AR15 Build from 80% lower

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ScottDLS
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AR15 Build from 80% lower

#1

Post by ScottDLS » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:01 pm

I've built 2 AR15's with finished lowers from Spike's Tactical. Anyone have experience doing one from an 80% lower? I thought it might be a fun project to build up a "custom" AR-15 from an 80% lower. I have no formal machining experience and would be looking for recommendations on reasonably priced drill press and router that a beginner could use. If I was rich I'd get a Type 07/02 FFL (manufacturer/NFA SOT) and build some custom full auto's...maybe someday. But in the meantime I'll start with finishing 80% lowers with a Dremel and Dewalt. "rlol" "rlol"

Anyone have suggestions where to start?
4/13/1996 Completed CHL Class, 4/16/1996 Fingerprints, Affidavits, and Application Mailed, 10/4/1996 Received CHL, renewed 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2016...). "ATF... Uhhh...heh...heh....Alcohol, tobacco, and GUNS!! Cool!!!!"


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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#2

Post by eyedoc » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:41 pm

ScottDLS wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:01 pm
I've built 2 AR15's with finished lowers from Spike's Tactical. Anyone have experience doing one from an 80% lower? I thought it might be a fun project to build up a "custom" AR-15 from an 80% lower. I have no formal machining experience and would be looking for recommendations on reasonably priced drill press and router that a beginner could use. If I was rich I'd get a Type 07/02 FFL (manufacturer/NFA SOT) and build some custom full auto's...maybe someday. But in the meantime I'll start with finishing 80% lowers with a Dremel and Dewalt. "rlol" "rlol"

Anyone have suggestions where to start?
A cheap mill works a lot better.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#3

Post by PriestTheRunner » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:13 pm

eyedoc wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:41 pm
A cheap mill works a lot better.
I would have to second this.

The only 'proper' way to do a real 80% lower is with a proper jig, router, and drill.

Jig: 280$ https://www.5dtactical.com/multiplatfor ... 5d-pmj.htm
Router: 165$ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049ZFUK2/re ... vDb0772FQJ
Milling Bits: 45$ (Can handle about 50-200 builds depending on material, so its more like a one off purchase)

80% Lower: 40 - 50$ https://www.5dtactical.com/ar-15-80-low ... -s/109.htm and https://www.80-lower.com/products/80-lo ... ed-1-pack/

Basically you will be paying an extra $490 - 500 dollars to save 10 bucks and a transfer fee off a completed lower, which can be found fairly easily right now for 60 - 200 bucks. If presidents change and things get scarce again, then it could make sense when all lowers are priced like gold blocks, but right now just buy normal lowers and save for future use. IMO

It is kinda cool for the novelty of it, though.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#4

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:07 pm

I have a pretty nice 5.56/.308 jig kit, but haven’t used it yet. The main reason why not is simply that, up til now, I could buy a complete stripped lower for less than a 80% lower. But that may change soon.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
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My dream is to have lived my life so well that future generations of leftists will demand my name be removed from buildings.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#5

Post by ScottDLS » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:56 pm

PriestTheRunner wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:13 pm
eyedoc wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:41 pm
A cheap mill works a lot better.
I would have to second this.

The only 'proper' way to do a real 80% lower is with a proper jig, router, and drill.

Jig: 280$ https://www.5dtactical.com/multiplatfor ... 5d-pmj.htm
Router: 165$ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049ZFUK2/re ... vDb0772FQJ
Milling Bits: 45$ (Can handle about 50-200 builds depending on material, so its more like a one off purchase)

80% Lower: 40 - 50$ https://www.5dtactical.com/ar-15-80-low ... -s/109.htm and https://www.80-lower.com/products/80-lo ... ed-1-pack/

Basically you will be paying an extra $490 - 500 dollars to save 10 bucks and a transfer fee off a completed lower, which can be found fairly easily right now for 60 - 200 bucks. If presidents change and things get scarce again, then it could make sense when all lowers are priced like gold blocks, but right now just buy normal lowers and save for future use. IMO

It is kinda cool for the novelty of it, though.
Awesome! Thanks for the links. I’m mostly interested in doing it for the learning experience and because I can (for now). I had fun building up my 2 stripped lowers and accessorizing my store bought AR15s.

I even reactivated my memory from 1986 when the Marine Corps taught me to disassemble an M16 down to the bolt and firing pin. I was in the Navy, but the Marines had the M16s and we had M14s. So they had to issue us some of theirs for small unit rifleman training. We wouldn’t even have gotten that except we were officers. If you think the LTC range qualifications are scary with newbies, you should see Navy small arms quals. :evil2:
4/13/1996 Completed CHL Class, 4/16/1996 Fingerprints, Affidavits, and Application Mailed, 10/4/1996 Received CHL, renewed 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2016...). "ATF... Uhhh...heh...heh....Alcohol, tobacco, and GUNS!! Cool!!!!"


