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I am guessing that building your own AR is going to be cheaper in the long run and way more fun, am I correct? I am wanting to invest in an AR and I am new to this rifle. Should I (since I am a noobie) just buy one from the local gun shop? Or with the help of this awesome forum, should I try to build one myself? I am just unaware of all the parts I will need to purchase. Could someone clue me in and maybe give me a crash course for my fisrt purchase or build.
 

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I am guessing that building your own AR is going to be cheaper in the long run and way more fun, am I correct? I am wanting to invest in an AR and I am new to this rifle. Should I (since I am a noobie) just buy one from the local gun shop? Or with the help of this awesome forum, should I try to build one myself? I am just unaware of all the parts I will need to purchase. Could someone clue me in and maybe give me a crash course for my fisrt purchase or build.
This would be great as I am also looking at building my first AR. Although, from the research I have done, it is usually much more expensive to build an AR than it is to buy it, but you get what you want too.
 

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Thats not entirely true, you can build a base/ economy AR for $600- $1000. Now depending on what you want out of it, or want it to do the price will go all over the board. But bottom line, if you are starting out and want to build one, just get the basics and take it out and shoot, then build to suit your tastes. Just my .02 worth though.


OOPS: forgot to quote the expense in the above post.
 

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There is a ton of "stickies" at the top of each forum at AR15.COM. Check that site out, you'll get a ton of information there as this has been discussed quiet a few times...

To answer your question, in my opinion, building was better for me because I was able to customize my rifle how I wanted it...this being said, I still only spent about $900 for everything without an optic, but with the iron sights...

You can always buy "kits" or "complete uppers and complete lowers" which is much easier for someone with no AR build experience...this is what I did, and I can't say that I regret any of the decisions I made. I did search ar15.com a lot, asked many questions, and checked out the forum sponsers to see who had good deals and who were reputable...hope this helps...

AR Porn:
 

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I was completely new to the AR when I decided to build mine. It was NOT hard at all. I bought a rifle kit and a separate stripped lower receiver and used online tutorials for the assembly. You won't really need special tools, either. I used some pliers, a small hammer (covered with tape so it won't scratch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), a 1 gallon Ziploc bag to work inside (pins and springs are hard to find), and that was about it. Oh, a butter knife or other flat bladed object will come in handy.

Here are a couple of tutorials with step-by-step pictures, and a video link. I found the video AFTER I assembled mine and wish I'd found it first. Very cool.
How to build an AR M-16 "type" weapon - Pirate4x4.Com Bulletin Board (Language)
AR15.COM :: Forums :: Assemble your own LOWER, UPPER, FREE FLOAT, TRIGGER, GAS BLOCK - Step by step instructions!
Life, Liberty, Etc. Pro-gun stuff for pro-gun folks (Video)

Buying a rifle kit means you get a fully assembled upper. I've heard building an upper requires a little bit of skill and knowledge, so I opted for getting the kit. The lower was not difficult to assemble. I bought a stripped Stag Lower receiver for $99, but most lowers will be just fine. Really, find the best price and buy it. I bought my Stag kit from AR15 Sales for $633. So, my complete, shootable rifle was $733.

When it came outta the box:


And here's the night it was put together:


Here's pretty much what it looks like now:




Hope that helps! :D
 

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It depends upon what you want.

I built my 2nd AR from a CMMG lower and a Fire For Effect parts kit (made by CMMG). Cost me $638 including all shipping and transfer fees.

You can save money if you shop around.
 

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Yes, as mentioned, it depends a bit on what you want. Decide what you want, and then decide if what you want can be purchased off the shelf or not.

My first AR: I bought a complete lower, and then ordered a complete upper the way I wanted it. Well, mostly the way I wanted it. There were budget limitations. But, I haven't changed the upper, so I must be happy with it.

My second AR: Built a stripped lower, and ordered the upper with everything I wanted on/in it. Was was going to be a simple KISS weapon evolved into a weapon loaded with more bells and whistles. I am very happy with how it turned out, but I spent maybe $100-$150 more than I had intended.

I was amazed at how easy assembling the lower was. I'd recommend it to all new AR enthusiasts. Read the how-to's a number of times before you actually sit down to do the assembly, take your time, and you'll do fine. As for tools, I think I only used a couple different size punches, a hammer once or twice, and a needle nose Vice Grip. Oh, and a couple Allen keys.


But buying is faster and easier. And since the AR is a modular platform, you can always change things down the road.


Pic just because;
 

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Just to chime in on this, I didn't know a whole lot about AR's before I bought my first one. Now it's an addiction, so I'm actually picking up 2 more lowers tomorrow and will be building my 2nd and 3rd rifles. It was nice buying one complete because I was able to learn a lot about the black rifle and all of it's workings by having a complete one. The same could be said about building one as well, mine was sort of an inpulse buy at a gunshow. (Glad I did)

But...it is very easy to build on a stripped lower, as posted before me there is plenty of help out there. I'm in California so buying a complete rifle was more expensive than building my own. You will probably end up buying a complete upper so really there's not much to it. You can go standard and then add on from there, free floats, stocks, optics, whatever you want.

I think you will be happy with whatever you decide to do, build yourself or buying complete. If you buy complete it's like a lego rifle, you can always add more to it, no biggie. You'll have the BRD for sure... ;)

my .02
 

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I've been considering buying an AR15 but after looking at this thread I'm going to look into building my own. Good luck to those doing the same!
 

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A. buying a rifle can be cheap if you have a loose idea of what you want.

B. buying a rifle kit can be cheaper if you have a loose idea of what you want and are looking for base model parts.

C. buying a custom rifle kit can be either cheaper-in-the-long-run or more expensive if you have a solid idea of what you are going for.

a. alot of places have decent deals for complete rifles including gun shows, gun stores and websites.

b. alot of places sell complete rifle kits that have standard LPK, standard collapsable stock, standard handguards for anywhere from 400-700 dollars. then is all you need is a striped lower. additions will cost you more later, but that will come as you find what you like/don't like and want/dont want.

c. if you have a solid idea of what you want, buying a complete rifle kit with custom parts might run the kit up to 700-1200 dollars less the striped lower receiver. however you might spend 1400-1600 dollars on the same rifle if you bought that same rifle from a gun store. this also lets you add features like custom stock, grip, handguard and sights at a discounted price. my kit saved me roughly 30$ a part on CTR stock, handguard, gasblock/flipfront sight.
 
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