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TonyNorCal
02-25-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm going to get a Vulcan stripped receiver. It just makes more economical sense than the Fab-10. So here are my questions for those experienced AR Guys...

1.) In addition to the stripped lower I'll need a fire control group, stock, and upper with bolt and carrier...am I forgetting anything?

2.) How difficult is it for a newbie AR guy with average mechanical skills (and no specialized gunsmithing tools) to assemble this bad boy? I'm imaging the fire control group is the most difficult. Is this doable without help?

Thanks http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TonyNorCal
02-25-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm going to get a Vulcan stripped receiver. It just makes more economical sense than the Fab-10. So here are my questions for those experienced AR Guys...

1.) In addition to the stripped lower I'll need a fire control group, stock, and upper with bolt and carrier...am I forgetting anything?

2.) How difficult is it for a newbie AR guy with average mechanical skills (and no specialized gunsmithing tools) to assemble this bad boy? I'm imaging the fire control group is the most difficult. Is this doable without help?

Thanks http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

bwiese
02-25-2005, 10:52 AM
Hi Tony...

I've built several regular ARs myself.

I recommend sticking w/a quality vendor (Bushmaster, Armalite) for lower-receiver parts incl. fire-control group. This parts set also includes bolt catch items and mag catch items, the latter of which are prob not required. These kits go for about $50 and are set up for regular non-CA ARs - you won't save any $ trying to onesy-twosey just get required FAB10/Vulcan parts and skip unneeded parts. These kits often come with the std. A2 pistol grip.

You'll also need a barreled upper receiver with bolt, bolt carrier and charging handle. Again, stick with Bushmaster or Armalite or maybe Rock River Arms. J&T Distrib. also has decent lower-cost uppers though they do not offer chrome-lined barrels. Unless you're a glutton for punishment buy an assembled upper - though for a variety of reasons you might buy the barreled upper without bolt/etc. assembly and get that elsewhere.

I recommend that anyone's 1st AR has a chrome-lined barrel with a milspec, not 'match' chamber. That way you can fire all sortsa surplus milsurp ammo without extraction/ ejection/ feed problems, it's easier/faster to clean, corrosion resistant and longer-lasting.

Buttstocks, receiver extension tubes and recoil buffers can be acquired from a variety of places. Make sure you get the recoil buffer and spring approrpriate to your rifle configuration (CAR style stock or regular A2 stock). The best buffers have a kind of yellowish-bronze color (as opposed to the cheap black plastic ones filled with shot).

You'll need some roll-pin punches from Brownell's to do things right, along with a small peen hammer. Wrap the receiver in masking or strapping tape when working on it to avoid scratches.

Putting in these roll pins is prob harder than anything. Don't want to crack the 'ears' on the triggerguard. The bolt catch pin takes skill to drive in too; helps if you chamfer the edges of the roll pin a bit and clean the bolt catch roll pin hole w/a drill bit (turned by hand!) beforehand. Stuffing the lower w/fire control parts is relatively easy.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

maxicon
02-25-2005, 11:40 AM
I just built my first AR last week, and it's pretty durn easy if you buy an assembled upper. If I had gone with the standard trigger, I could have had it together in 2 hours, and could do it in less with practice.

Bill's advice is all sound - obviously the voice of experience - so I'll just add a few pointers that helped me out a lot.

- Go to www.ar15.com (http://www.ar15.com) and check out the "Build It Yourself" forum, where there are a number of pinned topics that walk you through assembly step by step. There's a quick version and a detailed version, and I used both for my build.

- I bought a J&T kit (http://www.jtdistributing.com), because everything came in one package, all matched up, and they have a very good reputation for both quality and support. If you get a kit, avoid Model 1 Sales; they're slightly cheaper but their lower parts can be problematic.

- Think about what you're going to use it for as you look at the options. Mine's a range gun, so the flattop upper gave the most options for optics and the A2 stock gives a good cheek weld. M4 style adjustable stocks look cool, but are harder to shoot comfortably. I got a bull barrel in stainless, but the hbar or even the standard barrels shoot pretty durn accurately.

- There are lots of uppers available, new and used, so you can pick up another for $350 and up and switch it out, changing the character of your gun completely. Watch the equipment exchange at ar15.com; there are lots of good deals there, but they move quickly.

- I got my roll pin punches at Orchard Supply, and also got a 1/4" clevis pin there to help with the pivot pin assembly. I still launched it several times, and I recommend assembling spring-loaded parts in a big ziplock. It was definitely a saver for me, but I've got fumble-fingers.

Really, if you can drive a nail without bending it, you can build an AR15.

max

Dr. EBR
02-25-2005, 4:24 PM
A table vice wrapped with a towel helps a lot for holding the receiver upright and getting that damn bolt catch in.

mg42
02-25-2005, 4:41 PM
before you go and buy a regular trigger group set of parts, you might want to consider what you are going to be using the gun for. If you're going to be using it for precision shooting check out either the CMC drop in trigger kits or the JP trigger kits, both of which are great triggers to use - 2-3 lb pulls. I have a JP one myself, but have heard good things about CMC (if you can find one).

Turbinator
02-25-2005, 4:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BRD:
A table vice wrapped with a towel helps a lot for holding the receiver upright and getting that damn bolt catch in. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gee, I didn't have a big problem with the bolt catch when I built my DPMS single shot... Is it really that tough?

Turby

TonyNorCal
02-25-2005, 7:27 PM
Thanks guys. I appreciate all the insight (special thanks to BWiese and Maxicon for their long descriptive posts). Very much appreciated.

The economics came down to this. A stripped Vulcan is 160 (at the shop I called). Fab-10 won't sell me a stripped lower unless they first talk to someone they feel is qualified to assemble it. They want to sell a complete lower with A2 stock for $450. Just seems that with a few hours and a parts kit the Vulcan way saves a good $150+.

maxicon
02-25-2005, 11:06 PM
Not only that, the Vulcan might be convertable back to a regular AR receiver if you ever moved away, like the fixed mag FALs. Have to see one to know for sure.

Heck, I'm tempted by a Vulcan, though I worry about their reputation. $160 is a pretty good price.

HEWA195@CS.COM
02-26-2005, 7:03 PM
You had me going for a second there. I thought you meant Vulcan gatling gun!