30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 18: Beat the Heat: Stay Inside and Build an AR-15

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Gun Gear

Spring is awesome, so is the beginning of summer, but during the middle of summer and certainly the end, even just sitting outside is too hot. Here in Central Texas in August, sometimes even the pool is no relief. Going to the movies is expensive, and watching reruns of “Breaking Bad” is entertaining only for a while. Building an AR-15 yourself could help wile away the hours. And if you start shopping now, by July or August, you should have all the parts you need to build your own AR-15.

Picture shows a AR-15 stripped lower receiver.

The lower receiver is the part of the gun that makes it a gun and comes with a serial number.

Most of us started slowly—buying one piece at a time when we could catch specials or sales. Watch your local gun store; periodically check your favorite manufacturers’ websites for rebates and incentives, and sign up for our email specials to get the best deals.

Once you have all the necessary parts and instructions, an entire AR-15 will come together in about three hours. Cheaper Than Dirt! has detailed video tutorials to help you.



You will need:

Have you built your own AR-15? Which parts did you use? Share your build story with us in the comments section.


Introduced to shooting at young age by her older brother, Suzanne Wiley took to the shooting sports and developed a deep love for it over the years. Today, she enjoys plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

View all articles by CTD Suzanne

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (4)

  • martin


    Used to reform to .25-.06 from .30-.06, but thats the useful extent of reforming brass for myself. Great to do if you have the firearm thats hard to find brass for. Buy a lot of war surplus .30-.06 ammo from thr Garand man. Save the bullets and cases and reload with modern components.


  • Kent Johns


    Martin, I got one that’s more fun than that. I’m reloading 300 Savage. The brass is almost impossible to find, so I’m re-sizing .308 Remington brass. Works just fine.


  • RM


    I built a “frankengun” AR. It started with a deal I found on a ceramic lower – $34. From there I picked up parts as I could find them. As I had never owned an AR before, I also had to buy a few tools – vice block, wrench, drift pins – as well as components. I used videos and posts I found on line to guide me.

    I had never built a gun before and this build was quite educational. Rather than buying a complete upper, I bought individual components and assembled the entire thing from parts. I originally went with inexpensive components, some of which had to be exchanged for higher cost (quality?) ones. When it came to furniture, I went with Magpul.

    The rifle works now — had some feeding issues that required a different gas tube–but it only feeds M193 ammo. Anything else won’t feed from the mags. I’m thinking the bolt carrier group, but I’m waiting until warmer weather gets here to work on it some more.


  • Martin Pierce


    I just reload ammo until I run out of components or brass. Am currently pulling .30-.06 out of ww2 link belts and re-doing them with new components.


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