Welcome to the first sponsored giveaway at ARPartsFinder.com.  Originally I had intended to run this event on my own, but I contacted a few merchants that work closely with the site and these guys stepped up and immediately offered to sponsor items.  Be sure to give these merchants a look whenever you are in the market for items they carry as they are all “good people” with whom I would not hesitate to spend my money.  Depending on how this goes, we may try to do this on a regular basis…

I will be selecting 5 winners at the end of the event and will be matching up one of the bundles below to each winner, randomly matched by myself.  This event will run from December 2nd, 2013 until 10pm EST on December 9th, 2013.  I will announce the winners within 24 hours of the end of this event.


Winners have been chosen and are as follows –

Blake Darche – Bundle 1
Chris Jeter – Bundle 2
Lindz Settle – Bundle 3
Michael Barr – Bundle 4
Chris Winkler – Bundle 5

Bundle 1 (sponsored by Bauer Precision):

  • Battle Arms Ambi Safety Selector (BAD-ASS)
  • ALG Combat Trigger (ACT)
  • Battle Arms patch and sticker


Bundle 2 (sponsored by Red Barn Armory):

  • Spike Battle Trigger Set
  • KNS Gen ST Non-Rotating Trigger/Hammer Pins .154 Diameter


Bundle 3 (sponsored by Eagle Armory):

  • Magpul MOE AR-15 Black Grip (MAG415-BLK)
  • Magpul MOE Polymer Black Trigger Guard (MAG417-BLK)
  • TVG Command Arms Three Finger Vertical Grip
  • Blackhawk Universal Tactical Sling
  • Otis 5.56mm Chamber Brush
  • Southern Bloomer 200 pack of 22 cal cleaning patches


Bundles 4 & 5 (sponsored by ARPartsFinder):

  • Blackhawk Lower Parts Kit


To be added to the pool of potential winners, just follow the steps below.  Be aware that although we are using Facebook for parts of this giveaway, this is not a Facebook giveaway.

Step 1: Click the each of the links below and then click Like to become a fan of their company/page.  If you do not do this and you are selected as a winner, I will randomly pick someone else to take your place.  It would be sad.

Bauer Precision
Eagle Armory
Red Barn Armory

Step 2:  Click the link below and make a comment.  Also feel free to Share, but know that this is not required… just appreciated!


Good luck!

*Winners must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the US.  Facebook is not associated with this giveaway, did not sponsor any prizes, and is only being used as a promotional medium.


When choosing a stripped upper, it’s not usually about what is right with the part.  In most cases upper receivers are very similar with only minor variances, so the key is really what is wrong with the part.  How about I help you find one that seems to have done it all right?

With that I would like to introduce a new brand named Iron Sight 15.  You can find them at http://www.isfifteen.com/.

Now, I got a blemished receiver from these guys as they are only $90.  Not a bad price huh?  “I don’t want blemished Mike!”  No problem, how about a non-blem for $119 with a $15 discount code (JUNE2013) you can use all month long in June for $100+ purchases?  That is pretty solid as well for the quality of materials and manufacturing quality you get on this forged upper.

When I am looking for “what’s wrong” with an upper… I am looking for sharp edges, thread issues, finish material issues, and so forth.  I’ll be honest and say that I couldn’t find an issue with the quality.   Even the one blemish was a minor finish material issue under the forward assist shroud that I could live with as I don’t have safe queens.  This also lets me know that IS15 checks the quality of each item and doesn’t try to pass a blemished off as a non-blem.

I have some new lowers coming, one of which I will mate to this upper and build another rifle.  There is something about the logo I really like.  I prefer most of my ARs to be pretty bare, but I do like logos on some items when they are visually striking.  I think this one fits the bill for me.

Take a look at the images here and on AR15news.com at http://www.ar15news.com/2013/06/10/fathers-day-sale-iron-sight-15-upper-receivers/

IS15 IS15 IS15


As for the stats:

Forged Stripped Upper Receiver (Flattop)
High Quality – Precision machined to proper M16/M4 Specs

•7075 T6 Aluminum
•M4 Feed ramps
•.250” takedown holes
•High Quality machining
•Tumbled and deburring
•Vapor Degreased
•Stainless Steel Blasted
•Hardcoat Anodize Type III Class 2 black per MIL-A-8625
•(ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certified)
•Mil standard 1913 Picatinny accessory rail, with “T” markings
•Laser Etching on left side of receiver

What a night.

