So after a good minute shopping for parts and things I liked I finished my AR build last night. Well mostly, I still need to top it off with optics. I would love good recommendations for mid-price range optics. Not looking to spend more or double for the optics than I did for the build. Here is the parts list of what I have into it. You are better off ordering it all at once to save on shipping, but most stuff I tried to get on free shipping or order at high enough $$ to get free shipping.
Spikes Tactical Forged Lower Reciever- $99.00 T $10 FFL fee.
NBS Slick Side Billet Upper Receiver (I like the look of no forward assist, we'll see if I regret it later) $75.95
Strike Industries Ultimate Dust Cover - .223/5/56 - Capsule, Black - $14.95
NBS 18" .223 Wylde Stainless Spiral Fluted 1:8 Mid-Length Heavy Barrel- $109.95 ( I felt it was a budget barrel, but looked good, we'll see if it shoots)
ODIN Works Low Profile Gas Block- $26.05
Ballistic Advantage Melonite Gas Tube, Midlength- $14.25
Trinity Force Cobra Mil Spec Stock & Buffer Kit - Black- $29.95 (Seems fine, but I don't like the slop of the stock on the buffer tube, it rattles)
Strike Industries Phantom Latchless Charging Handle Black- $33.95 and Strike Industries ISO-Tab for Phantom Latchless Charging Handle- Black $11.95
Strike Industries Strike Billet Magazine Catch- $13.95
Strike Industries Checkmate Compensator .223/5.56- $35
M16 CHROME BCG NO FA SERRATIONS- $79.99
15 IN LO-PRO SLOPE NOSE FF QUAD RAIL- $124
Magpul- Trigger Guard- $7.95
Rise Armament- LPK $26
Rise Armament RA 140 Single Stage Trigger- $85
Hogue Grip- $20
I had originally bought a Noreen Billet Lower Reciever and had started the build and the magwell was out of spec and no mags would drop in. I sent it back and they are going to fix it but I didn't want to wait for them to fix it as they were saying it was going to be a couple weeks. So I am sure I spent extra money on inconsequential stuff that I could have spent more on the barrel or optics, but that is the fun of doing your own build. You get what you want aesthetically.
I also bought the following tools and items:
Trinity Force AR-15 Upper & Lower Vice Block Combo - $14.24
Aim Sports AR-15 / M4 / M16 Armorer's Wrench- $20.95
Dirty Bird Industries Aeroshell 33MS Barrel Nut Grease Kit - $7.95
Harbor Freight 1/2" Torque Wrench- $19.99
All in on AR parts sans optics and mount I'm sitting at $817.89
For tools and assembly items I spent $63.13 Assembly time for me is longer because I had the whole lower Noreen Receiver assembled before I realized that the magwell was out of spec, so I had to strip it all down and start over. Last night I probably got it put together in about 2 hours. I used this video for reference, which was amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8sY5CQmlHI&list=WL&index=4&t=0s All in all I think it turned out great, just need to put the optic cherry on top and get a sling. It was a fun experience and am sure this will be the first build of many.