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wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

mod edit: Here's the old thread if you want a trip down memory lane


Welcome to the AR-15 Megathread! It’s a place where we talk about America’s favorite and most reviled service rifle. This is going to be a bit of a work in progress, so please bear with meus as this thing gets rebuilt.

Why An AR15?
1. At the time of writing, they're affordable as hell. You can get a perfectly functional AR-15 from a major manufacturer for $350 with a little shopping, and you can build a surprisingly nice rifle for $600ish.
2. They shoot .223 Remington/5.56x45mm, an effective short-medium range cartridge that happens to be pretty alright at a lot of things
3. They're basically Lego. While the vast majority of ARs are in .223 Remington/5.56x45mm, there is a robust aftermarket offering piles of weirdo caliber conversions, some of which are actually kind of good. Basically, if it can fit in the magazine well, you're a pile of cash, an upper, and a magazine away from a world of projectiles.
4. It's easy to do your own gun plumbing. More than a few goons have assembled an AR from parts using their own Cheeto dust-covered fingers and some basic tools.
5. The basic design is pretty much open-sourced with a gazillion companies repackaging the same design and competing for your bottom buck.
6. It's been in service for 50 60 years with various militaries and has become one of the most well understood firearms designs in the world


How Do They Work?

I’m stealing this from Aquarium Gravel’s post because it is a simple and efficient way to explain how the AR-15’s operating mechanism works:

1. Feeding - The face of the bolt pushes a round from the magazine lips onto the barrel extension.
2. Chambering - The round enters the chamber of the barrel under forward pressure from the bolt.
3. Locking - the bolt rotates on the cam in the bolt carrier, which locks the lugs into the barrel extension, and locks the rim of the extractor over the edge of the case.
4. Firing - The trigger is pulled, sending the face of the hammer into the rear of the firing pin. The firing pin strikes the primer, igniting the powder in the case. The gas from the ignited powder expands rapidly and forces the projectile down the barrel. The escaping gas behind the projectile is tapped at the gas port partway down the barrel and delivered by the gas tube to the bolt carrier group.
5. Unlocking - The gas pressure in the bolt carrier group unlocks the bolt lugs from the receiver extension lugs.
6. Extraction - The bolt travels rearward, and the extractor grips the rim of the case to the bolt face and pulls it from the chamber.
7. Ejection - The spring-loaded ejector on the face of the bolt pushes the empty cartridge case out of the ejection port to the right.
8. Cocking - The bolt carrier pushes down the hammer and cocks the action again.

Alternatively, watch dis video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSqYvWib1og


Basic Operation and Maintenence
Read this Army comic book: DA PAM 750-30 M16A1 Operation and Preventative Maintenence.

Rough History of the AR:
A bunch of words about the history of the AR15 are gonna go here. Just wait for it.
Eugene Stoner
Early Adoption
Vietnam Era
Post Vietnam “Improvements”
Carbines and the GWoT


Buy Vs Assemble

Buying vs assembling is a personal choice, especially given the low cost of today's entry-level rifles. That said, starting with a custom build allows you to maximize your build's flexibility and reduce your chances of ending up with extra AR-15 seeds.

80% Lowers

A stripped receiver is legally a firearm. At some point during its manufacture, it's just a hunk of metal, legally speaking. The ATF's rule is that up to 80% of the required machining steps may take place before that hunk of metal becomes a firearm (and has all sorts of laws applied to it). Consequently, some companies sell "80% lowers." Since they're not firearms yet, 80% lowers can be sold directly to the end consumer. But this means that the last 20% of the machining steps have to be completed by the end consumer in order to have the 80% lower become a functional firearm. At a minimum, this requires a jig to hold the lower, and a drill to finish the remaining steps. For most 80% lowers, the steps are to mill out the FCG pocket (the place where the hammer and trigger go) and drill the hammer and trigger pinholes. The process is relatively simple, but it won't save you any money, what with lowers being available for under $50 (as of 2017). If you do get an 80% lower, make sure and get an aluminum lower, and not a plastic one.

Parts and Accessories Rundown

this is a part and or an accessory
Uppers:
There are three types of upper receivers, only one of which you should buy. The type of upper that you do want to buy is a flat-top upper, which has no integral rear sight, just a picatinny rail to which you can mount scopes and/or detachable iron sights. Different manufacturers will call their flat-tops either "A3" or "A4" uppers, but they're the same thing.

The A1 and A2 uppers were used on the M16A1 and M16A2, respectively. They both have permanent integral rear iron sights as part of the upper. Unless you want to assemble a retro-style rifle there's no reason to buy one of these. The main reason not to is because they make mounting a scope much harder. They don't make it impossible, but they're very limiting and therefore non-optimal. Even if you never mount a scope on a flat-top you can still use a detachable carry handle sight and get the same type of iron sights you'd get on an A1 or A2 with the flat-top.

The only other major difference between uppers is whether they have M4 feed ramps or not. These are just fed ramps that extend onto the inside of the upper instead of only being part of the barrel extension. They were developed due to problems in M4 carbines feeding in full-auto, so they're not really necessary in semi-auto, but there's not really any downside to them either. If you assemble your upper receiver yourself, make sure to match the feed ramps on your barrel extension with the feed ramps on your upper.

If you watched the video I embedded at the top of this post, you'll know the AR15 siphons a small portion of the gas from the barrel, sending it back through the gas tube attached above the barrel to inside the bolt group, where it operates the gun's action. The gas tube length varies depending on the barrel length, but different barrels of the same length can have different gas tube lengths. Longer gas systems are slightly softer-shooting.

Barrel lengths & gas system types:
20"+: This is the barrel length on the M16. It uses a rifle-length gas system. Rarely you'll also see longer 24" or 26" barrels on "varminter" AR15s; these also use rifle-length gas systems.
18": These use either intermediate-length or rifle-length gas systems.
16": These use either carbine-length or mid-length gas systems. A carbine length gas system on a 16" barrel is less desirable than a 16" mid-length due to the carbine gas system's higher pressures and therefore slightly quicker parts wear, but it's not a huge problem.
14.5": These either use carbine-length or (rarely) mid-length gas systems. Also, because these barrels are under the 16" NFA length requirements for rifles there must be a muzzle device that's permanently attached (welded and/or pinned) to the barrel to bring the whole combination of barrel & muzzle device to more than 16". Because it's permanently attached, this may cause problems later if you want to put a free-float rail on the upper because many times installing a rail requires that the gas block be removed to install a new barrel nut, and removing the gas block requires that you remove whatever muzzle device is on the gun.
<14.5": These use carbine-length gas systems (12.5", 11.5" or 10.5" barrels) or pistol length gas systems (7.5" and shorter). Typically you'll only see these barrel lengths on a short-barreled rifle or an AR15 pistol, but occasionally you'll see an abortion like a 11.5" barrel with a permanently attached 5.5" long flash suppressor that keeps it legal for use on Title I guns.

M4 carbine with 14.5" barrel, A3 flat-top upper receiver, railed handguard, and collapsible stock.


M16A2 rifle with 20" barrel, A2 upper receiver, plastic handguards and fixed A2 stock.


Barrel materials:
Chrome-Moly Vanadium (CMV) alloy: the most basic of barrel materials is CMV steel, most often 4150 or 4140. The numbers specify the percentage of alloying materials used in the steel. 4150 is "milspec" and is the accepted material for making gun barrels. A rule of thumb is that 4140 is a little cheaper than 4150 (but not by much) and 4150 is stronger than 4140 (but not by much). A gun barrel is a pressure vessel, and CMV steel has been selected for use because it's a very strong steel alloy that is still readily machinable to take down to size. 4150 CMV has a Rockwell B hardness of 90-96.

Stainless Steel (416R): Stainless steel is pretty similar in composition to 4150, except it has significantly more chromium in it. The chromium content increases the capacity of the steel to resist corrosion and is also a much harder steel. As an added benefit, 416R steel has additional material in it beyond standard 416 steel, making it much easier to machine. This results in a cleaner and more consistent cut for chambers and rifling, which is why match grade barrels tend to use 416R steel. 416R steel has a Rockwell C hardness of 28-36 (Rockwell B equivalent 104-108)

Rifling techniques:
The rifling and chamber are formed from the barrel with one of three techniques, button rifling, cold hammer forging or cut rifling. Button rifling is drilling down a barrel and reaming it out to the minimum diameter for the lands (tops of rifling) and then pushing an extremely hard carbide "button" through the barrel, pressing out the grooves. This is a well-established process that can be quick and cheap on a mass scale. Cold hammer forging uses a set of hammers and to force a steel blank over a mandrel to get the desired shape. It will increase the hardness of the steel through work hardening as well. It's used exclusively with CMV barrels. Lastly, cut rifling is where a tool is run down the bore, cutting the grooves in the barrel. Cut rifling creates a more accurate barrel but is a more costly process, so it's mostly used in more expensive match grade AR barrels.

Barrel finishes:
No finish: This is more common with stainless than it is CMV, since it has tolerance to corrosion built into the steel.
Chrome plating: A chrome-lined bore is not the shiny chrome seen on older cars, or as decoration. Hard chroming uses electricity to put chromium atoms on the face of the CMV steel. The chromium is very resistant to both corrosion and is a very hard material, which makes it ideal for lining a barrel that will see heavy use. Chrome lining is between 65 and 69 Rockwell C hardness (twice as hard as 416R, and bare CMV steel isn't even in the same ballpark), but it's a few mil thick. Once the chrome plating inside of the barrel is worn though, the barrels base steel will start to wear. One byproduct of depositing material inside of the bore is that it alters the surface, causing the barrel to be slightly less accurate than a non-chrome-lined barrel.
Phosphate coating (parkerizing): Where a chrome-lined barrel is dipped into in a bath of phosphoric acid, which deposits a corrosion-resistant coating, provided it is not scratched off. The coating needs to be oiled to maintain its corrosion resistance.
Salt bath nitriding/Tenifer/Melonite - Glock first made nitriding (under the trade name Tenifer) common in firearms when they used it on their pistols, but it's now used by many other manufacturers for many different types of firearms. A salt bath is used to deposit nitrogen, iron, and oxygen on the surface of a metal part, resulting in a very hard (Rockwell C 64) and more corrosion-resistant finish than chrome or stainless steel. The process is easy to do in large batches and serves the function of chrome lining and parkerizing at a fraction of the cost. One problem is that nitriding is temperature-sensitive. Rapid-fire will chemically decompose the nitriding layer and eat into the barrel's base steel.

Barrel testing: High-pressure testing is where a proof load (above normal pressure) is fired in the barrel to prove that it can accept normal firing pressures. Magnetic particle inspection is then used after high-pressure testing to see if there are any defects in the barrel. Really cheap barrels won't have this testing, but better barrels will.

Barrel twist rates:
In order to properly stabilize the bullet, the twist rate of the rifling in the barrel must be matched to the bullet weight. The heavier (longer) bullet you want to shoot, the faster the twist rate should be. A 1:7 or 1:9 twist rate will properly stabilize most commonly-available 5.56mm rounds.

What's the best barrel? Every barrel manufacturer is going after some niche to fulfill. The question is, does a specific barrel fill your niche? There isn't an objective answer of "best", but generally there are three categories in which to put barrels:
"Cheap but good": 4150 CMV steel, button rifled, nitrided. Cheap, but maybe not the most accurate since CMV is resistant to machining.
"Milspec": 4150 CMV steel, chrome-lined, phosphate coated. Resistant to deformation and decomposition with a high rate of fire. Should perform no matter the conditions.
"Match": 416R stainless, cut rifled. The most accurate with the least deviation. This is the most expensive choice, and measurably less durable than chrome-lined or nitrided rifling, but it will give sub-MOA accuracy.

Bolt carrier group: The bolt should be HPT/MPI tested like the barrel. The gas key screws should be staked so that metal from the screws is pushed into the metal on the gas key, to prevent the screws from loosening. Bolt carriers are classified as either semi-auto or full-auto carriers. A semi-auto carrier doesn't have a small bit of metal on the bottom rear of the carrier which trips the auto sear on an M16, whereas a full-auto carrier does. While a full-auto carrier is required for an M16 to function properly, the carriers are not restricted in any way. Unlike M16 fire control parts, they're not illegal or dangerous to use in an AR15.

Free floating handguards: They make it so the barrel is only connected to the upper receiver, not the handguards. This means they're not affected by pressure on the handguards, making the gun more accurate. Most free-floating handguards have some sort of standardized method for attaching other things like lights, lasers, sling mounts, grenade launchers, etc.

Picatinny or MIL-STD-1913 rails are the oldest design, from the '90s. As mentioned above, this is the same type of rail used on flattop uppers.
KeyMod is a newer design than Picatinny rails (from 2012). It uses oval holes with a larger circular cutout on one end.
M-LOK is a competitor to KeyMod (from 2014). It uses rectangular holes.

Both Keymod and M-LOK allow an accessory to slot in and then captured screws to be tightened and hold the accessory against the handguard. Since Keymod and M-LOK interfaces are flat, unlike Picatinny rails, they have the advantage of not having any pointy angled pieces of metal poking your hands. Both designs will also be lighter than a similar Picatinny rail, since they're just cutouts. Modular Picatinny rails can be attached to a Keymod or M-LOK handguard, allowing the use of older Picatinny accessories. M-LOK performs slightly better in tests than Keymod, and the military has adopted some M-LOK handguards, so as of 2018, it appears to be winning the format war. M-Lok won. Avoid Keymod.

Charging handles:
Get a forged charging handle rather than an extruded charging handle; a forged handle will be stronger and less susceptible to torsion. If you want to spend the extra money, an extended charging handle like the PRI Big Latch, BCM Gunfighter or the AXTS Raptor will be easier to grab.

Short stroke gas piston vs. direct impingement:
Short answer - get a normal direct impingement upper.
Long answer - read Aquarium Gravel's post on this subject.

