AR lower choices: DPMS, Sabre, American Spirit?


May 26, 2006, 03:56 AM
Hi everyone,

I finally got lucky and found a dealer with decent AR:s in stock. The US State Dept. has made most exports a pain, so this guy stocks British Sabre Defence M5:s so we'll all within the EU. I'm getting their 16,75" A3-style mid-length upper. The measurement will be great as I can even have a 6-position tele stock on it without going below the minimum length requirement for a rifle! :cool: :D SBR permits are a hassle here :banghead: .

The question is, which lower to get? This guy has DPMS and something called American Spirit in stock, and either would save me some . I've read that DPMS is the D in ABCDRR, so I guess that'd be moot, as well as the obvious Sabre choice. A search got me mixed experiences about this American Spirit thing though, so I guess it'd be in order to ask about that specifically.

So: as to lowers, is AS junk? I'd be getting a competition trigger mechanism anyhow, so this only applies to the rest of it.

If you enjoyed reading about "AR lower choices: DPMS, Sabre, American Spirit?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Gary G23
May 26, 2006, 09:10 AM
IMHO I would rank them from best to worst:

May 29, 2006, 04:59 PM
:scrutiny: Yes, that'd also be the order the vendor has priced the lowers. Any experiences with the American Spirit would be greatly appreciated, as I'm trying to figure out if it really matters at all what lower frame is used.

As to Sabre vs. DPMS, anything to look out for? It would seem that if I don't get anyone to vouch for the ASA, I'd be inclined to take the DPMS... anybody? :confused:

Gary G23
May 29, 2006, 08:24 PM

May 29, 2006, 08:45 PM
If the DPMS is forged and cheaper, I'd go DPMS.

May 29, 2006, 09:00 PM
I only use DPMS products...

May 30, 2006, 02:33 AM
Looks like I'll have to take time to visit and see the lowers for myself. I heard about good ASA lowers, well anodized and finished with very decent parts. OTOH ASA is belly up, so there's no support available but from the importer.

As to DPMS, it seems that if forged it'd be a way to go. I'll have the rifle built then and there, so I'll be able to see and decide then. Now I think I'm starting to get edumacated enough.

Thank you for your time :) .

August 7, 2006, 05:15 PM
I know ASA is out of business:

Who made their products (in house or imports)?

Did someone buy up their existing stock?

Are they doing business under another name?

Who were they?

Why did they go away? They had big ads in the Shotgun News, parts for sale at Brownells, and a real presence at the CA gun shows. I have their flat top upper with the match Lothar Walther barrel. No issues at all with it. Just wondering.


August 8, 2006, 08:10 AM
I have two DPMS lowers and one Stag. There is not enough difference in the two brands (IMHO) to matter.

August 9, 2006, 01:09 AM
After a fiasco with a Mega Machine Shop lower, I gave up and bought a DPMS. I could not have been happier. Maybe it was that the Mega was so off, but I thought the DPMS went together very well.
Only probelem was when I went to sell it to trade for something else, very few people knew who DPMS was.
Something to think about, but if its gonna be in your safe a while, DPMS is a solid choice...

August 9, 2006, 06:02 PM
All will be good. Get what's easiest/cheapest.

If you're strictly speaking of the lower receiver (and no internal parts), most all forged milspec lowers will be good. I'd stay away from Vulcan, and the Bushmaster carbon fiber lower (unless you have a specific reason for the latter). Rock River Arms lowers may be OK, or not - it may be that their uppers have an out-of-spec over-tight fit.

The lower doesn't do a whole lotta work in an AR, just holds things together. If all the holes are drilled right, no problems.

I do have two American Spirit Arms lowers in addition to my Colts. They are fine, though I would NOT buy anything else from ASA as they appear to have a simply terrible reputation (see old threads on AR15.COM) - with an owner that would apparently yell at folks asking warranty service/repair questions. The ASA lowers may need some detent holes cleaned up with a small drill bit to remove excess phosphate coating & allow proper detent movement, but other brands might as well.

Bill Wiese
San Jose CA

August 9, 2006, 06:56 PM
DPMS Forged lowers are pretty decent, but I don't like thier lower parts kits or thier uppers, had mixed experinces with them.

Rock River Arms Uppers are made to be OVER spec, just like 1911 hand gun parts are a bit on the big side, so you can get an extreemly tight upper to lower, just takes a little bit of time to stone or grind the upper to match. That is why Rock River Arms makes thier uppers over the specs.

August 10, 2006, 01:03 AM
i bought the absolute cheapest lower i could find. mine was an essential arms lower. it was 79 dollars plus shipping and handling. (US $) pretty much if it's in spec and forged, it'll be fine.

If you enjoyed reading about "AR lower choices: DPMS, Sabre, American Spirit?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!