Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 1 decade ago

Should i Build my AR rifle or buy one?

I don't have alot to spend on a rifle but love AR's. I have heard building your own is cheaper, and be of better quality since you buy the custom parts. I might add it would be a Carbine version of 16 inch barrel and a collapse able stock.

I would need it in 5.56 not .223

Is there any piston driven uppers around?

What parts should be bought by who?

What should i get chromed? (barrel obviously)

Thanks alot guys. Long Live America


Sorry guys forgot to add that i prefer fixed carry handle but not needed.

Update 2:


5.56 is the same caliber but the guns specs are different. The 5.56 guns can take .223 but not the other way around. The 5.56 has different pressures which cause more or less stress depending on which the gun was chambered for.

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The main advantage in my opinion to building an AR15 is having a better understanding of how things work...that and saving a few dollars. If this is your first AR15 I would suggest buying a complete rifle. It sounds like you're looking for a basic AR15 which doesn't run all that much. So the saving on building a rifle could be minimal.

    That is just my .02.

    Be safe and have fun.

  • Tina
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I build match AR's. You are hopelessly lost. Do not start this. Factory rifles are assembled by an apprentice with 4-7 years experience and the final assembly is checked by a master gunsmith with 16+ years experience. The rifles are then test fired by someone who can tell a problem just by looking at the fired case and listening to the recoil spring. You also need $400+ in special tools to properly assemble an AR rifle. This does not include the $90 trigger jig to properly set the sear and hammer mate and trigger pull. That - and people like me who build AR rifles always have two or three match rifles to compair our newly built ones against. You don't have this, do you??? It will cost you about $400+ in parts to assemble a kit rifle, but,it will not be much more than a bunch of junk Chinese parts - and the gun is going to shoot like poop. Worse, a real gunsmith will not even allow you to put one on his shelf and sell as a consignment. If you want to waste a couple of hundred dollars - just simply flush it down the toilet and save yourself the grief. If you want a decent AR rifle - go buy a factory built one. Or, if you cannot afford one - hunt down a local person who builds or modifies black rifles and strike a deal for them to check it over and adjust it for $150 or so once you have all the parts. Hope this helps

  • 1 decade ago

    I have looked into building my own AR15 and came to the conclusion that it would cost me almost the same as buying a new factory one. Now there are some factory ones that cost more than building one yourself.

    The one thing about building one yourself it gives you the knowledge of how these things are built and you will have the pride in knowing you built your own rifle.

    I have been told that there are a couple of specialized tools that I would have to get to build my own rifle, but other than that it was fairly simple to build.

    But again I looked at what I would want to build and started pricing the various components and I was amazed that the price almost equaled the price of buying a factory built one. Now the factory one might not be a top of the line, but it also wasn't the cheapest factory one either.

    In all I think it saved maybe $200 to $300.

    I still think I may want to build one myself. I am mechanically inclined and work with tools on motors and electronics so I know I could build it. I think the pride of building one and knowing that I know the firearm inside and out would be a great experience.

    I have also heard that the 5.56 AR will shoot the 5.56 and 223 rounds but the 223 AR shouldn't be shot with 5.56 rounds. They will fire them and they are the same round basically, but from some of the fellas I know that have AR15's and that have built them say it isn't adviseable to shoot 5.56 in a 223 AR15.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you only plan on building one, then keep your eyes open and buy one that has what you want. By the time you buy the tools necessary to properly build an AR, you could buy what you want. If you mess up something in the assembly, it could get real expensive real fast. That being said, putting together your own can be very satisfying and there are tons of videos out there showing you how to put one together.

    As for piston powered; yeah, the technology looks pretty good but the gas system works and is much lighter than the piston.

    If this is your first AR, I would suggest a good factory rifle to start with to familiarize yourself with the AR. As for a carry handle, believe me, you want a removable carry handle. I have a Colt Sporter Target model and have been looking forever for a flattop receiver for it with no luck. I have had it for 20 years and have yet to find an acceptable optics to put on top of the handle. I have a Doublestar EM-4 Carbine bought last year and put a relatively inexpensive Bushnell scope on it and have gotten better results than with anything I have tried on my Colt.

    Source(s): Capt USMCR (Ret)
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  • 1 decade ago

    They aren't hard to build. To answer your specific questions:

    1: Not all 5.56 chambers are truly 5.56, even if they say they are.

