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View Full Version : Noob Warning! My First AR Build... advice and help needed


mspiredm3
10-27-2010, 1:43 PM
So, I decided to build my first AR, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I have been reading this site and browsing some vendor sites and have been gathering as much info as I can in a short period of time.

This build will be mostly for killing paper at the range, but you never know, I might try some tactical type courses in the future.

What size barrel do you guys recommend? I am leaning towards a 14.5, would that be the best compromise for accuracy while staying compact? How much more accuracy do you gain by going to a 16" barrel?

So, for this build, I'd like to get the basic rifle (without optics, FF handrail, low pro gas tube, bipod, ect) for around $800-$850.

I have so far came up with the following parts list to get started:

Core 15 Complete Upper - $425 http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=514214&page=1
Spikes Lower - $80 http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=F1STSL&groupid=214
Any LPK - `$55
Magpul ACS Stock - $130
Magpul MBUS Flip Up Rear Site - $60
MagPul AR-15 MIAD Grip - $40
Bullet Button - $20

Total = $810

I'd later slowly mod it with a FF handrail, low pro gas block, Magpul Flip up front site, virtical grip, optics, ect)

What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance!

gemini1
10-27-2010, 2:14 PM
I would go with 16". If you're planning to upgrade like installing FF rails, you'll have to get a smith to remove the pinned flash hider/brake and there's that chance of ruining the thread. I'd also go for midlenght, its smoother to shoot and less wear/tear to the internals compared to carbines.

Exposed
10-27-2010, 2:15 PM
I think you're off to a great start! That's an amazing deal on a 1:7 twist chrome lined upper. Also, unless you plan on permanently attaching an extended muzzle break or flash hider to your barrel, stay with the 16inch barrel.

ptoguy2002
10-27-2010, 2:29 PM
You need to know that 14.5" barrel w/o perm attach break or hider that is over 1.5" long itself is an SBR.
Know what you are getting, if you don't know or are unsure, go 16" barrel and remove any doubt.

OneApart
10-27-2010, 2:44 PM
You need to know that 14.5" barrel w/o perm attach break or hider that is over 1.5" long itself is an SBR.
Know what you are getting, if you don't know or are unsure, go 16" barrel and remove any doubt.

Like PTO mentioned, that is a critical component to staying within the law. If you order a complete 14.5" upper, most likely it will have the A2 Birdcage FH perm. attached.

Unless you are planning on keeping that FH I would go with a 16" for your first one, or specify which FH you would like to have attached to your 14.5" barrel before it is shipped to you..... just my two cents.

gatdammit
10-27-2010, 4:00 PM
I got a 14.5" midlength and it's pretty accurate. I have a Vortex flash hider permanently attached. If you go with the 14.5 you'd better make sure the muzzle device on the end goes the distance and gets you to the minimum 16".

I think with respect to accuracy... i don't think there's much of a difference between the two. It's all on the shooter. The barrel length affects round velocity (I think)...

orangeglo
10-27-2010, 5:00 PM
This is a pretty good deal as well.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=356973

R8DRFAN
10-27-2010, 6:05 PM
I was looking at your link on the spikes lower. Did you see that its not for sale in Ca!!

mspiredm3
10-27-2010, 8:47 PM
I would go with 16". If you're planning to upgrade like installing FF rails, you'll have to get a smith to remove the pinned flash hider/brake and there's that chance of ruining the thread. I'd also go for midlenght, its smoother to shoot and less wear/tear to the internals compared to carbines.

The front gas block can be removed and a low profile one can be installed right? If so, a FF rail would be able to go over the low pro gas block right?

So carbine and midlength are terms that refer to where the front sight/gas block is, correct? Why is a midlength smoother and less wear?

You need to know that 14.5" barrel w/o perm attach break or hider that is over 1.5" long itself is an SBR.
Know what you are getting, if you don't know or are unsure, go 16" barrel and remove any doubt.


I got a 14.5" midlength and it's pretty accurate. I have a Vortex flash hider permanently attached. If you go with the 14.5 you'd better make sure the muzzle device on the end goes the distance and gets you to the minimum 16".

I think with respect to accuracy... i don't think there's much of a difference between the two. It's all on the shooter. The barrel length affects round velocity (I think)...

What is SBR? Wait, is a barrel under 16" illegal in Cali? I read as much as I could and though that as long as you have a bullet button, everything else was ok? :confused:

I was looking at your link on the spikes lower. Did you see that its not for sale in Ca!!

Yea, I am going to hopefully buy my lower from a local gun store. There aren't much differences as far as performance with lowers right?

IsaacGlass
10-27-2010, 9:27 PM
The front gas block can be removed and a low profile one can be installed right? If so, a FF rail would be able to go over the low pro gas block right?

So carbine and midlength are terms that refer to where the front sight/gas block is, correct? Why is a midlength smoother and less wear?






What is SBR? Wait, is a barrel under 16" illegal in Cali? I read as much as I could and though that as long as you have a bullet button, everything else was ok? :confused:



Yea, I am going to hopefully buy my lower from a local gun store. There aren't much differences as far as performance with lowers right?

You have lots more reading to do before you start purchasing. Search for Middy or Midlength. And like most are telling you, if you go with 14.5 the FH needs to be pinned and weld which makes it a PITA to remove to upgrade the handguard to a Free Float Rail System at a later time. However, if you go with a 16" barrel you wont have this issue.

Cyc Wid It
10-27-2010, 9:51 PM
SBR = short barreled rifle = NFA item = undo-able in CA for this particular flavor. Please re-examine the flowchart and happy shopping!