New Frontier Polymer Lowers

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Trip83, May 13, 2013.

  1. Trip83

    Trip83 New Member

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    Anybody know anything about New Frontier and their Polymer Lowers?? What is the durability? What should a lower cost? Any information would be great! Thanks!!
     
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Seems they don't hold up well to being shot with bird shot. (Recent post with a video of such silliness). The company has a good reputation. Polymer lowers are usually not highly regarded.
     

  3. GTX63

    GTX63 New Member

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    Bushmaster makes a carbon 15 model with a polymer lower. I don't think they would put it on the market if they didn't have faith in it, but the one I handled sold for as much or more ($1400) that a standard unit.
     
  4. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Some companies will put out some products strictly with profit margin in mind. I don't think they put them out there with the thought that they would break at a couple critical points, but it turns out, that over time there are a couple areas that are more prone to breakage, that you don't see with forged aluminum receivers. So we have to keep in mind that when Stoner designed the rifle's dimensions, it was with forged aluminum in mind. When you change material, then it can be important to change dimensions in some of these critical areas. the areas that are known to break are at the rear of the receiver where the receiver extension, (Buffer Tube), screws in, and at the front pivot pin holes. On upper receivers, breakage is seen from time to time at the threaded portion where the barrel nut attaches to hold the barrel in place. If you Google search images for "Broken Carbon-15" you will see whatI'm talking about.

    The motivating factor for companies to produce these receivers out of polymer is cost, and speed. They can crank out polymer receivers at a fraction of the cost of a forged aluminum receiver, because it is just a molding process. With a forged receiver, the blank has to be forged then machined in several phases, then anodized. They probably are produced by the manufacturer at considerably less than 50% per unit in cost, but still sold at 75-90% of the retail.
     
  5. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

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    Poly AR lowers ...???

    While I do not have a New Frontier, I did an AR build with a Plum Crazy lower I picked up a year and 1/2 back for $99... before the gun scene went scooters of course... and added a Del Ton dissipater upper in 5.56, Magpul and Fabb Defense accessories. So far I've run around 300+ rounds through it... and other than the fact that my Del Ton manufactured upper does NOT like lacquer coated Ruskie ammo (Brown Bear to be specific.. jams on almost every other round) and I replaced the rear take down pin (the original poped all the way out during a cleaning one night) it's been a decent & dependable rifle. Of course, IF you plan on running yours rough & hard 2 to 3 times a week, 1000 rounds a pop, etc. etc. etc.. well, you might want to step up in materials & price. My friend has a Palmetto State AR he picked up and I've shot... He has no complaints at 1000+ rounds and counting (he reloads of course...)...

    BTW... Plum Crazy had a lifetime warranty for the lower, but they are now nonexistent as a company, so I guess they meant their lifetime.. not mine. :eek:
     
  6. 7.62 Man

    7.62 Man New Member

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    I too own a Plum Crazy composite lower but mine has over 2500+ rounds through it with a JSE Surplus upper.
    The original trigger got real sticky about 2000 round so I changed it to steel trigger parts works fine now.
    [​IMG]
    I was wanting a dependable light weight AR for my go to SHTF gun, & I hear the polymer lowers don't handle cold very well.:eek:
    So I went to the new MAG tactical light weight lower.
    http://magtacticalsystems.com/lower-receivers/
    It is as light as the polymer lower but as strong as or stronger than the aluminum lower, good looking too.
    [​IMG]
    I put this upper on the MAG Tactical lower with pop-up rear sight.(no pictures yet)
    http://www.dsarms.com/DSA-ZM4-Forge...---ZM4CBUM4PARKMK/productinfo/ZM4CBUM4PARKMK/
    It is as light as or lighter than any other gun I have & I'm sure it will get me through any SHTF scenario I'll encounter hot or cold.;)
     
  7. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

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    Most plastic lowers I have seen are just JUNK. Why would you waste your money on them when you can get a quality aluminum lower for cheaper?
     
  8. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

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    Now, not to be confrontational here.. but what do you base that on?

