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MR2
03-09-2014, 19:52
I'm gobsmacked at all the options and accessories available for ARs these days. Last time I really looked, I was coveting Dusty's M-4 carbine style musket... :p

So many options for 80% Lowers. There are forged, milled, 7075-T6, 6060-T6, polymer, carbon fiber, etc. Which and why are each better/worse?

Milled, bead-blasted, anodized, broached magwell, flared magwell, what is important - what is not?

1. Recommendations for moderate use home defense / practice / training (~1000 rnds/yr) 300BLK AR-15 pistol and carbine? Same for .308 AR-10 rifle?

2. Recommendations for moderate use 3Gun / practice / training (~1000 rnds/yr) 5.56 AR-15 carbine?

3. Not liking the extended loop built-in trigger guard lowers. Prefer the traditional removable/folding trigger guard. Any recommendations? (links)


Thanks again.

35NCO
03-09-2014, 20:56
Do you have the machines and tooling to properly complete a 80% lower? Or do you plan to have someone else do it for you?

In my opinion I would stick with 7075 at the very least. Carbon Fiber and Polymers are OK for .22 and subcals, but I would not trust them to anything life dependent. That goes for Magnesium as well. Others may have a different opinion.

Forged vs. milled...Personally I like milled for the sharpness of the machine work. However, many older receivers have been forged and then machined for decades and they work just fine. It's really the traditional method of mass manufacture.

-The mil standard for coatings is typically a hard anodizing(MIL-STD-171 or Type III coatings for aluminum). There are some newer coatings that have tested harder. The Np3 coating is pretty tough, it is also slick, so there is a tradeoff there. Some parts there is value to have this coating, such as bolt carriers to assist in cleaning. There are trade are offs to that too though. Another method in coatings is cerakotes and other paints out there that are bake on. Not super durable, but will last a long time depending on how much you throw at it. You can choose just about any color you want these days.

-The broached or Wire EDM cutting are methods of cutting the mag well. It's a difficult area to machine accurately. This is why you do not see many folks that can do a 0% lower or one from scratch. Wire EDM makes a nice tight cut in the mag well. However, experienced companies make some solid broached mag wells too.

-The flared magazine wells just assist in the insertion of the magazine to make it a little smoother by directing the magazine towards the magazine well. How much of a difference that really makes from a rounded edge and good training time wise, I do not know.

This guy:

http://www.cncguns.com/

was one of the originals as far as the 80% kits goes. He has a lot of great information on finishing a 80% and he sells some solid kits at well. I cannot vouch for any of the newcomers out there right now. There suddenly is a total saturation of people making 80% lowers.

The Reaper
03-09-2014, 21:50
A flared mag well can also induce malfunctions if it is allowing the mag to present rounds in an inconsistent manner.

There can be too much of a good thing.

TR

greentick
03-11-2014, 16:18
Are you wanting to build from parts (ie you can pick and choose parts kits, triggers, stock, to match your requirements/budget) or looking to buy preassembled (generally going to be more expensive for equivalent components if someone else builds it for you)?

I've built a couple of 308AR lowers and several AR15 lowers, not too hard if you choose that route (and I'm a medic!:eek: Hemostats are actually in my tool kit, real handy for holding roll pins and the front takedown pin detent.)

You can also buy preassembled and swap out components as budget allows.

MR2
03-11-2014, 19:59
Defiantly going to be building and have an experienced machine shop lined up. Have a good FFL gunsmith for parts and to advise/assist in final assembly.

Finding out with AR-10s that parts are not as universal as AR-15 parts. Magazines either. :mad: (I mean beyond the obvious differences).

Have been attending shows and browsing web sites checking out parts, etc.

Just too much conflicting info on the 80% Lowers out there and I'm looking for pretty much what is in the OP. Maybe more why this is better than that kinda stuff.


And cross-checking info in order to prevent any felonies, accidental or otherwise...

greentick
03-12-2014, 09:47
No experience with taking an 80% receiver through to completion.

