Expensive AR lower worth it?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SkilletFan24, Feb 11, 2016.

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  1. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Just know that the doofy-looking Spikes lower will make you "that guy." ;)
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 22, 2007
    Central PA
    Hi! And welcome to THR!

    Yeah, it's very expensive for A lower. But it is very unique and fun and you gotta admire them for coming up with the idea and execution. If you want that and the extra $200 isn't going to hurt you, why not?

    For what it may be worth, a few years ago folks were paying ridiculous prices for anything AR-related because of the "bannic" and, while $275 for a lower would still have been pretty high, some folks were dropping $2,000-$3,000 for a pretty bog standard complete AR. So, "worth" is totally in your eyes.

    I would say a big part of the challenge will be how to select just the right parts to most perfectly compliment that lower. Either in keeping everything else understated to highlight the lower, or in trying to keep that theme throughout, but without contrasting in unappealing ways, or in finding other unique bits that look good against that lower carving without totally clashing. Could be done well. Much more likely to be a swing and a miss, probably, but you can always re-do it if you don't like the end result you get on the first try.

    (And Skillet is my 7-year-old's favorite band! :))
  3. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

    Jun 30, 2011
    Turn heads at the range? If the results on target aren't causing this then I'm not interested. I see no need to turn the firing line into a fashion show. But this is increasingly what it's becoming w/in certain segments of this hobby.
  4. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

    May 8, 2012
    Fads will eventually fade. Stick to the fundamentals and your value will more likely be preserved.
  5. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

    Apr 20, 2011
    West of the Big Muddy, East of the Rockies and Nor
    If it gives you pleasure and is legal than what others think should not matter.
  6. matrem

    matrem Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Last stripped lower I got was a sub $50 one, and it works just as well as any other I've had.

    On the other hand, I'm guilty of paying hundreds, and even more for "looks" that please me on vehicles.

    If the "looks" make you want it more and it works, get it.
  7. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

    Nov 22, 2006
    Central Illinois
    I say go for it.
  8. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Vancouver, WA
    I have 2 AR15 lowers, one a San Tan, the other a Seekins, both billet. Ergonomically they are ever so slightly different but not enough to say one is better than the other. I've shot many different AR15s and the lowers really haven't set one apart from the other. There are a few things concerning weapon assembly that may or may not make a difference, like the way springs are retained etc. It's all about what you want. I really like my Seekins lower, it's mil-spec all the way, with some style. That's why it's a registered SBR, I liked her enough to marry her, lol.
  9. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Aug 14, 2011
    "Is the Jacks Lower worth it?"
    No, but it's awesome. So is lotsa cool stuff.

    Magpul really needs to do a run of Halloween mag bodies that have a mating lower jaw molded into them for these lowers; hilarious/awesome.

  10. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    May 24, 2008
    SW MO
    There are differences in opinion on the aesthetics of that lower. In other styles of shooting, some have used wildly figured and colored laminate stocks for their choice. And there are the all pink or DeWalt builders, too.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and taste is something highly debatable. One thing is for sure, tho, asking for opinions to justify the expense here is like asking for a drug to relieve headache pains in an opium den filled with addicts and interventionists.

    I'd say the score is evenly divided on that lower.

    Just exactly who is to be impressed at the range is the final factor, and bear in mind that impression may not be positive. This lower is not a functional improvement, it's entirely fashion, and it's highly debatable it's an "investment." Most likely an expense, in the same way a $400 Diesel watch vs a plain Seiko Diver for $200. Visually exciting, yes. Rugged, durable and easy to use, less so. The $200 extra expense is about fashion, not function. All they do is tell time.

    All that lower does is hold a magazine and trigger group once pinned to the upper. Is the extra $200 going to do what you want it to? Who is going to be positively impressed, and does it matter that it might not impress certain others who will react less positively?

    We can't make that choice for you. All we can do is say if we would or wouldn't.

    Good luck.
  11. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    The North Country
    I have a Noveske Gen 2 lower.
    It is forged with a flared magwell and an enhanced trigger guard.
    It is my favourite lower.
    I find that my mag changes are much quicker.
    Is it worth the price of admission?
    I think it is.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  12. highpower

    highpower Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    Reno NV
    If you like it, then that is all that matters. If it is worth it to you, then that is reason enough to get it.

    You shouldn't need internet permission to buy what you want. I personally could care less what others think about what I do, or buy and you would do yourself a huge favor if you adopt that attitude.

    Now, all that being said I have a few lowers that I have a ton of money in due to who made them, what they are and what I had done to them after I got them. No, I didn't go all gay and have a bunch of tackicool junk done to them, but rather some specific engraving that I felt was appropriate.

