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OK, I've been wanting to do this for a while but just dragging my feet waiting on finances to free up. Circumstances are speeding up the process a bit now.

What I would like (OK the best compromise I can come up with between what I want and what is practical) is one AR15 and one AR 10 platform.

My thinking is toward a mid-length on the 15, which will be a 5.56 or 223. My assumption is that the primary advantage of a carbine would be for maneuverability and tight quarters. I'm not in LE, this is just for me. So for me, I don't see a reason to consider a carbine. Any reason I should? I'm leaning away from a rifle because I'd like my second project to be a rifle-length in a different caliber.

This first one should see a lot of range use. There's a group of guys that hold service rifle matches at our local range every couple of months, and I thought it might be fun to join them. So that would be where this gun would get the most use.

Anyway, I'm leaning toward buying two lowers right now for both projects.

First question: at what point in the build process do I have to pick a caliber? Only when I start the upper, right? I can buy a lower now with no worries about what caliber, right? (Obviously, I am talking about calibers that fit the 15 platform vs. the AR10). What about mags? Those are not caliber-specific either, are they?

Second: Again, I'm pretty sure the first one will be 5.56 or 223. Now, between the two - I understand 223 is more accurate, and 5.56 is higher pressure. I understand 223 can be shot in a 5.56, but not the other way around. If you shoot 223 in a 5.56, do you regain some of the accuracy of the 223 chamber? While we're here, what is the difference in accuracy? Am I even going to notice it when I'm not shooting off sand bags? Is one round vs. the other easier/cheaper to get?

I have a lot more questions, but maybe that's enough for now.

Thanks
 

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OK, I've been wanting to do this for a while but just dragging my feet waiting on finances to free up. Circumstances are speeding up the process a bit now.

What I would like (OK the best compromise I can come up with between what I want and what is practical) is one AR15 and one AR 10 platform.

My thinking is toward a mid-length on the 15, which will be a 5.56 or 223. My assumption is that the primary advantage of a carbine would be for maneuverability and tight quarters. I'm not in LE, this is just for me. So for me, I don't see a reason to consider a carbine. Any reason I should? I'm leaning away from a rifle because I'd like my second project to be a rifle-length in a different caliber.

This first one should see a lot of range use. There's a group of guys that hold service rifle matches at our local range every couple of months, and I thought it might be fun to join them. So that would be where this gun would get the most use.

Anyway, I'm leaning toward buying two lowers right now for both projects.

First question: at what point in the build process do I have to pick a caliber? Only when I start the upper, right? I can buy a lower now with no worries about what caliber, right? (Obviously, I am talking about calibers that fit the 15 platform vs. the AR10). What about mags? Those are not caliber-specific either, are they?

Second: Again, I'm pretty sure the first one will be 5.56 or 223. Now, between the two - I understand 223 is more accurate, and 5.56 is higher pressure. I understand 223 can be shot in a 5.56, but not the other way around. If you shoot 223 in a 5.56, do you regain some of the accuracy of the 223 chamber? While we're here, what is the difference in accuracy? Am I even going to notice it when I'm not shooting off sand bags? Is one round vs. the other easier/cheaper to get?

I have a lot more questions, but maybe that's enough for now.

Thanks

go 5.56 on your barrel, that way you can fire both milspec 5.56 brass and .223 brass. milsurp 5.56 is cheaper than target or match .223, reloads are cheaper than both usually...

carbine vs middy vs rifle don't really mean much with manueverability, the barrel length and overall weight mean more to it.

the gas system effects more the felt recoil and "violent" action. you can have a 14" barrel that is still midlength gas system or you can have a 24" barrel with a carbine gas system... although the latter would be strange. :)

you might want to ask those smarter than me about 1/9 vs 1/7 twist rate because that will effect accuracy when dealing with heavier bullet weight. :?:
 

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I am not sure why people recommend that new owners build their first AR-15. Why not buy a complete assembled rifle from a reputable maker? For the type of shooting you will do I recommend buying from Rock River Arms. They can build you any setup you want with many many options at a reasonable price.

Going midlength is a good idea and all my AR's have midlength gas systems. Not all makers have midlength systems, so for me it helped narrow the vast array of choices.

I would recommend a RRA 16" stainless barrel, .223 Wylde, midlength, A4 (detachable handle, A2 rear sight), match trigger, Magpul CTR retractable stock. A service A2 stock or ACE skeleton stock are other nice options. You can shoot service matches with the A2 handle/rear sight, remove the handle for an optic, and the Wylde chamber is an accurate hybrid of 5.56/.223.

Later you can buy a RRA upper NM 20" A2 or A4 stainless .223 Wilde with a full-float tube under standard looking A2 molded hand guards, if you really get into Match shooting. Or if you want a setup like mine an RRA upper 18" Varmint midlength flattop stainless Wylde .223 with VX-III 3.5-10X 40 Leupold scope for hunting/bench shooting.

Firearms, ar15 parts, ar15 accessories, m16, ar15 kns has a good number of RRA rifles in stock.
 

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I am not sure why people recommend that new owners build their first AR-15. Why not buy a complete assembled rifle from a reputable maker? For the type of shooting you will do I recommend buying from Rock River Arms. They can build you any setup you want with many many options at a reasonable price.
My argument for building your own is:

1. you pick and choose what you specifically want, so you don't end up with a pile of parts you don't have a use for.

2. buying your a kit and finding the lower yourself can save you money to spend elsewhere on the gear.

