First AR build

Thread starter #1
So I pulled the trigger :bounce: earlier today and ordered an Anderson Arms stripped lower from this afternoon for $29.99.

I've helped a friend with a couple of builds in the past, so I'm not a complete babe in the woods. It'll be my first AR rifle, I've shot a few in the past but never really caught the bug until now. I think it will be fun to see how inexpensively I can put one together, so if anyone has any links to low-cost parts, by all means post them here.

I'll post parts and prices as I go along, just don't expect it to progress too quickly, I'd imagine this build will take three to six months as I'm going it with what extra funds I find available.

Any advice and links are welcome, thanks in advance!


Senior Member
You Tube is your friend. Lots of good how-to's.

Keep an eye open on Palmetto Armory's website for parts.

Brownells also has good parts deals every so often.

Good luck.
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Senior Member
one way to maybe save money...on your lower small parts kits...if you are not going to use the grip...don't buy the complete kit with the grip.

if you are not going to use the trigger...don't buy the kit either...if you don't like that selector...don't buy the kit.

I like the tactile feel that Seekins Precision as well as the bolt release...bolt release is larger too
You Tube is your friend. Lots of good how-to's.

Keep an eye open on Palmetto Armory's website for parts.

Brunnels also has good parts deals every so often.

Good luck.
psa has great deals. Check the daily deals out and buy when they have sales. sometimes they have great deals
Thread starter #5
Thanks, all, for the replies. Keep 'em coming!

A little more info about the build - I'm trying to build the dead bones cheapest .223/5.56 AR I can build, and then shoot with my buddies who poo-poo on anything that doesn't cost $2500+ with all "name" parts and has all kinds of mall ninja crap on it.

As I mentioned, I've helped build a few and it's pretty much Lego blocks. I've loaded my own ammo for 30+ years and I've found that even the mankyest (beater, sloppy, etc) rifle will eventually find a bullet/powder combo that it likes and will shoot well. This is what I find fun, not starting with a precision rifle that puts bullets in the same hole at 500yds from the builder, but working up an accurate load for a "common man's" rifle.

It'll be fun, I think.

I'm looking for a decent complete lower parts kit with pistol grip, collapsible stock, buffer tube and butt stock for $70ish, so that I've got about $100 in the complete lower (plus shipping for all parts and FFL fee for the stripped lower).

I'm trying to avoid ordering parts separately, as I don't want to pay shipping for every tiny part, something I think a lot of people conveniently forget when talking about their build cost, unless they are trying to brag about how much it was.

As far as the upper, I don't much care. Probably an 18-20" barrel, preferably threaded in the event suppressors become a non-NFA item. One rail down the top for whatever sighting system I pick, I don't need bayonet lugs or 14 rails for mall ninja attachments. I'd like to have a forward assist (though if it's tuned right it shouldn't need it) and the flippy-downy ejection port cover thingy.

Again, thanks to all for the replies. I'll keep everyone posted, I think I'm going to wait for the Black Friday sales and see what pops up. I may order an LPK (lower parts kit) before if one catches my fancy, but I'm in no hurry and I'm building this completely out of discretionary spending funds, something which I don't have a lot of to spread around, especially with the holidays coming up.


Senior Member
Check acmemachine and jsesurplus...between the two of them you should be able to find everything you listed, for less than anywhere else--lots of stuff on sale or clearance. Acme has a nitrided BCG for $79/free shipping right now. JSE has a slew of barrels on sale/clearance.


Senior Member
I'm going to be putting together a .223 wylde upper just to have in case I want to swap it out on my .300bo, check Bear Creek Arsenal for barrels, so far they are the cheapest I've seen on M4 profile or lightweight barrels, Anderson has a good price on uppers, check ebay for the handguard, M-lok and keymods can be had very reasonable , muzzle brakes or flash hiders also
Thread starter #9
Thanks, all. I picked up the stripped lower this afternoon, so far the total cost is:

$29.99 Anderson Arms stripped lower
$6.78 shipping
$10.00 FFL fee

$46.77 total

I'd post pics, but it's, well, just a black andonized stripped lower. Thanks again for all the suggestions.


Senior Member
Get on "primary arms" email list, daily and weekend deals, every holiday they have great deals. Also , ive built one for $280 but I already had a barrel. Check out Spinta barrels for a deal on an 18-20 inch.

Or find a good deal on a complete upper and lower build kit, really hard to piece it together cheaper than that.
Here is a list of parts that I have used on just about every AR build. Its a quick reference for me. Not all the cheapest you'll find, but good quality parts that I personally have not had any problems with. I built a cheap gun on an Anderson lower and its been a great plinker.

Stripped upper - top -upper -m4 demo.htm

Forward assist assembly - forward assist assembly.htm

Dust cover assembly - port cover assembly.htm

Forearm -

Gas Block -

Gas tube -

Lower Parts Kit -

Buffer Tube Assembly -

Stock - - select OD green

Barrel -

Flash Hider/Comp -

Grip - - select OD green

Rail Covers - - select OD green

Bolt Carrier Group -

Charging Handle -
Thread starter #15
Progress on the world's slowest AR build!

I received a Magpul MOE lower build kit, SKU 598 at Palmetto State Armory from a buddy.

I'm not sure how to cost it in the build as it was a gift, but would have been $99.99. Anyhow, glacial as it is, progress continues.
Thread starter #17
More progress!

PSA had a great deal on a complete upper in 5.56, $219.99, free shipping, plus $17.60 tax. $237.59 total.

PSA Blem complete upper $219.99

All I needed was a rear sight, I picked a cheapie off Amazon to get me by until I decide what if any optical sight I want. $19.99 for a fixed height metal rear sight.

$19.99 Amazon rear sight

Total for the build:

Anderson stripped lower (with FFL fee and shipping) $36.77
PSA Magpul MOE lower build kit - gift to me, otherwise $99.99
PSA complete upper (free shipping + tax) $237.59
Ozark Armament rear iron sight (no shipping or tax -Amazon) $19.99

Total with all taxes, fees, and shipping - $294.35 (Granted, I would have had another $50 to $100 in it had I not received the lower build kit as a gift.

PSA also has a complete rifle kit minus stripped lower on sale right now for $299.99.

PSA $299.99 complete build kit (except stripped lower)
On one of mine that has a Vortex red dot sight, I put on a flip-up rear that I've got co-witnessed through the red dot in case it quits working or the battery goes dead and I don't have an extra. Works great.


Senior Member
Check out the primary arms micro dot. 3 moa dot, 50000 hour battery life, compatible with all aimpoint micro mounts and accessories. They have done well for me.


Senior Member
If you decide to upgrade anything, get a good trigger.
Also, +1 on the Primary Arms advanced micro dot.