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Building an AR-15

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by angelicoutlaw, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. angelicoutlaw

    angelicoutlaw Portland New Member

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    With the way the economy sucks I have been considering building an AR. I am a novice so there's the problem. After looking around I am more lost than anything on how to start where to start whats good and what to stay away from. Basically I need some guidance. Money is going to be a factor........Thanks
    Angie and (deleted member) like this.
  2. PDXHero

    PDXHero Beaverton, OR Member

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    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a class that taught you all the ins and outs about the AR15? I've been looking to get one for a while now but am in the same situation as you.
  3. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    The best advice I could give you is to head on over to AR15.com & read till your eyes hurt. they have tons of info on every aspect of the weapon, including tutorials for begining builders. good luck!
  4. chizuck

    chizuck central Wa. Member

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    If you really want to build from the ground up you need to read any and all material you can find. When I built mine I did alot of research on m4carbine.net use the search it is your friend. It is really no were near as hard as people think. If you can do general machine work or wrench twisting you should be fine. The specialty tools are nice but not needed if you have access to a good about of tools. If you want to buy a lower and a upper and pin them together there are lots of good companies out there.
  5. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Super easy to do. Buy a stripped lower, go to a good shop (like Curt's in Oak Grove or Wild Bill's in Molalla) and tell them you want everything needed to build your lower. Buy a cheap upper from Del-Ton, slap it on and you're good to go! I assembled mine on my coffee table following a video on YouTube.

  6. Scvette

    Scvette Olympia Active Member

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    The best way to learn is to join the military,they'll show you how to build one.lol jk checkout ar15. Com

    BEN LILLY Lincoln City, OR NRA LIFE MEMBER Bronze Supporter

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    Head over to a VFW or American legion. Ask for a Marine who would show you around the M-16. You also could visit the VA hospital. and ask around. you might check with the national guard about attending one of their classes.
    PNW Tom and (deleted member) like this.
  8. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    There almost is on AR15.com Plenty of tutorials and pictures to get you through this.
    It ain't rocket surgery.

    The parts can be had,well some back ordered,all over the webbernet. If you aren't going to compete,then buy what you can afford,then as you go on and have more money you can and will change parts to better or what you like better.

    Have fun with it
  9. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Brownell's has one of the better tutorials.

    Buy a $270 upper from PSA, add a BCG and charging handle to the PSA order. Go to Curts and buy a lower, LPK, RE and stock. Add sights or optic, assemble, shoot. I forgot, you need mags and ammo.
  10. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    You know, I was a GI for over 14 years (until they retired me) and I never once heard talk of a BCG, LPK or RE....not sure what those mean....

    (OK, an RPK is a Soviet machine gun, RE is Real Estate, but what do they have to do with building an AR?)
  11. kamshaft

    kamshaft Pisa, Italy Member

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    Not sure where the Birth Control Goggles fit in either....
  12. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Portland, Oregon, United States Well-Known Member

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    That was your armorer's responsibility. :)

  13. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    :: Guides

    Or search here for one of the multiple other threads started on the topic.
  14. rds801

    rds801 Portland Member

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    arf.com, brownells as mentioned already. Also youtube and google.
    I semi built my my AR. Built the lower and bought a complete upper.

    Putting the lower together is not hard at all. It took me 2-3 years to complete because of funds but it's "complete". I couldn't afford to buy a complete rifle right off the bat so I took my time and bought a piece here and a piece there. Usually when stuff was on sale. The biggest "all at once" expense was the complete upper.

    I thought about buying all the tools needed to build a complete AR but decided against it because I will not be building many of these so I didn't see the point. Maybe in the future I might change my mind. AR's are very addictive.

    If I had the funds right now I would be all over the $270 barreled upper from Palmetto State Armory. I have 3 lowers that need to be completed. One of them just needs a barreled upper. :)
  15. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    If you can do simple mechanical repairs on a car you can build an AR.

    Watch the Brownell's video's a couple of times and look up the exploded parts diagrams on AR15.com and it's all the info you will need on putting them together.

