You get a special connection with something you make yourself. This statement holds especially true with firearms.
I’ve owned several AR-15s, but the one I pieced together is the one I keep at my side.
I suppose the feeling of accomplishment has something to do with it.
However, to be honest I just like telling people that I know how to put together a selective-fire carbine.
I have little or no mechanical talent, but this does not matter because piecing together an AR-15 is fairly easy — just don’t tell anyone how simple it is!
All parts of an AR-15 are important, but the components that make up the lower receiver are especially crucial.
The lower receiver attaches to every other major component of the gun, and a stripped lower receiver is the only portion that BATFE considers an actual firearm.
You don’t need much to complete your AR-15 lower build. Most parts are inexpensive and easy to come by in today’s market.
The Building Blocks
Stripped lowers vary in price greatly. However, as long as your receiver is in specifications and properly machined, you won’t have any issues.
I own both aluminum and polymer lowers, and both perform very well.
With few exceptions, even the low-cost bargain-basement lowers to just fine.
When you find a deal on a stack of lowers, move on it. I don’t really care what rollmark is on the side. As long as the gun cycles, I’m happy.
Lower Parts Kit
There is really no need to buy each pin and catch individually. Extremely high-quality parts kits are easy to come by and rarely have issues.
Inspect the packing list on the kit you are buying to make sure it has the following:
- Bolt Catch
- Bolt Catch Plunger
- Bolt Catch Roll Pin
- Bolt Catch Spring
- Buffer Retainer
- Buffer Retainer Spring
- Disconnector Spring
- Hammer Pin
- Hammer Spring
- Magazine Catch
- Magazine Catch Button
- Magazine Catch Spring
- Pistol Grip
- Pistol Grip Lock Washer
- Pistol Grip Screw
- Pivot Pin
- Pivot Pin Detent
- Pivot Pin Detent Spring
- Selector Detent
- Selector Detent Spring
- Takedown Pin
- Takedown Pin Detent
- Takedown Pin Detent Spring
- Trigger Guard
- Trigger Guard Roll Pin
- Trigger Pin
- Trigger Spring
To complete your AR-15 lower build, you will need a stock assembly.
This should house your buffer tube, stock, buffer spring, castle nut and receiver extension.
Stocks come in all shapes and sizes, but few complain about a basic collapsible model. Even the entry-level versions hold up well.
Some choose the A2 style, which do not adjust to size, but give a solid shooting platform in return.
I should note that an AR-15 multi-tool helps immensely with that castle nut, as well as several other common AR adjustment jobs.
The parts listed above are mostly for a basic AR build.
There are different trigger groups, fancier stocks, buffers and widgets you can get as upgrades to just about everything here.
That is part of what makes an AR so much fun.
The modular design makes it the most customizable firearm on the market, which you can spend countless hours improving.
Have you ever done an AR-15 lower build? Tell us how it went in the comments section below!