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Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
2/18/11 1:01 p.m.

I don't know why someone would want an automatic AR other than to say they have one. It's a fast, accurate, capable rifle with semi-auto; it's only a little faster and a lot less accurate at full rip. With a 30 round magazine, you can track back on target just in time to go empty.

OS, OK.

Speaking of custom ARs, this is what I'm getting my wife for Christmas someday...

triumph5
triumph5 Dork
2/18/11 1:10 p.m.

An Ar-15 can easily be made into a full auto without much trouble; I never claimed experience with poorly made ones: only cleaning up the bloody mess and holding the bones together from a poorly made one that went boom.

. So let's be realistic, should this person who admits to knowing nothing about guns be allowed on a range, after building one, with no training on how to load it, operate it, clean it, or basic gun handling before the first shot?

And wouldn't it be good to have a PERSON look over/assist the OP with building one?

Going from not kowin anything about operating a gun to building and using an AR-15 is like going from driving a car to strapping on a F5000--without any instruction other than books and videos. Probably end poorly.. And then there'd be the mess to clean up afterward.

I wish him well, just do it right. Last run I was involved on, the owner was cleaning a rifle that was still was loaded.He didn't know how to make sure the chamber was empty. It did not end well for him and his family.. And, no, the person had never attended a gun/weapons handling course.

PM him, give him advice, but for God's sake, SOMEONE help/assist him IN PERSON, when he goes to use it. Those are my points, I've seen too much carnage from those who didn't do any of the above.

Have him fire a 12gauge held 1/4" from his shoulder before pulling the trigger. It might give him some respect as to what benign damage a misused firearm can do.

triumph5
triumph5 Dork
2/18/11 1:20 p.m.

"I don't know why someone would want an automatic AR other than to say they have one."

From what I've seen and heard, the "look what I got" macho factor." BTW, pretty wife! You, sir, have excellent taste.

And with that, I'm done with this thread. I can hear the applause, I just hope I never meet you in the back of an ambulance because you didn't follow the proper precautions or get some education. Includes not blowing a hole in your foot--guy did that couple months ago....

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
2/18/11 1:45 p.m.
triumph5 wrote: An Ar-15 can easily be made into a full auto without much trouble; I never claimed experience with poorly made ones: only cleaning up the bloody mess and holding the bones together from a poorly made one that went boom.

that doesn't make it legal to own one, people have been prosecuted even for accidentally making a firearm full auto by polishing trigger parts too much. and you're the only person talking about making a full auto AR in this thread. .

So let's be realistic, should this person who admits to knowing nothing about guns be allowed on a range, after building one, with no training on how to load it, operate it, clean it, or basic gun handling before the first shot?

all of the videos and books out there go over this stuff, its not rocket science, there's no voodoo in an AR that isn't in any other high-power gas operated rifle

And wouldn't it be good to have a PERSON look over/assist the OP with building one?

most ROs at any range would be happy to function check and safety check any firearm you are planning to use at their range, all you have to do is ask.

Going from not kowin anything about operating a gun to building and using an AR-15 is like going from driving a car to strapping on a F5000--without any instruction other than books and videos. Probably end poorly.. And then there'd be the mess to clean up afterward.

that's just silly. maybe like putting a 16 year old in a corvette, but still, as long as the operator has respect for the way firearms should be handled, there should be no problem.

I wish him well, just do it right. Last run I was involved on, the owner was cleaning a rifle that was still was loaded.

what does this have to do with an AR. the OP has said he's shot plenty of handguns, just is not as familar with long guns, "you'll shoot yer eye out!" is not productive commentary.

PM him, give him advice, but for God's sake, SOMEONE help/assist him IN PERSON, when he goes to use it. Those are my points, I've seen too much carnage from those who didn't do any of the above.

addressed above, talk to the RO before you start firing if you want to make sure everything is assembled correctly.

Have him fire a 12gauge held 1/4" from his shoulder before pulling the trigger. It might give him some respect as to what benign damage a misused firearm can do.

and just what would that accomplish?

Osterkraut
Osterkraut SuperDork
2/18/11 1:59 p.m.
triumph5 wrote: An Ar-15 can easily be made into a full auto without much trouble;

Troll, nobody assembles ( I like that phrase better) an AR and then oops! It's fully automatic! You'd have to actively seak out a difficult part (pretty sure it's the sear) to obtain, and install it.

At this point you're insulting the OP. You think someone interested in assembling a rifle would just walk onto a range and fumble around till he made the thing shoot?

