New York Firearms Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All new to the site, so if this has been discussed before I apologize.

I have been thinking about buying the Stag AR15 Model 8 or the S&W M&P15 or something in that price range ($1000-1200). After looking through this forum I see a lot of folks buiding there own AR's. So the question is what does a quality build cost and can I build one with the same quality as the guns above for the same or less.

Also are there better guns then those listed for the same or less money? Thanks

BTW I am impressed with all the knowledge here without all the arrogance!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,553 Posts
You will not save money by building the same quality gun relatively identical to those you listed.

Some people build guns because they want to learn how they work and want a sense of accomplishment that they built their own. That's why I built my first gun.

Some people built their guns because they want a specific set of features not available on a commercial gun so we're left with a custom gun built to our specs or build our own. That's why I built my last couple. I built because I can assemble and AR without paying someone else to do it. For example I wanted an AR with no forward assist but with a shell deflector amongst other features. Try finding one of those commercially available without buying a custom built rifle.

Some people build guns because they want to save money. IMO, unless you are buying used parts or bargain (not great quality) parts then you don't really save anything. IMO if you buy a stag rifle off the shelf you'll get a better gun than if you spent the same amount of money on a build. The exception may be buying an upper from Palmetto State Armory. Their stuff is pretty cheap and people say it's good quality. I do not own anything from them so I can't comment from personal experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
I have done both......I say build one,it's soo much more rewarding ! There are tons of videos on YouTube and even more help here and it really isn't as hard as it may sound.....You can customize it that way as well and hand pick your own parts.....I would estimate depending on how crazy you want to get,you can save roughly $250-$300 by building one,so dive in and give it a try we will help you in any way we can,the people here are a wealth of knowledge...Good luck to you,and give me a holler if you need anything...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,553 Posts
I will add that building a rifle is fun but if you don't know what you're doing and something ends up not working properly you'll be lost. Without a spare parts bin to swap out 1 piece at a time someone new to ARs might have a real hard time troubleshooting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
Some people build guns because they want to save money. IMO, unless you are buying used parts or bargain (not great quality) parts then you don't really save anything. IMO if you buy a stag rifle off the shelf you'll get a better gun than if you spent the same amount of money on a build. The exception may be buying an upper from Palmetto State Armory. Their stuff is pretty cheap and people say it's good quality. I do not own anything from them so I can't comment from personal experience.
I agree with Jeff though......You really have to bargain shop to get the savings I am talking about,but it can be done if you have time to research and paitence to gather the parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,953 Posts
Agree with Jeff. Also, building your own you need to factor in an investment in some specialized tools and possibly compliance items (e.g., epoxy and pins for stock if your using a collapsable and/or pin and welding for compensator) that is likely to drive up the cost over a factory build. So, unless you're planning on building several, you'll likely get more value given your budget on an off the shelf gun built to be NYS compliant. That said, if you like to tinker and want some custom features/ specific parts, go for it! You'll probably spend more money than you're planning but will have a gun built to your specs. Good luck.

Oh, and welcome to the site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
I will add that building a rifle is fun but if you don't know what you're doing and something ends up not working properly you'll be lost. Without a spare parts bin to swap out 1 piece at a time someone new to ARs might have a real hard time troubleshooting.
Exactly.......I would recommend building a lower and adding a pre-built upper assembly at first and expand on your own experience from there.....Probably about the best deal out there is on a Smith & Wesson MP-15 Sport......You can get one brand new for around $650-$700 and they make a GREAT entry level AR.......Good shooters,reliable and easy to work on if you want to learn the "works" of an AR..!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
The only specialty tool you need to build a complete lower,and even that's a stretch is a castle nut wrench.....Now buuilding a upper yes,that is a different story.....You can buy a stock already pinned,have one pinned for around $20 or buy a A1 or A2 stock......No biggie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,534 Posts
For the mentioned $1000~$1200 range you can own brand new Colt or BCM that is of greater quality than Stag or S&W and radically cheapee than what you'd likely spend on parts to match thier quality should you build.

IMO, building should only be done by people who are very familiar and very skilled with the platform, AND then only if they cannot find exactly what they are looking for in a factory built firearm.

Its as good or better to just get a prebuilt that's close and swap a few parts to get it exactly where you *need it to be.




*'need' being configured for a specific task that requires certian and specific equiptment or operational parameters, not 'I dun gotted it cause it looks cool an I wanna beat the ban'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
IMO, building should only be done by people who are very familiar and very skilled with the platform, AND then only if they cannot find exactly what they are looking for in a factory built firearm.
I agree with that as well......I wouldn't mind trying my hand at building a upper someday,but that is a whole different ball game than building a lower......Building a lower can be a lot of fun though,I just did one and it took me about an hour,stock and all.....The only challenge I really had was lining up the trigger pin,the hole in the disconnector had a much tighter tolerance than I expected,then the hammer/spring was a little tricky as well,but once I was smart enough to use a drift pin to hold it in place it was a breeze....

