View Full Version : Just getting into real guns.

11-18-2011, 1:47 AM
After playing mil-sim airsoft for a couple of years (we treat them like they are real), and I've been around guns enough to have some common sense. I've also shot a fair few. As I'm now 20, I have made the decision to build my first real gun. I'm pretty new to [gun building] so please bear with me. I've done quite a bit of research, and I have decided I'm going to build an AR15, with the .300 BLK upper. I would like the power of 30 cal (for hunting), and the versatility of the AR-15.

My goal with the gun is to be able to hunt large game (Deer, etc), as well as have a practical gun for target shooting at 300-500 yards or so, and home defense (or course). I was considering getting a bolt 30.06 (cheaper option)... However I like the versatility of a tactical gun; and semi auto doesn't hurt.

In the near future, I will also get a .22 upper, OR a Ruger 10.22/ .22 Marlin tube feed to make target practice more economical.

I would prefer to avoid going with a bland featureless gun (part of the reason I opted out of the 30.06), so I'm considering the BulletButton (excellent idea by the way, Gene), though I have an idea of my own which might solve the "evil feature" problem in it's own way. More on this in the future, preferably after I've developed a prototype.

So, while my lower receiver is serving it's 10 days of time, I'm doing... More research. Which isn't bad, I enjoy research. Now for my question:

I would like to build my upper from the ground up. I'm trying to keep it below 600, while getting the best bang for my buck. I'm also going to need to get the kit for the lower receiver. However I'm not exactly sure which parts are necessary to assemble an upper, and most of the lists I have seen are different or incomplete in some way.

Here is what I have:
Handy looking bullet button gizmo:

Lower kit - http://www.midwayusa.com/product/877204/dpms-lower-receiver-parts-kit-ar-15
Opinions? Good quality, bad quality, good price, bad price, or any other thoughts?

Upper receiver: I am not exactly sure what to look for in one of these. Price is an object but functionality is important.
Rail: Knights Armament URX rail with integrated flip up front sight :D but it's quite a bit out of my price range :\ I can settle for any affordable free-float hand guard.
-On a side note, regarding rails: What's the difference between a $40 aluminum rail, and a $400 aluminum rail? Often there is very little visually different... Is there a reason you would spend so much on a rail that looks so similar to a cheap alternative?

Barrel options -
a.) http://www.advanced-armament.com/product.aspx?pid=896#pid=897
Considering they helped design the ammunition, you'd think they made a good barrel...
b.) http://www.blackholeweaponry.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=61
I'm looking at the 16" barrels; though I haven't ruled out the 18". Opinions? These barrels are significantly cheaper; however I'm consistently reminded that I will get what I pay for. I want a good gun, and as such, I'm willing to spend some money. Also, does anyone know whether there is a significant difference between a 1:85 twist and a 1:11 twist? Accuracy, velocity, etc? the 1:8.5 seems pretty standard...

c.) Then there are the Noveske barrels which are supposedly very good; they are also pretty expensive. Of course they are "worth it"... but that will increase the cost dramatically. Still, something to consider.

There is also the option of buying a ready made upper; which would be easier... But not as fun, and I enjoy DIY projects. Still, to be fair:
Currently on sale for about 580.
Again, I like the idea of building my gun from the ground up. I think it will help me to understand what can go wrong, and how to fix it. Also, it will make the gun feel more... Mine.. (:

So can anyone give me a list of all the individual parts I would need to buy if I were going to construct my own upper?

Any other feedback is appreciated.


11-18-2011, 2:28 AM
Welcome to CalGuns!

I bought my first AR complete because I had no idea what was what. After a couple months here, reading and gathering knowledge, I've come to better understand an AR's components.

Don't make the same mistake I did and bought an AR first. Start with an inexpensive .22 LR plinker to build good shooting habits. And if you like tacticool, there are plenty of .22LR options for that.

Just my two cents and welcome aboard. :chris:

11-18-2011, 4:30 AM
welcome to the forums

11-18-2011, 5:43 AM

11-18-2011, 6:39 AM

11-18-2011, 6:50 AM
Thanks guys, it's good to be here.

