AR15.Com Archives
 What's an 80 percent machine forged lower worth to you?
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/7/2004 9:48:54 PM
I'm working part time in a well equipped small machine shop. It's well within our means to produce 80 percent lowers for those who want them. My employer is interested in the idea, but wants to know
two things before he commits any time, money, or materials to such a project.

1: What's the most direct source available for getting forged lower blanks, so as to keep the cost of the forgings down as much as possible?

2: What is a competitive price for an 80 percent lower?


We're looking at providing a lower with the takedown pin holes drilled and reamed, the mag well placed and milled out, and the mating surface between the receivers accurately milled including the curved transition area, and doing all buffer tube end work except for the tapping of the hole itself.

This leaves all the fire control well work and the tapping of the buffer tube hole, which will certainly put it in the 80 percent complete (or slightly under) range. If further invesigation shows us that tapping the buffer hole won't put us over the 80 percent complete mark, we'll do that too because I DO own the proper tap, and it's new.


We'll be working off the standard print that's readily available, and the work will be assure to be to spec.

The work will be performed on Fadal or Matsuura CNC vertical machining centers capable of holding tolerances to better than .001 inch.

Economy comes with scale of manufacture. We'd probably need a commitment for 10 or more lowers to do the run.

So who's interested and what's a fair price?

CJ
FanoftheBlackRifle  [Team Member]
6/7/2004 9:52:45 PM
I've seen forged blanks with the magwell done for around $80, but I don't know what their profit margin is on something like that....

I'd be in for one, maybe two if the price was down around $50. Above that I'd have to look at the cashflow situation.

ETA: Forged 0% blanks from DSA are $20 each if you buy a few at a time.....best price I've found on forged ones so far.
SSW  [Member]
6/8/2004 7:30:44 AM
At $50 I could get in on 2-3 no doubt.
Paul556  [Member]
6/8/2004 9:46:01 AM
National Ordnance sells 80% receivers for $127. I bought one for $125 cash. I don't think you will find anybody selling less than that. If you buy bulk I think I heard you can get the blanks as low as $15. Check with these guys www.cerrofabricated.com/products_firearm.htm and these guys continentalmachinetool.com/firearms.html. I do find it hard to believe that it costs more to buy an unfinished product than it does one completely machined and anodized. I think if you could get them to market for $100 or just a fuzz under I think you could corner the market, or at least force the other guys to lower their prices. Good luck.
WhiteRubi  [Member]
6/8/2004 9:55:37 AM
Stupid Newb question...

What is a 80% lower? What makes it 80% not 100% or 25%. Sorry, maybe a stupid question, but I have to learn somehow...
hardcase  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 10:18:28 AM
I'm with FOBR & SSW, about $50 is the max. I could only afford one or two, but I'd buy a lot more if I could afford it.


This leaves all the fire control well work and the tapping of the buffer tube hole, which will certainly put it in the 80 percent complete (or slightly under) range. If further invesigation shows us that tapping the buffer hole won't put us over the 80 percent complete mark, we'll do that too because I DO own the proper tap, and it's new.


What would be left to do in the fire control well, etc.? Would you provide instructions on how to finish it? If it took any machining it would be beyond my skill level.

Suggestion: Get a formal written opinion from BATFE saying that your lower is in fact 80% before you sell them. You don't want to sell something illegal & I don't want to buy something illegal.
hardcase  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 10:20:44 AM
I forgot to add the most important part to my previous post: THANKS for thinking of this. It's nice to see some competition in the 80% lower market.
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 12:16:28 PM
To start:


This is a lower receiver forging after the mag well has been broached. Imagine this with
NO holes in it whatsoever, and that's what all forged receivers start with.

Image via Les Baer's site, to give credit.




As with this picture, we would NOT be doing ANY work on the fire control well at all.
This WOULD be your responsibility alone.

What WOULD be done:

Properly locate the takedown pin holes, drill and ream them.

Spot drill the center location for the mag well catch, so the catch is properly centered
on the circular boss.

