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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been hearing a lot about AR fans. I have no military background and have read MANY forum postings and wikipedia articles, but cannot figure a few things out:

1) Maybe a loaded question, but what is the difference between an M-16, M4, M6, LWRC, CAR, A4, etc.?

2) I am looking at building one just because I think it is interesting to build one from scratch just to say "I built it myself" (even if from a complete "kit"). I am very mechanically inclined and have worked on many revolvers and semi-auto pistols. Can you save money by buying the parts? I realize that if you buy one and have to upgrade parts, that would raise the overall cost. My question refers to building one identical to an RRA spec or something.

3) I have seen that chart around here discussing the different makers. Most of it doesn't make any sense to me (i.e. bolt configurations, etc.) Are RRA and LMT good brands? What's the real difference?

4) I'm kind of looking at a RRA Gov't model.
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-d...image=gov07.gif&CFID=6373035&CFTOKEN=27100757
Seems to have everything I would want on it and looks sweet! What price should I be looking at spending buying from ar15sales.com, etc. or building an identical one.

Maybe I'm in the wrong direction with this, and any guidance would be appreciated!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well the RRA Gov't model could be diplicated alot cheaper than the $2290 msrp on the RRA website. The add on parts are the Surefire M73, the Surefire M951 and theEOTech 552, about 800 bux.

Unless you have or will get night vision, you can get the EOTech 512 which is alot cheaper than the 552. The M73 can be had for $120 or so used, and the M951 for less than $200.

Example, I have bought these items over the past year or so.

Surefire M961, new, $175
EoTech 512, LNIB, $250
Surefire M73 LNIB, $100

total $525

so even throw in another $150 for the rear buis and Houge grip for a total of $675 on top of the price of a RRA CAR A4 $930 with chrome lining for a total of $1605

just my rambling thoughts ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not your rambling thoughts, but a great suggestion! I was thinking that the add-ons were way marked up when included as a complete riffle.

However, I was looking at purchasing a lower frame, lower kit w/2-stage trigger, and butt, however this cost more then just buying an assembled lower!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Give Pete a call and see what his pricing on the basic rifle is. Then talk to him about what kit options he has. You've got a good grasp of the basic components that are above the base line.

If you need to find a deal on a add on, ask mvician for a little shopping help. I watch prices pretty consistently, but Mike seems to have the "screaming deal" radar at max gain. He's already helped me find 2 good deals.

"1) Maybe a loaded question, but what is the difference between an M-16, M4, M6, LWRC, CAR, A4, etc.?"

Well without spending too much time getting into the gory details, the M-16 and M4 are Military weapons; select fire ect. The M4 is the evolution of the original CAR-15. The M6 is a manufacturers nomenclature for their AR platform, LWRC if I remember correctly. LWRC is a manufacturer. A4 (A1, A2, A3) are variants of the M-16. A2's had several improvements, most noticeably (for over all advancement) was the improved rear sight. A3/4 are flat top uppers, I know there is more, but I haven't finished my coffee and someone else will pipe in.

The much vaunted (beloved and loathed) Chart is a comparisons of a specific iteration of one manufacturers AR. There is valuable information in the chart and it does provide some foundational questions that should be asked and points to consider. I personally believe the chart to be simply advisory. There are several hundred iterations of the AR being produced in the US alone. It is extremely inappropriate to base an absolute conclusion about the AR platform solely on the "Chart" .. but it is a very good piece of data to add to the over all consideration loop.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^^^These two know what they are talking about, you should listen. Seems like whenever I have a question, one or both will pipe in, or it has already been answered. (Thanks guys)

If I were in your shoes, I'd seek out he best deal for the AR you want. You can save a bit buying an assembled lower, then get whatever upper you want. AR15sales.com, del-ton, etc.

Then you can piece together (as deals pop up) the other items, magazines, ammo, EO, light, rails, whatever. Your wallet will thank you.:)

Oh, and once you get you're basic configuration down, be prepared to change it up.:twisted:
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When purchasing a lower, 90% of the time, manufacturer doesn't matter, what does matter is Forge vs. Cast.

If you find a lower that is cast, do NOT purchase it, no matter the price.

If the lower is in spec, then you will be able to use any trigger kit. Almost all lowers are in spec, there are a few out there that are not, I'm not 100% on the manufacturers. Usually, out of spec lowers will have the holes for the trigger pins out of place. This means use of standard LPK (Lower Parts Kit) will not work.

Lowers from ABC (Armalite, Bushmaster & Colt) or any other "brand name" (Rock River, Stag, etc) will be fine. Lowers from companies that you've never heard of MAY be fine too, but I can not guarentee it. If a place has a cheap forged lower from company XXX and one from a brand name, put them up side by side. If the pin holes for the trigger pins line up, then they should be fine.

There are only a couple of companies that actually forge the lowers. Everyone buys forged lowers from these couple of companies. It's the companies milling and drilling that makes the lower in spec or out of spec.

Anyone that trys to sell you "brand new" anything from FN is either lying to you or they stole it. FN does not sell new to the public. Some FN parts end up in civilian hands because the parts were sold by the US Gov't by DRMS/DRMO, but NEW parts are never sold directly from the manufactuer. If someone says they have brand new FN parts, ask them if they got it right from the manufacturer. If they say yes, then walk away.

Hope this helps
Hardwarz

Hope this helps.

Hardwarz
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was looking at kits from Del-Ton, Inc.
Are they any good? How about DPMS barrels?

I have read a lot about chrome vs. non-chromed barrels. Many people say to NOT get the chrome because of accuracy issues and that it really is not needed for a plinking gun.

Yes, I want a decked out plinking gun!
I also don't want a gun that is a mumble-jumble of random parts. I am striving for that "factory fit and finish" look.

I am confused on the simple things like M4 vs. SOPMOD (sp?) stocks, A2 sights, how do you get a small "handle" rail on top (not an A2 handle), what is a gas block, free float vs. standard handrail, etc.

Thanks for all the helpful replies so far!
Searching is difficult when it will not search for words under 3 letters!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was looking at kits from Del-Ton, Inc.
Are they any good? How about DPMS barrels?

I have read a lot about chrome vs. non-chromed barrels. Many people say to NOT get the chrome because of accuracy issues and that it really is not needed for a plinking gun.

Yes, I want a decked out plinking gun!
I also don't want a gun that is a mumble-jumble of random parts. I am striving for that "factory fit and finish" look.

I am confused on the simple things like M4 vs. SOPMOD (sp?) stocks, A2 sights, how do you get a small "handle" rail on top (not an A2 handle), what is a gas block, free float vs. standard handrail, etc.

Thanks for all the helpful replies so far!
Searching is difficult when it will not search for words under 3 letters!
CHeck wikipedia by typing AR-!5 in the search it explains the gas inpingement action well.has good break down of the gas system.


M4 Stock is the telescoping stock
SOPMOD-not sure
A2 sights are on fixed carry handle upper
Small handle-? never heard that before
Gas block- is what diverts gas out of barrell through gas tube and into upper to cycle the action.standard front sight has gas block built into it. many configurations of gas blocks available
Free float rail -does not contact barrel at any point hence better accuracy.same as free floating the barrel of a hunting or target rifle
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am striving for that "factory fit and finish" look.
If factory fit and finish is important to you, then you'll want the same manufacture for the upper and lower. This will hopefull give you the best color matching between the two as they will hopefully be anodized in the same batch.

If you want great factory fit and finish, maybe look into the RR National Match lower and upper. This will give you the tighest fit and the best overall looking finish.

When going with different manufactures, some anodizing doesn't come out right. Some AR's have a purple tint to them.

Hardwarz
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
CHeck wikipedia by typing AR-!5 in the search it explains the gas inpingement action well.has good break down of the gas system.
*SNIP*
a nice tip:

just google for " wiki AR-15 " and hit 'I'm feeling Lucky'

works for anything you want out of wikipedia, handy for those of us that use google as start page in browser
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My only advice is the advice I got when I went through this process: Do I buy or build my first AR?

Building them, it has been told to me by many countless folks, is relatively easy. There is a lot of info about how to, where to buy or borrow (rare unless you know someone that has them) the tools, and how to get everything to work. Many know how to put these together, and can give you advice. I've heard of these things being put together in a Denny's over desert.

The other advice that I will give you is what I followed. Buy a built gun for the first AR. You can learn about how everything about them works, and have plenty of fun with your new gun. That could be new from the factory, or new to you (used), but if you buy used, it's nice to see it fire beforehand, or have a written return policy (hard to find) or satisfaction guarantee from the seller, which is usually easier to get from a gun shop if you aren't buying a consignment gun.

I bought a 16" barrel Bushmaster M4gery, A3 type. http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_BCWA3F16M4.asp I paid $900 for it, chromed lined bore, chamber, bolt, and carrier. Some said that there were some BM rifles that came out of the factory with a canted front sight base, but that BM fixed these and test fired under warranty with no questions asked. This doesn't seem to have been a problem for quite a while now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So this is what I have come up with. I really want to build it, so I am thinking this is the way to go.

Is Del-Ton, Inc. a good company to go with?

This is my current setup:
16" Light Weight Rifle Kit Item Price: $936.00Options:
16 LW Rifle Kit -Barrel:DTI 16" 1x9 Chrome Lined Light Weight Barrel
16 Rifle Kit -Handguards:YHM 4 Rail Light Weight Free Float Tube
Rifle Kit -BC:TiN Bolt & Carrier
Rifle Kit -Buttstock:Vltor Carbine - Black
Rifle Kit -Carrying Handle:None
Rifle Kit -Flash Hiders:phantom Aggressive End Comp/Brake
Rifle Kit -Gas Blocks:Standard A2 Front Sight
Rifle Kit -Grips:A2 Grip - Black
Rifle Kit -Lower Parts:Lower Parts Kit with Rock River Arms 2 Stage Trigger
Rifle Kit -T Handle:Standard Charging Handle with Badger Tac Latch
Rifle Kit -Uppers:Flat Top Upper with M4 Feed Ramps


ANY recommendations, either for or against my selections, would be GREATLY appreciated!

I am not sure about the following items:
TiN Bolt+Carrier vs. standard ?
RRA 2-stage vs. other 2-stages ?
Badger Tac Latch ?
M4 Feed Rams ?

Thanks a bunch guys! You've been most helpful!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
:???:
Buy a built gun for the first AR. You can learn about how everything about them works, and have plenty of fun with your new gun. That could be new from the factory, or new to you (used), but if you buy used, it's nice to see it fire beforehand, or have a written return policy (hard to find) or satisfaction guarantee from the seller, which is usually easier to get from a gun shop if you aren't buying a consignment gun.
Truthfully +1....

Nothing more frustrating than your first AR not working 100% and you, knowing how to piece them together, but not being 100% sure how to fix it.

Of course, if you still decide to build, there will be tons of us here and on ar15.com to try to help diagnose your problem sight un seen.

Hardwarz
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Del-ton is excellent to deal with. and the only thing i dont particylarly care for in your list is the Tac latch if you are right handed and carry it with a tactical sling such as a specter the latch can dig into your chest and it can snag on gear on a tac vest. other than that i like your choices.i have the YHM rail you listed and i love it.one word of advice, BUY THE TOOL YHM SELLS TO TIGHTEN THE LOCK RING ON YOUR RAIL.IF you use a hammer and screw driver you will booger it up easily. heres a pic of mine installed on my Oly.
 
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