AR build parts reccomendations


Oct 7, 2014
Noxon Mt
HI everyone,

I just picked up a stripped lower AR receiver, and plan on slowly buying the rest of the pieces as I can afford them.
I am not real familiar with this platform, and I was hoping for a little advice...
Would it be batter to save up and buy a "rifle kit" that I am seeing available which contains everything needed, or would it be better to pick and choose the parts for better performance? It isn't going to see alot of hard use, primarily yotes and prairie dogs, but I also dont want to waste money on inferior quality parts either.
Thanks for any input! :D


Well-known member
Oct 9, 2009
In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
subscribe to the Palmetto State Armory email. You'll get an annoyingly large amout of emails but they run some serious deals on parts as well as complete uppers. I suggest saving the money first then buying parts in one or 2 orders...that will save you bigtime in shipping costs over piece-mealing things and paying $10 here and there for shipping

In the end it all depends on what add-ons you want. If you want a basic AR then a kit is probably good enough but if you want a specific look or design you'll want to buy a parts and assemble. Youtube is your friend when it comes to how to builds.


Well-known member
May 12, 2009
I have built several AR's. A lot of the parts are are pretty much the same with different names on them. My first build I bought a 18" fluted barrel off of ebay for <$140 and I can get sub MOA groups pretty easily ( after the trigger upgrade ). I built it with the Mil-spec trigger and soon figured out the one thing to upgrade right off is the trigger. I now use a CMC 3.5# flat trigger and it made a huge difference. The other thing I did was get rid of the muzzle brake. For a coyote gun it isn't needed.


  • samsung pictures 090.jpg
    samsung pictures 090.jpg
    65 KB · Views: 352


Well-known member
Mar 25, 2015
Lewistown, MT
I'll second Palmetto State Armory. You can build a complete rifle for around $600 and my experiences with them have been good.


Well-known member
Nov 29, 2015
Sedalia, Colorado
I just finished my first AR, starting with a stripped lower. It's actually really easy and fun to do, kinda like Legos for grownups! A good buddy of mine highly recommended getting better trigger components, so I found a lower parts kit that had a better trigger group, glad I did that...


Nov 23, 2015
St. Louis, MO
I've built a couple and have an AR-10 in the works. You will find no shortage of information on the internets... The one thing I wish I had known/done when making my first: Try to get an upper made by the same folks that made your lower. It will look better when complete. While they are all built to military specs, different manufacturers might make minor "cosmetic" differences. If you aren't too concerned about final appearances then disregard. Happy building! ARs are like a can of Pringles, you can't have just one.


Well-known member
Sep 15, 2010
Gem Lake, Minnesota
If I were in your shoes, I would avoid a parts kit trigger. It may still make sense to buy the kit, but a GI trigger will disappoint. The AR is a plenty accurate platform, minus the triggers.

For a pretty inexpensive option, check out the JP Enterprises 3lb Competition trigger

Otherwise, I don't think you can go wrong with a Timney Drop-in. Just make sure you order the right pin size.


New member
Aug 22, 2011
northeastern PA
start with the barrel...what size bullets are you going to primarily be using? if it's heavier stuff like 69g and up...find a barrel with a 1:7 or 1:8 twist. 1:8 is really good because it'll still toss 69g stuff really nicely while still allowing use of 55g projectiles with good results

uppers and lowers are dime a dozen...find a company with good customer service and buy away.

triggers are now plentiful and can be found pretty cheap sometimes used. in the competition world there are lots of triggers that are won off prize tables and then sold on FB and other sites to help recoup comp fees. you can find Timney and others triggers for $160 +/- all day long. Gieselle makes some great triggers for a really great price! customer service is top notch!

stocks and hand guards are all personal preference...I like's cool and doesn't get cold when the temps drop. Lancer makes some really comfy carbon stocks and handguards...and again they have great customer service.

for basic parts kits for all the little stuff you'll need for a cannot beat CMMG...their parts are top's a family owned company and their service is second to none.

as far as carriers and bolts, etc's always best to stick with MIL SPEC'll last forever and is nice and cheap. there are lightweight carriers and adjustable gas systems on the market...but it's best to get a build done first an then change it up as you learn more and want to squeeze performance out of your rifle.

if you have any other questions don't hesitate to shoot me a PM with any questions...I've built a handful of ARs for both hunting and competition so I've learned most lessons the hard way :)



Active member
Jul 31, 2015
I have 3 that I have put together in the last month.

The first one I just bought a complete upper and lower. The upper is a Bison Arms 300 Blackout and the lower is a Surplus Ammo one build on a Anderson Stripped.

The first one I built was a 300 Blackout on a Spikes tactical lower and SAA upper. The barrel was a cheap Brownells one. The hand guard was a yankee hill, I used a DPMS lower kit. I spent more on the Bison's upper than I did this entire build. They both shoot 1" groups at 100 yards. I am taking my boys pig hunting in Texas and I don't these to go over that. I was curious to see how a in-expensive one I build performed with one that is a more $.

The 2nd one I build is a 5.56. It has an Anderson lower and Spikes tactical upper. I bought a Red X barrel, Nordic Modular hand guard, Rainer Lower Parts kit minus trigger, Palmetto polished trigger. I pieced together the upper parts. The barrel is a 1:8 twist and it didn't shoot the 55 grain bullets I had very well. I haven't had a chance to shoot it again with heavier bullets. I have some 62 and 68 grains on hand to see if they shoot better. The Red X barrels seem to be hit or miss from what I have read. I bought it from Brownells so they have a no questions return policy. I would prefer to see if I can find a bullet they like.

Youtube is your friend. I really like the Nordic Modular Hand Guard. It is very affordable for what you get.

Here is a list of places I have bought from.

Midway -- They have a really easy order process and they ship really fast.

Brownells -- good selection ok shipping and prices

Surplus Ammo -- Pretty slow shipping but they had really good black Friday prices

Rainer -- Only ordered one thing but they had something no one else did at the time. Good results.

Bison -- Great customer service, took a while for the build.

Amazon -- I have bought both my stock kits from here.

Palmetto -- Good prices shipping was a little slow.

Check local. I have bought my lowers local because they were cheaper when I didn't have to worry about transfer fees.

Here is a picture of my 5.56 with the Nordic handgaurd. It is like legos for grown men!


Latest posts

Forum statistics

Latest member