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Thread: Scratch build

  1. #1

    Scratch build

    I bought an Del-Ton upper which I am more than happy. I would like to build my next upper from scratch does anybody have a list of pieces required?

  2. #2
    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    Off the top of my head, (assuming you want a flat top receiver);
    Barrel, barrel nut, handguard retainer ring, retainer spring clip, handguards (2 piece GI type. If free floating you can eliminate the barrel nut, handguard retainer ring and retainer clip. Dust cover, dust cover spring, dust cover hinge pin. E clip to retain pin. Charging handle, bolt, bolt carrier. Gas block of some sort, gas tube, roll pin to retain the gas tube. Forward assist, spring and roll pin to retain it in the upper.

    You will need a barrel nut wrench, small pin punches to drive the roll pins. You will need something to hold the receiver or the barrel for tightening the barrel nut or a free float handguard set's barrel nut. See Brownells' for gun smithing tools.


    Here you go a kit of two very useful tools. I have these and they work perfectly.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ready's Avatar

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    I have the same tools from brownells and they get the job done. One tip, press the roll pins in where possible with a small clamp or vice grips. You can use tape to prevent marring. Those roll pins damage easily when you start banging on them and also get lost easily so order extras when you place your order. Nothing is worse than having a paper weight because of a stupid roll pin.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ready View Post
    I have the same tools from brownells and they get the job done. One tip, press the roll pins in where possible with a small clamp or vice grips. You can use tape to prevent marring. Those roll pins damage easily when you start banging on them and also get lost easily so order extras when you place your order. Nothing is worse than having a paper weight because of a stupid roll pin.
    +1 on using pliers to install the roll pins. I use channel locks. Wrap the jaws with tape.

  5. #5
    So how much for the tools?

    I ask b/c a buddy of mine and I talk once in awhile about building an AR.

    The problem is that by the time I factor in the tools needed for a one time build, I'm better off buying. And that's what I did the last time I got a new AR.

    I bought a complete lower w/ a 6 position stock locally for around $250 tax included, and then ordered an upper from Armalite that cost around $525 plus shipping. IIRC my new rifle came in at just under $800 by 10 or 15 bucks.

    I imagine that I could have saved $100 to $150 by building it myself. But I also imagine the tools would have cost me about the same. So, I took the easy way out.

    By the way, my Armalite A2 mid-length is my favorite AR ever, and I've owned 4 ARs including 2 Colts.

    Also, I'm interested in purchasing used Military uppers and mounting them on a new AR lower. So, I can't help but wonder what would be needed to build a lower from scratch as opposed to both the upper and the lower.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    No special tools needed for a lower if building with an A2 stock.

    a magwell block is nice (and not that expensive) but isn't necessary. Only need a stock wrench if installing a collapsable stock. Roll pin punches are nice, but you can install the two that are in the lower with pliers. use a putty knife or razor blade to install the front pivot detend pin.

    I did my first one with only basic tools I already had.

    Quote Originally Posted by American Rage View Post
    So how much for the tools?

    I ask b/c a buddy of mine and I talk once in awhile about building an AR.

    The problem is that by the time I factor in the tools needed for a one time build, I'm better off buying. And that's what I did the last time I got a new AR.

    I bought a complete lower w/ a 6 position stock locally for around $250 tax included, and then ordered an upper from Armalite that cost around $525 plus shipping. IIRC my new rifle came in at just under $800 by 10 or 15 bucks.

    I imagine that I could have saved $100 to $150 by building it myself. But I also imagine the tools would have cost me about the same. So, I took the easy way out.

    By the way, my Armalite A2 mid-length is my favorite AR ever, and I've owned 4 ARs including 2 Colts.

    Also, I'm interested in purchasing used Military uppers and mounting them on a new AR lower. So, I can't help but wonder what would be needed to build a lower from scratch as opposed to both the upper and the lower.

  8. #8
    Cool, I could build a lower for between $200-250 depending upon taxes and shipping.

  9. #9
    I'd recommend getting a 2 stage trigger, the stock trigger sucks.

    You don't have to do it right away as it will set you back a few bucks but it is worth it.

  10. #10
    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    the only tools really needed to build an ar from parts (other than common hammers and punches) is the cheap armorers wrench and a torque wrench. if your using an adjustable stock, the more expensive wrench in the top of schutez's pic would better suit you. assuming, of course, that you didnt mean what you said. if you want to build your upper "from scratch" will also require a lathe to line bore the thru-hole, and thread for the barrel nut, as well as a mill for the rest of the profile, and a wide selection of cutters for each, as well as files.

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