How to Build an AR Rifle at Home

The Ultimate Range365 Guide to Home Building AR-15s, AR-10s, and Big Bore Gas Guns.

r365 rifles
(clockwise) The Lady Luck 6mm DMR rifle, The Hunter .450 BM rifle, and the .223 Wylde Stormtrooper rifle. Cosmo Genova

SO, YOU WANT TO BUILD AN AR? You’ve come to the right place. This 7 part series will walk you through everything from installing your first handguard, to how Cerakoting and laser etching can turn a rifle into a work of art.

On the first build—a minimalist race gun-inspired .223 Wylde— we lay out every step in assembling an upper and lower receiver from parts in a series of videos.

The second build—a precision AR-10 chambered in 6mm Creedmoor —we get into the differences between the AR-10 and AR-15 platform, and lay out each build step for this rifle in detailed photos.

Our hunting build—a hard-hitting .450 Bushmaster —gets into special considerations for big bore AR-15s. The build steps are nearly identical to our .223, but the obstacles we had to overcome were quite different.

Then, we profile Nick Kesserling, of FSG Customs in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Nick is a premier firearm artists who does laser engraving and cerakote work for some of the biggest rifle and handgun manufacturers in the country. But his first love is tricked-out custom guns, and he brought his A-game to this project.

Finally, first thing’s last: tools. Yes, you can build an AR with a 5.56 cartridge and a wrench, but don’t torture yourself. These few essential items make the build process straightforward and fairly stress free—and if this is going to become a new hobby, and it often does, you’ll be grateful for the expanded gunsmithing tool box.

Video Guide: Building an AR-15, Part 1: The Lower Receiver

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Video Guide: Building an AR-15, Part 2: The Upper Receiver

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Photo Guide: Building an AR-10 Precision Rifle, Part 1 – The Lower

building a AR-10 precision rifle
A step-by-step photo guide showing you how to install every component of an AR-10 lower receiver. See Part 1 of the build here. Michael R. Shea

Photo Guide: Building an AR-10 Precision Rifle, Part 2 – The Upper

building a AR-10 precision rifle
A self-timing brake or comp like the Odin Works ATLAS compensator used for this build is timed via the titanium sleeve, so no shims or crush washers are needed. • If your muzzle device requires a crush washer, first make sure the cupped side of the washer faces out. • Then, hand tighten the brake until it stops. • Get a wrench and turn the brake—crushing the washer—until it’s lined up straight and level with the gas block. If you don’t want a muzzle device, simple screw a thread protector on the muzzle and you’re done. Michael R. Shea

Trouble Shooter: The 450 Bushmaster ‘Hunter’ AR Build

AR chambered in 450 Bushmaster
Building a hunting AR chambered in 450 Bushmaster presented some unique challenges throughout, and required some interesting solutions. See the build here. Michael R. Shea

How a Gun Artist Does Cerakoting

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AR Rifle Homebuilder’s Tool Guide

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Photo Gallery: The Range365 Custom ARs

collage of three custom ar rifles
These three rifles were built from the ground up for different intended uses and with unique Cerakote finishes. Meet Stormtrooper, Lady Luck, and The Hunter. See the Photo Gallery here. Cosmo Genova