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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 08-31-2010, 3:43 PM
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Default Updated 3/6/11: Completed 80% lower, see post 44 for final product

Can anyone suggest where I can find some good quality, cheap, and in stock ar15 80% lowers?

Pics in post #44.
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Old 08-31-2010, 3:53 PM
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http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=335179
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2010, 4:18 PM
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Is anybody in San Diego planning on doing a build party with 80% lowers?
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Old 08-31-2010, 4:54 PM
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Tactical Machine.

They are the cheapest around. There customer service is above and beyond.

The jig that my friend purchased from them was messed up. We figured this out when the LPK wouldn't fit. Lets just say they went above and beyond fixing the problem. I will never buy my 80% goodies from anyone else.

Tactical Machine rocks!!
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Old 08-31-2010, 5:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancear15 View Post
Can anyone suggest where I can find some good quality, cheap, and in stock ar15 80% lowers?
My child, there are some things every adult must know. There are three kinds of jobs in life, and when you want a job done, you can only have two.

Good and cheap--won't be quick.
Cheap and quick--won't be good.
Quick and good--won't be cheap.

Now my child, go out and play.



Just kidding.
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Old 08-31-2010, 5:48 PM
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I won't be one to necessarily go out and buy the most expensive lower on the block, but I definitely would not compromise and buy the cheapest piece out there.
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Old 08-31-2010, 6:40 PM
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tactical machining seems to be cheap and quick. many calgunners would agree that its good as well. the world is imploding.
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Old 08-31-2010, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gun toting monkeyboy View Post
Is anybody in San Diego planning on doing a build party with 80% lowers?
might want to ask in gunsmithing or Sd regional forums.
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Old 08-31-2010, 7:18 PM
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Lets compare. Lets also forget my above post.

These seem to be the most popular 80% suppliers that I know of. This is copy and pasted from their web sites.

Colfax Tactical


AR15SL - The AR15 Standard Lower 80%

The Colfax Tactical Standard 80% lower is CNC machined to the same mil spec standards as those above. The difference is that the builder will complete the surface finish to his or her preferences. For the most part, this will mean that the user will finish the inside surface of the trigger area, front of the mag well, and under the buffer tower. Typically this will add an hour or two of hand work.

AR15SL - The AR15 Standard Lower 80%...$80.00 Shipping $11.00




Tactical Machining

The new Tactical Machining CNC manufactured lower receiver for AR-15 type rifles. These start as a true 7075 forging from the leading forge in the USA for the strongest lower you can buy. The contour is fully machined on a brand new cnc machining center, leaving no flash. The magazine well is cut on a high end precision wire EDM machine.

ETA: I believe the mag wells are now broached.

Your price:$80




Now lets note that Colfax does not state that there forgings are 7075. I believe they are, but..............................



ETA 2: Colfax does offer a external finished lower. Hand finished. But it looks similiar to TM.



AR15LP - The AR15 Premium Lower 80%

The Colfax Tactical Premium 80% lower is hand finished after machining. There is very little to do after completing the fire control pocket and the three holes in the side of the fire control area. The surface is ready for bead blasting, anodizing , painting, or polishing. All of the parting lines are removed, the trigger area is machined, the front of the mag well is machined smooth, and the curved area under the buffer area is hand smoothed to a beautiful finish.

AR15LP - The AR15 Premium Lower 80%...$119.00 Free shipping



This is not my opinion. This is a copy and paste from both sites.


Question. So if they are the same material, and require more or the same finishing, which is the better buy. Also TM is in stock. I do not know if Colfax is, the website does not state.
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2010, 7:23 PM
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I bought 5 lowers from Tactical Machining a couple of months ago and can vouche for excellent product and service. I think 5 lowers for $375. is a pretty good deal.
http://www.tacticalmachining.com/pro...-80-lowers.jpg
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2010, 6:13 AM
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Thanks guys, I will update when I have finished product.
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2010, 7:29 AM
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Thank you guys for all the praise, I truly appreciate it.

Our 80%'s we're a side project of one of our owners and have turned into one of our main items we sell. They are our same lowers but without the selector, trigger, hammer pins, and fire control group. In regards to price we believe in a superior product, great customer service, and a reasonable price will lead to repeat business.

As DB2 said we have a 100% manufacturers warranty. I hate to have anything bad leave the shop but if it does call me and I will personally take care of it. Due to his problem I put together every jig on a lower that leaves this place right before it ships.

