This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Page One Title
Building an 80% AR-15 Receiver With Only Hand Tools.
(Originally posted on AR15.com by Blakely Noble)
This is a long post that may not interest the average viewer. It is posted to give an insight into finishing 80% castings by a complete novice using only HAND TOOLS. There have been some great postings on this subject from engineers, machinists and metallurgy scientists. Most of this information was great, helpful and thoughtful DATA. Don't get me wrong, when these guys are talking about Rockwell testing and their new Hobart milling machine I wish that I had that kind of knowledge and equipment. But I don't. What I do have is a desire to gain knowledge and share it with others. If some foreign power invaded the United States the way the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and we were forced to build our arms the
Tools minus hacksaw
I'm not a machinist. I have less than the average amount of tools. a DPMS lower. equipment. a set of bits up to 1/2". I am now a human resources manager for a computer hardware manufacturer. a package of JB Weld (good stuff). could it be done with the tools and resources that I have on hand. I am also a patriot and a pretty good jury rigger. tool maker or mechanic.way the Muhajadeen did. a Handy Clamp clamp (my vise). a Model 1 parts kit. . I set limits on the tools. a set of files. but most Army mechanics are only parts changers. I was a good parts changer. I was a tank mechanic in the Army. supplies and outside help. power. (Someday I'll with a book called "Doing the Job Right With the Wrong Tool!") Before I started this project. a pack of Red Man and a box of Band-Aids. a hacksaw. a 3/8" drill. sandpaper.
00 plus $4. I wanted the weapon to fire a minimum 400 rounds. I was expecting some horrid. Comparing the quality of the grade 3 to my DPMS was like comparing a Chinese SKS to a Russian SKS. WhatI got was a fully serviceable receiver that will soon be a fully functioning weapon. In an insurgent action this is enough to allow me to find or steal another weapon. Although I expect this weapon to last a very long time. The fit and . malformed piece of aluminum. The cost was $40. where is my $. TANNERY_SHOP@HOTMAI L. I ordered the receiver on Tuesday and it was delivered on Saturday! Great customer service! I ordered the grade 3 receiver because I was not sure what the end result would look like and because I'm cheap.00 for shipping although the box only had $3. Hey Will.COM William was very helpful and gave me some hints that I will pass on in this post. So I ordered a grade 3 cast 80%completed receiver from Tannery Shop.What I wanted to make was not beauty but function.85 in postage on it.15? Never mind.
The outer blemishes can be sanded out and I didn't care about the inner ones. I plan to finish my receiver with Brownells Molly Coat and no one but you and I will ever know. Hide the receipt from your wife. There were two some blemishes on the outside and two more on the inside.85. The only real issue with the inner dimensions of the trigger well that I will address later.finish are not there but you know that you can count on the Chinese SKS EVERY TIME you pull the trigger. If you completely destroy it (which I seriously doubt you could do) you would only be out $43. As they say in the Army. Step 1. Eventually. I suggest that you open a checking accountwith a debit card in your name only so that your gun purchases will not be on your . don't be afraid to make a mistake with it. I made several mistakes while drilling. The most important thing to remember about working with the grade 3 is. I simply filled the holes with JB Weld and re-drilled the next day. "Paint hides a multitude of sins." I'll list the steps in the order that I did them.
There are several ways to mark this. calipers or some other measuring device to mark the spot. (Have the statements sent to your worthless brother in law.) Step 2.ar15.com has a good set of blueprints. You could use a ruler. maybe my wife's table again) so that the flat spot on top of the buffer tubes lined up the rear ends perfectly then clamped them together! This is really an eyeball/ guess procedure but I got a really good alignment this way. This is soooo easy. I put a spare 1/4" drill bit through the front pivot pin holes in BOTH my DPMS and the 80%. www. I didn't even mount the receiver in my vise (My wife's kitchen table and a 8" "C" Clamp). This lines up one end the receiver. Mark the rear take down pin hole. . Drill out the forward pivot pin hole.The holes that are there will guide the 1/4" bit. Step 3. To line up the rear end I laid both receivers upside down on a flat level surface (Let's see.jointaccount. You could guess and hope for the best. The hole is already there. You could make a pencil rubbing with a piece of paper on a finished receiver.