My first 308 lower was from these guys:

http://www.tacticalmachining.com/80-products.html

They were starting the 80% thing with their shop a few years ago and now have a few different 80% receivers to choose from as well as jigs.

The 308 (100%) lower I got from TM was very nicely done. But, as you mentioned, in 308AR-world there is not much standardization and I ended up trading it for a Mega Machine billet receiver set (also very nice, http://megaarms.com/ if you're interested).

For my AR15s I've used mostly Palmetto State Armory's blem lower receivers.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/psa-blemished-safe-fire-lower.html

The blems are cosmetic only and out of the 6 I've bought so far I don't see it.

For triggers I've put in stock (usually use the LPK from PSA). In my 308 I put in a Geisselle SSA, which after years of GI triggers is awesome. In my 6.8's lower I recently put in the ALG QMS (http://algdefense.com/quality-mil-spec-trigger-qms.html). ALG is an offshoot of Geisselle owned by his wife. The trigger, new, feels like a nicely broken in trigger. And it's cheap. Just went to ALGs website and they have a pile of other AR accessories now.

Barrels, muzzle devices, and bolts (depending on caliber):
http://www.ar15performance.com/

Polygonal barrels if you're into that (my 308 uses one)
http://www.blackholeweaponry.com/catalog/index.php?osCsid=a3e32b9327c35f08c68ed7111274487a

I built mine but also had a very experience FFL/Gunsmith/AR guy that I could ask stoopid questions of.

Welcome to the BRD (black rifle disease, a process that can lay waste to your wallet/bank account). The next step is reloading your own....

Pericles
03-12-2014, 14:46
Most of it was covered above - the big guys (Colt & FN) broach the mag wells I'm told.

The legal angle, is that you are required to finish the last 20% yourself, which may slide into only having to start the CNC machine yourself ....

On the .308, I have had DPMS versions come to me and they seem to have problems with the BCG, an Armalite from last weekend seemed to have a weak trigger spring (at least it was in correctly) and not getting good primer strikes from the firing pin. Would suggest the LMT AR-10 MWS as the version to buy, as the British MoD are fielding it for British forces, so LMT should have operational feedback to put into weapon improvement.

35NCO
03-12-2014, 20:17
I think you can still have a 80% machined by someone else. If they are not a FFL or SOT type 07 and it is your buddy or something, you must at least be present.

Any FFL that is registered to manufacture can do it on their own. It would require a 4473 once it is complete and some sort of marking and SN on the receiver. It also depends on your original purpose of buying a 80%.

The only trouble I could see is that if you had a friend doing the machining for you all the time and they are not a FFL type, there would be a issue of them manufacturing firearms without a license. It would be considered engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms. I could see problems there in the long run.

Currently, depending on state laws, federally you are okay to finish it yourself or make any other firearms you want that is not unregistered NFA. As long as it is a Title I firearm. Title II you will need to file your Form 1 and wait.

You also should not ever sell it. If you sell even two, that would also be a problem because you would be selling guns that you made without a license. I have heard before that some custom 1911 makers get away with selling 1-5 guns a year without a license, but that is treading a very thin line.

I would recommend some type of marking on it with some sort of SN just in case. Yes, it is generally legal for it to not be marked, but it is a good idea to anyway just in case a LE does not understand the law. As long as they can run a SN through their system that proves it is not a stolen gun, you should be good to go. With that, try not to copy any other manufactures SN encoding, make up something random on your own.

MR2
03-12-2014, 20:26
I understand and have confirmed the legalities and precise procedures of 80% personal builds in my state. Not interested in discussing it or have erroneous info distracting the issue.

Thank you.

It is my understanding that the BATFE is moving to close this "loophole" soon. A potential trap is having the work done at a facility that holds a FFL - even if you do the work yourself.

As for S/N - yes. Something like a date of manufacture is wise as a S/N. Also if you want to put it into a trust, the trust has to be established before the build. You will then have to engrave the name of the trust on the weapon.

MR2
03-27-2014, 10:24
Test milling will be done on Sunday. In process of ordering parts.

