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Jparks29
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Posted: 12/1/2010 1:36:23 AM
I wanted to build a lightweight pistol, possibly SBR'ing it if I moved to a state that allows them. With that in mind, I searched for a lightweight lower and found Plum Crazy, out of AZ.....

Having verified that they have 'never been assembled as a rifle' (Ie. had an upper on it), I picked up the lower for $129.99 shipped from New Frontier Armory (NFA) in NV, it was shipped to my FFL in Olympia, WA (Cascade Arms), and both companies were awesome to deal with.

The lower normally comes completely assembled, but because of silly restrictions in place (it's going to be a pistol build), the buffer tube and buttstock had to be removed prior to shipping, which NFA did without hesitation. They even put the parts in a small ziploc bag so as not to be lost...

As soon as I got it, I went to a few local gun shops to get some opinions.... and the consensus seemed to be that it was pretty awesome, but there was some concerns about the sear/disconnect being polymer. A lot of (potential) polymer on polymer wear.

The lower without the buffer tube but otherwise complete weighed 8 ounces..yes.... EIGHT OUNCES... holy crap!

With the pistol buffer tube, spring, and buffer, the now completed lower weighed in @ 1 lb 4 ounces.... NICE!

The finish is quite good, although it does have an obnoxious Plum Crazy logo on it, I"d prefer it doesn't have it, but it is what it is.

The trigger.. WOW.... I expected a completely sloppy trigger, being that it's polymer...

It has got to be one of the crispest breaks I've felt in a 'factory' trigger. I spent a good amount of time doing a good trigger job on my previous AR, and this feels about the same, without all the extra $$$ and work!

A few things to point out.... All things that I've read from previous reviews have been true so far...

First is that the safety lever can be in fire or safe regardless of the hammer position, usually you can only safe it if the hammer is cocked, not so with the plum crazy lower.
Second, the rear takedown pin (closest to the buffer tube) is REALLY tight.. I will have to sand it a bit for my upper to fit in..
Third, I use Pmags exclusively, and they do not drop free, although the standard metal ones do. I've been told it's because of the increased drag created by polymer vs polymer contact.. Again, a little sanding and it should be ready to rock and roll..

The obligatory pics....














I'll post a more in depth review when I have it built up....


Garandboy
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Posted: 12/1/2010 6:36:44 PM
I'm still waiting to see one of these up close and test it in cold weather and such. Keep us posted on how it works out for you.
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murderman
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Posted: 12/1/2010 7:21:57 PM
Am I reading correctly that the FCG components are polymer?

Could you please list each and ever component of the assembly, and its corresponding material of construction.
Jparks29
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Posted: 12/1/2010 11:31:28 PM
Originally Posted By murderman:
Am I reading correctly that the FCG components are polymer?

Could you please list each and ever component of the assembly, and its corresponding material of construction.


Everything is polymer except the springs.

Hammer and buffer tube threading is metal reinforced polymer.

hi-tech-rancher
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Posted: 12/1/2010 11:49:17 PM
I continue to toy with the idea of using one of these for an Ultra-light rifle designed for suppressed upper, and NVD's. I am just having trouble with the notion of the polymer FCG.

I wonder if this lower would work well with a WC TTU trigger group upgrade. they install by simply tapping out the pins and dropping the FCG unit in, then replacing the pins. That WC FCG should still work with the polymer pins right?
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claybusterNY
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Posted: 12/8/2010 9:42:47 PM
Have you gotten a chance to assemble and shoot this lower? Mine will be here tomorrow and I'm wanting to get some feedback on this.
Jparks29
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Posted: 12/15/2010 5:44:40 AM
Originally Posted By claybusterNY:
Have you gotten a chance to assemble and shoot this lower? Mine will be here tomorrow and I'm wanting to get some feedback on this.


Waiting on the barrel (on order).
hunter80
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Posted: 12/15/2010 1:03:36 PM
Thanks for the review!

I bought one for a 6.8spc that I am going to use for hunting only. Can go wrong for the price. But time well tell if these will hold up to cold weather
hi-tech-rancher
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Posted: 12/16/2010 2:15:23 PM
Originally Posted By hunter80:
Thanks for the review!

I bought one for a 6.8spc that I am going to use for hunting only. Can go wrong for the price. But time well tell if these will hold up to cold weather



Please come back and tell us how you like the polymer to polymer interfaces on the FCG, after you get some rounds on it.
"Texas - the only state that ever kicked another country's ass."


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bogus
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Posted: 12/16/2010 2:32:24 PM
My friend has one of these and has a little over 1000 rounds through it in about 8 months. The only problem he has had is with some GI mags not dropping free. It seems to work better with the PMAG. It's not my style but for what he uses it for it seems ok. He lives in AZ so weather varies from insanely hot to pretty cold in the winter months.
Jparks29
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Posted: 12/29/2010 4:05:41 AM
After build report...


