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Thread: A question about AR lowers or Why 80% lowers

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by RP View Post
    If you look at the dates of the post and the prices they state it let you know why now is a good time to buy stripped lowers at 50 bucks each. Warning when you have a few lowers laying in the safe all naked you will start buying uppers. It kind of like you get one lower and swap uppers yea right those two pins will be to much trouble you think and well you figure it out.

    Oh this may be the time you look back at and say man I wished I knew what I know now I got everything I could afford then. I have added to my collection for that reason and the price so when the price is up I just coast along without regret.
    You can SEE the future sometimes if you pay attention to the past.
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  2. #22
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    Why would anyone go with a 80% receiver? They cost more. You have to do a certain amount of machine work in order that they function correctly. When you are done, you have a functional gun that you can't sell, even at cost. You can't trade it to a dealer(the ones that I have talked to will not trade in guns made after 1968 that aren't numbered) And we all know that at some point in the next few decades there will be no transfer without going through a FFL (whether we like it or not, it only takes one election cycle!).
    I fall into the “why” category because of the cost and lack of finish etc. as above one can get a ready to go lower for $40.

    Some take pride in doing things themselves but finishing an 80% receiver is not a long way away from a guy that buys all the parts and puts them together saying he “built” the AR.

    Back when I built my 50 BMG, from barstock, I contacted the ATF to make sure I was doing everything by the book (they also sent me a copy of “the book” for free). FWIW at that time, I was told that as long as I was not in the “business” of manufacturing firearms I needed no license and there were no Federal laws at the time that prohibited transferring ownership at some point. He did make himself very clear in that State laws needed to be checked also and in some cases were much more restrictive.

    Now if you don’t care about laws and are one of the ”prepper” types there is the “flying under the radar” thing. Seems like you could purchase privately, just tell them you sold it, or most common just steal one, if one had nefarious intentions or otherwise refused to follow the law.

  3. #23
    Boolit Bub
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    I did one...because it's fun. I kept my tolerances super tight, milled it on a Bridgeport instead of using the router and jig, and now I have an AR that doesn't rattle when you shake it. That alone made it worth It to me.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    I fall into the “why” category because of the cost and lack of finish etc. as above one can get a ready to go lower for $40.

    Some take pride in doing things themselves but finishing an 80% receiver is not a long way away from a guy that buys all the parts and puts them together saying he “built” the AR.
    IMHO if you take 100 people who can assemble an AR and have them each do a 80% lower, your gonna end up with a lot of less than nice lowers in the 100 examples .

    I made my own Kurt vise jaws to hold the lowers, and machine them on a Bridgeport.

    The off the books concept is part of it....but it is not a huge jump from finishing an 80% on a Knee mill to finishing a 0% forging, I used the 0% instructions to mill my 80%.

    The number of statements about it being illegal, about never being able to sell them, etc, etc demonstrates how poorly educated some members of the gun culture are.

    Anderson lowers supposedly wholesale for $25 each in lots of 100. Brownells will put 100% lowers on sale from time to time, I grabbed an Aero Precision M4E1 for like $39 on sale, and snagged a Aero 308 lower too for a good price. 100% lowers are a great bargain right now but the AW ban showed us that "proof of life" as a working firearm may be key to them being grandfathered under some new laws that might pop up.

    Bill
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  5. #25
    Boolit Master

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    Brownells is a good place to get lowers, both 80% and 100% if you get the Brownells Edge. Paid shipping on all orders except stuff like cases of ammo, no FFL fee on the Brownells end of things.

    Bill
    Both ends WHAT a player

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
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    Yeah, you sure don't save any time or money anymore with an 80% lower. If you just want to assemble a rifle and have good success, 100% is the way to go.

  7. #27
    A friend finally got a long needed divorce, then he got a better job

    He went gun shopping to make up for many dry years.

    they quickly put the kibosh on him (stopped him) and made him wait x amount of time between purchases)

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    A friend finally got a long needed divorce, then he got a better job

    He went gun shopping to make up for many dry years.

    they quickly put the kibosh on him (stopped him) and made him wait x amount of time between purchases)
    Think he needs to move to a more gun friendly environment. I did and don't regret it. Can't see my grown kids as much but wouldn't go back for anything.

