Thoughts on the AR-15

As some of you readers out there in Internet land may know, I am sadly firearms-free. I still live with my folks, and Mama and Papa Raptor have made it clear that if I buy a gun, I’m out of the house. Since I can’t afford a place of my own, firearms have been a no-go for me. But that might be changing soon. Sort of.

A few weeks back, We The Armed member FMJ bought a stripped AR-15 lower receiver and built it up into an almost-fully-functioning assembly. I say “almost” because FMJ is unfortunate enough to be stuck in California, so he had to install a Bullet Button on his receiver rather than a proper magazine release, but that’s a topic for another time. Anyway, I got to thinking about it, and I realized that I’d like to make a go at assembling a stripped lower of my own. It will be an interesting learning experience, and my folks cannot possibly object to me owning a stripped lower, since it is pretty much little more than a piece of aerospace-grade aluminum with a serial number. And I have asked about it: they haven’t said yes, but they haven’t said no either.

So, anyway, if I can actually make the stripped lower work… how would I build it up? Actually, “what configuration do I want my rifle to be?” would be more appropriate. See, the wonderful thing about the AR-15 is that it is an extremely versatile and customizable platform. You can build it into anything from a long-barreled, match-grade target/varmint/sniper rifle to an ultra-compact entry gun (provided you register it as an SBR, of course) and everything in between, and you can chamber it in pretty much any cartridge that can fit in the magazine, and even some that don’t.

So, with a near infinite number of choices, the question really is this: what do I want to do with this rifle?  Continue reading