Semi-Auto Breakdown and Buying Guide?

Jul 29, 2012
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Las Vegas, NV
#1
Been using bolt guns and pistols for a while, and would like to do some semi-auto shooting for targets. Lots of ar-type rifles out there, but I have to say I'm largely ignorant of the nomenclature, and especially ignorant of the mechanical differences between parts, functioning, coatings, of one kind or another. Can't yet separate the marketing speak from the significant parts of the descriptions. Shot an M-16 once in a mountaineering and marksmanship class, but that's the extent of it.

Can anyone point me in the direction of some straight-up, quality info on the most important parts and what puts the good ones above the hum-drum? Articles, links, videos would be greatly appreciated. (I'll keep looking here and there, too, but I appreciate the expertise here).

Should I buy or build once I figure these things out?

Thanks, neighbors.
 

redneckbmxer24

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 15, 2005
5,558
474
83
VA
#2
There's so much info out there about AR's and I'm not sure of a source that covers everything. There's also a lot of cheap shit out there and people who buy cheap shit and never use it enough to have issues and will tout it as top tier. Lot's of youtube "experts" too.

Unless you want to go through years of learning and trial and error I'd figure out what you need and just buy a high quality rifle or rifles. You can't go wrong with anything from Lewis Machine and Tool, Knights Armament, Seekins, Daniel Defense, or Bravo Company.
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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159
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#3
It's not hard to learn what you need to build your own and there is little that a "premium" AR can offer you which you can't easily build in to your own except maybe coatings.

If you are handy at all, I would encourage you to build instead of buy. If you make good choices you'll get exactly what you want on the first try.

The dirty secret of ARs is that a lot of people get suckered by a low price of entry on a base model and many of them spend a lot swapping out parts or spend even more by working their way up in to premium bought ARs.

You can build a really damn good AR15 for $1,500. Nearly best of everything.

For $1,000 you can build a really nice AR15 with quality everywhere, ergonomics to suit you and upgrades to increase accuracy and reliability.

For $600 you can build up a pretty basic AR15 with a few high value upgrades.

For a large frame AR I suggest building an LR308 compatible rifle and the three categories are the same, just add about $500.

When you compare that to what you get from a "premium" AR company in the $1,000 and $1,500 price points, you'll see the value in building.
 
Likes: Snuby642
Mar 26, 2006
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#4
Unless you care about coatings, you're probably money ahead to build your own. These really are adult LEGOS. All you need is an action block and a bench vise. You can borrow the torque wrench to install the barrel from AutoZone.

What really makes the difference accuracy wise is a quality barrel and trigger. I built my own with a Krieger barrel and Geissele 2-stage trigger and it's sub-.5 MOA with handloads.
 
Jul 29, 2012
212
10
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Las Vegas, NV
#5
Thanks for the info, neighbors. Started parting something out this weekend ... it is like Legos. Figure if I don't like something, learn something different, I'll change a part out here or there. Or just build another.
 

Coffee_and_Pipes

New Hide Member
May 6, 2018
12
1
3
#7
Been using bolt guns and pistols for a while, and would like to do some semi-auto shooting for targets. Lots of ar-type rifles out there, but I have to say I'm largely ignorant of the nomenclature, and especially ignorant of the mechanical differences between parts, functioning, coatings, of one kind or another. Can't yet separate the marketing speak from the significant parts of the descriptions. Shot an M-16 once in a mountaineering and marksmanship class, but that's the extent of it.

Can anyone point me in the direction of some straight-up, quality info on the most important parts and what puts the good ones above the hum-drum? Articles, links, videos would be greatly appreciated. (I'll keep looking here and there, too, but I appreciate the expertise here).

Should I buy or build once I figure these things out?

Thanks, neighbors.
Hi Limedust, welcome to shooting AR's. Do you have a certain caliber/purpose in mind for the rifle, or are you just wanting to try one out and see if this will be something that you are into?

I've got a Bravo Company Mk12 clone that I've been really happy with. I grew up shooting bolt actions and single shots, and am still pretty new to AR's. With the few boxes of ammo that I've run through it, the rifle has grouped nicely (if there's an issue it's always been my technique) and has fed everything well. One of the big adjustments to shooting AR's is that clanging sound in the buffer tube you get after every round. It doesn't bother me as much as it did at first, but I still ordered a JP Silent Captured Spring to remedy the problem. I'm going to the ranger tomorrow and am planning on installing it then.

