Plastic AR Lower Receivers?


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Corpral_Agarn
January 28, 2013, 12:59 PM
Hello THR!
A buddy of mine was at a gun show yesterday and he noticed that there were some plastic (polymer?) AR15 Lower Receivers for sale. He called me up to ask me my opinion about them and I had no idea they even made such a thing.
So...
Whats up with these Plastic AR receivers? Are they inferior to the regular Receivers? Better? More/Less durable?
Just looking for info in general, I guess.
I would assume lighter but that's about all I would bet on.

He asked if he should buy one at $250 and I advised against it.
I am just curious for after all this panic is over if I should consider building an AR from one of these new fandangled AR Receivers?

Thanks for reading!
Have a great day and safe travels!

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courtgreene
January 28, 2013, 01:26 PM
Some say they work, some say they're terrible, most agree that they're cheap and make great marriage partners with .22lr dedicated uppers. Personally, no experience.

browneu
January 28, 2013, 01:37 PM
$250 is way too much for a receiver. Wait until after the rush and you can get a milspec aluminum receiver for less than $100.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

madcratebuilder
January 28, 2013, 02:36 PM
$250 is way too much for a receiver. Wait until after the rush and you can get a milspec aluminum receiver for less than $100.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
This.

Poly lowers are available in good and not so good quality, NFA is one of the better manufacturers. They cost around $50 a few months ago.

Quentin
January 28, 2013, 02:41 PM
You were right to advise not buying it, especially for $250!

Jackal
January 28, 2013, 02:59 PM
For $150, a complete polymer lower isnt bad. While not what I would choose for any serious use (law enforcement/military), an AR15 built on a polymer lower is of no less quality or durability than a Kel Tec rifle or equivalent polymer rifle. Would it be my SHTF gun? No. Would I use one for target practice, hunting, plinking? Yes.:)

USAF_Vet
January 28, 2013, 03:24 PM
I got an ATI complete poly lower for $90 and a some trade.

Stripped poly lowers should be no more than $50. They work, they are durable, but probably won't have the life expectancy of an aluminum lower.

For a weekend plinker, they work.

I might get another for either a 9mm or a .22lr, but my 5.56 upper works just fine.

Justin
January 28, 2013, 04:22 PM
The Cavalry Arms polymer lowers are pretty solid, but hard to find nowadays.

I don't have any firsthand experience with the other brands.

Lennyjoe
January 28, 2013, 04:53 PM
My Cav Arms MkII lower is a nice piece. It sits below a 7.62x39 upper and so far its pretty solid. I'd buy another on for sure.

wnycollector
January 28, 2013, 05:13 PM
Another thumbs up on the Cav Arms MKII lowers. Mine are rock solid after thousands of rounds of 223 and 5.45x39.

I have checked out the NFA lowers with A2 stocks. I thought they were well built and had a nice trigger, but I personally, would swap out the plastic hammer for a steel one.

Dr.Rob
January 28, 2013, 05:38 PM
I have a New Frontier poly lower I bought a complete lower for $100 when they first came out. Did an extensive write up. Currently it's mated to my CMMG 22 upper, but I ran it with a Colt upper with no problems.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=642562&highlight=new+frontier

Girodin
January 29, 2013, 01:51 AM
The Cav arms ones are good. I would buy one of those. The NFA, Plum Crazy, ATI, etc, are ones I would skip.

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/2957/cavarmslower3.jpg

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z172/sumkrnboy/DSCN0010.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTuo0vIKKI5oXgmNCrs8B3HxAaFGK56U0ALt_5ja_Jwlc-O9dHA5w

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg51/scaled.php?server=51&filename=cimg0033f.jpg&res=landing

http://i804.photobucket.com/albums/yy324/recon013/DSCN0312.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2627/5818776285_d1ac742071.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5319/5818799409_a910e1a2c0.jpg

You can search and find pics like these and more of plastic lowers. The Cav arms one is actually built with the materials used in mind. The others, in my mind simply aren't worth what is a pretty minimal monetary savings. Guns last a life time, spend $50 more and get a more proven design. I've considered a cav arms one for a lightweight build. The Cav arms one tends to save about a pound. I don't think the others get you nearly as notable a weight savings but can't recall the numbers I've seen before of the top of my head.

gotigers
January 29, 2013, 09:10 AM
I don't like any of the plastic lowers, except for the Cav Arms with the built in A2 stock. The added A2 stock makes it much stronger and Cav Arms has a long history of making them with very little issue. I have helped 2 friends built ARs using cav arms over the years. Both have been rock solid. Since the owner of Cav Arms had some legal trouble they are hard to find, but they are out there.

tarosean
January 29, 2013, 09:41 AM
http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/receiver-action-parts/receivers/lower-receivers/ar-15-stripped-lower-receiver-ar15-stripped-lower-receiver-sku100-011-313-55267-112693.aspx

stripped lower in stock at the time of my post

120.00

mljdeckard
January 29, 2013, 09:45 AM
The thing that comes to mind is....Are aluminum receivers really so heavy?

dubya450
January 29, 2013, 09:55 AM
I have a Bushmaster Carbon 15 ORC and shoot the heck ut of it and it holds up just as well as my M&P 15 OR. I actually like it better almost all around besides the trigger (stock) and the .625" barrel heats up pretty fast with alot of firing but other than that its a great fun rifle and backup AR. Its what i tell my fiancée is hers to use when SHTF

jmorris
January 29, 2013, 09:58 AM
I have a few Cav arms lowers from a group buy here, think they were $99 ea. the grip and stock are part of the receiver. The grip is a bit on the large side but have shot one of them quite a bit and no signs of damage.

