It seems like a right of passage to post your first AR Build’s parts list on some forum or website. All my “firearm buddies” have been bugging me to see my list from the moment I said I had made a final selection. I’ve decided to include the prices I paid so you can get an idea of what cost is involved in this endeavor. At this point I believe everything in this list will get me to the point of a fully functional firearm, I THINK I should be able to get it all assembled without any specialized tools that I don’t already have, making this a pretty close to complete AR Build list.
So here goes…
- PSA Gadsden Stripped Lower Receiver – $89.95 +$10 shipping + $20 FFL Transfer Fee (Thanks to VCDL Member Discounts)
- PSA MOE Lower Build Kit- $144.99 + (Shipping combined with Upper)
- Mil-Spec MOE Stock – Black
- MOE Grip – Black
- MOE Trigger Guard
- Palmetto State Armory (PSA) Classic Lower Parts Kit
- Mil-Spec Buffer Tube Assembly
- (Above plus the lower receiver results in a complete lower receiver)
- PSA 16” Hammer Forged Midlength Light Weight Upper- $667.90 + $21 Shipping (Includes Lower Parts Kit above)
The handgaurd and front sight pictured are different
- Barrel length 16″
- Hammer Forged Barrel
- Machine Gun Steel
- 5.56 Nato Chamber
- 1 in 7″ twist
- Double-thick Chrome-lined bore and chamber
- Special lighter weight A2 profile
- M4 feedramps
- Forged upper
- Full auto bolt carrier
- Carpenter 158 Bolt
- Magnetic particle inspected bolt
- Free Floating Troy Alpha 11″ Rail Package
- Comes with three small detachable rails and all mounting hardware
- Machined from 6061-T6 hardened aircraft aluminum and finished in MIL-SPEC Type III Hard Coat Anodizing
- Magpul GEN2 MBUS Flip Up Sights (Front & Rear) – $75.16 (20% off code + free shipping)
- Magpul PMAG Windowed 30 Round Magazines Qty: 4 – $57.36 (20% off code + free shipping)
- Magpul AFG2 Angled Foregrip- $27.18 (20% off code + free shipping)
Total Cost: $1,113.72
As I mentioned earlier this is just enough to get me started with a fully functional AR-15. Right off the bat you’ll notice there is no optics system. I plan on getting one eventually but still have not done the research to determine what my needs are and what products best meets those needs. So rather than prematurely purchasing an optics system, I’ve opted to wait until I’ve had a chance to send some rounds through the AR, then make a decision.
Finally, in strict adherence to the Internet convention of making sure the build list is as cryptic as possible to the novice AR builder I will leave my post at that. At least I have links, prices, and pictures! That’s better than 95% of the build lists I’ve seen. But, if you have any questions please post a comment with your question and I’ll be happy to answer it the best I can!
Stay tuned to learn about how the assembly goes!
One Component Of Our Security Plan
A key component of our homestead is security. We do many things to work towards securing our homestead such as maintaining our fence, planting thorny plants around the fence, and other things that are planned but yet to be revealed. But one of the most critical components of our security plan is ensuring all members of our homestead are responsibly armed at all times. This does not mean everyone is always carrying a gun per-say. It means that depending on the situation, we aim to bring the appropriate tool for the job. In practice this means you’ll never find Martha or I without a handgun on us or in short reach anytime we are at home, away from the homestead we carry what we can legally (we can go into this discussion in a separate post later), in a scenario where we need to hunt for food we may bring a bow or appropriate rifle for the game we are seeking, and in an event where we may need to defend our homestead from others you may find us with shotguns and …
AR-15 Build Options - Source: http://bit.ly/HXCGZu
That last and … is the part we wanted to address with this AR build. Books have already been written talking about the history and uses of the AR platform, specifically the AR-15, so I will try and point out just a few of the features that brought us to this weapon system for our homestead. The first is that it addresses that “and …” need for defending the homestead in both close quarter combat scenarios as well as being capable of performing for longer range engagements, and can also be used for hunting game of a variety of sizes. Secondly, the AR-15 is an extremely popular firearm which means there is an abundance of components, tools, accessories, and resources available for one to call upon in the assembly, maintenance, modification, and use of the firearm. Continue reading
Top Bar Barrel Bee Hive Chicken Coops
A bee hive chicken coop?! You probably think I’m joking, right?
