|Sigforum K9 handler
Recently picked up an Anderson A4 16” rifle at a bargain. Gun was covered in punisher skulls and engraving on the ejection port cover. I changed out the ejection port cover for a plain one, and hit the punisher skulls with flat black pint.
So far, this is what I’ve invested in a budget build-
$300 used Anderson A4
$25. Pro Mag polymer quad rails
$15. Magpul sling end plate
$20. No name brand pic sling swivel mount
$20. Two push button sling attachments
$65 BFG padded sling
$159 sIG Romeo 5 optic
$604 is where I am at so far. Going to add a $150 Streamlight shortly.
Gun shoots ok, but is a little over gassed. Previous owner didn’t shoot it much.
What’s your budget end stuff?
"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"
For my first build I went with
PSA BLEM Freedom complete upper and LPK - $299.99
PSA BLEM stripped lower - $39.99
$20.94 state tax
$25 LGS fee
I didn't really want any additions to it but I may add a light and a sling in the near future. At that price everyone should build one.
Mine started as a budget lightweight build & ended up over $1k all done.
The Enemy's gate is down.
I don't have a gun that I went to great lengths to put together on the cheap. I will submit one thought though...
There's much money to be saved (especially in the context of a budget build) by using 550 cord to attach the ends of a sling to a rifle. As an example, jljones could have shaved $40 off his overall cost, which is no small thing when $604 is his total.
|Still finding my way
I built a PSA budget 16" middy with iron sights back in 2015 or 2016. I can't remember what I paid but I do remember it was under $400.
Still my #1 range beater and never a hiccup.
|Fighting the good fight
I have a cheap beater AR with an Ice Arms upper and Palmetto lower that I threw together 10+ years ago. I think I have ~$300 in it, not counting the Aimpoint PRO on it. Basically just grabbed a clearance no-name upper and a cheap LPK to finish out one of the ~$40 lowers I had bought.
I put together a PSA carbine last week using a blem stealth lower with EPT trigger ($149) and a complete nitride carbine upper ($279). Hard to beat a whole rifle for $428 before taxes and such.
All I've had all day is like six gummy bears and some scotch...
I completely understand the desire to keep firearms acquisitions within a given price point. The efforts of some are truly admirable. But on an ongoing basis I see threads where value-line builds/buys have component fit challenges, cycling issues, and accuracy that doesn't meet expectations.
I don't see many threads with issues for a high-quality-component rifle build/buy. I don't own any "budget" ARs.
|quarter MOA visionary
Same here, budget aka cheap does translate (at least to me) in low quality.
I subsequently only build precision oriented AR's.
Not that there aren't decent products already built from the manufacturer as there certainly are, it is just there is a point you know what you want and have certain requirements that they don't always provide.
However, if I wouldn't discount looking at a particular "duty" type of rifle should I have a need for a one with a more utilitarian purpose and those generally are much cheaper than the ones I build albeit not as accurate.
|Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
I built a bargain basement parts box rifle for my son to use back when I could get Anderson lowers for $33 locally. It had a Bear Creek barrel in an Anderson upper, and I think I was into the whole thing for less than $300 due to the "free" parts from the bin. I wouldn't do that again. The barrel was a turd and accuracy was completely unacceptable.
I currently have a PSA 20" upper with a detachable carry handle on an Anderson lower built into what is basically an M16A4 "clone". It's got a couple of upgrades like a Larue trigger and a captured recoil spring, and it's fun to take to the 200 yard range with my Garands, 1903, 1917, Enfields, and Krag for "milsurp day." It's nothing special, but it's reliable and just as accurate as the FN M16A2s we used to have at work. I probably have less than $600 in it.
|Sigforum K9 handler
I have mid and high end stuff. But, they run so well it’s boring.
I’m more interested in budget stuff right now. So much so that aside from substandard parts and fitment, I wonder if some of the problems rest with lack of upkeep and maintenance, cheap ammo, and poor quality magazines.
Now, I don’t expect the lower end stuff to be a 25,000 run gun. But, for the user that shoots 300 rounds a year, could the budget build be a viable option for someone with not a lot of money?
"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"
My budget build is a Palmetto lower I bought at my LGS for $59. The barrel is a Doublestar chrome lined 16" carbine length pencil with post front sight. Got that on clearance at Midway for $129. The upper is a complete Aero I got at my LGS for $99. The trigger and charging handle are Rise Armament I got on a combo deal at Midway for $99. The BCG is a Toolcraft from PSA at $89. The rear tube and recoil assembly is Spikes from Aim Surplus at around $59. The rear sight is an iron carry handle I had in my parts box. Let's say $600 all in. I've run it a lot and it works very well. It's not high dollar, but the parts that matter to me are good quality.
