Ever thought about building your own AR-15? I’ve done a couple, mind you on pre-assembled lower receivers. It’s fun and easily accomplished with only a few basic tools. Excerpt:
This is a complete list of everything you need to build an AR-15 rifle. Underneath each component are suggestions of products the Cheaper Than Dirt! experts use or has used in the past on various AR-15 builds. Of course, our recommendations are not exhaustive. There are so many different ways to configure an AR-15 from mass-produced cheap polymer lowers to mom and pop shops machining custom competition, match-grade parts. Each AR-15 build is going to vary—depending on your reason for building the rifle. Be it a 9mm carbine, destroyer of pigs, long-range precision or simply just a fun toy, this guide will lead you in the right direction.
You can build a decent AR-pattern rifle in a wide variety of calibers for around $600. I’ve got about a grand in mine, a bit less in Mrs. Animal’s copy, mostly because I have yet to set some good optics on hers. Mine has the fixed stock, preferred for a tall, long-armed gorilla like yr. obdt; a 20″ 5.56mm heavy barrel on a DPMS flat-top upper receiver, and a 6.5-24x scope. Mrs. A’s version has a telescoping stock, usually set in some to accommodate her 4’11” stature, a 16″ 5.56mm barrel on (again) a 5.56mm DPMS flat-top upper. I have an old reflex sight on it, but am scouting out other, low-magnification reflex or traditional optical options for her carbine.
Whining by clueless media types aside, the AR-15 pattern rifles are user-friendly, fun to shoot, safe, light and easy to handle by almost anyone. They are also endlessly accessorized and customized. (There is even a Hello Kitty version.)
I prefer powerful, accurate bolt guns for hunting, but the AR is fun. I’ll probably always keep one or two in the rack.