I’m no lawyer, so check this yourself. My understanding is that as long as you can legally own a rifle you can make one for your own use. But you can’t build them with the intent to resale. Additionally, the firearm you build must meet the legal guidelines in your area. (i.e no 3 inch anti-aircraft guns).
If you can do so legally, building your own rifle is a very worthwhile experience. In this post we will show how we completed our own AR-15 lower build for much cheaper than what the same rifle would have cost already assembled.
When I bought my stripped AR-15 Lower Receiver, I had to give my $10 background check and thumbprint just like I was buying a functional firearm. According to BATFE, a receiver is considered a firearm even if it is is not functional. All the other parts are just “accessories”.
This is the second AR-15 lower I have built. It took me less than an hour. I did not have any specialty tools to make it easier. I would say that this is a simple project if you have good instructions.
You Can get Good Information from Military Manuals
You can use the military technical manual (TM-9-1005-319-23&P) but remember its for M-16s so some of the fire control parts will look different because your rifle is semi-automatic. A simple search search on the internet for AR-15 construction guides will help. Also you can always buy a book on the AR-15 in your local bookstore.
TM 9-1005-249-14 is the operator manual for the M16 Rifle. Like the technical manual, it is not exactly the AR-15, but it is close enough to work
In our free downloads section I have a good amount of manuals and blueprints for the AR-15/M-16. I post them with the hope the manuals will help you. I suggest you visit AR-15.com and look in their forums as they have great step by step instructions.
Some Things Need to Be Done in Order
Some steps can be done in any order, and some pins can be installed from either side, but some steps need to be done in sequence, and certain pins need to be placed a specific way, so be sure you get a decent set of instructions and follow them.
I build my own lowers for two reasons, the first is cost. I save about 100 dollars (sometimes more) by DIYing them, but I also like the feeling of taking MY gun to the range. By putting one together you learn a lot about your rifle which makes troubleshooting and repair a lot easier.
I had to split up the video into two parts and seriously cut it for time, as youtube has a strict 10 minute video policy. Also for those that get torqued over someone calling a magazine a clip, there are several occasions where I misspoke a part name, you make me nervous….
Part 1 of 2
Magazine Catch, Trigger Guard, Bolt Catch Assembly, Pivot Pin Assembly
Part 2 of 2
Trigger Assembly, Hammer, Selector, Pistol Grip Assembly, Rase Stock, and function check