If you recall our last post about the benefits of raising chickens, we were inspired by the idea of chicken tractors. Since we didn’t want to give up any more yard space from our gardening, we already had these wonderful top bar barrel bee hives built, and the space under the hives was about the same area as some of the chicken tractors we’d seen, that they’d make a perfect area for our own chickens. Continue reading
Washed Out Lawn Area
Martha did a fantastic job prepping our rain barrels. Now it is time for me to install them! We decided that our first two rain barrels would reside in our back yard as we had a bit of trouble with water flowing from the existing down spouts from the roof into our lawn and washing away grass in a large section.
Installation turned out to be very easy for me. The only tools I used were a hack saw, power drill, and flat head screw driver. The only other equipment needed was four cement blocks that we had purchased earlier at the hardware store to use as a base for the rain barrels and some extra flexible tubing to guide the water from the downspout into the top of the rain barrels. Luckily we already had such tubing laying around and just cut a couple short pieces off as needed.
Initial Rough Setup & Location
If you’ve been following our series on Beekeeping you know that we now have two fully assembled barrel top bar bee hives. We even had them nicely positioned on some left-over pavers from our patio project. As you can see they look pretty good and could be fully functional at this point. But Martha and I couldn’t leave well-enough alone!
Staining Bee Hives
The first addition we wanted to do was add a little finish and protection to the wood components so we used left-over deck stain that we had laying around and stained the wood. We hope this will extend the life of our hives as well as give them a more “finished” look! We have been very pleased with the result and would recommend others stain their wood right after cutting it prior to assembling the hive. Staining ahead of assembly makes it much easier and avoids having to worry about getting stain on the barrel part of the hive. Continue reading
Assembling Barrel Top Bar Hives
Martha and I would like to share with you our experience building our own Barrel Top Bar Hives (TBH). This is not meant to be a step-by-step tutorial, but rather a general overview of the steps we took and lessons learned during the process,. There are plenty of excellent step-by-step tutorials out on the internet you can follow if you need that level of help. You’re also welcome to post questions here and we’ll happily answer them to assist you in your process!
Original 55-Gallon Barrel
The largest component in a barrel TBH is obviously the barrel. Lots of people from what we read online said they had cheap to free access to 55-gallon food grade barrels but we had to buy ours. If you live in the Northern Virginia area we highly recommend NOVA Barrel. They have a great selection of barrels and very reasonable prices. We were able to get a food grade 55-gallon barrel from NOVA Barrel for just $35. One thing that was really nice about the model they had was the top rim completely snapped off when we were cutting the barrel in half which provided a flatter surface and eliminated the need to cut the rim off (a step shown in the earlier referenced tutorial).
Ark Like Bee Hive
You may recall that we decided on Top Bar Hives for our homestead, but beyond the general category of hives we still had to pick an actual design and find or create some plans. Some of the options were all wood top bar hives that look like miniature Noah’s Arks. Others are designed to be built from scrap material available in 3rd world countries and/or areas affected by disaster. Continue reading
Rain Barrel - Source: http://1.usa.gov/1Jh0ye
Early on we decided that rain barrels would be a great addition to our homestead. Our yard is on a slope, and when it rained the water flow over part of the yard would be too much. Grass wouldn’t grow well in that area, and the ground would get really muddy. Part of the water flow comes from the gutters, and we realized that getting a rain barrel or two would lessen the water flow. We realized other benefits to having rain barrels would be lower water bills since we would use if for the garden, living an more environmentally friendly lifestyle, and have a water supply in case of emergency.
Local government has a strong rain water collection initiative, which made it easy to get rain barrels. We found all this out through a simple internet search, and then we were off on our rain barrel adventure! Continue reading