This stops you from being able to close the receiver. Fit the rear tang into the lower. Step 6. The receiver comes with A LOT of extra material where the top and lower receivers meet. Step 5. I had to use a rat-tail file. Mill the top of the lower receiver. You may have to "mill" out the lower receiver where the rear tang of the upper fits. hammer pin. Work slowly. I don't know how much I removed. I simply put the front pin in and worked the top of the lower receiver with a file until the rear take down hole lined up with the hole in the rear tang of the upper. Drill the receiver. This is a file and fit process. William suggested that you drill out each side separately by moving the finished receiver to each side. If you are using a finished receiver as a jig be careful not to put any pressure on the pin holes of the finished receiver. (See Step 6) The most challenging part of this process was the radius cut where the lower turns up. and rear take down pin. The area in the lower receiver where the rear take down pin hole goes is too narrow . Once you have the alignment correct it is simple to drill the holes the trigger pin. It would be great to use a mill or belt sander to remove this but in keeping with the spirit of this project I used a file and sandpaper.Jig Step 4. This took about 4 hours of filing and sanding but if you use a belt sander it should only take about 1 hour and should give a very even finish. This worked well. I felt that my alignment was very good so I drilled through both sides at one time. I don't have a micrometer.
then marked the correct depth on the bit with a piece of masking tape. when I work . In keeping with the spirit of this project and since I didn't have this tool. It took me several hour of thinking (When I play .I works .I plays hard. Step 7.5 hours. This is easy because the hole is in such a small limited area. The correct way to drill this hole is to get a 3/32x 6" bit from William at TANNERY_SHOP@HOTMAIL.COM I think they are less than $5. I had to figure how to make this work. Be careful to take material evenly off both insides so that the upper receiver will be centered to the lower. I marked the location for this hole by using my calibrated eye (the left one). Drill the bolt hold open spring hole. Install the bolt hold open lever. If you us a Dremmel this would take about 30 minutes but by hand it was about 1. When the tape was at the same depth on the 80% as I had marked on the finished receiver I stopped. This tape was my depth mark. Simply file this out until the tang will fit. I tested drill bits on the finished receiver to find the right size.for the upper receiver rear tang (where the pin goes). This was a very simply step. This is how I did it. Step 7.
but since I was working with aluminum. I took a hacksaw blade and cut into the bolt hold open mounts on the same axis as the hole should be. A little JB Weld replaced the metal that had been removed with hacksaw blade. I did not have the correct tap to cut the threads. Then I remembered a trick I saw my Dad do. I had created a tip! My Daddy would have tempered this with a torch to harden it. I placed this in my "C" clamp vise then cut a hacksaw cut across the threads. I cut down to the depth where the bolt hold open pin would lay at the correct depth. I then put the pin into the hold open lever.hard. Step 9. I thought about JB Welding the handle on or JB Welding the bolt into place. This left two "cradles" for the pin to lay in. Install the magazine release. I . I then tapered the end of the bolt with a file then cleaned up what was left of the threads on the end of the bolt. There was a small amount of finish filing but the release fit as normal.the AK doesn't have a bolt hold open and no one would argue with the success of that weapon. I would still have a completely serviceable weapon. This was a pretty straightforward installation. when I think . I considered leaving it off. I found a hex head bolt with the same thread as the size and pitch as the grip bolt. What I will say next will get a lot of insulting flames from the techno-elite on this site but remember this is an insurgent weapon. The next morning I filed/sanded down the JB Weld and had a functional hold open device! I know that this is jury rigging at its highest level but it works very well. But I wanted to have a fully functioning AR-15 so I had to come up with something and there is NO WAY to drill that hole without the right tool. this was more than hard enough. Step 8.I falls to sleep!) to come up with a solution. This was the most fun part of the project. Install the pistol grip. mounted the spring and clamped these into place with my 8" "C" clamp. along the length of the bolt on 4 sides.
