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Old April 24, 2014, 09:44 PM   #1
Prof Young
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How to "build" a black rifle

Semi-Auto-Shooters:
Okay, so from previous post there is something to be said for building one's on black rifle. I know I could search the net, but I thought I'd ask here too. Where does one look to learn how to build a "black rifle."
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Old April 24, 2014, 09:47 PM   #2
Nathan
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ar15.com under the build it yourself forum
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Old April 24, 2014, 11:05 PM   #3
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YouTube is also a great place to see exactly how it's done.
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Old April 25, 2014, 04:35 AM   #4
Ben Towe
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Originally Posted by Theohazard
YouTube is also a great place to see exactly how it's done.
I'll second that, they have some really excellent videos that have helped me a great deal. Brownells, Larry Potterfield (Midway), Jerry Miculek, and many other have videos posted on there showing you how to do anything and everything related to ARs.
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Old April 25, 2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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Yep - Youtube and the guides on AR15.com will show you exactly what to do.
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Old April 25, 2014, 12:30 PM   #6
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Brownells has a great set of videos on how to build a AR worked great for me.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11004/learn/
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Old April 25, 2014, 09:44 PM   #7
barnbwt
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How to "build" a black rifle:
Well, you go to Lowe's and check out the spray paint display...

How to assemble an AR:
You buy a bunch of parts in a kit --a "parts kit"-- and assemble them according to instructions posted everywhere. One of two things will happen;
1) The gun works fine, and you go on your merry way (vast majority, I reckon)
2) The gun does not work and;
a) if you used cheap parts people will say it was you being a cheap SOB
b) if you used name brand parts they will say you put it together wrong

If you know what you are doing (and wouldn't be posting) it's extremely straight forward, not even requiring instructions if you know all the parts by sight, and you'd be able to readily diagnose and correct any issues relating to parts variance yourself.

"Building" an AR requires machining of various degrees (billet, 0% forging, '80%' blank) which typically requires some skill, know how, and tooling. But people have carved up Khyber Pass AR lowers with Dremels and welded-up steel Jack Squat flats into functional guns with surprisingly rudimentary facilities with success.

TCB
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Old April 26, 2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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One thing you don't necessarily need are special "armorer's" tools. The stickies on arfcom do a good job of explaining alternate methods to prevent having $150 in tools sucked out of your wallet for a one time build experience.

And, if you already have some tools, you already have the experience and know how to apply them effectively.

There are some things that internet experts tend to overemphasize. One, scratching up the parts in assembly. While brand spanking new is nice, the gun will usually not be permanently damaged beyond all use scratching the finish intalling a pin or something. Given enough range or field use, the gun is going to hit the ground, get scraped on obstacles, etc. If a safe queen finish and resale is the goal, then buy it built and lock it up. A shooter is exactly that, used. One more scratch after one week in the field in training is nothing.

Another is taking the TM instructions as the only possible guideline. It's a false assumption, even Colt ignores them on the assembly line. If the rifle is assembled by workers in a plant and meets .gov spec without all the gizmos and special widgets, goes to how much the same .gov doesn't trust armorers and goes overboard to prevent them tearing things up.

Torquing the barrel nut, for example: it's a maximum value not to exceed, and the indicated number isn't the actual measureable amount of force. I'll not bore with the details, the point is to get the barrel nut on tight enough and then turn it slightly more to allow the gas tube to pass between the teeth. The maximum value is to keep from stripping the threads in the aluminum forged nose with the steel nut. That is all. The average lug nut gets tightened more.

So, descriptions of torque wrenches and special adapters fall by the wayside in the experienced view of wrench turners who understand the point. We just tighten and move on. For those who never work on mechanics, then use the recommended stuff. That is a decision no one can make for you. You have to know your skill level, and somebody 800 miles away is no guide in that regard.

Even the better ones mess up. Driving the pin into the trigger guard ears is one, the little flat parts sticking out needs support. Banging away on the lower just sitting on the benchtop is what breaks them. It's another finesse point - hammering pins isn't necessarily the better option. The most expensive roll pin punches and GI spec hammer will still break them off. Don't. Read the stickies on assembly and press a pin in gradually so that the ears are supported and you can't break them. It's another one of those things that aren't understood just from reading the TM instructions.

The most successful assemblies are done reading the instructions. It's not rocket science, they aren't printed in Chinglish, and taking your time is preferred. Once done, go shoot it. Lots. Use quality ammo, the AR15 is designed around full power combat loads - ! Not cheap economy rounds. If you stray from the military spec on ammo, be prepared that it will possibly malfunction. Low powered loads don't generate sufficient quantities of gas pressure to work properly. GI ammo doesn't vary much, and is consistently built to produce enough power to reliably cycle the action. It very much is a situation of getting what you pay for.

As described above, there are lots of reasons the gun may not work, the top three are magazines, ammo, and the operator. If he chooses poorly with the first two, it's still on him - which really makes the user the #1 cause of stoppages. Assembling it yourself means accepting the responsibility for that.
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Old April 26, 2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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Most people I know build (assemble) the lower and buy an upper that is already assembled. I would start with that since it doesn't require any special tools other than a punch and maybe a pair of pliers or c-clamp. You can have an upper shipped directly to you since it doesn't require an FFL transfer.
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Old April 26, 2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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Lower receiver how to

http://www.thenewrifleman.com/how-to...ower-receiver/


There are lots of videos out there too, this guide has good pictures
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Old April 26, 2014, 07:05 PM   #11
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Hey guys. I am the author of the above mentioned guide. Makarov thanks for supplying the link.

