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OK, AR builders what's the real deal to build your own?

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
I mean I saw an ad on some Internet ad to buy a "Partially Complete" lower receiver no FFL required, so what kind work and parts kits do you need to complete one.

What is the legal deal on finishing yer own? And what can you expect to save by going this route?

Just curious. Me, if I ever decide to get an AR and delve into the Dark-side I'll probably just buy a complete one with front and rear iron sights, range ready without having to buy anything else, just some ammo. To my narrow minded way of thunking, a dang semi-auto rifle should be ready to shoot outta the box just like when I drew an M-16 outta the arms room in the Army.

It took me 62 years to get the way I am and I ain't about to change now :tooth::conehead:
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

Replies

  • LerchessLerchess Senior Member Posts: 550 Senior Member
    There is no background check required for an 80% receiver. To complete it, you would want a jig to finish drilling out holes or whatever they did not complete.

    I have little interest in them as well, however I understand the desire to retain a small amount of America with these.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    If you can find a great deal on a complete rifle that has what you want on it, do it, for the first one, at least. Or buy the complete lower and complete upper and snap it together in 30 seconds. If you get 'into it' like I kinda did (on a limited basis), buy a stripped lower through your FFL and a parts kit for about $120 total, and spend 30 minutes building it and buy or build the upper, too, the way you want it. My 14 yo grandson built one for him and one for me, with a little help from me and a youtube video, then I bought complete uppers and purchased the bolt carrier, charging handle, iron sights, etc. as the money came in to do it with. We also purchased 3 NM triggers while they were on for half price, and he installed his and I did two for me - easy job.

    The only thing with buying a cheap one is that some don't have forward assist (which I like) and they may not have the free-float front grip and/or gas block that you want, or that has the picatinny rails you want. I ended up getting a cheap quad rail and then put rail covers on the parts I didn't want to use.

    Try it, you'll like it.
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,541 Senior Member
    Yes you can build one cheap. But you get what you pay for.

    I recently built my 6 x 45 and I suspect before optics it was around $700, maybe a bit less. That includes a good trigger. Barrel and trigger alone eat up $400 and that is with a bargain barrel.

    It really depends on how close you want those holes at 100 yards!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    JKP wrote: »
    It really depends on how close you want those holes at 100 yards!

    I went that route, first. But for the cheapie, I'll settle for beer can accuracy. I don't care for Soviet Bloc rifles, but the cheapie will fill in for the AK I'm not going to own.
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,541 Senior Member
    Went back and looked at receipts for stuff I used recently, here's a breakdown (more or less).

    Stripped upper and lower - probably about $80-100 total invested, can't remember exactly
    Buffer tube, spring, assembly, ACE skeleton stock - $122
    Lower parts kit (some parts upgraded...) $75
    3 lb trigger - about $150
    Grip - about $25
    Bolt carrier group - $130
    Scope mount $60
    Muzzle brake - $60
    Diamondhead free float handguard - $190
    Gas tube and block - $15
    AR Stoner stainless 6x45 barrel - $201
    Upper parts kit - $20
    Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16 scope - $285

    Roughly $1300.

    Damn, I spent a lot on this ugly black rifle!!! Of course a few parts stand out as cost drivers - handguard, stock, and barrel. Cheapers parts certainly exist. Conversely, you can spend $1000 on a trigger and barrel alone.

    a99c154b872664b7648cdad529702e56.jpg
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    JKP what kinda groups are you getting with yours? Nice. but you got some $$$ invested in it fer sure.

    I was asking about 80% jobbies.............but it's all interesting.

    Would a a regular drill/bits and a fixture do it or do you need a drill press/semi shop set up?
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Basically it falls back on to you can make a gun for yourself as long as you do not sell, give, transfer it to another person. It is the ghost gun type thing liberals are scared of. With the jig it is fairly easy to finish the last 20% and there is no 4473 or other paper trail so those in power right now have no way to know who owns an evil black rifle since that lower is the serial numbered part and since you "made it" no serial number on file.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,541 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    JKP what kinda groups are you getting with yours? Nice. but you got some $$$ invested in it fer sure.

    I was asking about 80% jobbies.............but it's all interesting.

    Would a a regular drill/bits and a fixture do it or do you need a drill press/semi shop set up?

    Just shot a five shot 100 yard group at 0.5".

    The .223 variants with Wylde chambers and what not tend to be more accurate.

    Regarding the $, some of mine is just preference or desire for a certain look / functionality that has no bearing on accuracy. The stock and hand guard for example.

