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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been thinking about building an AR15 with a stripped lower thats collecting dust and came across this video. Any truth to it, in your opinions? I see lots of people using Anderson AR lower receivers, will they hold up for the long haul quality wise? Been seeing people buy/build $450 AR15s and this video got me thinking.......

 

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Been thinking about building an AR15 with a stripped lower thats collecting dust and came across this video. Any truth to it, in your opinions? I see lots of people using Anderson AR lower receivers, will they hold up for the long haul quality wise? Been seeing people buy/build $450 AR15s and this video got me thinking.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK9no_JKGGY
In my opinion it depends on what you hope to achieve. If you're looking for the cheapest way to get an AR15 type firearm, you can probably do that by purchasing a complete (or complete upper and complete lower) from one of the discount gun builders out there. If you want to assemble one with an ulterior motive gaining the knowledge and satisfaction of doing so, or having a rifle customized to your desires, then build it.

I think these days you can get a discount entry level cheaper than you can get all of the parts and tools. Alternatively you may want to research specifically what you want, perhaps pay a little more, and purchase something that is more than entry level. Like most things, it's going to be highly dependent of what you intend to use it for and what your expectations are.
 

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Can't view the video.

Seeing as you already have the lower, why not buy a rifle kit from PSA ( Palmetto State Armory) . They have some from $389, Some with free shipping that have all the parts needed ( other than sights and a magazine) to have a decent , good working rifle.
The upper is pre assembled, ready to attach . The lower is not difficult to put together and can be done without special tools. Plenty of Youtube vids to walk you through it.

Anderson lowers are fine.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/ar-15-05/rifle-kits.html
 

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I have been around thousands of rifles...absolutely no exaggeration. My department has over a thousand on the street, and I have been to 40+ shooting classes/schools. Add in all of the rifles I see at the range, and all of them I saw as an instructor in the Marine Corps, and it's been a lot.

I hear, and read of tons of "just as good" guns, or guns that have "never failed before." The funny thing is that I have never seen a single gun built on an Anderson anything make it through a high round count class. Never. As in, not even one. I have seen very few budget AR's make it through one. Probably under 20.

Speaking to guys who have seen many times the number of guns I have, their experiences mimic my own. Pat Rogers used to keep binders (yes, multiple binders...the thick ones) of notes on failures he saw in his classes. Interestingly, there were very few listed for Colts, BCM's, or Daniel Defense. Frankenguns almost invariably failed. Regardless of how experienced and sure of themselves the builders were. Bushmaster, DPMS, Olympic filled the pages of those binders. Pat told me he had never, in decades of teaching, had a Stag left-handed rifle make it through his class, and he knew less than five regular Stags made it through. Like I said, my experiences mimic those findings.

As it stands right now, if I need to trust my life to a rifle, it is going to be a Colt, a BCM, a DD, an Archer, a Sons of Liberty Gun Works, or a Hodge Defense. If it's going to be a plinker, I don't care what it says on the side.
 

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If you build it properly you shouldn't have reliability issues, and if you do have reliability issues, you will learn a lot during the process of sorting it out.
I like the idea of building one because you choose each part so you build it to suit your needs/tastes best.
Seems everyone buys a rifle and then changes out parts to personalize it, so they buy a rifle, then spend money on parts to replace the brand new parts, and then wind up with a bunch of parts in a box they won't use. That's avoided if you build it.

There's actually a third option. Colt sells a rifle with no furniture, it's a complete, functional rifle with no handguard, stock, sights or grip. They sell for about $700, and that's a cool way to get a rifle and then install the components you would normally to personalize it
 

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On a side note. I have a DD with thousands of rounds and the upper is barely worn at the cam pin area. Yet I have a PSA with maybe a thousand rounds and cam pin area is well worn. They both list the same alloy material, but the cheap one is wearing much faster. I am a colt person by heart. I have more colt AR15s than any other. But my go to rifles that have to work are Two DDv5s and my DDmk18, and DD v11. My Daniel defense rifles work everytime. I am not going to say they don't jam but with thousands of rounds I can't recall one jam. I say that as a colt fanboy.


 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So Colt stuff is still good to go? I've heard/read that their not what they use to be, does Colt still have the military contract for M4s?
 

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I built a frankengun put of high quality parts. The only problem I had was a single failure to fire that had a very strong primer strike, so it was probably an ammo problem. Admittedly I haven't shot thousands of rounds out of it but I have put it through it's paces a few times and shot it in various weather conditions while hunting. For high volume situations, I feel confident but it's definitely unproven. I don't think I'll ever be in a high volume situation and if I am I'm probably more likely to fail than the rifle is. I'm hoping to get to a class or two soon.
 

