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

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2009, 2:36 PM
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Post My CalGuns 9mm AR15 Build: a Guide from Parts Selection to Paint.

INTRO:
there are always questions about 9mm AR15 builds that pop up every so often. i've decided to document my build; this is my second build so i know that finding info doing my first one was a pain. hopefully this takes some of the mystery out of building a 9mm for someone who has never done it before.

first off, this is by no means the only way to do it nor the best way. it's just the way i happened to do it.

when reading through this thread, remember to take into account that i based this build on the parts i already had, the parts that are currently available, and my budget.

PURPOSE/THEME:
this is also a theme build. i've been wanting to go with a 9mm AR for SSA and i've also decided sometime ago that for a future build i wanted to do a mk 18 style AR. yes, i know that a mk 18 is not 9mm, but whatever, i still wanted to build a mk 18 looking AR so i decided to meld the two projects into one.

here is what a suppressed mk 18 (or replica) looks like. (not my pic, i took this from another forum and forgot where and from whom i took it from. to that person, i say thanks!)


PARTS & COST:
so now that i have a theme and purpose set, let's get the parts together.



stuff i bought for this build (not including tax, dros, or shipping):
kd calguns lower - $99
lmt sopmod stock - $175
milspec buffer tube - $30
raddlock - $35
spike's 9mm ST-9X buffer - $50
rra 9mm buffer spring - $4
spike's 9mm M4 profile 16" barrel - $165
cmmg 9mm bolt - $150
hahn dedicated 9mm mag block - $160
magpul miad grip (basic) - $33
yhm upper receiver - $75
forward assist assembly - $9
colt 9mm upper ejection port door and gas deflector - $22
kac uk sas ras rail - $200
mfi kac style fake suppressor + 1.5" adapter - $125
aimpoint m2 on wilcox mount - $350
c products 10 round mags (2) - $40

stuff i already had (not including tax, dros, or shipping):
lower parts kit - $70
charging handle with badger gen 2 latch - $40
lmt rear sight - $110
dez arms set screw type A2 FSB - $25
delta ring assembly - $0
ejection port cover pin and clip - $5
hand guard front ring - $0
kns trigger and hammer pins - $25
kac vertical foregrip - $25
magpul bad - $29
not shown, magpul/ergo rail ladders (2) - $22

so the grand total (not including tax, dros, or shipping) is: $2,073

the prices are rounded up, some items were bought during "the rush" so they are probably a lot less now.

here are a few key notes of parts that i got and why:
cmmg 9mm bolt: unlike the rra one, this one comes ramped to accept standard AR (rounded head) hammers. no need for a special 9mm hammer.
spike's 9mm M4 profile barrel: for my first build i was stuck getting a rra barrel which turned out to be a heavy profile barrel which completely sucked. the barrel was fine, it was the weight that made me not want to shoot it and eventually i sold it. so this time around, i wanted lighter.
spike's ST-9X buffer: it's heavier and longer than even an H2 buffer. i used this in my first build with great results, so i went with it again. the extra length helps keep your bolt catch from breaking.
hahn dedicated mag block: i had this on my first build. love it. it has the bolt lock back on empty mag feature and is dedicated, which means no need for adjustment to get it working. (at least in my experience) there are other brands out now, but i just went with what i knew.
YHM/COLT upper assembly: i bought the YHM upper used for $75 + $9 for the forward assist (which i don't need but i didn't want to leave a hole and it added to the mk 18 look) + the colt 9mm ejection port parts for $22 still was a cheaper route to go than to have bought a 9mm upper. typically $140-150. btw, the 9mm plastic ejector port thing is a gas deflector, not a shell deflector. i learned this after burning time doing research trying to find a 9mm shell deflector. there is no such thing.
KNS Trigger and Hammer Pins - needed because the 9mm action is harsher than .223/5.56 so it is said that the regular hammer pin snaps. this is up for debate, but i had them anyway so i used them.
MFI fake suppressor: i went with this for my mk 18 theme. it looks a lot like KAC's suppressor and helps me make my 16" barrel look 10.5" which is what a mk 18 has. if you want the same look, go with a 1.5" spacer with your MFI. remember that the 16" barrel sinks into the upper receiver about an inch more than a standard .223/5.56 barrel due to the lack of a barrel extension. so you actually need to extend your barrel a little bit for the MFI to fit. a .75" would have been better but it was a $35 up charge, so i stuck with the 1.5". in the end, my 9mm upper and a real mk 18 suppressed upper will deviate by only about .25" - mine being longer.
DEZ Arms A2 FSB: the 9mm system does not need a gas block but i wanted an A2 FSB for the mk 18 look anyway. so, i opted for the easy install of a set screw FSB that DEZ arms makes. it still mounts very solid.

