Book giveaway: Gunsmithing the AR-15


***Giveaway ended August 14, 2011, but check the blog often for more chances to win!***

Whether you're a professional gunsmith or an interested amateur, you'll find everything you need to know about keeping your AR perking in Gunsmithing: The AR-15. Written by master gunsmith and AR-15 expert Patrick Sweeney, this book is your one-volume guide to repairing, maintaining and modifying America's favorite rifle.

The question this week is, do you maintain/repair/accessorize your AR-15, or pay someone to do it for you?

Respond in the comments below to enter the random drawing for a copy of Patrick Sweeney's Gunsmithing: The AR-15. As always, you can also just say you'd like to win the book.

And, this week, let's try something new: Bonus entries for sending your friends! For each person who says in their comment “(Your name here) sent me,” you'll get an extra entry in the drawing.

Good luck! Well announce the winner on Monday (Aug. 15). Until then, check out the great selection of tactical and AR-15 books available at the Gun Digest book store, including:

One entry per person, please.
Entries accepted until 11:59 pm Central Time Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011.
Winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.





1. ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older. Employees, officers and directors of F+W Media, Inc. (“Sponsor”), its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising


  1. I do most of my smithing’ but who can’t use more resources? I’m sure Pat has worked on more guns that me anyway and for sure should have more knowledge.

  2. New to the AR15 world and could use a book like this. I have read some great articles by Patrick Sweeney so I’m sure this would be a big help for a newbie.

  3. There’s always room for just one more AR in my collection!! Was Company High shooter in boot camp 3003 MCRD San Diego (3001 – 3006) and have been an AR-guy ever since! Multitudes of calibers, easy to make accurate and ammo is cheap, cheap cheap!

  4. I have one of the early Colt models. I like to leave my guns as original manufactured. But, I would like to win the book.

  5. I mentioned building up AR’s for various purposes and all around defense pieces is my bread and butter, but forgot to mention, the 14trh is actually my Birthday, so a real sharp addition to my bookshelf would be a nice prestn!~ (Hint, hint) LOL!

    • Do most things myself but some guidence can be a good thing. My 1st build went well but would like to learn more about the upper.

  6. I have paid for some work, do some work myself. I would love to win this book to be able to save more money and buy more toys!

  7. I work on and modify all of my guns, including an AR15. Having all of the technical information and recommendations in one book would be very helpfull.

  8. I’ve been a long-time proponent of self-sufficiency and prefer to do my own work when possible.

    I’ve been accumulating parts for my first AR build (but not my first AR owned) and have amassed a large quantity of tools to go along with them. I think this book will serve its, and my, purpose very well.

  9. Just joined this site and am enjoying it greatly. Am attempting a career change at 50+ yrs old into p/t gunsmithing and custom gun building.I should have done this 20 years ago!! These books would be a nice addition to a mostly empty library :-).

    • Thanks for the feedback AR, we’re glad everyone is enjoying the book giveaways. Patrick Sweeney and AR rifles sure do seem to be sparking some interest!

  10. Do not read Patrick Sweeney’s books – it will cost you a fortune. My problems began after reading the first book of the AR-15. No one had the configuration I wanted for my MSR, so I decided to build one. After a nominal investment in tools from Brownells, Midway and ADCO; I began to gather parts. In less than one week I had a beautiful heavy barrelled 223 varmint rifle that consistently shot much better than 1 MOA with Black Hills red box ammo. Then cam the second book of the AR-15 and Patrick continued to poison my mind. Soon another Stag lower, DPMS upper, Krieger barrel, JP trigger and low profile gas block and a very nice JP long handguard. Krieger machined the barrel to accept the OpsInc suppressor to keep me from scaring the wife half to death as I pop coyotes at dawn. Then came the third book of the AR-15, well that moved me to build a very nice long range 308 using DPMS, Krieger and JP components with another OpsInc suppressor. Now I can enjoy shooting near and far with minimal or no ear protection. Now I also have the opportunity for follow-up shots I no longer need since the bullets go where they are pointed as long as I do my job. Good tools from Brownells, Midway and ADCO supported with knowledge from Patrick Sweeney make Stoner’s creation the peoples rifle. For those whose skills are different than mine the design keeps gunsmithing costs manageable and the plethora of quality parts and accessories make sure you are shooting what you want.

