How to destroy an AR-15


Originally published at:


Somewhere Charlton Heston is weeping.


what about a hammer shredder or a hydraulic press… seems much more complete and less hand labor intensive


If you have a bunch to do:


Do they explicitly state to unload the gun first?

While you may be thinking “Surely that’s self explanatory…” the number of people who injure themselves while cleaning their fully-loaded firearms suggests that it might be something that needs to be in a large, assertive-yet-friendly, font.

I can’t help but notice that the image here on BoingBoing still shows the clip inserted.


Less practical, but potentially more satisfying: “Melt the Guns” by XTC:


Hearing that a bandsaw or cutting wheel might not ensure destruction, I kind of want to see someone on youtube attempt to fire an assault rifle that’s been chopped up and reconnected.


This only destroys the serial numbered part that makes the non-importable machine gun a machine gun.

All of the other parts can be left intact, allowing importation of the components for use as spare parts for registered machine guns and/or as parts to build/maintain semi-automatic versions of same.

When done by the DoD, on its property before selling it to civilians, this process is known as “DEMILing”, short for de-militarizing. As was learned through several insufficient DEMILings over the years, industrious scrap buyers often find a way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.


Many such rifles historically found their way into the market. They are commonly known as “rewelds”.

The key here is that only the receiver need be destroyed. The rest of the firearm is merely gun parts.

The problem with cutting wheels and bandsaws is that the kerf is too narrow and too easily re-welded.


AR-15 is an expensive dick enlarger, does it work?


You don’t need to be THAT thourgh with an AR if you just want to destroy it. The lower part is the receiver and the part that makes it a “gun”. With a machine gun, like the FAL in the image, cutting it in half once could be fairly easy to weld it back together since it is steel. That is why they want 3 cuts. as it should weaken it to a point that trying to weld it back together isn’t worth it. I’ve seen tack (?) welded lowers on older machine guns to make non-firing relics. If you have a class III manufactures license you can try to weld one back together, which with some of them is possible but a lot of work.

ARs are aluminum which are much more difficult to weld and make a weld strong enough to not break. That and they are so cheap and plentiful, there is no really point to other than an exercise to prove you could. I am sure you could sand down a black of aluminum into a receiver, but it would be a huge waste of time. Taking a band saw to it would be quick and easy, like this guy did after getting a supposedly out of spec lower.

IIRC when the Army disposes of them, they use those giant metal shredder things.

The one word of caution is that that TECHNICALLY some of these #oneless people are creating illegal SBRs when they cut down the barrel first. Now, granted, I doubt the ATF will go after you, but I’d still destroy the receiver first, then destroy the upper from the back to the front. Should keep you “legal”. Also, as someone else mentioned, but it bears repeating - be sure it is unloaded.


At least Dick’s is following through on their promise to not sell this type of weapon anymore. Good news/bad news is that you can go to another part of town to a Dunham’s and buy one for as little as $300 (assuming you only want to use it once).


Oh good god don’t go torching your AR-15 receiver unless you know what the hell you’re doing. Cutting torches aren’t toys, molten metal is extremely dangerous, and depending on what the receiver is made from, you run the risk of setting the metal itself on fire.

These are instructions for the ATF, not for rando people. If this is something you want to do, disassemble it into its constituent pieces, and cut them up with a band saw, hacksaw, or other cutting implement. A lot of AR-15 receivers are made of aluminum or polymer which will cut better with one of those tools than a torch anyway. If you go to use a torch on aluminum, you’re going to make a big blobby mess, which might render it unusable, but it also might render you on fire.


Thank you. It’s nice to see someone who knows what they’re talking about.

I think most people don’t realize just what a simple item a stripped AR lower is. It is a “gun”? Yes, but its also a hunk of aluminum with no moving parts that ships with a lock for some reason. Everything else, triggers, hammers, gas tubes, barrels, grips, stocks, buffer tubes can be bought online and shipped to your home.

The thought of shooting a “re-weld” is terrifying. I had a firecracker blow up in my hands as a kid. That was enough explosions in my hands for one lifetime.


Indeed. And for God’s sake, don’t just cut the barrel and gas tube off! Separate the lower from the upper, then saw. I don’t agree with #OneLess, but if you’re gonna do anything, do it right.

Take if from the old dude with lots of burn scars on his hands: torches are not toys, and should only be handled by people who know what the hell they’re doing (or wearing thick, thick fireproof gloves.) #themoreyouknow


It’s amazing. I mean, I could barely walk before, but now I’m doing the full-on Randy Marsh wheelbarrow experience. The back strain alone is incredible. Flipped past Game of Thrones once and fractured 3 vertebra from the leverage. It’s so incredible that I gotta use a damn 10x scope to be intimate with my wife now. I’m a hell of a marksman, but at that kind of range, it’s tough to hit a target that small.

So, yes.

(edited for South Park trivia failure)



Indeed. And for God’s sake, don’t just cut the barrel and gas tube off! Separate the lower from the upper, then saw. I don’t agree with #OneLess, but if you’re gonna do anything, do it right.

Hell, I’m not even all that old and I’ve got some torch “battle damage.”

And yes, separate and saw. Thoroughly disassemble and saw. You also don’t want to go cutting through any loaded springs. Even cutting a spring with a pair of side cutters or the like sometimes produces red-hot pieces of metal that like to go places like your eyeballs. Total disassembly, remove the springs.

I don’t really think that getting rid of AR-15s will substantially reduce gun violence in the US because I think the violence is a symptom of a bigger problem, but I laud the fact that individuals are at least attempting to help outside of their own self interest and I want them to be able to destroy the weapon safely.


AR-15 is an expensive dick enlarger, does it work?

I absolutely, absolutely, appreciate the catharsis of this joke, but most people who own firearms aren’t using them as genital inadequacy compensators. If we want to make progress toward fixing the problem, we are going to have to set cathartic things like that aside and address the issues without sounding like we’re “a bunch of holier-than-though know-it-all leftists.” That does mean that we’re going to have to stand here stone-faced while people hurl far worse insults at us, but that is the unfortunate cost of taking the high road.


Or simply because the majority of gun violence involved handguns, not long arms whether they are semiautomatic or not.


I believe you mean Randy Marsh, unless there is an episode I missed.


A bit of both, I’d say.