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View Full Version : Start AR-15 build. Stripped lower?


CBruce
05-23-2012, 11:12 AM
Any reccomendations for a stripped OLL to start an AR build with? There's a crazy amount of manufacturer's out there and I'm not sure what to look for or avoid.

deviljon
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM
What's your budget? For the most part, they're all the same minus the roll marks. I suggest checking with your local gun store to see what they have in stock. Keep in mind that buying online won't always be cheaper since you'd have to pay out of state transfer fees and possibly tax, which can add up quickly.

loosewreck
05-23-2012, 11:22 AM
Yup, try to buy it locally, unless you're buying several, its not worth buying it online unless you its like 30 bucks.

Forged lowers from JD, Mega and Spikes are very common and are usually about $100.

If you want to pay more there are also "billet" lowers or the so called "top tier" manufacturers like, Noveske, Colt, etc. also sell forged lowers.

artoaster
05-23-2012, 11:43 AM
Yes, buy locally. Walk into LGS and see what's there ask what out the door price is. If between $120 - $175 it's the easiest.

As far as kind of lower there's forged and billet. Really not a big difference that will affect anything including strength of receiver or build it's just that forged is more common and traditional. Billet is CNC'd out of block of aluminum and forged is formed by casting and forging into final shape before being machined.

Next, I'd ask what's important to you as far as brand or how the lower will be engraved or marked with logos and icons and type for manufacturer, serial #, etc. Do you really want zombies, spiders, bears, or what? Sometimes simple is best, just the basic lower with required roll marks/engravings.

Of all the manufacturers it really boils down to the main producers and then other companies put their identifying logos and markings on them. See this link:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_12/318113_AR_Lower_Receiver_FAQ__56k_beware__MMS__CMT __LAR__LMT_compared___.html

The lower is your starting point. Get one that satifies your wallet then your aesthetics.

IPSICK
05-23-2012, 11:49 AM
For the most part, they are pretty much the same unless you get a billet-type or Noveske on the upper end and avoid Hesse/Vulcan on the lower end.

CBruce
05-23-2012, 11:54 AM
What's your budget? For the most part, they're all the same minus the roll marks. I suggest checking with your local gun store to see what they have in stock. Keep in mind that buying online won't always be cheaper since you'd have to pay out of state transfer fees and possibly tax, which can add up quickly.

I was in a local store yesterday looking at stripped lowers. They only had a very limited selection (don't remember manufactuer) and they were priced in the $400-$500 range, which seemed really high to me. Bit of poking around in the intertubes this morning lead me to some going for as low as $89...so clearly there's a pretty big gap between what's available and whenever I see such a huge price gap, I immediately think it's due to quality and materials.

So budget wise, as economical as possible. Not looking for premium quality, but I don't want to throw money away on a piece of junk that's going to blow up in my face.

CBruce
05-23-2012, 11:59 AM
Yes, buy locally. Walk into LGS and see what's there ask what out the door price is. If between $120 - $175 it's the easiest.

As far as kind of lower there's forged and billet. Really not a big difference that will affect anything including strength of receiver or build it's just that forged is more common and traditional. Billet is CNC'd out of block of aluminum and forged is formed by casting and forging into final shape before being machined.

Next, I'd ask what's important to you as far as brand or how the lower will be engraved or marked with logos and icons and type for manufacturer, serial #, etc. Do you really want zombies, spiders, bears, or what? Sometimes simple is best, just the basic lower with required roll marks/engravings.

Of all the manufacturers it really boils down to the main producers and then other companies put their identifying logos and markings on them. See this link:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_12/318113_AR_Lower_Receiver_FAQ__56k_beware__MMS__CMT __LAR__LMT_compared___.html

The lower is your starting point. Get one that satifies your wallet then your aesthetics.

Nice. Thanks for the link. Very informative

stix213
05-23-2012, 12:00 PM
My JD one has better matched the finish of my upper than any other. Plus they are made in CA.

deviljon
05-23-2012, 12:02 PM
$4-500 sounds like the cost of a complete lower, not a stripped lower. Hopefully someone else from your area can chime in, there's got to be a reputable store that carriers stripped lowers in the $100-120 range.

artoaster
05-23-2012, 12:11 PM
An internet lower for $60-$99 before adding shipping, tax, and transfer fees will add up to the same, more or less, than finding a basic forged lower from one of the main manufacturers listed in my link somewhere locally. It will take time and trouble to order and ship and transfer than doing the paperwork at your LGS.

Your lower, if one of the basic ones (LMT, CMT, LAR, MMS) is a proven item and will be like almost all AR lowers.

The material is always aluminum, the quality varies little among the major producers, there is a bit of difference between billet and forged and sometimes the alloy is a bit different.

