DIY AR-15 Build: Upper Receiver Assembly Introduction

by August 10, 2011 08/10/11
DIY AR-15 Build: Upper Receiver Assembly Introduction
1 of 8 in the series DIY AR-15 Build Upper

Welcome back to our DIY AR-15 Build and the start of our tutorials on assembling your Upper Receiver and finishing the build!

In this article we’re going to re-address all the parts and tools you’re going to need to assemble your Upper Receiver. While there are many complete uppers out there to purchase, we’ll be taking you through a complete upper assembly.

From the forward assist to the compensator and everything in between, when we’re done with this second series you’ll have all the resources available to you to take an AR-15 build from the ground up! Let’s get started!

Upper Receiver Introduction

In this series of articles on the Upper Receiver assembly there’s a whole lot to discuss and many things to consider when you’re selecting the parts that will go into your upper. Today we’re simply going to discuss the proper tools and the parts that we’ve selected for our 14.5″ Direct Gas Impingement Hybrid AR-15 build.

We’ll save the individual assembly articles for what to consider at each stage of the build and why. For an in-depth look into the tool selection we’ll highlight below, please refer to the initial introduction article to the DIY AR-15 Build.

While we’ve also referenced the parts we’re using in the original intro article, we’ve broken the list down a bit here to further highlight the individual pieces should you choose to undertake a ground up upper build like we’ll be going through in all these upcoming upper articles.

DIY AR-15 Build: Upper Receiver Assembly Introduction

Parts

Something to note here before we get into the parts list is to ensure you’re aware that the stripped parts we’re linking to in regards to the barrel will require a gunsmith to drill the holes for the taper pins and the pins themselves are not included here on our parts list.

With our 14.5″ barrel you’ll also need to get a gunsmith to permanantely affix the BattleComp 1.5 that we’re using in this build to satisfy the requirements of the National Firearms Act. Permananetly affixing the 1.5″ BattleComp brings the barrel length to the required 16″ length without having to apply for a SBR and pay the $200 Tax Stamp.

Below you’ll find links to the “Group” part (in bold) as well as the individual parts contained in the group in a sub-category below it. Some sub-category listings are simply features of the group.

DIY AR-15 Build: Upper Receiver Assembly Introduction

Tools

DIY AR-15 Build: Upper Receiver Assembly Introduction

Stay tuned next week as we continue our DIY AR-15 Build with the first part of our Upper Receiver assembly installing the Ejection Port Cover and Forward Assist!


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Golf5316
Golf5316

 Can I simply substitute a Daniel Defense 16" barrel and dispense with the pinning?

Golf5316
Golf5316

 Can I simply substitute a Daniel Defense 16" barrel and dispense with the pinning?

Michael
Michael

Hey just wanted to mention that Autozone has torque wrenches that they will loan you for like a$100 deposit, that they refund when you bring it back. So if you don't have a buddy with a torque wrench Autozone will loan you a Torque wrench.

Pat
Pat

Hi all. This series is very informative. I plan to use it to build my own AR very soon. I am new, so I am wondering how everyone would rate the quality of this upper. It seems like it would be a very good one. Would there be anything that one would want to consider to change? I plan on using a palmetto state armory lower kit with a Geissele Trigger Assembly to substitute the one used here.

Slag
Slag

What about using a pigtail gas tube? It is longer than the standard tube & is available in 3 lengths: pistol, carbine & rifle. I've seen it avail @ Brownells. according to theirs & others the increased length helps as you described slowing down the cycle rate. Has anyone used this product?

button
button

JD.

The post befor yours should cleat things up.

"no restrictions at all on purchasing any length upper, it’s subject to the NFA once it’s mated with a lower. Only then does it become illegal if you don’t follow the rules."

You can have a 1 inch barrel on an upper if you want! That upper isnt a weapon. Once you put it on the lower receiver your in trouble. Unless of course you use a 15 inch muzzle break!!

button
button

JD. The post befor yours should cleat things up. "no restrictions at all on purchasing any length upper, it’s subject to the NFA once it’s mated with a lower. Only then does it become illegal if you don’t follow the rules." You can have a 1 inch barrel on an upper if you want! That upper isnt a weapon. Once you put it on the lower receiver your in trouble. Unless of course you use a 15 inch muzzle break!!

Adam
Adam

Bryan just wondering why you chose to go with a fixed front sight base rather than a low profile gas block and a rail mounted front sight?

mmasse
mmasse

I was thinking the same thing about the upper. If a 16'" length gas systems help create a slower bolt cycle and saves wear and tear on the internals why would I want a 14.5" barrel?

Sean
Sean

I don't understand the 14.5" barrel length for civilian use.

If we need to permanently attached a compensator to reach a 16" length, why not just get a 16" mid length BCM upper? In theory you'll get a nudge more velocity with the longer barrel and you effectively have the same size rifle in the end.

I'm very much a newbie, so if I'm off based please educate me.

Thanks

Sean
Sean

I don't understand the 14.5" barrel length for civilian use. If we need to permanently attached a compensator to reach a 16" length, why not just get a 16" mid length BCM upper? In theory you'll get a nudge more velocity with the longer barrel and you effectively have the same size rifle in the end. I'm very much a newbie, so if I'm off based please educate me. Thanks

Eric S.
Eric S.

Defiantly get the correct tools. I cracked my Colt upper when I was attempting to take my barrel off by not using a upper receiver block. I ended up having to put the upper in the freezer to break the barrel nut loose.

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