Currently researching, seeking information, deciding on how to go about building a potential AR15 carbine platform, I am a rookie. I am wanting to purchase a complete upper & a complete lower and put them together. I’m wanting a 5.56 carbine for home defense.
Any specific tools I need? Any specific, must know info I should know? What should I be careful of when putting an AR together? Is it safer to buy all parts from one company…or is it okay to buy a firearm from one manufacturer, and replace certain parts with another manufacturer’s parts?
I’ve been trying to do math, to budget money/time while also considering quality. I’ve had the idea of buying a complete AR, replacing the longer barrel for a shorter one, and replacing the stock with a pistol brace…keeping in mind that I want this for tight quarters.
Any info will help. I’m also curious on seeing other peoples builds, and why they favor their builds.
Thank you for your time.
If you’re going for a barrel shorter than 16" you need to either buy a pre-manufactured complete pistol unit or a stripped lower and have it registered as a pistol when you fill out the 4473. Converting a rifle to a SBR costs you the $200 tax stamp & 9-14 month wait for the ATF to process your form before you can start your build.
If you’re not getting the upper as a set you’ll need the headspace gauges for your desired caliber. So add another $100(ish) to your cost.
You can purchase a 7-10” complete upper from companies online(PSA, BCA, etc) and then either buy a complete lower or stripped lower and install the lower parts kit(AR15 discounts). But with a barrel under 16” you’ll need a brace unless you plan on registering it as a SBR which is time consuming and more expensive. Check your state laws regarding what you can legally own first.
So as not to confuse you. If you buy a pistol buy a pistol. If you buy a carbine buy a carbine. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE and you CANNOT SWAP PARTS. That’s a bit over the top and not exactly correct but until you understand the differences between the two don’t get any smart ideas.
I have never purchased an assembled AR platform but I am me and you can look me up and find out who I am and what I do on this site. I’ve been driving AR’s for business and pleasure for 30+ years and I still don’t like them unless they have a piston.
There are multiple threads here about the small vagaries that will land you in jail if you cross the wrong line with a pistol platform I’m sure @Dawn has them on speed dial. Carbines are pretty safe. Do you need special tools? No a couple of riggers belts a friend with strong hands and a monkey wrench will get you done and a can of Krylon will cover the scratches.
AR’s are like Lego’s if you can follow instructions you can build one. Tools are handy but not required. If you buy a kit gun get the whole kit and pay to have the upper assembled then buy a stripped lower, assemble it put in both pins and have a ball. It’s not much harder than that.
SBRs and Pistols have their own rules to go by.
I highly suggest buying a stripped lower and tell them it’s for a pistol, purchase a pistol lower build kit and order a complete upper.
There are dozens of quality videos of putting a stripped lower together to walk you through it.
Bite the bullet and buy the armorers wrench.
Worth every penny! The only other thing you’ll need are the headspace gauges & a bench vise.
I am a noob as well. I have done some math and at the risk of offending some on here…check out Palmetto State Armory. I personally am leaning towards a rifle but have seen crazy prices on “blemished” pistol uppers and lowers. If you get complete upper and lower, I am being told just 2 pins to put together.
I started researching a while back but because of ammo scarcity I never shot the AR platform until recently.
I was able to shoot 2 different 22 lr ARs. One had MAGPUL flip up sites and the other had standard hand guard with tall front post.
I at least know enough now to not want standard sites.
I will say I feel like I have caught an AR bug and the only way to cure it is to get one.
Good luck on your journey.