Build upper or buy complete?

Im debating building an upper or just buying a complete. I keep running numbers and end up spending more on building. I know i am probably getting better quality out of the build. But as a casual shooter i wont be putting an insane amount of rounds through it.


definetly easier, and maybe cheaper to buy complete, but there’s always going to be something you’re going to want to change. Not nessesarily a bad thing, because then you’ll have x-tra parts… For the next build :wink:

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If you can find a complete upper that is configured the way you want, then I think that is a good bet. But if you can’t find anything that is exactly what you want then the choice gets tougher.


But first you must know your choices. And the only way to know that is to find out what you don’t like. I like extra parts.

I have bought both assembled, and kits to build it yourself, as well as completely individual parts.

In my case individual parts and kit form work out best price wise.

The only thing you really have to make sure to think about is the availability of stripped uppers right now.

I just ordered a socom barrel kit for another build specifically due to the fact that I can not find a decent priced stripped upper in stock. Seems most of the companies are keeping them to assemble uppers or to put together kits.

Even PSA is selling assembled uppers, but none stripped in stock atm.

If it comes down to an assembled upper with just the handguard being what you dislike, that itself isn’t a deal breaker.

Now, if the barrel and handguard and… Then it becomes too much of an extra cost to make it as you want.

Most of the reasonably priced assembled uppers I have seen lately are stock handguards with front sight gas block. For the same price I found kit-form with a free float keymod handguard. It may not be the exact handguard I want, but at least that keymod handguard looks better in the parts box than mil-spec parts that I will likely never use.

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I currently have a few emails out waiting for prices on uppers built to what i want. I think thats going to end up being the deciding factor. I definitely don’t want the gas block sight.

I already have a stripped upper, but im not opposed to setting it aside for a future build if i find a complete upper that fits what im looking for.

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Well I took the plunge and ordered a barrel today. 20 inch stainless Hbar. 118 dollars shipped.


Mas Defense will allow you select parts on their site and then give you a quote on a complete assembled upper using the parts you choose if you contact them.

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I like spare parts. I ordered a spikes stripped upper, on back order 6-8 weeks. Paid $99. I grabbed the last aero stripped upper off the shelf at the parts store. Paid $110. It
Doesnt match my spikes lower and i am hesitant to mount my barrel on it. So i may have to order another barrel. Lol. Building your upper has its perks and its downfalls. Unless it is a sweetheart deal on a complete upper. I think i would rather build. Thats my two cents

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