80% AR Lower

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80% AR Lower

Post by lailr » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:35 pm

Tried search function, and I've been lurking on Google and YouTube too....

What's the best way to get started with an 805 lower? Feeling the need to get into it, for reasons I won't get into. Seen the videos on Youtube, but does anyone know of especially Easy/Cheap/Reliable options?

I'm fairly handy, it just seems rough as a cob to drill bit the lower out

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:51 pm

What machinery is available to you? Power drill, drill press, router or milling machine? My sense is that the tools you have access to may make some of the available jig systems out there more desirable than others. Also: are you looking at a metal or a polymer lower?

I've never done it myself but like you have reasons for being intrigued by the idea. I've done some research, so I'm only dangerous at this point. I'm sure other forum members who've actually done it will chime in and tell me I'm asking you all the wrong questions.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:25 am

To do it right you will want a drill press, a router, a GOOD vice, and a jig.

But I'll give the same advice I give most anyone that is curious; if you don't buy the 80% and the jig with cash, most all the advantages of having an 80% are nullified.

If you want to save money over a regular lower you will need several friends to buy in with you, and it will take a few lowers to come out ahead, if you ever do.

If you just want a fun project; it is fun, and not terribly hard with the above tools.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by lailr » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:14 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:25 am
To do it right you will want a drill press, a router, a GOOD vice, and a jig.

But I'll give the same advice I give most anyone that is curious; if you don't buy the 80% and the jig with cash, most all the advantages of having an 80% are nullified.

If you want to save money over a regular lower you will need several friends to buy in with you, and it will take a few lowers to come out ahead, if you ever do.

If you just want a fun project; it is fun, and not terribly hard with the above tools.
I have just a hand drill, and a good vise right now. I might purchase a Harbor Freight drill press for the occasion....

As mentioned too, I might go in on a value pack with some friends, one of which has quite an extensive shop. Maybe have a lower party one day over beers.

As for Polymer vs Metal, That's kind of the question too, been trying to decide on. Are the polymers reliable? I mean, it wouldn't get shot too much probably

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by lailr » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:14 am

And I was thinking of purchasing a Vanilla VISA, sitting on it for a bit, then using that to purchase online

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by PistolPete » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:16 am

Beware the cheap harbor freight drill press, I have some, and it has some flex to it. Works fine on wood, but for use for milling or drilling long holes through metal I've found it lacking due to flex and wobble.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:39 am

lailr wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:14 am
I have just a hand drill, and a good vise right now. I might purchase a Harbor Freight drill press for the occasion....

As mentioned too, I might go in on a value pack with some friends, one of which has quite an extensive shop. Maybe have a lower party one day over beers.

As for Polymer vs Metal, That's kind of the question too, been trying to decide on. Are the polymers reliable? I mean, it wouldn't get shot too much probably
hand drill and a vise is fine for p80 glocks, it will just not do for an AR as far as I know. the router is free hand and almost impossible to mess up with a jig; the drill press is primarily for the trigger and selector holes, so you hand drill *might* work for that, but at your own risk.

Polymer ARs are simply not good enough, unless its a Cav arms/GWACS/KE arms style which is not yet available in any kind of p80 form. If its shaped like a traditional aluminum lower they tend to break at the back; simply google "broken polymer lower" for any persuasion you could ever want. Theoretically there could be some argument for a semi-disposable lower; but only if you are casting or 3d printing them I'd say.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by emclean » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:44 am

the polymer lower I bought back in 2012 (complete, not 80%) would not run well for me. the polymer allowed enough flex in the alignment of the buffer tube that the bolt would not return to battery after each shot till I loosened my grip on the rifle. I cant recommend any polymer lower that is in the same pattern of an aluminum one.
(OTOH, I love my Cav Arms lowers, and have a couple the new ones on pre-order)

was rather glad that it all happened in 2012, where I was able to flip the lowers for a profit.

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by lailr » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:55 am

Thanks, metal it is. I'll get back with results

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by PistolPete » Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:47 am

emclean wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:44 am
(OTOH, I love my Cav Arms lowers, and have a couple the new ones on pre-order)
I'm in the same boat, I'm curious if they will ever actually make them. When I ordered it seemed like October was going to the be delivery date.

So does anyone who mills out their own 80% receiver anodize? From what I've read the anodizing is critical to longevity, without it the aluminum is very soft.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by lailr » Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:22 pm

The website says these are Gen 2 Poly lowers, that are reinforced with Kevlar at the buffer tube. Would that change anything?

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by NT2C » Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:36 pm

lailr wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:22 pm
The website says these are Gen 2 Poly lowers, that are reinforced with Kevlar at the buffer tube. Would that change anything?
Well, Kevlar is very flexible so I can't see it doing much to stop the issue of the BCG binding. Might help with the cracking issue though.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by NT2C » Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:54 pm

PistolPete wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:47 am
emclean wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:44 am
(OTOH, I love my Cav Arms lowers, and have a couple the new ones on pre-order)
I'm in the same boat, I'm curious if they will ever actually make them. When I ordered it seemed like October was going to the be delivery date.

So does anyone who mills out their own 80% receiver anodize? From what I've read the anodizing is critical to longevity, without it the aluminum is very soft.
From what I've found and combined with prior knowledge, I'm going to say there aren't many doing it, if at all. Regular color anodizing (type II) doesn't do much other than color the surface of the aluminum without really doing anything else. Hard anodizing (type III) that will stand up to wear and abrasion is much more difficult to do.

http://astro.neutral.org/hard_anodizing.shtml
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by ssdtopgun » Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:09 pm

The coating on the lower does nothing for the strength of the actual lower the strength of the material is what is it. However, different types of finishes will withstand more abuse than others. You can use any type of spray on paint you like or if you want something durable you can use something like the Aluma Hyde II products or Cerakote.

