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Plastic AR Lower Receivers?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Corpral_Agarn, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Well-Known Member

    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.
    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!
  2. courtgreene

    courtgreene Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. browneu

    browneu Well-Known Member

    $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
  4. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Well-Known Member


    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.
  5. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    You were right to advise not buying it, especially for $250!
  6. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    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.:)
  7. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    The Cavalry Arms polymer lowers are pretty solid, but hard to find nowadays.

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

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

  12. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    The Cav arms ones are good. I would buy one of those. The NFA, Plum Crazy, ATI, etc, are ones I would skip.








    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.
  13. gotigers

    gotigers Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    The thing that comes to mind is....Are aluminum receivers really so heavy?
  16. dubya450

    dubya450 Well-Known Member

    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
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. MErl

    MErl Well-Known Member

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

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Great for the manufacture.. yet on our side, the savings are trivial in the grand scheme of things...
  20. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Well-Known Member

    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.

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