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  1. #1
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    first time gun builder, is a budget bcg or barrel worth it?

    so i'm in the process of building my first AR...looking into the upper parts category. as of now, at the current stage of my life, i don't make it to the range as much as i want to. i also lack the funds to shoot thousands of rounds each time i go out. so for now, the probability of me shooting out a barrel, or wearing out a bcg...so in your opinions, what are the benefits of a $200 bolt carrier group vs a $100 or less bcg?

    as far as the barrel goes, i'm finding it "cheaper" to buy an assembled upper from aero than it is to buy all the parts separate and assembling them myself (which is sad, because i really enjoyed assembling the lower and want to do an upper now) am i sacrificing quality and accuracy for going a cheaper route?

  2. #2
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    In this market, most BCG's are hovering around the $100 range. Even Colt/BCM ones are in the $150 range.

    Since you've already stated that you don't make it to the range often, and lack the funds to shoot thousands of rounds, I would suggest the best carrier you can afford. Are there specific ones you're looking at? If you go with the Aero Factory Upper, I believe they are saving a sale on their carriers. $90ish for a Nitride one.

    Now, with all that said, you should just go with the factory Aero Upper since the lack of funds likely means you don't have the proper tools to put together an upper. Buying the tools for an upper is usually only worth it if you plan to put together multiple uppers. Doesn't sound like you're there at this point.

  3. #3
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    ^^ spot on.

    X2 on a aero upper and decent bcg and save the rest for ammo and mags and go out and shoot..

  4. #4
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    Since you outted yourself as a lefty on another thread, Stag Arms has a sale on their NiB lefty BCG for $154. Add a CMT UPUR-1LH from Rainier arms for $151, and you're well on your way to nice lefty rifle. I don't believe you need to worry about barrels with ambi chamfered barrel extensions. I have a standard barrel on one of my rifles, and have never experienced a problem. If you don't want to tool up, or know someone with tools to help, I think you'd do fine with a Stag Model 3HL with Plus Package and bolt upgrade (1:7 barrel with a HP/MP tested bolt). That will run you $570. The nice thing about the 3HL, if you want to go for a free float hand guard in the future, all you have to do is loosen the railed gas block, and not worry about removing the pins from FSB. Stag really presses them in.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjd3 View Post
    Since you outted yourself as a lefty on another thread, Stag Arms has a sale on their NiB lefty BCG for $154. Add a CMT UPUR-1LH from Rainier arms for $151, and you're well on your way to nice lefty rifle. I don't believe you need to worry about barrels with ambi chamfered barrel extensions. I have a standard barrel on one of my rifles, and have never experienced a problem. If you don't want to tool up, or know someone with tools to help, I think you'd do fine with a Stag Model 3HL with Plus Package and bolt upgrade (1:7 barrel with a HP/MP tested bolt). That will run you $570. The nice thing about the 3HL, if you want to go for a free float hand guard in the future, all you have to do is loosen the railed gas block, and not worry about removing the pins from FSB. Stag really presses them in.
    yeah, i've looked into stag, but right now EVERYTHING left handed is out of stock. (at least the assembled stuff) but i really don't have a problem shooting a right handed rifle left handed. (unless it's bolt action). i think i'm starting to adapt to the right handed world. haha.

    thanks for the input guys.

  6. #6
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    BCG and barrel are the heart and sole of the platform, not a place to cut corners in my opinion.
    The best way to survive a violent encounter is to be the one inflicting the most violence.

  7. #7
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    Unless you're shooting suppressed, and have multiple uppers/guns I'd stay away from LH uppers. Proprietary parts, and no real benefit unless you're shooting with a can.

  8. #8
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    You stated that your a first time builder, I can appreciate that, we all were, at one time or another. But it's my firm belief that building an AR is not really a "budget" proposition.

    What I really mean by that is, that you can shop for comparable components, and get the best deal you can on each, but even if you buy the cheapest (differs from "budget") stuff you can find, you could probably find a nice off the shelf rifles that will be less expensive than a "budget" build.

    I've seen so many "budget" builds literally fall apart at the range. Actually within the last month, I witnessed one just eat itself, although I think a lot of that was a lack of skills in building it.

    The bottom line is, you don't have to have the most expensive of everything, but get the best that you can within your budget. There are always exceptions to everything, but on average, if you buy everything out of the bottom of the barrel, you can still find a nicer rifle at your gun dealer for the same or less.

    You mentioned that what I interpreted as "you can't afford to shoot a lot" [quotes mine], due to ammo costs, thousands of rounds etc..that you can get away with a cheaper weapon. No. That cheap weapon can fall apart in way less than "thousands of rounds". Plus you have to consider if you're going to be using Optics. A decent optic can go from $400 - to $3K.

    I would either wait until I was more comfortable with my budget, or sock away a "windfall" such as a tax refund or something, rather than shopping the 'net for the cheapest thing you can find. Searching for a "deal" on parts is a no-brainer, and you don't have to spend thousands for occasional plinkingl. But I would think it over, and break out the calculator and figure out what your going to get vs. what you spend. You can also "upgrade" a quality off the shelf rifle, as you can afford it.

    Whatever you choose, good luck.

    FT
    Last edited by FortTom; 5 May 2017 at 22:27.
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  9. #9
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    One option you may want to consider is either a Aero Precision OEM or Colt OEM. Pretty much complete rifles that allows you to pick your furniture to finish with. And very affordable without being budget, about $530 to $664.

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    http://www.brownells.com/firearms/ri...prod81838.aspx

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...6_16_no_furnmt
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  10. #10
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    Would be cool to get the Colt OEM for $664, then pay $200 for a tax stamp. When your stamp comes back have the barrel cut to 10.3" and re-threaded for around $70. Will probably need to be to have the gas port done and a new buffer also, but makes for a really affordable Colt SBR.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GOST View Post
    Would be cool to get the Colt OEM for $664, then pay $200 for a tax stamp. When your stamp comes back have the barrel cut to 10.3" and re-threaded for around $70. Makes for a really affordable Colt SBR.
    Funny you mention that. I bought a Colt OEM1 from G&R Tactical. Just got the upper back after getting it cut down to 10.3"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by UWone77 View Post
    Funny you mention that. I bought a Colt OEM1 from G&R Tactical. Just got the upper back after getting it cut down to 10.3"
    Who did your work, UW? Got pics in another thread?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    Who did your work, UW? Got pics in another thread?
    I was actually going to start a thread in the build section about it.

    Stay tuned.

  14. #14
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    Here's a great buy on a top notch upper from a very good member here:

    http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum...740#post149740

    Combined with this complete lower for $324 and you would have a top notch rifle at a great price.

    https://www.rainierarms.com/bcm-lower-group-no-stock
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  15. #15
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    As has been said, the barrel is the heart of the rifle. That said, Ballistic Advantage barrels, as used by Aero Precision, are a very good value and very reasonable choice for most recreational shooters.

    Anything above about $150 on a BCG (Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM) doesn't really you buy anything other than perhaps some bling or brand bragging rights. I'll spend a few extra bucks on nitride or NiB just to make cleaning go a bit easier and quicker. If I had to buy a BCG today, I'd probably order this Fail Zero for $120. If you come across a specific item that you have questions on, just post here and I'm sure someone can chime in.

    If you go with a factory Aero upper, keep in mind that their M4E1 uppers are limited in handguard selection to the wide BAR format. They are a great setup and very simple to assemble, but somewhat limiting.

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