Machine the mag well. (May be broached or EDM'ed, or may be milled. To be determined.)


Machine the receiver mating surface including the radius.

Machine the stock end of the receiver including drilling and tapping for the buffer tube.

Possibly, the hole for the buffer tube retaining pin will also be machined. As its spacing
is critical and it's at an angle and the setup isn't particularly simple, it would be good
for a shop such as ours to do it.

We may elect to spot a few reference points so you can use them for the proper location
of the fire control component pins, because that's of course some critical work. Blow their
locations by a few thousandths of an inch and you have a useless lump of metal. Put the trigger troup in it, pull the trigger, and nothing may happen. Or it may go full auto...which is even worse.


Nothing is set yet. I'm about to head into the shop now and check with the shop owner and
show him the prints and a sample. (A lower I made that is quite unusable due to too many goofs...it was my first attempt.)


I believe the BATF already has a letter on partially complete forgings. I'll look for it and take it from there.


I'll update you when I have more info.

CJ
millsusaf  [Member]
6/8/2004 12:22:29 PM
I have completed an 80% lower recently and will soon start work on a second, so I have a little experience with them. If you don't finish out the fire control area, you will loose many potential buyers. Most of us don't have access to a mill that will take care of this area. I know I don't. Finish the mag well, fire control area, rough out the buffer tube end and mill the mating surface. People can buy a jig (another idea to make some money ) and finish out the holes.

hardcase has a good idea about writing ATF to see what their def. of 80% is. CYOA!!

I have seen 0% for as little as $15-20 on ebay(might have to look on gunbroker or auction arms soon). If you contact the seller they might do a deal for quanity.

Just my 2 cents.
Aimless  [Site Staff]
6/8/2004 12:25:38 PM

Originally Posted By WhiteRubi:
Stupid Newb question...

What is a 80% lower? What makes it 80% not 100% or 25%. Sorry, maybe a stupid question, but I have to learn somehow...



An 80% lower means that it is not finished, it need further maching to be used as an AR15 lower. The advantage is that it is not a firearm and can be sold without going through and FFL. the disadvantage (unless you like doing this stuff) is that you have to finish it yourself.
hardcase  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 12:54:11 PM
Thanks for the update, cm. Unfortunately, machining out the fire control well would be far beyond my capabilities, so I couldn't justify buying any. Are there any other parts that you leave unfinished instead?
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 8:56:04 PM
The mag well, the fire control area, and the buffer tube comprise most of the machining of the lower. If I were to do all three, it would certainly be over 80 percent done.

Possibly I could adjust by providing accurately positioned pilot holes, drilled in critical locations, such as the fire control pin locations, the buffer tube hole, and others, and leave the expansion of the holes to the finished dimension to the buyer.

I think the single most critical bit of machine work as far as the ATF is concerned is the fire control well, which is simple mill work and not very critical if the location of the pivot pins is right. I'd dare say that if you can't handle the milling of that well with the pin holes already located for you, then you're simply not equipped to complete an 80 percent lower, as you also wouldn't be equipped to complete any other significant machining operation.

Flat out, if you don't have access to some form of milling machine, I think you don't have what you'll need to finish out the type of 80 percent lower I'm envisioning.

However, there may be alternatives. If someone would be so kind as to post links to other forged and cast 80 percent lower sources so I can see what they're currently offering and what work is done and what's not done, that would assist me in figuring out what's next.

As I'll be dealing exclusively with raw forgings and not near-net castings, I can guarantee you that you will HAVE to have access to a milling machine of some sort, and that's all there is to it. If I were to do all the milling for you and leave just the drilling and reaming, etc. to you, then I'd probably be over the NINETY percent completion mark. There just isn't any way around that. To complete an 80 percent FORGED lower, milling capability is NOT optional.

FYI, you can get a serviceable small tabletop milling machine for less than the cost of most AR's new or used, and they're even cheaper if you find one on the used market. If you want do your own lower, I think you NEED one.

