Build an AR-15 Rifle Shopping / Parts List, My First DIY with Prices

UPDATE 01/04/2014
Installed canted sights and replaced low profile gas block with a dual rail block. I’m left handed, BTW.

UPDATE 12/27/2013
Switched out to the UTG Pro Slim Handguard.

UPDATE 12/15/2013
Here’s a picture of it with all the attachments (minus the bipod which I’ll put on later)

At the bottom is the shopping list for the items I purchased to build my first AR-15. For the Upper and Lower Components, and for a 20″ Barreled AR-15, it cost about $700.00. Building your own, even if it’s just purchasing pre-assembled uppers and lowers, is the most cost effective method. I probably would had gone with the pre-assembled route, but Palmetto State Armory had Black Friday deals that were so good it was more cost effective for me to build it from scratch.


  1. Price
  2. Flexibility
  3. Accuracy
  4. Power
  5. Range
  6. Weight
  7. Looks

Parts Purchased from

AIM Sports AR Armorer’s Kit ATARAK Review


$40 Nightstand / Bedside Handgun Safe

The following is a post I did at

TITLE: Nightstand Handgun Safe Options with Children In House

UPDATE: 11/20/2013
Here’s a video of my nightstand installation:

UPDATE: 11/14/2013

I ended up purchasing the Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe with Electronic Lock and picked up at Walmart (ship to store for free to also maintain warranty and return it easier if necessary). I have it propped upside down, on the side next to my bed, so that when I put the combo in, the lid will be able to fall down easier with gravity.

The buttons do feel a little “mushy” and it’s hard to tell if they pressed correctly or not with the audible beeps turned off. A yellow light blinks every time you push the button down, but with it upside down and on the ground, it’s very hard to see.

I’d say, I’m very happy for the $40 I spent on it as a starter safe. I’ll know more as time goes on.

UPDATE: 11/5/2013
Looks like the Stack-On PDS-500 was the winner for $36.80 (Used, Like New).

Just mount it vertical, upside down, and the door should plop open with gravity. The batteries won’t be an issue since I ultimately plan on opening it daily so I’ll be able to tell the battery life that way.

And according to their website: “Approved by the California Department of Justice as meeting their standards for firearm safety.”…-2/products/56

It’s my first starter gun and the price is so minimal, even if I don’t use it for a gun, I’m sure I could think of other uses as my 3 babies grow and I need to secure additional items away from their curious hands.

Thanks everyone for your links on other manufacturer’s and options. It really gave me multiple things to think about. Perhaps in the future, I’ll find it prudent to invest in something more expensive.

I have small children in the house, and I want to have a handgun CONTAINER within arms reach of my bedside that can also be opened easily should I need to retrieve it quickly. I’m guessing biometric, or a quick punch code combo. Theft is not the concern. Just keeping my kids from touching the gun and sending me to jail.

I’m assuming I’ll also want to make sure it’s DOJ CA compliant:

I was looking at the Gunvault SpeedVault SV500 as an option, but I don’t know if it’s DOJ CA compliant [EDIT: It IS DOJ Compliant: Any other popular options out there?

I know there’s the option of taking it out of one of my other gun safes and putting it bedside, but that’ll also require me to remember 100% to put it back every morning, which I don’t want to rely on.

This one seems to be the cheapest option at only $39.97!…jeffersocom-20