Complete AR 15 for $350-400

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Wasp, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    I follow Sootch on Instagram and he mentioned Palmetto State Armory has complete uppers and complete lowers for a total of $350. Now I can only find it for a total of $400, but if you look you can probably see what hes talking about.

    Cant beat that price with a stick. Even if you bought a few for an investment you would make double or triple your money someday.

    Heres the link.
    https://palmettostatearmory.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Freedom+ar15
     
  2. junkpile

    junkpile Scout

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    You can do it for $320 if you don't want to have a rifle lower. $350 if you do. Just go to the barreled uppers section, and then the lowers section, sort by price. It comes out at $350 right now for the cheapest of each.
     
  3. HoustonB77

    HoustonB77 Supporter Supporter

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    That is cheap. I know they aren't the best but they would make s great truck gun
     
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  4. kwc271

    kwc271 Tracker

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    They are pretty darn good,for the money. I have a couple and they are great shooters. I even use mine for home defense
     
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  5. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    PSA makes a good AR. I don't have experience with their cheapest models, but I've been happy with what I have.
     
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  6. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Watch their Daily Deals. Sometimes $269.00 minus a stripped lower. All other parts are included so all you need is a stripped lower. Usually bout $50.00, but was on sale Mon. for $40.00. joe
     
  7. southron

    southron Guide

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    I'm not really a ar15 user (M14 / M1A1 guy) but My sons, nephews and a few others I know have build PSA versions of one or another flavor.

    None have come to me asking for repair / advice beyond help assembling a few stripped lowers.

    I think one of the appeals of Ar 15's is they adult man's tinker toys.

    Where my shooters drop extra bucks is in a match type trigger, maybe special sights, and stuff.

    Some folk buy all the bolt on stuff and don't know why or how or if it helps.

    A basic Familiarity with potential battle field pickups is part of a man's kit of knowledge.
     
  8. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    If you can keep them running?
     
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  9. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    What do you mean?
     
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  10. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Minus the rear sight and optic this was a $260 PSA Pistol kit + $60 receiver = $320.00. So light, short, and handy. Feeds cheap combloc steel case ammo perfectly.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Times got tough and I had to sell my Colt AR and Sig pistol during the recession. And a model 70 in .223... that hurt.

    Fast forward to a few years ago. I picked up some inexpensive lowers, then LPK's for myself and my son. Most everything else came from PSA.

    I could not be happier. We both built 16" carbines around 1 in 8" twist stainless barrels. His has an A2 front sight and mine is a free float with Magpul sights. His was right at $400 and mine was about $450 before adding optics.

    My Colt was a Match Target HBAR II, MT6731. It shot really well and has gone up in value since (saw one NIB for $1700). But you know what? Our PSA frankenbuilds shoot just as well.
     
  12. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    Also try bear creek arsenal, they have free shipping right now.
     
  13. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter

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    Yeah, me neither. I wanted an M1 carbine that wasn't a collector's item + cheap and available magazines and ammunition. The PSA carbine may be ugly, but it will do.
     
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  14. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    I know more then a few who have been very happy with their sub 400 dollar AR build
     
  15. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    They're all cheap right now! Except the really nice stuff of course. I picked up my MPR for 580. It's basically equivalent at the base level to one of these PSA free float build except the upgrades were cheaper to get included in the price. Rifle length gas system, magpul furniture, upgraded trigger, 5R barrel, compensator.
     
  16. Dubhelix

    Dubhelix Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Earnestly, I hope these budget-friendly models work well for you guys.

    I’m happy for anyone to seek entry into the modern rifle platform.

    I know I spend too much coin chasing optimal parameters that may or may not matter.

    The lowers I build ring up at about $300. My uppers cost me about $700, for a total build cost of about $1K, and that’s not including Geissele triggers or optics.

    I’m sure that some of my dollars spent are not critical. On the other hand...well... there’s no free lunch.

    Here’s a build spreadsheet that I happen to have, for your consideration and amusement. Knock off $200 for the SLR AGB and fancy comp that you don’t need. Still rings in at $900.

    Sure, the big companies save by economies of scale, but unless they’re just dumping inventory...the savings have to come from somewhere.
    A9E56C93-5841-4553-A1CB-CBDD841D4B4F.jpeg
    Stay safe out there.
     
