• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • The forum will be down for about an hour this weekend for maintenance. I apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

AR-15 Build

Javelina

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
125
Location
East Valley
I have a question, well I guess it's actually questions, in regards to building my own AR(s).:cool:

I am selling out the remainder of my current little side business inventory and am planning to use some of the money to build an AR. My questions are basically how do I even start? What tools will I need to build a rock solid AR? I'm not expecting my first AR to be top-of-the-line but I don't want a Hi-Point quality AR either ;).

1. Anybody on here familiar with how to build such a wonderful tool? What tools are needed and etc.?

2. Since I will need a FFL to transfer the Lower to my name will I have to wait until I'm 21 or will I be good to go with the firearm being a long rifle? I will be turning 21 in a year so it would stink to have to wait however I want everything in my name.

3. What is a rough cost of the build? I have heard it can be from $480-$800, what would the cost be including tools?

4. What are some killer companies that produce certain parts that are known for their performance of the part in particular? Sorry I know the sentence is worded weird, I'm basically asking what companies make certain components the best without breaking the bank.

5. Does anyone have any solid connections with parts distributor(s) that I may build a relationship with? I would like to be as local and pro-Arizona parts if possible, in all honesty it would be sweet to build an AR with all Arizona made parts! :cool: However I need distributor(s) who have a great track record or another fellow entrepreneur that builds solid parts.

These are the only two things I know for sure: I will be using a 5.56/223 Barrel of some sort so both rounds can be used. Also I have no problem spending more money on quality tools so that I may continue to build these types of firearms. In the large picture I hope to build rock solid AR's while keeping the average working mans salary in mind. This is my first build at this time so I am hoping to gain experience and build/continue to build high quality firearms. Last please keep in mind that yes one day it would be awesome to become a legitimate company (FFL Dealer and all Legally required paperwork and etc.) for AR-15's however I am now starting off with just testing the waters, first making sure I enjoy it, and then hoping to build the business up as time progresses so will not need any major legalities covered at this time since the few AR's I may sell at this time will be done so through Private Party.

Lastly please keep in mind that I am starting off on a very small scale, just building my first AR at this time. I am going to be clueless about 99% of the build, however I have the drive and determination to produce a solid product. I plan on learning everything about the firearm and expand my knowledge of other firearms in general throughout the process. This will be a slow overall build and will take time as I am also a family man who has just had his first child, then again all great things take time!

Any help or connections would be greatly appreciated! Please feel free to send me a PM if you feel like that would be the best way of communication, send me your number as well if you would like and we can speak that way so you may see I am serious about this,thank you in advance! :lol:
 

FreeInAZ

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
2,514
Location
Secret Bunker
I have a question, well I guess it's actually questions, in regards to building my own AR(s).:cool:

I am selling out the remainder of my current little side business inventory and am planning to use some of the money to build an AR. My questions are basically how do I even start? What tools will I need to build a rock solid AR? I'm not expecting my first AR to be top-of-the-line but I don't want a Hi-Point quality AR either ;).

Snip - lost me after that uniformed statement. I have $150 Hi-Points that I have out shot $600 to $2,000 + pistols with. Not always the tool, as it is the operator of said tool. Ask a few here. They can vouch first hand for the accuracy of my Hi-Points.

As to your AR build youtube is full of videos.

[video=youtube;tXgMtyQI888]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXgMtyQI888[/video]
 

1245A Defender

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
4,365
Location
north mason county, Washington, USA
Well,,,

check out classic firearms on the net
they will sell you bear creak flat top ar for 530
or buy that upper and a lower seperately for more $$

or checkout cdnn sports
you can buy upper in piece parts or complete
bare lowers
bags of trigger parts with hand grip
then stock and buffer
still need a barrel
and you get to put it together
you will need to buy an ar armorers wrench and a set of ar vice blocks
and you need a bench vice
tools aside building from parts this way will cost way more $$$$

I dont think you can make money doing this, but it could be a hobby
 

Javelina

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
125
Location
East Valley
Snip - lost me after that uniformed statement. I have $150 Hi-Points that I have out shot $600 to $2,000 + pistols with. Not always the tool, as it is the operator of said tool. Ask a few here. They can vouch first hand for the accuracy of my Hi-Points.

