Quantcast

80 percent lower, who has done it

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kahr33556, Oct 6, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kahr33556

    Kahr33556 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    USA
    I will have my first complete AR15 wednesday and already thinking of my next one.
    I see you can buy anodized lowers at 80 percent.
    What still needs machined ?
    How is it legal with no serial numbers.
     
  2. Speedgoat

    Speedgoat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Wyo.
    I've part way done it, bout got as far as ordered the lowers, 2 of them cause I know I'm bound to butcher up the 1st one pretty bad, and the jig kit. That was a year or so ago and they've sat on the shelf ever since.

    As far as legalities, I'm sure that someone will chirp in with the exact law, but it basically goes that you are legal to 'roll your own' firearms as long as they are for personal use, and do not require a serial number although numbering them, and/or putting your name and town, something along that line is recommended for identification in case in case it gets lost, stolen, etc is recommended. Now if you make one for personal use, and decide that you don't like it, sell it, then make yourself another, and then sell it, that is going to be frowned upon big time I am sure.
     
  3. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,405
    I see two reasons to go the 80% route. One is that you don't want a paper trail. The other is you like the challenge. Judging from the first post, I have doubts that you are a machinist by trade. I don't mean that in a negative way, just that someone with metal working experience sees the job ahead of them (I almost went down the 80% route until I realized how over my head I was). If you have the tools and skill, it isn't overly hard. If not, well good luck.

    It isn't cheaper by any means either. With sales that happen, fully finished stripped lowers sell for $50 or less now and then, and are often able to be found in store for $100 or less. It's not an economical choice to buy the 80% lowers (which may not even be cheaper than finished lowers), the jigs, the bits, and any power tools needed to turn some chips.

    If you are looking to avoid the government knowing you have one (assuming you are legal to own one), you've already got the paper trail for the first. In most states, face to face sales do not require paperwork either, and that would be my suggestion.

    80% lowers really require metal working machines to be done right. Unless you have a very strong reason/desire to create your own, I'd skip it and buy a finished stripped lower.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    12,572
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    I just competed my 80% AR10 lower. I have a thread on the process further down in the Rifle page somewhere.
     
  5. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    16,562
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    The fire control pocket must be milled out, and 3 holes poked from the sides.

    I've done a few, helped other people with set-up and pointers to get theirs done on my machines. On a full size vertical mill, they're a snap. 1-1.5 hours for an inexperienced person with instruction, 20-30 minutes for someone who knows their way around a mill.

    If you do not own or have access to a mill, I hope you have a lot of patience. these can be done on a drill press with a cross slide vise, but it's sketchy. To do a decent job, it'll be tiny, tiny cuts, slow movement and lots of bracing/holding tension on things to avoid chatter. Drills just aren't mills.

    People have successfully done them with jigs using a router or other rotary tool as well, but I wouldn't expect good results that way.

    Watch a few youtube videos of different ways people have done it and just decide for yourself if you think it's something you can handle. It's fun, and you can take pride in being more than just a parts assembler. On the other hand, it could also be very frustrating for you.
     
  6. Sebastian the Ibis
    • Contributing Member

    Sebastian the Ibis Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,037
    Location:
    "The Gunshine State"
    ...it is probably a complete waste of time. Google knows you are looking at them, and your credit card company knows you bought something from 80percentarms.com or some such outfit. If you are the type of person who worries about unregistered lowers, you probably accept that the NSA has whatever information big data has.

    Much better to do a FTF sale for cash.
     
  7. gfunk

    gfunk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Colorado
  8. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    The latter is the correct choice. There was also a time when you could save money this way, but that's about four years past, now (in 2012 it seemed like there was a glut or parts and shortage of rifles, stemming back to the 2008 panic, before Newtown when everything disappeared --lot's of semi-auto subgun conversions use AR firing pins, and there was a critical shortage of those for months!)

    If you wish to know your rifle better than any training or manual could possibly teach you, build one, and figure out how to make it work :cool:

    Regarding the ATF's list of FAQ's about 80%'s, there's a couple things I take issue with in the list (bear in mind that nothing in the list is or needs to be legally binding, not subject to change, or not in conflict with past or future rulings), namely that they seem to imply you need a serial on the gun in order to sell it, which is bunk. You simply can't make a gun with the intent to sell it (or more importantly, the appearance thereof. See post 2 for an example ;))


    Regarding milling with drill presses; non-machinists are not aware that not only is this activity rough on the drill press (it's bearings aren't built to take cross-loads), it's also potentially quite dangerous. Most chucks are wedged in place by the purely axial force of straight drilling, but milling puts side loads that can suddenly pop the chuck free from the spindle while running. Depending on your proximity and how much force is going into the cut...flying chucks, exploding endmills, and bears, oh my! Stay safe.

    TCB
    (who got his vewy fust dwill pwess today; little benchtop model that'll drill small holes straight(ish) and not much more)
     
  9. goon

    goon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Messages:
    7,250
    I've seen Anderson lowers for $39 each. Complete lowers for forty bucks!

    Just saying... it looks challenging and I'd maybe like to try it, but economical it is not.

    I've also looked up some homemade guns that others have made. There seems to be a whole cottage industry around them in Brazil, and some guys are building semi-auto versions of their own designs using AK or AR fire control parts.
     
  10. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Not even 0% forgings are economical anymore, somehow. Just too much demand from manufacturers for the forgers to given them away cheap. At one time they were practically worthless, and a CNC or well-oiled jig+procedures on a manual could crank them out at a net savings.

    There's more homebuilt guns and semi-auto conversions out there than you can shake a stick at. A lot of them are simply cobbled together from left over parts slowly collected as 'bargains' or what have you. Tube-gun blowback mounted atop a converted G3 lower, with Uzi magwell/mag, AK underfolder buttstock, and a Suomi barrel & shroud. How else can you make something useful/valuable from that collection of parts? :p

    TCB
     
  11. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    16,562
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    A point that I've forgotten to make before, and a very valid one. Drill chucks are generally affixed to the arbor only by friction of a tapered shaft, usually one of the Jacob's tapers (many machine tapers exist, but JT is most common with conventional drills). In contrast, the milling machines you'd usually encounter in a home shop use R8 collets, which are threaded and pulled into the female quill with a draw bar; they cannot pop off.

    It should go without saying, but ALWAYS wear safety glasses when using any power equipment, and especially power equipment that will be throwing metal chips. Less intuitive is that you should never wear gloves when operating a mill, drill or lathe. At least not "work" gloves; latex, nylon or nitrile are fine, since they tear away easily. Reason being, if your bare finger or disposable gloved finger comes into contact with a cutter, it will cut you. If your hand wearing a leather glove gets hooked on the cutter, it'll pull your hand, arm and potentially even body into the machine. For the same reason, do not wear loose clothing around machinery, and if you have long hair, make sure it's high and tight.

    (BITD in 8th grade wood shop, a classmate learned a hard lesson that way on a lathe. Pony tail got caught, tore a sizable chunk of skin from his scalp.)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice