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Build a (near) failproof AR (suggestions)

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Okay, so, all current political and availabilty issues ASIDE.


I got a spikes tactical lower, and , while pirates really arent my deal, the company seems to have a good rep, and i like the look of the finish, so, my question is-


I'm interested in building an AR that has the highest level of reliablity possible. i've got my eyes on a few things, but im interested in what you guys out there have experienced and found you like or don't like.


i'm not really set on anything, but i'm thinking about a ctr stock and a geisille trigger (RRA.seems to be hard to find) i'm not interested in competition shooting, or hanging a ton of mall ninja crap off of it. ( though i have to admit, i like the looks of rails over most hanguards i've seen.)


i'm just looking for high reliabilty in an AR build. and im having a very difficult time sifting the crap from the fact on this one. and, plaese, before anyone suggests to buy mags and ammo for the guns i aready own, i'm not confident this project will ever be able to be finished, but even if is, i think its going to be a long time before all the parts i need are available. i can manage both, i believe.


anyways, i don't mind paying for a quality item, if it helps the big picture. i can't buy into the philosophy of " well, its the most expensive, so it must be the best" also, are there any builders i should be talking to? i've taken apart a few AR's and i know they are very modular, but i'm guessing there are a few guys who build quality ones as well. being around wisconsin/illinois/indiana would be a bonus.


so if you were in my shoes, what you be looking at?

thanks for your help

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1. Define "high level of reliability" - with "what for?" - if you are building for home defense and range plinking - most stock ARs are a good choice with little or no gunsmith skill really.

If you are doing 3 Gun Matches - you go to the range and see what the pros use - basically stock ARs with maybe a trigger group mod, pin retainers, medium to light barrels.


If you are going to be some kind of "operator" you need a IAR/SBR build by the pros that provide weapons to SWAT and LEO - check in with them via google.


2. Anything you use or build will only be as good as the operator/handler. There are guys I know that can run circles around a group of guys with AR15s - with a bolt action rifle.

If you do not train with your weapon, you do not know it and that makes you unreliable.


3. "Buy an AK" really? hit anything much beyond 300 meters? lol, the debate over WHAT brand, model, caliber can go on all day long. Its a personal choice, and it might not be an option - you might only find a mosin nagent, mossburg pump, or ..AK. You could buy a PSL!



But if you only shoot it at a DNR range - one shot per minute, 100 yards only, bench - you didn't really need to spend that money did you? A .22 LR Ruger 10/22 would be just fine.


Not trying to insult, but being blunt ; )

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Just my opinion. I have to agree with stansplace. I have never seen a highly reliable AR. Get yourself a saiga 223 and deck it out like an AR. I have never ownd a AR. but several buddies have them. Alwase jamming up or broken case getting stuck in them.

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In a way that you knew would not be helpful.


I think it is very helpful to talk someone out of an AR platform and into an AK one. But that is only my opinion........


I apologize if anyone took offense at that.


But the fact remains, each and every time I have been to the range, if there was an AR there it was not functioning properly and every one of my AK platforms run flawlessly, continuously and nonstop. I have yet to have an issue. My son and I ran 700+ rounds through 5 different AK platforms at the range yesterday and didn't have so much as a hiccup, while the nice people in the lane next to me had an AR he just paid 2k for it and he couldn't get it to shoot 10 in a row without stopping........

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I'll answer the OP's question.


Get a lower parts kit that contains a hammer without the firing pin step-stop. Don't put any trigger in it that has set-screw adjustments.

Use a fixed stock. Get an uppper with a chrome lined barrel. Non-chrome works fine until you run a bunch of dirt through it, scratch the chamber, and end up with failures to extract. Install a HEAVY duty spring under the extractor. Blend the feed ramp in the barrel extension down into the upper receiver. This was done by custom builder's well before Colt ever thought of the "M4 ramp". Same with the beefy extractor spring. Test fire with standard under-powered Wolf ammo. If the bolt won't lock back on the last shot, open the gas port until it does. Then use U.S. Nato spec ammo. Use a 16" barrel with a standard CAR gas position. That gives you more dwell than any other standard combination.


This may not be the "coolest" high speed low drag ARFCOM mental masterbation configuration, but it will be extremely reliable.


Tony Rumore

Tromix Corp


P.S. Plenty of shit can go wrong in an AK too.........

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Tony- thanks for the info. This gives me an excellant base to start my research. i'm not looking for anything ultra mall ninja cool. i was hoping to buy a colt after a thread i had posted right after things went crazy, but everyone was out of everything already. i was lucky that my local shop still had a couple lowers in. ( looking back at $100 price tag, i wonder why i didn't buy all 3... ahh well)


DNR i live in illinios and its defintely not my home defense gun. it will actually stay in minnesota in a relatives safe at his farm. he has about a hundred acres(ish) and we go up there a few times a year for some fun shoots. he always sets up something cool.


for those who know country music, there's a song lyric from brad paisley " you see a priceless french painting, i see a drunk naked girl " where some people ( not here obviously) see an evil black killing machine, i see an interesting piece of machinery that i look foward to putting together.


stans place- no offense taken. i work in construction, and if my skin wasn't thick enough to take a little abuse, i never would have survived high rise.laugh.png


FWIW this isn't a " i have $1000 to spend- what is the best gun" thread. each firearm has its own job, it is best suited for, and for this project i want to undertake, a reliable AR build is something i want to undertake. even if i fail, i will have succeeded in learning a great deal about the rifle i just assembled.


thanks again for everyones input

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  • 3 weeks later...

20 mags- haven't even given optics much of thought yet to be honest- still working on the nuts and bolts of it, and im fully open to suggestions. about all i've sorta decided was the magpul flip up iron sights. maybe. probably.


thanks for the suggestion- from what i understand they are more reliable, but for this build, i'd like to stay with DI

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Depending on the size of the target and the distance if you see well enough iron sights are great and reliable.

I tend to plan on shooting games like 3 gun matches more than HD with my rifle so I have to figure for something like from point blank at a full sized USPSA target to a 6” metal plate at 100 yards.

I’ve been using a 1X4 Millett DMS that I like pretty well because if the battery goes dead you still have the dot (important) just not illuminated. As I get older and the eyes loose a little more focus I’m thinking about going to a 1X6 or a 2X7 scope to bring in the far small targets better.

Even with back up iron unless it’s a co-witness set up if the dot goes dead at the wrong time it could prove to be a problem.

Good luck with the build and let us know how it all comes out.

Edited by 20-Mags
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For what it's worth, a friend of mine recently back from asscrackistan wants to build a piston AR. Said he had issues keeping his M4 reliable.

FWIW, Direct Impingement ARs are like women, they run better when wet, dirty or not. He must have been following the old school desert lubrication rule and was keeping his dry.

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<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="Corbin" data-cid="854364" data-time="1359246291"><p>

I thought the mid length gas setup offered more dwell time. Or is it a matter of dwell pressure vs dwell time?</p></blockquote>


Dwell time is the time from the bullet passing the gas port to it exiting the muzzle. 16" carbine gas does have the longest dwell time. Beat up GI mags are the ARs biggest issue. Get good mags and pretty much any quality configuration will work. Buy a Hesse/Blackthorne/Vulcan and you're just asking for trouble.

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I've honestly never had issues keeping my AR's reliable. Tony's post is pure gold, do that and you'll be fine. I would also suggest that the OP steer clear or "dissipator" models, those always seem to have issues. Full rifle length guns seem to run the best for me, I love the 20 inch setup. I've had good experience with PSA and BCM uppers. I also like Armalite.

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