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  17. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    I hear you. The AR I had a few years ago was a Colt 6920 LE Troy and it cost me $1200. It was exactly what I wanted. If I got another AR in 556 it would probably be a 6920. I just couldn't believe the price and thought someone might be interested. Might also be a cheap investment to make a few dollars if the market turns up again.
     
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  18. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I can get a couple of brands of compete ARs (DPMS being one maker) right out the door, on sale for $349 at some local sporting goods stores. Pre x-mas they can be found even cheaper!
     
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  19. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    I put a PSA carbine together this past year. It's a very nice little AR that runs great.

    PC
     
  20. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    But does it work better than mine? I am on limited funds, being retired, just saying. joe
     
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  21. Kendo

    Kendo Guide Lifetime Supporter

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    For a simple basic Carbine that can be upgraded has a person feels the need, you can not beat PSA. I have built $1200 ARS and I have built built cheaper ones with PSA parts. Being blind as a bat, they all shoot the same. lol The great thing about ARs there is so many choices in makers anyone can find something that meets their needs.
     
  22. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Bushclass I

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    PSA gets an acceptable vote from me on my pistol kit. I had the receiver, sights, and the K+ grip already. It functions just as good as my high end AR's.
    IMG_5429.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  23. 11C1P

    11C1P Tracker

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    .

    I've built several AR's using PSA barreled uppers on an Anderson lower & many of those with PSA guts, whether it's the BCG, LPK or those complete lower build kits that include everything for the lower except the receiver. They've all ran fine for me. In addition to M-16's I was issued when I was in, I've owned many AR's from a Les Baer on the higer end through DPMS & Bushmasteers. I had a friend who had a Stag that I got to shoot a bit too. While the Les Baer was an amazing tack driver, most people don't need that kind of accuracy for a home defense, or truck gun, especially at the prices they go for. The AR's I've built with budget parts have all been as accurate & sometimes more accurate than every other AR I've shot, except the Les Baer. One of the nice things about building them for yourself, especially if funds are tight, is you can buy parts as you can afford them & get what you want on there, not what the factory decided to put on there. When stuff goes on sale, I try to buy several of whatever it is. I stocked up on stripped lowers in 2016 & still have a couple that I haven't had any boating accidents with, yet. My FFL would charge $20 per box on lowers (up to a max of 10 iirc) so I would order 4-5 at a time that way the transfer fee only came to $4-$5 per lower. I'm now concentrating on spare parts, builds for lowers & 80% lowers. I hopefully won't have to hassle much anymore with going to a 3rd party & paying him for the privilege of getting my stuff. I can now order all the parts, including lowers & have them delivered right to my door & don't have to pay any fee's for it.

    .
     
  24. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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    Honest answer depends on how much you shoot and how hard you run your guns. Personally I run all Bravo company and Lewis machine and tool rifles. But I shoot roughly 1500-2000 rounds a week (yes that is every week no exceptions) and run my gear hard. I have put together a couple of these budget guns and I wasn't impressed. I've seen and handled way too many out of spec or improperly assembled uppers and lowers from PSA to trust them.
     
  25. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A good friend tends to buy nicer stuff. His varminter AR build was about $8k. Lots of bells and whistles (Trijicon and LaRue Tactical) although I could not look at it and tell you how it adds up to that much. It is really nice stuff and specialized for what he uses it for. And I'm certain that, where this guy has maybe two premium rifles, there are people who have rooms full of similar or even more expensive stuff. I may envy some of that stuff but in general, more power to them. Glad they can buy what they want.

    I have more than my share of guns. I wanted at least one AR because of my time in the military. They are fun to shoot. I don't plan on ever using it for more than fun plinking. So I'm glad that it's possible to get something that, while not "la creme de la creme", is highly functional. And I could afford it.

    For that I have to thank:

    1. Economy of scale
    2. Simplicity (dare I say genius) of design
    3. Modularity
    4. Milspec, which provides a lowest common denominator of quality and functionality. Even though the term is misused, if you get my drift.

    All of which leads to

    5. Popularity

    Fun to shoot, highly configurable, accessible to almost any budget. Pretty much a perfect plinker, hunter, militia weapon, etc. What's not to like?

    For the record I have a small heap of parts for another build and I'm helping someone build his own on an Anderson lower; he's decided to go with PSA for the rest of his build.

