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

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  #1  
Old 06-22-2022, 10:00 PM
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ll-Rafael-ll ll-Rafael-ll is offline
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Default Help me build my first featureless AR15

Hello.
I plan on getting a 556 AR-15 100% lower from an FFL.

My goal is to build one that is as cost effective (inexpensive, but decent) as possible. It will also be featureless so I can use detachable magazines with it.
Below is a list of things I would greatly appreciate feedback with. Feel free to answer any or all, thank you!

Do you have any recommendations for a completed full upper assembly? Preferably with bolt and charging handle included. Since a flash hider is no go for featureless, a muzzle brake is good, right?
If not, would it be better to just get all the upper parts seperately?

Since there is such a huge variety of triggers, what is the best I can get for my money? Or is a standard military spec trigger okay?

Any spring/part kits so I can fully assemble the lower?

Lastly, any decent stock options and non-pistol grip recommendations?

All help is greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2022, 11:08 PM
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What will the rifle be for/what is its purpose?

Aero Lower and parts kit.
Large mbt2s or ALG QMS or ACT (2 stage vs 1 stage).
Sparrow dynamics grip or strike industries mega grip fin (preference).
Any stock you want + strike industries stock stop.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2022, 12:42 AM
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Palmetto State Armory has lots of complete uppers and rifle kits to complete your lower. It fits the bill of "inexpensive but decent"

Muzzle brakes are good.

A complete upper is ready to go and easier if you dont have the few tools required

If your lower is a complete, you wont need springs.

Look at Sparrow Dynamics for a featureless grip, the best featureless option out there imo.

Magpul stocks are good, pick your flavor and pin it so it wont collapse, or just get the non-collapsible magpulstock.

make sure to keep us updated!
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  #4  
Old 06-23-2022, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Hello.
I plan on getting a 556 AR-15 100% lower from an FFL.

My goal is to build one that is as cost effective (inexpensive, but decent) as possible. It will also be featureless so I can use detachable magazines with it.
Below is a list of things I would greatly appreciate feedback with. Feel free to answer any or all, thank you!

Do you have any recommendations for a completed full upper assembly? Preferably with bolt and charging handle included.
Like others said, not enough information to give you a useful recommendation. Long range precision? Close quarters? Light weight? Competition? Hunting? SHTF? Extended durability? Best resale? Cheap but works? Absolute reliability? Just general purpose plinking? OK at everything but not great at anything? Everything included or build it yourself? A specific brand you want like Colt or HK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Since a flash hider is no go for featureless, a muzzle brake is good, right?
Yes you'll need a non-flashhider muzzle device, but what you choose is up to you. Also, pre-assembled uppers will have a flash hider as a standard part, so don't shop uppers based on muzzle devices alone but rather based on the specs of the other, more critical parts like barrel & bcg. As an analogy, if you want a white sports car, don't search only for white cars otherwise you might end up seeing only white minivans. Switching out a flash hider to a brake is only a little bit harder than switching light bulbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
If not, would it be better to just get all the upper parts seperately?
How comfortable are you around tools and tinkering with parts? Are you familiar with all the different vendors to get just the right part? Are you able to explain the pros/cons of each spec as to why you'd chose that specific configuration? Are you patient enough to get on a waiting list for a specific part to be on stock? First AR, generally people should get a completed upper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Since there is such a huge variety of triggers, what is the best I can get for my money? Or is a standard military spec trigger okay?
How much is "your money"? $50? $300? There's different answers for different amounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Any spring/part kits so I can fully assemble the lower?
Any lower build kit will work. For your reference, "lower parts kit" + "stock kit" = "lower build kit" LPK is the trigger parts, mag release, all the misc parts that go in the lower receiver. Stock kit is all the parts for the stock, like buffer tube, buffer spring, retaining plate.

A lower build kit + a stripped receiver+ your elbow grease = a complete lower. Mated with a complete upper, that will get you a fully functional AR (minus magazines and ammo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Lastly, any decent stock options and non-pistol grip recommendations?
Those are all personal preferences. Some common stock options are Thordsen gen 2, any AR stock + Strike Industries stock stop, Magpul fixed carbine stock, AR rifle stock, HERA Arms stock.

