So Im thinking of getting my first AR when taxes come in. I have read some on them and fired a few rounds from a couple but know very little about the finer points. I have shopped around a bit looking at different ones and a friend also mentioned that you can build your own for less money or better for same money as buying complete. I have pretty much settled that if I buy complete I will most likely go with a DPMS or Core15 in an M4 type configuration but am also thinking I want to figure up what it would cost to build my own. Being so new to ARs though and having so many options Im trying to sort out what I NEED, what I want and whats just hype so figured I would pop in and see what advise I could come up with. So basic requirements for the finished project..... Money is very much of an object, I looking at a budget of around $1250 tops for everything right down to mags, sling etc. Reliability is obviously a top concern and also I want high accuracy. Not much fun to me if with good ammo and me doing my part it wont tear up a quarter at 100 yards and better, dimes are preferred. Durability is also somewhat an issue, I wont be battering down doors with it but don't want anything breaking if falls on the floor either. I don't care much about looks and names just that it dose what I want at a price I can afford and I do prefer metal parts over plastic which is why if I buy complete leaning more to the Core15 than the DPMS. Rifle would also likely be part time trunk gun since I work (and usually stay) a couple hours drive from my farm for bug out gun and also since I provide personal security and some clients go to crazy areas at bad times may be there as a patrol carbine. so versatility is important. Based on what I do know some of the features Im pretty sure I want are; 1:7 bbl since I plan to shoot a lot of heavier bullet weights 5.56/.223 bbl for versatility 16" bbl length Ambidextrous mag release and safety since I mostly shoot left handed beveled mag well for easier mag swap varmint scope since I like making jagged holes at the end of the range flip up back up sites M4 feed ramps (been told by a couple big boost for reliability but if hype let me know) good trigger adjustable stock with storage Im also considering; extended or tactical charge handle A2 muzzle brake for less muzzle flip debating chrome lined and or floated barrel So was hoping to get some input as to what stuff Im looking at is pure hype and not going to help any for what I want, what Im forgetting, what stuff will give the best bang for the buck and other suggestions and figured this has always been a pretty good place to get helpful advise. Any thoughts including if Im likely to be better off building from the start or buying a completed gun and then modify it?