Building three weapons. .308 DMPS AR10 Rifle; 300BLK Carbine with a second 5.56 Rifle Upper; and a 300BLK Pistol.

Looking at Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced (SSA-E) Trigger (http://geissele.com/super-semi-automatic-enhanced-ssa-e-trigger.html) for the .308 AR10 and the Geissele 2 Stage (G2S) Triggers (http://geissele.com/geissele-2-stage-trigger.html) for the 300BLK Pistol and 300BLK Carbine/5.56 Rifle.

Looking at Criterion Barrels (http://criterionbarrels.com/) which is basically the wholesale side of Krieger. Looking at these (http://criterionbarrels.com/barrels/ar-10) for the .308 AR10. Need to decide which is best for hitting 1'x2' stationary targets at 1K open sight and 2"x4" stationary targets at 1k scoped. For the 5.56 Carbine I'm considering the Hybrid contour AR-15 barrels (http://criterionbarrels.com/barrels/ar-15/ar-15-hybrid) in .223 WYLDE. I understand that this barrel will take standard 5.56 rounds. Intent is to be able to accurately engage targets out to 500-600m. Have the 300BLK barrels covered.

Lengths and twists? Stainless Steel or Chrome Moly? Light, Medium, Heavy? Nitride?

Gun Trust is in place. Starting the Suppressor research. Want a single purpose can that will fit all three barrels (.308 Rifle/300BLK Carbine & Pistol/5.56 Rifle). Plan to use the can always for practice using regular and subsonic ammo. Not so concerned about using subsonic for long range shooting.

Looking for advice and recommendations. Thank you.

Miles
03-29-2014, 20:05
Once you try that Geissele SSA-E trigger, (if you haven't already) you won't want anything else. They're just that sweet.

One of our pilots here has gone absolute crazy ape on them. He's got 4 different lowers with them and even exchanged a SSA for the E model because a slight difference could be felt.

He convinced a few other of the guys here to go with them as well, but they've only got one or two ARs.

Rob_Frey
03-30-2014, 12:05
"For the 5.56 Carbine I'm considering the Hybrid contour AR-15 barrels in .223 WYLDE. I understand that this barrel will take standard 5.56 rounds. Intent is to be able to accurately engage targets out to 500-600m. Have the 300BLK barrels covered.

Lengths and twists? Stainless Steel or Chrome Moly? Light, Medium, Heavy? Nitride?"


16" or 18", whichever you prefer. Stainless Steel 1:8" twist. Medium (standard) weight. Nitride if the money is no issue.

MR2
03-30-2014, 23:08
Thank you.

grog18b
05-01-2014, 09:29
I think you can still have a 80% machined by someone else. If they are not a FFL or SOT type 07 and it is your buddy or something, you must at least be present.

That is a big negative. YOU must complete the firearm yourself, unless you do the 4473 with the person who actually did the work. That's the whole purpose of selling and buying 80% IMO. No paper trail, so when the soviets show up and ask for the 4473, your rifle will not be listed. :) (hahaha)

I have used several 80%, and the best I've found are from HLF manufacturing. Stay away from polymers for now, until they get their heads out of their collective arses... They (HLF) are well completed, as in no burrs, or rough edges, all the holes that are done are perfect, and the material is of good quality. I bought a set of jigs from Jason at CNC guns, and they really work nice with the HLF lowers. His site has tutorials that take you step by step so you can complete yours with only a drill press and a few specialty bits. He even sells those bits all together in a kit.

If you have any questions, you can pm me and I can help you. GROG

MR2
05-01-2014, 11:10
That is a big negative. YOU must complete the firearm yourself, unless you do the 4473 with the person who actually did the work.


Correct. In fact all lowers 10 ea. AR10, 20 ea. AR15) are milled. Waiting on parts to arrive. :)

Loadsmasher
05-01-2014, 11:26
Correct. In fact all lowers 10 ea. AR10, 20 ea. AR15) are milled. Waiting on parts to arrive. :)

20 total? That's what I would call "not effing around".:eek: