SOCOM Mfg Diamond Series AR lowers


PDA






SRMohawk
March 14, 2008, 12:15 AM
Gentlemen,
I had the most intriguing telephone conversation late this morning with one of the proprietors of a small little speciality AR parts firm that has previously been known as 'SOCOM Mfg'. Mind you all, I'd never heard of the outfit until recently, when I saw something online about the AR lower they make. It seems they are made of such special material (i.e. a super-grade aluminum) and hewn or machined in such an unusual way that they come out having absolutely no equal. Brownells has sold them in the past, but informed me that the firm responsible for them simply 'dropped off the face of the earth'. Nonetheless, they had a phone number for them. And when I called the man that talked to me said that his products had become so coveted in the Special Operations community that the Pentagon simply walked into his shop one day and told him to stop selling to the general public because he would be providing them with every unit he could turn out. Said it damn near bankrupted him, too.

The good news is, the Pentagon recently let him off the hook and he'll now be selling his hardware to the general public again. For my own part, I want one of these ostensibly incredible lowers. But they're expensive! Any of you ever handled one or even had the opportunity to operate a rifle based on one?

If you enjoyed reading about "SOCOM Mfg Diamond Series AR lowers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
asknight
March 14, 2008, 02:26 AM
Sounds like a far-fetched story to me. Brownells is a HUGE distributor, and he just dropped off the face of the earth and didn't tell them anything? Sounds like he's trying to somehow repair a previously ruined reputation with a pie-in-the-sky story.

I'll stick with my other "Mil-Spec" lowers, thank you. They meet every single criteria to be issued to any Pentagon employee mandated to carry a weapon.

rbernie
March 14, 2008, 08:50 AM
his products had become so coveted in the Special Operations community that the Pentagon simply walked into his shop one day and told him to stop selling to the general public because he would be providing them with every unit he could turn out. Said it damn near bankrupted him, too.
If he's selling all of his production, how does the name of the customer matter?

This sounds bogus.

HorseSoldier
March 14, 2008, 09:07 AM
Sounds quite improbable to me, for various reasons.

ScottsGT
March 14, 2008, 09:51 AM
Buy the gun, not the story.....

SRMohawk
March 15, 2008, 02:05 PM
So none of you are at all familiar with the subject product?

rbernie
March 15, 2008, 02:55 PM
Not me - sorry.

HorseSoldier
March 15, 2008, 02:55 PM
1) About 1/3 the references to SOCOM Manufacturing I could turn up on Google had to do with the owner being charged by the ATF with some felony counts pertaining to MAC-11 kits or something.

2) Like the ATF, military JAG considers the lower receiver the "weapon" with issue M4s and M16s. Lots of SOF units get away with using non-standard upper receivers and other components, but I have yet to see anyone using a non-USGI lower from Colt, FN, or some of the older manufacturers (have seen SPRs built on H&R A1 receivers, for instance).

The two taken together lead me to think that the "Special Ops buys all my lowers, can't talk about it, wink wink nudge nudge" story is BS, probably to cover serious interruptions in production due to sorting out legal action from the ATF.

SRMohawk
March 15, 2008, 06:40 PM
Lies and all withstanding, I'm dying to see one of these lowers, 'cuz the Brownells tech support guy I talked to said that while he'd never seen a gun built around one, that in their 'naked' state they made lowers even from DPMS and Rock River Arms look second rate. He also informed me that Brownells placed an initial order for 50 of them back in '06. They sold them so fast, subsequently receiving so many calls for more, that they placed a second order for 300. The owner(s) of SOCOM Mfg then told them they just simply couldn't provide any more for the time being. So Brownells just wrote 'em off.

