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AR Build

#1 User is offline   ghostinthewood 

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:40 AM

As many of you know, because I throw it around a lot, I'm a Homeland Security major and a Conservation Law minor. I decided recently that its time to man up and really start to grind this out. I used to be in amazing shape, and while I"m still strong as an ox I have no wind. That will change soon as I started working out again. I'm also doing excellent in school, I recently got a 100 on a test on how to tell the time of death on a deer. I really want to be on a SWAT/SRT team or something similar.

I have a CCW and I need a gun for it but after that I'm looking to build an AR15. I'm not so arrogant to believe that it'll hold up on a resumé or anything like that. Nor do I think what I build will be the same as what I'll be tested with, but I want to at least be familiar with things before I go in to the Academy. After this semester I still have 2 years, but I'm ahead on my Conservation Law minor so I could be put on a list to get a job. So I want to build this thing as quickly as I can. On top of that, Robin and I should be getting an apartment so it'd be nice to have something to defend myself with. If I find a used one that meets my needs that'll be great, but it seems that building them CAN BE a hell ova lot cheaper.

So.... tl;dr

-I want to build an AR, because it will be cheaper
-I havn't done this before and I am not a gun smith
-Primary purpose is training
-Secondary is home defense

I should elaborate some more and say I have cornfields and woods I can practice in, there aren't many ranges here but my family owns a lot of farmland. So these will have to be improvised and simulations of simulations since I dont have a "real" range or shooting houses or anything like that. Robin wont be behind targets using a pulley to make them pop up either, I'll just use the hills and lots of running to surprise me. If anyone who knows much about tactical shooting wants to throw in some drill ideas that be greatly appreciated.

-I want to shoot out to 400yrds, because if I could get on as a sniper, that'd be great. However, I think 400yrds is a good distance to practice at without sacrificing much else from the gun.
-I want to do the basic stuff like, shooting at various distances from various stances.
-I'm going to be shooting in different awkward positions and using barriers
-Timed drills
-Malfunctions

So, as far as the gun itself goes...in semiparticular order..
-Adjustable/collapsible/CAR stock since Robin is going to shoot it too
-Flattop receiver
-Shortest barrel I can get without sacrificing that 400yrds capability. 16in?
-Red dot, because I hate AR sights
-Extra mags, idk about 20vs30rd but I do think I want magpul
-Sling, 3 point, nothing fancy
-Foregrip, doesnt have to be anything fancy
-Simple scope, anything that will let me hit human sized targets easily. It could be fixed but I was thinking a 4x32 or 3-9x32. Once again, doesnt have to be anything fancy. If it had mildots that'd be great since I'm familiar with them but I'm not super worried.
-Bipod

I dont know much else about it other than Panther uppers are great, but they're out of my price range. =p
I also know I want something that shoots 5.56 so it can shoot .223 or .222 unless I'm wrong?

When I get in to the long range shooting bit I'll want a range finder and spotting scope. So any insight on those would be great.


Sooooooooo super tl;dr, I want to build an all-purpose AR for cheap. Halp. =]

This post has been edited by ghostinthewood: 17 November 2010 - 02:08 PM

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:06 PM

View Postghostinthewood, on 17 November 2010 - 01:40 PM, said:


Sooooooooo super tl;dr, I want to build an all-purpose AR for cheap. Halp. =]


Yea, I want to hit the Powerball jackpot. Can't always get what you want.

So . . .

-I want to build an AR, because it will be cheaper


Not always that much cheaper. And part of the money you spend gets your piece built by an Armorer who builds them for a living. It might be worth the investment.

-I havn't done this before and I am not a gun smith


Neither are most peeps who build them. They are kinda plug and play pieces. Plug in the parts and go. If you decide not to build the entire upper, you can get by with just some basic punches. You'll need an action block to get the barrel on if you do build the upper though.

If you are looking for longer range, then you're looking at a longer barrel. Simple as that. I think an 18"-20" bbl should give you the ability to reach as far as you'd want without becoming overly large.

For a general purpose shooting rifle, I'd build one in the M16 Style (full stock, longer barrel) with a flat top for optics. Personally I think an DMR/SPR type AR is ideal, BUT, that'll cost more money for the extra doodads.

