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Best AR Lower?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by bluecz97b, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. bluecz97b

    bluecz97b Gresham Member

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    I'm starting an AR build. I'm looking at several manufacturers and I wanted some opinions on who makes the best lowers. Thank for your input.
     
  2. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I have owned about 10 lowers... Have not been able to tell a difference really as long as they fit your upper... I have historically seen a LOT of mods to OLY halfs fit to non OLY other halfs. If they are tight (superior to colt to bushmaster to DPMS to Rockriver to to Model 1 to M&A to PWA to LWRC to whatever) doesnt really matter in my book.

    Full factory original rifles are always going to command more $ on the back side but right now for shooting.... my very favorite is a colt upper, OLY barrel, MI handguard, Highstandard BCG on a Superior lower, Magpul stock and pistol grip and Aimpoint. Runs like a champ and shoots 1.5 MOA as a parts bastardized gun. Perhaps I got lucky but of all the ones I own, this is my favorite.
     
  3. JC Weaponry

    JC Weaponry Newberg, OR Member

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    Don't base your opinions on brand or logo.

    Make sure you take a look at the Anodizing.
    1. Is it Black? Grey? Black Faded to Purple?
    2. Are there any problems, light spots, or issues?

    Take a look at the Machining.
    1. Is the finish smooth? or does it show machining Marks?
    2. Did the manufacturer remove the flashing? (Forging line that runs the entire lower)
    3. How does the FCG area look? (look for consistent wall thickness, pin holes concentric.)
    4. How does the engraving look? (depth of lettering, straightness, evenness of the depth throughout the logo.)

    There are a few other things to look for, such as:

    Is the magwell EDM or Broach Cut?
    Is the magwell tight or loose with USGI mags?
    Is the buffer retaining pin in the right location? (not too far forward or rear)
    How do the threads look for the buffer tube? (tall, short, tight or loose?)

    What is the warranty of the lower? What happens when the lower is out of spec?

    remember that "MIL SPEC" is a range of tolerances and they can be loose if two "Mil Spec" parts on the loose range are mated together. The same can be true of VERY tight parts. Don't base your choice on MIL SPEC alone.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------



    All of that being said, I think you should take a good look at MEGA Machine Shop. They are local, available and the prices are always right. (you are not paying an inflated price for brand name or loyalty when you buy MEGA)


    oh, and are you looking for Forged or Billet Lowers??
     
  4. bluecz97b

    bluecz97b Gresham Member

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    I think I want to go with billet. Isn't it stronger?
     
  5. JC Weaponry

    JC Weaponry Newberg, OR Member

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    No, billet is not stronger than Forged when comparing the same size.
    Billet Lowers are reinforced to compensate for the difference.

    Think of it this way:

    Forging compresses the raw material into the rough shape of the part and inherently adds strenght to the part from the process.

    Billet is just that. a RAW block of BILLET Aluminum, milled out to be the final product.

    The main difference is that you are not limited to size constraints found with forgings, so the designs are essentially endless. That is why there are so many different billet lowers on the market, each with different features.

    If you want to jump on the billet bandwagon, know what you want to do with it before you buy one. Integrated Trigger Guards, Flared Magwells, etc etc etc... all do not change the accuracy of the weapon, but will "potentially" give you an edge over the standard forged design.


    My word of advice: Avoid CAST lowers. They can have flaws not seen.

    Also, make sure your lower is made from 7075-T6 Aluminum.
     
  6. benriquez19

    benriquez19 Auburn W.A. Member

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    I like the BCM lowers, they come with some good features and come at a fair price.
     
  7. Iceberg

    Iceberg Forest Grove Active Member

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    Check out AR15.com, they have tons of info on lowers. I have CMMG, DPMS & LMT complete lowers and they are all pretty much the same except for markings.
     
  8. JC Weaponry

    JC Weaponry Newberg, OR Member

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    Larue's lowers are made by SMOS in Oregon.

    BCM doesn't make their own lowers either.


    Like I said, don't go off of "Brand" when choosing a lower.

    There are currently a dozen or so "True" Manufacturers out there, MANY since the 08 Election and MANY to Avoid.

    Some of the "True" Manufacturers: (in no particular order, list taken from CalGuns)

    LMT = LMT, Lauer(old), DS Arms, PWA, Eagle, Knights Armament, Barrett, Bushmaster (?)

