It seems to be a common argument from gun owners these days:

“Why would I build a rifle from a kit when there are so many complete rifles at more affordable prices?”

The folks who say that are usually the types that can’s change the oil in their cars and will call a tow truck before reaching for a spare tire when they get a flat.

So, in the interest of fair play we put together a list of five reasons why building a gun from a kit is better than buying one.

Cost
For the most part, the kits that we sell are for firearms that are no longer made or imported, but it is true that some of them can still be bought on the secondary market, for extremely high prices. When you build from a kit you can usually save a lot of money, particularly if you intend to actually shoot it.

An original bpre-1989 imported FN-FAL or FN-FNC can cost upwards of $5000. This is because collectors have interest in these rifles as they are no longer imported.

Building a FAL from one of our kits plus a receiver and the gun smithing required to install the barrel is ¼ to 1/5 that price. If you actually want to shoot the rifle, the kit gun will stay at the same price point whereas the pre-ban version will deteriorate in value with every shot.

Build it your way
Let’s say you want to build an AK-47. Maybe there are features that you want from the
Hungarian AMD 65, but you cannot stand the plastic handguard that is found on the rifle’s
factory offering.

With a kit gun you are free to mix and match parts to build the particular rifle your way. You can go with another barrel, perhaps one that is chrome lined or swap out hand guards, stocks or pistol grips for something that fits you or your build in a better way.

Availability
One of the more interesting firearms of the Cold War era was the Czech made VZ-61 Skorpion
machine pistol chambered in 32 ACP. A few semiautomatic versions of this classic piece were
imported a decade ago, but try going to your local Bass Pro Shop or Sportsman’s Warehouse to
find one. You may find one on one of the firearms auction sites, but the prices will have you
thinking that they are gold plated instead of parkerized. Building a VZ-61 or any of the more
obscure pieces from our kits let’s you put the piece you want in your hands.

Sense of accomplishment
It is one thing to go to the range and show off a new SIG Sauer or Glock handgun that you just
bought. Congratulations, you have fine taste and a little bit of money.

How much more bragging rights do you get when you show off the latest rifle that you “built”
with your own two hands and a little elbow grease?

When you have a rifle that you pieced together, pounded rivets, sanded the wood furniture, head spaced the barrel or timed the action; you have a firearm that you completed on your own time that is as much of a prize as a hand restored classic car is to some people.

Building is half the fun
In addition to building from kits, we often buy broken firearms or ones that were “bubbaed” as
winter projects to work on when the snow is deep outside. After you get the hang of building a
few kits, most of the building, fitting, and repair or restoration process on other firearms become second nature.

To us, it has become a fun and rewarding hobby, almost as enjoyable as actually shooting the
fruits of our labor.

In all honesty, though, you don’t need five reasons to build a gun from a kit.

All you need is one.