    One is this NDS A1 spec lower that I had engraved. I probably have about three bills in it, but I don't care, it is what I wanted and I don't care what others think about spending that kind of money on a lower.

    Another is this one I did from and 80% lower. I had reprofiled to A1 specs and then engraved. I probably have a little better than three hundred in this one also if you factor in the cost of the milling jig.
  13. ColoradoMinuteMan

    ColoradoMinuteMan Member

    May 8, 2015

    If you have ask for validation, then it ain't cool. Cool doesn't require explanation, validation and needs no business case.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Yep, and if some folks think it's nuts, you shouldn't care.
  15. AG1972

    AG1972 Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Save the money for a nice trigger, solid upper, quality flash suppressor and compensator, and great optics! Coolness won't help your grouping.
  16. yugorpk

    yugorpk member

    Jul 9, 2008

    Thats pretty cool. Never thought of doing that. Makes me want to build a Hydromatic like I had in the Army or even a Mattel marked gun :)
  17. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Aug 14, 2011
    Just an FYI, the reproducing of logos like that is probably copyright infringement (in fact, it almost certainly is). Not being a wet blanket and it isn't likely to be an issue or anything, but there's a reason lowers aren't being mass-manufactured with rampant colt's on them. I'd have done Armalite, since I don't think there's anyone left to sue me at this point :p

    Also be aware that if your 80% M16A1 forgery (let's call it what it is ;)) is a little too realistic, it'd be awful hard to prove its non-M16 ancestry should a crooked cop/agent drill a little hole in the side. I'm sure there's certain internal details that still differentiate it, but my point is that a perfect forgery becomes increasingly indistinguishable from the real thing --which is highly illegal in this case-- especially to ignoramuses. (gonna go oil-down my Hotchkiss Universal with no externally-visible semi-auto conversion mods, now :D)

  18. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    I agree. In fact, I'm a little surprised an engraver took on the job.
  19. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    Then why bother to engrave the "R" that denotes a registered trademark if the actually cared?
  20. Averageman

    Averageman Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    As long as the lower is in spec, it becomes a matter of taste.
    I wouldn't do it, but it is your money and time.

    By the way, there are many who will tell you that a lower is a lower and it doesn't matter, but that simply isn't true. I can assure you that there are more than a few companies out there who aren't checking the lowers properly before putting them out on the market.
    I don't mind paying more for a product when I know that it has been through proper Quality Control and Quality Assurance checks along the way before it ends up at my door. There are many that do that and more than a few that don't.
    Buyer Beware.
  21. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic

    If the billet receiver doesn't include ambi mag release and bolt release, it's useless and overpriced. Stick with plain lowers.

    No skulls on my defensive weapons please.
  22. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Yep, this is my understanding as well.
  23. rc109a

    rc109a Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Tidewater, VA
    I have built on the following lowers for:
    Anvil Arms
    My go to has always been the colt and the one I regret getting rid of is the Noveski (could not pass up the price offered). Those I used a lot. My nicest (billet upper/lower, custom paint job, etc) is the BRS. Out of all mine, I don't shoot the BRS that often and it just sits. Its a very nice rifle, but it seems like I get more use out of the practical builds then the nicest ones.

    I now stick with lowers that are in spec and will provide the most function then just appearance. The last one I built I went back to basics. It has a detachable carry handle, M4 hand guards, basic carbine stock, 16" barrel with fixed front sights and so forth. Its always nice to have at least one rifle in the stable that is something to pass down, but most of the time it just sits there gathering dust. What ever you do, built what you like and not what others tell you to build. It is your money and your the only one who will have to live with the decision.

    Good luck and enjoy!
  24. atomd

    atomd Member

    Jul 7, 2006
    I'm in the camp that doesn't care about lowers much. They are essentially just a box that you stick pins through...that's it (assuming they are built to proper spec). Mostly what you pay for is looks. There are other options you may get like a flared magwell or threaded detent holes for easier installation, slight weight reduction, etc...but nothing mind blowing. I've put a $2700 upper (optic included) on a $40 stripped lower before. It worked the same as any other lower and I'd do the same again unless I saw something neat enough to justify the expense.

    I would rather have 7 stripped anderson lowers in a box in my safe than 1 billet lower that has the face of a shark on it or something. I'm well into the double digits for builds in the last 10 years and I have not had one issue with even one stripped lower yet.....whether they were $40 or $150.
  25. Fatdaddy

    Fatdaddy Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    If it's worth it to you, then it's worth it.
    I've bought ultra cheap lowers and regretted it buy what you think you want and don't second guess yourself.
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