Iron sights:
You probably don't need a set of backup iron sights (BUIS) unless people are going to be shooting back at you and you need backup sights right now in case your primary optic goes down. But if this is you, or you just want to put extra poo poo on your gun then you have two basic options, fixed or folding. If used with a red dot sight, irons are often co-witnessed, meaning that if the red dot sight dies (e.g. the battery runs out), then the irons can still be used by looking through the unpowered red dot sight. This doesn't work for magnified scopes, so either the scope has to be removed before the iron sights can be used, or the rifle can be set up with iron sights mounted at 45 degrees from the scope. For example, if a right-handed shooter was using offset iron sights, he would just rotate the rifle counterclockwise on his shoulder so that the 45-degree iron sights are now in line with his eye.

Scopes:
Red dots: Aimpoint ML2, ML3, PRO or H1 Micro: They use small watch batteries which can power the scope for years at a time. The reticule is just a simple dot. The H1 is lighter but has a smaller lens. The Aimpoint M2, M3, and T1 Micro are similar, but they include several night vision-compatible settings, so unless you're planning on using the scope with night vision then there's no need to pay the extra money for the unused capabilities.
EOTech: They use CR123 or AA batteries. The reticule is larger (circle w/dot) which some people complain is more cluttered. Also, there was a big recall where EOtech had to buy back a bunch of scopes that were basically poo poo, so go with an Aimpoint.
Primary Arms red dots: If you're on a budget and the gun's just going to be for shooting paper at the range you can buy something cheaper like this, but if you use it for more than that and your optic dies don't come crying to me.

Magnified scopes: I'm just going to link the optics thread here.

Other accessories:
Lights:
If you're planning on using your gun to shoot things at night, a light is a really good idea, whether the gun is an AR or not. A railed handguard will make it easier to attach a light. I've personally used Streamlight TLR-1's and Inforce lights.

Slings:
The factory sling mounts on an AR (underneath the stock and underneath the front sight base) are pretty much useless for anything other than a sling that will let you carry the gun over your shoulder. If you want a sling that will let you carry the gun in front of you where you can easily deploy it, get a Vickers 2-point. If not that, get another brand of 2-point sling. 3-point slings are too complicated and single-point slings let the gun swing around too much when slung. If your gun has rails there's any number of rail-mounted quick-detach sling attachment points. Some railed handguards include integral QD sling mounts. If you have the normal plastic handguards, try something like the Universal Wire Loop.

Magazines:
You have basically two good options: 20- or 30-round box magazines. Choose from either USGI (aluminum, from any number of manufacturers) or plastic magazines like the Magpul PMAG, Troy Battlemag and the Lancer L5. USGIs are usually a few bucks cheaper per mag. There's bigger magazines like the Surefire 60- or 100-round box magazines or drum magazines like the Beta C but they're long & bulky, much more expensive on a per-round capacity basis, and less reliable. There are 40-round PMAGs that are reliable in my experience, and they're only a few dollars more than 30-round PMAGs, but they're still a little more awkward to use. 10-round magazines are also available for people in California and other states that hate freedom.


Common AR15 Build/Buy Philosophies

Build Pitfalls (Lol Pistons)

Say it with me - Don’t do a piston build.

The Freefloat Carbine

These builds typically use carbine length barrels (14.5-16"), free floating handguards, low power optics, and adjustable stocks to be a good all-round-rifle for your average shooter. They're short enough to maneuver while retaining enough barrel to avoid being an SBR, or negatively impacting muzzle velocity. These are easily one of the best all-rounder-builds around. If you have the financial means to do so.

Budget Builds/Rifles

Thanks to the Trump Slump or whatever, AR-15s are at their cheapest and most acceptable price point. There are some incredible budget-minded deals at this price range from major manufacturers that can get you into an acceptable quality, perfectly functional firearm for $350. These firearms are basic, and not as sexy as a free-float build, but they will get the job done and fill that AR-15 shaped hole in your gun safe.

KISS Builds

These were popular a while back and were an incredibly simple proposition. Fixed irons, lightweight barrel, lightweight handguards.


SBRs and Pistols

Thanks to the ATF’s decision on arm braces, AR pistols are totally a viable alternative to dealing with SBRs and the NFA. They’re not the prettiest things in the world, but are a functional item that is handy for dressing up a bare receiver extension. Without these, AR pistols are kinda gross.

Vintage Clone Builds (601 - A2)

Clone ARs are some of the most fun you can have with an AR, and probably the closet the vast majority of us will get to owning a military surplus AR.

Modern(ish) Clone Builds (M4A1 - Present Day)

Get your gun-sperg on chasing parts to do weirdo post GWOT builds like SBRs, M4A1 SOMOD Block IIs, and M16A4s.

