Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

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Screwface Romeo
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Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:22 am

So, let me preface this by saying that I'm a technical guy, and I know my real steel guns back to front, but I'm not as well-versed when it comes to airsoft. So, I can pick up concepts real quick, and get a pretty good grasp of what you're talking about mechanically, but if you could keep industry-specific acronyms and jargon to a minimum, or explain them when they do crop up, I 'd very much appreciate it.

So, as somebody looking to get into the sport, my first concern was a good primary weapon. A rifle is the most important thing a soldier carries, after all. I'm not looking to break the bank by spreading all over the place, so I'm looking for one weapon that I can either modify or adapt to suit pretty much any situation, be it big overnight field games, or indoor urban stuff (which is probably going to be my bread and butter given that I'm Twin Cities based). I also don't want to have to buy a ton of different magazines for different guns. So I settled on the AR 15, because A, I like the ergonomics and how it handles, B, it looks like it's popular in airsoft for the same reason that it's popular in real steel, namingly that it's pretty much ubiquitous stateside, and there's a metric shit ton of aftermarket parts and accessories available, and C, the only other option that seems to have a plethora of parts available is the AK, which I despise.

I'm trying to make the exterior of this thing near the real steel build I'm planning as closely as possible, which means I'm probably going to want to assemble it from parts, since it would probably be cheaper than buying a prebuilt one and replacing the stock, pistol grip, forend and gas block. Assembly is not a concern, I'm technically and mechanically minded, and I know how to solder, sand and file, and keep track of screws. Provided I have an understanding of what each part does, and how they fit together, I'm confident I can hack it. All that said, I don't know a heck of a lot about what internal parts I need, what's necessary and what's specker or mall ninja crap, and I don't trust the online retailers to tell me, because that's exactly the stuff they're trying to sell to me. Hence my coming here.

So, without further ado, here's what I'm going to put on it and my budget, and maybe you guys can tell me what I should be putting in it.

External Parts List
  • Magpul STR Stock
  • Magpul MOE or MIAD grip
  • AB Arms Handguard
  • Railed Gas Block
  • Magpul MBUS sights
  • Magpul RVG fore grip
  • Red Dot
As far as internals go, I have a few requirements, but other than that I'm going to bow to your greater knowledge.

Internal Requirements
  • interchangeable Springs so I can swap between field FPS and indoor/CQB FPS
  • Front wired battery, that will fit inside the handguard without the need for a tacky external box
  • A higher-end level of accuracy and FPS performance (fire rate is not a concern, in fact I almost prefer a lower rate)
And then a specific battery question:

What are the decent/necessary specifications for a good battery? Can they be had in a nunchuck style with relatively flat cells that will fit within my chosen handguard?

Ultimately, I'm looking to spend around $600 at the most.

Thanks!
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by IsparkTheLa » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:42 pm

Please don't spend $600 on an AEG. :D

Talk to Guges mk3 on this forum about a G&P or jg m4. Change out the hop up rubber/barrel and run everything else internally until it breaks. If you plan to play to at publicly hosted games, don't over think velocity. FPS doesn't give the advantage...a properly tuned barrel group does. Get out and play. Buy more mags and BBs. Guges will most likely have a battery that will fit in your hand guard. Browse the forum and read over the stickies....many of which are a little dated but the core information is still sound.

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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:43 pm

IsparkTheLa wrote:Please don't spend $600 on an AEG. :D

Talk to Guges mk3 on this forum about a G&P or jg m4. Change out the hop up rubber/barrel and run everything else internally until it breaks. If you plan to play to at publicly hosted games, don't over think velocity. FPS doesn't give the advantage...a properly tuned barrel group does. Get out and play. Buy more mags and BBs. Guges will most likely have a battery that will fit in your hand guard. Browse the forum and read over the stickies....many of which are a little dated but the core information is still sound.

Welcome to the community!
Thanks for the response!

To be fair, about $200 of that budget is dedicated to the Magpul and AB Arms furniture, as well as a railed gas block.

I'm not looking for some cheap piece of crap that's "good enough". I want realistic, good looking full metal, and I want build quality that will last.

So, I'm looking primarily at a good barrel and hopup to give me the edge? Wouldn't a higher FPS provide a flatter trajectory and less opportunity for wind to effect the flight path? Or are airsoft guns so inherently inaccurate that you just have to spray and rely on statistical probability?

I'm definitely stocking up on mags and good quality BBs. Does 7 (one in the gun, six in the plate carrier) 190rnd midcap mags sound like a good number?

Thanks!
Walking the line between Mall Ninja and Retro Grouch with the help of MagPul, Forgotten Weapons, and a lot of Sailor Jerry Naval Rum.

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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Archer » Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:39 am

Since FPS is almost universally limited to 400 for Automatics in this area, FPS isn't where you gain range. you gain it with good hop and barrel and high quality BB's.

