The AR-15 is a remarkably popular rifle, and I’m sure you are aware of that! If you are a firearm enthusiast, you can understand the problems of ready-made firearms. While you buy a complete rifle from a gun shop, you might not be happy with that one! That’s why the AR-15 is!
This article will describe how to assemble AR-15 upper, lower to build the rifle. We hope you will understand how to build a ar 15 correctly by reading this proper guideline.
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) reported that one out of every five firearms purchased in America is an AR-styled rifle. The NBC news said that current American citizens own almost 15-million AR-15 styled guns!
According to these statistics, there is no argument that AR 15 is America’s most favorite rifle. But why AR-15 become America’s most favorite rifle? The reason behind this is ultimate customization, efficiency, user-friendliness, and the most relaxed assembling facility.
So let's dig into the main topic of building an ar15.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Assemble AR-15 Upper: Do Some Research First
- 2 How Much Does It Cost To Building An AR 15?
- 3 How To Build An AR 15 Upper Kit
- 4 How to Assemble AR 15 Lower Kit
- 4.1 Step #1: Assemble the Magazine Catch
- 4.2 Step #2: Assemble the Trigger Guard
- 4.3 Step #3: Assemble the Bolt Catch
- 4.4 Step #4: Assemble the Front Take-down Pin
- 4.5 Step #5: Assemble the Trigger
- 4.6 Step #6: Assemble the Hammer
- 4.7 Step #7: Assemble the Pistol Grip and Selector
- 4.8 Step #8: Assemble the Buffer Tube
- 5 Few Important Points to Remember While Building An AR 15
- 6 Conclusion
How to Assemble AR-15 Upper: Do Some Research First
Before starting to build your AR-15, you should do a little bit of research. It may include some vital information about the kits, assembling, the parts' working procedure, etc.
At the very beginning, you may start with the technical articles. As soon as you begin to read those articles, you will face technical terms like Staking the Castle Nut, Buffer Retainer, or Barrel Nut Alignment Gauge.
Don’t freak out! These are just the name of some tools, parts, and some assembling steps. The working procedure doesn’t as tricky as the pronunciation.
After completing the internet research, now it’s time to buy some required tools. So, look for some gun shops or online retailers where you can purchase those tools without costing lots of money.
Building An AR-15: AR-15 Parts List
- Stripped Lower,
- Trigger (If not using parts kit trigger),
- Stripped or Assembled Upper,
- Dust Cover (If using Stripped Upper),
- Forward Assist (If using a Stripped Upper),
- Hand guard,
- Gas Block,
- Charging Handle,
- Punches and a hammer,
- Firing pin kit (a combination of the bolt, carrier, firing pin, extractor, spring, and ejector),
- Lower Parts Kit,
- Buffer Kit (Buffer, buffer spring, buffer tube),
- Pistol Grip,
- Gas Tube,
- Bolt Carrier Group,
- Lubrication rated for gun use,
- Muzzle Device,
- A rifle mount stand etc.
How Much Does It Cost To Building An AR 15?
By noticing this massive list of required tools, a question might be arising in your mind. Probably you are thinking, how much does it cost to build a AR 15?
Well, the overall building cost depends on your purpose. At first, determine why are you building this AR-15?
You might not need all of these tools to build the rifle. You have to choose only those tools which you may need. However, if it seems too confusing, don’t waste more time on that. To help you refine your vision, I have divided the builds into three different categories.
They are –
- General Build
- Customized Build
- Performance Build
Let me inform you briefly about these builds.
1. Cost Of General AR Build
The general build is the most basic AR-15. It looks almost similar to the military issued weapon. It can perform only basic operations. This arm looks like it came straight from the arms room.
These guns are mostly used for personal protection. You can build a quality general AR-15 within $600 to $700 budget range. These types of arms are incredibly cost-effective.
2. Expenditure of Customized AR Build
It is the most popular build among firearm enthusiasts. The builder can stretch his build according to his budget. Even after completing the building, you can upgrade any parts in this customized build.
If you are looking for a multi-purpose gun, then you should go for the customized build. This build is very stable and costly by nature. Generally, it will cost around $1000 to $1500 to build a customized AR-15.
3. Performance Build
If you want the best of the best AR-15, you should go for the performance build. The firearms of this category are used mostly for professional use. If you are a professional competitive shooter or a military person, then you are going to love this build!
