Lately, I had taken up a growing interest in firearms and decided to purchase an AR-15. I’m kind of a cheap-o, so I went with the DIY route. Basically, the AR-15 is divided up into two parts – the lower and upper receivers.
The lower receiver is made up of 3 main items:
1) Stripped lower receiver – basically a hunk of metal with holes and openings, no moving parts
2) Lower Parts Kit (LPK) – contains all the parts you’ll need to complete the lower and assemble the trigger, trigger guard, hammer, magazine catch, and bolt catch
3) Stock – these all vary in styles, from fixed A2 style to 6 position collapsible stocks
I found my DPMS stripped lower receiver at a local gunshow. I would strongly recommend that you check out a gun show before ordering online/locally. Usually, there are some decent deals around and you won’t have to pay the FFL transfer fee as you would if you bought it online. By the way, the only part that is regulated by the government is the stripped lower receiver. This means that background checks and laws apply to lower receivers the same way they apply to fully completed rifles, pistols, etc. On the plus side, once you have the stripped lower receiver, you can order/buy all the other parts without any hassle and have them shipped directly to your door AR10 80 Lower.
For the lower parts kit and stock, I went with DPMS. This was because I got a good deal at SportsmansGuide.com on the parts and I was trying to keep things as cheap as possible. I ended up paying $50 shipped for the LPK and $50 shipped on the 6 position stock.
Putting the lower receiver together is not very difficult, but it can get frustrating at times. I used this guide from the AR15.com forums from start to finish. I recommend that you print out the guide first, lay your parts out as shown in the diagram, then begin assembling the lower. No special tools are needed, however, you will want to have some punches to punch in the roll pins. You can just get the standard pin punches, no need for specialized roll pin punches if you want to save some cash.
I started putting together the lower without any punches, but when it came time to punch down the trigger guard roll pin, I was wishing I had one. Trying to improvise, I used my Swiss Army multifunction tool to hammer in the pin. After at least 15 minutes, I had finally gotten the pin in, but left the trigger guard all scratched up from my barbaric hammering. Not only that, but when you have to drive the bolt catch roll pin in, you will wish you had a punch. There is not enough clearance between the pin and the rifle to McGuyver something to drive the pin; you must use a punch!
Other than that, the rest of the process went fine. Only thing is, I’ll need a CAR wrench to tighten down the stock, but it should be too big of an issue.