Maybe he wants to assemble one, then go get training on how to shoot it. What's the harm in that? If he doesn't buy ammo during the assembly process, he's not a danger to anyone.

Challenge: find me one example of an injury derived from an AR-15 assembled from commercially obtained parts. Go!

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
2/18/11 2:16 p.m.
Osterkraut wrote: At this point you're insulting the OP. You think someone interested in assembling a rifle would just walk onto a range and fumble around till he made the thing shoot? Maybe he wants to assemble one, then go get training on how to shoot it. What's the harm in that? If he doesn't buy ammo during the assembly process, he's not a danger to anyone.

Precisely!

My brother is an LEO, so in person expertise is not the issue. However, I knew this would be a good place to start my research on the subject.

Osterkraut
Osterkraut SuperDork
2/18/11 2:17 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
Osterkraut wrote: At this point you're insulting the OP. You think someone interested in assembling a rifle would just walk onto a range and fumble around till he made the thing shoot? Maybe he wants to assemble one, then go get training on how to shoot it. What's the harm in that? If he doesn't buy ammo during the assembly process, he's not a danger to anyone.

Precisely!

My brother is an LEO, so in person expertise is not the issue. However, I knew this would be a good place to start my research on the subject.

We have faith in you!

rebelgtp
rebelgtp SuperDork
2/18/11 3:38 p.m.

I say congrats on your first venture into building a rifle and I hope that you go forward with it just take proper precautions. If you follow the steps in building an AR they are completely safe for a home build. Another good place to start is as someone else mentioned building a precision rifle in another platform just to give yourself some experience.

Once of the biggest problems people seem to have is working with sometimes VERY small parts in very tight places. Sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to make things work properly. The AR does not have as many of these sorts of issues as some other platforms. Once you are done with the assembly check everything over several times including firing with a snap cap and test the feeding and ejection mechanics of the weapon BEFORE you ever feed a single live round.

Get yourself a good book on building an AR and ask some questions. First off what do you want the rifle for? Do you want something accurized? Do you want something light weight that you can pack around? Do you want to use a scope, iron sights or have the option for both? Collapsible stock or fixed stock? What caliber do you want to fire? Once you decide on most of these questions you still normally have about a dozen different options to decide from for a single component. You basically could build a rifle that look exactly like what the military uses to something that is so unique you may never see another AR setup just like it. You can also do your build anywhere from buying every single individual part and building it 100% from scratch to buying an upper and a lower pinning them together in 5 minutes and heading to the range.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo HalfDork
2/18/11 6:18 p.m.
triumph5 wrote: Have him fire a 12gauge held 1/4" from his shoulder before pulling the trigger. It might give him some respect as to what benign damage a misused firearm can do.

Seriously?

I fire my Saiga 12 all the time from the hip with the stock folded. Bumping off a 10 round mag of 00 buck into an old recliner is great stress relief and cheaper than a shrink.

An AR is a great platform for a first build because its basically assembly vs some other guns that require special gauges and measurement. A decent mechanics toolset with some small punches, small hammer, and good pick set (Snap-On), and a clean and well lit work area can have one assembled in no time flat. I would suggest buying quality CNCed special tools vs the cheap chinese cast garbage. You won't mar your parts and you will be happier.

I would suggest a post into in the AR15.COM hometown forum applicable to your area asking if there is a "build party" coming up or an experienced member that could come over and give you a hand and loan tools during the build for the cost of a good home cooked dinner and some beers after you are done. Great way to meet friends and have a successful first attempt. Also a good way to get the low down on local deals, laws, meets, ranges, etc.

As far as building an AK, its a bit trickier. To do it right, you need a few special gauges, the ability to read machinists tools, a bending jig if you are building a receiver from a flat, a riveting tool. and a demilled gun or a parts kit to scavenge the rest of the parts from. Also, there is not quite as much cross-compatibility of parts on the AK platform because of all the variations and different countries of origin. I have also found that the steel used to build AKs is hard as heck, so get some good cutting tools. Its not hard, just more work, more research, and more time. An AK is a lot more of a build, with filing, drilling, bending, aligning, welding, riveting, etc all required depending on the level of parts kit you start out with and what sort of receiver you get.

Will
Will HalfDork
2/18/11 7:04 p.m.

Building an AR-15 is simple. OP, check out upper receiver assemblies from Bravo Company, Spikes Tactical, LMT, or maybe Rock River. Then buy a stripped lower, lower parts kit, and assemble it yourself. If, somehow, you make a mistake in assembling the lower, the rifle won't explode, killing everyone within a 5 mile radius. It won't launch the bolt into your eye. It just won't fire.

