Building AR's


January 1, 2010, 06:22 AM
Where would a person go to find out info on how to build and buy parts for the AR rifles? I would like to learn how to build my own AR. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

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January 1, 2010, 06:41 AM
many many threads have covered this. i suggest using the search option. but to sate your curiosity

January 1, 2010, 08:22 AM

Click on "instructional videos" tab at the bottom of the page.

Ohio Gun Guy
January 1, 2010, 09:45 AM
I'm interested too.

Lets say right now a DPMS M4 can be had for 800.00.

How much would you save by essentially making it yourself?

January 1, 2010, 10:23 AM is the most commonly used resource. their build guides have been used by tens of thousands. has some very solid technical info. and of course, there's quite a bit of good info in the reading library sticky in this forum.

btw, welcome to THR

January 1, 2010, 11:19 AM
You might not save a dime. Essentially, you should - the cost of labor, which comes out to about $100-150. What many don't consider is the skill involved in all the little things - like installing the lower trigger roll pin without breaking off the mounting ear, or making sure the upper is squared, true, and properly tightened by the numbers (three times) with an appropriate lube.

All that is in most of the assembly stickies. If you are mechanical, and have worked on automobiles, it will be relatively easier than rebuilding a carburetor or alternator.

But the real hazard is that buying the components separately means you get to pick and choose, and that's like passing a whorehouse on your wedding day. Will you stick to your commitment or stray? Things could get really expensive.

If you choose to build, figure out what kind of carbine you want, what items, what budget, etc. Then you have a clear cut goal. Otherwise, you get trapped wrangling decisions over stuff that may be entirely incompatible - like a 24" barrel with four rail handguard on a issue M4 stock. Don't build a hybrid, it winds up not doing anything well.

January 1, 2010, 12:04 PM
I have built all the AR's I have, and a basic rifle can be built for less than $600 typically. Your real expense will start after the build is complete, as you will need magazines, ammo, a sling, a light, some sort of fore arm rail, some sort of optics, an upgrade to your butt stock and pistol grip, then a second rifle, and then a third, then a foiurth, all in different configurations for different reasons.

As Triod said, basic mechanical skills and a handful of tools, plus a good place to spred it all out (as well as a third hand on occasion), you can build quite successfully. has some great info on building.

Good luck, and welcome to the "sickness"!

January 1, 2010, 12:29 PM
Centerfire systems has stripped lowers for under $100. Complete ARs are $700 on up.
Advantage to building is to get the AR you want and you can spread out your cost over several months...I usually spend more when I get it done than a basic built one. Fun to do.

January 1, 2010, 12:36 PM
I was going to build a AR in .308 It would have cost a few hundred more than the one I bought. So I agree with the others, it's not a cost saver, it's just fun and you build what you want. my 2 cents.

January 1, 2010, 12:54 PM
Spikes Tactical ( has a couple stripped lowers at $90 right now.

January 1, 2010, 02:42 PM
Stripped lowers have gone from $200+ (for a S&W a year ago), to $80+ today. I'm expecting (hoping) that the other parts will go down more than weve seen so far before putting an upper together in .223. Take your time and shop everything, but buy quality stuff.

January 1, 2010, 03:45 PM

I wouldn't count on prices going any lower.

January 2, 2010, 07:03 AM
thanks for all the info. is the lower reciever the only part that has to be purchased through a FFL dealer? Would it be better to get the upper and lower halves for a first time buyer or buy part by part? Oh yea and thanks for the welcomes. This is a great site with great info. Thanks Brent

January 2, 2010, 08:26 AM
Yes, the stripped lower receiver is the "firearm" and must be purchased from a FFL (you can have one shipped to the FFL). With few exceptions like short barrels and silencers, everything else for a standard rifle can be purchased online and shipped to your door, no FFL.

You can buy complete upper and lower receivers and pin them together - or build up stripped receivers with the parts YOU choose. Either way, do your research and buy the right parts for YOU. Many people build the lower and buy a complete upper which has been headspaced and test fired.

January 2, 2010, 03:27 PM
Ive got to put another +1 on It was the best resource I could find when I was doing research on my build.

There is a wealth of knowledge on the platform there and even a forum dedicated to building your own.

January 2, 2010, 03:33 PM
Lets say right now a DPMS M4 can be had for 800.00.

How much would you save by essentially making it yourself?

Assuming the upper goes for about $400 or less, you can save $150-200 - maybe even a bit more.

If you enjoyed reading about "Building AR's" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!