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Old 10-28-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default AR Lowers: Minimum

I need to find the most inexpensive lower that's still workable quality. I keep reading some are absolute crap, but nobody ever lists which brands, so I don't know what to avoid.

Any guidance is appreciated....

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Old 10-28-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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What are you looking to do?

Basically any lower is going to be fine, as long as it's not some cheap pot metal piece of crap that was made in China.

Billet is the best, as it was forged from one block of Aluminum, almost always by CNC. These are brands like LaRue, Black Rain Ord, Sundevil, POF-USA

The "middle" are the forgings, these start life as a solid piece of stock. There is nothing wrong with them and the AR receiver, especially the lower, is little more than a rugged piece to hold parts together. It doesn't serve any fantastic, cosmic, accuracy enhancing properties as long as the upper and lower match up and aren't all sloppy.

The problem with forgings, that I have seen, is they are not as "polished". They have chatter marks and they have subtle imperfections, but nothing that will keep it from working. These are everywhere and as long as they are mil spec, they will receive just about any parts kit you can find. The Zombie Defense one for sale here is a fine example. Newer DPMS, Stag, Bushmaster, they are all the same basic aluminum lower. A forged lower is going to be fine and will save you some cash on the front end.

The "lower" end are the cast ones. Cast ones look nicer, because they don't have chatter marks and their lives start as hollow stock that is made to fit. A cast lower generally will have raised lettering on the side ( so will a Billet if they choose to go that route but it will be 3x the price of a cast. ) where a forging will have a stamped or cut in place lettering.
Olympic arms, for example, used to sell cast lowers, but not any more. I believe old school DPMS, Eagle Arms, some old Colt that were sold outside the country and anything manufactured in South Africa or some such place will most likely be Cast.

As a rule of thumb, buy a good American brand from a company with a good name and you are probably getting a quality forging. Unless you are buying a $300 lower, then you are probably getting Billet.

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Old 10-28-2010, 04:15 PM   #3
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now that you know way more than most let's get to the important part. What has the coolest logo.
I went with the Spikes tactical spider. $99.00
They also have a pirate model that would be perfect for you you lil pirate you. But it is $249.00


ST-15 stripped rifle lower Semi/Safe [STLS013] - $99.00 : Spikes Tactical

strippedst15semisafe_lrg.jpg   cj-20lower_lrg.jpg  
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
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Parley.

Arrgh.

PLUNDER!

Epic!!

If only someone had a, oh wait, this isn't the Bunker.

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Old 11-02-2010, 12:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post

Basically any lower is going to be fine, as long as it's not some cheap pot metal piece of crap that was made in China.
Hate to disagree, but this statement is not correct. Just any lower is not going to be fine and there is a lot of US made crap floating around. Take Roggio Arsenal as an example...80-90% of their lowers are not within specs. Problems ranged from requiring a hammer to insert takedown pins to offset mounting holes. For awhile they accepted returns on these defective lowers, but they've since stopped.

I'm speaking from personal experience...I sent my lower back to them 3 times and never got things resolved. Each time they sent me a "new" one with a different problem. Now I'm stuck with one which I had to weld the trigger guard on and has an elongated rear takedown hole.

As for the OP...inexpensive and quality normally do not go in the same sentence. You get what you pay for. If you really want to save money, find a good used one and build up from there.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Colt808 View Post
Hate to disagree, but this statement is not correct. Just any lower is not going to be fine and there is a lot of US made crap floating around. Take Roggio Arsenal as an example...80-90% of their lowers are not within specs. Problems ranged from requiring a hammer to insert takedown pins to offset mounting holes. For awhile they accepted returns on these defective lowers, but they've since stopped.

I'm speaking from personal experience...I sent my lower back to them 3 times and never got things resolved. Each time they sent me a "new" one with a different problem. Now I'm stuck with one which I had to weld the trigger guard on and has an elongated rear takedown hole.
You need to quote the full statement if you are going to disagree, because actually you are agreeing.

Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but a simple google of "Roggio Arsenal" would have led you to a huge treasure trove of information that basically detailed your problem to a "T".

