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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday, I began my first AR build. I'm doing it like Johnny Cash - one piece at a time. And, with the taxman knocking for his annual handout for hippies and Welfare queens, I gotta spend it wisely.

There's an LGS nearby called Fat Boy Tactical, that specialize in ARs. I went by last weekend to ogle at their goodies. I hadn't come to a final decision on a stripped lower, so I picked the cheapest and coolest part I could find - a Fat Boy Tactical dust cover.



This build will take a while. I'll do my best to keep you posted on the progress.
 

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Crusty curmudgeon
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Spend some time perusing the Palmetto State Armory website. A lot of their parts are surplus from FN overruns on the DoD contract.

Don't be shy with their "blems" either. I have bought a few of their blem receivers, and I swear I cannot tell what makes them "blems".
 

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Muy bueno Easy CZ. Been a while since I really tinkered with the ARs. Mostly cause I can't see well now. Last one I put together was soneone's basket case/attempt to build, back in the late 80s. All the parts, some assembled some not, in a box. Swapped a Ruger Mk-I for it all. Got it all together and working. What the guy didn't tell me was that it was bored to 6mmX45. So I had to come up with some dies and work up a handload for it. Guess I could have got another upper for it, but I had others. I had it a while and eventually traded it. It was an Oly Arms receiver with a military upper, M-16 barrel rebored and reamed to .243 cal. on the .223 case. Not hard to form the case either.

Used, milspec parts were cheap back then. All over the gunshows. That was before the first AWB. Sure ain't that way now. You could buy a whole like new Colt back then for less than 4 bills. And now I'm too lazy. Would just rather buy a whole gun than put one together. Can't see to do all the fine stuff now.

Anyway, what brand receiver you considering?

Going M4, full size rifle, or heavy barrel varmint/paper puncher?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Muy bueno Easy CZ. Been a while since I really tinkered with the ARs. Mostly cause I can't see well now. Last one I put together was soneone's basket case/attempt to build, back in the late 80s. All the parts, some assembled some not, in a box. Swapped a Ruger Mk-I for it all. Got it all together and working. What the guy didn't tell me was that it was bored to 6mmX45. So I had to come up with some dies and work up a handload for it. Guess I could have got another upper for it, but I had others. I had it a while and eventually traded it. It was an Oly Arms receiver with a military upper, M-16 barrel rebored and reamed to .243 cal. on the .223 case. Not hard to form the case either.

Used, milspec parts were cheap back then. All over the gunshows. That was before the first AWB. Sure ain't that way now. You could buy a whole like new Colt back then for less than 4 bills. And now I'm too lazy. Would just rather buy a whole gun than put one together. Can't see to do all the fine stuff now.

Anyway, what brand receiver you considering?

Going M4, full size rifle, or heavy barrel varmint/paper puncher?
I'm leaning M4. I like carbine-sized guns, especially for HD, which will be this gun's primary purpose. Not sure about the receiver yet, but I like Mega, BCM, Umbrella Corp., PSA and Daniel Defense stuff.
 

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Muy bueno! Good stuff. I'm kinda cheap. Some guys on the boards claim they can put a gun together for slightly less than 5 bills. O.K. if they can.

All I ever had was full length rifles until I got the DPMS carbine from Wally World. It was 617+. Hadn't bought a new gun of any kind in a couple of years. Sounded good enough compared to prices at sporting goods and area gun stores. No local gun stores near here to compare to. Gunshow might match it pretty close. It just didn't have the little part you bought and the forward assist, but my old Colt doesn't have a forward assist. So?

Some guy came by my table at the last gunshow with 2 completed lowers and wanted 550 each or a grand for both. Something about the parts being some quality name brand target grade stuff. Asked him is he was trying to get up enough to buy a Bushy or something. He just laughed. Told him, maybe 5 for the pair. He laughed some more and left. Hell, that is pretty close to some pretty fair stuff and I could not tell what quality they were.

Saw anther guy walking a carbine. I asked. He only wanted 5 for it. Not bad, so I checked it out. No bolt or carrier. Said "I lost it." yeah, right. Proably put it in another gun. Offered half and he walked. Gotta keep trying anyway. [email protected] bolt and carrier would have clst half a new gun as parts.:D
 

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Crusty curmudgeon
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Saw anther guy walking a carbine. I asked. He only wanted 5 for it. Not bad, so I checked it out. No bolt or carrier. Said "I lost it." yeah, right. Proably put it in another gun. Offered half and he walked. Gotta keep trying anyway. [email protected] bolt and carrier would have clst half a new gun as parts.:D
Actually, if you shop around, you can get quality bolt/carrier assemblies for under $125.

