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AR15 build, step 1, lower reciever

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Koda, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Never done this before so any tips and advice is more than welcome...
    looking for advice on building an AR, starting with the lower receiver I’m assuming the first step would be getting a lower parts kit? ...and with that, the first step is to install, carefully, the trigger guard.

    other than that assumption (correct me if I'm wrong) I know nothing...

    So what Im asking is in 3 parts...
    1) any advice on which lower parts kits to buy? In another thread here 3MTA3 tipped me off to the ALG ACT trigger and despite what little I've read about triggers I really like the idea of starting out with a quality trigger. Its available from them in a parts kit. I don’t mind spending a little extra money as I’m not necessarily looking into a budget build as for now I have no time frame to complete the build this is a just for fun project....
    2) advice on tools needed? ...is there a compete took kit I can buy to end all AR tool buying or should I buy better quality tools individually as I go specific to the step Im doing?
    3) any tips advice on actually assembling? For example I read the trigger guard is something you don’t want to screw up even though it appears a simple step!

    I have not purchased anything yet but getting close and just want to learn more before I dive in.
     
  2. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    Get your self a set of roll pin punches. Watch the videos on assembly, also I actually bought a book for about $15.00 on assembling a 15. Use tape in certain places to protect your finish. DO support th "dog ears" on the trigger guard part of the lower receiver. Careful with all the springs, they love to take off. Have some emery or sand paper if you need to massage some of the roll pins to get them in. My first build was an Aero lower and some of the roll pins took some coaxing. Remember you do Not want to force anything. Slow and steady, measure twice, cut once etc. study diagrams etc. carefully. Have a little oil handy as well, a small brass or hard plastic headed hammer, towels, carpet on a solid working surface. Can be done on a kitchen table but you'd prefer a surface with no give to it,
    That's my suggestions from my limited but successful building experiences.

    Brutus out
     
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  3. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    LPKs? Anything from DPMS to Aero, whatever fits your budget. Definitely go with the ALG ACT. Much nicer than the PSA milspec on my pistol build.
    A mag well block with a vice is nice if you can swing it and plan on building more.
    Good luck and enjoy

    Brutus out
     
  4. 2A2Dend

    2A2Dend .. Well-Known Member

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    Brutus is giving all good info. The AR's in general are an easy platform. The bench mats are handy.
    ar-15.png
     
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  5. Larrytpdx

    Larrytpdx Portland, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Is NWFA the greatest place for advice or what!?
     
  6. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    I learn something every time I log in, sometimes very useful.:rolleyes:

    Brutus Out
     
  7. Gun Mechanic

    Gun Mechanic Portland Active Member

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    Everything Brutus said is spot on. Go with the ALG. modify parts, not the receiver. Parts are cheap and easy to replace if you mess up. The receiver, not so much. Most of all have fun doing it and take your time. If you get frustrated or hit a wall. Sleep on it and start fresh the next day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  8. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    the bolt catch can be the fussiest part, if you have too much trouble with alignment you can tape the jaws on a set of channel lock pliers and squeeze the roll pin through while you hold it in alignment......last couple i just went straight to that method......they also make a flat sided punch just for this but i never bought one because i always think "this is my last one"
    make sure it runs real free or it will not let the mag follower push it up in time to catch the bolt on the last round.....happens in milliseconds

    the front take down pin/spring/detent assembly can be challenging , I knew I guy with the tool so I always had it till one day I didn't ......ended up using a real thin blade pocket knife and it worked like a charm .....never wanted the tool after that.

    the only other common thing is sometimes folks tend to put the hammer spring ears under the trigger pin, it goes over the pin to prevent the pin from walking out and allow the hammer full power..it can be one of those easy over looked things that can lead to a couple intermittent problems.

    grease heavily the sear and diconnector points on the trigger

    grease the detent grove on the safety lever

    some tips I've picked up
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  9. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Where are you located in Oregon. I have all the tools and have built a few.
    Happy to help if you're in the Portland area.
     
  10. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I recently bought the ALG ACT trigger kit the other day, as it was the only one in stock.
    All of my other sources were back ordered for who knows how long.
    Somebody is building a lot of AR's for all the LPK's to disappear from the shelves.
     
