Building an AR

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by Standbanger, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Standbanger

    Standbanger Well-Known Member

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    When folks talk about building a rifle on the AR platform are they just saying they are buying upper and a lower and pinning them together? Or are they actually ordering piece by piece and smithing it themselves?
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Smithing an AR is like building an errector set you just need a few tools and a set of directions. When I say I built one it means I bought all the parts and assembled it myself. It realy is quite easy and the tools are not expensive. Some companys are know for the parts they make as long as you select parts from a company that is mil spec certified your gun will go togher very well.
     

  3. Standbanger

    Standbanger Well-Known Member

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    What is the starting point? The lower requires a FFL right ?
     
  4. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    The lower is the only controlled, serial number item on an AR, that's correct. All other parts are readily available, off the shelf items, and most require no gunsmithing to assemble. What genuine gunsmithing there is to an AR is probably something best left to those who do it professionally. John Holliger, Frank White and Derrick Martin have all built guns for me in the past, and all of them involved machining operations that were beyond my skills. As Harry Callahan said, you got to know your limitations. A straight assembly job on an AR is no problem at all. As I've said before, it's kind of like ordering Chinese. You pick one item from column A, one from column B, one from column C until your dinner is complete. Ditto for an AR. You pick an upper, a lower, a trigger, a barrel, a float tube, a stock, sights, etc., until the rifle is completed.

    Pick up a copy of the shop manual on AR builds that Glen Zediker did, and you'll be on your way. Glen's book is probably the best single source out there for how to build one up properly, complete with all the little inside tricks and tips that'll give you a real shooter when you're finished. Book should be available through Midway or Sinclair.
     
  5. Standbanger

    Standbanger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses
     
  6. threejones

    threejones Well-Known Member

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    Kevin is right about the AR build book. Another cheaper option is AR15.com, they've got several "How to build/instal" threads for every aspect of the AR. It's nice for your first build to have a couple different takes on how assemble things. Even youtube has some good video tutorials (and some that are total BS, so make sure you watch a couple of em to weed out the idiots) Just don't let any part of a standard build scare you, even the most complex part of an AR is just adding one bit after the other, and most of the parts usually only work one way. The only specialty tool that you need is a propper AR wrench (can be had for $20-$40), and even that is debateable, for a lower build all ya need is a hammer and little punch. It's just like building a model airplane... but much cooler:D! I would head ICANHITHIMMANs advise as well when ordering parts. Going all mil spec, or at least mostly, will make things easier to assemble and usually doesn't cost much more.
    Cody
     
  7. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Dont forger an upper reciver vise block. If you dont use it you will twist your upper not good. When I do an upper I use the marine corps armors manual. I tighten and loosen 3 times just like the book says to gett a better seating of the parts.
     
  8. Standbanger

    Standbanger Well-Known Member

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    researching at the moment and yet to decide what my goals are accuracy is important to me so i am focusing on barrel choices and trigger optionsi just dink around but do like to hit what i am aiming at
     
  9. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    I would say the barrel would be the most important consideration as far as accuracy goes. Trigger next, and then having it assembled properly. Barrel nut torque is important, but I will lap the barrel extension into the receiver face to make sure good square contact, and also use a loctite product on the extension/receiver bearing surface....is it really needed, probably not, but I believe it does help.
     
  10. Phil3

    Phil3 Active Member

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    Short range (100 yard) accuracy off the bench at paper targets was my objective with my AR15, and my approach paid off. It IS accurate. How did I get there?

    1) Top notch heavy barrel. I opted for a Krieger 22" long .920 muzzle diameter, 1"9 twist barrel.
    2) Light crisp trigger. Geiselle Match 2 stage.
    3) High quality scope. Bushnell Tactical 6 - 24 x 50.
    4) Proper fitting stock for good body position. The standard A2 is fine, IF you get the scope at the right height. Use the right rings. I positioned my scope low, using then Armalite one piece scope mount.
    5) Rigid forearm. I used JP Rifles. Very pleased.
    I used other good parts like a chrome bolt from Young Mfg, but these are less important to accuracy. My gun is heavy at 12.8 lbs., unloaded, but for the intended purpose, it is fine. Good ammo will make or break the performance. Reload if you can. The Krieger barrel shoots cheap PMC Bronze ammo pretty well. My daughter who never shot the rifle before shot about a 1/2" 4 shot group at 100 yards.

    The barrel and trigger are not cheap, but saved some by not buying a fancy stock with features I will never use.

    I also made sure the mating surface on the upper receiver was dead square with the bore centerline. I have a lathe where I can test this and fix if necessary. I used a beefy SunDevil upper receiver which is heavier than some. I used a SunDevil lower which has a screw to take up slop between the upper and lower. Some debate the benefits of that, but I like it. Careful assembly, proper torques, use of correct tools are all elements of top accuracy.

    Hope this helps.

    Phil