When you begin to explore your options for a cheap AR 15 build, there are various routes one can go. Most AR 15 builders have to operate within a specified budget when purchasing individual AR 15 parts and build their rifles accordingly. At 80-Lower.com, when we say, "cheap", we do not suggest that has anything to do with quality. What we really mean is "a fair price". With all of our dealer accounts and contacts. we are able to offer the highest quality AR parts at affordable prices. We understand not everyone who enjoys building AR’s has an overabundance of cash to throw at their AR 15 build. From the man with a family to the retiree living on a fixed-income, we believe everyone should be able to afford and have the opportunity to build an AR-15 at a fair price WITHOUT compromising quality.
Cheap AR 15 Build - Budget Options
While a highly-technical rifle build may require more expensive parts, a functional AR-15 can be built with a cheap AR 15 build. So how much does it take to build an AR-15 on a budget—let’s do the math.
There are two general approaches to building your AR- 15:
1. Assembling an affordable AR 15 is to purchase the various components individually.
2. Purchase an AR-15 Build Kit. We offer several AR-15 build kits that include an 80% lower receiver and all of the accessories you need for a fully-functional, cheap AR 15 build.
These AR-15 build kits are literally an AR-15 (with an 80% lower which requires milling) in a box and come with the bolt carrier group, lower parts kit, butt stock assembly and more.
Regardless of your approach, it possible to build an AR-15 for less $650. That's right. If you consider a cheap AR 15 build to be less than $650, then we have some AR-15 kits for you. But first, let's review some of the math behind assembling the AR parts yourself.
Cheap AR 15 Build - Parts and Assembly
1. 80% Lower - $55.00 (ish)
An 80% lower receiver is the foundation of the AR platform. 80-Lower.com offers a variety of 80 lower receivers ranging from polymer, to billet 6061 to forged 7075 lowers. For the true DIYer, you can pick up a raw forged 7075 aluminum 80% lower for as low as $54.95 or you can find Cerakote finished lowers for as expensive as $250 in the market. Once you’ve selected the 80 lower of your choice, the next step is to purchase a lower parts kit.
2. Lower Parts Kit - $54.95 (ish)
The lower parts kit includes the essentials you need to make your lower receiver fully functional. Included in our lower parts kit is: a fire control group, trigger guard, nickel Teflon detent, and so forth. Additionally, we offer a complete lower parts kit which includes: a complete butt stock assembly, fire control group, buffer tube, buffer spring, trigger guard, nickel Teflon detent, and so forth. Considering these parts are 100% made in the USA makes this kit a real deal.
3. Upper Receiver - $99.99 (ish)
Next, we need to select an upper. A billet aluminum upper receiver is a great choice. These receivers are machined from 6061 aluminum and offer superior strength. With Mil-Spec tolerances, M4 feed ramps, forward assist and 1913 Picatinny rail, upper receiver play a large role in your AR-15 build. Designed to be compatible with Mil-Spec lowers and accessories, standard Mil-Spec upper receivers can be used to build most any style of rifle.
4. Upper Parts Kit - $139.99 (ish)
An upper parts kit makes easy work of assembling components for your AR-15’s upper receiver. Complete with bolt carrier group, charging handle, dust cover, forward assist, delta ring and barrel nut, an upper parts kit takes the guess work out of what parts to purchase for your AR-15’s upper.
5. Barrel - $124.95 (ish)
There are generally three main lengths of barrels to choose from – Carbine, Mid and Rifle. Each classification is determined by the port distance or the distance from the receiver to gas port. The Carbine has a port distance of 7” and the barrel lengths generally range from 10”—18” inches. Whereas the Mid has a port distance of 9” and the barrel lengths generally range from 14”—20” inches. Lastly, the rifle has a port distance of 12” and the barrel lengths are generally 20” or greater. In addition to the length of the barrel, you’ll need to consider what caliber of ammunition you want to shoot. One of the more common approaches is to be chambered in 5.56, where you are afforded the option of shooting the popular .223 Rem or the .556 NATO rounds. Lastly, for the savvier AR 15 builder, you’ll want to consider the barrel twist rate.
6. Handguard - $14.95 (ish)
The standard M4 handguard provides a solid forward grip along with integrated aluminum heat shield in both top and bottom panels. While economical, this style of handguard can easily be upgraded at a later date.
7. Magazine - $14.95 (ish)
Our recommendation for a magazine is the 30-round Magpul PMAG M3. These AR-15 magazines are nearly indestructible and provide increased reliability. Having seen action in various theaters the PMAG has been proven to offer dependability in the harshest of environments. For under $20 you can’t go wrong with the PMAG
8. Gas Block - $26.99 (ish)
While there are a multitude of variations in gas blocks, you can use a basic gas block to complete your build economically. By using a low profile gas block you can upgrade to a free-floating handguard in the near future.
9. Gas Tube - $16.99 (ish)
While the bolt carrier group is the heart of the AR’s direct impingement system, it is operated by gas exiting the gas tube. The gas tube is vital to your rifles function and performance and depending on what barrel length and handguard you select will determine what gas tube to choose.
10. Sights / Optics – 54.95 (ish)
While choosing whether to use sights or optics is a personal preference, either can be utilized for starters. Getting an adequate feel for your rifle is possible with most any style of open sight. You can get a really solid pair of flip-up sights for less than $100. If you prefer optics, research to see what optics will offer the most advantage for your preferred shooting style.
It would seem the cost of individual parts comes to a grand total of less than $620.00! Now that's a pretty damn cheap AR 15 build! Choosing each individual part for your AR-15 build is an exciting part of the building process and knowing exactly what parts are in your AR will also give you assurance to its capabilities and longevity.
While there are numerous options when building a custom AR 15, stick to what you know will benefit your shooting style and you’re sure to be happy in the end. If choosing each part of your AR does not interest you, we have compiled several AR-15 build kits that are less than $600.