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huck
03-14-2008, 10:09 AM
Why is this kit $640
http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=199

and this one only $465?
http://www.del-ton.com/Rifle_Kit_p/rkt104.htm

Stag has one for $499.
http://ar15sa.fatcow.com/store/page2.html


Is it quality of the materials? Features? Will one assemble easier than the other? Will it shoot better? Last longer?

This is (obviously) my first attempt at a build. I plan on making 3 or 4 if all goes well. A kit seems like the easiest way to begin.

I ordered a book on AR's, but I haven't received it yet.

USN CHIEF
03-14-2008, 10:12 AM
Brand name and quality... RockRiver is the best IMHO.

pgatour
03-14-2008, 10:48 AM
The stag is actually $633.. the $495 is just the upper receiver and barrel (you will still need a buttstock (@ $60-$80) and lower receiver parts (@ $60-$80).

I just started this hobby myself and got the Stag and it works great, Rock River also has a great reputation and a lot of people swear by them. Never heard of the other option, they didn't specify brand even though it seemed to get pretty good reviews.

The learning curve on AR15s is pretty steep, esp if you're a software engineer. Everything you need to know is on this site, although I'm sure the book will help also. I found this link to be extremely helpful understanding 'how' an AR-15 works by playing with the different view buttons:
http://www.bushmaster.com/anatomy_bushmaster.asp

ohsmily
03-14-2008, 10:55 AM
The first one comes with a RRA 2 stage 'match' trigger. ~$100 value

fairfaxjim
03-14-2008, 11:00 AM
Compare carefully. RRA is pretty much a 1st tier manufacturer. Stag is good too. I didn't find a Stag kit for $499, only an upper. It looks like the kits are more in the $600 range. Delton is not really a manufacturer, more of an assembler - they buy parts and build rifles from the. Model-1 Sales is another one of that nature. Some on here call them "bottom feeders" since they use the cheapest, and less quality reliable, parts.

Also compare apples to apples. The Stag @ $633 and the RRA and $640 look pretty similar, until you notice that the RRA has a 2 stage trigger. The Delton is a bottom of the line kit, A2 stock, no frills. None of them have a chrome lined barrel, which I think you should have.

If you want a Stag or RRA, shop with one of the calguns.net vendors, they can set you up. If you want to save a few bucks, then go for the lesser vendors.

Having said all that, I personally have had good and bad with both the top of the line, and the bottom of the line. Really seems to be the luck of the draw. I haven't dealt with model 1 sales, but their rep for customer service sucks from what I have heard. I have personally had good service from Del-Ton when I needed help. I'm sure you will get a bunch more responses. Happy shopping, and most of all - enjoy your rifle.

blisster
03-14-2008, 11:06 AM
I bought a del-ton kit, upgraded to the DTI chrome lined barrel. Its a decent upper, nothing fancy, but neither am I, and I don't plan on taking the rifle into combat, nor use it for HD, so I was willing to save a couple hundred bucks. I'm happy with it so far.

pgatour
03-14-2008, 11:22 AM
I believe the Stag comes with a chrome lined barrel (mine did). The RockRiver does not, but for the $680 package you can get the chrome barrel for RRA, if that matters to you.

The two-stage match trigger on the RRA is the bonus feature.. IMHO

huck
03-17-2008, 5:35 PM
Brand name and quality... RockRiver is the best IMHO.

That seems to be a common opinion around here. What about Bushmaster?

huck
03-17-2008, 5:37 PM
The stag is actually $633.. the $495 is just the upper receiver and barrel (you will still need a buttstock (@ $60-$80) and lower receiver parts (@ $60-$80).

I just started this hobby myself and got the Stag and it works great, Rock River also has a great reputation and a lot of people swear by them. Never heard of the other option, they didn't specify brand even though it seemed to get pretty good reviews.

The learning curve on AR15s is pretty steep, esp if you're a software engineer. Everything you need to know is on this site, although I'm sure the book will help also. I found this link to be extremely helpful understanding 'how' an AR-15 works by playing with the different view buttons:
http://www.bushmaster.com/anatomy_bushmaster.asp

Hah! And you are implying that software engineers are dumber than your average, say plumber or electrician? Yes, well maybe you're right...

Thanks for the advice.

huck
03-17-2008, 5:39 PM
The first one comes with a RRA 2 stage 'match' trigger. ~$100 value


Thanks, for pointing that out. Now if can just figure out what a 2 stage 'match' trigger is...

Hope that book comes soon.

huck
03-17-2008, 5:41 PM
Compare carefully. RRA is pretty much a 1st tier manufacturer. Stag is good too. I didn't find a Stag kit for $499, only an upper. It looks like the kits are more in the $600 range. Delton is not really a manufacturer, more of an assembler - they buy parts and build rifles from the. Model-1 Sales is another one of that nature. Some on here call them "bottom feeders" since they use the cheapest, and less quality reliable, parts.

Also compare apples to apples. The Stag @ $633 and the RRA and $640 look pretty similar, until you notice that the RRA has a 2 stage trigger. The Delton is a bottom of the line kit, A2 stock, no frills. None of them have a chrome lined barrel, which I think you should have.

If you want a Stag or RRA, shop with one of the calguns.net vendors, they can set you up. If you want to save a few bucks, then go for the lesser vendors.

Having said all that, I personally have had good and bad with both the top of the line, and the bottom of the line. Really seems to be the luck of the draw. I haven't dealt with model 1 sales, but their rep for customer service sucks from what I have heard. I have personally had good service from Del-Ton when I needed help. I'm sure you will get a bunch more responses. Happy shopping, and most of all - enjoy your rifle.