CJ


viper5194  [Member]
6/8/2004 9:27:49 PM
Ive never done one, but I have looked at them alot. Almost every 80%lower offered on Ebay had the mag well and fire control areas milled to spec. Most of those even had a 1/2" hole on center for the buffer tube , and some also had demples where the pin holes where to be drilled. Technically haveing to finish the buffer hole and the pin holes would qualify it as an 80% just from what ive seen. There are alot of different ones out there, but the ones that have the magwell and trigger well done are the ones that sell. As some have said, most people do not have and dont want to invest in the type of mill needed to finish the fire control and mag well area. Come September god willing, one could buy 10 finished lowers for what it would cost to buy one 80% and a mill. JMO

Viper..........

Found this as a sample of what people are selling as 80%. This is one of the best ive seen.....

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=36258&item=3681700456&rd=1
FanoftheBlackRifle  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 9:33:17 PM
Actually, I'd settle for just getting the magwell finished, and the buffer tube drilled and tapped....All the other holes and maching I can do.

Matter of fact, I've got five sitting next to my Grizzly mini-mill with everything except the buffer tube hole drilled to size and tapped, and the magwell done. Too lazy to deal with finding a setup to let me finish the mag well, and too cheap to buy the buffer tube tap right now.

Just a thought, you might want to look into maybe doing the firecontrol and buffer tube areas, and just dimpling all the other holes; That way people could finish it with a drillpress and a dremel.
neilfj  [Member]
6/8/2004 10:13:27 PM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
The mag well, the fire control area, and the buffer tube comprise most of the machining of the lower. If I were to do all three, it would certainly be over 80 percent done.



Don't get hung up on the percentage numbers. There is nothing in the law or ATF which uses the percentages to indicate the difference between a block of aluminum and a firearm. Percentages are assigned by the manufacturer based on their guess as to what percent of the work remains and have nothing to do with what ATF considers legal or not.

At one time, and I've seen nothing lately that changes it, the determination was based on the amount of time that was required to finish the lower/frame so that it would be capable of firing a single shot. (Note: NOT that it works properly (in the case of a semi-auto), but that it can fire a SINGLE shot).

The last I heard as to whether it was a firearm or not was that if it required 8 hours of work or more before it was capable of firing a shot, it was not a firearm. (Could be 6hrs, but I remember it being 8). The final finishing (sanding/painting/dyeing/anodizing, etc) is not part of this time determination. As part of this determination for AR15s, the firecontrol holes could not be drilled, AND you could have 2 of the 3 other areas completed...magwell, firecontrol, or buffer tube.

Even though many will say that they can turn an 80% into a firearm in an hour, it should be realized that these determinations and time estimates where made years ago, before the proliferation of inexpensive mini-mills or other tools.

You'll find that many manufacturers intentionally leave other areas unfinished to make sure that they don't exceed the ATF requirements, such as not planing the top, not finishing the buffer tower radius, magwell too tight or bolt catch slot not cut or drilled.

If the manufacturer is serious, he will submit a sample to ATF for approval before going into production. If approved, you should get the sample back, along with an approval letter. If it exceeds the arbitrary point set by ATF, they'll tell you what has to be done (or left undone). Whether you get the sample back is unknown. I've heard of samples being destroyed after submission as if ATF rules it a firearm, they can't send it back unless you have an FFL-07 (manufacturing).

Whether it is worth all this or not is a business decision you'd have to make, but at the $50-$80 range doesn't make it very worthwhile when you consider the costs and the time involved, even with a CNC, testing to make sure you got it right, packing, shipping, returns, complaints, questions (how do I make it full-auto, where does the auto sear hole go, etc). Your time should count for something.

