DIY AR-15 Build: Lubrication, Assembly and Firing - ITS Tactical

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DIY AR-15 Build: Lubrication, Assembly and Firing

By The ITS Crew

8 of 8 in the series DIY AR-15 Build Upper

Today had been a long time coming, in the past few months we’ve shown you how to take nothing but parts and turn it into a complete AR-15. Starting with our Lower Receiver assembly series and working up to the Upper Receiver assembly series, which culminates today with our final article.

In this article we’ll be going over proper lubrication, assembly, a final function check and finishing it up with firing our completed AR! Lubrication is a mandatory part of keeping your AR running and something to ensure you don’t neglect.


There’s a simple way to never forget what parts on your AR to lube. Lube all wear points. And by wear points, we mean that anything that visually shines from friction wear needs lube. Don’t be sparing here, your AR is a machine with many working parts and needs to be thoroughly lubed; just be smart about only lubing what truly needs it.

The lubrication we recommend is SLiP2000 EWL (Extreme Weapons Lubricant), hands down. It’s never done us wrong and if you’ve ever read Pat Rogers articles on the Bravo Company guns he’s been running for thousands and thousands of rounds without cleaning, you’re familiar with the fact that all he does is keep them properly lubed with SLiP2000.

DIY AR-15 Build: Lubrication, Assembly and Firing

Don’t just use it because we’re mentioning it though, here’s a few facts to back up why we use SLiP2000. It’s a synthetic liquid lubricant that doesn’t contain mineral oil or petroleum. Why is this important? Petroleum-based lubricants will attract and hold firing residue, dust and dirt. SLiP2000 will also not separate, become sticky or dry out and leave any tacky residue behind.

Here’s a brief rundown of where to lube:

DIY AR-15 Build: Lubrication, Assembly and Firing

  • Charging Handle Track / Top of Charging Handle
  • Underside of Bolt Carrier
  • Cam Pin and Cam Pin Slot
  • Bolt Lugs
  • Bolt Body (especially on rib)
  • Gas Rings
  • Drop Lube into Bolt Carrier Gas Ports (right side) during downtime on range/in the field

Upper and Lower Assembly

There’s not much to assembling the Upper and Lower Receivers at this point. Simply line up the front holes in the upper receiver with the Front Pivot Pin and press the pin through. Ensure the Rear Take Down Pin is extended and slide it through after bringing the upper down to mate with the lower.

DIY AR-15 Build: Lubrication, Assembly and Firing

Function Check

  • Perform a function check at this point by racking the Charging handle and placing the Safety Selector in the safe position.
  • Squeeze the Trigger, ensuring that the Hammer doesn’t release and the Safety is doing it’s job.
  • Rotate the Safety Selector to “fire” and squeeze the Trigger, hearing the Hammer fall.
  • With the Trigger still pressed to the rear, rack the Charging Handle listening to the Hammer engaging the Disconnector.
  • Slowly release the Trigger and you’ll hear the Hammer disengage from the Disconnector and engage the Trigger Sear. There will be an audible click.

Test Firing and AAR

There’s nothing left to do now, but inserting a magazine and follow the proper firearm safety rules to start shooting!

  • Rule #1 — All guns are always loaded.
  • Rule #2 — Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  • Rule #3 — Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  • Rule #4 — Identify your target, and what is behind it.

The only extra items we added to our AR-15 Build is to prep another one of our Blue Force Gear VCAS Sling Mods! Check out many other great slings too from Blue Force Gear!

Our assembled ITS Tactical AR-15 fired without a hitch and we’re stoked that our build came together so well and were able to share each step with you! We couldn’t have done it without the support of our Plank Owners and Crew Leaders and we thank all of you!

This build was entirely funded by ITS Tactical and nothing we used was donated or sent to us for review, the parts and tools you’ve seen used are what we selected based on what we felt were the best of what’s out there! In all we spent right around $1700 without counting tools or shipping. Keep in mind this is with all the Magpul furniture and even the CRC Hydrographics Coating.

