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Discussion Starter #1
After seeing some of the AR's in the picture thread, it's gotten me to thinking about my lower choice and other build questions. To start off with, I was just going to buy a RRA Elite CAR A4, but figured I could build one for cheaper plus I'd know what went where and how to take it apart to fix it when I break it. I wanted to stay with RRA for continuity and an assurance that parts would fit together when the time came, but dang, RRA stuff is expensive (still not as expensive as LMT though). So here come the questions:

1.) I was going to order a RRA lower but $155 shipped is almost painful, but I've been looking at DPMS, Stag, Essential Arms, Spike's Tactical (local company out of FL) and several other companies that offer lowers for $120 or less. Would any lower work well with a RRA upper, or are some better than others. I've heard of small hole and large hole uppers, and I don't really want to have to mess with that.

2.) Does anyone have experience with the Del-ton kits (specifically the 16" Mid-Length Rifle Kit)? I was going to go with a RRA mid-length upper, but for the price, the Del-ton kits are looking mighty tempting.

3.) Are there handguards for a mid-length AR with just a bottom rail?

At this point, I'm flexible on just about everything. The only requirements are, (1) a top notch setup for a reasonable budget and (2) 16" mid-length carbine setup. Flattop would be preferable but for the right price, I'd consider an A2.

Sorry for the questions, but my only experience with AR's has been shooting them and giving them a rough cleaning. Thanks in advance guys.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I just finished building up a Del-ton kit. It took me all of about 1 hour.
I still haven't had a chance to take it out and sight it in, but everything fit quite well.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Just built one with a Spikes lower. Fit and finish are great, it was $105 shipped with the Infidel logo laser engraved.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
bowhuntr09 said:
Just built one with a Spikes lower. Fit and finish are great, it was $105 shipped with the Infidel logo laser engraved.
I was thinking about ordering one with the Punisher logo, just for $#!ts and giggles :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter #7
DanTheEldest said:
I'd say if that RRA lower comes equipped with their NM trigger it's worth it.
Just a stripped lower, most places I've found that are $135 or lower are out of stock with an 8-12 week wait.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Taken from a different sight this is a pretty good write up and I'm in near total agreement with the author.
There seems to be a large number of threads from patriots that are seeking to purchase/build an AR type rifle in some configuration. This post will provide most of the answers to those frequently asked questions.

No doubt this post will be somewhat controversial – as I will invariably step on toes in this process – and for that I apologize up front – but also note that I will not compromise my personal integrity by “holding back” on the truth.

Obviously this post will be focused on “tools” that one could trust one’s life too – this post will not cover AR’s that could be used as “toys” (fun guns for plinking/hunting/target shooting/etc.)

We will start with the characteristics of what it is we are looking for in an AR tool – then we will discuss the manufacturers that are making what we want – followed by those that are making close to what we want. If the manufacturer is not listed in this post – I will not trust my life to it – PERIOD. ALL other manufacturers – make “toys”.

The three MOST important parts of the AR are the barrel, bolt and bolt carrier. Consider this – the chamber pressure in an AR when it fires is 50,000 PSI – that is TWENTY FIVE TONS of pressure per square inch - and this is near your face! We only want the highest quality parts to contain those high pressure explosions that occur every time we touch off a round.

OK – the barrel assy. We want:

1. Barrel made from 4150 steel
2. Chrome lined chamber and bore
3. 5.56mm chamber
4. Manganese Phosphate coating under the front sight base
5. Forged front sight assy
6. MagParticle inspected
7. 1x7” twist

The Bolt:

1. Buy the bolt from one of the Tier Three or above manufacturers listed below.

The Bolt Carrier:

1. MagParticle inspected
2. Covered Firing Pin
3. Solid “rear”
4. Properly staked gas key
5. Chrome lined “cylinder” (where the gas rings on the bolt interface with the bolt carrier)

Upper receiver:

1. Forged 7075 T6 construction (not cast)
2. Mil-Spec “true” M1913 rails (if flat top)
3. Mil-Spec anodizing AFTER M4 ramps are cut
4. Mil-Spec small parts (forward assist, ejection port cover, etc.)

