Stripped Lowers

This is a discussion on Stripped Lowers within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Is there any difference between the diferrent brands of stripped lowers? Or is it just the name stamped on it? Also, whats a fair price ...

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Thread: Stripped Lowers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Stripped Lowers

    Is there any difference between the diferrent brands of stripped lowers? Or is it just the name stamped on it?

    Also, whats a fair price to find one for at a gun show?

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  3. #2
    Member Array sammage's Avatar
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    Some will have better specs for magwells, I'd just go with a known good one My Spike's tactical was fine (considering it didn't have any obnoxious spider crap on it), also check out Daniel Defense, LMT, S&W, Aero Precision, etc. I would buy online and go through an FFL, most gunshows are overpriced these days. You can find a decent lower for anywhere from $80 to $130 plus transfer.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Just get a mil-spec lower, and you'll have less issues down the road. A stripped lower is something you'll want to build on. Mil-spec parts that will fit are easier to find and easier to work with. Mixed parts will either turn you into a gunsmith overnight, or cause you to pull your hair out trying to put it all together and making it work. I personally don' think an AR build is for the novice. All said and done, the expense of building your own as opposed to buying new or used is minimal now....even if you build the lower yourself and buy a fully compatible upper. A few short years ago, one could buy a stripped lower for $75, and with a lot of time and effort could put together the whole rifle for around $600. Those times have past, and now you won't save half as much building your own in money spent. Forget the time and effort finding the compatible parts. I've seen some real attractive deals on stripped lowers in the past couple of years. Some have bought the stripped lowers in hopes of reselling at a profit. Be careful what you get into. As a previous reply suggested.......
    Some will have better specs for magwells
    That means all things are not equal unless it's mil-spec. be that as it may.

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    Not only are not all made to to Mil-Spec per the contract "Design Data Package," the quality of manufacture can vary. It's one thing to boast that your stuff is made on the latest 5-axis machine, it's quite something else to fixture the parts and program the machine to maintain the required tolerances. Even an incorrect anodizing process can result in finished dimensions being off by several thousandths of an inch. Stick with name-brand manufacturers, not all of whom make finished guns. Do your research on ar15.com.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Ram Rods description makes it sound a lot simpler to just go buy an AR. Sounds like the only advantage may be greater familiarity with the platform in the end.

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    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    Ram Rods description makes it sound a lot simpler to just go buy an AR. Sounds like the only advantage may be greater familiarity with the platform in the end.
    By definition a mil spec part is something which has been inspected and accepted
    by the military in fulfillment of a purchase contract.

    A commercially sold AR lower may meet the same specs but YOU will never know.

    If you buy a lower from a company which also sells complete rifles there should be no problems with small parts compatibility.

    I have assembled two lowers and installed different barreled uppers on both
    with no problems.
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    Senior Member Array tankdriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammage View Post
    Some will have better specs for magwells, I'd just go with a known good one My Spike's tactical was fine (considering it didn't have any obnoxious spider crap on it), also check out Daniel Defense, LMT, S&W, Aero Precision, etc. I would buy online and go through an FFL, most gunshows are overpriced these days. You can find a decent lower for anywhere from $80 to $130 plus transfer.
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    I've used stripped receivers from most manufacturers made and never once had an issue with any of them.
    I've been building AR's for years,even before it was a fad to do so.

    I've even machined them out of blank forgings and had no issues.

    Fact of the matter is, this is the best time to build an AR than at any other time in history. With the acceptance of CNC machines,if you can build it to a print and program it, the tolerances will be tighter than they ever have been. Same way with parts. I used to have to hand fit parts from various makers, I haven't even had to do that in a while.

    People get hung up on "Mil-spec" parts. All that Mil-spec means is that it meets a certain government standard and its not even a standard standard. It could be the type of steel used, it could be a certain specified heat treat, it could be that a certain part has to survive a stress test of some sort, it could mean a lot of things. In many cases commercial parts are superior in every way, doing a function much better than a mil-spec part. This can be seen in the fact that there are many after market triggers that are much better, but they aren't considered Mil-spec because the makers didn't see the need to jump through the many hoops to make it so.

    Lets not forget the fact that most Mil-spec parts are made by the lowest bidder.

    Go with the name brands and get with it. Now is the time to build. Its never been any better.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    you can assemble a rifle for about $650.00,stripped lower and a delton or medel 1 sales rifle kits,I ve assembled guns from both companies and they function just fine
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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    ... Sounds like the only advantage may be greater familiarity with the platform in the end.
    The real advantage is to be able to create something customized to your preferences that may not be available on the market.

