View Full Version : Best Quality Lowers - Performance, Durability, Fit & Finish, and Resale Value

03-02-2007, 2:14 AM
Would appreciate your collective wisdom and opinion on which manufacturer's stripped lower receivers currently represent the best quality in performance, durability, fit & finish, and potential resale value.

Price isn't really important, particularly since most lowers sell in a fairly narrow price band ($150-$250).

I'm moving out of California, but not for at least 18 months, so I'm still looking for a DOJ-acceptable OLL. But I'd also like to know if any "named" receivers banned in California would be better buys -- once I've moved.

Not interested in opinions on uppers and barrels at this point (that's the next question).


03-02-2007, 6:32 AM
stag is nice, I have a buddy that lives in vegas and brings his over all the time, he just pops the screw in his prince50 for calli and takes it out for the rest of the country :)

03-02-2007, 9:13 AM
I personally like:
Rock River Arms
Sabre Defence (No logo at all, but the finish is great)

03-02-2007, 9:17 AM
if you can find a LMT or Noveke your in the club.

they arent any better but hard to find.

All of them are great, just pick the picture you like the best.:)

03-02-2007, 9:17 AM
Megas are very nice, with a good finish.

03-02-2007, 9:24 AM
CMMG - have the nicest finish out of all of them

03-02-2007, 10:27 AM
All AR lowers, regardless of brand (with exception of the Vulcans) will make a 100% reliable, accurate rifle. [For a first or second AR, I'd also stay away from the Bushmaster Carbon 15 receiver as that's a 'specialty' item...]

Also, I believe there sometimes are more finish differences across different lots of the same make/model than there are from different mfgrs!

Most all non-Colt lowers will have about the same resale value for equal condition - look at AR15.COM Equipment Exchange to get an idea. I don't think you should plan buying a lower on resale value.

The legal unlisted Colt lowers are worth a bit more to some folks, but you have to pay more in the first place so no net gain - and lotsa folks don't like them since most 1990s & up Colts take oddball size nonmilspec hammer/trigger pins, quite a few have an odd raised sear-block projection, and many Colts receivers do not have a detent pin to retain the front pivot pin, so a twin-screw front pivot pin is required. IMHO it's not worth it to pay $125+ extra for an (unlisted/OLL) Colt receiver when it'd only bring back $20-$45 extra on resale, esp given all the nonstandard parts you need to build it up.

I unfortunately have 4 Colt receivers (3 receivers + 1 taken from a built-up Colt rifle) that suffer from the above maladies. I was kinda forced to buy these Colts in 1998 as bans were coming down the pike, Bushmaster had a 3 month lag time for receivers, etc. I'm actually much happier with my ASA receivers since they are std/milspec.

03-02-2007, 10:39 AM
I currently own a CMMG, LAR cutout, double star and Mega. I also had a stag I just sold as a complete rifle.

The CMMG started out with the best finish but the black is really black and is hard to match unless you have a mega upper. i don't care about such things cause I plan on painting it. The Stag after a bath in CLP had the nicest finish. The LAR in my opinion looks cool but the roll marks suck. The Mega has the coolest roll mark if you ask me.

03-02-2007, 10:43 AM
+1 Cmmg

03-02-2007, 11:13 AM
i say get a stag or spike's tactical for a hundred bucks! can't go wrong with that. :), in reguards to your upper that is the expensive part!

03-02-2007, 11:50 AM
Oh, not again.

Mostlikely all available lowers are pretty similar. Except Vulcan/Hesse.

If they are made from either forging or billet and meet the spec, I'd say everyone is the best. They should work flawlessly.

Some special lowers are pretty rare like JP CTR-02. It's hard to come by.

As for the finishing, I'd say it's personal preference. There are tons of options. You can even "gold plate" your lower.:D

03-03-2007, 12:41 AM
Thanks for the feedback - and sorry to have beat a dead horse...

03-03-2007, 1:26 AM
LMT = LMT, Lauer(old), DS Arms, PWA, Eagle, Knights Armament, Barrett, Bushmaster (?)
CMT = Stag, RRA, High Standard, Noveske, (new) Century, Global Tactical, CLE, S&W, MGI, Wilson Tactical, (some) Colt, Ratworx
LAR = Grizzly, Bushmaster (L Prefix), Ameetech, DPMS, CMMG, Double Star, Fulton
JVP = Double Star, LRB
MMS = Mega, GSE, Dalphon, POF, Alexander Arms,
Olympic = Olypmic, SGW, Tromix, Palmetto, Dalphon, Frankford, (old) Century
Sun Devil = Sun Devil forged billet receivers
Superior = Superior Arms, Lauer
Grenadier Precision

03-03-2007, 1:30 AM
One that functions, and is without structual flaws.

Lowers barely matter in ARs (they do not effect accuracy.)

Now TRIGGERS, go JP fire controll all the way!

03-03-2007, 3:51 AM
Has anyone tried Roguard as a finish for AR's?