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Is it even worth building right now? Login/Join 
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Picture of jcat
posted
We all see it, the AR market in particular is super soft. Parts, accessories, etc

Used to be you could save a few bucks building it yourself, start with the lower shop for a good deal on the upper, get out with a rifle (albeit without a warranty) for several hundred dollars less.

Now, you've got Rugers and del-tons sub $400, PSAs and andersons sub $500...is it even worth it to build?

Lowers can be had for $40-60 for bare bones, but a psa rifle kit for even $379 and you're at $419-439 with no warranty, or get a factory gun with a warranty for another $50?

I like the build process, gets you better acquainted with the rifle and such, but is it really worth it?


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Posts: 9933 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
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It depends on if you can find a factory configuration that is the way you want it.

Otherwise, you will need to figure out how much more you'll put into a factory gun to get it the way you want, and then figure that against the cost of just building it the way you want.

Plus, if you modify a factory rifle, then you'll have "spare parts", and we all know what happens to those. Wink




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Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rule #1: Use enough gun
Picture of Bigboreshooter
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quote:
ow, you've got Rugers and del-tons sub $400

Sub $400 Rugers? Where?



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Posts: 13497 | Location: Birmingham, Alabama | Registered: February 25, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcat
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bigboreshooter:
quote:
ow, you've got Rugers and del-tons sub $400

Sub $400 Rugers? Where?


Grab a gun was advertising them at 389 I think...might have been the del ton and the ruger was 479 or 489. Will double check and verify.


EDIT: my bad. Ruger was 479, del ton 399, s&w 525.


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Posts: 9933 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Man of few words

Picture of remsig
posted Hide Post
Like exx said, it's what you prefer on the rifle. I just did a PSA build about 3 weeks ago. I don't know how to build from a stripped lower so I bought a complete lower and complete upper and put them together. I got a sling, rear BUIS and cheap ($80) scope from eBay and have $586 total in the entire rifle and it looks how I wanted. I considered buying one of the Ruger's when I saw the sale, but after just buying one decided to pass...for the time being Big Grin

This is what I just did 3 weeks ago.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: NE Ohio | Registered: July 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Expert308
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Smile A friend of mine at work, after many years of not owning an AR, finally decided to get one. He went over to the local store where the AR experts live (think LDD here) and talked to them. They were very helpful and full of good advice. A few days later he went back and came out with a new M4-ish AR. He told me that he also learned from them that building one was pretty easy and figured at some point he would do one that way too. Two days later (yesterday), after talking to the guys at the store again, bought a lower and a parts kit. By dinner time that day he had it put together. No stock or upper yet, but he's absolutely tickled about it. He thinks he wants to put a varmint-quality upper and glass on it.
 
Posts: 5009 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are happy with the type of AR that is ~$400 (and not do any mods), then no, it doesn't make sense to build. I realize that will come across as snobby, but that isn't my intent.

Once you start swapping out a few furniture items or add a rail, you'll quickly hit break-even (or exceed it) than if you built it that way from the start. If you want better quality components, the sky is the limit.

I like to get Anderson lowers for $39.95, then order parts as they come on sale over a period of up to 8 months and slowly put together a higher quality build for a really good price. Easiest way would be to buy a complete lower you really like and a complete upper when each are on sale, but that may be at different times from different vendors.




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Posts: 2700 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of arcwelder76
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If you know exactly what you want, and want to select everything, building is worth it. Or if you just want to tinker. Otherwise, just buy one.


Arc.
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Posts: 23736 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of awa762
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From a financial standpoint, buying will probably get you a gun quicker and at least at the same cost of building. However, building carries its own benefits that can't be readily weighted in terms of dollars. With building, you'll have a more "intimate" relationship with the internals of the AR. Especially the lower receiver. With getting good parts at a decent price, you could always put together another AR as a spare, backup, training dedicated gun that you can run into the ground and challenge yourself to problem-shoot and repair, or an extra trunk gun or "patrol rifle." It's also a fun activity if you get someone else involved. You might also want to upgrade the internals or cosmetics of your gun. After building 1+ rifles, you'll be more fluent with the upgrading endeavor.