    I couldn't find an AR with a telescoping stock and Dissipator style upper, so I bought the parts separately.

    I do not recommend building an upper without research and proper tools. Torque the barrel wrong and the weapon could be unsafe to fire.

    A lower can be assembled with general purpose tools, but is a heck of a lot easier (and less risk of damaging the weapon) if you have them.
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  13. #12
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I've used stripped receivers from most manufacturers made and never once had an issue with any of them.
    I've been building AR's for years,even before it was a fad to do so.

    I've even machined them out of blank forgings and had no issues.

    Fact of the matter is, this is the best time to build an AR than at any other time in history. With the acceptance of CNC machines,if you can build it to a print and program it, the tolerances will be tighter than they ever have been. Same way with parts. I used to have to hand fit parts from various makers, I haven't even had to do that in a while.

    People get hung up on "Mil-spec" parts. All that Mil-spec means is that it meets a certain government standard and its not even a standard standard. It could be the type of steel used, it could be a certain specified heat treat, it could be that a certain part has to survive a stress test of some sort, it could mean a lot of things. In many cases commercial parts are superior in every way, doing a function much better than a mil-spec part. This can be seen in the fact that there are many after market triggers that are much better, but they aren't considered Mil-spec because the makers didn't see the need to jump through the many hoops to make it so.

    Lets not forget the fact that most Mil-spec parts are made by the lowest bidder.

    Go with the name brands and get with it. Now is the time to build. Its never been any better.
    If you are building a hobby gun, there is nothing wrong with the above advice. For hard use carbines, the above advice is not wise.

    Mil-spec does not = lowest bidder. Mil-spec means lowest bidder who meets a minimum standard.

    There is a metric crap-ton of substandard, crappy AR parts out there that do not meet that minimum standard. Triggers are a special weakness; many so-called "high performance" triggers just do not stand up to hard use.

    There ARE better than mil-spec parts. But if you don't know what you are, it is best to stick to those that are. And if you go to M4Carbine.net, you can learn more about what mil-spec means.

    On name brands: Bushmaster, DPMS and Armalite are notoriously bad for cutting corners on quality materials and processes. Buying any one of them is like playing Russian Roullette with your money. Look to Spike's, BCM, Noveske, Colt, Daniel Defense for companies that actually exercise QA/QC on their finished product.

    The amount of bad advice you get on ARs is high; try to find someone who runs their AR hard to get good advice. The typical builder/shooter doesn't know what they don't know about ways ARs go bad.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    you can assemble a rifle for about $650.00,stripped lower and a delton or medel 1 sales rifle kits,I ve assembled guns from both companies and they function just fine


    actulay, with the cav arms lowers, and the sale that had, you could build a full gun for under 500$... not sure if the sales are still going on though

  15. #14
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    On name brands: Bushmaster, DPMS and Armalite are notoriously bad for cutting corners on quality materials and processes. Buying any one of them is like playing Russian Roullette with your money. Look to Spike's, BCM, Noveske, Colt, Daniel Defense for companies that actually exercise QA/QC on their finished product.
    I wouldnt exaclty put Colt in the premier AR category. For years it was Bushmaster that built their internals as Colt had such a large contract to fill that they sub contracted Bushmaster for the internals. And Colts had more problems than anyone else,running lots of parts with faulty heatreats that were breaking left and right.

    Now, the militarys all have Colts and Bushmasters in their arsenals. As for the QC, it all revolves,some being better than others at times and then waning, others not being so good but getting better. Its not a constant thing, its more like a sine wave.

    The average shooter isnt going to spend 1500 on an AR when he can get one for 600 somewhere else. While what you say has some truth to it, these guys arent humping 60 pounds packs on their backs or sleeping in the sand with their rifles. They are'nt killing people with them or bleeding all over them, so the little extras that the higher end models have dont mean so much to them. They are simple shooters that have a good time with them. They shoot crows, coyotes and all manner of creatures with them and they shoot them alot at paper. They can not justify the spending twice the price on something that they can not see as tangible.

    Mil-spec means lowest bidder who meets a minimum standard.
    Hmm.. I figured that most people knew that if was Milspec, it met a standard..but maybe not.

    Even so, there are a ton of websites that have good info that deal just with AR's. Like any other board, some of it is good and some of it is pure BS.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    Aero Precision actually makes lowers for Spikes. Aero is a Boeing sub-contractor and their manufacturing is first rate. I have built numerous AR's using Spikes lowers and all have been perfect. For $99 you can't go wrong.

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