All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:06 am

Langenator wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 pm
If anyone's interested - the official Army PEO Soldier guide to spray painting your M-16/M-4. Also works for AR-15s. Although the part about taping or otherwise covering the barrel and gas block might be a challenge for rifles with free-float handguards, unless you remove the handguard.

https://www.peosoldier.army.mil/docs/bl ... ing101.pdf
Thank You Lang!!!

Really, thanks a lot for this! :D

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by Langenator » Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:39 pm

Anyone know the longest free float handguard that will fit on a 16" barrel with mid-length gas? My tape measure says about 9.5". Anyone here ever tried a build like that?

Branch option question: if you take an A-frame front sight/gas block and chop the sight part off, will it fit under a normal free float guard?
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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by boskone » Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:03 pm

Langenator wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:39 pm
Branch option question: if you take an A-frame front sight/gas block and chop the sight part off, will it fit under a normal free float guard?
It should, I did that with one of mine. Had to cut the sling swivel off too, though the swivel stud and bayonet lug fit underneath just fine.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by williaty » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:27 pm

Can an AR-15 upper be built chambered in something that would meet the following regulation?
All straight-walled cartridge calibers from a minimum of .357 to a maximum of .50.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by dallas » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:20 am

williaty wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:27 pm
Can an AR-15 upper be built chambered in something that would meet the following regulation?
All straight-walled cartridge calibers from a minimum of .357 to a maximum of .50.
Yes. 350 Legend, 450 Beowulf and 50 Beowulf fit the criteria.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by boskone » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:24 am

williaty wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:27 pm
Can an AR-15 upper be built chambered in something that would meet the following regulation?
All straight-walled cartridge calibers from a minimum of .357 to a maximum of .50.
I assume you don't mean all at once, though that would be a pretty interesting upper. :lol:

Offhand, .350 Legend (which is pretty much brand new, actually .357 caliber), .450 Bushmaster (kinda new), and .50 Beowulf (can't remember if it's still proprietary or not).

I believe .350 Legend's performance is comparable to ye olde .30-30, and .450 Bushmaster around .45-70.

Not sure about Beowulf, or even if it's a decent hunting cartridge. By the numbers, seems like it should be at least usable.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by williaty » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:34 am

After another day of reading, that's pretty much the list everyone is talking about:

.350 Legend
.450 Bushmaster
.500 Beowulf

I'm trying to figure out if there's really a meaningful difference between them to a noob like me. Looks like they're all going to be better than the 20ga slug I'd otherwise use (and cheaper too!). Looks like they all can be finnicky to run in an AR if everything isn't just so. Might come down to which upper is cheapest.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by williaty » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:44 am

Hmm.. maybe not. Just found a good numbers-based analysis of the 3 calibers. They're pretty similar in terms of killing power (though with the .350 L at the low end of the pack) but the recoil of the .350 L is way, way lower than the other two. That's a big deal honestly.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by PistolPete » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:21 am

williaty wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:34 am
After another day of reading, that's pretty much the list everyone is talking about:

.350 Legend
.450 Bushmaster
.500 Beowulf

I'm trying to figure out if there's really a meaningful difference between them to a noob like me. Looks like they're all going to be better than the 20ga slug I'd otherwise use (and cheaper too!). Looks like they all can be finnicky to run in an AR if everything isn't just so. Might come down to which upper is cheapest.
I'd say 450 Bushmaster has the most support. Whether 350 Legend sticks around or not remains to be seen, it's pretty darn new. 50 Beowulf has been around the longest, but doesn't have a bunch of companies making parts for it and the ammo is pricey. You can find uppers in the generic 12.7x42, it's the same as 50 Beowulf without paying Alexander Arms royalties.

The sticky wicket with 350 legend is it uses 9mm (.355") bullets instead of .357 bullets, so there are very few choices that hold up to the velocity for hunting. Factory offerings are all you've got.

That said, any of them will do the job. I've got a 10" 50 Beowfulf AR pistol I plan to use for handgun deer season in my state. It should do the job. :-)
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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by williaty » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:25 am

PistolPete wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:21 am
The sticky wicket with 350 legend is it uses 9mm (.355") bullets instead of .357 bullets, so there are very few choices that hold up to the velocity for hunting.
I've been hitting the research pretty hard. Seems like companies are loading both .355" and .357" bullets into their .350 Legend cartridges. The heavier ones are getting some good reviews for hunting. You're right, though, it's awfully early to see if it's a flash in the pan or not. That being said, the cost per round is like half or less of .450BM and waaaay less than .500Beo. Since this would be a deer-season-only caliber, it's not crazy to think about stocking up on enough cartridges to last me the rest of my life if I'm only using a small number per year.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by boskone » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:28 pm

williaty wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:25 am
PistolPete wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:21 am
The sticky wicket with 350 legend is it uses 9mm (.355") bullets instead of .357 bullets, so there are very few choices that hold up to the velocity for hunting.
I've been hitting the research pretty hard. Seems like companies are loading both .355" and .357" bullets into their .350 Legend cartridges. The heavier ones are getting some good reviews for hunting. You're right, though, it's awfully early to see if it's a flash in the pan or not. That being said, the cost per round is like half or less of .450BM and waaaay less than .500Beo. Since this would be a deer-season-only caliber, it's not crazy to think about stocking up on enough cartridges to last me the rest of my life if I'm only using a small number per year.
Do you reload? Might do the math on a couple boxes of loaded bullets, and reloading supplies. If you're only shooting, say, 3-5 rounds a year, it might be practical to just reload.

