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warlock

Building Your Own Ar-15

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Hi:) New to the forums and glad to be here. Lately I've been interested in getting an ar-15 but the prices in the gun stores have steered me away from getting one. They are just rediculously high:/

I've been reading around on this board about people custom building their own ar-15's....and it sounds like a great idea! I followed the links on Theds post and the prices...considering what your getting and the quality...makes me wonder why more people don't go that route:)

A few questions tho.

1. Because I'm not able to buy the lower reciever online(no FFL of course), will I have problems getting the parts to match because I will be getting the lower reciever from someone else besides model 1 or J & T? I'm concerned the parts won't fit flush.

2. How much money, after everything is said and done, can I expect to spend if I go for this kit for example? Is really the only thing I need to purchase seperately the lower reciever...and this kit includes everything else? If indeed this is the case...this is an exceptional deal.

3. I'm complete noob when it comes to ar-15s, and I'm a little intimidated by trying to assemble anything that comes through the mail. I do see at model 1's sight...that the kits come assembled...and the just the lower reciever needs to be added. Do I really need to be worried about anything?

4. Looking at the options available...I'm a little confused. I see for example the choice between a 1-8 twist and 1-9 twist. Also the options for a fluted barrel(I know what this is)and treaded(I don't know about this)

5. I also see pre-ban options available on their standard rifle kit. It doesn't say anything about LEO only....rather just that all NFA rules apply. For example it does offer a collapseable/adjustable stock for the ar-15 that I know has been outlawed. Does this mean they are selling a preban kit that was manufactured before 1994? I still though it was illegal to purchase and build one after 1994.

Sorry for all the questions but after looking through all the back posts I couldnt find a post that answered all these questions:)

Thanks again

James

Edited by warlock

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In most cases, it costs $700-$800 to build your own. I can get a complete lower with stock and innards for about $300 through the local gun shop. A quick scan of the ads in Small Arms Review shows me a "complete" upper with barrel, gas tube and forend for between $400 and $600 (PLEASE do NOT try to assemble a "pre-ban" upper on your new lower receiver. It's a felony. Not worth the fine, jail, lawyer's fees, loss of ALL your guns, etc., just to have a "neat" gun). BUT, you're not quite ready to shoot yet! You still need a bolt and bolt carrier. You might be able to find a complete unit (bolt, carrier, firing pin, carrier key and cam pin) for around $100 on eBay or at a gun show. If you buy parts disassembled, you MIGHT be able to shave those prices by more than a few bucks, BUT you'll need the tools to put 'em all together, negating at least some of your savings. I've come to the conclusion that it's simpler to buy the gun already assembled, unless you're doing it as an exercise in gunsmithing.

Parts match is generally not too much of a problem, make sure you use AR15 parts, not M16. ATF considers a semi-auto AR15 with M16 parts a machine gun (see the part about "felony" above). Be sure your upper and lower receivers match (some rifles use a screw for the forward hinge pin, some use a push-pin).

Pre-ban uppers (specifically the barrel, which is threaded for the flash hider, and the front sight base, which has a bayonet lug) may NOT be assembled to a receiver that was not assembled as a legal pre-ban rifle prior to the assault weapons ban (see felony, etc, above). They are for owners of pre-ban rifles who want different options of barrel length or bull barrel or a flat-top upper. A post-ban upper CAN be assembled to a pre-ban lower, though.

1-in-8 or 1-in-9 twist is a choice that will be influenced by the ammo you intend to use. If you'll be shooting mostly 55 grain ball and soft-points, with a little heavier stuff thrown in occasionally, pick the 1-in-9. If you intend to shoot heavier bullets most of the time, go with 1-in-8.

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Thank you very much for your reply!

I have been researching the J&T websight and Model 1 websights for ar-15 bull barrel kits. Pricewise both companies are pretty even, although J&T offers a few more options than Model 1. I also looked at DPMS and they have a nice website...but it appears to be a little more pricey.

Here are the links to my two choices(keep in mind I would rather spend a bit more money going with a quality kit from a reputable company)

http://www.model1sales.com/item-detail.cfm...ℑ=v16k.gif Model 1 16 inch stainless bull barrel

http://webcats.net/store/merchant.mv?Scree...Category_Code=K J&T 16 inch stainless bull barrel

Narrowing it down to these two choices....I would like to get some opinions from people having dealt with the companies...and which options I would want. For example whether to get a titanium firing pin or chrome bolt carrier....I'm not familier with these. I want to get a quality piece and I'm willing to spend the extra money to see it through. Do you think I should go DPMS and spend a little extra? DPMS appears to sell the entire gun for a reasonable price...but I would have to find a FFL dealer who would want to do the transfer...and I'm loathe to try to find an honest gun dealer in the area(almost everyone I've dealt with tried to scam me....are there any honest ppl in the business?)

