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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my predicament:

First, I think I misspelled "predicament". But that's not really why I'm here.

I'm a complete AR newbie. I see people talk about how one can put together an upper and a lower instead of buying a complete rifle, and save money.

I've looked here and there on AR15.com, and see their post that explains how to put the lower parts kit into a stripped lower. Then all you have to do is find a "spaced" upper and click them together, right?

Here's what I really want: replying to me as if I am a small child, explain where and what I need to look for in the parts. Is a lower, stripped, still something I'd need to do a FFL transfer on?? I know that a complete lower is.

Thank you a ton to whoever takes the time to reply to this question for what has to be the one billionth time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
the striped lower is what yu need an ffl for it doesnt matter if it has parts in it or not.
some people may disagree with me but this is what i recomend
i would buy a striped lower and by the grip and butctock and lower parts kit you want. i did mine for about 220 compleated with a houge and a 6 pos calapsable stock. i wanted to save as much on the lower as possible so i could spend more money on the upper which in my opinion is far more important.
now as far as the upper goes i would buy a compleated upper with everything you want on it. i made the mistake of buying one and upgrading the front sight and i put on free float hand guards. if i had bought one that had all that stuff on it i could have saved some money.
i dont think building an upper is worth it at all since you have to worry about headspaceing and stuff and they are harder to work on and require more tools
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, a stripped lower is something that has to go through a FFL.
It is not hard to put together, but it is easy to scratch up if you are not careful, or bust an ear off while putting the roll pin in the trigger guard ;).

A lower is a lower pretty much, pick the one with a rollmark that you like best. Stay with the Stag or RRA lower parts kit. Get the milspec sized receiver extension (buffer tube).

Then pick the upper in the configuration that you like and snap the two halves together.

A high quality complete lower and upper such as the LMT would be a great choice for about a grand. Stag would be another good choice if you decide you don't want to "build" the lower yourself.

Which ever route you decide, be warned, BRD is addicting :)


example of the LMT "M4"

Complete lower $330
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=19&cid=4&session=b9b59bf3e4ca4527893ac6e200780c1e

upper with options to make it complete $676
http://www.lewismachine.net/product.php?p=63&cid=6&session=b9b59bf3e4ca4527893ac6e200780c1e

Total $1006, plus shipping.....remember to make 2 seperate orders or 11% excise tax will be charged ;) plus add your local FFL transfer charge....

Better prices can probably be found by shopping around, these were taken from LMT
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes a stripped lower needs to go through an FFL.

The upper kit which includes the lower parts and upper with bolt carrier and charging handle don't.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
as stated by everyone else Yes the lower needs needs to go though an FFL the reason for this is because it is the only part of the rifle that has a serial number on it and is actually the part that the BATFE considers to be a gun



buy a complete upper take your pick they almost all use wilson barrels just be sure if you get a lower priced upper that you tell them that you dont want the BCG (this will make the upper even cheaper) then buy one from LMT
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My question for your question:
If you are a complete newbie to AR, why do you try to put a AR together? Why not just buy a complete AR and enjoy the shooting right from the day one?

These days a quality, complete AR can always be had for decent price.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lowers have to go through FFL because that is where the serial # is located on AR type long guns; thus this is the part that is registered with BATFE and is how they track the sale.

If you are trying to build your own, do it because you want an AR to suit your own specific set of needs, not because it will be cheaper. Rifling twist, barrel length, sight options and weight are the concerns for most. If you are not sure what you really want, get a factory produced rifle, then shoot it, carry it, play with it and then explore the options, which are endless but a good summary can be seen in Brownell's.

