AR build?

I have never built fire arms before but am generally mechanically inclined.

Where is a good place to learn the first steps in determining if this is something I could or should do?

5 Likes

@Martin36 It is more like a selection and assembly process. Plenty of good resources online to help you get started. Here is and example:

The only item that has to be handled by a FFL is the bare lower-receiver. All the other parts can be ordered online and shipped directly to your home. Set a budget, select your parts, and take your time in assembly.

7 Likes

Another helpful member told me about Palmetto State Armory. The have kits available. I probably won’t assemble one myself but it’s worth a look.
https://palmettostatearmory.com/

8 Likes

They have a lot of YouTube videos on how to build an AR. I am going to purchase my own AR15 soon. But eventually I want to build my own also.

6 Likes

@Johnnyq60, I went with a friend of mine to the range Sunday. He has one that he built and let me shoot it. It was my first time shooting an AR15 and it was amazing. It also solidified my decision to get one. Maybe Santa Claus will bring it for Christmas :grin:

7 Likes

I hear you @NickC I can’t wait to get mine. I have shot ARs, AKs etc. just never owned my own. That’s a Christmas present to myself.

6 Likes

Jeff Thanks for the links. I will read through the links and if I build one I will let you all know how it goes.

4 Likes

Thanks Nick. I have shopped tgere and will try them as well. Before I buy anything to build I want to make sure I know what to look for.

5 Likes

Martin - go with the Palmetto State Armory site for upper and lower kits (you can always find deals elsewhere if your good at web searching). Just remember, your lower has to go through an FFL. Upper kits can be delivered right to your door unless you live in Kalifornia, New York, New Jersey, Chicago… well, you get the drift. Prices have easily doubled since March - June, but they generally have kits in stock. My tip would be, buy a stripped lower (FFL) and then get the complete upper kit with the lower parts, stock, buffer tube etc. that comes with the assembled upper for your first build. Don’t forget to get an Armorers Wrench to help with assembly. Everything else you should pretty much have on your handy man’s bench. You can go to You Tube to find all sorts of info on how to assemble just about anything. Have fun.

6 Likes

Some more articles:

4 Likes

Thanks. I have looked at their site and a complete rifle is about $100 more than the kit. While I would like to build one so I know how to dis assemble and re assemble not sure if I should just go with one already built. I am just looking for the bare bones for home defense and shooting at the range.

I guess I need to learn more before I do anthing so I can make an informed decision.

Thanks again for the info.

5 Likes

I would second Palmetto State Armory as a starting place for your first build. My first build was a 16" 5.56 build from PSA. All I needed was the rifle kit and a lower receiver. Worked out well and was a ton of fun.

4 Likes

I have never bought one, but my understanding is there is an additional 11% tax added when you buy a “complete” AR-15. It is also my understanding the 11% tax is not applicable if you purchase the upper and lower separately. There are no additional parts required to complete If you buy the upper and lower separately - you just align the upper on the lower and press 2 pins into place.

I saw the directions to assemble the upper on the Midway link, but did not see lower assembly directions. Here is a link for assembling the lower: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/build-ar-15-lower-receiver/

6 Likes

Hello, welcome to the AR world! I have build 8 ARs 10 and 15. They are all in different calibers and it is fun but go slowly and surely! Also make sure when done to check the headspace which is very important, I have helped a neighbor built an hunting AR and found the headspacing is off and he had to have his barrel replaced due to an error in the barrel built to precision! There are lots of instructions out there so enjoy your voyage into the AR world!

5 Likes

Hey Martin - I can’t argue with that logic, it’s unfortunate that because of our current times that the kits have essentially tripled in price. I don’t know if you are familiar with AIM Surplus but here is a link for a complete Radical Firearms AR https://aimsurplus.com/radical-firearms-223-5-56x45-socom-m-lok-rifle-1/
I have positive experience with this well made Texas rifle. Like you said, you can always get a complete and tinker with it from there. Need anything else, just give a shout. Have a good day - Guy

3 Likes

You’ve gotten some awesome advice already.

I’ll just add that you can usually save $50+ just by buying the lower and upper separately. The only “assembly” you need to do is much the two halves together and push in the pins.

If you want to still have a pretty easy assembly, get a complete upper, a lower parts kit, and a stripped lower. You want a complete upper, because this is the part that requires special tools so I’d leave that for when you have more experience/tools/knowledge. The lower parts kit contains things like the grip, trigger, buffer tube, stock, which mostly just screw or tap in. You can buy some punches and mallets to make your life easier if you don’t already have them but it can be assembled with stuff you probably have around the house. The stripped lower is the only “serialized” part, it is what is considered “the firearm” and must be delivered to an FFL for a background check. The lower parts kit all goes into the stripped lower (see other folks links above on the “how to”). You can assemble the stripped lower and lower parts kit in less than an hour having no idea what you’re doing and watching youtube videos explaining it as you go. I suspect if you do several of these it can likely be done in sub 15mins each. Once the lower is complete, you attach to the upper with 2 pins, and voila!

4 Likes

I don’t EVER recall buying an AR as a fully assembled rifle and I have more than a few in different flavors. The process is not difficult and you really don’t NEED any specialized tools but an Armorers wrench and vice blocks certainly make the process much more enjoyable. There are several threads here that detail the trials and tribulations of members builds with some helpful hints tips and tricks. I think @Zavier_D had the most complete one albeit for a pistol but same same.

Cheers,

Craig6

5 Likes

@Martin36 If you want to continue down the road to assemble your own AR platform, make sure you buy your parts from the same manufacturer for your first build. Less frustration than trying to piece-meal a firearm together from varied manufacturers. I still have problems with some of the enhanced aftermarket parts like bolt-releases and takedown pins. Looks good on paper but fails miserably in execution. Understand your gas system and buffer recoil assembly. They have to be matched. Also, the shorter the gas tube the harsher the recoil and greater stress placed on multiple components.

3 Likes

You are where I was in April. I bought this … And they have it in stock today😉
https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-10-5-carbine-length-5-56-nato-1-7-nitride-lightweight-m-lok-moe-ept-sba3-pistol2.html

2 Likes