What is needed to build an AR?


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Dr. Fresh
November 5, 2008, 02:23 AM
I hear people saying building an AR is like using Legos. I don't think I have the knowledge to assemble the lower receiver and install the barrel and all that, so I was thinking of buying a complete lower and an upper with the barrel and such already attached.

Maybe something like this:
http://www.ar15pro.com/item/63321_DPMS_Rifles_Shotguns_DPMS_Firearms__Lower_Receiver_Assembly_with_A2_Sto.aspx

Mated with this:
http://www.galatiinternational.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=GIO&Product_Code=MDB204&Category_Code=AR15uppers


I'd need the charging handle and bolt carrier as well, yes? What else would I need? Is this really as simple as it looks?

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benzy2
November 5, 2008, 02:49 AM
That would be all you would need (those two and the charging handle and bolt carrier group). You put the bolt carrier group and charging handle in the upper, line up the from holes and push the pin in, pivot the upper and lower shut, and push the rear pin through and you are ready to rock. Most people "build" and AR by buying a stripped lower and putting it together. All you really need there are a few punches and a hammer and you can put it all together. Nothing hard at all and ar15.com has many instruction threads. Putting together an upper takes a few specific tools and is only really a benefit if you plan on building multiple uppers. If not you can normally order the complete upper the way you want and have it put together at the shop you order from for no charge.

My question is why would you do it that way? That combo with the added cost of the bolt carrier group and the charging handle is $740. Add in a magazine that isn't included and you are at $760. RRA can give you an identical looking rifle for $770, will come with a trigger that is far better than the standard single stage that comes with that lower (and extra $100 option), and it is guaranteed to shoot 1 MOA with good ammo. In the case you do decide to sell you certainly have more resale value with a factory rifle than a pieced together rifle built with non-competition grade parts. Ordering from multiple places pushes shipping charges even higher. It just doesn't make sense to part together this rifle for this price when a great factory option (others have great options too in that price range, not just RRA). If you are just pushing two pins together why not buy it as one?

Dr. Fresh
November 5, 2008, 02:53 AM
Thanks for the help, and good point. The only real advantage to doing it this way is that I don't have a lot of money so I might just be buying the lower for the time being and worrying about the rest later. I dunno for sure though.

mljdeckard
November 5, 2008, 03:09 AM
The lower is NOT AT ALL difficult. a stripped lower is about $120. (Ok, I have absolutely n0 idea what it will be TOMORROW.) The guts for the lower start about $45, after trigger upgrades, etc might range up to $150. You will need two small punches of different sizes, and a small hammer. The instructions are all over the internet. It takes an expert about 30 minutes, it takes a first timer maybe two hours.

I haven't done an upper yet, it involves a set of jaws made to match the upper with a vise, pinning the gas tube, screwing in the barrel with the torque wrench, and matching up the sights and locking rings. Apparently it's not as tricky as it sounds.

The advantage of this method is, it gives you an intimate knowledge of how the gun actually works. You feel much better about switching out your own upgrades, making your own repairs, or building another one. You can order that (free) AR-15 catalog from Brownell's, and have endless options you can install yourself.

Dr. Fresh
November 5, 2008, 03:21 AM
Well that doesn't sound too bad really as far as the lower goes. I can always buy a complete upper if it proves to be too much for me. Thanks.

Canuck-IL
November 5, 2008, 05:53 AM
Use vise grips w tape on the jaws instead of a hammer on the lower roll pin assembly. It's dead simple - my first 2 took 30 minutes each, no scratches, work fine.
/Bryan

BB93YJ
November 5, 2008, 10:26 AM
Brownell's has also made it's entire video series on how to build an AR available online for free here : http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/GunTech/NewsletterArchive.aspx?x=v&p=0&t=1&i=1115

Dr. Fresh
November 5, 2008, 10:12 PM
Awesome.

Has anyone had a bad experience mating uppers and lowers from different manufacturers?

kcmarine
November 5, 2008, 11:59 PM
What be needed?

Parts.


And nope. People do it all of the time. For the most part, uppers and lowers from reputable, mil- spec manufacturers will fit together fine.

greyling22
November 6, 2008, 12:04 AM
buy a complete upper, build your lower. have fun.