I did use a really cool method to install the bolt catch and trigger guard roll pins though.....I took a pair of 12" plumber pliers,flat jaw,and wrapped the jaws with sports tape....The roll pins went in as smooth as silk,and much easier than using a punch,no worries about dinging the lower either,the tape creates a really soft non-marring surface to work with.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
478 Posts
What Jeff said, as usual, haha

It's pretty hard to make a custom build cheaper, but the build is half the fun, and you end up with EXACTLY what you want.

You can also pick up an off the shelf AR, and then buy a few custom parts and swap it in to make it yours, and get your feet wet. They don't call them grown up legos for nothing.

Stag or M&P are definitely your best bet in that price range.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
478 Posts
For the mentioned $1000~$1200 range you can own brand new Colt or BCM that is of greater quality than Stag or S&W and radically cheapee than what you'd likely spend on parts to match thier quality should you build.

IMO, building should only be done by people who are very familiar and very skilled with the platform, AND then only if they cannot find exactly what they are looking for in a factory built firearm.

Its as good or better to just get a prebuilt that's close and swap a few parts to get it exactly where you *need it to be.

*'need' being configured for a specific task that requires certian and specific equiptment or operational parameters, not 'I dun gotted it cause it looks cool an I wanna beat the ban'
No sense of adventure...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
Wether you build or buy one off the shelf,once you have a complete lower you can easily swap out uppers to change calibers as well......And there are several that use the same standard AR lower and mags.....6.8 SPC,.204 Ruger,7.62x39 etc......The magazine capacities will vary but there are many options......

I will correrct myself on the savings statement I made.....On a low/entry level AR your probably not going to save much,if you want to build a higher end target AR that is where you can start saving some money.......If you REALLY want to go cheap you can build one for around $550 using a Red X upper http://redxarms.com/ ,and the cheapest lower and parts to complete it however I wouldn't recommend it,unless you are really on a tight budget and and want an AR that badly....Atleast it will get you started on the AR platform,just don't expect great things.....AR's are a little fickle,sometimes you get what you pay for but then again there is an occasional nice cost effective surprise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,534 Posts
No sense of adventure...
I've probably built more than most people have even handled, and I don't mean just exclusively lowers.
Stuff like assembling A2 style rear sights from component parts. As in 'here's your 15 bags and 6 boxes of parts, now generate a functional, reliable, safe firearm you can bet your life on' 100% builds.

Literally the only thing I've not done is install a barrel extension, ( you know what that is, right?) , and thats only because I'm not a barrel manufacturer. Though I do have the tool just in case I ever decide to work from a fully stripped barrel some time.

No sense of adventure my ass...

I've got the tools and I've got the skills, but that doesn't mean I'll forgo an intelligent purchase just because I could build the same thing at home.

@THE RAVEN:
Take an old or extra trigger/hammer pin and cut it off at the inboard groove then file a very light taper on the end of the longer piece where you just cut it. Don't go back more than 1/32" if you can avoid it.

When doing a trigger and disconnect put them together on the bench with the slave pin and from there you can just basically drop the assembly in and shove the regular pin in and it'll butt against the flat end of the slave pin and the taper on the slave will aid in aligning the far side hole as it gets shoved out.
No need to try and hold it all together while pinning, and the slave pin s exactly the right size.
You can use it in the hammer to shove the lock spring back, but it doesn't do anything to help fight the spring legs.

The pliers on the bolt release assembly pin is a fair way to do it, but it can also **** things up in grand fashion if the pin isn't perfectly aligned and the pliers aren't quite true to the pin and/or receiver.
Excellent way to break one of the ears actually if the utmost undevided attention is given.

OT: You ever end up with a suitable bag or case?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
@THE RAVEN:
Take an old or extra trigger/hammer pin and cut it off at the inboard groove then file a very light taper on the end of the longer piece where you just cut it. Don't go back more than 1/32" if you can avoid it.

When doing a trigger and disconnect put them together on the bench with the slave pin and from there you can just basically drop the assembly in and shove the regular pin in and it'll butt against the flat end of the slave pin and the taper on the slave will aid in aligning the far side hole as it gets shoved out.
No need to try and hold it all together while pinning, and the slave pin s exactly the right size.
You can use it in the hammer to shove the lock spring back, but it doesn't do anything to help fight the spring legs.

The pliers on the bolt release assembly pin is a fair way to do it, but it can also **** things up in grand fashion if the pin isn't perfectly aligned and the pliers aren't quite true to the pin and/or receiver.
Excellent way to break one of the ears actually if the utmost undevided attention is given.

OT: You ever end up with a suitable bag or case?
That slave pin is a great idea.....Never thought of that,and with the pliers,yes I was very careful so get the pins started and "inch" them in....I heard horror stories about breaking off an ear,then you have a useless $100+ pile of crap.....

I decided on a Castle Rock Discreet Case Castle Rock Tactical - Discreet Case I spoke with the owner of the company,they are double stitched like you suggested I use,and they measure them from the inside,so my 25" upper will fit like a glove in one compartment and my lower in the other,so it will be the perfect size for me to carry across my lap to transport with the wheelchair factor.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Unless you want a name matching upper/lower I would buy an upper from like PSA (in-stock and around $400-$500) and wait for a lower to come up for sale here ($250-$300!You order a complete one and the wait list can be a while,and theres an extra tax fee for complete guns not to mention there store/dealer profit.Gotta help pay there light bills....
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top