I removed the threads from the tube because this is easier than enlarging the hole to accept the threads.drilled a hole one bit size smaller than the bolt. put your finger in the buffer tube hole. If it gets bound just remove the tube. Since I don't have the tap for this (you can rent it from William for $10) I plan to JB Weld the tube into place. If it rubs. Hold the tube in place and slowly pull the carrier into the tube by using the charging handle. This is the path the bolt carrier musttravel during recoil. assemble both receivers with the bolt carrier and charging handle. Step 10. Ream out the buffer tube hole. At first it tried to go in crooked but I remembered that I was smarter that at least 75% of the metal on that receiver so I kept it straight and it cut a clean set of threads. The handle will cover this. Keep filing and checking that the hole is centered until you can fit the BACK END of the buffer tube into the hole. I slowly worked the "tap" into this hole turning only 1/4 of a turn then backing out to clear the cuttings. adjust the hole with a file to align the tube. You have to remove enough material from the inside of the buffer tube hole to allow the carrier to come out of the receivers and into the buffer tube that will be there. Then you have to remove enough material so the tube can be installed. I did this because the back end is the same size as the front end of the buffer tube without the threads. . This is another file and fit operation.To test the alignment of the tube. There is room on the receiver where the handle fits to make a test hole. At first I was bothered about this but the buffer tube is only $12 so what the heck. Listen/feel for the carrier rubbing against the inside of the tube.This took about 3 hours but it could be done in about 30 minutes with a Dremmel. This hole MUST be centered with the upper receiver or the bolt will rub /bind in the buffer tube. With the upper and lower receiver pinned together.
Step 12. This shoulder is behind the treads on the buffer tube. This is about 6 degrees. The buffer tube retaining pin has a tit on it. This was scary. I'm so good! If I had made a mistake. You will have to tilt the bit to clear the buffer tube ring. This tit needs to be forward of the tube with the shoulder of the retaining pin under the tube. I used the tit on this pin to mark the hole by dipping the tit into ink and marking a point on the bottom inside of the buffer tube hole as close to the buffer as possible. But I used my hand drill and was surprised how easy it was to eye ball them. Drill the buffer retaining pin hole. Put the buffer tube in the receiver hole as far as the buffer tube shoulder will allow.Step 11. rear pin and front pin. Drill the hole for the retaining pins for the safety. Use the correct size of bit and measure the depth of the hole on the finished receiver and mark the depth with masking tape. If you use a drill press it would be easy. I would have repaired it with JB Weld tried again. I drew a line on the outside of the reciever as a guide. Step 13. The hole should be tilted toward the front of receiver by 6 degrees. Simple . Drill out the alignment hole for the butt stock.
With the receiver of or opened and the hammer is froward and resting on the front of the fire control will. I have seen several damaged in the Army this way. I put some JB Weld in the well where the hammer rests and the problem was corrected. Correcting the fire control well. This may be because the hammer pin hole is too far forward or because the divider between the fire control well and the bolt hold open well is slightly narrower than My DPMS. I'll be putting a lot of ammo through it next weekend.operation. This causes the top of the hammer to hit the bottom of the firing pin if you try to close the receiver with the hammer forward. it is too far forward. . Step 14. You should never drop the hammer with the receiver open on and AR-15. I left this for last because I'm not sure why this happened. I fired a few rounds behind a friend's barn and it works perfectly. It goes past Top Dead Center.
I am a retired soldier and I would not be afraid to use the rifle any time in the defense of my home and country. well worth the $44. This was a fun project. I will be firing Betsy next weekend to test durability. Blakely Noble and the Mujahadeen AR-15 I had a request to post my parkerizing solution mixture so here it is: .Conclusion.
dry and re-oil. The Manganese Dioxide is then slowly mixed in the solution and boiled for 10 minutes. oil with a mixture of 1 gallon WD40 and 1 quart chainsaw oil. The finished guns are near black and retain oil very well.I use a mixture of 1/2 gallon technical grade Phosphoric acid to 8 ounces manganese dioxide . When the parts are ready to parkerize after blasting with coarse ground glass I reheat the solution to 190 degrees F and immerse the part in the solution until foaming stops. rinse with cold water. Then I remove the part from the solution. . I have built over 300 guns this year alone using this method. The Phosphoric acid is mixed with 9 gallons water in a stainless trough and brought to a rolling boil.