So what is the deal with the 80% Lower and the AR-15 Ghost Gun? First of all a Ghost Gun is a gun that has no serial number and was purchased without going through a background check or a FFL Dealer. The reason this is legal is because you don’t buy a gun you build one. When I say legal this is not build whatever time. You can only build a gun that would be legal where you live. So you can’t build a AR-15 pistol in NYC (You could however own all the parts and not put them together.) However if you can legally own an AR-15 in your state then you can legally build one.
You start with the purchase of a AR-15 lower receiver that is only 80% finished. The trigger assembly is basically solid aluminum.
Now this process sounds complicated basically because it is. However it is both legal and very doable. Now milling your own lower does take about 3 hours the first time you do it so it is not exactly a piece of cake. That said, the end result and the satisfaction you get from making your own gun is well worth the effort. There are several tools required to get this right, I purchased a jig from Daytona Tactical with my lower that would allow me to easily line up where I needed to drill and mill out the trigger assembly. This process can be done with a drill press but I recommend purchasing a router for the mill work. Milling is basically using a special drill bit that can cut sideways as well as straight through. Most of the jigs come with complete instructions on how to use them properly. The key to a successful build is to be very patient.
I started the milling process with a cheap drill press from Harbor Freight It is crucial that the press has the drill bit perfectly straight. You want to use a method called peck drilling where you start drilling and then pull out removing any build up very often. This allows for a clean and not forced process. After drilling the side holes I started the top with the drill press then switched to a more expensive Porter Cable Router. You have to take into account how deep you drill as you drill out the trigger it is very important to take your time. Remember you are building your own gun, its worth it.
After the gun lower assembly is milled to the proper specs you get to the fun part. Putting together your-15. The rest of the parts can be bought from
websites like Cheaper Than Dirt, Stag arms, or all of the parts can be bought at local gun shows. I purchased the additional parts at Daytona Tactical and they were by far the cheapest but do your own research. Decide the quality and the budget and build the gun right for you. For putting together the gun I purchased a book Build Your Own AR-15 by: David Strauss Very simple straight forward instructions made this process fun and very easy. There are several youtube videos of this process available well as AR-15 Assembly videos.
You can learn more about my experience and this process by listening to the Survival and Basic Badass Podcast Episode Ghost Gun.