WWSD: Karl and Gun Jesus Have “Ideas” Clones

You might wanna wait until Brownells has their new polymer lower in production because GWACs literally broke the mold on these lightweight dork builds that are full of questionable ideas. link to build list

Long(ish) Range Builds

gonna asplod crittrs

Comedy Builds

DUMB GUNS BEST GUNS gently caress YOU I GOT A 7" 224 VALKARIE


Specialty Calibers
.22LR:

The best caliber conversion to get is for .22LR because it makes shooting cheaper. There's several different types, but the defacto standard is the Ciener-style conversion. There's nothing wrong with the Ciener conversion kit itself, but don't buy directly from the manufacturer, as they have arguably the worst customer service of any business ever. Buy a Ciener conversion kit from another vendor like Brownells. Other companies also make Ciener clones. If it's an option in your state, doing one of these up with a 4.5" barrel and a suppressor is a hoot because they keep bulk packed ammunition subsonic.

Because .22LR and .223 Remington/5.56mm are almost the same caliber (.223 vs. .224), you can shoot .22LR out of a .223/5.56mm barrel. The conversion kits all include a chamber insert which allows the .223/5.56mm barrel to chamber .22LR. The main downside to using the .223/5.56mm barrel is that usually the barrel's twist rate is too fast for .22LR, which can result in keyholing and poor accuracy. The best solution is to get a dedicated .22LR upper that has a barrel with the proper twist rate, such as one from Tactical Solutions. You will also need to buy magazines that hold .22LR from either Black Dog Machine or CMMG.

There are also complete rifles that shoot .22LR, like the S&W M&P15-22, but these aren't true AR15's, because they can't be changed to shoot a centerfire caliber by using a different upper. If this isn't important to you, then they're a good choice.

300 BLK, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC:

All of these are boutique rounds to some extent, at least compared to 5.56mm. They have advantages over 5.56mm in some areas (longer effective ranges, larger bullets, work better with SBR-length barrels, available subsonic rounds that will cycle the action), but also disadvantages (more expensive ammunition, more recoil). If this is your first AR15, then you probably want to stick with 5.56mm.

50 BMG

Yes, single-shot and magazine .50 BMG uppers were a thing until the ATF got their undies in a twist.

9mm:

Link to PCC Section


.243 WIN/7.62x51/6.5 Creedmoor, Other Full Size Boolits

Link to AR10 Section

Handy References

Manuals, Guides, and Tools
Forums
Manufacturers:
Aero Precision
CMMG
Colt Mfg (the original)
Daniel Defense
Faxon
LMT
Noveske (mostly expensive)
Palmetto State Armory - They've got a bit of a spoty history with QC, and a lot of controversy as they've corted Kekistan, Trump Supporters, and other chud-like groups with their lower engravings. Oh yeah and they trade marked No Step on Snek which is weird and upsetting to me. Oh yeah, and if you buy from them use a credit card condom. They've been associated with a gap somewhere in their credit card processing chain that has resulted in more than a handful of breached cards.
Smith & Wesson
Stag
ZEV Technologies (formerly Mega Arms)

Vendors:
ADCO
AIM Surplus - AIM Surplus is universally loved as a vendor, though their prices hover between MAP and Retail most days of the week.
AR15 Discounts
Arm or Ally
Ballistic Advantage
Bravo Company
Brownells - Your friendly neighborhood parts vendor. One of the more reliable vendors for retro styled AR parts at the moment. Always look for coupons before ordering.
Granite Ridge Outfitters - Fantastic shop that supplies non-FFL Aero Parts among other non-FFL AR15/10 things.
Joe Bob Outfitters - Dumb name, reliable supplier with prices at or near MAP
JSE Surplus - I've had good luck with this supplier even though their website is straight out of 2006. Prolly should use a credit card condom just in case their credit card security is out 2006.
Midway USA - One of Brownells biggest competitors but they kinda suck at sales. Also, their house brand AR Stoner is kinda trash. Oh yeah, I they supposedly removed a goon's negative review which is super loving shady.
Numrich - You want weird parts, they have weird parts.
Primary Arms - Lots of optics, and parts. Prices are pretty normal for the market.
Rainier Arms - Your gun parts boutique. Usually on the bleeding edge of what's cool.
SKD Tactical
Schuyler Arms Co - Solid retailer of gun stuff with pretty good prices on Aero parts.
Weapon Outfitters - Another scary firearm boutique. Priced on the retail side of the game but they might send youd weeb inspired photos of ladies with guns with your order.