    So I must add one more attribute to these "less expensive" AR's whether from PSA, Bear Creek or wherever:

    6. Gateway drug

    FYI I haven't decided exactly what to build for #2 yet but so far I have:

    Spike's Tactical "Zombie Viking" lower
    CMMG LPK (no fire control group)
    ALG trigger
    Seekins ambi lever
    MIAD grip
    Carbine buffer assembly (if I decide to do a pistol build I might gift this to the person I'm helping build his AR)

    Debating about getting another PSA upper for this build, FYI. Yesterday I saw a great deal on a 16" .300 Blackout upper, $279 with BCG and CH, 15" lightweight rail. I know if I miss this one, there will be a similar "Daily Deal" in the near future.

    :33:
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  26. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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    I have noticed bear creek arsenal in this thread a couple times now. I don't know if anyone here has seen heard that they were raided by ICE last week and 30 illegal immigrant workers taken into custody. I don't care how cheap or "budget friendly" they are I don't see how any red blooded American could give them a penny again.
     
  27. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A local guy started up a gun shop near me and is now my go-to for anything I don't get online. He's a retired Navy guy and I believe was an armorer. Very good guy. He had very similar opinions to yours when I asked him about Bear Creek Arsenal gear. He'd seen several that needed extra finishing to fit and/or run properly.

    I've done a lot of shooting in my day but I don't (and never will) put that many rounds downrange in a given week. And although I consider myself pretty savvy about things -- I doubt that I'll ever develop so discerning an eye that I would think I couldn't "trust" a PSA-sourced AR.

    Not disagreeing with you at all, just saying that for myself (and for the 99% out there who are not diehard AR enthusiasts) if the gun works and holes appear roughly where I'm pointing the thing when I pull the trigger, I will trust it.

    I am the same way about wine, free beer, etc. Not too discerning. :)

    OTOH one of my son's buddies just bought a new Ruger MPR 18". It cost about double what my or my son's carbines cost. It is a beautiful rifle with MOE SL furniture. But the gas key staking is so light that it might as well not have been done. Even *I* picked up on that.

    :38:
     
  28. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I don’t know the company, but they appear to be open, and I see they’re running updated ads.

    We don’t know the circumstances behind the ICE story.

    Refusing to do business with because of that story would be equal to condemning Kavanaugh just because the woman accused him. We now know she faked it for political reasons.

    I no longer have faith in most government agencies. Did BCA really break the law, did a business rival make up a fake claim to mess with their business because they’re undercutting the market, could there be political motives behind it, today I wouldn’t know who to believe!
     
  29. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Heh... see my post above. My boy's friend, as per usual, got paid then ran out and bought the first thing that caught his eye. His MPR was ~ $700 before tax... and he still need sights for it. I may drag him up to the gun shop I mentioned and get that gas key restaked.
     
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  30. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I agree that the initial story is not something to condemn them over but at the same time if it turns out there is merit to the story I would cross them off the list. Merit, as in BCA was hiring illegals. That is NOT the right way to get to a low price point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  31. barkoguru

    barkoguru Tracker

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    What issues have you run across with the PSA uppers ?
     
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  32. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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  33. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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    cracked gas blocks, broken gas tubes, dented and cracked hand guards, barrel nuts missing/cross threaded, terrible fit and finnish, unstaked gas keys, muzzle devices clocked incorrectly, broken bolts and bolt carriers. I know all of these are easily replaced and fixed but why should you have to want to on a brand new upper?
     
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  34. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Local sheriff wasn't saying if BCA was at fault, just that it was due to an ongoing ICE investigation into identity theft, etc. Either way, BCA is going to get a black eye.

    ETA: looks like potentially fraudulent I-9's. In that case it will be hard to tell if BCA is an accomplice or a victim.

     
  35. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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  36. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    They have had a ton of QC issues with this line, but I got lucky :)

    I bought a much cheaper AR just before the last elections and then almost immediately after when I saw the MPR on sale I grabbed it. In my case, I knew I'd be replacing so much on the cheaper AR that I saved a chunk of money by buying the MPR and selling the other one for the same price I paid.
     
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  37. barkoguru

    barkoguru Tracker

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    Quite the laundry list of problems, it’s a wonder there still in business I guess.
     
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  38. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    Are really concerned with buying American or does this just apply to guns?

