View Full Version : New Build Questions
Okay, I need some advice on a new M4 style rifle build. I have an extra lower receiver that is begging to be built, and the $265 DSA upper is calling my name. I've built 3 ARs, from standard kits before, nothing fancy. This time, I want to go a little "tacticool" with it and have some fun.
I was thinking of getting a quad rail for it, and that's my first question. What are the advantages of having the style below, vs the normal one?
Maybe not UTG but that style, any benefits?
Next question, the stock. I'm thinking I want to go Magpul, either ACS or the CTR.
Any good reviews on either? I'm looking for overall usefulness relating to price, and definite emphasis on FUNCTION.
I'm gonna put a standard vertical foregrip, a flashlight, and a reddot (probably eotech) on it, but other than that...anything else I'm missing?
I'm planning on standard lower parts kit, and I have an M16 bolt carrier already, so no need for one of those.
Kind of depends what your other builds are. Have you considered or decided on barrel length/twist rate/material/profile/manufacturer/gas system length?
I have an ACS - I like it quite well, very solid. That is the usefulness of the stock - being solid when you you shoulder it. AFAIK, the difference between ACS and CTR is that the ACS has storage for batteries and comes with 3 Magpul dummy rounds in an additional small storage compartment.
I presume your question re: handguard refers to the fact that it works with a standard FSB. This just gives a little extra length of rail in front of the front sight. You could also replace the front sight with a low profile gas block, get a long length rail and use a flip-up sight. The 'advantage' is a more streamlined look and potential for longer sight radius (and flip-up front sight can give a slightly lower profile and be flipped down if you prefer, for say, use with an Eotech or other red dot).
The biggest advantage of a free-floated handguard is that you can use a sling/front sight/other accessories without messing with your barrel...anything you put directly on the barrel (especially things that could be impacted and affect, however slightly, the fit of the barrel to receiver) could lead to altered accuracy - if you are constantly pulling on a sling that is mounted on your front sight base, for instance, you are pulling on the barrel every time you pull on the sling. Also, the longer your rail, the farther out you could mount a bipod - the farther out the bipod, the better, in short (although if you were using a bipod and moving a lot, having it a little farther back might be nice so you are not moving as much behind the gun).
Take a look at Magpul's AFG - a slanted foregrip, essentially. Might like it, might not, but it kind of seems from your post that you might not have used one before.
It really depends on why you are buling the rifle - for looks, just buy whatever you think is the coolest looking handguard at the cheapest price, don't worry about free floating. If you want as accurate a gun as you can build, consider a really nice barrel (BCM's stainless steel or cold hammer forged, or a really high end Krieger or White Oak, etc.).
If you are thinking of getting into 3-gun or something, consider some extended controls, or 'speed-enhancing' controls.
As far as the ACS vs. CTR, they're both great stocks. I like the ACS for the storage, though the CTR is lighter, if you're going for a lightweight build I'd pick it. For a "normal" build the ACS gets my vote.
As I said before, I'm going for the $265 upper from DSA, its a M$ style upper. So, 16" barrel, short handguard, etc.
My other builds that I currently have are one standard AR15A2, 20" barrel, only iron sites, standard military issue. The other build is a CAR 15, 16" barrel, (normal, heavy barrel, not like the M4 barrel) it is all flat top, no sites and an Eotech. It's pretty basic and lightweight.
I want this one for fun/function with the ability to do 3 gun if I so desire. Basically, I'm trying to find a happy medium between cheap and effective. I think the DSA upper should be a pretty decent start (their FAL products are outstanding). The quad rail and stock are my main issues as I've never used them on AR15s before. I want it to look cool yes, but I don't want to waste my money.
Also, I've never really upgraded an AR much, besides adding the Eotech, so I'd like to add some things that will make the rifle better to use and more effective( foregrip, quad rail, better stock and grip)
Look at Bravo COmpany's uppers, and consider a mid-length gas system, look into Spike's Tactical's buffer (has powder instead of solid metal, is touted to make for a smoother running gun - same idea with mid-length gas system). Free-floated rail recommendation stands...and probably even stick with a mid-profile barrel (might be what you have on your other 16" - there are heavy, mid-weight, M4, and lightweight barrels, all of which are a bit different profile from each other, unless I am mistaken (which I might be - this is from looking at all kinds of posts and web sites - the terms seem to describe individual characteristics rather than different terms describing the same characteristic, but it might be that lightweight and M4 are the same thing).
I suppose DSA is fine - I am not particularly or personally familiar with their products, but I know in my somewhat extensive searches that I have come across some positive comments and no negative comments on their products.
Consider a quick-detach mount for your EoTech - LaRue makes arguably the best, but there are other great names, and less expensive/good quality items like GGG (I have a GGG on my EoTech, and while it seems a bit less sturdy than I would like, has functioned fine for my use, keeping a zero and whatnot). That will save you money on optics anyway.
It is possible to do a long rail on a carbine system - I like this setup and the look for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post. Might also consider a nice compensator/flash suppressor; they only non-A2 birdcage suppressor I have used is Primary Weapon Systems' 'TTO' (Todd's Tiny One) - it is a suppessor only, no flash hider function; they also make a FSC556 or something, which has a strong reputation among people who post about them. Smoothes out the firing of the gun (although it makes it louder), but I didn't notice a HUGE difference - I find 5.56 very manageable anyway. Just another thought for trying out new things on a rifle.
I'm not convinced on Mid length, I like to keep things Military based. I bought an ACS magpul and will soon buy a mil spec buffer tube. I appreciate your input very much. I was thinking of doing a nickle BCG and SS lower parts kit. I really think I want to stick with the DSA upper because of the price and my experience with DSA.
This is my other short AR
Today, I added a quad rail and VFG. I'm not sure they'll stay though, they add ALOT of weight.
Ordered the $265 parked DSA upper.
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