I built it as a pistol after confirming it never had an upper on it and registering it as a pistol (state transfer paperwork).

I've put a few rounds through for testing, and am having light primer strikes on Wolf ammo it runs fine on PMC. That is to be expected with 7.62x39 in the AR however.... I'm sure the polymer hammer has a bit to play in that... I'll be getting the higher power hammer spring in it to combat that issue.

Second issue I had was with the retainer for the front takedown pin... I pulled on the pin a tiny bit too hard (not even THAT hard, but apparently too much) and the front takedown pin came off and the spring and pin went flying. Luckily I had spares...

After taking off the upper and putting it back on a few times, the takedown has become considerably easier, and nowhere near as hard as it was... As the manufacturer suggests.

I have a 7.62x39 10 round (as shown in the pics) and it is nowhere even close to dropping free.. It has to be tugged on a bit... I'm thinking that the geometry of the magazine may be slightly different to accommodate the rounds, and the polymer being a hair out of spec, leaving the magwell a bit too tight. I expect a light sanding or just more use will clear that up. Other users have reported similar issues with mags not dropping free.

The only other thing to note is the increased felt recoil. However, I will discount that for two reasons. First is, it's lightweight, and as such, it will feel a lil more recoil with less weight. Second, and this is the biggy, it's a x39 build instead of a 5.56 build. Completely different powder and bullet.


Overall.. I'd give it a 7/10.... and am planning to purchase another. For the $130 that I spent, for a completed lower with pistol tube, you can't beat it...

The sole reason I went with the polymer is for the weight, and that along with the Troy TRX extreme rail has done magic in keeping the weight down. Between the conventional lower, and a regular rail, I shaved off over a pound with just those two parts...










Jparks29
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Posted: 12/29/2010 4:50:42 AM


LonghunterCO
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Posted: 1/3/2011 6:23:21 PM
Looks interesting. Woould like to build one of these into a SBR .22lr build with a folding stock!
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hunter80
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Posted: 1/8/2011 1:01:52 PM
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
Originally Posted By hunter80:
Thanks for the review!

I bought one for a 6.8spc that I am going to use for hunting only. Can go wrong for the price. But time well tell if these will hold up to cold weather



Please come back and tell us how you like the polymer to polymer interfaces on the FCG, after you get some rounds on it.




I have everything mounted and ready to go. The only thing I question is the rear fit of the upper and lower. Anyone else have a small gap?

wrightone
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Posted: 1/8/2011 1:47:54 PM
A co-worker of mine bought one. I don't know if he has it mounted yet. I was planning on picking up one soon. My initial use was going to replace my 5.56 lower and use my DPMS lower for a x39. I wasn't sure if the polymer would hold up that well with the x39 rounds. Seems to be ok though?
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hunter80
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Posted: 1/8/2011 2:15:18 PM
I had my doubts like everyone else. Its just a hunting rifle for me, 40rds or so max per yr. Time will tell how these hold up. We need someone to do a true torture test. We should start a fund for someone to purchase one and put it through hell and back. Use it till it does break and then well all will know what it will take under normal use.
Jparks29
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Posted: 1/8/2011 8:26:24 PM
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
Originally Posted By hunter80:
Thanks for the review!

I bought one for a 6.8spc that I am going to use for hunting only. Can go wrong for the price. But time well tell if these will hold up to cold weather



Please come back and tell us how you like the polymer to polymer interfaces on the FCG, after you get some rounds on it.


many users report zero problems.

HOWEVER, in my case, I'm running 7.62x39, and a wolff XP hammer spring, and even after only 100 rounds or so, you can tell the hammer face has taken a beating... just an ever so slight indentation.

With a regular hammer spring, and 5.56, I wouldn't think it'd be a problem.

In this situation, I'm running it on something it wasn't designed to do.

I WILL be going for a metal FCG...


I did notice that when equipping it with a metal hammer and leaving the polymer sear/trigger in place, it barely, and I mean barely, holds the hammer down..With the slightest movement, it would come lose, I would assume under normal firing.. I WILL NOT BE THE GUINEA PIG FOR THAT ONE... I will be replacing the FCG as a whole to prevent any malfunctions or misfires...
Jparks29
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Posted: 1/8/2011 8:33:34 PM
Originally Posted By wrightone:
A co-worker of mine bought one. I don't know if he has it mounted yet. I was planning on picking up one soon. My initial use was going to replace my 5.56 lower and use my DPMS lower for a x39. I wasn't sure if the polymer would hold up that well with the x39 rounds. Seems to be ok though?


No issues, running solid (other than the hammer face).

I'm able to cheek weld no problem, and even without optics or even irons, I'm able to hit 'minute of man' @ 100 yards even firing rapidly.... just following the empty rail as a guide....



