AR-15 Lower Receivers?

This is a discussion on AR-15 Lower Receivers? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am wanting to try my hand at building an AR this time. I purchased one complete before. It was a DPMS Panther Lite. Great ...

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Thread: AR-15 Lower Receivers?

  1. #1
    Member Array danielf's Avatar
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    AR-15 Lower Receivers?

    I am wanting to try my hand at building an AR this time. I purchased one complete before. It was a DPMS Panther Lite. Great starter AR i think. Well this time im wanting to build one with all the parts i want on it so i dont get stuff i dont need but yet get stuff i do want.

    Ive never done this so my question is are there any brands to stay away from? Also, i found a few companies that offer composite/polymer type lowers. Like that of the GLOCK frames. I understand it is for weight reduction and that seems nice, but are they of equal quality of one that is made of metal?

    Im not going into battle against the taliban with this thing so im not needing one that is built like a tank. Just something to plink with but if need be "something should happen" here on the home soil, i can defend my family/property.
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    Call Brownell's in Iowa and request an AR catalog. They are nicely into all AR components now and you'll find the parts descriptions to be very useful.

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    I suggest just getting a regular aluminum cast or forged lower. Almost any brand will do just fine. I am biased towards MEGA and owned one that I built from scratch. I loved it and it performed very well.
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Gunsmoke Enterprises has good quality inexpensive lowers. Right now they're $75 I think. They were even cheaper around Christmas last year, I bought several for gifts.

    The only thing I don't like, and Gunsmoke isn't the only company, is that manufacturers put big logos or artwork on the sides of the receivers. GSE has a big Navy Seal symbol. It does not affect the function in any way but why so big?
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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    I'm a newbie to this as well. I read on another forum that Vulcan is a brand to stay away from and noone refuted it and another backed it up...so...take it for what it's worth.

    I looked at a composite gun last Monday and the guy in the store told me it was the best gun in the whole store. I wouldn't dismiss composite but wouldn't assume it's the best just because it is composite. I'm sure as with any thing else, there are probably top notch composite manufacturers and some that may not be made so well. I'm sorry I don't remember the brand of the gun I looked at and sorry I don't have any composite manufacturers I can recommend.

    I'm thinking about building my own as well. Honestly, I think most receivers are over priced. I hadn't heard of the $75 one before which actually sounds reasonable. There doesn't seem to be a lot to a receiver so to see some that are $100 or more seems a little odd to me. I'm sure if it was a piece that went to a door or a dishwasher as opposed to an AR-15, it wouldn't cost near as much - just my .02 for what it's worth.

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    Member Array Seraph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefConGun View Post
    ...Honestly, I think most receivers are over priced. I hadn't heard of the $75 one before which actually sounds reasonable. There doesn't seem to be a lot to a receiver so to see some that are $100 or more seems a little odd to me. I'm sure if it was a piece that went to a door or a dishwasher as opposed to an AR-15, it wouldn't cost near as much - just my .02 for what it's worth.
    I'm sure that, if an AR-15 receiver were made in China, it probably would cost far less than $75.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I got a bunch of Doublestar lowers in a box I bought back when everyone thought a AWB was gonna be the first thing the chosen one would do after he was elected,I have built several rifles on them,they all shoot like they are suppose to.somebody told me there are a handful of companies that produce AR lower receivers,they just put different companies names on them
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    I owned a Carbon 15. I would suggest against a carbon lower or upper. The main reason is the threads are weaker than a alum version. I found the carbon barrel threads are non standard size as well ,so aftermarket rails will not bolt up. For the weight difference it just isn't worth it IMO.
    I built my Stag from parts and couldn't be happier.
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    Member Array 9mmPro's Avatar
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    Bushmaster makes great barrels and lowers for the price, i own Bushmaster so their name precedes them.
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I have built on Double Star and Kaiser lowers. But both of those were aluminum. No problem with either. Can't help you on the composite stuff though.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I suggest picking up an issue of ShotGun news and going through the pages, checking out prices etc..... Then when you find something interesting or a good deal, you can run it by the forum with specifics in mind, or check into reviews on the internet by brand name or keywords. Go to certain websites and get on the mailing list for their deals. I get them from everywhere on almost a daily basis. Another suggestion.....get into one of the AR specific websites/forums. You may be eligible to get better discounts through forum sponsors there as well as having access to more specific information some of us here only dabble in from time to time. Just a suggestion, and I'll leave you with this link as well. Best of luck to you.
    http://buildyourownar15.com/

  13. #12
    Member Array danielf's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone, ill be checking out the suggested companies. Ram Rod. I did just that. Thank you. it really gave me a basic idea on what to look for and what its all priced at. It was a FANTASTIC idea. Thanks again. Oh, and i see you are a Glock lover too huh?
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    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Spikes Tactical makes some of the best. http://www.spikestactical.com/z/inde...ndex&cPath=104
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    New Member Array adanbarter's Avatar
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    I think this is a great thread for defending the home and family using ar this time. I am also seeing for some tutorials for manufacturing ar lower recievers myself. Can you share some technique here? Thank you.

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    Aero Precision..they make great lowers and they make them for name brand companys. Spikes Tactical and Bravo Company come to mind. I was told that they make receivers for around 60 different companies now but that they have a non disclosure agreement with most of them. Chances are that many people on this forum have AP lowers and dont even know it.

    Palmetto State Armory...the last batch I bought were 49 bucks each. They charge 7 bucks shipping no matter how many you buy, which I never did understand, but that brings the cost up to 56 bucks...which is still good any way you look at it. They are good solid lowers. They run this sale every couple of months,so keep an eye out.

    New Frontier Armory, has the LW-15 composite lowers for 99 bucks. These are complete lowers with all the parts. For plinking and fun they work just great. They are composite and not as strong as aluminum, but most people wont use them hard enough to be an issue. They make great .22 guns, and they are good backpackers due to the weight. For 99 bucks, they can be a very cheap build. I wouldn't take one into battle with me in case I had to smack someone upside the head with one, but for everything else they work well.

    Lets talk about manufacuring a lower from a cast blank. I've done it.
    It is not easy and it is time consuming. If you dont have a milling machine or a good solid mill/drill, forget it. If you dont know anything about machining,forget it. You have to have a host of drill bits, reamers, a tap for the stock tube, and if you dont have a digital readout like I do, your layout skills need to be very good. You need to be able to make some jigs to hold the casting in a vice and you need some hold down clamps, angle plates, setup blocks and some other tools as well as some good measuring tools. If these words are meaningless to you then the project is over your head. If you understand, then you can probably manage it.
    I've known of several people that tried it and gave up. Yeah, the blanks can be had for 25 bucks, but if it takes you a a day or two to make it, you haven't saved much. I did it just for the experience using a step by step guide that I printed out and used. I didnt have any problems, but I have been a Machinist for 35 years and I have a Machine Shop behind my house.
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