Does the brand of lower (stripped) make a big difference in an AR?


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Lucky Strike
January 16, 2009, 09:46 PM
Is there that big a difference between stripped lowers?

Friend is looking to get one to build his first AR. Has a budget so he wants to put the bulk of the money towards what's going to give the best "returns" as far as reliability/accuracy (which i would think would be the BCG, barrel and upper reciever). Is a stripped LMT actually better then a stripped DPMS or are they pretty much the same as long as it's mil spec?

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HOLY DIVER
January 16, 2009, 09:49 PM
the lower holds your trigger group and your magazine ......

Lucky Strike
January 16, 2009, 09:53 PM
so it's a matter if you actually believe them whether it's mil spec?

cbrgator
January 16, 2009, 10:06 PM
With the exception of Hesse and Vulcan, perhaps a couple others I am forgetting, nearly every lower is the same. Any reputable brand... DPMS, Stag, RRA, Bushy, Armalite, Doublestar, LMT, Colt, etc. will all function the same. Spend the $$$ on the upper.

KW
January 16, 2009, 10:28 PM
The only big difference in most of them is the shelf area which determines whether or not you can use a RDIAS. So unless you are going to drop the $10k or so on one of those, it really doesn't matter much.

H2O MAN
January 16, 2009, 10:30 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=420701

Floppy_D
January 16, 2009, 10:44 PM
H20 MAN just linked an interesting thread... this one. You silly goose. :D

dispatch55126
January 16, 2009, 11:02 PM
The only difference between lowers is bragging rights. Get whatever lower you find and get a quality upper.

Bartkowski
January 16, 2009, 11:21 PM
If they are forged, mil-spec lowers then it doesn't really matter.

briansmithwins
January 17, 2009, 12:34 AM
Some lower have better fit and finish than others. The Nodak lower I just did has a truly immaculate finish and is cosmetically perfect. It also lacks a horse, chicken, devil, mongoose, or any other animal logo, which I preferred. http://www.nodakspud.com/AR%20Lowers.htm

BSW

gunlocators1
January 17, 2009, 12:42 AM
Dont let price fool you either some of the best ARs I have built were on Superior Lowers I hear people that say they are cheap but they are made to spec and add a takeup screw most other do not have just a bonus feature. Their finish is freat as well. I have to agree with above post spend the money on the upper thats where it will show.

MaterDei
January 17, 2009, 01:02 AM
Don't listen to these guys. Yes, it absolutely matters. Some lowers have only letters on them but the better ones come with pretty pictures too. Some have eagles, others ponies and others deer. Don't settle for plain jane lowers!

manygunsmike
January 17, 2009, 01:28 AM
I LOVE my NoDak Lowers !! but I must say that I have 3 Superior Lowers, 3 CMMG , and 3 DPMS Lowers that all work just fine with what ever combination I needed them for. I like the slightly lighter color on the CMMG lowers for my M16 surplus uppers and the Darker color of the DPMS's on my more modern builds.

manygunsmike

redneckdan
January 17, 2009, 01:35 AM
nope. even the upper reciever doesn't matter much as long as it doesn't bind the carrier group. Float a good barrel (that includeds a well fitted extension) and a proper carrier group and you should be good to go.

zoom6zoom
January 17, 2009, 12:25 PM
and remember that "mil-spec" doesn't necessarily mean the best quality... just that it meets specifications. And in government use it's also supplied by the lowest bidder.

briansmithwins
January 17, 2009, 12:32 PM
and remember that "mil-spec" doesn't necessarily mean the best quality... just that it meets specifications. And in government use it's also supplied by the lowest bidder.

And it's not a 'mil-spec' lower unless it has the 3 FCG holes. BSW

jpwilly
January 17, 2009, 03:00 PM
Let's put it this way. The only way you notice if an AR lower sucks is if it's out of spec.

TexasRifleman
January 17, 2009, 03:07 PM
And don't forget that Colt's are not "Mil Spec".

Don't want to do a Colt beating here, I like their stuff, but their AR lowers use nonstandard fire control group pin sizes.

Don't think you can buy Colt lowers anyway, but just in case there are used ones out there.

erict
January 17, 2009, 04:14 PM
I have 6 different brands of AR's and have had a few more including some odd ball ones. They have all performed fine for me. Some have a little better finish than others but that is about it.

jerkface11
January 17, 2009, 04:42 PM
I've got an LAR and Olympic and a Cavalry Arms. The Cav is my favorite probably because the plastic lower let me build a gun weighing 5.75 pounds. It's like carrying a .22

JWarren
January 17, 2009, 05:07 PM
As long as it is in-spec, and doesn't have Hesse, Vulcan, or Blackthorne stamped on it, it won't matter.

I wouldn't be at all suprised to see one of the ones I named actually catch on fire....


-- John

MRIman
January 17, 2009, 06:45 PM
I've owned Stag,CMMG,Double Star,Bushmaster,Oly Arms.
They all worked just fine.
CMMG had the nicest finish.

WNTFW
January 18, 2009, 01:17 AM
I went to buy some lowers & compared about 6 brands.
I walked out with the cheapest. (Essential Arms)
When buying multiples the price difference adds up.

It may make a difference to someone if you go to resell it.

zoom6zoom
January 18, 2009, 02:39 PM
I walked out with the cheapest. (Essential Arms)
I've built on a number of Essentials, they are just fine. I would call them the "least expensive", not "cheap". Cheap often implies lower quality.

Rshooter
January 18, 2009, 09:58 PM
Unless bragging rights is important, they all are the same, less Vulcan.

rob_s
January 18, 2009, 10:05 PM
They are NOT all the same.

Tossing out billet lowers (which is generally a good idea for most users), even your normal forged lowers will have differences that can matter.

A couple of months ago, maybe last month, SWAT did an article about lowers from Defensive Edge. On Lightfighter, Sully has also posted a breakdown of what makes his lowers stand out from your average forged lower.

Will it matter to most? Probably not. The improvements that Sully has made won't affect one's ability to post pictures of their gun on the internet, drag it out and impress friends and family at BBQs and other get-togethers, and fire the annual <200 rounds that most ARs generally see.

But there is a difference.

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