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Basic
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Posted: 9/5/2012 5:02:12 AM EST

I am considering buying one of the many Poly lowers on the AR market.

I have looked at the New Frontier, Plumcrazy and Vulcan lowers. All are priced in the $100 to $130 range for a complete lower assembly.

Please note, this would not be my primary weapon but just looking for a lightweight model for my daughter to shoot as well as a third line back up rifle/ carbine.

I know that the poly lowers are not well received but I have several Glocks and they were not well received when first introduced.

Your thoughts on what is available would be apprecaited.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:06:44 AM EST
From what I've read, atm they aren't so hot, give em a few years of development though and i guarantee you that many new AR's will have polymer lowers that actually work.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:12:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/5/2012 5:15:01 AM EST by Krylancelo]
Buyer beware. Especially Vulcan. I wouldn't give one of those lowers to anyone I cared about unless it was dedicated to a .22 upper.

It's very easy to say "but Glocks!" when talking about polymer AR15 lowers. However, the major difference (and the main reason Glocks are great and these are not) is that Glocks were designed from the ground up as polymer framed guns. These polymer lowers are taking a design created specifically for 7075 grade aluminum forged lower receivers. You simply cannot do a complete materials replacement and expect it to work well. There will be areas that need strengthening and areas that can maybe be weaker based on the qualities of the material(s) you are using. Directly substituting in polymer for forged aluminum is not a prudent idea.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:12:35 AM EST
Go with the Vulcan.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:21:15 AM EST
The saving's in weight is negligible when compared to the strength of the aluminum and there isn't much difference in cost.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:26:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By Linksrds:

I am considering buying one of the many Poly lowers on the AR market.

I have looked at the New Frontier, Plumcrazy and Vulcan lowers. All are priced in the $100 to $130 range for a complete lower assembly.

Please note, this would not be my primary weapon but just looking for a lightweight model for my daughter to shoot as well as a third line back up rifle/ carbine.

I know that the poly lowers are not well received but I have several Glocks and they were not well received when first introduced.

Your thoughts on what is available would be apprecaited.


with all due respect, why in the world would you take a chance given that you are doing this for your daughter's rifle? If anything, make sure nothing is going to happen as it only takes one mismeasured commercial, primer mishap, etc to potentially create a messy issue. It's your daughter, get her a metal lower and enhance her safety.

Not saying they don't work, but for your daughter, take the added precaution.

You can get some metal lowers on sale from various places, $29 lpk from palmetto and a cheap stock and be better off.

respectfully

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:38:38 AM EST
New Frontier seems decent. Check out the video of the lowers being pressed in a shop press. I'm going to try one shortly.

BK

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:39:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By LastRites:
The saving's in weight is negligible when compared to the strength of the aluminum and there isn't much difference in cost.

This.

But if you are determined, the only poly lower I'd feel comfortable about:


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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:49:00 AM EST
I am not understanding why people go with polymer lowers that cost the same as a forged Al receiver that is 100% more reliable. We just had a discussion on the Bushmaster Carbon 15 look a few pages back and you will read about it. Save your money or buy an Al receiver and you will not be sorry 20 years from now when it is still working.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 6:37:00 AM EST
I'm sure I heard all these comments when Glock started with their poly frames too.

BK

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 6:53:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By BadKarma555:
I'm sure I heard all these comments when Glock started with their poly frames too.

BK

Already addressed in my post. Not at all an apples to apples comparison.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 6:59:11 AM EST
I think a new frontier lower with a metal parts kit would be okay: it seems the main issues I've read about were poly-parts related.

I DO think that in 10 years we will have metal lined poly lowers/uppers that are GTG, but I think for a .22LR plinker it'd be fine now.

If you're gonna get her a 5.56, the complete S&W ARs can be had for like $500.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 7:00:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By OlCrow:
Go with the Vulcan.

You want to fail...do it right.


THIS.

If you're determined to screw yourself, go all the way.


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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 7:21:59 AM EST
Anti plastic here!
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 7:25:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/5/2012 7:27:28 AM EST by gee223]
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Use brick!

