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  1. #1
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    "budget AR thread" has me thinking

    The budget AR thread has me thinking I want one. I have no experience with the AR platform. I would assume 223 is the best way to go. Any recommendations or what to stay away from is appreciated. I was looking at MP 15's to have similar 22lr and 223 rifles. I need to do more reading on sights etc. I have too many handguns and may sell a few or trade for the right AR to fund this project. Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcdogfish View Post
    The budget AR thread has me thinking I want one. I have no experience with the AR platform. I would assume 223 is the best way to go. Any recommendations or what to stay away from is appreciated. I was looking at MP 15's to have similar 22lr and 223 rifles. I need to do more reading on sights etc. I have too many handguns and may sell a few or trade for the right AR to fund this project. Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.
    It's rare these days to find a true .223 Remington chambered AR-15. Most will either by chambered in 5.56x45 or .223 Wylde. The confusion comes from the idea that .223 Wylde is a caliber, when it's in fact not. It's simply a designation for the type of chamber cut. Fear not, 5.56 and .223 Wylde chambers can both safely fire .223 Remington and 5.56 ammunition, but a .223 Remington chamber is dedicated to .223 Remington ONLY. Depending on what your intended purpose and budget are, that will help you decide what your choices will be.

    Building isn't the way to go if it's your first rifle. The people who say otherwise are inexperienced and neglect to account for the cost of tools and the amount of time spent learning the platform. It's much cheaper to just buy a quality rifle from the start.

    Your choices are going to be narrowed down based on barrel length, gas system length, and chamber cut:

    14.5" Pinned & Welded, 16", 18", or 20" Barrel Lengths
    Carbine Length, Mid Length, or Rifle Length Gas Systems
    5.56 Chamber or .223 Wylde Chambers

    From then you can decide on what you are willing to spend. A decent fighting carbine will run between $900-1500. There are various rifles that cost less, but they come at the cost of cut corners, cheaper materials, poor assembly, and overall lesser quality. However, that may be totally fine if your only plans are to go to the range every now and then to shoot a box of ammo down range with the kids. If you're looking to get a rifle for home defense and want to take some classes or shoot thousands of rounds down range per year, you should really look into buying a quality rifle.

    If you ever need any help or have questions, PM me and I'll help as best as I can.

  3. #3
    Marksman

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    Most of the people on here can give you wayyy better advice than me. One thing I know for sure is you want a 5.56 build -- 5.56 can shoot 223, but not the other way around. I'm in exactly the same boat as you, just two months ahead of your timeline... I'm currently staring at a box of parts for my first build. Sold a couple handguns to finance it, and am going to start the build process probably next week. Financially speaking, we have terrible timing.

    Quote Originally Posted by DAVE_M View Post
    Building isn't the way to go if it's your first rifle. The people who say otherwise are inexperienced and neglect to account for the cost of tools and the amount of time spent learning the platform. It's much cheaper to just buy a quality rifle from the start.
    I am one of those inexperienced people Dave is referring to, but I wanted to roll my own vs buying a complete rifle so I could learn the nuances of how everything works. For me, the investment of resources seems worthwhile. My build is 100% crowdsourced, based on some other forums (mostly reddit.com/r/ar15) and long -- probably extremely boring for them -- chats with people off this site. It's not "budget" but I'd say it's middle of the road respectable from tip to tip. I spent a fair amount of time researching every little spring and screw. I'm just over a grand on the rifle itself, plus another 500-ish on optics, sling, mags and $50 for some tools I didn't have. I haven't double-checked everything but I assume that I overpaid by about 15% because of my timing.

    I found this and used it as my starting off point: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1934667715 then tweaked and updated as need be. I didn't stick to their specific recommendations as much as I did use it for a resource to makes sure I had everything. (I'll share my pics and list when I get it all ready to roll.)

    This video looks to be a very good resource for building: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG03...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by southerncanuck; September 16th, 2020 at 10:22 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by southerncanuck View Post
    so I could learn the nuances of how everything works.
    This is the best reason to build, but people should go about it the way you are by learning and taking their time, rather than cobbling everything together at the dinner table with pliers and a beer.

