How to Build Your Own AR-15: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners


Building your own AR-15 can be a rewarding and cost-effective experience for gun enthusiasts of all levels. In this guide, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide and product recommendations to help you build your own AR-15, even if you’re a beginner.

Parts and Tools Needed to Build an AR-15

Before you start building your AR-15, you’ll need the right parts and tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need, along with product recommendations:

  • Lower receiver: Aero Precision AR-15 Lower Receiver
  • Upper receiver: Aero Precision AR-15 Upper Receiver
  • Barrel: Faxon Firearms AR-15 16″ Gunner Barrel
  • Bolt carrier group: BCM AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group
  • Charging handle: Radian Weapons AR-15 Raptor Charging Handle
  • Gas block and tube: SLR Rifleworks AR-15 Sentry Adjustable Gas Block and Gas Tube
  • Trigger assembly: Geissele Automatics AR-15 Super Dynamic Combat Trigger
  • Buffer assembly: BCM AR-15 Mil-Spec Carbine Buffer Kit
  • Handguard: Midwest Industries AR-15 Combat Handguard
  • Stock and buffer tube assembly: Magpul MOE-SL Stock and Buffer Tube Assembly
  • Rear sight: Magpul MBUS Pro Rear Sight
  • Tools, including a torque wrench, punches, and an armorer’s wrench: Wheeler Engineering AR-15 Armorer’s Kit

The Build Process

Now that you have all of the necessary tools and parts, it’s time to start building your AR-15. Here are the detailed steps involved in the build process:

  1. Install the lower receiver parts: Begin by installing the magazine catch, bolt catch, safety selector, trigger guard, and pistol grip onto the lower receiver.
  2. Install the trigger assembly: Next, install the trigger assembly into the lower receiver.
  3. Install the buffer assembly: Install the buffer spring, buffer, and castle nut onto the lower receiver.
  4. Install the upper receiver: Install the forward assist, ejection port cover, and charging handle onto the upper receiver.
  5. Install the bolt carrier group and charging handle: Insert the bolt carrier group into the upper receiver, then install the charging handle onto the upper receiver.
  6. Install the gas block and tube: Install the gas block onto the barrel, then insert the gas tube into the gas block and upper receiver.
  7. Install the barrel: Insert the barrel into the upper receiver and secure it with the barrel nut.
  8. Install the handguard: Install the handguard onto the barrel and secure it to the upper receiver.
  9. Install the rear sight: Install the rear sight onto the upper receiver.
  10. Install the stock and buffer tube assembly: Finally, install the stock and buffer tube assembly onto the lower receiver.

Is It Cheaper to Build or Buy an AR-15?

One of the biggest advantages of building your own AR-15 is the potential cost savings. While the cost of building an AR-15 can vary depending on the specific parts and tools you use, building your own is generally cheaper than buying one. In addition, building your own allows you to customize your AR-15 to your own preferences, something that may not be possible with a store-bought firearm.

Common Questions About Building an AR-15

Here are answers to some common questions about building an AR-15:

How long does it take to build an AR-15 from scratch?

Building an AR-15 can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on your experience level and the complexity of the build.

Do I need an FFL to build an AR?

No, you do not need an FFL to build an AR-15 for personal use. However, if you intend to sell your build, you will need an FFL.

Can I sell an AR that I built?

Yes, but you will need an FFL to do so.

Is building an AR-15 difficult?

Building an AR-15 requires some basic mechanical skills and knowledge of firearms. While it can be a challenging process, with the right tools and guidance, even beginners can successfully build their own AR-15.

Can you build AR-15s and sell them?

Yes, but you will need an FFL to do so.

Do you need a background check to build an AR?

No, you do not need a background check to build an AR-15 for personal use.


Building your own AR-15 can be a rewarding and educational experience for gun enthusiasts of all levels. With the right tools and parts, building an AR-15 can be a cost-effective way to own a customized firearm that meets your needs and preferences. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced builder, we hope this guide has been helpful in providing the information and product recommendations you need to build your own AR-15.