    CMT = Stag, RRA, High Standard, Noveske, Century (current), Global Tactical, CLE, S&W, MGI, Wilson Tactical, (some?) Colt, Ratworx

    LAR = Grizzly, Bushmaster (L Prefix), Ameetech, (?)DPMS, CMMG, Double Star, Fulton

    JVP = Double Star, LRB

    MMS = Mega, GSE, Dalphon, POF (forged), Alexander Arms,

    Olympic = Olypmic, SGW, Tromix, Palmetto, Dalphon, Frankford, (old) Century

    Sun Devil = Sun Devil forged billet receivers

    Superior = Superior Arms, Lauer (current)

    Grenadier Precision

    AERO
     
  9. bluecz97b

    bluecz97b Gresham Member

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    Well, I decided to go with a Stag lower. After looking a few different ones it was one of the cleanest forged lowers I found and very reasonably priced. Thanks for all of the input. I'll take pics and keep everyone up to date on the build.
     
  10. benriquez19

    benriquez19 Auburn W.A. Member

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    BCM lowers come with a mil spec tube with a stalked nut, H buffer, un-notched hammer and a low shelf for RDIAS incase you ever want to "buy the stamp" these are all things I would probably end up replacing on most other brands setup. If you are going to build it from scratch thats another story.
     
  11. RallySoob

    RallySoob Salem, OR Active Member

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    7075 Billet is stronger than forged aluminum. Above poster is refering to 6061

    If you want the best get a Billet lower that has the mini reciever cincher. Not sure what its called exactly but its a rod you can adjust to tighten the play between the upper and lower reciever to the point it is about gone which makes for more accuracy, especially on follow up shots. I bought the Tactical Innovation T-15 BDX and love it. I have adjusted that little thing to the point I literaly have 0 play between my recievers. I love it. The billet looks so much better too...


    (Click the link and READ THE WHOLE PAGE for description of features)
    It's only $160 now!? I paid $250 for this reciever a year ago...
    http://www.tacticalinc.com/t15bdx-billet-deluxe-billet-machined-ar15-lower-receiver-p-1082.html

    adjustment feature
    smarb2-17-500.jpg
    smarb2-18-500.jpg
     
  12. JC Weaponry

    JC Weaponry Newberg, OR Member

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    Accuracy in the AR15 Platform has nothing to do with upper to lower fit.

    Barrel to Receiver Fit (Proper Torque)
    Bolt to Barrel Fit (Proper Headspace)
    Barrel Twist
    Bullet Weight
    Chamber Type (5.56, .223, Wylde)

    Those are the Main Accuracy Concerns
     
  13. RallySoob

    RallySoob Salem, OR Active Member

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    You do not think play between your upper and lower reciever effects followup shot accuracy? Is that what you are saying? If so, you are dead wrong... Also, have you ever seen a competition bench setup? ...0 play, heavy billet everything... less flex equals more accuracy. ever seen an AK47 in slow motion? ya flex is bad...

    edit: Oh wait...now I remember you ;) wwaahhh wahh
     
  14. gunhummer

    gunhummer Columbia Gorge Member

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    Good info on receivers thanks.

    Interesting opinion diversity in the play between the upper and lower. In my early grunt days my first issued rifle was an A1 with a crazy low 6 digit serial number that probably saw action in Tet. It was worn to the dull silver aluminum of a wire-wheeled beer can. The thing had enough slop to rattle as bad as a basic issue mess kit with a silverware set inside. I didn't shoot a qual score less than 39 out of 40 on a full 300 meter range with timed pop-up ivan targetry with that rattle trap. And a pop-Ivan "soldier" target is really the size of a full grown 2 year old. At 300 meters the target is smaller than your front post. You just put the tiny head on top. In fact the only round I threw was in a Ft. Lewis downpour when a big glob of rain dripped right into the rear peep and I blew a 100 meter rushed shot after clearing my drowned sights. Man that old hunk could shoot. Sorry... nastalgia got the best of me.
     
  15. motohead185

    motohead185 Portland, OR Member

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    good luck on your evil black rifle build i just recently finished my first AR build. I went with a TKS billet lower (same as a sundevil) and i bought a delton 16" middie heavy barrel rifle kit chamered in 5.56 w/o handguards, BCG, and flas hider.
    The rifle is now setup with a Vortex flash hider, Adams Arms piston kit, Samson midlength rail from Rainier Arms, BCM gunfighter mod 4, Magpul MBUS, and Magpul MOE stock. This rifle is so much fun to shoot and accurate too.
     
  16. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    I beg to differ on that one. I agree with everything else you said but a tight upper to lower fit does make a difference.
     
  17. KENOC

    KENOC Portland area Member

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    Don't forget the Anchor TKS, a real nice billet lower.
     
  18. KENOC

    KENOC Portland area Member

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    Billet is fine if from 6061 T6......they are basically stress free though so should never have an issue either way.