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Hey guys! I was hoping to get some information on building an AR from the ground up. However, I'll be first to admit that I don't know anything about rifles or the mechanics behind them. I'm not really looking for a brand specific way to build an AR but really maybe a good guide I could go by? I know I need a lower and an upper but what about the in between stuff? Are there any kits that I can just buy and then piece together myself that's still decently priced? Thanks for any help y'all have!
 

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Check out the AR forum. Lots of info there
 
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If you plan on building both the upper and lower, I'd suggest getting a matched pair from one company. Fit and finish will likely be more uniform this way.

And there's a plethora of companies that offer small parts build kits for both the upper reciever and lower.

Just gotta decide how much you want to spend and what the mission of the rifle is.

It's a dizzying array of options and accessories, good luck figuring out what you want!
 

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It's a buyer's market that is not likely to change any time soon.

So, with that said, let's spend your money wisely.

I would encourage you to - BEFORE YOU BUY - to take an intro-level "armorer course."

No, not a full-on one. While I believe that it would be beneficial, I also think that much of it would go over your head, unless you are already well-versed with firearms and furthermore am adept at using various hand-tools/instruments.

Academi in NC offers a true armorer course for the AR-platform. I would encourage you to contact them to see if they have a course that's designed for civilians new to the gun who are looking to better familiarize themselves with the platform while not seeking certification as an armorer.

While these courses may not tell you what to buy or avoid (nor will they be as in-depth as a true-blue "armorer course" that's designed to certify the individual), they'll at least give you a very good idea of what to look out for, and should help you better understand why some components may cost more, while seemingly identical to another.

One-day (6 to 8 hour) courses of this type should cost around $100 to $150, and should be taught by a well-known armorer/gunsmith in your area. For example, the AR Armorer Course hosted by Weyer Tactical (AR15 Armorer's Course) is taught by Dave Laubert of Defensive Creations (Happy EntrepreNewYear: Defensive Creations | RECOIL), and is a wonderful, low-key mechanical introduction to the platform that took us not only through the components and disassembly/assembly of our ARs, but also examined the whys and hows of this platform's most typical stoppages/malfunctions and breakages.

That really reads like a cheap-out answer, but trust me, it's not. I went to the Weyer AR course after having some experience with the platform - and I got way more than what I paid for it out if it.

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With the upper and lower, there's plenty available, but forgings are only made by a few - what's different between the brands (and prices) is their own requirements of quality and tolerances, and this is where you really should pay some good money, to insure that your build has a solid foundation.

From there, the barrel and the bolt carrier group ("BCG") are the guts and heart of the rifle. Skimp here at your own peril.

The lower parts kit (LPK) may seem to be something that you can skimp on, but I would recommend that you do not. Again, how closely the specs are followed and what kind of Q/C the components must meet varies tremendously - and while a budget set of components may well do just fine on a hobby gun that's shot purely for fun at the range, should it see adverse conditions (such as on below-freezing night in a high-volume-of-fire class), it may not do so well. The simple answer here is to buy from a known quantity such as Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM, Sionics, Sons of Liberty Gun Works, or ALG. Some of these kits may even come with an upgraded trigger.
 
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