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5/28/2020 10:18:12 PM
Posted: 12/28/2002 3:08:42 PM EDT
I bought a "Plinker" and loved the cheap little AR and then started lurking around this site.  I got the fever and am now building my first AR kit.  I've been reading the posts, downloaded the instructions for old AR15 and diagrams from the manufacturers sites. So far, nothing really scares me other than loosing a spring.  I plan to use no specialty tools but am a old car restore nut so figure I can do it.  Please note I'm using a J&T kit so won't have to space.

The thing that bothers me is here on the site we get the ocasional "I did it no problems." but for the most part most of the posts are I screwed up.  I really don't see this much more complicated than rebuilding a quadrajet carb.

Am I missing something?????????
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 3:37:59 PM EDT
Go for it, you can do it no problem. Just keep track of them springs, that like to launch across the room and never be found. [;)]
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 5:01:21 PM EDT
You're over-qualified. The only "tricky" step is the front detent [B)]. After that, everything is much easier than a carburator.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 5:14:07 PM EDT
As with most gunsmithing work, those of us who are a little intimidated before going to work on something for the first time are the ones who are the most likely to complete the project without any problems. The reason? Because we're more likely to follow the instructions; "measure twice, cut once" kind of mentality.

It's the ones who are cocky and too full of themselves that usually get themselves into trouble. Please note that I do not consider launching a spring or a detent across the shop as "trouble".
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 9:05:27 PM EDT
As stated by others,

Just build the rifle in the tube, buck naked, with the shower curtain closed.  Also, don't forget to use a wash cloth to plug the drain.

If the wife asks, your being a professional gun smith!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:57:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2002 5:02:15 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Funny post but other than the naked part. It's actually what I have in mind.  My bathroom is best lit room in the house and big enough to set in the floor with a sheet drape to catch spring launches.  Enjoyed the sentiment but if I did as you said, my wife might get frisky and job will never get done.

Thanks guys for the encouagement and I am a little "gun shy".  I'm building my ultimate and want everything to go OK.  When done, I will have two lowers, one cast and one forged of course and three uppers 16,20,and 24. I probably expect going exotic will be my next goal. You know brand name M4 with all the extra's kind of thing.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:18:07 PM EDT
Actually, the only hard part is  installing the front take down spring and detent pin.  I use a towel under the receiver, and prop the loose end up to make a shield that will catch the pin/spring is they pop out.

The one word of advice I can give you is check the spring/ detent pin for length before you try installing the pin.  Sometimes the hole is drilled a bit shallow or the spring is too long to allow the detent pin to fully enter the hole.  If this the case, snip a bit of the spring to shorten it. This allows the detent to be pressed all the way in, and will allow the pivot pin to go into the hole with out being blocked by the detent pin.

Note: Most of the pins/springs lost, are due to the the spring being too long, and not allowing the pivot pin to enter the receiver pin hole.  Some guys will try to force the pin in, and loose grip of it trying to get it the last little bit of the way.  
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 5:04:10 PM EDT
I've built more then a handful now in the garage without an aw-shit.

I do have a baggie of extra detents and detent spings [:)] - and wear goggles for God's sake. I tried using the proper tool but do better with a thin knife blade.

When putting in the bolt release pin I recommend putting a couple layers of thick cloth duct tape along the receiver to prevent scratches from your punch.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 5:19:03 AM EDT
Guys, finished her up yesterday without a hitch.

Duct tape worked like a charm.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:34:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Guys, finished her up yesterday without a hitch.
View Quote

...Does that mean the wife did or didn't get frisky???... [:D]

I just got confirmation of shipping of a 2nd 20" HBar blank (to replace one UPS lost)...I plan on turning it so a set of carbine handguards fit it...

20" HBar barrel with carbine look...I like my 16" DPMS flattop, but for that extra measure of "reach out and touch someone", you really need a 20" (or 24")...
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 5:49:26 PM EDT
Wifes always frisky, she threatens me with it all the time.  LOL

As of now, I have two complete lowers one cast one forged and three uppers 16, 20, 24.  All I need is more time to shoot them.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:00:55 PM EDT
Howdy Tom.  Which lower did ya get??  I'm considering one (or more) of these projects, and also don't see them as all that complicated (but I'm also somewhat intimidated by it).  Did ya use a jig, and if so, which one??  Any other special tools?  Hey man, if you can do a QJ (the RIGHT way), then I'd think you could tackle most anything short of the space shuttle!! ;-}  I've done a few QJ's, too.  As a side note, I'm the original owner of a 69 Camaro, and have 2 '71 SuperBees in the shop now!  I'm glad to hear of your good experience, it's very encouraging.  Gotta study some more.  Later,
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 12:44:22 PM EDT
ThomasJefferson...not a hitch, stsitch or glitch, eh...well done. Now show us that black rifle you've assembled & tell us "how'd it run"? Have you recruited your wife for a build?  Bud
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 1:13:22 PM EDT

I didn't use anything I didn't already own. I am one of those tool poor guys.  Punches, small hammer, needle nose, duct tape, screw driver, and block of wood.  My 11 year old was my vise.

I used the old ar15.com directions only which was extremely helpful.  I left the parts in the bag since with the printed directions wre great especially the written descriptions and they were easy to identify.  Two things I kept foremost in my mind before each step, shooting springs and accidental scratches.  Even with that, I only used the duct tape on bolt release roll pin.  One of the guys recommended flexing the roll pins with the needle nose, which I feel was a big help.  I also took special care not to drive anything that wasn't supported from the other side with the wood block.  Didn't want broken forge parts on the lower.

The front retainer indent pin is not all that well explained in the directions.  Method I used was to place the spring in the hole, then hold the indent with the needle nose, push the pin down into the hole a little to get it started, they used the retainer pin to push down the rest of the way, insert the retainer a little, then turn till the indent clicked into the groove.  The whole time my son held a towell in front of the receiver in case I launched the pin and spring.  No problem.

Lower I bought was a forged DPMS manufacture. Actually was Mil Spec M16 for it had stops both behind the safety and in front.  Needless to say, an AR safety will never touch the front stop since it only has two positions, fire & safe.

I posted a pic of the finished project.
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