Best AR-15 80% lower?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by bettersafethansorry, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    I know they are all relatively similar because they are built to spec. Some companies will charge double what others do though, so I assume there are differences.

    My dream for this build is to have it compatible with .22 all the way up to the .458. 22 for cheap ammo, target practice, and becoming proficient with the gun. 458 because I'm the type of person who likes to be prepared for anything that may, but probably won't happen.

    Yes I'm new, so feel free to criticize. All input is welcome.
     
  2. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Long story short.

    Within specs, most lowers are the same.

    Most are made in 7075 T5, some are made in 6061 T6, some are polymer. Either alloy (allminum ones) ones are more than adequate, polymers (plastic) are less expensive but may have reliability and wear issues.

    Pound for pound, forged is stronger than billet. But billet can be designed stronger (ie thicker) than forged.

    differences include

    Rollmark (some are just silly looking, some are cool)
    flared magwell
    textured magwell
    integrated trigger guard
    amidexterous controls (mag release, bolt hold/release, safety etc)
    bolt tensioner (to remove play from the upper receiver)
    etc etc.

    there are soo many different kinds... (check out the ar15 manufacturers thread)
    and shapes (check out the Roll mark thread)

    it'll take you a little time to shop around for one.....have fun!
     

  3. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    Do you have personal experience with any specific ones? I know there are a billion options. That's why I've turned to the forums instead of just spending hours on end with google. I just want someone to say, "this is the one I bought, it will work with what you described, I haven't had any problems, and you can find it here." I like to research and will build it on my own. There is just only so much I can learn from the internet. If I have to ill just buy one and learn for myself what's good and what's not. I'd just rather not waste the cash
     
  4. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Never had an issue with:
    Spikes Tactical Forged
    Palmetto State Forged
    Stag Forged
    Rainier Arms Forged
    Riflegear Forged
    and a few dyi 80% Tactical Machining lowers

    The latter 3 were my favorites. Rainer and Riflegear were both forged by Mega, with flared magwells and bolt tensioner for the upper. (didn't even need it on the Rainer arms unit, used it on the Riflegear unit)

    off the top of my head....there maybe others....but I lost them all in a tragic boating accident last year T_T










    I think you maybe overthinking this........it is very very rare for a receiver to be out of spec. Get it from a reputable dealer to reduce risk, get it from a known and active manufacturer to reduce it further. Getting it from a small unknown manufacturer is a bit more risky.
     
  5. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    Would I be an idiot to 170+? I looked at tactical machining, but as I'm sure you know already availability is limited and most everythimg is sold out, except for the expensive stuff. The one I was looking at was ares, just because it is in stock
     
  6. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    If you dont have the tooling to do a 80% its just a paper weight , If your just looking for something that has no serial number/ paperwork tied to your name , if its legal to do so in your state buy from a private person , cash deal , nothing tied to your name ;)
     
  7. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    Yeah I'm aware of the work it needs and I've done my research. That is why I want an 80% though. Avoid the hassle of ffl and, now I'm no conspiracy theorist, but every day I like the government less and less and want to do what I can to avoid being on their maps. I live in texas so nobody would bat an eye at another guy with a gun. But still. Ill have to check on just buying a stripped receiver locally. Thats another option. Thanks for your help by the way. Much appreciated
     
  8. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    Sorry didn't realise it was a different person. Thank you BOTH for your help!
     
  9. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    No problem , glad we could help you . Dont be afraid to come here and ask . We all at one time or another have had many questions answered here .
     
  10. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    The 80% is a tricky thing, not so easy for the regular joe to accomplish. Sure there's a guy on the interwebs that did it with a hand drill, and documented it, but it wasn't the prettiest job. I found a CNC to finish mines a while back. I am looking into getting a some more 80%ers in the near future.

    Quite honestly you can find a good complete lower receiver on sale for under $50, there's a few of them going for $90 to $100. Its cheaper to go with those, than go through the added expense and hardship of finishing a 80% yourself. Not to mention, there is a chance you may screw up too. :eek:

    If this is your first time, skip the 80%, get nice inexpensive standard forged unit, and put it together. I will warn you tho, your wallet and savings account will hate you for it, kuz they do tend to multiply. BRD highly addictive.

    As for the countless hours perusing the interwebs, I think there's just no way around it. Just let it run its course. Its the begining stages of BRD. Purehavoc logged about 1,374 hours already this year, looking at gun pron on the web. Its a good thing his better half is so understanding.......:p
     
  11. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    Yeah I'm sure you're right. I like challenges though so I was attracted to the 80. And it seems quite easy when using a jig. Everything is easy until you try it though...

    As for buying a complete lower, the whole reason I started researching an 80% in the first place is to avoid ffl.
     