No matter which way you go, enjoy it and keep us posted!
 
Jul 29, 2012
212
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39
Las Vegas, NV
#8
Thanks again, fellas.

So far, I’m parting out a duty-style, reliable sort of rifle (I hope). Went with Aero for receivers, BCM BCG (also BCM grip and charging handle). 5.56, 16”, not going past 300m with any frequency. Looking for solid, reliable ... durable.

Little concerned by a better-than-anecdotal atestation of decline in Aero quality and service ... but I’ll check out the upper arriving soon and then make a determination based on an examination of that.

Currently torn between Rosco Bloodline 16” barrel and something a little more spendy like BCM or Daniel Defense. I think carbine length gas system, but mid seems extremely popular, and some barrels I’m interested in don’t come in carbine length. Rosco is big with the You-tubers, but that sort of notoriety cuts both ways. BCM rates pretty solid to me.

Will keep up the hunt, and check in periodically.
 
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flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
484
159
43
#9
From what I've seen, Aero seems pretty solid except their barrels are not cheap but they seem to be average as much or more than they are exceptional.

I've just recently purchased M5E1 and M4E1 enhanced uppers with matching handguards, both are very nice. They feel super solid and light weight.

I've read some bad reviews of Roscoe barrels. I would investigate more before buying.

Barrel choice is tricky because there is so much choice. So do you want durable, accurate or cheap?

I don't get to the range often enough to shoot out a barrel probably in a decade so I tend to prioritize accuracy and budget. I already have some chrome lined bullet hoses so I like my new ARs to be accurate.
 

VegasHKShooter

Always Learning
Feb 28, 2013
201
57
28
Las Vegas, Nv
#10
Oh goodness.... barrels.....there are Tera bytes of info on just those thingys. 😀
Now, in all seriousness, as far as BCM barrels go, I love them. Their stainless 1/8 are made by Criterion, and shoot super well for me. I have 2, a 16”and an 18”. Both are sub minute with real ammo: Speer Gold Dot 75gr. Not JUST Match ammo. I currently have a White Oak Armament 18” in a Lancer DMR Rifle that’s also a laser. But, back to BCM, they’re VERY solid, and shoot great.....for me. Two other guys at work shoot them, and they are equally as pleased. We shoot somewhere around 500 rounds a week of .223 each. Not all precision, but quite a bit.

As far as Carbine vs Mid length......please, please go mid. You’ll be much happier, so will your gun. Rifle is better yet, but you have to go at least 18” to get into rifle length gas systems. There are some that will say rifle length gas in an 18” is touchy, due to dwell time. That has not been MY observation. Not saying it doesn’t happen, just saying I have not personally had an issue. The Carbine length will absolutely work, but mid is softer, smoother, easier on your gun, easier on you, less “blasty”, parts will last longer (bolt, extractors), etc. If you have a choice, go mid.
My softest shooters are rifle length gas, Vltor A5 buffer systems, adjustable gas block (Superlative Arms) and a VG6 Gamma brake. I’m not kidding a bit when I say it’s like shooting a .22lr. Your reticle doesn’t come off target AT ALL. It’s fun.

Please keep us posted as you go, and come back with any questions.
 

Coffee_and_Pipes

New Hide Member
May 6, 2018
12
1
3
#11
One thing that I didn’t consider when I bought my rifle was the shape of the stock. It came with the BCM gunfighter stock, which is probably great for running and gunning. It’s a great stock, but almost all of my shooting is done at a bench. I’ve just recently started shooting with a rear bag to steady up the rifle, but the bottom of the stock doesn’t really have much flat area to set on the bag before the stock slopes up toward the buffer tube. Because of this, the bag tends to slide around and takes my focus off of shooting. There’s probably a lot to develop with my technique, but I think more flat area at the bottom of the stock would help. If you shoot with a rear bag, this might be something for you to consider.

Another thing that was never an issue until I started shooting AR’s was getting my moustache caught. On some of the AR’s that I’ve shot, in order to get everything lined up just right with stock placement, scope picture, and cheek weld, I end up with whiskers getting caught between the buffer tube and the front of the stock. It makes it hard to concentrate on shooting well when you’re accidentally plucking out moustache hairs, haha. This might not happen to anyone else, but it’s got me thinking about picking up a UBR stock so that there’s one solid piece of material over the buffer tube.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Las Vegas, NV
#13
Thanks Vegas, Coffee, German.

