While many view the AR-15/M16 family of firearms as the pinnacle of modularity today, that was not always the case with the design. When Eugene Stoner first envisioned the design that would become the 5.56mm AR-15 (first born as the 7.62x51mm AR-10), his primary design goal was to create an ultra-modern firearm that employed cutting-edge materials and manufacturing techniques. The fact that the design lent itself to extreme modularity in the ensuing years was likely just a fortunate side-effect of the engineering behind it.
And thankfully for shooters here in the United States, a lot of very clever people have taken that concept and run with it. In the decades since its introduction, the AR-15/M16 has undergone numerous revisions and refinements (both in its military configuration as well as civilian-realm innovations) that have resulted in the capable firearm we have today. From flattop upper receivers to free-floating handguards to numerous chamberings and an avalanche of accessories, the AR of today can be anything you want it to be.
So, how do you go about getting the exact AR for your personal needs? You can purchase a pre-built factory model and hope that it matches up with your requirements, but what is the fun in that? Much of the appeal of a gun that can be built with relative ease is in building it yourself, just as you want it. As a result, you can take advantage of the modularity mentioned above (as well as the fact that an AR can be built on your kitchen table with very basic tools). And, thanks to GunsAmerica.com, you have a very handy guide right here on how to do just that.
From sections covering the basics of the design to the nuts and bolts of tools and parts needed to build your AR, this guide to building an AR from GunsAmerica.com is intended to be your go-to source for envisioning and building the perfect AR for you. Read on and start down the path toward becoming your own master AR builder! We are sure there will be no looking back for you once you begin.
- Part 1: Build an AR-15: The Series Introduction – A quick look at the ins and outs of this amazing firearm, and the basics of what you will need to begin your own AR-building project.
- Part 2: Build an AR-15: AR Calibers – From .22 LR all the way up to .416 Hushpuppy and beyond, a consideration of the chamberings available for the AR.
- Part 3: Build an AR-15: Direct Impingement or Piston Operation – Do you go with the original design, or add in one of the new piston operating systems? Read on to make your decision.
- Part 4: Build an AR-15: Tools and Materials – A guide to help you determine the tools and materials you will need to start this exciting new project.
- Part 5: Build an AR-15: The Lowdown on Lowers – The lower is the serialized part on these guns, and there are a lot of options. As the centerpiece of the platform it is a defining feature.
- Part 6: Build an AR-15: Intro to Uppers – Just as important as the lower, the upper is a focal point of the direction your build is heading. Click here to help inform your decision.
- Part 7: Build an AR-15: Barrels – A quality barrel is absolutely important, and this guide will give you the long and short of the topic.
- Part 8: Build an AR-15: Choosing the Right Butt Stock – One of the most important interfaces between the shooter and the gun, the AR has myriad butt stock options. Read on to learn more.
- Part 9: Build an AR-15: Choosing the Right Optic – Once you have your AR together, selecting the right optic for it to wring out the most performance possible is a very important step.