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Old March 21st, 2020, 10:01 PM #1
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Building cheaper than buying in this environment?

Tl;dr in todayís environment and the foreseeable future better to build or buy an AR? Should I take the plunge and start with an 80% lower?

I had planned to just go to engage in rockville and buy a cheap/midrange 5.56 AR, but then the virus panic hit and pretty much shut that idea down. Kicking myself for waiting but I didnít want to charge it & was waiting for a settlement check to come in.

Once the immediate panic settles will component/build part prices skyrocket as well, given this is an election year and lingering Coronavirus fear? How did it play out in 2013/2016?

Iíve been considering ordering a lower and then building myself, but I donít want to deal with the hoard to pick it up from an FFL right now. I have zero skills but have no issue following guides/youtube videos, but Iím a little uneasy about messing with an 80% lower since I have zero experience with rifles and only basic tools at home.

Iím looking for a general purpose rifle, something I can hunt with down the road (will start with small game and a .22 then move up) and use for defense. While the assault weapons ban failed in MD this year I donít want to wait and miss the opportunity to own one. .300 AAC blk seems cool because you can suppress it with subsonic rounds, but ammo cost is a little steep especially in the immediate future and every guide Iíve read online says to go 5.56 and not .300blk.
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Old March 21st, 2020, 10:22 PM #2
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It took about 2 years post Newtown shooting for the AR-15 market to build sufficient inventory such that prices were close to prepanic levels ... and maybe more 2 years when there were more good deals on the mid premium rifles, like Colts. I think Ruger and S&W will be faster in getting their AR-15 products out this time (Ruger didn't have the current AR 5.56 line then). Maybe Colt will start building again for the civilian market.

22LR ammo took the longest time to come back in decent stock after the panic. Years. Supposedly CCI and other major manufacturers have greater production capacity these days. I think 223/5.56 won't take long to replenish. Maybe it will be 35-40 cpr at the beginning. Also, being able to get imported ammo helps (which could change if Trump loses reelection).

A Ruger 10/22 for $300 or less or a S&W 15-22 for $425 or less would be great 22LR rifles to start with.
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 08:14 AM #3
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Most AR sales are newbs buying complete guns. I saw multiple stripped lowers and LPKs and such at a local gun store yesterday. Joe Bob's seems well stocked, ie very few parts not in stock. This is probably a better time to build than buy.
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 08:40 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbobborg View Post
Most AR sales are newbs buying complete guns. I saw multiple stripped lowers and LPKs and such at a local gun store yesterday. Joe Bob's seems well stocked, ie very few parts not in stock. This is probably a better time to build than buy.
Agreed
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 09:28 AM #5
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Building is cheaper, since you don't need to make a profit and there's no 11% excise tax on parts.

It also get you a better rifle. You aren't likely to skip greasing your own barrel nut just to save a little time. And you can get better parts. You don't get a great barrel in a rifle that retails for $700.
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 04:12 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fidelity View Post
It took about 2 years post Newtown shooting for the AR-15 market to build sufficient inventory such that prices were close to prepanic levels ... and maybe more 2 years when there were more good deals on the mid premium rifles, like Colts. I think Ruger and S&W will be faster in getting their AR-15 products out this time (Ruger didn't have the current AR 5.56 line then). Maybe Colt will start building again for the civilian market.

22LR ammo took the longest time to come back in decent stock after the panic. Years. Supposedly CCI and other major manufacturers have greater production capacity these days. I think 223/5.56 won't take long to replenish. Maybe it will be 35-40 cpr at the beginning. Also, being able to get imported ammo helps (which could change if Trump loses reelection).

A Ruger 10/22 for $300 or less or a S&W 15-22 for $425 or less would be great 22LR rifles to start with.
Good info thanks. I actually donít plan on using the AR at first and was going to buy a 10-22 to learn rifle basics and use for small game hunting. I donít want to sleep on the AR now and then be stuck with nothing in a year or 2 after MD bans them or some goofy ďfeaturelessĒ California crap.
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 04:25 PM #7
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Buy a Ruger 10/22 and a bunch of 22 ammunition. Then sign up for an Appleseed
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 04:33 PM #8
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I’d buy an inexpensive lower, complete upper, and a lower parts kit. Done right and you can have a good mil spec set up for around $500. Add a few hundred and you can add some fancier magpul furniture.

Palmetto State Armory has a few HBAR uppers for sale.

Alternatively, Hanover Armory near BWI builds their own complete AR pattern rifles - MD compliant.

Since they build and sell completes, I think you’ll find that you have more options available, since they can market and advertise their builds as HBAR. Don’t go in there asking for them to stamp a pencil barrel or lightweight barrel as heavy, though.

They make their own billet lowers in house and also have their own forged lowers. My billet lower from them has the absolute best lower to upper fit among my 4 AR’s, which include a Daniel Defense, Spikes, and Colt.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 05:36 PM #9
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You may consider sooner rather than later. Already Brownells, MidwayUSA, etc. have statements of heavy workloads. Prices will go up. So it becomes a question of how long you want to wait.

You can buy off the shelf HBAR equipped AR’s for $500-$700 which on one end is good and other end pretty depending on what is already on the gun.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 11:48 PM #10
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Buying and milling out an AR 80% is not really worth it after buying the jigs and tools, for a single build.
Buy a stripped ($50-$75+) lower or a built lower ($125-~) for a home build AR. The sky's the limit for cost for the rest of the parts.
But you should be able to build a AR for $500-$750, if you shop for parts on sale. I have had good success with Anderson Lowers and upper for a lower cost build.
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