So right after getting off the phone with Brownells, I called the number they'd given me on this 'mystery' outfit and got the earful I initially reported above. So we'll see. Supposedly there are gonna be more of these lowers available to the public by this summer.

gofer
May 16, 2008, 01:42 AM
Here is some pics. It was a custom cut billet lower receiver. This was purchased from the first run of lowers. The retail price was $300. They came in various anodized colors. The colors that I remember are silver, blue, and black. They eventually came out with a matching upper that was available for a short period of time. There are more photos at photobucket.com album jgufer
I found one of the pages I was looking for that describes the receiver.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn73/jgufer/DSCN9140.jpg
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn73/jgufer/DSCN9129-1.jpg
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn73/jgufer/DSCN9102-1.jpg
http://s301.photobucket.com/albums/nn73/jgufer/
23 pictures

AR-15 Rep
May 16, 2008, 02:06 AM
Hard to believe.... any more photos of the internals? I will see what I can find out about this...

squirrel sniper
May 16, 2008, 08:38 AM
looks cool, but it seems like there's a whole lot of unnecesary weight. Most of thoses cuts seem more cosmetic than functional. You could spend 1/2 that on a complete mil-spec lower and you probably wouldnt know the difference. But i could see this being useful for somebody putting to gether a .50BMG AR, that extra mass and strength would probably be welcomed.

BigBoreFan
May 16, 2008, 08:34 PM
I have some intimate knowledge of this. I used to frequent the manufacturer as a very regular customer. He was a dealer and manufacturer of class II and class III hardware in N Augusta SC. A brilliant machinist and really got the wrong end of the stick from a certain alphabet agency. He make kits from M 249 SAWs and I believe MG 42s allowing registered M 10s and M 11s to be fitted to a belt fed kit arguing that the M 10 or M11 was the machine gun. He also designed? and sold the diamond receivers. Supposedly had his ducks in order, advertised in SGN, and sent out kits. Well, low and behold you now have people who had belt fed machine guns and that didn't sit right with the feds and was subject to much and well documented legal issues that can be found all throughout the machine gun community. Also liked to put a stick in the ATFs' eye by having a signed letter in his case that a boot lace needed to be a machine gun because it could cause reciprocating action. He took them on in court and of course they have more time, money, and resources so it didn't turn out well. I'm sure the serial compliance inspections didn't help either. A whole lot of stuff went down during that time which I'm not privy to, but would make a good story for some aspiring journalist. I'm pretty sure the receivers had Seneca SC on them so there may be another partner that could be manufacturing them. I wish i would have bought several of those recievers.

dennisH87
May 18, 2008, 01:45 PM
haha, those lowers look like *****. It looks like a high school shop teacher machined them.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 18, 2008, 01:53 PM
I don't really see the advantage myself. A lot of extra weight and cost there to prevent against stress fractures in the lower receiver, which aren't exactly common in the A2 lowers anyway, especially not in ones not belonging to Uncle Sam.

Also not a fan of bogus stories as marketing either; but that is another issue.

mljdeckard
May 18, 2008, 04:55 PM
Exactly, and in my experience, as long as the lower is cut to spec, (which the vast majority of them are,) then the real precision required is in the upper, barrel, and bolt setup. I fail to see what accuracy or reliability advantage this design offers, how it makes other mfrs look 'second rate', or what it can do that THEY CAN'T DO.

BWB
May 18, 2008, 05:39 PM
Couple of things to consider.
"T-6" is a description of the heat treatment and reveals nothing about the alloy.
Actual Mil spec receivers, upper and lower, are heat treated 6061 aluminum. Obviously sufficient for the intended purpose.
Many premium quality component manufacturers (Bushmaster is one) use 7075 T-7 aluminum, which is roughly twice as strong as 6061 T-6, and harder, therefore more wear resistant. Same stuff Kimber uses for their alloy 1911 frames.
This "machined from billet" stuff is misleading also. That means bar stock - a very inefficient way to do it these days. Unless you are a relatively small shop without the equipment or resources to source forgings, which are better anyway and produce far less machining waste.
There are some machined cast aluminum parts out there. Not for me.
Caveat Emptor.

asknight
May 19, 2008, 01:27 AM
Actual Mil spec receivers, upper and lower, are heat treated 6061 aluminum. Obviously sufficient for the intended purpose.

7075 aluminum. ;)

Kenati
September 24, 2008, 02:31 PM
Gentlemen-

I apologize for digging this thread out from the grave, but out of curiosity, I was doing a search on SOCOM Mfg. and came upon this. I was wondering what happened to the company and Ernie, the man who designed and built the "Bench Rest 15" (BR-15). I'll say first and foremost that based upon multiple conversations, I think he is a fine man and I have a lot of respect for his work and his honesty.

