Build Your Own AR-15: Introduction, Parts and Tools Required

By on December 23, 2014

Here is the first article in the “Build Your Own AR-15” series we are going to be doing. We have had a lot of great sponsors come together to help us with this build. This article is going to be part 1 in the series and in this article we are going to give a introduction to some laws and restrictions to be aware of when building your own AR, all the parts and some general tools you are going to need.

AR-15 Laws And Restrictions

Let’s get some of the laws out of the way, first of all make sure you Know Your Local Laws. The laws are going to differ from state to state, but Federal Law has no restrictions preventing you from owning an AR-15.

California for example has multiple restrictions you have to follow when build your AR. Here is an article that talks about some of the restrictions for you folks that live in AR-15s in California.

Under Federal law, the Lower Receiver is the only serialized part on the AR-15 and is what is consider the firearm. ATF requires the buyer to use a licensed FFL dealer to handle the transfer of the Lower Receiver from manufacturer/distributor to buyer. You are going to have to fill out a Form 4473 and most FFL’s charge a “Transfer Fee”. This fee can range from $20 to $50 it’s best to call around to some of your local dealers and see who has the best transfer fee.

Short Barreled Rifles (SBR)

Now that you have your lower you can begin to pick out parts. When picking out a barrel you have to be aware of the length. The National Firearms Act classifies any AR-15 having a barrel length under 16″ or an overall length under 26″ with collapsible stock extended as an SBR and is listed as a NFA item.

Owning an SBR is not illegal, You just have to fill out a Form 1 to register a dedicated lower as your SBR and write the BATFE a check for $200 to buy a tax stamp.

It’s your responsibility  to know your local state law. We take no responsibility

Here Is Our Build


We are going to be building a 16” gas piston Frankenstein AR. We called this our Frankenstein build because we are using parts from all of our various manufacturers that were generous enough to get on board with this awesome build. So many in fact that we are about to start a second build, and we are looking into the logistics and legalities of doing a giveaway.

Parts List – What you are going to need to build your own AR. 

Lower Receiver

Stonefire Arms Frorged Lower Reciever

MAG Tactical Systems Lower Parts Kit

Phase 5 Extended Bolt Release

Choate Telescoping Stock Kit

Timney Triggers AR-15 Skeletonized

KNS Non-Rotating Pin Set “Zombi Edition”

Delta Ring Assembly

Upper Receiver

Fathom Arms Stripped Upper

Voodoo Innovations 16″ Mid Length Barrel

Fathom Arms Bolt

Adams Arms Mid Length Piston Kit

BCM Vltor Charging Handle

Magpul MOE Hand Guard, Mid-Length

Mapgul MOE Rail Section

VG6 Precision Epsilon 556 Muzzle Brake

Extreme Beam TAC 24 S.W.A.T

Extreme Beam 1″ Fixed Offset Weaver Rail Mount

Holosun HS400BAR Red Dot

A*B Arms SBR V*Grip

Lanco Tactical Grip Stop Mod 2

Leo Armory Custom Laser Engraved Dust Cover

Tools You’re Going To Need

Armorer’s Tool

A Armorer’s tool is needed when tightening your stock castle nut, as well as when installing your muzzle brake.

Brass or Nylon Hammer

You want to use a hammer that will not mar the metal.


The AR is assembled with many roll pins and they can be tricky to work with. Having a set of punches simplifies working with the roll pins.


A vise it needed to hold the upper and lower blocks when working on various parts of the AR.

Upper and Lower Vise Blocks

The AR vise block fits into your AR’s magazine well and securely holds your lower while you are working on it. The AR upper vise block holds your upper securely so you can tighten the barrel and muzzle brake.

This concludes part 1 of our AR build. In the upcoming AR build series we will take you step by step and show you how to build your own AR. Stay tuned for part II article as well as some awesome build pictures. We will continue to link our sponsers, without them this build would not have happened. Do them the courtesy of visiting their websites and checking out their products.

About The Survivalist

Total bacon buff. Explorer. Survivalist Expert. Zombie Fanatic/Hunter. Internet Entrepreneur

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