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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never had a rifle of my own, and now I want one. Eventually I want to buy a bolt-action rifle for hunting, but for now, I want an AR-15 to play with and take to the range. I'm thinking about piecing one together starting with a stripped lower and a parts kit. I thought about buying one already put together, but I want to experience the fun of building one myself, little by little.

I'm thinking of ordering a stripped RRA forged lower receiver and a parts kit to start putting together the lower half. I plan to buy a complete upper half, so the lower is really going to be the "hard" part for me. Is this something that I can do on my own with no prior experience and still end up with a solid, reliable and accurate rifle?

I've heard a lot of talk about staking gas keys and castle nuts. Would this already be done for me if I were to order a complete RRA rifle already built from the factory? I would rather build it myself, so can this staking be done at home? How would I go about getting that done? Are there any instructions anywhere?

I guess that's it for now. I'm trying to work out how to go about getting a lower to an FFL dealer near me. I'll be posting more questions as they come up. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm thinking of ordering a stripped RRA forged lower receiver and a parts kit to start putting together the lower half. I plan to buy a complete upper half, so the lower is really going to be the "hard" part for me.
It shouldn't be. Some local stores won't carry them. Some will. Depends on your store. Some stores will not even order any for you. Best bet is to go to a gun show and pick up a lower. You can of course purchase rifles from neighboring states, so you can go to Ohio gunshows if you want.

Is this something that I can do on my own with no prior experience and still end up with a solid, reliable and accurate rifle?
Yes, you can. Read up as much as you can. I used this as a reference for my first build: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=226782

I've heard a lot of talk about staking gas keys and castle nuts. Would this already be done for me if I were to order a complete RRA rifle already built from the factory?
Yes, this SHOULD be done from the factory. If you order a complete bolt carrier, then it should be staked. If you order the gas key and bolt carrier seperate, then you'll need to stak them. Castle nuts on the other hand, I've never staked. I've also never had a problem with them backing out.

There are torque specs for every bolt and nut out there in the world.
There are torque specs for your lug nuts on your tires. There are torque specs on the castle nuts on the stock. Find the torque specs and torque them to the correct spec and you won't have a problem with them backing out.

I would rather build it myself, so can this staking be done at home? How would I go about getting that done? Are there any instructions anywhere?
I've seen/read instructions on www.ar15.com. Yes it can be done at home. You'll need a punch, hammer and something hard like an anvil. Torque the 2 allen head screws through the gas key into the bolt carrier. Take your punch, put your bolt carrier on the anvil and hit the punch. what you're doing is moving metal from the gas key against the allen head bolt so it can't back out.

I guess that's it for now. I'm trying to work out how to go about getting a lower to an FFL dealer near me. I'll be posting more questions as they come up. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Get a FORGED lower. Make sure it's a forged lower. You can find lowers as cheap as $100 each.

Hardwarz
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think for the first build it will be less hassle if you build from a kit. The kit will ocme with the completed upper, lpk, and stock, all you would need is a stripped lower. I would check out http://jtdistributing.com/index.html and del-ton.com model1sales.com has some good pictures and easy to use site for reference but their quality is hit or miss. I think you can build a basic rifle for about $550.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now I just have to find someone in Akron, OH that will order these for me with out raping me.

Hardwarz
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would try to find a gun show and get the lower there because by the time you buy the essential arms lower and pay shipping and FFL fee you will be looking at 100+ dollars and you should be able to get a lower at the gunshow for 100 OTD. Everything else can be sent directly to your house.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Im in a similar boat and have a ? if you dont mind. If I were to purchase, lets just say as an example, an rra complete upper (with barrel) and an rra compete lower (with stock) would any other parts need to be purchased (bolt etc). Im assuming complete means complete but Im a total noob to the ar.

Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just called a local dealer, and they have 2 stripped lowers (Stag and Sabre) for $120. I wanted a RRA, but if either of these is forged, in-spec, and just as good... I will jump on it. I'm curious about the Stag.

I'm about ready to leave for work and am itching to stop over there and buy it. I just don't know how it compares to the RRA lower.

