How to Build an AR-15 Lower Receiver

Posted by Hank Strange on May 27, 2021
Posted in: AR Build
How to Build an AR-15 Lower Receiver

Building an AR-15 Lower Receiver

In this video, Hank Strange will instruct you on how to build your own AR-15 starting with the lower receiver. He will lay out clear and concise instructions based on his years of experience and expertise to help you become your own armorer. 

Tools for Building an AR-15 Lower Receiver

Here is a list of the products that Hank uses in this video to complete the build: 

Danny Dixon
2 years ago at 5:16 PM
Nice presentation
Ferrell Gilmer
6 months ago at 2:02 PM
Very good video. Easy to understand and a great help in building my PSA lower!
Donald Boykin
2 years ago at 6:10 PM
nice and easy
2 years ago at 7:47 PM
Great Video. Helped me a lot.
Chris Fisher
2 years ago at 6:38 AM
This was awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Scott Purvis
2 years ago at 11:50 AM
Great Video and appreciate it.
James Speed
2 years ago at 1:18 PM
Awesome! I've been looking for a good video of a lower build!
Jared O.
2 years ago at 5:16 PM
Great video.
Thomas Sullivan
2 years ago at 8:01 PM
Excellent video! Thanks!
2 years ago at 8:39 PM
Nicely done, enough to get a good idea of what to expect but not so detailed to make you want to not try. Thank ya
James G
2 years ago at 10:43 PM
Great explanation and camera work. Thanks
Ken W
2 years ago at 11:52 AM
Great video. Would like to see more of these on the site so its not subject to the here today gone tomorrow on CommieTube.
2 years ago at 12:42 PM
That is out goal! We plan to release more videos.
sam c cooper
2 years ago at 12:05 PM
Great video, I needed that. I already have purchased 4 ARs and was debating on building one. This video convinced me to do so.
Pierre Kerbage
2 years ago at 2:24 PM
Excellent video. Very clear. I will have to try that.
t, Barton Leslie
2 years ago at 4:35 PM
This was a really great simple video. Clear and concise video work. Well done.
Kelly Kemmet
2 years ago at 5:22 PM
Best I've seen, very well done sir!
Ferrante Sr. John A
2 years ago at 7:52 PM
Really nice simple and clear Thanks
Marty S
2 years ago at 11:33 AM
Great video. Anyone thinking about building a lower should save this video and refer back to it. I built a PSA lower recently and since it was my first time it did take me about an hour. I kept referring back to the video. The only special tool I bought was the armorer's wrench. I already had the punches and pliers.
Joshua Valiani
6 months ago at 6:54 PM
What size Allen or hex wrenches are needed for the build?
John J.
2 years ago at 12:30 PM
Being a police trained armorer, this is a very good video.
Robert Gaither
2 years ago at 2:16 PM
Big Tee
2 years ago at 4:02 PM
Nice. I'll be using this video as soon as I get the tools.
2 years ago at 10:35 PM
Looks great. Hopefully I can build one for the first time and it doesnt blow up in my face.
Resurrect Reagan
2 years ago at 1:45 AM
Great video.
chris riesenmey
2 years ago at 10:56 AM
Great video. Really appreciated it. Please make one on assembling an upper receiver!
2 years ago at 9:30 AM
We are working on a complete upper receiver video!!
2 years ago at 10:57 AM
Very informative. Would like to see complete video on lower and upper assembly in the future.
Tone Phillips
2 years ago at 11:04 AM
Great thank you. You made it look so easy . I’m gonna give it a try.
Vernon Ritchey
2 years ago at 1:24 PM
Nice presentation. As it happens, I assembled one yesterday. My PSA kit included a spare detent pin and spring, which is wonderful but (thankfully) I didn't need them. I find it helpful to print out the instructions from because I don't build these frequently. Also, those instructions include good suggestions on the sequence of assembly. Some of the steps in the video would be better performed in a different order than shown; for example, starting the bolt catch pin before inserting the spring/buffer and catch (I do use masking tape while driving that particular pin). The front takedown pin detent is definitely the most risky step and I don't have the special tool but you can do it using a needle-nose plyers and box cutter if you are careful. It really helps to have something to hold the lower securely so you can use both hands; a piece of wood clamped in my vice worked OK for me. I wrapped the wood with duct tape to get a snug fit in the magazine well. This is probably a 20 minute job of you have all parts and tools "at the ready" or half a day if you need to hunt for things. The PSA kit was really nice in that related parts were bagged together so you don't confuse similar parts (like springs). Open each bag only when you need those parts to avoid confusion or losing stuff.