Your interest (and skepticism) of these fine lower AND upper receivers forced me to register so that I may share more information about them. (I frequent other hunting/shooting & archery forums, but I have lurked on here for a long time).

Below are a few pictures of my rifle, completed in 2005. If there is enough interest, I would be happy to post the full details in a separate thread.

Notice that the (perfectly) matched upper receiver is a SIDE COCKING mechanism. Notice also that the lower receiver has built in trigger adjustment screws and a "jacking screw" in the rear to tighten the fit between receivers, if desired. In my biased opinion, the machining work is second to none. (Far from a "high school shop teacher's work" as someone mentioned above)

Before he had all the unfortunate troubles, Ernie was working on an BR-10 version. I was going to be one of the first to test and build a rifle on that action... but it never came. It's sickening what they did to him. :mad::(

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/IMG_1464.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/IMG_1465.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/IMG_1463.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/CertainDeath4.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/CertainDeath-1.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/CertainDeath1-1.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/CertainDeath2-1.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/CertainDeath3-1.jpg

Chipperman
September 24, 2008, 02:40 PM
Very interesting!
I like the "Flash Enhancer" on the muzzle. ;)

Could you post a pic of the bolt handle from the top? Does it use a standard AR bolt carrier and head?

Kenati
September 24, 2008, 02:48 PM
The bolt lever flips outward when cocking and then lays back down flat when forward. It does not move with regards to firing the rifle; it's only purpose is for cocking.

Yes, the standard bolt and carrier are used. Ernie milled a small groove in the carrier (free of charge) for the side cocking lever to operate within.

Here's a picture of that:

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/IMG_3763.jpg

I am still at work, but I can take more pictures in a day or two.

redneckdan
September 24, 2008, 03:05 PM
Lower unit doesn't do jack as far as accuracy is concerned other than how it fits the shooter. All the upper reciever does is hold the parts together. Its all in how the bolt, barrel extension and barrel fit that enhance or hurt accuracy. People trying to 'tighten up' the fit between the upper and lower can actually hurt accuracy by stressing the upper and causing the bolt to drag, similar to how the gas key dragging on the gas tube can cause vertical stringing.

Hoppy590
September 24, 2008, 03:13 PM
Said it damn near bankrupted him, too.

i dont think, ever in the history of the United States has any company "almost gone bankrupt" by getting a government weapons contract.

ScottsGT
September 24, 2008, 04:02 PM
i dont think, ever in the history of the United States has any company "almost gone bankrupt" by getting a government weapons contract.


That's a broad statement since you have no idea at what this gentleman placed his bid at. Just because he won a military contract doesn't mean that he knew how to bid for it properly.

Hoppy590
September 24, 2008, 04:34 PM
That's a broad statement since you have no idea at what this gentleman placed his bid at. Just because he won a military contract doesn't mean that he knew how to bid for it properly.

well in which case he would have gone bankrupt anyway. if he doesn't know what it costs him to make a lower, or more importantly what it costs for him to make the order of properly spec lowers he wasn't gunna make it anyway.

lots and lots of people are getting very fat on gov weapon contracts. the money is there.

ScottsGT
September 24, 2008, 05:47 PM
well in which case he would have gone bankrupt anyway. if he doesn't know what it costs him to make a lower, or more importantly what it costs for him to make the order of properly spec lowers he wasn't gunna make it anyway.

lots and lots of people are getting very fat on gov weapon contracts. the money is there.


BINGO!!! Not all people are cut out to be businessmen! He may be a great machanist, but not good with the big picture of running a business. Who knows what all is required of a business as far as expenses go once you have to start gearing up for a govt. contract :eek:

feedthehogs
September 24, 2008, 06:05 PM
Unless my reading comprehension skills went south, I think one poster privy to some info posted about the BATFE and the maker in court battles over machine gun issues.

It pays to read the entire thread. Just a suggestion.

jpatterson
September 24, 2008, 06:34 PM
All the praise for these lowers are from guys with very low post counts. Always worth taking into consideration..

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 24, 2008, 06:41 PM
If he's selling all of his production, how does the name of the customer matter?

