Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Recommended 80% lowers?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Brutus57, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    5,692
    :eek::eek::eek:
    since the Pro 2A/NRA's defense of the modern sporting rifle is beginning to look as successful as the German siege of Stalngrad in early days of 1942 I have been asked by friends about the efficacy of of 80 % lowers. I have no experience with them so I am asking folks here which brands seem the best and which might not past muster. It's not a stretch that the devil is the finishing the last 20% but one wants to start with a quality hunk of aluminum. Recommendations for these folks who now breve they want to take our guns?

    Brutus Out
     
  2. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

    Messages:
    4,185
    Likes Received:
    6,659
    Stick with 7075 forgings or billet and you are pretty safe. Personally I would not consider a 6061 forging or a poly anything and I have not seen cast ones in a long while but those are a no no as well.
     
  3. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    6,975
    I agree with the 7075 aluminum. it is a bit harder to cut but I like the added strength for reliability

    If you wanted to do a polymer I'd recommend a Tennessee arms one. it has brass inserts for the grip and on the back and they warranty them for breakage for life.
    http://www.tnarmsco.com/liberator-80-receiver-blank-blank-only/

    I did an FDE one last weekend and it was so much faster to complete than an aluminum one.

    otherwise, just go for a tactical machining receiver. For the price you can get several to practice. they will still function great. then once you are more confident get a nicer one that is already coated
    http://www.tacticalmachining.com/80-products/80-ar15-lower-receivers.html

    dont get a flat. :)
     
    Brutus57 and SFGIANTSGUY28 like this.
  4. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    I prefer hellfire lowers , I like the extra threaded holes on the detents and integrated trigger guard.

    That said just go with whatever one that looks cool to you, just go by material being used...

    Tactical machining is a good one as well, honestly I haven't had a bad experience with a 80% yet and I've been buying them off eBay and Etsy at times, lol...

    My favorite jig is the Aim small jig from the Calguns forum..

    There's also companies who do what are called 95% lowers and they already have the rear control pocket milled ...just one less step to do.

    If you're around the snohomish or marysville areas I'd be happy to show you a few different lowers and jigs, I have a decent collection of 80%'s.
     
  5. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    6,975
    what's the benefit of a 95% lower?
     
  6. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    oh about 20mins or so of your time , it'll usually already have the rear lug pocket milled, so you only have to cut the FCG pocket and drill the trigger pins.

    a "95%"


    AR15RAW.jpg


    vs

    80%

    55.jpg



    notice the extra pocket on the top surface, really, there's not much difference,it's just one less pocket you need to cut, which may or may not be a big deal depending on the tools you are using and your skill level....I've personally never fooled with the "95%" ones, didn't see the point since i was doing the work anyways.

    i just thought I'd make you aware that some of these lowers can be slightly less work than others, if you shop around some of the 80%'s will already have this cut as well, the 95% thing is more or less just advertising/coined term for that style/type...if that's a big deal to you or not, that's for you to decide.

    AR15RAW.jpg

    55.jpg
     
  7. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    3,007
    looks to me like the ones with the rear pocket missing are really 75% lowers and misleading, all the ones I've looked have have the lug pocket but thanks for pointing this out I will keep my eye out for the scams...
     
  8. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    3,007
    the 80% lowers I've been looking at are
    80percentarms.com with their easy jig

    or
    80-lower.com sells kits including the jig plus 1 or more 80% lowers in case you mess up.
    https://www.80-lower.com/80-lower-jig/

    The 80percent arms easy jig looks like a nice way to go, especially if you dont already own a small drill press.
    http://www.80percentarms.com/collections/accessories-complete-rifle-kits/products/80-ar-15-easy-jig

    the 80-lower.com kits look nice and I like the idea of getting the kit with 2 lowers. Im pretty confident my first one would be functional but there is always a learning curve and so the second one would look better... all depending on if their jig is quality or not. they have a huge selection of lowers in various configurations and prices... bare/anodized, billet, and forged combinations of. They also sell a complete drill and mill bit set as a kit.

    never built one so I'd love to hear anyone’s opinions on best jigs and lowers to buy...
     
  9. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    i wouldn't go that far, maybe things have changed a bit since i've bought mine, it's been about 8months or so.

    have a look at TM's main page.

    http://www.tacticalmachining.com/80-products.html

    i noticed they have gen 2's out now, which if you notice their blem would be a gen 1 i assume..

    traditionally, an 80% didn't have the rear lug cut out, but as you mentioned, it appears most of them do now...so maybe the market has changed a bit since i last bought some 80%.

    so, i guess at this point i wouldn't call it a scam, I'd just say some do more than others and to ignore my terminology here as it seems outdated.
     
  10. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    6,975
    ah ok. I thought by 95% you meant ATF considered it a firearm and needed to be transferred to an FFL and then drill the pin and safety holes.
     