An Aside, Del-Ton makes some good cheap kits for a stripped lower that are real shooters. Not the top of the line, but great on a budget.

TL:DR

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A full 20" rifle with a flat top is your best bet for a Long Range AR. An SPR is the highest form of that.

SPR

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#3 User is offline   ghostinthewood 

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:33 PM

Well I've seen people shoot out to 900yrds with SPR types so I figured with a 16in I could do 400. I dont have much room to shoot beyond that so I figured anything else would be wasted space. The long range stuff is kind of a secondary bit anyway. Thats a very niche market whereas door busters and the like are more common. For the record, I know thats a lot of people's dream but my major/minor combo opens me up for A LOT. I'm just trying to be as well rounded as possible. Would 18in be too big for home defense?

I should've elaborated some more on Robin as well. I wanted the CAR style (or any adjustable style) stock for her and the smaller barrel too. I have a 26in 870 that is almost too big for her. IDK how that translates to ARs though...

I should say also that I have a friend that is a gunsmith so I *could* do some things that would require tools, although I thought everyone had a punch set =p.

If I seem to be difficult I'm just trying to let you know my train of thought. Just fyi

Edit* Are there any good flip up sights that aren't so debilitating? As I mentioned, i hate the front sight/carry handle combo. It seems really narrow. Thats why I mentioned the red dot, I can shoot those with both eyes open. I'm very open to suggestions there too, although it seems that most iron sights are just as expensive..

This post has been edited by ghostinthewood: 17 November 2010 - 03:40 PM

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:43 PM

If you're wanting something a little more compact, try a Dissipator style AR. It has the 16" front end with Rifle length guards, giving you the sight radius of a full rifle (and the room for a rifle length gas system as well). Add your choice of butstock and voila. I'd suggest looking at Magpul furniture.
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#5 User is offline   ghostinthewood 

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 05:00 PM

Whats a dissipator style AR? I it just one with a longer gas tube?

Probably a good call on the gas system. =p

Any take on Iron Sights? Are they worth it?

I feel like I'm learning things a couple posts in to this. lol

This post has been edited by ghostinthewood: 17 November 2010 - 05:07 PM

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 07:14 PM

Dissipator ARs have the shorter 16" barrel with the longer handguard you usually see on the full rifles. Gives a longer sight radius with a more compact rifle.

Personally, I think a good set of Irons is the best way to learn to handle any rifle, and I'd say dropping good money on top quality irons will save you money over dropping money on a top quality Red Dot (Aimpoint is my recommendation there. They have a battery life of about 5 years of constant use.).

Now, if you do go Red Dot, get some solid back up Irons. And if you want the option of reaching out, look into a Red Dot magnifier. Basically it goes behind the red dot and magnifies what you're aiming at 3x, but you have to aim it like a regular scope. They can be put on flip out or Quick Detach mounts for when you want to go both eyes open red dot.
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#7 User is offline   ghostinthewood 

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 07:19 PM

Good call. Like this?

http://www.hitguns.c...x-magnifier.htm
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Posted 17 November 2010 - 07:27 PM

Yep. That's it.
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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:05 AM

Will that make the red dot huge?

When you mentioned punches you were referring to the pins in the lower receiver right?

What do I need to know on the buffer in the buttstock?

I know what match/2stage triggers and that jazz are but what about long/short pin?

http://www.largrizzl.../grizzly-uppers

$50 a3 upper.

This post has been edited by ghostinthewood: 18 November 2010 - 09:14 AM

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

It keeps the dot the same MOA. A 3 MOA dot will be a 3 MOA dot, either magnified or not.

As far as buffers, it needs to match the gas system length (I think), unless you run a piston AR.

I can't tell you a whole lot else, I'm more of an AK guy. We've got some real AR guys here though, hopefully they'll chime in.
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Posted 19 November 2010 - 12:10 AM

View Postghostinthewood, on 17 November 2010 - 11:40 AM, said:

-I want to build an AR, because it will be cheaper
-I havn't done this before and I am not a gun smith
-Primary purpose is training
-Secondary is home defense
..... If anyone who knows much about tactical shooting wants to throw in some drill ideas that be greatly appreciated.

