Polymer lower?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Tenderribbs, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Tenderribbs

    Tenderribbs New Member

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    Are they any good as far as a throw in the truck and and 4whleeler and get bounced around kind ? Im looking at the new frontier . Seems like it would be a cheap way to get an extra Ar in the gun case and wouldn't have to be a cabinet queen . I have everything else except the bolt carrier and bolt . Thanks
     
  2. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton New Member

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    I have two of the NFA complete lowers. I have an ATI .22 upper on one of them. I don't have an upper since you can't find one nowadays for less than $750 bucks with bcg. The bcg is the key though, as there simply aren't any under $300 out there. I heard all the blah blah about polymers, but hey, if Glock can do it, why couldn't an AR frame? The one thing I heard was that it could be difficult with a stripped polymer lower to get the LPK in. SOme said they had to use a dremel and make some minor modifications to make it all come together. But I've had no problems at all
     

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    And with that said ^ I'll leave all the poly stuff for the glock folks. (bless their little plastic hearts)



    Brass Bourbon and Bullets (Steel*) made America Great!

    * canebrake poetic license (BBBS) [​IMG]
     
  4. Tenderribbs

    Tenderribbs New Member

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    Well I happen to have two stripped uppers a2 carry handles one is DPMS and one is Delton aluminum want to do some swapin?
     
  5. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton New Member

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    As a matter of a fact, I believe you have a PM :cool:
     
  6. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    All the polymer bashing is kinda funny considering most people use polymer furniture on their AR-15's and have polymer frame pistols. I just think that the technology (design geometry of the polymer lower receiver) is not mature enough to say for sure that it will work just as well as a forged aluminum lower.

    Lots of us now use PMAG magazines and I've never seen a test of an aluminum or steel AR-15 magazine where it was run over by a truck and survived.

    The polymers and aluminum alloys both have their strong points and weaknesses.

    If NFA would use steel or aluminum alloy inserts where the buffer tube housing goes and the pins go, then it would go a long way to improving the strength of the lower in critical areas.

    Anyone using an AR-15 is obviously a member of the "technology is better" crowd, or they'd still be using M1's or M14's.

    The SCAR carbines and rifles use polymer lowers and it's unlikely that USSOCOM would issue weapons of questionable durability for general purpose use.

    All new technologies require testing and polymer lowers simply haven't been around long enough or tested extensively enough to gauge their durability with respect to forged aluminum.
     
  7. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I had a Plum Crazy lower that I put together my first build with. It worked fine. Early last year I had an inkling to get a stripped lower. I sat on it for months until December when I ordered all the parts just in the nick of time before the market went insane. Then sold the Plum Crazy for a very healthy profit.

    It's an inexpensive way to get the rifle built. Go ahead and try it. If it doesn't work for you, do something else later.
     
  8. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    Like anything else, there are some bad ones out there. I think Bushmaster Carbon 15 would be the polymer I would get if I were so inclined. They have been around a while, and I have seen a few people at the ranges who said they didn't have any problems with theirs. I had one, a Vulcan, and my experience was very bad. From what I have seen in posts, Vulcan products are the ones to stay away from, regardless of polymer or aluminum. Vulcan also goes under the names of Blackthorne and Hesse. I don't think I will personnaly get a polymer upper or lower as the aluminum receivers don't weigh much to start with, and rust isn't an issue except for the LPK. AR 15's are the lightest tactical type semi auto's on the market (actually, since Sandy Hook, none of them have been "on the market" lately), so if you were trying to take weight away, start by getting a shorter barrel.
     
  9. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    The Bushy Carbon 15 isnt really poly , its epoxied carbon scraps , Its not strong like woven Carbon so dont think your getting the same thing. The C15 lower isnt terrible but they have the same thing on the upper and the top rail is bonded to the carbon shredded upper and I have seen a few of these delaminate between the rail and upper . I dont think the poly lowers are really that terrible there isnt that much wear or stress on a lower unless your beating the stock on something , However I dont own one either , poly is truly a disposable item when the pins wear the poly holes out its done , unless you have some true craftsmanship with JB weld :D I have several poly guns S&W, Ruger , Diamond Back Firearms , and they are all great and have not had a issue .
    I would not be afraid to built a AR from a poly lower I just choose not to when I have access to a tried and true alum lower for a miniscule amount more .
     
  10. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    I was being polite:D. I personally think polymer is just another fancy word for plastic. The point I was making is I don't care for anything other than aluminum on my AR receiver, however, so far, I have seen less complaints from users about the Carbon 15 model than any other non-metal receiver, and I have met a few people who think their Carbon 15 is great.
     
  11. swordsman11868

    swordsman11868 New Member

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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.

    .02
     
  12. longunner

    longunner New Member

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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.
     
  13. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  14. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton New Member

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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.
     
  15. G23LCPK45

    G23LCPK45 New Member

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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.
     
  16. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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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
     
  17. 70cuda383

    70cuda383 Member

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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.
     
  18. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton New Member

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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.
     
  19. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    I would feel more comfortable shooting a .22LR than a .223 on a non-metal receiver, whether it be upper or lower.
     
  20. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton New Member

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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.