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New Frontier Armory Polymer Lower

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dr.Rob, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok it's the big day, I picked it up this morning in a no-frills UPS box wrapped in bubblewrap. No manual (not really expected). It feels light, handy. The 6 position stock clicks positively, the graphics are attractive and the finish is VERY similar to a Mag-Pul magazine. The lower feels really solid but as you can see, no ability to swap out the trigger gaurd.

    I was not expecting the hammer to be made of polymer and if there is a weak point I expect it to be this. With rimfire will there be enough mass to do the deed? With centerfire? How will it stand up to hitting firing pins. The Hammer is marked ACCU-GROUP Made in USA.
     

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  2. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    What upper are you planning to top it off with?
     
  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The magazine button is oversized and surrounded by a raised rail so you can feel it in the dark, it's also raised on the opposite side.

    The stock has this marker's mark if anyone recognizes it, please chime in. The buffer tube is aluminum, the stock looks like the the same sort of plastic as my Colt 6920.

    Buffer is a std (Not H marked) carbine buffer.
     

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  4. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Pistol grip is attached with a hex screw head and lock washer, otherwise looks standard. (Plan on getting a Hogue Monogrip like my Colt).

    There are some casting burrs here and there on the internals but not where they matter. The safety did feel pretty stiff the first few times I worked it on and off. Could be I was polishing a few burrs there.

    Magazines from Colt, Mag-Pul and C-Products all fit well, with the Mag-Pul seeming to lock in the most solidly.
     

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  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    CMMG 22 LR mags fit just fine as well.

    But when fitting Colt and CMMG I had some issues.

    First off the pivot pin came out and the detent (plastic as well) went missing for a half an hour. That took some doing to put back in place but we'll call that one my fault.

    The spacers in the rear half of the stock are right at the same width as my Colt's locking lug, and ditto for the CMMG upper. Thing is the Colt's lug is tapered more, so it fit easier. No when I say EASIER, understand that it took some gentle finagling to get either one to fit. I did not alter any part in any way. No sanding, no tricks. This MIGHT NOT be something you want to do at a range bench out doors. It's a TIGHT fit with either upper, but with the Colt upper, the rear pin will NOT push in witout a gentle tap from the right side and a little oil. After being on and off the CMMG upper a few times the pins were easier to push (finger pressure only), it's getting the upper SEATED on the Poly lower that took a little "English" to get right. The Colt upper slides into place easier, but as I said that rear pin doesn't want to go the last 1/8 without a 'tap' (I used a rubber toe stop, didn't take much.)

    Side by side you can see the internal differences, Colt on right, NFA on the left. Plastic at the magwell looks thicker than the aluminum of the Colt (I can measure if anyone wants). The Colt has more material behind the hammer thats reamed out for the locking lug recess. The NFA design is open. Again you can see how the sides are built up to form 'tabs' that surround the rear locking lug.

    With the Colt upper fitted theres no rattle at all.. it's a tighter fit than my 6920 lower.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  6. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is a comparison of the NFA lower with my CMMG 22 cal upper next to my Colt 6920.

    There is a significant difference in weight, the NFA lower definitely saves you something there.

    So far I am pleased with New Frontier's lower. My total price, including shipping and transfer fee/background check was just over $132.

    Total to build my CMMG 22 rifle with 3 magazines, triangle handguards, UTG carry handle, and UTG 4x scope and New Frontier complete poly lower to date: $585

    I had some gift credit on Amazon so I have a monogrip and a rubber US butt pad on the way for a total (to me) of $7.

    Total build: $592


    Up next: shooting tests with the .22 cal upper.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  7. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Thanks for putting this info out there. I'm getting ready to purchase one of these lowers to mess around with. Thanks agian.
     
  8. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Thanks for the review.
     
  9. ifit

    ifit Member

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    thanks Dr.Rob for the review and pics:cool: will be placing an order for one tomorrow:)
     
  10. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Tapco?

    Good review, thanks.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    nice review so far! looking forward to hearing how well the stuff goes together and what that trigger is like and how it holds up after a few thousand rounds.
     
  12. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Dr. Rob,
    You should run this thing at the matches this summer and see what it will really do. Not trying to break it of course, but give it a good running.
     
  13. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm holding off my thoughts on the trigger until I've fired it for real. And Gus, I plan on using the lower at Pueblo West for at least some of the matches.
     
  14. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    Very interested in your thoughts once you shoot the thing a couple times...

    Also curious which model CMMG upper you have.
     
  15. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Me too. Please go and put a couple thousand rounds through it this week. :neener:
     
  16. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    Accu-Group is Plum Crazy's fire control group. Hmm.
     