This sounds bogus.

Amen to that.

Besides, the appropriate response to the government telling a private person that he must stop selling to the public, should and would contain the phrases "pound", "sand", "get", "bent", "long walk", and "short pier". Not buyin it.

Owen
September 24, 2008, 07:11 PM
i'm pretty skeptical too.

The story screams BS to me.

orthodoxy001
October 31, 2008, 02:21 PM
I can't speak to the story, but the lowers (at least mine) are fantastic. Mine sits underneath a JP CTR-UA upper and contains a Jewell trigger. .3" 5-shot groups as possible, and it does under .4" all day if I do my part.

And of course the lower matters for accuracy. A poor stock on a bolt-action hurts accuracy, and the lower on an AR is essentially the stock. You just won't see the difference with a regular upper and factory ammo.

Ernie was very helpful when I talked to him - then the company disappeared.

ny32182
October 31, 2008, 02:40 PM
Hmm... I drive through Seneca SC every day. I wonder if there is a facility I could check out.

Kenati
October 31, 2008, 02:56 PM
Orthodoxy001: I too have had similar accuracy results. And yes, of course the lower makes a significant contribution to the accuracy of the rifle. To state otherwise shows lack of first hand experience and common knowledge shared by all AR-15 / M-16 armorers. If it all boiled down to a barreled action and receiver only, why would rifle makers bother with pillar bedding, aluminum bedding blocks, glass bedding, etc. on precision rifles?

Below is an image of the first 15 shots through my rifle. They were fired during break-in using 3 different bullets in front of the same charge of 26 gr. of H335. The groups are so-so for a custom rifle, but considering all of the gymnastics required to disassemble, swab the barrel, and reassemble with each shot, the groups aren't that bad either. Since then, I have shot many of the itsy bitsy cloverleaf groups that Orthodoxy001 speaks of. (Not using the junk Winchester FMJ stuff, or course)

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/phi376/BR-15-BarrelBreak-inTargets-1.jpg

And to you, Mr. Patterson: I normally don't respond to such jabs, but your quote stating, "All the praise for these lowers are from guys with very low post counts. Always worth taking into consideration.." really rubbed me the wrong way. :fire:

Is the number of posts one makes the basis of validity here on The High Road? If so, I am unfortunately spending my time and sharing my real-world experiences in the wrong place. I do not feel the necessity to post nonsense for the sole purpose of rasing my "post counts". I do notice, however, that the overall tone of THR is more argumentative and counter productive than other forums. You, sir, are contributing to that impression.

hags
October 31, 2008, 06:48 PM
Quote:
That's a broad statement since you have no idea at what this gentleman placed his bid at. Just because he won a military contract doesn't mean that he knew how to bid for it properly.

well in which case he would have gone bankrupt anyway. if he doesn't know what it costs him to make a lower, or more importantly what it costs for him to make the order of properly spec lowers he wasn't gunna make it anyway.

lots and lots of people are getting very fat on gov weapon contracts. the money is there.

I gotta agree with that. Everyone knows that after you get the government contract you cut the quality and drop the QC.

$300 for a stripped lower? You can get 3 Stag/CMT lowers for that and still get change back.

I build varmint/target rifles all day long with Stag/CMT matched upper and lowers that'll shoot in the low.3s and better all day long. Of course you have to use premium barrels and correctly headspaced bolts.
All things being equal, I could care less who manufactures the lower on an AR, as long as it fits correctly to the upper and the holes are in the right place.

bigshot
March 4, 2009, 09:40 AM
looking for a socom side charging upper if anybody has one of has lead i would like to buy
thanks bruce

husker
March 4, 2009, 09:59 AM
DennisH87 says it looks like a high school job. you dont no what the h e double hockey sticks your talking about. its excellent machine work and if you dont think i no what im talking about your wrong again.

freakshow10mm
March 4, 2009, 10:01 AM
And yes, of course the lower makes a significant contribution to the accuracy of the rifle. To state otherwise shows lack of first hand experience and common knowledge shared by all AR-15 / M-16 armorers.
I've been building AR15s for 10 years now. The lower receiver does not have a significant effect on accuracy. You can't tell me otherwise because I do have first hand knowledge of this.

