Build an upper from 'scratch' ? (AR-15 upper by parts)

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by KG7IL, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. KG7IL

    KG7IL Well-Known Member

    I have had some difficulty finding an upper I like.
    (I am also having problems finding an upper I don't like :) )

    Any expericence in building from parts?
    Fit Problems with various manufacturer. Other mismatch problems.

    I am willing to spring (and borrow) the tools. No problem there.
    Just a parts question....

    (With my luck I'll never find the LAST PART!)
  2. ZeusEcho

    ZeusEcho Member Lifetime Supporter

    Stick to high quality mil-spec parts and you shouldn't have any worries. ;)

  3. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    I've built a few uppers. Not difficult with the right tools. lets me build each upper for the purpose I want with the exact parts I want.
  4. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

    Might I suggest you stay away from polymers? Some are OK, the ones that aren't are not something to be close to your face at the cyclic rate of 750 or so rounds per minute.
  5. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    Not a problem as you said having the tools. A receiver block to hold the upper receiver while you are torquing the barrel nut to a minimum of 35 Ft. Lbs. (No Less!) A Torque Wrench and a Barrel Nut Tool. And the Head Space Cheked. Sometimes today with the parts crunch being what it is. I may be cheaper to buy a complete upper with checked, complete bolt carrier group with it. The manufacturers of the uppers are sometimes today refusing to sell sepaerate parts due to the fact bolt carriers are somewhat hard to come by at a decent price today. And they are selling a complete unit You may find the upper and the barrel easier to come by. But good carriers are bringing a premium. If you need a good upper complete pm me and I can put you in touch with people who have complete uppers in stock. Most are Rock River Arms Uppers. From 5.56 to 458 SOCOM. Good luck on your build!


  6. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

    Kinda funny you mentioned 458 SOCOM. Sons of Guns is going on about how Red Jacket is about to lose their order because they were shorted 10 barrels :eek:
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    Made for tv.

    Most likely the "order" itself is fictitous to begin with

    Building an upper is easy and as others said stick with milspec and you got no real issues. The only thing you need to watch for is there is no such thing as milspec when it comes to picatinny gasblocks. The only milspec gas block are the fixed ones that pin in place with taper pins

    If your going to use flip up front and rear the gas block needs to be level left/right for cant with the upper rail. If its canted its nevergoing to zero or track for windage correctly on elevation adjustments
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    I agree with what's been said that building an upper isn't difficult if you're handy with tools. The main issue whether building or buying complete is to know exactly how you want the upper configured. That's the most common mistake with ARs, people don't have the specs ironed out first before they buy/build.

    I would recommend that if you can find what you want already assembled then it might be wise to go that route, especially since the price likely will be close.
  9. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

    To add to what Quentin said . The tools arent going to be cheap to build it with . Took me about 3 builds to pay for the tools . Not that big of deal for me considering I have put 18 uppers together since Oct of last year
  10. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    As Havoc said the proper tools to build an upper aren't cheap so they don't make sense for just one or two uppers. I go for fairly common configurations so haven't had trouble finding exactly the upper I want already assembled by a name I have confidence in. The lowers I do assemble myself and then consider the resulting rifle "my build" since I chose every last part that went into it!

    I've helped buddies put together uppers so know I could borrow the tools and do it myself, just haven't had the need to do so yet though just might pick up a QD billet stripped upper to match the QD US Army Edition billet lower I have. I don't like the complete QD uppers offered so would go with their stripped upper and finish it my way.