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uns0b1ll
03-05-2012, 1:37 PM
Basically I'm on very limited budget yet saved up ~$600 so far for my first AR.

I'm practically newbie when it comes to DI/gas piston difference but for some reason leaning toward gas piston system. Need your professional help on my first AR, I'm not going to have time to build one unfortunately (practically 25/7 study cycle for 5 more month)
Thanks !

adrenalinejunkie
03-05-2012, 1:59 PM
Nice man! It's an obsession from here on out. 600 for a built AR including tax and DROS fees won't be enough most likely, but I did build my first one for under 700 total cost for the base rifle. If you want to buy one you'll probably be able to get one for like $800 otd most likely. DI is more finicky with dirt but it's a great simple starter platform for your first AR. Basically the piston system moves the gas system that moves the bolt back to the front of the gun. Youtube AR piston system and DI AR system that'll have a pretty good CGI video about it. DI is also less expensive. What kind of help do you need? Just advice? If you're close to the 818 SFV socal area I can help you out and walk you through the rifle and the mechanics and cleaning once you get it.

Johnnyfres
03-05-2012, 2:16 PM
This will probably be your best bet, like adrenalinejunkie said you will most likely pay over $600. I have seen these for just over $600 at local shops, but with DROS and tax it will be closer to $700


EDIT*


Sorry is the CA legal version

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_786043_-1_772660_772659_757784_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

xoutxkastx
03-05-2012, 2:16 PM
Gas Piston Units are more expensive than DI units. DI units are perfectly fine and can be done within for budget. If you are somewhat handy you should look into putting together the lower receiver together and buy a built upper receiver. Turner's has a sale on Palmetto Arms lower for calgun members for $80 plus tax and dros, so a little over $110 out the door. Check out brownells or midway for a complete upper receiver, buttstock assembly (butt stock, buffer tube, buffer, and buffer spring, nut, and end plate). complete upper receivers like DPMS go for $350 - $400 with A2 front sight. Butt stock assembly probably $100-$150, metal mag $10, rear sight Magpul $40. All in comes to $600 - $750. This setup would be decent 1st rifle for going to the range. Good luck on your first rifle purchase and post pics once you have it.

gant
03-05-2012, 2:19 PM
you can always get a lw15 polymer completed lower and then find a used cheap upper!

bombadillo
03-05-2012, 2:57 PM
check out palmetto state armory, buy a lower from wherever, lower build kit from PSA, Complete upper from PSA, and add a rear sight or optics (or both) and call it a day. You'll be in the $700 range all said and done and they shoot great. I've owned 3 now and can't complain about a single one.

wsmc27
03-05-2012, 3:02 PM
...
DI is more finicky with dirt but it's a great simple starter platform for your first AR. ...

No offense intended in anyway :)

Just found it funny to think of the 'usual' AR gas operation as a "simple starter platform", the Wiki telling me today something approximating 8,000,000 of them now produced. :D

OP, have FUN whatever you chose. Be safe and get some training after you have your new AR.

:thumbsup:

adrenalinejunkie
03-05-2012, 3:52 PM
No offense intended in anyway :)

Just found it funny to think of the 'usual' AR gas operation as a "simple starter platform", the Wiki telling me today something approximating 8,000,000 of them now produced. :D

OP, have FUN whatever you chose. Be safe and get some training after you have your new AR.

:thumbsup:

Hahaha hey that's what i've heard. I just have no idea about problems encountered with piston systems

icenix
03-05-2012, 4:46 PM
Gas Pistons can be twice as much, and while it might be the newer thing, it really doesn't matter for a casual shooter, in my opinion. "The old way" works fine. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

S&W M&P Sport is super popular right now and between $600-$700. However, you may be able to build your own fairly simply by buying your lower local and purchasing a complete upper from Palmetto, which is a popular brand right now. Or I suppose you could buy a complete gun from Palmetto and have it transferred.

G60
03-05-2012, 4:47 PM
Unless you're running a suppressed SBR, you don't need a piston AR.

uns0b1ll
03-05-2012, 5:11 PM
Thank you everyone for advice.

I will probably make 2 separate purchases - will save up first for complete lower and then month later complete upper.

I will be looking for gas piston system upper however and wont settle for anything else.

Is there any good friend FFL in 818 LA area that i can transfer lower for ~$40 ?

G60
03-05-2012, 5:56 PM
I will be looking for gas piston system upper however and wont settle for anything else.


Why? What convinced you that you need a piston upper?

Go with an HK416 or LWRC upper if you're dead-set on a piston setup. Everything else is too new to the market to be put through it's paces, or crap. Especially budget crap.

