AR 15 80% lower - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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AR 15 80% lower

I would like to get a decent semi-auto AR style rifle, but don't have a fortune to spend.. I have been kicking around the idea of buying a polymer 80% lower for an AR and putting it together myself. Just wondering if anyone on here has done this and if they had any recommendations. I like the idea of it not being registered but am torn on getting the 80% lower or buying a complete lower, and assembling the rest. I figure I could build one for $500-600. I am just not sure of the quality of these lowers and dont really know a whole lot about the specs. Every AR forum I check seems like its all a ford vs chevy deal, and everyone talks like they need the best military grade specs for a doomsday scenario. I just want something that wont jam, and is fairly accurate.


I have also been thinking of saying to heck with it and buying a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 sport for $580, or a ruger mini 14 for $700. The smith and wesson doesnt have forward assist or a dust cover, which seems to be a deal breaker for some people, but I would guess for my uses those things wouldnt be necessary. Any recommendations?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 08:13 PM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

You can definitely (ok, maybe usually is a better word ) build an AR cheaper than buying one. There is NOT any firearm registration, although you do need to have a background check for a stripped lower receiver. The exception to my statement about no firearm registration would be if you are building a SBR. Anyway, in my opinion only, unless, you are pretty confident with a drill press, get the stripped lower. It's not a big difference in price. I have read you need to buy a jig for the 80% lower.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 08:14 PM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

By the way, Palmetto State Armory usually has some pretty good daily specials. They have an email list.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 08:26 PM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

I don't know much about this, but you do understand that the 80% lower would have to be finished (milled out to specs) don't you? I've seen jigs for sale that you could use to finish one using a drill press, but they arn't cheap.

By the time you paid for these things and the lower parts kit, it would probably be less expensive to just buy a complete lower.

If you decide to go with the 80% lower check out the youtube videos that show the work it involves good luck.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 09:04 PM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

I am of the understanding that when purchasing a lower, it has to be registered as a pistol...
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 09:38 PM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

Palmetto state has great deals right now. Complete lowers with stocks for $150. DPMS sportocal complete gun for $579 with $50 rebate. Can't build one for that.

Lowers are classified as receivers. Not rifle or pistol. Separate check box on the 4473.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 12:13 AM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

First and foremost, there is NO firearm registration. Secondly, when buying a stripped lower from a dealer, a background check is required. I'm an FFL and I recently confirmed this with the PSP because someone did not believe me. I had to call to appease this person. When a background check is completed for a stripped lower, the ATF 4473 is completed and that is it. No paperwork is sent to the PSP with the serial number, etc. The FFL must record in the A&D (bound book).

whil e kioti - if you watch for deals, you can build an AR cheaper than buying a complete lower.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 12:35 AM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

Quote:
Originally Posted by TraskOutdoors
I am of the understanding that when purchasing a lower, it has to be registered as a pistol...
The OP was asking about a 80% lower blank. It is my understanding that because it's NOT a finished striped lower it dosen't need to go through a FFL, no background check is required.

From what I have read it's legal to finish it yourself, but ONLY for yourself. it can't be sold.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 01:03 AM
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

Quote:
Originally Posted by whil e kioti
Quote:
Originally Posted by TraskOutdoors
I am of the understanding that when purchasing a lower, it has to be registered as a pistol...
The OP was asking about a 80% lower blank. It is my understanding that because it's NOT a finished striped lower it dosen't need to go through a FFL, no background check is required.

From what I have read it's legal to finish it yourself, but ONLY for yourself. it can't be sold.
You are correct - no background check required for an 80% lower receiver. ARs can be built for yourself and not built to be sold unless you have class 07 FFL, I think. I don't have to cross that bridge so I am not 100% sure.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: AR 15 80% lower

Yes the 80% lower is considered unfinished, therefore not needing to be registered/go through ffl. The polymer lowers can be milled out using a dremel tool and drill quite easily, my friend had his done in less than an hour. You can get one for around $60 or buy it stripped for twice that.

Im just unsure of the quality of these lowers compared to aluminum.. Not quite sure what to look for in an upper either.
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