RFI: .308AR Home Build Receivers 2017

All -

With the prices of 308 ARs being what they are, and the lack of MDR roll out, I've decided to start figuring out how to build one. 5.56 guns are easy. I build on Noveske lowers with either complete BCM uppers (no brainer) when they make what I'm looking for, or start with BCM upper receivers if they don't. BCM uppers don't seem to exist these days, but I digress.

My first choice (because they're readily available) is the standard Aero Precision upper and lower. Second would probably be their M5E1 sets, and third/fourth would be a Rainier Arms or MATEN set.

I'd prefer to stick with a pretty basic setup. I don't need special proprietary ambi controls or any of that shit, I just want to be able to put together a functional rifle.

I'll probably throw a JP Supermatch Barrel in it (comes with headspaced bolt), JP BC... and I'll have to figure out something for the receiver extension and hand guard when I get there.

Any options for receivers that I'm overlooking?

Thanks in advance.

______________

"A pistol is what you carry when you do not expect a problem. If you expect a problem you can't avoid, and you are not taking a long gun, you are not very smart." - DM

 

Joined: 04Nov2007         Location: Indiana

Original Post

I know building a .308 can be problematic, simply due to the number of different "types" there are out there.  DPMS pattern, Armalite pattern, etc.  There are a lot of things to consider as far as parts compatibility, tolerance stacking, etc.  Some people are able to navigate all the potential issues and build a great rifle, others aren't so lucky.

A matched receiver set is a good start to avoid some tolerance issues right from the start.   Aero Precision and Mega Arms both seem to have a reputation for decent receiver sets.

I looked hard at building a .308 AR, and then I was able to find a lightly used Armalite AR-10 at a good price, so I went that route.  Looking back, I think though it may be slightly cheaper initially, you would probably save a lot of time, frustration and money buying a complete rifle from a reputable manufacturer from the get go.  Armalite has a fair amount of options for rifles based on what you're looking for and have some relatively decent prices overall. 

LOCATION: IDAHO

I don't personally own any of them but I have four of my shooting buddies that have built ar10 platforms all for dedicated mid range platforms. Three used Aero builder sets, one with full JP internals/barrel in 6.5 cm, one with JP internals/ krieger .260, one with basic off the shelf parts and a black hole barrel in 308, and lastly the mega build is full JP in .260.  The mega seems the best built set but I wouldn't have an issue with the aero stuff all shoot very well minus the .308 but that is because of the garbage ammo he feeds it and cheap ass scope on it.  I like to use the aero stuff in my AR15 builds partly because it's a Wa based company but also availability. I know someone on here had some issues with an aero ar10  being out of spec and I never did see how that was remedied. 

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Originally Posted by DocGKR:

       
This is why LE in some areas would be better served with belt fed weapons and flame throwers...

       

Joined: 5.23.2009
Location: WA/ Canadian border
bjw182005 posted:

I know building a .308 can be problematic, simply due to the number of different "types" there are out there.  DPMS pattern, Armalite pattern, etc.  There are a lot of things to consider as far as parts compatibility, tolerance stacking, etc.  Some people are able to navigate all the potential issues and build a great rifle, others aren't so lucky.

I don't suppose there is a compatibly chart out there somewhere?

Having done a lot of research, there are generally only a couple of differences.  Excluding the DPMS Gen II rifles.  To understand the confusion, you have to look at the history and particularly the years.  At the beginning, there was the ArmaLite AR-10, circa mid 1950's.  But because it was not adopted by the US Military and foreign sales dropped off, there was no commercial semi-auto variant.  IIRC, someone did come out with a semi-auto lower receiver in the 1980's that was matched up with a very small number of surplussed AR-10 parts kits to produce a semi AR-10. 

In the early 1990's, Eugene Stoner joined Knight's Armament and refined the original AR-10 design.  Knight's Armament designation is the SR-25.

In 1995, Eagle Arms purchased the ArmaLite name and then introduced the AR-10B.  Pay attention to the year.  1995, right after the Assault Weapons Ban went into affect, 1994-2004.  The new ArmaLite did not use the original AR-10 drawings, instead it was an up-scaled AR-15A2 that used AR-15 parts where possible.  The new AR-10 didn't have any compatibility with the original (I haven't been able to find any compatibility, but if you have a correction, please reply and set the record straight).  Because the AWB banned the production of new magazines for civilians that held more than 20 rds, ArmaLite designed the rifle to use a modified M-14 magazine.  I designate this the original, massive confusion that still exists today.  Stoner designed the AR-10 at ArmaLite, but we can't get that one.   The original AR-10 offspring was the SR-25 from Knight's Armament.  The two rifles had a visual similarity because of the slanted rear interface between the upper and lower receivers rather than the radiused curve of the AR-15.