    2: There are plenty of piston options out there, but you will see with research that they have their own sets of problems.

    3: You can buy everything, but when you get the lower receiver, you will have to work with your local gun shop to order it. It isn't hard, they handle it all.

    4: The barrel bore and chamber should be chrome lined. As well, the inside of the bolt carrier should be chrome lined, as should the inside of the gas key.

    5: You can get the fixed carry handle, but it isn't all that useful. They make a detachable carry handle if you must have one, but I strongly recommend looking into flat top uppers, for the modularity.

    6: 5.56 and .223 chambers are not the same, you are correct.

    Two of my favorite places to shop for projects like this are Bravo Company and Ranier Arms. They both sell everything from partially completed kits, with all the tough stuff done, to all the bits and pieces you need to go from scratch. They can even provide you a complete rifle, if you so choose.

    There are many other places, and many places with service and parts that are great as well, but these guys will really take the time to work you through the process, and neither of them sell any junk at all.

    If you take the time to call them, they will surely explain the benefits and drawbacks of building, and help you along with your purchase.

    Be sure to check out and M4, as well. They are forums, and they come with opinions like any other forum, but there is loads of information there for beginner builders and buyers.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you want some helpful tips, I'll be glad to oblige.

  • 1 decade ago

    The advantage of building your own is that you get everything you want and you don't have to settle for an off the shelf rifle you modify later.

    If you are going to go with a piston upper you are going to be spending big bucks b/c they are more expensive than a conventional upper.

    That being said you won't be saving all that much money building your own but it still would be a little bit cheaper than an off the shelf piston gun.

    Also for the carry handle. If you get a flat top upper you can get a detachable carry handle for about 75$ or so and just leave it on there. Uppers with fixed handles are more money and don't have the good rear sights like the detachable ones.

    Good luck

    Source(s): Shooter 16 years and builder of 3 custom AR's
  • 1 decade ago

    Factory 5.56 and .223 are slightly different-and a simple search will tell you why. BUt when reloading you use the same die for each.

    If you don't have the $$$ to put out all at once, then building is the way to go. Do your online research about the different receiver makers, then get one from The lower receiver is the only part that an FFL holder has to take delivery for-the upper and rest can be shipped directly to you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Honestly you need to first think about how you are going to use this rifle.

    1) Competitive Shooting or just out to the range?

    2) How much ammo do you plan on shooting a week/month/year?

    3) What is the climate you live in and will you clean it after shooting?

    You might think you need to get the bore and BCG chromed but if you are no shooting it that much the bore will out live you. Also the chroming does help in cleaning but if you are not in a humid climate like a jungle this is not going to affect anything. As for the piston, the regular AR gas system is very effective. You might want to hold off on that in the beginning and get all the goodies that can attach to your new rifle.

    Having said all that I would look on for a lower reciever (complete) and a complete Upper that fit what you are looking for. Sometimes by buying the upper and lower seperatly you can save about $150. And they just snap together.

  • 1 decade ago

    Try doing some research at and

    I like dealing with and They both carry good products and offer first rate service.

    If you want to buy complete uppers, lowers, or complete guns, I would also check with Pete at Legal Transfers ( ), he often has great prices on rifle parts and stocks.

    I would also suggest that you get an detachable cary handle A3/A4 upper instead of the fixed A2 model. It will allow you to do everything the A2 upper will do plus it will allow you to mount optics lower if you ever decide to in the future.

    Right now CMMG have bargain bin rifles on sale for $599. These are not century arms kit built junk. These are name brand rifles like stag, Rock River, Bushmaster etc.. These rifles may have scratches, but are mechanically fine. CMMG is a good company and will not let you down.

  • 1 decade ago

    If this is your first AR15 then I recommend you buy an already built factory model.... The few dollars your going to save are not worth the hassle of the build.... Also do not buy a rifle custom built buy some Elmer Fudd you don't know.....

    Buy it - use it - enjoy it - get comfortable with its use and operation -- Then move ahead and build another in a year or 2.......

    PLEASE NOTE -- The .223 and 5.56x45MM are not the same -- close but not the same......


    Anyways...... Buy a built one --- Even if its not the exact model you want ---- Don't worry about costs.... This is America! -- some people make $50000 buy coffee break time in this country.... Use your head, ebay, craigslist, whatever and the funds will be available if you put your mind to it......

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