As of the writing of this article, AR-15 rifle and accessories shoppers are starting to see a little relief in the market. Everything from ammo to charging handles are starting to trickle in, but it often still seems the part you need to complete your AR lower is out of stock. In my case, my naked stripped Anderson Manufacturing Lower receiver had sat far too long in the Liberty Safe waiting for me to find all the right parts to get it into action. Instead of chasing parts, I decided to place an order for a lower parts kit with Barnes Precision and patiently wait. But then I had an idea: could I salvage enough equivalent parts from a hardware store to get a minimally featured AR lower up and running? What parts would I absolutely need, and what could be omitted?
Optional AR parts
Because the AR platform has parts that require other parts that require other parts, the idea was to pair down the AR function list for the lower to what was really required to feed and cycle rounds. This means the bolt latch could be omitted, and that alone translates into four less parts (latch, bolt latch detent, spring, and pin) that I need to scrounge for during a time of desolate parts availability. Same goes for the safety selector. By going to an old “the trigger is the safety” design, I drop three more parts plus the need to have a grip and grip screw to hold in the detent required for the safety selector switch.