    The pc or phone you’re using is not American.
    Your shoes, jeans, socks, underwear, are probably not American.

    How far are you willing to take it?

    I read that AR Stoner has some of their products manufactured by BCA. I actually had a funny feeling about this because of how identical some of their parts look, but I don’t know for sure!

    Could they also be the supplier for other “American” gun brands??

    The market is so mixed up I honestly don’t know who’s who and what’s truly American made anymore.

    Same with food! Baked in USA, packaged in Mexico, then trucked back to USA??? This is how we learned that cookies and cereal are sprayed with the cancer causing chemicals.

    “Product of USA” but not really!
     
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  39. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    So theres this conpany selling ARs fir a good price. I think its PSA and for about $350-400.
     
  40. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I owned several of their AR-15 uppers and have thousands of rounds thru them. One was even their cheaper “freedom” upper. No issues and I mostly use the cheapest ammo I can find.

    Just got thought, regarding American made. Do you own any AK’s, SKS’s, importered ammunition, etc?

    I do. As much as I would prefer American made, I still buy cheap imported ammo!
     
  41. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    OK now that stuff, even I might notice

    Out of all the PSA stuff I and my friends have bought, only one thing wasn't right. An upper that was out of tolerance to the point that the BCG couldn't be charged. Honestly I'd forgotten about that one. PSA fixed it promptly, and everything else me and mine have gotten (7-8 uppers, lots of other parts, 1-2 complete guns) seems to be fine. As long as they stand behind their product (and don't hire illegals or other bad stuff LOL) I'm fine with PSA parts. Since I am not a diehard AR guy, PSA stuff is "good enough".

    But I agree, buying top dollar stuff most likely comes with better QC and a higher level of trust. Not saying it's impossible to get a lemon from a high end company, but I'd hope there's a reason people pay top dollar for certain brands.
     
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  42. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Let's not go off the rails.

    I prefer to buy American, that's true. I also prefer to buy from whomever had the big idea regardless of nationality, not from some rip-off company that capitalizes from someone else's idea. But that's not the point.

    I care whether BCA follows the law. I want good product at good price but I want it from a legal, ethical and moral company that competes fairly in the market. IMHO hiring illegals is none of those things. If BCA or PSA or <insert company name here> isn't playing fair, I won't do business with them.

    I think that is only right, moreso in the firearms industry given the current political climate. The anti-RKBA crowd doesn't need any more rocks to throw.
     
  43. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I agree with what you’re saying.
     
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  44. barkoguru

    barkoguru Tracker

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    PSA puts out a quality product at a good value, I’ve personally assembled over a dozen rifles from them in both 5.56 and .308, and one in 6.5 creedmoor that’s shown some impressive performance, I haven’t run into any major issues at all, I don’t try to compare them with high end rifles, match triggers etc, which I own also, they are functional, reliable, serviceable and upgradable if you want, they certainly are a value if you want to stash a few away or Just want to shoot, anything that gets a reliable weapon into the hands of another true 2a, freedom supporting citizen is win win scenario I believe.
     
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  45. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter

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    https://columbiabusinessreport.com/news/manufacturing/70656/

    From 2016:

    <<


    About 25% of the company’s workforce are former members of the U.S. military or currently serve in the S.C. National Guard or Reserves. Hiring military veterans is a plus because they have shared experiences, similar work ethic and mutual relationships.

    Fortunate mistake

    Before he entered the firearms business, McCallum served two deployments to Iraq as an officer in a S.C. Army National Guard engineer unit and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

    When he was back home, McCallum decided to say good-bye to his career as a certified public accountant and enter the firearms business.

    Initially, McCallum said, he sold ammunition online. But a vendor’s mistaken shipment sparked PSA’s transition to an ecommerce retailer of firearms and becoming a manufacturer of rifles and pistols.

    What happened, McCallum said, is a supplier mistakenly shipped him a box of 25 buffer tubes for an AR-15 semi-automatic military assault rifle.

    McCallum offered to return the buffer tubes but the vendor said it would cost too much and it was OK to keep them. So, it was decided to see if they could sell the buffer tubes online. “They just evaporated,” McCallum said of the quick sale.

    That experience triggered an idea to try and sell more rifle parts, and soon McCallum and his staff realized that they were handling all the parts to make a rifle except the barrels and receivers.

