Gun Kits: Common Terms and their Meanings | JSD Supply

Gun kits are an efficient, one-stop-shop way to build your do-it-yourself firearm from the comfort of your home, with no paperwork required.

If you’re new to the world of DIY gun construction, some of the types of guns you can purchase or the terms associated with the kits might be new to you. Keep reading for a thorough explanation of common terms you might hear in relation to making a gun at home.


 person holding black pistol

There are two main types of semi-automatic handguns you can DIY: a revolver and a pistol. A revolver, unsurprisingly, contains a revolving chamber in which the bullets are loaded. Revolvers can usually hold about six shots. A pistol, as defined by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), is any handgun that does not load the ammunition into such a cylinder.

Gun kits for revolvers and pistols come in many levels of completion. Whether you just want the 80% lower receiver (more on that term below) or need a complete kit with all the parts included, your DIY handgun project is versatile and completely customizable.


Semi-automatic rifles, also called autoloaders, are rifles that shoot one bullet per pull of the trigger, and automatically cycle the next round.

Semi-automatic rifles are perfect for building at home. The 80% lower receiver is your starting point, and from there, you can tailor almost every aspect of the gun to your specifications.

Need a longer or shorter stock, or perhaps an adjustable one? Want a vertical foregrip or perhaps a bipod? Or maybe you want to add a red dot sight or even a night scope?

While those additions aren’t included in your semi-automatic rifle’s gun kit, you can get both the tactical jig (more on that term below) and the tool kit you need to build your DIY rifle, so when you’re ready, you can add all the bells and whistles you want.

Which Gun to Build?


When exploring the world of DIY gun creation, it’s essential to make sure your state allows for the purchase and assembly of gun kits. If your state permits, there are plenty of different types of guns you can buy in kit form. Whether you prefer the classic lines of a 1911, the modularity of an AR rifle, or the versatility of a Glock-compatible kit, you can find something to match and surpass your needs. JSD Supply also sells gun kits for Sig Sauers, plus additional parts and tools for other DIY gun creation. Let’s dig into those.

Choosing which gun to buy is a completely personal decision. Your level of familiarity with firearms, what guns you already own, and what you’ll use the new gun for are all important factors in deciding which gun to start with or add to your collection.

Upper Receivers

The upper receiver on an AR is not considered a firearm, as it houses none of the fire control group. Rather, it’s what the bolt carrier rides in and what the barrel attaches to.

Lower Receivers

The receiver of a gun is like a frame onto which all the other parts attach. A lower receiver is the part of a pistol or rifle that, once completed, is legally a firearm. It contains the fire control group, lower parts kit, pistol grip, and magazine well. It also has threading to receive (hence the name) components like the stock.

The difference between an 80% lower receiver and a stripped lower receiver is that a stripped lower receiver is legally still a firearm. The 80% lower receiver has an unmilled area that will house the fire control group when completed by the owner.

This means the 80% lower receiver you purchase with your gun kit is not considered a firearm by the ATF as purchased, and thus can be shipped directly to your door with no paperwork, waiting periods, or black helicopters circling your house.

AR/1911 vs. Glock Compatible vs. Sig Lower Receivers

Each type of gun has a different type of lower receiver.

The 1911’s 80% lower receiver, for example, is made from the strongest high-quality, aircraft-grade 7075 billet aluminum, as is the 80% AR-10 and the 80% AR-15.

Glock compatible 80% lower receivers are made with a high-strength, reinforced polymer. This durable, ergonomic construction is the basis for both our PF 45 gun kits, whether you want to make a 10mm or a 45acp.

The most versatile 80% lower receiver belongs to the Sig. Made from stainless steel, you can turn this lower receiver into a 9mm, a 40 S&W, or a 315 Sig, then interchange it with a different body and barrel kits.


When putting together your gun kit, you need more than just the parts — you need the tools and accessories to complete your perfect firearm. One essential tool is a jig, also known as an 80% jig.

Precise Drilling

Jigs allow you to drill into your lower receivers with perfect alignment. They’re a type of workstation that utilizes various plates to secure your lower receiver so you can drill and cut into your DIY firearm’s specifications.

Ease of Use

If you’ve used typical household tools like hand drills, routers, or dremels, you should be able to operate an 80% jig. If you already own a drill press, you’ll understandably use a drill press jig, and if you already own a handheld router or hand drill, you’ll use a router jig.

Firearms the Way You Want


JSD Supply has provided the best, most trusted gun kits, parts, and accessories to DIY gun owners for years. We personally test everything we sell to ensure its quality and are passionate about producing only the highest quality.

With some of the fastest shipping times in the industry, you can be sure your order arrives promptly, with no paperwork or waiting periods to get in the way. Contact us to see how we can help you build the gun of your dreams.