Once you really get into shooting sports, you may find that you want to invest more than just range time in your hobby. Like so many other shooters, you may find that you are interested in creating your own platform.

To some degree or other, all firearm platforms take their own unique parts. While many modern firearms contain one single receiver which accepts all of the other parts of the gun, many modern sporting rifles accept what are known as upper and lower receiver assemblies, which accept the rest of the parts of the platform.

For example, if you are one of the millions of Americans that enjoys the utility and versatility of the AR-15, if you’re going to build your own rifle, you’ll need both an AR lower as well as a lower assembly, along with several other components.

It’s the lower receiver that is stamped with a serial number and so considered a firearm by the ATF, but you can’t create a full, functional build without the components that are considered a part of the upper receiver as well.

The next question, then, is one of what comes with most AR 15 upper kits?

What Does an AR 15 Upper Kit Contain?
Most AR 15 upper kits will come with the following parts and components that you will need to create your overall build:

– A charging handle

– Ejection port spring, cover, clip, and pin

– Forward assist, pin, and spring

However, some AR 15 upper kits are considered “complete” upper kits that contain a few more of the parts you need to complete your build. Some other kits will contain, among other things:

– Barrel
– Handguard
– Bolt carrier group

Even if your AR 15 upper kit is more fully “complete” and comes with all of the parts listed above, you’ll still need a lower assembly and some other parts in order to complete your build.

What Comes with a Lower Receiver Kit?
In addition to the stripped lower receiver itself, an AR 15 lower receiver kit will likely come with most if not all of the following components that you will need to complete the rifle:

– A bolt catch, plunger, roll pin, and spring

– Disconnector and spring

– Buffer retainer and spring

– The hammer, pin, and spring

– The mag catch, button, and spring

– A pistol grip, screw, and washer

– A pivot pin, detent, and spring

– The fire selector, detent, and spring

– The takedown pin, detent, and spring

– Trigger, pin, roll pin, spring, and trigger guard

With a complete AR 15 upper kit as well as a complete lower kit (and a lower receiver) you should be able to complete a functional AR 15, but it’s important to note that some kits don’t come with magazines. You’ll also need a gas tube, gas block, and stripped upper receiver if those parts did not come with your upper kit.

But, when you can go out and buy an MSR that’s fully functioning, and save yourself all of the time and experimentation that would be required to build your own, why make your own at all?

Why Build Your Own?
While many shooters are content to buy a completed rifle and tinker with it, some shooters prefer to build their own. By completing your own build, you will:

– Be able to make precise adjustments to performance, such as trigger weight and cycling time, throughout the course of the build.

– Learn much more about the internal workings of the firearm, making it easier for you to make your own repairs down the line.

– Take more pride in the process and enjoy the recreation of creating your rifle.

To learn more about the parts you’ll need to create your own rifle, get in touch with Sarco, Inc., at SarcoInc.com. They carry a variety of AR 15 upper kits and lower kits, in addition to all of the other parts and accessories you’ll need to complete a build. They’re also always ready to help – so give them a call at 610-250-3960 to learn more or to ask any questions you have on the matter.

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