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New here; about to begin first 308 build


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Good evening from Upstate New York. Some of you may have seen my posts hijacking the Ceratac discussion thread. I am eagerly awaiting the kit to arrive tomorrow but won't get started building immediately. I still have a few details to work out yet involving measurements.

I recently became fascinated with 80% builds and have a few going at the moment in various states of completion. I spent three and a half days (usually just a few hours each evening) milling out my very first AR-15 80% lower, and then another day working out the FCG. I still use that rifle a few times a week as both a beater and a personal favorite shooting targets at home. If only the ammo were cheaper... Living in New York I definitely get riled up once in a while about all the "features" that aren't allowed here (with a semi-auto and removable magazine). Seeing all the great builds on this site does make me a bit jealous. Pretty sure these NYS builds will at least be worth a good laugh to all of you living in free states.

Without many 80% .308 options available I chose one that seemed like it could be alright; though I'm quite sure literally everyone considers it a budget option. I don't plan to use it all that much; simply as a hunting rifle and for the occasional shots at paper targets. But, like everything else in this hobby, something tells me that building just one 308 isn't going to be enough. Might as well try a second one after this, maybe a Frankenstein of some sort.

I want to say thanks to everyone that replied to my earlier messages inquiring about the various AR style 308s. I think I'm finally starting to be able to pick out the various nuances between them. Honestly I still have no idea about all these new gen2/gen3, etc. that are now coming out. In due time I hope. 

All the best,

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everybody! I just started my first .308 a few hours ago. I had been checking all my numbers over and over; I just couldn't wait any longer. I actually have my first AK-47 build going at the same time so I can always take a break from the .308 if needed. I know I'm still outside the box on this one because I'm just stubborn (not buying a jig, which I think is like training wheels on a motorcycle). Not in a rush until November when whitetail season starts here. I would like to get it sighted in though, and replace anything defective beforehand. 

I have just started breaking in my CMMG .22lr adapter with a dedicated AR-15. So far it's off the wall every now and then so I'm considering the whole CMMG .22 barrel and I'm not totally sure if I need a new CMMG BCG for that or I can just take the tip off this one. I'll work that out in time; I've been running it dirty under 200 rounds so it might get better if I clean up. 

This AR-308 from Ceratac really seems nice enough for the price. I'm intrigued, and really enjoy finishing 80%s as a stress relief. Not many options outside of DPMS; which I wrote off months ago because of all the Gen whatever crap. It was fine until everybody starting introducing small changes and still calling it Generation 2. I don't want to play that game. I'm also interested to get into the real Armalite AR-10a sometime soon before it gets priced out of this world.

Somebody said you could buy half crates of AK parts kits for $400 before things got weird. W T F?! If I only knew then...


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59 minutes ago, Lane said:

(not buying a jig, which I think is like training wheels on a motorcycle). 

The jig is there to help save folks from themselves while completing their lowers on machines that don't have the necessary rigidity otherwise. What the jig is supposed to do is physically prevent tooling from going places it shouldn't, which is a good thing if you are completing your lower on anything lighter than a knee mill. 

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You're 100% correct on that matter sir. I'm actually in that boat myself; running a compound table on a very small drill press. There are some marks inside my very first AR-15 lower from my learning experience in that respect. I was trying to take too big of a cut and as the tool entered an open area the teeth caught, and everything began to violent shake. I've learned to take my time and run smaller bits if I want to move faster, or take larger bites. I had considered taking out the vertical support and welding rebar inside of it but haven't found it to be completely necessary yet. I do have a scissor jack between the motor and original drill press table which is swung around backwards. That seems to help in keeping the machine from flexing too much under load. I suspect it wouldn't survive making a hundred lowers, but it hasn't shown any serious signs of fatigue yet. Jigs are certainly great for people who want that professional look with cheap or handheld tools; I just don't think they should be mandatory.

I've been avoiding the jig myself for a few reasons. The cost is very high for what it really is. I understand there is R&D, marketing cost, etc.; but all of the relevant information is freely available for the AR-15. I had originally asked Certatac about measurements for this particular AR-308 lower, and they refused to provide them. I ended up asking 5D tactical a few pointed questions to find out what I needed to know about it. I don't see a reason why the measurements aren't freely available now. Is there some benefit to creating and perhaps owning the intellectual property for a new design? Given this is called a SR-762 style 80% lower, I don't think Ceratac has any ownership of the design or measurements; but maybe as a result they aren't allowed to share? I really don't know the whole story, or what other factors may be involved here.

I still haven't nailed down exactly how many different (measurement) variations of .308 lowers there are, it seems like half a dozen would be a very conservative estimate.

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On 9/18/2018 at 8:51 PM, sketch said:

The rigid slow start router is the way to go.

Thanks for the tip sketch; I assume you meant "Ridgid" as the brand name but didn't find anything about a slow start. I need to set up a router table for rebuilding/replacing window frames that have rotted out in the house, and I do want them to look nice. I am certainly curious about this slow start, but didn't find anything with a few different Google searches. I presume a slow start is meant to make the initial plunge area cleaner so it doesn't jump all over the place? I suppose it might not matter for a table mounted router, but all the routers I own don't fit the table I have now. I'm going to need to buy another table, or another router if I don't find an adapter that works (and I haven't yet).

I didn't get around to punching any paper today but will likely have another go tomorrow. I'm still tempted to keep gouging out my .308 lower, but trying to hold off for measurements. Maybe it's worth a full reverse engineering attempt, but I'd rather not waste money if I can help it. For all I know I'll "need" a bigger caliber build as soon as this one is finished so I would rather spend cash on that than replacing something I messed up rushing through this first one.

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its the compact model. you can adjust the depth in small increments with the dial to ease of cherping to much aluminum. and the slow start helps as you stated the" jump" ?https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-5-5-Amp-Corded-Compact-Fixed-Base-Router-R24012/100337039

Edited by sketch
good shits.
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