR receiver. Finding the parts, to complete each of these may prove difficult.

    I have only worked with 5.56/.223 and .300BLK. Been looking at possibly a 450Bushmaster in the future as I can now use it in the "Shotgun Only" zone for deer .

    I have shot a .50 Beuwulf and it was a lot of fun. Not a lot of fun to feed unless you reload.


    From Wikipedia:

    Rimfire calibers[edit]

    • .17 Mach 2
    • .17 HMR
    • .17 Winchester Super Magnum
    • .22 Long Rifle
    • .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire
    Centerfire calibers inch measurement[edit]
    • .17 Mach IV
    • .17 Remington Fireball
    • .17 Remington
    • .17×223
    • .17×204 Ruger
    • .17 Tactical
    • .19 Calhoon
    • .19X223 Calhoon
    • .20 Tactical
    • .20 Practical
    • .204 Ruger
    • .20 PPC
    • .20×6.8 (BHW)
    • .20 LBC (BHW)
    • .219 WASP-C
    • .222 Remington
    • .223 Remington - .223 cartridges may function in a 5.56×45mm rifle, however 5.56×45mm cartridges can produce excessive pressure in a .223 rifle.
    • .223 Remington Ackley Improved
    • .223 BoZ
    • .22 PPC
    • .22 LBC (BHW)
    • .22 Nosler
    • .22×6.8 (BHW)
    • .243 LBC (BHW)
    • .223 Winchester Super Short Magnum
    • .243 Winchester Super Short Magnum
    • .25 Winchester Super Short Magnum
    • .25-45 Sharps
    • .25×6.8 (BHW)
    • .257 Bobcat
    • .264 LBC (BHW)
    • .270 AR
    • .277 Wolverine (6.8×39mm)
    • .30 Carbine
    • .30 Herrett (.308-6.8)
    • American 30 (BHW)
    • .30 Remington AR
    • 300 OSSM[1][full citation needed]
    • 300 AAC Blackout (7.62×35mm)
    • .300 Whisper
    • .300 Sabre
    • .30 Coyote (30X40)
    • 30×6.8 (BHW)
    • 32ACP
    • .338×39
    • .35/40
    • .35×44 (BHW)
    • 338 spectre
    • .357 SIG
    • 357 Automag
    • 358 Yeti - Wildcat [2]
    • 375 Automag
    • .375 Reaper
    • 375 SOCOM
    • .40 S&W
    • 44 Remington Magnum
    • 44 Automag
    • 440 Corbon Mag
    • .45 ACP
    • .450 Bushmaster
    • .458 SOCOM
    • 475 Tremor
    • .499 LW
    • .50 Beowulf
    • .50 Action Express
    Centerfire calibers metric measurement[edit]
    • 5.45×39mm
    • 5.56×42mm(5.56-6.8)
    • 5.56×45mm NATO (can also safely fire .223 Remington)
    • FN 5.7×28mm
    • 6.5X40
    • 6×45mm
    • 6×6.8 (BHW)
    • 6mm Hagar
    • 6mm PPC
    • 6mm AR, a necked-down 6.5 Grendel
    • 6mm AR Turbo, 6mm Dasher, 6mm Fat Rat (6mm Grendel AI) and other variants of the above cartridge
    • 6PDK, a necked-down 6.8mm Remington SPC
    • 6MM BR
    • 6mm BRX
    • 6.5mm BRX
    • 6.5x6.8 (BHW)
    • 6.5mm Grendel
    • 6.5mm Patriot Combat Cartridge
    • 6.5 BR
    • 6.8×39mm (.277 Wolverine)
    • 6.8mm Remington SPC
    • 7X40
    • 7 sCAR
    • 7 BR
    • 7mm Valkyrie
    • 7.62X24
    • 7.62×37mm Musang
    • 7.62×39mm
    • 7.62×40mm Wilson Tactical
    • 9mm Parabellum
    • 9X23
    • 10mm Auto
    • 10mm SOCOM
    Calibers which will not feed but which are used in rifles where the receiver functions only as a trigger group[edit]
    • .50 BMG
    • .408 CheyTac
    • .338 Lapua Magnum
    • .300 Winchester Magnum
    John A. likes this.
  9. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Which load would be your choice for shooting paper at a distance of 200+ yds?
  10. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,213
    I've got an upper built for 6.5 Grendel. Supposed to have terminal ballistics of .308, with a better ballistic trajectory of the 6.5mm projectile. It uses the "short fat case, long bullet" design influenced by benchrest shooters. Only thing different from a standard 5.56 AR is barrel, bolt, ( not the complete bolt carrier group, just the bolt itself) and magazines.

    JSE surplus has a very, very good selection of barrels. At very reasonable prices. I've gotten several from there.
  11. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    I have considered the Grendel, and also the .22 Nosler looks good.

    Since I have nothing but a lower, anything is possible, but those are the two that I've heard good things about.
  12. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    What about the .22 Hellcat?
  13. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

    Messages:
    2,447
    I would build a .223/5.56 carbine/rifle for now and build for a different caliber later. Your "issue" IMO is going to be getting CA-compliant parts in your hands. In a gun-friendly state I would say "get on a mailing list" as mentioned above. PSA has complete carbine "kits" less the lower receiver now in the $350 range. But the kit may include "dangerous" items such as a pistol grip, adjustable stock, flash hider and front sight post/bayonet mount that may not be allowed in CA, not to mention lack of a "bullet button". :( But if you look at their kits, you will get an understanding of what is needed. You could just get a "lower parts kit" and build your lower--Midway has a decent series of videos on GooToob. But I would look into a complete CA-compliant kit, noting that you already possess the FFL part so everything can come via USPS, FedEx or UPS...
  14. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    12,375
    Prob not what you want to hear but for just punching paper the .223/5.56 build is my preference.

    I can hit steel at 325 with min with very little hold over and I am still dialing in my reloads.
  15. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,213
    Mike is right, .223 is a good target round. As you already know. I've also took interest in the .22 Nosler. Its just so new though. I'll let others do the R&D. My next build is going to be a basic 5.56 carbine, with minor enhancements. As a Xmas gift for my sister. The next build for myself will be an A2 clone. Since Olympic Arms announced their closure, I went ahead and got a forged carry handle upper, with rear sight assembly.
  16. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Since I already have a carbine I am not going to build another one.

    This is going to have a rifle length barrel. As for California compliance, it might end up just being converted to a bolt gun.
  17. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

    Messages:
    2,447
    Does the lower have to be modded to become a bolt gun? If so, I'd pick up an 80% lower and convert it... Save the "legal" receiver to have a semi-auto for when the SHTF in CA. Or vice-versa. ;) Pics are PSA kits in the past month but appear to include all sorts of CA hate... :(

    Attached Files:

    MikeD likes this.
  18. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    I don't know anything much about the conversion except that I heard that it can be done. I have an AR already, and 4 other semi-autos, so don't need another semi-auto.
  19. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    15,803
    Blasphemer.
  20. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    15,803
    Long range (200+) and you're reloading, 6.5 Grendel is where I'd be going.

    But I don't have the range / terrain to really put it to good use where I'm at. I'm lucky to get 100 yard shots.

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