Author Topic: Just bought my first AR... lower.  (Read 5716 times)

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Offline SlvrDragon50

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Just bought my first AR... lower.
« on: July 13, 2017, 12:09:44 PM »
As title states, I just bought my first AR lower :D I went with an Aero Precision STS 60* lower. All I have are my CZ S2 and 85C and Kadet Kit so this will be a fun build for me. Unfortunately, I'm prioritizing a CZ compact purchase first so I don't see this AR build finishing in the near future (esp since I'm not picking up the lower until November).

That said, I'm soooo excited. I really wanted a CZ Bren, but the price would have made that purchase a bit irresponsible. I'm planning on building it for 2/3gun so probably an 18" length build. Unfortunately, there's so many parts out there it's so incredibly confusing reading about all the parts :( I used to have an AR airsoft gun growing up so I'm really pumped to handle one again!

Just wanted to share my excitement. Happy to take any suggestions as well :)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 12:12:18 PM by SlvrDragon50 »

Offline WaltherP99

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 12:27:42 PM »
Congrats! AR's are fun to build. I thought about keeping an extra lower around just to build it up over time but time last time I did that I finished it in 2 weeks...LOL

Offline myczaccount

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 12:30:38 PM »
Building my AR from scratch, piece by piece, was one of the most fun and rewarding projects I ever worked on. I love my AR and have several more lowers lying around. I also used Aero
CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical
CZ "SP-01 Compact" (SKU: 99021)
Sig Sauer P226 ASE
AR-15
Mossberg 500 Field/Security Combo

Offline WVNed

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 12:36:50 PM »
I just got home with a new Ruger striped lower from the LGS.
WHAHOOOoooooooooo

Offline SlvrDragon50

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 12:42:22 PM »
Yea. I spent so much time looking at AR parts, but then I had to remind myself that I won't even have a lower for 4 months  ::)

On the bright side, this means I can start picking up AR parts piece by piece as I see them come on sale! I plan on making most purchases ~Black Friday Christmas though unless I see some used parts come up. Unfortunately the only part I'm sure on is a Miculek comp haha.


Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 04:08:47 PM »
Patience and holiday sales are your friend. Beware though, the experience of assembling your own AR is diminished by the tracking of expenses. A good barrel and a good trigger are essential, the rest is icing on the cake.

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 04:25:40 PM »
Eighteen inch barrel?  vs. a sixteen inch barrel?  Is the little bit of extra velocity worth it?  With good barrels I wouldn't think you'd see a difference in accuracy.

Anymore, I get just about all my AR15 stuff from PSA (Palmetto State Armory).

This 18" upper:  http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-ar15-18-rifle-length-223-wylde-1-7-stainless-15-keymod-upper-no-bcg-or-charging-handle.html

along with the bolt/charging handle, scope, scope mount, etc. became this rifle.  It's a good shooting rifle.  It has a different scope mount on it now so I could get the scope farther forward (gotta have my nose on the charging handle whether using the optic or the back up sights.  Oh, I got the A1 fixed stock of ebay.  I'm finding I like those better than the carbine stocks and much better than the A2 fixed stocks.



The latest stuff from PSA now looks like this.    It was this upper from PSA with the rest of the parts.  http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-16-5-56-1-7-midlength-nitride-lightweight-keymod-freedom-upper-w-bcg-ch-mbus-sight-set.html



So far I've not had to send anything back to PSA or call them for advice.  On this last one (the 16" I thought I might, but the problem with not chambering seemed to clear itself but I never did see/find out why.)

Good luck, with whatever you get.

Everyone has their likes/dislikes.

I like a keymod free float tube (free float tube to insure the barrel stays isolated from accuracy robbing contact/stress).  Keymod because that's what all mine are.

I like a scope over a dot sight (now a scope with a dot is sort of okay) because I can shoot smaller groups and ID targets better with a scope than with a 1X red dot optic (yeah, I know the 16" in the picture has an Aimpoint on it but it will get a scope sooner or later, all of them do.

I like a chrome or NiB bolt.  There's just no comparison in how fast a "slick" bolt cleans up vs. a standard parkerized bolt/carrier.

I like a nice trigger.  I've got RRA triggers and one Giselle and either are nice.

I like GI web slings.  I've got a couple leather slings on old bolt action rifles (GI bolt action) and they are just tough to use on a hot sweaty day.  The wet skin isn't slick to a leather sling, it makes them stick like glue.

