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Ar15Lower Receiver: Buy vs. Build

When it comes to owning an AR 15, you essentially have two options, buy or build. An AR 15 is one of the simplest weapons to build and can be done by just about anyone. By following just a few simple instructions, even someone with zero firearm experience can complete an AR15Lower receiver.

AR15Lower Reveivers

Of course you always have the option to buy an AR 15 rifle or pistol. Since the AR 15 is a popular rifle, you can find it in almost any gun store in the United States. Buying an AR 15 is the easiest method of obtaining an AR 15 in most cases. It can result in an instant gratification and can be an impulse purchase.

What’s the best route to go? Build or buy? Well, let’s examine both.

Building Pro – No FFL / Untraceable / No Waiting Period

If you decide to build an AR from a build kit with an 80% Ar15lower receiver you can order every single part to your front door or mailbox. Because an 80% Ar15lower receiver isn’t considered a firearm, there is no need to go through an FFL. This is a cheaper and more convenient route to building a rifle. It’s also completely untraceable and allows you to avoid certain waiting periods that are in most states.

Buying an AR 15 will require an FFL. If you order one online, it must be shipped through an FFL and all the paperwork, associated waiting periods and taxes will be collected.

Buying Pro – A Warranty from One Company 

When you buy an AR 15 from a company you only have to deal with one company should something go wrong. If your bolt doesn’t extract, you go directly to the rifle manufacturer. The same goes for the handguard, the stock, the barrel, and everything else. 

When you build a rifle you have to deal with the warranty of each part. This mean making sure you know what parts come from what companies. You still have a warranty on these parts, just through separate manufacturers.

Building Pro – It’s Fun and Educational
Building a rifle and finishing an Ar15lower receiver is not a chore. It’s honestly a fun experience. Part of building a rifle is the actual experience of building it. It’s a task that is challenging, and when you are finished, it is quite rewarding.

The joy of buying a rifle is swiping a credit card, and that’s about it.

Buying Pro – 100% Matching Finishes
When you build a rifle, there is a chance the finish of the upper and lower will not match. This is due to different companies using different methods to finish their receivers. When you purchase from a company, you know they use the same process to finish all of their parts.

Building Pro – It’s Cheaper
When you build a rifle you get the opportunity to finish your rifle the way you choose. The handguard you want, the stock you want, the bolt carrier group you want, etc. When you build a rifle this way, it is often cheaper to build it the way you want it the first time than to buy a rifle and customize it.

Buying Pro – Exclusives
Some companies do not sell their parts separately, so you cannot buy certain pieces to build your rifle. There are also distributor exclusives that are only released as full-sized rifles. Certain configurations are only available to purchase as full rifles.

Buying Vs Building
Buying versus building is always a tricky debate to have. Building does have some very big advantages, especially if it’s your first rifle. I feel like building a rifle is the best way to go for owning your first rifle. There is also the added bonus of having a rifle completely off the books, which, for people who like their privacy, is a blessing. 

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