Just worried that you're being advertised to/gullible.

Go with a proven DI upper and spend the rest on ammo/classes

SFgiants105
03-05-2012, 6:01 PM
I wouldn't recommend buying separate lowers and uppers (unless of course, they are from the same company). They tend to fit better when they come together as a complete gun.

The whole reliability factor associated with piston ARs pertains mainly to short-barreled systems and high-volume (esp. full-auto) fire. Otherwise, the only advantage is the cleaning factor. Pistons are significantly easier to keep clean. Seeing that you are set on it, my recommendation is to save up and get this:
http://www.lmtstore.com/complete-weapon-systems-firearms-guns/cqb-mrp-defender-model-piston-16.html

uns0b1ll
03-05-2012, 6:25 PM
Okay if I to get my gas piston system as AR # 2
then
What are my best option for balanced affordability/quality direct impingement system as AR # 1 ? :)

icenix
03-05-2012, 6:35 PM
I wouldn't recommend buying separate lowers and uppers (unless of course, they are from the same company). They tend to fit better when they come together as a complete gun.


I don't think I agree with that what-so-ever. Sure, some may not go together perfectly, but plenty of us have different brand uppers and lowers that fit like a glove. I have a Spikes lower and a Bravo Company upper and they go together like they were made for each other.

icenix
03-05-2012, 6:36 PM
Look into Bravo Company. I don't know what they have as far as piston stuff, but they have very high quality stuff, but with prices won't kill your wallet.

bombadillo
03-05-2012, 6:53 PM
You're not going to get a cheap GP upper. The least expensive are probably Adams Arms uppers right now. ZERO reason to NEED one for 99% of users out there. I've shot between 500-1k rounds in a weekend and never needed anything more than a tad of lube on the BCG and its good to go. They don't foul up like the piston guys seem to want to think. It is a fix for a non-existent problem. If you want a great quality upper for "cheap" get a good Daniel Defense, BCM, or Riflegear upper. I go to Ranierarms.com for my lowers and really like Mega Billet, or TKS Engineering which is on sale for a billet with integrated trigger guard for $129 right now. Then start looking at a quality lower parts kit, stock of choice, Geissele, or decent 2 stage trigger, and whatever upper you want. Adams Arms piston in a mid-length EVO is around $955 or so. SWEET upper, but again I think for what you're going to do with it its absolutely pointless.
http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=2783
http://www.rainierarms.com/img/shop/product/96dbd6230bd727c4574ea7c8d8429f6f.jpg

You could build a quality gun for around $1500 or so without optics.

SCPAKMAN
03-05-2012, 7:01 PM
I am noob in the same boat. I have narrowed my choice down to Stag Arms and Spikes Tactical base carbines. Any words of wisdom in this price range?

SFgiants105
03-07-2012, 12:27 PM
I don't think I agree with that what-so-ever. Sure, some may not go together perfectly, but plenty of us have different brand uppers and lowers that fit like a glove. I have a Spikes lower and a Bravo Company upper and they go together like they were made for each other.

I think you may not have understood what the phrase "tend to" means. Also, I meant it as in you won't know if your uppers will fit for sure for sure unless you do some research, and even then people's experiences vary. In general (ask if you need clarification on that phrase too), if you buy a complete gun, you know the parts will fit together and will most likely look better on account of having the same finish. Also, that's my opinion (hence why I said "I don't recommend")

I am noob in the same boat. I have narrowed my choice down to Stag Arms and Spikes Tactical base carbines. Any words of wisdom in this price range?

Stag Arms has a lifetime warranty on their barrels. I don't know about Spikes.

drifter2be
03-07-2012, 1:10 PM
My first AR. $155 out the door for an LW-15 Lower and Bullet Button.
Ordered Del-Ton mid-length upper from elite tactical $397 shipped to my door.
Picked up a matech rear sight for $40 from a member on here.

Cost of complete rifle $592. A single magazine could be had online for under $15. Would put you a total of $7 over your $600 budget. And you could always go with a "cheaper" rear sight if you wanted to keep the cost down.

