How to Build an AR-15

GetZone.com’s Karen Hunter and and Gary Hunter take you through the process of building an AR-15. This series is an overview of the AR 15 build process and not a step by step tutorial or instructional video. This video will give you insight into what goes into an AR 15 build and the tools to make it a smooth process.

AR 15 Build Part 1: The Lower

The AR 15 is a pretty straight forward design that can be assembled with little guidance. While there are no shortages of online tutorials, I thought a few tips would be helpful as you start to build your lower. First is to have the right tools. We used the Real Avid AR15 Armorers Master Kit. It provided pretty much everything we needed to accomplish not only the lower assembly, but the entire rifle. Second is the use of quality components.  We were fortunate to have Magpul provide many of the items we used in the build which made life easier and the end product higher quality.

AR 15 Build Part 2: Stock Install & Assembly

In our second video, we went a step further and installed the entire stock assembly so you could see how it is done. As with anything we assemble, there are some useful tricks and tips that can be passed on to make the process easier. Sharing time saving and frustration reducing tidbits of information can truly be a help and that’s exactly what I want to focus on here in video 2 of our AR 15 build.

AR 15 Build Part 3: The Upper

The final leg of our AR 15 build is completing the upper. First, we will work on the bolt carrier group. Attach the extractor to the bolt and insert the pin. You will need to press the extractor down to line up the holes. Now we drop our bolt into the actual bolt carrier. It should take some firm pressure to get it inserted. This is because the gas rings are making a good seal. This is followed by dropping in the cam pin. The cam pin will only go in one way but will be able to turn freely once in the hole. Once it is in, turn it to align its hole with the carrier group channel. Now that we have our cam pin aligned, we can drop in the firing pin. This is all held together with a firing pin retention pin. The key to this is installing it with the two sides of the pin being horizontal. In this alignment it will go right in with little frustration.

AR15 Build Part 4: Range Time!

Although building an AR15 isn’t exactly difficult, once the rifle is done you need to understand how to run it. Incorporating it as your home defense firearm requires additional training beyond the gun. Carbine shooting for defensive purposes goes far beyond “point and shoot”. There is a defensive mindset that must be understood and incorporated into training. So, with my dad we focused on gun safety, function, range application and training along with multiple areas of utilizing an AR 15 for home defense. Needless to say, much of this we covered before our build and training will continue consistently into the future. I cannot reiterate enough how imperative it is to train. Not just train but to choose training that is applicable to your everyday life and why you are utilizing a firearm.

On the range with this new AR was extremely satisfying. My Dad did very well running his new gun. Comfortable yet not overconfident, he definitely ran the gun and stayed in control. The build primarily composed of Magpul parts ran flawlessly. Zero malfunctions, zero issues. We incorporated a mix of ammunition from lesser expensive bargain brands to higher defensive rounds from Federal Premium and Hornady. Our total rounds for the day was just over approximately 500 and this gun ate every single one. We utilized the ETS (Elite Tactical Systems) clear magazines with the tritium follower. I love this option because it enables you to not only see the rounds, but in low light the tritium follower glows without any external light source.