Thursday, March 29, 2012

AR Bleg.

I need an AR upper. I know I want a 16" flat-top with a midlength handguard and a fixed front sight, and I want something that's not going to puke if I stuff a case of ammo through it in one weekend. But other than that, I don't have many hard-and-fast specs in mind.

I'd love me a DD or BCM, but I'm torn between that and screwing one together using good parts on my own. Thoughts? Suggestions? Sources for good deals?

Also, I'm debating a .300BLK or 6.8SPC carbine barrel assembly (or barrel & BCG in the case of the latter) for my MGA switch-barrel upper, but that could be another thread.


(In accordance with all requests for firearms input on the intertubes, somebody please remember to say "Get a Glock" within the first eight posts.)

54 comments:

Brick said...

As you wish... get a Glock!

Anonymous said...

get a glock carbine from lone wolf

ZerCool said...

While it can be fraught with risks, I'd troll the classifieds on arfcom. There are some good deals to be had.

Rob said...

I'm going to switch it up and say get a Mini-14, just to be a contrarian.

Tam said...

Rob,

"I'm going to switch it up and say get a Mini-14, just to be a contrarian."

I dunno, it'd look awful funny duct-taped atop this completed AR lower. :p

Tim Ellwood said...

no, get this ar style upper for your Glock you should already have
www.mechtechsys.com

Joan of Argghh! said...

I don't know much about ARs but when you said you needed an upper I have to suggest this.

I have no idea if it's even relevant, but it's such a unique piston drive that they've taken down the detailed engineering videos they used to have, to help guard the patent.

Disclosure: my former biz partner left to go work with this group. Lucky guy.

staghounds said...

Given the rabid loyalty of some of its customers, Glock is missing out on some profits by not marketing ARs with the magic G on them.


So, for that matter, is Apple ignoring a big potential market.

Somebody call Kel-Tec- "George, can you make them in white?"

The new iGun!!

Rob said...

I dunno, it'd look awful funny duct-taped atop this completed AR lower. :p

Well, they're attaching everything else to an AR-15 these days. Why not a whole nother rifle? ;)

Anonymous said...

I've got an 18 inch 6.8 upper from bison if you're interested.

-SayUncle

Anonymous said...

DSA is making AR uppers in those
calibers.
Latest Shotgun News has a big ad from them.

Tam said...

Unc,

Shoot me an email.

bedlamite said...

If you get a 6.8, make sure it's from ARP

Balloon Goes Up said...

Think about a mid-length gas system and a the longest length hand guard you can justify the weight of.

For me 13"

It allows an easy 12' light mounting position and using the DD rail mounted FSP I get benefits of the fixed sight and the longer sight radius.

I of course use irons, so if you use a red dot YMMV

SGB said...

Get a Taurus Judge.

Rob Reed said...

I was also going to suggest those DSA uppers. The prices are good, at about $275 or so, and I would tend to think DSA makes good stuff based on their FAL's.

Rob

Jerry said...

Gee Tam, I always ask you for advice. That's only been twice. Please post pics so we can see the perfection you produce. Don't forget the pics of the target with tight groupings.

Robb Allen said...

I, too, have an 18" upper from Bison. Except, I love mine and am not looking to rid myself of it.

Thomas said...

I think My next one's gonna be a .300 Whisper/Blackout. Looks like this is about as close as I can find at midway for what you want. Nothing really in a mid length handguard, lotsa M-4 and Pistol lengths.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/913093/advanced-armament-co-aac-ar-15-a3-flat-top-upper-assembly-300-aac-blackout-762x35mm-1-in-8-twist-16-barrel-with-kac-urx-ii-free-float-quad-rail-handguard-blackout-flash-hider

1911Man said...

John Noveske builds some very nice uppers. Very nice.

og said...

Whatever you do, make sure you fiddle with it in your basement with files and stuff, or it won't be accurate- because you can ALWAYS make it better with a Dremel!

Looking forward to seeing the project.

Al T. said...

Good quality uppers:

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/ar-15-05/complete-uppers.html

Bubblehead Les. said...

Of course, those .50 BMG Uppers that are out there do look mighty tasty.....

Anonymous said...

The kewl thing nowadays is to have an upper chambered for 7.62×39mm. Magazines are an issue, but they keep getting better everyday.

Robbie said...

What you really need is an AK instead of that plastic, made-by-Mattel gun.... Since nobody had said it yet...

pdb said...

Once 300 BLK gets below 50 cents a bang for factory ball, I'll probably be unable to resist one. Until then, it's 5.56 for me!

I don't think you'll be able to do better than a BCM / DD upper unless you want a funky configuration and don't want to do the work yourself. In that case, local homies Delton would be my recommendation. They have a decent rep and a 6-8 week lead time to show for it. I'd put them in the upper tier of the AR kit sellers, which is kind of like being the tallest midget on the team.

