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EBR Bleg

Rich has some questions:

Who are the good vendors?

I’ve owned ARs and parts from JT Distributing, Rock River Arms, DPMS, Delton, Stag, and many others. I find them comparable. I will note that Rock River parts seem to fit tighter. I tend to stick with JT Distributing because they make a quality product, use FN parts (like Colt), have good customer service, and I know Jesse.

.223 or 5.56? One works in both but one doesn’t. Are there advantages to either?

In 99% of the cases, either is fine. But a general rule of thumb is that it’s safe to fire a .223 in a 5.56 chamber. But a 5.56 in .223 may cause problems. Get 5.56

What tips and tricks do I need to know before I start?

There’s quite a few. Get all your parts and come to my house. We’ll hang out in the basement of mad science and I’ll walk you through the whole thing.

I’ve seen prices on stripped lowers from $89 to $200 and up. What’s up with that?

Used to be that there were only four machine shops that made most of the lowers in the country. So, it didn’t matter if you bought $200 lower or a $100 lower. I’ve used RRA, Bushmaster, Doublestar, and Essential Arms with no problem. I recently ordered two from SI Defense for $50 each. Note that I linked them up and apparently did too so they ran out of stock and are backordered. I just got notification that my two will arrive at my FFL on 1/11.

I know that I have to go through an FFL to get the lower. Do I buy it first and then set up delivery or the other way around?

Buy it first, get confirmation, call up your local FFL and have them fax a copy of their FFL to the seller. I used Gunny’s, who charge a flat fee of $25 per transfer.

Get over there and help Rich answer his other questions.

5 Responses to “EBR Bleg”

  1. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    While you know your local shops so it shouldn’t be a problem, I’ve had a lot of trouble with local retailers performing transfers on stripped lowers. The two largest shops in the area will not do it. You buy their complete EBR rifles or you go somewhere else. I went somewhere else.

    If you’re building your first AR, it pays to check to see which shops will even help you before you buy the lower and send it to them.

  2. BenC Says:

    I thought .223 was 5.56 was I wrong?

  3. SayUncle Says:

    little bit of difference.

  4. Dixie Says:

    “What tips and tricks do I need to know before I start?”

    1) Vise-Grips for the roll pins.
    2) Get a buddy for the pivot pin detent. Seriously.
    3) The hammer spring’s tougher than it looks.

  5. Diamondback Says:

    All good advice. The .223 versus 5.56 I would agree go with a 5.56 barrel if it is just going to be a standard EBR rifle. If looking for longer range accuracy I’d go with a “QUALITY” .223 barrel.

    Tools,Tools,Tools. The right tool for the right job makes the building process SO MUCH EASIER! Smooth jaw pliers for the trigger and bolt release pin will be one I wish I started with first! Roll Pin punches would be the next! for both as you probably won’t find them locally. Both cheap and very necessary! The Pivot detent pin is a breeze with a cheap $1 Clevis pin (small pin with hole or holes through it) same size as the pivot pin from Home Depot or (hardware store of choice) and a small metal punch. put the clevis in from opposite side through the pivot pin holes, use the punch to push in the spring and detent and rotate when when the spring and pin are through the clevis, then as you pull the clevis pin out slide in the pivot pin at same time. easy peasy! plastic punches to hold things like the trigger group and hammer group when inserting their pins make lineup easier as well and won’t scratch things. I spent less than $30 for these lower tools.

    If building your own upper, there are “several” special tools REQUIRED that are more costly but necessary to do the job. I’ve built all my ARs from individual parts and had something give me some type of grief on one build and be a breeze on another. Gas tube into the gas block on the last one. Just didn’t want to go that last .5cm! little smoothing of gas tube end with a bit of sandpaper… wallah!
    I wouldn’t recommend building your own upper unless your planning on doing more than two uppers due to the cost of the tools.
    Only other piece of advice I’d give is don’t learn how to build lowers and uppers from YOUTUBE videos. There are lots of stupid mistakes in them that will butcher your pretty lower. Go with the The AR-15 Complete Assembly Guide – Paperback (Jan 1, 2002) by Walt Kuleck

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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