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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Have got the bulk of the parts ordered, so I'm just waiting for stuff to show. All of this started because I found a screaming deal on a lightweight barrel on Reddit, so I decided to build a 'high-end' semi-light weight AR for once. Figured I'd post progress and some assembly pics instead of just the finished product here just because you guys here might like it.

Parts list currently stands at:

Savage MSR stripped lower receiver
Aero Precision upper receiver
Ballistic Advantage 16" midlength Hanson profile w/pinned LPGB
Aero Precision Atlas S-One 15" handguard
Daniel Defense stock/PG/VFG set
BCM Enhanced LPK
DSA buffer tube
Armaspec Stealth captive buffer
Strike Industries Venom flash hider
Strike Industries EL charging handle
AIM Surplus NiB BCG

Still not sure what I'm going to do for an optic, but I'm eyeing a RDS + magnifier combo. Any suggestions?
 

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Optics - if you want the RDS and magnifier, go for it (I have a UTG combo for that and it works great) but I would suggest a Primary Arms 1-6x with ACCS reticle - you can use it as a red dot or run it up to 6x to reach out and touch something with a decent degree of accuracy.
 

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I'm curious to know how you like the aero handguard. I've been looking for a new one and that's one of the options I picked out.

I have the armaspec h2 silent buffer in my 300 blk pistol. I like it a lot, it's a little harder to charge, but so much quieter.
 

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Optics - if you want the RDS and magnifier, go for it (I have a UTG combo for that and it works great) but I would suggest a Primary Arms 1-6x with ACCS reticle - you can use it as a red dot or run it up to 6x to reach out and touch something with a decent degree of accuracy.
I have no experience with but like this idea too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Optics - if you want the RDS and magnifier, go for it (I have a UTG combo for that and it works great) but I would suggest a Primary Arms 1-6x with ACCS reticle - you can use it as a red dot or run it up to 6x to reach out and touch something with a decent degree of accuracy.
I've also looked at the variable power stuff and I do like PA's stuff. Might go that route as well. I haven't really had the chance to play around with the newer variable-power stuff, though.

I'm curious to know how you like the aero handguard. I've been looking for a new one and that's one of the options I picked out.

I have the armaspec h2 silent buffer in my 300 blk pistol. I like it a lot, it's a little harder to charge, but so much quieter.
Do you still run the buffer retainer with that setup? This is my first time running a captive buffer.
 

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I've also looked at the variable power stuff and I do like PA's stuff. Might go that route as well. I haven't really had the chance to play around with the newer variable-power stuff, though.



Do you still run the buffer retainer with that setup? This is my first time running a captive buffer.
I have one in, it's not required but I kept it. Only issue is that it makes it real hard to get the assembly out of the buffer tube.
 

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My suggestion for optics is to do what I did. Change it out 12 times and still not have a decision.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
My suggestion for optics is to do what I did. Change it out 12 times and still not have a decision.:D
Oddly, I haven't had that problem with my ARs - my first one has a PA 4x prism, the long one has an insane 4-14 PA FFP, and the pistol has a 30mm PA red dot. The only one that's worn anything else was the pistol and that just because I found a screaming deal on that red dot and bumped the TRS25 to another gun.

This is the first time I haven't been 100% sure what type of optic to stick on a rifle. I kinda want to build it as a semi-lightweight race gun that still remains a good practical shooter, since one of my local ranges is doing two-gun stuff now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So the first parts I ordered showed up today. Barrel, upper, handguard.



Lubed the receiver threads with Aeroshell 33 and torqued to 30 ft-lb. Loosened and retightened to 30 ft-lb. Then spent a bunch of time figuring out how many shims to use before locking it down at just over 35 ft-lb with the right shim combination:



Installed the gas tube and the roll pin for the gas block. Have I mentioned how much I hate roll pins? At least once I was done with that, it's just a matter of slapping the handguard on. The mounting hardware for the Atlas S-ONE is a bit weird. The handguard has a spring-loaded detent on the receiver side that acts as a pawl on the gear-like center of a dual-threaded torx bolt. That ratcheting torx bolt is threaded into two lugs that engage the base of the handguard and lock it to the barrel nut:



Anyway, the upper is pretty much done:



Huge shout-out to the Magpul Bev-Block. What a great tool for barrel installation. Also very handy for doing muzzle devices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not shimming the barrel, but the barrel nut. It has grooves cut into it to clear the gas tube, and I didn't want to exceed 50lb-ft of torque on the barrel nut, so there is a bit of 'timing' it involved. I basically set the torque wrench to 40 and saw how far it got me before clicking.
 

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Not shimming the barrel, but the barrel nut. It has grooves cut into it to clear the gas tube, and I didn't want to exceed 50lb-ft of torque on the barrel nut, so there is a bit of 'timing' it involved. I basically set the torque wrench to 40 and saw how far it got me before clicking.
Ok poorly worded on my part as I figured it had to do with the barrel nut. Just wasn't sure why it needed to be shimmed. I got it now!
 

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Looks good. It'd be interesting to see how the performance stacks up to a "budget" rifle...
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks good. It'd be interesting to see how the performance stacks up to a "budget" rifle...
Me too - fortunately, I have a good frame of reference for what a budget rifle shoots like (three of them, even!). :D
 
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Me too - fortunately, I have a good frame of reference for what a budget rifle shoots like (three of them, even!). :D
Funny! I've got one budget rifle and a couple of blown-budget rifles....(you know, when you start off with a budget in mind, then can't leave well enough alone...that's how I really ended up with the true budget AR...spare parts...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BCG and charging handle showed up. Everyone's seen one of those before, so I'll wait til more bits arrive and actual assembly takes place to add more photos.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Can't wait to see the finished product!
Me too, to be honest. :D

I will have a spare AR pistol grip when this is done. It's a BCM MOD 3 in Wolf Grey and will also include a Wolf Grey trigger guard, so keep an eye peeled on the Pay it Forward thread later this week if that's the kind of thing you'd be interested in. :)

EDIT: Lower is here! Sadly nothing else is yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
A whole bunch of boxes arrived today!

Basically everything I needed to finish the rifle sans a way to aim it accurately - shopping for optics deals now.

Put the flash hider on - that thing rings like a tuning fork even when just pulling the bolt back:



Then assembled the lower - used the pistol grip from the DD furniture set, so I'll be posting up the BCM one to the PiF thread in a bit. Also grabbed a Strike Industries enhanced bolt catch:



And of course, pinned it all together:



The whole thing currently weighs 6 pounds, 4.5 ounces and balances just behind the pivot pin. Crazy pointable.

I'm curious to know how you like the aero handguard. I've been looking for a new one and that's one of the options I picked out.
I'm a fan. Easy installation and silly light and slim. Finish is as good as you'd expect from an Aero product. I also like that they omitted the pic rail from the majority of the top of the handguard.
 
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