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 7:31:36 AM EST
I can see plastic for pistol rounds...rifle calibers no way.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 8:29:21 AM EST
I'm running a Plum Crazy poly lower on my 7.62x39 upper, had it about 6 months and so far no issues. Trigger feel is good, actually a little crisper than my RRA single stages. I've had no issues igniting hard primer surplus ammo. It also ran great on my BCM 5.56 lightweight upper which is what I originally bought it for, but decided to switch it over to the 7.62x39 upper since I shoot corrosive surplus yugo ammo thru it. As far as weight, yes, it's a little lighter than an aluminum receiver but not by much.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 8:33:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By wanderson:
I'm running a Plum Crazy poly lower on my 7.62x39 upper, had it about 6 months and so far no issues. Trigger feel is good, actually a little crisper than my RRA single stages. I've had no issues igniting hard primer surplus ammo. It also ran great on my BCM 5.56 lightweight upper which is what I originally bought it for, but decided to switch it over to the 7.62x39 upper since I shoot corrosive surplus yugo ammo thru it. As far as weight, yes, it's a little lighter than an aluminum receiver but not by much.

Number of rounds shot would be more useful information than the time duration you had it on there. We have no idea how any rounds or often you shoot.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 8:35:13 AM EST
NFA is good to go.I got 3 with over 10k combined through them now.NFA did a 75k round torture test with little to no breakage

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 8:50:05 AM EST
Number of rounds shot would be more useful information than the time duration you had it on there. We have no idea how any rounds or often you shoot.


About 300 rounds on the 5.56 upper and 600 rounds on the 7.62x39 upper.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 9:13:55 AM EST
Plum crazy is shit. Cav lowers are clumsy but light and usually work.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 9:15:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By bigray1777:
I can see plastic for pistol rounds...rifle calibers no way.


Do you have any science to your claim?

I have a couple of them.
They are very nice. I would say the weak spot would be the buffer tube hole. I wouldn't buttstroke side way with one.

Having said that, I've fired 1000s rounds with both of mine.
New Frontier doesn't have nice trigger like Plum Crazy. But the stock fit is better. No rattle on the New Frontier.


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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 9:36:09 AM EST
If you want to save on weight, keep all the metal rail crap off and run plastic furniture, and BUS, etc. But don't go plastic on her lower.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 9:53:34 AM EST
I suppose their is a reason that they do not build engine blocks out of plastic but they do out of Aluminum (imagine with English accent).
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 9:53:54 AM EST
The now discontinued Cav Arms lowers are the only ones that are good to go in my limited experience with poly lowers.

Search the threads here and the web.

FWIW I think poly is the wave of the future, Remington's Nylon 66 and Cav Arms have proven it do-able, but it will take market demand and market success to make it the mainstay.

You can watch the EE for a Cav Arms but the guys who have them tend to hang onto them.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:13:11 AM EST
I guess the reason for the infatuation with light weight is due to so many today have only lifted a game controller during their youth.

I grew up on a farm working hard every day so an aluminum AR isn't too heavy even for a 57 year old like me.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:18:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By OlCrow:
I guess the reason for the infatuation with light weight is due to so many today have only lifted a game controller during their youth.

I grew up on a farm working hard every day so an aluminum AR isn't too heavy even for a 57 year old like me.


I think it is more gimmick not much gain in weight where it can be saved in places like hand guards but everyone has to have rails, with every accessory to go along with it.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:28:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By OlCrow:
I guess the reason for the infatuation with light weight is due to so many today have only lifted a game controller during their youth.

I grew up on a farm working hard every day so an aluminum AR isn't too heavy even for a 57 year old like me.


In a past life I carried a lot of concrete block for a living, and I still like lightweight rifles. You probably carry your rifle in a truck anyway.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:31:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/5/2012 10:32:05 AM EST by Krylancelo]
Nothing wrong with lightweight. But don't try to justify having a less capable weapon by saying "all those darn accessories add too much weight!" and keeping your bull barrel.

Yes, we all know someone who has gone well overboard with accessories. But there are a lot of people that put on only what is useful. And that is never "bad weight." If you can save weight in other places while still maintaining useful and manageable accessories, you are doing pretty darn well.

That said, I do not advocate polymer lowers.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:37:09 AM EST
Thanks for the input...I will stick with an Al upper and look for a light bbl.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 11:22:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By OlCrow:
I guess the reason for the infatuation with light weight is due to so many today have only lifted a game controller during their youth.

I grew up on a farm working hard every day so an aluminum AR isn't too heavy even for a 57 year old like me.


