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Help us test a polymer AR-15 Lower

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by NewFrontierArmory, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. NewFrontierArmory

    NewFrontierArmory New Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    I've read through pages upon pages on this forum and a few others about a few of the current polymer AR lowers on the market today.

    I've come to the conclusion that there are 3 types of people weighing in:

    1)The Owner - The guys that have them and love them and understand their purpose as a very cost effective way to have an AR (or an additional AR) in your stash that will hold up just fine during normal range/hunting/plinking use. These guys understand that they're not being put out to replace the Colt as the nations battlerifle overseas, etc. 90% + of what they say about them is positive. Key features being weight and price.

    2)The Skeptic - The guys who still have trouble saying Glock is a reliable firearm, think that aluminum is 100 times stronger than polymer and can put up with much more torture, etc. Tried and true and sticking to their guns on this one......no purpose for a polymer lower. Spend the extra $100 and get a "real" lower. Explain over and over why they wouldn't trust their life to it (which no one has ever asked them to do).

    3)The Gun Forum Guy - The guys that saw 3 pictures of broken polymer lowers on ARFCOM but can't dig them up that easy. 2 of those pictures being aluminum receivers, but you can't tell them that. The 3rd you can clearly see vice jaw serration marks on the magwell where this thing was tied down and beat to death. But because they "read about on a forum" or "heard from a buddy's buddy" about one breaking so they're going to steer clear of them until they go mainstream and are "proven"

    So, I'm sure most of you reading this will fall somewhere into one of these categories. I mean no offense with these descriptions, so please don't take it that way. I don't blame your opinion no matter which category you fall into because its your opinion.

    What I am trying to do is a little bit of fun factor testing for a product we will be releasing very soon. It's similiar in some ways to other products out there, but I believe our assembly process, QA process, and the parts we use are superior. I also believe we will have their price beat at the same time.

    We're putting together some videos to document certain tests.

    We have some ideas already, but we'd love to hear what might sway you from the belief that the poly lowers aren't as durable as aluminum forged. Can they be broken, of course. But most of what we tried that actually caused a failure to the poly, produced the same failure with aluminum.

    Here are some of the myth's that we will be disproving:

    1) Doesn't hold up to many rounds because of the polymer parts in the FCG
    2) Will "melt in my hand when shooting it"
    3) Will deform with heat
    4) Will "shatter" if dropped
    5) Will break if any pressure is put on it
    etc, etc, etc......

    We will be doing a lot of tests that other companies haven't done for some reason or another, and I think we'll be able to sway a few folks from group 2 and 3 into owners.

    So, give us your ideas on some torture tests you'd like to see that would actually make sense and help you understand the strength of the product.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback we receive!!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  2. Adam123

    Adam123 Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Shoot lots and lots of rounds. That should do it.
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    central Kali.
    I have a later Bushmaster Carbon 15 (with forward assist ect.) that I bout for $400 with Calif. Bullet button. I have 4 other preban ARs registered with Ca. but thought this might be a light weight range toy for women and young people . Convince me!
  4. NewFrontierArmory

    NewFrontierArmory New Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    We have a FA that has over 10K rounds through it (almost all full auto mag dumps) with no problems. We'll def have one test of the rifle being thrown accross the desert from person to person while doing 100 rd mag dumps on full auto at every stop.

    On top of that we're going to set up our jig that runs the hammer and trigger at a faster pace than anyones finger can, and run that until something doesn't want to go anymore. We'll have to time laps the video, but we'll get something out there to this effect.
  5. MistWolf

    MistWolf Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    If you are serious about establishing the toughness of your polymer lower, give it to Larry Vickers and let him do a test similar to the one he put the DD carbine through. Overkill? Perhaps, but for one, I wasn't surprised to see an AR survive the punishment. (What did surprise me was that the Aimpoint survived.) This would go a long way to proving a polymer lower is worth considering.

    There have been Plum Crazy lowers that have split along the mold line, had FCG hole wallow out and the threads for accepting the receiver extension fail. Polymer uppers have had the threads for the accepting the barrel nut fail.

    The difference between a Glock polymer frame and the polymer AR frames I have seen so far, is the quality of polymer, quality of process and the use of metal inserts. Manufacture your lower with the appropriate polymer & processes and use metal inserts, you will have a winner. As I trust my life to my AR (and all firearms) every time I shoot (I do not want it to blow up in my face) manufacturing a firearm that I "don't have to trust my life to" is one I cannot afford to buy
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Elder

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    I'd try one. I didn't like poly for years, got a CZ P-07 and my fantastic CZ SP-01, and I am a convert. I am all up for affordable stuff for people like me, on the bottom end of the economic totem pole.
    Need some pictures done? :)
  7. essayons21

    essayons21 Participating Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Down by the rivah, VA
    Heh, people said the same thing about Magpuls magazines. All the torture tests and running them over with trucks put an end to most of that.

