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which AR lower to start with?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by texas bulldog, Jul 24, 2007.

?

which AR lower to start a new build?

  1. Stag

    19 vote(s)
    23.8%
  2. Bushmaster

    7 vote(s)
    8.8%
  3. CMMG

    5 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. DPMS

    10 vote(s)
    12.5%
  5. LMT

    13 vote(s)
    16.3%
  6. RRA

    14 vote(s)
    17.5%
  7. Colt

    3 vote(s)
    3.8%
  8. Other [please specify]

    9 vote(s)
    11.3%
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  1. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Member

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    which AR lower to start with?
    so...reading through another thread on ARs, i have finally been convinced to go the "build" route. previously, i figured i'd just buy a complete rifle when i had the finances together. but i came around to the build for the usual sound reasoning:

    - gain a better understanding of the gun
    - pay a little at a time as $$ becomes available
    - get exactly the configuration i want
    - save a little money on the completed project

    i'm going to the next area gun show to shop for another revolver, and i should have just enough left over [if gunbroker prices are any indication] for a stripped lower.

    i've read several past threads debating the various merits of this manufacturer or that. but confining the discussion only to stripped lowers, i'm interested in a straw poll of the esteemed THR community as to which one i should start with for building my first AR. money is an object, of course, but quality is more important. feel free to give your reasons in detail. thanks!


    PS...yes, i will also check out AR15.com...i just thought i'd start with the forum i'm already familiar with.
     
  2. rayman

    rayman Member

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    I've been wondering about AR recievers. With so many out there how is one to choose which is better than the other. I'm a colt guy myself simply because it's what I got & that is all I know at this point. Are there differences that make them unique?
     
  3. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Is "any of the above" an option? Seriously, with a couple of rare exceptions, it won't make a difference.
     
  4. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Member

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    perhaps not. i suppose that's why i need guidance on this. with other guns, i've had no trouble doing the research to make an informed choice in relatively short order. with ARs, it just seems like there is a mountain of opinion out there on this vs. that vs. the other. it's all a bit overwhelming, frankly.

    shear_stress:
    how much difference would it make if we were talking about a complete lower?
     
  5. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Good question. With the exception of "other", probably not much. You've got a pretty good list there.
     
  6. MMcfpd

    MMcfpd Member

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    Of the ones you have listed, I'd say whichever you find at the cheapest price (probably a Stag, DPMS or CMMG, probably not a Colt or LMT).
     
  7. Guido2006

    Guido2006 Member

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    I went with some stripped lowers from Essential Arms.

    $77 each (+$3 for toughcoat which I'd recommend)
    $14 shipping makes is a bit more expensive for one, but if you order a couple, helps ameliorate the costs.

    The only complaint I have is that the front bottom of the mag-well showed the forging lines with a little bump. Could have been a little smoother, but otherwise functional.

    If cost were not an issue, I'd probably go with a Mega (~$135 if you can find one). The only difference for most lowers is 1) finish and 2) logo on the side. If you can find a Stag for around $100 shipped, I'd take that over the E.A., otherwise I'd go with EA.
     
  8. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    A few of those are made by the same people and stamped with different names.
     
  9. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    I was about to say the same thing. AR lowers are alot like car batteries, all made by a small handful of manufacturers under subcontracts, just branded differently.
     
  10. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    DPMS
    Precisely machined, hard coat anodized then Teflon coated, and about a hundred bucks.

    Two others to take a hard look at.
    Double Star
    High Standard
     
  11. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    Just in case you need to see it again.
    A lower is lower.
    $100 is about right around here.
     
  12. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Member

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    thanks, guys. sorry for noob question...
     
  13. kgriggs8@yahoo.com

    kgriggs8@yahoo.com member

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    I have never had a bad one. Just make sure you get a forged alloy one and not a cast or "carbon fiber" lower.

    I have had good luck with Rock River, Stag and DPMS. I rank them all the same in terms of quality. I would pay a dollar more for any of them than the other.
     