I think it is best to buy a couple, and build at least a couple.

The spare parts will come in handy and open additional possibilities for yourself (using AR parts on non-AR firearms as upgrades/alterations and to others, perhaps for building a gun for a spouse, kids, friends, etc...).


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Posts: 144 | Location: Greater New Orleans Area... see us on the news??? | Registered: October 17, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jac1304
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Buying a few stripped lowers, parts kits is not a bad idea since prices are low. It's true if your building a semi- or custom ar-15 you might be better off building..just because your buying all the parts your going to exactly need.
 
Posts: 707 | Location: Snohomish, WA | Registered: February 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
sick puppy
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quote:
It depends on if you can find a factory configuration that is the way you want it.



i cant find the rifle i want or the parts i want. its a soft market with all these "custom" builds on anderson lowers on the used market, and factory-new guns like those you listed selling for cheap, but the prices, supply/demand on the higher-end DD, BCM, NOVESKE, etc., all appears to be the same.


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Posts: 6510 | Location: Alpine, Ut | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green Mountain Boy
Picture of Jus228
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I never built them to save money. It's to get exactly what I want in a rifle and nothing else. If you don't particularly care about all that than a cheap factory rifle is hard to beat.


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Posts: 5272 | Location: Vermont | Registered: March 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think building one gives you invaluable insight into how an AR operates. I only had a general understanding of the impact a barrel's gas port has on the rest of a rifle. After assembling one from nothing, I now realize there's a lot involved in a rifle's proper operation. Just buying rifles probably wouldn't give me the understanding I have today. I think reloading is the next step.
 
Posts: 151 | Registered: March 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jcat:
I like the build process, gets you better acquainted with the rifle and such, but is it really worth it?

That's a personal choice, and there's no real right or wrong.

If one is looking for a lower-end AR with fairly generic components, price is likely the driving force for the decision. The components become more important for more specialized ARs, as does the quality of the assembly.

I have no desire to assemble an AR. Some of mine are factory models. For others I acquired critical components, then turned them over to good 'smith for assembly. I've stripped, cleaned, lubed, and changed out a few components of my ARs. I've helped other shooters tear down their ARs down to diagnose what made the rifles crap out during training.

My focus is developing the techniques to shoot ARs to their best efficiency and accuracy. YMMV
 
Posts: 4948 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Crazy how cheaply you can buy one for now.

I'd like to sell the ones I have to fund another project since I rarely if ever shoot them anymore, it just dosent even seem like it would be worth it to sell them though.
 
Posts: 4262 | Location: Alaska | Registered: June 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
Picture of GrumpyBiker
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If you you don't want to pay for things you're just going to replace.
I'm firmly in the " Built it over Buy it" category.
I have 11 ARs , only one was an off the self purchase.


I didn't see either of these on any shelf.







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Posts: 5499 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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There aren't very many factory configuration ARs that interest me.

So if I swap out a few small things:

Grip, muzzle device, adjustable gas block...

I have just bought enough new parts to replace new-take-off parts to more than justify a build.
 
Posts: 12745 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
posted Hide Post
If you are thinking that building your own AR will save you money then you are delusional.
There are only two reasons to build:
1. Build for the experience of building.
2. Build to get exactly the configuration your want.
That's it.
Me, I'm particular or picky on how I like my rifles so I build.
 
Posts: 14103 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Charmingly unsophisticated
Picture of AllenInWV
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3. It's just plain enjoyable. Smile


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Posts: 14659 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of kimberkid
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Just because you build it doesn't mean you don't get a warranty but typically the warranty isn't as good on a build as that of a factory built gun ... even PSA has warranty on thier parts, it's a pretty sad company that doesn't offer a warranty of some sort; all that being said, I've never applied for warranty on a gun; I don't recall ever having an issue that it was worth my time to mess with it.


If you really want something you'll find a way ...
... if you don't you'll find an excuse.

I'm really not a "kid" anymore ... but I haven't grown up yet either Wink
 
Posts: 4201 | Registered: January 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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