    In 2009, FN Manufacturing, located in Northeast Columbia, had its contract to make rifles for the U.S. military cut back. PSA worked out a deal to acquire barrels and receivers from FN and soon began assembling AR-15 rifles.

    PSA brands its version of the AR-15 as the PA-15. It also builds a hybrid of the AK-47 rifle and the AR-15 rifle called a KS-47. And it makes its own branded semi-automatic pistol patterned after the M1911 pistol adopted by the U.S. Army in 1911.

    In 2014, the most recent year for which figures were available, PSA manufactured about 4,800 rifles and about 77,000 “miscellaneous firearms” or “receivers,” the serial numbered piece around which a gun is built, according to a report and agent at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    As it has ramped up production, PSA now produces about 750 units – rifles and pistols – per day, Ruonala said.



    >>
     
  46. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Working from home today (if the previous 87 replies wasn’t enough clue) so what the heck.

    Here’s mine.

    59035B05-C287-4854-A7BD-AAEBA3797EDC.jpeg

    Tennessee Arms polymer lower in OD
    CMMG ambi LPK
    Palmetto logo full auto BCG
    PSA charging handle
    PSA 16" 5.56 upper, stainless 1-in-8", mid length, keymod rail
    Magpul CTR stock in OD with thicker shoulder pad
    MIAD pistol grip (with bottle of CLP)
    Magpul MBUS Pro F&R
    Bushnell TRS-25 3 MOA dot

    Honestly the iron sights are pretty good. I picked up the TRS-25 red dot on sale for $50-ish just to try it out. I'm saving my pennies for a 1-4 or 1-6 tacticool scope and may try the red dot on my old 10/22.

    Here's the order from when I bought most of the stuff for two carbines, plus 12 boxes of 5.56 and some spare parts. Not everything is the cheapest but I figure I did OK given prices in 2016. I bet I could do better now. Heck, I bet some of y'all did better THEN. :)

    Palmetto Order 10-2016.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  47. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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    I wasn't trying to start an argument all I was doing was sharing my personal experiences on a topic I'm quite familiar with working in a gun shop at least part time for the last 15 years. I have no problem with people buying what they can afford/justify. I agree not everyone can afford or even justify the expense of high end ARs. But on that note I feel if you are going to bet your life or the life of your family on a particular firearm you should buy the best you can afford. I know I'm an outsider when it comes to this, but I personally won't carry or trust a defensive rifle/pistol/shotgun whatever until I have put 5,000 flawless rounds down range. If I have a malfunction I figure out what caused it and if it was weapon related the count starts over. I have heard of people having good luck with the PSA parts and complete weapons but what I have also noticed about those same people is typically not always but in my experience they rarely shoot them much or run them in classes. Like I said earlier I run my guns hard and want the best I can get. I'm the guy who will eat top ramen every day for 6 months if I have to just to get what I want. Luckily I don't have to do that though lol.

    Cheers all!:44:
     
  48. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @Zach Smith I think that's fair.

    My main defensive firearm is a 686 and I have well over 1000 rounds through it. I trust it completely as long as I am up to the task, and pray nothing ever gets to that point.

    When I first built my PSA AR I didn't consider it trustworthy. After 700-800 rounds, things have smoothed up quite a bit. At this point I would trust it.

    As an observation, 5000 rounds of 5.56 is about $1500 at retail; cheaper if you get a price break or reload. I think you are right in that you're an outlier. Very view people are going to feel the need to put $1500 worth of ammo through a premium rifle before they can trust it.

    But hey, feel free. There is room in the tent for serious shooters as well as casual/frugal shooters.

    I'll still buy PSA (or similar) stuff and will do just fine with it. I'm delighted that there are affordable AR options out there.
     
  49. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter

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    central joe and aaronu like this.
  50. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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    @aaronu I agree, I am glad that there are affordable options for people to buy, if there weren't I don't think the shooting sports would be around. I do get a break on ammo the shop I work at part time lets me buy ammo and firearms at cost as a form of payment for my time. I have always worked out that deal at whatever shop I have been at it saves them on payroll/taxes and I get what I need.

    I'm lucky in that I can shoot at home and get a deal on my ammo. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't get to shoot nearly as much as I do. I'm currently working on getting a reloading bench set up right now to reload the probably 60,000 pieces of brass that I have on hand so I can hopefully save even more on ammo.
     

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