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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to have to sell my soul and a few other things to afford most of it, but selling some un-needed and un-used items to fund the project is the only way I could talk the wife into it. I'm basically going to do a half build - I'll buy a complete DPMS A3-style flat top upper w/ carry handle (reciever, bolt, chrome-lined barrel, foregrips, etc), since theres really no price advantage to putting it together yourself...plus I don't have the action block, tools, or resources to barrel and torque the upper myself, so I'd actually be at a price disadvantage compared to the money saved on parts (which isn't much).

I'm thinking about going with a Wilson Tactical lower reciever and a DPMS parts kit, a PARDUS 6-position collapsable stock, a Magpul MIAD pistol grip/trigger guard kit, and a Mako Security dual rail attachment, seen here:

ARR-106 - AR-15 Double Picatinny Rail Designed for AR-15 or M16 - Manufactured by: Mako Security

I love the way a full RIS looks, but it's not very comfortable for me. I only plan on adding one other thing to this rifle, and thats a flashlight. Maybe red-dot optics at some point. I don't need 4 full rails for that, and the Mako rail is about $10 from cheaperthandirt.com, so you really can't go wrong. :cool:

Any M4 users out there that have any recommendations for a newbie's first build?

Note: I've been in the military for 7 years, I know how these rifles work. When I say "newbie", that doesnt mean that I need basics, I need any parts recommendations or lower reciever assembly tips that worked well for you. Blood and guts here, folks. I've got the load, shoot, and SPORTS covered. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Buy a Stag lower. They're cheap ($110-ish), but they're made by CMT (who makes a lot of the lowers for the "big name" AR builders).

I used a Stag lower, DPMS lower parts kit, JP Enterprises reduced power trigger spring kit (Not a match trigger, but much better than stock, and it's $10 at Brownells), generic 4 position collapsible stock (I don't like it now that I've used it) and a soft Ergo pistol grip.



I did the same thing as you... I bought a complete upper and built the lower myself. I wound-up with the exact gun I (thought I) wanted, and when all was said and done, I only had about $700 in it (although I will be replacing the stock soon).
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hooz, is that the 4.5" comp? If so, where did you find it? I had one like on an old Olympic Arms AR with the 11.5" barrell. Really liked it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a 16" barrel with permanently attached flash-hider. It's got a mid-length gas system with low profile gas block (under the tube) and rifle length 4-rail tube. I went for that dissapator look, but with a tactical edge. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You might want to give this guy a call:
Pete in NH FFL/ SOT Dealer
Legal Transfers LLC 603-770-2281

When he said he had the best prices on uppers he meant it. I just spent the last few weeks shopping for a 16" M4gery upper and he's got it going on. $489 for a Stag Upper 16" M4 HG's, BCG, ARMS #40 BUIS included and oh yeah.. that's the shipped price. I'll grant that I'm a RRA biggot, but the 10-16 week lead time coming out of RRA was a bit much, not to mention the BUIS really sweetened the deal for me.

LPK's from RRA or Stag will be a tad better quality than DPMS IMHO. My research is showing a few pretty unhappy folks with DPMS quality control and Customer Service. There will always be those, but personally speaking I've had conversations with RRA's Customer Service Manager (to compliment his staff) and they understand the whole idea of taking care of the customer first and foremost. Not to mention that the 2 stage trigger group from RRA is about as rock solid as I've ever used and that would cover 13 years of AR's including Uncle Sam's.

Stag gets a lot of good feedback from folks I know who own them. Considering the price and people to give a hard time to if it is crap, I took the dive. I've already got a Bushy lower to host the upper, but I think I'm going to give her a tune up considering she's almost 10 years old. the RRA LPK is what I'll use.

Stocks are a huge market these days. Affordable ones are the rare beast.

For about 99% of this stuff the Equipment Exchange over at AR15.com is your best bet. If nothing else you'll get some more idea's and some good sources to start with.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
+1 for Stag lowers. Mine was bought complete for $235 inc shipping.

My stripped lower was $120+ PITA fee. Bought locally, no shipping.

Stripped lowers are very hard to come by.

Gratuitous AR picture

Stag A2 lower. CMMG flattop 20" govt profile. Not a build. I had to tear it apart to get the handguard on. Fairly easy if one has the right tools.

Went for the K.I.S.S. look.



ZM
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very attractive weapons, guys. Thanks for the pics. A friend of mine has a RRA CAR15 and loves the hell out of it - it's just got the A1 style upper with the fixed carry handle. I much prefer the flat-top. I'll definately look into the parts kit from RRA and see what I come up with. IIRC, they are actually a little bit cheaper than DPMS LPKs over at AR15web.com.

Anyone have experiance with Doublestar Corp lowers? A friend of mine just built off of one, but he's been out of town and I haven't had a chance to pick his brain about it yet.