A friend of mine who holds an FFL showed me a plastic lower like the ones in the photos above a few months ago, said they were $39 ea. Told him a few weeks ago he should have picked up a 40' shipping container full.

I would pay $39 for one just to have it in my collection. Never would pay $250 but someone will.

MErl
January 29, 2013, 10:14 AM
The thing that comes to mind is....Are aluminum receivers really so heavy?

cost issue not mass. much cheaper to injection mold plastic than die cast aluminum

tarosean
January 29, 2013, 10:44 AM
cost issue not mass. much cheaper to injection mold plastic than die cast aluminum

Great for the manufacture.. yet on our side, the savings are trivial in the grand scheme of things...

303 hunter
January 29, 2013, 10:49 AM
One of my buddies has a New Frontier Arms lower on his 458 SOCOM with no problems. He just bought 4 more. I'm building a 6.8 on an NFA. My FFL swears by them.

gotigers
January 29, 2013, 10:57 AM
One of my buddies has a New Frontier Arms lower on his 458 SOCOM with no problems. He just bought 4 more. I'm building a 6.8 on an NFA. My FFL swears by them.

I wish him luck.

helotaxi
January 29, 2013, 02:47 PM
cost issue not mass. much cheaper to injection mold plastic than die cast aluminumCouple of flaws in that thinking. First injection molds are far from cheap from a tooling perspective. Second the polymer used isn't exactly cheap either. Third an aluminum lower worth owning isn't cast, it's finish machined from a rough forging. Cast lowers were tried in the past and found to be severely lacking. Forged lowers were fairly routinely available for $50 before the stupid hit.

Girodin
January 30, 2013, 01:53 AM
cost issue not mass. much cheaper to injection mold plastic than die cast aluminum

Is $30-40 really so much. Pre panic you could find aluminum lowers for $69-79. If the thing breaks and you have to buy another one you really didn't save anything.

Given the cost of a decent upper, $40 is nothing.

B!ngo
January 30, 2013, 10:58 PM
I just bought a NF (New Frontier) complete lower (with stock) for just a bit over $100. I plan to use it with a .22lr LH Revo upper that I ordered from CMMG (I've asked how long the backlog is on that piece but haven't heard a peep). My FFL informed me that I got the last one at that price and that NF informed him at Shot Show that the price is going up to just shy of $170. Still a good deal if the quality is there.
I don't plan on going to war with it so it seems like a fine risk - especially in .22LR. I like to follow research in materials science and so probably have more faith in it than most others but if I was shooting a centerfire cartridge of significant power, I'd likely use an alloy part and allow others to do the research for awhile.
B

Giterboosted
January 31, 2013, 01:10 AM
I like my plum crazy......but not for 250

Skyshot
January 31, 2013, 08:17 AM
I've got a Plum Crazy lower on a DPMS upper, It's about 4 years old now and had 2K+ rounds through it with no problems. I purchased it just to make a light weight M4 which it is. I would not buy one for more than the hundred dollars I paid for it though. I figure I got my money's worth, it's help up this long.

USAF_Vet
January 31, 2013, 11:31 AM
I will say this, as long as there is no AWB and prices get back to normal, I will be picking up an aluminum stripped lower.
So far I have not had any problems with my ATI lower, but I don't want to be out of a rifle if it breaks. That's my biggest fear with a poly lower, not being able to replace it if the AWB passes.

CTSP1
February 18, 2013, 07:56 PM
One of my buddies has a New Frontier Arms lower on his 458 SOCOM with no problems. He just bought 4 more. I'm building a 6.8 on an NFA. My FFL swears by them.
I just got a New Frontier stripped lower, and am currently collecting the parts to assemble it. When it's ready, I will try it out on my DPMS A3 upper. I'm considering either a 6.5 Grendel or a 6.8 SPC also for it. 303 Hunter, I would love to hear how your build goes.

justice06rr
February 19, 2013, 01:44 AM
I will say this, as long as there is no AWB and prices get back to normal, I will be picking up an aluminum stripped lower.
So far I have not had any problems with my ATI lower, but I don't want to be out of a rifle if it breaks. That's my biggest fear with a poly lower, not being able to replace it if the AWB passes.


ATI has a lifetime warranty anyway in case it breaks, so you should be covered.

Also the polymer lower should never really be on your primary AR (ideally speaking). If you get the chance to purchase a normal aluminum lower, go for it and use it on your main AR15

Mobuck
February 19, 2013, 08:12 AM
In looking at the posted pictures, I see one glaring consistency. Many of those lowers were broken by someone using a wrench. I seriously doubt that the magwell would be split by any other means than using it as an anchor point for Bubba to apply mechanical leverage to some part.
Anything can be broken by someone with enough time, ingenuity(or lack thereof), and mechanical advantage-hence the phrase "break an anvil in a sandbox". If you send your aluminum lower, I can break it in any number of ways/points.
I have/had several PC lowers prior to the "mania". I don't use an AR as a prybar, club, or jack handle nor do I normally fall on my rifle. The average user will never encounter the need for these uses, either. Given the choice of having a complete AR using a PC lower and not having something I needed/wanted, I see no problem owning one.
My first choice for full on combat-probably not.
My best choice for a high volume HB varmint rifle-maybe not.
As an economical, available alternative in the current market-absolutely.

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