DPMS introduced their version, the LR-308 in 2005 after the expiration of the AWB.  Significantly, DPMS chose to use the original AR-10/SR-25 magazine.  They radiused the upper and lower rear interface and their barrel nut is different.  So now we can broadly categorize the compatibility.

1.  Receivers.  Use a DPMS pattern upper and lower together, or an ArmaLite pattern.  They don't mix and match though I understand you can use an AR-10 upper and a DPMS lower together, there will just be a gap where the angle meets the radius.

2.  Barrels, bolts and bolt carriers.  You can use either pattern in either receiver, just pair them, i.e. if your BCG is a DPMS pattern, use a DPMS pattern barrel.  Same for ArmaLite.

3.  Use the barrel nut that fits your receiver.  This is most significant when choosing your handguards.

4.  I've already mentioned the magazine disparity.  After the AWB expired in 2004, ArmaLite started making their own magazines and no longer converted M-14 magazines.  They were already behind the market curve for non SR-25/DPMS magazines and a few years ago they introduced a receiver that used SR-25 pattern of magazine.  I'm not sure of the dates, but I'm sure the introduction of the Magpul SR-25 PMAG had something to do with it.  Virtually all new manufactured receivers use the SR-25 standard.

5.  Oddballs.  Rock River Arms developed a variation during the ban that used FN-FAL metric magazines because they were plentiful and cheap.  Because of the difference in design between a magazine intended for a tilting block lockup and a rotating bolt, they had to modify the bolt, eliminating one locking lug.  There were also receivers made to use HK G3 mags.

6.  Small parts.  DPMS put their forward assist in a different place than the SR-25 as they combined the FA with the case deflector.  So while it won't stop the rifle from running, if you have an upper with an SR-25 style FA and a DPMS BCG, it will run, but the FA won't work.  Big deal.  I have a matched Aero Precision upper and lower.  It is a DPMS pattern, but the DPMS bolt hold open doesn't work and I have to use a proprietary Aero Precision BHO. 

-------------------------

Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

GNX posted:

The lack of a TDP or any kind of standardization can and is frustrating. Doing it again, I'd scratch the .308 AR itch with a complete gun from a reputable manufacturer instead of building one like I did. 

Yeah, I kinda figured as much.  I've been planning on building one for several years now.  Once I get started researching what it entails and envisioning the pitfalls, I just keep putting it off.  Buying a complete gun is probably pretty good advice.  

*******

Joined 08/26/03   Location:  Southern Oklahoma

Dorsai posted:

Having done a lot of research, there are generally only a couple of differences.  Excluding the DPMS Gen II rifles.  To understand the confusion, you have to look at the history and particularly the years.  At the beginning, there was the ArmaLite AR-10, circa mid 1950's.  But because it was not adopted by the US Military and foreign sales dropped off, there was no commercial semi-auto variant.  IIRC, someone did come out with a semi-auto lower receiver in the 1980's that was matched up with a very small number of surplussed AR-10 parts kits to produce a semi AR-10. 

Ah.  Thanks for this.

Thanks for the info guys. Dorsai's history lesson is, per usual, spot on and highlights many of the reasons home brew 308s can be a clusterfuck.

I'm headed in the opposite direction. I've got an OBR and we have a love/hate relationship. She shoots fantastic, functions questionably and is heavy as fuck as equipped. Given the prices of known good rifles (and even unknown rifles), I figured I'd give building one a shot. How bad can it be? - Don't answer that. Nearly every reputable parts manufacturer has a "Might Fit" list rather than a "Will Fit" list. In addition to ArmaLite vs DPMS, MEGA seems to have their own receiver fit as does RRA and maybe a couple more. Its a goat rodeo.

