Hello everyone, and thanks for reading. Please be gentle as I am an AR newbie.
I do own a few handguns. I decided that its about time to get my first semi-automatic rifle. After looking around, it seems that the popular AR platform is the right direction for me.
I have read a good number of "So you want to build an AR" and "AR components for beginners" threads that I feel I have a general idea about the decisions I need to make. I put together a build list. This is my "first draft" and I thought I would get some input from the experts. I appreciate any feedback.
I'm a civilian, not LEO. This will mostly be for range shooting. I may occasionally go pinking. I don't plan to use it for home defense or other CQB scenario. I'm not much of a SHTF kind of guy. But I am also an old boy scout and believe in "Be Prepared".
Budget. I'm not going to give a number. I'll just say it like this. I want to keep my build under what it would cost to buy a Colt 6920. If it goes over that then I've gone too far and I'll probably just get the 6920.
I decided to go with a BCM upper. I am leaning towards a 16" Light barrel with the Mid Length gas system. However, I am open to persuasion by those that know more than I do. Here are links for the 16" Standard barrel mid length gas system, 16" Light barrel mid length gas system, and the 20" standard barrel with rifle gas system. They're all priced the same.
This means that I will need a bolt carrier group and charging handle. BCM sounds good to me.
I've heard good things about a good many lowers. Seems like different forums gravitate towards different brands. Last night I was having a chuckle looking at the Spike lowers for their "cool" factor. But thats not what I'm after. I'm actually trying to create a retro build. So, I've tentatively decided on the Rock River Lower. People seem to like their triggers. I'm flip flopping back and forth on the 1-stage versus 2-stage triggers. The price difference is about $100. And even with the 2-stage I'm well under my "budget". Yesterday I was leaning towards the 2-stage, but today I'm leaning towards the normal 1-stage trigger. I guess I could always go with 1-stage for now.. and as I develop a more refined taste and learn more about the AR platform, then I can go with a fancy trigger later.
AR0940X Complete Lower Half / Two Stage Trigger / A2 Buttstock
Since I am going for a retro build, I chose the A2 buttstock. If anyone thinks I should replace the buttstock that comes with it for something else, I'll happily listen.
Since I went with the A3 "flattop" design, I want an iron sight carry handle for now. This will let me add optics later on if I decide to put the money into it... after I've learned more. So I need a bolt on carry handle. BCM makes one of those for $110. I've seen other more fancy carry handles for at least $40 more than include more adjustment. I don't know enough here to make a sound decision. I'm inclined to just go with the $110 BCM one. But if someone thinks I'm making a mistake and should invest X dollars more for brand Y carry handle, I would eagerly listen to what you've got to say.
I need some help here. For nostalgic and aesthetic reasons, I would like to go with the triangular A1 style hand guards. I realize most of them are designed for 20" barrel. I would like some help in locating some that look nice on a 16" barrel. Hopefully something that has a nice heat guard and something that doesn't feel flimsy in my hands. And I'm not sure, would I also need to get some type of triangle cap? Or would it work fine with the Upper I chose? This one is kind of holding me up because I'm not sure I've found any that will work. And I might just have to get some circular A2 style ones just to get things moving. But I'd hate to unnecessarily toss money away.
Anyone recommend some good reliable ones? I prefer function over coolness factor.
So here is my total so far:
2-stage trigger. Knock off around $100 for 1-stage.
Thank you very much,