Also, converting an AR to full auto is not as easy as it's made out to be. You need an M16 fire control group, which is, unsurprisingly, illegal to buy under most circumstances. You can't just file down the hammer and expect to have a machine gun. Contrary to myth, media, and urban legend, ARs just don't work that way.

And as mentioned, get an account at ar15.com. It's like the GRM for AR junkies, with lots of DIY tips, advice, and step-by-step instructions. I assembled my first AR using nothing more than an Arfcom build thread.

stroker
stroker Reader
2/18/11 7:10 p.m.

Z31, are you doing it for the experience (or just for a project) or are you trying to get an AR-15 cheap?

If it's the former, it's not rocket science but you'll need a few specialized tools that you aren't likely to use much afterward. If you can find someone who can loan you the tools that would be good. Be forewarned there are lots of small parts (particularly springs) that you'd LOVE to have a third hand for. You should probably buy spares on those small parts anticipating at least one of them ending up across the room where you'll never find it.

If it's the latter, my recommendation (after having done one) is to bag the idea and simply buy a complete rifle or complete lower and then a complete upper.

Having done that I'm getting ready to start my first 1911 so I'm going to do this one smarter.

My $.02.

RossD
RossD Dork
2/18/11 8:41 p.m.

I always suggest a firearm training or hunter safety class for people who've never been around firearms before handling firearms on their own. Its probably good to go back even as an 'old pro' as a refresher course. (Hey, even the super bowl MVP has a quarterback coach ) Safety first!

As for a first time weapon, an AR rifle is a great one. I'd suggest the Ruger 10/22 first because the rifle is very cheap to buy and to feed ammo into it. There are almost as many modification parts available for the 10/22 as there is for the AR but the 10/22 will be usually cheaper.

My thought on the kit would be just to get a rifle used or a good deal on a complete new one. The adding parts and swapping things over is fun too and helps get your feet wet.

Just watch out for the slippery slope portion of this hobby: You can fit a lot more rifles and handguns in your house than cars in your driveway... Just remember to be safe and have fun- in that order!

And to keep you excited ARs, here are mine (I can't find a picture of the 10/22, however): Bushmaster Carbon 15 .223 (weighs under 6 lbs):

Rock River Arms LAR-8 .308 (weighs significantly more than 6 lbs):

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
2/18/11 8:55 p.m.

Is that the carbon fiber receiver? I've read about those in SGN. How's it shoot?

RossD
RossD Dork
2/18/11 9:10 p.m.

Yes, its some form of carbon/plastic on both the upper and lower. I've only got about 80 rounds through it but shoots like a dream. No jams or anything and the first 30 round clip went through just fine. The rifle came with that Bushnell red dot, two clips, sling, and hard case for $699 at Gander Mtn. When my dad and I saw it sitting there, we didn't let it leave our hands until after we bought it. Cheapest AR there, new or used, and it was new!

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster Reader
2/18/11 10:51 p.m.

I'll throw my opinion in, which is to start with an assembled lower/ whatever upper you would like, then have fun riding the slope of addiction to other uppers/ new builds. It looks like the OP is in OK which I believe to be pretty gun friendly. Anyone in a less friendly state, like my NY should watch out that they don't build up an illegal combination of parts that can result in a misdemeanor (collapsing stock, flash hider) or felony (>10 round mags). Somehow in states that still believe in the assault weapon ban like NY, my AR becomes a death machine when a few simple parts are added. Different topic all together though.

Have fun, and remember everyone needs to own plenty of .22's so that we can actually afford to shoot.

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
2/18/11 11:53 p.m.
GhiaMonster wrote: ...a less friendly state, like my NY ... felony (>10 round mags).

I knew we couldn't buy then here, but Felony... Glad I didn't get my friend to send me some 30rd 10/22 mags when he was in texas.

+1 on playing with .22s. Shoot all day for under $20.

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
2/19/11 6:57 a.m.
GhiaMonster wrote: I'll throw my opinion in, which is to start with an assembled lower/ whatever upper you would like, then have fun riding the slope of addiction to other uppers/ new builds. It looks like the OP is in OK which I believe to be pretty gun friendly. Anyone in a less friendly state, like my NY should watch out that they don't build up an illegal combination of parts that can result in a misdemeanor (collapsing stock, flash hider) or felony (>10 round mags). Somehow in states that still believe in the assault weapon ban like NY, my AR becomes a death machine when a few simple parts are added. Different topic all together though. Have fun, and remember everyone needs to own plenty of .22's so that we can actually afford to shoot.

