AR receivers


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blue_ridge
December 15, 2009, 07:33 AM
Is there any real difference between the various brand name receivers? I'm thinking of building one and not sure if there is a reason to spend more money on specific brand name receivers.

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kanook
December 15, 2009, 09:24 AM
Quality control plays a LOT in the lower. Someone will post the lower that came apart while shooting.

kwelz
December 15, 2009, 02:19 PM
Yes they make a difference but not as much as the LPK and upper receiver parts.

Do you need a Colt Lower? No. But you should still buy quality. S&W makes a great lower for the price. RRA does as well. DPMS are ok but in my opinion could use some additional finishing work before they are shipped out.

Avoid fly by night operations and no name brands. There is a thread on the front page here about a guy having problems with his lower from some company I have never heard of. Also avoid Oly and Hesse/Blackthorn/Vulcan

jerkface11
December 15, 2009, 02:27 PM
Hesse blackthorne and vulcan are the only ones you need to stay away from. Everything else is the same except for cosmetics.

Grease Monkey
December 15, 2009, 02:58 PM
Not really. Unless you really need it to hold some resale value, but then you'd want a factory gun anyway.

These days they're pretty much the same, some are a little better for fit and finish, but for the most part they all work.


There are some questionable quality and some you should avoid like the plague. Older cast Olympic receivers come to mind, but those haven't been made for a while. Hesse and Vulcan, like jerkface said, haven't got a good rep for anything quality. There's an outfit called Roggio or something like that (there's a thread on it here somewhere) that's got a shady rep, too. Do a little searching and you'll find out about the good ones.

I think Spike's tactical has a deal going on lowers for Christmas. Something like 80 or 90 dollars for a stripped lower.

ny32182
December 15, 2009, 03:55 PM
Anything new today is functionally the same; with the one exception of the ability to install an autosear; if you need to do that you already know what you need.

The finish and roll mark is what you are paying for on a stripped lower.

Tirod
December 15, 2009, 04:19 PM
I bought an AGP from Tempe, AZ. Same company that makes turbo parts for tuners. I have no question about the quality of machining or tolerances there.

Most lowers are drop forged by one of three or four that do that for the entire industry. From there, they are machined in house or sent to another shop. Drop forging has a variance in tolerance that requires the platters be sized and grouped to get the best consistency and adherance to specification. AGP does that, and probably others do to.

The CNC shops machining the platters number about a dozen making all the lowers on the market today. Billet lowers are machined from a solid chunk, no forging. Since the one machine creates the tolerance stack, it can be said they can hold tighter tolerances - but they are not forged, which can be inherently stronger for the cross section and shape.

More info in the stickies at an ar15 forum.

What's the difference between a Spike's lower and RRA or Colt? Boils down to probably little other than up to $100 in price. Pressed or CNC rollmarks, flash completely machined or left obvious, and anodizing are about all that meet the eye. I'm quite happy with the $79.20 lower I got from AGP( fire sale intro price!,) it comes with an adjustable trigger stop, CNC roll marks, and a reasonable makers symbol on the mag well, along with "Multi-cal" marking. No cartoon deer or billboard graphics to annoy.

For a first build, buy at the market price of $90 that Spikes has set, with $10 shipping and $10 FFL, nobody should have to pay over $110 in the sock drawer. $130 seems to be a common shelf price at the dealer, $150 for a priemium brand.

There are a few little features to check, but it's largely how well the CNC programmer machines the platter flash off, and what cool roll mark appeals.

Pirate safety markings like "Parley" and "Arrgh" optional.

blue_ridge
December 15, 2009, 04:20 PM
Thanks for the rplies.

What about an AR-10/LR-10 platform? Same receiver or different? Is it money better spent buying a DPMS LR-10 or build one from scratch?

Tirod
December 15, 2009, 04:47 PM
AR-10 takes a bigger, different lower and upper due to the longer cartridge length and the increase in the magazine size. In the .308 market, I don't know. I perceive a lot less demand or competition to hold prices down. Prices are generally higher. It's really a different rifle, with a lot more recoil, higher priced ammo, and weighs about 3 pounds more.

It's the same kind of difference between a short action bolt or a magnum. What results you want determine whether it's money "better spent." On prairie dogs, probably not. .308 is suited more for larger American game. The AR 15 for smaller, with whitetail deer and hogs being an overlap depending on the caliber of the AR 15.

ny32182
December 15, 2009, 04:58 PM
AR-10's don't share the same kind of across the board parts interchangability between brands that AR15's do (even including magazines); most people seem to think this is because there is really no "mil-spec" for everyone to standardize on. Much more caution is required.

wishin
December 15, 2009, 05:01 PM
My recently acquired DPMS lower (and upper) is nicely finished and tight.

WhoKnowsWho
December 15, 2009, 05:26 PM
I bought an AGP from Tempe, AZ. Same company that makes turbo parts for tuners. I have no question about the quality of machining or tolerances there.

Those look nice. If I ever decide to finally build another AR rifle, I'll keep them in mind.

BWB
December 15, 2009, 05:55 PM
There may not be much practical difference, but I'd still choose one of the top names using 7075 T6 aluminum forgings. About double the tensile strength of 6061 T6, which some "good' ones are still made of.

DirtyHarry31
December 15, 2009, 06:44 PM
I had bought a Noveske Basic Reece Lite upper but bought a stripped Noveske lower to put my own parts kit in. I used the econo-RRA- 2 staged trigger LPK. Love that 2 stage especial when worked. But to help you in your decision, check these sites:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=318113
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=223495
Build it with what YOU want! You don't need to spend alot to get a good shooter. But if your looking for target/varnmit hunting well that changes some. The most important part of the rifle is the upper and what parts you put it together with and who assembes it.
Good luck in your venture. Read up first, ask question, then decide.

RockyMtnTactical
December 16, 2009, 05:22 AM
Most forged 7075 aluminum lowers will do the same job just the same as the next, assuming it is in spec. I have used plenty of lowers, Stag, Mega, DPMS, Superior, Bushmaster, RRA, LAR, etc... and they all work just the same as the others...

DPMS are ok but in my opinion could use some additional finishing work before they are shipped out.

I've seen my fair share of DPMS lowers and never had any complaints. I own one and my brother owns several. In fact, they seem to have a better finish than most that I have seen. Just my thoughts.

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