I'm a rifle sale away from doing something similar. I have visions of a Colt 6920 with the FSB moved up to accommodate rifle handguards and a low-profile gas block installed under MOE handguards...

TomcatTCH said...

Slap on a Vltor A5 buffer system, and get a flat top 20" upper:)

Keith said...

Hi-point. How can you say no to a blowback AR in 5.56?

Wally said...

Hmn, I am currently building ARs , custom barrel profiles & lowers (all machined in house) and would gladly do a custom serial number for you. I've been running a lot of .300BLK lately too... JayG and Weerd have fondled and shot a few of my AR builds.
wally at yorkarms dot com

Tam said...

pdb,

"Once 300 BLK gets below 50 cents a bang for factory ball, I'll probably be unable to resist one. Until then, it's 5.56 for me!"

That's why I just want a barrel ass'y for the switch-barrel gun instead of a complete upper.

Of course, I already have that Turkish Mauser in the caliber and a few hundred rounds on hand.

aczarnowski said...

Depending on how the 6.5 Grendel thing plays out in ammo availability a 300 BLK upper might replace the 6.5 I built when my current bb supply runs out. I never get to use the legs on the 6.5 where I'm located anyway.

As for uppers I've built one, helped a few friends with theirs, and then couldn't be arsed to deal with the next two. Tool costs add up.

I bought BCM and Noveske middies. I haven't shot them enough but they haven't let me down in any way so far. First place goes to the BCM BHF lightweight simply on weight. Both are a clearly in the "real working rifle" category.

BCM inventory timing is an issue. I got the Noveske N4 Light Recce Basic from DSG Arms and have always had a good experience with them.

Jumpthestack said...

DD and BCM are both good to go and any of their offerings should be fine. I'd investigate looking into one of the lightweight handguards that you can bolt on small sections of rail to, rather a fully quad railed hand guard which will be heavier and uncomfortable to grab (or require rail covers to be comfortable). Something like
http://www.jprifles.com/1.4.4_hg.php
or
http://www.vikingtactics.com/rifleacc_troyalpharail.html
or
http://store.magpul.com/product/MAG418/122

These smaller diameter handguards are also easier to wrap your hand around in the cool-guy-approved 3-gun grip with your hand near the front of the gun.

I'd also look for a light weight barrel. Not because you're a woman, but just in a general a lighter rifle is easier to carry all day in a class, and cutting weight especially from the front makes it easier to hold the rifle in ready position without getting tired.

The Raving Prophet said...

I had a completed lower with the same dilemma a few weeks ago.

I had gone back and forth about what to mount on it- either a .300BLK or a lightweight 5.56 upper.

I finally realized I really wasn't that interested in .300BLK- while it looks like fun, it's really only great if you're going to run it suppressed, and .30 cans aren't cheap (and the 5-6 month wait on a Form 4 doesn't interest me), and with the cost of the ammo, I figured "why bother?"

I ended up with a BCM 16" midlength lightweight BFH upper. I'm SO glad I did- the thing just feels awesome. There's other good options out there, but a middy lightweight seems to feel right- while I like my 18" SPR and 14.5" M4gery, the only other AR that feels quite as good is the 20" A2.

Less really is more.

TinCan Assassin said...

What you really need is a WASR 10...

Goober said...

Tam;

To be completely honest, i think you should get a hi-point carbine. The fact is, when you're good, you don't need the most expensive equipment, and the hi-point is really a quality piece of equipment.

(just in case anyone's snark meter is broken, this is in response to the "get a glock" comment. I think the hi-point is second on the list for that particular meme. I'm not really serious here, mmmkay?)

Homer said...

I'm about a week away from calling Spike's and ordering a 16" mid-length upper in 300 BLK with full rails. I'll order the can and 12" slow-twist barrel locally and deal .

The downside is I'll need to buy a case of factory 300BLK, and start looking for brass to go with the dies I bought several months ago.

Sorry, Unc, but between 6.8 and 300 BLK, the 300 does more of what I want.

Anonymous said...

If you get that 6.8 from Unc you'll be happy. Mine shoots 3/4" at 100 yds and I was banging a steel USPSA plate at 500 yd. with boring regularity. Darn nice barrel, I like the forend. Should be a more than capable deer rifle, and superb for long range 3-gun matches like Rocky Mountain. Mine didn't like Hornady TAP ammo, seems to eat Remington Express FMJs happily - even fed a few through a .223 mag and they ran fine. BUT, you can get cheaper ammo for the .223. Or, buy a CMMG .22LR conversion for the .223 and shoot long rifles for practice. I really like my Bison and you can't have it. Larry Weeks

mariner said...

I'd like an upper to shoot .22LR for 25yd indoor practice.

Should I consider a .223 upper and a .22LR conversion bolt assy?

Or is the bore too large and the twist too aggressive to shoot .22 accurately?

Anonymous said...

Err, I don't think anyone's asked yet but what do you want that upper for?