OK is definitely a gun-friendly state. In fact, I think I'm just about the only person I know who doesn't already own at least one.

Hell my mother already has her sub-compact Glock 9mm and CCL.

Rumnhammer
Rumnhammer Reader
2/19/11 7:55 a.m.

One thing nobody has added yet,is that for less then $200 you can get an adapter that goes in place of the bolt and carrier that lets you shoot .22 LR. So instead of getting a separate .22 you can shoot your normal AR all day for cheap with this.

Chris Rummel

Ignorant
Ignorant SuperDork
2/19/11 7:57 a.m.

You know I think Triumph5 misunderstood you guys....

You guys are talking about nearly lego level assembly of an ar-15. He's got some experience and maybe we should listen to him as a cautionary tale, but I think most of the risk is gone in home gun smithing an AR15 if you just buy the simple kits..

Years ago, I got into some place I shouldn't have at Remington arms and looked at the prints for the mil spec M16. It's not like they were guarded, just in some drawer in the corner of a print room. They really aren't that complex.

Rumnhammer
Rumnhammer Reader
2/19/11 8:07 a.m.

Man, >10rd mags a felony!!! That seems a bit harsh. Here in the peoples republic of maryland you are limited to 20rds. However, it is only illegal to buy, sell, transfer, or ship >20rd mags. It is NOT illegal to possess them. The law is in place to make it hard for more mags to come into the state via sales. All a citizen needs to do is buy them out of state. I have a bunch of 30rd mags and I'm not the least bit worried. Always amazes me that having a bayonet lug or flash hider on a rifle can be construed as making it more deadly.........Hell when I was in the army, they always said that a bayonet makes a great tent stake, and they didn't even train us on its use.

This makes sense since bayonet use dates back to muzzle loading days when after you used your only shot, your rifle became a pike and or club. But having laws like this always make me laugh, they are so obviously media influenced, ooooh my god, there is a flash hider on that rifle, it's only purpose could be so you could assainate someone in the dark!

Chris Rummel

Rumnhammer
Rumnhammer Reader
2/19/11 8:18 a.m.

The other thing, nobody seems to have mentioned is that everybody that has an AR nowadays seems to put so much crap on the front of it, that it defeats the original purpose of the rifle. To have a lightweight rifle that shot a fast light cartriage. So you could carry more ammo.

Yes the AR is versitile, but some people seem to want it outfitted for every possible senario all the time. I have a good friend who's AR has so much crap on the front of it, he may as well be toting a BAR!! Seriously, his Carbine has all of the following, Bipod, green lazer, flashlight, red dot sight, ACOG, and two 30rd mags clipped together! I like the Warlord perk on Black ops, but this is silly!

Chris Rummel

Here is a pic of what I'm talking about, this is a bit tongue and cheek though.

Ignorant
Ignorant SuperDork
2/19/11 8:51 a.m.
Rumnhammer wrote: Here is a pic of what I'm talking about, this is a bit tongue and cheek though.

Does it cook you dinner as well?

stroker
stroker Reader
2/19/11 9:19 a.m.

^^^ a "bit" tongue-in-cheek?

Ignorant
Ignorant SuperDork
2/19/11 11:21 a.m.

I still don't see the advantage of a tacticool AR over a Model 700 for hunting, but hey.. I'm in the minority here..

Drewsifer
Drewsifer HalfDork
2/19/11 8:02 p.m.

This is a chart that was assembled by some great guys over at ARFCOM. The thing to keep in mind, is some companies are more "Milspec" than others. It's important to look at what you really want to do. Some brands have major issues (Olympic Arms). But there are affordable brands that are still good quality (Del-Ton Inc, Rock River Arms, CMMG, Spike). Then there are high end brands (Daniel Defense, Noveske, Bravo Company). Unless you plan on being a serious shooter, you should be fine with a middle of the road brand.

Building an AR from scratch without having some experience with them may not be the best idea. It's completely doable, but you may hit hiccups and issues you'll need help to fix. If you just have to build your own, check this out.

Del-Ton Inc Complete Lower: http://www.del-ton.com/lower_receiver_s/5.htm - $180 Del-Ton Inc. 16" Rifle Kit: http://www.del-ton.com/Rifle_Kit_p/rkt104.htm - $465

If you keep it simple, you've got everything you need to make a working rifle right there.

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