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

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Old 11-11-2010, 11:20 AM
furman furman is offline
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Default Setting Price for Custom AR 15 rifles

ok, I'm relatively new here, just a few months, so please don't carpet bomb me for this one.

I just finished my first AR build, got BRD in the process. Sold it yesterday, and I'm going to start the next one. But here's the question:

How the heck do people set the price for these things? Seems to me they are all over the map, some too high, some in the basement. I've seen two rifles, nearly the same setup, posted at initial prices that are wildly different.

Now, I realize that 1) markets fluctuate, 2) seller or buyer urgency plays a part, 3) it's hard to know. These are obvious, right?

The real question for me is: how do you calculate where to set the starting, asking price on a customized rig? Even on Gunbroker (if you exclude NIB factory rifles) it's pretty hard to read the ads and come up with something like an "average".

So, not "what the market will bear" but, "how do you calculate your opening price??"

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll probably just kill you"

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Old 11-11-2010, 11:31 AM
nic nic is offline
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Here's how I would do it, at any rate.
By "customized AR" I assume you mean one built from parts, not a factory gun from a manufacturer. First, I would calculate the total cost of the parts involved in the build, plus the cost of the gunsmithing involved to build it (if any). If a seller's asking price is higher than the overall cost of the parts, I wouldn't buy it. I would also ask - who built it? If the gun was built by ADCO or AR15Barrels, then I would pay more for it than if were built by Joe Schmoe in his garage, because professional gunsmithing offered by the aforementioned folks costs money. Plus, I would pay more for the peace of mind knowing that it was built by a pro. Then I would consider how the gun has been used (if at all). If it's NIB/unfired I would sell it for a price closer (but still less than) to what I paid for it, but I would knock some money off the cost if it were used (especially if it were used hard).

Just my two cents on the matter.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:33 AM
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Black Majik Black Majik is offline
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I would consider the price of the total parts - 15% as a start if you chose to sell it.

Just for reference however, a parts gun AR15 is not a "custom" AR15. A factory AR15 rifle will have a better resale value than a parts gun.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:46 AM
Average Joe American Average Joe American is offline
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If you used mil-spec parts (i.e. individually HPT & MPI, shot peened, carpenter 158 steel, 4150 CM vanadium steel barrel, 1:7 twist, F marked FSB, H buffer, ect ect) then you can ask for top dollar. If you just used commercial grade mid tier parts...well you shouldnt expect to get top dollar money for your build.

A budget built AR will probably sell to an un-informed person for $600 fairly easy. Slap on a bunch of ninjafied parts and you might get a little more from the COD/MOH crowd?
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:48 AM
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killshot44 killshot44 is offline
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In many cases the sum of the parts is less than the parts themselves. Meaning, a whole rifle constructed with high-end parts won't bring as much as if those parts are sold separately. Few people want exactly what someone else assembled, but many people can make use of those parts.

There are a number of reasons for the disparity in prices of similar complete rifles and Uppers; Financial Need, Pragmatism, Ego and Stupidity are just a few.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:01 PM
dieselpower dieselpower is offline
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It actually depends on the buyers knowledge of manufacturing.

I am not flaming Average Joe American here but he is off the mark. A Mil-spec rifle is a combat set up, nothing more. There are nonmil-spec parts that cost 5X what a milspec part would cost due to manufacturing tolerances and over engineering for accuracy and appearance as well as customization. A magpul lower is far from mil-spec and a stripped one will cost the buyer $1000+, upto $2000 for a ChinaDoll. Thats due to market, not quality. A high end barrel is not going to be 1:7, and is not going to have "MPI" stamped on the will not be mil-spec or claim to be mil-spec. A high end barrel will not pass a mil-spec, but it will out shoot one at the range.

Now on the other end of the spectrum China produces pot metal barrels stamped "C MP 1/7 5.56mm" If you think some china company cares if the stamp is need to read more.

So its more about who you are buying from then WHAT you are buying. Knowledge is power and don't believe every thing you read and more importantly UNDERSTAND what you read. Telling someone a Colt/DD/BCM is the best AR15 because its mil-spec shows a lack of experience in mil-spec. They are the best for combat...nothing more.
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