Is this carbine kit junk?

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Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby adam01364 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:55 pm

Turns out that since I already have an AR receiver which was purchased before the mAss AG ban took effect, I can build my AR. Iknow nothing about ARs, don't know if I'll even like it. This kit is certainly affordable enough. But is it junk?
https://www.ceratac.com/Classic-Carbine ... -u-blk.htm
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby Mister Sir » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:46 pm

I'm not super knowledge able but it was no forward assist or dust cover. Which most of them have. Palmetto state armory has a MOE rifle kit carbine length with a2 front site and mbus rear site on clearance for $329 free shipping. They generally have daily and weekend deals.
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby Flowmaster » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:24 pm

In terms of budget builds, people usually go right to Palmetto State Armory. They sometimes have deals with bare-bones bargain basement AR rifle kits (no mag, no lower receiver, no rear sight) for $299. That's for one with a slick side upper meaning no dust cover, forward assist button, or shell deflector. I've even seen that kit for sale for $299 with free shipping. Palmetto is weird because they change their product assortment almost every day. Each time you get on their website they'll probably have a different deal or a different price on the same kit. Sometimes free shipping, sometimes not.

They're bare bones and have very basic barrels but they seem to go bang. If you want to build an AR on a budget, it would be hard to go cheaper than $300 for a parts kit. Lets face it, most of the kits they sell are never going to be used enough to wear the stuff out even if it isn't great quality. The casual shooter just doesn't shoot thousands of rounds and unless you plan on doing a training course or bringing it to the range every single time you shoot, you'll probably be just fine with a lower end kit because you'll probably never wear it out.

The one you linked has a keymod style handguard and that's cool, but its probably some Chinese made knockoff of a real-deal handguard. Keymod seems to be the sort of out of fashion setup for rails, a lot of people are going for M lok now. Beware, there are a lot of crap handguards out there. I've seen plenty of them for sale by the Chinese pocketknife and flashlight guys at the gun shows. Some aren't that bad, others look like they were wrought from smelted beer cans (and they probably were).

Chrome moly vanadium refers to the type of steel they're using to make the barrel, not to be confused with a chrome-lined barrel. So the barrel isn't chrome lined but that's no big deal because a lot of the low end and mid priced kits and rifles don't have chrome lined barrels.

The twist rate is 1 in 8 which is sort of an intermediate twist for these guns. That's in the middle of the two most common rifling twist rates which are 1:7 and 1:9. Numerically higher means it'll twist slower/have less twist out of the same length barrel. I can't remember which one is better for light weight bullets (35 to 55 grains) and which one is better for the heavier bullets (62 and up) but having a 1 in 8 twist barrel sort of puts you in the middle in terms of twist rate. Most of the cheap 223 you see is going to be 55 grain anyway. Some of the surplus or milspec 5.56 is 62 grain and any other grain weight will be relatively rare compared to the 55 and 62 grain stuff.

There are 3 types of gas systems. Carbine length, midlength, and rifle length. Regular handguards are also available in these 3 sizes. Then you've got rails in a myriad of lengths.

Some bolts are semi auto cut/profile and others are M16 style. They are OK to have in semiauto guns and the presence of the M16 bolt in a gun is not considered a full-auto, constructive intent, or any of that jazz. Some bolts are nickel boron ("NiB") coated so they're chromeish and are supposed to be nice and slick but that coating comes with an additional cost.

Some people who want to be really cheap will get an upper off of Palmetto for $170 shipped then wait around until someone runs a sale with a bolt for $80 free shipping then find a carry handle locally for $15 and call it a day. Some places online will run a deal with a bolt and charging handle for $100 including shipping. Most people will throw a bolt into an assembled upper and not even check the headspace or go/nogo and confidently shoot it. I always like to check stuff like that before shooting but a lot of people assemble ARs like they're legos with parts from who knows who getting mixed and matched, hopefully within specifications and general tolerances of safety.

Some barrels are 223 Remington, others are 5.56mm. 223 and 5.56mm aren't totally interchangeable and putting a 5.56 in a 223 marked barrel could be a safety issue. There are now guns chambered in 223 Wylde which is supposed to be good for both .223 and 5.56mm

ARs can be customized until the cows come home and they're just about everywhere, but they're really not my thing. If I didn't sell them on the weekends I would've never cared to learn or remember any of this stuff.
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby adam01364 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:35 am

Thanks Flow, you provided a lot of good info there.

I'm not sure the lack of a dust cover and forward assist is a deal breaker; I'll be shooting this gun at the range and lugging it back & forth in a carry case. Price is a factor, but the extra cost for a dust cover and forward assist isn't enough to make me go without one.

I wasn't "into" ARs at all, but after the mA$$ AG's ban-o-rama, I was really ticked off. Fortunately I had purchased a receiver prior on a hunch three weeks prior to the mA$$ AG's ban and I have the documentation to prove it, and therefore I am legally okay to go. (I may be ticked off, but I ain't gonna do sumthin' that will have me showering with Bubba.)

What I really wanna do is build a AR because I can despite the mA$$ AG's shenanigans. http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-up...6 ... ement.html and when I'm done I'm gonna name it the "Maura Healey Spl" with an extended middle finger. :x
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby jeffchance » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:34 pm

Yes, good info, Flow :D
That's it in a nutshell. I have never heard of the company but that means nothing.
I know, I as a dealer, would be hard pressed to buy the components for $299, let alone assemble it to that point.

A while back, I tried out a polymer 80% stripped lower and found it to be a complete piece of crap.
For less money, I got an ATI hybrid stripped lower and love it. For about $10 more I can buy an Anderson.
The reality is, it may be good, may be crap. Only one way to find out if it will work for you.

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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby Mister Sir » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:47 am

Like I said, :roll: I got nothing.... :lol:
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby FergusonTO35 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:35 am

Never heard of the company and no pictures of the actual kit. Think I would just stick with PSA. Also, Palmetto has their own sub-brand called PTAC, which can be even cheaper. I've seen uppers minus BCG for as little as $200.00. Alot of folks say the PTAC parts are FN's rejects.
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby Flowmaster » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:01 pm

I have personally seen a 2012-era Palmetto State Armory chrome hammer forged upper with an FN barrel on it. We took it right out of the box as brand new and had to take the handguards off of it to see the FN marking on the barrel, but it was there. I don't know what they do these days but that one was FN.
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Re: Is this carbine kit junk?

Postby jeffchance » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:01 am

Here's another one in the "race to the bottom"
https://www.cdnnsports.com/ar15-carbine ... caFE7L5gdU
Available in a 1:7 or 1:8 barrel.
And something from PSA:
http://palmettostatearmory.com/ptac-16- ... e-kit.html

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