AR-10 ... buy or build?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing - Assembly - Finishing' started by JT, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. JT

    JT Don't question authority; question obedience Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Here's my dilemma. I can buy a PSA (or DPMS) for about what I can build one ... and I know the components will be compatible. Or I can do endless research and take a huge amount of time and spend about the same dinero to build one myself.

    Yes, I know all the relative merits of 'buy vs. build'. I just can't decide which makes more sense for me. I'm not asking you to tell me what to do; I'm asking you to tell me what you've done ... and why.

    Please limit your responses to AR-10 builds. It's that exceptional case that is most of the issue here.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Same boat here. I’m just going to buy a psa. Worst case, I’ll spend $250 and get a ballistic advantage barrel but there’s so many reviews and videos of guys getting .5-.75” groups with factory ammo from the psa 6.5CM that it just doesn’t make sense to go sink a crap ton in one.
     
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  3. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Also, I had one in 308, would shoot just under .5” with 5 shots at 100
     
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  4. JT

    JT Don't question authority; question obedience Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a winner to me! This is what I needed to hear! Thanks!
     
  5. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    There is better out there, im not a psa fan boy by any means but from what ive got from them.. ive been happy. Do i expect my $350 freedom ar15 to shoot one hole groups? no.. does it? no?

    Did I expect that from their ar10? no... did it? With hand loads, yes. Youtube some videos on them, look at the reviews.. for the money, you cant touch em!
     
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  6. David

    David Member Supporting Member

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    AR-10 is on my list. I too am in the same boat.
    I would love to hear what you decided and if you are happy with your decision.
     
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  7. JT

    JT Don't question authority; question obedience Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    I'll try to remember to let you know.:)
     
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  8. Tim

    Tim I am....an enchanter. Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I started piecing one together and got frustrated by the minor incompatibilities. I ended up buying a complete PSA lower and one of their uppers. I am happy with what I paid, and it runs like a top. Given he current market, I just don't see the benefit of piecing one together.

    Note that I did end up changing out spring and buffer to get it to run. Otherwise no issues.
     
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  9. Friday

    Friday Polite-Knock raid Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I love my Gen 2 PSA AR10/308. Bought as a complete rifle..(when they had the sale on) 18" stainless barrel with the mlok forend and their basic lower. I changed the stock from collapsible to a Magpul rifle stock, dropped in the CMC flat trigger, put on a KAW linear compensator, topped it with a basic Nikon 3x9-40 scope with Nikon rings. Couple of other tidbits like a grip and buttpad etc. I knew I was gonna change out these components so I pretty much just wanted the starter package with the nice forend. I think I've got around $850-900 in it?
    This is my first AR10 and I wasn't sure if I'd take to it, so I didn't feel really compelled to spend a fortune on one. Plus, best I can do at my range is 100 yards before you drop behind the hill and lose sight of the targets.
    With cheap 149 gr. Federal bulk pack ammo, it shoots 1"moa all dang day. And shooting stuff like my 6" plate is stupidly easy. Not once has it ever failed to cycle in any way. I'm thrilled.
    I might try an adjustable gas block. These rifles are fairly gassy, but not uncontrollably so. But then I think why? It shoots!
    If I had to change anything about my purchase, I'd probably get the 20" barrel with the rifle length gas block. I think it'd do even better.
     
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  10. backwoodsshooter

    backwoodsshooter There’s no such things as ghost guns or ghost

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    Buy. I put together a 358win, and well let’s just say I should have gotten a PA10 or something and swapped out the barrel
     
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  11. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    Back in beginning of 17' I was looking at a S&W MP10 rifle then a friend gave me a 80% AR10 lower. Milled it out and had it anodized. Now I'm going the build route. Its a DPMS lower style. Added a M110 stock, Rich Fowler scope, KAC mags and a Giessele SSA trigger. Just haven't built/ordered a upper yet.

