PDA

View Full Version : Essential Arms Lower Receiver Review


Solidsnake87
12-11-2006, 10:17 PM
Hello all!

I just picked up my EE lowers today and figured i'd post a review. First off, The receivers do not have the prettiest finish/logo in the world. Then again, with any CA legal lower the only real difference is the decal you want on the side. Each standard receiver comes in a mil-spec "black" finish. EE claims the receiver is black, however, it is really the exact same grey color as the M16A1 or colt SP1 type AR rifles. However, for $3 more (per receiver) you can get them to place a true black finish on that is the same as most lowers. $10 more can get you an olive finish if you are interested.

The fit is perfect on all high end uppers, almost too perfect. There is no wobble whatsoever on Stag, Bushy, Colt, Armalite, CMMG, or DPMS uppers. All of my receivers fit the same way......PERFECT!

When ordering in bulk, EE gives discounts. I put together a group buy so that each lower was $74 (normally individual lowers are $77). Also, EE gives chronological serials on multiple lower purchases. It serves no purpose but its kind of cool having linearly numbered lowers. The 3 lowers I bought cost me exactly $225 shipped. After all taxes and fees I spent a whopping $272.

All in all, for the price, they are the best thing out there and fit just as well as any HIGH END lower. They are forged which does give them added strength but for civilian purposes that won't really matter. They fit all the top notch uppers perfectly and will perform like any other lower. The only downside is the somewhat ugly finish but that can easily be remedied.

Please note that my photos do not accurately reflect the old-school grey finish due to the lighting on my hardwood floor.

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/2014/img1464of6.jpg

Pistol grip is not attached. In case you want to know.
http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/7559/img1467es4.jpg

Addax
12-11-2006, 10:21 PM
Congrats.

They look nice.
Looks like I will need to one of these Essential Arms lowers to my growing collection.

Thanks for the write up.

gunrun45
12-11-2006, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the eval. I was just looking at these yesterday and I was about to order 2 myslef. Thanks for taking the worries out of it!

David002
12-12-2006, 8:50 AM
nice! looks like i might have to order one myself...or 3...

Adrian
12-12-2006, 2:30 PM
Ok that does im ordering 3:D I want some better pics of that green one they offer.

formerTexan
12-13-2006, 10:12 PM
Ok that does im ordering 3:D I want some better pics of that green one they offer.

if you can wait till the weekend, I should be able to put up some pics. I have one of each color, grey, green, black.

Adrian
12-13-2006, 10:44 PM
if you can wait till the weekend, I should be able to put up some pics. I have one of each color, grey, green, black.
That would be awesome. Im not getting them ASAP as I have a bunch of other crap I need to pay for. For sure next month im going to order it. Post pics whenever you can thanks!

PLINK
12-14-2006, 12:12 AM
Pm Sent. Read Asap!!!!!

EDIT: Nevermind

rob3.5
12-14-2006, 8:25 AM
New guy here, and I hope I’m not hijacking this thread ….but…. I have learned a lot the past few weeks looking through things on the web site, including who transfers OLL’s in my area. I’m not one to post things normally, but the other day after I read this thread, I got quite interested in an Essential Arms lower, so I asked the FFL if he would transfer them, keep in mind he sells Mega, Stag etc., and he said no way would he touch these because Essential Arms had made pre ban receivers and these were simply a model name change, and the law says that you can’t get around things with a model name change, that they must be a manufacturer that didn’t exist prior to the listing. Just wondering if his opinion is true, and also who you did your transfer through…because I still want one, or two, three maybe….

Jicko
12-14-2006, 9:10 AM
New guy here, and I hope I’m not hijacking this thread ….but…. I have learned a lot the past few weeks looking through things on the web site, including who transfers OLL’s in my area. I’m not one to post things normally, but the other day after I read this thread, I got quite interested in an Essential Arms lower, so I asked the FFL if he would transfer them, keep in mind he sells Mega, Stag etc., and he said no way would he touch these because Essential Arms had made pre ban receivers and these were simply a model name change, and the law says that you can’t get around things with a model name change, that they must be a manufacturer that didn’t exist prior to the listing. Just wondering if his opinion is true, and also who you did your transfer through…because I still want one, or two, three maybe….