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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#6

Post by uthornsfan » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:09 am

In sure it can be done with a drill and router plus jig.

However, using any kind of mill would be better. I did mine on a mill manually, using cad drawings for the dimensions. I was lucky to have access to a legit mill for free, so it didn't cost me anything but time.
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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#7

Post by Hack Job » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:30 am

PriestTheRunner wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:13 pm
Basically you will be paying an extra $490 - 500 dollars to save 10 bucks and a transfer fee off a completed lower, which can be found fairly easily right now for 60 - 200 bucks.
This.

I've invested over $600 in tooling. 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen 2, Rigid trim router, end mills, drill bits, Cerakote setup. Plus AR tools, blocks, pin punches, etc. And of course some lowers. Then even more money when you end up going down NFA rabbit hole.

Was worth every penny to me.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#8

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:54 pm

This is the jig I have: https://jtactical.com/products/47
Image
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.—The Annoyed Boy
My dream is to have lived my life so well that future generations of leftists will demand my name be removed from buildings.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#9

Post by tbrown » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:48 pm

When lowers go up in price, so will 80% lowers.
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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#10

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:25 pm

tbrown wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:48 pm
When lowers go up in price, so will 80% lowers.
It seems to me that 80% lowers have never been a bargain. Yeah they’re affordable, but at no point have I ever seen one priced lower than a factory finished one. In my opinion, they’re priced high because hobbyists will pay to indulge their hobby, and some people (like me) would like to have an entirely off the books AR. You pay extra for those things....that, and the economies of manufacturing scale.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.—The Annoyed Boy
My dream is to have lived my life so well that future generations of leftists will demand my name be removed from buildings.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#11

Post by snorri » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:21 pm

ScottDLS wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:01 pm
I've built 2 AR15's with finished lowers from Spike's Tactical. Anyone have experience doing one from an 80% lower? I thought it might be a fun project to build up a "custom" AR-15 from an 80% lower. I have no formal machining experience and would be looking for recommendations on reasonably priced drill press and router that a beginner could use. If I was rich I'd get a Type 07/02 FFL (manufacturer/NFA SOT) and build some custom full auto's...maybe someday. But in the meantime I'll start with finishing 80% lowers with a Dremel and Dewalt. "rlol" "rlol"

Anyone have suggestions where to start?
I completed two aluminum lowers and one polymer. That I will admit to. :evil2:

You can get a Polymer80 AR lower kit (lower, jig, bits) for $75 at Midway or Brownells, and they often have a free shipping coupon. With a steady hand and patience, you can finish that with a handheld electric drill and a Dremel. It's a good way to get your feet wet.

Completing an aluminum lower almost demands a jump up to a drill press, bench vise and a router. Or a mill, like eyedoc suggested. You could do it with handheld power tools but why? Although...if you speak Pashto you can probably do it without power tools.
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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#12

Post by uthornsfan » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:53 am


This.

I've invested over $600 in tooling. 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen 2, Rigid trim router, end mills, drill bits, Cerakote setup. Plus AR tools, blocks, pin punches, etc. And of course some lowers. Then even more money when you end up going down NFA rabbit hole.

Was worth every penny to me.
Please tell me you didn't complete an 80% lower to then just turn around, serialize it, and register it as an NFA item.

Also, please tell me, you didn't make an NFA item on an unregistered 80% lower...

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#13

Post by Hack Job » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:33 am

uthornsfan wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:53 am

Please tell me you didn't complete an 80% lower to then just turn around, serialize it, and register it as an NFA item.

Also, please tell me, you didn't make an NFA item on an unregistered 80% lower...
No, the 80% lowers were gateway to some other Form 1 projects.

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#14

Post by ScottDLS » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:48 pm

Great input everybody! Thanks. I'm following the links and will probably be buying the tools and supplies bit by bit. :tiphat:
4/13/1996 Completed CHL Class, 4/16/1996 Fingerprints, Affidavits, and Application Mailed, 10/4/1996 Received CHL, renewed 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2016...). "ATF... Uhhh...heh...heh....Alcohol, tobacco, and GUNS!! Cool!!!!"

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Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#15

Post by johncanfield » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:08 pm

I've completed a couple of 80% lowers using a Little Machine Shop vertical mill, very fun project and I've used the mill (and my lathe) to machine a couple of suppressors. I have a stamp for one more suppressor - need to get busy with that.
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