Question about AR lowers


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Surplussoldier
April 22, 2007, 09:05 PM
I live in Canada and it seems that no-one has the kind of complete AR package I am looking for in stock right now. So I've been thinking about building an AR as components are ready, such as starting with a complete lower, and then buying the appropriate upper and other parts.

First, are some lowers better than others? I would be willing to pay for quality. We have a selection of DPMS, Bushmaster, sometimes LMT, the rare Colt, Armalites, and probably others.

Second, what lower is the most comfortable? I've used a regular 20" M16-style type rifle with the standard butt, and it worked fine for me. However, everyone is going crazy over those short extendable butts. Are they necessary? Length is not a huge issue, nor am I wearing body armour. Which is best for actual shooting? What advantage is there to the collapsible stocks?

Finally, if I buy a complete lower that is of good quality, is it simply a matter of mating it to a good upper, or will there be compatability issues?

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RockyMtnTactical
April 22, 2007, 09:44 PM
For the most part, a forged aluminum anodized lower is gonna be as good as any other... as long as the holes are all in the right spots...

The forged aluminum anodized recievers aren't where you see a lot of difference in quality, it's in other areas...

Mr White
April 22, 2007, 09:48 PM
You live in CANADA and you're looking to build an AR???

Of the ones you mentioned, I know DPMS Bushie, Colt and Armalite are good. Be careful with Colts, though, they are made with some proprietary "features", so that if you buy a Colt lower, you must buy a Colt upper. That, and you pay out the a$$ for Colt. The differences between Colt and the others have to do with the sizes of the pins. I think there is also a difference with the triggers. Other good manufacturers are Rock River and Stag. I've heard good and bad about Olympic Arms.

My preference is the standard A2 stock. It fits me well and just feels more solid than the adjustable ones. I like the A2 stock because you can get a better cheek weld on it and thus better accuracy. The adjustables are more tacticool and seem to be more popular. The adjustable stocks allow for different sized shooters and different shooting positions. The ideal stock for shooting an insurgent at 300 yds from prone position isn't the ideal stock for a tactical house clearing mission.

My current AR is an A2 match rifle. My next AR will have a flattop upper and an adjustable stock.

Except for the Colts, everything else wotks with everything else.

Surplussoldier
April 22, 2007, 10:48 PM
Good points, Mr. White. I have been looking to build a pretend M4gery for the 200 meter range and less. They are running out of 14.5" uppers here because of U.S. export regulations. So there's a really limited selection out there, and I'm looking for a no frills build.

What concerns me is that for pretend-CQB, the A2 stock might be unwieldy, whereas on the range, the A2 stock might be best.

I've been thinking of getting a 16" midlength upper and a collapsible buttstock, as that could reduce its OAL for handiness. On the other hand, I have considered a standard A2 buttstock combined with a 14.5" upper, which could be similar in length. Which do you think makes the most sense? I could just go with a collapsible buttstock and 14.5", but that may not be best for the range or for comfort.

Lucky
April 22, 2007, 11:06 PM
Didn't Bartholemew Roberts have an excellent break-down of the different classes of AR's, which parts are plastic instead of metal in what models, etc?

Because I think Surplussoldier is talking about complete lowers.

While he's asking, even though I don't think any Canadian store has them, I'll throw in that company that makes 1-piece moulded lowers&stocks out of plastic. Those look NIFTY, and an entire pound lighter is huge! (with a shorter barrel I bet the balance would be superb)http://www.cavalryarms.com/MKII.html

http://www.cavalryarms.com/MKIIs.jpg


edit:here's the list http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=243382&highlight=ar15+plastic

Surplussoldier
April 22, 2007, 11:11 PM
Interesting, though I'm not sure these are stocked locally.

But there's an update:

I just saw an Eagle Arms 14.5" for sale up here

Is Eagle Arms any good?

Gibbles
April 23, 2007, 07:38 PM
I think Eagle and Armalite are the same company. (AR for Armalite) Armalite has a good reputation
http://www.armalite.com/sales/catalog/components/EagleArms.htm

distra
April 23, 2007, 08:54 PM
Can you get a Stag up there? I just built my first one with a Stag A2 lower and an upper from Model1sales.com I like the rifle, good quality for not so much $$

MHBushmaster
April 24, 2007, 12:14 AM
Steer clear of Hesse, Vulcan and Olympic cast receivers.
Good to Go in no order: Colt, Bushmaster, RRA, Armalite, Doublestar, Stag, plus more smaller makers of receivers. The first 3-4 listed as good account for the majority of lowers in the market today, with Stag following, just now as many as it has not been in business as long as the Colt, Bushy or Armalite. RRA is not as old as the big 3, but it makes just as high a quality product as the others.

If you are making your own AR, try ar15.com, in the build it yourself section, it is a free tutorial with pics and captions that literally walk you thru the process as if you barely know the difference between a phillips head and flat head screwdrivers.

Surplussoldier
May 1, 2007, 05:33 PM
Thanks everyone who responsed. I decided to purchase a complete 14.5" AR because some are available. I chose an Armalite 14.5" and it is on order.

However, someone came out of the blue and offered me a LMT complete rifle. It would be a pain to cancel the previous order. How much better is LMT than Armalite? I could probably order the 14.5" LMT upper as a separate part, if possible. Is it worth it?

ocabj
May 1, 2007, 06:26 PM
Be careful with Colts, though, they are made with some proprietary "features", so that if you buy a Colt lower, you must buy a Colt upper.

Only some Colts have a larger pivot pin that requires an adapter to use a milspec upper.

Only some Colts have a sear block that prevents the use of some 2-stage aftermarket triggers.

Only some Colts have large trigger pins.

There's nothing wrong with Colts as long as you know your ARs.

But it's easier to get a Stag. A stripped Stag lower goes for $100 USD.

Mot45acp
May 1, 2007, 10:53 PM
Try the used section on ARF dot com. Between a members here and there my latest build was $432.00 US. Not the prettiest, but, functions good. Now to go to the range and really ring her out. I love triangle hanguards.
DPMS Lower $130 new
Colt 20" Chrome lined govt profile bbl with everything forward of receiver $125 used
RRA bolt/carrier free due to merchant accident (they said to keep it) new
RRA LPK and CH$82 new
A2 upper A1 stock $100 used

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