Matrix Arms showcasing their AR-15

On the off chance that you’ve never plunged into the AR-15 world, you’re in for amazement. There is a bewildering cluster of classification, abbreviations (LPK, AFG, BCG, and so on), and alternatives for your new gun. Things being what they are, where in the world do you begin?

Before you even begin spending, you need to start thinking (or, even better, learning).


The AR-15 Rifle has become the most recognizable and most popular rifle on the market, and, good or bad, it’s not surprising why. The AR-15 is among the most versatile, customizable systems available to proud second amendment-toting Americans since the first iterations arrived during the late 50s and early 60s. The AR platform often referred to as the AR-15, is the modern version of any modular rifle. With its modular design, the AR-15 is suited for use with any caliber and can host a variety of different modifications and attachments. Its main advantages are ease of use, commonality of design, lower cost, reduced recoil, and better accuracy. If you’re looking for a reliable firearm that can function with precision in everyday use, home protection, hunting, or even deployment in combat scenarios, the AR-15 truly is the rifle of the people and is the best beginners rifle if you’re planning to start building one.
Probably the most integral part of the entire process of building your own AR-15 is considering what type of rifle you want or need. We’ve already covered a variety of different applications that the AR-style rifle is more than capable of handling, so now you have to consider what type of AR will work best for you. If you’ve never owned an AR-15 Rifle before, maybe you’ve never even held one before you’ve sat down to start researching how to build one. If that’s the case, you might want to keep things simple for your first build. Either way, before you even start looking at components and shopping around to see which brand or what type of rifle will suit your needs, come up with a budget and configuration that works for you, and make sure you stick to it. This will save you a lot of time and frustration down the line as you get to the actual building portion of your project.


In recent years, the AR-15 market has been quite volatile due to a number of gun control threats looming on the horizon. This, combined with a burgeoning firearms economy, has caused the market to be flooded with AR-15-related accessories and components. Luckily, this tumultuous market will work out in your favor, as parts and accessories are mostly affordable, and your options are plentiful. When considering how much you’re able to spend, the adage you get what you pay for rings true for firearm components as well. You could even make the case that it’s more important that you don’t sacrifice quality for cost because a firearm malfunction will have many dire results than any other tool or hobby. One of the key reasons that building a firearm is more rewarding and better, in the long run, is that you can span out your purchases by component—meaning, if you only have a $200/month budget, you could save up for a few months and then buy a fully assembled AR-15 straight off the assembly line, or you could buy better components at a higher price-point, piece-by-piece each month until you have everything you need to put it together. Either way, make sure you stick to your guns and hold true to your budget; that way, you’re not wasting time, frustration, and your money on components that may be problematic to fit or that may need some custom machine-work in order to fit them together better.


An AR-15 consists of two main parts, the upper receiver, and the lower receiver. You can buy both in various stages of construction, from a complete upper or lower receiver to an 80% finished, meaning that you’ll need to do some of the millings and drilling yourself in order to complete the assembly—all the way to Stripped uppers and lowers, that allow you the opportunity to pick and source the rest of the necessary components on your own terms.

Below is a complete list of AR-15 upper and lower receiver parts that you may want to consider:

Upper Receiver Components:

  • Stripped upper receiver
  • Barrel
  • Handguard
  • Charging handle
  • Bolt carrier group (BCG)
  • Gas tube
  • Gas block

Lower Receiver Components:

  • Stripped lower receiver/80% lower
  • Fire control group (trigger)
  • Safety
  • Mag release
  • Buffer
  • Buffer tube
  • Buffer spring
  • Buttstock
  • Lower parts kit

Navigating the waters when it comes to selecting what parts you’ll need, which components are guaranteed to fit together, and what personal machine-work you’ll be required to perform yourself are sometimes not for the faint of heart. If you find yourself in a position where you’re not sure about your assembly, or if you’re looking for some general advice on how to proceed with your build, consider consulting an expert to glean some much-needed advice or recommendations. You can contact us if you’d like to get some expert advice or if you’re interested in learning more about our full inventory options.


When building a rifle, you can purchase a fully assembled Complete Upper Receiver, or you can choose to assemble one on your own by purchasing and assembling the individual components separately. Matrix Arms offers a wide variety of Complete Uppers, which gives you the option of building or converting your AR-15 into whatever ammunition caliber type that you prefer without worrying about compatibility or assembly issues. All components included in our Matrix Arms Complete Uppers are designed to fit perfectly, are built using the highest quality materials and innovative design, and ensures your AR-15 not only performs with precision in high-pressure situations but also continues functioning reliably for many years to come.


If you’re looking for your ideal AR-15, want to try your hand at building your own, or simply have questions, feel free to contact us for full inventory options.

Featured Image: Ambrosia Studios/Shutterstock