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Dick Ross
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7,196 Posts
Headspacing is almost of no concern when you buy quality parts. I have built several ARs and I haven't had a single one have headspacing problems. It is good to check though. I'd get a set of headspace guages and a bolt disassembly tool. The hardest thing about building an upper is tightening the barrel nut, and that's not hard.

You need to get;

Go/no go guages (headspace)

BCG disassembly tool

Punch set

Small mallet / hammer

Painters tape (prevents scratches)

Vice block

Copper antisieze (for barrel nut and barrel)

1/2" torque wrench
 

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Dick Ross
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7,196 Posts
Build what you want the first time. I will always build my ARs
 

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Registered lurker
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535 Posts
With assembled uppers being so danged inexpensive these days building your own would most likely be the more expensive proposition. I want to reconfigure my old M4gery with a freefloat tube, & an assembled PSA upper in the desired configuration isn't all that much more expensive ($275-300) than just the freefloat tube ($100-300).

The main special tools you should have to assemble an upper are the upper "clamshell" clamp ($20-30) & the barrel nut wrench or adapter (may come with the freefloat tube or use the standard AR armorers wrench). Torque wrench, small punches, vise & common tools are also needed.
 

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Dick Ross
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7,196 Posts

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Super Moderator
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11,960 Posts
Go ahead breaker.

Built another lower today with a buddy of mine. First one in about 2 years. Fun times.
 

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Buckethead
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1,921 Posts
What ya got?
I have one that was built. I got it off someone else (that was before a terrible boating accident and it's lost somewhere in the Indian Ocean)

Now, I know the lower is a Bushmaster, but other parts I do not know what they are. Unless I'm not looking in the right place, I see no marks on the upper.

The second question escapes me right now, but another: I have been told I can fire .223 and 5.56, but I'd like to be 100% about that. I did send a few 5.56 downrange with no ill effects, I am only buying .223 currently. What's a sure-fire way to know? (pun intended).
 

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Super Moderator
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11,960 Posts
What is stamped on the barrel?
 

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Dick Ross
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7,196 Posts
Like mr. Black said. The barrel will have a caliber designation. You can shoot .223 in a 5.56, not the other way around. 5.56 operates at a higher pressure and has a slightly longer chamber to account for this. If it's a .223 wylde, both can be shot as well.
 
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