In the last episode of this series, we started the process of planning out an easy ar15 build. Today, we’re going to take a look at our overall cost, go over the tools that we’ll need to put everything together and explain the reasoning behind going with our simpler subassemblies, such as a complete lower. Since there are dozens of complete lower assembly options out there, we’re going to go with one for this build. The lower is arguably the least important half of the gun, from the performance standpoint. Its main job is to just hold parts in place. Except for the rear of the lower, very little stress is usually put on this part and there are pre-assembled options for almost every end use, including 3-gun rigs, precision hunting, tactical shooting and budget builds.




That said, at a cost of $1138.56 at today’s Internet prices, before shipping and optics, our Emergency Preparedness AR is not a budget build. However, it isn’t a “let’s shoot for the stars” build either. Our complete lower was only $159.99, which comes in under the cost of some stripped billet models. We are focusing on spending extra cash where it will make the biggest difference in accuracy, reliability and allowing for easy upgrades or modifications in the future. A quality barrel will make a bigger difference in performance than latin engraving or a glossy, three color finish.




Other than common tools, such as a hammer and vice, there are a few specialized ones that are needed to properly assemble an AR. Using a complete lower has allowed us to keep this list fairly short, as we can focus on tools needed to complete the upper half. A 1/2-Inch Drive Torque Wrench is a must for getting the barrel installed properly. A FAT Wrench will properly torque scope rings, handguard screws and other inch-pound mounting parts. A small container of Aeroshell 33MS Grease will be plenty, since a little goes a long way. An Upper Receiver Vice Block holds the upper receiver in place without scratching all of the finish off. Headspace gauges can be borrowed or rented, since you’ll only need them for a few minutes. Also, one fringe benefit of the Midwest Industries handguards that we’re using is that they come with the barrel nut and installation tool in the package.  Since all that tools are ready, we’ll start building in the next episode.

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