    First off.. It's not simply plastic.. It's a polymer (which contains plastic agents) and has been used in the firearm industry for decades now (Glock owners can I get an AMEN!!)... and my personal Fall/Winter carry is a Ruger P95 in 9mm... a 50% (if not more) polymer shooter that is light, easy to field strip & clean, eats any ammo I put through it and goes "Bang!!" everytime.
    Second.. there is the issue of economics and for right now, what you can find. The Plum Crazy and Frontier lowers come pretty much complete with trigger assemby, handle, buffer tube and stock (at least mine did)... which cuts down on build/waiting time & gets you closer to shooting... all for around $125 to $200 (pricing is going down and availablity going up as we speak)... while the best price I've been able to find on a stripped forged lower is $160 from DSA: http://www.dsarms.com/DSA-ZM4-Forge...ceiver---ZM4RSPARTAN/productinfo/ZM4RSPARTAN/ .... BTW...If anyone knows of a better deal, please post it and help out fellow shooters here on the FTF....

    It's all a matter of cash and personal taste... the later I'm pretty sure is what you're expressing... and I won't put down a fellow shooter looking to get into the AR cult who is buying what they can afford and (Praise the Lord) find. Besides, it's just a lower... If you ain't happy with it you can upgrade later. For now, my first AR build is doing GREAT... Polymer lower and all!! :)
     
  9. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Since teh lower is the registered part I would spend the extra on an aluminum one.

    A fried Egg is polymer also by definition.

    My main beef with the most recent polymer lowers is the fact that the AR receiver was designed with the structural strength and properties of aluminum at the time it was designed and the dimensions were established. Most polymer lowers recently retain the same dimensions as the basic design without adding any reenforcement at cetatin thin or possible stress points given the change in materials and their relative strengths, brittleness/flexability/sheer force resistance.

    If you google images of broken Plum Crazy or Carbon 15 you will see pictures of common areas that break on polymer receivers, (Usually around the front take down or pivot pins, or at the threeaded area at the rear where teh receiver extension threads in to accomodate the buttstock). So, to me it is worth the extra money for the long haul and peace of mind to get the material that the gun was designed around as added insurance that I am less likely to have to go to a dealer and buy another receiver. Spend $40 bucks more once, instead of possibly spending $70-$150, plus FFL fees a second time.

    Glocks, and other designs that were made from polymer 30 or more years after the AR was designed, were intended from the begining to be made with their polymer components from the very beginning. They were given dimensions to accomodate the material of manufacture.

    Cavalry Arms used to make polymer lower receivers that were ugly, but had a reputation for being very durable. They also departed from the original dimensions, and incorporated one piece structures to compensate for the material change.

    So, I am not a anti-polymer guy when it comes to using it in firearms. But so far the offerings that fail to compensate for the material change, while using the original dimensions, and the added risk of breakage that goes along with it, is what keeps me from buying in to polymer for the AR. I own Glocks, but once again, they were designed to be made with polymer frames. I might consider it for a gun that is going to be restricted to range use, or nothing but light duty, or as a .22 to use for practice.
     
  10. Nathantc

    Nathantc New Member

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    there sure is a lot of hate here lol

    plumb crazy and new frontier are the same company,, they just changed ownership and name

    i have owned one with a 5.45x39 upper that lasted threw 10,000 rounds before i sold the entire rifle

    now i have one on my 7.62x39 20" heavy barrel upper and it just passed 500 rounds today using the all polymer lower with polymer FCG and it even will fire the comblock hard primers no problem now that i have the right firing pin

    a complete lower is $150 and stripped lower is $60

    there good if you use your rifle as its intended, im sure if you smack it across a tree like a bat it would break but other than that i see no problem with them at all, they fit super tight to the upper so there is no play. my only issue with both was hours of using a file to open the mag well just enough that the mags drop free.

    i have yet to here from some one with any proof of owning one that gave them any trouble at all.

    my 7.62x39 with NFA lower
    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f18/20-7-62x39-ar-15-finally-ready-night-hog-hunts-90625/
     
  11. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Not intended to be hate. Just sharing info.