There's even more non-grip options. Fins (either home made or bought), Strike Industries fin grips, Thordsen again, HERA again, Magpul MIAD gen2+Exile Machine fin, Sparrow grips, and a whole bunch more.

You didn't ask this, but it's a common confusion. The length of the gas system on the upper i.e. "carbine length" "midlength" "rifle length" is independent of the "length" of the buffer tube on the lower. In other words, it's possible to have a 16" carbine length upper mated to a rifle length (that M-16 style rifle stock) lower, and conversely you can mate an upper with a 20" barrel which has a rifle length gas system with a M-4 carbine style collapsible stock lower.

As long as all the upper parts are consistent within the upper, and the lower parts are consistent within the lower, the upper and lower will work with each other.
[Isn't the AR system great?]
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Last edited by kcheung2; 06-23-2022 at 12:56 AM..
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2022, 5:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Hello.
I plan on getting a 556 AR-15 100% lower from an FFL.

My goal is to build one that is as cost effective (inexpensive, but decent) as possible. It will also be featureless so I can use detachable magazines with it.
Below is a list of things I would greatly appreciate feedback with. Feel free to answer any or all, thank you!

Do you have any recommendations for a completed full upper assembly? Preferably with bolt and charging handle included. Since a flash hider is no go for featureless, a muzzle brake is good, right?
If not, would it be better to just get all the upper parts seperately?

Since there is such a huge variety of triggers, what is the best I can get for my money? Or is a standard military spec trigger okay?

Any spring/part kits so I can fully assemble the lower?

Lastly, any decent stock options and non-pistol grip recommendations?

All help is greatly appreciated!
First read the sticky then post your Q's https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...d.php?t=555451
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2022, 5:51 AM
mustangsixtwoseven_five mustangsixtwoseven_five is offline
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Thordsen gen 2 stock.
Vg6 Gamma.
Strike Industries LINK Curved Foregrip.




Done.

Last edited by mustangsixtwoseven_five; 06-24-2022 at 9:17 AM..
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2022, 6:13 AM
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Depends on how much "build" you want to do and are you welling to spend for some specialized tools for the build.

Simplest build would be buy the complete assembled lower from local FFL then order a complete upper from any reputable on-line dealer. Then replace the pistol grip with any assortment of featureless variety and make sure the stock is fixed.

As for cost, unless you wait for special sales and buy parts from multiple on-line vendors, there will not be much savings buying complete upper/lower vs assembling your own. And during sales, you can get some really good deal on complete uppers that's cheaper than what you can source parts for.

The benefit of buying individual parts to assemble is you get to select parts you want and enjoy the labor putting it together.
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2022, 6:31 AM
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Note: Riflegear has their excellent stripped lowers in stock. Always buy two at once to avoid wait times and extra DROS costs. Same with lower parts kit. Two at once.

Buy them online and drop in for DROS on their appointment AP.

I personally like Thordo’s stocks and the .223/5.56 is a mild cartridge so I never put a brake on my ARs. Just a thread protector. You’re mileage may vary…

Some ideas above are spot on. Start investing in ammo. Be a hoarder. Hahaha.

Bob
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2022, 7:52 AM
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Default Help me build my first featureless AR15

Most cost effective or rather cheapest would be psa with a fin on the grip and have the stock blocked then remove the flash hider for a thread protector

Last edited by Angrysnarf; 06-23-2022 at 1:22 PM..
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2022, 8:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustangsixtwoseven_five View Post
Thordsen gen 2 stock.
Vg6 delta.
Strike Industries LINK Curved Foregrip.




Done.
If building featureless route, VG6 Delta = BAD (Marketing description said "flash suppressing characteristics")

VG6 Gamma = GOOD
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2022, 9:29 AM
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Hey guys. I appreciate the feedback so far!
My intention with this build is to make a AR15 that is good from close to mid range, with good enough reliability if SHTF scenario. I plan to add an EOTECH for rapid target acquisition.