The Gun Otaku: I understand why you recommend against starting with something this "big". However a .22 plinker might allow me to hunt coyote (which I've done)... It would be wonderful for practicing, and cheap. If I want a plinker, I can get a .22 marlin for $100 today. A friend has it and is selling. I'm trying to get something that will allow me to hunt deer (as I have several friends in Oregon that hunt regularly; I go there at least once a year). It does have to be cali-legal obviously because... Well I live here.

Other than recommending against an AR-15 (at this point) all together, is there slightly more specific advice you could give me? I mean no disrespect, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I have used guns before, I just have never owned one of my own.. Thanks.

11-18-2011, 6:59 AM
Welcome to calguns. I like the idea of getting started with a .22. It's a good way to learn good habits plus ammo is really cheap so shooting alot is a non-issue. Once you get your .22, then do some more research and decide what you want to do.
Personally if I were going to be paying 300 aac blackout ammo prices I'd be shooting .308 instead. Ammo can be cheaper and the round is more effective with only a little more felt recoil.
I'd be looking at m1a's, ar10's, fals and some bolt guns as well.
Honestly in a year from now the .22 will probably be your favorite gun to shoot.

11-18-2011, 7:12 AM
Okay, so I can get a Marlin tube feed .22, which at this point would be the most economical; in order to get a Ruger (which I'm not against, I plan on getting one eventually) it would cost me 250 minimum. As I hinted at, I've been around and used guns; I have the habits, for the most part. Still lets assume that I buy the Marlin, or get a 10 .22... I could do it today if it's really that important. It would also allow me to get cheap practice in. I have shot a Ruger 10.22 before, and I did enjoy it. basically no recoil, and it isn't THAT loud... compared to the 30.06 which you FEEL when you're standing 30 feet away. The main disadvantage to the Marlin that I can see is the lack of tactical kits, which would allow me to practice with something similar to an AR-15). Still, shooting is shooting, and I don't need to tacticool the Marlin. Supposedly, while not as common as the 10.22, they still feed reliably. They are also not limited by the 10 round cap.
Thanks for the input though. Again, I don't mean to sound like a snob, or ungrateful. I have been reading these forums, even though it took me a while to join.

11-18-2011, 7:12 AM
Welcome aboard!

11-18-2011, 7:34 AM
Welcome Aboard!:hurray:

11-18-2011, 7:44 AM
Welcome!! A bit of advice from me is try to hold and fire as many guns as you can so you can see what you like.

11-18-2011, 7:51 AM
Thanks Hachi6.

*Edit: I guess I should clarify some things in the OP.

**Edit: Clarifications made.

11-18-2011, 7:56 AM
Welcome...remember...real guns are not toys...

Shoot safe.

11-18-2011, 7:57 AM

11-18-2011, 8:00 AM
Opinions are like *****holes, everyones got one. I'm 58, and have experienced a lot of different firearms (in the military and from personal experience, including a circle of friends with a vast array of NFA items). No single platform does everything well. I like things that are supported by the manufacturer, as well as the aftermarket and fires an easily accessible caliber. "Buy once, Cry once" is also a good measure to follow (buy quality items, especially optics, you WILL need to spend 2-3Xs what your base rifle is worth for good glass). Your "Airsoft" background leads me to think you need a certain "Look" to be satisfied, if so, there are many other qualified opinions to seek than mine. If I were a young guy starting out, and could only afford one rifle I could grow with, I would look at a Savage 10 FP (one with the Accu-trigger, Accu-stock and the Detachable Box Magazine [DBM]). One chambered .308, with a lightweight barrel, with iron sights for your 20 yr old eyes. The Savage "Barrel Nut" (hated by Rem 700 owners) allows you to EASILY install different caliber and style barrels to suite your needs (you do need a different Bolt Face piece also [the floating Bolt Face design is also a +]). I have a Savage 10 FPLE with a US Optics 3.2-17 Ergo scope ($2400 for the scope, over $300 for the Ken Farrell Rings and 20 MOA base) that is entirely unmodified and shoots .5 MOA with 175 gr FGGM from a bipod and rear bag. This combo also seems like it is ideal for someone who needs to live in Cali. YMMV

11-18-2011, 8:02 AM
welcome to the forum.

