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View Full Version : Forged or Billet lowers?


KimoBBZ
11-14-2006, 10:15 AM
Ummmm... Was dealing directly with an out of state distributor to get a particular OLL and was asked if I wanted "forged or billet"...

Anyone watch The "Mind of Mencia"? I felt like a "Deeet, Dee-Deeeee"...

Billet was $50 more... pros? What's the difference?:confused:

mltrading
11-14-2006, 10:25 AM
I remembered there was a thread discussing "forged vs billet". The conclusion was, any forged lower should do the work prefectly. No need to spend more money on billet.

nearsightednate
11-14-2006, 10:29 AM
The billet are milled down from a solid piece of aluminum while the forged are exactly that, forged. Some people feel that the billet is stronger or better made. I think it really comes down to personal preference. If you like exotics or specialty items then go for it. The lowers don't do much mechanically, they really only hold the pieces in place. The uppers do all the work and so long as a lower is mil-spec, it will build a great rifle.

Bottom line is, gtet what you want (or have available) and make do with it.

Nate

bwiese
11-14-2006, 10:41 AM
The billet are milled down from a solid piece of aluminum while the forged are exactly that, forged. Some people feel that the billet is stronger or better made.

Wrong. Forged is stronger than billet. Forging removes or vastly reduces issues with microfissures.

There are some billet lowers that are beefier than forged lowers but these are for special match rifle applications where extra weight is wanted.

It really won't make much difference though, given the lower doesn't do much work.

In a kaBoom situation, the forged lower might hold up better.

KimoBBZ
11-14-2006, 11:03 AM
Thanks guys... I'll keep the extra $50 and go forged !!:D

mltrading
11-14-2006, 11:04 AM
A while ago, I saw some ARFCOM member make a lower with derlin (spelling??). Although it's plastic, it works well.

Maybe we can do an arclic lower.;)

6172crew
11-14-2006, 11:40 AM
Im going to buy one of those billet lowers for a B-day gift when he turns of age...only 13 years to go.:)

Which one would a 16 year old boy want? The POF? The Magpul?, anymore?

C.G.
11-14-2006, 12:51 PM
A while ago, I saw some ARFCOM member make a lower with derlin (spelling??). Although it's plastic, it works well.

Maybe we can do an arclic lower.;)

Delrin.

Good stuff, but perhaps too elastic for a lower.

KimoBBZ
11-14-2006, 1:36 PM
The POF... semi w/ the full auto markings!! SWEET!!:D

Im going to buy one of those billet lowers for a B-day gift when he turns of age...only 13 years to go.:)

Which one would a 16 year old boy want? The POF? The Magpul?, anymore?

nearsightednate
11-14-2006, 2:08 PM
Wrong. Forged is stronger than billet. Forging removes or vastly reduces issues with microfissures.

There are some billet lowers that are beefier than forged lowers but these are for special match rifle applications where extra weight is wanted.

It really won't make much difference though, given the lower doesn't do much work.

In a kaBoom situation, the forged lower might hold up better.

Hi Bwiese.

I do want to point out that in my post I said some people feel that billet is stronger. I didn't say it was a fact or that it was even my personal opinion. I'm just stating what I've heard other people say. I personally prefer the forged because I think the billet's are overpriced for the difference.

Just wanted to clarify my earlier post.

Thanks for the time.
Nate

xenophobe
11-14-2006, 3:06 PM
Wrong. Forged is stronger than billet. Forging removes or vastly reduces issues with microfissures.

There are some billet lowers that are beefier than forged lowers but these are for special match rifle applications where extra weight is wanted.

Yes, but many billet lowers are are cut from forged billets, which would make the billet receivers just as strong (or stronger if cut beefier) and more consistent grain....

Also, the mil-spec hard anodized finish is harder than the forged aluminum the receiver is made of anyways...

Fjold
11-14-2006, 3:20 PM
Back in the good old days (January) when the first OLL's were coming in and we were scrambling to find lowers some of the cheapest lowers that we could get were the milled SunDevils.

They make great lowers by the way.

Josh
11-14-2006, 4:37 PM
Yes, but many billet lowers are are cut from forged billets, which would make the billet receivers just as strong (or stronger if cut beefier) and more consistent grain....

Also, the mil-spec hard anodized finish is harder than the forged aluminum the receiver is made of anyways...

forging causes the grain structure to follow the shape of the item depending on the forging process.

Machining something from billet is similar to to carving something out of wood in relation to the grain. Cut the wrong way and it will be inherently weak

But in the case of lowers, it dosent matter.

I would not take into account anodizing as part of the structural strength. And the forged lower should also be anodized if the company that made it has any degree of quality.

Done properly, none of the various manufacturing processes matter much. The issue is that forging and machining from billet are the hardest to overlook mistakes.

xenophobe
11-14-2006, 6:03 PM
forging causes the grain structure to follow the shape of the item depending on the forging process.

Machining something from billet is similar to to carving something out of wood in relation to the grain. Cut the wrong way and it will be inherently weak

But in the case of lowers, it dosent matter.

I would not take into account anodizing as part of the structural strength. And the forged lower should also be anodized if the company that made it has any degree of quality.

Done properly, none of the various manufacturing processes matter much. The issue is that forging and machining from billet are the hardest to overlook mistakes.

I would actually think that die-forged blanks would have less consistent grain than a forged billet. But, I agree, in either case it hardly matters if the machining is done properly.

PIRATE14
11-14-2006, 6:07 PM
My recommendation.....get a few of each:D

Billet do cost more cause they require a lot more machining than a standard AR lower. STD lowers are cheaper to produce and make them much more consistant in the long run which is what you want in a mass produced military weapon.

With the advent of CNC machines, everyone has one now so you are seeing more billet recievers on the market since they are now approaching the prices of the STD lowers.

Overall, If you could only get one lower, I'd go with the STD forged lower first and add to your collection as your wallet dictates.

Josh
11-14-2006, 6:37 PM
I would actually think that die-forged blanks would have less consistent grain than a forged billet. But, I agree, in either case it hardly matters if the machining is done properly.

The point is that it dosent all flow in one direction, with the direction of the grain following the shape of the item it adds strength in most cases depending on how the working loads are applied. And the grain flow can be controlled to a point, in the forging process.

heyjak
11-14-2006, 6:50 PM
I'm not a metallurgist (sp.?) but I do know it costs more to make anything "billet". Strength? Probably a "toss-up". And, as many have stated the lowers don't carry that much stress anyway- the uppers w/bolt carrier and barrel do all the "heavy lifting". "Billet' is popular in the car (Hot Rod) world, but mostly for "looks".

DDs Ranch
11-15-2006, 3:24 AM
I believe either one will do the job. Billet receivers are a little more defined.