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Posted: 1/9/2011 12:23:29 PM
I have had one of these for about 10 months now. Shot around 300 rounds through it. I put a $399 dpms upper on it with Primary Arms red dot. I am into it under $600. I agree about the trigger. It is better than a standard factory trigger which surprised me being plastic.
hi-tech-rancher
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Posted: 1/10/2011 11:50:25 PM
I'm definitely going to have one of these for an ultra-lightweight .300 whisper build. I will be using a Bushmaster Carbon 15 upper receiver, superlight profile barrel, and Troy TRX extreme HG. Will also be putting metal FCG parts in, likely a Wilson Combat TTU trigger.

But, Jeebus, I am having some difficulty getting over the ghey name and that toys-r-us logo on the side.
"Texas - the only state that ever kicked another country's ass."


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Jparks29
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Posted: 1/11/2011 3:21:42 AM
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
I'm definitely going to have one of these for an ultra-lightweight .300 whisper build. I will be using a Bushmaster Carbon 15 upper receiver, superlight profile barrel, and Troy TRX extreme HG. Will also be putting metal FCG parts in, likely a Wilson Combat TTU trigger.

But, Jeebus, I am having some difficulty getting over the ghey name and that toys-r-us logo on the side.


They renamed the company and changed the rollmark....

hi-tech-rancher
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Posted: 1/11/2011 9:33:24 AM
Originally Posted By Jparks29:
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
I'm definitely going to have one of these for an ultra-lightweight .300 whisper build. I will be using a Bushmaster Carbon 15 upper receiver, superlight profile barrel, and Troy TRX extreme HG. Will also be putting metal FCG parts in, likely a Wilson Combat TTU trigger.

But, Jeebus, I am having some difficulty getting over the ghey name and that toys-r-us logo on the side.


They renamed the company and changed the rollmark....



Smart choice....what does it look like now?
"Texas - the only state that ever kicked another country's ass."


"I'll never forget September 11, 2001, those who have fought and died, or those who continue to fight to avenge the deaths of over 3000 innocent Americans"
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Posted: 1/11/2011 11:17:04 AM
Most of the reviews I have seen very positive also, but I for $129 I think I would pass. I'm looking at the Plubcrazys for $112 shipped now, the problem is you get a regular lower for $65 shipped, a LPK for $50, a similar stock is probably one of the $30 generic kits sold on the forums, which are probably UTGs taken out of the packaging. That would put a regular basic lower at ~$145.
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Posted: 1/11/2011 2:04:29 PM
Originally Posted By Jparks29:
Originally Posted By hi-tech-rancher:
Originally Posted By hunter80:
Thanks for the review!

I bought one for a 6.8spc that I am going to use for hunting only. Can go wrong for the price. But time well tell if these will hold up to cold weather



Please come back and tell us how you like the polymer to polymer interfaces on the FCG, after you get some rounds on it.


many users report zero problems.

HOWEVER, in my case, I'm running 7.62x39, and a wolff XP hammer spring, and even after only 100 rounds or so, you can tell the hammer face has taken a beating... just an ever so slight indentation.

With a regular hammer spring, and 5.56, I wouldn't think it'd be a problem.

In this situation, I'm running it on something it wasn't designed to do.

I WILL be going for a metal FCG...


I did notice that when equipping it with a metal hammer and leaving the polymer sear/trigger in place, it barely, and I mean barely, holds the hammer down..With the slightest movement, it would come lose, I would assume under normal firing.. I WILL NOT BE THE GUINEA PIG FOR THAT ONE... I will be replacing the FCG as a whole to prevent any malfunctions or misfires...


I run one of these as well with a 7.62x39 upper, have about 1500 rounds through it now...if not more. I use the standard spring that came in the upper and it works great on the harder Russian primers. When I had a standard lower I had to use the heavy spring.

Here's my initial review from a while ago;

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=488153&page=1

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Posted: 1/11/2011 2:20:29 PM
Originally Posted By Jparks29:

I've put a few rounds through for testing, and am having light primer strikes on Wolf ammo it runs fine on PMC. That is to be expected with 7.62x39 in the AR however.... I'm sure the polymer hammer has a bit to play in that... I'll be getting the higher power hammer spring in it to combat that issue.


I get the light primer strike also on my plum crazy. I've built a custom dedicated .22 LR upper and will get dud every 100 rounds or so. When I use DPMS lower, it doesn't happen.

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Posted: 1/11/2011 5:10:03 PM
Originally Posted By jungp:
Originally Posted By Jparks29:

I've put a few rounds through for testing, and am having light primer strikes on Wolf ammo it runs fine on PMC. That is to be expected with 7.62x39 in the AR however.... I'm sure the polymer hammer has a bit to play in that... I'll be getting the higher power hammer spring in it to combat that issue.


I get the light primer strike also on my plum crazy. I've built a custom dedicated .22 LR upper and will get dud every 100 rounds or so. When I use DPMS lower, it doesn't happen.



I haven't had any .22LR duds yet and I have a couple thousand through it. What ammo you shooting?