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 AR builds
The three ARs built for this Range365 project: (clockwise) the 6mm DMR AR-10 "Lady Luck" rifle, the .450 Bushmaster "Hunter" rifle, and the .223 Wylde minimalist "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.

AR-15 build
These seven videos of a custom .223 Wylde rifle build will teach you out to install every component on an AR-15 lower. See Part 1 of the video guide here.Cosmo Genova
AR-15 build
These eight videos of a custom .223 Wylde rifle build will teach you out to install every component on an AR-15 upper. See Part 2 of the video guide here.Cosmo Genova
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
building a AR-10 precision rifle
A step-by-step photo guide showing you how to install every component of an AR-10 upper receiver. See Part 2 of the build here.Michael R. Shea
AR chambered in 450 Bushmaster
Building a hunting AR chambered in 450 Bushmaster presented so unique challenges throughout, and required some interesting solutions. See the build here.Michael R. Shea
cerakoting spray
Nick Kesselring takes his custom themed gun finishes to a new level with a healthy dose of creativity and ingenuity to create one-of-a-kind firearms. Check out his other work and get details on the custom coatings here.Michael R. Shea
collage of gun building tools
You don't need all this stuff to build an AR, but these tools do make it easier.Range365
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