|Res ipsa loquitur|
The youngest son wants to build one from scratch. There is a class we can take at our LGS and they have tools to use but we'd like our own. So, what do you all suggest we get? I'd prefer quality over saving a few dollars
Magpul wrench, for tightening the castle nut, barrel nut and flash hider.
1/4" x 2" Clevis pin (Home Depot/Lowes), for installing the front takedown pin, spring and detent.
Unless you want to spend $10 more for an actual complete tool by Real Avid.
Wheeler or Giessele reaction rod, for holding the upper/barrel when tightening the barrel nut.
Wheeler or Little Crow Gunworks trigger guard install tool.
1/2" Home Depot torque wrench (range required 30-80 ft lb). Option is a 3/8 with an adapter to 1/2, as many 1/2 wrenches start out at 50 ft lbs. HD puts these on sale at half price a few times a yr.
Wheeler Roll pin punches
Wheeler AR punches, for bolt catch roll pin.
Wheeler lower vise block.
Anti-seize or Aero Shell grease, for barrel nut and buffer tube threads.
It’s easier to put the lower together, buy a completed upper.
Sorry, just pointing out the fast track.
|They're after my Lucky Charms!|
Do not forget large clear plastic bags for installing spring loaded pins.
Lord, your ocean is so very large and my divos are so very f****d-up
Dirt Sailors Unite!
Definitely a worth while project.
1) Need a clean workspace
2) Use a large plastic bin to assemble the LPK into the lower. (3ft x 2ft). I place magnetic parts holders in the bin.
3) To install the trigger--best to use a dummy pin that holds the trigger/spring together
4) Use channel lock pliers to start pins for trigger guard, bolt release. Tape/cushion lower jaw that contacts lower.
5) Tape off any area on the lower that may come in contact when installing a part.
6) Real Avid tools are really good. Their wrench, armors block, pivot pin are essential.
7) As Excam stated--Roll pin punches, small hammer, reaction rod
8) Determine which components you want to customize your build --safety, trigger, mag release. Then determine which LPK you will need--springs and detents vs entire kit. Best to have spare springs and detents if its the 1st time.
Link for tools--https://lanbosarmory.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=13&sort=20a&filter_id=548&caliber=&alpha_filter_id=0
Link for parts , especially springs--https://lanbosarmory.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=114
Watch some YouTube videos and start assembling the tools. A good vise and a clean work area are helpful. Decide what you want to build. My first build I did the lower and bought an assembled upper. Building an upper is not hard at all if you have the right tools. If you do, buy a go/no go gauge. Never had one not pass and many skip the step. Buy vise block for the lower and upper. Bravo Company makes a good lower parts kit with their gunfighter grip with a decent combat trigger. Larue makes an excellent trigger for 90 percent as good as giessle for less than half the price. Take your time following a good build video. Once you decide what you want to build, set a budget and start assembling the parts. You don’t save money building an AR unless you are trying to save money.
Magpul wrench is worth the upfront money
Good roll pin punches
Roll pin starter punches
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last” - Winston Churchil
A person could spend a few hundred bucks buying the proper tools to assemble AR’s. I have most of those; and if you live near metro Atlanta you are welcome to use them.
Springs and detents can go flying into the next county, but white grease slows that down. I put a blanket on the kitchen table to protect from scratching and drape an old fitted sheet across the tops of the chairs, and install springs with the receiver halves lying flat. A baby crib works just as well as the table top if you remove the baby first.
Watch assembly videos on YouTube before you build. Larry Potterfield of Midway USA has excellent tutorials.
You should be able to build a rifle using above average parts for $800.00-$1,000.00 if you buy sale items. On the other end of the spectrum, Durkin Tactical and Daytona Tactical offer kits under $300.00 that are mostly complete, minus a lower receiver. A budget AR goes together just like an expensive AR. A budget rifle can be used for T&E to determine what he truly wants in a rifle.
Choice items may be costly and unnecessary. I am a hunter, not military or LE, so I have no need for $150.00+ quad rails or MLOK rails or the various lights/lasers/switches/off set sights that are often attached to these things. No need for $50.00+ extended titanium take down pins, I don’t need a $45.00 ejection port cover with two dimples and a duck emblem, or a $250.00 trigger. Other people may, but I can get by with less or upgrade other items, such as optics.
Roll pin holders, to get roll pins started. This is not essential, but once you use them, you will understand their value.
There's also a specialized pin punch for the bolt catch. Again, not essential, but the first time you install a bolt catch on an AR15, you'll understand the value of this tool. The punch has a relieved area, and this is what sets it apart from a standard punch. Watch the video on the page below.
Take it from someone who has assembled more than a few ARs- you want these tools.
|That rug really tied |
the room together.
To attach the grip to the lower, you’ll need either a long , larger flathead or a long 3/16 Allen key, depending on which bolt your kit has.
Conversely you could use some bits and long bit driver.
Often times a very small man can cast a very large shadow
|Res ipsa loquitur|
Thank you everyone. Some excellent advice that we will follow.
|quarter MOA visionary|
If you are totally new to AR building perhaps take the class, bring the rifle home and take it apart then rebuild it or just build another rifle.
One rifle is never enough.
You could get some proper instruction, note what tools to actually get and have some initial experience.
...and FWIW, building for quality/performance over just trying to save money is exactly what I do as well.
|Life's too short to |
live by the rules
Instead of the single use trigger guard install tool, get a pair of Knipex 7 inch pliers. You can use the pliers to press the trigger guard pin in as well as press in the bolt catch pin.
KNIPEX - Pliers Wrench, Chrome (86 03 180)
Get the Clevis Pin instead of the Real Avid Tool.
I have both and the Clevis pin is easier to use.
T-Handle 3/16” hex wrench to install the grip (unless your grip screen is slotted)
45210 3/16" Hex Tip T-Handle w/ProGuard Finish, 6"
A good 1/2 inch torque wrench with some crowfoot wrenches. Wrench size will be determined by the size of the barrel nut that comes with whatever hand guard you choose.
|Res ipsa loquitur|
Our very own moderator Chris Ondorff has invited me to visit his local PD to look at all the gizmos and gadgets he uses to build and maintain their AR15s. It should be very informative and help me better understand everything you all are advising me about.
Thanks again to everyone!!!
|Yew got a spider |
on yo head
Yes, do this and go ahead and get a couple extra takedown pin springs and plungers...
Having to wait a week to finish a build will make you bonkers.
|Still finding my way|
I think I assembled my last lower with a pair of channel locks and a pocket screwdriver.
Specialty tools are neato but not necessary.
Yeah, that's great advice for a first-timer, huh?
BB61, don't be a cowboy. Take your time and do it right. Then, when you've assembled a few, you can brag about assembling one with two toothpicks and a ballpoint pen.
|Ice age heat wave, |
Yup. Particularly after the OP indicated he's ok spending some money. There's also something to be said about the lesson of "having the right tool for the job".
NRA Life Member
Steak: Rare. Coffee: Black. Scotch: Neat.
Take the class before sinking a lot of money into tools.
If it's what you want to do, start networking. You should find people with tools they will sell you at a discount.
|Still finding my way|
I wasn't giving any advice. I was stating that not everything needs a specialty tool. Roll pins and spring detents don't require an engineering degree to install.
If offering advice it would be: have fun and don't over complicate it. Assembling ar15 lowers is super easy and a rather enjoyable project. Youtube videos are probably all anyone needs to become a jedi master at doing this.
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