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Ok, I have been reading the post headlines, and alot of you guys are building your own ARs. How did you learn how to build one? I am interested in doing this, but have no idea how to get started, or what kind of tools I would need.
Are there kits available and you just build it from the kit?
Thanks.
 

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There are a number of online resources available that shows how. If you visit brownells.com, they have video's breaking down the various steps that are some of the better quality content that you can find.

And although there usually isn't a kit available to build a whole gun, there are kits to build the lower reciever and if you don't want to build the upper yourself, they often come preassembled ready to drop on.
 

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First, you've gotta read.

Take a few days/weeks to go through that Officer.com thread, you won't regret it.

Recently, there's been a thread ("Best value 5.56") on the DefensiveCarry.com Forums, by one of the AR enthusiasts there by the name of jonconsiglio, which essentially condenses (and updates) what was said in the many *critical* beginning pages of the Officer.com thread. That single post by jonconsiglio can easily serve as your launching pad.
 

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Another option is to look for a local gun club. Mine occasionally plans "build parties". People that want to build AR's show up at one guy's house or shop and share tools and knowledge. Newbies, with the appropriate level of humility, are generally welcomed.
 

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Assemble your own LOWER, UPPER, FREE FLOAT, TRIGGER, GAS BLOCK - Step by step instructions! - AR15.COM

GunTech Search - World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools - BROWNELLS

The Range Bag


You can buy kits or just individual parts, it's all up to you.

Spend some time deciding what you want it to do and then look at some pics and read up and you'll be able to narrow down what parts you like some. Here's some links to read through. Not everyone likes these links, but I think a person can find some useful information in these. I'm just providing them so you can look at them if you choose to.

AR Technical Discussion FAQ/Knowledge Base Threads - M4Carbine.net Forums
Knowledge Based Threads - M4Carbine.net Forums
Basic AR15 cleaning - M4Carbine.net Forums
Be an informed consumer! - M4Carbine.net Forums

I like building them. For many people it makes sense and for others it doesn't, of course.

Some folks just build the lower and buy an upper.
 

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There are plenty of youtube vids as well. Thats how i learned. Its easy everyone should try.
 

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I would say most of us here will build the lowers, doesnt require all the tools needed to build an upper. Lower is very easy to build with minimal tooling. The most you need is a mallet and a punch set.
 

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If you're really ambitious and have some toolage (like a vertical mill) available, you can get 80% lowers with no transfer, a machining fixture, and finish them yourself, then put the rest of the parts on. No paperwork, hmm... I, um, know some guy, that's... thinking about doing that. Yeah, some guy I know, and he's just, um, thinking about it. Yeah.
 

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I don't know if this is in any of the numerous linked How-To Videos...
But lemme toss out a helpful tip or two.

When building a lower, or dealing with any springs, pins and little easily lost do-dads, two things come to mind.

(1) A large clear/opaque garbage bag is invaluable, install springs and such with this as a tent, this keeps springs/etc from being inadvertently launched into a 3rd dimension and never seen again.

(2) A magnetic tray to hold all the little easy to lose springs, pins, roll pins and dagnabits that are all too easily lost when knocked off your work surface.
 

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I don't know if this is in any of the numerous linked How-To Videos...
But lemme toss out a helpful tip or two.

When building a lower, or dealing with any springs, pins and little easily lost do-dads, two things come to mind.

(1) A large clear/opaque garbage bag is invaluable, install springs and such with this as a tent, this keeps springs/etc from being inadvertently launched into a 3rd dimension and never seen again.

(2) A magnetic tray to hold all the little easy to lose springs, pins, roll pins and dagnabits that are all too easily lost when knocked off your work surface.
YES +10000

When I built my lower, I had a sneaking suspicion that I would have a spring to flying off on me, so I used a large cardboard box on its side and worked inside of it. I used a few lamps over my shoulders to give me light. I am thankful I did that, more than one spring was saved by that box before I was done.
 

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No need for bags or boxes to prevent losing detents and springs.

There is a tool for that.

Sorry, but I was always told to use the right tool for the right job to make your life simpler.

After using it once, I'll never use ziplocks, or launch another.
 

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No need for bags or boxes to prevent losing detents and springs.

There is a tool for that.

Sorry, but I was always told to use the right tool for the right job to make your life simpler.

After using it once, I'll never use ziplocks, or launch another.
Its a matter of Dollars and Sense for me.
Tool = Dollars
Bag = Cents
And Cents just makes Sense for someone like me.
 

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Lots of reading and research. There is plenty of info out there. It's a very simple task to be honest with you. Hardest part is setting a budget and then sticking to that budget. There are plenty of 'add-ons' that you will want and it raises the cost fast.

Here's some links that got me started:

So you want to buy an AR-15, huh?

Building a lower

AR-15 - AR15.COM

Military Test Data PDF (Pretty big file)
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2006smallarms/taylor.pdf#search=%22sopmod%22

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