All that being said, my recommendation would be to complete the magwell and firecontrol areas. Drill a pilot hole in the tower and even dimple the lower for pin locations, complete the bolt and mag catch area and plane the top and bottom surfaces. Reasoning behind this is that you'll get a bigger market. The fire control holes and buffer tube area can be done without a mill. A drill press, or even a hand drill can be used if very careful. No mill is required in this case, although it would be recommended. You could also sell different levels of completion, for those who may have access to a mill and are looking for more of a challenge.
whisper300  [Member]
6/8/2004 10:15:56 PM
For those of you still wondering and not sure yet, No a dremmil, vise, pliers, and a hammer is not enough to finish these lowers. Unfortunatly 80% AR lowers are not like 80% AK lowers
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/8/2004 11:25:49 PM
Viper5194 said, " Come September god willing, one could buy 10 finished lowers for what it would cost to buy one 80% and a mill. JMO"


Sorry, I don't see it. The finished lower's value by itself won't drop in September, in fact, all of them will suddenly be more desirable as they'll all be the same as pre-ban.

Prices won't change much.

This doesn't apply if you're stuck in a communist country like California or New Jersey.


The list of features: (Partial and incomplete, I'm sure)

Pivot holes (must be drilled and reamed as they are essential for pinning to the fixture plate for work on the sides)

Gap between front pivot holes can be done by the buyer. Even a file is adequate.

Mag well....this CAN be handled with a mill and a few fresh, quality drill bits. Drill the 8 points
with .125 drill bits, and mill between them, connecting the dots. I've done it on an Enco benchtop mill, you can too. But this is the part that gives the most trouble as it's NOT really all that
easy to do well, so we're looking at probably getting this broached or EDM'ed.

Bottom of mag well facing and bevelling of mag well....this can be left to the buyer.

Cleanup of the whole trigger area including the drilling of the dowel holes for the trigger
bottom plate can be handled by the buyer. It's easy enough.

Cleanup of the seam left by the forging process is desirable for comfort, especially inside
the trigger guard, but this is a job for your Dremel tool.


Mag catch slot and mag release button slot....it's something you can do yourself, but it's
a little tricky. Don't even think of trying it unless you have a complete mag catch assembly
to play with. This is one of the less important features that I'd want to do for you as it's
deceptively tricky.

Fire control pin locations....will be spot drilled in the proper locations and may be drilled through
but undersized.

The fire control well is easy to mill out, but it's what I'm most worried about from a legal standpoint. I think it goes a long way toward 80 percent status. I'd be williing to drill the corners of the well to the proper depth and let you connect the dots, at the very least. If I can be assured of staying under 80 percent, yes I'd mill this out to spec. (Colt SP1/M16A1 specs)

Deck: As it's a mission critical job to face this properly and it's the reference plane for every critical dimension on the whole receiver, I'd definitely handle this part.

Buffer tube/back face area: Pilot hole will be properly located and drilled to something reasonable like a quarter of an inch. If another major section is deleted in exchange, I can finish this out for you including tapping it.

Buffer tube retaining pin hole will be done by me as it's difficult to locate it properly. Position it wrong and you'll know it for sure. You may have trouble opening and closing the receivers if it's too far forward, and if it's too far back the bolt carrier will slam it, causing probable damage, eventually. May lead even to the breakage of the buffer tube ring in the forging. Properly located, the pin allows the receivers to close easily and also puts the buffer face in contact with the back of the carrier.

Milling of the area the pistol grip attaches to is pretty simple and will be left to the buyer.


Milling the hole for the trigger to go through the receiver is also a simple job that will be left to the buyer.


Some of the small holes in the receiver like the selector switch detent hole and the front takedown pin detent hole may look tricky, but really they're not. Just make sure your drills are high quality ones and are properly sharpened, and you'll have no problem.

The mag catch pin hole requires a long (6") drill, 3/32nds if I remember right. If you have that, you can do that, too.


I have the tap for the buffer tube. I'll rent it out to anyone who needs it, but understand that I'll need you to place a deposit with me that covers the cost of the tap, and the deposit will be returned when the tap is received and in the same condition it was sent out in, minus the wear and tear incurred in NORMAL use. You break it, you bought it!


Need help making SURE that the buffer tube hole is going to be in the right place?

