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Making Your Own Ar-15

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JMLV, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. JMLV

    JMLV Well-Known Member

    oK I have a new project in mind. A friend has told me of ar-15 lowers that are 80% completed. some work needed but no FFL is needed to purchace them. sounds like a neat way to build my own ar15. so once we have the lowers completed just how much work is it to assumble a reliable ar15 from avaiable parts? I assume becouse these are "new" manufacture I will have to use post ban parts? which would be easier buying the parts seporatly/in groups or buying one of the complete parts sets that require only a lower to make a complete gun.
    Also since I am manufacturing this firearm for my own use do I have to put some type of serial number on it?

    I know it is legal for me to manufacture my own firearm for my own use (NOT FOR RESALE) incase anybody was wondering.
  2. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Well-Known Member

    I've assembled two on Bushmaster lowers. If I do it again, I'll just get the lower with the small parts pre-installed. It isn' that it's really all that difficult, as such, assembling them. It's more a matter of I just don't want to deal with all the fiddly little springs and pins again. On the other hand, if you have the competence and tools to properly finish an 80% receiver, you're a "hands-on tool kind of guy" and might even enjoy installing said fiddly little springs and pins.
  3. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    Assuming I read your post correctly, you want to buy UNFINISHED metal part which can be hand-worked/machined into a AR-type lower?

    I believe that you should use post-ban parts to configure since this will be a brand new firearm, since your completion day is 2003.

    If you have the time and patience to shave down & machine a lower reciever yourself, you certainly have the patience & ability to assemble the rest of the parts & fit the springs & roll pins correctly. Buying individual parts will cost you more. You can save some money if you buy lower & upper "kits" which contain all the parts minus the reciever.

    Companies like Olympic Arms sells these kits.

    Let us see it when you are finished.
  4. ks_shooter

    ks_shooter Well-Known Member

  5. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

    "some work needed but no FFL is needed to purchace them."

    Is that correct? I thought all lower recievers had to have serial numbers and go through an FFL.

    Copied from the link posted above.

    "The lower receiver housing however, since it is the portion of the rifle that bears the manufacturers name and serial number, is considered, in and of itself, to be a firearm and is subject to all Federal firearms regulations."
  6. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Well-Known Member

  7. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    The actual assembly of an AR15 from parts is nothing. I am not mechanically inclined at all and I can put together a lower in about a half hour on my kitchen counter using a punch, a brass hammer, and needle nosed pliers. I have put together three. Here is a link that gives you step by step instructions for putting together a lower; [url]http://www.ar15.com/content/docs/assembly/lower/[/url]
    When I put together my lowers, I brought that web page up on my laptop and sat it down right next to me and followed it step by step. After the first one, the instructions arn't needed. If you are a complete mechanical idiot like me, it also helps to have a finished lower to look at if you have any questions.
    I used one J&T parts kit, one Bushmaster parts kit, and a DPMS parts kit. The J&T "complete" lower receiver parts kit does not come with a stock, buffer tube, buffer spring, or buffer which I guess is not considered a part of the lower receiver. The Bushmaster was a complete rifle kit that comes with everything except the lower receiver. Although it is called a kit, the only thing you have to assemble is the lower receiver and the buttstock. This kit cost me more than a complete rifle would have cost me, but I wanted to do it myself and the money didn't concern me.
    Building an upper requires a few more tools such as a set of blocks to hold the upper receiver in a vise without damaging it, and a barrel wrench.
    If you sift through the posts on AR15.com, you can find all kinds of information on finishing 80% receivers. You will also find links to other websites and other forums covering this subject very well. As was mentioned, groups of people on AR15.com were formed to chip in on a drilling jig, then it was mailed around to all the members of the group so they could finish their receiver. If you have to buy the jig yourself, it isn't cost effective unless you are going to be finishing a lot of receivers.
    Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
  8. MiniZ

    MiniZ Well-Known Member

    For me, an 80% lower doesn't make sense. A "completed" stripped lower is not very expensive, and I don't have the tools necessary to complete a lower.

    However, if you have the tools and the ability, finishing an 80% lower would be a fun project.
  9. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Well-Known Member

    a finished 80% lower is not on any lists
  10. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

    I bought mine used from someone...somewhere...sometime...at some gunshow. List...what list?:neener:
  11. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    The thing that I was surprised about is the fact that buying an 80% lower costs basically the same thing as buying a finished receiver. I understand the reasons for wanting to finished one yourself, but I was shocked at how expensive the project was. You really have to want to do it and need no other justification. Likewise, I was surprised at how expensive it was to buy parts and build up my own gun. It would seem that with you doing the assembly work, it should be cheaper, but that isn't the case. I do see guys on-line trying to justify it by comparing the price of the absolute cheapest parts with a new Bushmaster or Colt, but if you went to one of the cheaper AR manufacturers, you can buy an assembled AR for the same price as the cheapest home built gun.

    None of this was a factor for me however. I just wanted to build one and was willing to fork over the money and work the overtime to get it.

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