-I want to shoot out to 400yrds, because if I could get on as a sniper, that'd be great. However, I think 400yrds is a good distance to practice at without sacrificing much else from the gun.
-I want to do the basic stuff like, shooting at various distances from various stances.
-I'm going to be shooting in different awkward positions and using barriers
-Timed drills
-Malfunctions

So, as far as the gun itself goes...in semiparticular order..
-Adjustable/collapsible/CAR stock since Robin is going to shoot it too
-Flattop receiver
-Shortest barrel I can get without sacrificing that 400yrds capability. 16in?
-Red dot, because I hate AR sights
-Extra mags, idk about 20vs30rd but I do think I want magpul
-Sling, 3 point, nothing fancy
-Foregrip, doesnt have to be anything fancy
-Simple scope, anything that will let me hit human sized targets easily. It could be fixed but I was thinking a 4x32 or 3-9x32. Once again, doesnt have to be anything fancy. If it had mildots that'd be great since I'm familiar with them but I'm not super worried.
-Bipod

Sooooooooo super tl;dr, I want to build an all-purpose AR for cheap. Halp. =]

Cool. I was looking into the whole SWAT thing myself, before I ran afoul of some health issues. Long story...
Anyway-
As PW stated- good luck with the cheap part- if you want a quality AR, you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that you will be spending some serious cash, both for the rifle and the optic(s).
Btw, what is your budget limit?

As far as training/drills and such- if you can, get yourself to a good, serious class. Since it sounds like you're going to be mostly on your own, I highly suggest the Magpul Dynamics: Art of the Tactical Carbine 1&2 DVD series. Excellent material, modern, fast paced, and actually fun to watch too. Not exactly geared toward sniping, but still extremely usefull on the skill set and defensive aspect of things. And as a wise man once said- a rifle should be considered a fighting/defensive weapon first.

As far as the list you got up there:
I'm no expert, but a 16" barrel should be just fine out to that far, especially with the proper ammo.
I highly agree with the flattop- with todays optic-heavy trends, it's a must have.
Magazines/stock/foregrip- MAGPUL!!! lol
Right now, imo and from what I've seen, magpul accessories are hands down the best bang for your buck. Pmags are pretty much the best AR mags our there right now, they have a wide selection of quality stocks, and they're even in the foregrip market now. As far as mag sizes go- I'm biased towards the 30 rounders. However, that's going to depend on your local laws; plus, a lot of folks especially like to use the 20 rd. mags in SPR mode. Something you're going to have to sort out- but Pmags are pretty cheap. :D

Ditch the 3-point sling for a 2-pointer (ie. Blue Force Gears' VCAS, or such). That 3 pointer is overkill, and it will very likely interfere with operating your rifle.
Red dot and scope- Can't give much opinion on the scope, as other than an ACOG I haven't looked into them yet. As far as red dots- most folks consider Aimpoint to be the best out there right now- and for good reason, given their insane battery life (you can literally leave it on for years), and extreme durability. Not cheap though. Currently I'm personally running an Eotech. Some folks don't like these as much due to previous issues (although they seem to have remedied them), but I really do. I like the open box-window, and the style of the reticle. Plus, you can find the basic models for $1-200 less than the Aimpoints.
If I was going for a scope, I think I would want an adjustable zoom...

View PostPistolWhipped, on 17 November 2010 - 03:06 PM, said:

View Postghostinthewood, on 17 November 2010 - 01:40 PM, said:

-I havn't done this before and I am not a gun smith
[/b]

Neither are most peeps who build them. They are kinda plug and play pieces. Plug in the parts and go. If you decide not to build the entire upper, you can get by with just some basic punches. You'll need an action block to get the barrel on if you do build the upper though.

+1
Buy an assembled upper. Buy an assembled lower. Stick 'em together. Attach optic and accessories. Done.
It's like barbie for men. :laugh:
Of course you can get more detailed if you want, but you know what I mean.

View Postghostinthewood, on 17 November 2010 - 03:33 PM, said:

.....Would 18in be too big for home defense?