Mainsail
November 6, 2008, 12:51 AM
I built up my lower with the RRA 2-stage trigger group, it was easy! Being impatient, I bought the entire upper already done. I got this CMMG from AIM. 16" Barrel with the mid-length gas system allows for a bayonet to be mounted; useful for armed turkey carving.
http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/cmmgu1605.jpg

Here's the finished product. As soon as my dealer gets the EOTech I'll replace the cheesy one on there now.
http://img.geocaching.com/user/009c5ed3-2f35-4df4-bb1b-2bec91c55e26.jpg

mljdeckard
November 6, 2008, 01:01 AM
The only exception I know for mating uppers is Colt-pattern, which use a different size push-pin and hole. But I understand that there are also adapters to fit certain cases of this.

ugaarguy
November 6, 2008, 01:07 AM
The only exception I know for mating uppers is Colt-pattern, which use a different size push-pin and hole. But I understand that there are also adapters to fit certain cases of this.
Some Colt commercial uppers are large front pin. Colt Mil/LE uppers are standard mil spec push pin. An offset pin will allow a large pin Colt commercial upper to fit a standard mil spec diameter push pin lower.

Tarvis
November 6, 2008, 01:40 AM
Has anyone had a bad experience mating uppers and lowers from different manufacturers?
Other than the Colt issues stated above, the finish might not match.

If you're going to buy a stripped lower, you might as well buy 3, or even 5 ;). Colemantyler.com sells DPMS lowers on discount ($97 each) for 5 or more. You can always go through Anvil Arms as well, and get whatever you want lasered on the side for free.

Dr. Fresh
November 6, 2008, 03:18 AM
Holy crap that's cheap! Too bad I can't afford 5 lowers. But boy I wish I could. Sure would be nice to build 5 ARs in different configurations.

Reid73
November 6, 2008, 11:50 AM
All you need is money; and not a lot, really.

Hoppy590
November 6, 2008, 01:31 PM
upper, lower, and opposable thumbs.

Holy crap that's cheap! Too bad I can't afford 5 lowers. But boy I wish I could. Sure would be nice to build 5 ARs in different configurations.

well that 97$ is the STRIPPED lower. add in the lower parks kit (LPK) for about 55$, a stock and buffer system for about 65$ and your looking at 220$ for a completed lower.

then another 400 for a completed upper (delton or stag) and you can have an AR for 600$ about.

or buy the stripped lower, and then a Delton rifle kit ( upper, stock, buffer, LPK) and build it for just under 600$

cougar1717
November 6, 2008, 02:01 PM
About a month ago, the ATF changed the form that you have to fill out when you purchase a firearm to separate purchases of complete firearms from purchases of frames/receivers. This is a new form and some FFL holders do not want to mess with it. When I asked about buying a stripped AR lower at my local gun shop, the owner would neither sell me one nor transfer one to me. My opinion is that this seems to be a step toward another assault weapons ban. In my opinion, it is not wise to hoard lower receivers unless you have the intention and money to build them into firearms.

Hoppy590
November 6, 2008, 06:06 PM
About a month ago, the ATF changed the form that you have to fill out when you purchase a firearm to separate purchases of complete firearms from purchases of frames/receivers. This is a new form and some FFL holders do not want to mess with it. When I asked about buying a stripped AR lower at my local gun shop, the owner would neither sell me one nor transfer one to me. My opinion is that this seems to be a step toward another assault weapons ban. In my opinion, it is not wise to hoard lower receivers unless you have the intention and money to build them into firearms.

the owner of that store simply didnt want money apparently.
the new 4473 simply asks you to identify it as a receiver under "other". and it mandatory use date isnt untill Jan. 15, 2009. untill then you can use the old 4473's

find a new shop.

Dr. Fresh
November 6, 2008, 06:08 PM
Well right now I'm just looking at buying one lower, possibly complete, maybe stripped. Haven't decided yet.

mljdeckard
November 6, 2008, 08:43 PM
Just got my parts kit. Installing it tonight.

mljdeckard
November 8, 2008, 02:24 AM
All went well, except that my bolt catch was a tight fit. I worked it a little, saw where it was binding in the slot, filed it oh so gently, and now it works fine. If one were to look closely, they might see a couple of scratches where I had to force the roll pin for the bolt catch in, but it's small, and I'm not selling it. :)

RockyMtnTactical
November 8, 2008, 11:46 AM
There's one way.

Mainsail
November 8, 2008, 07:42 PM
I got my EOTech 557 today and the AR is finished. I may add a magnifier some day, but for now it's exactly what I wanted in an AR.
http://img.geocaching.com/user/d8ebfbdb-ace9-4872-87f9-79f8cab37493.jpg

Dr. Fresh
November 8, 2008, 10:05 PM
Mainsail, that sight looks nice on there. I also like the look of the old 20-rounders.

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