Probably going to take the advice on mid-length gas system. Reducing wear and tear makes sense, as does reducing felt recoil. KAC looks like quality stuff ... but I’ve discovered I am, indeed, poor (I didn’t think I was, but the price of a complete KAC upper convinced me otherwise).

Good info Coffee; not running a mustache, but will take into account the rear bag challenges.

Some parts arrived from BCM. Quick processing and shipping; solid parts, good apparent quality. Lots of stickers! Impressed already.
 
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Feb 10, 2017
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#14
A beard will rip too, which is why I switched to a Magpul Fixed Carbine stock. As luck would have it, I joined a local PD and can’t have facial hair, so I’m back to a 6 position stock.

KAC is good and pricy, but BCM,DD, etc are also good. Note: not saying others WON’T work, but with some names, you pay more for confidence and quality control of said name. Just buy/build a quality rifle or mid-length upper from a good manufacture or assembled from excellent components and you’ll be great.
 
Aug 27, 2012
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#15
Fwiw, I have built my own Ar15's and they turned out as expected and I was very happy. That happiness lasted until I shot a knight and a JP, they were on adifferent level. I also think that if you are going to go up in caliber to a 308 or 6.5 the plug and play did not work for me. I bought very good parts and could never get it to run right, took it to several gunsmiths and they could not get it reliable. Bought a JP and have been very happy. There are deals to be had On the high end ARs where when you figure up the costs of the parts you are paying very little for a lot of expertise. Just my 2 cents
 

VegasHKShooter

Always Learning
Feb 28, 2013
201
57
28
Las Vegas, Nv
#17
If you’re starting with BCM, you’re already headed the RIGHT direction. You could build an entire gun from their website, and not go wrong. Understand they might not have everything you’re wanting, but they are definitely quality.
You’re starting strong.
 
Likes: Limedust

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
484
159
43
#18
BCM is ok and if you like a JP, a SCS and an adjustable gas block will get you 75% of the JP feel. If you go for a light weight BCG you can get to about 95%.

Building a LR308 type large frame AR is a bit more difficult but my first turned out just fine. It's a bit heavier than a JP but it has a JP SCS, JP BCG, an adjustable gas block and it runs super smooth. It's a very accurate 1,000 yard rifle (thanks mostly to the 24" Criterion bull barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor).

It takes a little skill and a bit of filing, but mostly research to make sure everything will either work together or be close enough to make it work.

The tricky details for me were the scope mounting, mounting the bipod on the tube handguard, mounting a monopod where it was never intended to go and reaming the takedown pins for a perfect upper to lower fit.

If I had gone with an Aero M5E1 enhanced receiver setup with matching free float rail, bipod mounting would have been a straight bolt on. If I had a one piece scope mount instead of trying to save money with a riser and rings and a Minox scope that has an angled flat on the bottom of the turret bell, scope mounting would have been simple. If I didn't live in California I could have used a pistol grip and wouldn't have had my monopod issue. The takedown pins are something I would do again but that's an upgrade, not a requirement.

It's pretty simple, make good choices and you'll make a good AR.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Las Vegas, NV
#19
Man. The JPMS556 Special is pretty good deal. With the barrel, bolt, gas block, compensator, and tube, it doesn't really put me much over my current build cost (I made a spreadsheet, for easy analysis). I have read nothing but great reviews of everything JP, for what that's worth. Working on it ... thanks for all the advice and info, gents.
 

Strykervet

Gunny Sergeant
Jun 5, 2011
1,998
321
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Pierce County, WA
#20
If KAC is an option, KAC is the answer. (unless you're poor)
Yeah, it's worth saving for. One and done. You can't build a rifle like the KAC either, it's almost totally proprietary. I have less to spend after the divorce so I know what you mean, but it's still worth saving for.

Building will cost you more in the long run if you only plan on building one or two rifles. You can get assembled uppers though and mate them to a lower without any tools really, but a punch and CAR stock wrench is still handy (and fairly cheap).
 
Likes: Limedust
Feb 10, 2017
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Tuscaloosa, AL
#21
How is KAC “almost totally proprietary”? Never seen a KAC, just wondering.

Or... what is so excellent about a KAC that a BCM/DD/LMT doesn’t do? Like I’ve said, my experience is with a single PSA rifle and a DPMS, I’m genuinely curious about what makes them worth the price tag.
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
3,519
788
113
Out West
#22
How is KAC “almost totally proprietary”? Never seen a KAC, just wondering.