I should've elaborated some more on Robin as well. I wanted the CAR style (or any adjustable style) stock for her and the smaller barrel too. I have a 26in 870 that is almost too big for her. IDK how that translates to ARs though...

I should say also that I have a friend that is a gunsmith so I *could* do some things that would require tools, although I thought everyone had a punch set =p.

If I seem to be difficult I'm just trying to let you know my train of thought. Just fyi

Edit* Are there any good flip up sights that aren't so debilitating? As I mentioned, i hate the front sight/carry handle combo. It seems really narrow. Thats why I mentioned the red dot, I can shoot those with both eyes open. I'm very open to suggestions there too, although it seems that most iron sights are just as expensive..

Well, in my limited non-expert opinion- yes, and yes.
The extra 2 inches on the front of the rifle is going to make an already difficult job of maneuvering the rifle around tight house spaces even more difficult. Plus, you wouldn't think it, but that 2 inches is going to also change the the feel (in foward weight) and balance of the rifle. Some of this can be solved by attaching a more full stock like an ACS or UBR, but for a smaller person it may not be so great even with it more balanced.
Now an AR by itself is already pretty lightweight. And there are companies that make specific lightweight models as well. But once you start adding optics/foregrip/light/rail/etc., that weight is going to add up fast.
Oh- and speaking of which- if you're going to use it for HD, put a light on it by all means- as you probably already know, you must be able to identify before you can shoot.

Yes- there are 3 good flip sights to check out, off the top of my head- Troy, Midwest Industries, and Magpul. The Troy is probably the best out of the three, followed closely by the MI. The Magpul version is also very respectable, and can be had for a measly 60 bucks. They also make front sights, if you decide to go that direction (ie, railed with no fixed front post). Again, not your only choices, but some good ones that are also easy to find.

View PostPistolWhipped, on 17 November 2010 - 04:43 PM, said:

If you're wanting something a little more compact, try a Dissipator style AR. It has the 16" front end with Rifle length guards, giving you the sight radius of a full rifle (and the room for a rifle length gas system as well). Add your choice of butstock and voila. I'd suggest looking at Magpul furniture.

+2 :D
I'm really liking this style myself, and it has gone on "the list". lol
The new one from BCM with rifle length Magpul handguards looks very promising...
An overview and discussion of it can be read here :My link
On another note- if you like the Dissipator style, you may also want to look into the 'midlength' style, instead of the basic carbine profile- it's like a Diss. with a full length(?) gas tube, but with shorter handguards- the Daniel Defense M4V3 is a good example. Some better features over the standard Carbine style as well, such as less kick and less wear on parts.

View PostPistolWhipped, on 17 November 2010 - 07:14 PM, said:

Personally, I think a good set of Irons is the best way to learn to handle any rifle, and I'd say dropping good money on top quality irons will save you money over dropping money on a top quality Red Dot (Aimpoint is my recommendation there. They have a battery life of about 5 years of constant use.).

Now, if you do go Red Dot, get some solid back up Irons. And if you want the option of reaching out, look into a Red Dot magnifier. Basically it goes behind the red dot and magnifies what you're aiming at 3x, but you have to aim it like a regular scope. They can be put on flip out or Quick Detach mounts for when you want to go both eyes open red dot.

+3
Hammer. Nail. Head.
Now, to be fair, I believe a red dot can be more immediately gratifying for a new shooter, and can help boost confidence by making it easier to get good hits. But in the end, you need to learn the irons. Always have a set of irons set up and zeroed. Ignore all the folks who take theirs off- eventually their fancy red dot will die and they'll be screwed. :laugh: And with the minimal size and weight of a set of back ups, there's really no gain to be had without them anyway.
Those magnifiers, just so you know, will cost you at least as much as the sight did.... but darn handy.

View Postghostinthewood, on 18 November 2010 - 09:05 AM, said:

What do I need to know on the buffer in the buttstock?

I know what match/2stage triggers and that jazz are but what about long/short pin?


There are different weights of buffers- carbine, Heavy (or 'H'), and H2. Or something like that. A lot of it has to do with the length of gas system the rifle's running, as well as other things I can't remember right now. :facepalm:
Imo, don't bother with the match trigger- go out and shoot the rifle stock first before changing all sorts of stuff around.

