The Big Brown Truck Of Happiness arrived today with my latest shipment from Rock River Arms. In addition to the buttstock/buffer, I also ordered a selection of magazines to see what I liked.
I ordered the Milspec Tactical CAR Buttstock, which is simply a standard M4-style collapsable stock. The install was very straightforward and simple. I followed the Brownells instructions, but opted for blue Loctite on the buffer tube threads instead of staking the castle nut. I got to use my AR-15 Armorer's wrench for the first time, and I'm happy that I purchased it.
For the magazines, I ordered 2 of each type RRA offers - PMAG, standard milspec, and Fusil MIG-welded steel.
I am somewhat of a traditionalist, and I don't particularly care for the use of plastic in firearms in general. Even though the PMAGs get rave reviews, I was quite skeptical that they could be as good as steel magazines. After opening up and inspecting the magazines, it became evident to me that the PMAGs are not just a remake of an AR magazine in plastic. No, they are quite an improvement on the original design, and I can see why folks love them. The ridges and channels that guide the follower in the housing make it impossible for the follower to tilt. They are also considerably more solid than I expected them to be. I am looking forward to seeing how these magazines perform once the rifle is built.
When comparing the magazines, the Fusil mags have a nice solid feel to them, as well as a beautiful black finish. The reviews I've read online indicate that they're tough and durable. When compared to the mil-spec mags, they certainly seem to be worth the extra five dollars.
I'm unsure of what I'll be ordering for my next shipment, as the upper will pretty much need to be all there for any further assembly. It will likely include the bolt carrier group, as RRA currently has the chromed option on sale for the standard carrier group price.