Any certain brands of lowers that you recommend I stay the hell away from? I think theres a local gun show coming up....I might have to see if I can score one there.

Badshot, thanks a bunch for the info. Sounds like a killer deal, I'll be giving Pete a call about my upper.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CPES said:
Very attractive weapons, guys. Thanks for the pics. A friend of mine has a RRA CAR15 and loves the hell out of it - it's just got the A1 style upper with the fixed carry handle. I much prefer the flat-top. I'll definately look into the parts kit from RRA and see what I come up with. IIRC, they are actually a little bit cheaper than DPMS LPKs over at AR15web.com.

Anyone have experiance with Doublestar Corp lowers? A friend of mine just built off of one, but he's been out of town and I haven't had a chance to pick his brain about it yet.

Any certain brands of lowers that you recommend I stay the hell away from? I think theres a local gun show coming up....I might have to see if I can score one there.

Badshot, thanks a bunch for the info. Sounds like a killer deal, I'll be giving Pete a call about my upper.
Any forged mil-spec lower will be fine for what you need/want. No need to sink a bunch of cash into the billet machined stuff... Unless you want to ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Eh, the Wilson Tactical lowers just look sooooo sexy.....hard to resist. Completely unecessary, but cool. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many people have had good service and pretty much custom built rifles from Del-Ton.com They had a 4 week delay due to low supply of YHM mid length rails and ARMS flip up BUIS and mid length, chrome lined barrels in 16"...

And yes CPES, I like the look and function of the Mako... keeps it light and functional. Keep it simple, functional and balanced. I'm not a fan of the gazillion things hanging off of the rifle. They remind me of a fat girl's key chain with 80 things attached to them to get attention from people... hot girls usually have the "simple" keychains... j/k well maybe not :D
YMMV
Cheers,
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mr. Wolf said:
And yes CPES, I like the look and function of the Mako... keeps it light and functional. Keep it simple, functional and balanced. I'm not a fan of the gazillion things hanging off of the rifle. They remind me of a fat girl's key chain with 80 things attached to them to get attention from people... hot girls usually have the "simple" keychains... j/k well maybe not :D
YMMV
Cheers,
This must belong to a fat chick's husband...

 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mr. Wolf said:
Many people have had good service and pretty much custom built rifles from Del-Ton.com They had a 4 week delay due to low supply of YHM mid length rails and ARMS flip up BUIS and mid length, chrome lined barrels in 16"...
Mine's on order with them.
I figure another 2 weeks.

Where's a good ref for assembling the lower?
I looked thru the Armorer's manual that's posted online, but there's gotta be a better source.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So long as your lower truely is Mil-Spec then you'll be fine. I'd recomment staying with the well known manufacturers. Lower's are all over the place on ARFCOM and several other places.

If you're going to go with the Stag kit from Pete, think about snagging a Stag lower. Pete might even be able to cut you a deal with the upper/LPK package deal. Never hurts to ask and doesn't hurt to go with the same manufacturers IMHO. But I'll be using a simular upper on a Bushmaster lower that I already have available.

+1 for Del-Ton.. great reviews from folks that have used them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The best lower assembly tutorial is on AR15.com but they fail to mention the installation of the disconnector spring. I followed that guide to build my first lower and I was SO excited... Until I was done and had a left-over spring :(

Unless you're planning to buy a match trigger, I would highly recommend the JP Enterprises reduced power spring kit (Available here for $10). It does wonders for an AR trigger, no matter which lower parts kit you start with.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You can't go wrong with a Stag lower. I built my AR with a Stag lower (got it completely assembled for $110 from title2.com) and a Bushmaster A2 upper w/16" M4 barrel. Used stag bolt and carrier. My total project cost: $550. I already had a few spare parts from my bothers' Bushy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hooz said:
The best lower assembly tutorial is on AR15.com but they fail to mention the installation of the disconnector spring. I followed that guide to build my first lower and I was SO excited... Until I was done and had a left-over spring :(

Unless you're planning to buy a match trigger, I would highly recommend the JP Enterprises reduced power spring kit (Available here for $10). It does wonders for an AR trigger, no matter which lower parts kit you start with.
I did the same exact thing. Go and live fire the gun, it makes it a single shot auto loader. :(

My next build is going to be a Mega lower with a LMT SBR 10.5" upper. Can't wait. Should be done in the next couple of months.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
you too huh?:D i'm getting ready to build 2 more, one within the next month or so, i've already got a RRA M4 so i'm gonna build a mid length for myself and a lightweight for my g/f, i'm gonna use stag lowers and del-ton uppers/kits for the $ i dont think the del-ton kits can be beat IMO
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For the lower you should also check out "Essential Arms". And for the kits u can check out "Model 1 sales". They have almost the same stuff as Del-Ton just not a long wait. Not that i am bashing Del-Ton at all, they are a great company, with very helpfull people and great products. But so does "model 1 sales".

Blake.
 
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