Or... what is so excellent about a KAC that a BCM/DD/LMT doesn’t do? Like I’ve said, my experience is with a single PSA rifle and a DPMS, I’m genuinely curious about what makes them worth the price tag.
There's 2 'types' of large frame AR (unless someone is now making their own as well) is the best way I can explain it. KAC single handily kept the large frame/AR10 innovation alive back in the 80s (I think?) and they make their own footprint of parts that go into a KAC SR25. Armalite is the other.

Unlike a 5.56 AR where you can buy a DPMS lower, put a Rock River upper on it and use a Colt buffer tube and a Stag FCG because they are all to a certain spec and you can mix and match to your hearts desire, with the large frame there is a KAC footprint and an Armalite footprint. You cannot mix/match them. So while KAC's stuff isn't proprietary to just KAC produced rifles, its proprietary to where its only for the KAC footprint (which other manufacturers may now produce parts for).

I'm sure someone here can explain it better, and if I'm wrong somewhere just correct me, but this is how I understand it to be.

The price tag does have a little bit of brand name pricing to it, but it isn't to where you are simply paying more for the rifle to say KAC on it.; its more because they can charge it and people will pay it. Not only does KAC innovate the platform at every turn, the quality of the overall weapon in your hand has you quickly realize why its not cheap. They are meant to be used in rough conditions, used past their tested specifications yet still keep up everything from shot 1, to sustained fire over time. They were always designed as a large frame, match grade battle rifle from day 1.

For your spank bank, I have a real, correctly marked, M110K1.
 
Likes: Limedust
Feb 10, 2017
437
81
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Tuscaloosa, AL
#23
Ohhh, ok. Yeah I know large pattern ARs are different and KACs are high quality stuff. I thought that post was saying KACs was proprietary for AR15s.

Actually I thought the OP was strickly asking about AR15s.
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
3,519
788
113
Out West
#24
Ohhh, ok. Yeah I know large pattern ARs are different and KACs are high quality stuff. I thought that post was saying KACs was proprietary for AR15s.

Actually I thought the OP was strickly asking about AR15s.
Oh sorry, someone mentioned large frame ARs above and my thought process went from there.

If you want a carbine just to shoot 300m with, shit, you can honestly go with basically anything above a Palmetto State Armory build unless you are wanting some .25MOA gun or something. The ammo will have a larger effect than anything from a carbine at that distance assuming its free floated and has a decent quality barrel.

Just don't spend money on 'hype' type limited edition rifles or featureless 'budget' rifles that lack things like the ejection port cover or manual assist to shave off a few bucks . I'd just get a Colt 6920 and get a freefloated rail if you're wanting just a carbine.

ETA - The KAC SR15 actually has a proprietary, upgraded bolt.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Las Vegas, NV
#25
Thought about the Colt ... decided to build because it's fun. Barrel is really the sticking point for me. Good advice all around, so I'm just going to have to go with one of the recommendations above.

Upper (M4E1) and hand-guard arrived today from Aero. Seem decent; smooth machining, lines are true, hand guard locks up fairly well. Next is barrel ... still contemplating the JP pin and weld kit. Will figure it out soon and then BCG based on that.
 

Snuby642

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 11, 2017
318
65
28
#26
You decided to hang a lot of good upgraded parts on forged recivers?
In this case forged equals cast, not billet aluminum.

Cannot for the life of me figure out the people on this site that promote this action.

Cast billets, calling them forgings, are not the same as forged aluminum billets machined from bar stock!

With all the money spent by the hide members for the ultimate firearm can't belive they still discount the difference.

WTF?

Some mfg's make both and tell you why there is a price difference, and it seems not to sink in?

Just my opinion, worked with a lot of aluminum over 30 + years of building parts.
My grandchildren can probably rebarrel and run them forever.
 
Feb 10, 2017
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Tuscaloosa, AL
#27
What is the technical difference. From what I read on here, forged (cast) and billet uppers are producing very reliable and accurate rifles.

One simply costing more and can look nicer.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Las Vegas, NV
#28
You decided to hang a lot of good upgraded parts on forged recivers?
In this case forged equals cast, not billet aluminum.

Cannot for the life of me figure out the people on this site that promote this action.

Cast billets, calling them forgings, are not the same as forged aluminum billets machined from bar stock!