In a past life I carried a lot of concrete block for a living, and I still like lightweight rifles. You probably carry your rifle in a truck anyway.

And you would carry a plastic M4 into combat?
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 11:33:05 AM EST
Originally Posted By Krylancelo:
Buyer beware. Especially Vulcan. I wouldn't give one of those lowers to anyone I cared about unless it was dedicated to a .22 upper.

It's very easy to say "but Glocks!" when talking about polymer AR15 lowers. However, the major difference (and the main reason Glocks are great and these are not) is that Glocks were designed from the ground up as polymer framed guns. These polymer lowers are taking a design created specifically for 7075 grade aluminum forged lower receivers. You simply cannot do a complete materials replacement and expect it to work well. There will be areas that need strengthening and areas that can maybe be weaker based on the qualities of the material(s) you are using. Directly substituting in polymer for forged aluminum is not a prudent idea.


Well said...

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 11:38:57 AM EST
I see Palmetto has them on sale right now for $49.99.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 11:42:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By Krylancelo:
Nothing wrong with lightweight. But don't try to justify having a less capable weapon by saying "all those darn accessories add too much weight!" and keeping your bull barrel.

Yes, we all know someone who has gone well overboard with accessories. But there are a lot of people that put on only what is useful. And that is never "bad weight." If you can save weight in other places while still maintaining useful and manageable accessories, you are doing pretty darn well.

That said, I do not advocate polymer lowers.


Exactly what I meant but better put.

I just built a rifle with a lighter profile than govt but heavier than light weight what Spikes calls "optimum" used MOE handguards to so I could attach a VFG and flashlight, the only place I did not comprimise on weight was the stock when I put the ACS stock on it but I wanted to storage capability it weights fully loaded little over 7lbs.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 12:37:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/5/2012 12:37:49 PM EST by blackscribe]
GWACS has or will put the CAV lower back into production, AFAIK:

CAV Lowers

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 12:59:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/5/2012 1:15:09 PM EST by Combat_Jack]
Originally Posted By OlCrow:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By OlCrow:
I guess the reason for the infatuation with light weight is due to so many today have only lifted a game controller during their youth.

I grew up on a farm working hard every day so an aluminum AR isn't too heavy even for a 57 year old like me.


In a past life I carried a lot of concrete block for a living, and I still like lightweight rifles. You probably carry your rifle in a truck anyway.

And you would carry a plastic M4 into combat?


Sure. Not my preference but it'll hold up.

Cav Arms specifically.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 1:05:11 PM EST
Ok well I'm gonna give my two cents. I just put a free float rail on a customer's rifle and he had one of those frontier arms lowers. It had the plastic trigger and hammer. The lower was brand new and he had never fired it, so I took it to the range to test fire it after I put on the rail. Well I slap a mag in and start to fire ......bang, bang, bang, 5 round burst , wtf......clear out the weapon, new mag, different ammo, charge......bang, bang, 3 round burst......mutha fu****. So I pop the lower to see if i can see anything any i see that it has a plastic sear as well.


Shit almost everything is polymer in this damn thing. So I pull everything out and replace with a spare RRA FCG I had laying around, and go back to the range. 2 ,30 round mags, no automatic fire at all, but I swear I could feel some flexing in the lower receiver as I fired it. The customer shot the weapon and he said the same thing, said it was a little "wobbly". So after it was all said and done I put on a RRA lower and everything was GTG.

I like the idea, but I think there needs to be a lot more testing. I also searched the internet and I guess I wasn't the only one that had problems with the plastic FCG parts. Oh well, my two cents.

Oh I also don't care about the "you better erase that full auto post before the ATF comes knocking crowd"

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 1:48:21 PM EST
Unless there is some test by a reputable individual or source, there is no valid evidence against or for the concept of polymer lowers. And 1 or 2 hear say stories of polymer lowers failing do not prove that a polymer lower is an inherently flawed idea.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 2:45:42 PM EST
These polymer lowers are flying off the shelves, so tens of thousands of people must be about to cause a class action lawsuit with the negative posts here as their poly lower rifles all explode into thin air simultaneously. JoeBobs was sold out and doing back orders for quite a while and New Frontier Armory is getting a lot of business selling thousands and thousands of these. They do have a lifetime warranty and NFA is great to deal with (plus I like that they are a Nevada company).