People I Plagerized From Special Thanks
Craptacular
Aquarium Gravel


note:this is a huge wip feel free to help out

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Feb 24, 2020

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wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

AR-10 Big Boi Bullets


  • Introduction
  • Why an AR-10?
  • History
  • KAC/SR25, DPMS, Armalite, Patterns
  • Build Guide
  • Common Caliber
  • Manufacturers/Vendors
  • Cool Goon Builds

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 19:16 on Jan 21, 2020

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

AR-15 Pistol Caliber Carbines


  • Introduction
  • Why an AR-15 PCC?
  • One of the most popular caliber conversions for the AR-15 is 9x19mm. It's an affordable alternative to 5.56x45/.223, doesn't chew steel plates to bits (and fill your face full of spalling) and gives shooters more options for ranges as some pistol ranges allow for the use of pistol caliber carbines. That makes 'em well suited for fartin' around, steel matches, training, and shooting something with a little more unf than .22LR but not as much zip as 5.56x45.

  • History
    Watch this space for a brief discussion on DOE carbines, and not wanting to shoot holes in atomic steam pipes or whatever.
  • Magazine Types (Colt, Endo, MP5, Glock, CZ, Etc)
    There's two basic types of conversions: Colt-style and Glock-style. Colt-style is the original design, which uses straight Colt-style magazines. They're basically Uzi magazines with the magazine catch notch in a different place to work with the AR15 magazine release, and a tab on the follower to activate the bolt hold-open. Glock-style (unsurprisingly) uses Glock magazines. For both types you'll need an upper with a 9mm barrel and bolt, a 9mm buffer weight, a notch-less hammer, and the appropriate type of 9mm magazines. Glock-style requires a different bolt due to Glock magazines being single-feed, while Colt-style magazines are double-feed. Because 9mm uppers are blowback operated versus direct impingement, they need a heavier buffer weight than 5.56mm. It's possible to use the heavier 9mm buffer weight when shooting .223/5.56mm. It slows down the rate of fire and some people feel it shoots smoother, but some lower-powered .223/5.56mm may not cycle with the heavier 9mm buffer. Both styles require either a magazine block to allow inserting the 9mm magazine into a normal STANAG-dimensioned magwell, or require a dedicated lower with an appropriately-dimensioned magazine well for the type of magazine you want to use.

    The above is out of date, revise this section to cover the fact that there are now many magazine ecosystems available for AR conversions. Also address the Endo Mag which are dope for folks in ban states, as well as folks who just have buckets of mags and conventional lowers.

  • Lowers vs Adapters
    Boy howdie has the market changed back even just a few years ago, you were stuck using magazine adapters to convert your gun, but now you can use magazine adapters, and lowers that accomodate all flavors of mags. This section will go into that a bit and talk about why you'd wanna go with one vs the other.

  • Considerations
  • Comedy Calibers
  • Manufacturers/Vendors
  • Cool Goon Builds

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 19:30 on Jan 21, 2020

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

Reserved for Reasons (Laws, Weird Calibers, and/or Suppressiong)

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 19:33 on Jan 21, 2020

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

Reserved for Reasons (Cool User Posts)

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

Id like to use ya'lls pics so post your Budget builds, BlastiBoi AR10s, Longboi AR10s, Alt-Caliber Builds, PCCs, Magazine Adapters, .50 BMG builds, in-progress 80% shots, and anything else that you think is cool.

Also, I'd love to see some posts sharing your personal favorite builds with a little write up about them.

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

Aw thanks guys but it's 99% plagiarized from Craptacular's lovely OP in the legacy thread, with some bits stolen from Aquarium Gravel. All I've done is added some withe formatting and editorializing.

While I will be doing a larger rework over the coming weeks and months, think of me more as a curator of the OP and less as it's author.

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

DarkHorse posted:

Re: WWSD I disagree about being questionable - they explained their reasoning pretty well and they didn't min/max against weight too much, otherwise you'd see skeletonized parts and other silliness. It's definitely a niche build, but it's a solid design ethos and everyone I show mine to loves it for how handy it is. Worst thing I can say about it is that it heats up fast and the carbon fiber handguard lets you feel it (I also got the brake version barrel since they were out of the pinned flash hider at the time, and it is a bit obnoxious if you're not the shooter). Definitely wait until the new Brownell's lower comes out though.

Caveat: This is coming from someone that puts a boat-anchor UBR stock on every other AR

Fixed A2 stocks limit usability for folks wearing armor and smaller folks, CF tubes (fragile under hard use. Army hosed around with these on the Mk12 and they kept making GBS threads themselves, and PRI tubes are hands down better than Faxon Tubes which can't even get made straight), getting mad at the buffer retaining detent which failing to have can make clearing a major stoppage way shittier (and in the hundreds of ARs govmint I've serviced, never seen be a problem, and in the commercial guns have only been an issue when Homebuilder McGee Builds, and though I like the Cav Arms grip angle, I know a bunch of folks who hate it. I'm not a fan of cool guy modified single stage triggers due to longevity issues I've personally experienced, and I've never gotten a JP buffer to function reliably on a full auto gun. Oh and for you anti forward assist folks, get stuffed. There's plenty of reasons why you would want a forward assist, including stoppage mitigation if your bolts running slow in a dandy environment (or if your dumbass managed to cram 31 mags in a 30 round mag which drug slowed the bolt down enough to prevent it from fully returning into battery).

