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Discussion Starter #1
Was looking to maybe pick up a low cost AR . Didn't want to spend a lot with ways things may develop here in VA.

Thought this was a way to get started toward one , was going to keep cost down , just in case they do a forced buy back or even something more unconstitutional here to gun owners. If there's anything good under $500 that would be great.

I have shotguns, pistols , rifles , 9mm carbine , but no AR platform .

All suggestions welcomed. Thanks
 

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Was looking to maybe pick up a low cost AR . Didn't want to spend a lot with ways things may develop here in VA.

Thought this was a way to get started toward one , was going to keep cost down , just in case they do a forced buy back or even something more unconstitutional here to gun owners. If there's anything good under $500 that would be great.

I have shotguns, pistols , rifles , 9mm carbine , but no AR platform .

All suggestions welcomed. Thanks
Honestly?

PSA.

I’ve got 3 rifles by them (ok, technically 2 rifles and a pistol...well, 1 complete rifles, one rifle upper, and a pistol upper)...and I think they are solid for the money.

Their Black Friday deals are where it’s at.

order one of their uppers, get a stripped lower locally...you’ll be GTG.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Cuda, i know nothing about ordering this stuff, so this ships to dealer or to me and then i have to buy a lower too. What do lowers usually cost? Looks like they start really cheap too. What parts have to go though dealers, this looks like a small education in it's self for me.

Thanks for help.
 

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Thanks Cuda, i know nothing about ordering this stuff, so this ships to dealer or to me and then i have to buy a lower too. What do lowers usually cost? Looks like they start really cheap too. What parts have to go though dealers, this looks like a small education in it's self for me.

Thanks for help.
The packages I linked to will ship directly to you; the lower receiver is the only part the ATF considers a “gun”.

Lower receivers (even stripped/bare) lowers have to go through an FFL (or a private sale, depending on your state laws).

Lowers usually cost anywhere from $30 (online) on up. Remember that if you buy one online you’ll normally pay shipping and transfer, which will cost you (usually) another $30-50.
 

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If you can find a lower local for around 50-70 dollars, go for it.

I usually see Spike's Tacticals around for 120 fairly often. Which isn't a bad price at all since they usually only drop to 90 bucks online during sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks guys, this all helps , I'll be out near the largest local dealer(also the one farthest from me ) tomorrow, this is also the most expensive one locally so I'll check it out on the lowers tomorrow .

So with one of these kits , just confirming this , all i need is a stripped lower to built a AR. I never really paid much attention to this stuff , kinda like the idea of building an AR myself.

Thanks again , I'm sure I'll have more questions.

Funny how this all is falling together, i just spent the last week at Fort Jackson watching my son finishing basic and getting him to Fort Eustis here in VA. for his training on BlackHawks. He's got a week, possibly 2 coming at Christmas . So he can help me if needed.
 

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Thanks guys, this all helps , I'll be out near the largest local dealer(also the one farthest from me ) tomorrow, this is also the most expensive one locally so I'll check it out on the lowers tomorrow .
An Anderson shouldn’t cost you more than $75, bare.

A step up would be an Aero; Should be $100, give or take. An Aero M4E1 lower is a nice upgrade, imho, and will run around $125 at a dealer.

higher than that? You’re paying for bling. Up to you if it’s worth it.

At the end of the day...a lower is a lower.
 

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I'm going to go against the build - mainly because it's stuz92 first and only AR, *_and_* he's not familiar with the platform.

In his shoes, I'd want a good manufacturer's warranty behind a complete gun, just-in-case.

There's several reputable online retailers offering the more basic S&W M&P 15 models at the $550 line , with free shipping. Factor in a $20 to $50 FFL (which he'll need for the stripped lower, anyway), and he's still pretty close to his budget cap. As very quick examples:

M&P 15 Rifles - Buds Gun Shop

Smith & Wesson AR-15 Rifles for Sale | Sportsman's Outdoor Superstore | Online Gun Store

S&W's M&P 15s are known-quantities in the industry, and they're responsive to warranty claims.

Ruger would be another.

The "Cash Discount" and similar offered by Buds is really akin to driving a good deal from your local brick-and-mortar. I'd take those prices down to your LGS, and see if you can't swing either an outright cash deal or some sweeteners (instead of a case and loader, I'd go for a good sling and some furniture of your choice, or a good set of BUIS like the Magpul, plus a few mags).

At this point, I'd wait-out for Black Friday deals.

For example, Aero Precision's most basic complete rifles should be available from Brownells for just under $600, with free shipping, when they go on-sale - some may argue that Aero's a bit better of a marque, but honestly, I'd place S&W and even Ruger above Aero for the OP's specific purchase needs, as Aero's C/S-warranty can be a bit of a hit-or-miss.

I've never bought a gun from PSA, so I don't know if their shipping can potentially be as delayed as they sometimes (er...often?) do for accessories and ammo. While such delays aren't a concern for me (since I've never had a problem with them otherwise), this can be worrisome for particularly their first-time online customers. I also don't know about their customer-service/warranty, even though their complete AR15s are also well within the OP's budget range.