A while back I got a Plum Crazy in trade on the EE and I am happy with it and it still functions great. I purchased a New Frontier lower thereafter at a gunshow from a buddy and I just completed a budget plinker build that cost well under $475 with all the parts, replacement parts and shipping (minus the sight system).

I replaced the receiver pins and detents with metal ones on both of mine because I feel that the polymer pins were way too tight and could eventually pop out if I were to hammer them too hard. I also disliked the buffer they used as it rattles around a little too much for my liking.

Are they combat ready and GI Proof? Probably not.

However, for a cheap and lightweight truck gun or range plinker, I have put a few thousand rounds through mine with no issues. To all the naysayers, I have more than enough weapons that are combat ready so please don't respond about how the Zombies/Aliens/Invading Forces will overtake me as my rifle turns into dust as soon as I actually need it because it doesn't have the right logo on the side. I am not active duty any more and don't think I have to worry about insurgents on my street any time soon where I won't have access to my other firearms.

Regarding polymer rifles, I will also remind everyone that the Akdal MKA 1919 is a 12 gauge that is made of polymer and its capability of hanlding the recoil of 3" mag slugs is enough to instill confidence in me of the future of polymer rifles/shotties.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 3:31:13 PM EST
So polymer is shit, but CavArms is GTG.




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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 4:01:23 PM EST
i shoot from the bench, so weight isnt a problem.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 4:05:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/5/2012 4:08:12 PM EST by Aimless]

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 4:07:05 PM EST
Works good on my pistol!


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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 4:21:25 PM EST
A lot of them seem to break when compared to the same cost/weight savings.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 5:48:13 PM EST
Not a fan of the current lineup of available poly lowers. That may change however if the tech and materials improve. Really the only two things they have are price and weight over aluminum. And for me there is not enough of a difference of either to interest me.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 8:09:57 PM EST
Probably forgotten in the debate is the idea that the vast majority of AR owners won't be running through 3 gun matches or burning a case of ammo every weekend. Most folks will shoot a few mags through their new toy and then fire a few boxes a year through it if that. They wouldn't wear out the lower if it was made of cardboard. I don't quite understand the hammer and trigger sear surfaces being made of polymer; seems like they would be too soft but I have never taken one apart either.

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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:13:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By Linksrds:

I am considering buying one of the many Poly lowers on the AR market.

I have looked at the New Frontier, Plumcrazy and Vulcan lowers. All are priced in the $100 to $130 range for a complete lower assembly.

Please note, this would not be my primary weapon but just looking for a lightweight model for my daughter to shoot as well as a third line back up rifle/ carbine.

I know that the poly lowers are not well received but I have several Glocks and they were not well received when first introduced.

Your thoughts on what is available would be apprecaited.


Not the same as a Glock. Personally wouldn't use one.
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Link Posted: 9/5/2012 10:42:54 PM EST
I have an NEw frontier Armory lower. I wasn't a fan of the plastic trigger and swapped it out with extreme prejudice, but other than that I have not changed anything. I have about 500 rounds of .223 through the upper I made it and ran 20 rounds of .458 socom on it as well and have not had any issues. I am not using it as a front line gun, I just wanted to see how cheaply I could build an AR with some of the stuff I had lying around.



The TRX was a gimmee from a guy who stripped out the threads. I wanted to build a KISS gun out of an A1 upper I have but could not get a cheap barrel assy with the right front sight, everything was F marked. I might try again later.

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Link Posted: 9/6/2012 2:46:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Linksrds:



Your thoughts on what is available would be apprecaited.

unless its a cav arms or 22lr I would pass


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Link Posted: 9/6/2012 3:09:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By blackscribe:
GWACS has or will put the CAV lower back into production, AFAIK:

CAV Lowers


I've had two cav lowers for 3000 rounds each. No issues.
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  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Posts 280
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USA TX, USA
Link Posted: 9/6/2012 3:58:51 AM EST
I have three plum crazy lowers. First one has about 4000 rounds still no problems. number 2 is my 22 with a cmmg upper has about 10000+ rounds fired. no issues. Third went to my dad with a light weight upper probably has 750+ .223 and he has about the same 7.62x39 through it. Its not like the lower on an AR15 has pressure on it. I'm still running the plastic FCG in all of them. only thing I see is hammer face on the 22 looks beat to hell but it still works so I'm going to run it till it dies and put a Alg in there and keep going

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