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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2010 at 19:03
helo18 View Drop Down
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Well, I did it.  Got a great deal on a stripped Rock River lower, so now I am going to be building an AR.  I am open to all suggestions for calibers on that platform.  I would like to keep it tactical in nature for more close quarter stuff.  Would like a balance of light weight but still accurate.  Also thinking about using a piston system.  Would appreciate your thoughts.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2010 at 19:04
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6.8 spc specII
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2010 at 21:36
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I was contemplating putting a Lilja 17" barrel  in 223 on there threaded and maybe a suppressor on it.  But that is pretty spendy.  Although this is going to be my custom AR, so why not save up the money and do it that way.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2010 at 21:38
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dru check this page out, this guy is the best i know with custom ar's and his prices are excellent.
http://www.dtechsuperstore.com/mili%20Guns.htm
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 09:45
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Don't forget that some of the best benefits of an AR are cheap .223 reloads either by yourself or someone else. Also the main suit of the ar is small lite and portable,-- why make it a big heavy target gun, when you can get a heavy bolt gun that will do it better?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 11:55
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+1 Dale
Made that mistake with my Rock River....love the gun, and it shoots well enough, but I know I could get the same accuracy with a shorter and lighter barrel.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 13:02
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Another important point. most ar barrels are made by wilson or shaw, the term match barrel target etc. have no meaning. The custom barrel your looking at fitted properly is in a different class. If you go that path, your talkin 200, for trigger, 250 for stock, 1000 for the scope etc. just to keep up with the barrel.  Also decide on either a nato chamber or a .223 (wylde chamber) based on your shooting needs and reloading needs. Nato usually don't like the hotter loads or bullets seated out to far. 6.5 and .8 have high reload costs, with marginal improvements over the .223. Why not just get a .308 or 260.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 15:47
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I think I am just going to go with a 223 again for coyotes and close in stuff.  I have my big bolt guns for longer range stuff.  I would like to stay with a 16 inch barrel.  I was thinking maybe in the NATO so I can shoot anything. 

On a side note, can the wylde shoot both still?  I know there is different discussions on that point.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 16:09
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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yes. forget the piston set up, marginal, but a path you may want to consider especially in a shorter is an adjustable gas block, lightened bolt carrier and a recoil buffer -- just like shooting a 22lr.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 16:51
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Is there no advantage to the piston set up?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 16:53
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I agree with Dale on the piston system.  Although it sounds tempting at first because your action does run cooler and cleaner, it only moves the crud to a different location -- the piston/gas block assy.  It also adds additional weight, usually has a negative effect on accuracy because of the extra moving mass above the barrel, and causes excess bolt tilt and wear on your upper because off-axis force exerted on the top of the bolt tries to pivot the rear of the bolt downward.  In addition, since there are no design standards for piston system parts (the AR wasn't designed for it, and therefore no mil specs were established), you are at the mercy of the supplier who made them.  If said supplier goes out of business and you later need parts, you either have to reverse engineer the parts and have them machined or you're out of luck.  With the standard gas impingement system, you will always have tons of replacement parts available from many manufacturers. 

As long as you occasionally strip and clean your bolt assy and keep the bolt well lubricated, there are no problems with the gas impingement system.  The system's lack of moving mass affecting barrel harmonics during the shot is one of the big reasons for the accuracy potential of the AR platform.

As for calibers, I like the 6.8 SPC.  So much so, I built my AR so chambered.  But, I planned to use it for hogs and the occasional deer.  If you plan to only go after varmints with yours, the .223/5.56 does make more sense and is far more economical to shoot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:05
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Well, we don't have hogs up here in Montana last time I checked, and I don't get south enough to hunt them.  Who knows maybe when I am done with this build, I will do one for a bigger caliber.  I really want to do this more for varmints and fun shooting than anything.

What barrel manufacturers do you recommend?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:10
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Maybe I should put out there what I have been thinking on a barrel.  I would like to stay at 16".  I would prefer carbine length gas block (no front sight, or flip up), but could be convinced of a mid length if there is good reason for it.  I really could go with any weight barrel, and have actually thought it would be fine being a heavy barrel if it will help with accuracy and heat.  I am thinking I would like to free float it as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:41
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There are lots of good barrel manufacturers.  I went with a White Oak Armory barrel with my build and couldn't be happier.  My 18" 11 twist SPC II middie 6.8 AR is far more accurate than I expected it to be.  I went with an 18" barrel and mid length gas system.  To me, it's the best of both worlds -- short enough to be handy and long enough that I get a bit more velocity and a long enough gas system that it doesn't over-gas the action. 

I would recommend a mid length gas block.  A carbine length gas system requires a shorter hand guard to clear the gas block, unless you use a low profile gas block and a free float hand guard that will cover it.  With a shorter hand guard, you have less to rest the front of the rifle on and less latitude for hand support for shooting offhand.  Also, the further the distance from the gas block to the muzzle, the longer the bullet is in the barrel after passing the gas block and therefore the more gas is forced into the action, causing more carbon buildup and deposited crud and a slightly sharper recoil impulse. 