As to your AR build youtube is full of videos.

[video=youtube;tXgMtyQI888]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXgMtyQI888[/video]

I was going with the Hi-Point reference more in regards to the dependability of the weapon, I have head nothing but bad things. You feel Hi-Point puts out a solid product though? I was considering one for a cheap keep in the car firearm since work forces me to walk around unarmed. :mad:
 

Rusty Young Man

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
1,548
Location
Árida Zona
I have a question, well I guess it's actually questions, in regards to building my own AR(s).:cool:

I am selling out the remainder of my current little side business inventory and am planning to use some of the money to build an AR. My questions are basically how do I even start? What tools will I need to build a rock solid AR? I'm not expecting my first AR to be top-of-the-line but I don't want a Hi-Point quality AR either ;).

Snip - lost me after that uniformed statement. I have $150 Hi-Points that I have out shot $600 to $2,000 + pistols with. Not always the tool, as it is the operator of said tool. Ask a few here. They can vouch first hand for the accuracy of my Hi-Points.SNIP...

This is why you shouldn't miss the OC lunches.;)
As with all guns, some work may have been left to the buyer to complete ("break in" periods). As to their performance, FreeInAZ's sub-$200 Hi-Point in .45 ACP out-shot my $700 Springfield Armory 1911-A1:uhoh:; what surprised me most was the extent to which my 1911 needs work to eliminate the POA-POI discrepancy (preparing to send it in to Springfield as we speak):banghead:.

1. Anybody on here familiar with how to build such a wonderful tool? What tools are needed and etc.?

2. Since I will need a FFL to transfer the Lower to my name will I have to wait until I'm 21 or will I be good to go with the firearm being a long rifle? I will be turning 21 in a year so it would stink to have to wait however I want everything in my name.

3. What is a rough cost of the build? I have heard it can be from $480-$800, what would the cost be including tools? SNIP...

I believe the lower may be lawfully purchased since it was originally made for a long rifle. As to the cost, I did know a man who made one for $700 (in 2009 dollars), but I also know his father was into ARs, so might have lent him the tools for it. Sorry I couldn't be much more help.

I was going with the Hi-Point reference more in regards to the dependability of the weapon, I have head nothing but bad things. You feel Hi-Point puts out a solid product though? I was considering one for a cheap keep in the car firearm since work forces me to walk around unarmed. :mad:

They do have a good no-questions-asked "warranty". I blame FreeInAZ for my recent purchase of one (should reach my local FFL sometime this week).:D
 
Last edited:

davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,169
Location
earth's crust
Go to AR.com ... have no idea what you mean by "building" a AR. To some that means making the lower and getting parts to complete.

You need not transfer your home made lower. You can sell it later if you jump through a few small hoops later.

Tools? People have made lowers using flat plate stock to make the lower (requiring almost no tools) to using a 80% lower (Dremel, drill press, or small mill) to making it from a block of metal (usually requiring a mill unless you love spending days on a Dremel).

I have built plenty ... they all shoot just fine no matter if its made from flats, 80%, or a block of metal.

Its fun ! (and you learn from mistakes lol)

And you can customize your AR ... want a NY AR? It can be done! Want a CA AR? It can be done! Want a CT AR? It can be done!

ARs are e-a-s-y. AKs little bit harder (alot if starting with flats).

Its a skill I recommend all to have, the ability to make your own AR and other firearms.

If I have all the components needs to build, I can pop out a rifle in about an hour.
 