  9. #29
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist


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    Quote Originally Posted by MrHarmless View Post
    Spare parts are just new gun seeds.
    I left that part out and with me you are correct my spare AR lowers have all grown into completes lol working on a 6.5 grendel now lol. This is going to be my yote gun mounted a photon night scope on her and got me a heavy duty camera tripod I am adapting to hold her in the field since I am using it to scan the fields, I made the mistake of not having a platform to hold the rifle and when I found a dog around 200 yards out my arms were so tired I could not hold still well enough to take a shot.
    Night hunting is all new to me and it seems I learn what not to do every time I go. Now I am debating do I really need to go buy a few more lowers since I already want to get a 6.5 grendel in a pistol.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  10. #30
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    IMHO if you take 100 people who can assemble an AR and have them each do a 80% lower, your gonna end up with a lot of less than nice lowers in the 100 examples .
    That is for sure, very few machinists are also well versed in anodizing, so even if you are not a “hack” you will have a learning curve.

  11. #31
    Boolit Bub
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    Bought a couple 80% with lower parts for something like $60 each. I'm 07/C2 but never had done one so I did just cause I could. Picked up the dimensions and pin hole locations from a factory lower and put in the DRO on the Bridgeport. Took a bit longer than I thought it would but it all went together fine and works well. GunCote over oxide blasted should make a decent finish. No way it makes any sense $$$wise.
    Pete

  12. #32
    Boolit Man
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    As the OP of this thread, I have enjoyed its progression and the thoughts and opinions of the other posters. I just put together my second AR, a 6.5 Grendel. Bought a fully finished Anderson lower which I added the internals and a little better trigger than come with most kits and a complete upper (from Midway). It came out nice but haven't made it to the range yet for a test fire. Thanks again for the opinions and thoughts!

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortfal View Post
    Bought a couple 80% with lower parts for something like $60 each. I'm 07/C2 but never had done one so I did just cause I could. Picked up the dimensions and pin hole locations from a factory lower and put in the DRO on the Bridgeport. Took a bit longer than I thought it would but it all went together fine and works well. GunCote over oxide blasted should make a decent finish. No way it makes any sense $$$wise.
    Pete
    Its never going to make sense $$$wise and never will and that isn't the idea. The idea is to complete a 80% lower that isn't registered at least that is my take on it. Finishing a 80% lower isn't illegal either and assures that your AR won't be picked up because in all actuality it doesn't exist. It also provides a sense of accomplishment to some that have never completed a project like this.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    and yet know one comes out against some one building a flintlock or caplock rifle or even a cap and ball pistol kit.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob208 View Post
    and yet know one comes out against some one building a flintlock or caplock rifle or even a cap and ball pistol kit.
    or buying a conversion cylinder to fire fixed ammunition in a cap and ball revolver.
    Both ends WHAT a player

  16. #36
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    This looks like the place to ask.
    First a little background. I am putting together another AR lower. I am going to use an Anderson unit as I have found them to be well made and consistent as well as low priced. (under 50 bucks in my area.)

    There are many options to choose from. Colors, special engraving ect. (none of which I have an interest in.) Another option is/are the 80 % lowers.

    Now for the question:

    Why would anyone go with a 80% receiver? They cost more. You have to do a certain amount of machine work in order that they function correctly. When you are done, you have a functional gun that you can't sell, even at cost. You can't trade it to a dealer(the ones that I have talked to will not trade in guns made after 1968 that aren't numbered) And we all know that at some point in the next few decades there will be no transfer without going through a FFL (whether we like it or not, it only takes one election cycle!).

    The two reasons I can think of are:
    1. To see if I can actually do the work to make the thing work.
    2. Reasoning of the Bubbas in my area: I don't want the gubmint to know I have firearms. Which we all know doesn't hold water.

