To Build or Buy?
Purchasing an AR-15 is a no-brainer. The real question comes when deciding whether to self-build or purchase across the counter. There are a couple things to remember before diving into a build. “What is the intended use of the gun?” It’s the first question I ask first time buyers when anyone come to me for advice. The beautiful thing about America’s favorite black rifle is its versatility. No matter what the end goal, whether it’s home defense, hunting, competing, or just enjoying your right to send rounds downrange, you can build or buy an AR-15 to fit that need.
Building or buying an AR overwhelms. With hundreds of quality manufacturers in the AR-15 business, it’s hard for new enthusiasts to recognize good, correct information. There’s no shortage of basement ninjas or keyboard commandos to fill the gaps in a useful conversation with their mindless babble.
Now it’s time to ask yourself “Am I capable of building an AR-15 from pieces?”
There are some tools required depending on how basic you start; a little God-given mechanical ability doesn’t hurt when tackling a build project. While the AR-15 is not a difficult platform to work with there are small parts that ruin that pride carried between finishing a build and the range. The good news is most parts are modular. Sometimes mistakes during the process cost you the whole build, so it’s important that you understand the function of the AR-15 platform when working on it.
The benefit of building your own AR-15 is knowing where each part is produced, and the build option is cheaper. Plus, there are great cost savings that takes place. Builders don’t incur the manufacturer’s overhead or the 11% Federal Excise Tax. Every spring, pin and piece from all over the country, giving the builder complete control when selecting parts. When completed, you have the EXACT model desired. It’s a beautiful thing to see something built from the ground up shooting sub-MOA groups and knowing you accomplished a self-built AR-15.
For those of you who don’t have the time or desire to build your dream rifle don’t fear because you have options. One of the services DoubleStar provides is custom-built rifles with a vast inventory of parts from many manufacturers. The customer can come to us, talk the build out with one of our techs and have a rifle built with a factory warranty. Each build is produced by someone who loves their job and is proud knowing another freedom-loving American depends on DoubleStar. Not looking for a custom build? There’s another way out to obtain your next AR.
Go to your local gun or pawn shop and buy one off the rack. Maybe it’s your first AR-15, and you don’t know what you want, but you know you want one. I’ve been guilty of this with a few hobbies. If you decide to go this route, I recommend starting as basic as you can. Modifying an existing rifle is a viable path to go as you learn. I’ve seen guys take a $500 AR, change grip, stock, trigger, handguards, and soon they’ve got something totally different.
Whether you build or buy, chances are you’ll modify that AR at some point. Find someone knowledgeable who gives honest feedback to run your ideas through. Buy the right tools to make changes because like every other job encountered in life, having the right tools can make all the difference in the world! Whatever you decide, get out there and do it! ~ Nick
Nick started his career at DoubleStar in 2002, assembling and learning each piece and part, one-by-one. After managing the shop for a few years, he moved to the marketing and PR side of the business, using the knowledge he obtained in his years on the assembly line to tell the world about DoubleStar. Nick is also one of the instructors at the DoubleStar training Academy and teaches AR15 armorer’s courses monthly at DoubleStar headquarters in Winchester, Ky.