  12. Sgt_Skrb_25

    Sgt_Skrb_25 New Member

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    There a crap load o 80% manufacturers here in SoCal. I've used 3 different types. So far my favorite was KE Arms. A local machine shop owner has partnered up with another machine shop in Arizona to produce them there , and sell them here or on the Internet. Than you can come to his shop and rent the CNC to finish up. It's a great, and legal way of doing it. If you manufacture the lowers, you can not rent a CNC to anyone to finish it at the same location . That's why he operates in 2 states. Anyways, they have a couple options of 80%, raw or anodized. I don't think I would try to drill it my self with a jig. Not sure where you live, but I know more and more machine shops are popping up that will rent the CNC to you.

    http://www.kearms.com/
     
  13. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I ordered an 80% from Ares Armor last year. I knew they were out of stock, which was fine. BUT, they charged my CC right away, and then refused to update or keep in touch about anything. After 3 or so months, I finally asked for my money back. I would be careful with them.
     
  14. Sgt_Skrb_25

    Sgt_Skrb_25 New Member

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    There was an entire thread about them and their scam. My best friend ordered 5 lowers last October. They gave him the run around for 8 months. He happened to come to SoCal on vacation and to hang out with me. I took him down to Oceanside where Ares is at, those scammers had at least a hundred of them behind the counter selling to walk in customers. Their excuse was that they were billets and not the forgings he ordered. He said he wanted to cancel his order, but I told him to have them give him the equivalent value in the billets. They gave him 3 billets. You should be glad you canceled because they got busted and shut down for a while. They were manufacturing them in the same building that they were letting people finish them. They are scammers and have the worst customer service. While we were in there arguing with them, a few people walked in to cancel their orders as well. Ares sucks!
     
  15. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    No $hit!? Oh well.....I finally bought a Colt LE6920 instead. Just as well, I don't need ANOTHER complicated project anyhow....
     
  16. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    The actual quality difference from one 'brand' to the next is nominal. Even the difference in Gen1 vs Gen2 (billet) offers minimal advantages, IMO. The lower receiver is simply not under a great deal of stress. Heck, Gen1 lowers are lighter!

    But having the right brand can and will pay dividends if you sell. This is why I try to build many of my 'soon to be sold' guns on Noveske lowers. After fees, I'll pay maybe $150 for a PSA lower, and $180-220 for a Noveske. But a gun built on a Noveske will sell faster, and for $100-200 more. Is it one iota better? Not likely. But it ends up being a sound investment.

    I'd imagine the same applies to 80% lowers. Buy a good one from a reputable company, and disregard the hype.
     
  17. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Crap....You know, I apologize, I totally didn't read the 80% part of the title.

    And here I was going on and on about standard finished lowers........I have personally only used Tactical Machining lowers, went in on a group buy with some friends some years back, I think they had a special were if you bought like 10+ you could get them for under $50, in the raw. We milled ours and had a local FFL anodize them. I've fired thousands of rounds thorough mine and never had any issues.


    Just keep in mind. All Forged blanks are just about the same. I think there is only 4 forges that make them. With the exception of MEGA and the marking, the forgings are identical. Its how your finish them that matters. Since the startup costs of forging are very very expensive, no one wants the change the design. The unit costs are very cheap tho, which is why you can find some finished units for under $50.



    Billets are different since they start with block of alloy, then shave them to whatever spec they design. Its a more flexible system, so they can change their design on the fly without investing in any more capital. Billets do take longer to produce, per unit costs are higher, which is reflected in their pricing.


    Hope this helps you better.
     
  18. bettersafethansorry

    bettersafethansorry New Member

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    I know there are good companies out there. The hard part is finding a good company with stuff in stock... I ended up ordering from Ares. I contacted them before I placed my order to see when it would be sent. They said immediately. Everything people then said about Ares got me scared so I tried to cancel. It did take a very long time to get a hold of them, but I finally was able to speak with a woman on the phone. She told me it should arrive by the 20th and that it shipped last night. I explained to her my concern, and she said those were issues with people on back order. As long as I get my product I don't care. Guess I was just one of the lucky ones. We shall see. Thanks for all the input. I will let you all know if/when I recieve the product. If I don't get it then I may be headed to cali to raise some hell. You're all invited >=)
     
  19. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    You know that old saying.....It's not what on the outside, it's whats on the inside that counts.

    Reliability and function for your lower receiver is going to be dependent on how your finish your lower. If you are able (its not too difficult) to mill it to spec, then you are golden. Getting all the holes in the right position and dimension, getting the right thickness of the walls of the fire control pocket, getting all your roll pins and lower parts into place the right way, is going to be way more important than whether its forged or billet, 7075 or 6061. Get a forged one. They are cheaper, and they are all the same. Mega forged excluded, but I've never seen a Mega 80% on the market.
     
  20. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    There been a lot of Drama with Ares. They have been good to me, but this was before the panic, and before they staged a coup ousting Dimitri. I've met and spoken with Dimitri more than a few times and my impression of him was that he's a stand up kind of guy and a fellow enthusiast. Long story short, he's back in charge, and things are looking up. To be fair tho, I don't like to backorder anything and and never back ordered from them.

    I like them, and have found that they make thoughtful, well made products. I highly recommend their Husky Amentum sling, i have 3. I really like their Effin-A compensator, and they are releasing a 2nd gen unit soon. To each their own.