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Old 02-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #11
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Maybe there's a reason Magpul hasn't released a poly lower.

Seems like they would have by now if it was feasible.

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #12
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I have a NFA poly lower that I've been sitting on for a while now. Once all the panic stops I figure I can scap an upper at a pretty good price from all the surplus.

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Old 02-05-2013, 01:44 AM   #13
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MagPul isn't really a firearms manufacturer. The Masada rifle/carbine was farmed out to Bushmaster and later Remington. MagPul probably has lots of great ideas, but they focus on what makes money at a price point that's likely to result in a large volume of sales to as many markets as possible. There's not a lot of money to be had producing polymer lowers and the cost of the mold dies is considerable, to put it mildly. Apart from what we're seeing right now, there's a plethora of lower receiver manufacturers out there and collectively there's a flavor of lower receiver for everyone to choose from.

Lower receivers have been manufactured in polymer, 6061 aluminum, 7075 aluminum, various titanium alloys, and steel. Years ago I think I even saw one advertised in beryllium copper alloy. Just because you can do it doesn't mean it will be cost effective or marketable.

I'm sure someone out there might buy a steel AR lower, but the market isn't that big and even if there is a market out there, it's unlikely that any specific manufacturer will make a certain type of lower from a certain type of material.

Polymer is an inexpensive material to work with, lighter than aluminum alloys, and polymer parts can be quite robust if properly designed.

MagPul has lots of time and money invested in providing solutions that are refinements to problems with existing technology. The aluminum magazines work so long as you don't bend the feed lips or dent the body. The problem is that that's not too hard to do. So, MagPul engineered a better magazine from a material that has been proven to be more resilient than aluminum and they've improved the design and provided variations of the design for differing platforms.

NFA has obviously invested some time and money in the production of their polymer lowers. In another 5 years or so, assuming our dictatorship doesn't deem us unfit to possess AR-15's, we'll probably see a lot more manufacturers using polymer lowers to lower cost, improve durability, and remove unnecessary weight.

I am personally cheering for the development of technologies that ultimately lead to cheaper, lighter, more durable weapons. If someone can produce more durable barrels from lighter, non-ferrous alloys I'll be happy to hand my money to that manufacturer to have a qualitatively better product. Some will resist the change and there will be, as with all new products, developmental challenges.

I think improved technology is better than all the nostalgia in the world. Imagine what WWII would have been like for the Germans and Japanese if our infantry had SCAR Mk17's, AR-15's, and EoTech or Aimpoint optics to fight them with. Think any of our soldiers would've thumbed their noses at that type of weaponry? I think not.

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Old 02-05-2013, 08:35 PM   #14
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^^ I agree. I imagine with all the Gov't regs its a total PITA to be a manufacturer. I know I am always thinking about the form 4473 when I buy new, as in do I think this place will be here for 20 years until that form can be shredded or are they going out of business and the ATF getting my form.

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:01 AM   #15
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Get what you can. I'd rather have a functional rifle than banter the diff between aluminum and plastic. I'm not a fan of plastic pieces with holes. Plastic lowers and Glocks are two different animals. Glocks will be here tomorrow, AR stuff who knows.

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Old 02-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #16
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I think a poly lower receiver can be a fine option for a cheap and light beater AR that you won't mind knocking around a bit. I have some that I've yet to build on, so I have no first hand experience with the ones I own.

But when it comes to poly lowers, I would not...

  • Spend more than $100 for a stripped or $200 for a complete lower (even now)
  • Assemble a spendy build around a cheap poly lower
  • Count on a poly lower for a serious business, go-to rifle
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:01 PM   #17
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as always, the answer is "it depends"

is it a daily duty use weapon that your life will depend on? or something that you want to put together for cheap to go eff off with at the range?

I bought a plum crazy lower and a DS Arms upper, I had a complete AR for about $450. it works fine. shoots well. I had about 400 rounds through it before I sold it to my buddy because he has always wanted an AR, I had 2, the market skyrocketed, and I was able to sell it to him for a small profit which allowed me to buy a gun that I've always wanted, and because I only charged him $600 when the same build would be selling for double that at gun shows, gunbroker, etc. due to the current panic...I don't feel guilty at all, I actually feel like I gave him a pretty good deal because he wanted to get one NOW just in case some sort of legislation DOES pass.

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:57 PM   #18
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I just got my second complete NFA lower today from my FFL dealer. I have my ATI .22 upper on the first one, as I can't get a friggin .223 upper for anything close to reasonable right now to strap on it.

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralPatton View Post
I just got my second complete NFA lower today from my FFL dealer. I have my ATI .22 upper on the first one, as I can't get a friggin .223 upper for anything close to reasonable right now to strap on it.
I would feel more comfortable shooting a .22LR than a .223 on a non-metal receiver, whether it be upper or lower.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #20
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I've fired a poly lower gun before, it is no different than the aluminum lower besides it weighs a bit less.

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