It’s never been easier to build an AR-15 at home – but doing it the right way takes the right tools. We’ve got ‘em all for sale at 80 Lower, but we’ve gotta pick some of the must-haves so you can get started on your path to becoming a pro gunsmith with little frustration. Take a look below to see the six gunsmithing tools every shooter should own:
This one’s pretty simple. The ubiquitous Armorer’s Wrench is, in fact, the simplest yet most critical gunsmithing tool any AR-15 gunsmith should own. You need this bad boy if you’re gonna install a barrel correctly, seat a buffer tube, or generally work on your AR-15 without marring up that nice, anodized finish.
The ole’ Armorer’s Wrench will allow for easy removal and install of barrel nuts, castle nuts, flash hiders, and muzzle brakes. It’s also handy if you’re throwing on (or removing) any quad rails.
The standard AR lower receiver takes quite a few roll pins and tiny lil’ bits for final assembly. Getting those little pins and springs in their holes is a PITA – and if you don’t have a roll pin punch set, you probably will end up sending one of those pins flying into a black hole, halting your project.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a proper AR-15 Punch Set. These punches and specifically designed for all those AR roll pins and it’ll make assembly something you don’t dread.
You guessed it, you need a good roll pin hammer to match that punch set! Using a standard steel hammer is unwieldy and inaccurate. Using a regular hammer might result in damaging a punch, scratching up your AR, or losing a roll pin.
A small, brass gunsmithing hammer is the only way to do it right. Trust us, we know from plenty of experience. Because the brass heads are soft and small, they won’t mar up your punches, pins, or receiver.
This one’s an absolute must. If you’re tackling an 80% lower, you will need a proper drill press vise. Drilling those holes in your 80% lower requires absolute precision and angle – the only way to do it is with a sturdy and stable Drill Press Vise.
This big boy features a heavy, cast iron body with a 4.25” opening to accommodate any drill and lower. A swivel handle lets you safely crank everything down before making those fateful markings. Don’t try it without the Vise – you only get one shot at this!
Even veteran gunsmiths make mistakes, especially during machining and assembly. A small bottle of some quality Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black will let you quickly and painlessly fix any scratches and dings that you’ll inevitably encounter. Gotta keep your work looking professional, after all!
Tired of losing pins and springs on the carpet? Sick of staring at your phone’s screen, trying to discern those tiny little instructions and diagrams while you’re at the workbench? Do yourself a favor and pick up an AR-15 Build Mat. This nifty mat is non-slip and it’ll protect your AR and all those little components. Obviously, it also features blown up diagrams for the entire black rifle, so you’re never left guessing when it comes to assembly!