Will mostly be used for target shooting, and kept for home defense when not in use.

Not including the 100% naked lower and target sight, I'd like to ideally spend around $500 or less for all the other components. Will consider increasing budget if benefits justify the cost.
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2022, 10:30 AM
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Stay away from BCA. Don’t list to the “JuSt As GoOd” crowed.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2022, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19K View Post
Stay away from BCA. Don’t list to the “JuSt As GoOd” crowed.
This ^
||

Or Radical/Durkin ( If it's your first/only AR )

I have not read a lot of complains about Anderson upper , mostly lower that are out-of-spec.


Lowest brand you should go with is PSA, but most will recommend to start with Aero

If you don't mind front sight block & plastic hand guard
https://ar15discounts.com/products/a...id-length-fde/

If you want full rail free float
https://www.schuylerarmsco.com/june-...dguard-3472296

These do not come with BCG/CH (and some other brand as well)

BCH/CH = another $100-$150

You can remove the A2 flash hider and replace with this

https://www.schuylerarmsco.com/june-...ma-9mm-1373657

Or this

https://www.sparrowdynamics.com/Barr...R-p/btp-15.htm

If you can wait until July 4th (or holidays), there will probably be better deals.
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  #14  
Old 06-23-2022, 1:47 PM
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What I did was get a PSA kit, pinned the stock, got a linear sound forward muzzle brake and MIAD grip and a backfin for it. Have also done same thing except used Strike Industries simple featureless finned grip. Have also tried MonsterMan grip and hammerhead grip, but the best for me is the MIAD with backfin.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2022, 2:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1LL1 View Post
If building featureless route, VG6 Delta = BAD (Marketing description said "flash suppressing characteristics")

VG6 Gamma = GOOD
Thread protector BETTER. Cheaper and less noisy.
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  #16  
Old 06-23-2022, 2:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Hey guys. I appreciate the feedback so far!
My intention with this build is to make a AR15 that is good from close to mid range, with good enough reliability if SHTF scenario. I plan to add an EOTECH for rapid target acquisition.

Will mostly be used for target shooting, and kept for home defense when not in use.

Not including the 100% naked lower and target sight, I'd like to ideally spend around $500 or less for all the other components. Will consider increasing budget if benefits justify the cost.
$600 rifle and $800 optic. Seems out of balance somehow.
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  #17  
Old 06-23-2022, 2:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
$600 rifle and $800 optic. Seems out of balance somehow.
You made very good points.

Therefore I suggest OP to go with these

https://lmtdefense.com/product-category/parts/uppers/

Or these

https://www.knightarmco.com/12530/sh...el-urx-4-m-lok

Then optic-to-rifle price ratio will be close to balance.

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  #18  
Old 06-23-2022, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
$600 rifle and $800 optic. Seems out of balance somehow.

Yup
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  #19  
Old 06-23-2022, 4:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1LL1 View Post
You made very good points.

Therefore I suggest OP to go with these

https://lmtdefense.com/product-category/parts/uppers/

Or these

https://www.knightarmco.com/12530/sh...el-urx-4-m-lok

Then optic-to-rifle price ratio will be close to balance.

To be fair, the 512 is under $600, and I was always told that the optic of a rifle should be worth at least as much as the gun itself lol.
Not to mention I could always add the EOTECH to a better rifle in the future.
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  #20  
Old 06-23-2022, 4:35 PM
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If you want to save some money and get a somewhat reliable rifle, just get a m&p sport. Think they're around $700. Then when funds allow you can replace the upper with one you want and then buy a stripped lower for the extra upper that you'll now have.
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  #21  
Old 06-23-2022, 4:36 PM
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I have a lot of AR parts in sfv. Socal. LPKS, BCGS, etc
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  #22  
Old 06-23-2022, 4:37 PM
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https://www.sportsmans.com/shooting-...iant/p/1507356
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  #23  
Old 06-23-2022, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
To be fair, the 512 is under $600, and I was always told that the optic of a rifle should be worth at least as much as the gun itself lol.
Not to mention I could always add the EOTECH to a better rifle in the future.
I was just kidding
The advice are wise and true, you can't shoot what you can't see.

