to build or not to build, that is the question [Archive] - Glock Talk

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TsunamiMike
10-25-2011, 12:37
So i am looking into my first AR, i have looked at the S&W Sport, DPMS Oracle & Panther, LMT, Bushmaster and colt. I have also seen where i can purchase the pieces seperately and spend around $450 for a base model no scope.

I know your gonna ask so here goes:

What is its primary purpose? Today, shoot paper at the range and maybe take a tactical class. Tomorrow, who knows maybe competitions....?

How much do you want to spend? Currently i am in the mood to spend roughly 650.00 as i just bought a new shotgun.

Do you want a Piston, or Direct Impingment AR? doesn't matter at this point...

So what are your thoughts, i have only shot an Ar a couple of times and am not "real" familiar with it and its maintainence or breakdowns, i just want a BLACK RIFLE!

What are your thoughts????

a_tack
10-25-2011, 13:16
Honestly, for $650, you probably aren't going to get a ready built rifle that will serve you well in a tactical class or competition. General plinking and hunting, it is very attainable in most of the rifles you listed.

FWIW, I bought a DPMS A3 Lite 16 for general plinking and hunting. It does it's job very well. I would not use it for a tactical course as it is a thin profile chromoly barrel and heats up quick if rapidly fired. For my plinking and hunting purposes it is very accurate out to the 200 yard mark so far. Not the greatest, not the worst. It fit my bill, may not fit yours.

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surf
10-25-2011, 13:35
IMO your limiting yourself on that type of a budget even if you build your own. Yes you can do it, but IMO with prices so low on good, to high quality parts or even complete uppers, lowers or even complete rifles, saving another $150 - $300 will get you a good to high quality, no frills, base rifle that will handle courses and can more easily transition into competition without costing you more later to upgrade certain items. In reality, while you can do courses or competition with iron sights, most people tend for some type of optic and trigger set ups and you can easily spend half as much or even as much or more money on "accessories" than the actual rifle. IMO, it is best to start off with a high quality base rifle to begin with so that you can focus your funds to areas that you want to address with accessories as you become more familiar with the platform and your needs / desires. Upgrading parts, or internals or fixing these things detracts and costs more in the long run.

IGotIt
10-25-2011, 14:11
Here's my two cents: Unless you are going to war or entering competitions for money, buy what you can afford rather than wait for an unknown period of time while trying to save up more money.

The thing about asking opinions, is that everyone who has an x rifle, or a y rifle, or a z rifle will tell you that's the one to get because they are the best in the world disregarding the amount YOU want to spend.

Avoid the entry level rifles and parts but look at buying the upper already assembled, and then buying a stripped lower, the LPK, and, a stock assembly, then put it together yourself. One, it saves a bit of money doing it that way, two; you get to know the parts and how they work for future reference, and three; there is a sense of accomplishment doing it. Lowers are easy to put together using basic tools and there is a lot of how to install info on the internet.

The holidays are coming and a lot of companies put their products on sale so get on their email lists. Early this year I picked up a LMT upper for $345, and by time everything was together, I had a rifle for $520.05.

The deals are out there, just be attentive and keep checking around.

M1A Shooter
10-25-2011, 14:47
if i had the 650 to build or buy right now, i'd probably go with a PSA kit and a locally sourced stripped lower. http://palmettostatearmory.com/2552.php
then i'd probably add a NC Star fixed rear sight for around $29. then if the budget still allows, id go with a primary arms reddot. should get you in around $700 with the dot sight and it will be a usable range toy built with a good foundation. you can then upgrade the furniture and optics/sights as you figure out what you want/need.

ETA: you will also probably want some basic tools. i built my first lower with a pair of channel lock pliers, a hammer and a nail set from my tool bag. my last build, i got a $9 set of steel punches from harbor freight and a $35 armorers wrench from the local gunstore. much easier to use but they arent absolutely necessary. just take your time and it will go together fine. a bench vise helps as well but is not at all necessary for a lower build. alost necessary once you start swapping barrels and upper parts though, imho.