Opinions?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lowers as long as they are forged and to spec, I dont think the brand really matters. I personally dont like the deer head(stag) on the side of my lower but it really dosent matter. The price seems a little high but not too bad. I hope you have the money to buy the kit because after fondling the lower for a few days you will end up ordering it anyways:D.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just got back from the fun shop :)

I have a Stag lower and a RRA lower parts kit w/ standard trigger. Now the fun part... seeing how it all goes together. Here's my weekend project:




On a side-note, the guy at the shop I went to said that .223 Remington is the only ammunition I'll be able to find soon because 5.56 NATO is no longer allowed to be put on surplus (?) It makes sense because of ammo shortages during wartime, but it struck me as odd and a bit disappointing since I'm just now buying my first 5.56 rifle.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Im in a similar boat and have a ? if you dont mind. If I were to purchase, lets just say as an example, an rra complete upper (with barrel) and an rra compete lower (with stock) would any other parts need to be purchased (bolt etc). Im assuming complete means complete but Im a total noob to the ar.

Thanks.
A "complete upper assembly" comes with bolt group & charging handle. Here's one right from the RRA website: http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-d...age=uela407.gif&CFID=6358714&CFTOKEN=65615229

The picture says "complete with bolt carrier group and charging handle assembly." By the way, that's the same upper on the rifle that I was handling at the store tonight, and coincidentally the same one that I am interested in for this build (for now) :) It's pretty sweet.

Someone else will have to chime in about whether or not other parts would be necessary, but I don't think so (?)
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The lower parts kit I bought has some parts packaged in some sort of sticky grease. Should I install them covered in grease, or wipe them down with a cloth? I don't have any denatured alcohol on hand... just some rubbing alcohol and spirits.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Which parts were covered in grease? I would just wipe them down with a rag and throw them in. Maybe leave the two roll pins a little greasy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Where in PA did you find a dealer with lowers in stock?
Good luck with the build. There will be more in your future.:D
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Which parts were covered in grease? I would just wipe them down with a rag and throw them in. Maybe leave the two roll pins a little greasy.
Basically the trigger assembly, hammer, pivot & takedown pins, bolt catch, and mag release. I just wiped them down and started installing.

Where in PA did you find a dealer with lowers in stock?
Good luck with the build. There will be more in your future.:D
Thanks! I got my lower at King Shooters Supply in King of Prussia, PA. They only had 3 stripped lowers: a RRA which had a deposit on it, the Stag that I bought, and a SABRE Defense (still available). They also had one or two complete RRA lowers, and one of them had the NM 2-stage trigger.

Oh, he also said he was getting more RRA lowers in, but couldn't give an exact date.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I need a little help. The trigger pin doesn't want to go in. It seems like no matter how hard I push, the trigger assembly pin hole doesn't want to come completely flush with the pin holes on the receiver. Close... very, very close... but not close enough to get the pin in. Do I need to just take a hammer to it?

edit: Nevermind, I just got it. The trigger wasn't sitting in all the way :p
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well that wasn't so bad! So much for the weekend project... I finished it in a couple hours :D That was definitely the most fun I've ever had with a firearm and a great learning experience.



I'm thinking of ordering an Ergo pistol grip to replace this hard plastic one. Now I need to start looking at stock and upper half options.

Which magazines do you all recommend?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm watching and listening XDAndMe. :mrgreen: You've embarked on what I'm looking at as a project, but in 7.62. :twisted:
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ar lowers are not bad, but remind me more of assembling a model car or something similiar. Now truley build an ak and you are talking.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well that wasn't so bad! So much for the weekend project... I finished it in a couple hours :D That was definitely the most fun I've ever had with a firearm and a great learning experience.



I'm thinking of ordering an Ergo pistol grip to replace this hard plastic one. Now I need to start looking at stock and upper half options.

Which magazines do you all recommend?
Looks great.....just remember not to dry fire it ;)
USGI mags with Magpul followers, or the PMags by Magpul are really nice :D
 
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