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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 02-03-2013, 8:36 AM
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Default First AR Build (from 80% up)

Hey guys,

I'm starting this thread to chronicle my first AR build. I was in the Marines, so I know my way around a rifle, but this is my first time building one. I hadn't done much research into building one until recently (Yes, I got caught up into the panic buy). I was actually planning on buying a pistol at the beginning of the new year, but then boom, panic starts.

So I decided to build an AR, but I did not feel like paying $400 for a stripped lower. I found a decently (overpriced, but not as bad) priced 80% lower from these guys here at Protective Bunkers.com. Nice guys, check em out if you get a chance.

Next step in my process was to get them engraved. As some of you may know, VaderSpade offers an engraving service on 80% lowers at a great price. That thread is here. So, I got in contact with him, decided on what to get engraved, and shipped out my lower on 2/01/13.

Below are some pictures of my lower and then of what I'm having engraved.



On the magwell on the same side as the mag release

On the magwell on the same side as the selector switch

Selector switch for a right handed shooter

Yes, I like comic books. DP is one of my favorite characters and I decided he would be perfect to be on the side of my rifle (As Punisher has been played out). If you are thinking of building your own 80%, I highly suggest you work with VaderSpade. He is not an FFL, so it needs to be in 80% form. Check out his work!

As of right now, that is all I have. I will be updating this thread not only for myself, but for any of those who would like to be updated with my build. Any suggestions/questions would be appreciated. Thanks for stopping by!
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2013, 2:33 PM
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Should turn out nice
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:18 PM
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******NEW UPDATE 2/8/13******

Hey guys,

My first post consisted of my 80% lower and the images that I was planning on having engraved on it. I sent it out on 2/01/13. I come home today to a package waiting for me. Of course, as any of you would be, I was extremely excited. After reading the return address being none other than VaderSpade, I knew I was in for a treat. Exactly one (1) week after I sent out my 80% I got it back. If you are thinking about getting your 80% engraved, go through VaderSpade!

Here is finished product after the engraving:







I am very pleased and very excited about my 80% lower. My next step is to of course mill it out and have it Cerakoted. I've been in contact with JustinThyme for the Cerakoting job (Thread found here). They are located in the OC, which is not too far from me. He also told me about Gabe and co. (found here), who are about 10 minutes away from them. From what I've seen, both guys do good work, so I'll be taking my 80% lower to them.

After that comes the hard part: finding the right parts for the right prices. Prices, as we all know, are ridiculous right now. I'm waiting on my tax refund right now, so waiting and shopping for the right parts wont be too difficult. I'm looking at getting an M4 style BCM upper and VLTOR CASV-M as my handguard. Probably going to go with a Magpul or VLTOR stock too.

As for sights, I am thinking of getting a Troy BUIS and a fixed triangle front sight/gas block. When I first thought about building an AR, the topic of what front grip would I want. When I was in the Marines, I felt most comfortable with my left hand at the magwell. But now that I was building my own, I thought about getting a vertical foregrip, then moved onto a AFG. However, it all came back to me feeling most comfortable with a magwell grip. So I'm probably going to go with that. The potential of a foregrip/bipod combo being used is still out there (I like options!).

I am also planning on putting a 1-point sling on it.

As for optics, I do not know yet. EOtechs are nice, as are some holographic sights, but I do not know exactly what I want. A good pair of optics is important, I understand that, but I also know being able to shoot your rifle with iron sights first is more important.

Anyways, if you guys know what those parts look like, then you have a decent idea of what my plans are. I've been debating on whether to go all black or FDE, but then I realized since I HAVE Deadpool on my lower, I would probably be better off sticking with black.

As soon as I have it milled and Cerakoted and painted (I'm going to use red and white for DP and the text.) I will throw another update up. Thanks for following!