    CD
     
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  12. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I too went back and forth and ended up just getting a stainless 18" PSA freefloat upper, and a EPT equipped lower. After reading a bit, I swapped out the carbine tube and spring buffer system, went with a 5.2oz rifle buffer and rifle length tube from Luth-AR along with one of their MBA stocks.
    I put a nice 3.5lb Rise RA434 straight blade trigger, Superlative arms adjustable detent gas block, a nice ADM Recon mount and the Leupold VX1 3-9x50.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The Rise RA434 is the best single stage trigger I've ever tried on any AR
    [​IMG]


    With my halfass 168gr handloads it will print a nickel size group at 200yds all day long to the point it's boring. Get the stainless 18" barrel, it's a winner.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  13. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    308 stocked.JPG

    Want a 20" barrel upper for mine in .308. Later a 18" .358 would be great.

    CD
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  14. Catfish

    Catfish E Pluribus Mendacium Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I bought a gen2 PSA AR-10 in 308 and dropped a CMC trigger in it. With my noob skillset and bad eyes it makes 1.5" groups at 100 yds using FGMM. Not too impressive at all but I'm positive a skilled shooter could do better. I think I got my money's worth and at the price they are giving them away I wouldn't even consider buying tools to build one. If you're close to CLT and we can work out a range day you're welcome to shoot mine.
     
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  15. JT

    JT Don't question authority; question obedience Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    I appreciate it, but I'm just a bit too far away and a bit too tied down; I am also very close to making a decision. Thank you very much for your kind offer.

    [*] Every day is a range day at my place. It ain't fancy, but it's cheap!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  16. Jabroni

    Jabroni Active Member

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    Built mine pre election..Fulton Armory upper and lower, Criterion 20in bbl, superlative adj. Gas block, magpul prs stock, midwest industries handgaurd, geisselle 2 stage trigger. Loves my 168gr handloads a lot, and also 155gr.

    One day Ill build a 16in.

    ARs are adult legos.
     
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  17. JT

    JT Don't question authority; question obedience Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
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  18. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Alabamacoastie

    Alabamacoastie Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Late to the party, as usual, but I'll chime in...

    I built an AR10 from an 80% lower. I spent weeks reading reviews, forums, etc., and ordered every single part one piece at a time.

    Then I assembled it and put it in my safe without even test firing it. There it sat in the safe for 4 or 5 years.

    A couple of months ago, I finally pulled it out of the safe and took it to the range. I was incredibly surprised that it cycled properly on the first shot.

    Although, it did have a few hiccups, I finally got it sighted in. Now I have a beautiful rifle which performs well. But man, it was a pain in the ass getting it to this point...

    - Took 3 hours to drill out lower on a drill press
    - I had to try 3 different bolt catches before I found one that fit.
    - I still had to grind on that third bolt catch to create enough clearance to allow me to use it to release the bolt properly.
    - Had to anodize the lower
    - Had to polish the feed ramps
    - Still may need to replace the buffer

    I like my rifle, but man was it a pain in the ass to get to this stage... If I had to do it all over again i would order a complete AR10 and know that I had a perfectly working rifle right out of the box.

    I think you made the right decision. Good luck with your new rifle!

    Here's mine:

    20190131_141114.jpg 20190201_150440.jpg
     
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  20. RedneckFur

    RedneckFur Smith & Wesson is a religion of peace.

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    When I put together my AR10, I bought a complete billet lower from PSA, and one of their free float 18" stainless uppers with a 1/10 twist. I switched out the stock trigger for a CMC flat blade 3.5lb single stage, put on a better magpul adjustable stock, and topped it with a Bushnell fixed 10X scope.

    It shoots 1-1.5" groups at 100 yards off a bipod easily with Privi 168 gr. match ammo (cheapest match I can find) and would do better with handloads, once I develop some for it. I've got sub 3" groups at 2oo yards. Not bad for a rifle that I have under $1000 invested in, optics and trigger included.

    I wouldn't hesitate to put together another PSA AR10.
     
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  21. JT

    JT Don't question authority; question obedience Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I ended up buying this PSA lower and this PSA upper and I was quite concerned that I had bitten off more than I could chew -- when assembled, it looked quite the beast, especially after I added this scope. It sighted in easily and beautifully and shoots like a dream. The mass serves well on recoil, and the rifle functions perfectly. So all in all I am quite well pleased with my choices, and I came out on the rifle itself quite well, cost-versus-quality-wise.

    @David
     

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    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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