The AR-15 is the civillian version of the M16 battle rifle carried by US military troops. The AR-15 is also chosen by lots of hunters, police SWAT teams, competition shooters, bodyguards and recreational shooters.

The AR-15 was originally designed by Eugene Stoner during his employ at ArmaLite, the weapons division of Raytheon. The AR-15 was submitted for consideration by Project SALVO, conducted by the Operations Research Office and beat out the competition to become the next US military service rifle. Around this time, ArmaLite unloaded the AR-15 design to Colt, and Eugene Stoner went to Colt along with the AR-15.

Nowadays, ArmaLite, Colt, Bushmaster, Rock River Arms and FN all manufacture M16s and M4s (a shorter version of the M16) for militaries around the world, including the US military. Many companies manufacture parts for the civillian AR-15.

I decided to build an AR-15 cause, well, they're neat rifles, they're easy to shoot, have a huge aftermarket, are pretty good general-purpose rifles and are generally lots of fun to mess with.

completely assembled

So far the rifle consists of:

Total: $1,277.88. One could save $286.75 by just getting the complete Bushmaster carbine barrel assembly (with gas tube) for $30 more than the cost of the barrel alone, but not buying the separate gas tube, gas block, JP FFT and flip-up front sight. That would get you a nice, M4-style carbine for under a thousand bucks...I just wanted a bit more versatility and I wanted a dissipator-style rifle.

If you decide to build something like my rifle (with a 14.5" barrel that has a permanently-affixed compensator under a rifle-length tube), know that you will have to remove the front sight base to accomplish anything, including actually installing the barrel. With a permanently-affixed compensator, this generally requires cutting the FSB in to bits to remove it, plus you'll need a two-piece, clamp-on gas block. If I had it to do over, I'd have used a regular 14.5" barrel with threads for a compensator, put everything I wanted to use on the barrel (barrel nut and gas block), then had a gunsmith permanently attach the compensator. It would have saved me a lot of aggravation, a bit of time and some money...Although it'll probably cost to have a gunsmith attach a compensator. If you do start with a barrel without a comp, you could re-use the FSB if you're careful, which would allow you to save some cash by just cutting down, profiling and re-using the base of the FSB as a gas block.

Page created 20050529 03:31.
Page modified 20080402 22:22.
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