-Manny
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Last edited by dammitmanny; 03-02-2013 at 1:34 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:27 PM
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Ok that is just to cool, man. How much was the whole thing?
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:27 PM
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First...Thankmyou for your service, without guys like you we would not be able to enjoy things such as this!!!
Second...came out nice so far, get that thing milled out and painted up and post it up!
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:32 PM
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Ok that is just to cool, man. How much was the whole thing?
I was able to find an 80% lower for $180 and Vader's work only cost me $55!
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:33 PM
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First...Thankmyou for your service, without guys like you we would not be able to enjoy things such as this!!!
Second...came out nice so far, get that thing milled out and painted up and post it up!
First... you're welcome. It was my pleasure!
Second... thanks! Now that I have it in hand I can schedule the milling and coating!
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:39 PM
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Very cool! I've got a paperweight that should be showing up tomorrow and plan on sending it to Vader once I figure out what I want engraved on it.
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dammitmanny View Post
I was able to find an 80% lower for $180 and Vader's work only cost me $55!
Niiiiice! Where you going to get it anadized at? I got a 80% also.
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Old 02-08-2013, 7:56 PM
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Very cool! I've got a paperweight that should be showing up tomorrow and plan on sending it to Vader once I figure out what I want engraved on it.
You wont be disappointed! Totally worth it! I made sure he put "Vader Tactical" on "Area #5". I wanted to make sure everyone else saw who did the engraving work.
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Old 02-08-2013, 8:07 PM
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Niiiiice! Where you going to get it anadized at? I got a 80% also.
I'm getting it Cerakoted by JustinThyme. His link is in my 2nd post. I was looking to get it anodized, but I've heard many good things about Cerakoting, so I have decided to go that route. It is similar to Duracoating, but it actually cures (dries) in an oven (Duracoating cures like paint). Check him out!
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Old 02-08-2013, 8:32 PM
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I'm getting it Cerakoted by JustinThyme. His link is in my 2nd post. I was looking to get it anodized, but I've heard many good things about Cerakoting, so I have decided to go that route. It is similar to Duracoating, but it actually cures (dries) in an oven (Duracoating cures like paint). Check him out!
Oh, yeah! Will do and thanks again!
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Old 02-09-2013, 1:32 AM
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No problem! These guys do great work and need to be put out there for all to know!
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:57 AM
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that is awesome my Man.....can't wait to help with your build
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Old 02-09-2013, 3:53 PM
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That's a really cool looking lower. DP is such a cool character. Good luck with sorting out all the other parts.

I recommend that you sign up for product availability email alerts on as many sites as possible.

Slickguns.com is also a very useful site to find deals and availability info.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:51 PM
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Good luck on your build! Love the engraving! If you want some (non mandatory, but good for information, and carrying around in case you get questioned) papers, the link in my sig may be helpful!
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2013, 9:03 PM
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That's a really cool looking lower. DP is such a cool character. Good luck with sorting out all the other parts.

I recommend that you sign up for product availability email alerts on as many sites as possible.

Slickguns.com is also a very useful site to find deals and availability info.
Thanks! Yea, I am looking on different forums on what parts most people use. If it is something I want, I have a email notification alert on them. I'll be checking out slickguns.com too!
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Old 02-10-2013, 9:05 PM
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Good luck on your build! Love the engraving! If you want some (non mandatory, but good for information, and carrying around in case you get questioned) papers, the link in my sig may be helpful!
Thanks! I've heard about people traveling around with the letter from the ATF that talks about owning 80% lowers and building them into full rifles. Thanks for the link!
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Old 03-02-2013, 1:02 AM
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Default 3/01/13 UPDATE!!! MILLED, CERAKOTED, and MICROSLICKED!

Alrighty guys!! My newest update is finally here!!

If some of you guys have been following this thread, its been about 3 weeks since my last post. I've had to save up to be able to do both my milling and coating at the same time. As I said in my other post, I was going to Gabe and Brent at Arms Specialty & Tool (found here again) for milling and Paul and David at OC Custom Coatings (found here) for my coating. Both places were literally with 10 minutes of each other and they have sent clients each others way due to their proximity. Best part? They both do awesome work!!

I knew I was going to go to Gabe to for finishing out my 80%, yet after my discovery of Nickel Boron (NiB) coating, I thought twice about going to OC Custom Coatings. I read up on other forums about taking my lower to WMD or Robar Guns to get it NiB coated. I could buy a NiB upper and a FailZero BCG and I would have a NiB based rifle, which I thought would be awesome.

Fortunately, I found out about Microslick, Cerakote's answer to NiB coating (You can read up more on it on their thread). Contacted Paul about adding that service and BOOM!, I was sold.

It was an all day event, meeting up at Gabe's shop at 1230 for my 1PM appointment. Fell a little behind, but after you see Gabe's attention to detail with your lowers, you will not be disappointed! He lets you put your 80% into the machine and lets you press the start button yourself! Pretty awesome. Afterwards, he cleans it up and goes through every part of the lower, making sure everything is clean and is the right size. He even fixed the shallow mag catch I had (DAMN YOU ROHG!!). Here is his (and somewhat my) work:





He had some little tools that he used to go over all the places that were milled out, making sure everything was pretty and smooth. Gabe is a master at his craft! As for Paul and David, they are not too shabby either. After a 10 minute drive, I meet Paul at his garage/workshop. Even after numerous PMs about what I wanted done, he doubled checked everything with me. I even took my RRA LPK (minus trigger) and had him Microslick the moving parts. He Microslicked the inside of lower where the trigger group belongs and where the magcatch moves. This process took the longest, about a 6 and a half hour job. One of his other customers brought a friend and they went to the beach, watched a movie, had dinner.... there is a lot to do in OC if you want to kill time.

I went to another CalGunner who has AR parts and accessories, Kali-Tactical Solutions (his rebuild kit thread found here) and picked up some accessories for me and a couple other friends. Great CGer, busy, but a great guy.