I can help you with that. I will make a simple tool for the job if necessary. You attach your stripped upper receiver to the lower (after its deck has been faced properly) and insert this tool through the front of the bore, attached to your electric drill or screw gun. This tool is simply a steel or aluminum bar one inch in diameter with a stub drill secured in the end of it, and the other end turned down so your drill can grab it. (3/8" shank) Use this and you're assured that the buffer tube hole is centered exactly on the bore in the upper receiver.



Right now, understand that my making 80 percent lowers is still an idea under evaluation. Nothing has been set in stone yet and it may not even happen, depending on the total cost analysis.

But, I hope to make this a reality.

However....listen up.

Under NO circumstances will I provide any assistance in any way, shape, or form to ANYONE who even so much as HINTS that he wants to know how to do a full auto or burst mode receiver. Forget it right now. If you send me money for an 80 percent lower and before you get it you ask me where that extra hole for the autosear goes, I won't send you the receiver and I will PROBABLY keep your money as a penalty.

But none of you would do that anyway, would you? You know better and I didn't have to say it, but I did anyway to CMA.

Besides, I don't know where that flippin' hole goes anyway, and won't try to find out.



CJ








Stickman  [Member]
6/8/2004 11:45:47 PM
If you send me money for an 80 percent lower and before you get it you ask me where that extra hole for the autosear goes, I won't send you the receiver and I will PROBABLY keep your money as a penalty.

A fool and their money are soon parted, and asking how to make a fullauto weapon is playing the fool.

I would probably be in for a few (or more), depending on the price and end result of the mill work involved.
viper5194  [Member]
6/9/2004 12:20:01 AM
My 10 finished lowers remark simply came from looking at the price of decent mills and the price of current excellent quality finished lowers. Mega lowers are roughly 85.00 each shipped. The cost of a mill to do the fire control area is anywhere from 700-1200.00 depending on the quality and the 80% lowers seem to be selling for about 100.00-125.00 depending on the dealer. so lets say 800.00 for a mill and 100.00 for a 80%. 900.00 divided by 85.00 = 10.58 finished lowers a person could buy for what it would cost them to finish a 80% on there own. Yes, im sure there are reasons people like 80% lowers, but the cost factor for finishing one that requires a mill is not appealing to most. If an 80% lower was able to be finished with simple home workshop tools such a drill press, files, punches, and lower alighnment jigs ya, i could see selling alot of them. But for someone to have to mill out the large portionsof the lower just doesnt fit into most peoples idea of a 80% lower.

JMO... viper out............
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/9/2004 8:08:23 AM
Here's the cheapest solution: Get an X-Y vise for your drill press. It's maybe 50 bucks.

Get a few end mills.

Scribe your lines carefully and stay within them. Finish out with a Dremel and files.

You'll be able to mill out the fire control well and some other sections well enough with such a setup.

I've actually made do with such a setup, long ago.

The quality of your results will depend on the amount of patience you have.

CJ
Hail Mary  [Member]
6/9/2004 8:58:24 AM
No one in the 80% or less market is making one with the following specs so you will have the market to yourselves:

1) mag well done
2) both down pins done
3) top deck done
4) buffer tube threading done
5) stock mounting hole at rear done
6) buffer retaining pin hole drilled
7) pistol grip screw hole threaded
8) all other holes dimpled only

I know quite a few guys that did not want to spend the $65+ for the buffer tap and making the jig needed to properly use the tap. A few guys just opened up the hole, stripped threads off the tube and pressed it into the receiver.

The cutting out of the fire control area can be done with a dremel and a burr. It's just an opening and the dimensions are not critical. Many of the 80% sellers like to finish this area as it's very simple to setup and run on a CNC whereas threading for the buffer tube is critical and harder to program.
hardcase  [Team Member]
6/9/2004 10:26:09 AM

But for someone to have to mill out the large portionsof the lower just doesnt fit into most peoples idea of a 80% lower.


I'm with viper on this one.
millsusaf  [Member]
6/9/2004 10:28:43 AM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

I'd dare say that if you can't handle the milling of that well with the pin holes already located for you, then you're simply not equipped to complete an 80 percent lower, as you also wouldn't be equipped to complete any other significant machining operation.

