I’ve been looking to build my first (CA compliant) modern sporting rifle, and have been reading through lots of articles such as the AR15 Primer on Calguns and consulting with a knowledgeable friend to get familiar with the basics. My goals are:
- Learn the details behind the AR-15 platform design
- Pick components that match my ergonomics
- Own a semi-auto rifle with high reliability and flexibility to modify (so I can easily do A/B testing)
Here’s what I’m leaning toward including, and would appreciate feedback if there are compromises with these choices I might not realize:
- 16 inch barrel: Prefer shorter carbine style
- Gas impingement design: It’s supposed to be an AR-15 after all
- 223 Wylde barrel: 223 Wylde is supposedly more accurate, and I plan to mostly shoot reloaded 223. Expect to mainly shoot 50-100 yards, so could be talked into a 5.56 barrel if I’m not realistically going to be seeing any accuracy benefits.
- Fixed mag: I may be teaching others with this rifle, so an adjustable stock is important to accommodate other sized shooters. The CompMag seems to be a reasonable solution, and the Juggernaut Hellfighter seems like an interesting alternative. I expect to eventually get a Thordsten stock to evaluate if the loss of ergonomics is worth the detachable magazine feature.
- Complete Upper: I’m not quite feeling bold enough to build out the upper, so leaning towards a complete upper from Aero Precision that includes everything except the BCG and charging handle. Most complete uppers have a flash hider on the barrel. Is it safe to assume these are threaded and can be removed or replaced if I later decide to go to a featureless, detachable magazine design?
- KeyMod upper: It seems there is better availability of KeyMod accessories vs MLok.
- Stripped Lower: The choice of trigger is important, and I might want to have ambidextrous controls, so plan to build out the lower receiver from a stripped lower.
I would also welcome any recommendations on specific brands or components as well. Many thanks!