You can get a mid length setup on a 16" and even on 14" barrels.

Edited by RifleDude - December/12/2010 at 17:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:49
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I would go with midlength as well if I were you.  Carbine length over gases them and it is harder on the parts and your brass.  With carbine length it has that extra two inches of barrel to continue blasting pressure into the upper.   My carbine length dents my brass on the deflector, where my mid and rifle length systems do not.  Course with an adjustable gas block you could accomplish the same thing

I have 4 White oak barrels and have been very happy with them.  My 18" .223 will shoot 1/2 groups at 100 yards.  They are just Wilson barrels then chambered and contoured by White Oak.  They are not hand lapped like the Lilja, but still very nice barrels.  

Also if you want a piston upper just buy a POF upper and call it a day.  They make a nice system.
All the kit reviews I have read have ended up with problems and are not worth the money.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:50
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If I was to go with white oak for example in the 16" mid length, is it worth the extra $50 to get the headspaced bolt?  And would it be better to get the standard or M4 ramp?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:50
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Check Rainier Arms for parts.  They sell a lot of high quality AR stuff.  There CS is awesome as well. 

They also sell there name brand stuff.  Their barrels and hand lapped shilen blanks chambered and countoured by White Oak.  Best of both worlds there. 

I bought one of their uppers as well and it seemed to be good quality. 


Edited by supertool73 - December/12/2010 at 17:56
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:54
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The ramp does not matter so much.  Just make sure the upper you get is either ramped or not to match the barrel ramp.  You can get away with an M4 cut barrel and a non cut upper.  But you cannot have a non cut barrel ramp and a cut upper.  I would recommend getting them that match.  I have them both ways and have honestly not seem a difference in reliability.  My one AR probably has 10,000 rounds through it.  It is not ramped and it never malfunctions unless it is super dirty. 

I always buy the matched bolt just for piece of mind.  If you have headspace gauges you can check yourself.  I have built 15 or so uppers and I always check headspace with my gauges and they have always been correct, even when I did not buy matched.  So it might not make a huge diff. 


Edited by supertool73 - December/12/2010 at 17:57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 17:55
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Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

If I was to go with white oak for example in the 16" mid length, is it worth the extra $50 to get the headspaced bolt?  And would it be better to get the standard or M4 ramp?


Not to me.  Just use go/no go headspace gages and you're good to go.  It's very rare for AR parts within spec to be out of spec on headspace if installation is done correctly.  The headspaced bolt does provide extra peace of mind if you want to keep installation simple, though.

Get the M4 ramp.  I believe it feeds more reliably.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 18:15
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ar's are head spaced by definition, that is the collet on the chamber side is time to provide the headspacing and if the bolt is in spec it will head space. as long as we've thrown budget build out the window get a JP upper and target barrel, trigger group and have the best.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 18:22
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Hmmm... Andrew, your inspiring me to do the same!!! I'm gonna shut up, listen, and learn now... Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 18:28
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Yeah, not sure I can just throw budget out the window.  I am just getting ideas.  I am really only looking for a gun that will shoot decently at 300 yards for coyotes. Although I already have a 22-250 that shoots great.  Would like to build a fun AR for it as well though.

After looking at the cost of a piston system, that is out the window.  It isn't worth that much to me.  I won't worry about getting the bolt with the barrel since it sounds like any of them should work fine.

I like the looks of the White Oak barrels, and they are definitely much less than some of the barrels I had been looking at, and in some respects really not that much more than some of the standard barrels you can get.

About the only other thing I really care about is a better trigger than the standard factory stuff.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 18:29
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As for the triggers its hard to beat the ease of instilation and the function of the timneys
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 18:39
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Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

About the only other thing I really care about is a better trigger than the standard factory stuff.


You have several really good trigger assemblies to choose from too... Wilson, Timney, AR Gold, Geisselle, Jewell, Chip McCormick just to name a few.

I have the AR Gold and have been thrilled with it.  Best AR trigger I've tried so far.  It also has the shortest reset of any AR trigger I've shot.  I haven't tried the new Wilson yet, but a couple OT members have it and like it.  Like the AR Gold, Chip McCormick, and Timney, it is a fully contained unit inside a housing so you only have one part to install.  The AR Gold, and I believe the Wilson as well, also includes a secondary "intercepting sear" for safety in the event the rifle gets jarred and inadvertently trips the primary sear.  All you have to do to install one of the fully contained units is slide it in place, position the safety selector bar, install 2 pins, and check for function.  Then adjust pull weight if it's not already set to your liking. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2010 at 18:44
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

ar's are head spaced by definition, that is the collet on the chamber side is time to provide the headspacing and if the bolt is in spec it will head space. 


"Collet?"  Not sure what you are referring to.  Proper headspacing depends on the bolt head and chamber being in spec.  If they are, and the bolt head cams to closed position behind the locking lug abutments, it's properly headspaced.  If they aren't, it ain't.
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