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Why Are You Spending Money on a Gun You Don’t Actually Want?

Discussion in 'Genesis CNC' started by Genesis CNC, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Genesis CNC

    Genesis CNC New Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Build it – Cost

    Why Are You Spending Money on a Gun You Don’t Actually Want?

    So somebody told you that building your own .308 rifle is expensive. We ask you this:
    Compared to what?

    Building your own AR10 at home might seem expensive if you compare your custom built, long range hunting rifle to something like a standard AR-10A straight out of the box…but that’s the same thing as saying a custom Corvette is expensive because you can buy a used Daewoo for a few hundred dollars. To be fair, an Armalite AR-10A is not the quality equivalent of a Daewoo, but the same comparison could be made between an Aston Martin Vanquish and a Ford Escort. The writer just wanted to remind the world that Daewoo exists because it’s a funny word. Daewoo.

    Is Building Your Own Rifle Really That Expensive?

    It’s not practical to tell you exactly how much you can expect to spend on a home build, simply because one of the best things about a custom built rifle is that YOU get to decide where you’re going to spend a little more to get the best possible parts, and where you’re going to select the most cost effective option to save your wallet. The cost of a custom rifle will vary depending on whether your priority is keeping costs low, or if you’re more excited about building an untraceable tactical addition to your survival kit no matter the expense. You could be looking at an overall price tag of anywhere from $1,700 to upwards of $5,000…but again, it’s completely up to you.

    That’s not really shocking, though, if you take a look at the .308 market. Knight’s Armament’s SR-25, which is a pretty kickass carbine, retails for around $4,200, and you can get LaRue’s OBR 7.62 for around $3,400.

    Let’s Keep Our Comparisons Realistic

    Plenty of people would happily shell out $3,000 for an LMT .308 (well, they would if they had $3,000) because they’re nice guns. There’s nothing really wrong with buying a finished, ready-to-fire gun, but let’s be realistic. When was the last time a serious shooter bought a gun and did nothing to it? Sure, most people who buy guns don’t fall into this category. Most people who buy a gun are going to shoot it once, put it in their safe, and forget about it until they’re shopping for new homeowner’s insurance. But we’re assuming that if you’re willing to fork over 3K on a .308, you’re probably the kind of shooter who is actually going to put some rounds through that gun. The few shooters who do regularly put bullets downrange are a more exacting group of people than the average gun buyer, and as such, they don’t settle for average guns.

    In that case, knowing that mil spec isn’t good enough for you, what is the actual cost of that gun you just bought over the counter? Let’s say you’ve gone the more economic route and purchased a decent AR-10A from Armalite for $1,900. You figure you’re going to take your new .308 AR, tweak it a little bit, and you’ll end up with a pretty good gun that’s essentially a custom .308 by the time you’re done with it. On the surface, it makes sense, but let’s examine that theory.

    First, you’re going to start running into questions of compatibility. It’s not a simple question of “what do I need to build an AR10?” Unlike the AR-15, there’s no standardization, and you’re going to have to do a little homework to find out what aftermarket gun components are going to fit on your platform.

    Your Attempt to Save Money Could Cost You

    We’ll talk more about compatibility later – for now, let’s focus on how much your upgraded gun actually costs.
    Let’s say the first thing you do is get yourself a snazzy set of flip sights – no fancy optics just yet, but you need something to get you by – which put you back about $130. Next, you ditch the buttstock that came with the gun and get yourself a more comfortable adjustable stock for a modest $100, and while you’re at it, you pick up a muzzle brake for $75. After a while, you’re looking for ways to improve your accuracy (since it’s totally the gun’s fault) so you splurge for a Geissele trigger at another $200…and since the nickel boron bolt carrier group is on sale, you ‘invest’ another $250 there. Now your $1,900 gun costs $2,655, and it’s still not EXACTLY what you want yet: you haven’t even switched out the hand guard or upgraded the charging handle, and what if you want to make your gun ambidextrous or more lightweight?

    It’s easy to drop an extra $1,000 in upgrades into a gun you didn’t really want in the first place. For $2,600, you could have bought a better gun…OR you could have BUILT THE GUN YOU WANTED and skipped all the extra junk! It might feel like you were saving money from the outset by purchasing a basic .308 and upgrading as you go, but when you start adding in $100 and $200 upgrades every so often, it eventually adds up to a huge price tag for a mediocre rifle.

    What About Buying a High-End Rifle?

