Finished building my first ever AR. =)
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default Finished building my first ever AR. =)

Well, I decided I wanted an AR at the worst possible time: a week after Obama was elected. I pored over all kinds of interwebz forums and asked a lot of questions, and decided that I wanted my first rifle to be my Katrina gun.

I'm a machinist/programmer by day, so I decided to machine my own receivers from raw forgings available for $25 a pop at DS Arms.

It was slow at the shop, so I had open machines available to get the lowers done, but unfortunately, have still not been able to do the uppers. I ordered a stripped flat top upper from Model 1 Sales for now, and time/machine availability permitting, I'll get the uppers done.

So over the course of several months, I ordered part by part, until I had everything. I had to wait a month for the LPK to arrive, and 3 months for the barrel!

I made a joke about engraving emoticons on the gun a while back, and when I finally did engrave it two weeks ago, I decided the emoticon route was prudent, and would earn me the respect of my AR-toting peers!

The barrel nut didn't want to go on without a fight, and I freely admit the wrench I made at the shop failed miserably, so I had to wait another agonizing week for a proper wrench from Bushmaster.

While I was waiting on that, I decided to give Brownell's GunKote a whack. It's a fair bit glossier than the upper, which is not a huge deal to me, but I think in the future, I may try my hand at a lil' wet-sanding to dull the sheen a bit. Otherwise, it's great stuff, and simple as pie to use.

Now in case you're wondering, if you can legally own a firearm, then you can legally make your own, so long as you don't sell it, or give it away. Also, there is NO serial number required, though I did add "US 1776" as my serial number. In any case, it's off the books, which is just how I like it.

I added a vertical foregrip and intend to get an EOTech or Aimpoint next spring. I may upgrade the stock to a nicer Magpul version later on. I'm using a 16" 5.56 barrel from Model 1 with a 1:9 twist. I also ordered the bolt carrier group from them.

In all, the rifle cost me $830, not including the mags. I won't be able to fire it until tomorrow or the next day, but it passes every non-firing test I can think of. The real test will be this weekend.

Even though I haven't even fired this rifle yet, let alone any AR-15 in my life, I'm already thinking of the next one! I blame all of you guys for that, and I thank you for it, too!


Pics are in the following threads. Enjoy.

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
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Programming with Mastercam X.




The raw 7075 forgings.




Various fixture plates and vise jaws used to hold the lowers for the 6 operations it took to make them.

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:35 AM   #3
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The first op. Yes, the setup is a bit of hackjob, but I didn't feel like taking out the vise.




Yay! My first completed lower!

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:36 AM   #4
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Another view.




Partially-assembled with my stock and my co-worker's handgrip.




Another view of the same.

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:37 AM   #5
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PRO TIP: Don't drop the hammer on the bolt catch.




The shape of things to come.




Engraving. There is an outline of The United State, and above it, it reads: "Live Free Or Die."

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:41 AM   #6
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This is prior to getting the gas tube and foregrip installed. The camera flash makes the mismatch between the upper and lower look much worse.

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Old 09-12-2009, 04:05 AM   #7
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Looks Nice

Well Done
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:42 AM   #8
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WOW!!!

You have taken the concept of building your own AR to a new level! Great job, and please let us know how it shoots.

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