After killing some time, I went back to Paul's to check out the final product. Here are the results:







I know it is kind of hard to see. I picked Graphite Black color over the Armor Black color. It has more a sheen to it and allowed it to blend in with his floor in his garage. It looks much better in person. The one thing I was worried about was the engravings. I felt as if they were very small and parts of it would get covered up. But as you can see from the before and after pics, the coating was very nicely done. Definitely worth the wait and the price.

It was an all day event getting it done, but I am very happy with the end result so far. I have Testor's Enamel Model paint coming in from Amazon.com and a very fine Size 2 paint brush that I am going to use to color in Deadpool and the lettering. But I feel as if I wasted that money. I am really happy with my lower as it is, and might hold off on painting it.

As of right now, I have a BCM buffer tube kit (they dont have a kit, just bought all the parts separately) coming in with a MagPul MOE Stock, and a Vamfire MLD Bullet Button (here). The RRA LPK was a gift from a friend of mine, and it didn't come with a trigger group. He bought it for me as a birthday gift knowing I needed an LPK and that I was going to buy an enhanced trigger anyways, which I did. I got a Spikes Tactical Battle Trigger (NiB coated) from Guns Direct in Burbank (here). I haven't put anything together yet as I am waiting for my buffer tube kit, stock and Vamfire BB to come in, so I can do everything in one shot.

Despite the opportunity to take my business to bigger and more reputable businesses, I am glad I stuck with helping out my fellow CalGunners!! Gabe, Brent, Paul, David, and Kang (Kali-Tactical) are great guys that do amazing work!! Don't hesitate doing business with them.

When the paint comes in from Amazon and I put everything together, I'll have a new update of my COMPLETED lower!!

Thanks for looking,

Manny
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Old 03-02-2013, 1:07 AM
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That's pretty awesome.
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Old 03-02-2013, 1:30 AM
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That's pretty awesome.
Thanks!!
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Old 03-02-2013, 5:11 AM
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It's an assembly to some a build for others. Good show.
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Old 03-02-2013, 7:56 AM
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Cerakote is great my brother in law and I did our 80% lowers and had them Cerakoted in FDE turned out amazing. I was going to have Vader do my engraving before but I was concerned about the depth of his engraving and how it would turn out after the coating. Can't wait to see how yours turns out if it looks good I'll send my future ones to get engraved by him.
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Old 03-02-2013, 8:34 AM
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Check my Cerakote job at:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...8#post10693048

not done by Justin.
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Old 03-02-2013, 8:47 AM
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Very nice, love the enthusiasm.....but it sounds like you have a man crush on this friend of yours who got you the LPK....kinda creepy man
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Old 03-02-2013, 9:26 AM
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Nice Job!
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Old 03-02-2013, 9:29 AM
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Damm Manny, that IS very cool to have such a custom unique AR imo, thanks for sharing!

Looking forward to the end results.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:26 AM
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Very nice, love the enthusiasm.....but it sounds like you have a man crush on this friend of yours who got you the LPK....kinda creepy man
He's alright, I've had better
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:26 AM
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Damm Manny, that IS very cool to have such a custom unique AR imo, thanks for sharing!

Looking forward to the end results.
Thanks, I'm real excited about it!!
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:27 AM
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Nice Job!
Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:30 AM
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Check my Cerakote job at:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...8#post10693048

not done by Justin.






Quote:
Originally Posted by tpat663 View Post
Cerakote is great my brother in law and I did our 80% lowers and had them Cerakoted in FDE turned out amazing. I was going to have Vader do my engraving before but I was concerned about the depth of his engraving and how it would turn out after the coating. Can't wait to see how yours turns out if it looks good I'll send my future ones to get engraved by him.
looks good!! yea I had the same worries about engravings. but now I know that they will turn out really nice as long as the person doing the coating does a good job
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:33 AM
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It's an assembly to some a build for others. Good show.
thank you!
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:43 AM
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Looks good get it up here so we can get it assembled, see next weekend if the parts come in
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:22 AM
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looks good!! yea I had the same worries about engravings. but now I know that they will turn out really nice as long as the person doing the coating does a good job

Very cool brother. Like the color!
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  #35  
Old 03-03-2013, 5:01 PM
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Sillyguy Sillyguy is offline
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nice! do u have a breakdown of cost?
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  #36  
Old 03-04-2013, 1:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillyguy View Post
nice! do u have a breakdown of cost?
Built
Rhog 80% lower = $190
RRA LPK = $90 (Gift)
Spikes Tactical Battle Trigger = $75
BCM Buffer Tube Kit = $70
Magpul MOE Stock = $60
Vamfire MLD = $30

Services
SpadeVader = $55
SA&T Mill = $85
OC Custom Coatings Cerakote = $150

Total: $710 ($800 including the LPK)

This is what I have written down right now. Considering the whole 2A situation right now, $710 for a complete custom lower is not too bad IMO. I have all the parts to put my lower together, but am waiting for the Testors Enamel Model paint before doing another update.
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  #37  
Old 04-11-2013, 10:09 AM
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flipdiver flipdiver is offline
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Nice! I just got my lower at Jtactical and moving along the same path as you are! Kudos!
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