11-18-2011, 8:10 AM
As far as what my airsoft background requires, I shoot an m700 bolt action gas rifle. Functionality is more important overall than looks, though I'd prefer it to be recognizable as a gun :j. I'll take a look at the gun combo you suggested and get back to you.

11-18-2011, 8:23 AM
I didnt have the tools for an upper.... Therefore, I built the lower and bought an upper:cool2:

11-18-2011, 8:24 AM
I'm building the lower as well; I have a link for a kit that I found for about $55; What do you think? Good kit for a reasonable price? Or is it Overpriced? Or a piece of crap?

Wicked Pete
11-18-2011, 8:27 AM
Good to see such enthusiasm. Welcome.

11-18-2011, 8:31 AM
I feel like calibrator.Yea I am getting up in years also.Owned and shot ARs for more than 25 years.Like some one has said before they are like Mr Potato Head.You swap parts on them all day long if you are bored.Seriously though,a 300 BLK for deer?I have been killing deer for 39 years and with my experiance,that would not be the best option.I have to look at it again,but consider it to be a underpowered 308.I have wrecked a few Montana deer and antelope with a (308)M1A and a AR10.For the little bitsy Calif deer,maybe a 6.8/270 would be better in AR15 platform.I primarily hunt anything I can when ever I can.Caliber and accuracy is everything to me.I want as much energy hitting a kill zone as possible,so I do not have to track something down into some hell hole.Another thing a new shooter has to decide is available ammo.Do yourself a favor and stick to something that is on anyones shelf.If you were closer to me,I would welcome you to the range and we could explore what I am saying to let you decide what is best.Thank you for joining us.

11-18-2011, 10:37 AM
I just saw the rifle I described above for sale on this forum. Priced right, comes with 1" rings and mount. Round count was 150 (like new). He also had a nice .22 target rifle also priced right.

11-18-2011, 11:58 AM
Thanks to both Calibrator and Coyotegunner. Just got a gun safe today. Should hold 6 or so guns; for now I'll keep my toys in it.

Anyway, as far as guns go, Would you recommend spending 400+- on a 30.06 specifically for hunting, rather than 600+-- each on two uppers (5.56+.22 bolt and .300 blk)?

And could I get a link to see the gun you described/ the well priced .22, Calibrator?

SoCal Bob
11-18-2011, 1:12 PM
Welcome to Calguns. I built my lowers and just bought uppers.

11-18-2011, 2:01 PM


11-18-2011, 2:12 PM
Build a lower and buy your first upper. Get to know your weapon in and out, practice a lot then if your feel confident and want to do it build one.

11-18-2011, 2:43 PM
Build a lower and buy your first upper. Get to know your weapon in and out, practice a lot then if your feel confident and want to do it build one.

this is what I did . you can get a pretty good deal on a complete upper.

11-18-2011, 3:06 PM
welcome! i build my lower and half build my upper. i say half build bcuz it didnt come with a bcg or ch sooo i paired something a bit better into my upper for something that i want :)

11-18-2011, 3:34 PM
Did some more reading today; There is a 5.56 hollow point that someone was using to hunt deer; it seemed to be very effective at 80-100 yards, even with novice shooters.


Opinions? Again, most people say that 5.56 or .223 is too small...

I'm totally for using 5.56 since it's easy to pop in a .22 bolt for target shooting; also allows me to use .223.

Still considering getting a separate 30.06 or .308.

Eventually I would like to have a variety of guns.

Not planning on anything larger than an average dear at this point.

11-18-2011, 3:47 PM
Deer hunting with 223? Thought that you needed something bigger to take down a full size deer but I may be wrong.

11-18-2011, 3:59 PM

11-18-2011, 4:51 PM
Thanks, Sonny188.
Verapakill, I did as well; these were 5.56 hollow... Still not much difference there. As I said, one of the reviewers said that he takes new shooters out and they haven't had trouble taking out 150+- lb deer, in most cases without them bolting.

11-18-2011, 9:24 PM
Welcome aboard. Good luck on your search!

11-18-2011, 9:25 PM
Thanks 408er, appreciate it.