Here's one for $90.

I woulda walked if you had offered me $250, too. OTOH, if you offered me $375, I probably would have taken you up. If the parts were quality, $400 would have been a reasonable offer.
 

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Actually, if you shop around, you can get quality bolt/carrier assemblies for under $125.

Here's one for $90.

I woulda walked if you had offered me $250, too. OTOH, if you offered me $375, I probably would have taken you up. If the parts were quality, $400 would have been a reasonable offer.
That's the thing about the gunshows. If ya find someone that wants it they will pay what it's worth. Other than that it's something you gotta get on the cheap to keep or to turn if ya can't use it. I try not to give more than 50-60 % for anything even if it looks like new and is something in demand. If I want it for myself, might go up to 75% or so.

Hey Easy, ya got that next part yet?
 

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I woulda walked if you had offered me $250, too. OTOH, if you offered me $375, I probably would have taken you up. If the parts were quality, $400 would have been a reasonable offer.
Kinda depends on the unit, doesn't it? Not to mention...he isn't getting retail if he's talking to vendors.;)

I can (and did) buy a complete AR at Walmart or CAL-Ranch for $600-$675, or an upper will cost me $300+ online, plus $100 for a BCG...so why would one want to give some unknown guy with unknown skills and unknown parts more than $250 for a lower, which would push the price of the completed rifle close to or over that $600 mark?
 

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Crusty curmudgeon
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why would one want to give some unknown guy with unknown skills and unknown parts more than $250 for a lower, which would push the price of the completed rifle close to or over that $600 mark?
Simple. Because if the unit was assembled with quality parts, there is literally no "unknown skill" to worry about. You can teach a mokey to assemble an AR15. They are like legos. How do you screw up legos? You can't. They only work one way. Same with AR parts. You can break parts, just like you can break legos, but you can't screw them up by merely assembling them.
 

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Doing the gunshow thing is a roll of the dice sometimes. If you are carefull you can do well. Even if ya get a lemon or something that has to be repaired, it's o.k. if ya pay way less than what it is suppose to go for.

Forgot about this one. Guy came up with what looked like a home built AR. Standard buttstock and lower. Upper looked right, but had a heavy, short stainess barrel on it. Aimpoint already mounted. Only wanted 5 so I checked it out. Good enough for just the parts. However the bolt did not look quite right. Looked good, so I offered 4 and he was eager to sell. Asked if it was a .223 and worked o.k. He said yes.

He looked a little too eager So, I gave it a tug on the charging handle. Knda hard to move. When it did, there was no bolt out front of the carrier. I asked him to break it open and he made some excuse about it being made from match parts and it was too hard to do it without tools. Looked at the bolt closer. It was actually a .22 LR upper he had assembled. He tried to pass it off as a .223. Even at 4, the parts were worth it, but it just didn't work well for some reason.Might have been able to tweek it. His little scam also did not set well with me, so I passed it. I would have offered him only 2 bills if Ihad known it was a .22 anyway. There were some pretty fair .22 cal ARs at the show for only a bill more brand new.
 

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Simple. Because if the unit was assembled with quality parts, .............but you can't screw them up by merely assembling them.
That's a BIG "if", and if you've seen some of the things I've seen under semi trailers and inside engine compartments...there isn't a thing in God's green earth that some people can't screw up.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Picked this up today!





Complete Anderson Manufacturing Lower
Forged 7075 Aluminum
Stainless Steel Trigger and Stainless Steel Speed Hammer
M4 Six-Position Stock

Now, to save up for an upper and I'm G2G!

I was going to build the lower myself, but I couldn't pass this deal up. OTD under $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Saving up for a 16-inch complete upper - probably go with PSA. But, I'm open to suggestions.
 

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That's going to be a beautiful build. Been thinking about doing one but seems like everybody and their brother is selling AR parts and I don't know who's good, who isn't and what not. Someone made a remark about what qualifies as a blem, could be a scratch, discoloration or workmanship that doesn't measure up to qc standards. As long as they are representing the part as being in specs then you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here she is...



I went with a 16-inch PSA Freedom upper with DD OmegaX rail. ARMs 71L sights arrived today. The only things remaining are the BCG and charging handle.
 
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