BS. He *just* want to sell you what he had..... ;-)

"Bushmaster Carbon-15" is one of the OLLs that many of us bought.... and OBVIOUSLY, most other "Bushmaster"s are ON THE LIST..... ;-)

Oh also.... you are hijacking the thread.... you can easily start a new one about your question.... :-)

Solidsnake87
12-14-2006, 11:57 AM
Any FFL that tells you that kind of crap just wants you to get his stuff. You could always call the DOJ but they'd say ITS NOT LISTED SO ITS LEGAL! Changing the name of a gun only applies if say you bought a Colt lower and had it remarked as an RRA with that same serial. Making a new lower with a different name from scratch is legal. Please ask you Qs in another thread buddy.

Also, to those that keep harassing me with PMs. ITS A FREAKING PICTURE and as far as I know the first amendment is in effect. I have residences in NV and keep my crap legal when I am in CA. Can you proove the picture was taken in CA?????? Thought not. Stop harassing me. I am well aware of the law and follow it like any upstanding citizen. Worry about your own ARs. There is a reason I did not place my serials in the pics!

xrMike
12-14-2006, 12:24 PM
Also, to those that keep harassing me with PMs. ITS A FREAKING PICTURE and... We only want to help you and make you a better person. :D

cornholio1
12-14-2006, 12:41 PM
if you can wait till the weekend, I should be able to put up some pics. I have one of each color, grey, green, black.


Yea..would be nice if you could post it

Bladewurk
12-14-2006, 4:42 PM
Nice,I had one of the original EA Cast lowers that I built up back in the dark ages circa 1989,I remember well how hard it was to get a Chromelined 1-9 twist barrel and Real A2 HGs!...Even the cast ones are good lowers and don't break like cast Olys....

JPglee1
12-15-2006, 5:35 AM
Also, to those that keep harassing me with PMs. ITS A FREAKING PICTURE and as far as I know the first amendment is in effect. I have residences in NV and keep my crap legal when I am in CA. Can you proove the picture was taken in CA?????? Thought not. Stop harassing me. I am well aware of the law and follow it like any upstanding citizen. Worry about your own ARs. There is a reason I did not place my serials in the pics!

Looks to me like the pistol grip isn't even screw on, just slipped in place.

I'm gonna go tell mom ;)



JP

JPglee1
12-15-2006, 6:03 AM
I bought 3 of the EA lowers myself after JPglee1 mentioned them last week. I bought one for each of my kids....if they weren't so cheap I wouldn't have been able to do that. As long as they work ok and everything fits...I'm happy. I don't have mine yet though...

Yah I'm trying desperately to get $130 scraped up to go DROS at least one before 12/31/06...


Anyone want an SKS or a 20" AR-15 upper?? lol


I also need/want another makarov, if you're down for a trade for an SKS lemme know.



J

Fjold
12-15-2006, 7:56 AM
Also, to those that keep harassing me with PMs. ITS A FREAKING PICTURE and as far as I know the first amendment is in effect. I have residences in NV and keep my crap legal when I am in CA. Can you proove the picture was taken in CA?????? Thought not. Stop harassing me. I am well aware of the law and follow it like any upstanding citizen. Worry about your own ARs. There is a reason I did not place my serials in the pics!

A secret government agency is using the advanced fingerprint indentification database to trace the grain patterns on the hardwood floor. We'll soon know where the picture was taken and the jack booted thugs are on alert.


:eek: :eek: :eek:

formerTexan
12-17-2006, 4:41 PM
http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/3573/img1108hy0.th.jpg (http://img263.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img1108hy0.jpg)

Top to bottom:
green EA
grey EA
black EA
Doublestar

The grey one has the worst finish. You can see it worn off in some areas, like the mag release button protection "bumps". The black and green are pretty good. There is a difference between EA's black and Doublestar's. Click on the thumbnail to see the full sized pic.

anotherone
12-17-2006, 5:46 PM
Careful with that pistol grip and open magwell on the third reciever in the photo. Although there's no LPK or other parts on the reciever I believe it constitutes an Assault Weapon if you simply add a pistol grip.

trouble
12-17-2006, 7:11 PM
Wow, that green doesn't look very green at all... or is that just the camera?

Thanks for the pics! Looks great for the price!

Solidsnake87
12-17-2006, 8:38 PM
It seems like no picture can do EE receivers' color any justice. Hell, I put parts on my receiver in hopes the contrast would show more but that didn't even work. It just got some people to bi*ch at me.

veeklog
12-18-2006, 10:50 PM
Does anyone know a friendly FFL holder in San Diego that would allow use of his/her FFL for a generous fee? I would like to order some of these EAL lowers, and I know a few of my friends want to buy some also. I have a registered pre-ban AR-15, but I don't want to mess with it and I want to learn how to build one.

