Essex (sp?) Stripped Lower Receiver - any good, junk, does it matter?


November 26, 2008, 02:01 PM
Just wondering if anyone is familiar w/ an XXXXEssex (sp?)XXXXX stripped lower receiver for an AR? /

EDIT: Sorry, guy on phone told me wrong, it was an Essential Arms Stripped Lower, I went over there today and looked at it...Actually, I bought it, still interested in feedback... it looked real clean and smooth, some people in the shop also said they had bought them from the same guy.

Found one locally around $150 OTD, but hadn't heard of them, new to the AR game, so...

EDIT: So, I went online tonight, I see some people selling them between $100-$175, so from what I can tell, I was somewhere in the middle on the price. Some of the $100 places were sold out, so given the market, considering I paid no sales tax, no shipping or transfer fees, I'm guessing it's not too bad of a deal? I figured I could sell it to somebody if I decided to get a different make, esp if the market ever gets worse, but at least I have one in my hand right now...

I was thinking of matching it w/ a group buy upper I found from Stag Arms for $600 or $783 shipped depending on whether I go w/ 4 rail floating or not, and then another $88 if I do 2 stage match trigger...

I can wait and find another lower I guess, but it was local and physically available, I'll have to wait a few months to receive the rest of the upper and lower parts kit, FWIW...


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November 26, 2008, 02:09 PM
There is an Essex Arms company ( that makes and sells 1911 receivers, but don't remember them ever making AR lowers...

November 26, 2008, 04:44 PM
Are you refering to Essential Arms?

November 26, 2008, 06:53 PM
I don't know, I called a place about something else, and asked em if they had any stripped lowers, said they had one left, asked what the make was, said it was made by Essex (sp?), I didn't question them further, mentioned I never heard of them, but that didn't mean anything coz I'm new to ARs, he said that's what the owner of the shop builds all his personal ARs with...

So, I thought I'd google it, but didn't find much so I posted a couple places to try to get some quick feedback.

EDIT: Thanks Kino, turns out, you're right, I changed my post to reflect that I showed up there to find out the guy on the phone was his brother trying to help out coz the shop is so busy right now, and it was actually an Essential Arms stripped lower. Like I said in my edited post above, from what I can tell online I paid in the upper-middle of the price range on these things, but it's in hand, so I have something. Still interested in feedback, may pick up another one if one is well thought of as better in a reasonable price range, but I hear some people say that most stripped lowers are fine, it's the guts and the uppers that get more tricky, but I didn't want to end up w/ something I should have avoided, being new to the game, and w/ the market kind of crazy right now, so I'm relying on the community for help. Thanks.


November 28, 2008, 10:01 PM
BTT for edit...

November 30, 2008, 12:29 AM
Some of the originals in the 90's were not machined up to specs, the bolt hold open feature wouldn't function with tier 1 parts.

They were closed for a while, but are back. I would pass and buy a Stag Arms, Bushmaster, or somehing a little better.

November 30, 2008, 12:41 AM
The original ones, Model J-15, were cast and more olive drab color. The current Essential Arms lowers are forged just like the others on the market and are quite nice. They tend to be a hair darker than my Stag Lower and matched a S&W upper prefectly but my Stag Arms lower matched up colorwise better on my Bushmaster upper.

Do a search and you will see quite a few favorable views. I like both of them.

November 30, 2008, 10:18 AM
I had two of the old cast ones and half a dozen of the recent ones. Essential is NOT out of stock on these as they have limited sales to 3 per customer. Prior to the election they were $86 and now essential sells them for $100.

Sorry to hear you paid $50 too much. I'd recommend a swift kick in the jimmy to the seller. But the quality is good. I've never had a problem with them.

As for color they come in two different finishes and one is darker thanthe other

November 30, 2008, 10:19 AM
by the way, I bought two more of them last week; one in each finish

November 30, 2008, 01:08 PM
well the cost is relative, i did pay a little too much apparently, but not necessarily $50, as some pointed out, they do sell for $100, but no one around here has any, if I shipped one in, there may be some shipping charge, even if not, there'd be a transfer fee, my past transfer guy went up from $20 to $35, don't know if I could still find a $20 or $25 transfer guy, and if I bought it locally any other day, I'd pay sales tax...

So, not a great deal, but I bet I could get my money back down the road somewhere...

Thanks for the feedback, I'll keep my eyes out for some others, I was thinking about that anyway, having a couple extra, at least I have one for now :)

November 30, 2008, 06:43 PM

November 30, 2008, 06:47 PM
Essential Arms lowers are just fine, and Vaughn's customer service is excellent. Great guy to deal with.

November 30, 2008, 07:37 PM
i like Essential Arms. i used one for my build. 150 is a bit high. i paid 110 for mine before the surge in buying.

my local shop stocks them normally, but the owner pulled the last one for himself and restocked with Stag, and RRA, DPMS and SW. in respective price brackets

right now EA is struggling to get them out the door like all the makers.

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