A particular type of shooting (e.g. long range)? just plain fun and plinking? enhancing your home defense carbine? Something for when on the road and taking classes? some other reason?

Knowing what it's for would help narrowing things down ... unless you want to just get a Glock ;-)

Terry

Don M said...

Of course you could get a Mech-Tech upper in 10mm, that would give you an excuse to get a Glock 10mm to bolt it to...

In California we only get to have ARs with bullet buttons.

Sport Pilot said...

mariner, instead of using a .22LR conversion I would suggest a S&W M&P 15-22 as a better investement and training option.

Tam, what about a 30 Carbine upper? keep reading good thing's about the 6.8 but also can't find any desire to own one. Now the 458 & 50 calibers do intrest me.

Anonymous said...

The Smith is a nice gun with "just like the real AR" controls but it will run you around $400. A conversion is more like $180 with a mag. Not a tack driving target rifle but shoots groups, not patterns at 25 yds. I got a "Clean Shoot" certificate from a local Zombie match which required all head shots (20 yds longest shot)so they will do alright. Larry

ASM826 said...

http://templarcustom.com/

He manufactures rifles, parts, uppers. I've had the chance to shoot with the owner and he brought a couple of rifles with a multi-caliber quick switch system. It was impressive and accurate. You could unscrew, replace, and tighten in a new barrel in a different caliber and not change the rifle zero.

the pawnbroker said...

As staghounds mentioned, one would think there'd be a GAR15 by now...I mean they've got all those plastic-injection molds and Krylon flat black right there.

And it's right in their wheelhouse; let's face it, if ever there was a market for soul-lessly efficient lead squirters, EBR's is it.

It's a flame-war twofer!

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Like ASM826 said, a Templar rifle would be great. I hang out and help him in the shop. I used his personal rifle at the Appleseed shoot that I went on this weekend.

http://ncguns.blogspot.com/2012/03/appleseed-is-well-worth-effort.html

Ran great, no issues.

When we took it to the Eastern NC blogger shoot run by ASM826, we ran a barrel dismount-remount test to see what the change of zero would be. You can see the results here.

http://ncguns.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-can-you-remove-barrel-of-rifle-and.html

He has the chamber reamers for .300 Blackout, and he also does 6.5 Grendel. All of his barrels go out with "If it doesn't shoot 1" at 100 yards, send it back" as a guarantee.

You have my email. If you want, I'll ask Bob to contact you to discuss prices.

Shepherd K said...

Try Model 1 Sales. http://www.model1sales.com/

Angus McThag said...

I've got a 16" barrel from Bison and I put the rest together myself.

Very happy with the product and service.

Dock said...

Screw one together. I built a DD parts upper much like you described in 5.56 and the DD parts went together flawlessly and without issue.

Primary Arms occasionally has low low prices on AR parts like barrels etc.

Don't forget to check Aim Surplus for parts too.

Ancient Woodsman said...

The quality of your blog is fantastic! How refreshing to read 48+ posts on a "I'm thinking about this AR..." theme without any phrases about 'it shits where it eats', 'mouse gun', 'well, real operators...."' Just plain wow.

Kudos to having such an excellent reputation that such things don't even peak out from under the ooze. Great luck with whatever you get...FYI all mine are Colts and the favorite is the earlier of the two SP1s, so I really don't have any level of expertise to help out...but am curious to see the final decision.

Polumetis said...

LMT in 5.56
http://www.lmtstore.com/monolithic-rail-platforms-mrp-cqb/upper-receiver-assembly/standard-flattop-top-end-16-semi-auto.html

Mark said...

I know one of the owners of Tactical Machining.

http://www.tacticalmachining.com/

They will build you exactly what you want and they offer one of the best products for the price.

Chris said...

After a fair amount of research, for my first AR build I opted for a BCM mid-length upper with LMT bolt carrier group.

I'm actually really happy with the rifle. It clicked right through a 4-day practical rifle class with no issues at all. I know the AR platform thrives with regular maintenance, but just to do a mini "torture test" I let it run for about 1500 rounds between a cleaning and there were zero issues -- no malfunctions of any kind.

I do like the mid-length gas system upper. I've fired M4s and M16s before as a point of comparison. It may just be me, but the M4 "feels" a bit snappier than the mid-length gas system.

The only issue I've noted is that the area around the chamber seemed to scratch/wear somewhat easily, but that's to be expected on any AR I guess.

Obviously I have a sample of one but I've been a happy customer.

Cheers,
Chris from Alaska

Anonymous said...

I have a 6.8 spc complete for the right price. Buck a trigger pull for ammo is steep.

On a side note my captcha is 'eatareal voteg,' what's a voteg and are they kosher?

Mike McDaniel said...

Dear Tam:

Try Yankee Hill Machine: http://www.yhm.net/

They've done two uppers for me. Excellent work, fast turn around times, just about any accessory, rail system, etc. you might want, and reasonable prices.