If it all boiled down to a barreled action and receiver only, why would rifle makers bother with pillar bedding, aluminum bedding blocks, glass bedding, etc. on precision rifles?
A bolt action rifle is very different from a semi auto AR15 rifle. Comparing the two is foolish.

gvnwst
March 4, 2009, 10:22 AM
To me, this smells like BS. The lowers look cool, but if they are sooo good, why don't we see a lot of 3-Gun guys using them, and the entire story sounds mall ninja'ish...

Kenati
March 4, 2009, 01:34 PM
Freakshow-

I don't feel like getting into a pissing contest over this, but I will respond anyway.

First, "significant effect" is a slippery slope. What might not make a difference to one shooter may be the all the difference to another.

Let me ask you this, if the quality of the lower receiver doesn't make a difference, then why would you make a significant financial investment to manufacture MACHINED lowers from a solid forging in-house when it would be much easier and cheaper to machine them out of cast receivers?

From your website:

http://www.freakshowbullets.com/product_info.php?cPath=52_87&products_id=260

"These are bare lower receivers completely machined in house by Freakshow Mfg. These receivers are machined from a solid forging of 7075 Aluminum and hand finished to remove machining marks and burrs."

http://www.freakshowbullets.com/images/815113.jpg

According to other posters on here, buying a cheap ol' Stag receiver is just as good as yours.

By the way, yours look very nice.

freakshow10mm
March 4, 2009, 01:48 PM
Let me ask you this, if the quality of the lower receiver doesn't make a difference, then why would you make a significant financial investment to manufacture MACHINED lowers from a solid forging in-house when it would be much easier and cheaper to machine them out of cast receivers?
The industry standard is forged receivers. If I want any chance at a possible military contract or LE contract, I must meet their specified criteria which is that it is made from either a solid forged billet or 7075T6 aluminum or a solid forging of 7076T6 aluminum and then Type III anodized, among other things.

When I buy forgings, I get them for $7.50 a piece. I have no clue how much more or less castings would be. I can call Ruger's Pine Tree division and find out, but I'm quite satisfied with my forgings from my supplier. As I said before, military and LE will not buy cast receivers, so that ends there.

Kenati
March 4, 2009, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the clarification. So you're shooting for a military contract? I see that you stopped building rifles since the parts supplies are down.

You must be swamped cranking out those receivers with such high demand these days. Good luck.

So in summary, you and many others on here would be apt to agree that a match grade precision upper receiver will perform to the same accuracy level on a SOCOM or similar precision lower as it will on one that is, for argument's sake, carved out of wet balsa wood? Hell, let's even go with expertly machined cured red oak.

freakshow10mm
March 4, 2009, 02:22 PM
In my opinion, the only component other than a quality upper receiver group that matters in the performance of the AR15/M16 weapon system is the fire control group. If you are going to dump money on an AR, get the best trigger group and upper assembly/barrel/BCG you can. That is where the accuracy and reliability sits.

People that think they are getting a superior product by buying a Sun Devil lower or a LMT lower are mistaken, in my opinion. If you market the hell out of something as being higher quality and sell it at a higher price, they will buy the hype. Nike shoe company is doing fabulous at illustrating this. Their shoes are no better than New Balance or Sketchers, yet they sell for $80-150.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 4, 2009, 06:24 PM
http://www.ont.com/users/kolya/target5.jpg

Stock Bushmaster lower receiver with stock Bushmaster trigger group. 5rd group at 100yds from bench using Black Hills Blue 75gr Moly. Grids are 1".

If there is a significant difference between that five round group and the one Kenati posted, I sure don't see it. What little differences I do see could be more easily explained by the 3.5x TA11 ACOG I used to sight it or the stock trigger group than the lower receiver - and if anything else, it gives you a pretty good idea how much practical difference there is between a stock Bushmaster lower and the lower in question.

12131
October 1, 2009, 05:17 PM
got a socom upper and lower up for grabs
Gee, first post on the first day of joining the site.:rolleyes:

browningguy
October 1, 2009, 06:06 PM
I really don't have a dog in this hunt, but there is so much misinformation going on here I have to say something.

i dont think, ever in the history of the United States has any company "almost gone bankrupt" by getting a government weapons contract.