After getting this kits(they appear to come fully assembled save for stripped lower reciever), all I would need to do I'm guessing is to buy the lower reciever. Is it that complicated to just put the two together?

Thanks again

Edited by warlock

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Its not that complicated at all. I would suggest getting the AGI gunsmithing video or a book to back you up should you have any questions. Building an AR-15 can be done under an hour if you buy the kit with the barrel already installed to the upper reciever and headspaced with bolt.

The Model "1" Sales Kits have everything but the lower rec included. Building a lower does not really require special tools however a 1/8" steel drift punch and a brass one would be helpful for setting the pins for the hammer and fire control group. Getting the springs and parts inline to pass a pin through them is the only pain in the ass part of building your own.

I would go to your local gunstore and see how much they are selling an AR Lower receiver for, or perhaps (and better yet) go to a gunshow to purchase one. I see them at local gunshows starting at $80. This IS an FFL required option.

I have built AR's rifles for under $600 easily (with one magazine).

I would suggest starting with the basic $400 kits that these distributors offer.

As a side note, do not build a "Pre-ban" kit on a new receiver, unless you wish to risk having a vacation at Club Fed. Stick with the Post Ban. The possible 1994AW ban sunseting may allow you to actually build a "Preban" style rifle, but until that happens follow the law.

-Thed

I have been tossing the idea around of building an AR-15a3 with a 20" stainless barrel myself....

Edited by Thed

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Thanks for the info...but I have one question:

you said ." would go to your local gunstore and see how much they are selling an AR Lower receiver for, or perhaps (and better yet) go to a gunshow to purchase one. I see them at local gunshows starting at $80. This IS an FFL required option."

Are you saying that unless I have a FFL I can't buy the seperate lower reciever...even if I head into a gun store or gun show? Maybe I heard you incorrectly.

Anyways...would you mind answering my question about the various options available for the kits...which are important and which don't really need to be done.

Thanks

James

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what he's saying about the lower reciever is that is the "gun" per federal regulations(not that it makes sense)but to purchase one online and have it shipped to you you would have to have the f.f.l. if you go to a gun store or gun show you will fill out the yellow form for the lower reciever.

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what he's saying about the lower reciever is that is the "gun" per federal regulations(not that it makes sense)but to purchase one online and have it shipped to you you would have to have the f.f.l. if you go to a gun store or gun show you will fill out the yellow form for the lower reciever.

Yup.

You have to buy the Lower Receiver through an FFL holder. This means going to a gun dealer, whether at a gunshow or a store. The Brady Laws & background check apply to this part.

Sorry about not being too clear.

-Thed

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NP, I thought it was a newbish question anyways....but thanks for info:) Beginning to buy componenets today.

Update(components bought so far)

1. upper kit from model 1 sales. 16 inch bull stainless barrel a3 upper flat top

2. 1 piece scope platform with 1 inch rings from model 1

3. Bushmaster lower with 2 stage trigger upgrade(local dealer)

4. Burris Fullfield II scope 3-9 x 40

5. 4 Labelle 30 round telflon milspec mags

6. Harris bipod

Excited...can't wait to get it together and go try it out. Sure to look great when finished:)

Will post pics when completed...and when kits arrive in mail

Thanks

James

Edited by warlock

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GunsAmerica.com usually has Rock River Lowers for under $100. The Model 1 sales kit is about $400. So you should be under $550 for the basic gun, after you assemble it. No sales tax on the rest of the parts, just on the lower.

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I buy a lot of guns through the internet. You can usually find a list of dealers who do internet transactions in your local area. They usually charge a 15-25$ handling fee but if you do it right, you can save a lot of money.

All you have to do is arrange the payment with the seller, then go to your local FFL and have him send a copy of his signed FFL to the seller. The seller ships to the Local FFL holder, and you go sign for the weapon just as if you purchased it there.

As far as lowers go (no Colt ones). Ive had great luck with Bushmaster, Rock River Arms and DPMS. Those brands are just as good as the Colt and Armalite brands, and are less expensive. I am really impressed with Rock River Arms....you definitely get the most quality for the buck with them. Bushmaster is a little more pricey, but the quality is excellent none the less.

Pre-Ban lower receivers are rare, and expensive. They usually run about 700-900 dollars just for the lower. Even at this price I managed to snag one and build a preban M4 Carbine out of it, and still saved some money. Learning the AR-15 is very easy. Eugene stoner made an excellent gun, and the things basically snap together like an erector set.

Good luck with your project.

Jeff

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