    • I don’t think I’ll take your advice, Mastiff54. I did put my own AR together using a DPMS lower and the rest of the parts from Blackthorne Products… Works Great… but I wish I had one of Sweeney’s books to go by. Instead I used the AR15 website’s recommended videos and step-by-steps that are really awesome… but they Don’t provide the Why’s and Wherefore’s that I love to research. anyhoo, certainly can’t hurt to try and WIN some!

  11. I would have to say both. I do most work myself, but I have had to go to a gunsmith a couple of times. This book would be an invaluable resource.

  12. I’ve got several AR 15s. I just bought an AR 10 lower reciever and the parts to put it together. These books would probably make life a little easier to build an AR 10 also.

    • It’s been some time since I last took apart an AR. With the many different manufactures in todays marketplace, this book would be helpful. The main inner componants I’m sure are the same, but things do change.

    • I have been around the AR platform since 1979. I have built four so far without any problems. I enjoy Mr. Sweeney’s writing, even if I don’t win, this book will be on my shelf soon.

  13. I would do it myself, up to the point where I needed special tools or knowledge, at which point I would go to a gunsmith. The AR rifles can be modified and accurized to quite an extent without the aid of a gunsmith’s shop.

  14. I am going to buy me one for deer season. I dont have any books on them. Would love to learn how to work on them myself. I do all of my on gunsmithing my self.

  15. I have assembled one AR already but, plan on at least two more very soon. It never hurts to get more instruction and easier/better ways to do things.

  16. I haven’t gotten an AR yet, but would like to get me an AR 10 to accessorize! And I would most likely do it myself as I have my other guns.

  17. So far, I do what I can by myself. I built an AR last year on a stripped lower from Charles Daly, using off-the-shelf internal parts and buttstock kits from DPMS, then installing a complete upper unit from BCM. I later added Magpul MOE adjustable buttstock and handguards. It took more than an hour following a step-by-step tutorial online, so having the Sweeney book would be a great help. It would likely remove trepidations about barreling AR upper receivers. I’ve others of Sweeney’s gunsmithing books, plus I’ve been buying and reading the Gun Digest annual for decades. They’re all of incalculable value, and I look forward to adding to that knowledge.

  18. I do as much of my own work as I can, I wanted to do a few minor additions to my AR-15 so I purchased the proper tools, I did however damage some springs and had to replace them and I looked on the internet so I wouldn’t damage any more. I was also able to change some items for my friend. I would definitely like to learn more when working with my AR-15 and I will be able to help my friend’s that also AR’s.

  19. I began building AR’s about 10 years ago as a hobby. Highlights of my many rifles have been a 9mm suppressed SMG that is SBR’ed, a left-handed rifle (before STAG Arms existed) with left side ejection, ambi-mag release, and ambi-charging handle, and I recently got my first custom barrel from Krieger and I’ve built a VERY accurate .223 varmint rifle that I hand reamed the chamber myself. I highly recommend Glen Zediker’s books for tips on accurizing and recommendations on what company’s make quality parts.

  20. I’m building what I hope will be the first of several ARs and my kids have been giving me the parts and pieces for Christmas and birthdays, so now it’s time to start putting the first one together. This book would sure be a big help.

  21. I have two Rock River lowers, one Rifle and one Pistol, and I plan to have several uppers in a varity of cartridges. .50 BMG, anyone? I would love to be able to work on those uppers myself!

  22. I have several of Sweeney’s books. They are well written and organized. This would be a great addition to the collection. You can never have to much information when working on firearms.

  23. I work on mine. I’ve built one complete AR from a un-barreled upper and an empty lower – learned a lot, but a book like this would have been very helpful.

  24. I personally love being able to keep up my AR-15 rifle by myself to get better performance out of it. There’s no better feeling than knowing that I can pop off a 5 shot group and have them all touching because of the work I’ve done. Besides, having a dedicated book would be better than spending hours researching stuff online and would be a great resource.

  25. I work on mine myself…would looove this book rather than looking up a various web pages….gotta love Stoner’s D.I. design make for a accurate rifle


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