    Heck it was before my time but I remember seeing people saying similar things about Glocks... again until they were run over, buried, and dropped from airplanes. Just don't put them in the oven!

    Hopefully, if these lowers are good quality, a few good torture tests will have the same effect.
  8. HKGuns

    HKGuns Senior Member

    Aug 29, 2004
    Bora Bora
    HK has been pretty successful with the G36 platform. The only issue I have heard with them, this might not be directly translated to an AR lower in polymer, is they sometimes wander about their zero. Even with metal re-enforcement in critical areas and with HK's renown weapons engineering prowess.

    I've seen no documented evidence of this, only "internet lore" more than likely intended to slander the platform. If you assume it is true perhaps demonstrating accuracy over a sustained period of time would be a good idea?
  9. wnycollector

    wnycollector Senior Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Western NY
    As the owner of three Cav Arms MKII lowers, I definitely fall into the "owner" category. One thing I would like to see on the a new polymer lower is an A1 stock. I much prefer a fixed stock because it offer a superior cheek weld IMOO.
  10. biggameballs

    biggameballs Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Send a bunch of lowers to members here to try out.
  11. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Active Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Flathead Valley, MT
    And a pallet of ammo.
  12. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    I'd say you give out lowers to a bunch of 3 gun/tactical match shooters and let them give their 2 cents.

    Nothing in the lab is the same as using one in the field. I suspect you'd get results by letting a bunch of real shooters 'use them hard' without 'subjecting them to actual combat'.

    Most of the broken lowers I've seen have been dedicated 22 LR platfroms.
  13. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    I'll test one. I'm glad I fit into category #4. Anything that helps get more AR's out there can't be a bad thing.

    Pop a BCM 14.5" BFH/ 12" Larue Rail/ PWS 556 upper on one and send it to Vickers or Rodgers to use as a loaner in thier classes. I'm sure they'll find ways to test it.

    I'm concerned about the buffer tube mount area snapping off when I butt swipe people Davy Crocket style. ( Or landing on the rifle dropping to urban prone etc.

    I'm also concerned about the pins opening up the polymer holes. (If applicable) And it better be able to fit Pmags.


    Aug 28, 2009
    Run construction equipment over them! They did that to a SIG P220 in one test.
  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Oct 23, 2004
    The op sure sounded like it was meant to be offensive and derogatory despite claim to the contrary. It also seems pretty trollish.

    Are there any polymer lowers on the market besides plum crazy?

    I don't think many people have an issue with a high quality polymer. I certainly hope someone builds one.

    Lot of strawmen myths too. A significant percent of adult gun owners believe an AR lower made from the same material as a glock will crack or melt or deform or shatter? Really?


    If your target market is the hobby/bumpfire crowd then carry on with the mag dumps. If you want to convince the shooters in the crowd that your lower is higher quality than the other polymer lower then take some classes with it. You might find that manipulating the weapon is where most of the malfunctions show up. Not doing mag dumps.
  16. 68wj

    68wj Participating Member

    May 2, 2010
    I hereby volunteer to test one on a 6.8 SPC and .458 SOCOM. :D
  17. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Active Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Send me one, I run a bunch of matches a year of all types, I'll even take down to PMG and Tom "taliv" and the rest of the badger crew see what they think about it. I'll throw a scope on it and run the "pond" stage haha if history dictates that will be a proving ground I always have somthing happen there
  18. kwelz

    kwelz Senior Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Henryville, IN
    I agree with this. Coming in and insulting part of your potential customer base is not a great way to start off.

    You forgot category #4. People who understand the ins and outs of the AR platform and know what works and what doesn't. These people also understand the industry usually and know how to produce/sell/market parts and guns. These are the people you need to win over. I am sure a number of them would be happy to actually test your product. But they are going to honest with you on the results, good or bad.
  19. RatherNotSay

    RatherNotSay Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    I'm sorry but how much weight and price are we talking about here? Unless it weights SIGNIFICANTLY less and sells for around $25 what would be the purpose?
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    I'm not a # 1 or #3.
    But I might be a #2.

    My experiance is only with one Carbon-15, and it was the sorriest excuse for an AR-15 I ever tried to get to work.
    And I didn't even own it.

    A good friend's son bought it new, and we fought it for two months without getting it to run a full mag without at least several stoppages of several kinds.

    He finally sold it at a loss to cut his losses.


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