ar15 assembly question


October 28, 2008, 06:55 AM
I was wondering what kinds of tools you'll need to make an ar from a parts kit. i can pick up punches pretty easy [i know i need those],but i'm not sure of what else i'd need.

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October 28, 2008, 07:23 AM
the only specialty tools you'll need is the A15 tool and possibly a barrel vise. I got away with wrapping the barrel in old leather (belt) in a bench vise.

I used small vise grips with the jaws wrapped in electrical tape (not to scratch) to squeeze all the pins in.

October 28, 2008, 09:04 AM
If you want to do it right, this about covers it;
There is no barrel vise per say for M16 assembly, there are barrel vise clamps and you are better off using a receiver vise clamp rather than barrel clamps for installing a barrel.
Barrel clamps work well for installing flash hiders and muzzle brakes, that is all they are really good for.
Not shown are the good stout workbench and good quality bench vise and I didn't bother to put my barrel vise clamps in the picture either.

The pin punches used for M16/AR15 assembly are actually specialty roll pin punches, the have a teat on the end that fits the hole in a roll pin and helps prevent the punch from slipping off the roll pin and marring the surface finsih of the rifle as well as preventing the roll pin from splaying out during installation.
In addition to the punches, roll pin starter punches are also used, these are punches with a well on the end to hold the roll pin and these make it much, much simpler to start a roll pin into a through or blind hole.
There are some specialty tools in the picture that make installing the front pivot pin and A2 sights much simpler.
There is a center punch for staking things like the carrier key and collapsing stock assembly end plate to the castle nut.
There is a long shank screwdriver for the pistol grip and buttstock.

There are snap ring pliers for installing the split washer that holds the delta ring and weld spring in place.
Hammers, a barrel wrench, a collapsing stock removal wrench.
There is grease for lubing parts prior to actually assembling them and there are gages to make sure everything assembles within tolerence.
A good set of tools will set you back about $400.00

October 28, 2008, 10:20 AM
there's a pretty good sticky on this topic over at

October 28, 2008, 05:29 PM
how much will all of those tools cost. Looking at those and possibly the prices on all of it will make flat out buying my first ar a better idea.

October 28, 2008, 05:34 PM
IMHO unless you are willing to scour the used equipment boards of the various forums (specifically then you'd be better off buying a prebuilt. You can buy a Century Sporter for around $600, and I think DPMSes aren't much more. Buying all of the parts and tools will put you past that mark, unless, like I said, you are willing to be patient. I have about $475 into my AR. It's a retro carbine clone, but I've got a brand new Bushmaster 16" barrel on it, a Colt bolt and carrier, and DPMS lower. I also bought an action block and armorer's wrench. I could easily resell those if I wanted to.

That said - it was a great experience putting it together. I learned a lot and now I have the desire to build more.

October 28, 2008, 06:11 PM
Buy an assembled upper in your style of choice, a stripped lower and a lower parts kit, and a stock with buffer and spring. The only tools needed to assemble the lower are a punch (prefer a roll pin punch) and a mallet ... a vise grip with tape on the nose is the best way to fully seat the roll pins.

That's it ... my first 2 lowers took 30 minutes max each. Most all of the tools above are for upper assembly/barrel installation.

October 28, 2008, 06:12 PM

Watch the instructional videos on building an AR. Very good info on tools needed, etc. If you're going to build one, I agree it would probably be much cheaper and less trouble to just buy one assembled.

October 28, 2008, 06:54 PM
The only thing you need that most people don't have on hand is the action vise for installing the barrel.

I had J&T do that for me since I bought both items from them.

I assembled the rest of it myself using pliers/vicegrips wrapped in electrical tape to keep from marring the finish... and a hammer with a few small punches to install roll pins. The pliers were used to gently press roll pins into place. It worked like a charm.

I was still a po' college student, without access to a proper workshop. Necessity is the mother of invention!

October 28, 2008, 09:53 PM
I built my AR10 with:

- a pair of pliars wrap in tape for roll pins

- a barrel wrench/combo tool

- a bench vise

- a plastic cutting board (used to make a action bock for the upper to install the barrel)

- torque wrench (to put the initial torque on the barrel nut before indexing)

- flat head screw driver and allen wrenchs.

Seriously it's not that hard. Matter of fact, the only reason for the barrel tools is I wanted a Noveske barrel on my AR10 and a matching upper on my Mega SBR. On my plain jane A4 clone I'm just going to buy a barreled upper since the price really is the same.

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