The other person to talk to would be Dan Magnusson/Master TCAA/OpFor Dan. He's been selling airsoft guns from home for awhile now and just opened his own store.

https://www.facebook.com/dan.magnuson.9?fref=ts

I'd say go talk to dan at his store. he can put a gun in your hands, help you find what you want and if you need tech work done there are few better than dan. I don't trust anyone else with AEG tech work, myself included.

There is a good chance he can get a rifle that is pre-built to be almost exactly what you want, minus the AB Arms stuff, since nobody does airsoft versions of their stuff (yet?).

The quick change spring might be the hardest feature to get your hands on, but unless you plan at playing at DOA more than anywhere else, I'd suggest just getting a field gun as everything else around is outdoors so having an indoor gun is pretty much a moot point for the time being.

If anything, you can always build a second upper for your gun with a shorter barrel and that should knock the FPS down enough to make it CQB legal.

Dan can also set you up with the proper battery/charger for your requirements when you get a gun and can answer whatever questions you may have. If you go the Li-Po route, most 7.4v Li-po Sticks will fit in an M4/M16 buffer tube.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Tank » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:26 pm

You can get an gun "off the shelf" with most of the stuff you want easier than building one. The specific handguard you want may be problematic, (the MOE is pretty close).
Building one from the ground up will more than likely cost you more money, than just buying one new and replacing a couple of parts.

As for the ability to swap springs...For an M16 platform, you're pretty much stuck with Ares, Krytac, or ICS (which is dog shit).
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Archer » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:32 pm

ICS = I Can't Shoot
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:03 pm

So, the general consensus seems to be that I should modify a stock gun rather than build one. A bit disappointing, as it sounded like a fun project, but I will bow to practicality and economic concerns.

I saw G&P mentioned. I've looked into it, and it seems that they have everything I want performance wise. So, if I'm reading this right, I should get something like this, put an aftermarket barrel and hop up in it, and then buy my external parts separately. What would you folks recommend in terms of hop up and barrel brands?

As far as swapping springs goes, it doesn't need to be done in the field, I'm thinking more of a workshop scenario between events.

I didn't know you could swap uppers easily on an Airsoft gun. I was under the impression that the gearbox made this impossible. If it was easy, that's definitely something Id be interested in doing.

The primary reason for this is that, as mentioned before, I live in the metro area, so while I will make every effort to make it to field games, the majority of my play time is going to be at indoor fields. This also means I'm not going to be able to go to custom shops or repair shops, since most of them seem to be up north, and I have neither the time nor the transportation to drive for hours to get something I can order online or do for myself.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Tank » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:26 pm

G&P is a good choice. You can peruse their website ( http://www.gp-web.com/en/products.php?c ... bid=GP_AEG ) and see if they've got something closer to what you want to end up with than the one you linked to.

Building extra uppers and swapping is easy. It's easier with rear wired because you don't have to fart around with the wires every time you switch uppers but still do-able with front wired. The biggest thing with building additional uppers is that the upper receiver itself has to be the same brand as the original, otherwise it probably will not fit. Some company's uppers are easier to get than others.

There are a lot of hop-ups and barrels out there. Maple Leaf packings (buckings) are pretty popular, as are Prometheus and a few others. For barrels...Prometheus, Miracle, KM, are just a few good ones. I would recommend not going any smaller than a 6.03 for a tight-bore barrel.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:54 pm

Tank wrote:G&P is a good choice. You can peruse their website ( http://www.gp-web.com/en/products.php?c ... bid=GP_AEG ) and see if they've got something closer to what you want to end up with than the one you linked to.

Building extra uppers and swapping is easy. It's easier with rear wired because you don't have to fart around with the wires every time you switch uppers but still do-able with front wired. The biggest thing with building additional uppers is that the upper receiver itself has to be the same brand as the original, otherwise it probably will not fit. Some company's uppers are easier to get than others.

There are a lot of hop-ups and barrels out there. Maple Leaf packings (buckings) are pretty popular, as are Prometheus and a few others. For barrels...Prometheus, Miracle, KM, are just a few good ones. I would recommend not going any smaller than a 6.03 for a tight-bore barrel.
Okay, cool. I'm going to go with the one I linked to, because I have never managed to find (despite a large amount of searching) any that come stock with the STR stock, and I'm going to be replacing the handguard anyway because the AB Arms one has a built-in AFG which is going to save me more money regardless. Plus, I like the foliage green finish, it will go with my uniform and plate carrier. On a somewhat related note, do you or anyone else here know anybody in the area who does laser engraving? I'm putting together a small team with a few friends, and I'd like to get our logo engraved on the receivers (that will also help in keeping track of my gun if it goes missing).

Does G&P sell individual uppers? I'm probably going to go with front wiring, provided I can find a decent sized LIPO that will fit in my hand guard, because I've heard that buffer tube LIPOs are crappy and don't let you close the stock all the way. It would be nice to have a CQB upper, because then I could set one up for indoor urban scenarios.