If you are set on a gas piston system you need to up your budget by a few hundred bucks, you probably won't even find a compete piston upper for $600.

tonyxcom
03-07-2012, 1:40 PM
I think you may not have understood what the phrase "tend to" means. Also, I meant it as in you won't know if your uppers will fit for sure for sure unless you do some research, and even then people's experiences vary. In general (ask if you need clarification on that phrase too), if you buy a complete gun, you know the parts will fit together and will most likely look better on account of having the same finish. Also, that's my opinion (hence why I said "I don't recommend")

I'm sorry, but any upper and lower built to spec will work together (more than "tend" in fact). There is absolutely ZERO reason for them to come from the same company.

jtkkz
03-07-2012, 1:44 PM
I just got done building up my first AR, it came out to a bit under $650 with bullet button, dros and tax, w/no mags.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-07-2012, 3:47 PM
I don't think I agree with that what-so-ever. Sure, some may not go together perfectly, but plenty of us have different brand uppers and lowers that fit like a glove. I have a Spikes lower and a Bravo Company upper and they go together like they were made for each other.

^This^

Most of mine were bought at different places, and they fit together as well or better than the ones I bought whole.

I agree that buying your lower and then your upper is the way to go. Buy the lower locally, either complete or stripped. Once you have that, you can buy your upper where ever you want. If you are looking for low-cost but reliable, go look at Midway. They have been running sales on several complete DPMS uppers (which includes the bolt carrier group and charging handle) in the $360-375 range. They are not top of the line, but they make good, solid, reliable entry level ARs.


Here is one that is out of stock, but it gives you an idea what they have:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/513528/dpms-ar-15-oracle-a3-flat-top-upper-assembly-556x45mm-nato-1-in-9-twist-16-light-contour-barrel-chrome-moly-matte-with-glacierguard-handguard-single-rail-gas-block-flash-hider

-Mb

Redchevyman
03-07-2012, 3:55 PM
I have a new complete Del-ton M4 profile 16" gas piston upper for sale. $550 plus shipping. It comes with hand guards that are not shown in the picture.
http://www.sale.redchevy.com/pictures/gaspiston-sm.jpg

icenix
03-07-2012, 8:56 PM
I'm sorry, but any upper and lower built to spec will work together (more than "tend" in fact). There is absolutely ZERO reason for them to come from the same company.

^This^

Most of mine were bought at different places, and they fit together as well or better than the ones I bought whole.

I agree that buying your lower and then your upper is the way to go. Buy the lower locally, either complete or stripped. Once you have that, you can buy your upper where ever you want.
-Mb

+5

I think you may not have understood what the phrase "tend to" means. Also, I meant it as in you won't know if your uppers will fit for sure for sure unless you do some research, and even then people's experiences vary. In general (ask if you need clarification on that phrase too), if you buy a complete gun, you know the parts will fit together and will most likely look better on account of having the same finish. Also, that's my opinion (hence why I said "I don't recommend")


I wasn't trying to attack you, so no need to get defensive. I agree that, in some cases, the fit might be better, or the finish might be a little off, but I haven't found this to be much of an issue. I understood the phrase "tend to" perfectly. "Tend to" is a phrase similar to "much of the time" and that isn't the case. "Sometimes" would better fit your statement. I think that there are many more people that have matched uppers with different lowers and haven't had an issue than those that have fit issues. Now, finish issues is probably a higher number of people. Either way, I don't think most combinations would be a problem. At the very least, a little bit of research would solve this problem.

G60
03-07-2012, 9:20 PM
I wouldn't recommend buying separate lowers and uppers (unless of course, they are from the same company). They tend to fit better when they come together as a complete gun.


Hogwash. Something is out of spec if that's the case.

Sunday
03-08-2012, 9:36 AM
DI is all that is needed!

MultiCaliber
03-08-2012, 9:48 AM
Go with an HK416 or LWRC upper if you're dead-set on a piston setup. Everything else is too new to the market to be put through it's paces, or crap. Especially budget crap.


Ouch. Disagree.

Chan
03-08-2012, 11:06 AM
I have the M&P15S as my first AR and couldn't of been happier. Comes with a lifetime warranty from one of the oldest American companies.

Colt-45
03-08-2012, 11:12 AM
OP, if you're on a budget I recommend a decent DI build instead of a cheap piston system you could potentially have more issues with than good time shooting. A lot of guys get cheap piston systems, have trouble with them and come out saying the piston system is flawed and it sucks, well you really do get what you pay for. Want a piston system? get Lmt, LWRC, Hk, I'm sure there are others I'm missing here. I advise against drop in piston kits.

OP, use your budget to begin building your AR. Trust me in the end the wait will be worth it and you will be happier.


Ouch. Disagree.

Truth hurts don't it?

DirtyLawyer
03-08-2012, 11:30 AM
I went with an assembled Palmetto State Armory rifle. I am very pleased.

uns0b1ll
03-08-2012, 2:10 PM
I have a new complete Del-ton M4 profile 16" gas piston upper for sale. $550 plus shipping. It comes with hand guards that are not shown in the picture.
http://www.sale.redchevy.com/pictures/gaspiston-sm.jpg

is it under warranty and can i use it with LW-15 lower ?
if not which kit will i need to purchase additionally.