    After saving maybe $20 by using an 80% lower you still have all the other stuff to buy and build.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    There are some DPMS models around that run complete for about $600 without carry handle. I bought one in 2009 that came with a 16" barrel, 2 30 round mags, iron sights, plain forward grip, carry handle mounted on the top rail and adjustable stock for roughly $1100. Way too much money, but I really wanted one and Obama's election had skyrocketed prices at the time. I like the DPMS brand and seems to be a pretty good rifle.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I buy unfinished Mauser receivers for $29.95 each, and do the finish machining, heat treating, and other assembly operations myself. What I get for my effort is a brand new 98 Mauser, with no serial number and no paper trail, that is 100% legal unless I try to sell it to someone. I have enough of those receivers stashed away to keep myself and a couple of future generations armed, regardless of what the gun grabbers do. The 80% lowers serve the same purpose for people who don't mind building a poodle shooter instead of a full-grown rifle.
    Jerry
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,370 Senior Member
    The real "pro" to building your oun is building it exactly the way you want without having to ditch all the spare parts. You will likely spend the same as an off the rack stock rifle, but it has your modifications.

    Oh, the whole paper trail stuff is overrated. If "they" are using 4473's to track down guns we will have bigger problems than just possessing a rifle. The only way to "track it down" would be through the background check but there is no firearm identifiers attached to the check, only handgun/long gun. If they start that game it will be on! There is way too much info out there, on everything, to get hung up on one form and who is looking at it. With that said the £€%£¥'@$ movers "lost" my gun(s) on our recent relocation.......
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    I've only done a lower.

    to me it was simple. But there are some tools to make life easier and if i had to do it over again, it would be nice to have them. since i will be doing another SBR soon, those tools are on order.

    i havent done an upper yet, but again, having some of the special tools would make life easier.

    i also used Duffs? book on the assembling of an AR. He goes into the hows and the pitfalls. So you can hopefully learn from his and others mistakes.

    as far as how much $$ i saved, i didnt look that much into it as to i wanted to use it as a learning experience.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • simplesimonsimplesimon Member Posts: 48 Member
    Teach wrote: »
    I buy unfinished Mauser receivers for $29.95 each

    This might be a noob question, but where can you find unfinished Mauser actions for sale? I did a little searching and only found unfinished stocks.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    They're leftover investment castings from Parker-Hale when they went belly-up. They're good steel, EN-9 alloy, I believe, not some sort of cheap pot metal. They need all the machining and heat treating done, so unless you have access to a fully-equipped machine shop and have the experience to build a rifle from scratch, don't attempt it. Gun Parts Co. had them the last time I checked, as well as a few other wholesalers. Here's a photo from Old Western Scrounger:

    phcasting.jpg

    Jerry
  • toymachinetoymachine Senior Member Posts: 761 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    Basically it falls back on to you can make a gun for yourself as long as you do not sell, give, transfer it to another person. It is the ghost gun type thing liberals are scared of. With the jig it is fairly easy to finish the last 20% and there is no 4473 or other paper trail so those in power right now have no way to know who owns an evil black rifle since that lower is the serial numbered part and since you "made it" no serial number on file.

    In America, you can still sell it legally. You just can't build it with the intention of selling it. Do it very often, you can expect some interest from law enforcement.
    "Is 'milk bottle' literally a racist term?"
    "It is now." - Jack Fraggs
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,569 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    They're leftover investment castings from Parker-Hale when they went belly-up. They're good steel, EN-9 alloy, I believe, not some sort of cheap pot metal. They need all the machining and heat treating done, so unless you have access to a fully-equipped machine shop and have the experience to build a rifle from scratch, don't attempt it. Gun Parts Co. had them the last time I checked, as well as a few other wholesalers. Here's a photo from Old Western Scrounger:

    phcasting.jpg

    Jerry

    To bad you can't sell those legally. Those actions could -> nice rifles.
  • toymachinetoymachine Senior Member Posts: 761 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    They're leftover investment castings from Parker-Hale when they went belly-up. They're good steel, EN-9 alloy, I believe, not some sort of cheap pot metal. They need all the machining and heat treating done, so unless you have access to a fully-equipped machine shop and have the experience to build a rifle from scratch, don't attempt it. Gun Parts Co. had them the last time I checked, as well as a few other wholesalers. Here's a photo from Old Western Scrounger:

    phcasting.jpg

    Jerry

    Numrich seems to be out of them, as far as I could find. No real loss to me, since I'm currently lacking the skills and equipment to finish them. Would like to find a stripped Mauser action to go with a 7.91 marked barrel that I lucked into recently. Build a sporter without fear of retribution from the "numbers matching" crowd, and go a couple steps beyond AR assembly.
    "Is 'milk bottle' literally a racist term?"
    "It is now." - Jack Fraggs
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