Before getting into the oil and gas business I was in the defense industry for 15 years as a lead engineer and site manager for missile systems. Plenty of companies have gone bankrupt working for the government. They are notoriously slow in paying, and defense procurement agents can find all kinds of reasons not to pay if they don't like a company.

As for lowers not affecting accuracy, you have got to be kidding. The best upper in the world sitting on a wobbly lower with a $15 Tapco 6 position stock won't shoot it's best. Without a good fit between the upper and lower the upper is free to vibrate slightly differently each time you pull the trigger. It's really elementary physics, the connection between you and the gun is the lower. It's why we do bedding on bolt action rifles, to keep the barelled action from moving around or vibrating inconsistantly in the stock. it may not matter if all you need is 1-2 MOA accuracy, but if you are trying to shoot tiny groups it will certainly matter.

Gryffydd
October 1, 2009, 06:13 PM
For everybody saying how these things would needlessly add weight....The "BR" in the model number does stand for Bench Rest...

That said...they kind of look cheap. Whatever the craftsmanship and precision happens to be, they just don't look quite right. All the 1 and 2 posters popping up to praise them are rather interesting though...

GREGABINGO
January 16, 2010, 04:22 PM
Interesting reading! I am the original manufacturer of these receivers. I designed, did the R&D (including structural testing to failure), wrote the CNC programs and manufactured them. Ernie at SOCOM was the distributor as he had a great business with lots of contacts and we've known each other for decades. My company went bust in the severe economic downturn of 2001 just before and after the 911 debacle. The upper receivers were made by another source known only to Ernie as he would not share his source with me. I was designing an upper but it did not come to fruition due to the closing of my business. The "BR" designation stood for "Billit Receiver" I love the uneducated meanderings of the unenlightened as far as material and design of these receivers (a shop class project, give me a break!). We left some of the machine marks in so people could see they were actually a machined item and not an inferior casting. The receivers were specifically designed to be more rigid and have tighter tolerances than others on the market. We were also working on a much better bolt hold open system and an updated magazine release design. The receiver had features to stabilize the upper receiver assembly and limit creep as well as over travel of the trigger mechanism. We manufactured about 500 total. Most were actually purchased by a dealer in Florida after Ernie's unfortunate BATF issues began. He was not able to continue with our arrangement at that time. I am not involved in the firearms industry at this time but I do have a couple receivers available that I will be glad to sell. If you are interested, you can find my e-mail address on my profile for this sight. I will ship to FFL holders only. Happy New Year!

bacl2000
January 29, 2010, 11:04 PM
I saw this post while I was researching these receivers. I brought a couple about a year ago and I am now working on building them so I would be very interest in the size of the set screws for the trigger creep and over travel as will as the bolt catch abd rear takedown pin hold. ALso would be interested if anyone has a line on a socom upper.

Zartada
May 4, 2010, 12:29 AM
I was lucky enough to get one of these. We all know how opinions go but I don't think you can get a better lower for an AR. Mine is sitting under an 18" RR varmint A4 upper. I still have Ernies hunters orange card in my planner. He is a great guy to deal with, I only wish I could have bought more of them.

Tirod
May 4, 2010, 11:36 AM
Interesting retro thread.

If there are lessons learned here, part of the problem in marketing to the public is choosing a name and how the business is conducted. That often has nothing to do with how the actual shop floor is organized, or even the quality of the product.

Too many new makers reach out for a name that appeals to who they think are their customers, but go too far. Case in point : SOCOM. It's a title for a government agency that controls a number of separate spec ops units. How it got to have a cool meaning is largely a result of people who know just enough to get in trouble. Adopting names like that for marketing purposes actually offends the professional community - who are the buyers where real word of mouth comes from. Please note the trade names of companies actually supplying the community and take note. They are who they are, not an adopted wannabe name.

How the business is conducted is obviously more important. If you make firearms, and actually have all your ducks in a row, you work with any Authority Having Jurisdiction and take care of their concerns. After all, you are a small business, they are likely a large government agency, they have more resources and nothing better to do.

