There are plenty of good reasons for shooters to take up a home build project. It’s rewarding, it gets you much more familiar with the inner workings of the firearm, and the experience is transferable to other gunsmithing projects.
However, it can be a little bit daunting to take up the project if you’ve never done so before. Many choose to start with a parts kit instead of buying everything on their own.
On that note, there are build kits, upper assembled, AR15 lower parts kits, and more. So let’s tackle some questions.
What’s Typically Included with an AR15 Lower Parts Kit?
An AR15 lower parts kit is a bundled kit of parts and hardware that you can use to complete a receiver blank once you’ve finished milling it out.
Not all lower parts kits contain the same hardware and components, but most of them have:
– Mag catch assembly
– Safety selector (spring and detent)
– Bolt catch assembly with hardware (roll pin, plunger, spring)
– Buffer tube kit
– Takedown and pivot pin detents, springs, and pins
– Safety spring and detent
– Trigger hammer pins
– Trigger assemblies and trigger guard
A lower parts kit may also contain come with fire controls, a pistol grip, screw and lock washer, a disconnector spring, and a hammer.
That said, that is not all you will need to complete an AR-15 build. You’ll also need the following.
What Else You’ll Need?
– An 80% Lower: To complete an AR-15 build, you’ll also need a lower receiver blank, which is the part that the ATF considers a firearm. These are sold as receiver blanks, which do not have their fire control cavities milled out or the holes drilled out for the trigger, hammer, and safety pins. You’ll need one of these to complete a home build kit. Lower receivers are considered either mil-spec (forged) or billet receivers (CNC-machined from an extruded billet.)
– An Upper or Assembled Upper: You’ll also need to pair your lower receiver assembly to an upper or an upper assembly. Some choose to buy stripped upper receivers (just the metal receiver itself) whereas others buy completed or partially completed upper assemblies. Most assembled uppers contain:
– The upper itself
– A bolt carrier group
– A barrel
– A handguard
– A charging handle
– An ejection port cover
– A forward assist
– A muzzle device
– A gas system (tube and block)
Sometimes an upper kit will not contain a bolt carrier group, charging handle, ejection port door, forward assist, or muzzle device, so pay close attention to the content listing before buying. You also need to ensure that the two parts kits are compatible with each other.
– A Jig Kit: Additionally, to complete the milling of a lower receiver blank, you’ll need a device known as a jig, or an 80% lower jig kit. A lower receiver jig is sort of like a template that affixes temporarily to a lower receiver blank which serves as a guide for a mill or router. It enables the users to finish milling out a lower receiver more easily, with less risk of damage to the receiver.
Check Local Laws
One more thing to note is that while it is federally permissible for non-prohibited individuals to create an AR-15 at home, for personal use only, many states have enacted proscriptive legislation. Specifically, the following states have some regulation or other in place regarding the possession or alteration of 80% lower receivers:
– New Jersey
– Rhode Island
– New York
– Washington, D.C.
That said, laws are changing all the time. Seek your own legal counsel before taking possession of an 80% lower or taking up a project like this.
Visit SARCO, Inc.
Looking for parts for sporting rifles, including but not limited to an AR-15 lower parts kit? You might want to keep a parts kit around not because you’re building a new one, but simply because they’re affordable and will keep you backed up with spare pins and springs.
Check out SARCO, Inc, at SarcoInc.com today to learn more and to find numerous high-quality parts kits. Receiver parts, and much more. If you can’t find what you need in their expansive collection, contact them at 610-250-3960.