Just to point out an option (and not necessarily dissuading you against an AR, but rather offering a potentially less expensive option): Are you dead-set on an AR? At least around here, you can get a Savage Axis with a decent scope for $300 plus tax. I think $350 or so would get you a good setup, and $450-500 for the setup plus reloading. With the recoil of the .350 Legend being pretty mild, the recoil advantage of an AR might not be pronounced enough for the (potential) additional cost.

The Axis rifles won't win any long-range precision shooting competitions and you can't customize 'em like--say--a Remington 700-type rifle, but I know a few people with 'em and they're all good solid hunting guns.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by williaty » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:37 am

boskone wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:28 pm
Do you reload? Might do the math on a couple boxes of loaded bullets, and reloading supplies. If you're only shooting, say, 3-5 rounds a year, it might be practical to just reload.

Just to point out an option (and not necessarily dissuading you against an AR, but rather offering a potentially less expensive option): Are you dead-set on an AR? At least around here, you can get a Savage Axis with a decent scope for $300 plus tax. I think $350 or so would get you a good setup, and $450-500 for the setup plus reloading. With the recoil of the .350 Legend being pretty mild, the recoil advantage of an AR might not be pronounced enough for the (potential) additional cost.
We don't currently reload. With 9mm and 5.56, it's just never seen economically worth it. I did consider just getting a dedicated rifle for this. However, there's uppers starting at about $275. Also, since you're right about just shooting a handful of rounds a year, I thought using the lowers we already practice with would be the best use of the (very) limited amount of shooting in .350L. So no, I'm not married to the idea of just getting a different upper but so far it seems to make a lot of sense.

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by MacWa77ace » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:08 am

Langenator wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:39 pm
Anyone know the longest free float handguard that will fit on a 16" barrel with mid-length gas? My tape measure says about 9.5". Anyone here ever tried a build like that?
You have an A-frame front site on this? they make rails that will go around the site and even have a rail section in front, that would be the longest i'd think. maybe 15-15.5" ?

This one is not free float but I've seen them. They don't make sense to me because you have to take the front site off to install them so if you have to do that anyhow, just switch to a low profile gas block.
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Branch option question: if you take an A-frame front sight/gas block and chop the sight part off, will it fit under a normal free float guard?
Just change to a low profile gas block for $30 bucks.
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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by Langenator » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:49 pm

MacWa77ace wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:08 am
Langenator wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:39 pm
Anyone know the longest free float handguard that will fit on a 16" barrel with mid-length gas? My tape measure says about 9.5". Anyone here ever tried a build like that?
You have an A-frame front site on this? they make rails that will go around the site and even have a rail section in front, that would be the longest i'd think. maybe 15-15.5" ?

This one is not free float but I've seen them. They don't make sense to me because you have to take the front site off to install them so if you have to do that anyhow, just switch to a low profile gas block.
Branch option question: if you take an A-frame front sight/gas block and chop the sight part off, will it fit under a normal free float guard?
Just change to a low profile gas block for $30 bucks.
This is for my "Most Triggering EBR" project - i.e., how many AWB features can I manage to include on a single rifle? Thus, the important piece is not the fixed front sight itself - it's the bayonet lug, which you can only get as part of the A-frame, M-16/M-4 type gas block.

Thus chop the sight part off, and either get a free float that comes right up behind the bayo lug, or maybe remove some metal from the handguard to allow a bayonet to be attached.

I know, it's a goofy idea, but I've already go practical ARs that do everything I want, so why not?
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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by boskone » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:35 pm

Langenator wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:49 pm
This is for my "Most Triggering EBR" project - i.e., how many AWB features can I manage to include on a single rifle? Thus, the important piece is not the fixed front sight itself - it's the bayonet lug, which you can only get as part of the A-frame, M-16/M-4 type gas block.
FWIW, though I dunno that it really changes your plans, a couple of YHM's flip-down front sights have bayonet lugs.

Mine does, I think, but I'd have to take my handguard off to find out. (I have a Magpul MOE, and I nipped the front sight cutout a bit so the flip-down sight would work.)

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Re: All purpose "Help me build my AR" thread.

Post by Langenator » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:51 am

boskone wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:35 pm
Langenator wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:49 pm
This is for my "Most Triggering EBR" project - i.e., how many AWB features can I manage to include on a single rifle? Thus, the important piece is not the fixed front sight itself - it's the bayonet lug, which you can only get as part of the A-frame, M-16/M-4 type gas block.
FWIW, though I dunno that it really changes your plans, a couple of YHM's flip-down front sights have bayonet lugs.

Mine does, I think, but I'd have to take my handguard off to find out. (I have a Magpul MOE, and I nipped the front sight cutout a bit so the flip-down sight would work.)
YHM-9394-H is the part number (for the HK style ears). I don't know if it allows a longer handguard or not, and I haven't found flip-up sights on any list of scary features, but it's worth thinking about, for sure.
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