I am relatively positive that every firearm owner is on one of these steps or transitioning to the next just wanted to get that out of the way in the beginning. Everyone including myself has started at a baseline of firearm ownership pistol, rifle, shotgun or the “pyramid of firearms” as I like to call it.
See, you build your base with a pistol and rifle then add the shotgun later. Generally people get started with the phrase “something is better than nothing”. I have done it I am sure that you have too. Let’s face it we have all had Anderson or M&P sport AR-15 at some point. Which is fine for a beginner rifle and honestly most Anderson or M&P sports I see today they literally have just the stripped lower left from the factory. Have you ever asked yourself why when you see that? I know that I. Have you seen a $40 lower surrounded by $1500 in quality parts and you immediately think what in the world was he thinking.
Exactly like most of you I got my first one because of Sandy Hook when they said I may not get one if I don’t get it right then and there. So I picked up a $40 stripped Anderson lower and hopped right on eBay for the rest of the build. This was back in the good old days when AR-15 parts were still sold on there . So I did the rookie thing with the $29 lower parts kits and $70 bolt carrier group and $9 charging handle from China and $60 no name cheapo M4 profile barrel and $30 free float rail ETC, I was a happy camper finishing that build.
The build was great, my first one. Now granted I could never achieve even a 2” MOA with it because the barrel was basically so low of quality I started to think it was me honestly, so I picked up a Wilson Combat match barrel and bolt carrier group. I thought I was crazy spending more on a match barrel and BCG then I did on my entire build. However, I was getting 1” MOA out of it all day so it kind of restored faith in myself it got me thinking if I could do better so I ordered a CMC drop in and with every part I ordered my shots groups kept getting tighter and tighter.
I started noticing the error of my ways after that build after a lot of the no name parts started failing. I dropped the AR one day from my truck while I was unloading it at the range and it broke the rail loose and completely ruined my day. Next thing was a Yankee Hill Machine free float rail and the company I ordered from had a special that with a YHM rail purchase you received an extended latched charging handle which was awesome so I went for it. It came in the mail and it felt really solid, so I said to myself, “this is going on today and I am going full snob on my next build”.
Trust me it gets old having to defend your parts choices every time you post a picture on social media. It got to the point that I just gave the rifle to my father and ordered all new parts for a new build on a Noveske lower just to avoid the people online. Everything was either Noveske or Wilson Combat just so I could proudly display my masterpiece! It had nothing but compliments and it shot considerably better than my first build I was very content with it. One thing that I would never admit to the gun snobs is… they were right even though I should of because they seriously were correct about almost everything.
Fast forward to today and I am a hybrid snob myself. I gained the knowledge of what works and what does not work. Now I am not going to knock eBay parts because let’s face it all the big names and quality parts are on there now, and Amazon as well.
Most of the time you can even catch a deal on them which is good because if you can be a snob and still save a few bucks then you feel better in the end. Now today the big problem is there are tons of new companies and some make some pretty innovative stuff too and good quality. That’s why I enjoy doing the reviews I do because if they make a good quality part it should be known and on the snob list.
I guess where I am getting with all of this is sometimes you have to listen to experience and not be hard headed if you are going to build. Then keep an open mind and if it is your first build ask lots of questions. It is better to buy once and cry once trust me. Unless you are just buying it to buy it for the next scare of course then by all means scoop them up by the bulk! Every rifle has a purpose though so try not to forget that it is better to educate than insult.
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