If anything, what is here is a history lesson of what to do wrong - mall ninja name, tick off the BATF. It's not what the goal was, and the loss of a interesting design is now a footnote in the AR Archives. Others now get the business.

ASA makes side charging uppers, there are plenty of billet lowers and uppers out there, and other posts have explored whether forged or "billet" is better. On a dollars per pound basis, they are expensive for the return, which is largely looks, not documented superior function.

Zartada
May 5, 2010, 12:49 AM
I don't know what he did to get in trouble with the BATF, but it is sad that this design was lost in the process. I really doubt the name choice of SOCOM had anything to do with it. The cost of the lower was the only thing keeping it from really getting out there. That and the fact that I had to do alot of research before I even came across SOCOM MFG with the diamond seriers. I did my homework well when I built my AR, and as I stated before I don't think there is a better AR lower out there. How much a lower affects overall accuracy is trivial unless you really go low on the quality or have a loose fit to your upper. That being said I don't regreat the extra money I spent on this lower. I can put any upper on it, and know it can take the punishment.

Tirod
May 5, 2010, 09:48 AM
I agree, the name choice probably had nothing to do with the BATF's oversight, any more than Joe's Bait and Grill. My comment in that regard was in marketing to the public consumers.

Most billet receivers are well done, as the programmer has to do it all to get a decent product. The process does allow more latitude in style, while providing an opportunity to add material strength in areas where it can be done.

Overall, the amount of work, time, and labor to put the product on the market was probably never recovered in the few lowers made. The profit opportunity was certainly lost, as much as if a NASCAR driver punching a race official would get him the victory.

Case in point: I worked for two different managers at a plant that was closely watched by the neighbors. The first was simply polite to the inspectors and considered them a nuisance. The second worked with them closely, researched the complaints, discovered new methods of control, and earned the plant commendations from the local authorities, and the State DNR. The plant was slated to receive the companies highest award for overall facility condition and maintenance.

Not bad for a rendering plant making pet food ingredients. It took the BATF to figure out how it burned down.

The quality of the product has nothing to do with oversight by an agency, or the public's perception of it's operation. Any of the three can eventually shut you down.

Logfan90
February 19, 2011, 10:08 PM
I have inherited an AR with one of these receivers on it and I am at a loss on questions as to what it is exactly, the upper receiver has no sort of marking on it so i dont know if the upper and lower are meant to be together as a package or what, anyone i bring it to just has never heard of it and has no information any help would be greatly appreciated


http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/180519_10150102090618418_611593417_6067355_3845653_n.jpg

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/182745_10150102090698418_611593417_6067356_3018381_n.jpg

ny32182
February 19, 2011, 11:47 PM
First thing I'd do is confirm that barrel is 16".

Tirod
February 20, 2011, 09:49 AM
Well, starting with Page One and reading both sides of the story in this thread is just about all there is. You might Google the archives at ar15.com.

As said, it's a billet lower. It's not milspec. The upper appears to be just any other M4gery, and the barrel with (pinned?) flash hider does look like it's shorter than 16". It's possibly one of the homebuilt guns that most of these lowers seem to have become.

There's not much more to know because there's not much more to know, a small footnote in the production of over 9 million AR15 guns, military and civilian.

How's it shoot?

Logfan90
February 20, 2011, 10:15 AM
I haven't done much as far as deconstruction on it I'm fairly new to the AR world so i only know how to field strip it. It shoots great, can do half dollar size groups at 100yds, i plan on doing some changes to it, I'm not a fan of the scope, I have no plans to be shooting the ranges that the scope was meant for therefore its a bit more than I need I would like to put either red dot or acog style scope with an iron backup but i'm not sure if i just want to change the upper if its nothing special to the gun itself, I do like the 16" barrel though, any suggestions?
thank you guys very much for the info its much appreciated, I was kinda getting tired of hearing "what is that" when i bring it to someone haha

scruffydawg
February 14, 2012, 05:47 AM
Do you guys know what the value is of one of these? I have one with a mill spec upper and 24" heavy barrel I am thinking about moving.

If you enjoyed reading about "SOCOM Mfg Diamond Series AR lowers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!