Greg Likness
2 years ago at 4:25 PM
Nice production job on the video!
Jim Poston
2 years ago at 7:17 PM
Awesome video! Very helpful, thanks!
Scott A. Leppard
2 years ago at 7:23 PM
Great video Hank! Nicely done, indeed!
anthony m
2 years ago at 10:06 AM
great video, thanks for sharing. i wish i would've had this video the first time i attempted any lower work... LOL ! :)
Matthew CHown
2 years ago at 10:22 AM
Best presentation (of any Youtube like) DYI video. Hank should be on anyone's list that wants to make a video.....Great job.....
Floyd C Jaggers
2 years ago at 12:09 PM
This is the best I've seen. I'm going to save this video.
Dan McGinn
2 years ago at 1:09 PM
They only thing I would add is staking the castle nut to keep it from backing out. Great video.
Vincent Gamble
2 years ago at 1:46 PM
Great video
Jeffrey Eades
2 years ago at 4:44 PM
I love your video! Sweet, complete and neat! Thank you for sharing!
Richard HINTON
2 years ago at 6:06 PM
Really awesome. Thanks to Hank and everyone that took the time to do this. It was very generous of you. I especially liked the American Flag. Y’all Rock!
2 years ago at 6:14 PM
Great video. Even a grumpy ol’ man with old non-flexible fingers can follow the build.
2 years ago at 7:50 PM
Great video! Really nicely done, but - how can we save it for later use?
Ronald Bianchi
2 years ago at 8:41 PM
great presentation
Tim Greene
2 years ago at 4:02 PM
Great video to have available since I purchased 2 lowers a while back and plan to build them out soon. Like that pivot pin tool to make life easier. Hate to waste an hour looking for a part I dropped. Guess I'll add some extra pin/spring parts to my collection. :-)
2 years ago at 12:11 PM
You should be making all kinds of tutorials like this. Ever since YouTube censored gun building videos, it’s impossible to find a good gunsmith tutorial.
2 years ago at 9:09 PM
I have been building ARs for several years. Since it is usually several months between builds I find a video to help me refresh my memory (I'm 81) I have probably seen 10 or 15 different videos. I have book marked a couple of the ones I liked. However, this id the ABSOLUTE BEST lower build video I have seen! Thanks for a great video.
David Moore
2 years ago at 11:30 AM
This was such a helpful video, I am considering building my own lower. Thanks Palmetto!
John Doom
2 years ago at 12:33 PM
Well done and pretty good production values, speaking as one of your customers with a studio background and a couple of Emmy nominations. Clear closeups and no music in the background was key. Like to see an upper video with takedown, build and assembly to lower to go with this, thanks.
2 years ago at 3:48 PM
We are working on an upper receiver video!
John Dougherty
2 years ago at 11:39 PM
Awesome - thanks for taking the time to get us the clear video!
Hugo Atwell
2 years ago at 11:47 AM
Great video. Was able to put together my lower in about 45 minutes. No scratches or screws ups. Thanks!
2 years ago at 7:41 PM
Very nice I’m definitely getting that take down pin tool. For the roll pins I use channel locks with one jaw wrapped in electric tape to avoid marring the finish. I press the pin in with the channel locks until just before it engages, locate the part with a punch and press the punch out with the pin. Then a light tap with the punch to make sure the end of the pin isn’t proud and a snag point. You know what would be handy is a tap and set screw for the detent and spring on the back. That would eliminate the risk of bending the spring as you spin in the buffer tube with the retainer and castle nut. Great video I really enjoyed it.
2 years ago at 2:48 AM
ARs like to be well lubricated. Much easier to do before or during assembly. Aside from that, I agree, this is a concise no BS video.
Keith Baumer
2 years ago at 12:19 PM
Hank, this was something at 66 yrs Young, that I would never had attempted. You have changed all that, Great Instruction, Great Video. Thanks Much Sir. Looking for to an Upper and or complete weapon. Keith, USAF Controller.
Michael Joyce
2 years ago at 4:19 PM
Thanks for your time and effort.
2 years ago at 4:23 PM
Nice video for us visual learners.
Doug Esget
2 years ago at 5:48 PM
Very well done, Hank and crew. Thank you, look forward to future videos! Keep up the good work!
Dennis Osterhoudt