Last edited:

FreeInAZ

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
2,514
Location
Secret Bunker
I was going with the Hi-Point reference more in regards to the dependability of the weapon, I have head nothing but bad things. You feel Hi-Point puts out a solid product though? I was considering one for a cheap keep in the car firearm since work forces me to walk around unarmed. :mad:

Yes they make decent pistols & carbines (I like the 45acp models the best) Lifetime warranty that goes with the guns not the owner. 1st or 50th owner, your gun is covered with a warranty forever! :dude:

Don't take my word for it. Here's a couple of reviews from reputable sources like: shooting times & gun week.

http://www.shootingtimes.com/handguns/handgun_reviews_hipoint_100605/

http://www.gunweek.com/2006/feature0120.html

Now not to Hi-jack your AR15 thread. The AR market has calmed down considerably since the panic. You maybe able to buy a decent rifle complete cheaper than you can build once you factor in tools, FFL fee(* Needed for serialized bare lowers) or cost of 80/20 lower + bench press w bits & jig kit to finish removing material from non serialized lower/ S&H fees and labor (Yes time = $$$ your time should always be worth no less than $20 per hour to you). Check out slick guns - it is a great resource for the best prices and knowledge from users on quality, etc.. on the web.

http://www.slickguns.com/category/rifles?caliber=11

http://www.slickguns.com/popular
 
Last edited:

FreeInAZ

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
2,514
Location
Secret Bunker
You have much to learn, young Grasshopper. Not to worry, the old Monks -or often monkeys :monkey here will show the path!

[video=youtube;U11bGxlmnVk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U11bGxlmnVk[/video]
 
Last edited:

FreeInAZ

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
2,514
Location
Secret Bunker
This is why you shouldn't miss the OC lunches.;)
As with all guns, some work may have been left to the buyer to complete ("break in" periods). As to their performance, FreeInAZ's sub-$200 Hi-Point in .45 ACP out-shot my $700 Springfield Armory 1911-A1:uhoh:; what surprised me most was the extent to which my 1911 needs work to eliminate the POA-POI discrepancy (preparing to send it in to Springfield as we speak):banghead:.



I believe the lower may be lawfully purchased since it was originally made for a long rifle. As to the cost, I did know a man who made one for $700 (in 2009 dollars), but I also know his father was into ARs, so might have lent him the tools for it. Sorry I couldn't be much more help.



They do have a good no-questions-asked "warranty". I blame FreeInAZ for my recent purchase of one (should reach my local FFL sometime this week).:D

A wise purchase Sir! Tip - fully load your mag and let it sit for a day or two before shooting. Springs are stiff at first but mellow after compression. If you got a 40 or 45 PM me, I will donate a mag or two towards your shooting fun.
 

azcdlfred

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
905
Location
Tucson, Arizona, USA
I don't own any AR's but took an AR-15 armorer's class, with a borrowed rifle, last year at Front Sight.

I primarily took the class because it fell on a day in between 1911 and Springfield XD armorer's classes so this wasn't something I was passionate about. But I do have a nifty armorer's manual to cue my memory if need be.

Some things I took away from the training:

1. Don't mess with Stoner's design. It's like Browning's 1911. Any "improvements" don't really help.

2. Colt probably has the best quality control on parts since they were long time government contractors and had to keep everything to MilSpec.

3. Most guns are assembled by high school dropouts on drugs. This leads to spring pins (erroneously called roll pins) inserted improperly. I believe there is one on the bolt carrier. If you have an AR-15 odds are your the spring pin is facing the wrong direction. I see it in Springfield XD's all the time.

Fred
 
Last edited:

PeterNSteinmetz

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
177
Location
Tempe, Arizona
Caswell's shooting range offers a build your own AR class which includes all parts and an Armorer's toolkit for $1000 or so. I took it. It has very experienced instructors and is a fairly smooth way to accomplish this.
 

davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,169
Location
earth's crust
If you are building your own AR for 1000 bucks it best be pretty sweet at the end of that 1000.

I build then usually for about 400-500 each w/o scope ... get a used holo scope for 100 ... AR for 500-600 suitable for 200 yds and close quarters use...tap on a better scope and out to 400 yds (if you got a range to practice on)
 

Primus

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
3,939
Location
United States
If you are building your own AR for 1000 bucks it best be pretty sweet at the end of that 1000.

