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Evolution of an AR*chitect: Level 1

AR Build

This blog is the start of a 5 part series on the evolution of an AR*chitect.

What is an AR*chitect you might ask? Well, it is someone who upgrades, builds, and maintains their own AR platform rifles.

Let’s dive in and start at level 1.

This is the level for the new person looking to buy their first AR rifle or has just purchased an AR rifle and has questions. If you are a new gun owner or thinking of becoming one we highly suggest that you take a gun safety course. These classes are usually available at your local indoor range/retail gun store.

Safety is and always will be first and foremost at the top of the list for new gun owners. If you think you might be a Level 1 AR*chitect, and even if you are more advanced, take some time to familiarize yourself with these important safety rules to make sure you are prepared to shoot safe the next time you take your AR out.

12 basic rules of gun safety

    1. Always treat the gun as if it is loaded (even when you know it is not).
    2. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
    3. Always keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
    4. Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
    5. Never point the gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.
    6. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
    7. Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the gun you are using.
    8. Always use proper Ammunition.
    9. Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before loading and shooting.
    10. If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, hold your shooting position for several seconds; then, carefully unload the gun with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
    11. Don’t rely on the gun’s safety to keep it from firing.
    12. Be aware of your surroundings when handling guns so you don’t trip or lose your balance and accidentally point and/or fire the gun at anyone or anything.


Range Safety and Protocol

    1. Follow the 12 golden gun safety rules.
    2. Know and follow all the rules of the Shooting Range.
    3. Listen and do what the Range Master tells you to do.
    4. Uncase and case your gun at the shooting bench, never behind the safety line.
    5. Always keep the barrel pointed down range.
    6. Always keep the gun on safe until you intend to shoot.
    7. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
    8. Never shoot at water or hard surfaces.


Hunting Safety Rules

    1. Follow the 12 golden gun safety rules.
    2. When hunting in a group, always pick one person to act as a Safety Officer for the Day or Trip.
    3. Establish and share everyone’s zone of fire with each other and know where everyone is at all times.
    4. Always keep the gun on safe until you intend to shoot.
    5. Never climb over anything with a loaded gun in your hand or on your person.
    6. Never use a scope on a gun as Binoculars.
    7. If you fall or trip, control your muzzle. Afterward, check the gun for damage and/or obstructions in the barrel.
    8. When in Doubt; Don’t shoot.


These same ranges usually offer an introductory AR course as well.

In these courses, you can expect to learn:

  • How your rifle works
  • How to disassemble and clean it 
  • How to troubleshoot the different modes of failure
  • What all of those crazy acronyms mean (FTF, FTE, BCG, LRBHO, FCG, etc)
  • Ammo and barrel twist rates and how the two interact. 
  • A basic history of the AR rifle.

Welcome to Level 1!

For more resources to help expedite your growth as a Level 1 AR*chitect, be sure to check out our website and join our various platforms for educational purposes. The AR*chitect Facebook Group is a great judgment-free place to gain knowledge, and we do weekly videos on the BYOAR Facebook Page covering all aspects of AR ownership.

In our next blog, we will jump into level 2. We will be covering the maintenance of our rifles and basic repairs. See ya then! In the meantime…


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