I was in the middle of working on back end site changes and my pc just reboots.  Ok then.  That’s not cool.  So, I start it up again and start opening programs and “crash/reboot” again.  Now the video is acting funny and I have to reboot again to get it working.  I swap video cards since I have a new PC I built back in Feb and never used due to working on the site.  Still crashes soon after boot.

Ok… so I am about 30 seconds from snapping my keyboard in half.  Take 5 min break and let it boot again.  Finally notice something.  When Chrome starts (which I use instead of IE/Firefox) the computer lasts about 30 seconds to a minute and then reboots again.  I uninstall Chrome and reinstall.  Start up Chrome and about 30 seconds later it reboots the PC.  I’m not happy, but at least it’s obvious what the cause of my issues likely are caused by.  Google search shows I am not alone, so I follow the advice of one post and install portable apps version of Chrome and I am able to use my browser again.  I did uninstall the official Chrome so I don’t accidentally start it up.

Holy crap!  I’m done with back end changes for the day.  I lost several hours of work, so I am going to work on some site additions for a little bit to relax.

UPDATE:  Ok, spoke too soon.  I am finishing the setup of the new computer I built in Feb.  Seems there is likely something in Win7 that is hosed on the old machine as well… chrome may instantly crash it but the system is having other indications of some corrupted OS files.  I am actually pretty glad I already had another machine completely ready except for some software installs.

Being sick last week caused a few problems in getting some items on my task list completed on schedule.  The good news is there were some other site issues that came up during the week that I had been putting off for a long time, which are being resolved now.  You probably noticed some of the changes and not the rest.  The change of the category names for Uppers was likely seen by some.  Some of the parts moving from the wrong categories to the correct ones may have been caught by some as well.  Larger back end changes this weekend were most certainly missed.  This leads to the main topic for this update…

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I have had a lot of people ask what it takes for the site to do what it does.  Even though I touch on a few points in the FAQ, I figured a quick write up wouldn’t hurt.

Likely not surprising, the site runs on a dedicated VM with a database at my hosting company, with all the pages being dynamically created when you request them… much like many sites you visit.  Where we diverge from most of those other sites is the additional VM dedicated to handling site scraping/feeds and submitting those results to the previously mentioned database.  The whole thing was custom written from scratch based on a quick pseudo-code block I wrote in Emacs (think notepad, but for unix) the first week.  That same write up turned into a longer to-do list, which is still very long with all the future stuff I want to implement.

By the way, I typically use the word “scan” when I mention adding a new retailer on the front page news list.  I think the word makes the most sense as the system is scanning pages on the retailer site similar to how you scan the page in a magazine, looking for what is important.  Really, though, I grab the html (the stuff you see when you right click and View Source) like a web browser does and parse the text for the information.  This means I am not requesting images, which would waste bandwidth for both the retailer and myself.  Some people call it data mining and others call it site scraping.  Tohmato – tomahto.

Interesting notes about the site/scanner:

  • Retailer scans and db updates take about 700 gigabytes per month in bandwidth currently.
  • The web site uses only about 50 gigs a month, due to external thumbnails and minimal images.
  • There are typically between 15 and 20 retailer scans running every second.
  • I typically have to fix at least 1 retailer’s site scan every 2-3 days as they tweak their site layout/html.
  • Pauses between scans range from 1 minute to 15 minutes (typically long delays for ones who don’t change stock often).
  • Some retailers are providing custom feeds, which ensure we catch all their products even if they change their site.
  • Most new scan additions are done near midnight, to stop the New Items page from being spammed during busy times.

Don’t know if anyone found this stuff interesting.  Either way, I typed it all out… so there you go.


It was a busy week.  We were announced on ar15news.com, Monderno, and I worked with many retailers on optimizing our site feeds/scans.  A new feature was added to review retailers by clicking on their name on any results page (be sure to leave your feedback as it helps others).  A few retailers were added and many scanning bugs were fixed for current retailers.  Due to popular request, muzzle devices (Comps/Hiders/Brakes) were added to the site and gas tubes are also being added, but both will take time to go back through current retailers and pick up their stock.   Finally, an In-stock-o-meter was added to the left parts navigation bar to give us all an idea of where we are at in regards to getting back to normal.

