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Building an AR for my son's 12th Birthday........it begins.....now FINISHED! Login/Join 
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I've decided it's time for my son to learn how to assemble, maintain and become proficient with the AR15. Over the past 2 years, he has proven that he can safely and competently handle his first firearm, a trusted and true Ruger 10/22, (also plinks with a Walther P22) so, he's not new to firearms or shooting. He think's he may want to start training for 3 gun competition in the future, but that will be a whole new deal...and a different build.

I thought about just buying an old used "beater" (I may wish I had done that before this is over....lol), but I want this AR to be a fairly decent build that will be accurate, dependable, and last him for several years. I didn't want the cost to break the bank, but I could have saved a few hundred dollars with a few different parts (I cheaped out on a couple parts, but I refuse to pay what I feel is an excessive amount for some brands when there are less expensive quality parts available (Hello Geissele!). Besides, this is a training build, I want my son to do the assembly (with my constant supervision of course), so, if he makes some cosmetic mistakes or breaks something, it won't send me over the edge.....lol.

I spent a considerable amount of time searching the internet for these parts and for the lowest price possible (not the cheapest part, but the lowest price for the parts I wanted to purchased). All these parts are new, purchased from retail suppliers. I compared prices with a bunch of popular suppliers and some not so popular, I even compared shipping cost if they didn't offer free shipping, as well as whether or not they charged sales tax. (I spent about a month researching and ordering these parts).

If anyone is interested, I will post a parts list with costs and from whom the part was ordered. I'll also post some pics as the build progresses....and it all started with this first photo.....looks rather innocent.....lol



Being a Texan, I just had to go with Aero Precision's Texas Model M4E1 Enhanced Forged Lower. I actually purchased the lower from a local retailer....Atascosita Tactical Supply. I was going to order it online but by the time I added shipping and a dealer transfer fee, ATS cost was within a few cents of best online price. Besidies ATS is good people and I like to support our local gun folks when I can.

This next photo....not so innocent, finally all the parts for the AR have arrived, looks like a mess.....



But, after removing packaging, doesnt look too bad....all the part needed to complete the rifle are on the table. I don't consider the scope and mount as necessary for the rifle build, but they have been shipped and should be here in few days.



We're going to build the lower first. After I pin and weld the muzzle brake we'll start on the upper. If I was doing this myself, I think I could complete the build and be ready to test fire in about 3 hours. But, since my son will actually do most of the assembly, we'll be taking our time. If anyone has any comments or questions, please feel free to post.

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Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by SigTango:
If anyone is interested, I will post a parts list with costs and from whom the part was ordered. I'll also post some pics as the build progresses.../QUOTE]

I would be very interested, as I’ve been thinking about doing my first build for quite a while now.
 
Posts: 2641 | Location: West Texas | Registered: January 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is my parts list and associated costs:



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Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry about the tiny partslist, I can't seem to get it sized right for Imgur. If you would like a Word Doc or PDF, send email to MTerry10@aol.com and I'll send one. Thanks

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Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I got everything laid out and ready to put the lower together, I ask my son to read over several sets of instructions that came with various parts so he had a rough idea of what we were about to do. Then I briefly went over how we would proceed...etc, etc, etc.....



My son's first strike.....lol Larue always ships their triggers with the trigger pin in the trigger and the hammer pin is separate and stuck in the canister sterofoam packaging...so ya have to knock out the trigger pin before you can install it.



He got the trigger installed with no problem, but the hammer spring was alittle too much for him....actually it was almost too much for me, even with a long punch from opposite side, I still had to fight it to get it aligned. Don't remember Larue springs being so damn strong......lol, anyway, everything finally snapped into place and trigger functions great...very sweet trigger.



Installing the bolt catch ....Aero Precision provides a threaded bolt catch roll pin so was super easy to install....



Having said that.....things went south real quick after that....springs started launching, detents falling out....it was pretty funny at first but after several attempts, my son started getting frustrated.... I took over so I could launch a few of my own......lol

I'll spare ya'll the agony of having to view all the pictures I took and I won't comment on every aspect of the build, but we did have a great time putting the lower together. I learned a thing or two myself....I had never used the Radian Ambi Safety before and was amazed at how simple and easy it was to install. Works great...looks good too!

