$489 Complete Delton Parts Kit – Clay Builds an AR Receiver Gun – (Deal of the Week)

Make Your Own AR? Kit Build Project

Enter the Giveaway!

To purchase the product reviewed in this piece from Midsouth Shooters Supply, click this link: Del-Ton 16-inch M4 Parts Kit: $489.22.

To enter the Midsouth Shooters’ GunsAmerica Giveaway contest, click this link:https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/landingpages/gunsamericagiveaway.aspx.

This week, on adventures in amateur gunsmithing, we received a basic M4 Carbine-style Del-Ton AR carbine build kit from our friends over at Midsouth Shooters Supply. The kit comes with a complete upper receiver and a lower parts kit. All you need to supply is a lower receiver. I had never built one of my own lowers before, so this was going to be a learning experience for certain.

If you are new to firearms, you may be surprised to learn that the only part of an AR-15 that is actually considered a “firearm” is the lower receiver, the part with a serial number. This is why Del-Ton can ship you everything else, right in the mail, no harm no foul. You will need to acquire a lower receiver from friendly local FFL or firearms dealer. I opted to use a Barnes Precision Machine lower as I know from past experience they make high-quality parts. The lower receiver actually does matter. If you ever buy one with overbored trigger pin holes, or a slightly undersized magazine well, you will find out exactly what I mean. I opted for the Del-Ton 16-inch M4 Carbine-style kit, to keep the process simple.

The author used a MidSouth Shooter Supply Del-Ton AR build kit for this home build project.

The author used a MidSouth Shooter Supply Del-Ton AR build kit for this home build project.

If you are considering your first AR build, I recommend you spend a little bit of time getting familiar with the laws surrounding rifles first. You can buy a kit in any length you like, but a 16-inch barrel is the one that keeps you out of trouble. Anything below 16 inches in a rifle is considered a Short Barreled Rifle, or SBR, and is an NFA item ( National Firearms Act of 1934). You can buy short barrels all day long, but the second you put one on a lower that isn’t registered, and the Tax Stamp paid and registered on, you have committed a felony. A flash hider that is permanently attached to the firearm can bring the total length up to 16 inches, but this is not territory to cover if you are new to the game.

The build process, overall, was a lot easier than I had anticipated. As long as you go slow, the lower comes together without too much stress. The trigger group was by far the most difficult part, but even that was not as complicated as it looks at first glance. Once the hammer was finally in place, it was smooth sailing. Most of the rifle is intuitive for which part goes where, especially if you have been using ARs for some time.

So, take a look at the video and follow me through the process. I suspect you will want to try this for yourself once you have.

We were not without some shenanigans, but what build would be complete without that? First object lesson, I should have laid out the parts fully before starting assembly. Our kit was missing the takedown pin detents. Midsouth customer service handle this without a hitch, but it did add to the build time. Second, we had a burr on the hammer that I didn’t notice during assembly. The rifle was a single shot when I test fired it, leading me to initially believe I had put the trigger group in wrong. Hand cycling the hammer about 50 times resolved the problem.

Once we had the firing issues sorted out, the Del-Ton rifle shot a 2 inch 100m group, which is pretty impressive for a kit that cost $450. Overall, the kit was fun to put together, and left me with a sense of satisfaction in building it.


Midsouth Shooters is a great resource for products like the above pieces at great prices. The company is offering you the chance to win one of the items covered in this and future GunsAmerica articles on Midsouth’s products. Just click the link, and gain tons of entries right up until the giveaway scheduled for 11-23-16. In addition, you can receive a free copy of the 240-page Reloading and Shooting Supply catalog from Midsouth Shooters! For more than 45 years, Midsouth Shooters has provided reloaders and shooters top-quality supplies and great prices. Click on the link and sign up to receive your free copy. See why so many shooters across the country shop at Midsouth Shooters.

To enter the Midsouth Shooters’ GunsAmerica Giveaway contest, click this link:https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/landingpages/gunsamericagiveaway.aspx.

To purchase the product reviewed in this piece from Midsouth Shooters Supply, click this link: Del-Ton 16-inch M4 Parts Kit: $489.22.

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  • william nielsen December 25, 2016, 10:51 pm

    Well, I actually bought one of these kits (16″ carbine) – wish I’d waited until after the election, since the price dropped… Assembled it while sitting on mycouch on a locally purchased Aero Precision lower; got some snap caps & magpul 30 round mags @ the same time. A buddy hooked me up with a spare magpul BUIS.

    Not only is it my first AR build, it’s my first AR, and my first semi-auto rifle. Of course, I’m a reasonably competent mechanic, so I kinda’ had some applicable experience to draw from.