I posted on another thread the same question, so I apologize for the same question. I already bought a Dane Armory lower from Gun Runners, but the drive sucks (even though the people that work there are great), but I do want to find someplace closer to home. I want to build several rifles using OLL in different configurations, including the Monsterman Grip coming in January.

Thanks guys

tenpercentfirearms
12-20-2006, 11:59 PM
I just got my first batch of these for transfer. I will be skipping these lowers myself. I collect lowers like baseball cards. I want to get all of the cool ones with the nice finishes, the nice logos, and a variety. Again, I will not be adding one of these to my collection. To each their own.

anotherone
12-21-2006, 12:13 AM
Is it just me or are the "FIRE" and "SAFE" markings a bit on the LARGE size compared to other lowers...

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 12:50 AM
Is it just me or are the "FIRE" and "SAFE" markings a bit on the LARGE size compared to other lowers...
It is not just you. I also think the serial number stamps are pretty cheesy. These are definitely budget builds.

JPglee1
12-21-2006, 9:37 AM
Is it just me or are the "FIRE" and "SAFE" markings a bit on the LARGE size compared to other lowers...

Fill them in with epoxy and refinish it if it bugs you.


Some of you guys (not you Anotherone) are like women when it comes to AR-15s... so concerned with the fashion and not the function.

To get a lower that works well for $88.00, I'm not complaining!!!


J

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 10:57 AM
Some of you guys (not you Anotherone) are like women when it comes to AR-15s... so concerned with the fashion and not the function.
Why settle for less over $20-$40? You don't have to try and insult us to make yourself feel better about having a hideous looking lower. Feel confident in your purchase or don't. It doesn't matter one way or another what kind of lowers other people buy. If someone wants to get an Essential Arms and it make them feel good, fine. If they want to spend more on a POF, fine. It shouldn't matter to you what other people like. To each their own.

Second, how do you know how well the Essential Arms function? Have we received many reviews on their function yet? I haven't seen any. Time will tell. If they hold up fine, then so be it. They are still an ugly looking lower. I know, I have 7 of them in my safe right now. I will pass, but if you guys want them, go for it.

E Pluribus Unum
12-21-2006, 11:07 AM
Why settle for less over $20-$40? You don't have to try and insult us to make yourself feel better about having a hideous looking lower. Feel confident in your purchase or don't. It doesn't matter one way or another what kind of lowers other people buy. If someone wants to get an Essential Arms and it make them feel good, fine. If they want to spend more on a POF, fine. It shouldn't matter to you what other people like. To each their own.

Second, how do you know how well the Essential Arms function? Have we received many reviews on their function yet? I haven't seen any. Time will tell. If they hold up fine, then so be it. They are still an ugly looking lower. I know, I have 7 of them in my safe right now. I will pass, but if you guys want them, go for it.

I think the problem lies in not many people know what your cost is on a nice receiver. They see a Stag or CMMG for sale for $170.00 and the essential arms at $40.00 and think there is a $130.00 difference. If given the choice of an Essential Arms for $40 or a Stag for $70 I am sure they would purchase the Stag. They are comparing FFL price with retail thinking there is a huge difference. If you inform them that if they buy the Essential Arms receiver through an FFL they are more likely to pay $130.00 that might change things a bit. :)

I do however agree that it is personal decision on which to stock. I could care less what it looks like as long as it functions identically to the "better" ones.

bwiese
12-21-2006, 11:16 AM
All receivers, with possible exception of Vulcan, will build reliable, accurate rifles.

Anything else is just cosmetics.

Everything looks different after it's soaked ("Marinated") in CLP anyway.

JPglee1
12-21-2006, 12:00 PM
They are still an ugly looking lower. .

Spend more time shooting them and less time looking at them and it won't matter.

If you've got (7) and they are so horrible, why don't you sell me one of them :D


J

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 12:00 PM
well...in my case it was about $110 each (times 3) cheaper. So...for my 3 kids lowers thats about $330 and I still need to buy them all the rest of the parts. But I think they will get a part for each birthday, christmas, etc until they have a whole rifle. It makes it easier on old dad that way...lol. :D
Who is selling lowers for $200 each and what brand? :confused:

PIRATE14
12-21-2006, 12:13 PM
I think the problem lies in not many people know what your cost is on a nice receiver. They see a Stag or CMMG for sale for $170.00 and the essential arms at $40.00 and think there is a $130.00 difference. If given the choice of an Essential Arms for $40 or a Stag for $70 I am sure they would purchase the Stag. They are comparing FFL price with retail thinking there is a huge difference. If you inform them that if they buy the Essential Arms receiver through an FFL they are more likely to pay $130.00 that might change things a bit. :)

I do however agree that it is personal decision on which to stock. I could care less what it looks like as long as it functions identically to the "better" ones.

