Skip to comments.Building an AR-15...Advice?
Posted on 03/01/2010 5:19:20 PM PST by Chasaway
I want to build an AR-15 from scratch....
I [obviously] want to make it mine...and as least expensively as possible.
The web is full of info on this, but I've always gotten great advice from this forum..
I want to build an AR-15 from the ground up.
I want to get the lower receiver somewhere where the FFL isn't required.
I want the most accurate one I can build...factoring in "value" [meaning least expensive for the results].
I already know I can get stuff cheap and not have a very dependable rifle.
I want to split the difference. I don't need an elite rifle. I don't need it to be the best I can possibly build.
I want a rifle that is dependable and accurate, but built as "cheaply" as I can do it.
Guns is fun! Building one ought to be TONS of fun!
Is there anyone on FreeRepublic that has an opinion about this?
Is there anyone on FreeRepublic that can give me any advice?
[Those last two questions were for my own amusement...:)]
Check out AR15.com
Ain't gonna happen, pal. That's go to jail stuff.
Be careful of your barrel length and twist ratio with the rifling in the barrel.
Since you are looking to go as least expensive as possible, I’d just buy a ‘whole gun’. There are several great manufacturers out there, and if you get one new, you’ll have a warranty. That means if there’s a problem, you’ll have someone to address your issues other than a mirror.
If you have never put together an AR15, spend the extra $200 and buy a complete Rock River (or some other good entry brand). It can be dangerous doing a technical build like that without the training. Especially installing the barrel and gas system. Buying the required tools wil cost you near $200 or so anyway.
If you know what you’re doing, go to www.midwayusa.com or www.brownells.com and get your parts from them.
But can’t you buy one from a private owner without the FFL requirement?
If so, where would be the best place to start looking?
It will also probably be the most expensive part to purchase, for obvious reasons. You probably won’t be buying a super-expensive barrel.
Yep as said AR15.com walkthroughs, pictures, options, etc
BCM 16 midlength upper group from bravocompanyusa.com, and read AR15.com
Lots of good stores sell stripped lowers.
May one of the cops here will let your surrender to him .
Unless purchased during a 'private sale'(consult state laws) from a non-FFL.
I can’t speak for every state, but in Colorado even a private transaction requires a instacheck.
Buying from a private party is probably going to be more expensive than getting a gun through a store. People pay premium to not have such records existing. Also if there is a problem with it, no warranty, no help getting it fixed.
“I want to get the lower receiver somewhere where the FFL isn’t required.”
Where is it that you think you’ll be doing your time?
That’s what I understood...Isn’t it just like buying a gun from a private seller?
The only way you’re going to get a lower without a FFL requirement is a private party sale of an existing rifle.
Because the AR-15 lower can be built into a pistol or rifle, the BATF requires new, finished lowers to go through an FFL. The only way around this is to obtain a lower receiver forging that requires machining (ie, it requires more than mere installation of pins, springs, screws, etc - it would need to be finished on a mill, the pin holes drilled out and bushed, etc.)
Lowers that are finished (ie, all the machining has been done) but are lacking the lower parts kits can be had for anywhere from about $80 up to about $130, depending on the quality and various features.
After that, you need to be a tad more specific as to your application and budget for me to give you any more pointers. Completing a lower is a pretty well price-constrained thing - if you get a fully machined lower and put in your own parts kit, you’re probably into it for $150 or thereabouts. Once we start talking of the upper, the barrel, furniture, etc - the options explode and prices start varying widely.
That's where I found the info and direction to build the perfect AR10 for me.
I paid $85 each plus $10 FFL fee for my lowers last year. Good quality LMT. Now the completed upper cost me over $600.
Alright...now I’m confused.
If I buy a lower from a private owner, are you saying that’s illegal too?
I thought that any of this bought privately (meaning not through a dealer) could legally be bought without the FFL requirement.
Am I misinformed?
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
There, at least we have that covered. Now, what was the question?
It is worth a premium to a private individual to not have the papers on it. Never buy from a dealer if you can buy it privately face to face.
What does that mean? Does that mean that you think one can't buy a lower from a private buyer, not do the FFL thing...and it's STILL illegal?
If that's so, I need to re-calibrate my thinking....
Depends on your state. In this state, if I go to a dealer I have to jump thru the hoops with the paper work, if I can find a private individual who happens to have what I need, then it is simply between them and I. There is no obligation to let the Gestapo into my business when dealing privately.