I have used Aluma Hyde II on all kinds of parts and I've dropped them and hit things with them and for the most part didn't even find a scratch in it. I had one rifle I leaned on a tree and it fell over and hit some rocks and there was just small marks in the finish. I took it home and sprayed the area again and let it dry and it looked new again.

Aluma Hyde II
https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tool ... d1117.aspx

Cerekote
https://www.cerakote.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQi ... LUEALw_wcB

Both are super easy to use and both can be air dried. Cerakote does recommend and some version require baking but you can use a standard home oven (assuming your significant other agrees or doesn't find out).

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by PistolPete » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:57 am

RIght, but proper anodizing actually hardens the surface, something you don't get with ceracote and other products. It offers benefits and longevity you don't get from surface coatings, especially at the pin holes.
While protecting the aluminum parts on your rifle, Type III anodizing also has benefits for your rifle’s internals. Because the Type III anodization layer is extremely hard, it cuts down on the coefficient of friction; meaning that even before oil is added, it is more ‘slippery’ than other coatings and lesser level anodization. This reduced friction will allow your gun to cycle more times between servicing, increases the life of the rifles internal moving parts, as well as helps your rifle stay cooler when putting rounds down range at a fast pace.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by emclean » Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:43 am

PistolPete wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:47 am
emclean wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:44 am
(OTOH, I love my Cav Arms lowers, and have a couple the new ones on pre-order)
I'm in the same boat, I'm curious if they will ever actually make them. When I ordered it seemed like October was going to the be delivery date.
the first of the ones I ordered shipped Friday. I should have it in my hands toady. like with most things COVID disrupted the process.

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by PistolPete » Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:38 am

emclean wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:43 am
the first of the ones I ordered shipped Friday. I should have it in my hands toady. like with most things COVID disrupted the process.
Cool. Maybe mine will be shipping soon. Not that it really matters, I don't have an upper for it and prices right now means I'm probably not going to for a while.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by RoneKiln » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:48 pm

PistolPete wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:38 am
emclean wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:43 am
the first of the ones I ordered shipped Friday. I should have it in my hands toady. like with most things COVID disrupted the process.
Cool. Maybe mine will be shipping soon. Not that it really matters, I don't have an upper for it and prices right now means I'm probably not going to for a while.
Bear Creek Arsenal still has some reasonable deals. I very recently ordered some decent complete side charger uppers for $300 each for family members. I'm happy with what showed up.

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by woodsghost » Thu Dec 10, 2020 7:38 pm

I'll just post here since this is recent:

ATF just this morning raided at least 2 makers of polymer lowers. Looking, from what I heard, primarily for any info on individuals or distributors who bought "kits" with all the gear needed to make the block into a functional item.

If they raided 2x makers, they likely raided more.

If they raided makers of polymer blanks, they likely either raided makers of metal blanks or soon will.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:41 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 7:38 pm

ATF just this morning raided at least 2 makers of polymer lowers. Looking, from what I heard, primarily for any info on individuals or distributors who bought "kits" with all the gear needed to make the block into a functional item.

If they raided 2x makers, they likely raided more.

If they raided makers of polymer blanks, they likely either raided makers of metal blanks or soon will.
Links? my searches only turn up stuff from 2014 (history rhymes after all).

I'll say it again; if you want an 80% lower, buy it with cash in person.
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by woodsghost » Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:13 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:41 pm
woodsghost wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 7:38 pm

ATF just this morning raided at least 2 makers of polymer lowers. Looking, from what I heard, primarily for any info on individuals or distributors who bought "kits" with all the gear needed to make the block into a functional item.

If they raided 2x makers, they likely raided more.

If they raided makers of polymer blanks, they likely either raided makers of metal blanks or soon will.
Links? my searches only turn up stuff from 2014 (history rhymes after all).

I'll say it again; if you want an 80% lower, buy it with cash in person.
No link. This came from a contact close to what was happening. By "close" I mean "involved." Which is a word I need to deliberately leave vague.


EDIT: This appears to have been posted at 2am today (12/11/2020)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.co ... 1607670296
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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by emclean » Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:47 am

interesting, apparently you can legally sell the 80% lower, just not with the rest of the parts?
another case of "it's legal till we don't like it"? can't wait to see how that plays out in court.

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by boskone » Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:49 am

emclean wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:47 am
interesting, apparently you can legally sell the 80% lower, just not with the rest of the parts?
another case of "it's legal till we don't like it"? can't wait to see how that plays out in court.
That's pretty much the ATF's MO.

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Re: 80% AR Lower

Post by emclean » Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:39 pm

I got an interesting e-mail today from SJD Supply.
On December 10, 2020, ATF agents entered Polymer 80's warehouse in Nevada. They were seeking out their Polymer 80 BBS branded kits. At the time of this email, we are unaware of any kits being seized and JSD Supply has not been contacted in anyway by ATF. ATF is trying to re-classify an 80% receiver as a firearm because of the other parts it is being sold with. We at JSD Supply have taken the precaution of removing the finishing jig from our Polymer 80 Full Build Kits. If you purchase a full build kit and still require a jig, that will need to be added on as a separate item. We will do everything we can to keep you updated with any news we may hear. Please understand that we may have to make changes to our products on the fly and appreciate everything you do to support us and the industry.

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