    What am I missing here?

    If I have gotten to political or stepped on toes, my sincere apology but I have been wondering about this for some time.
    It does hold water.

    Before California SB857, I could buy 80's and build AR15's and no, the state does NOT know it. It doesn;t matter if they know about the bolt rifles and revolvers I have, AR's become a "non-issue".

    THUS, when they later pass SB880, and other AR bans, then I don't have DOJ kicking in my door, because I'm not on the list of people they need to check compliance on. And Californians HAVE had their doors kicked in by DOJ and arms confiscated because of AW ban laws.

    It's moot since SB857, but before that law it was quite reasonable to want an 80 "so the government does not know".

  17. #37
    Boolit Master

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    We can play the california card for "it's cheaper", too.

    Let's say I'm a happy-go-lucky castbooliteer, and thus already own a vertical mill, a 3-flute 3/8" end mill, and clamps. You get the idea.

    As a Californian, our government collects sales tax on out of state purchases, including shipping, charges $25 to transfer a firearm, and 'charges' me a 10 day wait on firearms.

    Therefore, that $35 lower costs me $5 to ship, 10% (yes our sales tax is 10%) of $40, so another $4, and $25 to transfer, making that $35 lower now $69. The $40 80% costs $6 to ship to my door by FRB and I'm GTG for $46. sales tax brings it up to <$50.

    So, it was cheaper. Before SB857 (which demanded a $19 registration fee among other things like serial engraving, etc)

  18. #38
    Boolit Master

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    By the way, why, 80%? government fear. This is the California legislative response to 80% firearms as soon as they caught wind of them, stretched over a few legislative cycles:




    Starting 07-01-2018, self-made (80%) firearms require CA DOJ approved information engraved on the firearm in order to be CA legal [PC 29180(b)] and a requirement for self-made firearm with a non-metallic receiver/frame is to have the CA DOJ isssued serial number marked on 3.7oz of PH 17-4 stainless steel embedded in the receiver/frame (in such a manner that removal with significantly damage or destroy the receiver/frame) [PC 29180(b)(2)(B) and 11 CCR 5519].

    No commerically available 80% polymer receiver/frame meets the 3.7oz PH 17-4 stainless steel requirement.

    In addition...
    1. All self-made firearms must comply with CA assault weapons laws and generally prohibited weapons (AW, DD, MG, SBR, SBS, etc) laws. [PC 29182(e)(1)]
    2. All self-made handguns need to be made in compliance with CA unsafe handgun laws. [PC 29182(e)(2)]

    Which means, in order to be CA legal...
    1. A self-made revolver needs to pass CA DOJ safety testing. [PC 31910(a)]
    2. A self-made manually operated repeating pistol needs to pass CA DOJ safety testing. [PC 31910(b)]
    3. A self-made semi-auto pistol needs to have all CA mandated safety features (chamber load indicator, magazine disconnect mechansim, microstamping array) and pass CA DOJ safety testing. [PC 31910(b)]

    In order to avoid all that...
    1. A self-made revolver needs to be a dimensionally compliant single-action revolver. [PC 32100(a)]
    2. A self-made pistol needs to be a dimensionally compliant bolt-action single-shot pistol or a dimensionally compliant break-open single-shot pistol. [PC 32100(b)]
    ^In order to remain CA legal, a dimensionally compliant bolt-action single-shot pistol or dimensionally compliant break-open single-shot pistol needs to remain configured as such while it is in CA. Modifying it into another type of pistol would be viewed as manufacturing a new unsafe handgun.

    Starting 01-01-2019...
    1. It is illegal to transfer the ownership of self-made firearms in CA [PC 29180(d)(1)], only exemption is for transferring to law enforcement for destruction. [PC 29180(d)(2)]
    2. Non-exempt unregistered self-made firearms are subject to confiscation, and destruction, as evidence of violating CA self-made firearm laws. [PC 29180(d)(3)]



    --------------------------

    THAT is evidence of government fear of gun ownership, right there.

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