The AR-15 of this build is pretty much upgraded in every section. From the optics to barrel or trigger, this build will satisfy you for sure. But if you think about this build, be prepared to shell out some additional cash. A typical performance build will cost from $1500 to beyond.
These are the different types of builds of AR-15. Determine which build suits your requirements the most!
How To Build An AR 15 Upper Kit
Hope that you collected all the required tools. Also, the purpose of building your AR-15 is understandable for you. Now it’s time to go for the actual build.
There is two different part of building AR-15. They are–
- Building the upper kit and
- Strengthening the lower kit
I will inform you both of this procedure step-by-step.
Step #1: Installing the Forward Assist Assembly
If your AR-15 upper receiver doesn’t come with any forward assist, you need to pop it in. Installing the forward assist is a straightforward process. Position the bowed section towards the inside and flat side towards outside.
Now, remove the recessed part and input the roll pin there. If the forwards assist it correctly set up, you can see the sunlight through it.
Step #2: Install the Dust Cover
The dust cover isn’t a headache if you have the proper spring. Before installing the dust cover, preload the spring first.
Then hold the spring on the gap of between two hinge pin housings. The shorter part will be on the gun and the longer piece will on the dust cover.
Step #3: Install the barrel
You will need a Reaction Rod to install the barrel. Insert the Reaction Rod on the slotted end. You need to apply enough amount of torque to place the barrel in the appropriate place.
Remember, the wrong amount of torque will ruin the accuracy of your gun.
Now look for the small notch on the top position. It must be aligned with the pin. It holds the barrel and other parts on their appropriate place.
Step #4: Install the Barrel Nut
The barrel nut hosts the hand guards and also adds the upper receiver with the barrel. To install the barrel nut, start screwing the barrel using the torque wrench. Keep it perfectly aligned with the upper receiver and the gas tube hole.
Step #5: Install the Gas Tube
When the barrel nut gets in place, it’s time to go for the gas tube. The gas tube redirects the hot gasses towards the barrel. At first, insert the gas tube on the gas block.
It establishes a connection between the port of the barrel and gas tube. Use the armor wrench to hold it in place.
After pinning the gas tube and the block together, it’s time to place them on the top of the barrel. All of them must be placed on a straight alignment.
Now place the bolt carrier inside of the gas tube. It will automatically slide into the gas key.
Step #6: Installing the Hand Guards
It might be the most natural part of installing the upper kit of your AR-15. There are two types of hand guards: screwed and bolted.
Merely put the hand guard onto the barrel and tighten the screw. And you are done!
Step #7: Check Everything
After installing up the handguards, you are practically done now. Now check the upper kit.
If it works, then proceed to build the lower kit. Otherwise, dismantle everything and give it a fresh start.
How to Assemble AR 15 Lower Kit
After successfully building the upper kit, it’s time to make the lower kit. Just like the top kit, here is the step-by-step process of building the smaller kit.
Step #1: Assemble the Magazine Catch
At first, insert the magazine catch into the left side of the receiver. Then place a spring over the trick. Now, screw a button on the threaded portion of the magazine.
Then, continuously rotate the magazine clockwise until the catch flush with the magazine button. Now, insert a magazine to check whether it is working or not. If it works, proceed to the 2nd step.
Step #2: Assemble the Trigger Guard
Assemble the trigger guard with the receiver by using a decent. Now support the trigger guard and the bottom flange with a small portion of the wood. And then drive the roll pin into the rear part of the trigger guard and the receiver.
If you can pivot the trigger guard open, that’s means you have attached the trigger guard properly.
Step #3: Assemble the Bolt Catch
At first use two layers of masking tape between the bolt catch and selector switch of the receiver. Then tap the roll pin into the hole of the first hump. Now install a spring on the left shaft of the receiver.
After installing the spring, install a bolt catch plunger on top of it. Then drive the roll pin into the rest of the way towards the receiver.
Step #4: Assemble the Front Take-down Pin
Insert the detent and the spring into the hole of the receiver. Now compress the detent and spring using a knife and slide the take down into the hole.
If the detent prevents the take-down pin from coming to the receiver, then you have configured it correctly.
Step #5: Assemble the Trigger
Here goes the most important part. Place the trigger spring under a trigger hole first. Then install a dis-connector spring towards the trigger and push it. You have to position the disconnected on the top of the trigger.
