Why You Should Engrave Your AR-15 This Year

Owned by more than 5 million Americans, the AR-15 is one of the most popular firearms in the United States. One of the reasons this is such a popular rifle is because of it’s almost endless possibilities for customization.

Custom engraved logo on lower receiver of AR-15 rifle

Engraving your firearm is typically another aspect of your firearm that you can customize. However, in some cases you may need to get your firearm engraved for legal purposes. While we go into this further later in the article, it basically comes down to whether or not you are planning on customizing your rifle. If so, you have to have your registered information engraved on the rifle. We will talk about that a little more in the next section.

Why Should I Laser Engrave My AR-15?

Thanks to the ATF’s eForms filling system, registering a firearm (as an NFA device) is a relatively easy process. Many gun enthusiasts claim that it has never been easier. However, there is a lot of confusion and ambiguity on whether you need to get your firearm engraved. Ask a few people around you – their answers will vary greatly in subject and length. So let us cut straight to the chase. Do you need to engrave your AR-15? Yes, absolutely!

If you purchase an AR-15, it will already have the manufacturers details on it. However, many people choose this semi-automatic rifle since it offers a lot of room for customization. Now, if you choose to customize your rifle, even if it’s just changing your stock, you are still technically “remanufacturing “ the firearm. Whoever filled out the ATF eForm to register the gun as an NFA device now becomes the manufacturer of the rifle. This means that you need to have your information engraved on the gun.

Many people will tell you that you only need to engrave it if you want to sell it. If you modify your AR-15 (NFA), you need to engrave it – period. Even if you don’t plan to sell it right now, chances are, you will want to sell it at some point in time or at least transfer it to somebody else in the family. However, the law states that EVERY NFA firearm you create needs to be engraved with the proper information.

Although, even if you don’t own an NFA firearm, that doesn’t stop you from engraving something fun on your rifle like this guy!

Custom engraved spartan helmet on lower receiver of AR-15 rifle

What Can I Engrave On It?

Unless you’re making a firearm from scratch, it already bears the manufacturer’s name and details, which includes the caliber, serial number, and manufacturing location. Now, when you make changes to the firearm (for the purpose of improving accuracy, speed, etc.), you become the new maker and your details must also be engraved on it.

If the weapon is registered to you, it should bear your name followed by the location (city and state) on the next line. For example:


If the firearm is registered to a company, the engraving should look like this:


If you’re making a firearm from scratch (it’ll be registered as NFA), you should engrave the following details:

SN: (should be same as on form 1)
CAL: (should match with form 1)
MODEL: (optional)

Note: Model is optional, you are not required to add it. If you included it in form 1, then it needs to be engraved on the gun too.

Besides this basic information, you can also engrave almost anything else! This includes logos, custom graphics, or just plain text on the rifle. Remember, you don’t have to have an NFA firearm to engrave something on it!

Where Should I Engrave My AR-15?

Custom engraved military emblem on lower receiver of AR-15 rifle

According to the law, you can engrave the frame, receiver or the barrel of your rifle. However, for the AR 15, we usually recommend that you engrave the lower receiver. This allows you to change upper receivers without having to go through the engraving procedure all over again.

Say that you don’t want to make any changes to your AR-15. You bought from the manufacturer in stock condition and intend to keep it that way. Chances are, this firearm will remain in your family for years to come (you’ve got to maintain it of course). Why not leave your mark on it (literally) by engraving something that is meaningful to you?

Even though the AR stands for Armalite Rifle, many people joke that it really means America’s Rifle, which, in a way, is also true! The United States is the land of customization; We like to customize everything – from our pizzas and burgers to our cars. A stock item looks a little bland in our part of the world, so engraving your AR-15 with something cool lends it some personality and a bad-ass American attitude. There are countless options and ideas for engraving – a quick google search will help you to come up with some very cool ideas of your own.

How Much Does Laser Engraving Cost?

For firearms, it is recommended that you opt for laser engraving. Laser technology is very precise and is a ‘non-contact’ form of engraving. This means that there is no friction between the firearm and any external machinery during the marking process. Thus, the engraving is done without affecting the performance and inner components of your AR-15 in anyway whatsoever.

Lasers are capable of producing both 2D and 3D markings which allows for greater customization options. You can engrave almost any kind of graphic, logo or text and it will stay there for decades to come. The fact that the markings can be very accurate makes them hard to tamper with as well as help protect your identity. Laser markings can be engraved on several parts of the gun including the barrel, magazine, receiver, etc. But, most importantly, laser marking is easy on the wallet. The actual cost varies depending upon the material, text, logo, graphic etc., but it certainly won’t break the bank!

Find out how much engraving your firearm will be at Hai Tech Lasers today!

Note: This article has been put forth with the best intentions but it does not constitute legal advice. You are responsible for engraving your firearm in accordance with the law.

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