AR Upper Advice
Finally biting the bullet and putting together my first AR...Mainly an AK guy, have had a Saiga .223/5.56 NATO conversion for a while now, my only rifle in that caliber. Got an AR magwell adapter and like it a lot.
Ordered a Vulcan Arms lower, carbon composite. may change out for aluminum lower receiver later. Looking for recommendation on type of upper and for sources. M4 and CAR are what I am looking at going in. Looking for something basic, a good value (for the times, as they constantly change).
Also, most of my ammo is various Russian steel case, some zinc plated Silver Bear. I here AR's don't like at least some of it, so what ammo should I be looking at?
Hey wpflgun, Bellson and I built a couple of those Vulcans years ago. Since he did the buying and building mostly, send him a PM. Sure he'll have answers.
since BCGs are still scarce try to locate a upper that comes with a bolt carrier group.
i like JSEs stuff, and PSA and DSA are good bets --DSA is still pretty deep back ordered i figure -- they make a nice 14.5" m4 upper for $270 you got to blind pin it with a 1.5FH to get out of that $200 NFA tax--though.
AR15 Lowers & Uppers-D S Arms
Thanks for the advice, guys. A couple more questions:
1. How important is a chrome lined barrel?
2. Does a stainless steel barrel eliminate the need for chrome lined?
it is nice to have a chrome lined barrel , the chrome adds durability and reduces pressure a little, it helps prevent stuck cases in the chamber too.
back when i first started playing with these things the conventional wisdom of the internet mall-ninjas was that a chrome lined bore and chamber are a must have.
today i have several barrels that are not chrome lined, they shoot well and don't have any odd problems. if i was going to combat --sure give me chrome-- is
chrome absolutely necessary for an ar-15 to function?--in a word "no". the ar-15s i have without chrome lined barrels can probably shoot up my considerable supply of ammo without a hiccup.
stainless steel is not as slick as a chrome lined bore , but it is a little slicker than plain moly.
stainless is a little more accurate than the steel and chrome lined barrels, it does wear a little more so it is sort of a trade off .
for a semi-automatic i would say get the barrel you want.
the barrel assembly is critical to proper functioning of the ar-15 , the head-space has to be correct and the gas port hole need to the the correct size and in the correct place. the barrel extension is put on the barrel to a standard head-space , so that barrel should be in correct head-space with any new bolt that is made to the USGI specs.
most barrels have these two items covered.
with good parts it is very easy to assemble your own upper, it is like put the barrel in and tighten a nut easy.
bad parts though that are out of specs are what causes problems--
when you get to working with the ar-15 system you'll find that its modular design make any kind of 'gunsmithing" on it a snap-fit!
you can literally assemble the entire thing from a box of parts from various sources and not cut ,file, grind . notch, anything--PROVIDED all the parts are in spec.
these days some parts are getting a little out --but generally this is still true.
I would look at AIM surplus they usually have complete uppers or the components sold seperately from a few good companies. As far as the ammo thing. For some odd reason the higher quality guns don't like the steel case stuff. That's just my experience. I had a Bushmaster (I hate that I sold it) that chewed up anything I fed through it. On the other side of the coin I have a tricked out S&W M&P 15 that has about $3k put into it that doesn't cycle through steel cased ammo very well. It kills me but it is what it is.
I hope it goes well for you though. A good Upper and BCG are usually where you make your money IMHO.
it is that .063 gas port--the big names use when they follow the colt pattern a little too closely.
all mine eat the steel cased stuff like it was going out of style.
palmetto has sold quite a few uppers for reasonable cash before the panic--that is one we forgot-- i think they came with the BCGs.
a standard set up upper with BCGs had been going for around $420 just before the panic IIRC-- more exotic stuff is a little more expensive.
there should be a few around for close to that somewhere.
Thanks for the additional advice everyone, it is helping me zero in on what I need. Got the Vulcan Arms lower yesterday, picked up at local FFL. Ordered one of the $130 MPI BCG M16 style along with charging handle. Thanks to j427x for the tip and coupon code. Including shipping, I have $398 in it so far, just need the rest of the upper. Eye-balling the DSA M4 for $270. If I get that one, it will come in at just shy of $700 for the package. Might add chrome lined barrel for a little extra... I have enough AR mags to get started, as I bought em up for my converted Saiga .223, as I have the removable AR magwell adapter for it. Have quite a few Galil steel and Golani Tapco mags for it w/o the adapter. Will still get more AR mags, of course, cannot have too many...
that DSA 14.5" is chrome lined and 1-7" -- i been eyeing it even before the panic-- they might have a few of them left cause their NFA DBR or you have attach a longer FH to get the barrel length up to 16"--
i have one of the DSA 14.5" barrels --it will give any of the big name 14" s a serious run for their money.
before the panic DSA has a lot of nitrided barrels and uppers-- hell i wish i had bought one of them too--LOL!