Then insert the trigger assembly into the receiver. By keeping the trigger spring facing forward, add the trigger pin through the receiver, disconnected, and trigger.
If the trigger pivots smoothly, that means you have installed the trigger properly.
Step #6: Assemble the Hammer
At first place, the hammer springs onto the stick and keep it faced to the hammer strike. Now insert the stick into the receiver. Then use a punch to hold the hammer into the hole of the receiver.
Remember, the end portion of the rod will be on the trigger pin. If the hammer falls at the time of pressing the trigger that means your hammer is assembled correctly.
Step #7: Assemble the Pistol Grip and Selector
Insert the safety selector on the left portion of the receiver. Don’t forget to keep the selector in the “safe” position. Now insert detent on the bottom hole of the receiver where the pistol grip is installed.
Then compress the selector spring with that pistol grip. Lastly, add the pistol grip screw and the lock washer inside of the pistol grip. Then tighten it gently.
If the hammer falls when pulling the trigger, you have assembled the pistol grip and selector correctly.
Step #8: Assemble the Buffer Tube
Assembling the buffer tube is very easy. At first, insert a takedown pin on the receiver. Then add another retainer spring on the lower hole. Now screw a castle nut into the buffer tube and screw the buffer tube on the receiver.
Again insert another takedown pin spring on the backside of the receiver. And tighten the castle nut to retain everything in place. Lastly, insert the buffer spring and the buffer into the buffer tube.
If the takedown pin works appropriately, that means your lower part is entirely ok. If it doesn’t work, disassemble the lower part and start from step #1 again.
Few Important Points to Remember While Building An AR 15
Hope that you have already collected all of those required tools and decided on your next AR-15. So, you may think that you are ready to build an AR-15 on your own. But, NO! If you want to become a better pistol shooter, you should always focus on everything correctly.
Along with collecting the required tools, you should also abide by a few essential rules. Let’s check a few of them –
1. Make It Legal
Before starting to build an AR-15 of your own, it’s necessary to create it legally. It doesn’t matter whether you are building it for professional use or personal use; you must get a government license for this.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives provides the license of building AR-15 or any other Short Barrel Rifles (SBR). The first thing is filling the ATF Form 1.
This ATF form is considered as your application to register your firearm. This form is straightforward to fill out. Most of the information you have to provide in this form is self-explanatory. But you have to be careful before filling out this form.
Do not make any spelling mistakes, and never hide any information intentionally or unintentionally. To avoid these problems, check and recheck your form after filling it out.
After completing the form successfully, make it three copies. You have to send two of them to the ATF, and another one will be mailed to Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO). Your task is done now. The ATP itself will do the rest of the procedure.
You can start to build your AR-15 only after receiving the license from ATF.
2. Safety First
Not only building the AR-15, but you should also consider safety before any work. So if you are a gun owner, always pick the best concealed carry belt for you.
While building the AR-15, you have to deal with lots of springs, pins, and other small tools. These tools may fly anywhere. So, make sure that you have put on a safety mask while working.
Further, you can wear safety gear to protect your clothes from grease or oils. You should take every possible precaution you can. You know, prevention is better than cure.
3. Select Work Environment Wisely
Choosing the working environment is another most essential thing to consider. The working environment must have appropriately lightened with clear visibility. Please select your backyard or the garage as the assembling place. You can easily access all of your essential tools from there.
You may keep a magnet or a gun cleaning and maintenance mat on the assembling place. The attraction or the rug will help you to keep all of those tools in a single place.
It reduces the possibility of getting lost. Further, the cleaning mat also protects your smallest devices from getting damaged.
4. Choose a Clean Surface
Whether you are working, don’t forget to clean the floor. You know, you have to work with the smallest and sensitive springs and pins. If those tools fly from your table, they have to be found easily. Otherwise, you may have to stop the building procedure for that day. That must be disappointing!
So, these are the necessary precautions while building your AR-15. Now you are ready to make an AR-15 in your own home. Let’s start building!
So, here you are! I have listed pretty much everything that you need to know about how to assemble AR-15 upper. You see, it is always a great feeling to make your AR-15. When you are holding your self-made gun, it must feel delightful.
If you want to know more from me, feel free to put that in the comment box. I love to get the relish feedback from my gun lover fellas.