Essential arms is giving you a dealer price on a lower that isn't that good looking, EA has had these things for years and couldn't get rid of them so most of the couple hundred they had will end up here.

If you build your rifle on a EA, plan on keeping it.

STAG will repair or replace your reciever if ever damaged, will EA? , no cause once they sell these, there probably won't be anymore.

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 12:20 PM
If you've got (7) and they are so horrible, why don't you sell me one of them :D
They're not mine. They are transfers. I will not stock these for sale. Buy at your own risk.

I do have LAR MFG LAR-15s for sale and I rather like them, so much that I will probably add one to my collection.

Fjold
12-21-2006, 12:20 PM
well...in my case it was about $110 each (times 3) cheaper. So...for my 3 kids lowers thats about $330 and I still need to buy them all the rest of the parts. But I think they will get a part for each birthday, christmas, etc until they have a whole rifle. It makes it easier on old dad that way...lol. :D


Stag lowers, $105 with free shipping from JTac

JPglee1
12-21-2006, 12:24 PM
Their not mine. They are transfers. I will not stock these for sale. Buy at your own risk.


Just cuz they are ugly or what? I still haven't seen any evidence that they don't do what they are designed to (hold the upper and fire the weapon)

I was told by EA on the phone that they are raw forgings like you see for sale everywhere, completed in their CNC machines in-house. He said they get the forgings 100 units a time and get them super cheap, which is why they offer the lowers super cheap.

If I can save $10 over a STAG I'll do it. Who gives a sh1t what the markings look like, haha Tell me what doesn't work on them, or what makes them a POS so I have some hard evidence.


JP


P.S. Don't take things so personal dude, I was never attacking you. IF you wanna carry a diamond-crusted polished forged platinum lower, I don't care :D thats your business.

Whitesmoke
12-21-2006, 12:29 PM
Essential arms is giving you a dealer price on a lower that isn't that good looking, EA has had these things for years and couldn't get rid of them so most of the couple hundred they had will end up here.


I could be wrong...but from what I read the original essential arms lowers were all cast. These lowers are forged...so they are probably newer production.

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 12:49 PM
Wes...I'm not picking on you here, as I think your prices are very fair...But lets say I bought 3 of the nicer (cmmg or spike) lowers from you. Yours are $170 each plus tax....thats $182.75 each. I paid $76 each plus shipping for the eassential arms OLL's...that makes $80 each. PLUS...I couldn't afford to buy all 3 at once if I bought yours...so I'd have to pay the Dros fee 3 times. Where buying the three at once I just paid your transfer fee plus only one dros fee.


So around $620 for the nicer lowers (bought on 3 seperate occasions) or $290for the cheapy Essential arms lowers all at once. I know part of the extra cost is from me being too poor to buy all 3 at once...lol.
Not true. One lower is $170. Three lowers can get much lower (at least the $150 range). Second, don't forget you still have to pay sales tax on those lowers you bought out of state to me. The BOE says so. Don't forget your $25 transfer fee as well.

So you are saving about $70 each lower. Still not a bad deal. If you can find a good transfer deal (like mine at $25 for as many as you want), they might be worth it to you. To each their own. Who gives a sh1t what the markings look like, haha Tell me what doesn't work on them, or what makes them a POS so I have some hard evidence.I do. I don't want a junk lower. You don't mind. There is nothing wrong with that. Just don't come on here acting all high and mighty like those of us who wants decent looking lowers are women who like nice clothes. Your upity attitude is tiresome. Just state you don't mind what your lowers look like and leave it at that.

This thread is not about me protecting my profits and no one has really brought that up. I am transfering these things and for cheap. I want guys to get cheap deals if that is what they want. This is a review thread and my review from having looked at these in person is that they are definitely some ugly looking lowers. I have not built one so I don't know how they match up. If I get lucky maybe a customer will buy an LPK from me and want me to install it and we will find out if they are in spec as well.

JPglee1
12-21-2006, 12:52 PM
I do. I don't want a junk lower. You don't mind. There is nothing wrong with that. Just don't come on here acting all high and mighty like those of us who wants decent looking lowers are women who like nice clothes.
I have not built one so I don't know how they match up


So, based on your "examination" you call them junk because they aren't good looking.... You admit you haven't even shot one yet but you call them JUNK and try to discourage people from buying them. Seems fair to me.