Also if you are ordering call me and give me your screen name as I do have the Calguns sale going on right now.
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Old 09-01-2010, 9:32 AM
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I placed my order with tactical machining today, great customer service over the phone. Can't wait to get my order, will post updates...
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2010, 9:45 AM
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Thank you for the order. I was just getting back from lunch so you we're speaking to Mike, he is one of my gunsmiths. I am glad he took care of you.

I am actually working on your order now.
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2010, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Krynn View Post
Thank you guys for all the praise, I truly appreciate it.

Our 80%'s we're a side project of one of our owners and have turned into one of our main items we sell. They are our same lowers but without the selector, trigger, hammer pins, and fire control group. In regards to price we believe in a superior product, great customer service, and a reasonable price will lead to repeat business.

As DB2 said we have a 100% manufacturers warranty. I hate to have anything bad leave the shop but if it does call me and I will personally take care of it. Due to his problem I put together every jig on a lower that leaves this place right before it ships.

Also if you are ordering call me and give me your screen name as I do have the Calguns sale going on right now.
thanx Nathan. I just bought your 308 lower. CD
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Old 09-01-2010, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vta View Post
tactical machining seems to be cheap and quick. many calgunners would agree that its good as well. the world is imploding.
I was just stating a general rule, kind of in jest really, I don't know anything about them. If someone has achieved being cheap, quick, and good, then I'm very happy about that.
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Old 09-02-2010, 6:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaded Claymore View Post
I was just stating a general rule, kind of in jest really, I don't know anything about them. If someone has achieved being cheap, quick, and good, then I'm very happy about that.
Kind of like food can be:

1. Cheap

2. Good

3. Healthy

But never all three.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2010, 6:17 AM
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My first 80% is complete. I highly recommend Tactical Machining, their lowers are in spec and their lower parts kits are better than I expected. You can't beat the price and they have excellent customer service.

Pics and a vid will be added when time permits.
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  #19  
Old 09-29-2010, 5:38 AM
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Thank you Lancear15. If you need anything let us know.
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Old 10-04-2010, 8:15 PM
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Hi All

I came across the above posts and thought that I might chime in. (a day late and a $1 short) There were some questions/comments regarding pricing. Earlier this month we were able to actually lower our costs due to increased production and fine tuning our process.
New prices:
Colfax Tactical 80% Premium- $99 +$5 shipping
Colfax Tactical 80% Premium Anodized- $109 +$5 shipping
We have discontinued our Standard Lower.

FYI- Our forgings are also 7075. Please visit our site when you have a chance. Thanks!

Larry Myers
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http://www.colfaxtactical.com
530-346-6494
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  #21  
Old 10-06-2010, 6:03 AM
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Old 10-06-2010, 6:54 AM
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Good looking work!
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Old 10-06-2010, 7:37 AM
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No kidding.....looks great! how long did it take you?
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Old 10-06-2010, 8:01 AM
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Did you CNC it or was that a drill press?
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Old 10-06-2010, 8:16 AM
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Those look excellent, you really did do a good job.

My first instinct is that was a CNC, however I am actually leaning to manual mill now. I can tell you that is not a drill press.
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Old 10-06-2010, 9:53 AM
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As to how I did it, I would like to keep that private.

But I will tell you that I got all the dimensions from drawings on CNCguns.com, and they were dead on.

Again, the 80%s and LPKs from tactical machining were great. The trigger was a little rough off the bat, but after a little wear in it's not bad at all.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:20 PM
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That upper shelf looks like it was cut awfully close to the buffer retaining pin hole.
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Old 10-07-2010, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrcr View Post
That upper shelf looks like it was cut awfully close to the buffer retaining pin hole.
Its just the angle of the pic and the cut of the threads for the buffer tube. I checked and it is nearly identical thickness of other manufacturers complete lowers, can't get calipers in there but visually checking with pins it looks about 1/16" thick
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Old 11-16-2010, 9:55 PM
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Nice work. I'm about to order some 80% lowers myself (I have a CNC mill, but don't quite have the Z clearance for doing the buffer tube, so 80% lowers are a better option than 0% for me).

I'm still debating TM vs Colfax (not sure what the $20 delta buys), but wondered about anodizing. I'd prefer to have the lowers hard anodized. Anyone know an affordable gun friendly shop in the bay area that performs this service?