I appreciate the lightweight 14.5" barrel and full weight bcg tho.

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Apr 29, 2004


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DarkHorse posted:

That makes a lot more sense and yeah I agree with all those except maybe the FA; because unless you're in a life or death situation you're probably going to make everything worse jamming something into battery that didn't want to

I've personally experienced dirty guns that could made to operate thanks to the FA and the whole DI blows poo poo out of the action. Also, handy for press checks and being sneeki breeki.

That said, they can 100% be a jam enhancer. Especially in a gun with tired mags which is why you're supposed to eyeball your gun before mashing it.

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22 Eargesplitten posted:

How do you do a press check with the FA? Can you pull on it like a pinball machine/like in Counter-strike? I've never tried, I just pull on the charging handle a little bit.

Pull back on the charging handle until you see brass? Riding the bolt home will not always get the gun to lock up.

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Apr 29, 2004


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Fun Shoe

It's a fun thought exercise and an interesting build, but some folks treat it like it's the penultimate general purpose AR, which is something I disagree strongly with.

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Lightbulb Out posted:

As far as pushing the bolt home when doing checks and stuff.... just push the bolt closed with your finger like the grease gun

The grease gun ejection port is much larger than the AR's. I can barely push a hold home on my AR10 with gloves on and I don't have particularly wide fingers.

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Stravag posted:

Pretty sure they had settled on faxon before the project started because they have liked the company and done Q&As about the barrel making process but i didn't follow closely and could be wrong

Yeah I got a real these are some friends of ours and their products are pretty affordable vibe off of the choice. That said, there also aren't a ton on of pencil barrel products on the market.

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DarkHorse posted:

It's still a great effort and editing has a great impact on usefulness, don't discount the value added by your effort.

One addition for 9mm is you can get inserts for pmags - this means you won't need to get a mag insert or a dedicated lower, and the magazines will be the same size so you can use the same manual of arms. Most people say they work well, and gives last round bolt-hold-open out of the box.

Some foibles: the ejector is built into the mag insert, so the magazine has to be inserted in the gun to eject a case (or unfired round) so clearing a gun is slightly different. The ejector pin is also made of plastic and tends to be a bit bendy, and might need to be bent back into shape. Some people have had feeding issues if pressure is put on the magazine bottom (like using it as a monopod)

Overall they're cost competitive with a dedicated insert or lower. They ship in a 5-round configuration and you clip off a plastic bar that serves as a stopper to set them to 10, 20, or 30 round

I'm waiting for my SBR paperwork to clear but I can give an update once I actually use them.

Also, PSA claims they have a "hybrid" 9mm BCG that works with Glock and Colt style mags, but I had nothing but trouble with it with my colt mags.

Thanks I will add that when I rework the PCC section

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mischief posted:

Whoa. I'd be really curious to know the story how that thing got into an individual's hands.

fell off of the back of a truck, then got amnestied during the NFA amnesty when they let folks register stolen machine guns as legit?

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Craptacular posted:

IIRC Colt sold off a lot of one-off and experimental stuff like that awhile back during one of the times they ran into financial problems.

I like my idea more.

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Apr 29, 2004


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Fun Shoe

Aren't most small parts supplied by the same handful of vendors?

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Apr 29, 2004


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45 ACP CURES NAZIS posted:

its 2020 why are buis a thing instead of another red dot on a mount that can retain zero when removed

Because not everyone trusts electronics in adverse conditions and many members of the firearms world like redundancy?

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45 ACP CURES NAZIS posted:

Would a silencer make an ar-15 work better in the cold?

It'll make it cycle more vigorously which could aide in helping the gun along hypothetically. Once you get past the first few rounds the action should warm up regardless of a can or not. Your choice in lubrication, and keeping your gun dry and ice-free are more important to its cold weather reliability.

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Holy poo poo - Combat Armory is selling kind of competent looking 16" Midgas, free-float "Melanite" coated AR uppers with BCG for $180 with coupon code take15

Who's gonna be brave enough to waste ammo on one?




Oh, Brownells has the KE-Arms MKIII lowers on backorder starting at $90. [Looks like they still require special small parts tho so prepare your body.

