Home Made Rifle

11 my memory serves me correctly; it was in early 1980 thai someone suggested lu mc that a ^mm conversion unit to mate with and mount on an AR-15 ur M16 lower receiver assembly would he desirable. A hit of research on my pari indicated that there was indeed a market For such a conversion.

At the time 1 thought it best to use square ruhing for the upper receiver since it was possible to get more weight into a square boll of the maximum permissible length than a round one. A bushing; whs welded into the front end of the receiver Lube and bored and threaded to acrept a removable barrel. I'his was held in place by a barrel-retaining nut thai screwed on lo I he barrel bushing against the flanged barrel, holding ¡L

Homemade Rifle Barrel
9mm pfel'ol vmtiKi Made in (fie '¿ml,

securely in place. I'his same method is used on the version described in this book.

I made up a magazine adaptor, which not only reduced the size of the magazine well to just aeeepl a 9mm magazine (I used Sten magazines) hut also served as a mounting bracket for the ejector and housed the magazine latch. A combination earning handle and rear sight assembly was formed from sheet metal and welded in place to match a surplus M16 front sight assembly obtained I rum one: of I he surplus military parts companies that flourished ai I he time.

Alter some slight modifications and adjustments the assembled rifle, or carbine as

Homemade Ar15 9mm Rifle
Hiflé version with folding stock from same period.


some would call it, performed quite well (well enough, in fact, that I managed to sell one to almost everyone who fried it). These were made in both 9mm and .45 caliber.

Since the bolt and recoil springs were completely housed in the upper receiver rather than extending back into the huttstock as the original parrs did. these unils were adaptable to folding stocks as well as pistol versions.

At that time there were several companies manufacturing lower receivers lor these guns. I hese were intended, as now, to be used with military surplus parts to assemble AR-15 or M16 rifles. They ranged from excellent quality to pure junk One such gun. which was equipped with .1 cast aluminum receiver, was accidentally knocked over •

onto the floor from a leaning position against the wall and broke into two parts. Naturally, I didn't use any more of these or install my parts on them. In addition, I soon discovered that dimensions varied considerably between the various brands —especially the magazine openings.

I his did not actually present a problem as long as I was dealing with lower assemblies belonging to local customers. Ihey brought them to my shop arid 1 assembled the uniLs, fitting the parts as required. The only trouble I experienced was with one would-be customer. This punk was a native of New-York City, come down to our part of the: country to enlighten us poor, ignorant hillbillies as to how the outside world behaved, lie was one of these people who talked all the time, and when he did let anyone else get in a few words he didn't hear anything they said since his mind was occupied with what he was going to say next. This guy bought several of these units from me and ruined even' one of them. In spite of what I told him to the contrary, he tried everything he could think of to modify them to fire full automatic and otherwise "improve" them. I finally got all I could stand of him and ran him off. He

Homemade Reloading Stands
Full-length view showing urn! mounted on Colt-made lower.
Open Bolt Homemade
Mounted 0/1 shop-made receiver.


Although at rhc lime this book was written it was perfectly legal for an individual to manufacture a firearm for personal use, experimental purposes, or research and development, it is likely that new laws have been added since. It is probably still legal for the upper receiver assemblies described in this book to be built and assembled on an existing lower receiver. However, if the lower receiver, as described herein, is used, an illegal firearm will result. It is the reader's obligation to carefully research all pertinent laws belorc any such construction is attempted.

Technical data presented here, particularly data on .immunition and on the construction, use, adjustment, and alteration of firearms, inevitably reflects the authors individual beliefs and experiences with particular firearms, equipment, and components under specific circumstances ih;it the reader cannot duplicate exactly. The information in this book should ihmTorc be used for guidance only nnd approached wiih great c aution. Neither the author, publisher, nor distributors assume any responsibility lor the use or misuse of information contained in this book. Thi> book is presented for academic stiuly only:

call me every loul name he could think, of. eventually telling me that the unit I sent him wasn't worth a damn. When I finally managed to get in a word. I asked him if he had read the instruction sheet.

"To hell with any instruction sheet," he retorted. 'Tin a federally licensed gunsmith, and I don't need an instruction sheet. The damn parts don't fit."

About this time 1 lost my temper too, and I proceeded to inform him that possession of a federal firearms license was not an indication of either intelligence or ability. 1 told him that most of the names he had called me not only applied to him too, but his mother and wife as well. 1 his got his attention, so I told him I would send along another, slightly smaller magazine adaptor and another instruction sheet, which I insisted lie read. To his credit, several days later I received a letter from him stating that he had made it work and apologizing for his previous conduct.

But such incidents happened too often. It took too much time to straighten out the problems, which were not my fault in the first place. I turned the entire operation over to a friend of mine and went on to other things.

Several years later I designed and built a few of the round -receivered versions similar to those described in this hook. These were made in both lJmm and .45 versions and included the open-bolt

Homemade Semi Automatic Pistols

9mm coiivefcion (pistol version).

pisrol version described herein. This open-bolt version has interchangeable trigger parts that pivot on the same cross pins as the original parts and will fire both as a full or semiautomatic. 1 made and sold several of these, but after a time— even though 1 was only furnishing parts I became concerned about their legality and discontinued them as well.

Several months ago. as 1 prepared to put this book together, I built ;i new upper receiver assembly and a magazine adaptor in the rifle version that used the standard lower receiver assembly, 1 also built a new open-bolt pistol assembly using my own parts in the trigger mechanism as before. These were fabricated primarily for photographic purposes, to use in illustrating this book. These parrs included several slight improvements (?) over the older versions and functioned quite well when .iliac hed to a standard lower receiver.

Then, just about the time 1 was putting the finishing touches on the book, another setback occurred. Congress passed the so-called 'Crime Bill" of 1994. and suddenly lower receivers, which had been selling for $60 to $80 each, skyrocketed to an asking price of more than $4(10. liven worse, no more ran he produced.

localizing the problem this would cause if the time ever came when one was compelled to build such a gun or remain defenseless, I wrent back and designed and built a substitute lower that is made using forinrd sheet metal with wcldcd-in gussets and ends. The result is actually quite a bit sturdier than the original, although heavier. It does, however, provide an alternative that will allow the builder to construct the entire gun from raw materials.

The gun, then, as described in this book, can hi* built as either h rifle or pistol, open or closed bolt, semi- or full automatic, and with either a self-contained bolt and recoil spring assembly or a heavier bolt that uses the original recoil spri rWbuller assembly.

As things stand at present, it is likely that any version of this gun would be illegal if manufactured in its entirety. However, if the c losed-bolt version of the upper receiver assembly is used with an existing lower receiver, it would probably be considered a legal gun. Just how this makes either version any more or less lethal and dangerous than the other is beyond me. But the dimwits we pay to dream up such rules seem to think Lhat those laws will, in some fashion, reduce crime.

It is strongly recommended that readers carefully research all laws concerning building or possessing such a firearm before finishing and assembling the gun. Unfinished parts are not supposed to be illegal, but this too may change. Be careful.

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