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most AR receivers out there are actually made in one of about 3 plants, even with different branding, so as long as its in spec you should be good to go, just remember that when you select your parts that you make sure everything is balanced properly, for example, if youre going with a 16" barrel and carbine length gas system you'll probably want the carbine length buffer as its weighted the handle the blowback forces of the round and its intended barrel length

so figure out what you want, buy parts accordingly, and i would recommend a full auto bolt carrier, theyre legal, they have more mass, and this translates into them generally being more reliable

if you have the option to build your own of anything you should ALWAYS do it so you can learn more about your weapon, how it functions, and be able to understand whats going wrong if something happens, and understand how to fix it.. people need to learn to become their own gunsmiths and not rely on others they will not have access too in any shtf scenario
 

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You understand that the same plant makes parts that meet different standards, right? Colt's standard for example may be one thing, and they may purchase from Company A. But Company A also manufactures for multiple other AR manufacturers, to different standards.

To further illustrate that, Colt and Stag use one of the same manufacturers. You'll almost never (if ever) find an out of spec Colt lower. You will find MANY Stags that are.
 

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8 plants make multiple manufacturer's forged lowers. Multiple manufacturers make their own. Those numbers are larger for billet receivers.
 

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So Colt stuff is still good to go? I've heard/read that their not what they use to be, does Colt still have the military contract for M4s?
As a colt fan boy it hurts me to say that their fit and finish is ****. I always has been. They work well but they are not as reliable as my Daniel Defenses, but at half the price of the DD they are good enough. I have more Colts than any other rifle because I like the name.
 

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I have never experienced a failure with AR-15. All are built from the cheapest parts. But a man must understand the weapons and the parts, and what they can and can't do. And what one expects from his gun(s) as far as accuracy, the precise purpose of the weapon and such. For example I would not get an aluminum gas block or the one with set screws. Many people use them without trouble, but I understand the kind of forces applied, expansion rates and other stuff. So I want to know exactly what is inside and how it was assembled.
 

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ar parts are not created equal. cheap parts are cheap parts, cheap rifles are cheap rifles.
And cheap rifles are perfectly serviceable for a majority of users.:thumb:

I have 4, one was bought completed and new, 3 were built. Two of the three have suffered a few failures, but they were part of the fitting and breaking in process, once tuned up, they have never failed, and I doubt I will shoot them enough to wear them out, they are the fun guns, and parts are easy to replace; I have another rifle for serious work.

I think it is important to remember that for many folks, the $400 spent to buy or build a low end gun is not wasted, it gives them a chance to get into the AR, learn about it, and discover what they really want once they invest in a better gun, without breaking the bank. For instance, I really didn't want a 16" barrel at first, the M16A1 Uncle Sam let me use had a 20", my first AR had a 20", and I liked it, at first...but the last gun I built is a 16", and I am enjoying how light it is.

If you are only going to get one....well, no one only gets one, so lets just enjoy the cheap stuff once in a while.:D:
 

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And cheap rifles are perfectly serviceable for a majority of users.:thumb:

I have 4, one was bought completed and new, 3 were built. Two of the three have suffered a few failures, but they were part of the fitting and breaking in process, once tuned up, they have never failed, and I doubt I will shoot them enough to wear them out, they are the fun guns, and parts are easy to replace; I have another rifle for serious work.

I think it is important to remember that for many folks, the $400 spent to buy or build a low end gun is not wasted, it gives them a chance to get into the AR, learn about it, and discover what they really want once they invest in a better gun, without breaking the bank. For instance, I really didn't want a 16" barrel at first, the M16A1 Uncle Sam let me use had a 20", my first AR had a 20", and I liked it, at first...but the last gun I built is a 16", and I am enjoying how light it is.

If you are only going to get one....well, no one only gets one, so lets just enjoy the cheap stuff once in a while.:D:
Never said they were not serviceable. But they do wear out quicker. When that Ferguson thing happened I got PSA rifles for every vehicle I own. I shot 200 rounds out of each to break/sight them in. That 200 rounds started wearing in the cam pin area on the uppers. My V5 has thousand of rounds and the finish just started wearing through. That being said I trust my life with these 4 rifles that were under 550$ each.
 

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You guys can actually build ARs and that is very cool. But an AR is a machine and a machine is really and engineering compromise. As an imperfect thing, each working part has to interface and work with the next even though sometimes the function of one part will suffer. The gas pressure has to be right for the buffer configuration. The barrel and the gas and the charge of the round have to be balanced, etc. etc. So for this reason it seems to me the most reliable AR would be one which the engineers have already figured out, not one you design from the seat of your pants which looks pretty.
 
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