Flat out, if you don't have access to some form of milling machine, I think you don't have what you'll need to finish out the type of 80 percent lower I'm envisioning.





Then don't expect much business. It is as simple as that.
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/9/2004 12:46:12 PM
I'm still juggling wanted vs. needed features and that slippery definition of 80 percent.

Let me try this package:


Deck milled, definitely. It's the reference plane.

Mag well for sure. Takedown pin holes, definitely. I need them for pinning to the fixtures anyway.

Buffer tube hole, done. Tapped. Retainer pin hole drilled.

Fire control well, milled.

Grip milling, done.

All other holes spotted.

That leaves a good number of holes to drill, the mag catch and release slots and holes
included. Also the milling of the pivot boss at the front of the receiver.


How does that sound?

CJ

Stickman  [Member]
6/9/2004 1:59:39 PM
Sounds pretty good, but I would rather have the FCG area to do myself, then do the mag release. As already posted, the inside of the weapon isn't important as far as how it looks. Even rough, it will still function. However....I don't want my mag release to look like an angry beaver attacked it. I'm one of the guys who will be using a drill press and dremel!

Of course, if the FC area is more involved, and I'm over looking something, I would be grateful for someone yelling at me....

Edited to add....If the mag release is simple, and already marked, somone can always let me know that I am looking at things wrong.
Paul556  [Member]
6/9/2004 3:53:23 PM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I'm still juggling wanted vs. needed features and that slippery definition of 80 percent.

Let me try this package:


Deck milled, definitely. It's the reference plane.

Mag well for sure. Takedown pin holes, definitely. I need them for pinning to the fixtures anyway.

Buffer tube hole, done. Tapped. Retainer pin hole drilled.

Fire control well, milled.

Grip milling, done.

All other holes spotted.

That leaves a good number of holes to drill, the mag catch and release slots and holes
included. Also the milling of the pivot boss at the front of the receiver.


How does that sound?

CJ




I think if you do all that you will pass the imaginary 80% line. My NOC lower was .030" small in the rear takedown lug area and the fire control area. If they did this on purpose it defeats the purpose of even starting the area. As you know the largest part of a machining operation is the set-up time. By the time I set up to cut the last .030” it wouldn’t have been much harder to hog out the whole area. The tooling is the same and the set-up is the same.

You keep saying that the top deck is the reference plane. I disagree with that statement. Top deck should not touch anything. You could cut 1/16" low on the top deck and the gun will work fine. Some like it tight, but you may have problems with fitting other uppers if you do. I agree that you should cut it, but for different reasons. To do it right you need a 1-1/2" end mill to cut the radius and that is another costly tool that your customers would not have to buy. I use the take down pins as a reference point. But, if you dimple or pilot drill all the critical holes, having a reference point is, well, pointless. If you drill and tap the buffer tube hole something has to give to stay away from the 80% mark. Like previously mentioned you should ask ATF about you plans and have them comment on it in writing so you cover your posterior. Good luck.
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/9/2004 6:59:41 PM
Good point on the deck milling.

But, I don't need a 1.5" end mill to do that part. I have access to two CNC mills that wll do the deck and radius in one pass with end mills of any smaller size. So there's no reason to buy an expensive tool for that job when the expensive machine can make a five dollar 1/4 inch end mill do the same job.

I guess you're right...something has to give. So what's it going to be? The three major milled areas are the mag well, the buffer tube hole, and the fire control well. You can't have all three done for you but you can have two. Which one gets deleted?


I need to clarify the "business aspect" of this. I'm not a dealer. I'm not out to make a profit. What I'm out to do is to build up a lower or two for my own personal uses, and use the proceeds from the sale of some 80 percent lowers to defray the costs, so it ends up that I don't have to spend a lot of money to get mine made. Machine time DOES have to be paid for, but more importantly, I've got to pay the shop owner for his time he'll be investing in the building of the fixtures and the mill programming time.