    There seems to be enough breakages in the same areas from multiple polymer lower manufacturers to indicate a trend. f someone wants to buy a polymer lower it should be an informed decision. I'm sure that for every one of these pictures that there are far more that are problem free. Just figure folks should be aware of what the potential weaknesses are so that they can use the information to get the most out of their polymer lowers, or decide if it is worth a bit more to get an aluminum one.

    [​IMG]

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  12. Nathantc

    Nathantc New Member

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    it was foolish for bushmaster to make the polymer upper,,, sorry thats where most of the stress is in the system, as for Vulcan well that was not polymer that was abs plastic and thats a big no go

    second pic is plum crazy/new frontier
    that breakage is a mystery as to how that happened but im pretty sure that doesn't fall under "normal use"

    fifth pic im really unsure how that would ever happen unless there was some sort of major failure like an out of batter fire or something,, there is literally no stress at that point

    6-8th pics are a user failure by way over tightening the castle nut and not reading proper instructions

    last pic i seen on another forum where the owner said it was a a KABOOM and for the life of me i cant find the original post just a bunch of fake stories and regurgitated crap about this one pic, the truth is the entire upper was split in half too,,, this was a bad KABOOM that would have destroyed a metal lower as well

    almost ever one of the broken lowers on the internet were either very early design or user error not the lower failing in any way. there is even some pix where some pawn shop owners destroyed one on purpose to see how much abuse they could take (was impressive really) but those pix are being posted every with lies to back up how they really broke,,, i researched the hell out of them before i ever bought one and learned a long time ago to avoid internet know it alls and fan boys.

    i personally never heard first hand from an honest owner who had one fail with out it being of some fault of there own

    simple rule of thumb
    any thing can be broken and if you plan on banging it around and being really hard on it in unusual ways then get a forged lower
    if you just want to shoot and take care of your rifle than this will serve you for a very long time

    you should hear the crap i get from the 1911 guys about my HK P-30 (.40s&w) cause its a "plastic" pistol lol,, even though it will out shoot some of the very high end 1911s and is literally better in every way


    im not crapping on you at all man but please research that pic by way of uploading it to google image search before you believe the first place you see it at,, to many people do just what you did here with out knowing the full back story
     
  13. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

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    Just throwing this out there....

    While a picture may be worth a thousand words... it's those 1000 words that can give a reason for the final results.. Is it possible the shooter used 5.56 ammo in a rifle that was .223 specific?... Did the shooter allow the rifle to remain in a temperature extreme (it was mentioned here in another post that cold might not be good for the poly lowers..)? Was the rifle viced incorrectly during work on it??
    BTW... thanks for posting those photos. I was unable to find anything when I did a search.
     
  14. Nathantc

    Nathantc New Member

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    ahh here we go

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaFevpTka-I[/ame]


    not sure on this video as they cut cam,, but who knows what they did show its it failed right about when the forged lower failed,, just note that much of the video and ignore the rest as there is no way to validate the rest of it
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qpnmi3XPP8[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEAYW_2y4VU[/ame]
     
  15. Nathantc

    Nathantc New Member

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    one more thing that worries me though

    look here

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX1ulzbgsAQ[/ame]

    a true M16 lower is closer to the NFA lower than the other due to the walls by the safety right,,, not sure but i thought some law was in effect that forced companies to thicken up the wall there to make it harder to install a M16 full auto FCG
     
  16. Nathantc

    Nathantc New Member

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  17. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

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    $170 for plastic lower or $100 to $130 for a forged lower.

    I go aluminum any day of the week. Plastic is what I take my food to work in not what I trust my life to. Yes I know glocks are gods gift to pistols. YADDA YADDA YADDA. I don't buy guns from krauts who don't believe I should have the right to protect myself.
     
  18. Nathantc

    Nathantc New Member

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    its $150 for a complete lower with stock, buffer, and buffer tube. get your facts straight
     
  19. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    My last Glock was made in Smyrna, Georgia.
     
  20. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

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    Well excuse me. I don't buy prebuilt anything. I just looked at the web site real quick.

    Maybe while I am getting my facts straight, you could learn how to use capital letters. Deal?