Some of this led to other issues that cropped up relating to scaling addition of new retailers.  I have been working on rewriting the scheduling system that handles kicking off the scans, but it hasn’t been quick work and will require a few more days to flesh out.  I see a couple other areas that are likely going to take some rework in an effort to keep the site running smoothly as it transitions to less of a panic/availability site and more into an availability/pricing/comparison site.  This was always my long term goal of the site and many people have alluded to it in their feedback.  We all need a quick place to compare prices, inventory, and even see pictures of the parts we want in the future.

You have my promise that I am working to meet that goal every day, even if the changes aren’t always visible.  Admittedly, I also have to take a day off here and there from the site to re-evaluate where it stands now and what should be tackled next.  You may not see a news posting on those days but I assure you that I am always planning on those days and sometimes I just forget to post when it’s really late.

Finally, it probably won’t hurt to mention that my near term goals include hitting 50 retailers (we are only a few shy) , 10,000 parts being checked, and cover all part types reasonable (still a few left).  I have some additional features I would like to implement as I can schedule them, but they may require big blocks of time and some participation from visitors… I’ll ask when I am ready for the help.

Anyways, hope everyone has a good week.  Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give a kind of “state of the site” address.  The site wouldn’t be as useful as it is today if it weren’t for all the positive feedback  and suggestions sent over the last 2 months.  You guys have driven a lot of the features and priorities.


Typically they mean whatever someone wanted them to mean when they started the poll.  Right?

Most recently the news and politicians discussed that 90% of Americans wanted universal registrations.  So that is what the media slams across the stations and papers.  But really the poll this comes from asked whether people wanted required background checks for all gun buyers with nothing about mental health additions or the other things stuffed into the proposed bill(s).  Really it was 91% and of course they also fail to mention the scope being about 1700 people across a handful of states.  According to my trusty microsoft windows calculator, that really means 91% of .00055% of Americans supported background checks for all gun buyers.  No matter how enthusiastic you are about those stats… they in no way mean 90% of all Americans.

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Added Hamlund Tactical to the site.  They had a bolt carrier (not complete BCG) in stock until literally seconds before I did the final scan for inclusion after testing.  Bummer.

Of note is the merging of Lower Build Kits into the Lower Parts Kits area.  I was hoping to find others, besides Palmetto State Armory, that included all the components needed… but it appears PSA is somewhat unique currently.  So, it seemed silly to have basically a PSA only part category.

Also, I added Heroes Tactical (why is everyone so tactical?) Friday.  I know they had 25 BCGs in stock and their inventory is live (despite the fact you can add 100 to your cart).  It seems they sold those 25 out, likely due to ARPartsFinder, by Saturday night.  I was told they expect more in this coming week… so keep an eye out.

Preference for how many items to show per page should now store your choice for 3 years and not till the browser session ends.  Thanks Kory H. for calling behavior that out.

Finally… I have been working on even more stuff that should go live before the end of the week.  I will keep adding other sites in the meantime, but I did want to give a heads up!

So, meandering about the web tonight.  Maybe got a little lost.  Kind of like when you go to YouTube and click on a toddler laughing and before you know it, your additional clicks on “similar/suggested” videos have you staring at your screen with your mouth open… watching something that is probably illegal in the majority of states.

Anyways, I saw facebook shows bing search results  You showed google what’s up, facebook,  now g+ will never have a chance… oh wait.  Anyways… I noticed a firearms company ad to the right of the bing results.  Looking back I realize this was probably shown by facebook and not bing.  But I got curious if the M$ Bing policy was anti-gun along with google.  Sure enough, I found their bingads (adwords equivalent) policy and what do I see…

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Sure, I can show you what is in stock and where to find it at a decent cost… but sometimes the bigger question is: “Is this what I want?”

I recommend checking out http://www.ar15news.com/ when you have questions like that.  Over there, Ben does a great job of writing up product announcements for the parts we all need.  You always get some pictures and technical details that can help you learn about something you may want to install.  He also does a great job of announcing special deals, like the current free shipping deal on Tactical Wall Inserts… something I have been debating purchasing since I first found out about their products.  He even runs giveaways on complete rifles and other accessories… something I know everyone here likes based on my giveaway of the lower build kit.

So, head over and check through his recent posts.  Really good info.