    Koda likes this.
  11. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    what sort of tools are you using and how many lowers do you see yourself doing over how many years, ect?

    the first thing i noticed was no drill bushings on that jig, unless the jig itself is made from hardened steel I'd really seek out a jig with drill bushings in it if you plan on keeping the jig and doing these for fun for years to come,but if your just looking to bang a couple out and never look back then it's not as much of an issue...

    also, the top plates look like they could be located better, the 4 screw holes will get you there but there's a bit of slop there, really a non-issue.

    otherwise, i like that jig, looks pretty solid, i like that the two sides of the jig are held together by long bolts and not the top plates,if you ever need to pull the top plate off and flip the thing in your vise to get a better angle to do some clean up, you'll really appreciate that design choice.

    of the jigs i own this is my favorite.

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=836906

    drill bushings, top plates located by dowels, jig held together by screws, that's my personal tick list. YMMV of course.

    as i said, the one you linked to isn't shabby in the slightest, lost of people have used that jig and made good lowers, it's a fairly popular one as far as i know, so you should get good results from it.
     
    bolus likes this.
  12. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    well since we're having this whole conversation, 80% isn't a ATF term, they reference it but they say no such thing about 80% of machining equals a firearm vs 81% not being a firearm.
    so 80%, 95% ect is all marketing terms and terms used by laymen.


    from the ATF explanation of what is what:

    Although the frame or receiver may be sufficiently complete
    to be classified and regulated as a “firearm,” it generally requires substantial additional
    machining before it can accommodate fire control
    components such as a trigger, hammer, or sear
    and be used to expel projectiles.

    https://www.atf.gov/file/11711/download

    it's much easier to determine what that means as opposed to 80% machining work is...they care about the trigger pockets and such

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/what-“80”-or-“unfinished-receiver

    general over view from the ATF
    https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/receiver-blanks


    sorry for the confusion, i pretty much suck at communicating this method...lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
    Koda and bolus like this.
  13. KeepnitReel

    KeepnitReel Battle Ground Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    301
    Ronin ,

    Do you know if those jigs are still available. They look like the best I've seen , there's a ton of junk out there for jigs!! I'm not a member at that form. Thanks

     
  14. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    5,692
    I plan on going to the next Monroe meet if that works. So are 95s Un numbered, as it were?
    yes, recommending the right jig for them would be good as well, a friend bought a Sig 556 but he's been asking about building or if I have anything for sale as he's think, wife, son, etc. I don't but I am certainly encouraging him in this direction. He a spent a number of years as an Army infantryman in the early 80s so he is not unfamiliar with the AR. Thanks for the good gouge.

    Brutus out
     
  15. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    i'll drop him a message , he was making his .308 jigs about 6 months ago but haven't seen or heard since..

    sounds good, been a while since I've been there and it's right down the road from me, i'll PM you my contact info in a bit.

    they are still considered paper weights, no numbers, 95% is the same as 80% in the ATF's eyes.

    I'm not really a seller, i like collecting, so i either trade or buy for the most part, depends on what kind of mood the wife is in or what's up for trade, lol

    I'm a big fan of the AR platform for practicality, with so many calibers now and do-dads out there it's really hard not to like these rifles.
     
    KeepnitReel likes this.
  16. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    6,975
    my easy jig has seen multiple receivers now. The drill holes are holding up just fine
    IMG_3099.JPG

    IMG_3099.JPG
     
  17. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    8,536
    Likes Received:
    19,792
  18. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    etrain16 likes this.
  19. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    8,536
    Likes Received:
    19,792
    I came across them in a review. They take a slightly different approach to the milling than I've seen with several others, making it appear, at least to me, to be even easier than with others. When I'm ready to buy a jig, this is in the top 3 of my choices.
     
  20. Ronin Tech

    Ronin Tech Snohomish Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    39
    yeah, after a closer look i'm not sure if the process they have set up will produce as clean part as one that requires a bit more actual milling, if you look at the edges of the pockets they milled you can see some nicks on the edges of the anodizing, more or less they took a tad bit too much off with the drilling work that wasn't totally cleaned up with the milling pass... really you'd get a much cleaner part if it require *slightly* more milling and less drilling.

    i could see this taking a minor amount of sanding to get a nice surface finish on the inside of the pocket...

    i should say that i use my jigs in a CNC mill, though i do most of my work via DRO and eyeball, i don't really make much use of the top plates used for the drilling processes.



    again though, it's really non-critical and due to the way that i work the jig you linked to is perfect for me, i really wouldn't let what i am saying here to make you think it's garbage or anything like that, it's more or less something i noticed that would effect the aesthetics of the lower more than anything else, should not/will not effect function.

    just something to consider, notice the little dots the whole way around the edge of the pocket.

    http://www.brokenarmory.com/media/plate4005.jpg
     
    etrain16 and Koda like this.