What to know about 80% Lowers

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by shellster, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. shellster

    shellster Locked & Loaded

    My wife is wanting an AR15 of her own. With the crazy AR15 prices these days (and the general fact that I don't like buying AR's on the books in this current climate), I've been thinking about having her get an 80% lower, and helping her finish it.

    I built my own AR (from a stripped lower), and I think it would be a good experience for her to build her own.

    I have access to a 12 speed drill press with a clamping table. Providing I have the guides, is finishing a lower really something we can do with just a regular drill press? I know a lot of people recommend a proper metal mill, but I certainly don't have access to one.

    If we embark on this path, what are some things we should know about in advance? Also, how much of the process can I help her with, without potentially getting on the wrong side of the ATF?
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    MGI modular magwell lowers now sold separately Black Rifle Forum Jul 24, 2015
    AR Lowers Wanted To Buy Jul 21, 2015
    WTS: New Colt AR-15 30 round magazines with green followers Gun Parts & Accessories Jul 17, 2015
    Ever have someone send you a picture of the flowers you sent them...... The Okie Corral Jul 15, 2015
    WTS 2 Complete AR Pistol Lowers w/Sig Brace & 1 Windham Weaponry HBC Complete Upper All NIB in TX Gun Parts & Accessories Jul 11, 2015

  3. BATF considers and 80% lower an unfinished chunk of aluminum. It can ship to your house. (check state and local regs) You can finish the 80% lower on a drill press but you need the jigs to do it.

    I just machined 2 on my cnc mill with no fixtures.(just a vise) However each lower was from a different manufacturer so they were not machined identical.

    It is not required however for best wear the lower should be sent off to be anodized with a MILA8625 Type III hardcoat which runs From $50-$100+.

    Honestly if I did not have a mill I would just have bought a stripped lower with SN or a complete lower vs buying fixtures, whittling it out on the drill press and paying to have it anodized.

  4. I just don't understand the reasoning for buying one of these 80% lowers. The quality of the final product will be inferior to a factory lower. If you are so concerned about there being no record of the sale you can just as easily buy a factory-built lower through a private sale. The only situation where these 80% lowers makes any sense is in California where all private sales have to go through a FFL.
    #3 Walter Bishop, Feb 16, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  5. Glock21Owner

    Glock21Owner NRA Life Member

    I think the appeal lies in that according to federal law, anyone can make one firearm for their personal use and it doesn't need a serial number
  6. shellster

    shellster Locked & Loaded


    True that. I could just get a lower, but to be honest, I really want to try to roll my own, just for the hell of it. I know it will probably cost me more than an actual stripped lower, but if I know I can pull it off, it would be a lot of fun to do.

Share This Page

Duty Gear at CopsPlus