You Can Build Your Very Own Glock, AR-15 or AK-47

Kyle Mizokami


Yes, this is real. 

You Can Build Your Very Own Glock, AR-15 or AK-47

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the agency that regulates gun ownership in the United States, recognizes that individuals have a historical right to make their own firearms. While this may have been common in the eighteenth century, it is only recently becoming popular again due to the high tolerances of modern machinery and the widespread availability of powered tools. As a result Americans have the ability to make a wide variety of firearms, from pistols to semiautomatic rifles, in their own homes.

Modern home firearms production is the result of so-called “80 Percent” firearms receivers. Every firearm has a receiver, a common part that brings together the grip, stock, trigger group, barrel and action. It’s similar in function to a car chassis. In the world of small-arms parts, the necessity of a receiver makes it the only single part regulated by the BATFE, and legally designated as a firearm.

One exception to the receiver-as-firearm rule is that a receiver that is 80 percent complete or less is not subject to regulation; in other words, it is not legally a firearm. Unlike firearms, “eighty percent” receivers can be purchased in a brick and mortar store and brought home without filling out paperwork or conducting a background check, or may be purchased online and shipped straight to an individual’s home.

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Once at home, an 80 percent receiver is typically secured to a workbench and set in a jig. Using common home tools, including a router, power drill and file, a handy person can complete the remaining 20 percent of the receiver in a matter of hours. A bustling trade in spare parts for firearms makes it easy to procure the rest of the parts necessary to build a fully functional firearm. Here are five such firearms you can build in your own home.

AR-15 Rifles

The popular AR-15 rifle series was one of the first so-called 80 Percent firearms. 80 percent lowers are typically sold anodized black, and made of T-6061 or T-7075 aluminum alloy. The well for the fire-control group and rear takedown pin must be removed to complete the receiver, a process that takes a person relatively new to the process a few hours at…

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