Originally Posted by TheCorporation
My friend has an AR-15 .223 that he put together for around $700; he said it would have cost him $1200 if he bought it separate. My question is, what are the legal limitations in California as far as caliber and other tricky laws we have?
What would you recommend if it's something I'd like to take to the range. Where would I even start?
Most folks here know more than I do, but...
Recommendation: get a stripped lower now, before you have to register it after the end of December.
Now... that being said, I was where you are now. A buddy send me a free lower parts kit (a $50 value, I think). I built my lower myself with the aid of a friend, but I think everything I needed to know could have come from youtube. The major problem is that front takedown pin (specifically the detent and spring).
You won't save any by building the upper. I went and priced everything out as well as I could for a long time. I don't really think it's worth it. I'd find a decent, complete upper. They're rare at the moment, so maybe find a good, reputable brand and order ahead of time. Some of these places are two months or more behind. I was lucky to find the one I did.
Then buy a stock.
Once you've got the basic build done, you'll want to upgrade it here and there... better trigger, optics, etc. etc.