A Vonuan Guide to Firearms Part II: Build or Buy?

To build or to buy, that is the question.

-Shakespeare probably

welcome back to the second part of the five-part series, A Vonuan Guide to Firearms. If you haven’t already, please take a look at Part 1 – Selection. I covered a lot of ground on the legal bullshit in that first part, so I’ll try to keep that to a minimum in part two. If you are just starting out with gun buying, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially all the stats, jargon, nomenclature, models, etc. That’s okay, you have to start somewhere! Maybe you decided that everyday carry is important to you since you are on the road so much or to get a weapon for home defense first. Eventually, you might purchase firearms for a dual purpose or you might buy multiple firearms. Maybe you are on a budget and just don’t have the money for a $3,000 rifle right now, that’s fine too. I don’t think you need to spend a lot to get a good, quality weapon that’s reliable and you can count on in defense of your life and the lives of others.

A Polish AK-47 sitting in front of an XMR mining rig.

Certainly, by now (or at least after reading part I) you are not going to count on the bludgies to protect you.

So, Build or Buy?

I think the decision will depend on a few things. How much time do you have? Also, is there a concern that the rulers in your geographical location will progressively clamp down on your ability to defend yourself? If so, you’ll need to keep your privacy, maybe more so than someone that just walks into a gun store and buys one. Obviously, in certain countries, you are not going to be able to do that and so building might be your only option. In Commiefornia (in the United States), there are so many bullshit regulations around gun ownership that it makes citizens de-facto criminals (how is the “shall not infringe” part of the constitution working out?) Like, all those guns I lost in that tragic boating accident a while back… 😉 How do the rulers know you built the rifle or just left the parts lying around? And, why is it any of their damn business?

There’s tons of legal bullshit out there from registration requirements to the prohibition of gun ownership if you have a license/prescription/ permission slip to smoke marijuana for medical purposes.

At some point, you’re gonna need to make a decision (and I can’t make it for you nor am I telling you to do something illegal) to continue your right to use any means necessary to defend yourself and family despite the magic pieces of paper decreed by the rulers.

Another reason is money. Building firearms can quickly become costly. Not only do you have to buy the parts, but also the tools and equipment to complete a successful build. If you are building multiple firearms, it might be worth buying tons of expensive tools, or you might be able to use the tools in other areas. For example, you could use a torque wrench for torquing down a barrel to a lower receiver on an AR-15 but can also use it to repair your car, to tighten lug nuts or something. I won’t cover how to actually build firearms in this section since this would take writing a book on its own, but there are lots of great forums out there to get you started, such as AR-15.com. I started on this forum by looking at all the diagrams and taking an inventory of just what I would need to build an AR-15 from scratch.

All in all the entire building process took me roughly 4-5 months. But, this was because I was on a fixed budget and I didn’t have a lot of money up front to just drop a few thousand on an AR so spending a few hundred each month buying parts worked really well for me. I also didn’t have a workbench in my basement and other tools that I needed, so I went to Harbor Freight and got many of the tools on the cheap. I also needed these tools for around the house, so I wasn’t spending money on tools to just use them once. Things like hammers, rubber mallets, vice grips, a vice, etc. One other great set of tools I’d recommend is a Roll Pin Punch Set which you can find on Amazon.com. Overall on my first build, I think I spent a little over 2,000 USD, but it was spread out over several months.

Legal Note: You need only have the lower receiver shipped to a licensed FFL dealer in the US. The rest of the parts will ship directly to your doorstep or PO Box (with a US shipping address).

AR-15 lower receiver (stripped).

Ghost Gunning, Receiver Milling

Ghost gunning, 3-D printing, and milling of weapons is another alternative. Cody Wilson has revolutionized the availability of weapons to people and it’s really a testament of how if there is a demand, the market provides. We all have a right as humans to have an unfettered right to defend ourselves. Also, if you haven’t already, listen to the awesome 3-hour interview with Ivan the Troll of Deterrence Dispensed TVP Episode #54!

Hardware for milling receivers

Operating manual for GG2 and DDCut Software

Fosscad-Repo CAD Files Casche

Disclaimer: I have not tested this or actually tried 3-D printing it, but the materials and content appear to be there. The plans are not readily available due to the State Department’s demands that Cody take down the plans. The legal battle, as far as I know, is still ongoing. You can read about it more here.

Cody Wilson: Happiness is a 3-D Printed Gun

Buying Guns and Gun Parts with Crypto

There is so much hype surrounding this topic. Most of the sites I visited were dead ends from links I clicked through on bullshit fear mongering articles like, 7 shocking things you can buy with bitcoin most of which are written just to demonize crypto and the free markets. As if using cash and buying gun parts at a gun show or somewhere else wasn’t exactly the same as using crypto. So clearing away all the hype, there were a few legit sites I found where you could purchase a few parts with bitcoin online. However, to really purchase any meaningful parts or to purchase an entire assembled firearm, technically you could still purchase with crypto, but you’d still have to visit a physical location (i.e. FFL) and fill out the proper paperwork, submit to an FBI background check, etc. I’d imagine you could always ask your local gun store if they would take alternative forms of payment. The worst thing they can say is no.

