Building a reliable AR is a passage for many who love rifles and want the task of customizing one on their own instead of purchasing one from a gun store. However, even when building, the most critical thing is the AR’s reliability. Whether it’s for a life and death situation, shooting competition, or as a casual hobby, it needs to work appropriately and hit whatever you aim for. Here are five major pieces to ponder when building your first AR that you need to consider before purchasing parts.

Components

There are several AR models in the market, and all have different components. Depending on the need and time available, take note that there are ARs that have over 100 pieces. A little bit of knowledge is needed to assemble all components from collapsible stocks to muzzle brakes, like those at Solvent Traps Direct, and it may take a lot of time. These types of components allow for better control when learning how to shoot for the first time, and help keep the rifle more level while you shoot. The best thing to make sure things go smoothly is to go to your local gun shop and talk tools with those that know or search online for forums. 

Accuracy

ARs vary in accuracy and can have from a ¼ to 3-inch variance. Considering the difference due to the barrel used, bolt carrier group, and even the trigger, do your due diligence and research the parts that best suit what you are looking for. However, note that the more accurate AR is, the more expensive the barrel will be.

Size

The size of AR for competition does not matter, and it’s all a matter of personal preference. However, if it’s for defense in closed quarters like a home, smaller is more practical. You may want to look into doing a short barrel rifle build, or even a pistol AR build. It will rule out most large components, especially a larger barrel. Most long-range and competition shooters use mid to long barrels. 

Use

Competitions often have guidelines on the kind of guns acceptable to enter them. One of the most sought-after features in an AR during competition is shooting flat and accurately. Several things that aid in this is buying a good muzzle break to help with the recoil, reducing it. Modifying the buffer tube is also a possibility. Several products are available in the market for this. Still, an AR with lower parts enhanced will be quicker.

Regulation

States allow gun lovers to build their ARs but have put regulations in place to mimic one bought from a factory or gun store. Consider the dos and don’ts that factory-made ARs have and follow the same guidelines.

Strive to ask a licensed gunsmith for guidance and ideas, especially when in doubt. Search for one to ask all mundane questions before building your first AR, as it is in their job description, and many are usually happy to help.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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