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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm looking to build an AR. I have an armorer that I know that is planning to show me the ropes and instruct me through the build process but I wanted to get some opinions on what to get for parts from you guys.

I need to go as inexpensive as I can and still have a good quality rifle. I have $900-$1000 to play with.

Plan so far is to get Magpul MOE Rifle Stock and Handguard. I am looking to do a mid-length gas system with probably a 16in-18in barrel.

Advice on company for the stripped lower and upper receivers and such would be appreciated. Please remember my price range without any "honestly just save some more and buy better" responses because while I could save more I can't in good conscience attempt to convince SWMBO to allow me to spend more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right now the "best" deal seems to be @ Palmetto State Armory.


Everything you need except the stripped lower receiver.
AR Rifle Kits


the stripped lower
PSA AR15 Lower
What kind of quality are we talking on Palmetto? How does it compare to the likes of Spike's DPMS, and Stag. I ask about those three cause they are roughly same pricing area.
 

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Visited the PSA Brick and Mortar store on Saturday in Columbia. Great group of guys and amazing product. You asked about quality in comparison to Spikes. Both companies use Aero Products to manufacture their merchandise, some quality is the same. I highly recommend them.
 

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For a stripped lower, I'd shop around locally to see what places have in stock or what they can order. If you can buy a stripped lower through a local shop, you avoid the FFL transfer fee you'd pay if you ordered one online from an out-of-state vendor. Since you're in Iowa, you could look into Brownell's. They're based in Montezuma, but I do not know if they have a actual store, or how FFL stuff would be handled through them.

When shopping for parts, I'd recommend investing in a good barrel and a good bolt carrier group. Those are two things I wouldn't skimp on at all. You don't have to get the absolute best, but do a little research and get something decent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Can't beat rock river arms for quality and price. Check them out. Also, if you decide you want a complete AR then they have hands down the best deal out there for their Operator line.

Rock River Arms: Custom Firearms, Parts, Accessories

$1000 for each rifle. pick your poison :twisted:
Rock River Arms: SUPER SALE! RRA LAR-15 Operator2 Series
I full hearted honestly believe RRA builds the best quality AR15 for the money. I'd trust my life to an RRA without a second thought. It'd take me a long time to build up the level of trust I have with them, in another brand, regardless of cost.

Replace the buffer tube will a milspec one, and slap your choice of stock on, then you'll solve the only problem I know of with the brand. Their commercial spec tube is an odd size and isn't accurately commercial spec. It sits inbetween milspec and commercial spec making it near impossible to get a good fit with any stock.

Of course it's only about $100 for an LMT buffer tube and a magpul MOE stock, so not a big deal at all. Especially when you're already getting an RRA NM trigger in most of the models.

You can build an AR15 for a lot less money, but you'll end up putting that money back into it trying to get it up to par. If you just want a range toy, get a plum crazy complete lower (polymer) and grab an upper from PSA. It'll be reliable and do everything you want it to, without exception. Don't be concerned about upper and lower fit or accuracy, that plum crazy lower is one hell of a tight fit, and you won't have any accuracy issues.
 

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I full hearted honestly believe RRA builds the best quality AR15 for the money. I'd trust my life to an RRA without a second thought.

Replace the buffer tube will a milspec one, and slap your choice of stock on, then you'll solve the only problem I know of with the brand. Their commercial spec tube is an odd size and isn't accurately commercial spec. It sits inbetween milspec and commercial spec making it near impossible to get a good fit with any stock.

Of course it's only about $100 for an LMT buffer tube and a magpul MOE stock, so not a big deal at all. Especially when you're already getting an RRA NM trigger in most of the models.

You can build an AR15 for a lot less money, but you'll end up putting that money back into it trying to get it up to par. If you just want a range toy, get a plum crazy complete lower (polymer) and grab an upper from PSA. It'll be reliable and do everything you want it to, without exception. Don't be concerned about upper and lower fit or accuracy, that plum crazy lower is one hell of a tight fit, and you won't have any accuracy issues.
Sorry, but you can build a better rifle than the RRA for less.

I can build a BCM-uppered rifle with a mil-spec BCG for considerably less than the $1100 that you'd have in one of those RRA's, and have a better rifle to boot. Heck, I can likely put a Geselle trigger in it for less...

Heck--for $1100 you'd have in the RRA, you could get a LE6920.

I like RRA lowers--have several of 'em--but for the top half, there's much better choices out there for the money.
 

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Explain the short coming of RRA, because apparently no one online ever bothers to explain where corners are cut.

What makes the other options better? What makes the RRA worse?
 

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Explain the short coming of RRA, because apparently no one online ever bothers to explain where corners are cut.

What makes the other options better? What makes the RRA worse?
One minute you say how great a rifle it is, the next your talking about swapping parts to get it up to spec.

You get a lot of
from RRA owners ... but they aren't the greatest deal around if you must upgrade it to be able to use industry standard parts. Mil-spec receiver extensions are cheap enough, why not put them on to begin with?
 

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One minute you say how great a rifle it is, the next your talking about swapping parts to get it up to spec.

You get a lot of
from RRA owners ... but they aren't the greatest deal around if you must upgrade it to be able to use industry standard parts. Mil-spec receiver extensions are cheap enough, why not put them on to begin with?
Exactly my point.

Add in that I think they're overpriced for what you get. And while I'm not a die-hard chart fetishist, there are a few qualities that one can get in a comparably priced top-tier AR (say a DDM4, or any of the BCM uppers) for the same price--or less--than a RRA...that the RRA won't have.