If it weren't for the fact that the time invested, the programs, and the tooling will help him if he ever gets overrun work from any of at least two local firearms manufacturers that make AR/M16 class weapons, I wouldn't have gotten this far.

I was contacted by the staff, mentioning that business deals have to go to the appropriate exchange board, and they want a stiff fee if I'm going to be a dealer. Well, that's never been my intention. It just seems that the only way for me to get my receivers milled is to get some orders for enough receivers to make a small production run worth while.

If that's not good enough for the staff, all they have to do is let me know and I'll cancel the whole deal now, and they can move this topic to the trash can.

CJ
Iram  [Member]
6/9/2004 7:34:30 PM

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By WhiteRubi:
Stupid Newb question...

What is a 80% lower? What makes it 80% not 100% or 25%. Sorry, maybe a stupid question, but I have to learn somehow...



An 80% lower means that it is not finished, it need further maching to be used as an AR15 lower. The advantage is that it is not a firearm and can be sold without going through and FFL. the disadvantage (unless you like doing this stuff) is that you have to finish it yourself.



It sounds like the only reason to get one of these instead of a completed lower receiver is to make a gun that isn't listed with any government agency. Is there any other (read legitmate) reason to get an 80% lower?
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
6/9/2004 8:02:57 PM
For the enjoyment of making it. Because you CAN. Legally. (Maybe not in some states) Because nobody can tell you you CAN'T. That's VERY important.

That it appears in no manufacturer's logbook is a potential benefit, yes, but it's not the main point.


And I seriously doubt that anyone who'd make his own lower has any criminal intent for it.
That idea is just short of ludicrous.


CJ

Iram  [Member]
6/10/2004 6:20:14 AM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
For the enjoyment of making it. Because you CAN. Legally. (Maybe not in some states) Because nobody can tell you you CAN'T. That's VERY important.

That it appears in no manufacturer's logbook is a potential benefit, yes, but it's not the main point.


And I seriously doubt that anyone who'd make his own lower has any criminal intent for it.
That idea is just short of ludicrous.


CJ




Actually I had a friend (a guy with absolutely no experience with firearms) casually asked me about how to make a lower receiver so he could build his own rifle that the government wouldn't know about. He definately had a criminal intent to it. Thankfully he's too lazy to do anything.

It seems that if you wanted the enjoyment of building your own lower receiver, you would start with a large block of aluminum rather than an 80% lower receiver. If that was also the motivation I would also expect to see some posts about building your own bolt carrier group, barrel, etc.
Cixelsyd  [Team Member]
6/10/2004 7:47:25 AM

Originally Posted By Iram:

Actually I had a friend (a guy with absolutely no experience with firearms) casually asked me about how to make a lower receiver so he could build his own rifle that the government wouldn't know about. He definately had a criminal intent to it. Thankfully he's too lazy to do anything.



It sounds like you need to raise your standards as far as friends go.


... and welcome to the board.


CHRIS

hardcase  [Team Member]
6/10/2004 6:20:36 PM
bump
Iram  [Member]
6/10/2004 6:45:00 PM

Originally Posted By Cixelsyd:

Originally Posted By Iram:

Actually I had a friend (a guy with absolutely no experience with firearms) casually asked me about how to make a lower receiver so he could build his own rifle that the government wouldn't know about. He definately had a criminal intent to it. Thankfully he's too lazy to do anything.



It sounds like you need to raise your standards as far as friends go.


... and welcome to the board.


CHRIS




Yeah, I probably do.
Stickman  [Member]
6/11/2004 2:40:24 PM
I was contacted by the staff, mentioning that business deals have to go to the appropriate exchange board, and they want a stiff fee if I'm going to be a dealer. Well, that's never been my intention. It just seems that the only way for me to get my receivers milled is to get some orders for enough receivers to make a small production run worth while.

If you are selling them without making a profit, does this still count? I would think dealer status would be a person making money off a product. If you do this and are breaking even with the owner for his time/ equipment, I would think that would be different.

