No company today makes a good retro AR like the Colt 601's and 603's, so building is the option.
Comment made by on 2016-08-20 16:23:32
The more you learn and know about a rifle, the less satisfied you are with what a rifle company decides is best for every customer. It is easier and cheaper to take the standard model offered by a decent company and be done, but it is way more satisfying to replace all the parts you don't prefer with the parts you do. If you build one (part by part) it will cost you more in the long run. I would take a 100% factory Colt over some random amalgamations I have seen for sale at gun shows, but I know I could build one that would run perfectly (because 90% of the parts would be standard MIL-SPEC anyways). I choose my build over any other option because I have a better idea of where all the parts came from, I am confident it will be put together properly and I know it will run right.
If you are relatively new to the AR-15, I recommend buying your first from a good company, run it for several hundred rounds, and then build if you want another one after that. It is easy to loose faith in any machine design if you have never seen one run right.
Comment made by Bruce on 2016-08-21 11:06:02
I agree with the previous comment. ARs are similar to 1911s in that a cheapo is OK, but to get a really good one you either fork out the bucks in buying a big name, or piece it together yourself. The advantage in piecing, in my opinion, is you start by replacing what's important to yo, the charging handle, the pistol grip, and use those bits until you find the next part you would enjoy bettered. You end up with what you can afford when you can afford and appreciate it, as well as some pride in the effort and in what you've learned. Sooo much to learn.
Comment made by Chuck on 2016-09-04 17:34:32
Just like anything else, you get what you pay for. A Colt will run you in the $1,100 range and if you build a decent one you will be in the $1,100 or up depending on how decent :).