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Page AR-15 » Build It Yourself
AR Sponsor: bravocompany
Posted: 12/14/2010 1:03:16 PM EDT
After 4 1/2 years on this site, I have finally bought my first lower.  Purchased a Spikes Zombie lower for $127 delivered from a vendor in SoCal.



Now, before I buy the rest of the parts to assemble my baby, what are the absolute must have tools to make assembling this a breeze?
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 1:17:24 PM EDT
[#1]
I gotta ask....4.5 years, and pushing 12K posts......and you don't know what it takes to put together an AR?
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 1:22:33 PM EDT
[#2]



Quoted:


I gotta ask....4.5 years, and pushing 12K posts......and you don't know what it takes to put together an AR?


Never built one.  Hell, never even fired one.



And I have read the Build it FAQs, just curious as to what tools people have found that make it easier.



 
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 2:06:47 PM EDT
[#3]
4.5 years, almost 12k posts, and still hasn't found the search button. http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=519473 Just one of many.
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 2:17:02 PM EDT
[#4]
I can put a lower together with a flat head screw driver, a set of roll pin punches, and a small hammer. I recommend a stock wrench or combo tool too. There are some other tools that will make your life easier but that's the important bits.
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 3:10:21 PM EDT
[#5]
get an armorers wrench, a small smooth face ball peen hammer and a set of roll pin punches. not much you can't do with those
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 3:13:31 PM EDT
[#6]
Pivot pin removal tool You can live without one, but you don't really want to.

ETA I built mine with a combo wrench, a set of brass punches, a strap wrench and a big pair of vice grips.  The one really indispensable thing was the combo wrench for the castle nut and barrel nut.  The pivot pin tool was very nice to have.

Just take your time and enjoy the build.  There is no hurry and any mistakes you make will just hammer home the correct way to do it.
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 3:44:33 PM EDT
[#7]
Somebody makes a roll pin starter.  I think I saw it in a midway catalog.  I think it would help with the bolt catch pin.  I scratched my first lower installing that pin before I learned how to do it without scratching.  Now that I'm building a billet lower that I plan to keep forever, I scratched it installing that pin.
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 5:02:36 PM EDT
[#8]
This just seems bozo to me. Almost 12000 posts..............Hell I'm a noob and I can slam a lower together in 20 minutes, no scratches or funny shit. Yea, punches a small hammer and nose protected pliars. Have to ask, are you an AK guy.

Brad
Link Posted: 12/14/2010 5:28:57 PM EDT
[#9]



Quoted:


This just seems bozo to me. Almost 12000 posts..............Hell I'm a noob and I can slam a lower together in 20 minutes, no scratches or funny shit. Yea, punches a small hammer and nose protected pliars. Have to ask, are you an AK guy.



Brad


No, just a poor California man trying to raise a family on one income.



I never paid a hell of a lot of attention to building something I didn't have.



 
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 1:56:44 AM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
This just seems bozo to me. Almost 12000 posts..............Hell I'm a noob and I can slam a lower together in 20 minutes, no scratches or funny shit. Yea, punches a small hammer and nose protected pliars. Have to ask, are you an AK guy.

Brad


Some people, myself included, learn best through hands on experience. I am on my fourth AR build and still ask peoples opinions on things even though I am very comfortable doing it my way. I say kudos to the OP for asking instead of just doing it not being totally comfortable.

Bare bones minimum, soft face hammer, punches, electrical tape, and combo tool (I prefer the DPMS).
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 1:26:44 PM EDT
[#11]
dont feel bad.  i used to have a whole shit ton of posts too and i didnt own or know how to put together a AR, now with the help of everyone here i have  2 complete rifles.  a 16" middy m4 style and a 20" service rifle.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 1:29:57 PM EDT
[#12]
Im happy for ya Vaca.

I subscribe to the "vise grips over punches" method. Just slowly tighten it and the pins will go through. Apply electrical tape to the end of the visegrips to eliminate any chance of marring the finish.

The instructional thread is spot-on. I'll just emphasize you need to be careful with the pin on the trigger guard, it is possible to break off part of the lower.

ETA: Watch out for detent springs going for a quick flight. Don't assemble your lower in a basement full of opened boxes containing recently-moved house stuff. Learn from my mistake
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 4:29:38 PM EDT
[#13]
Quoted:
Pivot pin removal tool You can live without one, but you don't really want to.


Why?  Can't say that I have ever had a need for one.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 4:39:53 PM EDT
[#14]
Quoted:
I can put a lower together with a flat head screw driver, a set of roll pin punches, and a small hammer.


This, and watching the Brownells videos always helped!

Link Posted: 12/15/2010 5:02:50 PM EDT
[#15]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Pivot pin removal tool You can live without one, but you don't really want to.


Why?  Can't say that I have ever had a need for one.