  14. fmnnc

    fmnnc Member

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    I went through this same process a few months ago. I finally went with a DPMS lower because it was what local law enforcement was using and the lower was readily available for a reasonable price locally. I have assembled the lower, upper, and buttstock to date, down to each individual part. Just trying to decide on which barrel to go with and I will be done. All parts are DPMS as well to this point but I may go with a Bushmaster barrel.

    Really, most all of them are good. I also considered STAG (didn't want a deer head on my AR) and RRA (harder to get and a little more expensive). Pick one you like at a price you are willing to pay and start building. Just make sure it is forged and not cast. Most of them now are forged. Good luck!


    I've heard others make the same comment about STAG that I did. I wonder just how many builders or assembled buyers have turned away from STAG for that very reason? Again, they make a good lower as well as other parts. Kind of reminds me of that girl way back in high school. From the neck down she was a 10...but from the neck up....well....she just didn't get as many dates as she could have. :banghead:
     
  15. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    The two factors I'd consider are initial purchase price and potential resale/future value.

    My vote is for bushmaster (but I have a DPMS that I'm quite happy with and an Oly that's okay, but a little tight in the magwell).
     
  16. illspirit

    illspirit Member

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    One you might want to avoid is Olympic Arms. I bought one about six months ago, only to realize in April that the rear of the mag well isn't milled out to spec. Everything else is fine, and if you're planning to use standard metal magazines, it won't be an issue. If you want to use the fancy new polymer Magpul mags though, you'll need to do some dremel'ing.

    http://www.illspirit.com/randompics/pmag_problem.jpg

    Unless of course Oly has fixed the problem..
     
  17. Shadowangel

    Shadowangel Member

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    I can only say good things about Double Star lowers. I got mine for $99 with free shipping. Great finish, everything was perfect.
     
  18. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    MegaMachine.

    These are simply incredible receivers. I have build a few hundred ARs for people over the years, and have seen just about every receiver made. Mega is the nicest I have seen to date.

    Here's someone else's review, which mirrors my own experience

    http://www.commtechreview.net/firearms/megalwr.htm
     
  19. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I put my money where my vote is & did it with a Stag. They cater to me & the others don't. So I built a left-handed AR & am happy.

    900F
     
  20. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    Good point about resale value. Colt and Bushmaster are, by far, the most recognizable names. By this I mean that they are the brands most likely to sound familiar to people that are generally unfamiliar with AR15's. If the potential buyer is a knowledgable gun enthusiast, brand recognition becomes a moot point.
     
  21. ProficientRifleman

    ProficientRifleman Member

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    Correction here...

    Not true at all. I don't know what problems you might have had with Oly Arms recievers...

    They are made to Mil Spec, and the new MagPul magazines fit and function just fine in them. We have them on display that way right now.
     
  22. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    Among most name brands there is almost no difference in terms of quality. Get the least expensive one.
     
  23. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I've built more than a half dozen ARs now.

    A couple are on Eagle Arms lowers (Armalite's economy brand). I really like them the best. The finish has more of a satin look, kind of looks like parkerizing. The rollmark is attractive, and most importantly, everything fits well. The fit with my Colt, RRA, and LMT upper recievers is tight, but not binding.

    I built about four or five on DPMS receivers. They all went together fine except for the last one I built. On this one the safety detent hole isn't straight, causing the safety lever to sit at a funny angle. It works just fine, so it's only a cosmetic issue, but bugs me nonetheless. The finish and upper/lower fit is superb on all these. DPMS also has an attractive rollmark.

    The latest one I built on a Bushmaster lower. All the parts assembled fine. The finish and rollmark are fine. However, upper/lower fit is loose with all of my uppers.

    The Eagle lowers were the cheapest, the Bushmaster was the most expensive at nearly twice what the Eagle lowers cost.

    I've built
     
  24. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    For the price, customer service and fact that they make the parts for many other companies I'd get a Stag.
     
  25. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I have a RRA & a Superior and have buddies w/ Stag, Bushmaster & Colt. You know, as long as you buy from a quality company, you'll be fine. But, if you are picky about how well it will match your upper, trying putting them side by side so you can pick the best match.
     
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