View Full Version : lookin to learn AR-15

June 18, 2012, 03:13 PM
i want to build my own AR-15
because i will be able to fix it by myself if something breaks
also i will be able to clean it and break it myself then fix it :)
im just one of those hands on guys
i know it will be more expensive to build vs to buy
but i dont care

the real question of this thread is does anyone recommend a particular book to read to learn how to assemble/disassemble an AR-15?

here is some that i found on Amazon.com
option 1 (http://www.amazon.com/The-AR-15-Complete-Assembly-Guide/dp/1888722126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340043376&sr=8-1&keywords=9781888722123)
option 2 (http://www.amazon.com/Workbench-AR-15-Project-Step---Step/dp/158160453X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340043389&sr=8-1&keywords=9781581604535)
option 3 (http://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Ar-15-Duncan-Long/dp/0879471808/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340043405&sr=8-1&keywords=9780879471804)

thanks for any suggestions guys

June 18, 2012, 03:22 PM
I don't know if you really *need* to buy a book on the AR 15. Pretty simple machine really.

LINK HERE. (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_4/226782_Assemble_your_own_LOWER__UPPER__FREE_FLOAT__TRIGGER__GAS_BLOCK___Step_by_step_instructions_.html)

Coach Z
June 18, 2012, 03:24 PM
I bought and read the first book when I got into the ar platform. I think it was a bit of a waste in hindsight. Absolutely every facet of the AR can be found detailed in triplicate on YouTube.

Good luck

June 18, 2012, 07:06 PM
i was looking for some reading while im at work
but thanks for the answers guys

June 18, 2012, 07:21 PM
Dont waste your time going out and looking for books in a store or on Amazon. YouTube is a very nice tool with hundreds of videos. I was like you. Wanted to learn about my AR when I first got it. How to take it apart, how to put it back together, how to clean it, and how to fix it if something went wrong. Now here I am over 5000 rounds later and I know how to do all of it except fix it because so far its never broke yet (knock on wood). But the bottom line is, YouTube is just the universal manual for AR 15. Everything you need to know is on YouTube.

June 18, 2012, 07:43 PM
I would read the AR15 sticky's. Stuff changes with AR's too fast to really write a book.

June 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
What is your level of mechanical ability? Do you have a set of tools to work with the components required to "build" the FCG and ascertain all aspects of a quality and safe weapon? While ideally "building your own" can save money, you also have to marry the components together to have a working platform. If it doesn't operate correctly, you lose the option of returning it to the manufacturer for warranty corrections and then have to sort out the various symptoms of the malfunctions.

Hope it all works out for you though and have a great time putting it together!


June 18, 2012, 09:13 PM
If you're fortunate enough to find one, take an armorer's course. The course I took at an LGS was given by Armalite and really broke everything down, not just on what does what but why and how it does it. The instructor also covered what you need to work on the rifle as well. I definitely recommend looking in to it.

June 18, 2012, 10:31 PM
You don't need to buy any of those books, unless you really wanted to.

All the information you need are available online for free, including how to build them. Check out forums like M4Carbine.net. They have very good stickies on what to look for in building an AR.

June 19, 2012, 08:12 AM

What Justice06RR said.

Any book well be out dated by time it's published. The three main AR forums are:

Keep in mind that much of what you read is only opinion. Don't scrimp on the barrel and BCG, the rest just holds those parts together.

June 19, 2012, 12:43 PM
This is probably the best guide on how to build a lower.


and for the upper, gavintoobe has it broken down.


Good luck on your build.

June 20, 2012, 11:47 AM
I am starting out building AR-15s the same as you. I did buy a book and it was a complete waste of money.

I also got this AWESOME video from amazon.com and I really liked it. I've watched it a couple times.


June 20, 2012, 06:54 PM
lookin to learn AR-15

The best long term solution is to go see your local US Army recruiter. By the time you get out, you will know a whole lot about the M16 platform. And about using it and troubleshooting it. For more than you will ever learn from books or civilian classes. Best thing you will ever do with your life!


June 21, 2012, 09:08 PM
I wouldn't say enlisting in the military will allow you to learn much at all about the AR platform. My SIL has been in the National Guard for almost 10 years and done two tours in Iraq. I conducted a class on the AR with him as my only student and he learned more in an hour than he learned during the 9+ years in the Guard. He'd never seen all the parts laid out on a bench nor had the design and action of said parts explained. The unit commanders don't allow the troops to take things apart and don't expect them to know more than which end the bullets exit.
When it was time to change out their A2 stocks for collapsible stocks, I wrote the instructions and furnished the tools to do the changeover.

June 22, 2012, 03:19 AM
Put the money you would have spent on the book towards a little better trigger group... that would be my advice.

The stock trigger is nothing to write home about.

As most everyone has said, these guns are not complicated machines.

You will go from a totally clueless nobody staring at a bunch of parts to an esteemed rifle builder with an assembled gun in under 2 hours if you have all of the tools and follow a good youtube video.

Study that ar15.com page... about the only easy way to screw anything up is to mix up your springs and detents... they will go in the wrong holes and it's not real easy to take some of the parts apart once they are pinned together... that page has got a real nice photo of a whole lower parts kit all laid out.

June 22, 2012, 12:53 PM
I agree with the others telling you that a book is unnecessary. On the other hand one of the videos could be useful. There isn't a lot to an AR15 so I'd put that money into better parts when you build it.

The real choice will come down to deciding if you want to build a tactical plinker (cheap), a match rifle (expensive), or an accurate and combat reliable home protection weapon (just right :D). If you go with the latter your next decision will be lightweight (~7lbs) vs rails with goodies installed (8-10lbs).

This was my 1st effort at a DIY combat reliable AR15. It's a great rifle but my next build (#3) will be a < 7lb lightweight but equally reliable middy.


June 22, 2012, 01:19 PM
Marquezj16 This is probably the best guide on how to build a lower.
Despite their ubiquity on the local market, they originally were battle rifles. Mr. Stoner tried to trim the complexity down. You can figure it out with a bit of hands-on time and some help from ar15.com and youtube.

I'm completely mechanically inept and I don't feel intimidated working on mine.

welcome to the board.

June 23, 2012, 08:09 PM
This book:

The online video series on Brownell's website...

was all it took my then 18 year old son- with zero experience building a firearm, and very little experience with tools at all- to build his first AR in 6.5 Grendel in a single evening.

And, no- it was not more expensive. We saved at least $600 over any commercially available rifle- even with the minor expense of receiver blocks and a few required tools I didn't have. Especially in calibers other than the run-of-the-mill 5.56, you can save a bunch of money if you shop around.

June 23, 2012, 09:30 PM
A book is not a waste of money.

There are times and situations where a book is more portable / practical than a computer with youtube.