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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in building my first AR15 and have done a ton of research. My delima is simply that after doing all of the research I have, I'm probably more confused than I was when I started given all of the options.

What I'm looking for is your input based on the following criteria:

Ability to purchase everything from one vendor.

Total cost, not including optics, of around $850-$1,000. Can be a bit flexible though.

Proven combinations of uppers and lowers / barrels that work well together.

18" barrel and good trigger as I will mostly use for varmit hunting or longer range target shooting.

Prefer camo or FDE finish.


If I've come to the wrong conclusions on how to go about all of this, please feel free to say so but I'd ask that you provide your thoughts and recommendations as well.

I've done quite a bit of work on 1911s and a little on bolt action rifles so the assembly is not factor in my mind. The choices available and quality / perceived quality and price differences among components is mind boggling though.


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You are in the ball park with your cost estimation. I build custom Ar platform rifles on a regular basis and have done so for years. My personal color of choice is FDE, but that being said will raise the price $100 to $150 and there will less of a choice and availability will be spotty. (makers will run batches of ceracoated parts, when and then) Aero Precision is a top makers of uppers and lowers and forends and they do offer FDE and other finishes from time to time. Their latest GEN2 E1 receivers are some of the best stuff out there. the heart and soul of any rifle is the barrel. That is the most important. Some of the top makers are Criterion, FN, White Oak. Ballistic Research which is now owned by Aero is a decent choice. Compensators are a total waste of money on an Ar15, they just wake the dead and annoy other shooters near you. You can always spot a green horn when you see a cheapo Ar with a $100+++ star wars looking piece of crap hanging on the end of his barrel. 18 inch 1/8 twist is a good choice for your purpose. I use mostly Magpul furniture (FDE usually available) on most of my builds. Lots of deals on Magpul, but you have to shop around. Small parts, you will have to make sure they are Mil spec, not China crap Spec that folks are passing off now a days. A good trigger is very important, and the triggers that come on the majority of Ar15, go right into my coffee can garbage can. Geiseille makers the industry standard of quality, but that will run you over your budget. Larue MBT is a great choice to a quality trigger that sells for $100 to $125.
As for one source, you will pay more. I would suggest
Receivers/ forend Aero Precision
Furniture Magpul
Barrels and trigger, get the best you can afford from the mentioned makers.
Good luck and feel free to contact me anytime.
 

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Try either Primary Arms or BCM web stores for parts order. You will probably find every single parts you may need, budget or premium quality, you will find at these places. You may find other places with no name parts with bit lower prices, but the minimum quality level and the reliability can not be over looked.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the comments!!

Canuckienns - I had by and large decided on a Geissele trigger, so your input helped solidify that decision!

In your experience, what are the pros and cons of getting a complete upper, and lower for that matter, vs buying parts separately? Is there a huge cost savings and is the fitting / function of separate components worth that savings? Especially considering this is my first build?

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A complete upper is fine as you will need the forward assist and the dust cover. A complete lower is a waste of time because half the stuff is crap and you will have to replace.
 

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I might add if you are meaning a complete upper with barrel and handguard, be wary. They are put together usually for a price with the sacrifice of usually a mediocre barrel, and a chink handguard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I might add if you are meaning a complete upper with barrel and handguard, be wary. They are put together usually for a price with the sacrifice of usually a mediocre barrel, and a chink handguard.
Yeah, that's what I was getting at. Thanks for confirming my thoughts on that!

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If you’re willing to spend on a Geissele trigger I’d recommend the SD3G. If you’re thinking of sporting or home defense. SSA-E for longer range performance. But spend the money where it counts, barrel, BCG, trigger. Save money on upper and lower receiver and rail. As that’s mainly for weight and fitting. Hope this helps a little. JP, Wilson, Rock River for the barrel, bcg can’t go wrong. If budget I agree with Primary and bravo company.
 

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As far as triggers go, if you want a superb, light pull, no creep trigger you cannot get any better than a Hyperfire Hypertouch Elite. You can adjust from 2.5-3.5 lbs and it is a superb trigger. Installing one cut my group size in half; now I shoot 0.5 MOA with my AR15 A2, handloads and an HBAR.
 
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