FatBoy
10-25-2011, 16:17
for that kind of $$$ i'd try to bulid a PSA also.

surf
10-25-2011, 17:41
If you do go with PSA at this time, please have someone who is very familiar with this platform inspect the weapon or assemblies very closely prior to shooting them.

Here's my two cents: Unless you are going to war or entering competitions for money, buy what you can afford rather than wait for an unknown period of time while trying to save up more money.

The thing about asking opinions, is that everyone who has an x rifle, or a y rifle, or a z rifle will tell you that's the one to get because they are the best in the world disregarding the amount YOU want to spend. Lets not forget that we need to think about sales tax and/or shipping and/or FFL fees. They generally apply. So in reality $650 will not go as far as one generally thinks. I will also add that if someone can save $650 and absolutely cannot wait a couple of months and save another $150 or so dollars, well perhaps that $650 should go to the more important things in life than a new range plinking toy. But it ain't my money.

Avoid the entry level rifles and parts but look at buying the upper already assembled, and then buying a stripped lower, the LPK, and, a stock assembly, then put it together yourself. One, it saves a bit of money doing it that way, two; you get to know the parts and how they work for future reference, and three; there is a sense of accomplishment doing it. Lowers are easy to put together using basic tools and there is a lot of how to install info on the internet.

The holidays are coming and a lot of companies put their products on sale so get on their email lists. Early this year I picked up a LMT upper for $345, and by time everything was together, I had a rifle for $520.05.

The deals are out there, just be attentive and keep checking around.Was this NIB? Which upper assembly and what dealer had this sale so I can look out for it maybe this year? I can believe that a dealer ran this special on an incomplete lower as $345 for a new LMT upper assembly w/o handguards, no bolt carrier group, no rear sight and no charging handle is hovering around dealer cost. Slightly under without checking.

Even at dealer cost for the LMT you still are looking at another $150 for those extra parts if they are not complete garbage. So that puts you in the $495 range for a totally complete LMT upper, ready to aim and fire when placed on a lower. At this point I cannot come up with a way to do a lower to get into your quoted price range and I have all the tools and do this type of work as a part of my professional job. Hell I thought I got great pricing on stuff?

RyanNREMTP
10-25-2011, 18:54
My opinion, for what it's worth, is since you have only shot a few ARs and are mainly looking at something for plinking, I would consider getting one in .22.

Javelin
10-25-2011, 19:33
Save another $400 and buy a Colt 6920.

Javelin
10-25-2011, 19:33
Yes in 3 years you will thank me vs. going the budget bin route. ;)

vafish
10-25-2011, 19:47
I say go the budget route, buy a bunch of no name parts and slap it together.

If you don't toss the whole AR15 platform out the window first by the time you get it all working right you will have a very good knowledge of the AR15 and you will really appreciate a quality rifle.

crazymoose
10-25-2011, 20:03
http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/2520.php

IGotIt
10-25-2011, 20:31
If you do go with PSA at this time, please have someone who is very familiar with this platform inspect the weapon or assemblies very closely prior to shooting them.

Lets not forget that we need to think about sales tax and/or shipping and/or FFL fees. They generally apply. So in reality $650 will not go as far as one generally thinks. I will also add that if someone can save $650 and absolutely cannot wait a couple of months and save another $150 or so dollars, well perhaps that $650 should go to the more important things in life than a new range plinking toy. But it ain't my money.

Was this NIB? Which upper assembly and what dealer had this sale so I can look out for it maybe this year? I can believe that a dealer ran this special on an incomplete lower as $345 for a new LMT upper assembly w/o handguards, no bolt carrier group, no rear sight and no charging handle is hovering around dealer cost. Slightly under without checking.

Even at dealer cost for the LMT you still are looking at another $150 for those extra parts if they are not complete garbage. So that puts you in the $495 range for a totally complete LMT upper, ready to aim and fire when placed on a lower. At this point I cannot come up with a way to do a lower to get into your quoted price range and I have all the tools and do this type of work as a part of my professional job. Hell I thought I got great pricing on stuff?