With today's market, as Cuda66 demonstrated, it's quite easy to arrive at a sub-$400 basic AR15, built from a "kit" that's supplemented only with a stripped lower, and for those more experienced with the platform and want an affordable entry for their own or to bank away due to political winds...but for my money, with new-owner considerations in-mind, I'd rather spend the extra $100 and have a known-C/S-responsive marque to stand behind the gun. :)
 

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I'm going to go against the build - mainly because it's stuz92 first and only AR, *_and_* he's not familiar with the platform.

In his shoes, I'd want a good manufacturer's warranty behind a complete gun, just-in-case.

There's several reputable online retailers offering the more basic S&W M&P 15 models at the $550 line , with free shipping. Factor in a $20 to $50 FFL (which he'll need for the stripped lower, anyway), and he's still pretty close to his budget cap. As very quick examples:

M&P 15 Rifles - Buds Gun Shop

Smith & Wesson AR-15 Rifles for Sale | Sportsman's Outdoor Superstore | Online Gun Store

S&W's M&P 15s are known-quantities in the industry, and they're responsive to warranty claims.

Ruger would be another.

The "Cash Discount" and similar offered by Buds is really akin to driving a good deal from your local brick-and-mortar. I'd take those prices down to your LGS, and see if you can't swing either an outright cash deal or some sweeteners (instead of a case and loader, I'd go for a good sling and some furniture of your choice, or a good set of BUIS like the Magpul, plus a few mags).

At this point, I'd wait-out for Black Friday deals.

For example, Aero Precision's most basic complete rifles should be available from Brownells for just under $600, with free shipping, when they go on-sale - some may argue that Aero's a bit better of a marque, but honestly, I'd place S&W and even Ruger above Aero for the OP's specific purchase needs, as Aero's C/S-warranty can be a bit of a hit-or-miss.

I've never bought a gun from PSA, so I don't know if their shipping can potentially be as delayed as they sometimes (er...often?) do for accessories and ammo. While such delays aren't a concern for me (since I've never had a problem with them otherwise), this can be worrisome for particularly their first-time online customers. I also don't know about their customer-service/warranty, even though their complete AR15s are also well within the OP's budget range.

With today's market, as Cuda66 demonstrated, it's quite easy to arrive at a sub-$400 basic AR15, built from a "kit" that's supplemented only with a stripped lower, and for those more experienced with the platform and want an affordable entry for their own or to bank away due to political winds...but for my money, with new-owner considerations in-mind, I'd rather spend the extra $100 and have a known-C/S-responsive marque to stand behind the gun. :)
And this is a VERY fair point.

If you build—even if it’s just the lower—you’re gonna be the one troubleshooting if there’s issues...and that can be a VERY deep rabbit hole.

OTOH? Buy a complete rifle from a major manufacturer...any issues are THEIR problem, not yours.

It kinda comes down to the type of person you are; if you like to tinker, and figure out issues...a build is likely gonna be right up your alley.

If you don’t like that kind of thing...you might want to pay a couple hundred more for a complete rifle from a well-regarded manufacturer.

Kinda boils down to—do you like working on your own vehicles? Build. Would you rather pay a mechanic? Get a complete rifle. In my experience, the mindsets go hand-in-hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the insights, and i do tinker with stuff, I've been keeping 2 1995 SUVs on the road . I fix everything i can on them. I will work on almost anything out of warranty around the house. Fix circuit boards , computers, plumbing ,electrical, etc.

I also have friends that are very experienced with the AR. I'm also talking to them about this
 
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Thanks for the insights, and i do tinker with stuff, I've been keeping 2 1995 SUVs on the road . I fix everything i can on them. I will work on almost anything out of warranty around the house. Fix circuit boards , computers, plumbing ,electrical, etc.

I also have friends that are very experienced with the AR. I'm also talking to them about this
Then it sounds like a build is gonna work for you.
 

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^ Agreed.

So, now, the question becomes how budget can you go, and still get away with a reasonable gun. :)

For hobby use, the PSA kit should not be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you're near Eustis, I can combine a stripped lower with a PSA build kit in about 20min.
Thanks , my son is training at Eustis right now, I'm 3 hours away . But thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)

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I guess that depends on your definition of 'good' and 'low'.

The cheapest I have been able to build an AR was $310 including tax and shipping.
 

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i dont build for lowest price nor highest. i like low cost recievers like surplus ammo arms, dpms, rock island, palmetto, ruger, anderson, etc. i usually go middle road on barrel and bolt, but bust out the wallet for a good dropin after market single stage 3lb trigger since for me is the real secret sauce to good real world unsupported on the move shooting as in hunting or fighting scenarios. optics i like monstrum 3x prism for my eyes its optimal.
i never really math out the cost as the builds typically come together over months but i think upgrade trigger and optic included im usually around 600$ plus or minus a dongflage paint job.
 

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Yea good and low is all subjective. I consider good to exclude PSA, BCA, Anderson, and DTT. I consider low cost to include them.

BCG, barrel, and trigger are three things worth investing in.

If I were you, I'd stretch that budget just a bit and get this combo. Add a charging handle and rear site to complete.

Upper: AR15 Complete Upper, 16" 5.56 Mid-Length Barrel w/ Pinned FSB, MOE SL® Mid-Length

Complete lower: PSA AR15 MOE EPT Lower, Black - 7780991

BCG: PSA 5.56 Premium Full Auto Bolt Carrier Group with Logo - 8779

These would serve you well for many rounds down range, most likely.
 
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