ButI don't know anyone with 100 yards hallway. In home defense situation, you can just point and shoot
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  #24  
Old 06-23-2022, 5:31 PM
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Check out some of these. Maybe get one with an A2 stock.

https://palmettostatearmory.com/ar-15/kits.html
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  #25  
Old 06-23-2022, 6:40 PM
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Wait for the July 4th sale can land you some deals. Below is what I did recently over the Memorial Day sale

Quote:
Memorial weekend sale

Light weight BCG Brownell $100 - 8.2 oz
Anderson light weight upper, no FA and door $37 - 6.88 oz
GI charging handle $6 - 1 oz
Faxon pencil 16" $130 - 19.2 oz
Mid-length gas tube $10 - 0.2 oz
Thread protector $8 - 0.5 oz
Kaw Valley Adjustable gas block $40 - 2.2 oz
Max Arms Foxtrot M-LOK 9" $54 - 7.2 oz

FMK polymer lower - $53 - 4.3 oz
White Label Armory LPK $30 - 8.1 oz
CMC Trigger complete receiver extension $40 - tube 3.8 oz, buffer 3 oz, spring 1.75 oz
Magpul Carbine fixed stock $32 - 9.5 oz

Upper total = $385 - 45.3 oz
Lower total = $155 - 30.45 oz
Total = $540 - 75.75 oz => 4.7 lb.
Since the goal is not light weight, would suggest normal Alum lower, and an upper with dust door. But sale can really bring the price down.
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  #26  
Old 06-23-2022, 9:28 PM
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For a lower, you can get the KE Arms polymer lower that goes into the WWSD rifle. It has an integral A1 length fixed stock. You don't have to install a buffer tube or takedown pins or a trigger guard. These are the trickiest parts of building a lower. They have a kali version that includes a fin for $150.
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  #27  
Old 06-23-2022, 9:40 PM
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What are your guy's thoughts on this combo?
https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-...ight-set1.html
Right now I feel like I am leaning towards this one.
For that butt stock, is it adjustable or fixed? I am not sure.
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  #28  
Old 06-23-2022, 10:02 PM
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That stock is the standard M4 collapsible stock that comes with probably 95% of all ARs sold. There's literally dozens of ways to make it a fixed stock, ranging from the 10¢ paperclip method to the $10 stock stop.
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  #29  
Old 06-24-2022, 2:48 AM
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There are many cheap companies who do uppers. But I recommend aero precision and palmetto.

They're trusted brands even though they're on the economic side.

Featureless for the front end you can get any muzzle brake or a thread protector for like ten bucks.

Fix stock either the Magpul fix stock for like 25$ or the milspec stock with a stock stop from strike industries.

The grip you should find the one that feels more comfy. So try a few.
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Old 06-24-2022, 2:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
What are your guy's thoughts on this combo?
https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-...ight-set1.html
Right now I feel like I am leaning towards this one.
For that butt stock, is it adjustable or fixed? I am not sure.
Fix it with this https://www.primaryarms.com/SI-AR-STOCKSTOP
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  #31  
Old 06-24-2022, 6:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll-Rafael-ll View Post
Hello.
I plan on getting a 556 AR-15 100% lower from an FFL.

My goal is to build one that is as cost effective (inexpensive, but decent) as possible. It will also be featureless so I can use detachable magazines with it.
Below is a list of things I would greatly appreciate feedback with. Feel free to answer any or all, thank you!

Do you have any recommendations for a completed full upper assembly? Preferably with bolt and charging handle included. Since a flash hider is no go for featureless, a muzzle brake is good, right?
If not, would it be better to just get all the upper parts seperately?

Since there is such a huge variety of triggers, what is the best I can get for my money? Or is a standard military spec trigger okay?