    You will need 50-100$ in tools to do it right and a bench vise with jaw pads is nice as well.

    Go to a couple of Practical Rifle matches. Look and ask what people are using and why then decide on what type of configuration makes sense for you. The probability is that unless you just want to hear a bang and send rounds in the general direction of where you are aiming you will need to put together a configuration which is not available from anyone other than a high end manufacture. Everyone I know who just puts one together based on lowest cost then becomes serious about learning how to use the rifle regrets it because they need to make fundamental changes that just cost more on top of the money already spent.

    My current idea of a rifle which is good for 3 Gun (fast transitions, very reliable if cleaned every couple of thousand rounds, able to hit out to 900 with good conditions and will hit the usual targets out to 400 all day in marginal conditions if I do my part) is a fixed A2 stock for reliability. Collapsible stock can bend the buffer tube when "mortared" unless you remember to collapse them rendering the gun useless. The make of the lower receiver is just about meaningless, all it does is hold the parts in one place. There are more important parts to spend money on. A geissele s3g trigger, but if you take a lot of time to stone a standard trigger you can make it work. An upper with dust cover but just plug the forward assist. The forward assist is more likely to put your gun out of action than do you any favors. If the gun will not go into battery, fix the problem instead of ramming a round into the chamber where it can either be stuck permanently or go over pressure due to an obstruction and blow up . 18 inch barrel with a medium profile and rifle length gas system, fluting or some other weight savings are nice. Pick the comp with the noise to muzzle rise reduction you are willing to deal with. Be aware that some comps are so loud they will induce headaches to those around you. A free float rifle length or longer freefloat tube which can take modular rail sections. A slick tube is the best but sometimes you need to put stuff on the tube. Do not get one with fixed rails. Not only are they larger in diameter but the also suck to hold onto for a prolonged period of time and finally you are limited to placing stuff at 12/3/6 and 9 on which is frequently not where you want them. Free floating the barrel will usualy take the gun from a 2-3 min rifle to a 1.5 to sub 1 rifle. That's where the accuracy comes from. Spend the extra money on a JP enhanced bolt so you never have to worry about it and get a reduced mass bolt carrier.
    The optic is where you really need to think about what you want to be able to do. Dots are great until you get past 200 yrds on targets which blend with the background and you have marginal eyesight.
    A 1-4 power with an uncluttered retical that allows for hold over is the basic optic. 1-8 is the current "best" but will cost you in excess of 3500.
    Don't worry about milspec. Everyone will make there part to milspec dimensions so everything fits together. The best stuff out there will not be milspec because it is better than that. Milspec means it conforms to antiquated specifications and has been tested. That's all. An example is the JP enhanced bolt. Tested to double the milspec service life, but since it is made in a different way it will never meet milspec.
    Skip all the various fore grips, they just get in the way and don't help with muzzle control and rapid follow up shots like a proper hold on the forend.
  16. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    I built mine watching Larry Potterfield from Midway USA. Easy to follow, but he uses every too imaginable. I made some of my own, bought some of the basics(<$50), and flat out didn't need the rest.

    MidwayUSA - Video Library
  17. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You can make a lot of the holding fixtures out of wood. You will need, a large vise, a universal AR tool (Fitus Anythingus) a small ball peen hammer and a good set of pin punches. I would buy a Free floating forearm. Those standard guards can be a finger pinching SOB without the proper tool.:laugh:

  18. lamrith

    lamrith tacoma Active Member

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    Realise that building your AR will not necessarily save you any $. You could spec all cheapest parts you can find, but chances are you will still be spending $500-600 unless you pick-up used items, that is for a cheap no frills build.

    The thing it does let you do is pick up parts as you can afford them and they go on sale, which for some of us is the best way. trying to save the full $600 tends to have it always chipped away and you never get the full $600 together :p

    Plus you get the experience of assembling it yourself, so you know everything about it and can work on it yourself when something is not working.
  19. MrFiux

    MrFiux Tillamook County Member

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    DSA sells pretty good upper assemblies that are missing the BCG but sell for $265 Do you need guidance to build it or to buy parts together?
  20. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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