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View Full Version : Another AR thread. Bang for the buck (no pun intended)


bombadillo
09-08-2008, 2:34 PM
Well, after countless hours of research, and not quite knowing where to go with the whole thing, I've boiled it down to a few different things. I'm going to build my first Stag lower, and am deciding on lots. I have decided 16 inch will be plenty for what I want to do with it, I went back and forth on having railed handguard versus a regular, and I think I want a partially railed or completely railed guard. I went back and forth from the stag 2ht and Del-Ton. I just can't beat the price for the del-ton rifle. It will go as this:

mid length Barrel:DTI 16" 1x9 Mid-Length Chrome Lined Heavy Barrel
ML Handguards:YHM 4 Rail Light Weight Free Float Tube
Rifle -BC:Standard Bolt & Carrier
Buttstock:Magpul Mil-Spec CTR Buttstock - Black
Grips:Panther Pistol Grip
Carrying Handle:None
Flash Hiders:A2 Flash Hider
Gas Blocks:Standard A2 Front Sight
Lower Parts:Lower Parts Kit with Rock River Arms 2 Stage Trigger
T Handle:Standard Charging Handle with Badger Tac Latch
Uppers:Flat Top Upper with T-Marks.
All of this adds up to $760 plus shipping.

If I go the other route, it will be a Stag 2ht upper, stag lower, RRA 2 stage trigger assembly, Mag-pul CTR stock, some kind of grip, and a bullet button kit. That all adds up to about 1000 all said and done.

I know there are other routes to take, but how does this sound to most of you. I just don't want to build something and be totally unhappy with it. Are there any other budget minded suggestions for building the best bang for the buck gun that will last a while. I'm open for ideas and have a lower, so anything will help. Also by no means do I have to have the railed handguard so that could be thrown out if thats gonna be the kicker.

Hopi
09-08-2008, 2:36 PM
Sounds fun!

I think you've forgot to list your rear sight option....

ghost
09-08-2008, 2:39 PM
looks like youre on your way to a decent first build either way you go.

Lateralus
09-08-2008, 4:08 PM
Do yourself a favor and stick with Stag. DTI is yet another one of the low end companies offering attractive prices on unattractive equipment.

Also, it looks like you are set up to buy the upper parts individually. For a first build, buy a complete upper.

From Stag.

bombadillo
09-08-2008, 4:28 PM
I've considered CMMG but their prices are just more than I was wanting to go. I really like their stuff though. Maybe I'll just wait for armalite to offer their sales again.

Lateralus
09-08-2008, 4:31 PM
I've considered CMMG but their prices are just more than I was wanting to go. I really like their stuff though. Maybe I'll just wait for armalite to offer their sales again.

How much are you willing to spend? CMMG is DEFINITELY worth the money. PM a member here named AlohaRover.

bombadillo
09-08-2008, 4:32 PM
PM him with what? Is he a vendor?

Mississippi
09-08-2008, 4:37 PM
Save a little longer and buy a great upper. You will like it way better because it will shoot better than the lower end uppers. Barrels are worth the money. I bought cheap the first round and ended up replacing it. Spend once and save.

Bimmer2
09-08-2008, 5:59 PM
I don't get it... you're going to pay extra for a MagPul stock and a 2-stage trigger, but you're going to cheap-out on the upper?

Why not start with a top quality upper as a foundation, and then work from there?

Why not start with a regular stock and make sure you hate it before you pay extra for something else?

Why not start with normal handguards (basically free) before upgrading?

You could skip the 2-stage trigger and have Bill Springfield do a trigger job for less than $40, too.

That's just my 2,

Ben

PS: Ask at m4carbine.net...

chunger
09-08-2008, 6:13 PM
I'd advise not skimping on the upper as well. . . if you can find a stag or RRA to fit the bill, it'd seem like a better option than the Del Ton. Better yet, find one of the many online dealers who sell CMMG and go that route. . . in the long run it really isn't that much more expensive, and prices are so competitive these days for AR parts that you really get what you pay for from all the known suppliers.

I wouldn't skimp on the trigger group though if you're looking for a nice pull. . . the 2 stage RRA is solid. I went cheaper w/ a trigger job on stock Stag components, and the trigger went south after not too many rounds (under 2000). I immediately went to properly hardened barstock components (McCormick single stage). . . I hear the JP trigger is better, but I wanted both hammer and sear to be made of the best materials possible, so the McCormick cost a bit less. No complaints. I'd either get a good after-market trigger or leave it stock.

Bimmer2
09-08-2008, 6:15 PM
I went cheaper w/ a trigger job on stock Stag components, and the trigger went south after not too many rounds (under 2000).