  11. 2A2Dend

    2A2Dend .. Well-Known Member

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    Can you say PANIC. I find the same with 80% lowers.
     
  12. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    wow, lots of great advice and I’m not even ready to work on it yet, I went to order the ALG ACT trigger + lower parts kit but they were out of the LPK package (thanks a lot jbett98.... kidding). I can still buy the trigger but will then need to look around for a triggerless LPK.... haven’t purchased anything yet. Based on the current demand I might just buy that trigger now and look for the rest of the LPK next... ?

    In the mean time, I have lots of good info and advice to read here... that’s what I started the thread for, thanks everyone for chiming in. Plus its just plain fun to talk shop :)

    titsonritz: I could see myself build another AR later on but that’s at most...I will decide on building the upper when I get there but would like to... so I’m uncertain how much investment I want to put into tools although I prefer investing in anything I need to repair and maintain anything I own. I'll send a PM for the manual thanks for that offer....

    thank you much for the offer, if I find the tooling cost too much I wouldn’t mind taking you up on the offer.



    gotta love this forum and community :D
     
  13. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Other than the satisfaction of being able to say you built it yourself there are 3 other main reasons for doing it and that is you are building a custom build or a budget build or a retro restore build which is part scavenger hunt finding the true parts without breaking the bank.

    there are some cheap kits out like the PSA kits when they have a sale its pretty hard to beat those prices but you do get what you pay however its a great starting point as at that point you have the knowledge and tools to build so you can upgrade what ever you feel you want to upgrade

    Or by doing build yourself you can do a custom build this is where rather than wasting money on parts that you will later be posting in the classified section here you buy the receiver you want the trigger you want, be it basic or match grade you cut corners on parts that do not enhance performance and spend that money on parts that do. you can go for a light weight build or a long range build. better quality barrel and bolt and install all the gizmos that make your rifle go to 11

    Putting together a lower is pretty simple just watch of for spring loaded flying detents and you mentioned the trigger guard its funny you mentioned that on my first Ar15 I bought over 18 years ago I did not notice that tab that the roll pin goes through to hold the trigger guard was broken and glued in place. so when you do start the roll pin make sure the tab is supported. Btw that lower with a broken tab was a preban during the ban colt lower receiver with a market value the receiver alone stripped of over a thousand dollars with out the broken tab. That was the first of two that I bought that had a broken tap the second was a preband PWA the seller told me about that and he had installed a stark grip that has its own trigger guard magpul makes one like that as well

    for you first time unless you get a really long ended punch may find it difficult to install the bolt catch roll pin without putting a little scratch in the finish
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
    Koda likes this.
  14. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    this is interesting because I dont know yet everything I would want to have enhanced.... I noticed that 2 of the LPKs I looked at did have different components.

    One came with a pistol grip, one did not. I know I do want a Magpul GEN 1.1 Grip regardless, Magpul trigger guard and pretty certain I will go with the ACT trigger.

    so I've learned here that LPKs can be high demand and often unavailable... is there any issues with say going on to Midwayusa or Brownells and just ordering the pieces in one order? Im thinking about buying the ACT trigger separately (since its still available, as of now...) and don’t mind piecing it all together.
     
  15. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    perfect :)
     
  16. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    eBay has a bunch of LPK's for sale and some of them are fairly priced.
     
  17. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Got to make sure you know the source if buying ebay
     
  18. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Lol that thing was about butt ugly as they can get.
     
  19. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Other then the roll pins or grips, I don't see any difference between them.
    It's nice if the parts come in different colored bags for ease of reference, but since it's getting hard to find them online, what choices does he have.
     
  20. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    I built during the panic, because I figured if TPTB thought they should be illegal and I failed to buy a DPMS LR308B a week before the Newtown killings...unobtanium after so I started saving pesos and buying what I could when available. Ordered what was "in stock" only to get an email 24 hours later back order till whenever....

    So I ended up with a couple spares but also overpaid for some things during the panic as well. Probably paid $130 for basic BCG but it was hard to find at the time. I suggest start ordering ASAP. You never know when the next crazy event will happen.
    As they, buy'em cheap and stack'em deep.
    Brutus Out