Now I'm definitely gonna buy one, just so I can have an ugly AR-15 to go with my ugly 9mm and my ugly cars :D

J

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 12:59 PM
So, based on your "examination" you call them junk because they aren't good looking.... You admit you haven't even shot one yet but you call them JUNK and try to discourage people from buying them. Seems fair to me.
Yes, based on my observations of how ugly they are, I am making the subjective evaluation that they are junk. I do not like the finish, I do not like the hand stamped serial numbers, I do not like the huge selector markings. I do not like these lowers. I personally would not buy one of these lowers.

I am not discouraging people from buying them. If I were to discourage people from buying them I would simply say, "NO! I will not transfer them, sorry." The fact that 7 of them are sitting in my shop waiting be to transfered at $25 for as many as you want should be evidence enough that I don't care what you do with your money.

I will not say, "Yeah, they are ok" when I do not think they are. I will not put my reputation on the line by calling these things anything other than what they are. Buy at your own risk.

You might buy some and love them. I have no problems with that. To each their own.

Heck, are Vulcans this cheap? Why not buy up a bunch of those too. :rolleyes:

JPglee1
12-21-2006, 12:59 PM
I will not say, "Yeah, they are ok" when I do not think they are. I will not put my reputation on the line by calling these things anything other than what they are. Buy at your own risk.


Fair enough...debate/discussion over on my end.


J

Fjold
12-21-2006, 1:25 PM
But you have to have a local FFL that will transfer them to you....Wes was doing me a favor tranfering these to me. He didn't want to be responsible if they turned out to be junk. I don't blame him a bit...and I appreciate him doing it at all.

And by doing so....he has earned a new customer. After visiting his shop...I'll gladly drive to taft for my future purchases.


Wes transferred it for me for $25 (+tax), that's his normal price.

leelaw
12-21-2006, 1:57 PM
Wes - what did you think of the finish on Fulton receivers, in comparison to the EAs?

trouble
12-21-2006, 3:17 PM
Are they junk, as in not in spec and won't make a firing rifle... or just ugly? Trust me, I'm not a fan of ugly... but there's a difference between bad looks and bad function. Junk is a pretty harsh term for something that apparently does work, doncha think? I'm sure there are junk lowers out there, but...

p.s. My Mega is pretty, and I like it... does that make me a girl? :)

p.p.s. Warranty is a good point. I know my Stag will be warrantied for ANY problem at all.

tenpercentfirearms
12-21-2006, 8:33 PM
Maybe junk was too harsh. I will change my opinion to ugly and will reserve junk until we start to hear how they build.

I never saw any Fultons so I have no idea how they compare.

Solidsnake87
12-21-2006, 9:33 PM
Mine work fine. I said that when I started this thread. They build great and fit all the uppers I specified. The fit and function is the same as any of the more expensive lowers. They do what they are intended to do. On a side note, My Stag has serials that are hand stamped so I don't think EA is the only one.

The current production EA lowers are forged, read their home page. They have a rather interesting company history.

When I ordered on the phone I had lots of questions about their product. To put it all briefly, EA used to produce cast lowers for other manufacturers then upgraded their machinery and started producing forged lowers in their own name. They offer them cheap because they can. From my experience with machine work, production costs are relatively low on a per unit basis. If you really think about it, the aluminum alone for an individual receiver will be about $3. Since they buy pre forged blanks, they probably cost about $5-10 a piece. The anodizing can't cost more than a few bucks too. I'd bet that at least half of the $77 is profit, which is not bad. I bet the more expensive lowers just have a higher profit intake. They are just undermining the competition thats all. They offer a great product for less, just like they claim.

I did not about ask about whether they reforge damaged lowers or not but I doubt that you did. Please don't make such assertions without hard evidence. If Stag does it, good for them. Forged aluminum lowers are not very prone to breakage compared to the carbon ones. I would not be surprised if the average forged lower had a UTS of at least 100,00 psi. Plastics act like a ceramic when stressed. They will break once they reach the end of their large elastic limit. When you couple this in conjuction with the random glass-like atomic packing arrangement, you get a far weaker object. I doubt any of the carbon lowers are higher in strength than 30,000 psi, though they advertise it as such but I cannot proove this. Furthermore, I doubt many people abuse their rifles enough to cause breakage anyway. Most of the people of these forums care too much about the look and finish of their rifle they would be afraid to do do anything to harm them in the first place. There is no comparison between Vulcan and EA. I have both. They only share a price similarity. My Vulcan was the only one that broke an ear during trigger guard assembly, nothing some epoxy and a miad with the tigger guard mold can't fix.