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Outdoor Equipment Guide (www.oegmag.com)

American Spirit Arms
By: Ron England

Over the course of the last few months, We have received e-mail from quite a few readers who have been asking us about building various types of AR-15 rifles from kits. We decided to get in a couple of kits, build the rifles and "see what we could see".

I contacted American Spirit Arms, of Scottsdale Arizona, about reviewing one of their kits. I asked which kit they would like to have reviewed and they quickly requested that we review two different kits. One of the kits would be a 24-inch bull barrel flat top model, the other a 20-inch A2 model. I spoke with the staff at American Spirit Arms for quite awhile about their kits, the quality of parts they used, how fast they are able to ship orders, and the various models of completed rifles that they offer. I came away from the conversation feeling pretty good about the quality of the kits that we would be receiving and even better about confidence the staff of American Spirit Arms has in their products.

We received the kits as well as the lower receivers that we ordered in 3 days. This is a very major plus for American Spirit Arms, especially because I know for a fact there are other companies out there who offer kits, lowers and complete rifles as well as a month or more of waiting time for their products to ship.

While I was in the military, I had the opportunity to attend Unit Armorer school. It was not in the scope of my military occupation, but I really enjoyed tinkering with weapons and I took the advice of someone older and wiser who told me never to turn down any type of school in the military. I finished the school as the Distinguished Honor Grad, which means that with the proper manuals, tools, parts and a workbench to bang my head on, it is entirely possible that I can figure out what is wrong with a weapon and, on occasion, fix it.

The first thing I did with the kits was a serious "quality control" check of the small parts. All of the small parts, from the trigger to the detent pins, were clean and free of any burring. Next came a thorough check of the lower receivers. Usually, you can find some type of debris in one of the holes for a detent spring, inside the trigger group area or in the buffer detent area, there was none present. The debris found in these areas, the result of finishing the lower, is not a major concern but does add an extra step to building the lower when you have to clean them out. The finish of both lower receivers showed no sign of flaws and was an even matte black.

After checking all of the components involved, I started to build the lowers. Everything went pretty smoothly and the fit of each part was exceptional. After checking and re-checking the assembly of the lowers, I switched over to the uppers.

AR-15 20 Inch Barrel


The first upper I picked up was the 20-inch A2. The staff at American Spirit Arms assembled both of the entire upper receivers, a service that they offer for free with the purchase of a kit. I went through anyway and checked the head spacing and function of all the other parts involved. Everything was assembled correctly. I then switched over to the 24-inch bull barrel. Everything checked out so now it was time to look more closely at each upper.
24 Inch Bull Barrel AR-15


The finishes, on the forged uppers were also free from defects and were also an even matte black. The barrel on the A2 model is a 20 inch Wilson national match with a 1 in 8 twist. The bull barreled model featured a Wilson 24 inch 1:8 twist stainless steel National Match bull barrel, a forged free floating aluminum handguard, gas block, and Harris Bipod. The bull barrel model also included a hard chrome plated bolt carrier assembly. Both of the uppers mated with both lowers perfectly, showing the tight tolerances that American Spirit Arms demands.

We will be mounting a few different types of optics on this rifle in the very near future. Check back for part two of this article, which will cover the actual test firing of this weapon. Until then check out American Spirit Arms at www.americanspiritarms.com