The complete small frame guns are interesting to me, but I'm not convinced I wouldn't be buying a dumpster fire. The DPMS G2 Recon is $1,800 and I'm not sure if they've unfucked it. I know there were a few people on here saying how squared away the G2s would be but apparently they got fucked up along the way. POF has a boner for piston guns, which I do not. In an article from Guns and Bullshit Magazine covering a 5k round WPA Steel Case "torture test", Kyle Lamb states

"I did encounter two stovepipe malfunctions where the case extracted but did not clear the ejection port. I was shocked when the first one happened around 3,600 rounds, then I had another one within 200 rounds. Shortly after, I realized that the dustcover was loose and the spring was unable to push the cover all the way open. I'm not positive that this caused the two stove pipes, but as soon as I removed what was left of the dustcover and hinge rod, no more occurred."

Ok so the new E2 chamber works and the gun chews through 5k rounds of WPA... but the dust cover is a piece of shit? How do you build great rifles with fucked up dust covers? Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I don't recall any posts on this forum regarding fucked up dust covers as a common failure or that the hinge, spring or cover itself are considered wear items. I wonder how many dust covers and springs Filthy 14 went through...

Anyway... I'll see if I can find the thread THE SHOTTY referenced. I REALLY wanted the MDR to scratch this itch, but so far it is essentially vaporware. Essentially all I'm trying to do is build up a functional gun out of quality parts that is as accurate as my BCM guns (2MOA). If it somehow shoots sub-MOA then rock on. If it gets down to the accuracy of my OBR then things could get interesting.

______________

"A pistol is what you carry when you do not expect a problem. If you expect a problem you can't avoid, and you are not taking a long gun, you are not very smart." - DM

 

Joined: 04Nov2007         Location: Indiana

Out of curiosity, what do you mean about your OBR functioning questionably, and have there been any decent fixes?

My PredatOBR was choking up a bunch on me last time I had it out to the range. Brass getting stuck in the chamber. Mortaring it didn't help in that it usually just ripped a chunk off the cartridge rim. Brass had to be rodded out each time via cleaning rods. This was shooting with the gas block in the suppressed setting, with a Surefire SOCOM 7.62 on.

Just cleaned it a bunch, but curious if there are any other fixes beyond sending it back to Larue to get looked at.

FastSS, here are the two threads I remember on the aero. The first one MDJudge talked about issues a few posts down and the second is specifically on the Aero. Also if your looking to build Schuyler arms in AZ has typically had the best prices on builders sets, he is a little slow on the shipping but I have ordered from him a few times for other things

http://www.lightfighter.net/topic/ar-style-308

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...precision-308-rifles

 

 

-------------------------------------

Originally Posted by DocGKR:

       
This is why LE in some areas would be better served with belt fed weapons and flame throwers...

       

Joined: 5.23.2009
Location: WA/ Canadian border

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...obr-long-56k-warning

I recently spoke to a Mr John Mailloux at LaRue about the issue when I called in regarding a mount. Allegedly things have changed around there since I initially had my issues and he sent me a form to fill out. Since it had been so long, I believe I told him I'd get some time behind the gun and refresh my memory. I also wanted to try my final attempt to "fix" it with its current configuration - a Wolff XP spring.

If that doesn't work, I'll get back with the folks at LaRue and go through that process. I believe the rifle is over gassed as a motherfucker and I've been attempting to calm it down with higher weight buffers etc.

If the spring doesn't work, and the folks at LaRue can't unfuck the thing on the second pass, then my final option is installing rifle length extension and using a HeavyBuffers 10oz rifle buffer.

As it sits, she shoots 0.7MOA all day long with 168gr AMAX and has gotten down under 0.5MOA with 180GR Nosler Accubonds loaded by Black Hills. Hopefully we can all get along because I REALLY don't want to fuck with the barrel.

 

ETA: THE SHOTTY - Thanks for digging those up. I'll give em a read.

______________

"A pistol is what you carry when you do not expect a problem. If you expect a problem you can't avoid, and you are not taking a long gun, you are not very smart." - DM

 

Joined: 04Nov2007         Location: Indiana

It would be great if BCM would just manage to find their way into the .308 game.  I think they make some of the finest quality rifles out there as is, and having a .308 complete rifle, or upper/lower combo, combined with their current, and in my opinion, top notch customer service, it could potentially dominate the market. 

I would have loved to grab one of the Larue rifles, but I have heard mixed reviews regarding reliability from time to time.  Not that a $3K price tag isn't somewhat prohibitive enough.  I am pretty happy this far with my second hand AR-10.  The only thing's I've done so far is add a heavier buffer and spring combo, and adjustable gas block, and a Rainier UltraMatch Barrel.  So far it shoots amazing with both 168gr and 175 gr SMKs and easily prints 1 MOA groups out to 800 yards.  I'm certain it is capable of more accuracy than I am but I am still able to get first round hits on IPSC sized steel to 1000, and sometimes beyond. 

