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Posted: 10/13/2004 9:20:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2004 9:26:17 PM EST by redriveroutlaw]
This is my first post here, I've been lurking for a while and finally decided to register, what a great forum. I'm trying to get a list of tools together so that I may build an AR. Other than normal punches and common tools, what else do I need? I already have an upper receiver action block and a barrel wrench, go-nogo-field gages, torque wrench etc...

What I'm looking at doing is buying the Rock River Arms upper/lower receiver set out of Brownells and using DPMS parts for the small parts. Are there any problems with compatibility between the two manufacturers? Also, are there any places I can find complete DPMS kits for sale? All I'm finding is parts here and parts there. Not looking to build anything fancy with a bull barrel, floating tube etc...Just something to learn on

I've been wanting to build an AR for a long time since deciding building pistols was waaaaay too time consuming and frustrating. Thanks for any help.
Link Posted: 10/13/2004 11:36:42 PM EST
RRA and DPMS parts should fit just fine with each other.

dpms has kits at www.dpmsinc.com.

i suggest picking up a USMC M-16 tech manual, it's a great tool for AR building and will save you lots of time..and asking questions here.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 10:50:14 AM EST
I'm one of those people that believes you should buy your first upper and build your first lower, then put them together. What you do for your following firearms is entierly up to you. If something goes wrong with your lower, your gun won't go off. If something goes wrong with you upper, you might get hurt or cause damage to your gun.

Believe it or not, I think free floating your barrel is easier than using regular handguards. A lot of free float tubes just require the tube/rail, a barrel nut, and the lock nut. Some tubes, like the one made by RRA, even integrate the barrel nut and the tube.

Some other tools you might need include a stock wrench and a detent installation tool.

The beauty about modulatity is that any lower will fit with any upper (in theory). I've heard of exceptions, but they are few and far between. The only problem you might encounter is not having a tight fit between the upper and lower and there are solutions out there to solve that, such as a tension pin or the Accuwedge.

As for parts kits, regardless of manufacturer, a lot of them are outsourced. Just pick up an RRA one from ADCO. They're the cheapest one I've found so far at $55. All you'll need at that point is a stock and your lower is done.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 11:01:44 AM EST
Thats awesome that you decided to finaly build one of these great guns. It will be fun and rewarding when you turn that pile of black pieces into "BANG." The most challanging part of piecing together the lower in my own opinion is installing the pivot pin detent and spring. But once you've done it a few times you'll find little tricks to get it by. Are you using a completed upper or are you building that too? As for tools you'll probably need a 6 inch allen wrench to tighten down the pistol grip and a flat head screw driver for the stock. If your going colapsible then you'll definatly need a car stock wrench or a small band wrench. Either way i'm sure you've already got all you need.

If it gets frustrating, which i dont think it will...remember to Make It Fun and dont rush it! I built 4 M4's just last week and every one is just as rewarding as the next!

Link Posted: 10/14/2004 3:31:54 PM EST
Thanks for all the great input. I'm going to build the entire gun from a parts kit. Should start buying the rest of the parts to complete this kit next week. Thanks again
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 4:01:37 PM EST
1. - read THIS THREAD and all of its links. It should give you all the info you need. If you still feel the need for a book, "The Complete AR-15 Assembly Guide" By Walt Kuleck and Clint McKee is the best one out there.

2. - I was where you are now so I know building your first AR seems a little scary but trust me, after building one you will realize it couldn't be much easier. I've built plastic models that where more complicated. If you already have experience building pistols (I'm assuming 1911's ?) this will be a piece of cake.

3. - Don't listen to people who tell you to build the lower and buy the upper, especially considering you already have the tools. Building the upper assembly is no more difficult than building the lower.

4. - Put away your Torque wrench. there is no need for it regardless of what some people might tell you.

5. - I would suggest you not use a DPMS lower parts kits (LPK). Sure, plenty of people have had great results from with them but many have not. I would recommend a J&T kit first or a RRA kit as a second choice.

5a. - Other than a LPK, I would suggest you stay away from kits. It is very common for "kits" to contain at least some cheap parts. If you spend some time reading the Troubleshooting forum, more times than not, when someone has a problem with a home built AR, the rifle was assembled from a "kit" and the problem is traced back to a cheap and\or defective and\or out-of -spec part.

5b. - Take your time to know what your are buying. Determine what the rights parts are for your build and then worry about where to buy them at the best price.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 9:35:01 AM EST
cgv69:

Thanks for the great suggestions. I will look into J&T. Building rifles is alot like building pistols in that there are 50 manufactures for every single part, so quality goes from outstanding to downright crappy.

I've heard JP Ent. make a really nice trigger group which is used by alot of 3-gun competitors, so I will check it out as well. Have a great weekend.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 11:02:14 AM EST
If you're looking to build one rifle I'd suggest getting a complete upper and slapping it on a lower. It'll be cheaper than buying tools you'll only use once.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 12:39:10 PM EST
you do not need many tools, perhaps there is an arfcommer with build knowledge in your area
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