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Thread: Possibility of new upper for a relative's AR. Questions.

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    Possibility of new upper for a relative's AR. Questions.

    Not long ago I was talking to a relative, an older gentleman who bought a M&P Sport AR a few years ago. It is his first and only AR, bought for security/defense more than an interest in ARs. Apparently, he was reading about ARs in recent times because he noticed and took a liking to Daniel Defense. That is until he saw how much they go for. I was telling him he can change the trigger if he doesn't like it, or barrel if his stock one does not give him the accuracy he wants. I may have mentioned another thing or two for modification I don't recall. He said mods would hurt the resale value.

    Since the conversation above, I thought: He can buy an upper if he likes one and put it on his stock lower. He can have an armorer do it if he's uncomfortable doing it himself.

    I feel safe to say he would not want any machining done on any part of his lower or upper. Are there any upper brands that go especially well on a S&W lower? Are there any upper brands that he best avoid?

    As for the trigger, can an armorer or 'smith smooth out the trigger feel and lower the pull weight using the stock parts he already has in his lower without much risk of butchering it?

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    Swapping uppers or replacing a trigger (fire control group) is as easy as pushing out a few pins, and I can guarantee that any trigger upgrade isn'tgoing to affect the resale of a S&W MP15 one nickel.

    Any mil spec AR upper will fit.

    And anyone who needs an armorer to swap an AR upper shouldn't be allowed to have one. It's two pins you can pop by hand.

    FWIW I've got ARs in a half dozen different calibers. And a half dozen different brands of uppers & lowers. They all work.

    And any gas system from 20" rifle length to 8" pistol length will worh with a std. m4 carbine buffer setup.

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    I just bought a M4A1 SOCOM Daniel Defense upper exclusive to Brownells (from Brownells website). It will fit any lower. They are on sale and you can get 10% off on top of that, I think I used pewpew10. It was about $640, which is a good deal for DD.

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    Based on the questions your relative is asking, it doesn't sound like they are shooting their rifle too much. I would advise not to bother with any mods unless they understand why they would want them. People often end up spending (wasting) a lot of money trying this and that till they finally find what they want or realize that they have tried 4 or 5 different versions of the same part and the new fancy one doesn't really do much better than the original for them.

    To his question about hurting resale value, I'm sorry to say that an M&P Sport is far from a collectors item. It is not a bad rifle but if it were mi e... I would not worry about it holding value. Maybe someone else will reply back differently... but I don't think I'm too off base here.

    If he wanted to do any modifications, I think your suggestion of a trigger is a good one, if he gets a good quality trigger. If he wants a lighter pull, maybe a 2-stage trigger like a Geissele, Centurion, or LaRue (I have the LaRue MBT-2 that I like but there are others that are as good or better). However he shouldn't think that he needs a new trigger, the 13 year old mil-spec trigger I have in my first rifle actually feels pretty good,

    Any AR-15 upper receiver should fit on to his M&P lower. If he wanted a Daniel Defense upper, he should have no issues just popping the front and rear pins and putting the 2nd upper on. Some upper and lower receivers can fit tight, but unless one is out of specification, they should fit.

    Hope this helps to answer some of your questions.

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    A lot of higher end uppers are over built for average shooters. If you aren’t running a can or a laser module, there is no reason to over think things. If the Smith is reliable it may not need much. I personally am a milspec nerd so I have a lot of the military upper set ups in my collection, but they are over built for a basic self defense rifle. DD is great and I’ve got one, but a basic 6920 or BCM upper is fine. A Smith is basically a budget rifle. If it were me and I could afford it I’d just pull the factory upper off and put in away, and slap on a Giessele/Colt/BCM/Aero/DD upper based on what you like.

    I care about things that allow to run the rifle, and hit what I need too. So my priorities are optics and mounts, a white light, and a reliable trigger and safety. You didn’t mention optics, but as long as a gun is reliable my first upgrade is a decent sighting system. I wouldn’t worry about trying to tune any AR trigger when you can buy a great Geissele drop in for less than 200 bucks and change it yourself in 10 minutes.

    People talk crap about the Smith and Wessons, but I’ve got several really nice rifles built on Anderson and PSA lowers.
    OEF / OIR / OFS

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    Quote Originally Posted by wanderson View Post
    Swapping uppers or replacing a trigger (fire control group) is as easy as pushing out a few pins, and I can guarantee that any trigger upgrade isn'tgoing to affect the resale of a S&W MP15 one nickel.

    Any mil spec AR upper will fit.

    And anyone who needs an armorer to swap an AR upper shouldn't be allowed to have one. It's two pins you can pop by hand.

    FWIW I've got ARs in a half dozen different calibers. And a half dozen different brands of uppers & lowers. They all work.

    And any gas system from 20" rifle length to 8" pistol length will worh with a std. m4 carbine buffer setup.
    I think he would want the value to go up a little like doing a home improvement such as a pool or new kitchen increases the value of a house, though not as much as what the person paid for the improvement.

    Are all of the really good uppers mil-spec?
    Last edited by shadowspirit; 04-02-24 at 20:30. Reason: Add something

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    @vandal5 : Thanks for your generous post.

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    I concur with everything the Vandal wrote as well.

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