That's what I mean by a better rifle.
 

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Complete upper $649 +SH BCM 16" Mid Length Upper Receiver Group with Midwest Industries T Series Handguard
I personally went with almost this exact upper reciever, you can build this from parts for about $550 instead of spending $650, Only differences between this one and the one I built is the flash suppressor I used a FSC556 not a A-2 style and my gas block was a vltor not sure who's they are using.

Barrel $229 BCM 16" Mid Length Barrel, Stripped
Reciever $100 Upper Receiver Assembly - Flat Top
Handguard $155 Midwest Industries MI T12
Trim ring $16 Midwest Industries MI T12
Gas block $22 Yankee Hill Machine Low Profile Gas Block yhm
gas tube $13 mid length gas tube
Flashhider $8 a2 flash hider
crush washer $2.25 Crush Washer
Total = 545.25 +SH
 

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One minute you say how great a rifle it is, the next your talking about swapping parts to get it up to spec.

You get a lot of
from RRA owners ... but they aren't the greatest deal around if you must upgrade it to be able to use industry standard parts. Mil-spec receiver extensions are cheap enough, why not put them on to begin with?
Because a $50 part doesn't make it or break it. Regardless what it is, I'd put a milspec receiver extension on simply because it has deeper threads and better contacts with the lower receiver. Also seems that stocks for milspec tubes lock up far far tigher, and make something like the CTR stock pointless. Sure, could go with a colt, then end up spending $150+ on a trigger. $50 seems like less to me.

If that's the biggest issue I can find, it's pretty much a non issue. Especially considering the level of lemons I hear about coming from other companies, when I never heard that with an RRA. I have no brand loyalty here, I just can't find anything online specifically stating where it's inferior to any of the top tier guns, besides those having lots of nifty addons thrown on out of the box.
 

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Because a $50 part doesn't make it or break it. Regardless what it is, I'd put a milspec receiver extension on simply because it has deeper threads and better contacts with the lower receiver. Also seems that stocks for milspec tubes lock up far far tigher, and make something like the CTR stock pointless. Sure, could go with a colt, then end up spending $150+ on a trigger. $50 seems like less to me.

If that's the biggest issue I can find, it's pretty much a non issue. Especially considering the level of lemons I hear about coming from other companies, when I never heard that with an RRA. I have no brand loyalty here, I just can't find anything online specifically stating where it's inferior to any of the top tier guns, besides those having lots of nifty addons thrown on out of the box.
Non chrome lined barrel (chrome-moly is not the same thing as chrome lined)
Barrel not HP tested/MPI'd
Bolt not HP tested/MPI'd
AR BCG
Gas key not properly staked

These may not be important to you, but it doesn't mean that the RRA is the same standard rifle as others.

I've yet to hear of folks getting BCM lemons. Occasionally, you'll hear about a Colt. I have heard of RRA issues, however.

So, for around $650 or less, you can get any BCM BFH upper with a comparable rail to what RRA puts on, leaving another $450 to put together a lower...$149 for a PSA lower and complete LPK (including milspec buffertube & stock), $150 for whatever trigger group trips yours, and $150 for whatever sights, add on stock...

That's just how I see it; I'm not brand loyal either...but the fact remains that one can get a better quality rifle for less money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I am thinking of going RRA here's my ideas so far and if anyone has used what I am thinking let me know.

Dominator2 Eotech Mount
Rock River Arms: RRA Dominator2 EOTech Mount
16in mid-length Stainless Barrel
Rock River Arms: 16 / 20 Inch Stainless Steel Heavy Barrels
RRA Stripped Lower and Upper.

My problem is it sort of looks like I can get a complete top half for what I can build it for. I mean I have got to price it all out but

AR0375X on this page with what I am looking at getting is $565.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So it turns out I am not going to be doing a build after all. Talking to my dealer friend who competes 3 gun and builds as well even if I got dealer cost I couldn't get what I want cheaper than RRA is offering right now. They are selling the Elite Operator 2 for $1000 plus free ship, 2 30 rd mags, case and rear sight. At dealer cost this same rifle would be $1125ish to build before shipping and taxes. So it turns out I will just be ordering the Elite Operator 2. Thanks for the help guys.
 

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Daniel Defense M4 Carbine, XV EZ -- Sporting Long Guns - Daniel Defense - DDEZ - DD XV EZ 556NATO 16inch BLK 30RD
This website is where I got my DDM4 V1:

Lower Receiver: Mil-Spec with Enhanced Flared Magazine Well and Rear Receiver QD Swivel Attachment Point
Upper Receiver: Mil-Spec with Indexing Marks and M4 Feed Ramps
Barrel: Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel, Cold Hammer Forged, 1:7 twist, 16″ M4 Profile, Carbine Gas System, Chrome Lined, MP tested, and Mil-Spec Heavy Phosphate coated
Chamber: 5.56 NATO
Flash Hider: A2 Birdcage Flash Hider
Bolt Carrier Group: Mil-Spec MP Tested, Properly Staked Gas Key
Buffer: H Buffer
Sights: Daniel Defense A1.5 Fixed Rear Sight; Pinned “F” Marked Front Sight Base
Handguard: Daniel Defense EZ CAR Rail™ 7.0
Buttstock: Mil-Spec Buttstock & Mil-Spec Receiver Extension
Rear Receiver QD Swivel Attachment Point
Magazine: MAGPUL 30 round PMag in Black
Case: Comes with Custom Daniel Defense Full-Latch Impact Plastic Case
Made in the USA!
 
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