With all the money spent by the hide members for the ultimate firearm can't belive they still discount the difference.

WTF?

Some mfg's make both and tell you why there is a price difference, and it seems not to sink in?

Just my opinion, worked with a lot of aluminum over 30 + years of building parts.
My grandchildren can probably rebarrel and run them forever.
Hmm. I do know the fundamental difference between casting and forging ... Aero claims the M4E1 upper receiver is forged; neither cast nor billet machined. I'll see what I can dig up on their process; went with forged because I figure (and i guess internet wisdom says) that's usually a bit more durable than even the billet machined stuff.

Sort of thought about the upgraded parts in a budget-conscious receiver set, but estimated that barrel and BCG are the parts to really get spendy on. Maybe I'll have to reconsider. Have not purchased a lower yet.

**Edit: Aero's language is pretty clear, at least on the upper; the specifications page says "Machined from 7075-T6 forged aluminum." I suppose they're being slippery then, and casting bars in a rough shape, rather than rolling them, and then putting them through a forging process? Also, as an aside, I'm genuinely ignorant of most of the processes that go into these parts, so I do appreciate the info, Snuby.

***Other Edit: Aero gets their "forged" upper from Anchor Harvey and Brass Aluminum Forging Enterprises. Apparently the latter makes forgings for BCM, Colt, and Daniel Defense. Digging for some more info on Anchor Harvey
 
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Snuby642

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 11, 2017
318
65
28
#29
I have visited thier site, yes slippery.
Consider this possibility, maybe we mold 2 halves of a unit then heat and press them togeather?
And then there is this wording ( homogeneous grain) and using the word forged that most people accociat with strength. Probably thinking hammer forged?

Most of the receivers are (forged) because it's cheaper, not better.
Some companies sell both but are careful not to say much about strength so as not to degrade thier number 1 seller.

They all run thier text through a clinton modle spin doctor.

Here is a site that explains some of the difference ( non firearms industry ) very clearly.
http://info.cpm-industries.com/blog/bid/283266/Cast-vs-Billet
 
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Likes: Limedust

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,037
433
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#30
I went through what you're doing some time back, and I agree mostly with what's being said above. In my instance, it was an educational exercise, done so I could get a firmer grasp on what goes into an AR; and a largely successful effort to figure out where the money should be spent, and where the money should be saved. I got very lucky, and matters panned out favorably. They could just as easily gone the other way; luck was a critical factor, and that's no way to build guns.

From the start, I decided that the main money should go into the barrel.

I already had a rather spendy Stag Model 6 Super Varminter, which was built around a stainless 24" Bull barrel. The rifle came with a 1/2MOA accuracy guarantee, I was able to make it shoot to that standard with Prvi-Partizan 75gr Match several times, and I'm not a super great shooter by any means.

So I decided to go with a Stag 16" Model 3 barrel, and it was a good choice when the time came to find out what the gun would actually do. It shot to well under 1MOA, and for a first effort, I was positively thrilled. Every other part of that Upper was spec'd out based on lowest possible cost, and except for the barrel, all the parts came from Amazon.

After some commentary here, I began to realize that much of my good fortune was just pure luck, that I had gotten most of that luck by sticking very closely to the original Stoner design specs, and staying with a basic concept that very closely resembled a 16" USGI M-16. Where I would have gone loosie-goosie would have been in trying to get fancy. That's probably where I would have started having issues with gas length, buffer weights, and other cycling issues.

So I made a very basic decision about building ARs and AR Uppers right then and there; I was going to buy instead of build. The reasoning was/is that while these rifles actually are Adult Legos, they still need more thought and planning/development than one might achieve by just slapping diverse parts together. Getting it right does not work infallibly just off the bat; it takes some experience involving getting some stuff wrong, and that requires a time and cash investment that I would not be able to sustain. So I decided that paying a bit extra to buy a complete setup from an established builder was well worth the premium.

But there are also reasonable limits, and the fact appears to me that a lot of folks are buying rifles with features they don't really need, often are not capable of taking full advantage of, and many of the builders are very happy to support their expanded egos without any comment.

