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Question : Billet AR-15 Better Than Forged?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by skydiver, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning on a AR build.

    Are the billet lowers and uppers (i.e. Mega for example) really worth the extra money over forged?

    I knew you guys would be the ones that would know.

    thanks!
     
  2. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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  3. Spadkarma

    Spadkarma South Lake Whatcom Member

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    Only if you want to write about it in Firearms forums rather than shooting or hunting with them. I would spend that extra money in the barrel, trigger or otics.
     
    titsonritz and (deleted member) like this.
  4. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    ^ this

    Buy a name brand forged lower and don't look back.
     
  5. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The billet receivers may or may not be as strong as a mil-spec forged 70775 receiver. It well depend on the outside dimensions, given the same size, forged is slightly stronger. Billet receivers normally offer a sightly different finished shape than the forged units. Some billet uppers are oversize for increased stiffness for long barreled target builds. Both are strong enough, pick the options you want, just avoid cast or polymer/carbonfiber.

    Is it worth the extra money? Only you can decide that, does it fill your needs?
     
  6. nubus

    nubus Guest

    My MEGA ARMS billet lower mates perfectly to the profile on the billet monolithic upper.
    Otherwise I would not have bothered.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There is a definite difference between strengths, forged vs. CNC

    Here's a good explanation from a metallurgical stand point rather than a "marketing view".

    CNC is popular because it allows someone to manufacture just a few parts for far less cost than creating the necessary high strength dies, and buying the huge presses necessary to forge the same parts.

    If you want "stylish" buy CNC. If you aren't as concerned about appearances and "uber-cool", just want a nice strong receiver, buy forged.
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I used my Google-Fu. Can't remember exactly where.
     
  9. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    All manufacturers get the raw forging from the same two or three makers. The raw forging has a higher cost than a piece of billet, BUT, the billet part requires much more machine time and that increases the cost factor. That's why billet receiver generally cost more than forged. Billet receiver gives the builder more options than the forged receivers. Pick your poison.


    This is not always true. There are billet uppers specifically designed with increased strength for heavy barreled competition builds. Obviously if your building for CQC you want a forged upper. Depends on what the end goal is.
     
  10. SICARIO

    SICARIO Oregon City Active Member

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    As far as the strength between forged and machines, there is such a small difference that we will never see the differences as shooters.

    Casting, forging and machining are all processes dependent on economics.

    If a part is in low production, or a specialty part, you machine it. If the part is high production and of simple design, you forge it. If the part is too complex to forge or machine, you cast it. That's how it works in the aerospace industry. There's really no significant difference in strength since heat treating and HIP process are used to treat the metal.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Ask Olympic Arms how those investment cast receivers worked for them. Apparently they didn't consult the Aerospace industry.
     
  12. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Cast aluminum is an exception.

    Ruger uses cast steel
    SAI uses cast steel
    S&W uses mim steel

    Modern production methods are well proven, the debate about MIM vs cast vs forged vs billet is mostly just chatter.
     
  13. robbalot

    robbalot Vancouver, Washington, United States Member

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    Yeah, save your money. The rifle is only the beginning of an AR, you can expect to drop another 50 to 75% on the condiments. ARs are kinda like making a really great sub sandwich, you start with a good roll and then pile on all your favorite stuff until you can't even fit in in your mouth.

    Then you post on the couch with a bloated belly, moaning cuz you can't believe you ate the whole thing.
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Probably the best description of an AR I've ever read.

    Let's also not overlook the fact that history has shown that battles and wars are not always won by those with the "fanciest" weapons. Wonder how many of our troops died in Vietnam when shot by a Vietcong carrying an old pre-WWII MAS-36? Or in Afghanistan by a mujihahideen with a Mosin-Nagant?