God bless America, where one of the tougher decisions a patriot makes is whether to buy a completed rifle, or build their own. I would say that if you can afford it, do both. Buying complete builds keeps legendary manufacturers engaged in the industry and fuels local business. But if you could only choose one, then build. And there are really three major camps when it comes down to why. One would have it that building is cheaper, the others say building a custom rig suits shooters better, and the last bunch are the silent majority.
Building from scratch is cheaper. This argument is a no brainer. For example; a DPMS Oracle 223 sells for $740, while the same rifle as an ar-15 build kit (assembly required) sells for up to hundreds of dollars less, depending on where you get it. Same goes for Del-Ton; you can save anywhere from $150-200 by picking up a kit vs a pre-assembled rifle.
Building from ar-15 parts also gives you the ability to customize your rifle from the get-go. Rather than having to disassemble rifle to install new parts (which causes unnecessary wear and tear) the gun goes together exactly the way YOU want it the first time. Not to mention the fact that when you buy a rifle, then buy all the custom parts to swap out, you significantly drive your cost up (reinforcing the first idea that building is cheaper).
This brings us over to the last camp. Every gun owner knows the pressure that has been building in the political arena to effectively nullify the second amendment. If congress can make it so difficult, so burdensome, and so costly to own, a de-facto ban would essentially exist. As California sets the pace to expand the definition of assault weapons, mandate registration or forfeiture, and all other manner of jack-assery, patriots are looking to ensure their freedom by any means. Building from an 80% lower means that there is no record of it ever having existed. No serial number means no DROS, which means no trace. So should the frightful day ever come when jackbooted corporate thugs come to confiscate, you can ensure the safety of your loved ones by peacefully complying. After they have left with your registered arms, you still have your 80’s hidden away and your freedom intact.
No matter your reason for wanting to build vs buy, the important thing to remember is to just get it done. A great place to start is by browsing our AR-15 Build Kits.