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Comic, not your lawyer!
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Yes this was do-able 6 months go. Now, not as easily. First, very predictably (as in anyone could have and should have seen it coming and prepared), we're heading into a 4-year POTUS election where gun control is going to be a divisive issue. Prices always spike.

Double down on that with pandemic-mania and gun sales have hit records in the first 2 quarters.

All the stuff you want is probably 20% -50% or more than normal pricing. So, either pay the piper or shop for blems and deals, or gamble that Trump wins and prices come back down.

As for optics, I'd also go with irons for now. Maybe 1 good red dot. Do not get cheap optics as they won't last. Splurge for a SigRomeo. $150. Shake awake technology. $1 batteries. Set back 10 and you have a lifetime supply and that optic is rugged. Save up and buy more.
 

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I'm still trying to kill a $20 red dot. I have not yet succeeded.

It's not the optic I would go to war with.

I do not think prices are going to come down anytime in the next....several....years.

I like building AR's more than I like buying them.

Heck, I usually like building them more than I like shooting them.

This is my latest....and it may be one of my favorite guns.

It's got about $400 into it.

 

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I'm still trying to kill a $20 red dot. I have not yet succeeded.

It's not the optic I would go to war with.

I do not think prices are going to come down anytime in the next....several....years.

I like building AR's more than I like buying them.

Heck, I usually like building them more than I like shooting them.

This is my latest....and it may be one of my favorite guns.

It's got about $400 into it.

Primary arms 1x red dots are pretty cheap. And they are known to be hard to kill.

Also a prism sight in 1x or even 3x is a good option. A couple hundred for a cheap one. They are light and they have the advantage of being functional without any power.
 

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Where have you seen them cheap?

Mostly I see them $40-$50.

If cheap I'd pick up a dozen or so.
Correction....these are not surplus.

Sportsman is expecting them to be back in stock later this year, sometime in august.

$30

I'd call that cheap :)

But I'm not quite as shrewd as you are

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/sniper-ar-15-detachable-carry-handle?a=1104832

Just the sight, is a little cheaper and in stock

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/sniper-ar-15-detachable-rear-sight?a=1104830
 

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Fenced In
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A broken in rifle will eat stuff a new one won't and it will perform better. Reconsider your 30 round plan.
Excellent advice, and I was going to post the same. (I guess by quoting this, I effectively am.)

30 rounds is not enough break-in for a gun/mag/ammo combination that may be relied upon to defend your life and home, especially a DIY build. For 8-10 weapons total, at least buy yourself 1000 rounds of whatever ammo you intend to feed them, for testing.

"Don't care about close quarters". Your call I reckon, but if that's how it is then something magnified or an A2 rear sight would make more sense than a 1X optic.
Maybe it'd be appropriate to equip half with some sort of magnified optic, and the other half with either irons or red dots of some sort. Even if all the equipment is identical, the eyes of the individual shooters won't be. Some optics are virtually worthless for folks with astigmatism. Some can't get a decent sight picture on a handgun, so iron sights on an AR could be virtually impossible. I know this is all being proposed with a fairly specific price range in mind, but maybe go with fewer firearms (8) and dedicate a little more for optics on at least some of them.

I'm a firm believer in Vortex optics, either the Spitfire 1x (they also make a 3x) or Strike Eagle 1-6x for my purposes, but have had fine results with Bushnell dots and scopes. I won't go cheaper than that, based on repeated disappointment with cheap Amazon-sourced optics.
 

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Correction....these are not surplus.

Sportsman is expecting them to be back in stock later this year, sometime in august.

$30

I'd call that cheap :)

But I'm not quite as shrewd as you are
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Thank you, but I don't.;)
I might pay the price in the second link if it was milsurp vs Chinese, but that would be the top.
 

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MortarMaggot
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PSA rifles all day plus a 1x prism, either vortex or primary arms.


*Edit*


PSA stripped lowers for $44.99


https://palmettostatearmory.com/palmetto-state-armory-liberty-lower.html
Also have to factor in FFL transfer fees on stripped finished lowers or complete guns. These guys have them For 2 for $66 or $33ea, but depending on your FFL dealer that will go up. My FFL charges $20/box up to 10 serial numbers, so if I bought up to 5 of those 2 packs it would only add $2.00 per lower for me, but I know FFL's who will charge $25 & up per receiver or firearm, so that would be another $250, possibly more on to those lowers.

There are bulk packs of 80% lowers to be had for decent prices still.

https://www.5dtactical.com/product-p/10045015-blem-10pk.htm

https://www.tacticalmachining.com/80-lower-10-pack.html

https://www.5dtactical.com/product-p/10045015-raw-blem-10.htm

If you want to do polymer, which I'm guessing the OP doesn't, these aren't bad as far as polymer receivers go, not to mention milling out the pocket in a polymer is a lot easier & faster.

https://www.tnarmsco.com/8-pack-80-lower-blank-only/
 

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Destroyer of Karen
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Also have to factor in FFL transfer fees on stripped finished lowers or complete guns. These guys have them For 2 for $66 or $33ea, but depending on your FFL dealer that will go up. My FFL charges $20/box up to 10 serial numbers, so if I bought up to 5 of those 2 packs it would only add $2.00 per lower for me, but I know FFL's who will charge $25 & up per receiver or firearm, so that would be another $250, possibly more on to those lowers.