    Quote Originally Posted by southerncanuck View Post
    This video looks to be a very good resource for building: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG03...ature=youtu.be
    It's a good start, but there are some things he does in that video that I would absolutely recommend not doing.

  5. #5
    Newbie

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    thanks Dave, appreciate the reply, SouthernC thanks for the links. Timing is bad for buying but good for selling, thats why I'm probably selling or trading to fund the AR,,should be a wash.

  6. #6
    Marksman

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    When I got my first AR I went with a 5.56 mid length gas and 1:8 twist. That thing shoots way better than I do but I am not looking for .25MOA out of that type of rifle.
    If you want to get some hands on with your AR like I did I would buy an upper in the spec/price range you desire and then build your lower. Building your lower can be done without all the specialized tools unlike an upper. I am in no way a master armorer and I was able to get my first lower built with some pliers, punches,some painters tape and watching videos on YouTube and Brownells website. It is still functioning flawlessly to this day and nothing has loosened up but I also don't shoot 15k rounds a year through it but I think it would be fine even then.

    My next challenge is to convert a 5.56 upper to 300BO but need to get some of those specialiezed tools to do that and make sure it is safe to shoot but that is a story for another time.

  7. #7
    Marksman

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVE_M View Post
    It's rare these days to find a true .223 Remington chambered AR-15. Most will either by chambered in 5.56x45 or .223 Wylde. The confusion comes from the idea that .223 Wylde is a caliber, when it's in fact not. It's simply a designation for the type of chamber cut. Fear not, 5.56 and .223 Wylde chambers can both safely fire .223 Remington and 5.56 ammunition, but a .223 Remington chamber is dedicated to .223 Remington ONLY. Depending on what your intended purpose and budget are, that will help you decide what your choices will be.

    Building isn't the way to go if it's your first rifle. The people who say otherwise are inexperienced and neglect to account for the cost of tools and the amount of time spent learning the platform. It's much cheaper to just buy a quality rifle from the start.

    Your choices are going to be narrowed down based on barrel length, gas system length, and chamber cut:

    14.5" Pinned & Welded, 16", 18", or 20" Barrel Lengths
    Carbine Length, Mid Length, or Rifle Length Gas Systems
    5.56 Chamber or .223 Wylde Chambers

    From then you can decide on what you are willing to spend. A decent fighting carbine will run between $900-1500. There are various rifles that cost less, but they come at the cost of cut corners, cheaper materials, poor assembly, and overall lesser quality. However, that may be totally fine if your only plans are to go to the range every now and then to shoot a box of ammo down range with the kids. If you're looking to get a rifle for home defense and want to take some classes or shoot thousands of rounds down range per year, you should really look into buying a quality rifle.

    If you ever need any help or have questions, PM me and I'll help as best as I can.
    Great post! Informative and helpful.

  8. #8
    _________

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcdogfish View Post
    thanks Dave, appreciate the reply, SouthernC thanks for the links. Timing is bad for buying but good for selling, thats why I'm probably selling or trading to fund the AR,,should be a wash.
    The biggest hurdle right now is just trying to find guns and parts.

    I had a friend ask me to find him a specific rifle model and when I finally found it, he decided to think about it overnight. By the morning, they were sold out with no immediate restock. If you overpay a little to get what you want, it’s not as bad, but overpaying and finding out you regret your purchase is tough.

  9. #9
    Marksman

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    Building if the fun part.
    FYI - buy more detent pins and springs than you need, when they fly out while building you will never find them!

  10. #10
    Shooter

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    Dave is right on, you could not pick a worse time to buy or build an AR. Supply and demand, just like ammo right now. Stripped lowers are going for anywhere from $75 to 125 right now, crazy prices.

    That DPMS AR15 selling for $500 new a couple years ago is commanding $700+ in the used market right now in very good condition. You just cannot walk into a store and purchase 5.56 ammo right now. Isn't happening. Ditto 9mm Luger.

    And if you are going to only build one or two, not really worth the expense for a few specialized tools you need to properly assemble an AR15, especially the upper assembly.
    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana

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