  17. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    Yep. Expect the same results. Looks like a Plum Crazy lower with a marking variance.

    Be sure to post how this holds up under heavy use. I'm curious.
     
  18. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a CMMG Evolution M4 upper 16 inch WASP coated, with front sight. 22LR no bolt hold open.

    I might not get to shoot it until Friday. Will keep you all appraised.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  19. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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    New Frontier Armory has been on this site and others while developing it -- there's no reason to believe that it's a PCF lower with new markings:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=628545
     
  20. ns66

    ns66 Member

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    plastic hammer?
    i have bushmaster carbon upper and lower, 5lb without mag, the hammer and trigger steel
     
  21. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok gang made a run out to the Pawnee National Grasslands this afternoon. And while I didn't find a shooting spot til almost 3:30 and limited myself to 25 yards (getting this scope and irons on paper before taking my nephew out Friday) I ran about 200 rounds though the rifle set up with the .22LR CMMG upper.

    First things first:

    The safety still has a rough spot when I rotate it off, it doesn't look like there are casting burrs that cause this but right where I show it 'stopped' is a sticky point in its rotation. If you flick yours with authority you'll never notice but my ambient temp out on the plains was 34 and if I move the safety slowly you can feel resistance before it pops to FIRE. Not a huge deal, but worth mentioning.

    The Trigger:

    I was worried while at home that the trigger would feel mushy compared to my Colt and was fully prepared to say so at first. But I figured I'd better shoot it for real. The trigger is stiff. Thats all I can say. I'm being subjective and I didn't shoot it side by side with the Colt this time, but its not the sort of trigger I'd want on a precision varmint gun. Again, for 100 bucks I wasn't expecting it to feel like the Colt. The re-set was positive and I did several rapid fire strings of 5 10 and 25 to try to make it not work. Didn't happen.

    The Hammer:

    To be honest this is a pretty old stockpile of 22 ammo. It all went BANG, so the hammer was doing its job. Side note on my CMMG upper: I fired 50 40gr Federal lead Round Nose (red box) bullets and the rest Federal 36 gr plated HP bulk pack. The plated stuff shot better. I also shot a string without my slip over flashhider and my groups improved significantly. I MIGHT have to take that thing back off and use the standard one.

    The Day:

    Long drive to find an easily accessable part of the grasslands open to shooting with a good backstop (you can see how flat it is out there) and not a thing to stop the wind.
     

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  22. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The Magazine Fit and Function:

    All 3 of my magazines worked flawlessly, even the one that I over sanded and has a little back and forth slop. I was concerned the New Frontier lower would malfunction with that magazine and it didn't. My Colt might have malfuntioned with that mag, so +1 to NF in that category over Colt using the 22 upper. Note for CMMG info: in the Evolution model the magazine follower acts as a bolt hold open, locks on the last shot but when you pull the mag the bolt wll shoot forward. (BHO models allow the bolt release and forward assist actually function, in mine they don't.)

    The Triggerguard:

    AS you can see its molded into the lower, but that also means there's no 'grip gap' that some people buy spacers or use RTV to plug. Also the scallops in the sides actually made using it a breeze with my fingerless gloves.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  23. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    After the shoot:

    The internals looked very clean. There was some powder dust in the mag well, some particulates in the action but the hammer just had a tiny smudge that I thought was a 'peening' spot.. nope it wiped right off. Buffer had marks from impacting the 22 bolt carrier but that was expected.

    I can see no signs of wear or worry when opening it up.

    Cleaning:

    Those sharp edges on the plastic upper catch EVERY BIT of fuzz you can imagine: from q-tips, shop towels etc. The MFG gave no recommendation for what solvents or oils to use or avoid so:

    I used a bit of ED's Red on the upper and lubed with CLP. I have the lower a wipe down with CLP and put it away for Friday.

    I think aluminum is easier to clean.

    The range I am going to Friday will NOT allow me to swap uppers on the bench or shoot rapid fire. So I will probably just leave the .22 upper on it for now
     

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    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  24. juk

    juk Member

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    I have always been curious about those polymer lowers. The only one I ever got to put my hands on was a Sabre Lightweight. It was a light rifle, but the lower had a A2 style stock molded in with the rest of the lower. That was a big turn-off for me. One of these days, if these polymer lowers work out, I wouldn't mind doing a "light as possible" build.

    I was hoping my KISS carbine wouldn't be too heavy. It's just a standard M4gery. I was real happy with it until I found out it is 8 pounds. lol. It might go on a diet.
     
  25. ns66

    ns66 Member

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    i am always curious if you can find a grassland that looks safe to shoot, can you shoot there? is there a law about this? finding a good place to shoot especially longer range has been my biggest problem
     
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