I build then usually for about 400-500 each w/o scope ... get a used holo scope for 100 ... AR for 500-600 suitable for 200 yds and close quarters use...tap on a better scope and out to 400 yds (if you got a range to practice on)

What? A scope is needed to hit 200yds? And a "better scope" to hit 400yd?

That's that air force training talking lol
 

Firearms Iinstuctor

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
3,303
Location
northern wis
I don't own any AR's but took an AR-15 armorer's class, 2. .

3. Most guns are assembled by high school dropouts on drugs. This leads to spring pins (erroneously called roll pins) inserted improperly. I believe there is one on the bolt carrier. If you have an AR-15 odds are your the spring pin is facing the wrong direction. I see it in Springfield XD's all the time.

Fred

According to my colts armorers manual some pins are spring pins some are roll pins depending on their placement and use. the ones in the bolt one is called, pin extractor the other, pin roll ejector.

That said having been through the 3 day colt armorers school several time I don't recall the factory instructors calling then anything else but roll pins.

As far as facing the right direction do mean driving some of them the proper direction for removal and replacement.
 
Last edited:

Superlite27

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
1,277
Location
God's Country, Missouri
1. Anybody on here familiar with how to build such a wonderful tool? What tools are needed and etc.?

Yes. I would recommend a good, complete set of brass, and steel punches, a small ball peen hammer, a quality AR "multi-tool" or "takedown tool" such as this: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/747639/tapco-multi-tool-ar-15?cm_vc=ProductFinding and an AR "build block" or "vise block" used to safely squeeze your AR in a vise without damaging it, like this one: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/31...per-and-lower-receiver-action-block-set-ar-15 This is the minimum I'd try a solid build with, but as with anything, tools simply make things easier. It can be done with less, or you can buy everything Sears has. Kind of a personal preference kind of thing.

2. Since I will need a FFL to transfer the Lower to my name will I have to wait until I'm 21 or will I be good to go with the firearm being a long rifle? I will be turning 21 in a year so it would stink to have to wait however I want everything in my name.

It depends upon the laws of your state.

3. What is a rough cost of the build? I have heard it can be from $480-$800, what would the cost be including tools?

Once again, it depends on what you wish to spend. A good starting point is to first determine what you wish to use it for. This will determine many of the options, therefore, price you will have to make a decision about. Do you want long range accuracy, or are you just going to plink at short range? Big difference in cost for each option for each purpose. So, first determine WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM YOUR TOOL...and then move in that direction.

4. What are some killer companies that produce certain parts that are known for their performance of the part in particular? Sorry I know the sentence is worded weird, I'm basically asking what companies make certain components the best without breaking the bank.

POF makes some awesome stuff, but are really known for their lowers. VLTOR makes awesome everything, and are known for their uppers. Noveske makes awesome barrels, and Shilen does, as well. (More on barrels, later). Magpul makes good bolt-ons like foregrips, stocks, grips etc. (Although, I like VLTOR) Bravo Company Manufacturing(BCM) also has good stuff. As I said before, know the purpose you wish to strive for, then begin basing your equipment choices with that purpose in mind. For example: If you're planning a short, carbine length AR that you're going to plink with and carry a lot, you might want to choose a collapsable E-mod stock from VLTOR. However, if you're going to shoot long range from a bench, a heavier, solid stock with an adjustable cheekrest from Magpul might be what you're looking for.

5. Does anyone have any solid connections with parts distributor(s) that I may build a relationship with? I would like to be as local and pro-Arizona parts if possible, in all honesty it would be sweet to build an AR with all Arizona made parts! :cool: However I need distributor(s) who have a great track record or another fellow entrepreneur that builds solid parts.

http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.brownells.com/
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/
http://www.vltor.com/

....just to name a few. I have made purchases from all of the above and have found each to be reliable.