And while we are at it, can any gunsmiths out there tell me how to make in a full auto?
I believe finishing an unfinished lower is a federal crime. You must apply for a serial number and wait for permission to proceed...iirc.
Just google it, ya dont have to go to a gunsmith...... :)
If they come for the guns, they have to get into the safe. Since I will be dead on the front porch, they will have to take the whole thing. Not too worried about that.
Okay...that fits with what I understand.
I’ve got a couple of folks down here in Texas who have some of the parts. I was just looking for a little advice on the best way to build one.
Didn’t know I would wind up on the “crazy side of the rope” for people on FR.
I would say be very careful to follow the laws. They take firearm laws very seriously and any violation would most likely result in a loss of your second amendment rights for life.
I would just end up screwing the whole thing up.
I am pretty good at controlled fire as it is. And I am too old to run away.
you can legally buy a lower from a private seller any time you want so long as both of you live in the same state. These people don’t know jack.
Damn right, and I would say that that is the opinion of about 200 million well armed patriots right now.
Scratch Colorado from my retirement list............
In Alabama, are you 18 with a state DL? your good for long guns... 21 for pistols.
Partner, if I were you, I would either look up the federal law and the laws for your area or head down to a gun dealer and have him walk you through the laws... you don’t want to screw this up.
As for a firearm choice... I love my Rock River... it wasn’t cheap, but I trust it.
Good luck with your shopping... I hope you like what you get...
I need a little help here. (For clarity, I’m in Texas).
I understand that the lower is the part of the gun that needs to be “FFL-ed” if bought through a dealer.
I also understand that if I buy a pistol or a rifle or any other gun in a private sale, there is no requirement for any FFL involvement.
Can someone explain to me the difference between buying a pistol in a private sale and buying the lower receiver for an AR-15 in a private sale?
That’s what I understand...
Some of these comments are...unsettling.
I don’t get the dif between buying a gun from a private dealer and buying the lower from a private dealer.
Finishing an unfinished (ie, less than “80% finished”) lower is like building your own firearm: you can do as many as you like, but you may not sell them without affixing a serial number to them. In some states, you’ll need a FFL to sell a firearm you’ve made. If you’re not selling or transferring a firearm you’ve made, the BATF is OK with you making your own guns from the ground up. That’s where the “unfinished lower” exception comes in. To the BATF, a compliant “unfinished lower” needs a lot more than a few holes drilled. You’re going to need a Bridgeport, a bunch of end mills, drills, setup blocks, etc.
For my money, if I were finishing an “unfinished” lower, I probably would not bother with someone’s forging - I’d just get a billet of 7075-T6 and mill it from start to finish. The hardest part of the whole business is the mag well, which you can either mill very carefully or (the better way) use a wire EDM.
None. No difference. You are clear to proceed.
I can’t speak for Texas as I don’t know the gun laws there. But I do know that I have a relative in Houston that can not buy a firearm due to a DUI conviction. Just going by that I would think that Texas has pretty strict gun laws.
As soon as you use the words “private dealer” - you’re sending us into the weeds.
A dealer is someone who is licensed by the BATF.
A private individual is someone who is not a dealer.
A “private dealer” is an oxymoron.
Are you talking of buying this lower from a private individual or a dealer?
A striped lower AR 15 receiver has all the serial numbers you need for a gun. If you legally own a lower receiver, you legally own the gun, period. I don’t know much but I know that from experience.
HOWEVER, there is one little catch.
If you buy a second hand stripped lower from a private party, you have no idea if it was FFL’d as a pistol or a rifle. If it was sold as a pistol reciever, you may build it into a rifle OR a pistol. But if it was sold as a rifle receiver and you build it into a pistol...OH YOU ARE IN TROUBLE. (depending on the state). I live in iowa. If you buy a stripped lower that was originally sold as a rifle stripped lower and you attach a short barrel to it, you just broke a federal law. You just built a “short barrel rifle” and that is a federal offense.
I’m talking about an individual who sells guns, parts, whatever...Selling whatever he sells out of his own personal collection...or whatever.
But he’s not a gun “dealer”. He’s not a licensed BATF “dealer”.
Sorry for the confusion.
Yes, a stipped, completed lower has the serial numbers affixed.
A “80% or less” finished receiver will not have the numbers on it. You have the option of putting the numbers on when you finish it.