Just my thoughts, and as Mrs Stick can tell you, it certainly doesn't mean I'm correct!!
FanoftheBlackRifle  [Team Member]
6/12/2004 12:18:18 AM

Originally Posted By Stickman:
I was contacted by the staff, mentioning that business deals have to go to the appropriate exchange board, and they want a stiff fee if I'm going to be a dealer. Well, that's never been my intention. It just seems that the only way for me to get my receivers milled is to get some orders for enough receivers to make a small production run worth while.

If you are selling them without making a profit, does this still count? I would think dealer status would be a person making money off a product. If you do this and are breaking even with the owner for his time/ equipment, I would think that would be different.

Just my thoughts, and as Mrs Stick can tell you, it certainly doesn't mean I'm correct!!



I guess my thoughts on the matter are as follows:

My understanding is this is a one-time deal from you CMJ; therefore you're not really a "dealer" per se. IF my understanding is wrong, and you plan to make small batches on a regular basis, then I guess I would consider you to be a "dealer". Kinda like the example used a while ago -- one guy selling a bunch of magazines once isn't a dealer, but one guy selling a bunch of magazines every month IS.

As far as the EE vs BIY forums, I think you posing the question(s) here was quite appropriate, since this isn't a "I have X of these I want to sell for $$$" type post.

In any case, IANSS (I Am Not Site Staff), so my opinion is worth about what you paid for it.
BeauBeaux  [Member]
6/12/2004 4:27:21 PM
Some years back, we had all kinds of posts on the 80%'ers. Alot of guy's back then built them. Don't remember all the details. The 80%er will cost alot more after getting a jig, reamer, drill bits and taps. There is a joy of finishing one [doing the work yourself]. You are talking about finishing them more than the ones I remember. Back then if I remember correctly they were selling for $40 each.
Rhino_66  [Member]
6/12/2004 7:37:11 PM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

I guess you're right...something has to give. So what's it going to be? The three major milled areas are the mag well, the buffer tube hole, and the fire control well. You can't have all three done for you but you can have two. Which one gets deleted?

CJ



Anyone with access to a mill can easily machine out the fire control well, as it only requires a few end mill procedures. The buffer tube hole requires the large tap or a jig to clamp the receiver in the lathe for drilling and threading. The magwell requires broaching, EDM, or numerous drillings/cuttings/borings/etc. to complete. IMHO, leaving the fire control well completely unfinished would be the way to go. Of course I say that because I have a mill...

With the fire control well unfinished, no parts can be installed. Because of this, the selector hole, trigger and hammer pivot pin holes could be made and still have a legal "80% receiver". KTOrdnance receivers have the fire control well cut, but no pin holes drilled. If it were up to me, having all the holes drilled on a CNC machine center would be MUCH more desirable than having a fire control well that is accurate to within 0.0001".

The other school of thought is that if the fire control well is finished, you can finish an "80%" with one of the jig blocks like CNCGunsmithing sells:

http://www.cncgunsmithing.com/tooling.html

The jigs like that one allow anyone with a drill press (or maybe even hand drill) to finish a receiver. The jigs aren't necessary, but add a lot more accuracy (and cost) to a home build.

After thinking about it, I am still partial to the unfinished fire control well. Others might be more partial to only having to drill the holes...
fq1234  [Team Member]
6/15/2004 2:24:34 PM
I enjoy building AR's but what is the point of finishing a receiver you buy for $125 when you can get a brand new completed and finished receiver for $80-90 on the EE board?

Is it really that much fun (seriously, I'm not making fun)?
Stickman  [Member]
6/15/2004 3:08:39 PM

Originally Posted By fq1234:
I enjoy building AR's but what is the point of finishing a receiver you buy for $125 when you can get a brand new completed and finished receiver for $80-90 on the EE board?

Is it really that much fun (seriously, I'm not making fun)?



This has already been covered, even in this thread.

Pride of workmanship.

Enjoying your hobby.

Having a legal weapon w/o numbers.

Having fun in general.

If you only look at things in terms of dollars, you wouldn't like this at all.