These are the only two things I know for sure: I will be using a 5.56/223 Barrel of some sort so both rounds can be used. Also I have no problem spending more money on quality tools so that I may continue to build these types of firearms. In the large picture I hope to build rock solid AR's while keeping the average working mans salary in mind. This is my first build at this time so I am hoping to gain experience and build/continue to build high quality firearms. Last please keep in mind that yes one day it would be awesome to become a legitimate company (FFL Dealer and all Legally required paperwork and etc.) for AR-15's however I am now starting off with just testing the waters, first making sure I enjoy it, and then hoping to build the business up as time progresses so will not need any major legalities covered at this time since the few AR's I may sell at this time will be done so through Private Party.

I recommend performing some thorough research on the differences between 5.56 and .223 and how these differences relate to accuracy and twist rate of whatever barrel you choose to equip. As you know, lighter bullets have higher velocities. Longer barrels also generate higher velocities. Couple this with a 1:7 twist rate, and it is possible to spin a bullet so fast that it actually destabilizes it causing it to wobble. Too much spin, and you can literally spin them out of their jackets. The opposite is also possible. Choose a short barrel with a 1:9 twist and shoot some super heavy bullets and they might not have ENOUGH spin to stablize them after a certain distance. Building an AR might be enjoyable, but the end result will soon lose your enthusiasm and will leave the taste of disappointment forever in your mouth if you spend a bunch of money on something that you can't even hit a paper plate with. So definitely RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH the relationships between caliber, size and weight of bullet you plan to shoot, and barrel twist and length before you go out and buy barrels "willy-nilly".

Lastly please keep in mind that I am starting off on a very small scale, just building my first AR at this time. I am going to be clueless about 99% of the build, however I have the drive and determination to produce a solid product. I plan on learning everything about the firearm and expand my knowledge of other firearms in general throughout the process. This will be a slow overall build and will take time as I am also a family man who has just had his first child, then again all great things take time!

I'll keep an eye on this thread. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I rarely think to check them, so you might want to let me know here, as well. Best of luck with your build. I hope I've been helpful.

Any help or connections would be greatly appreciated! Please feel free to send me a PM if you feel like that would be the best way of communication, send me your number as well if you would like and we can speak that way so you may see I am serious about this,thank you in advance! :lol:

My answers have been bolded in the above quote.
 
Last edited:

MSG Laigaie

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
3,196
Location
Philipsburg, Montana
AR platform....the leggos of the gun world. You will get a great deal of insight from AR.COM, as you have already heard. I go there too.
I "build" quite a few ARs. They are fun, easy, inexpensive to build. Another source for you would be the Weapons Guild
http://www.weaponsguild.com/forum/index.php

I build from "parts kits" and I have leggo'ed a few more. You can get as detailed or as vanilla as you please. I like to build pistols and rifles. I dohave a few retro's. One is the M16/203 that I carried long ago and my current build is the xm177e2 I carried when I wore a much younger mans clothes.

Parts (like the leggos) are the key. The only "controlled item is the lower, which, if purchased complete, must be treated as a firearm and go through an FFL. I bypass that and make my own lowers, no numbers, no records, mucho legal. Always build your AR as a pistol first. You can always convert it to rifle and back to pistol. If you first build a rifle, it must always be a rifle, or pay a ridiculous tax to the fed. Pistol, Pistol, pistol. Remember those words.
 

J_dazzle23

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
643
The guy is as long winded as any that I've ever seen, but nutnfancy does a few good videos on the broad strokes of a tactical ar-15. I found it at least a decent place to start. In terms of what are important thing to me? I would suggest lightweight, good optics and backup sights, and reliability.
 

davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,169
Location
earth's crust
What? A scope is needed to hit 200yds? And a "better scope" to hit 400yd?

That's that air force training talking lol

http://www.armaster.com/htm/stock_pivot_adaptorSPA1.htm

put on of these on ^^.. and you can do both or have 2 scopes etc....fun little part .. although a little pricy...or make it permanent having the mag go in horizontally ... imagine the looks you'll get at the range !

I have people come up to me all the time at the range and say "what is that...what did you do to your AR?" ... I made one AR that folks cannot figure out how to operate it .. they tell me its broke and hand it back to me and then I shoot it and they say "how did you do that?"

some mods to the original design are just for goofs (having the trigger not actuate the trigger group) lol
 
Top