Anyway- in a nutshell:
Get a quality rifle! Some good brands to look into are Colt, BCM (Bravo Company Manufacturing), Daniel Defense, LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool), and Spike's Tactical (good budget rifles). You're going to pay a little more- however bear in mind that quality rifles like these can be had for very near the cost of a junk (DPMS/Bushmaster/Olympic, and about a millon others...) AR, and will more than make up for the few extra dollars spent with a much higher standard of quality.
Get a full 5.56 chamber, as well as a 1/7 twist barrel. Any of the above brands do this standard. A 5.56 chamber will allow you to shoot both NATO 5.56x45 and .223 ammo- if you get a .223 chambered rifle, it will not be able to handle the higher pressures of 5.56. Also the 1/7 barrel twist will enable you to shoot a wider variety of bullets, from 55 gr. to 70+ gr.- this is useful as both match grade and defensive ammo often come in heavier weights.
Go here:My link- M4 Carbine.net. Read all the stickies on the forum (namely "Knowledge base threads" in General Discussion). Also if you think up a question, do a google search- site:m4carbine.net then topic. Some folks thing they're a little gun-snobby, but there's a TON of useful info there.

Anyway, I think I've blabbed enough.
Oh- and say Hi to Robin for me. :)

This post has been edited by Souleater: 19 November 2010 - 12:23 AM

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 12:34 AM

"-I want to shoot out to 400yrds, because if I could get on as a sniper, that'd be great. However, I think 400yrds is a good distance to practice at without sacrificing much else from the gun.
-I want to do the basic stuff like, shooting at various distances from various stances.
-I'm going to be shooting in different awkward positions and using barriers
-Timed drills
-Malfunctions

So, as far as the gun itself goes...in semiparticular order..
-Adjustable/collapsible/CAR stock since Robin is going to shoot it too
-Flattop receiver
-Shortest barrel I can get without sacrificing that 400yrds capability. 16in?
-Red dot, because I hate AR sights
-Extra mags, idk about 20vs30rd but I do think I want magpul
-Sling, 3 point, nothing fancy
-Foregrip, doesnt have to be anything fancy
-Simple scope, anything that will let me hit human sized targets easily. It could be fixed but I was thinking a 4x32 or 3-9x32. Once again, doesnt have to be anything fancy. If it had mildots that'd be great since I'm familiar with them but I'm not super worried.
-Bipod"

