Karen Hunter AR 15 Build Part 2: Stock Install & Assembly
Custom builds are extremely rewarding for many reasons. One aspect is that each and every part can be handpicked by the individual to specifically meet that persons needs and desires. Firearms and their components are not “one size fits all” and it’s important to find what works best for you in any gun you choose. One area where this is evident is when it comes to the stock. Few things are as user specific than a rifle stock. There is a flavor for just about any shooter and installing it is simple.
In our video, we went a step further and installed the entire stock assembly so you could see how it is done. As with anything we assemble, there are some useful tricks and tips that can be passed on to make the process easier. Sharing time saving and frustration reducing tidbits of information can truly be a help and that’s exactly what I want to focus on here in video 2 of our AR 15 build.
As you screw on the castle nut, I encourage you to screw it all the way to the top. This will give you more room to work after you follow up with the end plate. The next step is to insert the buffer retainer and spring. Set it into the hole in the rear of the lower and start to screw in your buffer tube. You will be able to see the tube moving towards the retainer. Now push the retainer down against the spring and screw the buffer tube a couple more times. What you will see is that it advances just enough to come in contact with half of the retainer and in turn keep it in the hole with the spring. Take care during this process as this is by far the most commonly lost part during assembly. A lost grip or bump will lead to the retainer and spring being launched across the room. This is also one reason we should always wear safety glasses when we assemble.
Next step of our AR 15 build, we must insert the rear takedown detent pin and spring. We want to keep some extra room with the castle nut and rear plate for this step. Once we have the spring in place we need to gently and slowly press the spring into the channel with the rear plate. Once that is complete, we can tighten down our castle nut. We used the Real Avid multi tool to get the castle nut tight and I would encourage you to do the same thing. As the gun vibrates castle nuts can work their way loose. If they are not tightened correctly to begin with you may have problems later down the road. Following this we can insert the buffer device into the buffer spring. It should go in freely and have very little play. Most will get snug at the top as you push the buffer in. Now take this assembled component and slide it into the buffer tube. As you push it in, simply drive it over the retainer pin. The spring-loaded nature of it will let the assembly go in, but once inside, it pops back up and keeps the spring and buffer assembly in place.
The last thing we need to do assembly-wise is to install the actual stock onto the buffer tube. While we pull up on the stock lever to get it up and down the tube, we need to pull it down to actually get it onto the buffer tube to begin with. It can be snug, but with a little effort, it should go right on. It’s important when working with firearms to remember that nothing should ever be done with extreme force. Sometimes you may have to really push or pull something like you mean it, but excess force is never good and could really damage your gun. If you find yourself in this situation stop and really check the work you’ve done. If you’re unable to figure it out don’t be afraid to ask someone who has a strong understanding of guns for help. Remember, this isn’t a contest and there’s no shame in asking for assistance. With patience and the right attitude, building a firearm can truly be a valuable and enjoyable experience. Coming soon will be video 3 of 4 where we complete our AR 15 build. After that, video 4 where it will be time to hit the range!
Watch the rest of this AR 15 Build series:
Karen Hunter, GetZone.com Contributor