AR-15 Parts Kits for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

Building your own AR-15 Parts can be a rewarding experience, offering customization and a deeper understanding of your firearm. For beginners, using AR-15 parts kits simplifies the process. Follow this step-by-step guide to assembling your AR-15 using a parts kit:

1. Choose a Complete Parts Kit:

  • Select a reputable manufacturer that offers comprehensive AR-15 parts kits.
  • Ensure the kit includes essential components: upper receiver, lower receiver, barrel, handguard, bolt carrier group (BCG), charging handle, and lower parts kit (LPK).

2. Gather Necessary Tools:

  • Armorer’s wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • Punch set
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver set
  • Allen wrench set
  • Vice block for upper receiver

3. Assemble the Lower Receiver:

  • Follow step-by-step instructions provided in the lower parts kit.
  • Install the trigger, hammer, safety selector, and other lower components.
  • Attach the buffer tube, stock, and pistol grip.

4. Attach the Upper Receiver:

  • Secure the upper receiver in a vice block.
  • Install the forward assist, ejection port cover, and barrel.
  • Attach the gas block, gas tube, and handguard.

5. Install the Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) and Charging Handle:

  • Insert the BCG into the upper receiver.
  • Attach the charging handle to the upper receiver.

6. Secure the Barrel:

  • Torque the barrel nut to the recommended specifications.
  • Align the gas tube with the gas block.

7. Check Headspacing:

  • Ensure the proper headspacing between the barrel and bolt.
  • Use gauges to verify correct headspace.

8. Test Functionality:

  • Check the safety selector, trigger, and bolt catch for proper functioning.
  • Cycle the action to ensure smooth operation.

9. Lubricate Moving Parts:

  • Apply a thin layer of lubricant to essential moving parts.
  • Pay attention to the BCG and other contact points.

10. Perform a Function Check:

  • Confirm the safety selector works in all positions.
  • Check the trigger for proper reset and hammer release.
  • Ensure the bolt catch engages when the magazine is empty.

11. Secure Accessories:

  • Attach any additional accessories, such as optics, lights, or grips.
  • Ensure proper alignment and secure attachment.

12. Double-Check Torque Values:

  • Confirm that all components are torqued to the specified values.
  • Use a torque wrench to avoid over-tightening.

13. Perform a Final Inspection:

  • Visually inspect the entire rifle for any loose or misaligned parts.
  • Verify that all pins and screws are securely tightened.

14. Test Fire in a Safe Environment:

  • Take your completed AR-15 to a safe and legal shooting range.
  • Fire a few rounds to ensure reliable function.

Building an AR-15 with a parts kit can be an educational and satisfying project for beginners. Follow this step-by-step guide, refer to the kit instructions, and consult online resources or experienced builders for additional guidance. Always adhere to local firearm regulations and prioritize safety throughout the assembly process.

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