1st AR Build

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  • SmokeyWhisper

    New Member
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    Jun 5, 2014
    Ft. Worth
    If I seem too detailed, it is only because I like to be accurate and precise. Too many people get offended or butt hurt when someone isn't super specific enough on the internet and such foolishness can spark a heated keyboard warrior debate. If this is the case with you, then have fun with your rants. Otherwise, enjoy.

    So I was lucky enough to get one of the Gonzales Arms lowers http://www.texasguntalk.com/forums/rifles/56084-houston-made-billet-lowers-gonzales-flag.html for my 1st AR build. Being a Texian and having faith in the people of the state, I was actively searching for a "Come and Take It" lower. (If you don't know about Texas history or the battle of Golliad, you owe it to yourself to learn more about it.) I'm not one of those, public carry activist or a pick up truck driving bumper sticker bill board. Just your average, firearm enthusiast from Texas.

    For those of you who aren't aware, "Come and Take It" from a Texian is like saying "From My Cold Dead Hands" or "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ" (written in Greek but pronounced Mo-Lone La-Vay in English.) But you say "I knew that". Well did you know that it also means "I'm going to kill you first"? True story, look it up. Its in the bible.

    So I sat down last night to build up the lower from a mil spec Daniel Defense lower AR trigger parts kit (PN 21007). I do possibly plan on upgrading this all later (depending on what I decide for my build) but as I had the opportunity, I wanted to complete my very own stripped lower. It was very therapeutic for me was and a lot like building airplane models as a teenage, only now with guns!

    Thanks to Building an AR15 lower receiver: A step-by-step visual guide, :: Guides, YouTube, some previous AR experience and texasguntalk.com, it was really easy for me to put together. The Daniel Defense kit was sorted by types and separating the springs was a little aggravating but it was easy enough. I'm not too picky over one brand or the other and the shop I visited in Houston had this in stock. I felt obliged to buy from them for all the information they helped me with. The Gonzales Arms upper had a couple improvements over a standard lower. It has a screw instead of a bolt catch roll pin, a built in winter trigger guard, and captive take down detent screw for the stock.

    With all of the references and internet posts, it was a cinch to build.

    First, I installed the magazine catch, spring and release button. Simple to screw together, just don't over turn it or the threads will come through.
    Second, I installed the bolt catch which was really easy and with NO marring of the receiver because the screw just zipped in and out. NO PIN. I know that this stage is where you can scratch the lower, but thanks to the internet, I already was aware of this and took precautions!
    Third, I put together the trigger, disconnector and springs. Super easy to install using a punch as a guide.
    Fourth, I added the hammer making sure the spring went over the top of the trigger pin. Again, using a punch as a guide, super easy.
    Fifth, the selector lever. The Danie Defense milspec is quite plain but it is long and easy to operate with my thumb. Had to give it a love tap with the rubber hammer to get it to slip into just the right spot. It was super easy to install the detent and spring. Though, I accidentally used one of the the down springs instead of the selector spring and had to redo this step after I had already installed the pistol grip. I'M SO STUPID! No, not really, It was just as easy as replacing a spring.
    Sixth, now things are getting smaller. The rear takedown pin detent is held in place by a spring which usually rests against the buttstock. Well, my receiver has a threaded plug. This was pretty straight forward to put together and amazingly, it went together just as easy as it could have been. Its just really tiny parts so be careful.
    Seventh... CRAP! The front detent pin takedown. Twice, TWICE, the little detent bastard shot out! I was using some foreceps, a flat headed screw driver and some punches. Well the thing shot out of their twice. Now, I was working on a clean work surface in my bedroom. I am lucky enough to have tiled floors or else I may have never found the little bugger! It took a bit of practice and patience but I finally got he spring, the detent, the screwdriver, and a punch all in the right alignment and shoved the takedown pin in at just the right angle and voila! 3rd time is the charm!
    Since I don't have a stock yet because I'm not sure if I want to do a rifle or pistol yet, I didn't install the buffer retainer.

    Well, that is is for now. Hopefully the pictures came through. Thanks all!










    TGT Addict
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    Jan 21, 2013
    I enjoyed your post because it reminded me of my first build, both the frustration with the hinge pin detent spring and the satisfaction of putting it together myself. Great post, thanks.


    New Member
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    Jun 5, 2014
    Ft. Worth
    I enjoyed your post because it reminded me of my first build, both the frustration with the hinge pin detent spring and the satisfaction of putting it together myself. Great post, thanks.
    Thanks for the support guys. I'm glad to be here. I'm sure that with enough practice, I can get really good at putting the lowers together and it was very satisfying putting it together. You can lecture me all day but until I get the tools in my hands and start working on things, I don't always understand what the heck anyone was talking about.

    On off topic note where did you get the felt covering your bench?

    The felt is just a cleaning pad from Gander Mountain or Academy. This will give you an idea of how big it is. Gun Cleaning Pad Waterproof Table Mat - Large 16x54 Green - Drymate | Galati International
    The work bench itself is from Harbor Freight. Add a %20 off coupon and it was like $100.
    60 in. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench



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