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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any tips or tricks I should know about building my first lower? Seems pretty straight forward but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.
Using a PSA lower and PSA MOE LPK.
 

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Becareful of springs, they have the tendancy to launch into orbit

I would blow some air into the small pockets in the lower because they may have some grit in them that restricts spring movement. Have fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've heard about the springs and will try my best to keep them from launching. Never thought about blowing out the pockets, should I clean the lower with something first? It appears to be clean from the factory.
 

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"Never give up, never surrender!" Jason Nesmith
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you need a third hand of some kind to hold the lower while you assemble it. I used the Model 1 lower vise block when I did mine. The front assembly pin is not as hard to insert as people make it out to be, just be careful and be sure you have an extra detent and sprint just in case. Mine went in easy and clean with no issues. My complete lower assembly was complete in about 1 hour and I really took my time to understand how it all goes together and works together. I used The AR-15 Complete Assembly Guide by Walt Kuleck to assemble mine. Brownells has a great series of Videos too. I keep a computer in my work area to easily look up a process or problem. Good luck and let us know how it goes.....
 

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+1 on being careful with the springs. I work on an old white towel so I can see everything. Also, just go slow and be careful NOT to bubba up the holes putting in the roll pins and whatnot. Make sure to support the ears when jacking around with the trigger guard install. Taking your time makes the difference in it looking like a home build versus factory.
 

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When you put the bolt release roll pin in go from the front of the lower to the rear. It's easy to scuff the lower putting this roll pin in so I put a peace of paper between the punch and the lower to keep them from rubbing together.
 

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The front take down pin can be a pain. Use a box cutter to comPress the spring and detent while you slide it in. You may want to use a large ziploc bag when ya do it.
Look up vids on YouTube. Great resource for build info!
 

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The front take down pin can be a pain. Use a box cutter to comPress the spring and detent while you slide it in. You may want to use a large ziploc bag when ya do it.
Look up vids on YouTube. Great resource for build info!
Forgot to mention this. Very good idea and it works
 

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"Never give up, never surrender!" Jason Nesmith
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When you put the bolt release roll pin in go from the front of the lower to the rear. It's easy to scuff the lower putting this roll pin in so I put a peace of paper between the punch and the lower to keep them from rubbing together.
I used a piece of packing tape around the lower to keep from scuffing. I saw a guy online use a piece of aluminum tube that he got at Lowes, in their special hardware drawer section, to hold the pin in place while using a brass rod through the tube to start the pin. I have the stuff to do this on my next build. It seems to be a good solution to a not so easy operation.
 

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Front takedown pivot pin detent; I sure wish I had gotten the tool. That was a real bugger.
 

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My son and I put our first lower together last night, so I'm sure you can do it. I printed instructions off of AR15.com and we watched the lower assembly video's on Brownells. There are so many on Youtube, but this one if broken down into parts. http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11011/learn/
I was glad to find some roll pin punches at the gun show yesterday. Now we've got to decide if we are going to build the upper or buy one complete. I still like the idea of a build party one day to learn more from some of the Pro's on here.
 

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"Never give up, never surrender!" Jason Nesmith
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Does everyone lubricate the threaded pieces?
After getting a spark plug stuck in an aluminum head, I always put anti-seize on ANY steel to aluminum threaded joint. For my build I used it on the buffer tube, the grip screw and the barrel nut. All of these are steel on aluminum and can seize together without lubricant. I believe the tech manual calls for moly lube, but I have lots of anti-seize around since I do all of the maintenance on our motorcycles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just finished up with my lower build. Still need to get a couple of the roll pins set in a little more and PSA shorted me the magazine release button so I will have to talk to them about that. I did manage to shoot a detent and spring a couple times but found them. All in all it wasn't bad.



Thanks for the tips and tricks!
 

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Great job, it looks like it's all there. They get easier the more you do. You'll find little things that work for you, as well as, picking up tips from people who have done it before.
 

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Just a hint I picked up before my first build, blue painter's tape is your friend. Leaves no residue and prevents scratches when using a box cutter or anything else near the metal.
 

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This is all good info, keep it coming. I've only built two lowers so far, mine last month and one for my bro in law last night. When I did mine I watched a youtube vid as I went along. I also used blue painters tape to prevent scuffing. One tool I used that I would think isn't "standard" for building a lower is vise grips. I taped two pennies on the jaws of the vise grips very tightly to prevent the teeth from tearing through the tape. I used the vise grips to put in the roll pin on the mag release and trigger guard.. Once I get the roll pin started I adjust the VG's far enough open to squeeze in the pin about 1/16" at a time, adjusting after the VG's lock, works pretty good. Then finish it with a punch and small brass hammer. Probably not a preferred method lol. but it worked for me (twice) so far.
 

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I had one "idiot" moment building my first.. when you go to insert the safety selector.. make sure the hammer is cocked. Otherwise.. it ain't going in (If you take the same steps to build yours that I took to build mine).
 

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I had one "idiot" moment building my first.. when you go to insert the safety selector.. make sure the hammer is cocked. Otherwise.. it ain't going in (If you take the same steps to build yours that I took to build mine).
If it wasn't for the YouTube vid I was watching as I went along I would have done the same thing. The hardest and most aggravating thing for me (I suspect for a lot people) is getting the pivot pin detent and spring in.
 
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