TreeHugger
03-08-2012, 3:03 PM
interesting read

http://www.tacticalgearmag.com/page/ar15-piston-pros-cons

slixx1320
03-08-2012, 3:37 PM
If you are set on a gas piston system you need to up your budget by a few hundred bucks, you probably won't even find a compete piston upper for $600.

Adams arms complete gas piston upper for under 600/shipped.
http://westernsportonline.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=317

I'm also in the process of building mine as we speak. I was going to place an order for this but I really prefer the mid-length upper over carbine and I can't seem to locate one cheaper than rifle gear who's got some in stock.

outkastcrl
03-08-2012, 6:49 PM
Elite tactical components had a shipment of evo ultralite mids yesterday for 879.00 10.00 for ground shipping. They should be listed on their website.




I'm also in the process of building mine as we speak. I was going to place an order for this but I really prefer the mid-length upper over carbine and I can't seem to locate one cheaper than rifle gear who's got some in stock.

sdfire
03-09-2012, 4:47 AM
I have built 3 ARs recently for under $600.
You can find complete upper receivers for under $400with Bcg and charging handle.
Then around another$150 for a stripped lower, parts kit, carbine stock. Then give or take $50 for rear sight, small parts. You can get alot of great deals from Calguns members for alot of the parts.

SB30
03-09-2012, 6:34 AM
Heading out today to shop for an AR. Not sure what i'll come back with but thinking S&W M&P 15.

adrenaline
03-09-2012, 6:54 AM
If DI is the more affordable route for you, look at getting Nickel Boron BCG for added reliability on the DI platform.

I've done two sessions of 200 rounds with no lube....no failures each session.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7147/6576776119_1644eb4087_z.jpg

You'll pay a little more...but not as much for a GP setup.

SB30
03-09-2012, 1:56 PM
Bought the the S&W M&P 15ORC
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/images/firearms/zoom_lg/151009_01_lg.jpg

Now just waiting for the 10 days. Picked it up at The Shootist in Murrieta who's have a big sale this weekend. Paid $908. Also picked up a Tasco red dot. During this sale they're giving away a bunch of stuff. Good times!!!

slixx1320
03-09-2012, 10:18 PM
Elite tactical components had a shipment of evo ultralite mids yesterday for 879.00 10.00 for ground shipping. They should be listed on their website.

I went onto their site but majority of the uppers are out of stock. I dont want to spend 800+ for a GPU. I've seen AA's lower base model go for as low as 560 but then they're not in stock either on most site's i've visited.

The search continues.....

uns0b1ll
03-11-2012, 11:59 PM
Once again thanks for input everyone !!!
After getting little education i realized i need 5.4539mm upper - hopefully something like Spikes Tactical DI system complete upper with any cheap lower OR Adams Arms Gas Piston Upper Assembly 5.45x39mm ?

Question : where to buy Spikes upper right now :) what should i be looking at now before I buy everything since this rifle will be featureless...

wsmc27
03-12-2012, 8:35 AM
...

Question : ... what should i be looking at now before I buy everything since this rifle will be featureless...

Re featureless I would beg/borrow/hold/fondle/shoot as many set-ups as you can before buying. The MM, Hammerhead, Solar Tactical wraps all feel totally different imo...

Let me agree with G60s' comment "Go with a proven DI upper and spend the rest on ammo/classes" :thumbsup:

Have FUN with your AR assembly and be safe. :)

bombadillo
03-13-2012, 7:45 AM
Here's a 5.45x39 gas piston upper for a really good price. The extra you spend on the rifle will easily be made up on the cost of ammo.

http://colemantyler.com/proddetail.php?prod=UA-16-c-b-545

http://colemantyler.com/prodimages/545%20Carbine%20Base%20L.jpg

Lifeon2whls
03-13-2012, 2:05 PM
I have the M&P15S as my first AR and couldn't of been happier. Comes with a lifetime warranty from one of the oldest American companies.

I'm picking mine up from EBR gun work on Saturday for $649 plus tax and DROS. I thought about building mine own but not knowing anything about ARs I daw my budget increase as I looked at different parts, etc and figured I could have a finished gun for just over 700 with a lifetime warranty and grow it from there or get another lower and SLOWLY build that up with all of the goodies that I realized I want over time.

Sunday
03-13-2012, 6:03 PM
you don't need a piston. Buy a complete BCM upper and you will not look back.