ETA: I'll never argue that mine is better than a DD or even a BCM. I plead no contest. But the funny thing is, when I call my friends that have those name brands and ask them to come shoot at the farm...they all say they're low on ammo or that they can't afford it. I just think, man, why spend all that money on a rifle and never go shoot it?
I'd rather have my Johnny Cash Cadillac AR and a shit ton of ammo than the nicest Daniel Defense that I can't afford to go shoot.
(I've built a bunch for family, Andersons, Palmettos, even an Olympic back in the day, and aside from one Bear Creek Arsenal, I've never had one that didn't shoot well.)
Mine is pretty similar to 92fstech's build. I popped for the FN hammer forged barrel, but otherwise it's PSA parts on an Anderson lower from when u could still buy one for less than $35. I did get a Rock River Arms A2 stock also on black friday....
So I might have $650 in it.
A Perpetual Disappointment...
On the other hand, the budget builds show that you don’t have to spend top dollar on every part to get a nice running gun. In my case, i don’t think I’ll ever shoot a PSA barrel out. I also doubt I’m good enough to notice the difference in precision at any distance. Yeah, fit issues suck but honestly, that’s half the fun of building. I like discovering and fixing problems.
I love your posts and knowledge but this one left me a little confused. Are you trying to educate forum members that higher cost items tend to be better quality or that you don’t buy cheaper stuff? I’m not sure the added value of either.
I’m not trying to be mean but I think you’re missing a huge portion of the firearms crowd.
I know you’re into some pretty higher end functions and activities, but many of us are not.
As an example, I priced a full custom 22 rifle. Started getting north of 5k, then realized I’m gonna be shooting thunderbolt through it at beer cans or turtles on the river.
The same goes for a lot of AR owners, and while I own examples of what I would consider quality higher cost firearms, I also own quite a few, “budget”, builds. The reason?, my SHTF/legislation “stash” doesn’t need to be KAC.
Maybe I read it in the wrong tone, it came off a little braggadocios. I do apologize in advance because based off your post history I doubt that’s how you actually meant it.
11 years to retirement! Just waiting!
I have never considered a firearm that cycles flawlessly and that places rounds where aimed to be boring. My biggest irritation with guns are those which function with surprises. I can make enough errors on my own -- I don't need a gun to make things worse. Guns/sights/ammo/magazines that don't perform 100% don't last long in my inventory.
I completely agree. Inexpensive isn't the same as crappy.
Similar concept with pistols. A $500-ish 9mm can be a perfectly good option for many gun owners, who may not see/feel/experience any benefits from a pistol that costs 5 to 6 times more.
I haven't shot with folks owning higher-end guns who don't adequately budget for ammo, but I notice threads & comments where such occurs. It really shows a lack of planning.
I do see threads for where the AR owner struggles with the high cost of ammo (duh, we all do) -- but the gun owner recently built a couple of budget ARs, and bought a revolver/lever-action/shotgun at the LGS that they really don't have a need for. Similarly, an AR owner wants a decent LPVO optic, but only wants to pay the price of a commie Chinese RDS. A month or later comes a similar post -- a budget AR magically appeared from "spare parts", but a decent optic isn't in the budget.
Planning is key. Understanding one's shooting goals is key. Rifle/ammo/shooter is a system.
If that's your thing, then have fun with it.
I no more want to futz with a firearm to make it function properly than I do with a car, tool, home appliance, or whatever. When I buy something, I just want it to work -- first time, every time. If I wanted to be a gun repairman, I'd be a gunsmith. My efforts are on improving my shooting skills.
There are plenty of posts on this -- and other -- forums in which people state their value-line gun (or car, tool, watch, sporting equipment, etc) functions just as well as the expensive version. Maybe, maybe not.
There are picture threads with all sorts of oohs and aahs when a brand new KAC/JP/whatever rifle is shown in artsy-craftsy form. Then prices come up. Then someone throws out how their build with a $100 barrel on sale for $50 shoots just a well. Well, except that it took multiple tries to get the gas block seated correctly to the gas port. And that extraction issue. And that challenge with the trigger. And the limited types of ammo the cycle well.
|I kneel for my God,
and I stand for my flag
Or the end plate is out of spec....
|Powered by Social Strata
|Page 1 2