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Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15814 posts

I want to build a budget retro AR...

It doesn't need to be amazingly top-of-the-line. I'm satisfied with the BCA uppers that work for me, that lots of AR purists and snobs shite on.

I simply want a plinker that "looks" like a traditional Vietnam era M16, with the fixed stock, triangular foregrip, and the integral carry handle.

What's the cheapest I can put one together? Do I need a 20" barrel, or was it 18"? And is that the 3 prong flash hider, or a birdcage?

I'm not going to buy a Brownell's version for over a grand, I want to keep this around $500 or under.


Flats
Georgia Tech Fan
Member since Jul 2019
9892 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
Not sure about sources, but you want a 20" barrel with the birdcage. If you want to be really historically accurate, try to find a birdcage that has the slots all the way around. At some point they started making them with the bottom solid so it wouldn't puff up dirt/dust if you were in the prone. You have to index them with crush washers so the solid part is aligned correctly; I don't think the old ones were indexed.


ETA I'm a dummy, the birdcage wasn't adopted until the A2. I thought they were using it during the latter part of the war.
This post was edited on 12/30 at 4:04 pm


bourbon
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2004
799 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
Check out Palmetto State Armory. They have some good budget build kits.

LINK
This post was edited on 12/30 at 1:29 pm


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btrcj
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2019
120 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
How about this??

LINK



OOPPS, just noticed it has collapsible stock.

How about this one?

LINK

This post was edited on 12/30 at 2:31 pm


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15814 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
quote:

OOPPS, just noticed it has collapsible stock.

How about this one?
I was replying as you edited

Yes, choice 2
LINK
is doggone close. I'd rather have the integral carry handle, and the A1 foregrips. But I think I can source the grips out

Obviously, this is what I'd like
LINK
with an authentic lower setup. But that's outside my budget


Jack Ruby
US Space Force Fan
Member since Apr 2014
16450 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
Whatever you do, stay the hell away from that 1/12 barrel twist rate.


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PaulBurbank007
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2013
450 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
You should talk to that seapickle fellow he’s like the A. Hays Town of building ar-15s


onelochevy
LSU Fan
Slidell, LA
Member since Jan 2011
14919 posts
 Online 

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
JSE Surplus carries the complete uppers, but looks like they are sold out right now.

LINK


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Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15814 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
quote:

You should talk to that seapickle fellow he’s like the A. Hays Town of building ar-15s

I have no idea what you're saying here
quote:

JSE Surplus carries the complete uppers, but looks like they are sold out right now
those look good. I was looking at them.

I understand that a budget version won't be ultra-correct, so I'm approaching this about the same as a Filipino 1911 instead of a CMP version. I want "close enough", with the correct style of furniture.




BRgetthenet
US Marine Corps Fan
Member since Oct 2011
114903 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
A Hayes was an architect in Baton Rouge who secretly wanted to blow Frank Lloyd Wright, but ended up designing homes with whacked out floor plans, similar to Wright’s, BR yuppies could brag to one another about to the 9 people that had one.


Full disclosure; they’re not bad designs


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The Scofflaw
LSU Fan
Metairie, LA
Member since Sep 2014
398 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
You need a pencil barrel. that will probably be the part that is OOO, the rest should be readily available.


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Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15814 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
Bump...

I've lined up a fairly decent budget project. Not truly retro, but decently close, at least for appearance's sake\

LINK
BCA 20" upper with A2 front sight, carry handle rear sight (detachable)

LINK
this


ODP
Baylor Fan
Conroe
Member since Oct 2015
1552 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...


Scoob
LSU Fan
Near Exxon
Member since Jun 2009
15814 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
quote:

Brownells retro
Bump

So I'm compromising on this, staying budget and going as 'retro' as I can within price.

The BCA complete upper was $244, I went with that. I get it, some folks shite on the brand... I haven't had issues with the ones I own. And yeah- it doesn't have an integral carry handle, and it has a heavy barrel instead of the pencil one.
But the price; $244 and that comes with a BCG. For that and the purpose intended, I can live with it.

Lower- so I've discovered Bayou Pawn is an authorized PSA dealer. Meaning they carry their stuff, and I can get it in-store without paying a transfer fee (as compared to ordering online). And they honor the PSA prices, including Daily Deals. I didn't know that, maybe others did- but that makes them a no-brainer for me. I picked up a pair of uppers from them. They didn't have blemished stock, and the price diff was $10 more (59, vs 49). I very briefly considered the cost of a transfer, and decided to go ahead and pull the trigger.

I grabbed that stock kit from Numrich, an A1 buffer assembly from JSE, got a couple LPKs from Karri's Guns for $26.

This will be the first lower I've assembled instead of buying complete.


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MetroAtlantaGatorFan
Member since Jun 2017
3799 posts

re: I want to build a budget retro AR...
quote:

ETA I'm a dummy, the birdcage wasn't adopted until the A2. I thought they were using it during the latter part of the war.

Huh? The M16A1 had a birdcage FH. The XM16E1 had the 3 prong.


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