Could you say more about this? I haven't had a Springfield job done yet, but I was about to do so, based on all the glowing reviews I've read on the errornet. AFAIK, the job he doesn't isn't supposed to reduce the life of the trigger.

Ben

884runner
09-08-2008, 6:20 PM
Either of those routes will be ok. I think the stag is a little better though.

I decided on a RRA build. It cost $1030 including shipping, taxes, and DROS.

Stag stripped lower
B15 Bullet button
3- 10rnd c products mags
RRA 6pos stock
RRA lpk with 2stage NM trigger
RRA 16" chrome lined midlength A4 complete upper
ARMS #40 rear flip up sight

The best bang for the buck would be find deals on quality used parts.
I couldn't wait though. :D

aplinker
09-08-2008, 8:07 PM
I'd go RRA midlength over a Stag carbine. Price won't change much, if at all.

Seriously, if you're going to spend any money, the place to do it is in the barrel and carrier group. After that would be trigger and free floating the rail. Then add furniture.

If you're going HBAR, go stainless (you're adding extra weight and thickness for accuracy, why not make the blank better too?). If you want something more battle-style, go chrome lined medcon.

Read my signature for more help.

bombadillo
09-08-2008, 8:18 PM
Actually, thats some of exactly what I needed to hear. I think I will skimp a bit and go with a single stage trigger, standard collapsible buttstock, fixed a2 style sights, and go with a better upper. I'm gonna try out a RRA upper I think instead of stag as well. I guess I just needed someone to talk some sense into me after shooting a gun that was purchased for really cheap. (I wanted all the toys too) I could go RRA varmint upper and throw on a detachable front sight and rear BUIS and chince out on the rest for now. Thanks for all the help. Any more options or opinions would be great especially if you can point me to the deals or the best prices on some of these uppers. I've shopped at our vendors on the site here, as well as others, and I got spoiled by the RRA sale a while back and expect those prices still. Oh well.

aplinker
09-08-2008, 8:39 PM
Actually, thats some of exactly what I needed to hear. I think I will skimp a bit and go with a single stage trigger, standard collapsible buttstock, fixed a2 style sights, and go with a better upper. I'm gonna try out a RRA upper I think instead of stag as well. I guess I just needed someone to talk some sense into me after shooting a gun that was purchased for really cheap. (I wanted all the toys too) I could go RRA varmint upper and throw on a detachable front sight and rear BUIS and chince out on the rest for now. Thanks for all the help. Any more options or opinions would be great especially if you can point me to the deals or the best prices on some of these uppers. I've shopped at our vendors on the site here, as well as others, and I got spoiled by the RRA sale a while back and expect those prices still. Oh well.

:) Toys are nice, but they're useless if you can't shoot your gun reliably.

I'd go with a flat-top with detachable carry handle, or save the $ and but a Matech on the for-sales. You'll have a LOT more flexibility in the future with a flat-top and save some money in the process (with a Matech).

If I were you I'd buy this upper:
http://rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=266

Get the flat-top, chrome lined 1/9, standard front sight base.

Or buy this, for LESS
http://riflegear.com/p-348-cmmg-16-mid-length-upper.aspx

chunger
09-08-2008, 10:46 PM
Could you say more about this? I haven't had a Springfield job done yet, but I was about to do so, based on all the glowing reviews I've read on the errornet. AFAIK, the job he doesn't isn't supposed to reduce the life of the trigger.

Ben

I think it varies depending on trigger design, so what I'm saying only applies to single stage AR15, but the surface hardening of the stock (stag) trigger components gets ground off when the new geometries are set on them during a trigger job. Over time (sometimes long, sometimes short) the edges wear off, and the gun doubles. Competition guys have not been able to get reliable triggers (15,000+ rounds) on stock components (single stage). The JP rifles hardened tool steel triggers work. Many people have them over 20,000 rounds.

I went the cheap route on my 2 builds, and the wife's trigger went wonkey at around 2000 rounds which is completely unacceptable to me. I immediately switched to new, properly-hardened, tool steel triggers. I should have done that from the beginning, avoided problems, and saved $80 (2 trigger jobs that are now in the trash).

The CMC single stage trigger groups I got ran ~$150 ea. at the time. (there was a recall BTW on them, but mine were outside the recall window). The RRA 2 stage triggers to my knowledge do not double. .. they fail by losing the 1st stage but don't double. The JP triggers require some fitting (or lower can be sent in for factory install), but folks have many tens of thousands of rounds on them (springs needed replacing) without failure.