Any spring/part kits so I can fully assemble the lower?

Lastly, any decent stock options and non-pistol grip recommendations?

All help is greatly appreciated!
100% US made https://ar15discounts.com/products/d...lete-upper-v3/ You will need to take off the flash hider and install a muzzle brake.Currently on sale for $348
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  #32  
Old 06-24-2022, 7:01 AM
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Aero lower.
Colt 6920 upper
https://www.armsunlimited.com/Colt-A...p/le6920ck.htm

Replace flashider with brake or thread protector.
Replace A2 grip with featureless grip of your choice.
Fix stock using a pin or or stock stop or a featureless stock like this one:
https://www.opticsplanet.com/mission...buttstock.html
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  #33  
Old 06-24-2022, 7:17 AM
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I built one out last week, I went with a complete upper from Primary Arms in .223 Wylde that shipped with a muzzle brake.

For Grip I went with a Sparrow Industries grip (feels like a traditional stock to me).

Magpul fixed stock, but I drilled the buffer tube to allow me to fix it at a longer LOP. I have another build that uses the Cross Armory Stock Lock.

Went with Rise Armament Flat trigger, Bolt and lower parts kit.
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Old 06-24-2022, 7:29 AM
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100% US made https://ar15discounts.com/products/d...lete-upper-v3/ You will need to take off the flash hider and install a muzzle brake.Currently on sale for $348
What the hell kinda name is 'dirty bird?'

Hard pass

Cheapest I'd go is PSA...
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  #35  
Old 06-24-2022, 7:42 AM
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morrcarr67 morrcarr67 is offline
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What the hell kinda name is 'dirty bird?'

Hard pass

Cheapest I'd go is PSA...
They started up in Bakersfield. There's a bunch or crows up there. They are known as Dirty Birds.

Does PSA offer a sub-moa guarantee with an enhanced BCG for $350? https://ar15discounts.com/products/d...roup-223-5-56/

Don't let the name full you just because you think it's funny.
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Yes you can have 2 C&R 03 FFL's; 1 in California and 1 in a different state.

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”Benitez 3:29 Thou shall not limit magazine capacity”
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  #36  
Old 06-24-2022, 7:51 AM
1LL1 1LL1 is offline
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What the hell kinda name is 'dirty bird?'

Hard pass

Cheapest I'd go is PSA...
Yes the name are cringey , Dirty Bird/Ar15discount is the equivalent of Ballistic Advantage/Aero.

They are based out of Bakersfield, supposedly moved their HQ to North/South Carolina ? Still have warehouse in Bakersfield though.
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Old 06-24-2022, 8:54 AM
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morrcarr67 morrcarr67 is offline
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Yes the name are cringey , Dirty Bird/Ar15discount is the equivalent of Ballistic Advantage/Aero.

They are based out of Bakersfield, supposedly moved their HQ to North/South Carolina ? Still have warehouse in Bakersfield though.
Their HQ is still in Bakersfield. They moved their main warehouse and future manufacturing facility to Raleigh NC. Their Bakersfield location is now a retail store right across the street from the Turners store/range.
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Yes you can have 2 C&R 03 FFL's; 1 in California and 1 in a different state.

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”Benitez 3:29 Thou shall not limit magazine capacity”
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  #38  
Old 06-24-2022, 9:17 AM
mustangsixtwoseven_five mustangsixtwoseven_five is offline
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If building featureless route, VG6 Delta = BAD (Marketing description said "flash suppressing characteristics")

VG6 Gamma = GOOD
Correct. My bad. Correction made
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Old 06-24-2022, 4:02 PM
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if you don't care about looks, the original thordsen has always been a no frills fixed stock and you can get a full thumb-over grasp. wrist angle is comfortable too when compared to the sparrow - I have to chicken wing more with the sparrow grip.
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Old 06-24-2022, 4:24 PM
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ll-Rafael-ll ll-Rafael-ll is offline
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Incredible recommendations and info guys, thank you all so much!!
I am still deciding, so I will be sure to post an update with my build when its done.
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