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aquaman
June 16, 2017, 18:56
My brother has a birthday next month, I'm thinking about a gift.

He's been asking about good deals on lightweight uppers for a few months. I've steered clear of PSA freedom products but this (http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-16-mid-length-5-56-nato-1-8-stainless-freedom-keymod-lightweight-upper-no-bcg-or-ch.html) has caught my attention. It's a $220 16" Midlength upper with a lightweight stainless barrel 1:8

My thoughts are:
If it shoots accurately, it's a great bargain
If it shoots poorly, replace the barrel and... It's still a reasonably priced upper.

What are other considerations I might be missing here?

rowjimmy
June 16, 2017, 19:09
I have a couple of the freedom line melonite barrels and think they're accurate enough and an exceptional value for the money.

They just had railed rifle kits for sale (with magpul mbus sights) For $19 shipped. Add a $40 receiver and you've got a $460 AR that is ready to rock and roll.

hueyville
June 17, 2017, 12:53
$449 gets a Smith M&P 15 off the rack built with factory warranty right now and LGS has two aluminum lower rifles at $399 off the rack and a polymer lower for $379. No idea on quality of the $379 or $399 rifles but most buyers walk out the door with Wolf steel case ammo even though we "reccomend" they use brass but tell them the steel works in many cases. Not having anymore of the sub $400 rifles returned with issues than the plus $1,000 range. Really odd, wondering if the folks making these super cheap AR's are anticipating steel case ammo in their client base?

As to OP's question does not have BCG & charging handle? So add $79 to $99 for BCG and $15 for charging handle and you are right, if barrel has issue can catch hammer forged barrel on sale for $89 to $99 do a swap and be rocking along. If capable of swapping and pinning FSB on a barrel change other option is a $59 upper, $89 sale hammer forged barrel, $20 handguards, $79 sale BCG and $10 charging handle and your up to $260 with for end cap, Delta ring assembly and barrel nut.

Right now Palmetto has their 16" M4 barrel on sale for $99, premium BCG $89 and if willing to hop over to CDNN for $59 upper and $10 charging handle plus some of the other small parts between the two companies can build a pretty nice upper. Palmetto gigs you on charging handles at $25 so with a $90 bolt your $220 Freedom upper $335 plus shipping and here in Georgia they hit us with sales tax. Shipping and sales tax is $50 in my cart so it's a $385 upper complete and can buy a complete, running AR for $399 locally. Not trying to piss on your parade but I count down to every freaking penny on an AR build. Might have a $390 barrel if need for application but if building a lead hose the $99 Palmetto M4 barrel is much better than the Freedom Stainless for durability. Don't even have to test the Freedom as shot out a number of stainless barrels and have two bump rifles with their M4 nitride barrel and the deep salt bath finish adds a lot of durability and shoots pretty well. About 20 ways to skin this cat as can always find a Faxon barrel on sale somewhere but if source from too many vendors then shipping eats your savings unless buying multiples. Recently ordered from five vendors to get all the ancillary parts to build 12 rifles already had receivers and barrels for but spreading shipping times five over a dozen units and the math worked.

Bottom line, always look at Palmetto or anyone's upper deals to see if BCG and charging handle is included. I purchased my first completed upper from them early last year as was complete, used their premium BCG and 4170 hammer forged barrel cheaper than could source individual parts at best prices over multiple vendors. Was such a deal ordered three and all have been perfect.

Blackmore
June 17, 2017, 13:03
$449 gets a Smith M&P 15 off the rack built with factory warranty right now

PSA has also been selling the Ruger AR556 for $450 to your dealer's door lately. Another factory rifle and with Ruger's customer service.

hueyville
June 17, 2017, 13:12
$19 more, gets you M4 1:7 nitride barrel, BCG with Carpenter 158 bolt and charging handle.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/ptac-16-m4-1-7-upper-with-bolt-carrier-group-and-charging-handle.html

This is an "almost as cheap as can build yourself" deal. And it's not Freedom. Have the barrel on this on a few of my super bargain build as end of 2015 it dropped to $59 and could not resist a few. Put on lead hoses that I treat like $20 crack hoes in a dark alley. All still actually shoot quite well even with the fact they all went in a batch of Slidefire stocks I bought for $89 each and we were mag dumping them till too hot to hold. Eventually got bored and when realized had a five gallon bucket overflowing with brass after a couple weekends abusing them bump fire had lost some of its initial giggles and grins. Still drag them out to let people compare Slidefire, bump triggers and binary triggers so can decide what they are getting for price point investing. Anytime someone wants to bring some brass case ammo will let them run the rifles right to point handguards start smoking then let cool down.

rowjimmy
June 17, 2017, 13:54
$19 more, gets you M4 1:7 nitride barrel, BCG with Carpenter 158 bolt and charging handle.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/ptac-16-m4-1-7-upper-with-bolt-carrier-group-and-charging-handle.html

This is an "almost as cheap as can build yourself" deal. And it's not Freedom. Have the barrel on this on a few of my super bargain build as end of 2015 it dropped to $59 and could not resist a few. Put on lead hoses that I treat like $20 crack hoes in a dark alley. All still actually shoot quite well even with the fact they all went in a batch of Slidefire stocks I bought for $89 each and we were mag dumping them till too hot to hold. ....

I'd stay away form the PTAC stuff...had one that grouped terribly and sent it back. Notice how they put in the ad "expected to group within mil-spec." Those barrels are not shooters in my experience. I think they got a bunch sent back and is why they include that caveat about accuracy.

Falfan2017
June 17, 2017, 14:50
If it were me I'd cough up a couple more bucks and just get the ruger ar556

Falfan2017
June 17, 2017, 14:55
Also for something a bit more unique bear creek arsenal is selling side charging uppers complete with bcg for 139$

NHBandit
June 17, 2017, 19:01
Check with Jason at Andro Corp for complete uppers. Don't pay the website price. Call him..

HankC
June 21, 2017, 19:45
I'd stay away form the PTAC stuff...had one that grouped terribly and sent it back. Notice how they put in the ad "expected to group within mil-spec." Those barrels are not shooters in my experience. I think they got a bunch sent back and is why they include that caveat about accuracy.


There was a bad batch with rough bores maybe 5 yrs ago, they took them back. I had couple PTAC uppers from the batch, PSA took care of me. I still have 2 or 3 PTACs, all good shooters! The diffrerence is the bore is not treated with anything and finish is parkerized.