Keep looking.

j0k3r11
05-23-2012, 12:15 PM
A buddy of mine said he recently got a PSA stripped lower from The Gun Exchange in San Jose for $130. I'm not too sure on the quality but he likes it. You can try giving them a call (408)265-4867 or stopping by.

artoaster
05-23-2012, 12:23 PM
A buddy of mine said he recently got a PSA stripped lower from The Gun Exchange in San Jose for $130. I'm not too sure on the quality but he likes it. You can try giving them a call (408)265-4867 or stopping by.

Highly recommended. Palmetto State Armory is well known here. All you need is to order a rifle kit and you're on your way to a quality build.

You get to assemble lower parts and then add complete upper. Everything matches finish-wise. Plus when you order parts kit and upper you'll have some options on furniture, sights, barrel length and misc.

For example, my out the door price on a stripped lower through LGS was $159.

Fractured
05-23-2012, 12:32 PM
My spikes lower was 149$ before dros in the bay area.

4-500 is most likely a complete lower, even noveske are like 220.00.

Did they have stocks, triggers etc? Or was it just a chunk of metal?

Don29palms
05-23-2012, 12:33 PM
Seekins Precision! CLICK HERE! (http://www.seekinsprecision.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=48)

MKMS
05-23-2012, 1:09 PM
Check MPArms. He is a local in San Jose. Peter is a good guy to deal with and I got my delton lower from him.

CBruce
05-23-2012, 1:19 PM
$4-500 sounds like the cost of a complete lower, not a stripped lower. Hopefully someone else from your area can chime in, there's got to be a reputable store that carriers stripped lowers in the $100-120 range.

You know, it is entirely possible. The stripped receivers were right next to the complete lower, so it's possible I've gotten prices mixed up.

Sounds like I'm in the ballpark of $150 to get a stripped lower out the door from a local shop.

j0k3r11
05-23-2012, 1:25 PM
Highly recommended. Palmetto State Armory is well known here. All you need is to order a rifle kit and you're on your way to a quality build.

You get to assemble lower parts and then add complete upper. Everything matches finish-wise. Plus when you order parts kit and upper you'll have some options on furniture, sights, barrel length and misc.

For example, my out the door price on a stripped lower through LGS was $159.

Good to know, thanks. I got one from Turners at a great price a couple of months ago but it's just been sitting in my safe.

deviljon
05-23-2012, 2:06 PM
Seekins Precision! CLICK HERE! (http://www.seekinsprecision.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=48)

They have some sexy *** receivers. I just ordered that exact same upper receiver for my pistol build :D.

MustangSteveGT
05-23-2012, 2:16 PM
Where I live you cant find a stripped lower locally for less than $180+taxes ect. Used ones are non existent. Weather buying online or local you still have to wait at least 10 days to pick it up, so you might as well compare online. A stripped lower online is worth it where I live, especially during a promotional sale most places have. It depends what you can find locally. Where I live, an extreme black Friday sale means $160+ taxes ect stripped lower (oohhh boy). 8 hours north of San Francisco stuff isnt cheap locally.

ouch1
05-23-2012, 2:40 PM
Another place to check in the south bay is the Bay Area Gun Vault. They are in Mountain View on El Camino a couple blocks north of Grant Rd. Here is a link http://www.bayareagunvault.com/

-ouch1

S470FM
05-23-2012, 3:07 PM
look into getting an 80% lower and go to a build party!

BucDan
05-23-2012, 3:13 PM
look into getting an 80% lower and go to a build party!

This would be great advice as the end product would be slightly more than the price of a lower for $100 after DROS and tax. But if you can go to a build party local to you.

p1choco
05-23-2012, 3:33 PM
Seekins Precision! CLICK HERE! (http://www.seekinsprecision.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=48)

A few things I like about them and more things I don't. They look nice though.


I've seen Anderson lowers for $59.99 at a few local shops here in San Diego.

artoaster
05-23-2012, 3:45 PM
A $259 billet (Seekins Precision) lower that uses parts other than roll pins and normal AR LPK's is fine except that in 10 years such replacement parts will be non-existent and you'll have a fine paperweight.

icenix
05-23-2012, 5:36 PM
Find whatever roll mark is calling your name.

shamu415
05-23-2012, 5:44 PM
since you are located in SJ, check out Mparms.com . Peter sells lowers and completed lowers at very competitive prices. I would buy a completed LMT defender lower or even a stag.

Don29palms
05-23-2012, 11:33 PM
A few things I like about them and more things I don't. They look nice though.


I've seen Anderson lowers for $59.99 at a few local shops here in San Diego.

The Anderson Mfg. lowers are nice too. Especially the RF85 coated ones.

Redchevyman
05-23-2012, 11:41 PM
mparms.com in San Jose has Del-ton lowers for $95. Tactical machining lowers for $99

Complete NFA polymer lowers for $109