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Thread: Is It "Build" Or "Assemble" An AR15?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Is It "Build" Or "Assemble" An AR15?

    I'm referring to the process of putting together all the pre-made parts to make a functional AR platform. Most people refer to this process as "building." I think the term "assembling" is more suitable in this application.

    Taken from an online dictionary:

    Build - "to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole."

    Assemble - "to fit together the parts of."

    Are these terms interchangeable? What do you think?

    H

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    I consider it building if you make parts for it. If you're just putting them together it's assembling. A while back my kid out shot a guy shooting at steel plates. Afterwards my son was shooting his custom ar15, receiver from an 80%, barrel from a blank, wildcat chamber reamer and headspace guages from O1 tool steel and I a similar AR10 wildcat I'd built. This guys threshold was much lower as he proclaimed he's built his rifle also, a standard Daniels Defense with the only non factory parts being the scope, mount, mag and muzzle brake. To each his own as long as they're happy who cares.

  3. #3
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    Well, we do build a house. Some pieces are custom cut to length and such. Never did hear of someone 'assembling' a house. Unless that's what they do with pre-fab pieces. Built in a factory, assembled on-site.

    But, we assemble cars from the parts 'built' by others in a factory. But we build a custom car as we might just need to make a one-off piece here or there.

    So, if we have to put a file to some piece is it now a build?

    Now for the hardest of the unasked questions:

    Does it matter?
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I like the house analogy. And no it doesn't matter to me.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I'd call it assembly but with the definitions in the op applied in context it goes either way .

    A first class job will require a bit of fitting .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

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    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harter66 View Post
    I'd call it assembly but with the definitions in the op applied in context it goes either way .

    A first class job will require a bit of fitting .
    I agree. I've been 'assembling' M16s and AR-15s since 1973. Especially when you're playing mix and match with parts, you're probably going to have to fit or tweak something. Ever square the face of an upper receiver? Most, if not all, need it; some worse than others.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholst55 View Post
    I agree. I've been 'assembling' M16s and AR-15s since 1973. Especially when you're playing mix and match with parts, you're probably going to have to fit or tweak something. Ever square the face of an upper receiver? Most, if not all, need it; some worse than others.
    Nope , but I only expected a 2" rifle .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18


    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

  8. #8
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    It's like asking what are we doing when we melt wheel weights into ingots. The convention is to call it smelting, but many here have argued, correctly, that it is not correct to call it that. So, we "build" ARs, though most of us are only assembling pre-made parts.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atakawow View Post
    i'm referring to the process of putting together all the pre-made parts to make a functional ar platform. Most people refer to this process as "building." i think the term "assembling" is more suitable in this application.

    Taken from an online dictionary:

    Build - "to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole."

    assemble - "to fit together the parts of."

    are these terms interchangeable? What do you think?

    H
    ditto.....

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    its mostly assembling.

  11. #11
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    Bzcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_P View Post
    Well, we do build a house. Some pieces are custom cut to length and such. Never did hear of someone 'assembling' a house. Unless that's what they do with pre-fab pieces. Built in a factory, assembled on-site.

    But, we assemble cars from the parts 'built' by others in a factory. But we build a custom car as we might just need to make a one-off piece here or there.

    So, if we have to put a file to some piece is it now a build?

    Now for the hardest of the unasked questions:

    Does it matter?
    This would be my response.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same......." - Ronald Reagan

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  12. #12
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    I am not a lawyer and have no need for legal definitions. If I have to start using legal definitions I am either in the wrong conversation or at work. Either way I don't want no part of it. Lol.. Owe the good ole' days when a ball was a ball and screw was a screw.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have shown an AR-15 or two to friends and commented that I built this one, but in actuality I just assembled it. Sometimes you just slip into that trap of words, the same as when I slip and refer to mags as clips.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Fitting is not building any more than assembling is building. When a mill or lathe or filing out a part from a block of steel is involved it's building. Putting together a nice muzzleloader from a kit is more involved than assembling an AR.
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  15. #15
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    As a wood and steel gun builder, I call it assemblers. I find it offensive when someone wants to show me an AR, and telling me they "built" it.
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  16. #16
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    bruce drake's Avatar
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    You assemble an AR15. You build it into a custom firearm after that.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master map55b's Avatar
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    IMHO, if you are assembling pieces, with minimal fitting or none, then you are an armorer. If you do extensive fitting or make parts or the entire gun from scratch then you are a gunsmith. Building/assembling whatever, the question to me is always is someones skills are that of an armorer or a gunsmith.

    I like to think of myself as an aspiring gunsmith with projects like these:

    Scratch built single shot in 5.56 Nato
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    Shortened 98 (-1.2 inches) with a 1911 magazine well. Still in progress.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Mould is a form for a liquid into a solid .
    Mold is that green fuzzy stuff on the bread or cheese .

    You guys talk like you build a rifle starting with an aluminum , iron , clay and coal mine for chrome moly and files to make cutters so you can build a lathe to deep drill and rifle and a mill to cut slots in a full pig , while you're waiting on that black walnut to grow up big enough to to get a stock blank from.

    How many of you cast piston and cut billet cranks and cams for that engine you built . Did you pour the Iron or aluminum into the block ,head and manifold moulds or form the billets from pigs ?

    Ive met some racers , some welders , some top shelf mechanics and I've met a few mechanics that welded up some beautiful chassis and drove a winning car but not one of them had ever been in a smelter or a mine although I have met a few miners that ran dirt tracks but gold and silver is a long way from iron and steel .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18


    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Uncle Dave's Avatar
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    In the old days when a big truck was assembled (Kenworth etc.)we would always ask for a “build sheet” from said assembler.
    I don’t know!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    It is not built unless you made at least a few of the parts, not just fitted them.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
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