Starting from scratch, and I need a little help

Hey guys, I’m pretty new to the AR scene. I have a 16" Ruger AR556 I have been modifying for a few months. Now it is time to start a new one from the ground up. I am really thinking this one will be a range gun. Something longer than my Ruger. But is there a huge difference in accuracy between an 18 and a 20? Also where is the the best place to start? should I begin with the stripped lower and go from there? Thanks guys.


I am just about to complete my first build. I bought a stripped Anderson lower and parts kit. It was a blast to put together after watching a couple YouTube videos. I bought a complete upper from PSA and a stock and buffer kit. I also spent some time polishing the mil spec trigger parts. It was really a labor of love. Waiting for my APOC Armory bcg then to the range!


Im waiting to get me lower out of 10 day hold and the day after i get to go get a ca compliant mag lock. Then i get to build mine so hopefully by the end of next week i will have pics of mine.

If you go featureless you can drop mags like an oper8or! Lol

Im gonna do the lock for now. By this time next year ill be in Texas droping 30 round mags all day.

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18" or 20" theres just a slight difference in velocity… If starting with a stripped lower just get a good rated parts kit, take your time and it’l be great… Rifle length butt for nice recoil tracking on the bags. I actually like the triggers that come in a good parts kit but a Gieselle 2 stage couldnt hurt. For accuracy (groups) main thing to keep in mind is the weight of the bullet with regard to the rifling. Fast rate of twist your going to want a heavier bullet. If you have your choice of barrel consider this, a 1 in 12 rate of twist has potential to shoot bug hole size groups with standard 55 grain ammo which obviously is the most readily avail. If you get a finished upper then it’l probably be a 1 in 7 8 or 9" which will mean between 60 and 70 grains will be needed to stabilize the bullet… in this case I would start with 64 grainers. A muzzle break will help too. If your hand loading watch out for a tight chamber as if your not careful with your cases one could end up jammed in there. Easiest way to tell is mic a once fired factory case and check it. Minimum size base dies might be in order. A tight chamber is a good thing for accuracy. Sorry for being so long winded.

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I just finished my first build this week. I would definitely say starting from a stripped lower was an awesome experience. I would recommend just swinging by your local gun shop and see what stripped lowers they have on hand. As for a lower part kit for said lower, check out Red Barn Armory, they have an awesome Lower Parts Kit that allows customize what comes in it with some added cost savings.

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Right now I am looking at a 1 in 10 twist 223 Wylde barrel I think I may stick with the 18 if it doesn’t make a world of difference. I live by Rainier Arms so I will stop in and check you what they have as far as stripped lowers. thanks for all the help guys!

stick with 18 if you plan to run n gun. 20 is good if all it is gonna do is bipod off a shooting bench

Stainless bull barrel 223wylde would help but pretty expensive but accurate, for Best accuracy you might want to load your own bullets to see what best works with your rig.