2 years ago at 10:28 AM
Very informative video. How is it possible to save for viewing later ? Im not 100% ready yet for my build.
2 years ago at 11:24 AM
This video will live permanently on the blog. I would recommend bookmarking it so that you can always look back at it quickly.
Buck Guest
2 years ago at 5:16 PM
Super video. The author didn't mention how the springs sometimes grow wings and fly away never to be found again. Keep some spares. I either bevel the roll pins, or use spiral wound pins, and hollow roll pin punches to ease assembly. I also use a bit of antiseize lubricant at dissimilar metals. Eases R&R especially in moist or corrosive areas.
Mike Romine
2 years ago at 10:03 PM
Very nice video and great advice. We look forward to the presenter doing many more how to videos for you
charles pearman
2 years ago at 7:49 AM
awesome ! thx's again
Steve Carney
1 year ago at 7:18 PM
Very clear and concise. I want to build one now. Thanks for the video!
Rick Z Smith
1 year ago at 11:13 AM
this presentation was point on. Great dialogue and he made sure you could see what needed to be done. Great tutorial. thank you.
Gary Grubb
11 months ago at 4:03 PM
I noticed that the kit doesn’t come with a slave pin for installing the Trigger group. How do I keep the holes aligned to slide the trigger group pin in?? This is defeating me.
Red Desert Drifter
10 months ago at 1:06 PM
Great vid. Thanks. Even Brandon could one of these together, LOL.
William Gallagher j
7 months ago at 9:40 AM
Trigger gaurd roll pin is to big, will not go thru the hole. Watched videos, but none have the same scenario as mine. HELP
Eric Gaines
6 months ago at 2:01 PM
Great video.. thank you! But i have an issue I'm going i can get some assistance with... I think i may have missed a step because i have an extra spring and detent... Is that normal?
17 days ago at 6:50 AM
While I have quite a bit of experience with the M16/AR-15 platform, this was my first time building a lower. I bought a 10.5" barreled 300 blk pistol kit from PSA. I had watched a previous video from Midwest Industries on building a lower, but they didn't get as close and detailed as this video. This video was great and easy to follow, although I did use a tip from the MI video for the front takedown/pivot pin assembly. Basically you put a punch (or screw driver in my case) that is slightly smaller diameter through the takedown pin holes from the opposite side that the pin goes in from, and use that to hold down the detent. Then as you line up your takedown pin it pushes the punch out of the way, being careful to ensure that the pin is now covering the detent, and then just slide the pin in and your good to go. Again this was my first time putting together a lower from a build kit, and I'd say it took me about 1 hr - 1 1/2 hr doing it on my living room floor without any special tools. I did have to run out to the garage a couple times to find a few tools I didn't think about. Everything went together fairly smooth, and it passed the function check. Things are a bit stiff, although I got to say the EPT trigger feels good, and an bit of an improvement over a standard GI/milspec trigger. Its not neccesarily lighter, but it does feel smoother, with just a little creep. Since I didn't have a vice or the AR-15 vice block, the bolt catch was really the trickiest part for me. I think if I had the vice and vice block, and I do another build I could probably do it in 30 - 60 minutes after doing this one. Even without the vice and block I managed to put everything together, without loosing any springs or detents (although there were a few close calls), and the only cosmetic damage I can see is where I used the punch to drive the bolt catch roll pin flush. Other than that I managed to not scratch anything else up. I also noticed as someone else mentioned that my kit came with an extra spring and detent for the takedown pins which I thought was a nice touch from PSA. My lower was an Anderson Manufacturing stripped lower, and seemed to go together well with the PSA kit. The 10.5" 300 blk upper seems mate up to the Anderson lower well. The only issue I can see is that the lower is more of a flat black, while the upper is a bit darker and a bit shiny. No biggy since I'm toying with the idea of doing a DIY paint job for this build anyways. Thanks to PSA for providing these build kits, and also providing a easy to follow video tutorial on putting them together. I definitely have another build or two in mind after this one. -Semper Fi