View Full Version : First AR Please educate me!

02-20-2011, 12:18 AM
I would like to build a AR but thats all I know "AR" where do I start and please some detail not just bye upper, lower and your done, what/where/how/etc everything you think that could be helpful to me and to whom ever reads this in the future.

I realize there is different types/sizes/cal. etc pros cons I just want something that not a piece but im not trying to spend more than $1500

this is my first one dont know whats going on! :confused::confused:

02-20-2011, 12:22 AM
Also I can host a build party in return for some knowledge. I have a friend with a very big pool house with tables/chairs/full kitchen/bathrooms/pool table. He wont charge me anything and I can use it anytime I want so if one of you wants to organize a build "party" just PM me and we will set it up.

PS bring your own booz and food we can cook something there if you bring frozen or fresh meat/rice etc.

02-20-2011, 12:27 AM
First everyone is going to ask you what's your purpose for this AR. Range plinking, hunting, carbine classes, longer range precision shooting ect.

02-20-2011, 12:33 AM
good question...ALL THE ABOVE + zombies + SHTF can we doin something right in the middle of all that? I would like to shoot something affordable as far as ammo but im open

02-20-2011, 12:37 AM


Pick a lower that you like the looks of, they are all the same. Make sure you don't get a 308 lower if you wanna build a AR-15...

JT has a unmatched selection, you pick everything. As for an all purpose AR, I would get a 16in barrel, non chrome lined, a DS4 stock, and call it a day...

02-20-2011, 12:39 AM
I agree with Zorrm...

02-20-2011, 12:46 AM
Buy an AGI video on AR building....best 1st investment you can make. Tells you what you will need to build and care for your AR

02-20-2011, 12:58 AM
Why non chrome lined..?
He's got a $1500 budget.

From my research JD and Spikes tactical make great lowers at an affordable price because really they are all the same no need to spend $175+ on a s&w or RRA lower when a $100-130 spikes or JD will give you the same outcome.
I've heard alot of people talk highly of RRA lower parts kits.
Pick a stock you like buy all that stuff. By the time ur done building that you will have gathered enuff info on what upper, rail, optics you want to go with

02-20-2011, 12:59 AM
I would recommend you get a Barrel that allows you to use 5.56 because you can use .223 ammo in it as well, not to mention if you wanna go plinking it's as easy as changing the bolt to handle a 22 rim fire. If you need help assembling it just use youtube, and fallow along with it that's what I did, nice choice on a Rifle. Oh and if your wondering what AR means... if I'm not mistaken, it mean's "Armalite Rifle."

Your Barrel Length depends on what you intend on using it for.

Do you wanna shoot far? Go 20"

Do you wanna clear rooms? Go 16" CQB

What do you wanna add on to it?
Lot's of things- Get Mid Length
Not Lot's of things - Get Carbine Gas Length

There's alot of Lingo about the Rifle it's confusing there's the A1, A2 but you just pick it up as you go along and look more into your Rifle

Good Luck with your build Buddy!

02-20-2011, 1:08 AM
I also forgot to Add about your Rifle Twist Ratio

There's 1:9, 1:7, 1:8

Depending on what Grain (Weight) of bullet you wanna shoot depends on what twist you should get.

Usually the cheap recreational stuff you'd find at Walmart would be 55 Grain which is great with 1:8- 1:9 twist, general rule of thumb from what I've known is the 1:9 twist is an overall, all in one, type.

Except when you start going past 72 Grain, that's when you want the 1:7 twist I would recommend you get that only because I know your AR will eventually grow with you and you'd wanna start experimenting with 72 and up grains plus it's more accurate.

The Heavier the bullet the harder it is for the wind to buck it from it's flight path!

02-20-2011, 1:18 AM
TJ thanks thats the kind of info im looking for thanks...also thanks to the rest of you as well I have gone to all the websites looked around just starting to learn.
what about if i get this http://jtdistributing.net/store/more_k_lwt.html what else do i need? Can I put stuff on this? I just want a scope/light/bipod

02-20-2011, 1:27 AM
first of all, for CA Legal AR info read and understand these 2 very informative links:



Cyc Wid It
02-20-2011, 1:33 AM
Figure out what you need in a rifle, and then read these links.


02-20-2011, 1:52 AM
Are you really bent on putting your own upper together? it isn't that hard, but isn't really a necessary skill either. There are nice guides on assembling lowers at ar15.com . I'd say just build your lower and snap on an upper and call it a day.

02-20-2011, 10:08 AM
I started looking to put together an AR about 6 months ago, and just finished my build last week. I am EXTREMELY glad that I didn't rush into it, because during the course of that 6 months, all I did was research parts, products, information... and most importantly, legalities.

I found a ton of information here, and a basic search will land you more information than you will ever need on anything AR related. With that said, here is what I came up with:


I chose my components because of quality, function, and what I personally thought looked good. The great thing about these rifles is that they are extremely customizable, and a LOT of it is personal preference. Aside from the upper/barrel just do whatever you think looks good, and serves the purpose you want. If you plan on using only 55 grain .223/5.56 ammo (the most common and easiest/cheapest to buy), go with a barrel with a 1:9 twist rate, because it will be able to stabilize the round with no problems. If you ever plan on shooting heavier grain match ammo, go with a barrel with a tighter twist rate. You will find that the most common twist rates are 1:7 & 1:9 on a lot of pre-built upper receivers.

As mentioned before, all lowers are pretty much the same. Buy the one that you like the look of, and call it a day.

If you are hell-bent on assembling your own rifle from the ground up, you may end up paying more in the long run, and with no experience, it is a possibility (perhaps not likely, but still possible) that you could do something wrong. I paid about $550 for my complete upper, pre-assembled, from BCM. If I purchased everything and did it myself, it would have probably cost me about the same in parts, and I would have had to purchase an armorer's wrench, bench vice, and the block used to mount the upper.. I did, however, assemble my lower receiver.. which was a piece of cake. There are a few vids on youtube and websites that explain the process in detail and give you step-by-step instructions.

You are going to need the following parts for your build:

- Stripped Lower Receiver (about $75 to over $200 depending on what you buy + DROS fees)
- Lower receiver parts kit (around $60)
- Buffer, Buffer spring, & receiver extension/buffer tube (commercial or mil-spec, around $25-30)
- Buttstock ($40- over $200, depending on what you want.)
- Bullet Button (mag lock, about $20-30 depending on where you get it)
- Magazines (10 round limit, as per CA laws. About $20 or so, each.)

- Complete 16" upper receiver (pre-assembled, between about $350-over $1000 depending on where you get one)

Tools Required:

- Small Punch Set
- Small Hammer (brass preferred)
- Large Flat-Head screwdriver
- Needle-Nose Pliers
- An exacto knife/razor blade will help you with assembling one part of the lower and not having something shoot across the room.. lol.
- Electrical/Painter's tape so that you don't scratch your receiver during assembly.
- Castle nut wrench (not sure of the name) to tighten the nut on the buffer tube (About $10-20)

I am by no means an expert, the above is what I have found by my own experience and doing my own research. Hope that helped a little! And to any experts, please correct me if I was wrong about anything.

02-20-2011, 10:15 AM
Nice breakdown of everything. thanks kingpin