Building an AR...


March 23, 2009, 02:21 PM
I have been considering getting rid of my Yugo SKS for some time, but I didn't really know what I would put it towards. Last time I was at my local gun shop, I saw a striped AR-15 lower receiver. For some reason it caught my eye. I guess I enjoy the idea of a project where I can build an AR to have whatever options I choose. I figured I could trade in my SKS and use the extra cash towards purchasing parts for what would be my new AR project.

Now the downsides of this scheme. I have never handled, let alone shot an AR-15/M-16 style rifle. I'm low on funding so there is no telling when this project will be complete (well complete enough to shoot, I can always upgrade) and I would be out of a SHTF gun for a while.

My question for you guys and gals is whether building an AR is too over the head of someone new to EBRs? I realize I'd have to do research on the ins and outs in order to put the thing together, but would I be biting off more than I chew? Or is there enough info out there to learn as I go?

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March 23, 2009, 02:27 PM
Quire simple really. Brownells has a DVD on it that is very comprehensive. Dont need to buy many many specialized tools. You're biggest problem these days will be finding the various parts.

March 23, 2009, 02:47 PM
Brownells also has the videos on their website. Also look at The videos can be found there.

March 23, 2009, 02:52 PM
Why get rid of your SKS? I just finished Tapcoing my SKS and it is definitely my go-to SHTF rifle.

Assembling a lower takes about 30 minutes. Anyone can do it. Go to and order their free AR catalog. I wouldn't get too hung up on tiger stripes, even if you buy that lower, it doesn't mean you can match the upper to it later. You can buy and build the lower now, and nickle and dime your way to the upper you want.

March 23, 2009, 03:08 PM
Could be that is a 'stripped' lower rather than a 'striped' one--not that there's anything wrong with that<g>

Hardest part about an AR build is in deciding what you want. OP will likely want to get some loaner time on different kinds if at all possible.

Service rifle, varminters, carbines, anti-zombie rigs, even mall-ninja--the choices are so many.

Me, I'd be inclined to an M-4-sized carbine, but without fixed front sight (flip up BUIS instead), a plain free-float handguard, an a magpul stock. Harder quiestions woulf be gas vs. op rod and plain&simple rail versus multi-function LaRue.

March 23, 2009, 04:07 PM
Depends on the degree you want to go to.
I look at it this way:
If you get the stripped lower now you have the AR15 and everything else does not need an FFL. If you can take the gun down, clean & reassemble it (Detail Strip) you can "build" it. The up side is you can spec out what you want and even buy used parts. You will not likely have much in terms of warranty. You may not save any money either. All the answers have change recently and even vary by location.

I would not suggest putting a barrel on an upper at this point

Like CapnMac said the decisions will be hardest part.

March 23, 2009, 04:52 PM
Agreed. The 'building' is mostly done on the upper by the manufacturer themselves.

All you have to usually do is put on the buttstock and the lower parts to the receiver. Very easy stuff that you can do with opposable thumbs, a small hammer, pliers, and something that can makeshift as a hole punch.

You can save money usually when you buy the upper separately, then buy a stripped lower and parts kit and assemble yourself. The downside is the lack of warranty, but if you have even a novice amount of knowledge, you won't really be able to break your AR.

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