Composite AR-15 lowers

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by slog, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. slog

    slog New Member

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    I'm definitely committed to getting a few of these New Frontier Armory composite lower receivers. I'm simply not buying the hype from some people that they're junk, because I have doubts they either own one, or they're comparing it to something of much higher quality. Meanwhile, there are those who are giving them rave reviews.

    http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/New_Frontier_Armory_STRIPPED_AR15_Polymer_Lower_p/nfa-stripped.htm

    These are not the same as PlumCrazy cheapo plastic receivers, and apparently are stronger than the Bushmaster Carbon receivers. Some people have complained about tightness of fit of some components. Others have noted the possibility of cracking. The cracking is what I'm worried about. Nobody has experienced this (with THIS brand) that I can find. One person even froze his, tied it to a string and slapped it against the concrete repeatedly with no ill effects. So I was wondering - technically - WHAT exactly would cause the cracking? Most of the brunt would be taken by the upper half where the bolt carrier is riding, right? And the springs would be absorbing much of the recoil energy, right? Please inform me.
     
  2. slog

    slog New Member

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  3. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    The biggest thing with polymers is from heat. If you have a lot of heat buildup, the plastics will want to stretch and distort. Seeing that NFA is based in Nevada where there's LOTS and LOTS of heat, I'm sure they've tested this scenerio just to be sure that the plastic used won't give out. None of the article mentions if there's ANY metals fused in with the plastics? Nothing wrong with polymers in guns nowadays. I own a Hi-Point 40S&W, and it's held up quite well and Hi-Point came out long before Glock did with their plastic guns and look at how both of them are doing. Everybody is jumping on the polymer bandwagon now.
    Del
     
  4. slog

    slog New Member

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    Honestly, I'm still partly skeptical. I could have gotten the Delaware Machinery forged aluminum lower for $65 on RGUNS site, but this polymer would make great for a varminter rifle. I've seen quite a few people putting loads of rounds on them with the slide-fire stocks, and that's a lot of heat. I'm a more conservative shooter. By next year these things should be all ready if I can find some 1x12 twist bull barrels in my price range.

    On a side note, I ordered them thismorning from joeboboutfitters.com, had the FFL faxed to them by 12 noon, and they shipped them out by 2:30. That's the fastest online transaction to shipping speed I've ever experienced.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  5. 702Shooter

    702Shooter New Member

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    This is a copy/paste from a response I posed about this yesterday:

    Of the 10′s of thousands of these units that have been sold, around 40 have come back broken. Of those, only 4 were found to be defective. The others were broken from people trying to modify it themselves and/or abusing the weapon beyond any sort of reasonable actions. NFA still replaced every one of them.

    The most common issue has been those painting the lowers, getting paint in the threads, then putting it back together and cracking the back of the lower with the buffer tube.
     
  6. slog

    slog New Member

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    So I suppose putting loctite on the threads would be out of the question. I don't really care about the finish.
     
  7. 702Shooter

    702Shooter New Member

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    My understanding is that the issue is with dried paint build up. I wouldn't think that liquid or gel LocTite wouldn't be an issue but if it is, NFA will still replace it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  8. slog

    slog New Member

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    I'm sold. I should get mine within a week. Ordering more in the future for sure. These builds will be mostly for my little girls to go squirrel hunting and plinking. I doubt I'll have any problems with them.
     
  9. longunner

    longunner New Member

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    This might have to be the lower for my first ever AR build...
     
  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Well let us know how it works out for you. Most folks don't really run ARs very hard. I've recently read a couple bad reviews of the NFAs. One with recurring broken pins. Another with a break at the rear of the receiver.

    I guess my main issues fall in a couple directions. I believe modern plastics are capable of being used successfully in firearms design. Many manufacturers have proven that. However, there is a significant gap in the design of the AR receivers and modern plastics. The AR was designed with dimensions that narrow an take advantage of the structural properties of aircraft aluminum. Those other successful firearms that use plastics were designed from the beginning to use polymer in the design and the polymer AR receivers do not make dimensional changes to strengthen weak points that survive when made out if aluminum. Plum Crazy, Hesse, Vulcan, bushmaster, and others all end up with failures in the same places. CavArms made a plastic receiver that worked well but it made structural changes to compensate for the change in material.
    Aside from bushmaster where are the other polymer lower companies today. They make plastic receivers at a cost of about $20 a unit or far less. Sell them for a 400 or greater percent profit then close shop.

    My next issue is that there are a lot of forged aluminum receivers that are about the cost of a pizza or two more. So why bother.
     
  11. slog

    slog New Member

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    Yes, the Delaware Machinery was 20 dollars more and forged aluminum. $20 is no big deal, that's just the cost of a magazine. I've heard of problems with the polymer internals, but I just got a stripped receiver and I'm loading them with delton LPKs, so that takes care of those issues. I just can't see there being enough stress on the lower for it to get damaged from normal usage of the rifle. I'll find out, though. If it breaks, not much money was lost, and I can get replacements.
     
  12. slog

    slog New Member

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    I just got the two today. They're a lot stronger than I thought they'd be. I'm satisfied with them for now. If nothing else I'll put .22LR uppers on them if they fail to prove themselves with the 5.56 uppers.

    The dealer that received them for me had actually just received two others for someone else before I came to get mine.
     
  13. longunner

    longunner New Member

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    Do you have to be 21 to get a stripped lower?
     
  14. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Yes. For stripped lowers you must be 21 because it could be made into a pistol. If it is sold with a rifle stock attached as a rifle then you just need to be over 18.
     
  15. slog

    slog New Member

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    They make a complete lower for $100, I believe it's already fitted with a stock, but it also has the composite internal components. I'd just trash those. They might be fine, but I just don't trust composite pins or the like. A del ton complete LPK is cheap enough.
     
  16. longunner

    longunner New Member

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    Well that's disappointing i was looking forward to a first AR build....guess it will have to wait.
     
  17. slog

    slog New Member

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    You'd have to inquire about legality, but you might be able to get a parent to buy the stripped lower, attach a stock, and then you could probably obtain ownership of the receiver. The receiver itself is designated as a rifle. There are separate receivers designated as pistol. I'm not up to par on legal issues for under-21, but you should inquire about buying the stripped lower yourself. The local FFL dealer will probably know.
     
  18. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    I'm not too familiar with AR's as a whole. What I've seen so far, and this might not be from ALL Companies that manufacture lowers, is that the lowers I've seen, if it is to be built or bought as a pistol, the receiver will have "PISTOL" somewhere around/near the serial number. That's not saying a person can't build one as a pistol, but if you have a registered, lower receiver that you build into a pistol, then you run the risk of FBI involvement of having an improper "Registered" gun, which will give you jail time. If you make a pistol from a rifle that came from a manufacturer, serial numbered as a rifle, then you must re-register it and pay the proper taxes to Uncle Sam. ALL GUNS, be they rifle or pistol, must be registered one way or other nowadays.
    Del
     
  19. silverado113

    silverado113 New Member

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    It doesn't matter if a lower is marked pistol or rifle you still have to be 21 according to the ATF to purchase it.
     
  20. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Yes, you have to be 21 to buy a stripped lower, but you can receive one as a gift from your parents. You can also (depending on what state you live in) buy one through a private sale. Check your state laws though. Texas allows an 18 year old to buy a handgun or a stripped lower through a private sale, your state may not.