Carbines can shoot 400 yards with measurable drop, but a carbine is intended for practical ranges from 5 to 200 yards which is a flat shot. I was able to pull 1.5 inch groups with my old Bushmaster 16 inch upper at 200 yards (62gr Hornady TAP, 3-9 power scope) but again, it was a carbine. Sight wise an A2 front with a flip up rear and the red dot optic of your choosing will easily hit a man size target at 200 yards. I've found that a carbine style upper that may take a lot of abuse benefit from the A2 front sight tower is easily sheered off of a rail or railed gas block. If you wish to qualify with this type of weapon it is usually with iron sights from practical service ranges (5 to 100 yards, further for military qualification). When first starting out with the AR platform it is best to start with the least modified configuration possible. This is more for learning and application purposes,
Buttstock- M4 basic style collapsable stocks are cheap but durable. Be sure to decide it you wish to upgrade later to determine if the buffer tube is commercial or military diameter. Some upgrade stocks (VLTOR) come only in military style buffer tuber diameter. Magpul offers good replacements at good prices. Basic M4 stocks are still cheap but plenty durable. If you are looking to shoot distance the A2 style stock has a manageable length of pull and offer a stable shooting platform.
Flattop Upper- A must if you plan on adding practical optics regardless of type. There are mounts for A1/A2 carry handles but they place the optic too high above the weapons centerline and tend to produce a parallax at various ranges.
Barrel- 14.5 with a pinned/welded flash hider with still send bullets to the 400 yard mark. Twist rate of the barrels rifling is usually more of an issue. 1/9 is practical for rounds from 40 to 60/65 grains. Using a barrel with a 5.56 chamber will allow you to shoot 223 ammunition but not the other way around. It also offers the chance to shoot steel cased ammo (Wolf) with fewer issues than a 223 chambered barrel. I still do not trust steel cased ammo despite some people saying they have no issues with it through their 5.56 barrels. Just personal preference. I wouldn't shoot Walmart paint through my Victory either.
Reddot- This is a very open and varying subject almost more so than the rifle itself. I personally opt for variable power scopes rather than reddot optics for practical purposes. There are several great makers of reddot optics out there (Aimpoint, Trijicon, EOTech) and my only advice is to handle them before buying and ask a lot of questions. Dot size, brightness, size, weight, and cost must be considered. A red dot will not enable consistent shooting beyond 200 yards, less with lesser eyesight. Quick target acquisition is nice but practically its usage limits the overall range of a carbine. If a reddot is your preference be prepared to shoot close and fast. That is their purpose. A 1-4 variable powered optic can bridge the gap between short and longer ranges.
Quality Magazines- There are a ton of makers out there and Magpul makes a quality product. I have a few stuck in my gun bag as backup since they have a dust cover that keeps out the dirt and keeps tension off of the loading lips. If you keep them loaded be sure to use the dust covers at all costs. Several places offer great metal mags at awesome pricing but a few lack features like anti-tilt followers and durable finish. My favorite metal mags have been the C-Products magazines. They feature stainless steel bodies, anti-tilt followers, and are compatible with standard GI mag parts. And at a price point of $11.35 each for 10, 20, or 30 rounds they surely make me very happy. Bravo Company also has a ten mag bundle of GI mags for $80.00
Sling- A sling is as important as a holster to a pistol. Check out the big companies like Magpul for quality slings. One of my favorites is Viking Tactical padded two point. I think they run about $35 and the padding takes away some of the sling bite and rash.
Foregrip- Not a fan of foregrips unless using full auto or burst fire. They offer no practicality for semiauto guns and mostly add weight and bulk. I will say shorter is better. Magpul a a nice short vertical grip and an angled foregrip that is actually pretty comfortable. Tango Down has a nice shorty and Troy has a nice modular grip you can add or remove sections on to make shorter or longer.
Magnified Optics- Again, a 1-4 is very practical for short to medium range shooting. Check out the Millett DMS and Leatherwood CMR. They are both 1-4 power, 30mm tube, and illuminated reticle optics. I used a Nikon and Leupold rifle and shotgun 1-4 with 1 inch tubes and they worked awesome without being expensive. The hitch is if the weapon is modular you can't skimp on quick release optic mounts. Burris and Nikon offer one piece mounts under $100 but they are not quick release. They usually maintain zero when replacing if speed is not a concern.
Bipod- This has been the least practical item for a carbine that I tried. Although it did aid in the zeroing process it was never used. Carbines are built for shoot and scoot. I have seen a few built for varmint and other types of hunting but they mostly end up in a fixed position due to the large optic and the type of shooting involved.

The good thing about the AR is you are not stuck with one gun. I would suggest a 16 or 14.5 with pinned flash hider, A3 flattop upper, collapsable stock, and 5.56 chambered barrel. Several companies offer an Optics Ready carbine that usually lacks sights. If you plan on training in a professional aspect I would suggest a carbine with either an A2 or comparable flip up front site and an adjustable rear flip up. Some places require a shooter to qualify on their rifles. Be sure that what you have is similar to what you may be using. Also, having a rifle length upper to use in more practical applications is not a sin. Having a carbine with a reddot or low powered optic is easily changed to an upper with a longer barrel and higher power optic.
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I recently sold the carbine upper to pay off the Trijicon. My eyesight has failed in my right eye due to a cataract and shooting aperature sights is not really on option at this point. The remaining rifle is a Daniel Defense upper with Rainier 1/8 twist 18 inch barrel, Timney single stage 4 pound trigger, VLTOR EMOD(not the IMOD, it was for the carbine), ERGO grip, YHM tube, DD Bolt and carrier, Ambidextrous safety (I'm a righty but shoot only left handed now), and Trijicon ACOG TA31F. It shoots one to 1.5 inch groups all day long with PMC 223 and just gets better with better ammunition. The build cost was absorbed by other gun projects and guns I was not using. Hope this helps a little.
ADD: Beware of twist rates faster than 1/9 if you plan on using any rounds lighter than 55 grain. 1/8 and 1/7 were made to shoot heavier bullet weights and have proven detrimental to lighter bullets. If you plan on doing any type of varmint hunting with bullets lighter than 55 grain you will more than likely run into trouble with bullet stability and accuracy.

