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Bought an AR Lower Today. What to Do With It?!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sovblocgunfan, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Hi. I’m absolutely no stranger to building guns or fitting parts, having built an AK from a kit with bubba tools, and I like to tinker and repair my shotguns and pistols. But I’ve never fooled with ARs. I’ve shot a couple of them, but never owned one and have not built one.

    On impulse today, though, I carried home a Savage Patriot stripped lower. Not sure why, but I’m game for a build.

    i have no idea how I want the finished product to look, or what I want it chambered in. But I would like a carbine-length rifle, as short as possible.

    Hoping for some best build practices, and recommendations for chamberings from the membership. Should I just start simple with a generic patrol rifle in .223, or can I jump in with something different like a 7.62x39 build? I don’t want to fool with NFA stuff right now, so I’m wondering if I can just run with an M4-gery of some sort.

    Oh, boy, here we go.
     
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  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    The most popular answer to this question: PSA Kit.

    Also, these things breed like Gremlins. Have fun!
     
  3. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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  4. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Build an AR tomorrow, of course. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Buy an AR Upper tomorrow. Here is one of a zillion places to look: https://palmettostatearmory.com/

    Enjoy! :)
     
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  6. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Build it as a pistol, that way you can go as short as you want. The SBA3 “arm brace” is as close to a stock as you’re going to get without it being considered a stock by the ATF, it’s even adjustable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    There are plenty of complete AR kits you can buy with different options from around $300 for 16"/18" kits with free float handguards to sky is the limit - https://midstatefirearms.com/Rifle-Build-Kit-16-Ar15-Grab-Bag-with-Free-Float-grab-bag-rifle.htm

    For .223/5.56 builds, I have migrated to .223 Wylde chamber barrels in 18" length.

    And once your .223/5.56 build is done, you can get CMMG 22LR bolt conversion to plink with cheap 22LR ammo.

    If you reload 9mm and have some PMags, you can use EndoMag kits with 9mm upper and shoot 9mm for cheaper practice. I currently use RMR bullets to reload my carbine loads for around $5.50 for 50 rounds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  8. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    All my AR Lowers were built as pistols to start. I took pictures to prove it. Then I converted them to rifles.

    I really like my 458Socom. But for you I'd go with the 7.62x39. Ammo's cheap. Could be fun.
     
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  9. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    I’m liking this.
    A friend did this and then did a form 1 rifle build later.
     
  10. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Think of the most all around AR you would want. Something that would serve the most roles that you would use an AR for. HD, plinking at a modest range etc. Then build it. That way if you build no other ARs after this (unlikely) you have a good AR to fit many of your needs.
     
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  11. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Remember, building AR’s is like eating Lays potato chips, you can’t just build one.
    14F1BF61-6E33-4222-8BC6-270F924D082C.jpeg
     
  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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  13. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    First and foremost, do you already have an M4 AR variant in .223? If not, start there and then move on to more interesting calibers. Every gunny needs at least 1 basic M4 type .223 AR in their arsenal.
     
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  14. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    A lot of us suffer from BRD (Black Rifle Disease). Some suffer from it more than others. The last lower I purchased was an Anderson lower that came in a blister pack. I have left it in the blister pack hoping that it doesn't breed inside my safe.
     
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  15. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    :what: WHOA! I did not know that that was a possiblity!

    I, too, have a stripped Anderson in a blister pack downstairs in my south gunsafe. I will now rush down and remove that Lower from the packaging in the hope that it proves to be blessed with extreme fecundity. :)

    Yes, I am very fond of the Poverty Ponies. ;)
     
  16. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    The more I think about it, I see a pistol build in my future. This will be fun!
     
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  17. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Yes stripped lowers (and other parts) left in a safe seem to manifest into complete guns all by themselves. I'm sure that Gunny can attest to that also.
     
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  18. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Look at the top left of the photo, just below the pistol.


    I’ve never built an AR. I just throw the parts in the shop and they do their thing.;)
     
  19. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Trouble is that unless you want to build something very specific, you can’t build an upper for less than you can buy a complete upper. PSA’s sales are pretty sick.
     
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  20. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

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    Be careful! I honestly believe AR’s breed in my safe....
     
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  21. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    I’d suggest starting with a basic build. Learn the platform and figure out what you like and dislike.

    As Gunny showed there are endless possibilities. And once you figure what you like and dislike you can then start building specific uppers and lowers.

    The other nice thing is that you can build an upper, then build another and switch them back and forth. Of course once you have two uppers, you’ll “need” another lower to go with it. And then the problem repeats.
     
  22. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I was actually thinking Pringles....Once you pop....
     
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  23. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    So true...

    I would go for a 223, a 300 blackout, or a 7.62x39. 223 and 7.62x39 are both super cheap to shoot, and 300 blackout is not that much more and really popular. It also works really well in most 223 mags. The other Wildcats take a little playing with to work well, so I would stick to the three I suggested for a first ar15. Kinda hard to go wrong with a 223 Wilde chambering, it'll shoot pretty much any 223 or 5.56 loading out there...
     
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  24. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    If doing an AR pistol, I caution you against going ridiculous short. Rifle cartridges are loaded for rifle length barrels and they flat throw a fit when used in a short barrel, by producing an unbelievable amount of noise, flash, and blast. I sold my 8” .223 as it was just ridiculous and was to the point of being much less fun simply because it was too ridiculous. 12” or so you would be fine, but I would not do less in a bottlenecked high pressure rifle round. Some big thumper, absolutely. A chopped up tapered or straight walled beast like a 450 Bushmaster or even a 300blk would be fine in a shorter barrel, but I still wouldn’t go less than 10.

    I have been wanting to build another AR and thinking through this I know what I would want. I have too many projects going right now though. 12” 450BM braced pistol with a 10” thin key mod free float handguard. I like a bladetech brace but I would want something else behind a bushmaster. If I found a 300blk or a big bore pistol caliber barrel or upper for a deal I would go that route instead.

    Bloback pistols are fun when they work. Some folks have issues with them working.
     
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  25. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    WestKentucky is completely correct, I built a 7.5" 5.56 upper for a friend of mine, and after shooting it referred to it as a personal flash bang generator. 5.56 is VERY blasty in a 7.5" barrel. I have also built 223 uppers in 10.5 and 11.5" and they are a lot better. The 300blk is fine in as little as 8" that I've tested, my personal supersonic upper in 300 blk is 10.5, while my sbr upper is 8.2". 300 is fun to play with. I am actually in the market for another 223 upper as we speak, looking at an a2 style carry handle 11.5"...

    You really can't go wrong with ar15 projects, they are lots of fun!
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
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