There’s obviously ways you could save money on your own build, but this is what we wanted to use on the ITS AR-15. It will also always be available for any of our Plank Owners and Crew Leaders to shoot anytime they’re in the area and want to come out shooting with us!

Stay tuned for more of our How to Keep your AR Running Series coming soon!

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  • Irishmanlost

    Great series guys, enjoyed watching it !

  • kyle

    I cant wait to get mine started the parts are all on the way, thanks for the inspiration and all the details ITS

  • tiger27

    Bryan & Crew,
    I just wanted to say Thanks! for the DIY AR-15 series… These were all great articles and from someone who has build a few AR’s of his own, I actually picked up a couple useful tips & facts that I did not know! Very cool looking Rock Chucker you put together there!


  • D. Hide

    This is a great series, thanks guys! I’ve followed from start to finish even though I don’t own an AR. However, there’s nothing like building your own rifle, and the AR platform has proven to be the ultimate in customization and parts availability.

    I’m just hoping the AK can hold a candle to that capability soon! They’re starting to get up there with the stuff you can do with ’em.


  • Thanks for doing this series, you’ve helped me out a LOT while building my first AR (just finished!).

  • Daniel

    Great work! I am looking at building my first AR and your series was a terrific find. In fact your whole site is very nice and informative. One thing I wanted to ask was, I am a CA residence, and realize that this build would meet the 16″ barrel requirement by permanently adding the compensator, however there is also a 30″ minimum overal length requirement with the firearm being operated at its shortest configuration. Would this build meet that?

    Thanks a ton!

  • Eric

    For the first test fire, you should really only load a single round in the magazine just in case something goes wrong and the gun goes into full-auto.

  • Kevin

    Very helpful series. I have a question though. If I were to swap in a BCM BFH 16″ mid length barrel, what other changes would I have to make?

  • Kris

    Hows that water tranfer camo holding up? Does it only work well only on plastic parts or does it do well on metal too? I’m extremely interested on how well it wears and how long it lasts.

  • Ratfink

    who did the water transfer for you ?

  • Jay

    Great series! For a first timer i feel like i know the gun in and out a lot better. I just have one question about the entire build. How do you know which springs and detent to use on the particular part of the gun you are working on? I saw that there were different types of springs and detent, just want to know which one you use for what hole?

  • Staller

    I have never considered building an AR as a possibility but after watching and reading this entire series I am looking forward to getting started. I always build my own computers so why not my AR’s, too!

  • Sean Goodner

    Watching this series helped me in the building of my first AR-15 thanks guys it was very informative. Only waiting on 2 more parts an then off to the range to put mine through it paces.

  • Raven

    Plethera, huh? LOL

  • Ray

    Great looking AR! And the video series is very informative. How much did this complete build cost?

    • Actually, it says it right in the post (near the end) but I’m sure you just missed it. Here’s the excerpt:

      “In all we spent right around $1700 without counting tools or shipping. Keep in mind this is with all the Magpul furniture and even the CRC Hydrographics Coating.”

      You can use make it cheaper by selecting different parts but that’s what this build came out to. Glad you enjoyed it! I know I learned a lot too!

    • Ray

      Thank you!

  • Slag

    great job! got my lower almost assembled just waiting on the buffer tube & stock.
    Watching you with the cam pin, I feel your pain. I finally started making sure the EXTRACTOR,
    (not ejector) is lined up with the forward assist grooves.

  • David Cooper

    Really enjoyed the detailed instruction on assembly. I’m building my first AR and needed the overview on entire project. Thanks for a great and excellently done series.

  • Jay P

    Thanks for your help, guys. I finished my AR today and you guys helped make it happen.

  • qksilver1376

    This has been great!  The best step by step instructions I’ve found anywhere and the parts recommendations with explanations has been extraordinary.  I will say on a couple of the videos the angles weren’t the best for a newbie so I had to look a couple things up on YouTube.

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