Building my first ar service rifle. Any tips

Duegee krell

Banned !
Nov 23, 2018
Hello thanks to all who make this site work. I was a member on the scout site. But kinda got into Rimfire the last two years. So have not been around.

I would like to do some matches. High power service rifle with scope, but also the option of irons so a4 removeable handle. But I don’t know if i should get a pinned rear sight or what a good basic set up. I do plan to attend some matches before i do anything to watch. And meet folks who can help. But i like the old school look service type look. Plastic free floated hand guard. front iron etc.

and also if there are any tactical prs type matches with ar’s that are with in my area. There seem to be regular service rifle matches at least once a month around here. And it seems like a game i can afford to play.

Thinking of building off a white oak service upper Wylde chamber. I have a couple of geissle and timney triggers. And a bit of parts. But im not ruling out a full gun i know a friend of a friend who had a complete a rock river service rifle he was selling.

As far as lowers go whats the standard for this type of ar i know alot if folks say a lower is a lower. Like i said i have some great triggers.

I have alot of the tubb and zendeker books. Already And im really familiar with loading 77 and 69 grain long range loads. A bit different deal. Me and a friend got into shooting at 800+ plus yards with a high caliber sales mk12 upper from allen. And his mini sass.
I dont have that rifle anymore. But im not a total noob. At least to loads. Cause all our knowledge and data was from a high power background

Also this will be my main varmint hunting rifle. So reliability is a big big deal to me. I know sometimes a trade off for extreme accuracy can be less reliability. This rifle will be a commitment to a skill set. Its gonna be my #1 gun for a couple years. I could drop as much as $2k to start with (without the optic) but. I think i can do it for less

Thansk for all the help sorry for the novel open to any suggestions.


Full Member
Mar 1, 2013
Glen Zedicker wrote the definitive book on building competition ARs. It is a fantastic resource and easy to find online.


Regular Guy
Jan 14, 2012
Central WV
Your pretty much spot on for a good service rifle build. White Oak, Compass Lake, Keystone are all good places to source all you need to build a service rifle, match rifle, etc.

As far as lowers go any standard lower should get the job done. All my match rifles have Young Manufacturing lowers, which are made by KE Arms. But I have had great experience with Young so I bought 3 consecutive numbered ones last year along with some carriers. I run a Young SLC carrier, POF roller cam and a Colt bolt in my service rifle. Standard A2 buffer and spring. I do need to get a decent free float on mine. Either the old school A2 free float under handguard tube or a 12" LaRue rail. Geiselle makes a nice free float forend, kinda expensive but nice. The old style float tube with standard handguards allow you to add lead weights as well as the Geiselle rail.

The trigger is definitely one area not to skimp on. It's good that you have nice triggers already. Geiselle, Milazzo-Kreiger, etc. tend to be the most common. I run a MKII in mine right now. As long as it makes the 4.5lb pull weight your good to go. Stocks seem to either be regular old A2 or Magpul UBRs. Either of those will allow for lead weights to be added too.

Scopes range from Vortex PST 1-4x, Leupold Mark AR 1-4x on the low end to the high end March's and Nightforce scopes that both have scopes made specifically for Service Rifle competition around $2K. Personally I run a Vortex PST, great scope and a great value. I had ran a Leupold 1-4x Mark AR but had issues. Until I get good enough to warrant a better scope my $350 Vortex works just fine. I also have an A4 removable carry handle and removable A2 front post. I have never ran a pinned rear sight. Though I did have to go through buying and selling 4 carry handles to find one that didn't twist side to side a lot. Once I found a tight carry handle I swapped in a National Match rear sight assembly from an A2 upper. But in order to get the NM sight to bottom out to zero I had to mill a small indention on the top of my upper. Not much, just a few thousandths if memory serves. The NM rear sight will stick out the bottom of an A4 removable carry handle and wont let you adjust down to zero. So a little indention has to be milled into the top rail of the upper for it to fit. Keystone offers this mod as a service, though I did my own with a drill press and end mill. Now that I switched to optics I rarely ever use my irons. Some folks still run the irons but most all have jumped on the optics bandwagon including myself.

You'll also want to look into working up some 80gr loads for the 600yd line. Of course these will be single feed only loads. But depending on what twist you go with, 1:7 or 1:7.7/1:8, the heavy single loaded 80gr+ loads will give you an edge in slow prone at 600yds. My rifle shoots 80gr VLDs and 75gr BTHP best over either 8208 or CFE223. I have a 1:8 twist and mine just doesn't like anything over 80gr and I had to fight to get those to shoot.

Other than that, a decent shooting coat, shooting mat, decent spotting scope and stand and a lot of practice will get you a long way. Off hand is interesting and kneeling is too. I can do prone but the off hand and kneeling are hard. I've unfortunately slacked off practicing for Service Rifle and have geared my shooting more toward PRS Tactical Light Division. But I still get out and practice my off hand every chance I get with my 22 and air rifle. Good luck with it, its definitely a challenge and still a pretty fun sport. It helped me to unlearn all that I "thought" i knew about shooting and forced me to learn the fundamentals properly.


Feb 16, 2017
So you talking about 223 Wlyde, that is a great choice I want one but use my 22-250 for any work that it would require, maybe build another AR in 223 wlyde just to piss off the liberals before there gun laws goes into effect, Or just by the lower a a pistol to get around the training and the tax, I think all retailers should only sell "others" and then convert when appropriate so we can check guys like Sporting systems in the game until this is all resolved legally.

Duegee krell

Banned !
Nov 23, 2018
Yes i think many of the service rifles are wylde. somthing with the free bore. And yes thanks again. I agree the glen zendecker (idk if thats right but close enough) books and the tubb books are the go to for precision ar’s. They taight us so much like i said me and my best friend really got into taking em out there. I love pushing 5.56 to it’s limits.

The greatest shot i ever saw and maybe my greatest moment in long range shooting i was the spotter and made the wind call. my partner who was a small county swat sniper at the time.

It was made up of officers from various local pd’s. The training was overseen by a retired usmc sniper it was a leo qual. I made the wind call. 11-15mph crosswind 825 yards. Half man silhouette

The instructor balked at my call. I told my gun monkey to pull the fucking trigger. He turns around smiles at the guy switches the gun to his left hand and fucking nails it.

We had that high caliber mk12 upper with nightforce 2.5-10x42 so dialed in we were fuckin cocky. To 700 yards it would shoot with any custom .308 bolt gun but that was the breaking point. After that it was a motherfucker.

$1800 upper alone it should have and did. Cant say enough about alan brown at high caliber sales. That dude awnsers the phone ☎


Staff member
Mar 13, 2013
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
John at Keystone will get you dialed in with a Kreiger cut rifled upper that will shoot better than the monkey behind it. John is also a long time, accomplished High power shooter himself.

John @ WOA, John @ Keystone and Frank @ Compass Lake have a been in the game a long time, they all know each other and they all build quality stuff.

Take your pick or see who has the quickest turn around time.


Mar 12, 2013
Go to a high power match and talk to the local masters / high masters about what you need. They will set you straight.


Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
I hear Trijicon Accupower 1-4X scopes track really well. Hit me up if interested.