    First range session, ran thru 120 rounds of various cheap ammo thru it – zero problems. Zilch. Kinda like shooting a Glock; not much drama. Gonna’ run some more thru it & then take some classes.

    Now a question for Clay, and anyone else who’s built one of these kits: what ammo do you get good accuracy with?

    • Gerald Allen Berry November 17, 2017, 9:15 am

      I built the Delton 20″ A3 style build kit. Assembled the kit on to a Spike’s lower receiver. I get group’s I can cover with a quarter using a carry handle sight off my stuffed ALICE pack at 100 yards. Just shooting PMC 55 grainers’. The rifle has good inherent accuracy with this ammo. Shop the ammo and your rifle shine for you as it does for me. Enjoy.

  • Tom Call November 20, 2016, 11:40 pm

    I would like to try this

  • DARIN BUDAK November 14, 2016, 6:34 am

    This is on my bucket list but I do home my build goes better.

  • Josie Grimm November 4, 2016, 5:44 pm

    On my wish list.

  • Lance November 1, 2016, 3:03 am

    I already sold all of my guns years ago and just have a slingshot now. No really, have all the receipts still too. Yep sure did.

  • Gary October 31, 2016, 10:04 pm

    Riding the bus home, laughing my fool head off at the comments. Don’t ever change, you folks are perfect just the way you are!

    Oh man! Still laughing…


  • Gary Wills October 31, 2016, 3:56 pm

    All the video showed was a back yard mechanic with vise grips trying to build a precision ar15 . I too was waiting for a claw hammer. When he flattened the roll pin I was sure the build was done. Only an idiot would push a square pin in a round hole. I may be an old piney from NJ , but I’m also a skilled machinist with gunsmith training , and an All American PVA TRAP shooter. Really if your going to advertise a build don’t use a man suited better as a wrestler.

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 8:09 pm

      I am sure back yard mechanics everywhere resent that implication.

  • Mike Watkins October 31, 2016, 3:25 pm

    Entertaining to watch Clay do this, and for someone who “had never built a lower before,” he obviously did a great deal of rehearsal. Which is OK, don’t think I would have been able to sit thru an actual “very first time” LOL. Also, it would be quite enlightening for some of the liberals in our government, those with no manufacturing or tech or even DIY experience whatsoever, to see modern firearms are actually so “low-tech” they can be assembled with makeshift tools. (Actually I think a lot of “educated” libs would be “pee-their-pants” frightened if they knew!)

    Not even starting with any comments on some of the finer points and recommendations about alternate ways of doing some steps. Let’s just acknowledge this wasn’t intended to be an instructional vid anyway.

    But just one tip I can’t resist offering: since some of those small springs and detents find it very tempting to try to “escape,” the very first thing I do is hang up a sheet in front of my work area to catch flying parts. Otherwise the finger slips, the spring goes “sproing,” and you spend a ridiculous amount of time on your hands and knees trying to locate those small pieces.

    As for your comment about cheap out-of-spec lowers and parts that won’t fit, I think anyone will rarely encounter that. My first build was about 10 years ago, got 50 or so behind me now. I’ve generally used the cheapest “mil-spec” alloy lower receivers I could buy (no plastic lowers!), probably about 8 or 10 different brands. I recall precisely ONE issue with a non-fitting part. It was a mag release that was a hair too large for its recess. A couple of strokes around the end of the release with a file took care of it. Actually never knew if it was the release or the lower that was out of spec as I didn’t have a spare release to try to install.

    By now I’ve created some simple fixtures and tools to help with a few of the steps. Still enjoy building AR’s.

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 11:10 am

      Solid point on the sheet, I’ll put that in my toolbox. Just between us girls, I did at one point lose the buffer retaining detent and spring, they went for a ride across the kitchen.

  • Chris Baker October 31, 2016, 12:32 pm

    I’d like to see you take the kit and build an 80% receiver for it and get a report on the receiver as well as the kit. I’m thinking about getting one of these but with the 20″ heavy barrel for hunting. Hey! There’s your next article. Go for it.

  • SuperG October 31, 2016, 11:50 am

    I had to stop watching, as it was just another guy wanting to be on camera so he could tell us how great he was.

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 11:14 am

      yep, I am pretty awesome. Your mom thinks so too.

  • Ian Ward October 31, 2016, 11:32 am

    Buying a sub-16″ barrel and putting on a reciever is not an automatic felony. You can build an AR pistol that is 100% legal.

    • Murseman22 October 31, 2016, 2:33 pm

      Thank you! Wondering about the ignorant expertise myself. Seems like a lot of it on here lately.