    The same concept holds true whether you’re upgrading a-la carte with a standard mil spec AR or one of those high-end long range rifles you see in all the gun magazines. Let’s take a look at some actual examples, shall we?
    We’ve already mentioned the KAC SR-25 E2, which is admittedly one hell of a sexy gun, coming in at a price tag of $4,200. Next on the list: Les Baer with their .308 Semi-Auto Match and Sniper Rifles, with a ballpark price of $3,900. LaRue’s OBR 7.62 comes in at $3,400, LMT’s 308 rifles around $3,000, and we’ve just discussed Armalite’s AR-10A (T) for $1,900.

    Since parts for .308 rifles aren’t standardized, like we mentioned earlier, you might run into some issues if you want to change out components on, say, your new Les Baer Sniper Rifle. Yeah, they’re nice guns, but they’re kind of ugly. Sure, beauty is on the inside, and function over form, and all of that…but this writer isn’t afraid of admitting that she’s shallow, and looks matter. Then again, if anybody wanted to give her one of these ugly guns for her birthday, she wouldn’t turn it down. Just saying.

    If you do want to change out some of the components to make your high-end rifle more attractive, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to order directly from Les Baer, since the design is proprietary. Most notably, you’ll have trouble finding an aftermarket grip, since most won’t fit, and when you start shopping for optics, you’ll need to look for a forward-offsetting scope so that you can get the appropriate eye relief.

    LaRue’s OBR 7.62 runs into some of the same challenges with compatibility; the components are, again, proprietary, so you’ll have to shop directly from LaRue to make sure any upgrades are going to work, or make sure you do your homework before buying something from another source. Since the OBR is heavy, weighing in at over 15 pounds, you’re probably going to at least want a sling, probably padded, and a bipod.

    As for the LMTs, a lot of shooters report that they can be finicky with certain types of ammunition, and most shooters change out the sights because they interfere with some types of optics. In most cases, no matter what kind of rifle you purchase, you’re going to be making some kind of change to it so that it suits your needs better…no matter how nice of a rifle you buy. And, as is the case with high-end cars, the parts for these top-of-the-line rifles can be pricey, too.

    Building It Yourself Is Better

    When you’re building a bug-out bag or some other form of a prepper gear box, when you’re looking for the perfect gun for long range shooting, when you’re on the hunt for the perfect battle rifle…there’s nobody who knows what you need like YOU do. Preppers are a notoriously selective bunch of people, and so are competition shooters, collectors, and serious hunters. You’re smart enough to know that there’s a specific firearm for every job, and you’re also smart enough to see how building your own .308 rifle at home keeps you from spending money on a bunch of junk that doesn’t suit your needs.

    As you put together a list of parts for your .308 build, don’t forget to add an 80% lower to that list. There’s a post here that explains why receiver blanks are so valuable for keeping your name off of government lists. An 80 percent lower also saves you money by circumventing the fees you normally have to pay to an FFL for your transfer and background check, and if you happen to live in a state with waiting periods and extra taxes on firearms, you’re going to skip that mess, too.

    Really, It’s Not About The Money

    Home rifle building is cost effective, but when it comes down to it, nobody builds a rifle just to save money. We build rifles because it’s the best way to get exactly what we want, built to precise specifications, for a dedicated purpose, without wasting time and money with the wrong gun. We build rifles because we want to know their inner workings, to make our own decisions and produce something that’s intensely personal with our own two hands. We build rifles because it’s not just an AR-10. It’s security. It’s sport. It’s an expression of freedom.

    When you get right to the point, it’s about more than having complete control like we talked about here. It goes deeper than preparation, deeper than a concern over cost effectiveness. Building kickass guns that nobody else has isn’t just what we do. It’s who we are, and we’re proud of that.

    Kitty Lusby

  2. drjames

    drjames New Member

    Feb 24, 2015
    Good thoughts and a good way to make people aware of your product.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  3. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

    May 28, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX

    Also,, meh
  4. Vec

    Vec Well-Known

    May 8, 2015

  5. Genesis CNC

    Genesis CNC New Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Not aware of an 80% lower for the scar 17. Wouldn't actually matter since the scar 17 upper is the serialized part so having one off the books would be extremely hard unless you have some serious machining skills. Not that it couldn't be done and it's a fantastic weapon, and pricey as well.

    One of reasons that AR-15's or AR-10's are popular is that you can easily build them yourself with a drill press and a few tools, this allows you to have one or many rifles that are completely off the books as our country's founders envisioned. I could not imaging taking several 3k+ scar 17's and burying them in tubes for emergencies, but you can build the .308 AR style rifles at almost 3 to 1 and they are completely legal and off the books.

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