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Thread: Partially building first AR.

  1. #1
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    Partially building first AR.

    Hello all,

    Im looking at getting my first AR and ive decided that I want to at least partially build it (complete upper, disassembled lower). Ive been looking around and there are a ton of different places I can chose from. Im liking what i see on Alpha Shooting Sports, in particular their 16" CHF 5.56 M-LOK13 Pitchfork Carbine Nitrided Upper with the lower parts kit. The problem is that i would also like to add some color to the gun, maybe make the lower a navy blue or something like that, and im not really seeing an option for specific colors with Alpha, looking around I saw that Republic Firearms does different colors of Cerakote, and a lot of their products are made from Anderson. So im asking the community, what do yall think? any advice? Are the places im looking good, or do yall have other places that you go through? let me know, thank you.

  2. #2
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    I'll bite. No, Alpha Shooting Sports would not be the first place I'd be looking at to start a build. Just looking over their website raised a lot of red flags. Their bolts are made from 8620 which is no bueno. I would start with a quality factory upper from BCM, SOLGW, Sionics, DD, Colt, etc. For the lower, buy a quality LPK(i.e. Sionics,BCM,Colt,SOLGW,ALG) if you want to build and get a forged quality lower from Aero, LMT, SOLGW, etc. Notice a trend here?

  3. #3
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    Also a No on Alpha Shooting Sports. If you want a decently priced upper assembly, go to Palmetto State Armory. Much better than anything Alpha Shooting Sports has to offer. You can also shop PSA for the lower and components. Very reasonable prices all around. As far as color is concerned, you can add color with accessories. There are companies like Strike Industries, FORTIS, ODIN WORKS, and a few others that make various parts in anodized colors. They can add that little pop of color without going over the edge.
    "A Bad Day At The Range Is Better Than A Great Day Working"

    USMC Force Recon 1978-1984
    US Air Force Res. 1995-2004 (Air Transportation)
    M16/AR15 shooter since 1978, gun collector and AR builder since 2004
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    III% United Patriots member

  4. #4
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    A couple thoughts...

    There is a strong preference here to think of the standard weapon of the United States armed forces as a tool to accomplish a necessary purpose, specifically killing people. (I could say “stopping threats,” but that’s just putting it nicely.) This board does still have a number of military and police participants who have done that or who must be prepared to do that with this weapon. Others have no intention of ever using their weapon for that purpose and stay more with target shooting or hobby building; but, the original purpose is acknowledged and respected.

    With that in mind, usually you will not find much positive about “tricking out” an AR-15 or making it look like a toy. I think there is value in starting with this approach. Respect the weapon for what it is.

    On coloring the AR: If your weapon is going to be used in 3 gun competitions or similar, go for it. Unfortunately, companies that have bright colors on their parts may not always have the highest reputation for quality.
    Additionally, what if you had to use your weapon to kill someone? How would your “toy” be presented in court? Would that work to your advantage?

    Why preeminence of quality: Starting from the idea mentioned in my first paragraph, this is a weapon that should be able to function under heavy use in adverse conditions. Many cool looking parts are not proven to be able to do that.

    So there are some questions that need to be answered:

    1. What is the purpose of this weapon?
    2. Do you need the weapon to be colored?
    3. Would you be open to coloring the weapon yourself after ensuring quality parts have been used in its construction?
    4. How much money are you willing to spend?

    If you can provide answers to those questions, members can provide quality information on best approaches.


    As info, I did similarly to what you are planning to do here. I purchased a BCM upper with charging handle and BCG. I put it on a cheap complete lower that I dismantled and rebuilt (eventually). I only recently modified the “reddish” part that I had left on this gun for years, because...it really wasn’t cool.

  5. #5
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    Buy a complete upper and a complete lower and put them together. That's about as extensive of a build as I can recommend to someone new to AR's and looking to roll their own.

    Choose quality brands that are going to give you zero issues out of the gate and, if there is a problem, you'll be well supported after the purchase.