ASSEMBLY:
ok, assemble as per calguns or arfcom instructions. if this is your first build, take your time. there are tons of parts to lose or to put together in the wrong order. don't do that.

i've done so many now that this took me about an hour and twenty minutes. i burned some time finding out that the KAC RAS needed to be modified in order to fit over the spike's barrel. even though it is advertised as an M4 profile barrel, the part that is under the hand guard remains a heavy profile. i was kinda bummed at that since i was looking to shave off weight to offset the weight of the MFI fake suppressor. i had to knock off a pin and take off a part of the RAS from the underside. so this upper is still heavier than i would like, but lighter than my last build so i'll live.

viola, here it is assembled:


looks a lot like the pic i based my theme after, doesn't it?:


some more beauty shots:



Last edited by pacrimguru; 12-16-2009 at 4:54 PM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 2:36 PM
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ok, now that that was done, i was itching to do something else. then, i remembered a thread that Outlawdon posted about M4carbine.net's user theJanitor's paint job. i love that paint job, so i decided to try it out myself.

here is the original thread that he posted (thanks posting it Outlawdon and special thanks for sharing your paint job, theJanitor!):
Great looking camo job...

...and here is the paint job i'm trying to copy:


THE PAINT:
in the original thread, theJanitor mentions that he used a base of Green and Brown and sprayed it over with Tan. i noticed that there is a slight tinge of red in there too. i figured that this red is some kind of rust color, so i went to home depot and found some rust-oleum rust colored primer to add to the mix. i used the following spray paints:
- Brownell's Aluma-Hyde II Earth Brown ($10)
- Brownell's Aluma-Hyde II OD ($10)
- Brownell's Aluma-Hyde II Matte Clear ($10)
- Rust-Oleum Camouflage Khaki ($5)
- Rust-Oleum Rust Colored Primer ($4)
a quick word about paints. I'm using the Brownell's paint because I already have a stash of it. I've been using Aluma-Hyde II for a while now and have realized that yes while it is a very durable paint (it is epoxy based) that it is expensive and a pain to get since it is only available at Brownells which means 7 day UPS ground shipping to us Californians - and again, it is expensive. for one of my previous paint jobs, I tried using Rust-Oleum flat paints and those actually worked out just as well. BUT the only way you can really keep that kind of paint on your rifle is to go over it with a clear coat after your done painting. for that I still choose to use Aluma-Hyde II, luckily the two paints interact very well with each other.

theJanitor looks like he had a net as a mask as well. i went to big 5 and bought one of those fishing nets, removed it from the frame, and cut it so it was a flat-ish sheet of netting. i don't think the net was thick enough but it was all i could find. you can use whatever though. i've used paper, cardboard, some people use leaves.

SAMPLE:
i first did a practice spray on a cardboard box. i did a base layer of mixed brown, OD, and rust, then layed the net on top and mist khaki on top of it all. the look came out similar to what i was looking to get but mine was a bit muddier and darker. i think the khaki i have isn't as light as the original picture i was copying but i was fine with it anyway.


