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

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2009, 9:32 AM
springy101 springy101 is offline
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Default Is it easier/more cost effective to assemble your own upper than buy a completed one?

Instead of waiting 6 months or paying $1000 for my upper, could I instead put on together piece by piece? I've never done this before so I'm not sure if any parts will fit with any upper or even really what all I need. So far on my list from what I've found are:

Flat top upper
Barrel
Bolt Carrier Assembly
Charging handle
Handguards

Another thing I have been thinking about is if I buy everything separated, will it come with all the necessary springs/nuts/etc or will I have to track down a bunch of small parts online also?
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2009, 9:36 AM
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e








4 196160 Barrel Nut Assembly 5 196180E Handguard Retainer Ring 6 196190 Spring Assembly 7 196220 Handguard Slip Ring 8 196250 Barrel Nut 10 196890A Front Sight Post 11 197010A Front Sight Detent 12 197030A Front Sight Detent Spring 13 197070A Front Sight Taper Pin (2 Req'd) 14 197090 Forward Sling Swivel 15 197100 Front Swivel Rivet 16 197210B Handguard Cap, Triangular - For Heavy Barrel NI 882060 Handguard Mount, Long* NI 882050 Handguard Mount, Short
http://www.e-gunparts.com/productsch...ARD%20ASSEMBLY
1 196080 Charging Handle Assembly 2 208320B Charging Handle Latch Pin 2 208130B Ejection Port Cover Assembly, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 3 207980 Charging Handle Latch 4 208010A Charging Handle Spring 5 208020A Cover Hinge Pin 6 208050A Cover Hinge Pin Snap Ring 7 208090A Ejection Port Cover Spring 11 208270A Forward Assist Retainer Pin, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 12 208280A Forward Assist Spring, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 13 208290 Forward Assist Assembly, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 14 208320A Pawl Pin, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 15 208330A Forward Assist Pawl, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 16 208350A Pawl Detent, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 17 171720I Pawl Detent Spring, .223 Cal. & 7.62 x 39 18 208520 Plunger Assembly, .223 Cal., 7.62 x 39 19 362830A Receiver, Upper 19 208570A Receiver, Upper, Flat Top NI 852150A Receiver Maintenance Fixture NI 852140A Upper Receiver Holding Fixture
http://www.e-gunparts.com/productsch...VER%20ASSEMBLY
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They don't believe it's possible, but then Alison didn't believe there'd be 350K - 400K OLLs in CA either.
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Our fate is ours alone to decide as long as we remain armed heavily enough to dictate it.

Last edited by freonr22; 04-08-2009 at 9:47 AM..
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2009, 9:40 AM
springy101 springy101 is offline
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I'll probably end up paying my local gun shop to put it together seeing as I destroy everything that I try do myself. So just the gas tube and delta ring then?
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Old 04-08-2009, 9:41 AM
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see added
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Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
We will win. We are right. We will never stop fighting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
They don't believe it's possible, but then Alison didn't believe there'd be 350K - 400K OLLs in CA either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by louisianagirl View Post
Our fate is ours alone to decide as long as we remain armed heavily enough to dictate it.
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Old 04-08-2009, 9:43 AM
wcnones wcnones is offline
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It depends on how dilligent you are in looking for deals. My upper, which I built from individual components, ending up costing:

Mega Flat-top upper: $145
RRA BCH: $190
16" Barrel: $189
Delta Ring: $25
Gash Block/Tube: $65
Charging Handle: $25
Vltor CASV-EL: $160 (got a great deal on this, but $160 should cover most basic railed forearm solutions)
Fake Can: $20 (roughly the same cost as a basic flash hider/muzzle break)
Total: $845

Add into that the cost of the barrel wrench and other various stuff, and you can find yourself spending as much, if not more, than a good deal on a complete upper.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2009, 9:43 AM
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...and a few more parts:

- weld spring
- snap ring
- forward assist assy and roll pin
- gas tube roll pin
- ejection port cover
- ejection port cover spring
- ejection port cover rod
- muzzle attachment (flash hider or muzzle brake)
- crush washer
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Old 04-08-2009, 1:53 PM
unamused unamused is offline
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question... when i look for uppers that arent stripped... does that mean they come with the bolt?

Sometimes they will mention the bolt and sometimes they dont... My general assumption is that if its not mentioned, its not included.
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Old 04-08-2009, 1:58 PM
AJAX22 AJAX22 is offline
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easier yes, more cost effective.... well not any more, but if you can find cheap used parts it can work out ok. (you really need a master smith to put it all together though).... and Randall isn't doing mixmatch builds anymore... (apparently all the ones I had him do burned him out on it)

You used to be able to get a complete m16A1 pencil barreled surplus upper for $310 (I bought two at that price back in 2006-2007)

nowadays... parts are pricey when/if you can find them.
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2009, 2:03 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you and my conclusion has been to buy it fully assembled, at least the first time. The main reason behind this decision is the fact that you need to adjust the bolt carrier group and barrel such that there is proper "headspace" (wikipedia it). With improper headspace it could lead to catostophic failure of the rifle (basically exploding) which as you can imagine could lead to death, loss of limbs or just a fubar rifle if you're lucky. Is getting proper headspace fairly easy to do? Maybe, I'm not sure. Would I bet my life that I did it right with little to no experience? No way.

Last edited by SiegeX; 04-08-2009 at 2:06 PM..
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Old 04-08-2009, 2:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJAX22 View Post
You used to be able to get a complete m16A1 pencil barreled surplus upper for $310 (I bought two at that price back in 2006-2007)

nowadays... parts are pricey when/if you can find them.
I used to buy a complete M16A1 style parts kit for $250 back in the 80's/90's. Add a PWA lower for $60 and you got yourself a rifle for a little over $300.

This is why I absolutely won't pay for the ridiculous panic induced prices they are asking for today.

SCMA-1
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2009, 2:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiegeX View Post
I'm in the same boat as you and my conclusion has been to buy it fully assembled, at least the first time. The main reason behind this decision is the fact that you need to adjust the bolt carrier group and barrel such that there is proper "headspace" (wikipedia it). With improper headspace it could lead to catostophic failure of the rifle (basically exploding) which as you can imagine could lead to death, loss of limbs or just a fubar rifle if you're lucky. Is getting proper headspace fairly easy to do? Maybe, I'm not sure. Would I bet my life that I did it right with little to no experience? No way.
There is no headspace to adjust; barrels come as an assembly with the barrel extension already headspaced to the barrel and installed. Unless you get one that is horribly assembled, you shouldn't have a problem. I've built dozens of AR type rifles and never encountered one that was so improperly assembled that it was dangerous.

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  #12  
Old 04-08-2009, 2:21 PM
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I was not aware of that. I heard about the headspace danger from other AR-15 enthusiasts, who admitantly never built thier own upper assembly.

However, I watched the Brownells AR-15 assembly videos online (free and highly reccomended) and during the barrel assembly portion he mentioned the headspace issue and talked about possible death if done improperly, further reinforcing what I had heard earlier. He did however have a no-go headspace tool to make sure the bolt wouldn't lock with it in. Incidentally I heard you should have a "go" headspace tool as well which he did not use AFAIK.
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