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View Full Version : To assemble or not to assemble


Catalyst81
05-16-2012, 8:57 AM
Building my first AR. It will likely be my only AR. Trying to decide whether to buy the tools and assemble the lower myself or pay riflegear to do it for $25. The tools will likely cost close to what riflegear is charging. I've shot plenty of AR's and worked on my friends so gaining an understanding of how it works really isn't an important consideration for me. Time and money are. Is it a bad idea to have a shop assemble it? My only concern is they may not be as careful as I would, but I don't really know for sure that that's true.

Banana_hands
05-16-2012, 9:07 AM
I recently completed my first AR build starting with a stripped lower. In my case it was a learning experience but as you said, you're already familiar with ARs and their inner workings. You're right, the tools required will likely cost about the same as it will to have it assembled but if YOU build it, youll still have the tools. What I mean is, you still have them for use. I've used my magazine vise block for gun cleaning and such. I've also used my punches for other non firearm projects.
As far as time goes, it only takes about 25mins to assemble a lower so time vs cost wasn't really a factor for me.
YMMV,
Khris

Catalyst81
05-16-2012, 9:44 AM
Who has decent prices on tools. Should I buy online or does a place like home depot have decent prices on punch sets?

glock21fan
05-16-2012, 9:46 AM
Tools? Go to lowes or harbor freight get a punch set hammer and pliers. All u need

loosewreck
05-16-2012, 9:49 AM
Sorry to contradict you Banana Hands, but but don't need many tools, most you probably already have or can improvise.

I posted this yesterday.

The minimum you'd need would be a small punch, needle nose pliers or vice grips, roll of electrical tape, large flat head screw driver, a hard cover book, a medium sized steel nail and hammer to stake the castle nut, DIY Youtube video and a box of crayons if your a jackass.

Edit: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/images/smilies/doh.gif I forgot a Castle nut wrench (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=41045/pid=16882/Product/AR-15-M4-STOCK-WRENCH?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&mc_id=10000&gdftrk=gdfV21820_a_7c187_a_7c3466_a_7c739000010_d_ 739000010_d_11454) probably the only AR specific tool you'll need, good thing its like 6 bucks.

A magazine vice block would be nice, but not necessary, specially if you don't have a vice. If you really have to have one, you can easily make your own with block of wood roughly the size of a magazine with 2 smaller pieces of wood mounted to each side as a stopper for the mag well.

Check out this link, you'll see how little you need.
http://tacticalblog.wordpress.com/ar-15-builds/ar15-lower-receiver-assembly/

Paper Boy
05-16-2012, 9:52 AM
Buy the tools, lets be honest you will end up using them to build more. You can't stop with one....

ptgarcia
05-16-2012, 9:54 AM
I had about $100 in tools in my Brownells cart I was going to purchase to assemble my lower but I decided to use what I had instead, and I'm glad I did. I assembled my lower with your basic hammer, needle nose pliers and a punch I found lying around. You only need those tools to drive in two roll pins, everything else pushes in with your fingers. Give it a go yourself, its really easy, and actually quite enjoyable, to assemble.

IPSICK
05-16-2012, 1:15 PM
I had about $100 in tools in my Brownells cart I was going to purchase to assemble my lower but I decided to use what I had instead, and I'm glad I did. I assembled my lower with your basic hammer, needle nose pliers and a punch I found lying around. You only need those tools to drive in two roll pins, everything else pushes in with your fingers. Give it a go yourself, its really easy, and actually quite enjoyable, to assemble.

I didn't even bother going to Brownells first. I decided to try a ghetto assembly with the few tools I already had. Pretty much everything you listed above. It came out perfectly fine.

The only thing you might need to add is a strap wrench or splurge on a CAR wrench for the castle nut on a carbine stock. If one opts instead for an A1, A2, or entry stock you could skip the extra wrench.

Go to harbor freight. It's a cheap way to get the basic tools if you don't have them already.

Reverend Clint
05-16-2012, 1:53 PM
all ive used to build my lowers is a hammer, set of pliers, set of punches and some tape. Also got the ar-15 multitool. Never really use the punches as the pliers i have work better on the roll pins.

shark92651
05-16-2012, 2:31 PM
Building my first AR. It will likely be my only AR. Trying to decide whether to buy the tools and assemble the lower myself or pay riflegear to do it for $25. The tools will likely cost close to what riflegear is charging. I've shot plenty of AR's and worked on my friends so gaining an understanding of how it works really isn't an important consideration for me. Time and money are. Is it a bad idea to have a shop assemble it? My only concern is they may not be as careful as I would, but I don't really know for sure that that's true.

We take care in every lower we assemble, whether it is a RifleGear lower or a customer's lower. It's really not that hard to do it properly after you have assembled a few, and we have assembled hundreds of them. I would take that concern off your list. A better reason to assemble it yourself is so that you gain the knowledge of every part in your lower and how they work together. A reason to have us put it together is that you may be one of those guys that scratches up his lower (easy to do if using vice grips to squeeze in roll pins instead of using a roll pin holder, punch, and hammer), jacks up a roll pin, or breaks off a trigger guard ear. It really depends upon your DIY abilities, your tools and workspace, and whether your time and effort and knowledge gained is worth more than $25 to you.

gun toting monkeyboy
05-16-2012, 2:47 PM
Flat out, Riflegear won't screw anything up. They have an excellent reputation on here. So that isn't even an issue.

That being said, assembling it yourself is really, really easy. You learn a lot about how your rifle works. As for the tools, you probably have everything you need sitting around your garage. You need specialized tools to put uppers together. Lowers, not so much. I have literally put a lower together with a rock and a plastic chopstick. Because 1) It was what I had on hand, and 2) I wanted to see if I could. Guess what. You can't tell it from the ones I put together using roll-pin punches and non-marring nylon hammers.

-Mb

morthrane
05-16-2012, 3:41 PM
Spent more on extra tiny little springs to replace the ones I mangled or managed to lose than I did on tooling...

WETP
05-16-2012, 3:59 PM
Building my first AR. It will likely be my only AR. Trying to decide whether to buy the tools and assemble the lower myself or pay riflegear to do it for $25. The tools will likely cost close to what riflegear is charging. I've shot plenty of AR's and worked on my friends so gaining an understanding of how it works really isn't an important consideration for me. Time and money are. Is it a bad idea to have a shop assemble it? My only concern is they may not be as careful as I would, but I don't really know for sure that that's true.

I will post tonight pictures of the AR RifleGear put together for me, I just picked up yesterday and I was SUPER impress with their work. Already have two LWRCI from them but if this rifle shoots well, this will be my first of at least 3 I will have them build for me.

The best part is that no matter what I buy I always modified my firearms, If you from the ground up build it with the specs that you like to run, there is no extra expenses. My setup was around $2,000.00 but I used TOP parts including a Noveske Afghan Barrel SS, Geisselle SSA, Vltor MUR upper, Noveske Chainsaw lower, LMT Enhance BCG, etc On my opinion the best parts
in the market.


Thank you Shark!!!!!!!

rambis
05-16-2012, 5:59 PM
i just had Riflegear assemble my first lower. Being a noob i felt it was in my best interest. The guys have always been awesome to deal with and my lower build was done in 2 days. not 1 scratch! thanks Shark!