Here is a list of lowers that are manufactured by someone else. This list may not be accurate due to dated info and the fact that there has been an explosion of many smaller shops that are now using CNC machines to manufacture their own.
Lewis Machine & Tool
Continental Machine Tool
- DS Arms
- Knights Armament
- Rock River Arms
- High Standard
- Century (New)
- Global Tactical
- Wilson Tactical
- Grenadier Precision
- Double Star
- Fulton Armory
- Spike's Tactical
Mega Machine Shop
- Double Star
- Charles Daly
- Alexander Arms
- Century (Old)
- Sun Devil forged billet receivers
- Aero Precision
- Spikes Tactical
- Del Ton
I've been on several forums where heated arguments were going about which receiver was the best and why. I thought it amusing that in many arguments, the owners had no idea that the lowers they are arguing about were produced by the same company.
Something to think about...if its built to Milspecs, it ought to work, no matter who makes it.
They did run a sale where they were selling them for right around $50, but right now they're listed at $80 on their website. Also, shipping to Wisconsin is $10, so it can change depending on where you are.
Originally Posted by HotGuns
I was considering getting a PSA lower for A build I'm going to do, but after shipping and my FFL transfer fee I decided to pay $10 more and just get a Stag lower he had because I like the design and it will work for what I want.
I've got a New Frontier Armory complete polymer lower on the way. Figured for $95.00 I'd give it a try for my first AR.
dont forget about seekins precision, they have done some lowers for spikes and they have quite an interesting look. i am currently building one with their lower and a mega upper...hoping it goes smoothly..
Keep in mind that with HotGuns list, that's mostly just the unfinished lower. Let's say Noveske and RRA both get their's from CMT. Now, when they arrive, LMT and RRA will both machine them to mil spec or their own specs (or have them finished off site to their specs, y'all get the idea). This will basically give you two completely different lowers and the only thing they have in common is the 7075 aluminum.
For example, RRA's are usually very tight fitting and I've seen some where certain uppers won't even close on it. So, take that list with the smallest grain of salt since there's only a couple forgers to choose from in the US. What is most important is the material used and the quality of the final finishing. Some will be very consistent, for the most part, and built to a specific specification while others will build to their own spec and may be tight. Also, final QC is what means the most.
A good comparison to this is barrels. Some may source from Douglass then finish on their own or have them finished. FN is a great example… PSA, BCM, FN and whoever else may (or may not, I don't know) use them, but either order them to their own specs or they order blanks and machine them to their own specs. Again, it's the final finishing that will make all the difference here, not where they are sourced as much.
The portion of polymer lowers where the stock threads in will crack and eventually fail, I've seen photos on ar15.com before of this happening with the plum crazy polymers. Not sure about any other brands. Don't forget just because it's polymer doesn't means it's lighter and better, glocks still have steel in their frames
Fuuny you should mention that. I had a guy the other day bring me a lower that was cracked right at the front pin junction. He wanted to see if I could fix it.
It was totalled. He did it when he overtorqued the barrel nut while having it in a vise. It was an aluminum lower and NO he didnt have the proper vise blocks to protect the lower with.
So, yeah, any lower can fail for a multidude of reasons, whether it is plastic or not.
With that being said, there are thousands of plastic lowers that have not broke and the one that been featured on various gun boards has been broked for quite some time. I think that for most people that just like to have fun, they do just fine.
Unless you're dead set on building one, and you're looking for nothing more than a fun range gun, the M&P15 Sport deserves a look. Very affordable, reliable enough, everything you need for the range and nothing you don't.
If you are in fact dead set on building one, I can't really help you. I'd listen to both HotGuns and jonconsiglio. I know the basics about buying a complete rifle, but I've never researched building my own.
You can't build an upper cheaper than buying one complete.
Lowers are a different story. Shop around for stripped and assembled.
BCM and G&R Tactical both have options for different LPK, triggers, grips, stocks...so it may be cheaper to buy an assembled lower with all the specific parts if you are going high end (Colt LPK, Geissele trigger, and so on)
Know what you are going to do with the rifle before you buy. If you plan on shooting the crud out of it, then please...go with high end known companies. If you are only going to run 500 rounds a year, then you will be fine with Bushmaster, DPMS, Stag, Rock River...
+1 I love Bushmaster, Thats the brand I have always been happy with.
Originally Posted by 9mmPro