Lower receiver:

1. Forged 7075 T6 construction
2. Mil-Spec internals (no “target” or “match grade” parts)


Now let’s look at manufacturers. There are only TWO manufacturers that are independently checked/tested to ensure they build “mil-spec” M series longarms (M16A2 and M4). These two manufacturers are Colt and FN. The US government inspectors ensure they build rifles to the spec.

There are other manufacturers that build to the “mil-spec” – but they do so willfully – and are not independently inspected to the spec. Some manufacturers build to the exact spec – some build to portions of the spec – some don’t build to the spec at all.

The first category is what we will call TIER ONE manufacturers and are the ONLY two that build to the spec and are independently verified. They are:

1. COLT (only the military/LE rifles – the civy “Target” models are not built to the spec)
2. FN

Then next category is “Tier Two” - those manufactures that build to the exact spec – but aren’t verified by US gov inspectors:

1. LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool)
2. BMC (Bravo Machine Company)

Tier Three are companies that build to the spec – but don’t shoot a “proof” round through each barrel before it is MagParticle inspected – they MagPart inspect a percentage of barrels from each lot.

1. CMMG

Tier Four companies build close to the spec – but don’t have 1x7” barrel twist – don’t shoot a proof load through each barrel (they – like CMMG above – inspect a percentage of barrels from each lot) and don’t Manganese Phosphate coat the barrel under the front sight base:

1. Bushmaster

These other manufacturers use sub-standard barrel material (4140) – chambers that may or may not be 5.56 – in short – they are rifles that are build under the standard. Having said that – these “Tier Five” companies do build some quality rifles – just understand – that according the “Spec” – which is how we must judge AR’s – these are further “sub-par” than any of the Tier Four and up. The following companies are not listed in any particular order:

1. Armalite
2. Stag Arms
3. Smith and Wesson (Stag)
4. CMT (which makes Stag and S&W)
5. Rock River Arms (RRA)
6. DPMS

Then there is the Tier Six companies – which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. The Tier Six companies are any AR manufacturer that is not listed above. Note that many “parts house’s” use AR parts made by one of the above manufacturers – but they also buy parts made from “who knows??” – and is not something I would willingly put my life on the line with…..would you??

So – armed with the above information – I would suggest the following. Buy the assembled upper from any of the Tier Three and up manufacturers.

Buy ANY stripped lower receiver made by any Tier 5 and above manufacturers.

Get all lower receiver parts (actually all small parts) from any Tier 5 and above manufacturer.

Buy bolts/bolt carriers/barrels from any Tier Three and above manufacturer.

If you prefer to go down to your local gun store and just buy a rifle – the only real choice to buy a rifle closest to the “Spec” is our only Tier Four manufacturer – which is Bushmaster.

RRA, Armalite, Stag, et al – all build quality rifles – but they aren’t built even close to the same standard that the Tier Three (and arguably Tier Four) and above companies do.

Hope this helps,

cheers

tire iron
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I bought a stag stripped lower $90
Del-Ton 16" M4 upper kit $470.

I've shot over 2K rounds with no problems.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
agalindo said:
Del-Ton 16" M4 upper kit $470.

I've shot over 2K rounds with no problems.
I have the same Del-Ton upper. The only issue that I had was that the center gas ring broke...not a big deal and had no affect at the range. I noticed it when I was cleaning the rifle after the range trip. It occurred at about 1000 rds. I called Del-Ton and they sent me an envelop with 6 gas rings at no charge, plus free shipping on an existing order that I had with them (low dollar stuff).