This post has been edited by nvghostrider: 19 November 2010 - 12:40 AM

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 07:01 AM

Well, PW got it right. It's not going to be cheap to build out an AR. It may not be significantly cheaper than some fully built ARs.

I highly recommend that if you've never worked on an AR before, or never had any gunsmithing experience, that you at least leave the upper receiver as a purchased item. The lower is pretty simple with a few photo guides, but the upper is where you can run into more trouble.

Others have touched the quality magazines section, so I just say I also back the PMAGs for ARs.

The big issue to watch for with steel case ammunition in an AR is increased fouling of the chamber faster. The steel doesn't expand the same way the brass does, allowing a lot more fouling to blow back into the chamber. If properly cleaned all the time, you may not see an issue with this. Just don't practice all day with steel cases and then try to use some brass cases - the brass can expand and get stuck with the increased fouling until the weapon is cleaned (and yes, I have seen someone do that before).
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Posted 19 November 2010 - 11:35 AM

View PostSouleater, on 19 November 2010 - 12:10 AM, said:

what is your budget limit?

As far as training/drills and such- if you can, get yourself to a good, serious class. Since it sounds like you're going to be mostly on your own, I highly suggest the Magpul Dynamics: Art of the Tactical Carbine 1&2 DVD series. Excellent material, modern, fast paced, and actually fun to watch too. Not exactly geared toward sniping, but still extremely usefull on the skill set and defensive aspect of things. And as a wise man once said- a rifle should be considered a fighting/defensive weapon first.

As far as the list you got up there:
I'm no expert, but a 16" barrel should be just fine out to that far, especially with the proper ammo.
I highly agree with the flattop- with todays optic-heavy trends, it's a must have.
Magazines/stock/foregrip- MAGPUL!!! lol
Right now, imo and from what I've seen, magpul accessories are hands down the best bang for your buck. Pmags are pretty much the best AR mags our there right now, they have a wide selection of quality stocks, and they're even in the foregrip market now. As far as mag sizes go- I'm biased towards the 30 rounders. However, that's going to depend on your local laws; plus, a lot of folks especially like to use the 20 rd. mags in SPR mode. Something you're going to have to sort out- but Pmags are pretty cheap. :D

Ditch the 3-point sling for a 2-pointer (ie. Blue Force Gears' VCAS, or such). That 3 pointer is overkill, and it will very likely interfere with operating your rifle.

I'm looking at 700 for a functioning rifle that I can do what I want with. I'm aware they jump in price to close 1200 but I'm hoping I'm not being too naive. A sling, bipod, etc. are all kind of secondary. I've thought a lot about iron sights and what I dont like about the A2 is that they seem really narrow. I'd rather a flip up front sight too but thats not as big of a deal to me. I just really dislike the sights on the carry handle. lol

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Something like that seems a lot more practical. Some of those flip ups seems real flimsy though.

So if I could get by with iron sights maybe that'd cut down some. Let me mention I'm just lookng to hit human sized targets at 400yrds, not trying to put them through the same hole (though I'll try like hell). So, the more I'm thinking about this the more I'm submitting to optics being secondary and I'll be a better shooter for it.

Like I said, we may be getting an apartment soon so it will be a defensive weapon. =] One of my professors teaches at the Indiana Police academy so I hope he has that. =] Its kind of odd, I have a fair amount of rifle shooting, but I dont know the tactics as well; and I have little handgun experience and I know those tactics better.

I said 3 but I meant 2. Honest. =]

I knew I wanted between 1/7 and 1/9. I knew something =D

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When first starting out with the AR platform it is best to start with the least modified configuration possible. This is more for learning and application purposes,


I think that applies to more than just the AR. So it makes that much more sense. I think I just overzealous.