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 18:50 on Jan 22, 2020

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Shaocaholica posted:

DITS

I'm game

get it and one of them WWSD lowers for a $340 build

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boxen posted:

Yeah, I was a-feared it would be a $350 stripped lower. That's a pretty great deal considering you don't need a buffer tube, stock, or their associated hardware. If the LOP works for someone, it'd be a pretty great start to a decent AR, assuming there aren't manufacturing defects.

You will need two $4 pins and I bet money a special safety.

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Beardless posted:

The old GWACs Mk 2 stripped lower came with the special pins that it needed, and it used a standard safety. I assume that this one would be the same.

Oh then I'm probably wrong! Now I'm curious to know if these new lowers ship with the right pins since they're also sold seperately.

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Apr 29, 2004


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Fun Shoe

I wonder what's going to happen with whats left of GWACS. They still list the CAV-15 MkIII as coming soon.


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Vorkosigan posted:

Per the Brownell's pre-order page of the stripped lower:

Dope. I wonder if standard pins just don't sit flush against the outside of the receiver body.

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Captain Log posted:

A bright green AR lower?!



I wouldn't care what it is, bright green gun anything that doesn't say ZOMBIE is my jam.

They did glow in the dark lowers too.

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45 ACP CURES NAZIS posted:

Man I wish every hobby had people as involved as Ian and karl.

What hobbies are you into that don't have folks as dedicated as Ian and Karl?

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Internet Wizard posted:

There is an enthusiastic goateed ponytail who is well respected in every hobby, guaranteed. Excluding maybe embroidery but that’s a hard maybe.
I bet money there are a handful of vintage embroidery jesuses.

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Shaocaholica posted:

Why even stay around if KE is doing one? How is KE permitted to even make them? Did they buy the patent? Licensing? Russel being on with KE really makes it seem that they just bought the patent or are licensing from GWACS and GWACS is going to retire.
That's what I'd like to find out.

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Fun Shoe

Thanks for addressing my idle speculating! I now have three on order.


i had three on order before you answered but now i feel extra good about my poor decision to keep spending on ar15s when i should be spending on retirement and my house

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 01:13 on Jan 24, 2020

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Apr 29, 2004


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Fun Shoe

all lightning bolts are for nazi

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Internet Wizard posted:

Two zigs= comm unit
One zag= Nazi

It's not complicated

unless two zigs are actually a super nazi zag

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Fun Shoe

It's entirely possible your upper is out of spec. what followers are in your magazines? If they're the green ones you might be able to get away with updating them which should have the rounds feet a little higher than the older green and black ones.

Honestly I'd contact Brownells and let them know you're having issues. Supposedly their customer service is excellent and will get you sorted out before you start cutting feed ramps or anything

wheres my beer fucked around with this message at 21:13 on Jan 25, 2020

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Lightbulb Out posted:

I have two Rock River lowers. I was running one on my AR15(lower a), and one on my BRN180(lower b). When I swapped the lowers themselves - the bolt catch would consistently get hung up when I put the former-AR15 lower on the BRN180. The goal was just to swap triggers. I don't have any extra bolt catches or anything - so I just swapped triggers and safeties.

How is your BRN180 running? I have an itch to make one mine, but have been scared since Parts Kit had hecking problems with his.

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Apr 29, 2004


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Fun Shoe

Well it can be as complicated as rolling your own from scratch or as simple as buying a 22lr upper and appropriate magazine. It really depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

Here's the results of a googly google search with no actual thought put into parts selection for some easy solutions:

Here's A Cheapish 22LR Setup
PSA 16" Lightweight Mlok Upper
Colorful Black Dog Magazines

Mystery Meat 9MM PCC
FM-9 Mystery Grade Uppers
PWS Enhanced 9mm Buffer
Endomag Pmag Conversion

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That Works posted:

FWIW I have Endo mags on a 9mm AR pistol and it's been fun for the range.

Not a fan of the recoil on it much though. Probably going to make it a 9mm rifle upper at some point.

I'm kinda super excited about their roller delay ar upper. I really hope they can pull it off for a reasonable price.

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Shaocaholica posted:

Want but it better have a side charge version.

anything can be side charging if you try hard enough with a dremel

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Seamonster posted:

Will this also chuck spent brass 13 miles away or is that just a G3 thing?

G3 thing because G3s are garbage.

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Shaocaholica posted:

I don't think a roller system would reduce recoil tho but the impulse would be different.

Also I think they might need to do a side charge thing anyway since roller locking requires significant effort to unlock manually which might be awkward with a rear charge.

The demo video has it rear charging, and fwiw my mp5 clones dont take a ton of force to operate.

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Apr 29, 2004


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Shaocaholica posted:

Bragging then. It's a proven system. People want the AR and MP5 to have a baby.

People want delayed unlocking for its recoil mitigation, reduced weight, and reduced action noise during suppression. There's also the bonus of being able to work with zippier calibers.

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