Cool, I'll look into those. Thanks for your help by the way, this is been very useful.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Archer » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:54 am

http://www.evike.com/products/32162/

Buffer tube Li-po's are just like any other battery, you have to know what you're looking for. If you are going to do multiple uppers, I echo tanks advice to go rear wired. I've had a gun that is a front wired and taking the receiver on and off just for maintenance was a major PITA, let alone regularly switching uppers for different game styles.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:24 pm

Archer wrote:http://www.evike.com/products/32162/

Buffer tube Li-po's are just like any other battery, you have to know what you're looking for. If you are going to do multiple uppers, I echo tanks advice to go rear wired. I've had a gun that is a front wired and taking the receiver on and off just for maintenance was a major PITA, let alone regularly switching uppers for different game styles.
I've heard this about buffer tube LiPos: They have very small capacities, but are hard to change in the field, so you're more likely to run out, and when you do, it will be harder to replace. And apparently they also make it impossible to close the stock all the way, because of the length of the battery and the wires. I could see it for a rifle length buffer tube with a fixed stock, but for a carbine length with an adjustable stock which will be used for CQB at some point, I dunno... I like to be able to close my stock for transportation and urban scenarios.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Archer » Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:33 pm

I personally have a GP with a collapsible stock that I used buffer tube li-pos with. 1 battery would last me all day very easily.

If you are familiar with AR-15's, you would know that a stock is easier to pull off the buffer tube then it is to remove handguards.

If your wires and battery fits into the length of the buffer tube, there is no reason that you couldn't collapse the buffer tube all the way down. I never had issues with that on my own gun either.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:14 pm

Archer wrote:I personally have a GP with a collapsible stock that I used buffer tube li-pos with. 1 battery would last me all day very easily.

If you are familiar with AR-15's, you would know that a stock is easier to pull off the buffer tube then it is to remove handguards.

If your wires and battery fits into the length of the buffer tube, there is no reason that you couldn't collapse the buffer tube all the way down. I never had issues with that on my own gun either.
What would you suggest then in terms of voltage and mAh? How does mAh generally translate to play time?

Well, depends on your stock and your handguard setup. Stock M4 handguards, and the AB Arms version, can be quite easily removed by just pulling back the delta ring and removing the handguard sections. If you're changing a battery, you only have to remove the lower portion of the handguard. The MagPul STR stock also requires a snap cap or dummy cartridge to remove and install, you can't just pull down the on the adjustment lever.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Archer » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:36 am

a quality 7.4v li-po is more than enough to produce the ROF that you are looking for, and would be thin enough to allow you to pack the wires beside it for ease of connection.

I had 1400 mah batteries and had no problem playing all day if I made sure that they were charged before going out. unless you plan on being on full auto and firing almost constantly then you should be fine playing all day. Besides, most games around here don't run all day non-stop. almost all have some sort of lunch break that would allow you to change batteries off the field anyways.

I don't know if you'll be able to find an STR for airsoft purposes, but I can guarantee that you'll find an ACS, which is nearly identical, if a bit beefier. The thing with airsoft buffer tubes is that the don't necessarily comply to either Mil-spec OR Commercial tube dimensions, so buying a real steel stock could be risky because it might not fit on at all or it might be very very loose.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Archer wrote:a quality 7.4v li-po is more than enough to produce the ROF that you are looking for, and would be thin enough to allow you to pack the wires beside it for ease of connection.

I had 1400 mah batteries and had no problem playing all day if I made sure that they were charged before going out. unless you plan on being on full auto and firing almost constantly then you should be fine playing all day. Besides, most games around here don't run all day non-stop. almost all have some sort of lunch break that would allow you to change batteries off the field anyways.

I don't know if you'll be able to find an STR for airsoft purposes, but I can guarantee that you'll find an ACS, which is nearly identical, if a bit beefier. The thing with airsoft buffer tubes is that the don't necessarily comply to either Mil-spec OR Commercial tube dimensions, so buying a real steel stock could be risky because it might not fit on at all or it might be very very loose.
Excellent.

PTS makes an STR, and Evike sells it. The ACS also requires a dummy cartridge to remove the stock. Any MagPul stock with a friction lock and battery compartments on the sides is going to require this. I looked at the ACS as well, but I prefer the STR, the extra storage capacity of the ACS really isn't all that useful for anything.
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  • WE M&P9
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Archer » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:06 pm

The ACS is just easier to adapt to using butterfly li-po batteries. This allows you to get even more capacity if it really concerns you.
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Re: Building an AR-15 for game use, had some questions.

Post by Screwface Romeo » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:29 pm

Archer wrote:The ACS is just easier to adapt to using butterfly li-po batteries. This allows you to get even more capacity if it really concerns you.
I've found a 2000 mAh battery that will fit in the buffer tube, I imagine that should be more than enough if 1400 is suffient for a day of play time.

Thanks for your help, by the way.
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Arsenal
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  • KWC SIG-Sauer P226/X-Five
  • WE M&P9
  • WinGun 4in Revolver
  • ICS MP5SD
    JG AUG-A-3
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