Thanks. I think I've decided to go with the $680 RR kit with the chrome lined barrel. I am going to research this more and figure out why first.

huck
03-17-2008, 5:44 PM
I bought a del-ton kit, upgraded to the DTI chrome lined barrel. Its a decent upper, nothing fancy, but neither am I, and I don't plan on taking the rifle into combat, nor use it for HD, so I was willing to save a couple hundred bucks. I'm happy with it so far.


That makes sense. One other question... Is the RockRiver going to be any easier to assemble than the stag?

What I mean by that is, I assume part of the "quality build" means the holes actually line up.

Fishwrestler
03-17-2008, 9:34 PM
Just a FYI
I talked to customer service from ER Shaw the barrel manufacture for Model 1 Sales and found out and interesting piece of information. They make the barrel for Stag also to the same specification as Model 1 Sales.
So just talking barrels they are the same as Stag
Robert

aplinker
03-17-2008, 9:58 PM
Compare carefully. RRA is pretty much a 1st tier manufacturer. Stag is good too.

RRA is a tier-2 manufacturer. Only Colt is Tier-1, LMT comes close, some variations of custom builders (CMMG and Noveske) do, too.


That being said - Del-Ton is as low as you can go.

You don't need to spend a ton of money on an AR upper & parts, but the quality difference at $500 and $800 is much more than double.

A couple of things to note about that DTI kit - trigger, no chrome lining in the barrel, and built with random parts by random manufacturers. That Stag uses the same barrel doesn't mean that somehow that barrel is good. It just means Stag isn't very choosy, either.

My advice is this - don't bother with a kit. It forces you in a box for parts selection and gives the illusion of easier. It's not.

Here is ALL you need to build a Cali-Legal AR (along with my advice for stuff):
Immediately DROS the lower... now... today... the rest will come along during your 10day wait.

You'll need:
1.) Lower
2.) Lower parts kit
3.) Complete upper
4.) Sights/optics
5.) Buttstock kit (stock, tube, spring, buffer)
6.) Compliance parts (bullet button or MMG)
7.) Magazine
8.) LOTS of ammo.

Here are my suggestions - I'd push you toward a Recce build:
1.) Build a 16" (or maybe slightly longer), with a medium or lightweight barrel contour. It will let you get good accuracy and be able to carry it.
2.) Get a mid-length gas system (unless you meet/exceed 18")
3.) Get a 2-stage Rock River Arms trigger with your LPK. It's well worth the extra $80. My personal favorite LPK is Armalite, but save money by getting the combo NM RRA kit (RRA is my 2nd choice for LPK)
4.) Get a Daniel Defense, SWS, or LaRue railed handguard - if you can afford it - and put it over a mid-length low profile gas block - looks cleaner and will allow you to mount a flip front sight on the rail with a longer sight radius. If you can't afford a free float rail, get a standard fixed FSB. It's cheaper.
5.) I'd go with the following upper/barrel manuf's (best down - all are very good): Colt, LMT/Noveske (tie), CMMG, RRA. The CMMG is probably the best value with the most options, but Colt and LMT build better products. ONLY Colt and FNH are actually mil-spec Tier-1 manufacturers
6.) Pick your brake or flash hider. This is a pretty personal choice. The best FH: Smith Vortex. The FSC556 is pretty hot right now. Brakes have many options. Keep in mind neither really do much - the .223 is limited in recoil and how often do you shoot at night?
7.) If you have money to spend, get an LMT SOPMOD buttstock kit. Magpul UBR, VLTOR EMOD and Magpul CTR are the next choices, in that order. Price pretty much follows the quality there. The best cost/quality point is with the CTR.
8.) If you have money, pick an aftermarket grip. The MIAD is the hot one now. TangoDown, Ergo, Hogue etc all make their own, too. You don't need to change from the LPK, but it's nice.
9.) The best flip sights, hands down, are Troy. If cost is an issue a seller here on the boards has USGI Matechs for $55 (about 40% the Troy)
10.) Get one 10/30rd mag for pics (Magpul PMAG looks nice and functions well) and a few more 10rd C-Products + Magpul ranger plates for shooting

Other needs: Case (soft is best), sling (I prefer 2-point, 3-pt is acceptable, 1 point is stupid), optics (EOTech for 0-150yds and SPEED, ACOG for 50-400yds), ammo (anything cheap and brass cased, preferable, but Wolf runs fine - if your range allows magnetic ammo). Lastly, the Magpul winter trigger guard really finishes the look of a rifle.

That thread has more good info in it, too. Note, I edited it for some additional info on cheaper builds...

huck
03-18-2008, 12:02 PM
RRA is a tier-2 manufacturer. Only Colt is Tier-1, LMT comes close, some variations of custom builders (CMMG and Noveske) do, too.


That being said - Del-Ton is as low as you can go.

You don't need to spend a ton of money on an AR upper & parts, but the quality difference at $500 and $800 is much more than double.

A couple of things to note about that DTI kit - trigger, no chrome lining in the barrel, and built with random parts by random manufacturers. That Stag uses the same barrel doesn't mean that somehow that barrel is good. It just means Stag isn't very choosy, either.

My advice is this - don't bother with a kit. It forces you in a box for parts selection and gives the illusion of easier. It's not.

Here is ALL you need to build a Cali-Legal AR (along with my advice for stuff):


That thread has more good info in it, too. Note, I edited it for some additional info on cheaper builds...


Thanks for all the advice. I will study this closely. I need to develop a glossary first.

aplinker
03-18-2008, 1:48 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I will study this closely. I need to develop a glossary first.

If you get stuck, ask. Be sure to read through the "new to Calguns have a question about XX" thread
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=56818