There are bulk packs of 80% lowers to be had for decent prices still.

https://www.5dtactical.com/product-p/10045015-blem-10pk.htm

https://www.tacticalmachining.com/80-lower-10-pack.html

https://www.5dtactical.com/product-p/10045015-raw-blem-10.htm

If you want to do polymer, which I'm guessing the OP doesn't, these aren't bad as far as polymer receivers go, not to mention milling out the pocket in a polymer is a lot easier & faster.

https://www.tnarmsco.com/8-pack-80-lower-blank-only/



You need a new FFL!


Mine is a flat rate of $20 period. I could order 50 firearms and it would be $20 :)
 

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MortarMaggot
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You need a new FFL!


Mine is a flat rate of $20 period. I could order 50 firearms and it would be $20 :)
That's a good deal. Many people that don't live around here wish they had one like mine, cause as I said, many charge for each serial number they record & often $25 per & up. Years ago I was ordering lowers in batches of 4 & 5 so the transfer fee per lower was $4-$5 per lower which most people I talked to thought was really low. Sadly all those lowers were lost in a tragic boating accident. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Now in your list I don't see a LPK
Because I totally flaked and didn't paste the link. Thanks for the catch! I'll fix it now.


I'd opt for the CHF version for a bit more..
Agree 100%. Total oversight on my part.

I'd do irons over a $100 red dot.
I am starting to lean in that direction with the great feedback from y'all.

I'd also say if you're good with putting them together & especially doing 80% lowers
I can rebuild an engine an can certainly handle working on weapons. Just didn't feel like dedicating the time. Now I am starting to feel it would be prudent to do so for both knowledge building and parts selection. The 80% is a turn off for me since my FLL doesn't care about quantity so it's not an added expense.

And if he went with a combination front sight/gas block he would only need a rear sight.

You could go even cheaper and buy surplus detached carry handles with rear sights built in.
Copy that. Researching now.

For 8-10 weapons total, at least buy yourself 1000 rounds of whatever ammo you intend to feed them, for testing.
Good call.

I appreciate all the replies with a ton of great info and links. I'm digging into all of them now and will certainly be back with following questions in the coming days.
 

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I second the idea of buying factory rifles. Del-ton is a solid choice. I'd skip battery powered optics if you're looking to store long term. If the balloon goes up iron sites will rule.

Good luck, keep us posted
 

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MortarMaggot
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I second the idea of buying factory rifles. Del-ton is a solid choice. I'd skip battery powered optics if you're looking to store long term. If the balloon goes up iron sites will rule.

Good luck, keep us posted
Many of the red dot sights use the little coin lithium batteries that often have a 20+ year shelf life & have a 50K hour run life in the optic. It's not hard to stock up on them as they don't take up much room & have such a long shelf life you don't need to rotate them out very often. I wouldn't run anything without BUIS, but having an optic is much nicer for most situations. If it does crap out for whatever reason, then you still have the irons. :thumb:
 

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MortarMaggot
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Many of the red dot sights use the little coin lithium batteries that often have a 20+ year shelf life & have a 50K hour run life in the optic. It's not hard to stock up on them as they don't take up much room & have such a long shelf life you don't need to rotate them out very often. I wouldn't run anything without BUIS, but having an optic is much nicer for most situations. If it does crap out for whatever reason, then you still have the irons. :thumb:
I think people will run out of ammo long before they run out of batteries. You can get a lifetime supply of every optic battery you could ever need for the price of a box of ammo, and the weight of a few rounds. Compared to stocking ammo the consumable nature of batteries is utterly irrelevant.
 

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μολὼν λαβ
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That’s a lot of mouths to feed.

Also, you forgot iron. You need to have iron so you can slap it to stop the bleeding.
 

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If you are building that many, consider getting a ghost gunner before they make them illegal, and start with 80% lowers. I am going to be building 3 for some uppers I have. If you ever plan on having a AR pistol, designate one or two of the lowers as pistol lowers, stamp a p on them or some other way, that way you can use them for either pistol or rifle. Aren’t laws wonderful?
 

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If you are building that many, consider getting a ghost gunner before they make them illegal, and start with 80% lowers. I am going to be building 3 for some uppers I have. If you ever plan on having a AR pistol, designate one or two of the lowers as pistol lowers, stamp a p on them or some other way, that way you can use them for either pistol or rifle. Aren’t laws wonderful?
All you need is one pistol kit.

Build them all as pistols first.
Then as rifles.

Then later (if you bought them as "other") they can all go back to being pistols.
 
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