PREP FOR PAINT:
i took off the essentials but pretty much left the whole thing intact. i wiped it all down with an old clean t-shirt and acetone. here are all the parts i sprayed separately:


BASE LAYER:
here it is, i didn't get carried away or anything. just mixed it up a bit.


TOP LAYER:
after that was dry-ish, i went for the top layer. first overlay the net: (it looks loose in the pic, but you have to wrap it tight so that the overspray doesn't get underneath the net)


then spray, be careful not to soak it otherwise it will drip and you'll lose the net mask:

Last edited by pacrimguru; 12-17-2009 at 6:45 AM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 2:36 PM
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take your time and spray everything from every angle. let it dry at least overnight:


don't forget to get the parts you'll forget like under the selector switch, the hidden parts of knobs, etc. i sprayed everything after with the Aluma-Hyde II Matte Clear. i find this keeps the paint on the rifle longer so you can abuse it more. but as with all spray jobs, it will chip eventually. but i like that look so i don't mind.

ASSEMBLY:
put it back together.

FINISHED FOR NOW:









I hope this guide helps someone out there!
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Last edited by pacrimguru; 12-22-2009 at 7:48 AM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 2:46 PM
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Nice Build and an even Nicer paint Job!
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Old 12-16-2009, 3:16 PM
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Very nice. how did you do the Aimpoint? Did you use tape to cover the glass? Did you spray with the ejection cover opened or close?
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Old 12-16-2009, 3:27 PM
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Damn that is sick...I wish I was brave and artistic enough to do that ahahah
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Old 12-16-2009, 3:43 PM
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Absolutely gorgeous! That looks really good.
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:02 PM
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This is a great tutorial on just what to get and an even better one for the paint. Great rifle.
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:07 PM
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thanks guys. i hope this guide kinda helps 1) 9mm builders and 2) those who want to paint their AR's the easy way. (via spray paint)


Quote:
Originally Posted by WokMaster1 View Post
Very nice. how did you do the Aimpoint? Did you use tape to cover the glass? Did you spray with the ejection cover opened or close?
i left the rubber caps on and just sprayed them on the aimpoint. the front one was left in position as is. since i can't access the rear one with the lmt rear sight in place, i already knew i wasn't going to use it when everything was all said and done. so i backed the rear one so that it was barely holding on to about 1/8" of the eye piece and sprayed it that way. that way you get as much paint on the exposed areas as you can but still use the rubber cap as your mask.

i painted it with the ejection cover closed. when flipped open, it is still black on the inside. i don't like having the inside painted because i don't want possibility of spray paint flakes falling into the BCG.
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:18 PM
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Very nice work there, glad to see it came out looking really nice.

-Gio
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:29 PM
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Lookin good!
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:32 PM
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Awesome!
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:36 PM
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Awesome looking rifle and nice write-up too!
I wish I were more brave and skilled with the spray paint, but I can't bring myself to give that a try, so I'll live vicariously through your pictures.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:46 PM
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Bada** man I really like that AR good job!
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:54 PM
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Awesome write up and paint job!! Thanks for taking the time to post!
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Old 12-16-2009, 6:05 PM
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Nice, and good inside info on 9mm build. I was interested in trying that...
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Old 12-16-2009, 6:08 PM
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my hats off to you! that thing looks great...
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Old 12-16-2009, 6:18 PM
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Nicely done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-16-2009, 6:37 PM
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I like.
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Old 12-16-2009, 7:56 PM
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Wow awesome build and paint job. I want to do a camo job on one of mine.
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Old 12-16-2009, 8:04 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:27 AM
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I gotta try that on a cheap, busted up airsoft gun from Big 5 first (tape off the orange part first tho). Then graduate to the real toys.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:31 AM
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Nice work.
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Old 12-17-2009, 6:54 AM
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once again, thanks guys. for those who want to try painting but are afraid to, try spraying a piece of cardboard first. it takes practice, easy on the nozzle - don't spray too much in one go. try light mists first and keep misting to get the color depth you are looking for. remember, if you really mess up, many things can take off paint without harming your rifle. automotive brake cleaner or acetone is what i use.

the best thing about painting these things is that it completely changes the look of your rifle and it is reversible. another perk is that if you are building on a budget and getting everything used, you don't have to worry about buying matching furniture! this is a pic of my first paint job, stripped with brake cleaner, and the second paint job.