About 2 hours into it, we finally had the lower build completed, performed a final function check and called it a day....Lower finished....



May be a few days before we start the upper, my son has a couple tests at school, so he will be busy studying, I'll pin and weld the muzzle brake in the mean time. Maybe we'll get it finish this weekend.

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Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice project and good quality time spent. It is amazing what you can share building a fun project. It's amazing at how fast the costs can increase depending on your taste.
 
Posts: 4817 | Location: Treasure Coast,Fl. | Registered: July 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting. ATS isn't too terribly far from my office (JFK/BW8)
May have to stop in there on a long lunch.




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Posts: 7277 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Scope and mount delivered today......guess we better get busy.....



It's not a Nightforce or S&B, but it's a decent scope. Will be a great scope to train for 3 gun. The scope is a Bushnell AR Optics 1-8 x 24 with illuminated BTR-1 reticle. (I could have got a Vortex for same cost but I like this reticle much better than anything Vortex puts out) Ordered the scope from Midway, best price I could find, paid $315....no tax and free shipping. Few other retailers where close in price but they where either charging tax, shipping fee, or both. I would have ordered the scope mount from them too but they were out of stock. I placed order on Monday morning, Midway free shipping got to my door today...Wednesday. Was well packaged. Very pleased so far.

The scope mount is a Nikon M839 30mm. Excellent mount, light weight, well made and only cost 53.61 plus another 7.61 shipping and another 5.05 in tax.....Total to the door was 66.27. Ordered this from 1-800-GunsAnd Ammo.com They are a WebyShop company based in Texas, so they charged me sales tax. They may not charge out of state tax, but not positive. Also ordered Monday, delivered today Wednesday. Though not needed for the build, there is one other accessory I want to purchase....a good set of BUIS, won't buy polymer/plastic so may have to go with a used set. I used to buy Troy, PRI, and even spent small fortune on some GG&G once, but no more. Will probably buy used, but not in a hurry.

If nothing else, I hope my son learns that you can build a nice, accurate and dependable AR without spending a ton of money, and that you don't need to pay excessively high prices for quality parts and equipment. (if he thinks I'm going to buy him an NXS or a Mark 8...he better get a job.....lol)

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Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by P250UA5:
Interesting. ATS isn't too terribly far from my office (JFK/BW8)
May have to stop in there on a long lunch.


Hey...we're almost neighbors.....lol We lived in Spring before moving to Atascosita about 3 years ago. My daughter and sister are still in Spring.

I'm not a long-time customer of ATS, found them several months ago when looking for a nearby FFL for a transfer. I bought 2 lower receivers from them and have been back 4-5 times since.
The owner, Lori, and her whole crew are fairly young but they seem to know their stuff. Unfortunately, like most brick and mortar, they can't be very price competitive with the big boys online, but if you need a part right this minute, they are nice to have in the neighborhood. They have a big selection of mostly AR parts, some 1911 and Glock parts, but everything you need to build an AR. They DO NOT sell firearms...NONE...only parts. However, you can order firearms thru them and they will do an FFL transfer. Anyway, if you're ever over this way, might stop and check out all their parts. Great Avatar you have there!
 
Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, good to know.

Took my wife shooting a couple weeks ago & she got a huge grin behind my AR. So I may be building her one of her own.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 7277 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I know how anxiously everyone has been waiting (little humor there), but we got the upper finished this evening....my son did most the work, all I had to do was torque the barrel and do the final pin drives. Really proud of him, and he is really proud of his new AR. Now he's all in a hurry to mount the scope, he wants to go to the range tomorrow......and unfortunately, my wife wants to go too. (She's an ammo hog so I told her she has to carry her own ammo, but doubt that slows her down much.)
I'm looking forward to seeing how all these parts play together, should be fun.



 
Posts: 350 | Location: Houston | Registered: September 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well done! Range report when you can.



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Posts: 4477 | Location: Arkansas  | Registered: November 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow! Turned out great! Nice build.
 
Posts: 16150 | Location: Winston Salem NC or VA Beach | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Solid looking AR there! Cool

When my son gets a little older, I plan on setting him up with his first AR build as well.




"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying who shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here am I, send me."




 
Posts: 7219 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool!



My other Sig is a Steyr...
 
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