The most important factor to consider when purchasing AR-15 components is identifying its use. AR-15 is a great weapon that can be used in shooting competitions, plinking and hunting.
The main components of AR uppers
- Upper receiver – This critical component can be purchased in either complete or stripped parts. It holds several components and fits on top of the AR-15 lower receiver.
- Barrel – The barrel of the rifle is installed on the front section. It comes in different profiles, sizes and gas systems. The barrel is very instrumental in setting shooting accuracy.
- Handguard/rail – This component fits on top of the barrel. It helps protect the hand from the firing heat. You can also attach accessories such as grips, optics, flashlights and sights on the barrel, depending on the custom build.
- Charging Handle – The charging handle is the focal charging point of AR-15. This chamber is only used when AR-15 is opened to load rounds or clear errors.
- BCG – The Bolt carrier Group (BCG) controls ammunition firing. This component also holds the firing pin, ejector, extractor and the bolt.
- Ejection Port Cover – The election port cover helps seal the upper and BCG from exposure to dirt and other debris.
- Forward Assist – The forward assist helps push the bolt into its rightful position, when it is not well-adjusted.
- Gas Block and Tube – The gas system is the location of the gas port on the barrel. AR uppers feature different gas systems. The main systems include carbine, rifle and mid-length.
- Compensator – The compensator or muzzle break is usually attached at the end of the barrel. It helps reduce muzzle flash, muzzle rise and recoil.
Assembling Your AR-15
The process of assembling an AR-15 rifle can save you a lot money and is great fun. You can also go overboard and invest in features that are not found on standard rifles to make your weapon unique and stylish. Below is a standard procedure of assembling a complete upper receiver of an AR-15 rifle:
- Install forward assist and the ejection cover.
- Assemble the bolt carrier components such as the bolt, firing pin, firing pin, retaining pin, bolt carrier and bolt cam pin.
- Assemble the charging handle latch, charging handle, charging handle latch roll pin and charging handle latch spring.
- Fit the bolt carrier assembly and the charging handle assembly into the upper receiver.
- Place your receiver into the action block with the help of a vise.
- Install the barrel by sliding it into the end of the upper receiver.
- Place the inner barrel retainer nut and outer receiver nut into the barrel threads. The other components in the mix include sling swivel studs, flat head handguard screws and handguard plug screws.
- Install the gas tube, gas tube roll pin and gas block.
- Install free float tube handguard. Start by installing the plug screws on top of the free float tube guard.
- Attach your complete upper receiver over the lower receiver.