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For the record, I know squat about AR-15's. I see a lot of guys buying lowers and parts kits, etc.... Is there a huge cost savings to building over buying one? What are the legalities involved (922 compliance?) etc. Is there some place I can get an idea what parts to look for?
 

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It's just up to you really. You can buy one already assembled. Or go to a place like Del-Ton.com and pick each part from a list (different stocks, barrel, etc) and they will build it for you. Or you can buy each piece and assemble it yourself.

From what I have seen, I think the cheapest deals are on the pre-assembled rifles. If you don't want to know how they are made, this may be the best route for you.

Ordering one assembled the way you want it will give you more options but will probably cost you a little more because you will start picking better parts than the pre-assembled rifles have. And you still won't know any more about how they are built.

I'm a person that likes to know how things tick, so I enjoyed putting one together. It's not real hard. How much you want to assemble will dictate how many tools you need to buy. When you start replacing barrels and checking head spacing your an AR junkie. :D

You may wish to consider this. Decide what you want the rifle to look like and what sights you will want on it for the shooting you will do. (long range, short range)

Buy an assembled upper. That way the barrel, handguards, gas block and tube, and upper reciever are already together. Then buy a good bolt, carrier, and charging handle, to put in the upper and check the head space to make sure it is correct. (a gauge is less than 20 bucks)

Then buy a striped lower, a lower receiver parts kit, and a butt stock. That way you can learn how to assemble a lower and know how to replace a trigger. You will probably want to polish the trigger or replace it with a RRA 2 stage later.

You may not save any money this way, but you will learn about bolts, and lowers. You won't need any special tools. And you can always start replacing barrels later if you want to learn more.

If I'm not mistaken you are allowed to build one rifle (lower) a year. You will want to check on that if you want to do more than one. Sorry I do not know more about that.

Hope this helps and I didn't forget anything. :wink:

TA
 

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I've been told by many people, when I was tempted to buy one back in Feb or Mar, to buy the 1st one pre assembled. Many people told me that if U have problems and U assembled it part by part yourself, its hard for a beginner to troubleshoot an issue.

I think RRA is a great brand to go for. Also like the S&W ARs as well.
 

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I have had trouble with a few Rock river arms lowers. I like there stuff alot, some of the best AR's I have done where built on a RRA's but some of there lowers do not fit some uppers... The back pen lug is to tight in the recever and you have to mill out part of the lower recever or the upper recever. I have read about a few people haveing to do this.

There lowers have a much higher tolerance than any other brands.

Only picture I have of one I had to do on my own AR-15 pistol and I have tryed it on about 6 other brands of upper recevers.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v43/fatcat/?action=view&current=P5080002.jpg

Sorry, crappy picture the focus is messed up.
 

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I had an upper that didn't want to fit any of my lowers. It was from Olympic. Same as fatcat is describing except it was my upper that was the problem.

I smacked it with a rubber hammer and it fits and works fine now.

TA
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This info is good. I'm like most of you in that I like to know how something works. There's nothing like tearing apart a Walther P22 without instructions on how it goes back together. I always end up stripping everything down for a good cleaning or just to understand it. It's my nature.

So basicly, it's cheaper to buy one complete. I'm not in the immediate market for one, but I was curious. More than likely, Ruskie mil-surps are going to be all I'll ever afford. Thanks for the posts, guys. :D
 

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I have built a few AKs by myself but as everyone knows you can't resell them. They are for WTSHTF senarios. I think it is the same with ARs. If you ever want to resell then you should buy a complete AR.
 

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I thought it fell under the rule that if you are not an Arms Manufacturer you can't make and sell firearms. I can build my own but it is for personal use only and not for resale. Something about the Government getting their fee and tracking/#. Maybe I'm reading this wrong???

ohhh wait.... I bought the receivers pre-made and they have the serial # on them. I guess I was thinking about the ones were people make the receivers themselves. (therefor no #)
:roll:
 

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fieroCDSP said:
For the record, I know squat about AR-15's. I see a lot of guys buying lowers and parts kits, etc.... Is there a huge cost savings to building over buying one? What are the legalities involved (922 compliance?) etc. Is there some place I can get an idea what parts to look for?
If you're new to the AR I would suggest buying your first one a complete rifle so you could learn from it first, then when you're familiar with it build your second one and it's so addictive that I'm sure that you'll build more.

As for which cost less to build or buy, it depends if you're lucky in finding very low prices either way.

The majority of AR components are made in the USA except for Oberland Arms which are made in Germany but they're almost impossible to get here in the US, so no problems with 922 rules with all the other brands.

AR15.com have great info on AR-15, look at their "Information" link which shows the history, models, assembly drawings, etc.


Sample of AR15.com Parts Diagram: http://www.ar15.com/content/guides/parts/


They also have a detailed step by step how to assemble your own with pictures: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=226782
 

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The one cost advantage you have when building your own AR is that you can pay as you go. Some feel that beats layaway plans because you can actually get something the moment you pay for it. -One of my friends is having his son buy it one piece at a time so the son can afford it and they can build the firearm together. Also, as others have said, the advantage to building one yourself is that you can select what you do want (in regards to stock, grip, handguards, sights, etc.) and avoid the expensive and time consuming process of replacing stock parts with after-market parts...
 

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There are different definitions to "building your own." The most complicated is to literally assemble the individual parts. That was too much for me. The easiest way to build your own (I like easy) is to purchase a complete lower and then add a complete upper. The "build" is simply pushing two pins to connect the two.

My understanding is that there is an 11% federal tax on a completed firearm that you avoid by purchasing the two halves and joining them yourself. I just bought a complete lower from Ameetec Arms and joined it to CMMG upper. I didn't really spend less money than I could have bought a complete rifle for (I spent about $800), but I got a lot of upgrades that weren't included with the cheapest complete rifles and I got exactly what I wanted instead of whatever was included.
 

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Texas Armadillo said:
I had an upper that didn't want to fit any of my lowers. It was from Olympic. Same as fatcat is describing except it was my upper that was the problem.

I smacked it with a rubber hammer and it fits and works fine now.

TA
I have an upper like this as well that came from model one. The rear block for the take down pin was too wide so I filed it a little bit. I am using the upper on my dedicated 22lr AR.
 
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