3. you get to 'know' your rifle, for me it was a great learning tool putting every rollpin in and piecing it all together.

however with that being said, sometimes you find exactly what you are looking for at RRA or Colt or whomever and the price doesn't matter. if that is the case, do what you want. it is your money and rifle not ours, we are only here for suggestions.

personally when I was looking, the rifle I wanted would have cost me 1200$ at the cheapest if already made by most manufactuers. when I started looking at kits with custom options I was able to cut the cost down to 800$. to this day I've added an EoTech, a sling, more mags, ammo ammo ammo and a few more tidbits and my total just went over 1000$ last week. (I did buy a used EoTech though...)
 

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It may be hard to find lowers right now. Essential arms may be a good place to look. Last I heard they were working overtime to keep 'em coming.

I would go with a midlength gas system and 5.56 or Wylde chamber. You probably will not notice much of a difference in accuracy until you can out shoot your rifle.

For the AR10 I would look into the LAR-8 from RRA. I would imagine it would be pretty difficult to find one at this time but have heard great things about them.

I don't know what else you would shoot other than 5.56 or 6.5 in an AR15 platform. The same lower and LPK would work for both but you would need separate mags and uppers for each caliber.

Good luck with your projects and post some pics when you get them going.
 

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To each his own, but me personally I'll buy a built rifle from RRA the way I want it from the get go. I would also recommend the 5.56 barrel as well so you have the versatility to shoot both mil spec 5.56 and .223. Maybe later I'll piece one together for fun, but for now nothing, but a built AR.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, this will be my first AR. I'm planning to build rather than buy mainly because I just want to. I guess that's just kinda the way I am.

I'm not familiar with the Wylde, but I'll do some research on that. I know there is a lot of debate going on concerning 6.5 and 6.8 vs. 5.56/223. I'm expecting this to be used mostly for fun. I really don't think I need to spend the money for the extra range or punch of one of those calibers. I'm pretty set on 556 or 223. So, between those two calibers, I understand the mags are common, it will just be the upper that makes the difference.

The question of caliber will mainly come in on the AR10. I am still completely undecided there. Nonetheless, if my understanding is correct, I can still get a lower and LPK without worrying about caliber just yet, right. I thought the mags would not matter, but it sounds like you are saying they are caliber-specific.
 

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i have an 18" and its a perfect comprimise between a 20 and 16 inch rifle. i love it. and from what i understand most of the powder is burned by 18" so the extra two inches doesnt help much. mine has a rifle length gas system
it is a cmmg
 

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Yes, this will be my first AR. I'm planning to build rather than buy mainly because I just want to. I guess that's just kinda the way I am.

I'm not familiar with the Wylde, but I'll do some research on that. I know there is a lot of debate going on concerning 6.5 and 6.8 vs. 5.56/223. I'm expecting this to be used mostly for fun. I really don't think I need to spend the money for the extra range or punch of one of those calibers. I'm pretty set on 556 or 223. So, between those two calibers, I understand the mags are common, it will just be the upper that makes the difference.

The question of caliber will mainly come in on the AR10. I am still completely undecided there. Nonetheless, if my understanding is correct, I can still get a lower and LPK without worrying about caliber just yet, right. I thought the mags would not matter, but it sounds like you are saying they are caliber-specific.
If you are thinking it is between 5.56 and .223, go with 5.56. a .223 chambered gun is not designed to handle the milspec 5.56 pressure. you run a greater than normal chance of failure to extract or busted primer. the milspec brass is usually thicker and has a longer throat than .223 ammo, which in turn helps deal with pressure inside the chamber.

your accuracy isn't going to be affected all that much with an AR15, you should still be able to outshoot your rifle with skill and experience. if you are buying a bolt action hunting rifle that is one thing but you are getting an AR15 that 'hopefully' eats up milsurp ammo. do a price check at any online dealer, 5.56 milspec/milsurp is 1/3 the cost of match/sporting .223 ammunition.

btw, someone posted the long list of ammo and mags that can be put through a standard AR15 lower. I couldnt find it in 1 search attempt so I gave up.
 

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Rock River Arms hand fits their National Match uppers and lowers for the tightest fit. Even my non-match RRA middy has one of the best fits I have seen on an off the rack AR-15. They build to high tolerances and then test fire for reliability and accuracy (guaranteed). RRA has a lifetime warranty. So there is something to be said for buying a complete rifle, at least from a maker like RRA. There are others just as good.

If you are willing to wait, RRA can build the exact AR of your dreams with no left over parts. PKFirearms has several RRA's in stock, ready to ship to your FFL.

Still don't understand why we tell newbies to build their first AR. When a new driver asks me for a car recommendation, I don't tell him to build his first one.

If I were you I would ditch the AK idea, buy one complete AR-15 16" middy A4 stainless barrel .223 Wylde and retractable stock, and then another complete AR-15 20" NM A2 stainless barrel in .223 Wylde with fixed stock and match trigger. Later, when you really get the AR bug, you can get a 16" tactical quad rail upper for the retractable stock lower and a long-range scoped full-float varmint upper for the fixed stock lower. Four different rifles to play with.

With the Wylde chamber you can shoot both .223 and 5.56 rounds with optimal accuracy. The stainless barrel doesn't need chrome lining. If done unevenly, chrome lining can impair accuracy, according to some experts. If you want to play with the Match shooters, they will admire a stainless barrel in .223 Wylde.

According to RRA:
"The .223 Wylde chamber was designed as a match chambering for semi-automatic rifles. It will accomodate both .223 Rem and 5.56mm NATO ammunition. It is relieved in the case body to aid in extraction and features a shorter throat for improved accuracy."
 
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