I've got PMags and GI aluminum mags and even a few steel mags.  Every brand of magazine I've bought works fine except CProducts mags.  The black stainless CProducts mags. for the 5.45X39 S&W M&P 15 work great.  The aluminum CProducts mags. for the 5.56X45 AR15's gave me a 30% failure rate.  Both batches I ordered.  Wouldn't feed the last 2 rounds out of the magazine.  First 28 were great, the last two would nose down jam.  Changing springs didn't help.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline Luvdog

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 04:27:59 PM »
I've found that assembling the lower is easy and a worthwhile upgrade is a great trigger.

When putting together the upper... I found it not as worthwhile to assemble it versus buying a completed upper from a decent company.

I didn't see a huge difference in price


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Offline gnumadic

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 08:11:10 PM »
I've found that assembling the lower is easy and a worthwhile upgrade is a great trigger.

When putting together the upper... I found it not as worthwhile to assemble it versus buying a completed upper from a decent company.

I didn't see a huge difference in price


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This is good advice. I'm trying to decide between buying an entry level AR on sale (like an Armalite DSR or Ruger AR556) or picking up a stripped lower and assembling my own. I've spec'd out all sorts of combinations of parts and build kits, but am finding that it's only slightly cheaper or the same price as just buying one. What I'm probably not accounting for is the upgrades I'd eventually be making to a pre-built AR...like a better trigger or different furniture.

Can you recommend a good build book or video for someone doing this for the first time?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 10:10:42 PM by gnumadic »
CZ P-09 Suppressor Ready | CZ P-09 Kadet Kit | CZ 75 Compact w/Rail (i.e., compact SP-01)
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Offline picklenav130

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 09:34:07 PM »
I'm a big fan of ALG triggers. Much better than mil-spec and don't break the bank. They're made by Geisele, who make incredible triggers at a much higher price point.

Matt

Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 09:52:57 PM »
I used an ALG ACT in my first AR, and a Geissele SD-E in my second. For a mil spec trigger, the ACT is very nice. I bought the SD-E on sale for $175, money well spent. After shooting tuned CZ triggers in my pistols, the bar was raised and "nice mil spec" wasn't quite good enough. Similar to CGW parts, for me a Geissele trigger is now considered part of the deal when planning/building/buying a new gun. For 3 gun I can't see using anything less. Red Barn Armory has a nice deal that allows you to select the individual components you want in a LPK.  The worst thing about AR's is they interrupt pre-planned CZ purchase schedules. Makes for a nice little diversion though.

Offline codj51

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 11:45:20 AM »
OP You are in for a fun time.  They don't call them Legos guns for nothing.

Offline John A.

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 12:09:49 PM »
Congratulations.

I first got the AR bug back before the klinton AWB.

After assembling more than I can remember, the last one I built, I jumped in and finally made one from an 80% lower.  After I was finished, I felt like I had made my own lightsaber.  ;D
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 12:12:09 PM by John A. »
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Offline SlvrDragon50

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2017, 12:43:10 PM »
Wow some fantastic advice. I'll read in more detail when I get back home, but first thing I saw was 18 vs 16? To be honest I don't know. I just saw a lot of 3 gun guys use 18. I've also been reading that rifle length gas systems are the way to go? I haven't really figured out the sweet spot on price and performance yet, but it seems to be the 200-300 dollar barrels? I'm also hesitant to drop a lot because this is my first rifle which means lots of training ammunition with shooter errors where a good barrel won't benefit me too much. I don't want to wear out a nice barrel learning how to shoot.

Definitely not cheaping out on a trigger though! I saw a video comparison of them, and I remember the Timney looking good, but Primary Arms has a good deal with a free LPK with a Hiperfire 24C purchase. But again, I'm probably going to have to wait til he end of the year to purchase! I have been quite confused about LPK quality though. There's so many out there, and I'm not sure how much quality matters. Prices range a lot from like 35 for a CMMG to 100+. I've been reading Colt LPKs are a pretty safe bet too without breaking the bank.

That PSA assembled upper looks good though. Hard to beat the price.

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 01:46:47 PM by SlvrDragon50 »

Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Just bought my first AR... lower.
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 06:18:48 PM »
A cheap barrel that won't shoot decent groups won't help you learn to shoot. Considering the fact that you'll shoot at least $4000 worth of ammo over the life of the barrel, $200 for a decent barrel is worth it. That said, PSA occasionally sells an 18" upper with a chrome lined FN made barrel that is supposed to be quite good.