Look hard at a Colt 6520 Government Carbine ($1150 or so) and go from there. This carbine embodies what an AR is... a light (5.8 lbs), handy (good ergonomics, controls and 35" long), accurate (great sights and most will shoot 1.5 MOA) and reliable (in most conditions) long gun in an adequate caliber for personal and home defense, plinking, small to medium game hunting, and competiton use. Of all AR's, Colt will keep it's value far better than the rest and the Gov't Carbine is one of the best made. It also gives it's owner a reasonable replica of our nations military small arm as every home should have.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I feel that there is another reason for a noob to build his first rifle...and by build I mean assemble it from a kit: stripped lower + lower parts kit + stock. Yeah, it's good if you want to customize, but it REALLY helped me see how the darn thing works! You know, with my pistols, I've only field stripped them; never detailed them, yet. They're all still somewhat new. Anyway my point is that I don't really know WTF is going on inside my pistols because I've never seen their innards. Now that I've built my AR, I'm not afraid to feel that I could tinker with it if I needed to. I saw some trigger/hammer springs in the gun shop the other day, and was told they give the standard trigger a really "sweet feel," and I looked at it and thought, "You know, I could actually DO that!" I just put a sling mount on the other day and knew how to take the stock off, and put the Take Down Pivot spring back in, and the Buffer Tube detent back in. W/O that knowledge I probably wouldn't have attempted it.

NOOB POWER!!! :mrgreen::cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I feel that there is another reason for a noob to build his first rifle...and by build I mean assemble it from a kit: stripped lower + lower parts kit + stock. Yeah, it's good if you want to customize, but it REALLY helped me see how the darn thing works!
I second that. Putting my first one together forced me to understand how it works.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
be sure if you get a lower priced upper that you tell them that you dont want the BCG (this will make the upper even cheaper) then buy one from LMT
:shock:

For the record, B/CH stands for: Bolt and Charging Handle

Don't do this if you don't have headspace guages, or have a local gunsmith that can check headspacing!!!!!!

Just because you buy a new partial upper and buy a new bolt seperately does NOT mean the headspacing will or wont' be correct when the two are joined. The savings isn't worth endangering yourself or others.

Bolts are NOT necessarily plug and play items in some barrels!! Anyone telling you to the contrary is WRONG and surprisingly not dead wrong if that's the route you took.

If the headspacing of the barrel chamber is towards one end of the spec, and the bolt on the other end of spec, this can be a potentially hazardous and deadly feat to attempt if you don't know what you're doing, don't have the tools, or don't know how to check for proper headspace or especially if you don't know what headspacing is.

Most COMPLETE uppers (that include bolt and charging handle) will normally be headspaced and test fired prior to being shipped if you purchase from a reputable company. Saving a couple of dollars and slapping a bolt in an upper is not worth the savings if you blow your gun (or yourself or someone else) up in the process.

If you assemble a stripped lower, it's not hard and a lot of folks do it on a normal basis. It gives many the satisfaction of knowing they did it themselves, and opens the door to a lot of options that may not be available direct from a manufacturer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
total newb as well.

i built a 20" rifle for $515 this way:

lower cmmg
lower parts dpms
used a2 stock
used colt upper
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
with me it doesnt matter if i buy a gun compleated because at some point im going to take it apart anyways so i might as well learn how to put it together.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
:shock:

For the record, B/CH stands for: Bolt and Charging Handle

Don't do this if you don't have headspace guages, or have a local gunsmith that can check headspacing!!!!!!

Just because you buy a new partial upper and buy a new bolt seperately does NOT mean the headspacing will or wont' be correct when the two are joined. The savings isn't worth endangering yourself or others.

Bolts are NOT necessarily plug and play items in some barrels!! Anyone telling you to the contrary is WRONG and surprisingly not dead wrong if that's the route you took.

If the headspacing of the barrel chamber is towards one end of the spec, and the bolt on the other end of spec, this can be a potentially hazardous and deadly feat to attempt if you don't know what you're doing, don't have the tools, or don't know how to check for proper headspace or especially if you don't know what headspacing is.

Most COMPLETE uppers (that include bolt and charging handle) will normally be headspaced and test fired prior to being shipped if you purchase from a reputable company. Saving a couple of dollars and slapping a bolt in an upper is not worth the savings if you blow your gun (or yourself or someone else) up in the process.

If you assemble a stripped lower, it's not hard and a lot of folks do it on a normal basis. It gives many the satisfaction of knowing they did it themselves, and opens the door to a lot of options that may not be available direct from a manufacturer.
this is why i bought my upper compleate with the BCG and headspaced
 
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