Build an AR with no directions.

With AK Guy Brandon Herrera

Can a man who builds one style of rifle for a living break the mold and make another?

Can he do so on the rifle he so known for mocking?

Can he do it without directions?

Brandon endeavors to find out. And as an AR armorer I find it endlessly funny, so thank you Brandon.

The differences in assembly method between AR and AK are myriad, while one isn’t necessarily superior to the other in creating a durable rifle one is certainly more DIY friendly.

It is said that you don’t “build” an AR, you assemble it. And this point of view has merit. Given the parts, a couple helpful punches, hammer (preferably non-marring), a stock wrench, a torque wrench with a 30-80 ft/lb setting and the proper adapter for the barrel nut (usually provided) an AR-15 is only about an hour long casual project. They are remarkably easy to assemble properly (emphasis properly, stake you castle nut and don’t buy crap parts) and this also makes them remarkably easy to maintain.

The AK assembled with stampings and rivets is a different animal. It too should be done with quality parts but it also benefits more from access to heavier machines (rivets, press fitting, etc.) so…


Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.