Getting back to the Stag Model 6, it is a very nicely configured specialty rifle with an absolute minimum of costly features. Price wise it was (it's no longer offered) a deal at just under $1k. If one can defuse their ego temporarily, such rifles go on sale periodically. I decided that I'd like to build a second one as a kit, bypassing the question of parts compatibility, and investing a little bit of sweat equity to trim the bottom line. I took advantage of a Labor Day sale. The outcome was a genuine dream; a fully factory assembled Upper, as well as a full set of parts to add to a separately purchased Lower Receiver, all things together resulting in a completed rifle, for a few hundred bucks worth of savings.

Looking back a week or two later, I noted that the whole model and kit were now missing from the product lineup, and something called the Stag 15 Varminter was now occupying that particular vacated niche. Very close examination noted two differences. The A2 Butt Stock was replaced with a nice fixed Magpul stock, and the 1/2MOA accuracy guarantee had up and disappeared. I'm going to take a winger here and guess that the new model very likely shoots the same as its predecessor, and both editions featured a nice two-stage match trigger. The new version is less than $100 more than I paid for my original Stag 6 sometime just before the Millennium, and believe that's not too bad considering nearly two decades worth of inflation.

Building the kit consisted mainly of assembling a Lower, took well under an hour, and required a few small tweaky tools that my Buddy supplied as he watched over my shoulder during my first attempt at such an effort. In all, it was a very satisfying experience, and later testing demonstrated that the two rifles shoot in largely identical manner.

I think you could be well served by starting out your building career with a Stag 15 Varminter Kit, adding the Stripped Lower, taking an hour or so to put it all together, and getting it all done to the tune of a bit under $900.

Whether or not it's a true 1/2MOA rifle will probably largely depend on your own skill and your choice of ammo, but I think you'll either be in that ballpark or not very far out of it when all the dust has settled.

When the day comes that she won't satisfactorily carry the mail, I strongly advise you consult with Padom; he's up on this stuff a lot better than I am.

Greg

PS, my original Stag 6 shot in the 2017 Berger SW LR F T/R Nationals MR/600yd stages here at Ben Avery Range in my Granddaughter's hands, and did respectably for a beginner in her first try at any form of F Class comp. I gifted her the rifle, and then built the kit as my own replacement. The whole experience was/is a big plus in my estimation.
 
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Jul 29, 2012
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Las Vegas, NV
#31
Thanks a lot, Greg. I have been a bit concerned about fitment, and the overall marriage of the disparate parts that I 'll be picking up. Trying to stick to 3-4 companies, and hoping that the individual pieces are in spec. Learning the hard-way is the way its going to have to be this time around.

Went with the Aero lower to match the "forged upper" ... got it in town today, which was nice. Going to get a lower parts kit, and then spin the bottle on a barrel. Still largely undecided there, but Ballistic Advantage is having some decent sales right now. Still see the merit in the JP barrel set with bolt ...

Still a little ignorant of the buffer weights and configuration, but working on it. Going to go mid-length with the gas system/barrel with adjustable gas-block, because that sort of tuning appeals to me.
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,037
433
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#32
Putting additional thought into this thread, I have to admire your determination to build a superior implement on the first try. It's the opposite approach from my starting point, but is at least as good approach as mine. You will very likely have a faster learning curve than the one I pursued.

I think a common denominator will arise when one understands that the AR design supports many applications, and our only real difference is about which one we chose to pursue first.

My origins lean more heavily toward longer distances, hence my own initial long/heavy barreled Varmint/Target rifle approach. My subsequent project was about economy, simplicity, and commonality. My more recent project has been about obtaining a lighter, more wieldy implement.

These projects have all been satisfying, and one simple point has arisen.

None of them have required any deviation from the basic mil-spec configuration. Despite differences in barrel length and gas length, they have all run just fine with the basic A2 buffer tube and buffer. I didn't expect that.

There was a brief flirtation with an NY/CA Thordsen stock, which required a new carbine length buffer tube and buffer. It ran fine with the Stag 6 Upper, but I was soon thoroughly disgusted with the legislative trends in NY, and pulled up stakes for Arizona. Immediately upon arriving in AZ, that legislatively mandated abortion was stripped from my Lower, and the original A2 setup was restored. Uneventfully, the three disparate Uppers simply ran as advertised with the older setup. I now own a second Stag 6, and the same A2 arrangement is employed.

I think a lot of my surprise is unwarranted. The system, as long as one keeps one's demands relatively simple, seems rather versatile and robust. I've chosen to stay that course.

Conversely, I look eagerly forward to the results of your own projects/exploits. I believe I will have much to learn from your experiences.

Go for it!

Greg
 
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