Yes, NIB, 16". Sawtooth Tactical, Memorial Day only sale. I'll PM you with other info.

TsunamiMike
10-25-2011, 21:00
Surf, 650 is play money, I didn't save up for it and my family does not go without either. Thanks for your concern...

Cole125
10-25-2011, 21:32
Surf, 650 is play money, I didn't save up for it and my family does not go without either. Thanks for your concern...

I hear the S&W sport is a decent rifle for the price.

Also, and I will probably catch hell for this, but you can get a Ruger Mini 14 for under $700. IMO its a much better rifle than a bargain bin el-cheapo AR.

I have two ARs(CMMG M4 LE and Olympic Arms CAR AR) and a Mini 14, and IMO the Mini holds its own against them. Something to think about.

surf
10-26-2011, 12:08
Surf, 650 is play money, I didn't save up for it and my family does not go without either. Thanks for your concern...Even better to know. If you have the "play money" and the family is all good, even better to put a bit more into your budget from the start. As mentioned in my above post, be skeptical of numbers that some people may give on builds. There is a lot to take into account and like any project, not just firearms, going over budget is more often the norm and not the exception. I broke down some numbers in an above post for parts only and the final build tally given is not realistic for the average builder. I would have to use some of the parts I already own to get those numbers. The prices or deals that myself and others may get on parts or FFL's or even shipping is not necessarily the same as the general shooting community. I try to give realistic numbers for your average person wanting to do a build.

I build A LOT of custom rifles and do this work as a part of my profession and can tell you that many people on forums don't take the big picture into account when building. Parts is one thing, then consider tax, shipping on various items from probably various vendors, FFL's, tools, your time, gas for running around etc, etc and things add up and budgets go overboard quickly. People often end up spending as much as they could have for a complete higher quality rifle.

Sure you might miss out on the joys of wondering why you have a one shot wonder and why it won't cycle correctly and attempt to trouble shoot gremlins that can give professional gun smiths fits. And perhaps after hours or days upon days of tinkering, reading, researching, investing money on various buffers, springs etc, etc, etc, you either A - finally get it right or B - finally pay a pro to do the work. I would hate to deprive you of that learning process as it can be valuable. Not trying to detract from the DIYers out there, but this above story is far from uncommon. If you do decide to build in any shape or form, check out my video channel in my signature as I fully support the DIY types and show you how to completely build a rifle all from parts. The video's are a bit long winded as they are meant to address anyone, even those with no mechanical abilities with minimal tools and no AR building experience. Even though I support DIYers, I also try to keep it real.

I have yet to throw out any brands on parts or rifles as there are many good ones that would suit your needs. But if you want a very good quality rifle finished from any stages of parts to a complete rifle, at your door, in your hands, ready to fire, plan on being in the $800 range when everything is said and done. The $1000 range and you will be into the excellent quality range on a rifle that will last for whatever purposes you want and will easily be passed on to your kids.

I really have no issues with whatever you chose, but making the most informed decision is what keeps you from coming back with a subsequent horror story, I shoulda done this, type of post. Good luck and have fun with the rifle. They are extremely addicting. :)

Tango 1Zero
10-26-2011, 12:31
http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/2520.php


Exactly what I have and built on a spikes lower from AIM. I have less than $600 in it with no optics.
Its a quality kit.

beatcop
10-26-2011, 17:01
Yep, age old question. I've gone both routes, but it comes down to how much cash you have and how important the rifle is to you. Do you want a 100% rifle w/gaurantee, matching finish & parts, prob an accuracy "standard" & some form of QC inspection?

After getting a "pre-ban" receiver and finding out the takedown pins had to be flogged in and out, the lower was gray and the upper black, the mags wouldn't lock back, and the rear sight had to be cranked too far to one side for my taste, the gas tube pin went missing....other than that it's a good rifle that I had $650 into plus the cost of a barrel wrench.

Your mileage will vary, but there a plenty of "decent" factory rifles out there in the $700 range...my advice, preserve any resale value by getting a Colt for 900-1000.