In addition, Roggio Arsenal fits into the category of "Bubba's tire and AR store' which we at FTF have talked about many times here concerning buying American. As the OP is a regular, bordering on Plank Holder, here at FTF, I am sure he has read these comments in spades.

Good luck with your AR problems. It would appear that Roggio is being sued on many fronts.

JD
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt808 View Post
Hate to disagree, but this statement is not correct. Just any lower is not going to be fine and there is a lot of US made crap floating around. Take Roggio Arsenal as an example...80-90% of their lowers are not within specs. Problems ranged from requiring a hammer to insert takedown pins to offset mounting holes. For awhile they accepted returns on these defective lowers, but they've since stopped.

I'm speaking from personal experience...I sent my lower back to them 3 times and never got things resolved. Each time they sent me a "new" one with a different problem. Now I'm stuck with one which I had to weld the trigger guard on and has an elongated rear takedown hole.

As for the OP...inexpensive and quality normally do not go in the same sentence. You get what you pay for. If you really want to save money, find a good used one and build up from there.
Quote:
as long as it's not some cheap pot metal piece of crap...
OP didn't say ANY lower is ok, he said any lower that is not otherwise a piece of crap is ok. Obviously the lowers you purchased are crap.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
You need to quote the full statement if you are going to disagree, because actually you are agreeing.

Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but a simple google of "Roggio Arsenal" would have led you to a huge treasure trove of information that basically detailed your problem to a "T".

In addition, Roggio Arsenal fits into the category of "Bubba's tire and AR store' which we at FTF have talked about many times here concerning buying American. As the OP is a regular, bordering on Plank Holder, here at FTF, I am sure he has read these comments in spades.

Good luck with your AR problems. It would appear that Roggio is being sued on many fronts.

JD

Actually it was a disagreement with the quoted statement and even after reading it twice, I don't see how it can be read as my agreeing. But you're right I should've quoted it as a whole and perhaps highlighted it in red.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post

Basically any lower is going to be fine, as long as it's not some cheap pot metal piece of crap that was made in China.
As for Googling...it would've been helpful before my making the purchase, but it was a $65 impulse buy at a gun show which proves the adage...you get what you pay for. In any case, I'm happy it hasn't blown up. Yet.

I wasn't aware of Roggio being sued. However it wouldn't matter in my case because as part of the exchange process I had to submit a letter indemnifying them of liability for trying to rectify the issue. Clearly they saw it coming.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:44 AM   #9
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OP didn't say ANY lower is ok, he said any lower that is not otherwise a piece of crap is ok. Obviously the lowers you purchased are crap.
Read the quote again before claiming I said something I did not. My disagreement was not with the poster, just the statment that "Basically any lower is going to be fine..." Nothing about pot metal, because I don't think anyone would have difficulty telling the difference in materials.

Roggio's RA-15 forgings are by no means made of cheap pot metal. They're all 7075 aluminum just like 95% of all lowers out there. So unless you took a micrometer and a spec sheet, you would not be able to tell the difference. Hindsight is 20/20, I'm not defending RA and their poor quality control, just pointing out that it's not so easy to tell.

But hey, I appreciate your statement of the obvious. The LOWER I purchased is without a doubt crap...it's one out of about 18 others I've bought, built, tested and sold. To imply by your statment that I only have crap is incorrect.

If not for experiences from people who actually buy and try, then many more would be in the same boat getting stuck with sub standard products. Companies like Rock River, Oly, Bushmaster, etc. all have good reputations because of proven quality. But try to remember, in the "beginning" they sold on the cheap to establish their name. Nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with giving an unknown company a try. It's basically the same for anything not brand name you buy...it can be hit and miss or you might find the diamond in the rough.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:58 PM   #10
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Calm.....

A few good points, that sort of go beyond this discussion.

I've become more and more sensitive to the point that many manufacturers of today's great products started with not so great ones, and that's gonna be a whole thread unto itself here shortly.

Essentially, how do I know when a product was put out there during a companies Golden Age, as opposed to their "still figuring it out" age.

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