There are many benefits to DIY gunsmithing projects. Being able to order and receive an 80% lower receiver directly to your door with no paperwork or waiting period is very desirable to those concerned with privacy. The ability to customize every aspect of your firearm means you have intimate knowledge of your gun. And of course, DIYing gun projects give you detailed knowledge of your firearm and how it operates.
Whether you’re a beginner gunsmith or a savvy DIYer, we’ve got DIY gunsmithing projects for every level of expertise. Even though beginner gunsmiths may fare well with these projects, it’s imperative to have some knowledge of guns and their inner workings before beginning!
With all DIY tasks, please note you can potentially damage your gun or yourself, so take care when handling your weapon. And as always, check your local gun laws to ensure your modifications are within legal limits.
Beginner DIY Gunsmithing Projects
One of the easiest ways to customize your gun is to mount an optic. Whether you need a red dot sight, a holographic sight, or a scope, adding an optic to your gun can improve your aim and your ability to focus on your target.
Collect your tools (proper gunsmithing screwdriver bits, a torque wrench, bubble levels, etc.)
Ensure your rifle is unloaded and there’s no ammunition in your workspace. Double-check this to ensure safety.
Thoroughly clean the areas of the gun on which you’ll be working.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach your specific optic correctly.
Make sure your optic is level and check the eye relief.
Bore sight your rifle.
Another DIY gunsmithing project that’s great for new gunsmiths is attaching a free-floating rail system to your AR. This aftermarket system means you can easily attach accessories like flashlights or grips.
You should also, of course, be very familiar with how to take apart, clean, and put your gun back together. This easy project is more of a good gun ownership habit than gunsmithing, but nevertheless should be included in your regular gun maintenance and do-it-yourself routine.
Intermediate DIY Gunsmithing Projects
If you’re a little more gun-savvy, you can try your hand at slightly harder projects, for example, assembling an AR-15 upper receiver. Make sure you have a receiver made from high-quality aluminum, preferably 7505 aircraft-grade, like the ones from JSD Supply.
Collect your other parts, like your ideal barrel, handguard, bolt carrier group, and more. Additionally, ensure you have the proper tools. You’ll definitely at least need a vice to hold your receiver steady, a punch set, and various gauges of wrenches. Many handguards have proprietary barrel nuts, so be sure you have the correct tools for your unique project.
When you’ve got your materials ready, put them together. Seat your barrel and torque down the barrel nut, install your handguard, or install the bolt carrier group, whatever part of the project on which you’re currently working. These items also allow for customization of your weapon, with literally hundreds of options on the market.
If your upper receiver is already complete, or you ordered one that way, you can work on the lower receiver as your DIY gunsmithing project. Ordering an 80% lower receiver means you complete the firearm yourself, in the privacy of your own home. You will also not have to worry about lengthy paperwork or other issues.
You’ll need a vice of some sort to keep your lower receiver steady as you work. You’ll also need a tool kit, lower parts kit, a jig, and possibly a trigger. Most lower parts kits come with a basic trigger, but if you want a match-grade trigger, there are many aftermarket varieties from which to choose.
Advanced DIY Firearm Projects
Building your entire gun from scratch is the most advanced gunsmithing project you can do for yourself. Once your gun is built, you can experiment with slicking up your action.
You can try polishing your trigger. Standard mil-spec triggers can be heavy or sticky, so polishing the trigger can help smooth out the pull. This project requires a careful and delicate hand, as you can easily ruin a trigger permanently if you botch this DIY job by attempting it yourself. Try using a whetstone or fine grit stone, instead of a file, for enhanced precision.
We recommend this project for only the most advanced DIY gunsmithing aficionados, as the trigger/sear is a critical piece of your firearm and is easy to ruin.
Other projects advanced gunsmiths can tackle include more intricate customizations of accessories, adding more specialized aftermarket parts like laser sighting systems or infrared light filters to enhance the capabilities of night vision optics.
You can also add porting to your handgun barrel to reduce your muzzle flip while firing. This is a fairly precise procedure because you need to drill holes into your barrel and your slide, and these holes must align perfectly.
Get Your DIY Parts and Tools at JSD Supply
JSD Supply has been in the business of providing quality gun kits and parts to gun enthusiasts across the United States since 2013. Find the tools you need for your DIY gunsmithing projects and get them sent to your door with our fast shipping.
Not sure where to start on your gunsmithing journey? Contact us today and we’ll start you on the best path for your goals.