Because it gives you a third hand when installing these pins.  Like I said, you don't need it, but for 5 bucks it makes installing the pins much more predictable.

OP: Lots of good advice in this thread and of course archived on the site.  Please keep us posted and let us know how things go.  What style are you planning to build?
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 5:44:04 PM EDT
[#16]



Quoted:



Quoted:


Quoted:

Pivot pin removal tool You can live without one, but you don't really want to.




Why?  Can't say that I have ever had a need for one.





Because it gives you a third hand when installing these pins.  Like I said, you don't need it, but for 5 bucks it makes installing the pins much more predictable.



OP: Lots of good advice in this thread and of course archived on the site.  Please keep us posted and let us know how things go.  What style are you planning to build?


I'm thinking just a plain jane carbine.  I don't want to get to crazy with my first.





 
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 5:49:30 PM EDT
[#17]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Pivot pin removal tool You can live without one, but you don't really want to.


Why?  Can't say that I have ever had a need for one.


Because it gives you a third hand when installing these pins.  Like I said, you don't need it, but for 5 bucks it makes installing the pins much more predictable.

OP: Lots of good advice in this thread and of course archived on the site.  Please keep us posted and let us know how things go.  What style are you planning to build?


Ah,  I understand now.  I like the clevis pin for the install.  Makes it easy as pie.  Can get at Home Depot/Lowes and is dirt cheap.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=226782&page=14

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=516661&page=2

ETA:  My personal favorite mod:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=395777
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 7:50:48 PM EDT
[#18]
Good for you. Enjoy putting it together.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 8:00:49 PM EDT
[#19]
so weird.. so what did you post about?  12000 posts? wow.
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 6:56:03 AM EDT
[#20]
I was wondering the same thing......
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 7:15:09 AM EDT
[#21]



Quoted:


so weird.. so what did you post about?  12000 posts? wow.


I've been all over the site for the last 4.5 years.  Although, most of my posts are in GD.



 
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 11:35:12 AM EDT
[#22]
Quoted:
ETA: Watch out for detent springs going for a quick flight. Don't assemble your lower in a basement full of opened boxes containing recently-moved house stuff. Learn from my mistake


Yeah I thought the same thing so i went into my bathroom to build mine, damn spring flew out and went right into the toilet and i had to use my wifes toothbrush to fish it out.
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 12:46:32 PM EDT
[#23]
Quoted:
Quoted:
ETA: Watch out for detent springs going for a quick flight. Don't assemble your lower in a basement full of opened boxes containing recently-moved house stuff. Learn from my mistake


Yeah I thought the same thing so i went into my bathroom to build mine, damn spring flew out and went right into the toilet and i had to use my wifes toothbrush to fish it out.


LMAO! Too funny. I bet she wasn't pleased with that!
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 12:51:39 PM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
Quoted:
ETA: Watch out for detent springs going for a quick flight. Don't assemble your lower in a basement full of opened boxes containing recently-moved house stuff. Learn from my mistake


Yeah I thought the same thing so i went into my bathroom to build mine, damn spring flew out and went right into the toilet and i had to use my wifes toothbrush to fish it out.


LMAO

Wonder how long I would have to sit here bumping posts to the top to get 11.5k

I used a hammer and a nail set to put mine together (lower) its not so much what tools you need, but knowing how to use what you have, in a way to not make it look like crap.

Link Posted: 12/16/2010 2:20:17 PM EDT
[#25]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Pivot pin removal tool You can live without one, but you don't really want to.


Why?  Can't say that I have ever had a need for one.


Because it gives you a third hand when installing these pins.  Like I said, you don't need it, but for 5 bucks it makes installing the pins much more predictable.

OP: Lots of good advice in this thread and of course archived on the site.  Please keep us posted and let us know how things go.  What style are you planning to build?

I'm thinking just a plain jane carbine.  I don't want to get to crazy with my first.

 


That's the best - you get a functioning rifle you can upgrade later if desired.  Mine was a plain jane 16" carbine with regular irons.  Used a lightweight pencil style barrel and ended up with a nice, handy little rifle.

Oh, and get the BCM extractor upgrade kit for the extractor o ring and springs.  Well worth the $5. Apparently most stoppages are either mag or extractor related.  

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Extractor-Spring-Uprade-Kit-p/bcm%20extractor%20spring%20upgrade.htm
Link Posted: 12/18/2010 12:35:29 PM EDT
[#26]
Just got back from filling out the DROS paperwork on my first lower at Toro Arms in Woodland.





Very friendly people with great pricing.  Total cost on the transfer of
the lower I bought from Riflegear was $50.  Can't beat that price
anywhere around here.





While I was there, I picked up a Magpul MOE stock and grip for the same
price that AIM charges.  Also picked up my bullet button.





If you are in the greater Sac area, give these guys a chance.
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