First Paint Job:


Stripped with Brake Cleaner: (only took 1 hour to strip - didn't do a clean job since i was going to repaint it anyway)


Repainted:



i added this note about paint to the original post:

a quick word about paints. I'm using the Brownell's paint because I already have a stash of it. I've been using Aluma-Hyde II for a while now and have realized that yes while it is a very durable paint (it is epoxy based) that it is expensive and a pain to get since it is only available at Brownells which means 7 day UPS ground shipping to us Californians - and again, it is expensive. for one of my previous paint jobs, I tried using Rust-Oleum flat paints and those actually worked out just as well. BUT the only way you can really keep that kind of paint on your rifle is to go over it with a clear coat after your done painting. for that I still choose to use Aluma-Hyde II, luckily the two paints interact very well with each other.
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Last edited by pacrimguru; 12-17-2009 at 6:57 AM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 7:06 AM
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she's a beauty
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Old 12-19-2009, 2:10 PM
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Out of curiosity, how well do those C-Products mags handle in terms of jams and also holding open the bolt after the last round?
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf6tac View Post
Out of curiosity, how well do those C-Products mags handle in terms of jams and also holding open the bolt after the last round?
sorry, just saw your question. i had to play with my ejector for the c products mags to run right. once i found the sweet spot they fed and cycled rounds correctly. my bolt hold open function isn't doing so great right now though. it barely keeps open but wants to slam closed any chance it gets. its just a matter of adjustment.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacrimguru View Post
sorry, just saw your question. i had to play with my ejector for the c products mags to run right. once i found the sweet spot they fed and cycled rounds correctly. my bolt hold open function isn't doing so great right now though. it barely keeps open but wants to slam closed any chance it gets. its just a matter of adjustment.
Thanks, good to know. Am thinking about undertaking a 9mm build myself, but I value a good bolt hold open function greatly (already have an AR-57, which has no last round bolt hold open, only due to my possibly illogical interest in the 5.7x28 round) so am still on the fence. I might give the Spike's Tactical 9mm magwell block a try, since they built it with an adjustable ejector.
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Old 12-22-2009, 8:53 AM
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Pac- excellent job on the build and killer paint job it looks great!
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Old 12-22-2009, 9:02 AM
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Nice work
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Old 12-22-2009, 9:07 AM
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Bravo!
Beats my BBQ paint job by a long shot!
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Old 12-22-2009, 8:59 PM
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Very nice! what's the length on the suppressor? 8.5?
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Old 01-29-2010, 9:49 AM
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Damn brotha u dropped quit a bit of $$$ on this build. Kicks *** though. You better be building a .308 or something next!
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Old 01-29-2010, 4:10 PM
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I have to compliment you not only on your refinishing skills, but your photography as well!
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Old 01-29-2010, 6:40 PM
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good job Jerry
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Old 02-08-2010, 8:10 AM
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Wow, that's really impressive. I'm a fan of all black firearms, but after your amazing paint job, I think I'm going to try that out once I build my AR. Great job and thanks for posting your build.
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Old 02-08-2010, 8:22 AM
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thanks guys, i hope this guide helps.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:19 AM
USMC7579 USMC7579 is offline
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Great Thread...Very Nice Work.
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  #39  
Old 08-16-2010, 12:04 PM
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Mute Mute is offline
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Very cool! Looks like a really fun build. And probably awesome to shoot too.
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  #40  
Old 08-16-2010, 12:13 PM
muskater muskater is offline
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When it comes to doing a 9mm build do you feel the gas/shell deflector is needed?
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