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Build a rifle or modify a fully built


PatUSAF
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Hey all,

I'm trying to get a new AR build off the ground right now once I can get rid of a few things. The problem I see now is trying to source decent parts that aren't on back order or crazy lead times. Am I better off just buying a fully build rifle on somewhere like gun broker and then modifying it, or go with the piece built rifle. I would hate to buy something fully built and then rip the hand guard off just to replace it with a nice JP guard!

Pat

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Hey Pat,

Really depends on how picky you want to be on the finished product and how much of a hurry you're in. My recommendation is the build from scratch option. Availability is improving every day and prices are definitely dropping. Even a couple months ago when things were really tight I was able to slowly pick up parts and continue to build. Just took a little more time and had to jump on things when they came available but in the end was a better result than complete guns I was seeing for sale and for less $$. I'm looking to build up a HB Varmint in the near future and its amazing the difference a month has made in availability and price.

Steve

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Yeah, it depends on what you are going for. If your intention is to build up a rifle rather than buy something like your typical, factory 3 gun model rifle, then I would build. You will get the exact build you want and might even have it done sooner. Receivers are becoming available again, if you know where to look. BCG's are starting to pop back up again too. The only tricky part really is barrels. Getting the exact barrel configuration you want can take time. If what you are looking for is a rifle which will rival JP, or MSTN or one of the other top custom shop builds, then you should order the rifle from your favorite builder. I've put together quite a few top notch rifles in recent months. What I shoot in competition are factory built JPs. Why? Because the rifles I've assembled have been very good, and JPs are that much gooder. I can't tell you what magic pixie dust they sprinkle on them things, but I can tell you that I have yet to duplicate the same shooting experience in my own personal builds. You can purchase all of the top notch parts and assemble them. When you're done, you will have a great rifle. What the top rifle builders have are an integrated system designed to perform at peak levels for their designed intent. Each part is carefully selected or even made to work as perfectly as possible with the other parts of the system. Believe it or not, it's a difference you can feel when operating the rifle. Sorry to talk around the subject, but a complex question deserves an even more complex answer.

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There are 3 main things in a rifle...

Trigger...you have to know what you want by shooting a few and logically comparing the differences and speed and distance.

Barrel...don't skimp if you want accuracy. In some odd way, a more accurate rifle helps with confidence, which helps with scores...but you have to put in the practice to get there no matter what. I know a top competitor that is struggling with some accuracy issues and it is messing up his head, but the margins he is obsessing about are 1 MOA to 1/2 MOA and it really makes little difference in real performance.

HUMINT...the buttstock and handguard. Weight, fit, ergonomics, aesthetics.

Decide on those three, look at what is available and go from there. JP builds great rifles, but there are a lot of other equal or superior quality rifles out there that might appeal to you more.

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You can just have the whole thing built to order by JP. I was expecting crazy lead times myself when I placed my jp15 order on March 3. I called them today to get the status of the lower, which I requested to have shipped first. To my surprise, the COMPLETE rifle has already been shipped and is scheduled to get to my ffl tomorrow. Just a bit over two months. Not to shabby for these crazy times.

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That is awesome news on your JP rifle. I did a build through feb and march and it was a struggle to find the parts but I'm glad that I didn't compromise and waited to find exactly what I wanted. I got lucky on a barrel from Bravo Company (was sold out 5 mins later) and a Fail Zero bolt from here on enos. I already had the upper and lower recievers so that was a relief. If you want something specific, I would encourage you to patiently hunt for what you want.

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