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Plastic AR Lower Receivers?

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

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  1. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    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.
    So...
    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    $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 Member

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    This.

    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 Member

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

    Jackal Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Emeritus

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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  12. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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

    [​IMG]

    DSCN0010.jpg

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTuo0vIKKI5oXgmNCrs8B3HxAaFGK56U0ALt_5ja_Jwlc-O9dHA5w.jpg

    [​IMG]

    DSCN0312.jpg

    5818776285_d1ac742071.jpg

    5818799409_a910e1a2c0.jpg

    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 Member

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    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 Member

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  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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

    dubya450 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    tarosean Member

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

    303 hunter Member

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    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.
     
  21. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    I wish him luck.
     
  22. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Couple of flaws in that thinking. First injection molds are far from cheap from a tooling perspective. Second the polymer used isn't exactly cheap either. Third an aluminum lower worth owning isn't cast, it's finish machined from a rough forging. Cast lowers were tried in the past and found to be severely lacking. Forged lowers were fairly routinely available for $50 before the stupid hit.
     
  23. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Is $30-40 really so much. Pre panic you could find aluminum lowers for $69-79. If the thing breaks and you have to buy another one you really didn't save anything.

    Given the cost of a decent upper, $40 is nothing.
     
  24. B!ngo

    B!ngo Member

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    I just bought a NF (New Frontier) complete lower (with stock) for just a bit over $100. I plan to use it with a .22lr LH Revo upper that I ordered from CMMG (I've asked how long the backlog is on that piece but haven't heard a peep). My FFL informed me that I got the last one at that price and that NF informed him at Shot Show that the price is going up to just shy of $170. Still a good deal if the quality is there.
    I don't plan on going to war with it so it seems like a fine risk - especially in .22LR. I like to follow research in materials science and so probably have more faith in it than most others but if I was shooting a centerfire cartridge of significant power, I'd likely use an alloy part and allow others to do the research for awhile.
    B
     
  25. Giterboosted

    Giterboosted Member

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    I like my plum crazy......but not for 250
     
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