Can you legally build An AR-15?


Target shooting is a great sport to get into and is already very popular in most states in the US. Gunsmithing has also become increasingly popular and a lot of people have chosen a more DIY route, rather than going to a certified gunsmith to build their own guns.

Is it legal to build your own AR-15? Yes, it is very legal to build your own AR 15 in all 50 states as of 2020 and is extremely popular among avid shooters. You will have to go to a qualified FFL (federal firearms license) in order to purchase the AR-15 “lower” so that it can be registered in your name. After purchasing your lower and waiting for the mandatory period, you can then assemble all of the parts to complete your AR 15 to have a fully shootable gun. All other parts of an AR-15 do not need registration and can be purchased online, or at any gun store.

Is An AR-15 An Assault Rifle

An AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle, and there is no ban on them currently in any state in the US. AR stands for “Armalite” and it does not stand for assault rifle. An assault rifle is a firearm that is fully automatic, where you can pull the trigger one time, and the weapon will repeatedly fire until you take your finger off the trigger. The AR-15 without any modifications will only fire one round at a time, any other modification to an AR-15 will make it illegal to own, and the owner faces very heavy penalties, along with the seizure of their weapon for life. It is extremely important that you follow all gun laws and regulations when owning a firearm.

Is Building Your Own AR-15 Safe

There are risks involved when you build something yourself without the background and knowledge of building guns. Even if you had a certified gunsmith build you an AR-15, there is still problems that can occur on the range. The most common problem you might have is the weapon will jam, or you could get rounds stuck when they are ejected. More severe, yet less common problems can be the weapon blowing up, or breaking into pieces when you fire it for the first time to test it. Always follow instructions for building out your lowers to a T, and do NOT take shortcuts. If you do this, you are less likely to have problems when you take it out for its first firing.

How To Build An AR-15

Here is a great video that I found on YouTube of a detailed instructional video on how to build your own AR-15

What Is An 80% AR-15 Lower

An 80% lower means that the lower half of an AR-15 has been milled out to 80% completion, but a lot of the pinholes have not been completed, so the weapon cannot be put together without modification. These “80 percenters” are not required to be registered with the federal government (YET), but they do suggest that when milling them out, you put an identification number on it. You will have to do all the milling yourself, but they do sell jigs that you can put an 80% lower into and will have the hole placements done for you. All you need to do from there is drill the holes, but take precautions to get this right, or your lower will not go together properly, and you run the risk of malfunctions when firing the weapon.

Do You Need Special Tools To Build An AR-15

Yes, you do need some special tools like punches, and wrenches to put your AR-15 together properly. They also make special mats, and vices for your AR-15 to keep all the parts from getting scratched, or gouged. You can find some good punches HERE, and you can also find the wrench you will need HERE. These are the ones that I bought and have had no issues with any of them.

Are AR-15’s Legal In California

Yes, AR-15’s are completely legal in California as of 2020 because they do not meet the criteria for an assault rifle. As long as you have made no modifications to the weapon, or clip capacity, your AR-15 is perfectly legal to own. If you have made modifications to it so it shoots more than one round at a time, has a magazine that is not legal, or you use a “bullet button”, then you are in violation of the state and federal law and can have your weapon seized, and you could face other violations.

Can You Buy AR-15 Parts Online

Yes, you can buy all the parts for an AR-15 online except for the lower. In order to purchase a complete lower, it must be purchased from an FFL. You can purchase a complete lower online and have it shipped to your local FFL for a fee. You can also purchase an 80% completed lower online and have it shipped to your house. All the other parts like the upper portion, lower kit, and buttstock can be purchased and delivered to your home with no issues.

Final Thoughts

Building your own AR-15 is a lot of fun, I have done it and love the fact that I actually have built my own gun. You must follow all the instructions properly and never, ever take shortcuts when it comes to building firearms. Things can go wrong if you make a mistake that will make the gun fire incorrectly which could injure you and others out target shooting. Always test-fire the newly built AR-15 with one round at a time until you have run enough ammo through it to know that there were no serious issues with the craftsmanship of it.

Related Topics

Can You Mount A Scope To An AR-15

Yes, you can certainly mount a scope to your AR-15 for long-range target practice. AR-15’s can be customized to have longer or shorter barrels for short and long-distance target shooting. Scopes are a very popular addition to AR-15 guns, as well as lights, site dots, grips, and tripods for stability. Having all of these options for your AR-15 is one of the biggest reasons that gun owners love this weapon.

Are AR-15 Rifles Good For Long Range

AR-15’s are great for long-range target shooting and have a maximum effective range of 400-600 meters on a range using a normal .223 round. There are others out there that say an AR-15 has a max range of up to 1500 meters, but we would not recommend trying that. 600 meters is great to target practice, especially if you have a scope attached.

Terry Minton

I am the owner of Fast Cast Rods. I live in the mountains of Northern California where I love to be outdoors hunting, fishing, camping and hiking with my wife and three awesome kids.

Recent Content