I still do not trust steel cased ammo despite some people saying they have no issues with it through their 5.56 barrels. Just personal preference. I wouldn't shoot Walmart paint through my Victory either.

I'm heard a lot of problems with steel cased stuff and Wolf specifically.

This post has been edited by ghostinthewood: 19 November 2010 - 11:36 AM

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 12:51 PM

View Postghostinthewood, on 19 November 2010 - 12:35 PM, said:

I'm looking at 700 for a functioning rifle that I can do what I want with. I'm aware they jump in price to close 1200 but I'm hoping I'm not being too naive. A sling, bipod, etc. are all kind of secondary. I've thought a lot about iron sights and what I dont like about the A2 is that they seem really narrow. I'd rather a flip up front sight too but thats not as big of a deal to me. I just really dislike the sights on the carry handle. lol


700 may be a bit low to meet the criteria. 750-800 is a bit more realistic, especially when you want irons other than the A2 style carry handle.

To keep costs down, you're probably going to want either the standard foregrip or maybe the Magpul MOE grip. Nothing wrong with them (my AR uses the standard carbine foregrip), but I don't recommend hanging that much stuff off of them anyway since they are not free floating (or in other words, adding stuff to the grips can alter POA/POI requiring a re-sight in for each change). I've tried to put stuff on the foregrip before, but I ended up going the simpler route and removing it all. I can see the value in a flashlight for a primarily defensive carbine, but my AR is more a DMR setup at present (not to the point of PW's SPR, and still capable of CQ, but good for accurate shots at 100-300 yards) so I don't have one on it.

So, don't worry about the not having a bipod; odds are you don't want to put one on for now anyway.

I haven't measured them, but I can't say that I have ever noticed a difference in width between a flip up iron sight and the A2 style sight. Just the long handle getting in the way of optics.

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Posted Image

Something like that seems a lot more practical. Some of those flip ups seems real flimsy though.

So if I could get by with iron sights maybe that'd cut down some. Let me mention I'm just lookng to hit human sized targets at 400yrds, not trying to put them through the same hole (though I'll try like hell). So, the more I'm thinking about this the more I'm submitting to optics being secondary and I'll be a better shooter for it.


Iron sights are fine for minute-of-man accuracy at 400 yards, assuming the shooter has that level of skill.

What I'd probably recommend for you is one of the rear sights with the dual aperture - it has two peep sights you can flip between on the rear sight, one with a small hole and one with a larger hole. It is easier to be more accurate with the small hole, and the large hole is perfect for rapid target acquisition in close and much faster to sight. Leave it on "large hole" after it's been properly sighted in, then flip to the "small hole" when you know you'll be shooting distance.

Something like this

Posted Image

EDIT - Just saw your image also has what I am talking about /EDIT

For front sight, I'd just use the standard A2 front post for cost savings. It won't interfere with a magnified optic when you get one in the future (assuming correct mounting rings were used, but don't worry about it now, it's fairly easy to do), and it really won't even be an issue for a red dot system if you go that route.

Quote

Like I said, we may be getting an apartment soon so it will be a defensive weapon. =] One of my professors teaches at the Indiana Police academy so I hope he has that. =] Its kind of odd, I have a fair amount of rifle shooting, but I dont know the tactics as well; and I have little handgun experience and I know those tactics better.


One rifle tactic that will work in apartment-range is "caveman eotech." The idea is to use the front sight post (the full assembly, not the little post on the top you fine tune for true sighting) and consider that the "Eotech" sight. If it's on the bad guy when you look at it, you're going to hit him somewhere.

The other main thing is exactly what we mentioned in the CCW thread way back - Get off the "X". It works for handguns, and it works for rifles too.

There's obviously more, but those two should get you off to a good start with rifle fighting in close ranges.

Quote

I'm heard a lot of problems with steel cased stuff and Wolf specifically.


The old problems came from the lacquer they used to coat the stuff in. They moved away from it and the primary problems with their ammo went away too.

Wikipedia

They're not match ammunition by any means, but they work for cheaper practice.

This post has been edited by Thalion: 19 November 2010 - 12:55 PM

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