UPDATE TO: What Do I Need To Build An AR-15? How To Make A Rifle

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An AR-15 is an ArmaLite Rifle that is one of the most popular firearms being sold today. If you plan on practicing target shooting or hunting small game and big game, this is the gun you should use.

AR-15s are great firearms since they are very versatile and has a lot of aftermarket parts that you can use to customize your gun until it meets your preferences. These rifles also come with a military look, but has a semi-semiautomatic function that will let you fire one round per pull of the trigger.

Types of AR-15s

Before you start building your rifle, you must first know its purpose. When building a rifle, you should start with stripped upper receivers since it will determine the use of your gun. Here are some types of stripped upper receivers you can choose from:

AR-15 A1 – Ideal for all-around use. Has functions similar to the Vietnam era M-16 Rifle.
AR-15 A2 – Ideal for shooting matches
AR-15 A3 – Ideal for making a similar gun to the M4, and for hunting varmint.
AR-15 Flattop – Ideal for hunting at long ranges.

Parts You Will Need

Once you have decided on what type of upper receiver you will need, here are the other AR-15 parts you will need to get to build your rifle.

NOTE: An outstanding and trusted source for parts (as well as for complete firearms) is Gorilla Ammunition. They have exceptionally high standards for the equipment they manufacture (they even have their own ballistics lab). Check them out HERE.

​Upper receiver parts kit

If this is your first time building a gun, you should get an upper receiver kit since it already includes the ejection port door, spring, and forward assist parts.

Charging handle

The charging handle pulls the bolt carrier back to prevent a malfunction.

Gas tube

The gas tubes transfer that gases from the gas block into the bolt carrier.

Gas block

The gas block allows gasses to pass from the barrel into the gas tube to get to the AR-15’s receiver in order to get ready for another shot.

Muzzle device

Muzzles reduce the recoil when you fire your rifle.


The stock allows you to shoulder your rifle. However, you must be aware of which types of stock is legal in your area.


Handguards allow you to add accessories and grip to your rifle.

Stripped lower receiver

This is the firing part of the gun that comes with a serial number.

Lower Parts Kit

If you are new to building a rifle, you may want to get a lower part receiver kit since it already includes most of the 31 parts that is needed for an AR-15 stripped lower.


The barrel length you should choose will depend on the use of your gun. There are several barrel lengths available for the AR-15, you should ask your retailer which one would suit your preferences best.

Barrel nut

The barrel nut puts the barrel in place in the receiver.


The selector is the safety switch of your gun. Depending on your dominant hand, you should get a left-handed or ambidextrous selector for quick and safe handling.


Just like the pistol grip, a good trigger can help with maneuvering your rifle with ease. You should get a match-quality trigger for best results.


You can get an AR-15 magazine that can accommodate 5 up to 100 rounds. However, you must know the allowed magazine capacity in your area.

Pistol Grip

This is the part of the gun that your hand grips. You will need to get a pistol grip that sits comfortably in your hand for better maneuverability when shooting the rifle.

Bolt catch

This part prevents the bolt from moving forward when the magazine is out of bullets.

Magazine release

The magazine release drops the magazine out of the firearm. The standard lower parts kit includes a magazine release.


The buffer reduces recoil and reduces wear on the AR-15 by slowing down the bolt.

Buffer spring

The buffer lets the rifle fire consecutive shots by propelling the bolt of the rifle forward.

Buffer tube

The buffer tube puts the buffer and the buffer spring in place.

A Quick Recap

If you want to practice target shooting or go hunting, the AR-15 is a great choice for you since it has a lot of aftermarket parts that you can choose to custom-fit your needs. If you are new to building guns from scratch, you may want to get kits that contain all the parts you need. Otherwise, you may refer to this list to make sure you get everything you need. 

The original article published under this post name was created and published by a previous owner and publisher of this site back on December 12, 2016. Since its inception, this website has changed ownership and management on several occasions. It is currently March 16, 2019, and the site is under completely new management and owners, and the new owners do not necessarily agree with the views of previous owners and publishers. 

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