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Books for Building an AR-15

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Soonerbldr, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Soonerbldr


    Mar 19, 2012
    Baja Oklahoma
    So I am thinking about trying to assemble my own AR.
    Does anyone have any books that they would recommend on building an AR?
  2. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Plenty of videos on Youtube, not sure about books on assembly.

    Even assembling a lower will need a special tool (and, ideally, several special ones), and even more so to properly assemble an upper from scratch. If this is your first AR, I strongly suggest buying a pre-assembled upper and lower - either separately, or as a complete rifle.

  3. Snaps

    Snaps Hail 2 The King

    Apr 8, 2004
    SWPA sticks
    there's also a whole DIY section on that can walk you through every step better than any book can. Guys over there are pretty damn helpful.

    The lower is easy as hell ot install unless you have no mechanical ability. The upper requires special tools.

    Not sure what the guy above me is talking about with special tools, unless you're doing a tele-stock you don't need anything special. Punches, hammer, roll pin punch, crew drivers and a wrench. I can put those together on my kitchen table in about 10mins tops. That's counting looking for the spring I always drop
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  4. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    To do it correctly, you'll also need a castle nut wrench(or adapter and a torque wrench), a vice, and a lower receiver vice block to ensure the castle nut is torqued correctly. Staking is the cheap solution, but you still don't have a properly torqued castle nut.

    Many people do not have vice grips, or a proper hammer and punch set laying around the house, so that is an additional cost for them to be able to assemble the upper.

    Edit: if it's worth doing, it's worth doing correctly. Not torquing the castle nut and barrel nut to the proper spec is a good way to invite issues down the road.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  5. MARSH1

    MARSH1 Dealer Silver Member

    May 21, 2007
    Buy the tools and do it yourself. If you are like most of us you will wind up doing it eventually anyway. As posted the build your own section of has all the info you will need.


    PS: I know a good source for parts. LOL
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  6. Magelk


    Jul 17, 2011
    WoodenPlank is right about doing it correctly and torquing things properly. That being said and this being your first build, I'd buy a complete upper if I were you and skip the torquing of the barrel nut. That would be the step I always think someone might mess up on. And who wants to F up a barrel or the threads first time around. You'll be doing the build thing again so you could save doing a barrel yourself for later down the road with more experience. It's the nature of the disease.
  7. DWS22


    May 26, 2008
    Go Blue
  8. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Do not attempt to assemble an upper without a delrin upper receiver block, a vise, and an armorer's tool (or special tool provided by the manufacturer of the forend you intend to use.

    There are other tools that are handy for a lower receiver build. The most important is a set of brass pin punches.
  9. Soonerbldr


    Mar 19, 2012
    Baja Oklahoma
    Thanks for the advice. Yeah I was thinking about doing the assembled upper. My brother has built several but he lives about 600 miles away and his wife keeps him on a short leash!

    Thanks for the advice and the web links!
  10. wolf19r

    wolf19r Problem Solved!

    Feb 8, 2009
    JAX, FL
    Youtube! I built my lower one night in less then an hour and that included finding my tools, watching the videos, and then watching the videos and building it as they played.
  11. rjroberts


    Jan 17, 2008
    Largo, FL
    Look on They have a bunch of videos and plenty of books to choose from. As another poster said, have the right tools, and I'd underscore that. Brownells has a kit for about $100. which has everything you need. Might seem like a lot for one, but screw up something and it costs more. Also, I look at possible SHTF and want to support my M4 - yep, only have one but with spare parts.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  12. Wooden I have to add that if you use an A2 buttstock you don't have a castle nut, it's only for the carbine stocks that you need one.
  13. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    For every one person using an A2 stock, there are probably 50 using carbine stocks. Carbine stocks are the norm now, not fixed.
  14. themighty9mm


    Sep 19, 2008
  15. It depends where you live, in MD, CA, NY, CT and some other states they're the norm. Pinned stocks are more of a hassle to get.
  16. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Fair point.
  17. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    The only specialty tool you have to have is a barrel wrench which you can buy for $20.00
    Everything else can be worked around easily enough.
  18. bullittmcqueen

    bullittmcqueen Gunfighter

    Feb 18, 2011
    Leesburg, GA
    THIS. Watch surf's videos before you build.

    If you want a book, get Walk Kulick's Ar-15 assembly guide.