BTW - for those that don't care about hard anodizing, you can do regular anodizing yourself - http://www.focuser.com/anodize.html (BTW - the same company makes awesome telescope focusers too!)
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Old 11-17-2010, 6:33 AM
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The main problem I see from people doing raw forgings is the mag well. There is only 2 ways to get the square edges. Broach or EDM is the only way to do it properly. The next problem is you will have to make your own jigs and that will take longer and cost more then machining the lowers. The next problem is the deck.

To be perfectly honest without a set up like we have and use everyday I wouldn't do anything but an 80%.

Remember we are a type 7 FFL who makes lowers on a daily basis even for several other companies. We have a lot of experience in AR-15 lowers and provide them better and cheaper then the competition, not even including the Calguns discount.
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Old 11-17-2010, 8:53 AM
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Here's a stupid question. Why do an 80% lower? What are the advantages? What do you have to do after it is done for a serial number and such?
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Old 11-17-2010, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don29palms View Post
Here's a stupid question. Why do an 80% lower? What are the advantages? What do you have to do after it is done for a serial number and such?
why do an 80% lower?

for the satisfaction of building your own.
so that there is no record of you owning it. (for the crowd)
so that you can build an AR-pistol.
so you can custom engrave it to your whim.
etc.


There is no requirement that you mark a homebuilt firearm with any serial numbers or anything, and no requirement that you register it.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:41 AM
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I love the tin foil hat smiley face. That rocks.

For all the reasons ke6guj mentioned.

Don29palms you do not have to serial number a home built firearm. Just make sure it complies with the BATFE and CA DOJ laws regarding any firearm. I.E. no full auto, min length for rifle and barrel and other such examples.

Some people put their own serial numbers on so if it gets stolen they can advise the police a serial number but it is not required what so ever.

Once you drill/mill it (coat if desired) just assemble like normal.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:59 AM
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Just an update, I contacted both Colfax and TM (sent msgs late last night). Both had responded to me early this AM and offered special pricing (I requested 5 lowers). The pricing between the two is very close. Both are 7075 T6 forgings. I think TM uses an EDM wire to cut the mag well and Colfax broaches the mag well (either should produce excellent results). In the end Colfax was a few dollars more, but they polish the exterior (something you could do yourself, though it does take time, and time is money).

I also discovered that I knew the folks at Colfax (they make telescope mounts) and have a history with them. This made an otherwise difficult choice easy - loyalty to friends is important to me.

To everyone else who doesn't know TM or Colfax - both appear to have top notch service and excellent products. You can pay a few bucks more for a polished unit from Colfax or save a few bucks and polish the TM one yourself. Either way I think you will be happy.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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TM broaches the magwell, here are some pics of their broacher, http://www.homegunsmith.com/cgi-bin/...;t=21453;st=50
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Old 11-17-2010, 3:10 PM
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Now that is a piece of shop equipment! Very nice broaching machine.

BTW - how are people finishing their lowers? Anyone find a local shop that will hard anodize gun parts? Are people home anodizing? Alodining and then Gun-Kote? Just Gun-Kote w/o Alodine? Other?
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Old 11-18-2010, 8:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancear15 View Post
My first 80% is complete. I highly recommend Tactical Machining, their lowers are in spec and their lower parts kits are better than I expected. You can't beat the price and they have excellent customer service.

Pics and a vid will be added when time permits.
The milling looks great ... but the pics show the bare aluminum. What are your plans for anodizing / coating?
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Old 11-18-2010, 9:52 AM
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http://i450.photobucket.com/albums/q...ngle/lower.jpg

This is one of my TM lowers, type three anodize from 2DYE4 in Rohnert Park.

Last edited by WHITE MAMBA; 11-18-2010 at 9:54 AM..
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:47 AM
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Great engravings! Thanks for the laugh!

BTW - does 2DYE4 have an FFL? Can you wait or is it a drop it off and come back operation? I'm actually looking for type III anodizing in the San Jose area, but willing to drive if needed.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:17 AM
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Not sure on the ffl i just dropped it off as im around the corner from them. When i talked to them they also told me if they were not busy i could get it same day. I paid 80$ for 6 type three and 1 green type 2. On my green one i was actually there and told him when to pull it to get the shade i wanted
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