    If you want color, I recommend Aervoe spray paint. https://www.m4carbine.net/showthread...35#post2762835

    Welcome to M4C.
    Last edited by tehpwnag3; 08-23-19 at 09:09. Reason: Picture!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehpwnag3 View Post
    Buy a complete upper and a complete lower and put them together. That's about as extensive of a build as I can recommend to someone new to AR's and looking to roll their own.

    Choose quality brands that are going to give you zero issues out of the gate and, if there is a problem, you'll be well supported after the purchase.

    If you want color, I recommend Aervoe spray paint.

    Welcome to M4C.
    I would listen to the good advise above

    Stay away form Alpha Shooting Sports if you want a quality AR

    I would buy a complete upper from one of the recomendations above. Brownells has the Colt CCU upper on sale for $550 and with codes you can get it at around $500 with free shipping. That is a great deal on a quality upper. If you can spend that much i would recommend saving for a bit longer, or if you must have now, PSA is the best of the value brands IMO

    I would be cautious building out the lower as well if you have no experience with the platform. Do you know how to stake the castle nut and have a torque wrench to put the buffer tube on with? Sionics makes a great "Gutless" lower with the RE already installed to spec and stacked along with the bolt catch and take down pins installed. You can still get some enjoyment "building" the rest of the lower and know it will be quality.

    I am not big on adding bling or colors, but you could always have it cerakoted after you have everything together to a color of your choice. Or just add a safety, mag release, etc from Odin Works or somewhere to add some color and still have something decent.

    Welcome. If you want to learn about the AR platform this is a great site. If you just want a cheap play gun TOS is the better option for info

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by everready73 View Post
    I would listen to the good advise above

    Stay away form Alpha Shooting Sports if you want a quality AR

    I would buy a complete upper from one of the recomendations above. Brownells has the Colt CCU upper on sale for $550 and with codes you can get it at around $500 with free shipping. That is a great deal on a quality upper. If you can spend that much i would recommend saving for a bit longer, or if you must have now, PSA is the best of the value brands IMO

    I would be cautious building out the lower as well if you have no experience with the platform. Do you know how to stake the castle nut and have a torque wrench to put the buffer tube on with? Sionics makes a great "Gutless" lower with the RE already installed to spec and stacked along with the bolt catch and take down pins installed. You can still get some enjoyment "building" the rest of the lower and know it will be quality.

    I am not big on adding bling or colors, but you could always have it cerakoted after you have everything together to a color of your choice. Or just add a safety, mag release, etc from Odin Works or somewhere to add some color and still have something decent.

    Welcome. If you want to learn about the AR platform this is a great site. If you just want a cheap play gun TOS is the better option for info
    Good advice here on the Colt CCU upper with Sionics gutless lower.

    Whats your ammo/time budget look like, expressed in rounds per month? What do plan to do with this weapon?
    RLTW

    “That is why there isn't an AK chart.” -SteyrAUG
    “They eat tide pods also so what's your point?” Retrorevolver77

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    Whats your ammo/time budget look like, expressed in rounds per month? What do plan to do with this weapon?
    THIS.

  9. #9
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    After you figure out what your use will be and budget, head to Bravo Company Manufacturing. BCM USA will give you more options than most- not colors though. Great products at fair prices. This website is a buy once cry once group.

    You can Cerakote anything you want after the fact or buy your plastic grips etc in color to give it pop if thats your thing.

    PB
    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

  10. #10
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    What will the gun be used for? Instagram pictures or for shooting? Are you gonna take it to classes and use it to defend yourself and family? If so, start with one or more of the following:

    Colt
    LMT
    BCM
    Sons of Liberty Gun Works
    Sionics
    Daniel Defense
    FN
    Centurion

    Avoid PSA, Alpha Shooting Sports, Strike Industries, Anderson, and all the other low quality brands. Skip the brightly colored parts, they never look good, not even on a 3 gunner setup. They're typically from low quality companies and the anodizing is very suspect.
    "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."- Neil McCauley

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