AR15 Build from 80% lower

Gun, shooting and equipment discussions unrelated to CHL issues

Moderator: carlson1


rm9792
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 2174
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:07 pm

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#16

Post by rm9792 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:36 am

Everybody mentioning the cost of the tools forgets that those tools have other uses. Unless it is specialized for only lowers then the cost can be amortized across many other projects. Never hurts to have a mill (until you move)...

User avatar

PriestTheRunner
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 2
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:33 pm

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#17

Post by PriestTheRunner » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:10 am

rm9792 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:36 am
Everybody mentioning the cost of the tools forgets that those tools have other uses. Unless it is specialized for only lowers then the cost can be amortized across many other projects. Never hurts to have a mill (until you move)...
This is a good point, and a great reason to get a mill as opposed to a jig (only). Mills are dang useful.

User avatar

Topic author
ScottDLS
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 4
Posts: 4659
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:04 am
Location: DFW Area, TX

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#18

Post by ScottDLS » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:58 am

rm9792 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:36 am
Everybody mentioning the cost of the tools forgets that those tools have other uses. Unless it is specialized for only lowers then the cost can be amortized across many other projects. Never hurts to have a mill (until you move)...
Great point. My other project that I need to do as I amass the tools for the AR15 builds, is to make a solid workbench where I can mount the vise grips and tools. :iagree:
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!!!!"

User avatar

Hack Job
Member
Posts in topic: 3
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:00 pm

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#19

Post by Hack Job » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:58 am

PriestTheRunner wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:10 am
rm9792 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:36 am
Everybody mentioning the cost of the tools forgets that those tools have other uses. Unless it is specialized for only lowers then the cost can be amortized across many other projects. Never hurts to have a mill (until you move)...
This is a good point, and a great reason to get a mill as opposed to a jig (only). Mills are dang useful.
I don't have access to a mill and definitely not the budget for a decent setup. By using a solid jig, a good router with new end mills and taking my time I'm pleased with results of the lowers I've finished. There are a few minor tool marks on the first one, but the rest don't look any different to factory.
I did find that 6061 lowers are a little easier to work with than 7075, although if you have a mill that probably doesn't matter much. And have a good shop vac.


priusron
Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:44 am

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#20

Post by priusron » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:30 pm

My jig and router setup has been used for at least 80% lowers. All my girls now have an unserialized lower. My brother and nephews also have one. My wife has an AR9 that shoots awesome. I have another AR9 lower for me that is yet to have an upper attached. There may be a few others floating around. I also have some additional paperweights just waiting in the wings in case they are ever needed. There is something to be said for having the ability to complete a lower in a campground someplace away from nosey neighbors (yes I did that in rural Nevada).

User avatar

tbrown
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 2
Posts: 1685
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:47 pm

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#21

Post by tbrown » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:49 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
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.
It depends where you shop, that's for sure.
sent to you from my safe space in the hill country

User avatar

XinTX
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 440
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:27 pm
Location: League City

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#22

Post by XinTX » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:47 am

If you have a workspace where the shavings aren't an issue, go with aluminum. If you're just going to make it in the garage, go polymer. Those aluminum shavings are like glitter and go EVERYWHERE. And some people in the home get a little upset when you track metal shavings into the house.

Other thing a poly unit does. No need to finish it. And adding something like some Cerakote to the cost makes it less of an advantage from a cost perspective.

I'd definitely say do it. I did one just so I can say I had. It's a fun little project.
“Public safety is always the first cry of the tyrant.” - Lord Gladstone

User avatar

n5wmk
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:45 pm
Location: Lucas, TX

Re: AR15 Build from 80% lower

#23

Post by n5wmk » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:56 am

XinTX wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:47 am
I did one just so I can say I had. It's a fun little project.
:iagree:
That's why I just bought an 80% lower from 5D Tactical. I have my own mill (Bridgeport clone), and I just want to build one to say that I can. Yes, paid a little more for the 80% than I did for a complete lower from Palmetto State. But with the local FFL transfer fee, the cost for both pretty much match.

I've got the tooling already for the mill, so didn't need to buy the jigs.
EDC CZ 2075 RAMI
NRA Benefactor Life Member
USAF 1972-1980
Texas A&M -1980-1984

Post Reply

Return to “General Gun, Shooting & Equipment Discussion”