I'm sure there are quality build kits available at this time that will be reliable, accurate and meet your intended purpose.

LOCATION: IDAHO

Seconded on the BCM. Hell, I'd probably S a D for a couple of their regular AR uppers currently. I don't know if it's a good thing, but the 300BLK Noveske barrel required a running start to seat in the last BCM upper I had.

Mistakes were made and it ended up with "We The People" laser etched on it in glorious script (that looked great) rather than 300 AAC BLACKOUT in block letters.

The feeling I'm getting is the same I got a few years ago - that building a 308 AR from parts can be sketchy. I can't help but think that some of the people huff glue and expect shit that was never compatible to work fine. It seems like roughly half of the shitty reviews involve a statement suggesting they sourced their LPK from somewhere other than the company that made the lower and are pissy it doesn't work.

It leaves me wondering if the Aero receivers have as much negativity as they do due to bubbas buying the cheaper lower and then fucking it up with a shitty AR LPK.

Let's put it this way: I called the dealer and LaRue when  my OBR did strange shit right out of the gate. I wanted to make sure I wasn't screwing something up or perceiving a problem where one didn't exist.

My OBR is an odd duck. It stacks 168 AMAX and REALLY stacks 180gr AccuBonds. Somewhere I have a unicorn .3x or .2x MOA 5RG. I'll probably never do it again, but I swear the rounds just dropped in with no regard for my ham handed inputs. Crazy.

______________

"A pistol is what you carry when you do not expect a problem. If you expect a problem you can't avoid, and you are not taking a long gun, you are not very smart." - DM

 

Joined: 04Nov2007         Location: Indiana

FastSS posted:

Seconded on the BCM. Hell, I'd probably S a D for a couple of their regular AR uppers currently. I don't know if it's a good thing, but the 300BLK Noveske barrel required a running start to seat in the last BCM upper I had.

Mistakes were made and it ended up with "We The People" laser etched on it in glorious script (that looked great) rather than 300 AAC BLACKOUT in block letters.

The feeling I'm getting is the same I got a few years ago - that building a 308 AR from parts can be sketchy. I can't help but think that some of the people huff glue and expect shit that was never compatible to work fine. It seems like roughly half of the shitty reviews involve a statement suggesting they sourced their LPK from somewhere other than the company that made the lower and are pissy it doesn't work.

It leaves me wondering if the Aero receivers have as much negativity as they do due to bubbas buying the cheaper lower and then fucking it up with a shitty AR LPK.

Let's put it this way: I called the dealer and LaRue when  my OBR did strange shit right out of the gate. I wanted to make sure I wasn't screwing something up or perceiving a problem where one didn't exist.

My OBR is an odd duck. It stacks 168 AMAX and REALLY stacks 180gr AccuBonds. Somewhere I have a unicorn .3x or .2x MOA 5RG. I'll probably never do it again, but I swear the rounds just dropped in with no regard for my ham handed inputs. Crazy.

I know I'm late coming to your thread, but I've recently built what I refer to as my DMR.  It's an LR308 built with Aero upper and lower.  I've built around 11 AR-15's so I was pretty  confident going into this build that I would be ok.  I had listed all the parts I used, but that wasn't really what you had asked so I took it out.  If you're interested let me know and I'm more than happy to share parts list and how the process went.  

 As I mentioned I've built 11 AR-15's and aside from a Noveske lower and a KAC stripped lower, they are all Aero lowers.  I'm using Aero, Vltor, BCM, and Colt uppers, but the majority are Aero's.   Fit and finish on the Aero has also been perfect, so I really don't get where the negative comments come from.  Honestly, I'm inclined to say "operator headspace and timing" because my sample of 11, now 12 says they are quality parts. Period.  

Now that my DMR is built is there anything I would change out or do differently?  From a function perspective? Not a damn thing.  The weapon functions flawlessly.  That said I would probably give more time considering a 20" barrel over the 18".  I went with the 18" because I felt it was a good compromise between weapon maneuverability and ballistic efficiency, but the 20" barrel is ballistically better.  The weapon shot so well and the build went so smooth, I had to fight the urge to build another 308, something with shorter barrel.  I considered the Mega MATEN.  Even after my build, I ran across a set on Rainier that was a great price, but that had nothing to do with how my weapon spec'd out.  That was solely my vanity. I liked how the MATEN looks.  But common sense won and I stuck with what is working.  And boy, it does work and work well.  I've consistently shot sub MOA out to 200 yards so far.  