    • Paul DeRidder November 1, 2016, 12:56 am

      “Constructive intent” If you own all the pieces for assembling an SBR even without it being assembled. Gray with no clear cut law if the ATF wants to get froggy.

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 8:11 pm

      if your lower is stamped as a pistol, yes. but then you had damn sure never put a real buttstock on it. that is the reason they sell SIG braces. so get your facts correct.

      a rifle lower, with a sub 16″ barrel, put together, is a FELONY. unless you have paid your tax stamp, and the lower is engraved as an SBR.

      • Rattlerjake November 2, 2016, 1:16 am

        So QUOTE me the law that says the lower must be engraved SBR!

  • mike October 31, 2016, 10:57 am

    I am going to stop watching “the experts”
    why would you build a gun, video it, and say you have never built one before,,,then show us that it basically is crap out of the box.
    pay a couple extra bucks and go reputable.
    seriously, I think I would trust my blackpowder rifle over that POS you built, friend.

    • George Procyshyn November 1, 2016, 12:51 am

      I’ve been thinking about building up an AR from parts myself, but advise is always good to have. So WHY would you call a build like this crap? .. Please, a detailed answer would be very appreciated. I’d love the experience, but I don’t have money to waste either. … Thanks

  • Big John October 31, 2016, 10:46 am

    Wow Clay, I really like your videos, BUT… Being a long retired crayon chewing 18B I have to say you had your 03 Infantry cap screwed on your head a little too tight on this video. Only Marine DNA could conceptualize a vice clamped to the kitchen counter, a pair of vice grips and a lockback knife…I was waiting on a claw hammer to appear? No Pineland Don for you this time G.I., keep up the shooting and myth busting and leave the gunsmithing to us. Peace out from an ODA781 hasbeen.

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 11:58 am

      lol. I got some private messages from my Bravo’s too. Gun building is definitely not my strong suit. But as our boy Rummy would say, ” You build an AR with the tools you’ve got”. Maybe next week we can do a video on Sloping V antennas, and how to blame any failure on sunspots.

      -ODA356 Has been

  • Graham October 31, 2016, 10:34 am

    OK – I do have to ask why take a very high end lower and mate it with the cheapest of the cheap? Doesn’t seem logical to me.
    Especially as there are mid grade complete AR’s available for under $500 – eg Radical Firearms (no polymer either)
    For the “experience” I would recommend an SAA kit with an Anderson Lower, or a complete kit from PSA – both those will get you a complete AR under $500 all in (i.e. including lower and transfer fee)

    • clay martin November 1, 2016, 8:13 pm

      I also bought a good lower, so I can build an 6.5 upper later this month.

  • Mike C October 31, 2016, 10:24 am

    I dunno- I have seen complete assembled working Del-Ton AR15’s selling for about $600. So I’m not sure why this is a good deal because you are not really saving any money. If you search Google there are better quality complete build kits like this one at lower prices, some at $399.

    I like the concept of building your own and using an 80% lower (I did), it’s not difficult to do, and the good thing about this article is it does at least demonstrate that point. If “they” come for my registered AR I will hand them the box that contains the registered lower CMMG receiver.

  • James October 31, 2016, 8:15 am

    I would like to see a build on an Anderson RF80 kit for AR platform. Test it to see what you think. I’m about to get one of their kits. The reduced friction is what has my attention, no lube? So they claim.

  • ARbob October 31, 2016, 5:53 am

    I would like to see these parts kits sold with 80% lowers. I’m no longer going to build any more AR rifles with serialized lowers. Building all my AR rifles as home made guns starting with 80% lowers with no SN as is my right to do. Then I’m going to take them apart after testing and hide a bunch of finished or maybe even unfinished lowers all over the place hidden in the bottom of boxes and storage containers etc and in my off site storage sites. Time ever comes, they come for my one serialized and on the books AR here in wa, they will only get that one single gun. I’ll have the parts stashed to build 4 or 5 more instantly along with a few thousand rnds of ammo.

    • Graham October 31, 2016, 10:27 am

      … and the NSA thanks you – not that they aren’t already fully aware of your “strategy”

    • Jason Bourne October 31, 2016, 11:31 am


    • D October 31, 2016, 11:46 am

      Great idea. Or build a bunch of 80% lowers for a low price finish them and then sell a truck load of them at a gun buy back sometime. Either way no need to give away your secret plans.

    • Chris Baker October 31, 2016, 12:28 pm

      Actually up until you posted it here it seemed like a good idea. Now, when they come for your guns they are going to do an even better job of ransacking your, well, your everything. You’ll be lucky to have a toilet that works after they get through searching. I wish I could afford to buy a whole bunch of stuff “just in case” but even if I could I wouldn’t tell anyone what I was doing with them.

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