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80% complete lowers? Whats the GT consensus???

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by mixflip, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. mixflip

    mixflip

    6,825
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    Mar 4, 2009
    I was at a gun show today and saw my first 80% AR15 lower up close. They guy was selling them for $80

    What do my fellow Glock Talkers think of these? Im intrigued.

    P.S. I just saw on ARFCOM that American Spirit Arms is offering 90% lowers now! $129
     
  2. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    7,958
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    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    If you have an end mill, prints, and a lot of talent, they might be fun to play with.

    If you don't have all of those, I don't see the point unless you want an expensive paperweight.
     


  3. mixflip

    mixflip

    6,825
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    Mar 4, 2009
    Apparently all you need is a regular drill press. You can buy the jig that makes making the holes and cuts cave man simple.

    I dont think the point of making a cheap lower is the point. I think the apeal is having a lower that is not registered or serialized. I guess the ATF allows folks to build a gun for personal use if they never transfer or sell it. Its basically a paper weight you make yourself, that shoots bullets.

    That might be worth the price of admission?
     
  4. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

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    You also have to anodize it, if you want it to be durable. While this could theoretically be done at home, getting it right probably isn't going to be easy.
     
  5. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    7,958
    3
    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    If you're that desperate for an "of the books" rifle, then buy a lower receiver from a private seller (if that's legal in your state). Doesn't seem worth all the work and headache unless you have all the needed tools and supplies already laying around.

    Almost forgot about that...
     
  6. mjkeat

    mjkeat

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Midwest
    Could you skip anodizing and just ceracoat it?
     
  7. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    7,958
    3
    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Since the anodizing process actually makes the top few thousandths of an inch more durable, AND adds a coating above that, I'm sure you'd be better off anodizing it than not.
     
  8. mixflip

    mixflip

    6,825
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    Mar 4, 2009
    LOL...good point. If someone asks where you bought the lower the answer is...some guy, I forgot his name and I didnt get a receipt. At this time it is legal to buy a long gun face to face in my town so I'll just do that. While its still legal.
     
  9. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    6,125
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    Blue Planet
    It appears that many of you have the "I don't know about it therefore you shouldn't do it" bias.

    Some of you are also missing the "I did it myself" point. There is a lot to be said for learning the skills and doing it yourself. Oh, and anodizing is not hard to do.
     
  10. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

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    Troy
    Anodizing is a must with an aluminin forging. Think of it as surface
    hardening treatment.
     
  11. bmoore

    bmoore

    4,373
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    Jan 15, 2006
    Under a regime.
    Out her in CA you guy the 80% lower and about 100 feet away is where you pay the machine shop. You stand there next to the guy as he walks you through what buttons to push, the mills/machines are set up for AR lowers. The machining takes about 7 minutes a lower. I have a few friends that have done it. There is a 2 hour line wrapped around the building every weekend.
     
  12. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    4,460
    67
    Feb 9, 2005
    Getting it anodized to some degree is one thing. Doing it to the proper mil-spec hardness is another question.
     
  13. Gunny Lingus

    Gunny Lingus Think it moved

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    Oct 21, 2001
    I looked at the 80% lowers and came to the conclusion that all things considered, it would be good to have some "just in case". Same with AK flats. I have lowers that I've never done anything with..... just in case.

    I suspect you could find a machine shop that makes AR lowers and have them anodize it for you.

    If the "worst case scenario" comes to pass, will perfect anodizing and "military spec" really matter that much?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  14. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

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    Troy
    Most machine shops will not touch a 80% lower. Build MUST
    be accomplished npby the owner.

    Worst case scenario,......install a set of KNS pins & go to town.
     
  15. XDRoX

    XDRoX

    6,454
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    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Around here there's a shop on every corner that will complete the milling on an 80% lower. All you have to do is push the button to start the machine. There's build parties every weekend.

    As far as the finish goes most shops will anodize for $10-$20 as long as it's still 80%. Once work has been done to it most shops won't touch it.

    All the 80% lowers I've seen have not been mil spec after they have been made to 100%. It's a sub par product IME. If you want top quality then buy from a known manufacturer.

    Show me an 80% lower that has been completed to 100% and looks half as good as a $120 Stag or JD and I'd be surprised.
     
  16. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    36,125
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    Nov 24, 2005
    Troy
    Does little good to anodize BEFORE the milling is accomplished.
    As far as the milling parties,........skirting the thin gray line a bit
    too far for my taste. ATF is a buch of boys I'd rather not **** with!
     
  17. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    6,125
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    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    There's that "I don't know about it , therefore it is bad" thing again. I looked into it and there are indeed shops that let you come in and machine your lowers on their equipment. You are basically renting or using the equipment that is already set up. Milling parties? No thin gray line at all. The ATF isn't the boogyman. It has been done all the time for decades and you are arguing against it. :upeyes:
     
  18. bigmoney890

    bigmoney890

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Boone, NC
    Unless you plan on cranking out a dozen, or are really paranoid about the gov't knowing you have an AR (or twelve), I don't see any benefit at all. $80 for the 80% lower, plus anodizing or coating of some sort, plus renting the machines (unless you have the drill presses already), plus the jigs needed. There are literally dozens of manufacturers putting out lowers at the $120 or lower range, so I certainly wouldn't pay $129 for a 90% lower. Doesn't seem like you would break even for awhile. So, I guess it's up to you to decide whether the benefits outweigh the hassle/time/costs.


    With all of that said, I did browse over http://www.tacticalmachining.com/. The only instance I can see that I would purchase an 80% lower would be a single shot lower for an AR-15 50 bmg/338 lapua conversion since those single shot receivers are somewhat non-existent.
     
  19. smokin762

    smokin762

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Ohio
    I think it would be cool. I already own a blank upper and lower that I bought at the Gun show for $15.00 each. I am just not sure if I want to do it or not. At my work, we have a Bridgeport about 15 feet from me. I could set it up and run it while I am working. Or just clock out and use it. Anodizing might be a problem though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=30i_6awxEG4
     
  20. smokin762

    smokin762

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Ohio
    You’re missing the point of no serial number. If it’s not on the books, it doesn’t exists.