 I understand those who want to buy a complete rifle, like the OBR, or the LMT MWS, or an SR-25, or a different manufacturer that builds a quality variant is available   I get that, but I am a builder. I take just as much pleasure out of my 11th build as my first.  I really like being able to spec a weapon out for the purpose I've designated it for.  

I hope this information helps you in some way.  Good luck.

Robert

“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word”. J. Steinbeck

"Blessed are those who, in the face of death, think only about the front sight."  LTC Jeff Cooper


 

Thanks for the solid first hand info. I'd have gone the Aero route, however I recently stumbled across something that - for better or for worse - will end up being my solution:

Noveske Gen3 N6 Set https://www.noveske.com/collec...ched-upper-lower-set

Noveske 7.62x51 Switchblock Barrel (with PINNED gas block) https://www.noveske.com/collec...ock-barrel-7-62-x-51

Noveske headspaced BCG: https://www.noveske.com/collec...1-bolt-carrier-group

Noveske N6 NSR Rail: https://www.noveske.com/collec...-m-lok-ar-10-rail-15

I only have a sample size of 8 Noveske lowers, however they've all been fantastic. A little tight, but always the same. I'm also somewhat brand loyal. If/When it happens, I'll post an AAR and advise if I've fucked up.

______________

"A pistol is what you carry when you do not expect a problem. If you expect a problem you can't avoid, and you are not taking a long gun, you are not very smart." - DM

 

Joined: 04Nov2007         Location: Indiana

I am learning the hard way, no matter how difficult it is piecing an AR .308 rifle together,   building  (or more specifically)  piecing together an M1A/M14 is a considerably more labor intensive project. Unlike most AR platforms, whether it be 5.56 or .308, putting together an M1A/M14 is NOT a "bolt-together" affair.  Lapping of bolts, headspace issues, stock pressures, op-rod timing issues, trigger group interface with the stock........and I'm just getting warmed up.

Building an AR rifle in .308 seems tons easier than building an M1A/M14 rifle.   You guys are-as we say in Idaho- are "Cuttin'-a-fat-hog-in-the-ass.     Kwitcherbitchen.  

FASTSS and others - I have been down this road, and I will never travel down it again.

If you are LEO or MIL then GET the discount through LAWMENS and go with a model of the KAC SR-25.  I am not a KAC fanboi.  I do respect that they know ALOT about AR's.

Easy, cost effective and excellent accuracy.

Assembling or "building" ( a term I despise) a .308 AR can be hit or miss with tolerance stacking issues, multiple vendors parts, NO customer support as each company will blame the others' parts, and the tolerance stacking only gets WORSE with normal wear & use.

I did the Aero M5 route, and it was such a headache and pain I cut my losses and sold it off to another hobby assembler that also got tired of dealing with Aero and sold it to someone else. 

I bought the upper, BCG and lower (assembled) from Schuyler Arms also.  The Bolt was such a POOR example of design, execution and machining.  Its face was NOT beveled and was shaving brass upon trying to chamber the rounds, which would in turn lead to brass chips/shavings fouling = locking the weapon up.  Aero tried to blame the BARREL (Rainier Ultra-Match) when I showed them the pictures of the bolt face with the extractor and ejector REMOVED still freezing and holding the cartridge case (new unfired brass, factory ammo, etc), and offered to ship the bolt to them at my expense they ignored me.  They did send me two patches and two stickers as some sort of FUCK-OFF condolences to buying their sorry shite-bucket weapons parts. 

Maybe they have gotten better.  I don't care.  They have lost me for life, and I will tell others about how fucking sorry as shit they were to me.

Then I did the MATEN route.  Better results, but, not having a FACTORY warranty as a weapon ages and gets the rounds fired through it and loosens up...?  No thanks.  The new Small Frame Maten is interesting to me as its a FACTORY assembled firearm.

 

Has anyone seen the video of BCM going through and QC'ing their AR-15 parts?  That's AR-15 parts!  Probably the easiest parts to spec out.  Now think about .308 AR parts.  Even parts from the SAME company have variances!  These variances ADD up with tolerance stacking. They only get worse with wear & use.

Ask yourself, HOW MUCH AM I REALLY SAVING - if and WHEN the weapon goes down.

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

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