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I've built one, and did it with a punch set, Magpul wrench, Geissele reaction rod, vise, some gauge sets, and I think I made a few random trips to Home Depot here and there.

I wouldn't build again though, not for me.
 

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Honestly just buying a quality brand like Daniel Defense, BCM, LMT, or one of that tier. (FYI Colt is not anywhere near that tier for me it's more like the same tier that they are for 1911's. Historic, but second rate these days.) The ones I just named are the NightHawks, WC (who also makes a dam fine AR), or like a Dan Wesson on the lower end of tier 1.

I would buy one from them if ANY of them if they made a gun EXACTLY like I wanted, but they don't so, I build my own for similar or less money. Simple as that.

I have inexpensive ones as well, Palmetto State, Del-Ton, They go bang just as regular as my high end builds, but just like a 1911. You can tell the difference in feel and accuracy.
 

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Hi,
The upper tier weapons, like DD or BCM are going to shine and show their superior build/part quality, when the going gets tough or extended for days on end.

I like hammer forged barrels on battle rifles, that's me.

I think for just under $1000, a person can put together a great AR-15 set up as they want.

To the OP, remember the barrel and BCG are really the most important part of the rifle and will give back the biggest returns.
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I've never owned an AR either, but want one. After some research I decided I wanted a rifle with a 16" barrel and mid length gas system. At first, I was going to buy one and try to keep it under 1K. At that price I liked the IWI Zion, Sig M400, and SA Saint. Of course they were impossible to find. So now I've decided to build one. I'm retired and like to work on guns and other stuff. Plus, I could spread the cost over a period of time which is easier for me. I actually picked up my stripped lower this morning. I've got a lot to learn about ARs and will probably be back here asking questions.
Good luck!
 

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I've never owned an AR either, but want one. After some research I decided I wanted a rifle with a 16" barrel and mid length gas system. At first, I was going to buy one and try to keep it under 1K. At that price I liked the IWI Zion, Sig M400, and SA Saint. Of course they were impossible to find. So now I've decided to build one. I'm retired and like to work on guns and other stuff. Plus, I could spread the cost over a period of time which is easier for me. I actually picked up my stripped lower this morning. I've got a lot to learn about ARs and will probably be back here asking questions.
Good luck!
Go back to page one and look at my parts list. It’s just over a grand and shoots like a dream. Favorite one I’ve built to date.
 

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Go back to page one and look at my parts list. It’s just over a grand and shoots like a dream. Favorite one I’ve built to date.
Hi,
Yea, I went with a 16" Mid Length Hammer Forged DD barrel with a DD Bolt to match.

To the OP once again try to use the best barrel you can and a bolt made by the same Maker if possible.

Everything else is secondary to my mind, put your money in the barrel and bolt, matching maker of upper and lower helps also!
 

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Hi,
Yea, I went with a 16" Mid Length Hammer Forged DD barrel with a DD Bolt to match.

To the OP once again try to use the best barrel you can and a bolt made by the same Maker if possible.

Everything else is secondary to my mind, put your money in the barrel and bolt, matching maker of upper and lower helps also!
I would have went with a DD BCG also, but didn’t have one and still can’t find one.... dam it. BCM is what‘s in the gun for now and it’s as good as any of them.
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I would have went with a DD BCG also, but didn’t have one and still can’t find one.... dam it. BCM is what‘s in the gun for now and it’s as good as any of them.
Hi,
BCM, is quality of course...

The Left, has gone so STUPID lately, the Gun Makers can't keep up, once the Public came to the realization...

They might actually, have to defend themselves!!!

I wanted to build a AR-15 Pistol, but will have to wait, till the parts I want, come back on the Market!
 

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IMO there is a difference between knowing how to put together functional parts that will work, and building an AR correctly! Anyone can watch a YouTube video and put an AR together... and have it function for casual use. On the other hand.... building an AR properly isn’t as simple. Can it be done... sure, should it be done... I am not sure anymore.

Ive had several home built AR15’s over the years. I’ve helped build them... I’ve consulted shops on building... the truth of the matter IMO is if you are buying tools (not borrowing, or using stuff you already have) it can get pricey. I think the bigger question is “why do you want to build one” vs buy a very established gun from a known company?

If I were giving advice to a friend, I would encourage them to just buy an AR vs building one. The list for me is as follows (in this order:
1.KAC
2.Hodge
3.BCM
4.Colt

Depending on budget, one of those should fall within the range for anyone who is seriously talking about getting an AR. And IMO you are going to get a gun that has a solid warranty and that has been proven to function over hard use and time.

If building something is just for a quick project and learning exercise, that’s fine... but I still think if you have a gtg budget not buying the KAC is a mistake.
 
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Hi,
Well, I'll put this rifle up against, ANYTHING out there, but admittedly, used proven parts, from proven makers!
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Springfield Saints are not among the respected ARs, nor are any of the Sig variants really.


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Like there are problems, or just not the rolls Royce of ARs? I just bought the Saint Victor pistol.
 

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Go back to page one and look at my parts list. It’s just over a grand and shoots like a dream. Favorite one I’ve built to date.
Thanks for the information!
 

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My first purchased this summer was a 700 dollar budget build from my Gunsmith.

BA lower and barrel with unknown parts bin upper and Milspec innards. Got my initial education breaking it down and looking at videos.

2nd one in Sept was a complete upper by Aeroprecision with a SS wylde BCA barrel, bcg and Mlok handguard I bought for 400 and put on a complete Anderson lower which will be upgraded later. 650 or so out the door.

While I’m sitting there messing around with rifle #2 after a range day I notice the stock is rotating because the castle nut loosened. As I’m trying to tighten it down the end plate snags the take down pin detent spring (I have no idea what it is at the time). The spring had popped half way out of the back of the receiver and gotten crushed by the rotating end plate because I didn’t know it was there or how to get it back in and keep it in place while tightening everything.

My initial instinct is to rush to a gunsmith but then I start youtubing and find a midway or browbells vid on how to put it all together. I grabbed an armorer’s wrench and mill spec lower receiver parts bag from the gun store and get the spring and detent, end plate, buffer tube, castle nut, and stock back on. Thinking, that didn’t seem so hard.

So I look at more videos and learn about staked castle nuts and figure I should get that done on both one day. Then I see videos on triggers, barrels, all that stuff.

And I figure after my initial education on rifle one and tinkering a little more deeply with #2 I could do it all if I made the time. I’d get at minimum a vise and an armorer’s wrench and a torque wrench to get proper tightness.

I won’t bother any time soon because I have a 5 yr old and I barely have time to work out and shoot every now and then. There’s no way I can get away with disappearing to go build rifles. But I’m not scared to try once I have the free time again. It is as simple as doing the research and learning what part goes where and what the proper technique is to install it. Youtube is a beautiful thing but know your sources, don’t just pick any kitchen table gunsmith. I think anybody who has the patience and ability to learn and watch videos can do this but I feel like I have a better starting point having been able to have a complete gun in front of me and tinker a bit. And also break it down and look at it while watching assembly videos.

But that’s me and how I learn, plenty of people also dive in head first and build nice guns.
 

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I'm in the middle of my 20 -30ish build and here's where I'm at so far:

Aero Precision M4E1 upper and lower (really impressed with this pair)
LaRue MBT-2S trigger (love this thing!!)
Strike Industries enhanced LPK.
Magpul MAID grip
Magpul CRT stock (meh...)
BCM gunfighter mod 3 CH
Bravo Company Manufacturing A5 Intermediate Buffer System
BCM or Toolcraft BCG (about the same in my book and have one of each)
DD lightweight mid-length 16" barrel
Aero Precision mid-length gas tube and block.

I have the tools, but not 500 bucks worth, more like 100 in AR specific tools. The other stuff, well I restore cars sometimes so, my toolbox is pretty full.

Waiting on the matching AP handguard and I should be good to go except for optics/sights.

When it's all said and done.... I will have over a grand in it before optics, sans tools, but I would put that parts list up against any of the "High End" factory guns.
I have a couple of spare Aero handguards, a 12" and a 15". They both have the barrel nut.

As for tools, good set of punches, starter punches, small hammer with nylon and metal striking areas, good armorers wrench, and I bought a Husky torque wrench for correct barrel torgue, which is a large spread of ranges.

Do not use Nitride bolts (or melonite whatever you want to call it), a good bolt is already hardened past the point of what additional hardening nitride or melonite imparts.

Mileage may vary, but if my little dog had an opposing "thumb" he could build an AR. They are fun to do tho, I use match stick and tooth pick jigs LOL I hold the trigger and disconnector put together with a match stick slightly undersized, put it in the lower assembled and use the pin to drive out the match. Tooth picks used for inserting in the bolt catch release pin, slightly undersized and use the roll pin to drive it out. Wrap the lower in Blue plumbers tape from the bolt catch all the way back to the stock mount, that way you save a huge potential ding,,,,or you can buy the brownell's expensive punch.
 

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A lot of great info here and a lot of BS opinions. Research, research, research before you build. Everyday someone comes along with a home build that won’t run. If you don’t know what you are doing, buy a quality rifle.
 
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