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My First AR-15 Build Is Complete!


Last Summer, I bought my first AR-15 – an M&P 15OR (OR=Optics Ready).  Initially, the only accessory item I purchased for it was an Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic).  Here’s a (bad iPhone) photo of how the rifle looked back in July when I first got it:

Since purchasing it, I’ve slowly purchased more parts and accessories, in some cases replacing the existing components which came stock on the rifle.  During the winter of 2011, I ordered the final components I wanted to install, and got the opportunity to take the rifle out today and give it a try.  Here’s what my AR-15 now looks like:

When I’m not running it with the Harris bipod, I keep a SIG Sauer Stoplite vertical forward grip attached as seen here:

I’ll probably regret this exercise, but here’s a list of all the components which have been added to my M&P 15, including the rifle itself for a total build cost.  Where possible, I’ll include some links to the components I purchased.  In some cases, there may be some price differences from what I actually paid (these things tend to fluctuate).

M&P 15OR – $900.00

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Optic – $400.00

Aimpoint 3X Magnifier W/Twist mount – $680.00

Hogue Rubber Grip Ar-15/M-16 Rubber Grip with Finger Grooves – $15.00

DD Omega Carbine Rail 7.0 Black – $220.00

Geissele Super Semi Automatic SSA AR-15 Trigger – $200.00

BCM Bolt Carrier Group – $139.00

Harris Engineering S-BRM bipod – $95.00

Troy Industries Front Folding M4 Style Battle Sight – $93.00

Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight Rear – $118.00

Sig Sauer Stl-300J Stoplite  – $250.00

 TOTAL PRICE:  $3,110.00

Yep, I knew I’d be kicking myself if I totaled up everything I’d spent on my AR-15…over three grand.  On the plus side, it’s a fantastic rifle as configured!  🙂  Would I do anything differently in a second build?  In a word, yes.  In fact, I am going to build a 2nd AR-15.  The idea behind having a 2nd rifle will be to have one set up for “close quarters” combat/home defense (it will have the Sig Stoplite VFG installed) and one set up for more precision/distance shooting with the Harris bipod attached.  If all goes well, I’ll be starting with a higher grade AR-15, (a Colt – which most consider to be the pinnacle of AR-15 manufacturers) and actually pay less than my M&P 15 build.  My chosen dealer should receive his shipment of Colt 6940 rifles in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for Part II of this article!

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

  1. very nice

  2. love it! very impressive piece of work!


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