My blog's sole reason to exist is to educate people on the ar15 platform... From building, to shooting, to just knowing enough about the platform to make a solid purchase...

I appreciate the visits.
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Old April 26, 2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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When can I buy a parts kit?

So where can I buy a parts kit to build a lower?
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Old April 26, 2014, 11:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
So where can I buy a parts kit to build a lower?
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...ifle-kits.html

With that, a stripped lower reciever, houshold tools and 20 minutes watching some teenager on youtube that says "um..." more than he should ..... you should be able to asssemble a working AR-15.

Gosh, the price sure jumped on that ..... yesterday it was $399 ....
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Old April 27, 2014, 09:55 AM   #14
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Ditto on Brownells, they also have checklists/parts lists to help make sure you have all required parts, and they're compatible- depending on the type of build you want to pursue.
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Old April 27, 2014, 10:24 AM   #15
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"houshold tools and 20 minutes watching some teenager on youtube"

Yeah, if you want a gun that doesn't work or is actually an M16, that might work. There's plenty of legitimate instruction for free online out there, with templates, step-by-step, the works. No need to low ball it.

Also, if you do it in 20 minutes with hand tools, it will probably not run. Use a drill press, at least. Please don't use it for milling, though; the side force will loosen the chuck and ruin either the gun or you when it goes flying.

TCB
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Old April 27, 2014, 11:54 AM   #16
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everywhere, there are youtube videos, midwayUSA tutorials, arfcom threads. most revolve around AR15s though, AK builds are a little more difficult and most others don't come in kit or stripped form.
EDIT:
Barn what are you talking about? use a drill press? AR parts kits usually come fully finished. I have assembled complete AR15s(with the upper half already finished as most kits are sold) in 10 minutes with nothing more than brass punches and an armorers hammer. they have all worked flawlessly.
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Old April 27, 2014, 07:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
"houshold tools and 20 minutes watching some teenager on youtube"

Yeah, if you want a gun that doesn't work or is actually an M16, that might work. There's plenty of legitimate instruction for free online out there, with templates, step-by-step, the works. No need to low ball it.

Also, if you do it in 20 minutes with hand tools, it will probably not run. Use a drill press, at least. Please don't use it for milling, though; the side force will loosen the chuck and ruin either the gun or you when it goes flying.

TCB

Drill press?

Of what possible use would a drill press be in assembling the PSA rifle kit I linked to?

It's not so much a "build" as an "assembly".

I put mine together with tools I had laying around- the only halfway "specialty tool" was a 6" T-handled hex key that I used to tighten the bolt holding the pistol grip on- a regualr allen wrench wasn't long enough .... the rest of it was just punches, screwdriver, vise-grip (with electrical tape padding the jaws- for the castle nut on the buffer tube) and a block of pine for a mallet ...... I can't imagine what you'd need a template or having to do any milling for......

The lower kit took 20 minutes ..... even counting the time lost looking for the rear takedown pin detent that I launched over my shoulder .......

Quote:
Yeah, if you want a gun that doesn't work or is actually an M16, that might work.
The rifle works just fine.... I'm pretty sure you could not turn it into a FA weapon without some different parts....
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Old April 27, 2014, 07:54 PM   #18
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Gun Digest has a book called Gunsmithing the AR15 which is very thorough.
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Old April 28, 2014, 01:28 AM   #19
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midwayusa.com has DIY videos on building an AR 15. Despite the ability to use alternative tools to build an AR 15, I'd get the proper tools to do so as it makes things much easier. I've built them using both methods, and you'll thank me later.

Parts can be found at almost any local gun store, Brownell's, PSA, midwayUSA, Spikes Tactical, and BCM just to name a few.
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Old April 28, 2014, 07:49 AM   #20
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Was ASSumining 80%'s, ya'll . Finished lowers can be assembled with hand tools, if that . I distinguish "building" from assembly when a firearm is created, but that's a personal distinction

TCB
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Old April 28, 2014, 11:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Most people I know build (assemble) the lower and buy an upper that is already assembled. I would start with that since it doesn't require any special tools other than a punch and maybe a pair of pliers or c-clamp. You can have an upper shipped directly to you since it doesn't require an FFL transfer.
This has been my experience too. I went this route, building up a stripped S&W lower and shopping around for a quality factory built upper receiver. Use good parts and your rifle will be as good or better than a quality factory AR. I used mainly Daniel Defense parts: LPK, barreled upper receiver, BCG and topped off with a BCM stock kit and charging handle. And Magpul furniture. The nice things are you can have everything but the stripped lower sent to your front door and you can spread out the cost over time as you can afford it.

The hard part isn't assembling the rifle, the hard part is assembling (selecting, actually) the right parts for you. If you choose parts wisely your custom build will be better for you than a generic factory rifle.
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Old April 28, 2014, 05:30 PM   #22
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Plouffedaddy's how to assemble an AR upper video link

Plouffedaddy's how to assemble an AR lower video link

Should get you through the process.
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Old May 1, 2014, 01:19 AM   #23
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Yep - Youtube and the guides on AR15.com will show you exactly what to do.
Bingo. I went from knowing nothing about the AR platform, to building and shooting mine pretty quickly. Granted i immersed myself in the forums and videos and pretty much did nothing outside of researching it for about a month, but if i can do it, anybody can. I highly recommend building, as it really gives you a feel for the platform and makes diagnosing and fixing any problems extremely easy.
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