I was really disappointed when I looked into purchasing some gun parts with crypto. It appears that most of it is hype and there is not one good website I can point to that has a decent selection of parts you can purchase with crypto, at least not enough to assemble a large portion of a rifle or pistol (e.g. AR-15 upper receivers which don’t require an FFL. It would be nice to purchase a few of these with some bitcoin).

Wholesale Gun Parts
website: https://wholesalegunparts.com

I found that there wasn’t much of a selection on here that you could actually have ship directly to your door without shipping to an FFL location. If you click through most of the links, you’ll find some parts, but it looks like for the most part assembled guns are available for sale with crypto, but you’ll need to ship them to your local gun store and pick them up from there. When I try to get to the page to purchase ammo it leads me to a dead end.

Frontier Tactical
website: https://www.frontiertactical.com

Frontier Tactical: Can you or can you not pay with BTC? Your website says you can.

There are some good parts on here like optics, but again the selection is limited. I’m not sure what the reasoning is, if some of these vendors are just scared of the legal implications of opening up their entire inventory for purchase with bitcoin, or if they’d rather allow you to pay with bitcoin in their physical store, where they can identify you first hand. I found a good selection of optics but still, it appears unusually limited. They also have Magpul magazines.

Physical Locations

Central Texas Gun Works – Austin, TX
website: https://centraltexasgunworks.com

There’s a pretty decent selection of items here, but it looks like to use bitcoin you have to make a purchase in store. I didn’t make a purchase, but when I added something from the online store to the cart and then go to pay for it, it only gives me credit card as an option.

Private Sale

The other alternative is to do a voluntary exchange with a friend, family member, or arrange an exchange outside of a gun show or safe venue. Most Statists will question the legality of this, but last time I checked two consenting people exchanging property for whatever currency or method of payment that they choose is still legal. The legal interstice here being that a background check by a dealer who magically paid the extortion fee necessary to be pronounced a special dealer of firearms doesn’t have to be involved. It is virtually impossible to regulate all private transactions, the rulers rely on self-reporting and your fellow serfs ratting you out.

Buying Ammo, Guns, and Gun Parts with Federal Reserve Notes

At some point, you are going to have to just break down and use FRNs to buy guns, ammo, and gun parts. The good news is, 99% of the items can be shipped directly to your door if you have a US address, all except lower receivers. Here are some of my favorite sites for the purchase of parts and ammo.

Midway USA
website: https://www.midwayusa.com

This has been by far the best site for purchase of ammo and parts at a really decent price. I’ve ordered from Midway dozens of times and never had any problems. My ammo and parts always arrive within days. I think the largest order I’ve placed is like 3,000 rounds. Just be smart, you and I both know someone somewhere is watching. Buying pallets of ammo is going to set up some serious red flags somewhere. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to increase my vulnerability to a coercive police state with unlimited resources anytime soon.

5.56mm green tips ordered in bulk.

Cheaper Than Dirt!
website: https://www.cheaperthandirt.com

Another great website with great prices on ammo and parts shipped right to your door. There’s even a pretty extensive blog called The Shooter’s Log they have with guides, tutorials, and videos as well. You can really see how their vast selection is pretty incredible.
Compare this to the selection available to crypto buyers and you can clearly see how there’s gotta be some intentional limiting going on there on the part of vendors that are holding themselves out there as taking bitcoin/crypto. Why offer to take bitcoin at all if you’re going to severely limit your selection? Hype probably.

Other Online Gun Parts Venders

Spike’s Tactical
website: https://www.spikestactical.com
Great selection of AR-15 parts

Strike Industries
website: https://www.strikeindustries.com/shop
AR and .308 gun parts, 1911 & Glock Accessories

Bravo Company (BCM)
website: http://www.bravocompanyusa.com
Tactical gear, match barrels, charging handles, other AR parts.

Palmetto State Armory
website: https://palmettostatearmory.com
Ammo, discount parts & accessories, magazines. Good selection of various model types; AK-47, AR-15, 1911, AR-10

Brownell’s
website: https://www.brownells.com
Discount gun parts and accessories, reloading & gunsmithing tools

I hope you enjoyed part one of this 5 part series – Part 2 – Build or Buy? I hope you will continue reading the later series which I plan to write soon. Stay tuned!

Five Part Series-
Part 1 – Selecting and purchasing a firearm for a specific purpose (like any tool) COMPLETED
Part 2 – Building or buying? Legal ramifications and bullshit in various regions, buying gun parts with cryptocurrency COMPLETED
Part 3 – Basic safety rules, firing, and maintenance
Part 4 – Disassembly/reassembly of common firearms (1911, S&W M&P, AR-15, AK-47)
Part 5 – Wrap up and recap

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