I cannot guess how many thousands of rounds are through it now. And I've never had any malfunctions.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
This is good news . . . looks like I may be building a cheap AR. More money for ammo and mags (and a BUIS).:cool:

I know our DPMS setups for the GC have withstood 10's of thousands of rounds, but they didn't make a midlength setup so I was a bit bummed by that. The Del-Ton setup is sounding better ass we speak. I guess I can always tweak it later as the Homeland Defense Rifle Disease sets in and gets more advanced. Thanks for the info guys! I really appreciate it.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
cougar_guy04 said:
2.) Does anyone have experience with the Del-ton kits (specifically the 16" Mid-Length Rifle Kit)? I was going to go with a RRA mid-length upper, but for the price, the Del-ton kits are looking mighty tempting.

3.) Are there handguards for a mid-length AR with just a bottom rail?
2. I was real tempted to go with the Del-Ton, but decided to support the local gunsmith who matched the price. Can't really go wrong with them and the people are super nice @ Del Ton. Heck, I might have a lightweight upper built just because the lady on the phone was so nice and helpful!

3. Some options for the midlenght handguards. If you want the traditional 2 piece, there are fit kits that attach to the cooling holes on the underside to allow you to mount lights / grips.. should cost you no more than $30. If you want a free float option, Viking Tactics makes a great mid lenght with slits that allow you to mount as many or as little rails as you'd like. I personally love the Viking Tactics setup.

Cheers
 
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Discussion Starter #13
my dad (agalindo) bought me a superior arms lower ($90) and a model1sales 16' flattop upper($435). shoots wonderful, the lower and upper are tight with no movement and ive shot over 2000 rounds with no problems including tons of bump firing, and .22lr with my conversion kit
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Couple more questions. I'm gonna order the kit after the next paycheck (it may be here before my lower :rolleyes:)

2 Stage RRA trigger worth the $80 to upgrade from a standard trigger?
Barrel: Should I order the chrome lined barrel?
Bolt/Carrier: Should I go with TiN, Chrome, or Standard?
 
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Discussion Starter #15
4140 vs 4150 sounds like fear mongering to me. 4150 may have some nice specs, but 4140 is more than adequate for those chamber pressures (remember we have much less "si" or "square inch" on the .223/5.56 chamber than say a .50BMG with higher pressures)

Chrome lining a barrel is good for corrosion but sucks for accuracy, so if you want an accurate barrel do not go chrome lined (different than chrome-moly which is what the 4140/4150 spec is), and the stainless alloys used in barrels are good.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
2 Stage RRA trigger worth the $80 to upgrade from a standard trigger?
It depends on your use for the rifle. A CQB setup that you mainly plan to plink at the range...I'd just go with a standard trigger. You want more distance accuracy, I'd go with the 2-stage.

Barrel: Should I order the chrome lined barrel?
Again, it depends on the use of the rifle. Same CQB setup as above, I'd get chrome-lined. The barrel is easier to clean and will last longer. You want more distance accuracy, I'd skip the chrome-lined option.

Bolt/Carrier: Should I go with TiN, Chrome, or Standard?
I've only got the standard and never looked into the advantages versus cost for these others. I'm guessing they offer a longer life and are easier to clean. For me, I've got another standard bolt to drop in place of the existing, should I ever need to replace it.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Distance-wise, the longest I plan on shooting this thing is 300 yards and I'm not looking for Sub-MOA groups at that distance. All the rounds on a 6-8" paper plate would stisfy me for the time being.

As for the trigger, some people I know swear by the RRA trigger and are telling me to get it, a couple people I know said it wasn't worth the money. I know with the DPMS AR's the club owns the triggers don't seem too shabby to me, but I've never shot a tuned gun short of dry firing an XD with a Spring trigger job . . . just curious if the RRA trigger was woth it. Can always upgrade later if I somehow get so good the stock trigger is holding me back (That's a laugh).

With respect to the bolt/carrier, I really didn't know if there was an advantage to the TiN or Stainless parts over the standard.
 
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