I don't mess around with triggers anymore. It's just not worth using questionable components when there are better alternatives. I know there are other designs out there though that aren't as rough on the trigger group parts, but the AR15 is not one of them.

railroader
09-09-2008, 5:11 AM
I have no experience with stag or rra but I do do have a chrome mid length del-ton upper. It runs perfectly. It has no issues with brass or cheap russian ammo. My buddy bought a del-ton middy kit after seeing mine and his runs great too. Also if you do a search on the web and ar15.com del-ton gets good reviews for their products and service. If you want first hand unbiased opinions on del-ton just ask for it on ar15.com. There are alot of del-ton owners there. Mark

smogcity
09-09-2008, 5:23 AM
um...If you want to save cash, buy the upper and stock USED. go to the calguns assessories for sale or arfcom equipment exchange. I just got two lefty uppers w/bcg here for $320 each. Buy quality used over crappy new any day!

asgalindez
09-09-2008, 1:45 PM
Some things I saw that were missing in the original post:
-Don't forget rear BUIS
-Did not see Milspec/Commercial buttstock components listed (buffer tube, buffer, buffer spring, end plate, castle nut)
-What type of gas system are you leaning towards? Stag only has Carbine-length gas systems IIRC.

Delton is a good place to get an affordable upper. Some like 'em, some don't. Some have no experience with them and just bash them because they're not a 'Big Name.' Just be sure to do proper maintenance - anything neglected can eventually become unreliable. You can make a Hyundai reliable.:D

Do your research. Don't be in a rush regardless of how bad you want an AR now! Decide what you REALLY want. If you're gonna buy in parts, look for the best prices/deals you can get. I planned for 3-4 months because I would constantly change my mind after seeing someone's new AR build.

My research led me to plan 3 AR builds:
1 - RRA 16" Midlength upper (w/ options)/Doublestar lower
2 - Noveske N4 16" Recce upper/Mega Gator lower
3 - Larue (18" or 20")Stealth Sniper upper/Doublestar lower

Builds 1 and 2 have milspec CTR stocks, RRA 2stage NM LPK's, Ergo Ambi Suregrips. I'm still nitpicking parts for build 3, but have the lower already. As you can see, I decided not to hinder myself with a price limit. I got what I wanted.

In case you didn't already know, RRA lead times are LOOOOOOOOOOONG! My RRA upper took 5 months to arrive! Well worth it, though. The vendors didn't have exactly what I wanted, so I ordered direct from RRA.

AR15Barrels suggested in another thread that if I could afford a good upper, don't use crap ammo. I intend to heed his works of wisdom.:)

And we haven't even mentioned Optics yet!:eek:

bombadillo
09-09-2008, 5:53 PM
yeah, the optics so far is not an option. This will be a 16" iron site only gun. I don't plan on scoping it until I get a 20" rifle.

MILLITIAof1
09-09-2008, 5:57 PM
yeah, the optics so far is not an option. This will be a 16" iron site only gun. I don't plan on scoping it until I get a 20" rifle.

real men shoot irons anyways:D:p:D

hawk81
09-09-2008, 6:03 PM
Del-Ton is good to go. A lot of people bash them, and these people probably have never bought an upper from them. I own 6 uppers from them and only 1 has given me a problem and it was fixed by just shooting it about 200 rounds. It broke itself in.

jacques
09-09-2008, 7:44 PM
I would echo the For Sale threads to look for an upper if you want to save some money. You may find a deal if you are patient and on top of it. Some of the used uppers on there are about the same as a new one, so just compare the prices.

The links on this page (above) for riflegear and others have all the prices.

5968
09-09-2008, 7:53 PM
I have never used a Del-Ton upper, but I have heard only good things about them. I think Hawk is right. I would be willing to bet that most people that bash on them have never even shot one. They are cheap enough that I am actually thinking of buying one to see how it compares to my others.

Bimmer2
09-09-2008, 8:08 PM
I think it varies depending on trigger design, so what I'm saying only applies to single stage AR15, but the surface hardening of the stock (stag) trigger components gets ground off when the new geometries are set on them during a trigger job. Over time (sometimes long, sometimes short) the edges wear off, and the gun doubles.

I went the cheap route on my 2 builds, and the wife's trigger went wonkey at around 2000 rounds which is completely unacceptable to me. I immediately switched to new, properly-hardened, tool steel triggers. I should have done that from the beginning, avoided problems, and saved $80 (2 trigger jobs that are now in the trash).

Chunger,

I don't want to hi-jack this thread, but if the OP is looking for an upgraded trigger, maybe I'm not hi-jacking.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just want to clearly understand, because the trigger in my new CMMG is intolerably creepy and I want to do something about it.

You got a Bill Springfield trigger job that went south after 2,000 rounds?

Did you contact Springfield about this? What was his response?

My understanding is that these trigger jobs only polish the contact surfaces, and that they don't grind off the surface hardening. That's just what I've heard on the errornet, though.

Pray tell,

Ben